The Crucial Skill Separating CE Players from Mythic Players

“I’m so dead.”

Three magic words.

That’s all it takes for every player in the raid to overwhelm that raider with defensives and support to help them stay alive. It’s almost always a tank too! Here’s the sequence of events that inevitably follows.

  • Holy Priests casts Guardian Spirit
  • Paladin casts Hand of Sacrifice
  • Evoker casts Time Dilation
  • Resto Druid casts Barksin
  • Enhancement Shaman casts Ancestral Guidance
  • Demon Hunter burns Darkness
  • Warrior Intervenes
  • Rogue… uses a bandage (okay, this one’s not realistic)

But really, this is the technique that tanks tend to use when they absolutely need something because they’ve run out of tools to survive. The best tanks use an addon like OmniCD which shows what defensives are available and displays them all under the player frame or somewhere else readable so they can specifically call for it. To me, that’s the mark of a reliable tank who knows how to layer not just their own defensives but those of other players around them.

What about non-tanks? Surely DPS and healers can exhibit this behaviour as well. If you haven’t realized it yet, it’s called communication. It’s practically expected for CE players to have mics of their own and to actually use them.

Back when we were progressing on Echo of Neltharion, I vividly remember one play that stood out to me. Our Shadow Priest had to traverse from oneside of the room to the other. His feather charges were all gone and he was seconds away from getting lethaled by a Volcanic Heart. Warlock gate chages were already used. He said, “Help! Liszt* needs a grip now!”

*Not his real name.

One of our Evokers managed to swoop in and lift him to safety keeping the pull going and sparing a much needed Battle Res for phase 3. This was learned behaviour because he ran into this same situation early on in previous pulls and ran out of solutions from his own toolkit. The coaching takeaway during the post-wipe review was that he needed to prepare for this situation in the future and ask for a lift if he didn’t have any remaining movement speed abilities left.

I’ll give you another story.

On Zskarn, we hit one of the overlaps where bombs spawned right before a knockback. One of our raiders was unable to evade it fast enough which pushed him into a bomb. He recognized it early and managed to use a defensive right before impact to slow it down, but he was also quick enough to ask for help and managed to survive the subsequent damage with a Hand of Sacrifice and focused healing until it wore off. Had he not said anything, he most likely would’ve taken lethal damage.

Here’s a story of a player error and what the coaching remedy looked like.

This is the same boss fight on Zskarn and one of our hunters was assigned to bomb duty. In this situation, a Tactical Destruction had gone off and the bombs were located within the Tactical Destruction affected area. Unfortunately, the Hunter had no way to safely get it. We ended up wiping and during the post-wipe discussion, we dissected the cause. When we found out it was due to blown Hunter coverage and a lack of personal immunity, we asked what could’ve been done differently and he didn’t know. I was upset at that remark but I kept that to myself. Our raid composition happened to include a pair of Paladins (one Protection, one Holy). He could have asked for a Hand of Protection and safely gone in for the bomb. Failing that, he could have also said, “Help! Can’t get bombs, need backup in Tactical”. This indicates the urgency of the situation that he’s not in a position to absorb a bomb hit and that someone else needs to do it right away. The Holy Paladin could’ve bubbled and used their movement speed horse or cast Blessing of Protection to get in there and neutralize the bomb. In that situation, no one is going to ask Hunter, “Well why can’t you get the bomb?”. That would be ridiculous.

The lesson I want to impart here is that when you’re caught in a situation with a blown assignment, it’s okay to ask for help and backup. Raid leaders will mostly have built this into the plan ahead of time. If they didn’t, they will now. Delicate parts of an encounter tend to be things like soaks or interrupts, and there will be times on progression where you as a player will miss it because you’re dead or you accidentally used an ability at the wrong time or you’re completely out of range and out of position. That is okay. CE Players have to be comfortable asking for help backup. Someone else will bail you out to keep the pull going because that’s what needs to happen. There are 20 players in the raid and chances are someone can step in to cover you. If they can’t, then the raid leader needs to find a solution in case that situation happens again.

However, you don’t want to make this a habit of missing a mechanic repeatedly or you might get viewed as unreliable.

In other words:

  • If you’re going to miss an interrupt, ask for help.
  • If you’re going to miss a soak, ask for help.
  • If you think you’re about to die from big damage, ask for help.
  • If you think you’re not fast enough to get safety, ask for help.

There’s no reason to hesitate in these situations whether you’re a trial or a veteran raider.  Can’t always expect to do everything on your own. Learn to rely on your team.