Tanking for Dummies


Rotface is one ugly fight
January 18, 2010, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Raiding, Strategy, Stupid Tanking | Tags: ,

We have been wiping on Rotface enough that I feel like I have a pretty good idea of the way this fight is supposed to work.  I will say, however, that I don’t feel like we’re particularly any closer to beating him because of it.  Let me tell you, tank boys and girls, Rotface is one ugly bastard.

In this drama, I play the tank with the easier job – actually tanking Rotface.  Now, he can melee pretty hard, but mainly My job is to keep him in the middle of the room, and play monkey in the middle with him and the DPS.  By that, I mean that when he sprays, the DPS runs behind him, and right before he goes back to melee I step in front of him.  It keeps the DPS up by making them move only the once.

The harder job in this fight goes to a Paladin tank, kiting the big slime around the room.  There are several reasons for this:  First and most importantly is it gives the kiting tank control of dispelling Mutated Infection.  Second, Paladins have quite good ranged threat capacity. And Third, should it be necessary, the Paladin can use Blessing of Freedom to run through the green slime pools without be slowed down.

We have this execution down really well, we on the tank team.  Yet, despite this, the following problems occur:

  • A shaman (generally) pulls healing threat on the small slime that spawns right after Mutated Infection is dispelled, resulting in a small slime in the raid.  Supposedly, this is impossible, but I’ve seen it often enough to know that this is not really true.
  • Same as above, but as the result of the mutated infection victim dying.
  • During the Unstable Ooze Explosion, we run out too early, spreading the explosion way too far and killing people.
  • Same as above, but too late and getting people with lag killed.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we can execute this dance of death repeatedly without incident very very often.  However, the major block for us right now is the fact that each time the dance gets a little faster (and hence, the above conditions happen more often) and eventually it nails us.

And here is the clincher after a fashion:

In the weeks and months after all twelve encounters are unlocked, additional attempts against the final four boss encounters become available. This represents the Ashen Verdict growing more powerful and gaining a stronger foothold in Icecrown Citadel. To further help raids, Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream will begin to provide assistance by inspiring the armies attacking Icecrown Citadel. This is represented as an additional zone wide spell effect applied to all players that will increase their hit points, damage dealt, and healing done. This effect will also increase in effectiveness over time. Players may opt out of the spell’s effect if they so wish.(Source)

We have a limited time to do this with our pride as raiders intact.  Now, my understanding is that this won’t start up until after the Lich King is available – but if we’re stuck trying to get to Putricide until after that buff goes off – it is going to hurt.



I <3 High Overlord Saurfang
December 16, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Raiding, Strategy, Stupid Tanking | Tags: , , , ,

Last night was the best night of raiding since 3.2 came out.

It didn’t start out seeming like it was going to be the win that it turned out to be.  We had some trouble with Lady Deathwhisper on Thursday, and we were coming at her again with an off-spec tank and only 5 healers.  But with some changes in strategy (using crowd control on the mobs closest to Lady Deathwhisper when they spawn, and keeping 3 shadow priests on the boss through the whole of phase 1), we brought her down the second time we made it to phase 2.

Which means we got to do the gunship battle.

With THIS MAN.

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How to pull with posterior: a beginners guide
November 4, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Humor, Stupid Tanking | Tags: ,

No doubt you have heard of the wonder that is the accidental pull.  Contrary to popular depiction this exciting new sport is a healthy alternative to the boring and stifling organized pull.  Moreover, clinical studies have been found to show that the sudden rush of adrenaline and heart-rate makes for great cardio, the foundation of any good workout.  Best yet, you will be easily able to tell the lions from the lolcats in your raid with a few quick clicks of your mouse.

But wait, there’s more!

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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.



Ulduar Tanking Crits you for…
June 3, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Humor, Stupid Tanking | Tags: , , ,

…everything.  And I thought I was Defense capped.

I mean, I’m not sure you’ve noticed.  You could be a total bear or something and have sixty bajillion hitpoints so this is not really so bad for you.  But for me, Ulduar has been a lesson in new ways to be gibbed, burned, splattered, diced, or otherwise rendered to ground chuck.  I understand Blood Elves like this sort of thing.  Personally, I hope they choke on a shard of my Slayer of the Lifeless.

Let’s Review, shall we?

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Dear Blizzard,
May 27, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Humor, Stupid Tanking, Talents | Tags: , , ,

I know, once upon a time, I leveled as Fury.  I know that… well, you made it easy to get epic gear and that even with some blues in the mix my stats are pretty good.  I know, quite frankly, that I aught to be better at hitting my free slams and all that Jazz.

But for gods sake make the pain stop.

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The Creeping Death
April 1, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Raiding, Stupid Tanking | Tags: , , ,

I am not in this case referring to the classic Dungeons and Dragons cleric spell that summoned hordes of biting insects, cool as that might be.  This refers to a rather painful incident recently durring what had come to be a challenged that I relished.

After several weeks of getting raid members the Gonna Gotta Go When the Volcano Blows achievement, we were rolling up on Sartharion with his three friends up.  Things seemed pretty relaxed.  After all, prior to our three week binge on achievements to knock out requirements on Glory of the Raider we had been downing this fight pretty regularly and we generally knocked it out pretty quickly.  But this was not to be.

We wiped through the night.  I, personally, ate a lot of hits from lava walls and even void zones, which is just sloppy.  I even personally caused a wipe by accidently clicking on a Twilight Portal while trying to grab a loose elemental.  Even when we knocked Shadron out of the equation it tooks us 3 attempts to finish the fight.  I could at this point make a point about non-optimal raid set up, or a host of other petty points to explain why we wiped for three and a half hours, but that is a bunch of crap.  There are three words to explain why we couldn’t do that night what we had done every week the previous month:

We Forgot How.

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