Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.
Siege of Orgrimmar has been open for a month now (how time flies!) and with what I've seen over the last month I'm still not sure how I feel about the raid as a whole. The first four bosses are utterly uninspiring to tank and it seems like the raid tries to make up for it with some crazy-hectic fights in the next quad. Dark Shaman alone gave me more grey hairs than I care to admit. I get ahead of myself, though.
As they say, there's no better place to start than at the beginning, so in this post I've written up basic quick 'n dirty strats for each of the first four bosses along with glyphing and talenting recommendations to hopefully give you a far easier time toppling the Sha-corrupted forces that stand between you and the actual conflict going on across the sea in Durotar.
As is traditional for the first boss of a raid, Immerseus is a total pushover. In terms of tanking, you stand in the back of the room on the same "pie wedge" as your co-tank and swap whenever one of you gets hit with Corrosive Blast. Eventually the boss will reach 0% health and split into a torrent of ooze-like adds which will spawn in the back along the periphery of the room and crawl towards the boss.
Even as a tank, killing an add won't be very hard. If you need more time to DPS them down, you can talent Fist of Justice to have a stun ready for just about every ooze phase, and likewise glyph Holy Wrath for an additional AOE stun. Glyph of Dazing Shield can also be used to buy you additional time to kill an ooze.
The lighter-hued oozes will be the province of the healers, but since you won't be using it on yourself, why not toss a Lay on Hands on one of them and instantly purify it?
Other than that, there's really not much to the fight. Don't stand in Sha Puddles or get hit by Swirls. Wham, bam, thank you giant anthropomorphic water entity.
Despite having a lot of moving parts, Protectors is still a very easy fight to tank. You won't be doing much movement, or target swapping. Instead it's pretty much the tank's job to hold down the fort while DPS flops around and damages each of the three bosses in the proper order.
If you're the tank assigned to Rook, you pretty much hang out in the center and face the boss away from the raid. Periodically he will stun you and then hit you with a large cone attack that you're forced to stand in. Whenever Rook hits 66% and 33% health and disappears, the Rook tank will pick up the Embodied Misery and move that add whenever it casts Defiled Ground, leaving a void zone on the ground.
The He tank has a slightly more complicated time of it. If you're on that boss, you need to turn your back to He whenever he casts Gouge, otherwise you'll be stunned and He will run off to find a healer to eat. When Rook does his 66/33 split, you'll pick up Embodied Gloom and should attempt to interrupt Corruption Shock whenever possible (while keeping a vigilant eye on He for an incoming Gouge). Whenever He drops a Noxious Poison, kite him away from it.
Also when He does his 66/33 special, he'll disappear and an Embodied Anguish will appear. Your raid will likely pass the Mark of Anguish to you, as the He tank, which can be tanked from start to finish will minor difficulty on normal mode. This is a good time to pair Avenging Wrath and Holy Avenger, and perhaps Guardian of Ancient Kings if things get hairy.
Most importantly, as the He tank, don't make things harder than they need to be for the melee DPS (by moving too much, or too erratically) that may be currently working on him.
The first really difficult boss of Siege is still a fairly pedestrian fight to tank. The most interesting part of it will be the little "test" you'll have to take early on in the fight in order to purify your corruption meter.
When the time comes and you're facing the Titanic Corruption, you'll want to stay on your toes and be prepared to strafe out of a Titanic Smash as soon as the warning occurs. Long Arm of the Law is a great talent for this. Hurl Corruption should be interrupted ASAP. Burst of Corruption can be cooldowned through with unglyphed Divine Protection (and Unbreakable Spirit can probably let you get two of them during the test). Piercing Corruption can be dealt with by lining up a Shield of the Righteous so you have the 'block' up when the attack occurs.
The test automatically ends after 60 seconds, but bonus points to tanks who free themselves earlier by killing the Titanic Corruption.
For most of the fight you'll be swapping off on the Amalgamated Corruption with your co-tank as the Self Doubt debuff falls off. Off-tank should pick up the Unleashed Manifestations and potentially will need to soak the puddle they leave behind when dead. Keep in mind that Manifestations will intermittently spam Burst of Anger when alive, so stunning them is a great idea. Talented Fist of Justice obviously works, but glyphed Holy Wrath will do the job as well.
When tanking the Amalgamated Corruption, try to line up Shield of the Righteous with any Unleashed Anger strikes.
Sha of Pride
Thankfully we've reached the end of the raid's opening salvo of snoozefest bosses; unfortunately you still have slog through this last one to reach the interesting ones. Sha of Pride won't ask much of your tanking repertoire, aside from rewarding you for lightning-fast taunts. Whenever it slaps the current tank with Wounded Pride, the other tank must immediately taunt to minimize any pride gained by the one that was just debuffed. Taunt quickly enough, before the Sha sneaks an auto attack in, and they won't gain a single bit of pride. (Now that's something to be prideful of.)
Other than that, take care to hover near the prison that you and your co-tank have been charged with unlocking, and simultaneously keeping an eye on the spot where the Manifestations of Pride spawn.
If you are the co-tank you'll need to pick that up and bring it in closer to be in range of the ranged DPS. Try to keep Mocking Blast interrupted (with the DPS' help) and you can facilitate controlling the add via stuns with a talented Fist of Justice or a glyphed Holy Wrath. Also, I find that Speed of Light is useful to talent on this fight, to make getting to and moving the Manifestations easier.
Opening up with an Avenging Wrath (and thus the silence) will allow you to move them -- otherwise they will not want to budge while casting.
Most importantly, you really need to be careful about taunts. That's pretty much the lynchpin of tanking this fight, pride management. If tanks seriously fumble handling the acquisition of pride stacks, there is eventually going to be a wipe.
So, with the defeat of the Sha of Pride, that's that for Vale of Eternal Sorrows. Tanks can now breathe a sigh of relief that the most boring quarter of the raid is behind them. Nonetheless, despite this group of bosses being particularly easy to tank, I'm curious if I missed any interesting uses for talents or glyphs -- let me know below if you have any awesome tips for these first four fights that should be shared!
The Light and How to Swing It shows paladin tanks how to combat the Sha in the strange new land of Pandaria. Try out the new control gearing strategy, learn how to make the most of the new active mitigation system on your tankadin, and check out how to deck out your fresh 90 tank to get ready for any raids!