Heroic End Time: Tanking Guide

The first new Heroic in 4.3 is End Time, taking place in a desolate future where Deathwing has won. Here, you’ll need to deal with two random Echoes at their respective Dragonshrines before you can head to the final boss at the Bronze Dragonshrine.

At the Azure Dragonshrine, you’ll find the Echo of Jaina. You’ll need to collect 16 fragments before you can fight Jaina, but there are also several packs of 4-5 Time-Twisted soldiers to deal with.

  • Time-Twisted Footman can Thunderclap but otherwise not a major worry.
  • Time-Twisted Rifleman toss out Multi-Shot, make sure they’re not aiming at your healer.
  • Time-Twisted Sorceress will Blink around and may aggro other groups if they’re too close, so try to pull when you’re away from nearby patrols. She’ll also be casting Arcane Blasts.
  • Time-Twisted Priest should be the first CC or kill, they’ll be casting Fountains of Light.

Now you can certainly collect all the fragments without aggroing any of the packs, but it’s a good idea to get rid of at least the 2-3 closest groups from where you came in. Jaina Blinks around and may bring a wandering patrol into the fight if you’re unlucky.

Once the area is clear and you’ve got all the fragments, Jaina shows up and you can engage her. When she drops a Flarecore, someone should step on it after making sure no one else is standing close by. After every blink she’ll cast Frost Blades, avoid them or you’ll get stunned. Frostbolt Volley should be interrupted when possible, but the rest of time she’ll be spamming Pyroblast on you which can’t be avoided.

The Emerald Dragonshrine is where the Echo of Tyrande waits. To get to her you’ll have to deal with a seemingly endless stream of Time-Twisted HuntressesTime-Twisted Nightsabers, and Time-Twisted Sentinels. They all have the In Shadow buff though, so you need to drag them into the beams of moonlight to be Moonlit before you can kill them. Kill as many of them as you can before the moonlight fades, then move on forward to the next beam, and so on until you finish them all off and you get to Tyrande.

Fighting her is pretty simple. She won’t move at all from her rock so spread out in a circle around her, but casters should stay back because of Dark Moonlight. Make sure to interrupt Stardust, and if she’s facing toward you when casting Moonlance, move sideways away from her line of sight. She’ll also summon two Eyes with Piercing Gaze of Elune, just move toward or away from her to stay out of their path.

The Obsidian Dragonshrine is the Echo of Baine‘s area. To get to him you’ll have to deal with the groups of Time-Twisted dragonkin. Be careful when pulling, as the patrols wander pretty close to the stationary groups. CC the Time-Twisted Seer if you can, or kill it first. Make sure to move away from the lava fountains from Call Flames and keep your distance, especially if you have Sear Flesh on you. Move out of the Time-Twisted Breaker‘s Break Armor and Rupture Ground cone effect. Face the Time-Twisted Drake away from the group so Flame Breath doesn’t hit them.

Baine is on the farthest platform. Whenever he does Throw Totem, have someone grab it and Throw Totem back at him to stun him. At certain points he’ll jump toward a party member and Pulverize the platform they’re on. If it’s the one you’re on, swim over quickly to another one, because he’ll be getting the Molten Axe buff as long as he’s in lava which stacks a debuff on you, though it can be cleansed (you do gain Molten Fists in lava too but fighting in fire in generally a bad idea).

The Echo of Sylvanas is at the Ruby Dragonshrine. Clear your way through the packs of Time-Twisted Scourge Beast and Time-Twisted Geists. You should probably kill the Geists first, to minimize damage from the Beast’s Wail of the Dead. You can skip the Time-Twisted Shadowtalons off to the side.

Sylvanas is a simple fight as well, you’ll want to be slightly spread out so her various arrows don’t hit more than one person (Black Arrow, Unholy Shot, Blighted Arrows), but stay all on the same side of her. When she starts her Calling of the Highborne, Risen Ghouls will spawn in a circle around her and slowly move in toward her. Pick one Ghoul to kill quickly, then run out of the closing circle and keep your distance until all the Ghouls are sacrificed.

Once the Echoes are down, you can finally enter the Bronze Dragonshrine. There are two groups of Infinite dragonkin, composed of two Infinite Suppressors and two Infinite Wardens. Kill the Suppressors first to avoid their Arcane Wave and Temporal Vortex.

Once you kill all the Infinites, Murozond will fly down. Have a ranged or healer stand near the hourglass while you tank Murozond. During the fight he’ll be casting Temporal Blast and dropping Distortion Bombs on people, just move out of the glowing yellow circles left on the ground. Infinite Breath means no one should be standing near or behind you. One way to do this fight is by slowly moving him in a wide circle around the hourglass (though realistically you probably won’t get more than halfway around), once you run out of room or there’s no room left near the hourglass, or people are out of mana/about to die, have someone hit the hourglass to Rewind Time. This removes all the Bombs and resets your position back to what they it was at the beginning of the fight. You could also just hit it at each 20% mark, which allows everyone to reuse their cooldowns more often. He does a lot of damage too, so don’t be afraid to use your tanking cooldowns often.

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Monks of Pandaria

I’m sure everyone knows by now that the next expansion will be Mists of Pandaria. And with that we’ll be getting a new Tanking class: the Monk Brewmaster.

They’ll be a Leather-wearing class so they’ll share armor with Bear Druids, and while they can use fist weapons and one-handed axes/maces/swords, it doesn’t look like they can use shields. As a Tank you’ll probably be using Polearms or Staves. You won’t be able to Block, so you’ll be relying on Dodge and Parry like Death Knights.

Mists of Pandaria

I got to play a little bit of the starting experience during Blizzcon, although not enough to get more than a couple levels, so this is just an initial impression that’s likely to change. Early on the reliance on regenerating Chi to do your basic Jab attack seems a bit of a hindrance. While you can use Light/Dark Force abilities in the meantime, Chi still felt too slow when you need it.

It might be less of an issue at higher levels, depending on how much Force is required for later abilities. And because there’s no auto-attack, a Monk Tank might run into a rage-starvation case where they can’t build aggro back up quickly because they’re low on Chi and don’t have enough Force to use an ability. Lots of time to see how it works out though.

On another note, I’ll admit I wasn’t very enthusiastic about Pandarens, but after listening to Chris Metzen and the rest talking about them, I’m willing to give this expansion a chance. I do love what I’ve seen of the setting and new areas so far though.

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The Headless Horseman: The Hallow’s End Holiday Boss

Then again, you shouldn’t really need a guide for the Headless Horseman, he’s one of the most straightforward bosses out there.

Click the pumpkin to summon him, and then just tank him. He’s got no tricky abilities you have to worry about (but he does Cleave), just bring him down to 0 health and then switch DPS to the Head of the Horseman each time it pops off. You’ll need to do this three times to finish him off. His Pumpkin Fiends summoned during the third part don’t do a lot of damage, but you may as well grab them anyway.

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Coren Direbrew: The Brewfest Holiday Boss

Another Holiday, another boss! This time you’re facing Coren Direbrew down in the Blackrock Depths. This is a pretty simple encounter, his only ability is Direbrew’s Disarm, which you can see casting with plenty of time to move away. It’ll knock you down and disarm you, but won’t kill you even if you get hit by it.

Direbrew Minions will continually spawn during the fight, so make sure none of them are bothering the healer or ranged while everyone focuses on Coren. Two Dark Iron Brewaidens, Ilsa Direbrew and Ursula Direbrew, will show up also and start throwing Dark Brewmaiden’s Brews at people. As long as you drink the brew before you get a second one, you won’t get stunned. Ursula will also throw a barrel at her aggro target, which can cause problems when you get Barreled! Still, if you kill Coren quickly enough you won’t have to worry about her for very long.

Coren’s loot includes Brawler’s Trophy, which you’ll definitely want to pick up. He also has the Bitterer Balebrew Charm and Bubblier Brightbrew Charm, pure Stamina trinkets that you can use if you have nothing better.

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Blizzard Dev Blog: Preemptive Mitigation

Today’s Dev blog is about how they want to move away from reactive mitigation to active mitigation, and talks about three different possible models. And more specifically, how it’ll affect Blood Death Knights in 4.3.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/3401304

The third model seems the best out of those three. We already have enough to deal without while gearing without having to deal with DPS stats, while the second model just doesn’t seem as interesting to play with.

The Bone Shield and Blood Shield changes definitely sound nice though. I like the idea of a shield that only kicks in if damage goes above a certain amount, rather than being used up right away when you get hit by a critter.

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Blizzard Dev Blog: More Threat!

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/3300854

Today’s blog is pretty lengthy, but the highlight is:

  • Hotfix: The threat generated by classes in their tanking mode has been increased from three times damage done to five times damage done.
  • In an upcoming patch: Vengeance no longer ramps up slowly at the beginning of a fight. Instead, the first melee attack taken generates Vengeance equal to one third of the damage dealt by that attack. As Vengeance updates during the fight, it is always set to at least a third of the damage taken in the last two seconds. It still climbs from that point at the previous rate, still decays at the previous rate, and still cannot exceed the current maximum.

Of course, this means that threat stats (hit and expertise) will be even less useful than they are now. On the other hand, DPS won’t have to worry about hitting the threat cap anymore or holding back, especially when grouped with a newly geared tank.

This is mostly a good thing, but where a tank piece that had hit/expertise used to be something you could reforge, now you’ll just want to pass it over completely and go for a full mitigation piece.

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Baradin Hold: Tanking Occu’thar

Occu’thar is Baradin Hold’s latest escapee, and is a pretty simple fight. You’ll need two tanks, swapping after each cast of Searing Shadows (and face him away from the raid). He’ll be throwing out Eyes of Occu’thar occasionally, the entire raid should group up so they can all be AOEd down before they explode. If there’s an Eye on you, it’s safe for you to stack on the raid as long as he isn’t about to cast Searing Shadows.

The other thing the raid needs to watch for is Focused Fire. In 10man, it’s easier just to have the whole raid stacked up behind him, and then shifting either left or right as a group whenever it goes down. In 25man, everyone should spread out, grouping up only when the Eyes are about to go out.

One thing to note about the tank swapping. The debuff seems to be applied at the beginning of the cast, so you don’t necessarily need to wait until the cast is over before taunting. Taunting before it finishes may mean less damage on the tanks (unless you still have the debuff from earlier).

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Firelands: Tanking Trash

My raid hasn’t seen all the trash in the Firelands yet, so I’ll just talk about the ones we’ve encountered so far and add the rest later. Consider this a work in progress. Killing trash is a great way to gain rep with the Avengers of Hyjal, though it stops once you hit Honored. You can run it easily in PUG groups, as long as someone knows what they’re doing.

The first one you’ll come across is a Molten Lord. There are several of them walking around the zone, but they’ll always be solo. Stacks of Melt Armor means you’ll want a tank swap at around 4-5 stacks. Avoid standing in fire from his Summon Lava Jets and position yourself so that Flame Stomp doesn’t knock you anywhere you don’t want to be. You could also run out of range of it, but that’s not necessary.

Patrolling along the roads are groups of Flamewaker Cauterizers, Flamewaker Forward Guards, and Flamewaker Pathfinders. Cauterizers should be your first kill target because of Cauterize. The Forward Guards will Shockwave so face them away from the raid. Pathfinders tend to hang back and throw Flaming Spears and Ensnares.

Scattered around the place are also a Giant Fire Scorpion grouped with a bunch of smaller Fire Scorpions. In this pack, you want to AoE down the Fire Scorpions first. When they die they’ll splash Fiery Blood on everything around them including the Giant. This’ll let you kill the Giant quickly before it stacks Too Hot to Handle too high. The scorpions have finicky aggro, they’ll often wander out toward ranged but you can taunt them back toward you temporarily.

You’ll also see wandering Molten Surgers, they’re sometimes in pairs, though there are some that are alone. Raid should be spread out so his random Surges doesn’t throw people all over the place.

There are also Ancient Core Hounds lumbering around, you’ll want to pull these back away from other trash to avoid having someone run into adds due to Terrifying Roar. Face away from the raid for Flame Breath, and have a second tank ready to taunt when you get hit by Dinner Time.

The packs of Hell Hounds should be AoEd down quickly before you get too many stacks of Rend Flesh.

There are also some turtles along the edges of the platform. Personally I’d rather avoid them but if you really want to kill them, make sure you have plenty of room. The Patriarch Fire Turtle can be tanked, but watch out for Flame Breath. You’ll probably want to leave it for last because of Shell Shield and because the Matriarch Fire Turtle and Fire Turtle Hatchling are a major pain. They’ll both be using Shell Spin pretty often, knocking people all around. It can be interrupted by stuns though, so tank them apart and try to keep them locked down as much as possible.

If you head northwest toward Beth’tilac, you’ll run across Cinderweb SpiderlingCinderweb Spinners, and Cinderweb Drones harassing various other trash. Usually the trash will die so you just have to worry about the spiders. There’s not much to them, though the Drone is another one you have to face away for Boiling Splatter.

Further in you’ll find Flamewaker Sentinels who’ll throw Flaming Spears as well as a Cauterizer that can cast Flame Shield.

Further east on your way toward Lord Rhyolith, you’ll come across Unbound Pyrelords. If they’re by themselves, they’re easy enough to kill. If surrounded by Unbound Smoldering Elementals though, you’re going to have to be more careful. When a Pyrelord’s health hits 80/60/40/20% mark, they’ll hit one of the smaller adds with Ignite Elemental. This removes their Unbreakable Shell but also makes them start using Blazing Flame. Since you don’t want multiple of these going off at the same time, you’ll have to DPS down one Pyrelord slowly until he Ignites, switch to the Ignited Elemental immediately to kill it, and then back to the Pyrelord until the next Ignite. And so on. We had one tank grab all the Elementals onto them, while two other tanks pulled the Pyrelords off to the side. Edit: Unbreakable Shell has been so nerfed that you can basically just AoE down the Elementals while killing the Pyrelords.

Once over the bridge, there’ll be a bunch of Flamewaker groups with a couple Hell Hounds here and there. Along with the Forward Guards and Cauterizers you’ve already encountered, you’ll be facing:

  • Flamewaker Taskmaster have an Aura of Indomitability, so you’ll want to kill it first. He’ll also apply Mortal Strike.
  • Flamewaker Overseer uses Flaming Cleave, so this one you actually do want to face them toward the raid.
  • Flamewaker Centurion mainly uses Mortal Strike.
  • Flamewaker Trainees have lesser versions of abilities you’ve already seen: Shockwave, Ensnare, Mortal Strike, Flaming Spear. Just AoE them down.
  • Flamewaker Beast Handler comes with a single Hell Hound and throws Flaming Spear.
  • Flamewaker Hound Master stands near a group of Hell Hounds and casts Release The Hounds! It’s probably a good idea to concentrate on AoEing down the Hounds first.

The ramp leading up to Lord Rhyolith is a gauntlet, where a seemingly endless stream of Unstable Pyrolords pour down. Just gather them all up and rush to the top, that’ll force Kar the Everburning, Firelord to retreat, and then you can kill the adds. Before you can fight Kar though, you have to deal with a pair of Unbound Pyrolords while dodging falling fireballs from the sky (don’t stand in the graphic). Kar himself Summons Lava Spawn and those Spawns will split into two more Spawns when they die. Try to stun them before they die to prevent it from happening. He also stacks a debuff on the tank so you’ll have to do a swap, and summons volcanoes that you need to pull him away from.

If you head back and follow the road northwest, the trash to Alysrazor consists of several Harbingers of Flame and two giant Blazing Monstrosities. Once you engage the Harbingers, the Monstrosities will stand up and start spitting fire on the ground,  you’ll need to have two people rush forward and mount them to direct their fire. It can be a little tricky since the mounting icon only shows up a little ways up near their heads, but once there you can direct the fire away from the raid and toward the two egg piles on the sides. Destroy those to stop Smouldering Hatchlings from spawning. Meanwhile, the Harbingers’ Fieroblast and Fieroclast Barrage should be interrupted. Once the all the eggs are gone, you can turn the two Monstrosities onto each other. Majordomo Staghelm will show up in the nook near the back, but don’t engage him unless you’re prepared to fight Alysrazor.

Keep going on the road northwest and you’ll come across a Flamewaker Subjugator watching over several Flamewaker Animators. The Animators won’t attack when you engage the Subjugator, so feel free to kill him first. He stacks Blistering Wound on the tank and will also use Burning Motivation on each Animator, removing their Defensive Casting (which means you need to keep him alive long enough to cast it on each Animator). Kill each Animator when their shields comes down, you can leave the Subjugator until they’re all taken care of because the longer they’re casting the more damage the Unstable Magma will be doing once it’s free.

Past the northern gate is Baleroc‘s trash. There are two groups of two Flame Archons, and two Molten Flamefathers. Face the Archons away from the raid for Flame Torrent and watch out when they start casting Fiery Torment. You might want to have a few melee run in closer than you to take one or two tics of it so you don’t take the entire damage. The Flamefather’s Earthquake can be negated by jumping as the cast ends, but what you need to watch for are the Magma Conduits, they’re small volcanoes that need to be DPSed down as soon as they spawn. Otherwise they’ll constantly spit out Magmakins that’ll run toward random players and Erupt.

Once all the other bosses have been killed, you’ll be able to cross the bridge to Majordomo Staghelm. You’ll need to deal with several Druids of the Flame first though. One of them will be constantly casting Kneel to the Flame! until you pull, but you can avoid this damage by /kneeling or /sitting before the cast goes off. Ranged should spread out in a loose circle around the melee because the Druids in Cat Form will be doing Reckless Leaps all over the place (they target the farthest person in the group, and you can move out of the way when you see them coming). Since the Cats are initially shielded with Reactive Flames, DPS down the humanoid form Druids first, and that’ll also stop their constant Sunfire spam.

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Firelands: Tanking Shannox

Shannox is the third boss we took down in last week’s trip to the Firelands, and is another two tank fight.

He patrols along the circular pathway in the center of the zone, and comes with two Hellhounds named Rageface and Riplimb. You’ll want to clear out a sizeable area before pulling him, our raid picked the west side of the first fork in the road. Be careful when clearing though or he may run right into you.

Because of how Shannox and Riplimb’s abilities work, you’ll need to tank them apart at least 60 yards (but not more than 80 or so yards or you’ll trigger Separation Anxiety, which caused Shannox to hit me for roughly 90k in a single hit, sorry Jadiera!).

The reason for this is because Shannox will use Arcing Slash on you, stacking up Jagged Tears (while Riplimb will also be stacking Tears on the OT with Limb Rip). He only applies this when he has his spear though, so when he Hurls Spear toward Riplimb there’s a chance for the stack to drop off both tanks. The longer it takes for Riplimb to fetch the spear and return it to him, the better. So, tank Riplimb 60+ yards away from Shannox, and when the Spear is thrown there’ll be a huge graphic on the ground indicating where it will land. It’ll also be the center of a wide swirling pattern of fire that needs to be avoided. Drag Riplimb away from it (usually toward Shannox) forcing him to run back toward the spear, then across the entire 60+ distance back to Shannox. If that’s not enough for the stack to drop, you might have to move Shannox back a little further to gain a few more seconds, or the OT can try moving away from the spear landing area faster.

Shannox will also toss down Immolation Traps and Crystal Prison Traps on top of people occasionally. Move out of them while attempting to lure the two hounds into the crystal trap, it helps a lot. If a raid member gets caught by it though, break them out quickly. If you’re on Shannox, you can try to move him sideways if you see a trap close by to force Riplimb to run across one. Just make sure no one’s behind you that’ll get hit by Arcing Slash.

Rageface cannot be tanked, so we initially focused DPS on it to kill it first and quickly. His Face Rage ability can be interrupted by doing 30k/45k (10/25) damage in a single hit. Shannox gains a stack of Frenzy for each hound killed, so be prepared for it. Once Rageface is dead, Melee concentrates on Shannox while Ranged works on Riplimb. The Ranged and Healers should be in a loose cluster in the area between the boss and Riplimb, increasing the chance of a crystal trap dropping in Riplimb’s path.

Both hounds gain Frenzied Devotion when Shannox’s health reaches 30%, so you’ll want to time it so that Riplimb dies before that happens. Shannox will then have two stacks of Frenzy, so it’s another hard burn phase from that point. He’ll also cause a Magma Rupture instead of throwing his spear now, causing the same swirling pattern of eruption, but centered at him this time. Stay alive and move as necessary to avoid the numerous Immolation Traps that are going to be all over the place.

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Firelands: Trinkets for Tanks

With the new raid and dailies in 4.2, we tanks have several new trinkets to keep our eyes on. Here’s a brief description of each and where to get them.

Moonwell Phial is one of the Stamina trinkets. Nice, though the Dodge on Use ability isn’t quite as useful in any fight where you have to move before the 20sec elapses (but it’d be pretty nice for OffTanking Baleroc). Sold by Ayla Shadowstorm when the Moonwell is unlocked (which requires 20 marks to get to the Molten Front, then 150 for the Druids of the Talon, another 150 for the Shadow Wardens, and finally 125 for the Moonwell…That’s a little over 3 weeks of dailies according to Wowhead News).

Stay of Execution is a Dodge trinket with an interesting absorption shield on Use. Assuming it absorbs the full 56980 damage, you’ll take 4558 damage every 2sec for a total of 22792 afterwards. Certainly better than taking the full hit all in one blow. Sold by Naresir Stormfury when Revered with the Avengers of Hyjal.

Scales of Life (Heroic Version obtained when using a Crystallized Firestone to exchange it to Lurah Wrathvine) is the other Stamina trinket. When I’ve used it it heals me for about 19k so it’s a nice on Use item, especially when combined with a cooldown using a macro. Drops from Firelands Trash.

Spidersilk Spindle (Heroic version) is a Mastery trinket which already makes it a great choice for every tank, and it also comes with an automatic damage absorption shield if you don’t like on Use items. Drops from Beth’tilac.

Essence of the Eternal Flame is another Mastery trinket and actually the better choice to buy from Naresir Stormfury when Revered with the Avengers of Hyjal.

For Druids there are a few other trinkets you can also look for.

Ricket’s Magnetic Fireball is an Agility trinket with Crit on Use, which increases the chance of Savage Defense proccing. Sold by Damek Bloombeard when the Armorer is unlocked (requires 20 marks to get to the Molten Front, then 150 for the Druids of the Talon, another 150 for the Shadow Wardens, and finally 125 for the Armorer).

Ancient Petrified Seed is a Mastery trinket with a Use ability to increase Agility, which increases AP, crit, and dodge. With a short 1min cooldown, use it whenever it’s up. Sold by Naresir Stormfury when Revered with the Avengers of Hyjal.

The Hungerer (Heroic version obtained when using a Crystallized Firestone to exchange it to Lurah Wrathvine) is another Agility trinket. Its Chance to increase Haste isn’t very useful for Bears though. Drops from Majordomo Staghelm.

Matrix Restabilizer (Heroic version) is the last Agility trinket. Its Chance to increased your highest stat (which should be Mastery) makes it a very nice choice. Drops from Ragnaros.

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As for which ones to use, it’s pretty situational. Many of the encounters in the Firelands have a lot of unavoidable damage that can’t be mitigated, so you should have at least one Stamina trinket equipped. The Spidersilk Spindle is a great choice for any tank, better than Stay of Execution in my opinion. For Druids the Ancient Petrified Seed is a pretty good choice until you make it to Ragnaros for the Matrix Restabilizer.

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One thing to keep in mind when choosing the Armorer or the Moonwell first: When you pick one, you’ll need another 125 marks to unlock the other. Unlocking the Armorer gives you the chance for an additional 2 marks per day while unlocking the Moonwell gives you the chance for 15 marks once. If you instead choose to unlock the Ancients (also 125 marks), you have the chance for 3 more marks per day. Getting the Ancients won’t give you access to trinkets, but you’ll be able to buy Nemesis Shell Band, Lylagar Horn Ring, Relic of Tortolla, and Aviana’s Grip.

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