Tanking Ruby Sanctum

Ruby Sanctum is out and tanks will be having their hands full as the fights in the raid require coordination and cooperation along with a huge amount of raid awareness. This dragon-mashing, fire-blazing slugfest will be a test of tanking skills and reflexes as you and your team save the home of the Red Dragonflight and the world from the impending arrival of Deathwing. This guide will breakdown the basic strategy of the 4 bosses in the dungeon for the ever reliable, ever resilient tankers.

Before we start, once you’re in a raid, make sure what kind of tank you will be. Knowing whether you are a main tank (MT) or an off tank (OT) will help you manage the bosses, the debuff stacks, and the adds.

Baltharus Warborn is a huge dragon guardian that can pack a mean punch to tanks that do not know the fight and the first boss you’ll encounter in Ruby Sanctum. He primarily uses melee attacks so proper threat management can keep him away from your ranged DPS and healers. The encounter has 2-phases, first is basically a tank and spank fight, while the 2nd requires add management.

His main ability is Blade Tempest, a melee attack that causes 70% weapon damage to enemies infront of him every .5 sec for 4 seconds. This attack is probably not much of a problem to the tank with good damage mitigation, but it might give melee DPS some problem. The best way to deal with this is to face the boss away from the raid and melee DPS.

Baltharus also gives a raid debuff called Ennervating Band which decreases healing effectivity by 2% for every stack. This debuff combined with Blade Tempest will most likely pose a threat to the tank, so a tank-dedicated healer must be intact throughout the fight.

Once Baltharus’s health goes down to 50%, he will start summoning clones of himself that will attack the raid. If you’re an off-tank, you must grab the adds and keep them at bay as the DPS and the main tank takes care of the main boss. Survival is important for the off tank because once you’re down, the main tank might have a hard time staying alive with the main boss and the adds attacking. In a nutshell, the fight is really easy as long as you keep the enemies away from the DPS.

Our next boss will be Saviana Ragefire, a black drake that has some nasty fire power. The fight consists of only one phase that requires a bit of raid coordination and awareness. Her main attack involves breathing fire with an average range cone and a fireball attack that hits 3-5 raid members that does AoE damage.

Being a typical drake encounter, Saviana must be tanked away from the raid because of her abilities such as her fire breath. She occasionally use Conflagrate, an ability where she will fly up away from the raid and fire flame balls towards random raid members. Once she returns back to the ground, the tank must make sure to grab aggro so as not to let her hit any other player.

She also uses Enrage which increases her attacks, these attacks can be tolerable with right damage mitigation and healing, but having a hunter or a rogue around to cancel the ability would be nice. Other than that, the fight is really simple and can be done easily.

Your 3rd boss fight will be against General Zarithrian, a massive dragon watcher that carries a huge lance. The fight consists of only one phase, but raid awareness and tanking coordination will be more vital compared to the first 2 as the General will constantly summon adds that casts AoE damage.

A main tank and an off-tank is needed here again not only because of the adds, but also Zarithrian’s debuff similar to Sundering Armor, which once stacked up to 3 will cause massive damage to the current tank. The debuff can only be removed if the tank isn’t being attacked by the boss.

The fight begins with the main tank tanking the General usually at the middle of the area while being DPSed by melee and sometimes ranged. The boss will cast fear occasionally but the tank has nothing to worry about as the ability won’t cause raid members to franticly run around. Though the main tank must immediately grab aggro once the ability is finished. Fear will also be the signal where adds will come in any moment. It will be the off-tank’s job to grab all the adds as the ranged DPS attack.

Once you’re through with the first round of adds, tanks must switch tasks so that the main tank’s Sundering Armor debuff may be removed. Once you get used to the tanking rotation, the fight will just become a ‘rinse and repeat’ process.

Congratulations. You’re almost at the end of your journey in stopping the Black Dragonflight from completely destroying Alexstrasza’s home. But the real challenge has yet to come as Halion arrives to avenge his fallen lieutenants.

Halion is a Twilight Dragon that is considered one of the greatest champions of the Black Dragonflight. If you think Sartharion is tough, you got another thing coming.

Halion has a total of 3 phases where tanking strategies differ from each one. The first one requires only one tank but you can put a second one if you’re not sure. This phase is a simple drake tank-and-spank encounter. His cleave and fire breath attacks have average conic range so make sure you tank him facing away from the raid.

Halion occasionally uses Meteor Strike and Marks of Combustion in this phase, both can give huge amounts of AoE damage. Meteor Strike can be avoided if you look out for a glyph glowing on the ground. The glyph marks where the attack will land. Tanks don’t necessarily need to move away though as long as their damage mitigation and a tank-dedicated healer is active in the raid. Marks of Combustion gives a debuff where an AoE attack will be casted if removed or fades away, an ability which shouldn’t be much of a problem for melee DPS because they’re already expected to stay away from the tank, where Halion is facing.

Once the raid brings him down to 75%, Halion will start the 2nd phase where things get a little trickier for one tank. The dragon will transport himself to the Twilight realm and a port will appear for the players to enter. Ideally, everyone in the raid must enter the portal, except for one healer and one tank, both preparing for the 3rd phase.

Halion is now in the world of shadows and he’s got 2 orbs floating around on opposite ends, waiting to kill everyone in the realm. Once inside, the Twilight tank must grab aggro immediately. As much as possible, the tank must rotate along, but not directly infront of, the shadow orbs. The shadow orbs inflict damage upon contact, but the real threat is when it casts Twilight Cutter. The ability causes the orbs to connect via dark beam which causes immense damage upon contact. The beam rotates along with the orbs, so constant rotation is important. Other than that, tanking Halion in this phase is easy.

Upon 50%, Halion will begin the 3rd and final phase of the fight. This is where your idle tank and healer from the real world comes into the fray.
Halion will exist on both realms. UItimately, tanking them will be similar to their predecessors so tanks won’t need to worry much. Their abilities remain the same: Real world with Meteor Strike and Marks of Combustion; Twilight world with Twilight Cutter and Marks of Consumption.

The difference in this phase will be Halion’s Corporeality, an ability where his damage in one realm will depend on the damage he takes on the other realm and vice versa. This will be an intense DPS coordination combat as one Halion might hit much harder than his counter-part, so tanks and healers must prepare for the worst. Using all trinkets and cooldowns in this phase will be very helpful.

Once you’re done, then congratulations, you’ve just saved Alexstrasza and her Red Dragonflight and you’re now a raid closer to Cataclysm!


  1. Great post! Loved the format for quick pre-raid studying :)