Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to Pull - HoO 1st Trash Pack

Love has recently found the joy in warrior tanking again and turbo leveled it to 85. Now that we both regularly do heroics we often end up in discussions on how to best tank certain situations, both in terms of skill usage but mostly regarding how to do some smooth pulling. I've discussed the matters of pulling before, and said back then that good pulling is a whole art in itself. Mastering it as a tank will make any pug you do a lot more enjoyable. When a pull goes wrong, which can be due to any number of reasons, I often try to analyze it and think about how I can do it better the next time. How you want to do a pull depends on a number of factors, so check out my post on that subject if you want to know more. But me and Love also agreed that there is really nothing better to explain a procedure than a good old practical example. Which pulls did we think were difficult, and how would we handle them (although Love, being all manly and all, doesn't think any pull is difficult)? I hate to have to put this disclaimer in so many of my posts, but people leave me no choice. There is a difference between difficult and more difficult than something else, just so you know. So when I say "pull X is more difficult than pull Y" I am not saying "I can't handle pull x, help l2p".

In what hopefully becomes a little series, I intend to explain how I would go through with some of the more difficult pulls currently in WoW. This is assuming you don't have any cc or other help from the rest of the group and would have to take the entire pull in one go by your own means, something we're seeing more and more of in instances. If you do have cc in your group just remove one mob factor from the pull calculation. Because I currently do heroics on both paladin, dk and warrior and I will have Love help me with the druid PoV, this will explain the pull from all the tank classes view.

First out is the first mob pack in Halls of Origination. Personally, I feel like all the mob packs of this constellation in HoO are a pain in the ass. Not only do they have one of the most annoying sort of mob - the ranged melee - they also deal a butt load of damage. If I'd ever recommend you to use cc in a heroic, this would be it. But assuming you don't have that luxury this is how I would do the pull;

Mob Pack: Consists of - Temple Fireshaper (ranged caster), Temple Runecaster (melee healer), Temple Shadowlancer (melee) and Temple Swiftstalker (ranged melee). The packs usually consist of one of each (but not always!), where two are melee (which will move to you) and two are not (which means you have to silence them or move to  them). The rest of these mob packs in HoO don't all have a Fireshaper, which only makes the pull easier.
Surroundings: In most regards you have to fight this pack in an open area, without possibilities to line of sight. This does add some difficulties to classes with few ranged silences or other abilities that allow them to move ranged mobs, like warrior and druids. You could possibly corner the entire pack if you move back far enough, assuming the rest of the group will allow you. Remember, the further the mobs have to run to get to you, the more likely it is that someone else in the group will get aggro.
Goal: Since you have two ranged, out of which only one is reliably moveable, you have to gather the group of mobs around the one that is more difficult to move, in this case the Temple Swiftstalker. The killing order isn't extremely important since all mobs do a lot of damage and has some sort of annoying skill. You should therefor aim to mark the mobs so that it fits your pull the best way. My general recommendation is to mark the Temple Swiftstalker for first kill, since it won't move away if people get aggro from it and you can therefor regain aggro from it relatively easy.

This pull is fairly easy as a warrior. You could charge in at either of the first three mobs and do your general threating rotation but since you can't get the Temple Swiftstalker to move to you, you will have to move to him. Silence the Temple Fireshaper with a heroic throw to the face (talented of course) and voila. This is my recommendation for the pull;

  1. Mark the Swiftstalker
  2. Use Commanding/Battle Shout for rage
  3. Charge Swiftstalker
  4. Rend Swiftstalker
  5. Heroic Throw Fireshaper
  6. Thunder Clap and keep tanking them on the Swiftstalker

They should now be neatly gathered. This type of pulling should be usable on any of the four-mob
packs in HoO.


Believe it or not, this pull could actually turn out to be slightly tricky as a paladin. As a paladin, your way to get first to the mobs comes from Avenger's Shield, where warrior and druids have Charge and dks have Death & Decay. This time around, you will have to save your Avenger's Shield to be able to silence the Temple Fireshaper however, which means you won't be able to use it on the other mobs for first threat! If your dpsers follow your marks this should turn out to be a small problem hopefully.

  1. Because this pull deals a lot of damage, it could be wise to start out with Divine Plea.
  2. Run in, judge one of the melee targets (Runecaster or Shadowlancer)
  3. Hammer of the Righteous on them when they're close enough to be hit
  4. Consecration once you're by the Swiftstalker
  5. Avenger's Shield on the Fireshaper
See picture above for details.

Death Knight
This pull is probably the simplest for a DK who has the tools to get fast aggro on and reposition any of the mobs. Eventhough you could move the Swiftstalker to you, it is better to move the Fireshaper because he is in the back. Less running is good!

  1. Drop Death & Decay on the Swiftstalker while running towards him.
  2. Use Anti Magic Shell
  3. Use Icy Touch on Swiftstalker
  4. Use Plague Strike
  5. Death Grip Fireshaper to you
  6. Pestilence on Swiftstalker
See picture above for details.

Lacking a proper ranged silence, you will have the most trouble with this pull as a druid by far.  There are two ways to deal with this group of mobs which depends mainly on the dps in your group. You will probably have to accept that you won't be able to gather the group in a satisfactory manner.

Procedure A - The Gathering
  1. Run to the Swiftstalker don't charge!
  2. Faerie Fire Feral on Fireshaper
  3. Get some initial aggro on the three mobs through Swipe and Thrash (throw in Maul if you have the rage).
  4. Charge the Fireshaper and interrupt its cast
  5. Start moving it back to the Swiftstalker, unless it seems like it is almost dead anyway.

Procedure B - The Ranged
  1. Charge onto the Swiftstalker
  2. Faerie Fire Feral on Fireshaper
  3. Tank the mobs on Swiftstalker, use Swipe, Thrash, Maul and Mangle.
  4. Use Faerie Fire Feral on cooldown on the Fireshaper
  5. When Swiftstalker is dead, move to Fireshaper.
See picture above for details.

But Zinn, what if I do have some cc?
Knowing how to deal with the pull without any help from your group is good. I might sound negative, but you should never really count on getting any help, so being able to deal with a pull as much  as possible on your own is the first step towards avoiding unecessary frustration. Fortunately, there usually are at least some competent puggers in every group. If you do have some cc I would go with ccing the Swiftstalker, mainly since the Fireshaper is un-ccable. If you even have a second cc, you can go with either of the other two, they're both about equally annoying.


  1. Magi can have fun here and spellsteal the caster's buff :) Though most tanks will struggle with aggro then, as the mage will be tossing 30k(?)fireballs in every direction every second. Fun, fun!

  2. I personally just shot one of them with a ranged attack from the door and strafe for LOS and they all run to me neatly packed. Yeah fireshaper slacks and takes awhile to get there but you have a atleast one of the others dead by then.

  3. Interesting post, HoO trash can be quite tricky to round up as a tank. For some reason I thought that the Fireshaper was uninterruptable (which would make the pull even harder), but I think I might have got that confused with his CC immunity.

  4. Feels like most pulls are a lot trickier, or at least less simple, as a feral druid. Crappy ranged tools, crappy single target tools, crappy... O.O Feral bears are crap!
    If only I could transform from feral cat to prot warrior every time I shapeshift into bear form :<

  5. Anon is correct when they said you can just use LoS to pull. Just aggro one and stand inside teh doorway. They all come, and you can have 1 or 2 dead by the time the slow Fireshaper decides to join the party. Its really the next group of 4 on the stairway either right or left side that can be a pain as you have ranegd and melee in it and not really a place to LoS. If you try to use the bas eof the stair you can actually pull the other group as it pats back down.


  6. @Anon 1 & 2
    Using LoS is definitely a good idea, personally I'm not lucky enough to end up in groups that allow me to do a smooth los pull, heck most people don't even follow marks :P Since it's the first pull, you won't know until you try, so the first group might be a good tester to see if you pug is good enough for LoSing. I'm not a huge fan of LoSing overall though because I feel like I get better control if I barge in first, but it's a matter of taste.

    As far as I know, all the skills are interruptable, even the Aimed Shot from the Swiftstalker.