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The sword that drops from Deathwing, Gurthalak, Voice of the Deeps, is a powerful weapon with a deadly proc in that it spawns a Tentacle of Old Ones which is vicious and does a lot of damage - enough that it can often turn the tables in a duel.

As a mage, I find that this tentacle can eat through my health very quickly - what is the best way to counter this proc, when on the receiving end?

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The mind flay ability that the Tentacle of the Old Ones casts has a 40 yard range, although like most channelled abilities it only needs to be within that range at the start of the cast, and requires quite a bit more range to break the channel. I would expect that constantly attempting to outrange the tentacle would not be an ideal solution.

The tentacles can also be targeted and have 15k health and can be killed. They are classed as 'guardians' so you could enable health bars for enemy guardians to make them more visible. This means that you should also be able to use a /target macro specifically for targeting tentacles as a counter for this ability.

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You could maybe target them in random BG's but in Arena (2s, 3s) you'd be wasting effort/time destroying them. I'll second that your best bet is to move out of range from them, as a mage this shouldn't be too hard with blink, although I can understand wanting to save blink for a warrior's charge or a DK's death grip. –  Jared Jul 23 '12 at 21:41
    
@pixel So, is your overall recommendation to attack the tentacle and do 15k damage as fast as possible? Also, a quick thought... If it can be silenced, one could silence it, then move 40 yards away. –  Koviko Jul 24 '12 at 1:34
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@Koviko the tentacle will do more than 15k damage to you during the time it is up, 15k damage is literally one attack at level 85 for a mage. Think of it the same way that you deal with spirit link totems in arena, very little health in comparison to their value on the battlefield and killing them changes the course of the fight. –  kalina Jul 24 '12 at 7:37
    
@pixel It'd be nice if it was literally one attack, but it's not in the context of PvP. If I was able to stand still and cast a proper nuke, then sure. But the tentacle only procs while the opponent is actually doing damage to me, which means that they are likely in melee range. Using a quick cast + an instant cast is usually what I try to do, but I've had Scorch + Fireblast fail to finish off the tentacle before, causing me to waste another GCD. –  Koviko Jul 24 '12 at 13:23
    
This is the whole point of why 2h melee users love the Gurth, because of how much damage the procs provide, how hard they are to destroy and the added bonus of a snare. I personally only ever destroy tentacles on my ranged if the melee enemy is not on me and is far away. I still think your best bet is to max range them. Counter spelling could work (never tested this or found confirmation on wowhead it works) but you could be wasting a vital interrupt especially in arena. –  Jared Jul 25 '12 at 22:06
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