Welcome to our guide on tackling the Vault of the Incarnates as a tank. In this blog post, we will be going over the normal and heroic difficulty of the raid from a tank's perspective. We'll cover important topics such as tank swaps, cooldown usage, boss positioning, and other essential tasks for tanks. Whether you're a raid leader looking for strategy, a tank looking to improve, or simply a DPS/healer player looking to understand the role of tanks better, this guide is for you.
Please note that we will only be covering the first seven bosses of the raid in this guide. We will have a separate video guide specifically for the final boss, Razigath. Be sure to subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications so you don't miss when that video is posted, as well as our upcoming Mythic raid guides.
Eranog is the first boss of the Vault of the Incarnates raid. As a tank, you will want to position Eranog in the "donut area" - the space between the gray outer line and the center of the room. This is where you'll want to tank him and also where the adds will close you in during the intermission. You'll need to rotate around the room to deal with the spawning flame rifts. When these appear, they will create a number of lava pools on the ground as well as some adds.
To handle this, simply rotate around the room, moving away from the lava pools. You can even drop the pools closer to the boss to make cleaving easier. It's important to keep all of the pools on the same side of the boss so that the adds have space to kite away from the boss.
The main tank debuff to watch for is Burning Wound, which is applied by Eranog's auto attacks. Taunt off at around six stacks. This will leave a fire dot on you for 14 seconds. During the intermission, you'll need to deal with Primal Flames coming from the outside and killing one to open up the area for you to walk through. Otherwise, you'll get killed.
One important thing to note is to not be under the boss when the Primal Flames reach him. They will explode and the boss will become active earlier, so make sure to move away and avoid the explosion. After that, continue going around the room just like you were previously.
Next up on our guide is the Primal Council boss encounter. There are four bosses in this area, but only two of them need to be tanked: Mbar Fire Path and Opal Fang. The main thing to watch out for here is Opalfang's tank buster, Crush, which causes extra physical damage. This is the debuff that you'll want to focus on taunting off of.
Mbar has a frontal fire attack called Slashing Blaze. Make sure to position her so that she's always facing away from your group. This attack puts a DOT on you, but it will fall off before the next Slashing Blaze goes off. We taunted off whenever we were swapping Opal Fang for Crush. Just to make sure that they weren't overlapping the bosses there, but it really wasn't a big deal.
There are two strategies for positioning the bosses. In normal and heroic difficulty, tanks usually plant towards the middle of the room, but this requires more coordination. Another strategy is to bring the bosses towards the edge and slowly move around the room. This is to make sure that you're constantly moving and avoid the nearby pillars and meteor axes that spawn fire puddles. Being close to the pillars is good because it allows melee to easily clear their lightning debuff, the conductive marks. And being close but not too close to the fire puddle is good, because you need to clear for the blizzard debuff. You want to be somewhat close to these pillars, somewhat close to the fire, but not right pressed up against those things.
This strategy is easier to execute in normal and heroic difficulty, whereas in Mythic difficulty, it requires more coordination and execution on the individual players.
Now let's talk about Terros, also known as Mr. Earth Man. As a tank, you'll have to deal with the Concussive Slam debuff. It's a stacking tank debuff that doubles as a way to clear some of the pillars that spawn. You'll see markers on players, and these spawn pillars. If you hit these with the Concussive Blast tank debuff, they detonate, dealing a bunch of damage initially and putting a stacking dot on the raid. It's important not to stack up all of these and blow them all up at the same time. Usually, anywhere from two to four at one time is good. The more you do, the more likely you'll need to commit a raid cooldown. This will give you a 45-second debuff, so you'll need to take two of these before taunting off.
The boss is stationary, so there's not much to think about in terms of positioning the boss. However, you'll want to position yourself in a way that makes it easy to hit the pillars. You don't want to be strafing back and forth too much with that tank line debuff. Pre-move to where you need to be in order to hit those pillars, and try to know which side of the room you want to be on.
The boss will do a big Annihilation in 18 seconds, which will eat up a quarter of the room. So, you'll want to know which direction you're moving in, whether it be left, right, clockwise or counterclockwise, and move together as a group. Also, you'll want to know where the previous platform ended and start doing a bunch of stuff there to put a bunch of these puddles in that area, to give you more space as you run into the next quarter of the room.
In summary, as a tank, your main focus is to shoot the pillars, ideally not six, and taunt off at two stacks of that big debuff.
Now let's talk about Sennarth, also known as Sonar the Spider. This is a very slippery fight, with ads spawning on each platform and the boss herself. The boss has a massive hitbox, and as an active tank, you'll want to stay relatively close inside of Sennarth's hitbox. Otherwise, the Web Blast will start getting shot at other players. It's best to cut it off at about five stacks of web blasts. The block tanks can go a little bit higher than that, just because it's a fully blockable attack, but five stacks is good for most players.
One thing to note is the ads. These will do a frontal attack that spawns a bunch of ice. To avoid this, try to face them behind you or towards a spot that already has ice on it. This way, it will put more ice where there's already ice, effectively putting no new ice on the platform. Be careful not to point it at your ranged players though.
You'll also want to be careful of the big pull in the gossamer burst, you can use webs or a big move like a heroic leap or demon hunter glide to avoid getting pulled off the edge. You can also position yourself on the rock when the cost member is coming out, and the rock will stop your fall.
If anyone ever gets wrapped up by taking too many stacks of sitting in that web puddle on the ground, you can take these caustic spiderlings and bring them over to where those people are wrapped, and you can kill them there to free them.
In the final phase, when you get to the top platform, he'll jump down, so you'll want to tank him right where he comes down. The pulled in becomes a knockback on this platform, so you'll want to stack up right where he lands. Be aware of suffocating webs, which is the taunt off now in this final phase, as well as repelling burst, which is a push back on everyone. You'll want to be stacked up to get pushed down the platform instead of off the platform.
Also, know that suffocating webs will web wrap you, so you'll want to have a taunt swap there, and also have spiders brought over to clear those players with that swirly. That's it for the spider boss.
The Kurogg encounter takes place in a circular room with four alters, each representing a different elemental force: fire, earth, frost, and lightning. The boss will start in one of these alters and will gain stacks of a corresponding buff depending on which alter he is in. It's important for the tank to minimize the amount of stacks the boss gains throughout the fight by moving him between alters at the right times.
On the heroic difficulty, the tank will need to wait at least 20 seconds before moving between alters to avoid the Primal shift damage event.
When the boss is in the frost alter, it's best to position him in the center of the room. This allows for easy management of the absolute zero soak mechanic and allows for stacked healing. The fire alter requires a different strategy. Here, the tank should stay on one side of the platform to make use of the entire platform during the Syrian Carnage ability, a dance-like mechanic where swirlies spawn under certain players. The tank should also be aware of fire puddles that spawn on ranged DPS and should position them at the back of the platform.
The lightning alter requires the tank to position the boss towards one of the walls to provide space for the raid to deal with the mechanics of the day, such as the lightning crash mechanic and the shocking burst circles.
Finally, when the boss is in the earth alter, the tank should position him in the center of the room. This allows for easy management of the ads that spawn and dodging the donut mechanic.
During the intermission, the tank will also have to deal with the boss' new abilities, such as thundering strike and the tank debuff. It's important for the tank to coordinate with the rest of the raid and use the right abilities to survive these mechanics.
Overall, the Kurogg encounter is a challenging fight that requires the tank to be aware of the boss' position and the corresponding mechanics, as well as effective communication and coordination with the rest of the raid to survive the encounter.
When it comes to Dathia, the fight is relatively straightforward on normal difficulty, but becomes more complex on heroic difficulty. On normal, the main task for the tank is to simply taunt off at three stacks of the big Zephyr slam knockback. This knockback becomes stronger with each stack, so it is important to be aware of this and use knockback prevention or gap closers to return to the platform.
However, on heroic difficulty, the fight becomes more complex as the tank must time sending a tank over to the AD platforms while also managing the stacks of Zephyr slam on the other tank. To handle this, the tank not going to the first platform starts off tanking the boss. Once the tank reaches two stacks, the platform one tank will then taunt off and start getting stacks themselves. At this point, the rule of taunting off at three stacks applies or immediately after returning from the AD platforms.
In terms of the AD platforms themselves, the tank must pick up the AD when it spawns and bring it to the edge to be knocked back onto the platform on normal difficulty. On heroic, the tank must bring the AD to the active platform and kill it while avoiding the Aerial Slash and Volatile Infuser. It is important to kill all of the Thunder callers before killing the Infuser to prevent them from continuing to cast while the group is away on the AD platform.
In addition to managing the AD platforms, tanks must also be aware of the Aerial Buffett attack, which is a large nature hit that occurs when the tank is not within melee range of Dathia. To avoid this, tanks should stay within range of Dathia unless they are able to spell reflect the attack.
Overall, the Dathia fight requires careful coordination and timing between tanks to manage the AD platforms and stacks of Zephyr slam while also positioning themselves correctly to avoid the Aerial Buffett attack.
Now we have Broodkeeper, so how this works on normal and heroic, you'll have one tank on the boss for this entire first phase and one tank on the ads for this entire first phase. So if you're on the boss here, Mortal Stone claws is the kind of taunt off mechanic; it's not really a taunt off mechanic in the first phase here, it's a pretty short duration. It's a big healing reduction on it is what it is, so just be aware for the boss thing you're gonna have that healing reduction on you for a decent amount of time there, just to be careful when it's actually out in the second phase when there's no more ads.
If you're all on the boss, that debuff duration gets doubled, so you are just taunting off whenever that Mortal Stone Clause comes out in the second base. In terms of positioning here, it's mostly centered around The Brood keeper Bond buff; basically if any of the ads are within 50 yards of the boss, they get a big damage buff and they constantly heal, and they have a DR, so basically they're unkillable. So you want to rotate around the room as the boss tank killing eggs, staying away from where the ads spawn. Similarly, the ad tank wants to round up spawns of ads and rotate away from where the boss currently is and towards hopefully where your next ad spawns are coming from.
Know that these ad spawns are completely static; they will not change between polls. So you can take that into account. The ads bonds are also going to be denoted by torches lighting up, well before the orbs actually fall down. So what first happens is the two torches where the ads are spawning light up. Then after that, what happens is the orbs come down where the ads are actually physically going to spawn, and then the ads themselves spawn.
For the add tank, a big portion of your damage is going to be coming from the Proto Drakes; these guys have this chilling tantrum pulsing Frost AOE damage to everyone, as well as this bleed you can see on me right now, this rending bite bleed is the is the biggest portion of your damage intake as this tank, so keep that in mind. Bleeds and magic damage are going to be the biggest portions of your damage intake as this tank. In terms of the other ads, you have the flame reavers here; these guys just spawn a flame Sentry, a kind of spinning flame orb line that you want to be away from. They spawn on players, so note that they just kind of spin, so stay away from those. Then here you'll see an earth Reaver spawn and these guys just have a frontal cone attack that will stun people with tremors, so make sure that's faced away and that you get out of it as well, because you do not want to be stunned either.
In terms of what the boss tank is doing here, you want to take her near a couple of these eggs because two at a time will get empowered by the infusion here of the boss. They'll get rapidly incubated and then the boss will throw down her lightning staff. Usually, the boss tank, as well as one or two other players, are responsible for destroying either two or three of those eggs without laser. See that laser there? It does follow people who use their extra action button underneath the staff and the tank and, like I said, one to two other people are responsible for using that to spawn the laser which follows them and run over the eggs that are empowered with that laser to destroy them before they hatch into more of those Proto welps. Sometimes you do destroy a third egg, and that's mostly to be able to kill all of these eggs.
Next up, let's talk about the second phase of the fight. As soon as all the eggs are destroyed, the ads will no longer have that healing and damage buff so you can bring any remaining adds on top of the boss and cleave them down. This is where the real taunt off mechanic comes into play. The boss will use Mortal Stone Claws on the tank, which is a short duration debuff that reduces healing taken. This debuff duration is doubled if all players are on the boss, so you'll want to taunt off whenever that Mortal Stone Claws comes out.
In terms of positioning, the main thing to keep in mind is to avoid the boss's Thundering Smash ability. This is a frontal cone attack that deals heavy damage and should be faced away from the raid. Additionally, the boss will use a lightning bolt attack that targets a random player, so make sure to have players spread out to avoid taking unnecessary damage.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is to avoid the boss's Electric Pylon ability. These will spawn in the middle of the room and deal heavy damage to anyone who stands in them. Make sure to move the boss away from these pylons and have your raid avoid standing in them.
Lastly, the boss will also use a Chain Lightning ability that targets random players and jumps to anyone within 8 yards of the initial target. This can be difficult to avoid, so make sure to have your raid spread out as much as possible to minimize the amount of people getting hit by this ability.
Overall, the Broodkeeper encounter is a relatively straightforward fight with a lot of adds that need to be dealt with in the first phase, and a boss that needs to be tanked in the second phase. With proper coordination, communication and positioning, this encounter should be a breeze for any raid.
But there we have it, guys—hopefully these tank tips did help you out! And if they did, please don't forget to hit that subscribe button—it's free for you to do, and your support helps me continue to make all of this content. I've got a ton more stuff planned for the next several weeks here, including, as I mentioned, Mythic boss guides as well as high key walkthroughs from a tank's perspective, so be on the lookout for all those videos.
If you have any questions at all regarding the raid, feel free to drop those down in the comments below or come stop by and ask me on my Twitch Channel at Tactics or stream Myth Progression as well as High Keys. Otherwise, thanks everyone for watching, and I'll see you in the next video!