Tanking for fun and profit

Korenwolf finally got his first ICC25 outing last night, unfortunately this means he’s left the AB guild for the raiding one, though Unferth will make the trip back to AB soon.  Generally a good run, we one shotted everything through to Putri, the tanking legs dropped (got better already) and the shoulders from the boat (upgrades ftw, 1 DKP).

Things which need fixing, exorcism on the ret bar needs moving from it’s current keybinding which it shares with taunt on the tank side.  This can cause problems when I’m dpsing in prot.  Similarly Hammer of Wrath needs moving away from the taunt.  Simply put taunt needs to be somewhere I can easily use it without there being a chance of whacking it by accident when hitting something else.

  • Ret gear needs bringing up by enchanting and gemming.
  • Need to work out why I wasn’t getting alerts on P3 of Putri for the stacks or a better method of monitoring for stacks on the other tanks.
  • PowerAuras – needs setting up again so I have a clear visual clue on the key defensive spells
  • Enchant the new gloves (stam or armour, that’s the question)

All change…..

The transfer between teams in the raiding guild has come through.  So Unferth gets benched from raiding and Korenwolf steps up to the plate to start tanking ICC25 content.  This isn’t because I don’t like healing.  Trees rock, the ability to run while healing large numbers of players for daft amounts of damage makes them possibly the most flexible healing class out there at the moment.

However.

I am fundamentally a control freak, and the place control freaks belong is going toe to toe with the boss.  It’s what we do.

Korenwolf (tankadin) has been prot pretty much since he could start shoving talent points in the tree, he and his soulmate and permanent offsider (a certain Holyadin) levelled together through the latter part of classic and all the way through BC and Wrath.  There is little which can stand in the way of the Paladin tag team, I round them up and keep their attention and she heals the hell out of me and whacks them to act as a mana pinata.  Between them they’ve hit all the 5-man content in Wrath, though with the gearing level it’s no longer team tincan, more like a wreckingball and the wrath 10man content is gradually falling to Team AB (as covered elsewhere on the blog).

I’m expecting higher repair bills (front and center taking melee all the time, it comes with the job), a degree of higher stress / pulse rate during pulls and putting the situational awareness I’ve developed back into proper use.  Not to say that tree healing with tank like awareness for “the bad” is not a good thing, completely the opposite.

So in short less healing news, more tanking news.

On tanking….

Tanking, it’s the new black.  Mostly because of the massive tank shortage across all realms which results in the following timings for the new LFG system

Tank : 2 seconds (if that long)
Healer: 2 seconds – 1 minute
DPS: 10-20 minutes.

That’s a hell of an imbalance, part of the problem is the dps.  Sorry guys but it’s true.  Zoning in as a tank to be met with “tank! gogogogogoooooo” is not a nice way to encourage your tank to roll through the instance for you.  He’s there to have fun and get emblems as well, he also needs to get a feel for what the group is capable of.  There’s no point pulling like a ferret on crack if the healer can’t keep up with the damage or the DPS can’t actually push out enough to keep up with the chainpulling of the mobs.  The tank might not be happy with this specific instance yet, so chainpulling will result in wipes and general grumpiness all round.

DPS charging ahead and pulling mobs to “speed things up” is not cool, getting aggro after someone else pulled, it’s hard, it’s a pain and it’s not fun.  Don’t do it.  Holding off for a GCD or two isn’t going to kill you and posting recount meters, just leave it alone we all know you measure your sexual ability by the size of your e-peen but trust me, girls aren’t impressed.  They, like most good players, want a clean run more than they want an epic fast one.  Speed and size aren’t always a good combination.

So, what’s the key?  Epic gear?  Strict adherence to your rotation?  Buff food?

No.

Situational awareness: Have it, in large quantities.  Learn how to move the camera without altering your fighting position to obtain the wide view.  This gives you that wider field of vision to spot the patrol, grab the breaking mob.

Know what’s going to happen, what’s happening.  Pull the static pack back from where the patrol is going to bump into them, or actively pull the second pack before the DPS get in on the action so they’re under your control not running around having their own party with the DPS.  Spot that damm caster and hit him with something (taunt / stun / strangulate / a bunny) to get his attention off the healer.  Mark things up on the fly (FastMark is your friend)

Threat: Be the most frightening toon in the group, make sure that you’re building primary threat on the current kill target, don’t be afraid to tab through building threat elsewhere as required, use the threat lead to your advantage, you’ll only loose it if it’s either too small or some stupid DPS decides to taunt (in which case they get to eat the floor).

Soak it: Your secondary role after collecting aggro is to soak the damage, ideally everything which has been pulled is hitting you (enjoy the pain).  The more mitigation and health you can stack the better, it increases your surviability and eases the mana burn on the healer.  Lower burn on the healer means the fights can last longer allowing for weaker dps or weaker healing.

Trash: Don’t underestimate the damage trash can do, it’s not the damage a single mob can pull, it’s the damage 10 of them can land at once.  (Tincan motto: “We don’t wipe on bosses, we wipe on trash”)

Crit Immune: This is the biggie, taking a crit from a boss can be the difference between a kill and a wipe, for bears this is achieved by talenting in feral, for warriors, DKs and Paladins it’s defence rating (535 for 5-man and 540 for raids at level 80).  Don’t run a heroic without being immune unless you have a healer who likes a challenge 🙂