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Toth = Instadeath for Shadows

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Roles > Tanking
Toth = Instadeath for Shadows

Mule_Skinner's Avatar


Mule_Skinner
02.02.2013 , 08:16 AM | #1
I've tried tanking EC on my shadow a couple of times now, and frankly I'm finding the mechanic on Zorn completely unreasonable.

What it looks like happens is that with no apparent warning (other than the rough health level of the mob I'm tanking), Toth does the jump, I get the debuff, and I die all pretty much simultaneously.

After about the 5th instadeath, I did manage to figure out that just spamming skills on Zorn is Bad. If I do that, I'll often see the switch happening in the middle of an attack, but be powerless to stop the next attack I already have queued up. Bam! ... instadeath.

OK. So no more spamming skills on Zorn. Slow and deliberate. But it doesn't really help much. You see, as a shadow here's my typical skill menu:
Double-Strike (2 hits over about a 1s animation)
Project (1 or 2 hits over about 0.5s)
Saber Strike (3 hits over 1.5s)
Force breach (1 hit at about 0.5s. 15s cooldown)
TK Throw (5 hits over 3 seconds)
Slow Time (2 hits over 1s. Why 2? beats me.)

Notice anything interesting? I only have 1 skill in there that does only a single hit. The instant I get debuffed, I take a bit under 5K damage for each hit, of course. I also only have one skill (fortunately the same one) that doesn't give Zorn an entire second to debuf me after I initiate it. That's also the only skill that doesn't inflict the big hurt on me multiple times if it happens. So I can stop attacking the instant the jump happens, and I'm still quite likely to die. I had at least one death where I was watching Toth closely, but he jumped while my finger was going down on an attack. Zap, dead.

So the only way I've found to deal with Zorn is, after the first few seconds, just stand there like a punching bag. If I'm feeling lucky I can put on a force breach every 15s.

This mechanic is so completely unreasonable that I'm thinking I must be doing something way wrong. How do other shadow/assassin tanks deal with this?

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
02.02.2013 , 10:16 AM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by Mule_Skinner View Post
What it looks like happens is that with no apparent warning (other than the rough health level of the mob I'm tanking), Zorn does the jump, I get the debuff, and I die all pretty much simultaneously.
It's not based on the rough health level. It happens whenever the boss with the lowest hp hits 85%, 65%, 45%, 25%, and 5%. It may not always be the boss you're on that pushes the leap which is why it pays to pay attention. Also, if you can't see your target's hp percentages, there's an option in the UI; just open up the UI customization, select the target information tile, and scroll down to find the option that says "Display Information" (it might not be explicitly that, but it's something similar if it isn't").

Quote:
TK Throw (5 hits over 3 seconds)
Slow Time (2 hits over 1s. Why 2? beats me.)
Tk Throw is only 4 ticks, and Slow Time is only 1 attack. You're probably seeing either of them proc Combat Technique which throws up a second yellow number (but it can proc off of any attack so I've no idea why you're inflating Slow Time and TkT instead of all of them).

Quote:
How do other shadow/assassin tanks deal with this?
I just pay attention. If I'm in a guild run, both sides are calling out the relevant boss hp; when one of them is about to push into a jump, I stop attacking. Even when I don't, it's not like I die mainly because as soon as the leap happens or is about to happen, I target swap in preparation for the leap to occur (so that I can Force Speed and taunt without delay) which has the happy side effect of cancelling your next queued attack. If I'm in a pug run, I just pay attention myself, tab targeting to keep myself abreast of both of their hp percentages. Generally only one of them gets pushed harder than the other and DPS tends to occur in pretty flat rates on the bosses unless your DPS is doing something exceptionally weird so you can generally get a feeling for the amount of time before a jump is about to happen.

I generally reserve Resilience for the channeled scream/stun, but, iirc, the damage dealt by Fearful is F/T based and, as such, is resisted while Resilience is active. If you're really having major problems, just use Resilience right before a jump is going to occur: you'll get to ignore the damage of the leap *and* ignore a couple ticks of Fearful. It's also on a short enough CD that you should have it up for every leap.
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Journeyer's Avatar


Journeyer
02.02.2013 , 10:30 AM | #3
My raid group has 2 shadow tanks--Toth isn't an issue. (In fact, we leave him in Berserk for the whole fight)

That being said, the first few times we fought him, it seemed as though I was simply not able to survive it. (I was on the Zorn side, so I got Toth's first jump and Berserk). Attentiveness, as others have said, is vital here. And communication.

When Toth hits 90, 70, 50, 30, and 10 percent, he jumps. That's going to do a lot of damage to you if you're on Zorn when a flying Drouk lands beside you. So be ready! If your health isn't topped off, as a tank, it's time for defensive cooldowns. You have a bubble, resilience, battle readiness, and *possibly* a clickable relic. You know to stop DPS on Zorn when you get "Fearful" --that should help--and you're hopefully keeping kinetic ward up the whole fight.

Point is, it's *supposed to hit you for ludicrous damage. Because if it didn't then, the healers would be able to massively over-heal the whole raid, negating accidental aoe damage taken, etc. You could breeze through the fight and be sloppy.

The fight makes you, as a tank, search for a cooldown rotation to help your healers, and it's up to your healers to zerg-heal you on the jumps, and it's up to the dps to avoid damage from fearful, the scream, and the red circles in order to help the heals. Oh, and--switch bosses--that's happening, right? On the jump, each tank taunts the opposite boss. Because one you get the fearful debuff, you can't hit Zorn for 40 seconds without killing yourself.

Like a team fight! Coordination is definitely key here--we call our 92%, 90% jump! Every time.
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Darth_Dreselus's Avatar


Darth_Dreselus
02.02.2013 , 10:43 AM | #4
I think you got the bosses mixed up. Toth is the one that jumps and Zorn gives you the fearful, attacking Toth does not reflect any damage.

Regardless, I had problems with this fight on Vanguard and would die on switches. From looking at my logs it turns out that I get fearful a GCD before Toth jumps and I would almost always use Hammer Shot right as Toth jumped and get 4-6 attacks reflected back. Easy way to fix is just stop attacking when they are about to switch, just call out those percentages. Alternatively do not wait for Toth's jump, keep an eye on Zorn, he plays a shriek animation, all DoTs get cleansed and you get a debuff, this is the time to stop attacking, moments later Toth will jump.
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Talonwk's Avatar


Talonwk
02.02.2013 , 11:45 AM | #5
The jumps happen at 89%, 69%, 49%,29%, and 9% The only time you should get fearful is if you are tanking Zorn and Toth jumps to you. You know when to stop doing damage abilities because Zorn will do a scream that signals Toth to jump. Something that also may be your problem is your healers are not cleansing the stackable DoT (Mental Anguish I believe its called) that is placed on the Zorn side. This DoT does a lot of damage and grows the longer that it is not cleansed. As someone else has mentioned force shroud is your best friend and it will completely negate all of Zorns damage as well as the AoE jump smash that Toth does.

If the tanks are communicating the HP percentages and you should have no problem knowing when the jump is happening and be able to stop attacking for 2-3 seconds before the switch.
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Mule_Skinner's Avatar


Mule_Skinner
02.02.2013 , 11:45 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Darth_Dreselus View Post
I think you got the bosses mixed up. Toth is the one that jumps and Zorn gives you the fearful, attacking Toth does not reflect any damage.
Ah yes. I'll go back and fix that.

Quote:
Alternatively do not wait for Toth's jump, keep an eye on Zorn, he plays a shriek animation, all DoTs get cleansed and you get a debuff, this is the time to stop attacking, moments later Toth will jump.
OK, I can try that. Are you sure the two are tied? Eventually (after about the 10th wipe last night) I got into a rhythm where I could predict very roughly when the jump was imminent, but that was entirely based on the DPS others were putting out. With a different group the timing would probably not be the same.

Still, the solution I eventually hit on was just not attacking with anything other than force breach, and slow time after the first half of the DPS cycle on him, for safety's sake.

Mule_Skinner's Avatar


Mule_Skinner
02.02.2013 , 12:02 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
Tk Throw is only 4 ticks, and Slow Time is only 1 attack. You're probably seeing either of them proc Combat Technique which throws up a second yellow number (but it can proc off of any attack so I've no idea why you're inflating Slow Time and TkT instead of all of them).
Ah yes, that's almost certainly it.

Which means that something simple like double-strike or project could even hit 3 times, for 15K damage to me. That explains a lot.

Botho's Avatar


Botho
02.02.2013 , 12:08 PM | #8
As many have said, when Toth jumps to you while your tanking Zorn, you get fearfull which will kill you if you keep hitting Zorn. Usually It's just a good idea to have the tanks call the %, its 90% then every 20% down to 10% for the last one altho It's usually delayed a little. One usefull thing to remember is Toths jump can hurt a bit but can be resisted by Resilliance so if you pop it on the mark 90/70/50 when your tanking Zorn only ofc you can skip a fairly big whack to your hp.

Chaqen's Avatar


Chaqen
02.02.2013 , 12:30 PM | #9
As someone else mentioned, Zorn will do fearful right before Toth jumps; you have to keep an eye on your debuffs and pay attention to when you get fearful, tab target to pick up Toth wait half a second (time it taks for Toth to jump) and taunt.

You should never be below 60% life if you have a competent healer on this fight, even if your other tank is crap and slow on taunting Zorn, you should be fine.
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KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
02.02.2013 , 04:35 PM | #10
It's all been said, but I'll say it again. The jumps are every 20% after the first boss hits 90% (practically speaking, Toth is almost always going to be ahead, so go off his HP). Have someone calling out percentages, especially close to the trigger points. If you have an experienced tank on Toth, they can generally give you a 2-3 second warning every time Toth leaps to Zorn. When the leap is getting nigh, be extra vigilant. Don't use Telekinetic Throw (even if you have 3 stacks) at that point, and be careful with Project and Double Strike (you shouldn't be using Double Strike anyway). Zorn will scream less than a second before the jump, and this scream is what applies Fearful. Hit your Resilience the *instant* this happens. This will not only protect you from any reflected flurry damage (e.g. Saber Strike) but will also completely negate the damage from Toth's leap, remove Mental Anguish (if your healer forgot to cleanse it) and give you 5 seconds of immunity from the Fearful DoT during the most healing intensive spurt of the fight.

Shadows are hardly gimped on this fight. Quite the contrary: I think shadows have this fight *easiest* of all three tanks. Our "inverse gap closer" allows us a degree of mobility during the tank swaps which is unparalleled. Guardian Leap comes close, but it's pretty difficult to use and generally not as snappy as Force Speed (meaning the swaps take extra time). Resilience allows us to negate the highest spike damage in the fight, and our self-heal and internal resistance gives us substantially more (read: >25%) survivability against Zorn than any other tank. Oh, and if you're doing Nightmare Mode, you can use Force Cloak to reset your medpack on your first Toth jump (when you're tanking Toth and he leaps away), bypassing the mechanic designed to remove it from the fight.

All in all, you have to work at it a bit, but shadows can achieve phenomenal results as tanks on this fight. You just have to play it correctly. :-)
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