Tanking for Dummies

The next Stupid Tank could be you!
January 6, 2010, 2:29 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: , ,

Well, ladies and gentlemen of all shapes sizes and colors – I finally have the opportunity that you all have been waiting for:

Axiom needs a new Tank to add to the roster.

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Ze Tank Survey
November 6, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Advice for Non Tanks, Analysis | Tags: , , ,

This survey is courtesy of Dämmerung of The Children of Wrath fame.  It is itself spawned from the mind of Miss Medicina or so I am lead to believe.  If you’re new to Warrior tanking, or looking to get more into it, it does say a lot about the advantages and limitations of the art.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Tarsus of Scarlet Crusade server is my Protection Warrior.  At the moment, I’m using the cookie cutter 15/3/53 build stolen shamelessly from Tankingtips.com

What is your usual tanking environment?
I do almost exclusively 25-man raiding with Axiom.  I do run the occasional 10-man and every 5-man into the ground when they first come out.

What is your favorite encounter to tank, and why?
Auriaya with a Warrior tank can be fun because if you do it right it’s essentially a one cow show.  That said, probably my favorite encounter is Yogg-Saron provided the DPS aren’t being retarded.

What is your least favorite encounter to tank, and why?
Faction Champions is probably the least fun fight to tank as a warrior.  You get practically no rage as the opposing team rarely targets you, meaning you need to conserve what you have to make sure your interrupts are available.

What do you think is the biggest strength of your class, and why?
Currently, the strength of Warriors is in three areas, snap AoE threat (Thunderclap and Shockwave), fear cancellation (Berserker Rage), and spell interrupts (Shield Slam primarily, but also Concussive Blow, Shockwave, Heroic Throw w/talents, and Intimidating Shout).  Outside of that, we can tank most encounters provided we know in advance and can swap around talents and glyphs as needed.

What do you think is the biggest weakness of your class, and why?
In order to put out the same kind of threat as other tank classes, warriors need to reduce their hands to claw-like appendages of pure pain, due primarily to the need to constantly spam Heroic Strike.  Frenetic button pushing is a feature of most tanks, Warrior tanks are just by far the the worst for that feature.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel is the best tanking assignment for you?
Because warriors can essentially do any tanking assignment, we often are assigned to being “Off-tanks” in fights where such labels are applicable.  Outside of that, for me personally, I prefer those tanking assignments that require me to quickly pick up adds using my high-mobility abilities (such as Charge, Intercept, etc.)

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the most?
Warriors and Paladins probably work the best together of any of the tanking classes.  Our snap AoE threat works well to control adds and bring them into a Paladin’s Consecrate, and our ability to break fear and interrupt spells make up for the obvious holes in the Paladin portfolio.  The ranged snap threat of Avenger’s Shield is also complements the weak ranged threat abilities of Warriors.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the least?
Death Knights would almost certainly classify, as most of their abilities tend to fall under the “like a Warrior, but better” category.  This also means they offer little to diversify the abilities of the tank team when a Warrior is already present.

What is your worst habit as a tank?
I generally do not hit Shield Slam as much as I should.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
People not reading strategies/watching videos, or otherwise using the resources of the internet before raid, thus necessitating long drawn out explanations and wasting time.

Do you feel your class/spec is balanced with respect to the other tanking classes?
I generally feel that there are always places the various tanking classes could be improved, but the one thing Warriors are still definitively lacking is sustained AoE threat.  While lack of snap threat in other classes can be compensated by holding off on AoE for a few, there’s very little in our repertoire available to increase sustained threat other than the old standby of tab targeting madly (see the above comment about claw-like appendages for problems with that).

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
I use Omen to track on the spot threat stats and follow up afterward with the logs our guild takes of all raids.  Outside of that, using my own instincts and self-reflecting through blogging are the best tools I have.

What do you think is the biggest misconception that people have with your tanking class?
That Warriors are the best “Main-Tanks” probably ranks up there because of our legacy status as the only tank in Vanilla WoW.  In all honesty there is no more “Main Tank” and most raid teams are probably best off having one of every tank type available.

What do you think is the toughest thing for new players of your class to learn about tanking?
Use of Heroic Strike is probably the one thing that everyone trips up on.  There’s no tutorial that tells you “When your rage bar is full, hit this.”  In fact you would be forgiven for thinking Heroic Strike is something you’re supposed to use until you get Mortal Strike, Blood Thirst, or what have you.  Raid tanking, you practically cannot spam Heroic Strike enough.  If you hand doesn’t hurt at the end of the night, you’re probably doing it wrong.

If someone were to evaluate your tanking ability via tools like fraps, recount, and World of Logs, what tendencies would they notice?
Probably that I spend a lot of time adjusting and re-adjusting my position when tanking.  Anyone who has played a Tauren can tell you that our big models mean that mobs will dance around us using the patented NPC “walk through you and get behind you” maneuver.  Particularly if we have to move them during a fight (Twin Jormungar or Grobulus being good examples of that) that means we get hit from behind a lot more.  They might also notice an addiction to things like Savory Deviate Delight that help mitigate that problem.

Stamina or Avoidance, and why?
Stamina, stamina, stamina.  If Blizzard has taught us anything its that if you stack avoidance they will do their best to take it away from you.

Which tanking class do you understand the least?
Probably Bear.  They’re the only one of the tanking classes I haven’t messed around with even in the slightest.

What addons or macros do you currently use to aid you in tanking?
Deadly Boss Mods is essential to what I do, as is Omen and Item Rack.  Other than that, the add-ons I use are primary ways to manage data (Fortress) or keep my UI reasonably clean (Dominos).

Do you strive for a balance in tanking stats, or do you stack some higher than others, and why?
I definitely stack stamina when I get the chance, though given ToGC I haven’t had much choice.  Other than that, I try to keep my threat stats up as this is regularly my weakest area.