Posted tagged ‘Ugarde Keep’

WotLK Beta: Tanking Utgarde Keep

August 25, 2008

I finally got around to tanking my first WotLK instance. I’d been playing around with Fury, so I went back to Protection (8/0/64) for the run.

I picked a Enhancement Shammy, a Hunter and a Warlock from the LFG queue, and rounded things out with my wife healing the run.

Short version: Great instance, super quick and mostly easy.

After running so many 5-man heroics in Outland, tanking a regular 5-man is a bit odd. The trash is really quite easy, not at all like the heroic mode trash that is commonly tougher than the bosses.  I don’t remember any pulls having more than 3 elites, and was able to hold everything easily, even without using any CC through the entire run. There are even a few sections made up of mostly non-elite mobs, which are a nice change of pace. The pace was quite fast as well, as the trash never pushed my wife low on mana – even though she was DPS’ing much of the time.

The bosses, however, are a step up from the trash. They are in fact downright challenging. All the fights have a gimmick – something special – that makes them more than a simple spank’n’tank.

Our one wipe of the run came on the first boss, which none of us had seen before. Turns out that if you don’t know that the boss has some “Illhoof-like” tricks, things can go bad quickly. We took him with no problems the second time, and by paying a bit more attention to the other bosses, were able to through the rest of the run cleanly.  We had a solid group of Epic geared toons, and even with that each boss fight felt like a real victory that could have gone the other way. I’m not sure how a group in leveling greens is going to manage this place, at least at level 70.

The boss drops are quite solid. I think one of the items was actually picked up to be used, and I equipped the blue quest reward ring (in place of a Kara DPS ring). The gear seemed to be at (or just above) Karazhan level, so anyone in TBC blues and greens will find some huge upgrades here.

Overall, for a run that we finished in about 45 minutes, Utguarde Keep is a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to running this place back-to-back several times at launch.