Thursday, July 10, 2008

Boss Spotlight: Gurtogg Bloodboil

In a continuing effort to educate the community on how Retribution Paladins should approach fights that pose specific difficulties to the class, E4AE proudly presents another "Boss Spotlight!" On the docket this week: Gurtogg Bloodboil, the fifth (or sixth, depending on when you do Reliquary of Souls in the boss order) boss of Black Temple.

Gurtogg Bloodboil is a raging Fel Orc found in the Black Temple raid instance of Shadowmoon Valley. He is considered one of the first real "achievement" bosses in BT, as the first three or four are widely viewed as easier to learn/master than Lady Vashj or Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider. Ol' Gurty is a marked step up in difficulty from either Supremus or Shade of Akama, requiring alert tanks, heavy heals, lots of movement, and DPS'ers who know when to tone it down and when to crank it up.

Why are we talking about this boss?
This fight is first and foremost a healer check, as there is a ton of raid damage to manage and several tanks taking damage throughout the fight, as well as periods where he can, and most certainly will, try to smash a clothie. You're a Ret Paladin though, this is not your concern! Why should you be afraid of this encounter? Threat. Bloodboil has a Knockback ability, similar to Void Reaver, which will drop the current tank's threat total down by a percentage and usually cause an aggro drop onto the next person on the threat list. The tanks will also receive a stacking Acidic Wound debuff that reduces armor and ticks for extra damage, so they will not only have their threat screwed with by the knockbacks, but they will also be actively trading aggro so that they don't get Acidic Wound stacked too high.

That said, many classes don't have to worry too much about the threat issues on this fight. Rogues can Vanish/Feint, Mages can use Invisibility, Warlocks can Soul Shatter, Hunters can Feign Death, etc. They can actively ditch some threat. Ret Paladins can... ummm... stop attacking? Yea, that reduces threat all right! But it also provides openings for Judgements to drop off of Bloodboil, and the other Paladins will most likely be a) in a healing frenzy, or b) trying to overtake one of the other tanks on the threat list. Thus, you must keep attacking, but keep an even more-than-usually close eye on your threat meter, check where all three/four tanks are, and stay beneath them at all times.

In addition, Gurty has some stinky breath. Every so often during the fight, he turns toward the raid and uses his Fel Acid Breath, which is a conal ten yard attack that leaves a nature-based DoT on anyone caught in it. It has a cast time, so it can be avoided if you're not the one who gets targeted.

What to do when facing Gurtogg Bloodboil
Treat your abilities like a volume control. During phase 1, where the tanks are all trading aggro, turn the damage output down to a three or so. You might even want to just Crusader Strike every ten seconds and then immediately turn off attack during the first phase 1 of the fight, to give the tanks a big threat lead while maintaining the Judgements. During phase 2, the "Fel Rage" phase, dial the knob up to eleven baby! This phase is when he decides to smash a non-tank and the threat table is frozen - you can have your filthy way with his backside. During each Fel Rage, pop everything you have - wings, trinkets, potions - everything. Since threat caused during this phase doesn't count, you want to do as much damage as possible in the short time you have (about thirty seconds).

If you get targeted by Fel Rage, swap to a one-hand and a shield immediately. You want to give the healers as much help as you can, as Gurtogg can crit and crush, so damage spikes are a real danger, despite the HP buff from Fel Rage. Use max-rank Consecration and spam all your abilities, since you will be taking loads of damage (and receiving lots of heals, thus refilling your mana bar).

As for the aforementioned Fel Acid Breath during phase 1, try to either run to the side or back away, farther than ten yards, to avoid it. If you do get caught it in, use your Divine Shield - the healers will be pre-occupied and most likely unable to watch you too. If you don't have your DS available, use a health potion, a healthstone, and then try to throw yourself a heal to counteract the DoT. If you die with mana, you did it wrong.

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