Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Perfect Raid

BRK recently made a post asking readers to take a pool of 25 raid members and align them into groups for a raid. Raid leading and organization is a hot-button topic with me, because I think I know better than everyone. I'm secretly an elitist jerk, I just try to suppress that side of me, well, always. It leaks through though. I'm working on it. DON'T JUDGE ME!

Anyway, one topic that I always have in the back of my mind whenever I'm thinking about raid composition is how a raid would look if I could pick any classes/roles and mix 'em together to create the ultimate, unbreakable, catch-all raid composition. Here's what I would come up with:

Tanks: Protection Warrior, Protection Paladin, Feral Druid, Feral Druid

Physical DPS: Enhancement Shaman, Combat Rogue, Combat Rogue, Arms Warrior, Retribution Paladin, Survival Hunter, BM Hunter

Caster DPS: Fire Mage, Fire Mage, Affliction Warlock, Destruction Warlock, Shadow Priest, Shadow Priest, Elemental Shaman

Healers: CoH Priest, Imp. DS Priest, Holy Paladin (Imp. Might), Holy Paladin (Imp. Conc. Aura), Restoration Druid, Restoration Shaman, Restoration Shaman

And how would the groups look? I'm glad you asked!

G1 - Tank
Protection Warrior
Protection Paladin
Holy Paladin (Imp. Might)
Restoration Druid
Affliction Warlock

G2 - Melee
Enhancement Shaman
Retribution Paladin
Arms Warrior
Combat Rogue
Feral Druid

G3 - Agility Stackers
Restoration Shaman (Grace of Air totem)
Survival Hunter
BM Hunter
Combat Rogue
Feral Druid

G4 - Caster DPS
Elemental Shaman
Destruction Warlock
Fire Mage
Fire Mage
Shadow Priest

G5 - Healers
Restoration Shaman
CoH Priest
Imp. DS Priest
Holy Paladin (Imp. Conc. Aura)
Shadow Priest


Why did I create the groups like this? Group synergies. The Resto Druid tree aura boosts healing on the 2 "main" tanks, the Prot Pally and Prot Warrior. The Holy Paladin and Prot Paladin can run Improved Devotion Aura and Retribution Aura in that group, respectively. The Affliction Warlock gives the tanks both Blood Pact from his Imp. And the Prot Warrior can give the Prot Paladin Commanding Shout.

The melee group set-up is pretty standard - Enh Shaman gives the group Unleashed Rage and Windfury, while the Ret Paladin gives Improved Sanctity Aura and the Arms Warrior supplies Improved Battle Shout. The Feral Druid gives everyone Leader of the Pack and a bit of healing on the side.

The agility group gets the Survival Hunter's Expose Weakness as high as possible with maximum up-time, and the BM Hunter's Ferocious Inspiration boosts everyone's damage. The Resto Shammy is there basically just for Grace of Air.

The caster group is set to get fun caster totems and a mana feed to the Mages.

The healer group gets Mana Spring/Tide and Wrath of Air from a Resto Shaman, and a mana feed from the Shadow Priest.

The raid has 2 healthstones, 4 Paladin blessings, full Judgements on the main target, Blood Frenzy from the Arms Warrior, Expose Weakness, 2 curses, 3 battle res's, 8 healers (more if the Ele Shaman or Prot Paladin throw on healing gear for a fight), 4 capable tanks (with a 5th potential tank if the Arms/Ret throw on tank gear), 4 Heroisms, and 2 Misdirects. The Holy Paladin (Imp. Conc. Aura) can be swapped out for an extra DPS, likely a Warlock.

The best part is that the 2 Feral Druids can swap into their DPS suits and go "rawr kitty!" form when they are not needed as tanks for certain encounters. So, for a fight like Anetheron, the Warrior could tank Anetheron and the Paladin could pick up the infernals, while the kitties scratched away at the dreadlord's behind. For a fight like, say, Karathress, you would still have 4 high-armor, high-dodge tank options to employ.

The only thing this raid is missing, for me, is a 3rd Warlock for the extra healthstone and curse. I want to keep the raid with 8 dedicated healers, otherwise I'd drop the 4th Paladin for another Destruction Warlock. I don't know how to remedy this. Any ideas on how to keep the 8 healer number and the delicate raid balance and still mix in another Warlock? Perhaps dropping the Elemental Shaman for a 2nd Destro Warlock would work - higher personal damage and an extra curse might be better than totems for the caster group. What'cha think?


Larísa said...

Cry! You don't want me in your raid!

What have you against arcane mages if I may ask?

OK two fire mages can support each other with scorching, that's a great thing... But seriously fire mages aren't ALWAYS the best choice in a raid. It depends on gear and such.

I guess there are some frost mages out there who would also like to have a word with you, Mr ElististJerk in disguise.. :)

Actually the issue is often brought up in some of the EJ mage threads. And I can say that there are quite trustworthy spokesmen for arcane as well as frost and fire. It all depends on the situation and the encounter ofc.

2nd Nin said...

To be honest I would try and put your prot pally into the healer group there, likely bumping the ds priest. Shaman (drop spell damage totem if he can ftw), and shadow priest means that tank will never have mana issues, and that makes him a threat bastion. You lose the healing from the druid and the health benefits (1.9k health roughly between the warrior's shout and the warlock), but you could equally put a Shaman / SP / Lock / Pally / Warrior group together and the only person who suffers in the group is the warrior.

Paladin tanks dislike melee groups as we are caster types, yet we always get stuck in that group. The EH of 1.9kish is not terribly important except on a few fight and is primarily important if it makes you go past an EH level (another integer of hits taken from the boss). The threat penalty on many bosses (Naj'entus put me oom without a shadow priest :( ) can be high with a good string of hits, I can push 60% avoidance at starting BT level so its worth considering the trade off of health vs mana (and its often better to let the warrior dps than the paladin heal as OTs).

Anyway, just my thoughts, but I am biased since I want em all :P Mwhahahahahahahahaha... :P

Josh said...

I don't have anything against Arcane Mages, they've got their uses. I suppose I should have qualified, however, that I'm creating the groups with t6 gear in mind. Arcane is great with 2pc t5, but deep Fire is pretty impressive with 4pc t6. Plus, Molten Fury for Mage-xecuting the boss is great. Arcane tends to be a much larger mana input for a relatively even average output with fire. Why not take the same results for less effort expended?
This is not to berate your arcane spec, Larisa, this is my (probably misinformed) opinion on things. The player and the skill-level involved are always in play. I'd be happy to read why Arcane is superior to Fire in general if you have some info for me.

@2nd nin
The Prot Paladin would probably be in that group for certain bosses, I arranged them with an eye on Brutallus. If a Prot Paladin needs a Shadow Priest to keep topped off on that fight, he's got gear that I've never heard of. Obviously I can shift people around based upon needs and encounters, this was just a general setup for progression encounters. For fights where heavy threat is needed, some gratuitous shifting would happen - stick the Ret Paladin and a Resto Shaman dropping Windfury into the tank group in place to boost the Prot Paladin threat, and probably stick the Protection Warrior into the melee group in the Ret Paladin's stead. For content taht the Prot Paladin overgears, then I'd throw him into the healer group for the Shadow Priest. It's flexible.

Josh said...

Because I feel bad for making Larisa cry, here's why I went with 2 deep Fire Mages and not Arcane Mages:
"Arcane is more dependent on outside factors and still provides slightly less single-target dps than fire builds."
I'm not a Mage, I can't say if that's true or not, but I go with the informatin I have at hand.

Rohan said...

I think you have too many synergy classes, and not enough raw DPS. You have 2 warlocks, 2 mages, 2 rogues, 2 hunters. Really, at least two of those classes should have an extra representative in the raid.

Also, four paladins is excessive. You only need three, and you don't need a Holy paladin with Imp Might. Use the "Salv/Imp Might, Salv/Imp Wisdom/Light, Kings" blessing pattern and have the Ret paladin provide Imp Might.

Josh said...

Swapping out a Holy Paladin would require a new healer to keep it at 8 - I all ready have 4 shaman and 4 priests in the raid, would you suggest bringing a 4th druid?

I originally had 3x holy paladin, 1x feral druid and 2x resto druid, and a 3rd warlock, but I felt like I'd have too few "tanks" for some encounters. The MS Warrior could throw on tank gear and off-tank something I suppose... but then I run into the issue of where to plop the warlock group-wise. Stick him in the Agility group where that 2nd feral was? Then he's getting Ferocious Inspiration and a Mana Spring, but still missing out on a Shadow Priest and assorted totems. Put him in the healer group? Then what do I do with the healer I bumped out?

Larísa said...

Honestly I'm not a great theorycrafter, but I can assure you there are great posts in the endless threads on EJ which speaks for arcane. Though I think you're right, it's about where in progression you are. For me being in T5, with 2 pieces T5 gear, arcane is great, especially for wading through trashmobs. But when I get into T6 (it remains to see if it will happen honestly...) I'll switch back to fire again, hoping that I won't face the same aggro problems that I used to. You know, I'm a dedicated fire mage after all... it's in my heart, believe me.
There are ways to deal with the mana issues for an arcane mage. There's a just excellent thread on EJ with any kind of information you need. The beginning is updated regulary, when the discussion leads to new conclusion. Any raiding arcane mage who needs some comfort after being excludet from your raid should read it. :)

Honors Code said...

"I'm working on it. DON'T JUDGE ME!"

Don't worry, it's on cooldown.

Josh said...

Thanks for the link, I'mma browse through the arcane raiding compendium and see what's what in the arcanist's world.

/target Honorshammer