This topic recently came up in a thread on TankSpot so I figured I’d give it a go myself in writing something up about it, perhaps I’ll even make it an on-going series of subject matter here provided anyone is interested.
There are exactly two instances I can think of off of the top of my head where it is okay to taunt a mob off of another tank. Hopefully you guys will help me think of a couple more.
- Boss strategy. When a boss encounter calls for it, like Vashj. When the main tank gets rooted (pre-Warbringer anyway) or stunned during Phase 1 or 3, it’s important for the OT to immediately pick her up.
- To preserve another tank. When you might be out of range of healers and the tank that has a mob is about to die. A good example of this is the Infernals that drop during Kaz’rogal and Azgalor trash in Hyjal. Another example was on our Illidan kill last night; one of our Flame tanks went down and I stepped in long enough for the first one to die, then the living Flame tank taunted it back off of me.
This means that if the situation you find yourself in doesn’t fall into one of the top two categories, do not taunt off of another tank. I don’t care if you’re a better tank or better geared or whatever the excuse is, it is a slap in the face of the other tank if you do this. On a very basic level you are saying to that tank that you do not trust them to do their job.*
We all accidentally taunt, just because you do doesn’t make you a terrible tank but please apologize for it. A quick, “sorry about that, Bob the Tank” in Vent can help smooth it all over and stop a potential flare-up from occurring. And believe me when I say that they will know what you’re apologizing for.
There is one situation in which taunting off of another tank’s target is acceptable, though it still isn’t the best idea in the world, and that is AOE tanking. As far as I’m concerned in these hectic situations as long as the mobs are not on the DPS or the healers it not a problem and you should not take someone taunting off of you personally, you should be happy that you are all doing your job and not allowing the raid to take unnecessary damage.*If you really don’t trust the other tank, instead of taunting off of them stop bringing them to raids.
Popularity: 16% [?]
With the advent of patch 3.0 and the upcoming expansion, no doubt everyone reading this is well aware that the way Warriors have been tanking has been completely turned on it’s head. I went from putting out around 1200 to 1300 TPS on a boss to around 3000 TPS pretty quick and I’m sure most of you have seen a similar increase. Our “oh crap” buttons are on lower cooldowns, our talents are fun and exciting, our gemming choices are actually going to be choices and our AOE abilities have been buffed to the moon. That’s all well and good but the problem facing many is this: how do you use all of these new abilities to their maximum potential?
There really isn’t a way to say, “do this, then this, then this” anymore since everything a tank does now is based entirely on circumstances. I know in many ways this has always been the case but it’s never been like that more than it is now. That said, your priorities should always be:
- Shield Slam, including Sword and Board procs. If Shield Slam is up, use it. No excuses. This ability does the most damage and puts out the most threat of any move in our threat arsenal. Learn it, live it, love it, use it. Often.
- Revenge. If Revenge is up and Shield Slam is on cooldown, use Revenge. Revenge costs only two rage with Focused Rage talented and does a ton of damage which means tons of threat. If you have Glyph of Revenge (and you should) you will also use Heroic Strike immediately after Revenge. In fact, to make sure you never miss a Heroic Strike I recommend using this macro which I blatantly stole from Kadomi who stole it from someone over at Veneretio’s site, TankingTips.com:
/castsequence reset=2 Revenge, !Heroic Strike
- Devastate. If Shield Slam and Revenge are cooling down, start throwing out Devastates. Make sure you use
- Shield Block. I don’t use this necessarily every cooldown, but it’s pretty close. I want to make sure that I’m using it when Shield Slam is available, otherwise I’ve wasted precious seconds where I could have used another Shield Slam or a Sword and Board proc to push out even more threat. Shield Block is especially useful to use at the beginning of a pull so that your DPS can lay into your target right away.
- Shield Bash. If you have two points in Gag Order your Shield Bash increases the damage your Shield Slam does to a target by 10%. That’s like having the T6 4-piece set bonus with the push of a button. Try to throw this up early in a fight to get maximum use out of it and don’t worry about it affecting your rotation because Shield Bash is off of the global cooldown now!
Here we are as warriors, no target limit on Thunder Clap and with our cool new ability Shockwave. This means we can do instances in the same way that only Protection paladins used to be in the past – with absolutely no crowd control. That isn’t to say it was impossible, I’ve done a dungeon without crowd control plenty of times and I’m sure most of you have too; the difference is that now it’s fun and it’s manageable.
- Charge. This step is actually optional and not recommended in a sitation where you could aggro further groups but man is it fun.
- Thunder Clap. You want to lay out a Thunder Clap immediately to get a handle on the mobs and to get that cooldown ticking away.
- Shockwave. Pile the mobs up in front of you and give ‘em a Shockwave to the face.
- Cleave. Cleave repeatedly, over and over until the cooldown is down for…
- Thunder Clap. At this point, you rinse and repeat until everything is dead.
Don’t forget you have other abilities you can be using during this time as well! Use Shield Block to make Damage Shield hit harder, throw out Shield Slams and Devastates as well. Above all else, always be doing something to maximize your threat.
Popularity: 18% [?]
Last night my guild did a run of 7/9 bosses in BT, downing both Reliquary of Souls and Mother when we had never seen either of those bosses before. To top it all off, we downed Mother when 50% of the raid wasn’t wearing any shadow resist gear and the other 50% had maybe 110 resist tops. We had an alchemist in the raid who made 20 or so Shadow Resist potions that the DPS and healers drank at when Mother hit 50% health. I have no idea how effective that was but we killed her and that’s what matters.
I have to be honest: the trash leading up to both of those bosses are an absolute blast with the new Protection changes, and the trash in Hyjal was so much more fun when we ran that on Tuesday. I had never seen any of that trash so being able to not only see the new content but tank it all was exhilarating.
Now some bragging: I got my Onslaught Shoulderguards! I have never been a fan of the look of the Destroyer Shoulderguards so this is a change I’m pretty happy with for both the upgrade and the anesthetics. Unfortunately my T5 looked better with the rest of my gear so I’m back to rollin’ through instances in a clownsuit but the shoulders were such a huge upgrade I just don’t care.
I was then faced with the dilemma of gemming. As you guys recall from my previous post about tanking gemming in the expansion, I said that hit gems into yellow slots and strength/stamina gems into red slots would probably be the way to go. Old habits die hard, though, and I ended up socketing for two +15 stamina gems and ignoring the socket bonus.
I just don’t know if it’s worth it at this point in the game to completely change the way I’m gemming because, frankly, threat has not been an issue since the patch went live so I might as well socket for survivability, right?
Popularity: 8% [?]
Last night after everyone got their UI problems out of the way, we grabbed 10 guild mates and ran Karazhan to check out the new abilities of our classes in a low-stress enviornment.
We did a complete clear in one hour and ten minutes. That’s right: one hour and ten minutes. This includes a wipe on Curator because I’m dumb and pulled all of the trash and him on accident. This includes me pulling and holding the entire audience on our way to Opera because I thought it would be funny. This includes pulling an entire table group, a Skeletal Waiter, all of the Moroes adds and Moroes himself and then tanking them on my own while we AOE’d them down.
According to WWS, here were the times on our boss fights:
- Attumen: 55 seconds. Single-tanked.
- Moroes: 1 minute, 15 seconds. Single-tanked all adds and a bunch of trash mobs we pulled on accident.
- Maiden: 36 seconds.
- Opera (R&J): 42 seconds. AOE’d them down while standing on top of each other.
- Nightbane: 3 minutes, 57 seconds. This would have been a lot shorter if he didn’t take off every 25%. He never got a chance to fear.
- Curator: 1 minute, 21 seconds. Never got to use Evocation.
- Illhoof: 52 seconds.
- Aran: 1 minute, 7 seconds.
- Netherspite: 52 seconds. Never went into Nether-form.
- Prince: 1 minute, 14 seconds. Only one Infernal landed.
I can hear you out there asking what the point of this post is other than tooting my own horn but the point is…
Get in there and do some stuff you haven’t done before. There is no better time for PUGs than now.
It’s experiance that will last you well into the expansion. Plus, it’s just damn fun.
Popularity: 10% [?]
I’ve been doing a lot of research and I think that with all of the changes to the class as a whole my brain has imploded. After my fifth of sixth iteration of a tanking spec, I have decided that this is the build I’m going to be using for main tanking at level 80.
Titan’s Grip with Last Stand and Shield Mastery. Awwww yeah.
Popularity: 8% [?]
Alright gentle readers, Polgera and I are off to BlizzCon. Got a 16 hour drive to get to Anihiem but it should be worth it. Some of my guild mates are bringing laptops so I should be able to make sporadic posts throughout the event.
Popularity: 6% [?]
I was looking through the gem list over on WoWHead today and I have to say that I’m very, very impressed with what Blizzard is bringing to the table. While the standard gemming practice in the Burning Crusade, is (at least until late-T6) to stack stamina, stamina, and some more stamina while forsaking all socket bonuses, I do not foresee this being the case in Wrath of the Lich King.
Why do I think this, you ask?
Tons of Stamina is on Everything
Every single piece of tank-like gear I have found is loaded with stamina, for instance:
- Tempered Titansteel Helm (crafted): 168 stamina
- Tempered Titansteel Treads (crafted): 120 stamina
- Titansteel Shield Wall (crafted): 69 stamina
- Armored Titanium Goggles (crafted): 111 stamina
- Slayer of the Lifeless (Naxx 10-man): 57 stamina
That’s a ton of stamina, and all of those items are able to be obtained very early in the Wrath of the Lich King raiding game.
But most importantly, we will not longer need to have massive stamina pools because…
Popularity: 20% [?]
Old and Busted: Powerful Earthstorm Diamond
New Hotness: Eternal Earthstorm Diamond
It’s no secret that with patch 3.0, a lot of tanking warriors are going to have some problems getting back to the defense softcap. We’ll be swapping in some trinkets with high defense rating (read: Scarab of Displacement) permanently, the problem with this is that it’s going to drastically cut down on our ability to freely swap out items for added versatility depending on the situation we find ourselves in.
Enter the new Lord of the Warrior Tanking Meta Gems, the Eternal Earthstorm Diamond! She’s quite the beauty, no? With the +12 defense raiting it’ll help you get back up to 490 defense and the 10% bonus to Shield Block Value will be absolutely amazing for our our future threat and survivability. The best part is that it’s a percentage so it’ll just keep getting better as your gear improves.
Popularity: 6% [?]
We all know the great stigma attached with running in pick up groups for instances; the people are morons, the people there can’t play their classes, the crowd control is terrible, etc, etc. This stigma is there and well-known because, well, generally it’s deserved. I hear constant complaining about running in PUGs but there are two streaks of silver lining in the murky cloud that people don’t often see.
It Will Make You a Better Tank
The bottom line is that when you have to deal with the Mage that just has to Pyroblast when you pull or the Hunter that can’t trap or the Warlock that DoTs everything so he can top the DPS meters it makes you a better tank. You learn to use all of your abilites and how to use every single trick you have to keep mobs stuck on you.
I was recently asked by a guild member, who just dinged 70 and wants to tank, for some tips of the trade. I told him to go PUG. PUG a lot. PUG until your eyes bleed because the things you learn while PUGing are invaluable and will serve you for as long as you play the game and continue to have bosses punch you around.
I believe this topic has been hit on by other tanking bloggers but the other reason that people go to PUGs and is often overlooked is because…
It is a Valuable Recruiting Method
Yes, you will run into many groups where you can’t stand a single person in it. But every now and then you’ll run into the diamond in the rough; that player who is in the guild that recruited him when he was level 1 but who knows how to play his class and is great to be around. The type of person you want to bring into your guild.
Popularity: 7% [?]
With the 3.0 patch looming on the horizon I am looking at my talent spec and thinking, “what am I going to do?” I’ve have a pretty solid idea of what my level 80 spec is going to be, but my level 70 spec is another matter entirely. The truth of the matter is that there are so many amazing new talents in the Fury and Protection tree that I end up going crazy and pulling my hair out trying to decide which ones I want.
- The Defensive Build (5/3/53). Since I’m the main tank for my guild and we’re going to still be taking on new content once the patch hits, this is definitely the spec I’m going to be taking. I’m giving up five points in Cruelty to pick up five points in Parry and thus keep my avoidance up but I still get the myriad of excellent threat and survivability talents in the Protection tree. I purposefully left out Vigilance, Concussion Blow and Improved Spell Reflect. While these are talents I really want to pick up as I level, I want to see how the gave has changed before putting points into them at level 70.
- The Offensive Build (0/8/53). The same as the defensive build above but dropping the five points in parry to keep five points in Cruelty. I imagine this being the build for OTs until the release of the expansion because of the higher threat that could be generated via the additional critical strike chance.
What’s your level 70 tanking build going to be like and why?
Popularity: 5% [?]