Our guild is not quite up to Reliquary of Souls, but I wanted to run an idea that I have been theorycrafting for a few days by the community with regards to essence of suffering.
As I understand the encounter, he melees for exactly 1000 at a fairly rapid rate, lowers healing by 100%, lowers armor by 100%, lowers defense by 500 and is incapable of critting or crushing. The obvious strategy is to juggle agro so he lowers the entire raids hitpionts evenly without killing anyone. However, if a tank were to wear the following set of gear...
(assume fully socketed/enchanted with gems to maximize avoidance and not defense)
So when you compile this very odd set of gear, all of which is available before reliquary, you get the final (talented) stats of...
Strength 146 + 68 = 214
Agility 93 + 165 = 258 > 9.8 dodge
Dodge = 173 > 9.65 dodge
Block rating = 196 > 24.87
Block value [726 + 10 (strength)]*1.3(talented) = 957
With talents this becomes
957 block value
This means that with a shamans stoneskin totem (absorbing 43 damage per hit) this block value of 957 (+43=1000) brings us to exactly sufferings damage. A warrior with shield block up would be unhittable by the boss. Even without shield block up reliquary would only have a 45% chance of landing a hit.
The question I have is how fast is reliquarys attack speed? Is it slow enough that a tank with this gear could viably just tank it mashing shield block and receiving pw:s every 15 seconds? I would assume that suffering would die very fast with 24 dps who could just unload on it (agro being a non issue because with this gear shield slams would be hitting for 1500 before armor non crit).
My other question is about his phase 1 enrage. I have heard from EJ members that he periodically enrages increasing his damage output. Unfortuneatly I was unable to locate the details of this spell on thottbot or wowhead. Does anyone have any information about this?
Our MT in full tank gear does the first 30 seconds or so with 2 trinkets (one, then the other - normally moroes then autoblocker afaik). He ends up taking maybe 2k damage if he's unlucky. I also doubt you'll have honoured SotS unless the rep gain from trash waves is already in (didn't notice it in the patch notes, we did BT tonight so no experience yet). I don't see why you'd want that set of gear when it would be impractical in the other stages of the fight (which, in a tanking sense, are much more standard stages).
Agro is not controlled in a standard sense in this phase of the fight.
As I understand it you can now get ooc between phases and switch your gear up. As for why i would have it? I happen to already have most of it just because I like to prot in pvp and this gear lets me shield slam for 4000+ on clothies