Tanking for Dummies

Some thoughts on Leveling a Warrior Tank
June 8, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Advice for Non Tanks, Gear | Tags: , , , , , ,

In case you haven’t been following it, my long lost Bro-on-another-server Linedan has been put together an awesome and comprehensive Protection Warrior leveling guide for those of you thinking of rolling with the best.  For ease of navigation, let me point you in the right direction (apologies for the pingback spam in advance Lewis):

This series has inspired me to put in a few words on what I consider to be some of the points of leveling a Warrior Tank.  Some of these points echo what the Panzercow  has said because I think they’re extra important.  Others are little extra tips from my own experience.

But first let me say that I am a big advocate for Protection Warriors.  I have two of them.  Even before the massive buff in 3.0, I thought they were the cat’s pajamas.  I may have leveled Tarsus as Fury, but I just couldn’t contain myself and I ended up speccing Prot on him anyway.  This may have been because I was tanking on him anyway, but considering I do this on my Blood Specced Deathknight I think this is more of an addiction that I just make easier when I’m the “tank spec.”

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Ulduar Journal: General “Just use a DK tank.”
June 5, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Raiding, Rants | Tags: , , , ,

So much trash.

That is the first thing that I got from what we did on Vezax.  There is 7 pulls, Three of which are Mini-bosses of about the same level of difficulty as the Ancients in Freya’s area.  They don’t drop Emblem’s though, and that’s okay.  The ones that should drop the emblems are the 4 other pulls of NINE.  Did I mention there is only eight raid markers?  It was a good thing that I’m currently messing around with a dual-prot spec, so I could avoid accidentally dotting the sheep.  Not that this mattered much since the Death Knights did this anyway.  My god that first pull was so much death.  Especially one one of the rogue type mobs decided it would shadow step back to the start of the instance and start ganking healers when we tried to graveyard zerg it.

It works a bit better when your crowd control is working, but it still takes forever to clear, nearly an hour in our case.  As for Vezax himself…

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There have always been things that, from other classes, that I thought would be ridiculously useful parts of the Warrior Tank’s arsenal.

Perhaps a better way to say this is that, while I love warriors to death, there are tanking tricks which I would kill to have that are the providence of other classes.  In fact, I can think of at least one from each class that I think would be an awesome tanking tool.  See if you can follow my logic here, they’re probably not the ones you’ll expect.

Warlock’s Curse of Recklessness – The thing about Curse of Recklessness is that is breaks fear on your opponent.  I could frankly care less about the other effects, but I cannot count the number of wipes that might have been saved had I the capacity to break someone else’s fear.  Now a-days I just have to pray I’m facing the right direction and I am fast enough when I hit Shockwave.

Shaman’s Lightning Shield – Lightning Shield seems to me to be a holdover from when Blizzard thought Enhancement Shamans should be able to tank.  This is frankly a waste with the way shamans have turned out – but it would be a fantastic tanking ability for bit of burst threat, especially at the start of a fight.  The closest you get now is hitting Shield Block for a slight increase in your Damage Shield numbers.

Rogue’s BackstabIt irritates the hell out of me when a mob decides he wants to look at someone else.  I’m the tank darn it, look at me when I’m hitting you!  Well, with backstab (or, garrote as well to be fair) there would be a serious detriment to a mob deciding that he wanted to use some ability on someone else in the party.

Priest’s Inner Fire – Inner Fire gives a nice Armor Boost that goes away as you get hit.  I would love to have something like that when I’m in my avoidance gear.  I would be like “Oh, you finally hit me!  Too bad I had Inner Fire!  That was pathetic!”

Paladin’s Blessing of Protection – I don’t know how to explain Blessing of Protection save to say that it is like Intervene but a thousand times better.  I won’t deny that Intervene has it’s uses (getting out of Murmur’s Shockwave for example), but I rarely ever use it for it’s primary effect, preventing damage to the target.  Blessing of Protection protects the target, drops their agro, and gives them a hamster ball of shame.  What is not to like here?

Mage’s SpellstealWhen they added the ability for us to see the buffs on mobs, all of a sudden we learned about the crap we were missing.  NPCs may not have great brain power, but damn their buffs are cracked out as hell.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love that my Shield Slam removes the buffs, that’s awesome and I use it all the damn time to remove stupid Bone Shield, but come on, I would steal that shit in a heartbeat if I could.  There are just too many good tanking buffs that NPCs have to ignore.

Hunter’s MisdirectEvery off tank has wished they had this at some point.  Let’s be honest, Hunters do awesome DPS, but their squishy as hell and that means using Misdirect with it’s somewhat buggy implementation often leads to dead Hunters.  Being able to transfer threat TO another tank (the opposite of Vigilance) would be a great tool to have.

Druid’s Nature’s GraspI love our movement abilities, I really do.  Intervene, Intercept, Charge are awesome, and so is Warbringer for making them even better.  But NPCs are bloody fast and irritatingly so, they often make the abilities seem useless for their primary tanking purpose.  Natures Grasp would change that given the way root effects work.  Also, I don’t think I need to add that being able to pop this at the end of a taunt effect would be just awesome for a few extra seconds of guaranteed attention.

Death Knight’s Death Grip -My Death Knight Raggok is almost 80 now and I am still amazed at just how rediculously useful a tanking tool Death Grip is.  I would even go so far to say, in our age of AoE instance grinding, the ability to grab casters and particularly mobs with guns/bows/javelins/etc and get them into your AoE threat range instantly is practically the most overpowered tanking ability that their is.  Heroic Throw, as awesome as it is, doesn’t even come close to being as awesome as Death Grip.  Death Grip has everything you could want: a short cooldown, innate taunt component, spell interrupt, AND instant forced movement.  The only thing it doesn’t do is damage, and blizzard will have to forgive me if I don’t see any warrior using Heroic Throw for damage.

Notes from the Darkside
February 25, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Advice for Non Tanks, Rants, Stupid Tanking | Tags: , ,

…Or, why Tarsus’ always ends up tanking on his Deathknight even though She is nominally DPS specced.

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