Tank Check – Leothras the Blind

One of the fights I considered to be a Level 3 tanking fight was Leothras the Blind in Serpentshrine Caverns back in BC. This encounter was difficult from the tanking perspective for various reasons.

To those unfamiliar with the fight, it starts with a 3 add trash pull (the adds could hit surprisingly hard) which following their deaths Leothras became active.
Leothras is a three phase fight. He starts out in humanoid form where he does a whirlwind which drops a strong bleed dot on anyone it hits. During the whirlwind he randomly chases people around the room. At the end of the whirlwind aggro resets and he goes back to single target attacks.

Heading into Phase 2, aggro resets. Leothras turns into a Demon that drops a fire aoe centered on the main aggro target that stacks a fire debuff. During this adds called “inner demons” spawn on individual members of the raid that they have to deal with by themselves. If they failed they were mind controlled. At the end of this phase Leothras drops aggro and heads back to phase 1. At 15% he splits into both the demon and the humaniod at the same time and the humaniod form needs dpsed down.

This fight relied upon at least 2 tanks. In my guild we used 2. One tank was in full tanking gear for the humanoid phase. We used a warrior for this. The other wore full fire resist and tanked Leothras during demon phase. I tanked this for our guild as a paladin – we had a very hard time getting warlocks with a fire resist set, ours were not inclined to do so- (one had a mix of 70/60 Fire resist stuff – without stam he dropped ridiculously fast.)

There were several reasons this was a difficult tanking encounter first of which was the frequent aggro drop. For newer players, aggro drops mean that you have to hit taunt if the boss gets away from you. Back then taunts did not work on most bosses. If your tank died, chances our most of your dps would too, unless you were packing an off tank with good threat generation. In this fight having dps stop prior to a phase switch was necessary as threat wasn’t as easy to generate as it is now and taunts were ineffective when Leo was running towards the overzealous warlock.

The whirlwinds tended to cause the most havoc for a tank in this fight as the boss moved away from the tanking position and could be in any section of the room when it ended. If you had enough hunters you could set up a misdirect rotation on the tank, however misdirect had a long cooldown, so this could easily be interrupted with hunter death. Another trick was to drop a searing totem in the tanking position, which was effective if the boss did not move further than the totems range. One trick that I used during this fight was to use Seal of Vengeance – back in BC this was a sub-optimal seal as Righteousness put out more threat, and Vengeance was a “chance on hit” seal so there was no guarantee to get quick aggro from it. However in this fight I was not the primary tank during the humanoid phase so that quick aggro didn’t matter to me, My primary goal was to get Vengeance stacked so the boss would run to me after the Whirlwind and the warrior could grab him off of me. Even though I was wearing FR stuff instead of my full tanking kit it was still better for him to beat on my rather than a clothy.
Demon tanking as a non-warlock involved me insuring that I was as far away from the boss as possible and still be in his hit box. If I wasn’t, the melee got hit by the fire aoe and killed them quickly as they had no fire resist.

The humanoid tanks had another difficult task – dealing with their inner demon.
At that time, tanks did not have the dps capabilities that they do now. I never had to deal with one as I was tanking the demon phase, however our warriors had to get a full rage bar and spell reflect the shadow bolts back at them. If they failed, they had to be killed and battle rezzed if available, or it was a wipe. This added a whole additional level of responsibility on the tank.

I really enjoyed this fight as it gave the tanks a good challenge, using threat and position as the primary skill checks.


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