WotLK Beta: Tanking Azjol Nerub

This past weekend we saw the 8095 Patch which buffed warriors and crushed the World Server. The open world was pretty much unplayable, but instance servers were fine. Presuming the server stayed up long to get a group together, 5-mans were by far the best option.

We started with Azjol-Nerub, and we spent more time getting the group invited and summoned than we spent running the instance. Really.

We went in with myself tanking, and my wife healing, both at 74. We picked up a 70 rogue, a 70 boomkin, and a 75 Hunter to fill out the group. This zone is intended for 73 to 75, so we were maybe a bit on the low side, but well geared.

The zone is amazing. Stunningly designed, it has by far the most fun layout of any zone I’ve yet seen. The zone has very little trash. Just a few pulls between bosses, usually with the next boss in site. Going in blind, the fights were interesting enough to force us to adapt to their abilities, diverse enough that I can’t imagine getting bored, but not so hard that you should expect a wipe-fest for most groups.

The pulls are generally on the smaller side, though some do hit reasonably hard. Running without CC wasn’t a problem here, and there are just a few places where AOE would be missed. As a Protection Warrior, I never felt like there was anything “I couldn’t do well” – perhaps we are simply OP at the moment, but the fights felt challenging enough for me to feel good about my tanking, but not so hard that I was stressed that I might wipe us. A very good balance, if not an hard one to hit.

We did get lost one time going through the instance, and I took my time pulling (just to make sure I didn’t get extras) but, even so, we finished with 37 minutes left on Fort.

23 minutes for the whole instance.

Getting this run down to 15 minutes shouldn’t be a problem once you know your way around. I can easily imagine getting a group together than running this several times straight, just to make sure you get all the drops.

This zone is right next to Ahn’Kahet, which is a longer instance. The two contrast each other very well, and would make for a nice double-header run back-to-back.

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