Wednesday, December 31, 2008

[Druid] Bear-Tanked Gluth in Moonkin Spec

I've always been happy to pitch in with an off-spec function when the situation warranted it; emergency Tranquility on Sapphiron, shifting out to become an extra healer on any number of occasions, and so on. But being asked to pinch tank a raid boss was a new one.

My guild was doing 10-man Naxx since we're still missing a lot of people due to the holidays, and someone had to leave so I was asked to step in. They had gotten to Gluth and their tag team of mage and shaman wasn't able to control all the zombie adds. When I got in, we found a tag team of moonkin and mage with an Earthbind totem nearby still didn't do much better.

Normally we have a paladin or death knight on zombie duty, but both our paladins were prot last night (Gluth requires two tanks) and amazingly enough, we had no DKs in the entire raid. So one of our officers came up with an idea.

Our paladin OT (who is normally our ret pally) would tank the adds, since he already knew how, and I would OT Gluth. Madness? How about the fact I did it primarily in moonkin gear?

I was assured that Gluth does not hit very hard. Looking at WoW Wiki he only hits for about 3500 on plate in 10-man. Moonkin armor got nerfed to 370% percent down from 400% when bear form was also adjusted, but I could get between 17-18k armor (laugh) and just over 20k health if I swapped out my cloth spell power pieces for leather from my feral set. I actually asked if I should go full feral, but was told that I would need to dps in between tanking. (It turns out this was mostly a run for the guild newbies so we really needed to shore up the dps.)

So here's how it went:

The main tank ran in, aggroed Gluth, and dragged him to the far side of the room as normal. The first difference for me was that I ran along with him and stood with my back to the wall next to the MT. I was in moonkin form and dps-ed as normal. After the tank got four stacks of Mortal Wound I went into bear form and taunted the boss off him.

I got hit, but even being crittable the boss didn't hit me hard enough that the healers couldn't keep me up. My threat was fine since I could to work off the lead the MT had built up. After 15 seconds had passed and the debuff wore off the MT, he taunted off me, and I would go back to moonkin form for more dps. And we'd repeat the cycle. The only dps-related issue from the perspective of my own output was that I couldn't easily participate in killing zombie chow since I was also on tanking duty.

Despite that, our unorthodox method was surprisingly effective and I think we would have beaten Gluth if not for the fact that the server ate it when the boss was at 35%. Certain raids and instances hung up without actually booting the people in them offline (we originally thought we were lagged) and after several minutes of watching ourselves idle in place, we called it for the night. Thus ended my glorious run as a moonkin bear tank.

Yes, I was disappointed.

We plan on continuing the raid tonight, but we might end up with a slightly different group make-up, so I don't know if I'll end up getting another shot at tanking, but I'd be happy to try. I think it'll work and it could be a viable option for other raids if the OT has to go on add duty.

Update: We did go back to this fight New Year's Eve and I did OT Gluth again. This time I brought extra leather caster gear with me so I was in full leather for the fight. I had more trouble with aggro this time (just with the other tank, who had to stop dps to avoid pulling off me), but otherwise it was a job well done. Go hybrid versatility!

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