Thok: Turning Panic into Reflex

We killed Thok.

Damn, that was a rough encounter. I had a feeling this week was going to be a good week. We set a guild record for day 1 kills by clearing from Immerseus to (and including) Malkorok on day 1. Fast forward to day 2, and Spoils ended up being Spoils that took a little longer than I expected due to some confusion on cooldown usage. In the end, we managed to get it down just after the first hour of the night.

And now, the Thok Block.

We haven’t squared off against an actual progression encounter with an appropriate group composition in months. In fact, our last progression kill on Spoils was mid-February! The past three months was spent recruiting, re-gearing, and re-training players. Even then, we had a few players from Open Raid in the group who had came in for us on Tuesday to help us out last night. This was arguably one of the strongest rosters we fielded in a long time. I’ll admit, it did pain me that I was unable to get everyone from the guild to participate on the attempts and the kill. It sucks when you have to rely on people outside in order to get the job done but for composition reasons, it had to happen. We ended up having to field 7 healers on this one (4 Priests, 1 Resto Druid, 2 Resto Shaman).

Something my raid likes to do when it gets to a completely new boss is panic. This is doubly true when you’re staring down a really large dinosaur. As the leader, my job is to try to settle them down and remind them to get back to their routes. Stop overthinking things. Simply react. In this case, I recognized that the troublesome part was the kite path. We’ve reviewed it several times during learning attempts. Despite that, my players were still losing their cool. Sometimes the dinosaur went the wrong way. Sometimes they’d panic and run one direction before doing a 180 and dashing down in the other. Deep down inside, I was freaking out too.

The best way to battle nervousness is simply more training and discipline.

We kept telling our players two things:

  1. Visualize your route.
  2. Think of your escape plan in case a rabid dinosaur or yeti comes charging down the middle.

No one wants to be the guy that completely derails a solid attempt. I wanted to turn kiting into a reflex. I wanted to “program” their reactions. For example, if Thok targets me second, I would run to the rear corner where the fire guy is. If Thok targets me fourth, I take the portal all the way down the hallway. I had to keep drilling it in attempt after attempt until it was firmly locked in their minds.

The actual cooldown planning stages took much longer. But we were spoiled due to the number of Priests and other available cooldowns. We were able to stretch the stacks to 24 before transitioning out to the kite phases. Our raid leader called the individual stack numbers, the rest of the team hit their cooldowns which corresponded to their assigned stack number. I need to look into an addon for this instead of a spreadsheet.

Our first attempt we took him above 50%. Second, below 50%. Third, below 20%. Fourth was at 4%. Last one resulted in the kill.

Siegecrafter Blackfuse is next. Anyone have any pointers? The hunters appear to be reluctant to do the whole disengage on to platforms thing.

We’re looking for healers to help us finish out Siege and going into Warlords of Draenor. Check us out!

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3 thoughts on “Thok: Turning Panic into Reflex”

  1. Assign your hunters to practice the belts.  If you’d like to do heroics one day, they must be able to do the belts every time.    Just assign someone to every other one so that they can learn it no pressure. 😉  Siege involves lots of panic and running around, but once you’ve wiped enough times, the pattern begins to make sense.  Kill either magnets or crawler mines.  My raid is typically long on melee, so we kill crawlers on the belts and deal with sawblades zipping around.

    Siege is primarily a tank fight.  If the tanks can do their jobs, you’ll stumble into victory.  If they can’t, you’ll be stuck.  Tanks dropping stacks or not being able to kill the adds is the big raid killer.  If the adds don’t die in time, the overloads from them kill the raid, plus you then have 2 adds.

    Have the raid cluster center-ish in the room, and run to where the tanks will take the shredder to deposit their sawblades.  If they are good about moving promptly, it will help the tanks dps down the adds, and it’ll keep sawblades from eating the raid during the magnet phase.

    Position a healer in range of the people coming off the belts, but keep the rest of the raid from depositing fire/saws there.

    Devo aura is the bomb for covering a 4th overload, which is otherwise nasty.

  2. I’ve only done a small handful of H10 attempts on Blackfuse and they were ugly… fire everywhere, much death.  Also, putting melee on belts isn’t a good idea, the laser holes move and move quickly, you spend more time trying to hit the hole (and usually missing) than actually dpsing the target.  Hunters probably are the best (and maybe only) viable option since full dps on the move is basically required.  Shammies and warlocks may suffice if your hunters won’t do the disengage technique and you don’t have enough to cover.

    Beyond that, expect fire everywhere and much death.  Enjoy!  🙂

  3. We have 4 hunters on the belts full time (no, they don’t like it, but they do it anyway).  We have a ret and a rogue taking turns every other joining them.  The healer for near the belt is a resto druid.

    You mention a lot of priests.  Spectral guise all around.  Any sawblades not slicing people is a good idea.

    Put your markers down and ranged move as a group.  We used the Icy Veins guide kill order for the belts.


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