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ICC25HM: Rotface

So, what’s different?

  • Vile Gas–so keep people at ranged
  • Raid damage is higher, especially the ooze rockets
  • Big Ooze can one-shot your tank
  • Ooze spills reduce movement speed a lot more

For positioning the raid in this fight, I have two ranged park in front of each of the three skull/barrel spots in the cardinal points of the room, as well as in front of the door. When spills come down they can just side step out of them. Melee stacks on one of Rotface’s legs, then when a Big Ooze ruptures and the rockets hit the air, they immediately shift to the other leg and hopefully avoid any splash damage.

Now, let’s practice maintanking this fight. Stand up from your computer. Face whatever door you used to enter the room you’re in. Now stand there. Now, hold that position. This’ll get tough, but I recommend practicing for about two hours a day for the next week to perfect the technique.

While MTing, since your job is cake, you have the spare time to make your healer’s lives easier. Use a mouseover Cleanse macro and take it upon yourself to immediately Cleanse people as they get diseased. It’ll save the healers some GCDs, and it’s not like you have anything better to do other than maintain a high threat ceiling.

While, it’s stupid easy to maintank this fight, thankfully, offtanking is another matter. The poor OT will be circling the room, doing their best to zip through ooze spills with minimum contact and minimal slowdown. Having Hand of Freedom is a must, as you do not want the Big Ooze catching up with you while dashing through a spill. Same rules for Ooze Kiting apply in heroic mode. Ultimately, don’t let it catch you, and try to keep a wide berth of the ranged and melee to prevent a Vile Gas from splashing onto you.

If you do get pinched by the Gas, have your bubble/cancel macro ready to go to quickly knock it off. You do not want the Ooze catching you, or your kiting career will be cut to an abrupt end. Likewise, if an emergency occurs and for some reason you need to change directions while kiting, pop a cooldown to pass by the Big Ooze.

As a whole, this probably one of the easiest hardmodes. The first time we did it, we almost downed it after losing most of the raid around the 30% mark. Just keep the raid from standing in an ooze rocket, or from screwing up delivery of their little oozes and you’re golden. Autopilot to victory!

The lewt!

  • Bile-Encrusted Medallion (BiS neck!)
  • Blightborne Warplate
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Addons I Love: AVR

When I set out to write this post I didn’t realize how behind the times I was with this addon. While AVR (short for Augmented Virtual Reality), in the version I have downloaded and setup, works with BigWigs for Icecrown boss encounters, apparently there’s been a shuffle with the mod making it so BigWigs is not longer needed. So, I’m thankfully spared detailing the dance you need to do to make this addon work with BigWigs while not clash with your bossmods of choice.

Instead, just grab the base AVR pack, and then AVR Encounters.

Now, I’m sure the functionality has remained the same, so let’s talk a bit about the Encounters side of this glorious piece of work. While you can use to the mod to put custom textures down on the ground for everyone in your raid to see (provided they have the mod), the really amazing part of this addon is how it streamlines (perhaps “dumbs-down” is a better word) certain boss mechanics.

For example, on Festergut, the mod will put a massive red circle under the spores.

This will show everyone the range of the spore so they can be sure to stand in its fungus-y embrace. For myself, as the tank and raid leader, it especially facilitates my job by making it take a split second to see if there are two spores in melee so I can order one to run out.

In the Rotface fight, AVR is a lifesaver. When a Big Ooze explodes and fires its slime rockets into the air, AVR will put red circles on the ground under where everyone was standing so you can guess where a rocket might hit the ground, making dodging them a cakewalk.

Once I get everyone in the raid to get set up with this addon, this will finally kill the much-maligned “Leg Shuffle” strategy. Rather than “everyone move to the other leg,” I can just say “don’t stand in the red circle, ya idjits.”

On Putricide, AVR is unfortunately a little buggy, but still a world of help. It will put a red circle under where a Malleable Goo is going to land.

Unfortunately, AVR only tracks one of three goos. But, at least it will mitigate some of the damage and help melee know in P3 if they’re about to get murdered by a goo falling on their heads. Alternatively, there’s an option for Putricide where you can have AVR put a red circle under everyone when Malleable Goo is cast, so people just need to not stand in a red circle to avoid getting it. That would work well, but I can see it being a headache for melee.

Lastly, we only saw a little bit of Sindragosa on Wednesday night (sidenote: first time we got to her, woo) but AVR demonstrated its effectiveness in all its glory for this fight. It puts a circle under every Frost Beacon so they can space themselves out and hopefully people won’t go into their circle and get frozen as well. We only got two tries in, but I can see this mod making the learning curve a lot more forgiving on this fight.

According to the AVRE page, they cover Marrowgar, Lady D, Blood Queen, and Lich King as well now. I can’t wait to try out these fights with the new version.

If you are using this mod I’d like to hear your impressions of it.

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Highs and lows

Low point

On Saturday I was struck with the desire to bring my lvl 65 hunter (my very first WoW character, rolled the day after the game was released) out and try to finally get him going again. I bought 145 emblems worth of heirloom items, paid for normal flying, and then tried to figure out how to play a hunter again. I lost interest immediately.

High point

Rolled a new warlock instead–yes, this is on top of my other alts: the 42 druid, the 41 shaman, the 48 mage, the 80 DK–I have Alt-ADHD.

Spent the better part of yesterday leveling it with Cendra’s new rogue. Was pretty fun, and I love all the spells it has at such a low level. I’ll probably play it until 40 or so and then get bored.

Low point

Saturday I threw together a somewhat impromptu Undying run. Razuvious was the raid weekly this week, so turns out half the people invited were saved already. Finally decide we’ll just 8 man it, everyone’s pumped for a fun drunk raid, and we go to do Razuvious first. While manning one of the Understudies, my pet frame was turned off and I couldn’t drop mine in time to save Zilga’s from dying. I pick Raz back up, we’re doing good, last 10% of health. Then I lose aggro, Razuvious runs over and instagibs a poor warlock and then before we can all flee to reset, the boss dies. I screwed up Undying on the first boss.

High point

Went and did ToGC-10 instead, finished it with 48 attempts left. Got a few upgrades for the warlock, who I hope will start raiding soon. One for the win column, overall.

Low point

After that tried a late ICC-10 alt run. Never got past Marrowgar because people couldn’t switch to spikes or avoid dying in the fire.

High point

No one got saved to a fail run.

Low point

Didn’t kill Putricide last night in ICC-10 (mains run).

High point

On our best attempt we got him to 26% and there was a marked improvement every attempt that didn’t have some crazy RNG screw up early on (ie, every “real attempt”). We definitely could have killed him with a lot more time.

Also, as you might have guessed, we killed Roface on 10man for the first time. We had a third healer in the group switch to actual heals for the fight and it reduced a lot of the “one healer dead = wipe” issues we had last week. Our first try we wiped at 7%, second at 1%, third a clean kill with no deaths. Was a thing of beauty.

Low point

Went into an AV yesterday to drop a Great Feast and score my Dinner Impossible achievement. Someone asks if there’s a tank and some tool responds he can tank it. Another guy says “Rhidach has 51.1k” (no wasn’t me) and the tool retorts “I’ll out threat him and live longer.” I kept trying to type in /raid a witty riposte (“Oh ho ho, so you think …”) but I failed to realize that you use /bg to talk in the battleground raid channel. I lose my chance to salvage my ego.

High point

I haunted him the whole way to Vann where he pulled and after a few seconds I pulled aggro by out tpsing him. He taunted back, the healers didn’t have enough time to react, and he died. And I lol’d. Oh, how I lol’d.

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Better Late Than Never Friday, 1/22

Better Late Than Never Friday is a random monthly feature where I pull a bunch of search terms from Google Analytics that landed folks here and try to answer questions that may not be directly answered at this site, as gleaned from their keywords used.

righteous defense taunt small ooze

The Small Ooze is taunt immune, so unfortunately that won’t work. The only way to get rid of them is to merge one into a Big Ooze.

best libram tankadin

Eternal Tower is, technically, the best for survivability (although the ramp-up time is annoying and can cause issues). It’s a marginal upgrade over Defiance, however, and not worth getting until you run out of better things to spend Emblems of Frost on. Just farm Triumph badges and get the 245 dodge libram. Contrawise, Valiance is the best threat libram right now.

how to use righteous defense

Back in my day to use Righteous Defense you had to target the person being attacked, and if you wanted to directly taunt the attacking mob you’d have to use a /targettarget macro. Thankfully, Righteous Defense was changed a while back. It’ll work the same if you use it on the mob or the mob’s target.

armour penetration for tankadins

Bad stat for us, don’t even think about it! The same reasons that make ArP bad for Ret Pallies bad for us–our threat derives primarily from Holy damage, which pierces armor as is. It’s for this reason I always cursed the tanking gloves off of Ignis that had ArP on them.

does the hp5 on purified onyxia blood talisman work in combat

Yes. But you shouldn’t use it unless you’re soloing old content, or something equally frivolous. hp5 is not a tanking stat.

festergut amp magic

Bad idea, amplify magic will make the various raid damage attacks do even more damage. The only fight amp magic is good for is Saurfang, because every attack in that fight is classified as physical damage.

20 defense vs titanium plating

Neither, go with the BC-era +18 stamina enchant if you have the defense to spare. Otherwise get the +defense enchant.

22 agility titanweave dodge

Agility if you have enough defense, Titanweave otherwise.

3.3 divine sacrifice worth it?

Absolutely! Assuming you get Divine Guardian as well, it’s like a free 20% damage reduction cooldown for us that benefits the raid as well. DS/DG is a mandatory talent for raiding.

blacksmithing vs engineering tankadin

I’m partial to engineering, myself, for the cool toys and the armor glove enchant/agility cloak enchant. However, you’d probably be better off if min/maxing just to go with the straight +60 stamina of blacksmithing.

seal of righteousness vs seal of vengeance

Seal of Vengeance is still our best single-target threat seal. Seal of Righteousness has it’s uses though, particularly on Rotface if you’re kiting the Big Ooze. You can’t melee it, and because SoR’s judgement offers the most damage in that situation, it’s the best choice.

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Interrupting the Council, and some achievs fun

After Tuesday’s lagtastic night we had downed the first five bosses of ICC, leaving us Rotface and the Blood Council as Wednesday’s agenda. I admit, I was full trepidation, our Rotface kill last week was a bit messy and I was worried we’d get bogged down in that fight.

The first attempt though alleviated a lot of my worry, we got him to 17% on the first go, and that was with a snafu involving someone’s first time on the fight and them not realizing they got infected. So, messy finish, but hopeful nonetheless. Second attempt we got him down to 12%, mainly due to another ooze issue where a second Big Ooze got made and it ate a few people. Third time, however, was the charm and despite everyone going to hell at 5% we got Rotface down. Very exciting.

I don’t want to say to say the “f” word just yet (er, I mean farm), but we’re definitely getting there.

With Rotface down the time came to go put some attempts in on the Council (my thinking being we’d have more success against them than against Putricide). So happily off to the Blood Wing we trudged and lined up for a trash pull.

The trash before the Blood Council is… interesting. It requires strategy and–believe it or not–crowd control. For the two huge packs before the Blood Council’s stage we ended up shackling one guy and trying to use hunters to take one of the Tacticians out of commission. The Tacticians (basically Rogues) suck. They pop in out of no where, sap a tank, making him drop aggro, and then the mobs run roughshod over everyone. Definitely do what you can to burn down the Tacticians one at a time while the other is controlled.

Once we cleared out the trash we were ready for some potshots on the Council.

The fight itself isn’t too awful, it just requires a lot of juggling, so to speak. There’s the shock waves, the beach ball, the conjured flame, and the dark nuclei all to contend with. The fight is a huge orchestra of different clashing cacophonies, and the point of the fight is to get everyone to herd those dangers into one smooth harmony. Not as hard as it seems, but we spent the rest of the night learning everything that can go wrong (as is our usual habit) which lines us up for a kill next week.

Some things I learned:

  • When Valanar is empowered and casts his shock wave you have 4.5 seconds not to run away, but you find your own spot away from other melee. When the cast time ends a shock spot appears under you and explodes for a chunk of damage. The trick is to be by yourself so you don’t get hit by other shocks.
  • When someone gets chased by an empowered Conjure Flame they need to run for it (this means all ranged need to be at max range from Taldaram) and wave through everyone around them. Every time the Conjured Flame incidentally hurts people around it, it will do less damage when it explodes. So the kiter should take it through ranged, burn as many stacks as possible, and then explode it with them 15 yards away from everyone.
  • The ranged tank on Keleseth has a really hard job.

Some things I read today that I wish I knew last night:

  • It might make more sense for a melee tank to deal with Keleseth in the 25 man. If he gets into melee on the ranged tank (especially while empowered) that poor ranged will go splat. I think next week I’m going to try to tank him and Demo can take Valanar and Purraj (the druid) can get Taldaram. It’d be a boon for raid dps at the very least.
  • If you sic a hunter’s pet on a beachball the pet will stand under it, wait for it to get low, and then hit it enough to send it up in the air. This will trivialize the beachballs.

Pretty complicated seeming fight, but once we get the hang of it, it should be cake. I’m looking forward to trying it next week.

Speaking of months behind!

Probably the more exciting thing last night was the last minute achievement burst I was inspired to do. Before raid I gathered some buddies (Cendra, Ildara, Gulliveig, Gandy) and we jumped over to Gundrak to try to do Less-Rabi. The strategy I outlined was gently get him to 51%, interrupt the next transform, then bloodlust and push to the kill while throwing interrupts like nuts at the 5 second mark.

I pulled and after the first transform he was already at 41% health. I boggled a bit but kept going. Somehow, not sure, we nailed the next interrupt which must have been a millisecond long since it took place at like 10% health. Moorabi dropped before he knew what hit him. So, Less-Rabi done and two more to go: Share the Love and Amber Void.

Since we were already in Gundrak we finished the place up to get to the last boss and then Gandy jumped on his DK to initially tank at first. Once I got impaled I took over and held him for the rest of the fight. After about three rhino phases everyone was impaled and we dropped the boss and grabbed the achiev. That was the last one Cendra and Ildara needed for Glory of the Hero so I dropped a mailbox for Cendra so he could retrieve his Red Proto, which was then the 100th mount he needed for Mountain of Mounts. Crazy achievement day for Cen!

After the raid we then headed over to Oculus so I could grab my last Glory of the Hero achievement, Amber Void. It was a quick run (as Oculus is stupid-simple now) and it wasn’t long before a Proto was also waiting in my mailbox.

Now to help Gul get his Glory achievement.

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January 21, 2010
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Tips for Festergut and Rotface

Festergut and Rotface suck. They are hard bosses and require each and every raider to give 110%. Each player needs to maximize the performance of their role and minimize anything that hurts the overall team effort (especially avoidable damage!).

Here are some dopey little tricks you can use to bring your A game to each fight:

1. Use a slow dps weapon for Festergut

Considering how tight the enrage timer can get, dps from every member of your group matters, and as Paladins we have the luxury and privilege of contributing more than our fair share of tank dps to the pile.

While Festergut may hit hard, he only does during a small window of the fight. Assuming you have the defense to spare, don’t be afraid to use a slow dps weapon (the slower the better) to maximize your damage. The slower your weapon is, the more damage each 5-stack proc from Seal of Vengeance/Corruption will do.

2. When not tanking Festergut, stand behind him

You should be soft-capped for expertise anyway, so to maximize your damage done on this fight, stand behind the boss to avoid causing parries for yourself and the person currently tanking.

3. Make the best use of your Gastric Bloat buff

Let’s combine points one and two. When you hit 9 stacks of Gastric Bloat and get the boss pulled off you, jump behind the boss, cancel Righteous Fury, self-cast Hand of Salvation, pop wings, and go to town.

Doing that in the ten man last night, after my tank switch I ended up pushing little more than 8000 dps. You can see it after that second huge dip in my dps, I slid behind the boss and immediately exploded in damage.

4. Make sure to Judge when kiting the Big Ooze

Judging is an important part of keeping threat on the Big Ooze while kiting. If you’re just shield tossing every 30 seconds you’re going to find the healer aggro riding hard on your heels. So, you definitely need to judge when possible.

The easiest way to manage Judging without getting murdered by being too close to the Ooze is to run ahead of it (as you would normally) until you’re just out of range and the Judgement icon is red on your bar. The millisecond it gets color back, click it/hit the hotkey, unleash your Judge, and then keep moving.

You can also use the range on Judgement to safely gauge your distance from the Big Ooze.

5. Use Seal of Righteousness for Big Ooze kiting

Seal of Righteousness will give you the most threat bang for your buck. Since you won’t be able to get close enough to build a 5 stack, Seal of Vengeance/Corruption is useless. Moreover, Seal of Command is only really good for aoe situations.

Thus, the burden falls on the neglected Seal of Righteousness. Each time you judge with SoR you’ll do more threat than you would judging any other seal.

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January 18, 2010
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Stomping Putricide’s kids

Sorry for the non-post on Wednesday. I really didn’t have the time to get a post together, and moreover lacked anything interesting to blog on. So in the end I did you all a favor sparing you some dopey half-arsed meditation on what’s a better technique for jumping during Keristrasza. I prefer the occasional twirl, myself, but that’s neither here nor there.

So anyway, Tuesday’s raid was fairly standard: blew through the first four bosses in an hour and then went into the Plagueworks to down Festergut and Rotface. Unfortunately, ever since Saurfang the raid was afflicted by some pretty nasty server lag. On our last attempt on Festergut I was getting on ability off every six seconds or so. It was a mess. Eventually we called it in frustration, the enrage timer being too tight to beat with the hurdles thrown up in front of us.

Last night we assembled on time and headed in with the determination to kill Festergut fast and get some serious work down on Rotface. At the time though I was filled with doubt because many of our top dps couldn’t make it that night. Festergut’s enrage loomed eerily over the potential of our raid.

Sure enough, however, my pessimism was proven wrong and we kill Festergut on the third attempt (after two bad attempts trying to get people to stack/spread innoculations better). And not only that, but the raid dps last night was only about 800 less than it was the first night we killed him. A stinging and welcome rebuke to my negativity, for sure.

Eyes on the prize — let’s kill Rotface

Now that Festergut was dead again (last week: not a fluke) we could focus on the latest roadblock in our progression, Rotface.

One of the biggest issues we had during Rotface last week was, as we determined after, the fight was going on way too long. Our best attempt was seven minutes long, and that was with him at 4%. Ideally, he should be dead by 6 minutes, because that’s the point when infections go out at an insane rate, to the point where the fight is unsustainable to continue.

Remember: infections increase over time, and are not tied to Rotface’s hp, so bring the pain fast and hard is essential.

Part and parcel to our poor coordination last week was, every time there was a slime explosion, everyone just ran for it, usually far away from the boss. This produced raid dps over time that looked like this:

Notice those gigantic sinkholes? That when everyone panicked and ran for it. That’s a huge dps loss to accumulate over time!

Last night the new plan was this: everyone stacks and stands generally on the same side of the boss. So we started with everyone on the left leg (with ranged a little farther back). When there was an explosion, I would call out the cast, and everyone would shift to his right side.

When the Big Ooze begins casting his explosion, he targets where random people were standing at that moment. Coupled with a 2 yard range of the slime rocket damage (once they hit the ground), to negate the threat of the ooze explosions, all everyone needs to do is shift away to the other side of the boss uniformly.

The upside to that change in strat was people could continue dpsing during an explosion with minimal interruption. That gave us this raid dps:

Huge improvement!

After a few attempts working out the kinks and getting everyone used to the new strat, we had an amazing last attempt with expert slime drop offs, quick and efficient shuffling, and exceptional heals. I would occasionally look up at Rotface during my circling of the room, and noticed that he was suddenly at 10%. At this point the infections really started to pick up, and once it got to 5% people just went in to dps and I joined them, being vigilant that if any Big Oozes popped up in the middle I’d grab it and run for it. But 5%-0 took the blink of an eye, and Rotface dropped easily.

An awesome turn around from last week when we were having huge issues on Rotface. It’s always heartening to see that sometimes you just need a strategy change to seal the deal.

I don’t know if everyone was actually expecting to kill Rotface because we weren’t really ready for Putricide. No one knew the strat, had seen him in 10 man, or anything else that would make this a modicum more easy on us.

Despite the 10 minute break we all took to watch the Tankspot video, we basically went in blind, which was kind of fun in a masochistic way. We burned 5 attempts getting him down to 70% or so on our best shot. Lots of work to do there for sure, but whatever. It’ll happen in due time.

For now I’ll focus on the positive: Rotface down.

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January 14, 2010
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Eh, he can still go rot

Nope, no Rotface-25 kill last night. But we were close. Oh so close. So close I could taste it, and you do not want to know what Rotface tastes like.

Ok, angry poo. There, I said it.

(That would be more funny and less disturbing if you’re familiar with his emotes.)

Anyway, our best attempt we had him at 4.9%, and we spent multiple attempts dancing just about that number.

We were probably approaching the fight wrong too. More interested in the long game, we had six healers and it being a Thursday not our best of the best dps. I think next week we’ll do five healers and try to get him down faster. There’s just no way to hold out once you get to the six-second, crazy Infection time. You just get overwhelmed, it’s a total enrage timer and we were not giving it the proper respect.

I wish there was some magic advice I could offer on this fight, but it’s really just coordination and praying your raiders can pay attention to having Mutated Infections. The dreaded Situational Awareness.

If you have raiders that could walk the Atlantic City beach, step on a hypodermic needle, and not notice… you’re screwed.

Also, Blizz really needs to reduce the hit box on the Big Ooze. That thing could reach across the room and knock me out cold if he wanted to.

All in all it’s nice to have a challenge again. The fact that we have to spend more than one night learning a boss isn’t as soul crushing as I imagined it might be (ToC surely spoiled me). We’ll get him sooner rather than later.

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January 8, 2010
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He can go rot

Last night my brilliant idea was to fall back to 10mans and kill Rotface and Putricide so we can convert that experience to easier kills in the 25man. Unfortunate kink in the works: Rotface is really hard in 10man. At least he was for us last night.

Yeah that’s three Big Oozes. We had some spectacular wipes.

Anyway, strike my earlier statement. The boss wasn’t hard, we just weren’t doing the fight correctly. The execution was off, I was trying to juggle too many things at once, people didn’t yet get the hang of dealing with infections.

So tonight we’re going into 25man with no 10man kill, though a wealth of knowledge on how badly the fight can go. So, that’s a plus.

I wish I could decisively say “ok do the encounter this way”, but I can’t. Instead I’m going to take a page from my own book when we were learning Anub’arak, and tell you what not to do when offtanking Rotface.

1. Don’t run in a circle around the room

The tanks rupture in a random pattern, with the only constant being that a quadrant won’t flood twice before the other three flood once. Kiting counter clockwise around the room isn’t going to cut it. Clockwise, neither. You need to half kite; then, once a quadrant clears, bee line for it.

2. Don’t stop moving when kiting the big ooze

The big ooze moves slowly, but not so slowly you can RP walk away from it. You do not want to ever be in melee range of the big ooze, so don’t come to a halt letting someone catch up to you. The room is a circle, your raiders should be smart enough to run a straight line from where they were to where you will be, not try to follow you as you run around the room.

3. Don’t run through a tank spill unless your Hand of Freedom is off cooldown

The spill will eventually slow your movement speed by 50%. You don’t want to run through it unless HoF is available. Otherwise the ooze will significantly catch up to you.

4. Don’t run in front of the slime spray cone

When you see that slime spray emote or DBM warns you it’s coming, check your position and make sure you’re not directly in the line of fire.

5. Triage the dangers of the fight correctly

In terms of deadliness: big ooze melee > running big ooze through raid > running over the tank spill. When presented with the necessity to quickly get across the room and one of those three has to happen, always choose running over the spill if (like said above) your HoF is off cooldown. If not, then skirt the edge of the spill (yes, giving aoe damage to the raid closest to the big ooze, though it won’t hurt that much) until you are safe.

Rotface is a rough fight, fraught with perils galore. As the offtank, yours is the hardest job of the fight–all the responsibility of the raid’s success rests on your plated shoulders. And if you’re the MT, I hate you. Enjoy your sammich!

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January 7, 2010