Note: If you're looking for help with Heroic Mechanar, check out my Quick Tips post.
In trying to acquire enough Primal Nether to upgrade my blacksmithing axe(s), I've decided to seek out pickup groups for Heroic instances when we don't have enough guildmembers awake.
Yesterday, I joined one for Mechanar. This was my first trip into the heroic version of this instance, and I was a little apprehensive because I'm Arms-specced (though I've successfully played the role of tank for Heroic Slave Pens in the past) and would be fighting with a group of players that I didn't know. Luckily, the first group member turned out to be Draaco, a rogue that I used to see in the battlegrounds all the time back in the day. After a bit of waiting (the LFG tool can actually work sometimes, though it's often slow going), we filled out our group with a shaman and two mages.
I don't have any epic tanking gear, but it is mostly blue, with a couple of pieces of the 'Bold' plate armor. In my full defense kit, I have 483 defense and about 11k health. I also have a variety of resistance pieces that I swap out as needed, including a full set of Enchanted Adamantine armor, which proved to be especially useful for some encounters.
Things started off well. Having the option to sap as well as sheep two humanoid targets made the blood elves easy pickings. One the mages tended to draw aggro at bad times, but that usually just resulted in him getting killed in three hits. (Important Note for non-tanks: If you're getting pounded, run towards the tank! Running away and making me chase the both of you doesn't help anyone.) The rough parts came when we hit the demons. The big guys weren't so bad (except for those annoying ones that have the various confusion abilities), but the little guys who throw bombs faster than Lindsay Lohan chugs drinks were troublesome. I finally hit on a solution that worked well. I would put on my arcane resistance suit and just try to keep aggro on everyone while the rest of the party killed the little demons fast. This worked especially well when there were three of four of them to a group.
The first two mini-bosses were fairly easy, you just have to remember to move away from the guy with the hammer when he 'raises it threateningly'. The Mechano-Lord Capacitus also turned out to be an easy fight. His only extra trick for heroic mode was that he would occassionally 'charge' the party, some negative, some positive. Opposites need to stay away from each other. As tank, I pretty mucg ignored it except for trying to yell out which way I was charged, which resulted in aggro loss twice. So maybe I should have just stayed focus on the job at hand.
Sepethrea proved to be a tougher customer. She has three of those damned invincible fire elementals. Combined with her frostbrand slowing attack, I found myself having trouble avoiding the flames while keeping her occupied. Putting on some fire resistance helped, but after two wipes, we decided to skip her.
The gauntlet event in the hallway afterwards also got us a couple of times, mainly just due to uncoordination. If I had been with a guild group who knows which targets I like to take down first (mage types), it would have been smoother. But we pushed onwards.
Finally, Pathaleon the Calculator. This encounter proved to be our bane. His elementals that he summons hit for a lot more damage than he does, and we only had my one fear to use on them. We tried a few different tactics but were defeated every time. Finally, one of the mages got frustrated, said that we needed a protection warrior and left the group. Undaunted, we quickly found a replacement (enhancement shaman) and tried again. Our tactic this time was to kill the first wave of elementals, fear the second and try to burn him down as quickly as possible in-between. Our first attempt was again inadequate, as I mostly left the elementals to the rest of the group and focused on the boss. But then I realized that they were probably taking too much damage while dealing with the first wave, so I slapped on my arcane resistance suit and used my challenging shout to keep the first wave on me. This seemed to work well, and we emerged victorious! Even better, I rolled a 100 for the Primal Nether, bringing my total to three (four if I turn in my Badges of Justice). Halfway there!