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High DPS Tanking – Atramedes and Chimaeron

June 10, 2011

Today’s double feature: Atramedes and Chimaeron.

Atramedes and Chimaeron are both fights where you can really push it as far as gearing choices go. The incoming damage on Atramedes is laughable, and on Chimaeron you can position yourself so that tank gear isn’t even much of a requirement. They are both single target fights, and so you should glyph Crusader Strike and Focused Shield.

Atramedes

"That's right. Run."

The Atramedes fight consists of two phases: the phase where you get to DPS, and the phase where you get to shake your fist at the sky and occasionally cast Exorcism. The dragon begins the fight on the ground. Make sure you don’t lose DPS allowing a hunter to MD to you. If you do the fight by tanking Atramedes in the center, make sure to do a slow drag backwards so that you are DPSing the entire time.

The goal for Atramedes is actually shared by the raid, namely to kill him as fast as you can. The faster you take him down, the better your DPS is going to be. Ideally you get only one air phase, and you kill Atramedes before he takes off again for the second air phase. It’s in your interest for the fight to end well after an air phase so that you maximize the time he spends on the ground as a percentage of the total fight length.

If you want to maximize DPS, you should use free-for-all positioning. Some guilds use the clump strategy where everyone moves as a group in order to control where the disks go. While this is a good strategy for survivability, it’s horrible for raid DPS. If all your ranged have to stop casting on every set of disks, you lose too much DPS. It’s much better to just spread out so that fewer people have to move.

Assuming your raid is capable of beating the second air phase, you should use gongs during the ground phase on his breaths. If you keep him from spinning, then not only does nobody have to move, but you gain five seconds of 50% increased DPS. You should expect to use three gongs during the first ground phase: about 25 seconds in, about 45 seconds in (for Searing Flames), and then the last about 65 seconds in.

Prepare for the gong! Atramedes gains the Vertigo debuff when a gong is hit that causes him to take 50% increased damage for 5 seconds. You have the opportunity to get off four attacks during this time period, but not if you’re inside the GCD when Vertigo happens. It’s in your interest to pause slightly before a Vertigo just to make sure you’re ready to hit the first of your four boosted abilities the minute it goes out.

In addition, add Vertigo to the set of conditions that warrant a Shield of the Righteous over Inquisition. At 50% increased damage, it is the correct move to use Shield of the Righteous, even if Sacred Duty and Inquisition aren’t up. Don’t be fooled by what your UI is telling you to do. If the dragon is stunned, you should always use Shield of the Righteous at three Holy Power.

Use Divine Plea in place of a weak filler to get to three Holy Power so that you can hit Shield during a Vertigo, especially if you have no Holy Power at all as the Vertigo is coming. Try to time Avenging Wrath and potion use when you are both at high Vengeance and when you know they will be up during the Vertigo. I highly recommend using your potion during the first ground phase, since it last 25 seconds and you can have it going during two Vertigos.

That’s really all there is to this fight. If you’re new to high DPS tanking, this is a great first fight to try your threat set out on. The incoming damage is just so low that you aren’t creating any raid risk.

Chimaeron

"Zzzzzzz...."

For tanking Chimaeron there are three possible roles. You can tank some combination of Double Attacks, online phases and offline phases. The most popular way to execute this fight is to use a DPS for the online phases, a tank to soak the Double Attacks, and then another tank for the offline phases. Back when the Feuds were more commonly only 60 seconds apart, you might have seen different strategies in order to reduce the risk of the offline tank having Break Stacks (e.g., one DA tank and two alternating offline phase tanks that also tanked the next online phase), but now it’s pretty safe to just have one designated offline tank, one designated Double Attack tank, and one DPS for the online phases.

Doing well on this fight is all about maximizing your Vengeance. Because the Feuds are more commonly 90 seconds apart now, the tank that gets the most tanking time on Chimaeron is the online phase tank. The Double Attack tank gets respectable Vengeance but it only comes in bursts. The offline phase tanks get Vengeance only during the brief offline phases, but then it all goes away during the online phases. The online phase tank gets to tank for most of the fight and also acquires four stacks of Break that don’t ever get cleared, meaning that individual hits on that tank become very large.

The correct way to handle the online phase tank is to only heal past the Low Health debuff, i.e., 10k health. However doing this fight properly means the online tank gets very little Vengeance, since the damage taken ends up being too small. Overkill doesn’t increase Vengeance, so your parse on this fight is essentially in your healers’ hands. Tell them to treat you just like an offline tank and heal you as much as possible between hits. Even just getting to about 100k between hits is enough to really keep Vengeance stacked.

You might find it necessary to remove Righteous Fury during offline phases (especially the first one) in order to keep from overtaking the offline phase tank. You can also use Hand of Salvation on yourself.

When the transition is about to happen, make sure one of the other tanks has Chimaeron and then Hand of Salvation yourself to drop below both tanks. That will buy you some more time in P2. If your healers are slow to top you off, use Lay on Hands to ensure you have full health at the transition.

If you don’t have to Lay on Hands, and the other two tanks crumple, you can use Divine Shield if you would have otherwise died. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than falling over dead.

Basically your DPS on this fight is in your co-tanks’ and healers’ hands. Your healers need to top you off between hits during online phases, and your co-tanks need to survive long enough for you to last to the end of the fight. You’ll need a tolerant raid leader for the online phase shenanigans, so this might not be worth pursuing if your raid leader thinks the added online phase healing burden will create risk.

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