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  1. #1

    Dark Shaman tanking tips

    I'm making this thread to help tanks understand the Dark Shaman encounter better, namely Ashen Wall and Foul Geyser. You don't really have a ton of control over other abilities aside from the starting point of Foul Stream. In the case of the two aforementioned abilities, you are directly involved with how they spawn. Let's start with Foul Geyser, because it happens first.

    When Wavebinder Kardris casts Foul Geyser it has a 2-3 second (not 100% sure) cast time, at the end of which a channel begins and adds begin to spawn at your location. This not only gives other raid members enough time to get away from you, but it gives you enough time to drop the slimes in a decent position. Note that the outer portion of the Valley of Strength basically has a form of building - opening - buidling - opening, etc. Use the terrain to your advantage here - dump the adds into one of those nooks, or dance with the spawn inside one of the buildings. This not only clusters them, but in many cases bottlenecks them. This allows ranged to kill them very easily, and once tanks get the general idea, almost nullifies the worst part about the ability.

    Ashen Wall is very similar to Foul Geyser in that proper placement can effectively negate the ability. Whenever you're tanking Earthbreaker Haromm, note that he always uses this ability at 50% health, and it almost always follows a Foul Stream thereafter. So, whenever you notice one of these tells, take Haromm off to a far corner, or even better - into one of the buildings. Always remember to face the boss and have your back to whichever wall is closest (or into the bulding, if you chose that route). Since the wall always spawns from your left to right at the end of Haromm's cast (as in, it's perpendicular to him), you can easily control where the walls spawn. If the walls are nowhere to be seen in the middle, it'll keep the middle of the zone clear for movement.

    I hope word of this spreads, because I think we can all imagine how much fun this encounter will be in LFR tomorrow if tanks aren't trying.

    TLR - Use nooks and buildings for dealing with Foul Geyser/Ashen Wall, watch less raid members die, kill boss, get purples.

  2. #2
    This is awesome advice - seriously. I'm going to be doing progression on this encounter tonight and this is way better than whatever I managed to do in flex.

    Is LoS an issue for healers when you're dodging into buildings?

  3. #3
    Good advice, here's some more:

    Bring 3 tanks, stick 2 of them on Earthbreaker, and tank them far enough apart that neither group has to deal with the other boss' abilities.

  4. #4
    It should be known that a lot of the video and online guides improperly display the health values in this encounter. Many guides were made during the PTR. Things have changed on live. Most notably is the health values of the mounts at the start, Darkfang and Bloodclaw.

    For example. Icy Veins lists their 10m normal values as 12.7M. When in actuality they are 42M. The Dark Shaman health values are also different, being 348M shared health pool on live, while guides often list around 430M.

    As a result, my guild went in there last night on this encounter and noticed we had to Lust at the start to burn through the substantially larger health values of the Darkfang and Bloodclaw, which were most certainly NOT 12.7M. This extra health causes the Rend dot they do to be more significant as it stacks up.

    The trick the Devs are attempting to do is to get you to aoe burn it all down, and thus pop the 85% phase of the boss while doing so, and thereby trip yourself up. Don't fall for it. Use controlled dps to burn down the mounts, and then aoe the 2nd when it's health is low enough that killing it in this manner will not also trip the bosses to 85%.

    Every video guide I've watched so far does not take this change into consideration and considers the mounts 'trivial' and 'quickly burned down'.

    This isn't the case.

  5. #5
    We've been AOEing the mounts down on 25-man. Yes, the bosses usually end up around 85% when the mounts die, but... the bosses still don't cast any of their abilities until we've moved them into position.

    It might just be a time difference, so YMMV, but we haven't been getting any casts while they're all grouped up.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathpony View Post
    It should be known that a lot of the video and online guides improperly display the health values in this encounter. Many guides were made during the PTR. Things have changed on live. Most notably is the health values of the mounts at the start, Darkfang and Bloodclaw.

    For example. Icy Veins lists their 10m normal values as 12.7M. When in actuality they are 42M. The Dark Shaman health values are also different, being 348M shared health pool on live, while guides often list around 430M.

    As a result, my guild went in there last night on this encounter and noticed we had to Lust at the start to burn through the substantially larger health values of the Darkfang and Bloodclaw, which were most certainly NOT 12.7M. This extra health causes the Rend dot they do to be more significant as it stacks up.

    The trick the Devs are attempting to do is to get you to aoe burn it all down, and thus pop the 85% phase of the boss while doing so, and thereby trip yourself up. Don't fall for it. Use controlled dps to burn down the mounts, and then aoe the 2nd when it's health is low enough that killing it in this manner will not also trip the bosses to 85%.

    Every video guide I've watched so far does not take this change into consideration and considers the mounts 'trivial' and 'quickly burned down'.

    This isn't the case.
    I feel heroism on the dogs is not good advice for a typical group progressing on this fight. It is much more useful in the final phase. Better to use some CDs to deal with higher stacks of rend.

    We yippee-kay-yay-aoe the dogs. 10 man, 3 healing, w/o spectacular gear (tho with some good aoe classes). Takes us ~ 1 minute to kill the dogs. Usually one tank gets 2 stacks of rend and the other 4. Can't recall transitioning 85% doing this, but it's usually close.

    Even if you tranisition with a dog up, it's not a big deal. Have the tank w/o a dog pick up Haroom.

  7. #7
    Wholeheartedly agree with positioning on the ashen wall. We wiped over and over on this boss until I learned that you could position the wall and then the fight became trivial.

    To the above poster, yes the dogs have more health but the healing is still extremely simple as you don't need to worry about any abilities. Why lust here? It seems silly. We do use 3 healers though, with 2 it could maybe be rough but the bosses have such low health I'm not really sure why you wouldn't use 3. On normal at least.

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  8. #8
    Thanks for the tips on ashen wall, Vanderhuge, I didn't realize the tank had control of that. I am sure our tanks will love to discover they have even more responsibility on this fight, this week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathpony View Post
    As a result, my guild went in there last night on this encounter and noticed we had to Lust at the start to burn through the substantially larger health values of the Darkfang and Bloodclaw, which were most certainly NOT 12.7M. This extra health causes the Rend dot they do to be more significant as it stacks up.

    The trick the Devs are attempting to do is to get you to aoe burn it all down, and thus pop the 85% phase of the boss while doing so, and thereby trip yourself up. Don't fall for it. Use controlled dps to burn down the mounts, and then aoe the 2nd when it's health is low enough that killing it in this manner will not also trip the bosses to 85%.
    I tell my DPS to multi-dot and cleave but stay focused on the dogs. We mark one with skull to bring it down quickly and then focus on the other. Raid DPS with cool downs and procs should mean the first dog dies in 30 seconds or so while cleaves and DoTs have pushed the second dog to 50% or less. This is very important: make sure your tanks point the dogs in different directions or their "swipe" will hit both tanks and double your rend stacks. Tanks won't need their damage reduction cool downs for a long time after this, so use them (as well as external cool downs like pain suppression, guardian spirit, hand of sacrifice, etc, if you need them).

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Belloc View Post
    Good advice, here's some more:

    Bring 3 tanks, stick 2 of them on Earthbreaker, and tank them far enough apart that neither group has to deal with the other boss' abilities.
    This - we 3 tanked 3 healed this week with all DPS focusing on Kardis. I reckon it should easily be 2 healable - we just happened to have 2 inexperienced crappy geared DPS respec tanks on Earthbreaker as our normal tank was missing.

    My plan next reset is to dump 2 tanks and 1 healer up the ramp with Earthbreaker, and keep everyone else down with Kardis.

    Only issue we ever had with the dogs was if they both stuck on one tank; 8-10 bleed stacks hurt more than you'd think.

    We used lust around 30% iirc; not really any point at the start, just make sure tanks rotate through their cooldowns until the dogs die.



    ...But yeah, I imagine LFR will be a nightmare, as it'll be rare to see a DPS offer to act as a third tank; hope the boss ability damage is nerfed to hell and back.

  10. #10
    The Patient
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    Could you clarify the Ashen wall for me - I seem to be the only one not sure on it.

    It appears behind the boss and perpendicular to the boss / tank facing position?



    Tank Boss.............Wall
    .............................X
    .............................X
    --> <--..................X
    .............................X
    .............................X

    Ignore the dots - I had to put them in to get the wall to line up! The tank and boss are the arrows.

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    Last edited by BombayRoll; 2013-09-24 at 09:26 AM.

  11. #11
    Here is a beautiful Paint rendition of how Ashen Wall works:



    Or for the most part, how I've noticed it working. So long as you're facing the boss when it casts, it won't go off in some strange direction.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Vanderhuge View Post
    Here is a beautiful Paint rendition of how Ashen Wall works:


    Or for the most part, how I've noticed it working. So long as you're facing the boss when it casts, it won't go off in some strange direction.
    Pretty much what I've noticed, I worked off the assumption it spawns parallel to your feet
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  13. #13
    As the above posters have said, it goes parallel to either your feet or the bosses. I told my tanks the bosses and they always got it pushed up against a wall. As long as you face the boss directly it'll be at your feet so you can put it in a corner or inside a house or whatever.

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  14. #14
    The wall spawns perpendicular to your feet, not parallel. Sorry that was bothering me.

    Unless you're Draenei. Then who know which way your feet are pointing.

  15. #15
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    That's very interesting, I didn't know that about Ash Wall. Was doing it on LFR and I was wondering why they were appearing in weird places. To be honest its fights like this that bug the hell out of me, because it doesn't need all the mechanics. The wall/geyser/vortex things are cool, did it really need a tank swap mechanic to boot?
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  16. #16
    Stood in the Fire Ailyara's Avatar
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    Here's the gotcha on ashen wall. It doesn't necessarily target the tank, it targets anyone who is in front of the boss and channels off of them.

    In theory, only the tank should be in front of him so it should work as advertised. But sometimes if dps isn't paying attention they can grab it. Just something to make a note of if you're seeing ashen wall weirdness.

  17. #17
    Scarab Lord snuzzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xaru View Post
    This is awesome advice - seriously. I'm going to be doing progression on this encounter tonight and this is way better than whatever I managed to do in flex.

    Is LoS an issue for healers when you're dodging into buildings?
    Agree, thanks. I'll be practicing in LFR for sure. I may also try it 3-tanked, as that does seem like it would make it significantly easier.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobleshield View Post
    That's very interesting, I didn't know that about Ash Wall. Was doing it on LFR and I was wondering why they were appearing in weird places. To be honest its fights like this that bug the hell out of me, because it doesn't need all the mechanics. The wall/geyser/vortex things are cool, did it really need a tank swap mechanic to boot?
    They added the tank swap mechanic because people were tanking one boss towards the gates of orgrimmar and the other in the drag (was no gate there on PTR). Basically people were splitting the bosses up in 2 groups 200 yards apart with 1 tank 1 healer in 1 group and the rest of the raid in the other which completely trivialised the encounter. To "counter" this they added the gate that is now blocking the path to the drag before you kill shamans and the tank swap debuff.

    Imo the better solution would have been to add a spell called "Brotherly Love, No Homo", which causes the shamans enrages when they are more than 40 yards away from eachother. That tank swap debuff is just annoying.

    I do however think that the shamans fight would have been better if it was only 1 boss with the same mechanics. Having two bosses does not feel needed here, only a lot of annoying tank movement.
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  19. #19
    Here's a video from the downstairs pov how I move the raid and lay geysers.


  20. #20
    Pit Lord Odina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly33 View Post
    They added the tank swap mechanic because people were tanking one boss towards the gates of orgrimmar and the other in the drag (was no gate there on PTR). Basically people were splitting the bosses up in 2 groups 200 yards apart with 1 tank 1 healer in 1 group and the rest of the raid in the other which completely trivialised the encounter. To "counter" this they added the gate that is now blocking the path to the drag before you kill shamans and the tank swap debuff.

    .
    The simple solution to there fix is have some one in raid go tank offspec and 2 taks and 1 healer haul ass to the middle of nowhere and 1 tank stays on the caster and kyting gyser and the raid blows her up while the other tank and off tank taunt swap the melee dude.

    Makes the fight really easy!

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