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What beholds the Temple of the Jade Serpent?
While working on the warrior column this week, I realized I could give you guys a general guide to tanking the various Mists of Pandaria leveling dungeons, so here we go. The dungeons this time out are pretty fun and varied, and not particularly onerous to tank through.
First up is the Temple of the Jade Serpent. It’s a lovely dungeon, with just enough bosses and trash to take up about 30 to 40 minutes of your time. What I like most about the temple is how the trash is all linked very specifically to the events of the temple’s corruption. Which is totally our fault, by the way. Oops. Sorry, August Celestials. It’s up to us to free Yu’lon’s temple from the Sha.
Before we get into specifics, one general tip that I’ve seen a lot of tanks forgetting about -pay attention to ground effects and AoE damage. There are several fights that have some form of ground effect that damages anyone standing in it. Don’t leave things standing in that if you can avoid it. Sha mobs in particular do a host of nasty things that are completely avoidable if you just move them out of their damaging sludge. Don’t kill your DPS or make you healer go OOM every pull, use your situational awareness.
Generally speaking, most groups I’ve run the dungeon with have gone to Wise Mari first, then Lorewalker Stonestep second, so that’s how I’ll talk about the place.
Wise Mari is not a particularly difficult fight to tank, so long as you keep a few things in mind. First, don’t stand in water. The water is corrupted and does damage if you stand in it. Don’t do that. Find a nice relatively central location and use taunts and Heroic Throw to get the four water elemental adds known as Corrupt Living Water that Mari summons to you so they can be burned down, then use AoE to gather up the Corrupt Droplets, and get them outof the Sha Corruption puddles so your DPS can take them down without taking a ton of damage. Once Mari goes into phase two, your job becomes to run in a circle around him without getting hit with his waterspout, stopping in the corrupted water, or otherwise embarrassing yourself. Mari doesn’t do anything besides turning into a lawn sprinkler in phase two, so you don’t have to worry about threat on him.
The Loremaster Stonestep encounter actually comes in two varieties, the Trial of the Yaungoland the Five Suns. The Trial involves two entities, Strife and Peril, that are basically identical. What you need to do on this fight is switch DPS between the two due to the Intensitymechanic. You don’t want to let that stack up to 10, so switching between Strife and Peril at around six or seven is probably the best metric. That’s pretty much the entire fight, just switch between them. As a tank you’ll need to maintain aggro on both – I’ve found a simple Heroic Leap/Thunder Clap opening works wonders on initial aggro and then I can switch between them with the DPS.
For the Five Suns, there’s two phases – phase one, you kill four of the suns, which turn into Sha when they die, and run over to possess Zao Sunseeker in phase two. He’s a ranged boss, so he loves to switch off of you and shoot someone else. People will tell you the suns have no aggro table – I found that I was able to keep them on me with the Leap/TC/Shockwave combination.
Liu Flameheart is a fun fight to tank as a warrior. She does a wave attack sending damaging waves of fire out in three directions that you as a tank can completely ignore, she does a knockback you can charge back to her from, and the high amount of fire damage as the fight progresses means that Shield Barrier gets a workout. Basically, it’s all about paying attention to the fight’s progression – as Liu goes to 70% health her abilities get amplified by the Jade Serpent, and at 30% she summons the Jade Serpent itself to fight you, meaning you now have to look for Jade Fire on the ground and move out of it.
The Sha of Doubt fight is another two phase encounter. Make sure everyone is ready to go before a pull, because you can and will end up with your healer locked out of the room and have to get through the fight with your own self healing and heavy use of Shield Barrier to absorb all the Wither Will and Touch of Nothingness damage. As a tank, this is a repeating two phase fight and phase one is tank and spank – use your abilities to absorb the damage from his attacks (I liked letting my rage bar fill up and using a Shield Block followed by a 30 rage Shield Barrier, made the fight almost simple) but phase two is when you’ll shine. Save your AoE damage for the Gathering Doubt phases on the Figments of Doubt. When they come out, find the one on your healer and charge it and kill it ASAP, and hopefully all the other doubts are in range for you to throw as much AoE damage as you can at them. Even as a tank, you can help with this. Killing the doubts before they explode keeps the Sha from healing up, and it’s really fun for a warrior to just explode your AoE here. Alter your spec to ensure that you have solid on-call AoE for this fight. You won’t regret it.