Tanking for Dummies

Top 10 Things to do While Waiting for Patch 3.3 to go Live
December 4, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Humor, Lists | Tags: , , ,

Does it seem like your life is a roller coaster, going from Tuesday to Tuesday?  Does each fateful week pass for you, leaving only disappointment?  Is there nothing you want more in life than to stop doing ToC and fling yourself bodily into Icecrown?

For you for whom patience is not enough, I give you these helpful suggestions:

10. Review the strategies for taking down long forgotten bosses as part of the Weekly Raid Quests.

9. Bank money to blow on repair bills – the pug demands it.

8. Stockpile consumables, like flasks, potions, and stacks of Glyph of Taunt.

7. Log on to the PTR and do practice runs of the Icecrown Citadel 5-man Dungeons.

6. Watch videos of the boss fights in Icecrown Citadel Raid.

5. Cast another vote for Basic Campfire.

4. Dream up the RP background for your new Worgen or Goblin.

3. Compose a crazy rant to convince the scary lady with knives that we shouldn’t run ToC anymore.

2. Make a sandwich.

1. Get treatment for the pain in your Heroic Strike hand.

And you thought it was just repetitive stress injury.  HA!

Icecrown Raid Loot Lists Updated
November 20, 2009, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Gear, Lists | Tags: , ,

I will never cease being amazed by the guys over at MMO Champion with this data.  This effectively overwrites the listing I did last Friday, save for the 5 man loot.

I would like to note the distinct LACK of tanking swords.  This can only be a good thing.  Seriously.


Chest Cataclysmic Chestguard

Hands Gauntlets of the Kraken

Waist Verdigris Chain Belt

Back Sentinel’s Winter Cloak

Trinket Corroded Skeleton Key

25 Man Hard

Trinket Corpse Tongue Coin

25 Man Normal

Ranged Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets

Chest Blightborne Warplate

Hands Taldaram’s Plated Fists

Legs Legguards of Lost Hope

ShoulderBoneguard Commander’s Pauldrons

Waist Belt of Broken Bones

Wrist Bracers of Dark Reckoning

Finger Harbinger’s Bone Band

Neck Sepsis

Trinket Corpse Tongue Coin

10 Man Heroic

Axe(!!!!) Troggbane, Axe of the Frostborne King

Mace Bonebreaker Scepter

Shield Neverending Winter

Wrist Gargoyle Spit Bracers

Finger Abomination’s Bloody Ring

Trinket Unidentifiable Organ

10 Man Normal

Mace Bonebreaker Scepter

Shield Neverending Winter

Legs Deathforged Legplates

Wrist Gargoyle Spit Bracers

Back Cloak of Many Skins

Finger Abomination’s Bloody Ring

Neck Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker

Trinket Unidentifiable Organ

Icecrown Citadel: Patch 3.3 PTR Tanking Loot
November 13, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, News | Tags: , , ,

Patch day is getting close, and that means its time again for me to parse the loot lists of MMO Champion for you, dear reader, to peruse!

Without further ado, on to the lists!

25 Man Normal Loot

Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets

Legguards of Lost Hope

Belt of Broken Bones

Bracers of Dark Reckoning

Harbinger’s Bone Band

10 Man Normal Loot

The Brokenhammer

Cloak of Many Skins

Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker

5 Man Heroic Loot

Falric’s Wrist-Chopper

Rimefang’s Claw

Black Spire Sabatons

Second Helm of the Executioner

Shoulderplates of Frozen Blood

Fossilized Ammonite Choker

Ick’s Rotting Thumb

5 Man Normal Loot

Splintered Door of the Citadel

Scourgelord’s Frigid Chestplate

Sollerets of Suffering

Crystalline Citadel Gauntlets

Legplates of Frozen Granite

Titanium Links of Lore

Eerie Runeblade Polisher

Emblem of Frost

Cataclysmic Chestguard

Gauntlets of the Kraken

Verdigris Chain Belt

Sentinel’s Winter Cloak

Corroded Skeleton Key

Sigil of the Bone Gryphon

We still don’t know the stats on Tier 10, however, even if we do know the set bonuses.

Among other news, there does not appear to be any form of Quel’Delar designed for tanks (boo!).  On the plus side, most of this gear is the best itemized we’ve seen to date in WoTLK, so there will be plenty of opportunities for tanking, very soon.  Remember though folks, this is PTR loot so it could change very soon (not to mention this is only the loot that we’ve managed to see thus far!.

Tarsus is an Old Cow
November 2, 2009, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Lists | Tags: ,

As I have mentioned before, Tarsus was the first character I made for World of Warcraft.  I had dreams of Hordes of Tauren armed with pole-arms tearing it up in PvP spamming /moo.  Though after I learned Tauren didn’t have access to the war totems they carried in Warcraft III he was neglected for a while, he will still be five years old in March.  That’s pretty darn old for a MMO character.

But it got me thinking.  At five years out, this spring, I will have been playing WoW for longer than I’ve played all other MMOs combined.  Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, Anarchy Online, and Ragnarok Online all held my interest for a little while (up to two years in the case of EQ), but never for as long or sustained a period as WoW.  So, why is that?

Here’s my thoughts on the matter:

  1. I get to play it with Jov – Playing with your significant other is pretty much better than anything you could ask for, but it’s only a piece of the puzzle (after all, Blizzard is now trying to keep up both of our interests).
  2. The non-realistic graphical style has kept itself surprisingly contemporary – While most MMOs appear seriously dated 5 years out, Blizzard seems to have picked an style that has a certain amount of wiggle room.  Any updates that will be applied come Cataclysm will only likely extend its life.
  3. Access to End-Game Content – I was lucky in some ways and thanks to great guild reputation and good references managed to get into the raiding thing pretty much right when my first character hit max level (technically a little before, I suppose).  Blizzard has clearly make it a priority to keep that content as accessible as possible and this would certainly explain why.
  4. Fun and amusing leveling content – Giving me some reason to actually level my characters means I have something to do when not raiding.  It also means that if I loose my “Access to End-Game Content” I might still play the game.
  5. A community of like-minded individuals – aka a guild.  For me, EQ only stayed worthwhile as long as I was with my guild (shout out to any “Holy Monks” that might be reading).  It’s demise when the end of my subscription.  So it might be said for WoW as well.  If Axiom ever kicked the bucket and failed to re-constitute itself (or I failed to find another guild), it probably wouldn’t be long before I was out of here.
  6. The Warrior class – It should be worth mentioning that the actual class I play (and, at that, the one I play almost exclusively!) is a leading contender for the reason that I’m still here 5-years on.  I certainly never feel like playing a Warrior tank ever gets stale.  If it ever did, I’m not sure if I would be able to play something else.

Is there anything that you, dear reader, feel should be on this list?  What keeps you playing when other things might lure you away?

Wipe Blame: The Tank List
October 30, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Humor, Lists, Stupid Tanking | Tags: , ,

Allow me to rise to Amber’s challenge to match her “Blame Table“.  Just for tanks.

Or, perhaps, I should simply call it my list of “why every wipe is secretly the tank’s fault.”

1st Cause of the Wipe: Tank lost agro

Reasons why this is the tank’s fault:

  • The tank forgot to get back into Defensive Stance/Frost Presence, etc.
  • The tank is in their DPS spec.
  • The tank is dead (this, contrary to some rumors, always causes agro wipe).
  • The tank’s claw-like appendage sometimes called a hand has finally dropped off due to excessive heroic strike spam.

2nd Cause of Wipe: Tank is dead

Reasons why this is the tanks fault:

  • Forgot to use the right cooldown.
  • Used the right cooldown, but a the wrong time.
  • Used the right cooldown, at the right time, but was fighting Gormok the Impaler.
  • Attempted to start a land war in Asia.

3rd Cause of Wipe: Ignoring the tank to 1-shot squishes

Reason why this is the tank’s fault:

  • Didn’t open with shield slam.
  • There is no hit gear in ToC.
  • Tank is dead.
  • Prudery is no excuse for not humping the boss before it becomes active.

4th cause of Wipe: Healer is dead

Reasons why this is the tank’s fault:

  • The only thing between the healer and death is the tank.
  • The only thing between the tank and death is the healer.
  • We live in fear of the healer mafia.

5th cause of Wipe: The adds are killing everyone

Reasons why this is the tank’s fault:

  • Didn’t play a Paladin.
  • Didn’t play a Death Knight.
  • Didn’t Vigilance the Mage.
  • The tank is dead.

6th cause of Wipe: DPS is too low

Reasons this is the tank’s fault:

  • Not enough threat.
  • Didn’t Vigilance the Mage.
  • Tank is Dead.
  • Didn’t swap to Berserker stance and start execute spam.

7th Cause of Wipe: Ignorance

Reasons why this is the tank’s fault:

  • Assumed everyone had read the strat/watched the video on TankSpot/remembered to keep up to date on their Tanking for Dummies feed.
  • Missed the tanking assignments because they were tabbed out playing browser games.
  • “Close your eyes and think of England” is not a sufficient strat summary.

Don’t despair my fellow Tanks, just remember -  even if it is always your fault it’s not like anyone else can take the hits and maintain a stunning 31 Intellect.  That’s what we call job security.

Race Change for Tanking
October 28, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Lists | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

First off thanks to those who send their good wishes.  To those of you who asked: No, it isn’t swine flu.

However, for those of you who have been paying attention, the Race Change service is now available.  Meaning that between this and the Faction Change you can swap your warrior tank to any other race in the game (well, except Blood Elves, but who wants them anyway?).

Why would you want to switch races?  Well, let’s be straight here – you want to be the best tank you can be so you want to seek out every advantage you can get.  There are different advantages that race options can give you.  Let me parse them for you:


  • Orc – You have Blood Fury which will increase your threat and Axe Specialization that will increase your expertise with Axes.  The former can be a nice boost, but the latter is gimped by the parsity of tanking axes.  Boo.
  • Tauren – More health from Endurance and an AoE stun on a 2 minute cooldown with War Stomp.  The former sounds better than it is in actuality, but I cannot even begin to say how useful the latter has been over the years.
  • Troll – Berserking is a nice boost to threat, though given it’s dependence on your health it can feel a little gimped on a tank since you’re not wanting to go too low on that.  Other than that, there isn’t that much here… outside of pure mojo.  You have to respect the mojo.
  • Undead – Will of the Forsaken used to be the great grand-daddy of tanking racials, but with the advent of access to Berserker Rage in Defensive stance, this is (at best) a good back-up in case you hit the button at the wrong time.  Cannibalize can also be very useful under the right circumstances, but again, you’ll rarely have the opportunity to use it.


  • Dwarf – Stoneform is one of those abilities that you think you won’t use until you discover just how often things hit you with debuffs.  The ability to remove bleed effects is also Godly, as the only other abilities to do so also drop you off the threat table.  Mace Specialization, however, is gimped due to the parsity of tanking maces.
  • Gnome – While I have seen some great uses for Escape Artist, this is mostly to help in situations for anyone, not specifically for tanks.  Tiny Hijinks aside, you’re not going to find much more use in your tanking repertoire for gnome racials.
  • Human – Every Man for Himself is probably the most powerful racial in the game right now, so it bears noting that it works for most things that you would want.  It’s effectively a PvP trinket that doesn’t take up an item slot.  If that were not enough to think that Blizzard has it in the bag for Humans, they also get Sword Specialization – which is pretty awesome considering that the vast majority of tanking weapons or swords.
  • Night Elf – Quickness deserves a special mention here because bosses do not get expertise or hit.  This means that your Night Elf tank is going to just have better baseline avoidance – not to shabby.  Shadowmeld can also be useful when it comes to tank transfers, keeping you from accidently overtaking your friend who just taunted off you.
  • Draenei – Heroic Presence is a great boost to threat.  It’s always on, and it works for everything you might equip.  It’s also no great surprise that Gift of the Naru is good for tanking, especially in smaller groups where the mobs don’t hit quite as hard.

That pretty much covers it.  So am I going to switch?

Heck no.

Tauren, forever.  For the Horde!

Icecrown Cidadel is Comming
October 23, 2009, 7:35 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, News, Raiding | Tags: , , , , ,

This is no great surprise if you have been paying attention.  But for those of you who haven’t, let me point you at some linkage:

No loot yet to parse and list for you, but you know it’s coming.

Patch 3.3: Linkfest
October 5, 2009, 10:19 am
Filed under: Lists, News | Tags: , ,

As promised, some follow-up from Friday’s peek at the three 5-man dungeons in Icecrown Citadel:

  • MMO Champion has a couple of screen-shot Galleries up, a more general one is attached to this post.  One focused on the Pit of Saron is here.  Matticus has some additional, more personal, shots on his post.
  • The folks at WoW.com (that’s formerly WoW Insider, you know) went into the Pit of Saron over the weekend.  Their impression of tanking is here.  Oh, and there’s some healer info as well, but who the heck cares about that?  (The TL&DR is that at the moment the instance is fairly standard 5-man fare if you are already in Tier 9 level raid epics, but probably significantly more challenging if you’re just making the move up from, say, Trial of the Champion.)

Some other interesting tidbits have also come out regarding the upcoming Patch:

  • There are weekly quests for raids given out by The Council of Six.  These give a whopping ten Emblems of Frost (that would be the token drop from Icecrown I imagine).  Currently, there are twelve of these, 3 in Naxxaramas, 4 in Ulduar, 2 in Trial of the Crusader, 1 in Icecrown Citadel, as well as Malygos and Sartharion.  Talk about something else to do with your raid if you finish early.
  • There is quite a good deal of speculation about Quel’Delar, the sword that is embedded in the ice just south of the Argent Tournament.  It seems unlikely that this will be a second Legendary in Icecrown (see Shadowmourne), and MMO Champion seems to think that it will be a quest to give it to the Argent Crusade.  Myself, I think it is more likely somehow related to Shadowmourne, perhaps the axe is salvaged from the remains of the blade?  No doubt we will find out soon enough.
  • And lastly, on the PTR they’ve taken away some of the function of Damage Shield, meaning it will no longer proc, say, Deep Wounds.  It’s almost like they really don’t like Protection Warriors having it or something.

Onyxia’s Goodie Bag
September 25, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, Raiding | Tags: , ,

No, I am not talking about the Enlarged Onyxia Hide Backpack, as snacky as that is.  No, I’m talking about the must get, items from the Dragon Queen’s horde.  She’s got a few choice pieces for everyone’s wanted list.

Burnished Quel’Serar/Gleaming Quel’Serar – Once, Quel’Serar was the must have tanking sword for serious raid tanks.  It was incredibly hard to get – a quest reward from a rare drop item in Dire Maul (one of the most awesome, yet neglected instances in Classic WoW).  You no longer need to forge it in Onyxia’s fire and quench it in her blood.  She just coughs it up.  Now, in many ways this is an upgrade from Titanguard, but I should point out before everyone gets all excited that it has no defense on it, which means that you better hope you have enough defense to make up for the loss that you’re about to endure.  Fortunately, Onxyia is also providing a little help there with…

Purified Onyxia Blood Talisman – A defense trinket!  Let’s make no mistake here about the Health Regen or Parry Rating.  You want this for the precious precious defense.  If you’ve already got your Seal of the Pantheon and the Repelling Charge, this is likely not much of an upgrade, but given how much easier it is to get (a quest reward from a guaranteed drop) I think my enthusiasm is very forgivable.

Helm of Wrath/Faceguard of Wrath – The hideousness of the infamous “Land Shark” hat aside, it is hard to argue that this isn’t an amazingly itemized avoidance piece.  Compare this to the Hellscream’s Greathelm of Triumph to see what I mean.  The latter is much more difficult to get (requiring defeating Heroic ToC bosses, a challenge for perhaps everyone but the top tier of  raid guilds), and the stats are, shall we say, startlingly close.  Definitely a quality addition to any avoidance set.  Just keep your helm graphic turned off.

Eskhandar’s Links/Eskhandar’s Choker – This great threat neck is superior even to the Titanstone Pendant, from 10 man or 25 man.  To get better than this even for avoidance, you would have to beat another Heroic ToC boss, either Twin Valkyr’s on 25 or Jarraxas on 10.  And at 50 defense, you could think of it as yet another step on the path to getting your hands on Quel’Serar.

So that’s your tank specific summary for Onyxia.  Pretty nice!  These pieces are a great way to help get yourself that much more ready for Icecrown – especially if your raid doesn’t get around to killing Heroic ToC bosses.  Good luck with the Dragon, my fellow tanks, and remember – she doesn’t deep breath more often, it’s just you.

Top 10 Things I want to know from Blizzcon
August 21, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Humor, Lists | Tags: , ,

Even if they’re not actually on the menu.

10. What is in Icecrown Citadel?

9. How many of the MMO Champion rumors about the expansion are true?

8. Will any Tauren costumes be using these?

7. Will Diablo 3 or Starcraft 2 finally get a release date?

6. Will they stop teasing us about changes to Warrior rage generation and just tell us what they’re going to do?

5. Can that which is not dead eternal lie? and with strange eons, can even death die? (i.e. What does C’thun do while having rez sickness?)

4. Will the secret new project that Blizzard has been working on be revealed?

3. Can we get a more updated picture of Ghostcrawler to use with our “QQ nerfed!” posts?

2. Will anyone admit that the Argent Tournament was a questionable addition to the game?

1. But seriously: Who will win the dance contest this year?


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