Tanking Keleseth (ICC10)

For the Blood Prince Council fight in our ICC10 runs, I’ve been tanking Keleseth (in 25s we have a proper DK tank for him). Here’s some tips from the perspective of a demo spec ‘lock regarding the two main concerns in this fight: Damage mitigation and aggro generation.

Damage Mitigation.

Use the Felhunter so you get the -10% spell damage from demonic mastery. The puppy will be fine at maintaining demo pact for the raid and there’s stuff for it to eat with devour magic. Soul link should be up, and your healer should know that they need to keep the pup up too (fel synergy helps).

Use Demon Armor for the 20% boost to healing. Your role isn’t to top the meters but to stay alive, and this helps your healer help you do that.

When Keleseth starts casting Empowered Shadow Lance, pop Shadow Ward. He’ll be chucking normal Shadow Lances at you through the fight, but when he’s empowered they are beasts and the more mitigation you have, the better.

Collect Dark Nuclei. These are your best way to mitigate shadow damage. They turn colossal instant-death spikes into a steady dot. Less than 4 and you’re pushing your luck. I’d have 4 as a minimum, 5 as a preference, more doesn’t hurt if you can pick them up easily but don’t neglect aggro generation because you’re busy chasing balloons you don’t need. Use Corruption (rank 1) to collect them. They seem to attach to the last person to do any damage, so tiny ticks work just fine. I prefer corruption to CoA (rank 1) because it will proc a lot of Molten Cores which will help your aggro.

Aggro Generation.

Use CoE to boost your spell damage, and therefore aggro.

Pop meta at the start and on cooldown. Don’t use immolation aura or you’ll pop your balloons!

Use Shadow Bolt to proc the Shadow Mastery debuff, which you should keep up throughout the fight. Any time it’s about to drop off, use Shadow Bolt.

Keep corruption and immolate up. I use a macro to “/target Prince Keleseth” and “/cast Corruption” (and another for Searing Pain) and use these to switch back to the boss after collecting nuclei. Couldn’t much care about clipping under the circumstances – if I’m running back I want to get retargetted asap, and have a full duration of the spell so I can do nothing but nuke until the next balloon chase. Both spells do good damage per cast time, and will tick away building a trickle of aggro while you’re running around.

Most of your aggro generation will come from Soul Fire, with Searing Pain useful when you’re tight on time or if decimation drops when he’s empowered.

The Fight.

Set up your Circle, and pull with CoE and a quick Searing Pain and /petattack. Pop meta, cast Shadow Bolt, Corruption, Immolate, then Soul Fire spam until it’s time to chase some balloons.

If you’re lucky they will spawn near you and you won’t have to interrupt your nuking much to pick them up with a rank 1 corruption. Any time you see one near enough to be a short run, go grab it and get straight back on the boss. If it is further away hold a couple of seconds to see where the next spawns or if a helpful person starts to kite or MD it to you. You should have enough of an aggro lead on the boss by the time the first two have spawned to be able to take a trip.

Here’s the first gamble. At the start of the fight Valanar will be empowered, so there’s a high risk of Empowered Shock Vortex being cast. If this happens while you’re running through everyone for a nucleus, you will cause chaos and damage. On the other hand there’s a chance that Keleseth will be up next, in which case you’ll need your 4+ nuclei. If you’re unlucky enough to have the nuclei spawn in awkward places and an unhelpful raid, the best bet is to pick up what you can on the left side of the room, wait for the first Empowered Shock Vortex, then when that finishes make a dash for everything that’s spawned elsewhere. Use your circle to help you get back into position, and your target macro’d casts to get back on the boss.

Keep an eye on his castbar or DBM warnings, and hit Shadow Ward during the Empowered Shadow Lance cast.

Stick your pet onto a Kinetic Bomb as soon as one spawns. The puppy will still proc demo pact, and be doing something else useful.

You should try and stay on your circle whenever you’re not running after balloons, and if you see the warning for Empowered Shock Vortex while running, try and teleport back if you’re in range. It’s a good marker for the rest of your raid to avoid whenever proximity is likely to cause chaos.

The key thing if you’re new to the fight is to develop your judgement about how much aggro is enough for your raid. You need to strike the right balance between aggro and nucleus collection. So long as you start with a meta-fuelled aggro burn, if you have less than five nuclei then gathering more should be the higher priority, and if you have five or more then aggro is more important. This shouldn’t stop you building aggro with less than five when it’s not convenient to go collecting (e.g. during emp. vortex cast) or moving a bit to pick up nearby floaters when you already have plenty.

Up, up and away, warlock tanks!


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