Posted by: ihlos | April 21, 2009

Pet Tanking Obsidian Sanctum

sartharion2 Last night my guild was scheduled to finish up our weekly Naxx run, taking down Sartharion and Kel. Eager to get a chance to off tank kel’s two adds, I watched some clips of the fight and read Kurasu’s Feat again. As it turned out, we had two tanks on, so I was not asked to off tank. We downed both bosses with ease, and one of the tanks had to turn in for the night. We then, in an uncharacteristically spontaneous moment, decided to continue on into Obsidian Sanctum, with me filling the off tank role. I whole-heartedly accepted this task, switching specs and busting out my turtle pet and tank set, which is suuuper stam heavy (more on that later).

– The first 4 pack of mobs were to be aoe’d, and there was no way I was keeping up with the paladin’s aoe threat, so he grabbed all four and we burned them down quick. Had we not had the dps and heals to aoe, Tanking two off to the side would have worked no problem.
– The second 2 pack of mobs was also no biggie. I tanked the second one while the group burned the first one. By the time the second one was about to die the dps was catching up to my threat.
– The two bosses went smoothly, with me tanking the mob in the portal. I needed the dps to wait a second for me to pick up the mob, but we had no trouble taking down the mob quick after that.

Then comes the surprise. We walk up to sarth and quite unexpectedly the guild asks me if I want to try and main tank sarth, or if I would prefer them grab one of the other char’s tanks. Being specced more for offtanking, I told them I wasn’t sure if I could handle it but I would love to give it a shot, and so we gave it two attempts.

-The first attempt I sent my pet to the right of sarth to position him, with eyes of the beast, got a misdirect from a fellow hunter, started in on threat, but the dps opened up too early and with sarth being taunt immune, we wiped. From this experience it became clear that my turtle would have no issues surviving the normal phase of the fight, and that he could eat flame wall’s damage without issue. Whether or not the enrage would be a problem I can’t say with certainty. It also became clear that as soon as my hunter was safely positioned for the wave that i should pop eotb to reposition the boss if needed.

-After the second attempt, I respecced my turtle for some more threat, and switched out some of my stam heavy tanking peices for more balanced peices. I also got promises from the players to wait before unloading their dps. I have the Possesed Strength Glyph, so I thought to use EotB to generate more threat and build up a base of threat. Unfortunately for this strategy, im not used to using EotB, and I totally screwed up the pull, and realized my mistake just after it was too late. The main healer got aggro, and I felt like a total noob.

The guild typically avoids multiple tries, so we pulled in a player tank at that point, deciding to let me work out the kinks and try again another time.

My general bias for survivability definitely works for taking hits, but for main tanking i definitely need to shift more towards threat. The positive side is that I learned alot even from just the two attempts. I went straight for the bank and bought up some more balanced gems, and I started reconsidering specs and glyphs to boost my threat.

Another thing I learned was that I need some practice using EotB, as I haven’t really liked using it much up till now. Most importantly, I realized I need to think differently about the encounter, and I need to get my guildees to think differently about the encounter. Mostly I am referring to the pull. I started to consider what would be the best way to execute the pull to make sure I get all the moves off and the positioning right. To do this, one thing became clear, I won’t be able to charge in like a player tank and let the DPS start blasting. They are just going to have to wait a second, maybe even 5-10 seconds.

After thinking about it for awhile, it seemed to me that the best way to attack the pull would be to send the pet in with a misdirect + pet attack macro, using intimidation, and unleashing three shots with my hunter. Then I would quickly punch Bestial Wrath and then eyes of the beast. Only then would I attempt to properly position the dragon. While im positioning, any other hunters can be chaining Misdirects one after another.

At this point, and no sooner, the dps could start to open up. Classes with aggro wipes would focus on the boss, using their aggro wipes wisely to maximize dps. Classes without aggro wipes would take down adds at every opportunity to allow them to do more dps when focused on the boss.

As the waves come I would position my hunter safely and then pop eotb to deal with any knockback and reposition the boss.

So thats my current theory of the fight, if any of you have suggestions about positoning, or how best to improve my threat generation, im all ears.

P.S. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m wishing I had  a Send Pet ability to send my pet to a location of my choosing.



  1. Is it possible that you could use some combination of “Stay” and putting your pet on passive that would work? I think you could pull this off if you always want your pet to go back to the same location, though I haven’t tried.

  2. Interesting thought… So basically put the pet in the right position, put it on stay, then tell it to attack, that way if i put it on passive it will return to that location.

    I’ll test out this theory with a regular mob tonight and let you know how it goes. Our next guild raid night is wed so i have till then to get my stuff in line.

  3. I came into comments to suggest just that, actually: find where you want the pet to be, put it on ‘stay’ right there, and then when it’s time to attack, send the pet in. When you use /petpassive, it will go directly back to stay position, rather than coming to your side. I tested this out on some mobs just now to confirm for myself.

    A different test, for the sake of argument: I put the pet on ‘stay’ in one position while on passive. I then used EotB to manipulate it to walk over and attack the enemy. When I released Eyes, the pet stayed where it was, still attacking. I typed /petpassive. Right back to ‘stay’ position.

    Posting this directly in the forums, for the record, but I figured since you were wondering about it in comments, it should be mentioned here. 😉

  4. I’ve asked for a “Place pet” command for ages in the EU hunter forums.

    About the pet stay and passive, I thought this was common knowledge *blush* perhaps I should have mentioned it earlier since it’s a commonly used strategy when tanking for me.

    I used it a lot back in BWL on …Firemaw(?), the dragon after the gauntlet boss. I placed my pet in the big gauntlet room with the healers, while I myself stood behind the pillars. That’s how I made my pet survive that fight =)

    Btw Ihlos, was this your own story?

  5. Turtle is a good pet for 5mans and solo’ng. Would there be a better choice for 25mans for a bit more threat? Say a Core Hound?

  6. There’s a few reasons why I don’t extensively use EotB and its glyph for increased threat generation, and one of them is that its surprisingly hard! The second or two as it goes up and comes off can be very disorienting when the hunter and pet are in different parts of the room and facing different directions.

    It also takes a little getting used to use your pets abilities efficiently under EotB. Be sure to place any abilities you may need on our pets skill bar as these are the only abilities you’ll have access to while controlling it. It pays to have a standard layout that you use each time when you know you’ll have to use EotB, then practice with it on a test dummy so you use Growl and Thunderstomp efficiently for maximum threat and learn to monitor your focus usage.

  7. This is a place for tenacity pets, though! Core Hounds aren’t tenacity! HERETIC!

    Actually, jokes aside, trying to tank 25-mans with a non-tenacity pet would be a hazardous idea. What with no Guard Dog, no Thunderstomp, and no Taunt, it would probably *lose* you TPS rather than gain it. Not to mention the fact that survivability would be lower, if not as much lower as it once was due to the change in base pet stats.

  8. Nordh
    Yeah this is my own experience.

    Exactly Durante, thats what i was having trouble with, I just got disoriented and I also didn’t realize it would take all my skills off autocast.

  9. if you want to make your pet increase threat,why don’t you try usingthis talent “” and put 3 points for “hunter vs. wild 3/3″that way your pet can easily do more damage and build aggro while your stamina is stacked, and it would be good for you as well.

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