Hunter Tanking ICC: Prince Keleseth

Hunter TankAhh… ICC is a marvelous thing, every encounter a new mechanic, every encounter a different way for a hunter to shine!

Today I’ll be talking about one of the ideal bosses to plop a hunter on as tank, Prince Keleseth.

Prince Keleseth is one of the three Blood Princes, and the only one that doesn’t need a conventional tank. A hunter is an excellent choice for him for a variety of reasons. We have several instant ranged abilities and Kill Shot, which is a fantastic ability to generate a lot of initial threat upon him.

This guide is going to presume you have a basic understanding of the encounter. We’ll be focusing on the role of a ranged tank exclusively.

Gearing for Keleseth tanking:

You do not need any special gear to be capable of tanking Kel, but any gear you can equip to increase your stamina without murdering your dps is highly advisable. PvP gear and stamina trinkets are pretty valid choices. You want to shoot for at least 35khp+ although 40k+ is a better goal if you can manage it.

As a hunter tanking Keleseth you have 3 priorities:

#1. Obtaining the little purple glowy things called “Dark Nucleus”.

BooBerry CerealHereafter referred to as booberries, because I don’t like saying Nuclei. These booberries are your lifeline and the key to surviving Kel’s Empowered Shadow Lance. Each one multiplicatively decreases the damage you take from his shadow lances by 35%. In otherwords 1 orb = 35% reduction, 2 = 57.8%, 3 = 72.5%, 4 = 82.2%, 5 = 88.4% and so on. So the more you have the better, in general as long as you keep 5+ you essentially trivialize his main attack on you.

However, the booberries have an interesting feature, they always hook on the last one to deal damage to them, in addition to that they tick down and damage themselves as time goes on, eventually poofing away. This means you will literally spend the entire fight gathering them in order to survive. You cam either use an auto shot or a rank 1 Serpent Sting to grab them, I find auto shot is easier, but if you can effectively pull off a low rank Serpent Sting, that will let you hold onto it just a little longer.

As a quick note, no doubt your fellow raid members will occasionally yet unintentionally work to thwart you. Booberries can be stolen by any damaging ability including AEs, cleaves, etc.\

If they steal one, target it and steal it back, UNLESS it possesses one of two characteristics.

  • If it has less than 20% health left, it’ll be gone a few ticks after you pull it.
  • If it has a dot on it, it’s stuck on that other person till the dot fades.

If either of these things occur, call it a loss and move on, wasting valuable time struggling to get one booberry will be an unnecessary distraction.

When Keleseth is empowered, everyone will be in range of him and as a result closer to you as well. No matter what the raid leader instructs, you’ll still have someone AEing or cleaving Keleseth so keep your distance. If you have to go move to get another booberry in this phase, take a wide berth around the melée before heading to it. It’s always better to take a few seconds longer to get one, than to rush and lose 4 on the melée.

#2. Gain a threat lead on Keleseth.

Having all the booberries won’t do you much good if he starts lancing other people. This is especially important in the first couple minutes, if he gets the first empowerment jump, you need to be ready for it. Kill Shot is your moneymaker for threat, with only 1 hit point unempowered, you can and should use it every cooldown. Beyond that, use your standard dps rotation in between booberries. You will want to make a targeting hotkey to /target Prince Keleseth, because after about 4 berries, targeting manually will become quite the challenge.

#3. Everything else.

If you have all the booberries and a solid threat lead on Kel, by all means shoot some kinetic bombs or dps the boss for a few seconds, your teammates will no doubt appreciate the help. Do not however do so if it will cause you to fall behind on berries or threat, you’re a tank today, let CC and dps be handled by the others.

A few last notes, coordinate with your healer, let them know you’ll be moving a lot to get berries and make sure they follow the giant purple cloud.

Be mindful of the other mechanics, you can still be the target of Empowered Conjured Flames and the like, so be certain you can avoid it until it’s damage is trivialized while staying in range of your healer.

I hope this provided some useful tips to one of the most entertaining encounters in ICC IMHO.

Happy Tankering!

– Solaryn

5 thoughts on “Hunter Tanking ICC: Prince Keleseth”

  1. Great post! Our guild successfully downed the princes a couple weeks ago with me as the Keleseth tank. We’d made some attempts the previous week to no avail but after reconsidering some gear choices it was much easier.

    Step 1) 40k HP using some stam gemmed Frost Resist gear and PvP gear mixed with my higher level PvE gear (didn’t regem this). Also “borrowed” a for the fight and then returned it for a full refund before it soulbound to me :-p

    Step 2) Remodeled my dual spec a bit:

    Step 3) Couple Macros:
    /tar prince keleseth
    /cast kill shot

    /cast serpent sting(rank1)

    /tar huntername
    /cast roar of sacrifice

    Basically with the build above and my new “tank set” I was able to get me and my pet bear, Aldo, up to 40k HP with 10man buffs. Great incoming heal boost for hunter and pet alike from Spirit Bond. Used roar of sacrifice and “borrowed” trinket whenever possible to mitigate some damage, especially during empowered phase. Glyph of kill shot with the kill shot macro above kept plenty enough aggro on keleseth with a few other shots thrown in for good luck. If things got hairy Aldo would taunt keleseth and then i’d distracting shot him back when I was topped off again. With a knowledgeable healer and a prooperly talented bear heals weren’t even an issue. In my case I had a Pally beacon and it was a breeze. It was probably the most fun I’ve had in a run in a long time!

  2. This is a great article Solaryn. We just downed Blood Princes last week in 25 man, but our 10 man has struggled on our few attempts. This post will no doubt help me, should I be asked to tank him one of these nights. I had a few attempts in 10 man last week, but I think half of us could have used a better crash course on the fight mechanics. Very helpful post. Nice work.

    • I’ve gotten quite a lot of experience at it lately, my guild got Orb Whisperer 25-man this week, so clearly hunters are a more than adequate choice. As a side note if available a Disc Priest is an excellent choice for a Keleseth healer, as you have the greatest chance of being hit by a life-ending blow, an extra 8-9k effective hp from PW:S is a great help.


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