So.. isn’t one tank enough for you?

Actually no.  Ok to a certain level I enjoy DK dps but melee dps has to be my least enjoyable form of the game because of the sheer amount of faff in keeping within the hit box when the tank is moving the mob all over the damm place (guys, trust me on this, where you can keep the mobs parked).

So we currently have Korenwolf, the raid geared wrecking ball who has always been and remains the “main”, he’s the class I understand the best and where the muscle memory is setup the best.  I know what to do when things go to hell on trash packs (like last night where we ended up with two large packs of adds, a couple of casters and a big skeleton in PoS at the start thanks to a face pull by the dps).  Everything got picked up and brought under control, including the casters sat at range (thank you shield for your caster stun effect).

There is the dead gnomish girl, I’ve got the hang of how to pick up and hold aggro on her (nothing like seeing a gnome tanking a toenail) it’s not as instinctive as ‘wolf but she’s getting there.

Now, as part of team pirate we have a bear tank, he’s solid he knows his stuff but we’re seeing threat generation issues which I need to understand properly so we can either fix or work around.  So to that end the boomkin spec is parked and tree boy goes bear for a while.  Now to get my head around rage and all that sort of thing.

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6 thoughts on “So.. isn’t one tank enough for you?”

  1. I tried tanking on kenau – and the weirdest part of it is that although you appear to be controlling the pace and leading a group, you depend entirely on the DPs to actually kill it, and the heals to keep you up. It’s so different – you are *supposed* to pull – you are *supposed* to be at the top of Omen, the mobs are *supposed* to be facing you… and they follow you round. Feels so odd when every other role is about diminishing the threat signature whilst either healing or DPSing your heart out.

  2. Think less about controlling the overall rate of the instance, though there is a good degree of control there but more about controlling the flow. For example in UK I can control how the pack at the bottom of the stairs is pulled, whether I’m going to let the patrol on the stairs be pulled or not, whether I’m going to actively yank them into the action.

    Whether I’m going to let that mob break and nom on the face of the warlock (om nom nom) etc etc.

    Everything should be focusing on you and no one else.

  3. My goodness, that’s going a bit above and beyond the call of Raid Leadership. The main problem may be simply gear. I get threat by hitting things. My high threat moves are Swipe, Maul and Mangle. And then there’s Faerie Fire Feral. So my high threat moves are Swipe, Maul, Mangle and Faerie Fire Feral. And Lacerate. Let me start again…

    So what I generally do is start by making pretty lights on the main target (like those bloody theurgists). If I have no leftover RAGE, I’ll power-shift first (Furor FTW), then charge in. I’ll then spend a hectic few seconds hoovering up any adds that may want to munch on DPSses or healers by immoderate amounts of Swipe (Bear). This should give me enough of a threat lead to stay ahead for a while. And then it’s a simple matter of keeping the mods’ noses pointing away from the raid, keep swiping and mauling, and growl at anything that runs away. I’ll throw in a few Demoralizing Roars, Barkskins to season.

    Bad Kitty informs me of any abilities that are aither cooled down or in danger of falling off so I can re-apply them when needed. I tend to use Berserk only as a situational. It cancels Fear.

    I’m glyphed into Maul (1 extra target), Frenzied Regeneration (while in a frenzy, heals on me get a 20% bonus, which is *nice*), and Mangle (increase Mangle damage, the swirly BOOM, by 10%).

    I also have minor glyphs for Challenging Roar (YOU ARE ALL UGLY! cooldown -30 sec), Unburdened Rebirth (Battle rez with no reagents), and Aquatic Form (Call me the Elf Torpedo!) I will not drop the Aquatic Form glyph for reasons of RP. The others I can easily lose.

    Thinking about Saurfang, unless there is an alternative glyph that I *must* have for that fight, I can simply switch to using FFF, Lacerate and Mangle while bloodbeasts are near, then resume mauling and swiping when they’ve buggered off to nom on the healer.

  4. I think that a major requirement for tanking is understanding threat, and how to generate it. e.g. “make the mob attack you for 5 seconds” does not, by itself, generate threat. But it gives you a chance to get it really annoyed with you.

    Once you’re def-capped, what matters most is talent spec, and then damage. And for druids, using thorns (and the associated glyph) is essential when tanking, because then when the mob attacks, you do damage, and it gets annoyed. So it attacks, gets more damage, gets more annoyed, etc. Essentially “free threat”. of course has many more words. Also shows how important Faerie Fire is, and not just because it helps the rest of the group.

    Of course, apart from one PoS run with Siyara re-specced as bear that one time, most of my druid tanking experience was in TBC, and now I’m rather more versed in DK Frost spec tanking. Deathchill (“make next cold spell a critical hit”) + Howling Blast (AoE frost attack) is marvellous for getting mobs’ attention.

    1. Agreed, and there’s a whole post which will happen at some point when I finish it on the art of tanking and being the biggest most annoying thing in the whole party / raid. Threat is primarily a damage related system, but with multipliers for particular talent setups and abilities.

      Frost presence / Bear form / Righteous Fury are all threat multipliers. As is seen when the tank has forgotten to put up frost or RF before pulling and is wondering why the dps are having such an easy time of collecting mobs. Having a retadin around to throw out retribution aura works nicely as well, it’s holy damage so that with RF is a nice little threat boost.

      However it’s also about knowing the rotation for maximum threat as well as weaving in the damage mitigation and where necessary the “oh shit I’m going to die” cooldowns (running back in to pick up the spinning bone monster for example before the heals are back in position).

      The other massive part of the art of tanking is picking everything up, and keeping them (they’re all my toys, you’re not having any of them). I’ve not yet shoved threatplates onto wolf, though I keep meaning to, so I’m down to tabbing round and shoving extra threat / taunting where required on big pack pulls + someone with divine storm / bladestorm.

      Of course the biggest trick of all is to keep the dps back for a cooldown, there’s nothing which beats an initial threat lead. 🙂

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