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Baleroc Tank Strategy Guide

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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Baleroc in Firelands. It is mostly targeted to tanks who desire to have a short but detailed overview of what is expected of them during that fight.

This guide applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.

Baleroc, the Gatekeeper, is one the first five bosses of the Firelands raid instance.

Even though your health and damage taken will increase over time as the fight goes on, you have little to do as a tank, besides hoping that the healers can deal efficiently with some mechanics that drastically boost their healing done.

1. Overview of the Fight↑top

Baleroc is a single phase fight, where you will not have to deal with any types of adds.

The boss will constantly increase the health of his main aggro target, while also increasing his own damage dealt, to a point where a 5M health pool on your tank will not be uncommon. There are some interesting mechanics which enable your healers to have the required output to heal the tank, and the DPS will have to perform some tasks to enable the healers to do this.

2. Abilities and Explanation↑top

Baleroc has two categories of abilities. One category of abilities causes Baleroc to do massive amounts of damage and provides the tank with sufficient health to survive, while the other provides healers with the necessary tools to heal the tank.

As a tank, you only need to understand the first category of abilities (the only ones that we present).

Blaze of Glory is cast by Baleroc roughly every 10 seconds. It will increase the tank's maximum health by 20% as well as their physical damage taken by 20%. This is a stacking debuff on the tank, which cannot be dispelled and does not have a duration. While the fight is in progress, the debuff persists through death, so that a tank who gets resurrected during combat will not lose their stacks.

Incendiary Soul is applied on Baleroc each time he casts Blaze of Glory increasing his own Fire damage done by 20%. It is a stacking buff on the boss.

Inferno Blade is cast every 60 seconds by Baleroc to infuse his weapon with Fire for 15 seconds. During that time, He no longer performs melee attacks, but instead uses Inferno Strike, causing roughly 75,000 Fire damage. This damage is increased by Incendiary Soul.

Decimation Blade is cast every 60 seconds by Baleroc to infuse his weapon with Shadow for 15 seconds. During that time, he no longer performs melee attacks, but instead uses Decimating Strike, dealing 90% of the tank's health as Shadow damage. This damage will be at least 190,000, it cannot be resisted or mitigated. While Decimation Blade is active, Baleroc's attack speed is reduced by 50%. In addition to this, Decimating Strike also reduces the healing done by the target by 4%, though this is of little consequence.

3. Strategy↑top

Essentially, for the entire duration of the fight, Baleroc will continuously increase the maximum health and physical damage taken of the tank (through Blaze of Glory), while increasing his own Fire damage done (through Incendiary Soul).

You can opt to use one or two tanks. We will detail both of these possibilities below.

3.1. Positioning

The only constraint is that you should never stand within 15 yards of the Shards of Torment that will always be present in the fighting area (1 in 10-man difficulty and 2 in 25-man difficulty).

3.2. Single Tank

In the case of a single tank, the fight is rather simple. The tank will simply hold on to Baleroc for the entire duration of the encounter and must be healed through all damage that they receive.

3.3. Two Tanks

Using two tanks will reduce the amount of healing required at the expense of slightly complicating the task of the main tank. This is something that we advise for less experienced or less geared raids.

The idea is to have one tank receive only enough stacks of Blaze of Glory to be able to survive Decimation Blade (so, enough stacks to have more than 250,000 health, which is around 2-3 stacks), while the other tank should take all the remaining stacks. This will require much less healing, overall, and will make the fight easier for your healers.

The strategy resulting from this is that the Decimation Blade tank will taunt the boss as Decimation Blade is cast, and will only take 250,000 damage, or slightly more, each swing. The rest of the time, the other tank will take the boss, increasing his stacks of Blaze of Glory and having the required health to survive the boss' Inferno Blade damage.

The only issue here is that, sometimes, Baleroc will apply stacks of Blaze of Glory to the Decimation Blade tank, and thus, gradually, the damage taken by that tank will increase. This will, additionally, cause the issue that the other tank will have fewer overall stacks of Blaze of Glory, meaning that the Inferno Blade damage will make up a greater percentage of their health. This was not problematic on the PTR, but live server tuning may prove to be different.

3.4. Usage of Defensive Cooldowns

When Baleroc casts Inferno Blade and Decimation Blade, simply expect the healers to heal you. The fire damage from Inferno Blade can be mitigated (while the damage from Decimation Blade cannot), so you should use some personal defensive cooldowns at this point. As Inferno Blade is cast once a minute, cooldown alternation should not be problematic.

4. Heroic Mode↑top

The heroic mode of Baleroc is a true test of your raid's DPS. It is a brutal gear check, during which you will most likely reach the hard enrage timer. However, from a strategy point of view, the fight remains very similar to normal mode and is as close to a "tank and spank" fight as you will find in the Firelands.

For tanks, there is no change in tactics whatsoever, and nothing you need to pay attention to in addition to normal mode mechanics.

The boss deals more damage than in normal mode, and healing on you will be harder on the healers, though this is of no consequence for you.

For a full list of changes, please refer to the detailed guide.

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