Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Twin Val'kyr: A dps DK perspective

The fourth and second-last fight in Trial of the Crusader is the Twin Val'kyr. The Twin Eredar are magic-based mobs who love to buff you with their orbs. :)

Pull: One needs two tanks. You can tank them seperately, but there's no reason not to tank them on top of each other. They don't cleave or anything. And all of your raid's cleave effects will hit both Twins. Just mark them both to assist with target switching. As DK, park behind your selected Twin and bang away.

Icy Touch while running in. Plague Strike. Regular dps rotation blah blah (sound familiar? :P). Be sure to pestilence early to get diseases on the second Twin. Whether you're rolling diseases or a more traditional spec, I'd recommend pestilence once every disease duration to ensure the extra damage - you do know they share a health pool, right? So any damage to one is damage to the other. It's definitely worth doing for every spec but non-GOD (glyph of disease) blood. For non-disease blood experiment, since pestilence will mean you lose a heart strike - I'm not sure which is better. For frost, unholy, and GOD blood (or 4pc T9), definitely pestilence!

DON'T pop your cooldowns at the height of your stacked buffs right at the beginning this time! Normally, you'd use your ghoul/gargoyle/dancing rune weapon when your ap/strength is highest at the beginning but you want to save them for Twin Pact. Throughout the fight, when orbs spawn, pop your anti-magic shield as they approach you. This ability is uber in this fight! It protects you from being killed by orbs, and it gives you a huge boost in runic power - be prepared to spam death coil while your shield is up!

Be careful throughout the fight. The biggest risk of dying here is ignoring the orbs and getting too many of the opposite color from you and killing yourself.

Twin Pact: I usually recommend the raid NOT heroism the first Twin Pact. Burn your cooldowns here! Switch fast to the Twin with the pact, and put everything into dpsing the shield down, except for enough runic power for mind freeze. Sure, there's lots of classes capable of interrupting, but there's no sense in missing the interrupt and leading to a wipe. Our melee compete to see who gets it and we give a gold to the winner. Heroism/bloodlust the second Twin Pact so that you can get it down in time. IF you have a third Twin Pact - and I really hope you don't, then your cooldowns should be back up to burn down the shield. Tiny side note here is if you're rolling diseases, switch targets and immediately pestilence to ensure both the 'new' target and the 'old' have fresh diseases. When you go back to your normal target, pest again just to keep your stack up. Also, wowwiki suggests switching color to dps the opposite Twin. DO NOT do this - you'll spend your time running instead of dpsing.

Vortex: Pay attention here! More than once I've started to run to change my color when I was already the right one. Of course, you do need to run to change if the Twin casting is the opposite color. Deadly Boss Mod is excellent here - it will flash a warning to switch color! It's not super fast, so you have a couple seconds - but don't miss! DK (rolling diseases or not) should pestilence to refresh diseases, run to the portal, click it, run to the Twins, pestilence again, run across to your normal colored portal, and run back to the Twins, and pestilence once more. You'll never lose diseases the whole time whether you're GOD spec or not. Running back and forth is a good opportunity to grab a few appropriately colored orbs, but be careful to not get greedy and run through opposite orbs as your healers are moving too and you can die easily.

Heroic: If you're on heroic, the fight is basically the same, but the health of the Twins is larger and the time you have to get the Pact shield down is much shorter. Twins will heal for more, so it is imperative that you switch if necessary and go nuts to get the shield down. You can't be as nonchalant about dodging opposite color orbs as they hit hard on heroic and will kill you, so keep an eye out especially if your anti-magic shield is down. I've survived not switching during vortex on normal difficulty with ams and icebound fortitude, but you won't survive it on heroic.

Your dps should be very competitive on this fight as well. You'll get cleave damage if you're blood, and tons of disease damage if you're unholy. If your frost, howling blast will hit both. On 25 man, I'm very disappointed in myself if I'm under 10k dps.


  1. For what it's worth, 10-man TV can be solo-tanked.

  2. Thanks, Tom!
    I certainly don't cover every scenario, and my focus here is on the role of the dps DK, but yes, I'm sure with a lot of nice shiny 245s it can be done! I haven't seen it yet, but I'm sure I will!

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  4. Actually, I think any tank that is good enough to be in ToC in the first place is good enough to solo-tank TV. The first time I did it I was in a mix of Naxx 25 and Ulduar 10 gear, with only a couple of 245s from emblems.

    The reason I bring it up is because if it is being solo-tanked, DPS should be mindful of their aggro on both targets. I haven't been in there as a melee DPS, but on my Shadow Priest I had to cool it with my DoTs on the secondary twin. It probably isn't an issue with a more-skilled tank, but if it was a problem for me it might be for others.

    Maybe this approach isn't as common as I think, but I haven't been in a raid that used the split strategy in a couple of months.

  5. Unless you do the method of having all your dps one color, the same as the tank - as you point out the problem is agro. Forcing the dps to dps less defeats the point.

    I mean, our tanks do about 3-3.5k dps. I do about 10k. If all dps or even half are having to back off, then that's likely to be more than a 7k dps loss - what you get for bringing an extra dps over the tank.

    If the tank is trying to hold agro on a same color twin, while I'm the opposite color, no way they hold threat. Not happening.

    And doing this on heroic is a recipe for disaster due to twin spike unless you dramatically overgear it. Heroic is, as I'm sure you know, a different animal from normal. On normal you can ignore all sorts of 'intended game mechanics' :)

    I guess I don't see the point except for amusement as a gimmick, and like I said, I've never seen it... and I've done the fight 2-6 times a week since it came out.

    In any case, I'm sure it's viable - and I certainly believe that you're doing it that way!

    But to go back to the point of my little guide - since there's far better general ones out there - is to focus on maximizing the role of the dps DK. And I guess the only real lesson for the dps DK on the 1 tank strat on Twins would be - stay the same color as the tank! :)

  6. Perhaps I'm being unclear.

    Solo tanking is really only possible on 10 non-heroic. When it's being used, all the DPS will be on one color until they have to switch for whatever reason, and after the switch they stay their new color and on the other twin. When they have to switch a second time, they again stay on their new target. As long as your tank is situationally-aware, this method is much simpler and easier to coordinate than the traditional way.

    Why am I bringing this up in the first place? Because as a Shadow Priest I typically keep my DoTs up on both Twins (since it's a DPS gain) and have wound up uncomfortably high on threat on the Twin *not* being focused at the moment. Thankfully, I know it because I have to target that other Twin occasionally while maintaining my DoTs. My DK shouldn't be in ToC yet, but I imagine that when he gets in there and we do TV, I'll have my diseases up on both, and the secondary twin will be getting hit by cleaves/HB/CF. Unlike my Shadow Priest, though, there's no reason for me to target the secondary Twin. If I don't know to keep an eye on my threat on the other Twin I might pull aggro. Hopefully, the tank will be mindful of incidental AoEs and will maintain a comfortable lead on both targets at all times, which isn't hard to do.

    Anyway, bottom line - DKs have high incidental AoE. If this encounter is being solo-tanked, DKs *in particular* need to be aware of their threat on both Twins.

    I don't mean to come across as snippy or anything - sometimes I just sound that way when I'm trying to be precise. :) I have been greatly enjoying your blog, and have really been digging the DK community. It absolutely has made my delving into DKing so much more rewarding!

  7. Thanks Tom! I agree about this being a viable normal strat and may have to give it a try some time. You also got me thinking about switching targets. Even with two tank strat, if I'm dark and the first pact is dark, then if I have to switch colors for a light vortex, there's no reason not to stay light. It will save time running back to the dark portal and if there's a light pact next I'll help get the shield down faster. Thanks for getting me thinking!

  8. The 1 tank strat is viable on heroic as well, our first kill of them was done with 1 tank. Aggro on the off target valk was a little iffy at times but generally the tank's (we had a DK do it) incidental AoE was enough to keep aggro.

  9. Interesting... I'll keep it in mind.

    Although, I probably won't mess with what works.... still, other readers may want to give it a try.


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