Lightsworn: Tanking Antorus the Burning Throne
Hey, Blizzard Watch! It’s Hammer time! With our preparations complete, the time has come to turn the tables on the Burning Legion. Now we are the aggressors, taking the fight to the very heart of the Legion to save our world. Naturally, tanks have their own unique set of challenges on each fight. Today we’ll look at the bosses in the first two wings of the raid, Light’s Breach and the Forbidden Descent.
Tankadins in Antorus
One change to consider for your talents is taking Crusaders’ Judgment (CJ) over Bastion of Light (BoL). As I progressed through Antorus, I felt squishy any time I didn’t have Shield of the Righteous up. I covered the gaps with Eye of Tyr and Apocalypse Drive (once I managed to get it to drop). I’ve also prioritized relics for Unflinching Defense which makes Ardent Defender a solid option on most encounters. While BoL figures to provide higher uptime over the full fight, once I use those charges, I have to wait for the cooldown. The CJ charges feel like they’re there when I need them to cover the gaps. CJ also provides a second charge on Judgment, which I’m finding helpful as I transition away from Blessed Hammer to take advantage of our set bonus.
Antorus set bonuses for Protection Paladins
Our two-piece set bonus is a huge boost to survivability, while the four-piece adds a nice perk on top of that. I’d use a set piece up to 15 item levels lower to get at the two or four piece bonus. The best tier piece are the shoulders followed by the chest, legs, gloves, cloak and helm. The set piece bonuses encourage Protection Paladins to use Holy Shield. With the two-piece bonus and Holy Shield, I’m at 47% Block, 29% Parry, and 3% Dodge. This means there’s only a 20% chance each hit isn’t blocked or avoided completely. With the four-piece and Holy Shield, there’s only a 1% chance. Holy Shield does mean sacrificing the AoE from Blessed Hammer unless the Light blessed you with Soul of the Highlord.
Saruan’s Resolve remains the strongest choice for survival. Having two charges on Hand of the Protector is a game changer. I’d pair Saruan’s with Heathcliff’s Immortality or Soul of the Highlord if you’re more Light blessed than I seem to be. Instead, I’m rocking Tyelca, Ferren Marcus’s Stature. My disdain for the randomness of the Legion Legendary system is strong. Farm those Essences because many of our Legendaries are situational and it helps to have a good variety.
This is a straightforward fight typical of the opening boss of the raid. He even shares the same run away when you get the debuff mechanic from Gororth in the Tomb of Sargeras. Build up Shield of the Righteous charges while you run away. You want as much coverage as you can get while you are the active tank. The bombs come much faster each time you step up in difficulty. You shouldn’t have to use Divine Steed to run out nor get back in time, but you can.
Both Blessing of Spellwarding (BoSW) and Divine Shield (DS) will negate the damage of Artillery Strikes, but not the splash damage. You still need to be away from the other tank and your raid. When I’m the tank to stay in for Eradication, I found Ardent Defender more than sufficient to survive. This overgrown Fel Reaver has a nice chest and boots. He doesn’t drop Apocalypse Drive despite having an ability of the same name.
Felhounds of Sargeras
In most cases, you’ll be on Shatug so you can have the melee with you to help negate the fear from Weight of Darkness. Your other tank probably has something to handle the fear on their own like Berserker Rage or Rage of the Sleeper. If you do find yourself on F’harg, you’ll have the ranged with you. It’s tricky enough for the melee to group with you. It’s even harder for ranged DPS to get to you before the fear goes off. If you do get feared, the boss will turn and cleave the raid which is not ideal.
Paladins don’t have many ways to deal with the fear — BoSW won’t work. As counter-intuitive as it is, Blessing of Protection will prevent the application of the debuff and the subsequent fear. Go ahead and Divine Shield the fear. This will drop aggro, but at that point F’harg is already cleaving your melee. Cancel Divine Shield and taunt him back. Another option would be getting the Ethereal Urn trinket from Nightbane in Karazhan.
Outside of that, the fight is straightforward. Keep the boss pointed away and be sure Shield of the Righteous is up for each Burning/Corrupting Maw. Make sure you’ve got Eye of Tyr or Ardent Defender for high DoT stacks combined with Burning/Corrupting Maw, or if you get targeted for one of the flame lines. Once the encounter is over, shake your fist at the loot gods for not dropping the mount, again, but grab the belt and gloves.
Antoran High Command
This fight is more on your ‘pod people’ than anything else. Keep the boss faced away from the raid. When you aren’t tanking, don’t be in front of him or it will refresh your Exploit Weakness debuff. Be sure you’ve got Shield of the Righteous up for the second application of Exploit Weakness. You’ll need a cooldown if you’re going to go for three or more. Eye of Tyr is great for picking up Imps, and you can help with interrupting the pyromancers with Avenger’s Shield. Divine Steed when the boss moves from pod to pod if needed. This boss drops your tier cloak.
Portal Keeper Hasabel
Positioning is important. You want to be on the opposite side of the next portal to go active. Divine Steed to get out of Collapsing World. You can take a flame from the red portal to the purple portal to help people see. Help free people if you’re tanking the green portal. Keep the boss near the flame in the purple portal so your DPS can see.
If you get in a situation where you have to solo tank for a while, you can Divine Shield off the Reality Tear debuff. Keep in mind, the higher your stacks of Reality Tear, the more damage is done to the raid when it drops. This boss drops the Riftworld Codex trinket. It’s amazing for Mythic+, but not great for raids.
If you’re having trouble with this boss, suggest to your raid leader to use three tanks, two on the ground with Hasabel and one to tank the portals. With the ease of changing specs in a raid, I don’t see why the developers have to design every fight for two tanks. Having a single tank fight, a three tank fight, or a nonstandard tank (Warlock, Mage) fight might help them break out of the ‘how many debuffs do we switch on’ rut.
The Defense of Eonar
Speaking of trying new things, I love it when the encounter designers throw a unique boss at us and a Tower Defense boss sounded interesting. In execution, this is probably the easiest fight in Antorus. After a couple of attempts, moving between the three platforms becomes second nature. Thanks to Avenger’s Shield and Grand Crusader, you can handle all the interrupts on Fel-Infused Destructors freeing up a melee to go with your other tank.
Consecrated Ground will slow the mobs but not enough to get them out of the cloaking field on the Fel-Charged Obfuscator without additional pushbacks or crowd control. This is good fight for Seraphim and First Avenger as damage is minimal and more DPS helps. Few mobs will target you in the encounter making Blessed Hammer a better choice than Holy Shield. I like Tyelca, Ferren Marcus’s Stature to help with the bats. Eonar drops the tier chest as well as some sexy bracers, a Holy relic, and Iron relic.
Imonar the Soulhunter
Standard tank fight with switching on debuffs. During the intermission phases, you can either break trip wires or be ready to cleanse the other tank when he breaks them. While you can Divine Shield when you break the trip wires, this will only prevent the damage and the stun to you, but the raid wide damage will still go out. I save all my emergency buttons for Phase 3 where the debuffs are permanent. The majority of damage taken is auto attacks. I recommend using Holy Shield and pushing your Critical Strike rating as high as you can for Parry. Imonar has an Arcane and Holy relic.
As the spiritual successor to Maintankadin the Protection Paladin Discord always has a good discussion of strategies, tips and helpful fellow Paladins if you have a question. Next time, we’ll cover the last half of the Antorus raid to end the Burning Legion’s crusade once and for all.
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