Friday, January 6, 2012

How to get into the guild you want

If you follow this post in detail, ad nauseum, to the "T," I 'guarantee' you'll get into the guild of your dreams!
*TM money back guarantee honored if receipt is provided in person

There have been plenty of posts out there in the blogosphere about how to get into a guild. I've even blogged about it before myself. Why am I posting on this topic?

Because I want to!

I was recently thinking about how happy I am with my current guild and how 'lucky' I was to get into it.
Luck had little to do with it.
If you want to get into a good guild, it's going to take some work.
But I can tell you that once I've decided I want in, I'm Getting In, Dammit!

So, take a seat because this post is going to get pretty long.

Decide what you are looking for in a guild.
Before putting in the time to create your application, you've got some homework to do first.
So, list what you want from a guild, and prioritize.

Here's what my 'wish list' looked like - roughly in order - of what I wanted:
-Raids after 8:30 pm PST
-Raids no more than 3 nights a week (preferably two)
-Progresses reasonably well. In my case my criteria at the time was that they were clearing Firelands normal and started on Heroic Modes (I'd never even seen FL).
-25-man raiding
-Guild values maturity. I personally can't stand guilds full of /general channel trolls, rascist/sexist jerks, or run around saying how awesome they are and everyone else on the server sucks.
-Needs a dps DK

The latter two weren't dealbreakers for me, but it definitely helps your chances if they need the class/spec you have to offer, and it helps your wallet/rp values to stay the faction you started with. I ended up with all of the above except staying Alliance. I nearly caved and applied to some 10-man guilds but was able to find a 25-man guild that met my needs and happily was accepted there.

So, you need to know what you're looking for before beginning your search. Do try to keep some realism in play here - if you've never raided hardcore, apping to the World #1 guild is probably an extreme longshot. Otherwise, the sky is the limit.

Decide what guild(s) you want to apply to.
This may sound easy, but it's not.
Spend some time on the internet researching guilds that meet your criteria. If one of your values was staying on the same server, you may look in /general, /trade, or /guild recruitment channels in game.
Otherwise, you'll be looking at the official wow guild recruitment forums. Literally thousands of guilds post their interest there, so it's a wealth of potential guilds. I look for threads that suggest what Iooking for: "Late Night PST guild" is a decent start. "Late Night (pst) guild LF DK for HM progression, 2/8" is better, but feel free to look at every thread on the offchance they may be what you want. You can create a brief thread of your own, but I prefer not to do so. Still, guild recruiters do sometimes respond to those and I've even found a few possibles myself looking at responses to player posts.
Other places to look for guilds: Elitist Jerks has recruitment forums and the guilds that usually post there are typically fairly well-established, progression-minded groups. On the other hand, not nearly as many guilds post there. Still, it's worth a look. Looking For Guild I believe still has some current guild postings, or you could try Wow Lemmings. You can certainly Google the main things you're looking for and sometimes hit on recruitment forums or even specific guild forums directly.
Not even.
Build a list of guilds you're interested in. It should be several - if not 10 or more - guilds long. I actually create a folder in my browser and put the links to all of them there. Go to their forums. Read their 'before you apply' and 'about this guild' posts. You want to know what they're about. If they're what you're looking for. And of course, if you're what they're looking for as well.
Done now?
Next,  I read their application form and start thinking about how I might fill it out, but before I do, I look to see what previous applicants have written and more importantly, what responses they've received. A few guilds have fully private apps which sucks. Otherwise though, it can be very telling which applications were well-received and which ones were declined. Study that, and learn from your predecessors' successes and failures.
Find a few that get you excited? Great!
Let's get started Finally!
One caveat: I recommend that you apply to one guild at a time. If you're too impatient, you may choose to apply to multiple guilds, but it's generally a good idea to let them know you're also apping elsewhere (Good Form, Peter - but also if they find out and you haven't told them they probably won't be pleased).

Writing your application.
  A: Obtain the guild's required form
Some guilds have an online fill-in-the-blanks form (guildomatic, etc), some will have very specific questions, and some simply say: "convince us to accept you." Read their instructions carefully. I can't tell you how many rejected applications I've seen that were simply due to ignored instructions. If they tell you to include a WOL parse (World of Logs), then include one! If you can't, at least explain why you can't - DON'T ignore it.
  B. Fill out the application in detail.
Answer EVERY QUESTION. I even like to answer questions they don't ask - as you'll see on my most recent successful app below. I've never seen an app rejected simply because it was too long.
  C. DO
Be polite, check your work (I write my apps in Word so I can edit and spellcheck first before I paste into their forums), research your answers, use humor carefully, sound confident yet humble :), get fancy with colors, demonstrate your knowledge of your class, be honest, be earnest.
  D. DON'T
Be a jerk or arrogant, say you'll 'pwn' their meters if accepted, use leetspeak, use poor grammar, leave questions blank, Write ONE LONG PARAGRAPH, show your lack of class/spec knowledge, try to hide a spotty gear/spec setup, try to hide a past of guild-hopping or trolling forums/chat, give one-word answers, be dishonest, or expect that saying you 'were a hardcore raider in BC' will earn you anything. This list could go on and on.

At this point, let me offer a few examples of poor applications. I'm stealing all of these from fairly well-known and successful guild's site(s) (not my own) and obscuring only identifying information. Since this information is in the public domain, I have no problems stealing it.


I was a hardcore raider back in BC and WotLK. Between the time of Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader our guild lost raiding motivation. I played casually into Cataclysm but never raided anything. I took a break from WoW to get my life on track. Now I feel confident that I can balance college, work, and WoW.
Link to armory page: XXXXXXXXXXXXX
I am able to play Arms, and Tank. Both my sets are geared for DS. I am currently learning to master the fury-titans grip spec.
I am seeking a guild that is laid back but fun to get along with. I think having fun while raiding is very important. I am seeking a guild that understands what a life is and that it comes first over everything. I am currently on the Bloodhoof server, but I am willing and able to transfer.
Thank you for your time."
That's the whole application. All of it. It does not tell you anything about how the person is as a raider, nor does it tell you much about the person except to suggest that he/she is lazy.
1) What class do you play?
Surv Hunter
Response: "With our current roster there is zero chance of bringing in a hunter. Sorry."

Problem here? Their app was ok, but they proceeded to apply despite no vacancy in the guild recruitment post. Some guilds will post that they are always willing to accept exceptional applicants, but in practice, if they're full of a spec, it's very difficult to get in despite that. Not impossible, just very difficult. Your best bet at that point is to either: 1) get a current guild member to vouch for you, 2) accept a friends/family invite and hope to get a benchwarmer spot, 3) Have a truly stellar app, or 4) all of the above

1) What class do you play?

Holy Pally
(snip for demonstration purposes)
12) Are there any members that can vouch for you?

IDK nvr looked

Response 1: "3 unenchanted items. 3 Int/Crit gems. 2 Int/Mastery gems but you are reforging away from mastery. Power Torrent instead of Heartsong. Yellow gem in a red socket. Ember meta instead of Burning. Purple gem in a prismatic socket, and another bad yellow gem in another prismatic socket. 2 points in Blessed life. Only 2 Morchok normal kills, while we are working on heroic DS.

I would suggest reading before trying to app to another guild.
App declined due to inexperience and gems/enchants/spec."

App response: "lol...gems and chants can be fixed in 2 for some of what you said....IF U READ WHAT U TOLD ME TO READ...playstyle really ....what works for u ,don't work for everyone. yes 3 items unchanted that i can fix EVERYTHING a arguement of playstyle. as far what i have done and not that i can not fix so easily....thank u for your time and best wishes....try a positive approach u will get farther.. i'm a good healer and a quick study. but,huh better luck next time lol"

Response 2: ""What works for you won't work for everyone"
This is true, however if you want to stick to a certain playstyle you should be consistent about it. What you did isn't a certain playstyle, it is arbitrarily picking whatever gem suits your fancy, or whatever reforge. You didn't put time into your toon, to optimize or to learn how to be the best you can be. I don't have to be nice when you don't put any effort in."

Problem(s) here? Application was very brief, and demonstrated lack of effort (IDK if there are any members he knows). The officer reviewed the links the applicant did provide and commented on his poor gemming/reforging. The applicant was defensive and critical. When a guild provides feedback, feel free to defend yourself gently and with supporting evidence, but don't ever tell them they're wrong.
Most Importantly, Your application must prove you are a good player. DO research your class even before you apply (I didn't mention this earlier, because you should do it before you even look for a guild). Make sure you have the right enchants/gems/reforges, that your spec is 'right' given your role, etc.
If you're using heartsong on a crappy weapon, respond that you were saving for getting a better weapon before using power torrent, but you WILL put power torrent on that weapon if desired by the guild. When the guild reviews your armory, you want them to nod and say that you clearly know what you're doing. When they look at your WOL parses (provided you have them) you want them to be happy with what you see. If you don't know these things, take the time to research them on Elitist Jerks, any other applicable sites, and ask friends/guildies about them before trying to get into a new guild.

Ok, what about a reasonably good app? Well, here I'll link mine because it got me into my current guild despite severe gear and experience gaps. You CAN get into your guild of choice, but having excellent gear with the correct setup and spec will help tremendously. It's definitely TLDR: but I'll comment on the app at the bottom if you don't want to read it and just skim down:

Casual Corps App

Name: Hinenuitepo

Level: 85

Class: DK

Race: Worgen

Please take the time to answer these questions in detail. This is your opportunity to sell us on you. Generally answers should not simply be "Yes" or "No".

1. Provide a link to the Armory profile for your character. Since the armory can be unreliable, please also link both the talent spec you'd raid with and your current dual spec. PLEASE STAY LOGGED OUT IN YOUR MAIN SPEC AND RAID GEAR. Caveat #1: I am coming back from a 7-month ‘retirement’ from Wow, so my gear and character don’t look at that great at first blush. Yeah, I know. >.> Obviously, I’m apping for a server transfer, and would (for the first time ever) faction transfer as well if accepted. http://xxxxx/. Unholy main spec:, Blood Lichborne offspec: Of course, right now Frost DW is fotm and while I prefer unholy I’m willing to give frost a shot.

2. Do you have any other characters you play regularly? If, so please list them (Name, Class, Guild, and Armory Link). If you don't disclose them here, we'll assume you're hiding something. Hinetitama, Shaman, unaffiliated http://us.hinetitama/; when I feel like healing a bit I hop on her. My only other 85 at the moment, as I quit playing not long after Cataclysm came out. In the past, I’ve played a number of other chars. Level 80s: Hirohubris (rogue), Hinemanu (hunter), Annunakis (DK). I have several other 60+ alts but not sure if I’d be playing them much at this point.

3. What time zone are you in? Are you available during our primary raid time? (8:50pm-12am server time, Wednesday and Sunday.) Will running late be a problem for you? How much are you likely to play outside of our primary 25-man raid times? I live in XXXXXX(PST). Your raid times are ideal as I play after the fam is tucked in. It’s conceivable I might be late very occasionally, although it should be very rare. In considering returning to Wow, I made a decision to make every effort to limit my outside of raid times. Short answer: only as much as is required to keep my consumables stocked and any initial rep grinds/point runs needed to prepare for raids. Permit me a short digression here. I’ve been playing Wow since Jan 2007. I was introduced to the game while (snip for excessive personal content) I pushed my DK as far as I could, regularly putting out first-page WOL parses and even starting a DK-centric blog ( I earned my first legendary – Shadowmourne - and had a lot of fun, but eventually the 4 late nights a week coupled with still playing 25-plus hours a week took a toll and a couple months into Cata I decided it was time to move on. Familiar story, right? After my 7 months off I’m still finding I miss the game and reactivated my account. There is no question I can perform at a very high level. I love to theorycraft, I study all the fights, and generally do whatever it takes to min-max my role as a raider. The question is, can I balance RL demands with raiding? Casual Corps looks like the perfect fit for me. Raiding – with what sounds like a mature, focused group – two nights a week = perfection. I’ll still log on enough to be raid-ready each night, but otherwise don’t plan to spend a whole lot of time online. If CC wants a raider who will come in, do whatever it takes to complete an encounter, but doesn’t expect him to be online all the time, I think we’d be a great match.

4. Please list your recent guilds and your reason for leaving them. Please include all of the guilds you've been a member of during this expansion. I was in Insomnia of Baelgun for most of LK and early Cata. I left the game because of burn out and too many hours required. Insomnia has apparently dropped to a 10-man guild with a 4-day schedule still, so I don’t intend to go back to them, although we’re still on friendly terms and I’m sure they’d take me back if I were willing.

5. What in-game activities do you partake in regularly (Raiding, PVP, Farming, Annoying people, Collecting Twill…) and what do you hope to find in Casual Corps to support these interests? Raiding is why I play the game. Additionally, I farm and play the AH. I NEVER grief or waste my time in /general and find the immaturity of most /general communities annoying and simply a waste of time. In the past I’ve levelled alts or done pvp, which I do enjoy but don’t anticipate doing as much in my return. As mentioned above, CC appears to be a focused raid group; perfect!

6. Do you have a functional microphone for use with Ventrilo, and are you able to use it quickly during combat as required? Yes

7. How much latency do you normally play with? What FPS? Do you crash or disconnect during raids? Around 100ms, about 30-50 fps, but never have problems with aoe-heavy fights. I almost never crash or d/c, but if I do, it’s thanks to our friends at Comcast. As I submit this, I’ll be creating a couple level 1 alts to see how I do with your server and to hold my name(s) for me.

8. Do you have any previous experience with members of Casual Corps? How did you find out about us? None: I’d be transferring if accepted. I saw your post in EJ’s /LFG. I had three criteria in looking for a guild: 1) competent raiders, 2) compatible raid times/lower hours total raiding (w/ decent progression), 3) mature individuals who aren’t continually posting that they ‘roll deep.’ It appears that CC is an ideal match from what I can see.

9. What Add-ons do you use while raiding? What raid frames do you use? Do you use an add-on for debuff monitoring, etc? This is your chance to explain how you utilize your UI elements to be an effective raider. Please provide a screenshot of your UI in-combat during a raid. I use DBM, Power Auras, DKI Runes, Omen, Recount, Tiny Melee Stats, IceHud, Grid, OneBag, SpartanUI, and a few others that don’t do much during raids. As far as debuffs applicable to DKs, Grid can be configured to do what I need. Essentially, I try to find the balance between keeping the screen as free of clutter as possible so I can see the fire to avoid, but enough information to ensure I do the best job I can. IceHud, for example, puts my health in big bold colors so I can see when I need to not tunnel-vision on dps and take care of myself. TMS tells me when to use my cooldowns optimally (when procs will optimally buff my gargie), Grid lets me brez if needed, general raid awareness, and debuffs, etc. I’m no purist – addons are ftw. I’m always open to new/improved addons that will help me do my job(s) better. Meh, here’s what I was able to dig up in terms of old screenies: http://imageshack...jpg/ & http://imageshack.jpg & http://imageshack..jpg and here’s a couple of ones since my return. I haven’t been in any raids yet but will get them to you if you want them and I can get in any (I was in BWD a week or so after Cata release downing bosses in my heroic blues, but two groups last night wouldn’t take me since my gear is sub-360).

10. Please give a brief description of your main spec gear (list the unbuffed stats pertinent to your class and spec) and your dual spec gear. Is your dual spec raid-ready? Explain why you've chosen the gear you're wearing, and how you've come to select it. If you have weaknesses in your gear, explain why, and what you hope to do about it. Please include Glyphs. As you can see from my armory, I’m primarily 359 geared, which as previously mentioned is due to quitting back in January. Therefore, my gear has lots of weaknesses. I actually explained my upgrade strategy in one of my last blog posts if you’re interested lol, but in general I’d go for ilevel upgrades first, try to get an early set bonus, and then try to get items that will have a longer shelf life before filling in the blanks. I’m upgrading fast now and spent the extra gold I had lying around to purchase a few upgrades to help me get caught up. My biggest weak spots are my blues that are harder to replace out of raids (head/wrists etc). In general both frost and unholy dps stat priorities are pretty simple: Str -> Str -> Str -> hit to cap -> haste -> mastery -> crit -> expertise, with expertise having relatively more weight for frost due to DW. Given that frost is currently predominant, I’ll be working on 1H weapon upgrades. I have a soul blade, but need at least one decent OH from one of the troll heroics. I’ll keep upgrading as much as I can, but I’m not particularly keen in joining BWD pugs and spending hours wipefesting with incompetent raiders. I’d definitely much rather join an established raid guild for additional gearing if at all possible. In any case, I’m first and foremost a dps DK. I’ve long preferred the unholy playstyle to dpsing any other way, but I’ve raided as blood (back in the day) and frost. The pendulum swings, and I often follow it. The Frost rotation is actually fairly simple right now and I’m more than capable of running it, but I’d rather see if I can get a shot/permission to run unholy. Like BRK in his Cata raiding return and ‘proving’ he can rock the BM spec, I think I’d be able to demonstrate my raid-worthiness as unholy, but could always go Frost if needed. I know you recently listed your preference for a tank. I’ll be honest. I won’t be happy as a full-time tank in perpetuity, but have raided as a main tank from time to time when one was needed (while a replacement was being recruited) and my off-spec is typically tankie/Blood. My raid off-spec gear is sad at the moment, having prioritized dps gear and not playing very long in Cata. That being said, I’m willing to fill in as a tank as needed and to OT whenever an encounter calls for it. I’d consider myself a moderately proficient tank in terms of raids – I’ve tanked most heroic LK raids (and all the normal ones) for example. In terms of glyphs, my preferences for unholy are pretty standard: Death Coil, Scourge Strike, Raise Dead, AMS, Pestilence, Blood Boil, Blood Tap, HOW, Death’s Embrace.

11. What consumables do you use while raiding? I’m partial to beer basted crocolisk, but I’ll sneak in the occasional fortune cookie – gotta watch my figure though! I generally keep lots of Flasks of Titanic Strength and/or Golemblood Potions on hand. If expected to tank, I’d make sure to have my alternate foods/flasks/potions on hand as well (Ironically, avoidance > stam for now).

12. Please provide combat log parses for at least two recent raids ( preferred.). Parses from when I was raiding with Insomnia are all old they’ve expired . Not sure how I can provide a parse for you at this point. I can put up a few screenies which as we know are much less meaningful but perhaps better than nothing (see screens in ui section). If you want some ‘proof’ of my current raid competence let me know how I can do that and I’ll do my best.

13. Describe your raiding experience with this character and any other characters. Ooh, a question I could write a book about (please don’t, Hine)! I first started raiding on my rogue in BC at the tail end of T4. I loved getting up close and personal with the boss and slashing away. I have to be honest, I’ve loved topping the meters and endeavour to do so whenever I can. I learned early on, though, that a dead rogue does no damage and gradually got better at living to see the boss die. As the DK has matured as a class, I’ve become content with hybrid roles at times (such as controlling adds on Magmaw, etc). I’ve raided every boss in the game through LK and the first few bosses in Cata (I think we were around 7/12 in mid-January when I left). I’ve raided primarily on my DK and rogue, although I’ve spent time on my shammy (resto) and lock as well. Having played every role possible from healer to tank to ranged to melee, I admit my first love and last love remains melee dps. In general regarding Wow, I know we’ve all felt it, but there’s nothing like facing a challenging encounter, wiping but learning, and eventually defeating the boss!

14. Describe your favorite raid encounter in detail. Explain the mechanics of the fight, and your role in it. Wow, there are so many… well, I guess a few of the early Cata fights were fun, and I REALLY look forward to Rag, I’d say for now it was probably Lich King. As a dps we’d run in and NOT hit the boss until he was in position (lol), then focus on single target burn while keeping a disease up on the ghouls and running to the Horror tank when plagued. Dance outside the ring. Focus raging spirits down. Run back in, spread diseases to LK. Switch to designated Valkyr and burn/slow the Valk, being careful to bunch up when called, then spread out. Hit boss, avoid defiles, kill vile spirits (usually was able to spread diseases to them if times right), rinse repeat. 10%, profit! I still remember the euphoria of the raid on that first kill. 

15. Describe the most personally demanding encounter that you have learned. What made this demanding? How did you overcome the challenge? Honestly, I think the most demanding ever was Archimonde which I did on my rogue. There was so little margin for error with the loss of one raider starting the domino effect of a wipe so easily. Having to carefully slowfall when booted, avoiding that nasty fire (especially when disoriented), and so on! For me personally, and for raids in general, I think that’s when warcraft raiders started learning how to put together multiple fight elements, survival in tension with dps, and overall encounter complexity, and we’ve only seen it increase from there!

16. What does your ideal raid night look like? A night with enough difficult fights that you wipe until everyone focuses, learns their role, and nails it! A night with everyone focused but still loose enough to joke about the occasional fail. A night where at least one new boss goes down, but there’s some farming fun in there as well. A night in which that guildie (or myself) finally gets that hard to get drop and the loot gods smile on us. A night where we get that achievement/title we can proudly wear in Stormwind/Ironforge (er, sorry, Alliance habits die hard. I mean, Ogrimmar! FTH! ).

17. What can spoil the fun of a raid night for you? If normally consistent raiders no-show and we can’t take on that planned new raid encounter. If some guildie gets a stick up their butt and makes it miserable for everyone. A night where we’re not focused and continue to make the same mistakes over and over. I suppose, patch night as well…..

18. Can you take sharp verbal feedback during a raid, and respond to it in a positive and productive way? Absolutely. I’m not perfect and I always appreciate constructive criticism so I can get better.

19. What do you do to prepare for progression content? How much do you rely on leadership to explain what to do? On progression, I make sure all my gear is as good as possible, I have my buff foods/materials, I’m focused, and ready to go. I read up on the fight and watch video if possible. I admit, I learn best by doing, so it usually takes me a few attempts to get the picture on how the fight goes, but from there I’m usually golden. It’s always helpful to have designated people calling things out or marking them, but having filled that role myself at times, I’m usually heads up enough to not need much direction. No, you won’t have to tell me to run out for my seed on Staghelm – more than once ;)

20. What community websites do you read or participate in? EJ, TankSpot, MMO-champ, World of Logs, Wowhead, Mr Robot Pwnwear and quite a few more blogs and sites. I’m not at all fond of the official forums.

21. Do you have a 2 minute PVP trinket? Yes, and I’m not afraid to use it.

22. How old are you? XX

23. Do you live with your parents? No

24. Is there anyone other than yourself that can prevent you from making raids? It’s possible the wife or kids may need me, but the point of late night raids is to avoid this. In years of doing late night raids, I can’t think of a single time I missed a full raid due to family issues. I think I missed one or two due to a friend being in town, but those were th/fri/sat raids, which CC doesn’t have.

25. Our reputation is very important to us. Your past and present actions create the external image of our guild. Are you the type of person that ends up involved in a lot of in-game drama, trash talking, etc? Do you understand that we have a very low tolerance for this type of behavior? I’ve been in good guilds, and not so good guilds. There’s always at least a few idiots in every one of them. I can generally tolerate that stuff, but if CC prioritizes mature, adult behaviour and can get your members to avoid the idiocy of /general or official forums, icing on the cake, baby.

26. What Else? Define yourself. I’m a highly competitive person which has suited me well in raiding, but has occasionally lead to imbalance in my wow play vs real life. I intend to do better this time around and I hope this guild will be the panacea for it. I’m a busy guy with lots of RL stuff going on; I have a doctoral degree and run a clinic for my day job. I play soccer in a 20-something league twice a week. My family is very important to me. Of lesser, but not negligible importance, are: friends, reading, beer, watching sports, and other various and sundry pursuits.

27. ***BONUS*** How do you feel the introduction of gearscore has affected the community? Obviously there has been a brouhaha about this since the first GS addon became available. I’m more pro-GS than some haters I suppose. Granted, a high GS proves nothing about skill, but when looking to pug a group or attempt a boss with strangers, GS at least tells you if the person’s gear is likely to be sufficient to be successful. It also suggests (but does not guarantee) experience with raiding and a certain level of content. Obviously, on the other hand, it’s to be taken with several huuuge grains of salt as it doesn’t tell you if the person is talented, a team player, or simply any good. It doesn’t even tell you if they are wearing deodorant. So, buyer beware. In regards to effect on the community, it’s obviously lead to frequent snobbery and not allowing people in raids that probably would do fine, and lots of rancor on both sides, but them’s the breaks. If a raid leader is cobbling together a team and won’t take anyone below a 380 GS, I probably wouldn’t enjoy running with them anyway. The irony of this question isn’t lost on me, as my primary job on this app is to convince you to overlook my low GS and see me as worth a /ginvite. ;)

***DOUBLE BONUS*** Why would you pick up Hine as a raider when he hasn’t played in eons and his gear is so far behind and he hasn’t raided Firelands at all? I’ve read a lot of apps over the years. I know many guilds would look at my app and say: ‘the dude is articulate and talks a good game, but we really don’t need a DK right now,’ or: ‘we really want raiders who are geared and know the fights.’ I think I’ve already made the case that I’ve played this game for many years and know how it works and how maximize my contribution as a raider. I’ve been back a week and am already dramatically better geared than I was a few days ago; I’ll gear up fast. I’m willing to wait for a spot in the right guild (and I’d really prefer it to be yours) that I feel is a good fit for both myself and the guild. I’ll bring maximum raid performance, focused attention and attendance, and ‘good guildie’ behaviour/zero drama. I would expect if given a shot to most likely be sat on progression fights until my gear/experience catches up, although I’d be more than happy to contribute my best whenever called on. Eventually (very soon) though, I’m confident you’d find me worth keeping in on every progression fight where the Blizzard gods haven’t created a melee hell.

Thanks for taking the time to consider my app. I hope you’re willing to consider inviting me to your team and giving me a shot.

Ok, looking at this app (mine) It's obvious that a lot of time went into writing it. It portrays someone who's willing to expend considerable energy in preparing an application - probably someone who'd be willing to contribute to the guild as well. I posted considerable information about my class to demonstrate my knowledge of the class and ability to access current information about how to play it. I polished it as much as I could to demonstrate my ability to use the English language and a sense of humor as well. I answered every question in detail and especially anticipated those that demonstrated weakness to try to answer why despite some of my shortcomings I felt I would be able to contribute. I wouldn't expect every applicant to fill out an application in this detail, but a highly motivated one (such as myself), trying to convince a guild to take me, yes, it does nothing but help.
Bottom line: Guilds are looking at applications to give them enough information to make a decision about whether they want you in their guild. And what do they want? An applicant who is skilled, dependable, mature (usually), and hardworking. If you can convince them of these four things and they have room for you, you're in.
Good luck with your search for a guild!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hine Is BACK (Sort of)

This post is a personal update and in no way implies a return to DK blogging.... (sorry)

After taking over 7 months off and not touching the game, I found that I continued to miss the it. I stayed in touch with some of my in-game friends, read forums, and otherwise continued to maintain interest in Wow. I also didn't really have anything else hold my interest or fill my late-night time in a way that Wow did, so I decided to try playing again - on an even more limited schedule.

Several of the reasons I left in the first place have not changed, so playing 40 hours a week remains a Very Bad Idea.

I found a incredible guild that raids 6 hours a week yet still progresses (according to WowProgress, after our H Baleroc kill we were top-40 worldwide for guilds that raid 1-2 nights a week), has great people, and a good schedule.

When I came back, I didn't start blogging again for several reasons - which all still apply today.
1. I'm not sure I want or am able to devote the time and energy to Wow overall to also write a blog.
2. There's a lot of good resources out there. There are a couple of very good blogs on DKs, Elitist Jerks is a great place for theorycrafting (and #Acherus although I don't really go there), and sites like WOL and RaidBots provide a wealth of information for the performance-minded DK. Not sure what I'd contribute at this point.
3. I 'wasn't myself' when I returned - it had been over 7 months. My gear was way behind, Firelands was well in progress and I'd never seen any of it, and I had computer problems holding me back (turns out my MBP wasn't that great for raiding after all). Additionally, I found I 'had' to play frost which I've discovered/confirmed that I really don't like and am not good at (I didn't get ranked on any fight until this week when I went unholy on Baleroc N during our achievement run).

So, the bottom line is, Yes, Hine is back in Wow, playing DK. I'm loving it so far (although Skyrim is a very compelling diversion at the moment) and having fun. I've maintained a reasonable balance with time/energy invested, and feel like I can continue playing long enough to probably make an annual pass worthwhile.

I may or may not do any more blogging, and even if I do, it will likely be more sporadic, and probably more 'personal' rather than focused on optimizing DK play.

Thanks for the well-wishes in the interim, and hope you are all enjoying Wow, and DK-ing (and yay for 4.3 buffs!!!).


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Sorry all that I have to post this, but:
Due to a variety of personal, professional, and medical reasons, I've had to take a hiatus from raiding.
I don't have an eta on my return.
Given that this is a raiding-DK-centric blog, it's doubtful that I'll be posting until/if I return to raiding.

I'll miss it, big time, but for now will have other priorities.

Cheers to all and thanks for reading.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

So I've started raiding: How do I bid on gear?

I'm assuming you've looked at the generally accepted 'BIS' (best in slot lists) posted on Elitist Jerks (if not, check them out here - Frost and Unholy).
So, now you know what to bid on, right?

Actually, it's not that simple.

While the systems vary, almost any loot rules in any raiding guild are built around one primary principle; fairly distribute loot. DUH! Which means, you won't get every single melee/plate dps item that drops. DUH, again! Which means, you'll have to pick and choose what to bid on, prioritizing how best to improve your overall performance as a dps DK. DUH, thrice!

Still, let's think about this for a moment.
What should you do when that lovely shiny purp drops from Magmaw? Bid? Or not?
And how should I spend my Valor Points?
Where does all the other stuff (rep, professions, boe etc) fit in?

I'll share a few ideas, but I'm sure there will be as many different approaches to gear decisions as there are raiding DKs. I DO have a few principles/guidelines that I hope are fairly clear and will make my own (if nobody else's) bidding decisions easier and more efficient/effective.

1. Melee/Plate DPS gear of the same tier is more similar than it is different due to the wonders of reforging. While some pieces are clearly better than others, even the presence of a 'bad' stat isn't as bad as it seems, since you can often reforge much of it away. Example: I bought the Hyjal exalted tank cloak, but reforged dodge to hit. It was a big upgrade over my 333 blue cloak.

2. Think long term. When you have the luxury, pick items that will last you longer.

3. Above all, UPGRADE FIRST, then go for BIS.

Example time:
Last night on Throne of the Four Winds (or, as we call it, ...Of the Monkey Raid) a plate belt dropped. The mystery stats were haste and crit - actually pretty good! My fellow dps DK bid on it, but I did not.
Why not? It would have been a very good item, almost BIS. I didn't bid on it, though, because I already have the Hyjal exalted belt. If I were to have bid on it, and won, I would have lost points, or priority, or my list position, or whatever it is that my guild uses to determine who gets the next epic. And if a nice set of bracers dropped next, I wouldn't be able to get them, even though my 346 blues aren't looking so impressive any more.
Bottom line is; don't bid on a 359 upgrade when you already have a 359 item, yet. Once you have full or nearly-full 359, feel free to bid on BIS items. But for now, while we're gearing up, take items that upgrade blue or green items first.

What about valor?
You can grab the cheaper items first, but they won't give you as much raw stat jumps as a more expensive item does (e.g., the gloves would be a 22 str upgrade while the chest would be a 42 str upgrade). Also, according to #2 above, if I buy a cloak or boots or some such, I could very well be upgrading them soon, while other items (the ring and relic) may last you well into hard modes or beyond. It's actually a fairly tough decision. For me, though, while I find the chest and helm intruiging, I'll probably go with the following.

So here's my plan:
1. Bid only on upgrades from blue 346 gear to epic 359 gear, saving points for bigger upgrades
2. Get all the rep/crafting gear I can. I have the Ramkahen neck which should last until hard modes. I have the Hyjal belt AND back (I reforged the dodge to hit - it will be replaced but is a decent filler for now), and so on. I won't bid on upgrades for my rep/crafted epics until the other slots are upgraded. Sure, Ill hope for a Scirrocco or Zin'roc from archeology, but I'm not holding my breath. I WILL bid on weapon upgrades.
3. Valor: buy a) relic first b) ring second since they both last deep into Tier 11 content. Next, buy the gloves because they're cheap and allow me to get 2-piece Tier bonus sooner rather than later. Dps DK set bonuses are tasty. Next, spend valor on non-set pieces that I don't have an epic in that slot, and then finally on any set pieces I don't have yet.

Well, I've probably gone on long enough about this, but it IS a fairly important process, after all.
Happy Gearing!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cataclysm Heroics III: DPS DKs

Time for another heroic!
Which one shall it be this time, Mmmm? :P
In the absence of requests, I'll go with Stonecore, which I've found to be quite melee unfriendly. There are a few fight mechanics to perfect, but once accomplished, this heroic should go as smoothly as the others.

Since I've commented on this in my other posts, yes, my guild has started 25-man raiding, so while we're not up there with Paragon just yet, we're working through raiding. Expect raid DK guides to start in a couple of weeks.

Stonecore (sometimes abbreviated as SC) is an unforgiving 5-man for melee in sub-359 gear. I think it's also a little easier than Grim Batol, but still more difficult than VP (Vortex Pinnacle). You get four different types of bosses (gyreworm, drake, elemental, witch), but as the name obviously implies, it's a rocky instance and has the obligatory mineable elementals in it. 

The instance is linear and none of the bosses are skippable. 

I don't normally talk about trash, but the trash in here just love to eat melee.
The first pull can be a challenge. I believe it's the earth elementals (correct me if I'm wrong) that do a spinning aoe that can wreck the group quickly. A stun will stop them, and as we DKs don't have a stun, we're useless, right? Actually, you can back away a bit, and death grip them, which stops the spin, although a warrior or non-DK tank, a rogue or anyone else with a stun should use it here.
Rock flayers can kill you quickly as well, if your tank isn't aware. The tank needs to face them all in one direction, and then you can get behind them and dps. but when they do their frenzy attack, if you can't get behind them all, run away! I've died a few times to these buggers.
Finally, the big rock elementals (can't remember their names at the moment); they do a big stomp that hurts and can be hard to see when you're on their butt. If you can, watch for the stomp that's bigger and slower than the others, and jump shortly after their foot starts down, and you'll avoid the damage.

The first boss is an elemental gyreworm who shouldn't cause you too many problems. As a dps DK, you obviously need to stay out of crystal barrage, which can kill you fairly quickly on heroic. Similarly, when Corborus submerges, you need to watch when he's about to come back up (indicated by a dust cloud on the ground); if not avoided it's likely to one-shot you. Finally, it will be much much easier if a ranged focuses on aoeing down the adds. You can kill them, but if they get close, they'll explode and more than one or two of these is likely to be deadly.
Otherwise, just dps the boss. Probably the best time to pop cds is right at pull - as usual, save your frenzy (if UH) if a member uses a heroism buff, otherwise pop it along with the rest. Focus on the boss. If you have a ranged killing adds, don't worry about them. If they need help, you can drop a D&D on them or turn and HB, but otherwise you really don't want to spend time on adds.

This drake is honestly fairly forgettable. The mechanics are similar to normal mode, just a little more unforgiving. As with most drakes, stay out from in front as has a conal attack (Sand Blast). As far as I can tell, there's no tail swipe so off to the side or back will work. You'll need the room, because you obviously have to stay out of eruption (magma circles), avoid dropping stalagtites, and line of sight when Slabhide lands and starts Crystal Storm. Stay too long in any of these effects and you'll spend the fight on the floor. Pop cds at the beginning, even though some of them will be wasted to Slab's flight phase - there's really no good time to burn them otherwise.

Ozruk is the most unpleasant fellow in the instance. He's also the author of the last time I actually abandoned a pug after repeated failure after failure. He's not terribly difficult, but for some reason I've found pugs - especially tanks and melee - have a hard time with it. Basically, you'll be taking bleed damage from spike shield throughout the fight, and strangely, this is your friend. Why? Because he casts paralyze which will incapacitate you while he winds up for his Shatter. Fortunately, because you have the bleed on you, this will break the paralyze and you can run out. You'll need to watch for the emote, because sometimes you won't notice the paralyze - you'll take a tick of damage so close to paralyze you won't notice it. Obviously, you need to run away from the boss or Shatter WILL kill you on heroic. And - fun ain't it? -you'll need to be very careful while running back in, because he'll start his conal ground siege shortly after shatter and the tank may not have a chance to face him away. So you'll need to be ready to run to the side that isn't getting the ground siege before running back in. This cycle repeats itself several times. As I said, not difficult, but you don't have a ton of time to run out so you'll need to do it quickly. Frost DK will have more trouble with this due to being in frost presence, so be ready to hit unholy presence, or even use darkflight or rocket boots as necessary.
As for dps, just pop the cds at the start and on cooldown as needed.
High Priestess Azil: the end boss of the instance. Not too different from normal mode besides the typical increased mob health and damage, with one exception. This time, instead of a mechanic that can kill you, the mechanic we're concerned about can kill the tank. Force Grip - nicely stolen from Star Wars - lifts the tank in the air and does massive damage to the tank. If not interrupted, it will probably kill the tank, so make sure to save some rp for interrupts. I also love to try to sucker a mess of adds to chase me, then run under one of her rock targets, killing the adds for you. Of course you can kite them through Dark Portals as well.
In this case, I actually save my cds for the first add phase, the better to burn them down, and then army during the second add phase. Remember that your army will taunt the boss, so use it only in emergencies. However, if you summon it when all the adds are coming, it actually will keep them off your healer and help kill the adds faster.  Not too bad of a fight, though.

And, that's another heroic down! Let me know if there's another heroic you want some DK notes on before I move on to raids, and enjoy. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Heroic Halls of Origination: a DPS DK Perspective

Time for another heroic!
Like I said on the last one, I probably won't get through all of the heroics, but I'll review a few of the ones that seem to give people trouble and make some suggestions on optimizing your DK play in heroics while gearing up. If you have a particular instance you want me to review or suggestions, let me know!

With many guilds starting 'regular' raids soon (my guild has downed 5 bosses so far in 10 man, starts 25 man raids this week), I may start reviewing raid bosses as well once I have a feel for them.
Halls of Origination (HOO) is a long and fairly challenging 5-man in sub-359 gear. I think it's a little easier than Grim Batol, but still more difficult than VP (Vortex Pinnacle). It's an Egyptian-themed instance carrying on the desert motif of Uldum. Nice artwork, fun layout. In general, a fun instance, but again, fairly long.

Instead of a separate article for each boss, I'll just put in a few comments for each boss from a DPS DK perspective. In this instance, you can pick the order of most of the bosses, and one boss is optional. I'll also not review the four gatekeepers since they're better referred to as minibosses and essentially have only one elemental attack. I've died on most/all of them at some point, but for the most part just stay out of bad and kill them. I'll focus here on the 'actual' bosses of HOO.

Temple Guardian Anhuur:
This boss unlocks the instance and lets you find Brann. He's a Tol'vir who stands on a platform in the middle of his room. A review of his abilities made me scratch my head (oh, so that's what he does? hmm). Even on heroic, as a dps you just need to stay out of obvious 'bad stuff' when dpsing him and you'll be fine. No mechanics that will wipe you, really. The key to this fight is that after a while he'll put up a Shield of Light which makes him invulnerable. I've usually done this on heroic by having the whole group jump down to the left switch first. As a plate-wearer, I usually Death & Decay and blood boil to keep the switch person from being hit and then start running for the right side switch. Those snakes' damage can add up, so try to stay in line of sight for your healer. Hungering Cold is win here. Other than that, though, no real tricks to it. I burn my cd's right after we interrupt Anhuur's cast, but each phase is fairly short so there's no way to avoid 'wasting' some of your cooldowns.

Earthrager Ptah:
Ptah is the optional boss that's 'outside' in a courtyard. He's a Bone Wraith (looks a lot like Marrowgar) that summons adds. Things that will kill you: inattentiveness. The Earth Spike hits pretty hard on heroic. It won't one-shot you, but if your health is down a bit, it will kill you. As usual with this sort of thing, the spike has a crumbly, dusty spot on the ground shortly before erupting. If you get hit with it, not only will your nether regious hurt like the dickens, you'll be launched in the air and take fall damage upon return to earth. As usual, stay out of bad. To maximize dps, fight from behind the boss but be ready to adjust to either side for spikes. When the adds come, give the tank a moment to collect them, then spread diseases and full aoe rotation. I like to pop my cds here, but you certainly can burn them at the beginning of the fight as well.
After dancing with the roving packs of troggs and killing the elemental mini-bosses, Anraphet comes out and finishes off the troggs. The Big Meanie (aka Titanic Watcher) does two things which can kill you quickly as dps. First, the Alpha Beams. They target a random player, and channel nasty circle of death. Move fast, naturally. The second occurs during his Omega Stance. This aoe can hurt, but I usually use either AMS or IBF to help. A guildie said that moving or jumping helps reduce damage. I can't find anything written about this and can't prove it (comments, anyone?), but I've found myself jumping like a bean during this phase anyway. :) Generally, pop cd's at pull and use them when they're back up. Nothing special, although he hits hard and the aoe can hurt, so try to kill him quickly, save some defensive abilities for Omega Stance, and then try to have some for the last 30 sec when his Alpha Beams start to cover the floor.
Seats of the Keepers:
The next four bosses can be killed in any order.
Isiset is the construct of magic; like all four keepers she is a Titanic Watcher. As with most heroic bosses, there's a lot of aoe that can drop your health so you'll want to keep an eye out, but no big fight mechanics that can one- or two-shot you. Pop cd's at pull. Since you can do this for all four keepers, my current sequence looks like this:
Hit on use str trinket (JC boar figurine for example) while running in. Before you reach her, outbreak your diseases on her. Unholy Frenzy. Even with no preserved runic power, once you Scourge Strike, Festering Strike, SS, FS, you'll have the rp to summon your gargoyle. Use any Sudden Doom procs in between. Blood Tap. SS and FS and now use any remaining rp to try to get Dark Transformation up quickly. I can usually get my transformed ghoul up before UF wears off. Frost can be similar - although wait to use POF at least until the first melee hit so you don't waste it. Then normal priorities from there.
At any rate, when Isiset does her supernova, you can spin around or just step through her - both work fine. When her little starry adds pop out, I usually just pestilence to them, but if your group wants you to, pestilence, then switch to them and kill them, and then back to boss. Sometimes I also put my pet on the adds and stay on the boss myself. For Frost, your HB should do the trick nicely to aoe the adds. We kill the Astral Familiar first, but I don't think it matters much. Overall, a fairly simple fight for DKs.
Ammunae: the construct of life. Pop cds at pull as above. The big key to this fight besides not getting yourself killed, is killing the seedling pods quickly. Just kill them asap. You can pestilence to them, but they tend to die pretty fast, so you can just OB/SS them quickly down, and return in time to keep diseases up on Ammunae. As the pods proliferate, send a pet to kill stray ones as well. As with Isiset, no insta-kill mechanics, just a lot of attrition for your healer to keep up.
Rajh: the construct of radiance. Rajh does a lot of targetting a player or area and attacking. Just like in martial arts, the key is not being there when the attack arrives. Interrupt Summon Sun Orb. With how many interrupts are needed in heroics, endless winter is a nice talent in here. In any case, try to prevent an orb from being summoned, run away otherwise. Save AMS for Blessing of the Sun, while he's aoeing. Even in blues/greens, this barely tickles with AMS up. Obviously, pop cds at pull, avoid bad, win.
Setesh can be a bit of a challenge. Probably the most difficult boss. He's the construct of chaos and he tries to overwhelm you with void Wurms, Void Seekers, and Void Sentinels. As I'm sure you know, Setesh can't be tanked so the tank's job is to tank the Sentinels. Most tanks I've run with can kill the wurms pretty well and need only a little help on Seekers (we usually assign a ranged to this). Your job is to #1: kill Portals! (Yes, Jaraxxus-style) Portals need to die fast. In between, dps the boss. This is a race against time in current gear, with the soft enrage being some time around the 6th portal (tank/healer will be overwhelmed and die).
Ask your team if they have a heroism/bloodlust; if they do, they'll probably use it at pull. If so, use your str or on-use trinkets and summon gargoyle, but don't use unholy frenzy yet. This is becuase you'll waste a lot of the UF effect due to being overcapped for haste. Save the UF until heroism is down and you have a ghoul ready to DT. Obviously, frost can use POF and all cds with heroism.
So there you go! Oveall, less raid-like mechanics in here than in Grim Batol, but still a visually pleasing instance, and some fun fights.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Heroic Grim Batol: a DPS DK Perspective

Similar to my raid posts looking at the role of the DPS DK in in ICC, I'll do some reviews of the heroics that most people are gearing up in for Cataclysm.
I know, some folks have moved on to raids, but I know the majority of players are still leveling and facing the challenge of heroics in their leveling blues and greens.

So, while it won't be long before epic-geared players are rofl-stomping the heroics for their random daily valor points, until then there are a few things that undergeared players need to know. I don't know if I'll do this for all the 5-mans, but I thought it might be helpful to talk about a few of them at least.

Grim Batol is a challenging 5-man in sub-359 gear. It's definitely doable, but each boss fight has several elements that make it more like a regular raid than past 5-man instances. Make a mistake, and it's easy to go from 100% to 0% very fast! Given the tuning and the raid-like mechanics, I have to say I really like this instance! In difficulty I'd put it about in the middle, somewhere between Stonecore (very DK/melee unfriendly) and Vortex Pinnacle, in which the boss fights seem quite easy (at least to me).

Instead of a separate article for each boss, I'll just put in a few comments for each boss from a DPS DK perspective.

General Umbriss:
  The first boss you'll face in the instance, he can be a tricky one for inexperienced/undergeared groups. Like all of the bosses in here, there are several things that will cause damage to you, but unless they're specifically a 'death mechanic' (they'll kill you instantly if you screw up) I won't say too much about them. Umbriss is a black dragonkin. He does two things that can kill you quickly. The first is Ground Siege which does a lot of damage in a frontal area - just move behind him when he starts casting it and you'll be fine. The second is Blitz - he'll target a group member and start to cast Blitz. As long as you move to one side about 10 yards you won't get hit. The third major element to this fight is when he summons a group of troggs. (Why did it have to be Troggs?) Most of the troggs can essentially be ignored - if they get on you, merely kite them to the tank and let splash damage kill them (feel free to pestilence/death & decay). But one of the troggs will be bigger and have a purple haze around him - a Malignant Trogg. These MUST be killed away from the boss because if they die close to Umbriss they'll frenzy the boss. In addition, they do a nasty aoe blast when they die. Be careful; if your AMS is up, use it. If not, hit them with chains of ice and move away before they die. There's no reason any ranged couldn't take care of the Malignant Troggs, but it seems I've always been asked to kill them.
If you avoid the two main attacks that will kill you, and control the Troggs, this fight will go much easier.

Dragha Shadowburner:
 The fight opens with a fairly quick burn on Dragha. Don't waste cds on this part, as it's pretty quick and of very little danger. The only thing to be aware of is the Invoked Fire Spirits that Dragha summons. There will be a fire patch that spawns the Spirits. The tank should kite the boss away from the patches and you should stay away until the Spirit appears. When it does, if it targets you (by a fiery line attached to you), run away! If not, hit it with a chains of ice, then run to it and kill it quickly. If it reaches it's target, people die.
After Dragha is dps'd down a bit, he calls his dragon, Valiona. When Valiona lands is a good time to pop your cooldowns. He hops on her and you'll need to continue dealing with Invoked Fire Spirits, as well as avoiding bad stuff on the ground, and staying out from in front of Valiona who does a conal flame attack to the front that can wipe you. Once Valiona is down, Dragha returns and is fairly quickly killed.
The main things to remember are quick target switches from killing the boss to the Spirits, and staying out of the fire/pools/cleave.

Forgemaster Throngus:
  Throngus is a giant ettin pathing past several smaller chained ettins. Be careful clearing the trash as he can pat to your group and fighting him and his trash simultaneously is often lethal.
Open with your cds and dps away. For the first 20 sec or so it's just a tank and spank. Then Throngus will emote that he is picking a weapon. Mostly, the tanks and healers will want to be wary of what he's doing, but as a dps you'll just want to be aware of what could kill you.
If he picks a mace, the tank needs to kite him slowly around the ledge. If you pull aggro here, you'll die as his mace hits hard. Also watch the fire patches on the ground. If he picks a shield, there will be aoe damage to the group, but not too scary. If he picks two swords, the damage to the tank will be high, but it won't affect the dps too much. Be on the lookout for falling rocks/ceiling throughout the fight as the damage can add up. In a pinch, you can pop army of the dead towards the end to keep him occupied. I finished a fight from 15% after the tank died by popping army and the shammies popped earth elementals and we survived barely. As a side note, be aware that while AotD doesn't taunt raid bosses, they DO taunt every 5-man boss in Cataclysm I've used it on.


  The final boss of GB is a Faceless One. Start in the middle of the room (doesn't really matter too much where), with normal dps. He does some aoe, but nothing big. When he drops a Shadow Gale focus in the room (looks like a dark whirlpool), the whole group stacks IN it to avoid dying to his Shadow Gale. As soon as the Gale is done, Erudax summons two Faceless Corrupters. They'll come from the hall you entered from. One each will head for the eggs. They need to be slowed and dps'd hard. If they're not dead when they get to the eggs, they'll start casting Umbral Mending. Try to interrupt it and/or finish them off quickly. If you don't, they'll heal the boss to full fairly fast. If your dps on the adds is fast enough, you can pop your cooldowns on the pull, otherwise save them for add phases. You should be able to kill Erudax within 2-3 Shadow Gale/add phases, but it can be done in more phases as long as you kill the Corrupters each time.

I hope that helps, and I hope you enjoy Grim Batol as much as I have!