I received a nice letter from Frogerician of the Steamwheedle Cartel (US) today.
In the email, Froggie writes;
Been reading your column ever since I decided to move my druid up through the ranks of obscurity to where he is now, in the beginning stages of Karazhan. I’ve got a pretty well geared bear tank, he’s fully outfitted in pre-kara gear, uncrittable, 23K armor, 12.8K health, 30-35% dodge. And yet Karazhan is just kicking my furry behind. These freaking undead bosses more often than not are immune to taunt, so as soon as some dipstick gnome mage (name withheld) who’s never even heard of threat meters until that very night decides to OFGWTFBBQ crit my boss (maiden). Down goes the raid. So what do I hear? “You need to hold aggro better.”
So the question behind my gripe is: Any special tricks or attack sequences I can use to help keep my aggro up? As far as I can tell I’m reduced to Mangle, Maul and Swipe.
First off, thanks for the email, Froggie!
I’m sure he’s gonna be super-pissed that I’m calling him that… but Frogerician seems so… formal, doesn’t it? Maybe I can call you Mr. Frog?
Now, normally I just answer quietly in the background, but I thought that, since I haven’t posted on this kind of stuff in a long time, it would be nice to give an answer… and while the answer may be light-hearted in tone, I’m serious about my advice.
And as a disclaimer… there are lots of different ways you can generate threat. In fact, I’m sure there are plenty of ways to generate threat differently that other tanks use and would recommend. And some might delight in correcting me on. The important thing here is, while Mr. Frog specifically mentioned Maiden of Virtue, an infinite Rage fight, he also emntioned the undead foes in general. Now, against a single target when you might be looking at conserving Rage for future battles, this is MY method, and my advice. Not the advice someone else is giving, but mine. If you disagree with me, please, I invite you to add your advice in the comments. From such things, we all learn. Most especially me.
Oh yeah, the answer to the email. Right, lol.
The attack sequence I use is Enrage to build up Rage, 8 seconds or so to let the Enrage armor nerf cooldown tick, then Feral Faerie Fire to pull, Mangle for bleed debuff and threat spike – Lacerate x3 immediately, then Mangle should be off cooldown again, then Lacerate x3 again. If I have enough excess rage, then I throw in some Mauls. Otherwise, keep up the Mangle -> Lacerate x3 rotation, throw in Feral Faerie Fire for the armor debuff and Demoralyzing Roar for some damage reduction once in a while, and you should be fine.
If you are still having problems holding aggro after doing what YOU can do, you may want to switch to using Moonfire to do your initial pull. Also, get your Priest to cast Prayer of Mending on you prior to the pull (you get the threat from it healing you, not the Priest), and have the Hunter cast Misdirection on you and your target before the pull.
If, after all that, your gnome mage still pulls threat, tell him to lrn2play. And you can quote me.
Okay, so that was a bit cranky. Sorry about that, I do know that some classes can crit massively on their spells. I myself have a Warlock in our guild that is an awesome player, and sometimes his crits just roll one after another, 8 in a row, and poof! He’s dead.
Sometimes, there’s nothing you CAN do, except try your best.
Again, thanks for the email, Mr. Frog!