Back in the day (/rockingchair) when we had a Death Knight main tank and raid leader, he would, now and again, forget which presence he was in and attempt to tank something in oh… say… Blood Presence. This would invariably result in the best of our DPSers ripping aggro, then dumping aggro, then whatever big bad beastie we happened to be picking on would proceed to chomp the healers and pandemonium would ensue.
We would all be standing at the spirit healer, looking around and wondering ‘What happened?’. Well, our Raid Leader being an honest chap and not wanting raiders to start fretting would sheepishly pipe up that “Oops, I was in the wrong presence…”
We’d all laugh and head back to the boss and then rib him about it when he was getting ready to pull. Hence, the raid leader’s mantra:
Check your Buffls, Flasks, Presences, Auras, Stances, Forms…
That was standard for a good long time.
Then came Dual-Specs, and my Sunday DPS runs.
What’s my Sunday DPS runs got to do with this? Well, on Sunday I slip into my DPS spec, and my DPS gear. I’ve got a button bar that shows which gearset I’m currently wearing so it’s easy to keep an eye on that, but it’s not quite the same for Talent Specialization.
Especially when both specializations are Feral. If my dual-spec were resto or balance it would be quite obvious that something was amiss. (Why is there moonkin/tree of life on my shift bar?)
I’m sure you can all see where this is going.
On Tuesday, as I mentioned before, we split into tens. What I didn’t mention was our spectacular, wonderful, very impressive one-shot of the XT-002 Deconstructor.
No thanks to me.
I nabbed Main Tank duty because the main tank just kinda stands there. Very often in Wrath, MT duty is the less complicated, so, as a raid leader, I like taking these jobs because it allows me an easier time to keep an eye on everyone else.
Back to the story at hand. I was main-tanking XT. Everything was going as planned, then the first heart phase came. I shifted to cat and started letting loose. We popped our Bloodlust at this point and I’ll be damned if we didn’t get XT down to 54% by the end of that phase.
Wow, great job!
Just a few more percentage points and we were on the second add phase. This time we didn’t have a Bloodlust. I was still doing quite a bit of damage, and noticed copious crits that I don’t usually see while tank-specced.
It registered as ‘odd’ but not ‘important’. At this point I was more worried about the double-wave of adds we had incoming. I was yelling for Death and Decay from our two Death Knights and praying our only two ranged DPS were up to keeping the incoming robots under control.
Soon enough we were through the second heart phase and this is when things got interesting.
The healers were starting to get a little stressed, what with our OT holding 3-4 pummelers, tantrums coming, and the occasional Boombot making its way to the melee. I glanced down at my bar and noticed Barkskin wasn’t on Cooldown.
Well, ok, /mangle.
I have Barkskin macro’d into my Bear mangle.
I have Barkskin macro’d into my Bear mangle on my BEAR SKILLSET BAR.
So I manually slam Barkskin, hit ‘N’ after that and see, with a sinking heart, the lower Paw illuminated on my Talents tab.
I was in cat spec.
I was tanking without Thick Hide, without Protector of the Pack, without any of those oh-so-necessary talents that make Bears the wonderful things they are.
I was even CRITTABLE NOT DODGING!
But here we were, by this point just beyond the last add phase. We were so close, the healers were gasping, the DPS going full-tilt trying to mop up the scrapbots as they came in and my health was veering all over the place.
I popped Survival Instincts during a tantrum, Frenzied regeneration soon after that. I used my Defender’s Code and prayed for Essence of Gossamer procs. I was more careful with keeping up Lacerate for the Savage Defense procs than I’d ever been in my tanking career.
Just hold on, just a little farther, I’m sorry, I’m sorry… please don’t let my stupidity be the ruination of what has been such a wonderful thing…
Then the repair bots came in. Our ranged were out of mana, our melee were already giving everything they got and one…. two…. three….
XT hovered between 1 and 2% for what felt like an eternity.
Then all the repair bots were dead, there were no more to come, and the DPS pushed what little they had left
They’d done it. With my health oscillating wildly, my healer gaspingly out of mana and beginning to question his worth for anything, we had killed the robot.
A One-shot, and no thanks to me, but I am DAMNED proud of the team we had that night.