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Thread: Sunwell Rough Boss Tanking Guide

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Sunwell Rough Boss Tanking Guide

    Hello everyone, I am new here so let me introduce myself. I play a night elf feral druid Darksend in Forgotten Heroes, a Kil'jaeden farming guild on Black Dragonflight. Yes I am a druid, but I do have a 70 warrior whom I used as a main tank up to and including Nef and Fankriss pre BC, so while I may not 100% know everything about warriors anymore, I know enough to be able to right a guide that will be beneficial to both warrior and druid tanks. I know it is getting late in the expansion but I noticed there was no Sunwell tanking guide, and as always, people might still want to see content as it is supposed to be before it is too late.

    I have decided to include trash tips for this. The reason for this is the Scouts, because it will be casters starting the pulls, tanks must be on their toes to make sure the casters don’t die. I would recommend bringing either 3 tanks and 2 mages or 2 tanks and 3 mages as almost everything is sheepable.

    Every pack is different so what you do must differ from pull to pull and week to week, this is just a general guide. Every mob is tauntable.

    Sunblade Arch Mage – Does a frost nova, which makes it very hard for tanks to pick anything up, Kill first if you are sheeping the cabalists otherwise sheep these. They arcane explosion and blink around making them hard to pick up (if you do have agro on it as a tank and it blinks it will always come straight back to you unless someone was between that 100% and 130% threat window). Use freedoms on tanks if there is one of these in the pull.

    Sunblade Cabalist – Summon imps that do 2K aoe fire damage. Either kill first or leave sheeped until the end and kill last (I recommend sheeping as it is less work for the healers). Shadowbolt and mana burn but do not hit the tanks very hard.

    Sunblade Dawn Priest – Does an interruptible holy nova and places renews on friendly targets. Some guilds have these as the primary sheep target but since the renew is purgeable I recommend that the Vindicator tank also picks these up. (See below) Just an aside, they move while casting the nova so a druid cannot run away and feral charge interrupt like they normally would. Best tanked away from the raid.

    Sunblade Dragonhawk – Leave for last, have your resto druid keep it hibernated.

    Sunblade Dusk Priest – Fears, should always be a high sheep priority and killed towards the end. They mind flay and SW:P as well.

    Sunblade Scout – Similar to the ZA scouts but they are not CCable at all. They can be distracted, but they detect stealth so you must have your rogues distract while not in stealth. They are attached to the packs they patrol in and if not killed will activate robots. Must be firing squaded down. Can also be mind soothed.

    Sunblade Slayer – Hunters, usually tanked by whoever is tanking the vindicator. They do a 5K a second shadow dot to random targets but otherwise do not hit very hard on tanks.

    Sunblade Vindicator – Melee, they cleave and mortal strike. I recommend having the feral druid take all of these (usually 2 per pull but it varies) along with a dawn priest far out of the raid (as to avoid both cleave and holy nova). If there are 2 in a pull, I recommend that both be tanked by the same person so both tanks do not have mortal strike, just dedicate a healer to them and they will be fine. I recommend the druid because I have gone on streaks of dodging 6-7 mortal strikes in a row even with 2 on me. They can be disarmed as well.

    I will end my overview here and focus specifically on tanking now.


    This is a 3 tank fight, the first tank charges in and picks him up normally. The next tank goes in the 1st portal. Any time you transition between worlds, it is important to debuff immediately and always call before you taunt, it takes time for the healers to get in and get set up. In the demon world, Kalecgos does significant threat so when you taunt 2-3 misses dodges or parries in a row and he may take it back. Sathrovarr the Corruptor does a stun, if possible always let Kalecgos eat it between transitions (the animation is Kalec being flung backwards, it’s easy to see), as it hits for 10K and if you get stunned right after taunting a)healers might not be ready for it and you will be killed, b)Kalec with probably get agro back. If you notice Kalec take threat back and you have not been stunned in some time, let him eat it then taunt. The third tank should go in at the third portal, at which point there will be about a 10 second overlap. When the second tank comes out he should call it and taunt the dragon Kalecgos as soon as possible so the 1st tank is ready to take a portal. Tank rotations are independent of groups the first time you go in, but after that know which group you are in and call it if you get ported, if you get force ported the first time you go in be ready to call a group that has not gone yet or it could lead to a wipe. The tank that took the third portal and the first outside tank will have about a 20 second overlap, this cannot be avoided, use this time to make sure the new tank grabs it immediately after a stun, make sure you communicate with the other tanks and know what their timers are for portals. As a warrior, if you know a druid will be taking over for you, it is imperative to debuff especially TC right before leaving. Druids, do not forget to refresh with Demo roar when the warriors Demo shout wears off. Because of the stun and the amount of magic damage being thrown around, I recommend max mitigation and stamina for this fight. If possible, use 2 warriors and 1 feral druid and have the 2 warriors be the 1st outside tank and the 1st tank into the portal, with luck, when they both hit 10% the 2 warriors will be the ones with agro so they can shield wall. Druids, if it is below 10% and you do not have agro, watch shield wall durations and be ready to barkskin taunt when it runs out. All tanks should be hitting ironshields every 2 minutes as both hit very hard and healers are constantly being juggled between portals. They cannot crush.


    This is a 2 tank fight. There are 2 main abilities tanks need to worry about, the first is stomp. This reduces the tanks armor by 50% for 10 seconds. Tanks need inspiration or astral fortitude and should be using ironshields at all times. Use 2 click trinkets and alternate the cooldowns during stomps, for druids I recommend Moroes and badge (if you can stay crit immune without shadowmoon insignia), I have heard of a lot of warriors using Scarab off Hydross for this and finding it rather effective at lower gear levels. About 4 minutes into the fight for 2-3 transitions in a row the stomp will hit 2-3 seconds after the meteor slash you are supposed to taunt on, let the other tank eat it and taunt immediately after (call on vent you are doing this because whether you taunt and immediately get stomped or the other tank gets stomped and you taunt immediately after, even after killing him for months we still wipe on that transition if healers are slow to swap). This brings me to the second ability, Meteor Slash. This is a stacking debuff that increases fire damage taken and does direct fire damage based on the number of targets it hits. Each tank gets 3 debuffs before the other tank taunts. This works because they are 12 seconds apart and 40 second duration. Either put the other tank on focus if he is not in your group or watch the timer on your own debuff (as druid tanks if you have to battle rez or innervate someone and run to get in range you may miss a slash count for that rotation), if at any point you lose track of when you are supposed to taunt ask the other tank how many stacks he has. Early on I recommend the tank group being a lock with imp out and 5/5 shadow embrace, both tanks, and a shaman for grace of air. I have tried both schools on this and from personal experience I recommend, as long as you maintain at least 20K raid buffed, stack as much avoidance as possible. For druids this will greatly increase your threat with the extra crit from agi. Tanks using Band of the Abyssal Lord I would recommend using the Karazhan exalted ring instead along with the new badge ring. I would use elixir of major agi/fortitude and agi food over a flask if you are crit immune. 2 things can happen that lead to a tanks death, you get hit 4 times in a row during a stomp, and unless you are Tauren, the amount of health needed to survive that is not possible without Sunwell gear or severely gimping your avoidance. The other is you die shortly after taunting. If this is happening it is a communication problem and healers are not switching properly, do not adjust your gear based on the second kind of death, they will become much less frequent as you learn the fight. Communication is again very important between tanks and each other and tanks and there healers. When you see the slash you taunt after start casting I usually start counting from 3 on vent when the cast starts and taunt on 1 about a second after the slash lands. He also cannot crush.


    This is another 2 tank fight, one of which MUST be a prot paladin. We have done it with 1 warrior 1 druid but it is infinitely harder and not recommended for those learning the fight for the 1st time. She does an ability called corrosion, when this is on the tank they take 100% damage, a corrosion cleave without Demo shout will 1shot even a full t6/Sunwell tank. Tanks can be targeted by the encap, during which you cannot generate threat so call it out and have people stop DPSing for a few seconds and melee will probably need to run out. Other than that, it is a simple tank and spank that also cannot crush. He is attackable in the air for about 20 seconds by casters, they generate threat during this phase while you cannot so you need to have a substantial lead to compensate for almost a minute over the course of the fight when casters can get agro and you cannot, misdirects on every landing are a must. During this phase however is where the paladin tank comes in. Green beams will spawn and chase people. These beams spawn skeletons. You need to follow behind the beam dropping consecrates. Ask a holy paladin to put on righteous fury and click off salv and spam heal people (ask other healers to go easy on healing during this period) to act as an anchor. The main tank at this point should be running around and taunting any strays off healers, feral druids should go bear during this phase as well and help save healers even if they are in DPS gear.


    I will not go in detail is I did for the pre-Kalec trash. Every pull is 2 vindicators, a lifeshaper, and a manafiend. Again everything is sheepable. Vindicators cleave and do an armor debuff, if you have 2 mages sheep one and tank one, if not have the same tank grab both. Manafiends should be killed first and lifeshapers sheeped. At intervals, Deathshapers will spawn at the top, they are building agro the entire time they are running down they almost must be taunted (I have crit a maul and mangle for 4K and it still ran away and killed healers). Soulbinders cast a melee range AOE mc, simply back out of melee range; they also do a frontal shadow-lightning attack so keep them faced away from the raid when possible. At the 1st turn there is 1 assassin and at the 3rd turn there are 2 assassins, tanks should ask warlocks for detect invis. If at any point something is pulled and loses all agro the entire thing resets so make sure people do not go in front of the tank and agro an assassin, if they die as the only person on the threat list the whole thing will reset. The last pull is the hardest as it contains a commander. Always wait for a fresh deathbringer and go as soon as it is dead. Sheep as much as possible, still kill the mana fiends first, pull back so you can fear if needed. Kill the commander second as it stuns. The large pull after the 2 souldbinder pulls is skipable, but if you decide to kill it be aware it contains an assassin but again everything is fearable.


    I recommend even learning the fight for the first time use the old “reverse” order, to kill the melee one (Sacrolash) first. If you decide not to, there used to be a bug where she would conflag at her feet occasionally in phase 2 every time she did a conflag, as you can see in Xav’s video running out of melee range every time in phase 2 but it is probably fixed by now. Either way not much changes for tanks but I will only cover killing Sacrolash first. This is the first boss in Sunwell able to crush. 2 tanks will fight for agro, but only to be top 2, the same tank should always be primary and the offtank should try to only hold it during confounding and long enough for the main tank to reset his or her debuffs. She moves a lot because of the adds she spawns and needs to be kept in a pretty specific spot so she is not LOS of the ranged up on the ledge and you as the tanks are not LOSing your healers, you will learn this with practice. Reset at 4 debuffs, no later than 6 at the absolute most. There is a bug where you can be hit twice after a confounding and usually both are crushings, it is a bug, don’t worry about it if it kills you. Wear a pvp trinket as a tank because you will get conflaged eventually, call it on vent tell dps to stop for a few seconds. In extreme cases you might be stunned from an add or confounded while conflaged, if this happens your tank partner needs to move to the other side of the room and melee need to get out. Phase 2 is now all in the hands of your ranged tank. I suggest putting the warlock on focus so you can see if she is conflaging you.


    If you are tanking a side, depending which side you are on and if you have to pick up all 3 or just the 2 melee, how you go about it is very different. My guild runs 2 melee groups so the mage on both sides is always stunned and the tank just has to worry about the 2 melee. ANY TANK on M'uru or KJ should have assist both to help him keep the adds differentiated for building threat and for the dps to know who to attack. On the entrance side, the door creates LOS which cancels any queued heroic strike, cleave, or maul. See my comments here for how to do the sides. If you are on the far side of M’uru, after 2-3 waves you will realize the exact spot they activate, just wait a step or 2 close than that and you will have nowhere near the trouble the entrance side has. If you have to tank all 3, as a warrior spell reflect is your best friend, usually the kill order goes mage warrior warrior if a druid is tanking and warrior mage warrior is a warrior is tanking (make sure the warrior side has a mage to spellsteal the buff to prevent warrior gib). When tanking all 3 mobs make sure to not let a warrior get behind you, they will hurt. To my knowledge though my guild disagrees with me, nothing in that encounter gains Sunwell radiance. I have never tanked sents so I will differ to this post on that subject. A paladin tank is used to collect the little adds, SR is a must for that paladin usually using the neck cape bracers and belt is enough with shadow prot if you may need more. Phase 2 is Entrop. Usually the sent tank will grab this as there may still be adds up at the doors, I personally start cheating to the middle backing up to the middle when I hear the burn M’uru call since I have all melee on my side. In phase 2, the tank needs to look out for two things, voids zones/dark fiends and the “ball”. If the ball hits the melee and throws them, chain heal will stop hitting all of them and the healer will have to start single target spamming to keep them alive till they group back up. If you as the tank get hit with the ball it will greatly reduce your agro gen. You generally want to keep moving 100% of the time and always be asking people where the ball is if you don’t see it.


    Most guilds will use a range tank, usually a warlock, as the main agro tank. The highest melee agro will constantly during the fight get hit with an about 10 yard knockback (not to be confused with the 30 yard knockback for standing to close to the boss). If you are tanking as a warrior or druid in melee, wear PVP gear. The main ability is called Soul Flay, and it is a dot thus reduced by resilience. Just build agro as you would any normal fight. I highly recommend using 2 tanks for adds, we use a warrior and myself but I would recommend a prot paladin and a druid. Nothing against my warrior but feral charge and avenger’s shield make mobs much easier to pick up for us. See for my strategy on picking up adds. Adds spawn at 85, 55, and 25. The 1st 2 spawns get AOEd but the 25% adds do not as it is just an all out burn on the boss. The 2 worst adds are paladins (stun) and warriors (whirlwind), I bring at least 4 free action potions to every KJ just for paladin calls (hunters no longer imp wing clip so while they help for positioning they are no longer required). The adds activate immediately upon damage so make sure people (especially warriors and shaman with whirlwind and fire totems) stop aoeing at 86, 56, and 26. Almost any time 2 adds gets activated early on the same spawn someone dies in my experience. As the tanks, we give the call to start AOE, we usually give ourselves about 5 seconds from the time we activate them till we are in position than another 5 seconds of building time once we are in position. Moving warrior adds is always hard people need to give you a clear path if they die because you run right every them it is mostly their fault. Mages and warlocks are usually tanked where they spawn (this will be easier in 3.0 once bash is an interrupt on stun immune mobs) just because as a druid I have no interrupt. Priests usually get mass dispelled once they start renewing but warriors should shield slam it off.

    I would like to thank my guild Forgotten heroes and my fellow main tanks Mov and Sparan for their help with this, and finally tank spot for all the work you have done for the community.
    Last edited by Darksend; 09-29-2008 at 03:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    anyone who has anything to add about tanking sents or tanking KJ as a melee let me know ill add it in.

    work in progress so any suggestions ill throw em in there too.

    edited to fix the broken links from the old system
    Last edited by Darksend; 09-29-2008 at 03:02 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Really excellent work, Dark! Well done.


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