Tanking Guide: Part 2

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    Garahn
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    Join date : 2010-06-07
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    Tanking Guide: Part 2

    Post by Garahn on Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:32 am

    Tanking Abilities: As Hercules in the animated Disney film of his name says, "A warrior is only as good as his weapon." While this is a good thought to live by, it is not entierly true. We are only as good as the skills we use, and unless we fully understand these skills, we will never be true warriors. Below i have compiled information regarding all the warrior abilities you should use while tanking. All of them have their uses and all of them should be used whenever their use is called for. Learn well what I have written below, it should help you understand what we do every day.

    Sunder Armor: This right here is your bread and butter, go to skill for all your tanking needs. In almost any situation it should be the first button you are spamming to get it on the boss. Before anything else, the first five Sunders that hit are the best rage-threat generation you can have. Not only that, but the armor reduction of Sunder correlates directly into your threat, making all of your other abilities hit harder, and there by increasing your threat again. What most tanks miss about Sunder though is it's one issue. Once a mob has five Sunders on them it not longer causes any threat. I've known many tanks who constantly spam Sunder, thinking thats what they should do. This is wrong. If you read the ability, it's whole effect is adding a stack of Sunder to a mob. That debuff is the effect that has threat to it, not the refresh to Sunder that comes with each new use beyond the first five. Once you have five sunders on a mob, stop spamming it, move on to other abilities in order to maximize your threat. Be sure to use it occasionally though, as it does still need to be refreshed or it will fall off. The tooltip claims a 30 second debuff, but sadly this is wrong. The debuff actually seems to work for around 20 seconds. Be sure to take this into account as reapplying it before it runs out keeps the armor debuff active, greatly increasing raid dps.

    Shield Slam: This is the big momma of your tanking abilities. This is the one skill we have that stacks well with gear. To begin with it does 342-358 damage, which is huge on it's own. Then take into account that it is modified by our shield block value, and you have one hell of a threat ability. In my current gear I've begun critting Shield Slams for just over 1k. As your gear improves you will see huge jumps in your damage, especially when you get shield block value on gear. This should be used every time it is off cooldown, as long as a mob has 5 sunders on this ability will be your #1 threat build on a mob, every 6 seconds the mob should be saying hello to your shield. It's magic removal effect has limited uses and is mainly there as an addeed benefit. If you are tanking while specced into either Mortal Strike or Bloodthirst instead of this, then you should use them at a simmilar point in your rotation. They do not have a threat modifier attached to them, but both hit substantially harder than any of your other abilities, making them decent threat attacks all the same.

    Revenge: When you look at it, Revenge may seem like a weak, almost useless ability. That is far from the case however, as it comes in third in your rotation. Revenge is an extremely cheap high threat ability. Sunder Armor costs 12 rage to use, and this little baby costs only 5. Revenge is usable for 5 seconds after a Dodge, Block or Parry, and as a tank you should almost never go 5 seconds without one. This ability, while having low damage outputs a high amount of threat, equivalent to a heroic strike. The reason however, to use this prior to a heroic strike is that this ability is instant, and it allows your auto attack to continue. Your auto attack will then go off giving you more rage, and more threat, without doubling up the swing with a heroic strike. Like shield slam, Revenge should be used any time it's off cooldown, immediately after a shield slam.

    Heroic Strike Heroic Strike is generally referred to as a "Rage Dump" and that is pretty much the best way to describe it. What it does, is it increases the damage of your normal auto-attack by 138 damage and causes a high amount of threat. I've known many tanks who know very little, and only use this to tank. While that works, it is not at all the optimal way to go about it. Heroic Strike is used to dump excess rage during boss fights, or fights with powerful mobs. When I say dump I mean that it uses up rage that you would otherwise be holding onto with no use for. this is very important to maximizing your threat, as sitting on a boss, waiting for your Shield Slam and Revenge cooldowns with a full rage bar, is not a very effective means of tanking. My advice with this ability is to macro it together with Shield Block. Both of these abilities should be used at all times if you have more than 30 rage in your bar. 30 rage allows you to get off any abilities you need, a Shield slam, Revenge, Sunder, all of these are doable with less than 30 rage, making it an optimal amount to have when you begin dumping. Something tanks generally miss however, is that Heroic Strike does not scale as Shield Slam does. While it's damage will go up with more strength and better weapons, the threat amount is static. To Explain it better I'll write it out in a formula:

    Heroic Strike (400 Damage)=Heroic Strike Threat+400 damage threat.

    So no matter how hard your Heroic Strike hits it will do the same damage effect, then separate threat for the amount of damage it causes.

    Taunt: Taunt is a severly misunderstood ability. It does not build threat on a mob. What it does is it puts us at the top of a mobs aggro list, with a bit more threat than the previous aggro holders. That means that if someone has 100 threat, and you have 0, it will put you at about 125. If you are already at the top of an opponents threat it will give you nothing. This move should be saved only for when you lose aggro or you need to pick up aggro on something that is already going for someone else. In BWL and beyond Taunt will become crucial to our survival of some boss fights. Tank switching will be a must, and that is the main reason I'm writing this guide. You all must be capable of doing everything I do, or we will not succed in the comming raids.

    Shield Block: This is yet another, often neglected warrior ability. This is one of our best abilities, and it is the main reason we are the main tanks in the game. Shield Block increases our chance to block by 75% for 2 blocks or 5 1/2 seconds. The full importance of this will be explained later, but on the surface it is obvious the advantages of this skill. 75% more mitigation, even for 2 attacks is a huge difference. As a tank your main jobs are holding aggro and mitigating damage, and this does a ton toward that second goal. I'm not sure if it works on this server, but there used to be some innate threat involved in blocking an attack. Not a large amount, but the more you blocked the more threat you used to get. Also, a good shield spike can help a lot when aoe tanking. As long as you have your 5 sunders up and you are tanking a mob 3 levels higher than you or greater, you should have this up at all times. If you are tanking a raid boss you MUST have this up at all times. That will be explained later.

    Concussion Blow: Concussion blow is a great skill for us. In five mans it can mean the diffrence between a wipe and surviving a bad pull. It causes a solid 5 second stun on one mob, leaving them out of commition long enough to kill them, pull aggro back off a dps, or simply reduce the damage you are taking for 5 seconds. If 3 mobs are hitting you for 300 each, every 2 seconds, they are doing 450 dps to you. If you stun one for 5 seconds that drops to 300. This can be a great save in a bad pull.

    Cleave: This move is the base move of all aoe tanking. Like Heroic Strike it takes effect on your next melee swing, and causes an extra 50 damage to your target and one nearby enemy, it does not however have any threat modification like Heroic Strike. Either way, when tanking 2 or more mobs you should continually tab target between enemys spamming sunder and Cleave in order to hold multiple mobs. Tossing up a demo shout or hitting a Thunder Clap can also be very effective. But nothing will ever beat the tanking capabilitys of a well used cleave.

    Demoralizing Shout: Demo Shout is one of those ability's that usually gets relegated to an offtank or a dps warrior as anyone can use it and it doesn't directly effect threat. Though that is the case it's use should still be made clear. This effect reduces a mobs attack power by 140 untalented. This reduces the mobs damage by a decent amount. Now I don't know the math involved here, but rumor always had it that Demo shout effected boss mobs at an increased rate for some reason. I do not know if this is true, or if it is true, what the effect is, but it is always a good idea to have it on a mob. If you do not have anyone else doing it it is always a good idea to put this up on a boss, fit it into your rotation after you get your 5th sunder up.

    Shield Bash: This skills main use is as an interrupt against casters. In Mc you see very little use of it in that form, but in ZG and 5 mans it is vital for this use. Interrupting a heal, or a drain life, or that critical aoe, make this ability one of our most crucial in the right situation. However, it is not useless in the wrong situation. shield Bash does 45 damage when used, and while this isn;t a huge amount, and unlike Revenge it is not threat modified, it is still damage that can be used for greater threat at the right times. I will explain when to use this as a threat build later in the Rotations section.

    Rend: At the moment Rend is very weak for us. With the limited debuff rule we cannot use it for fear of haste bugging the bosses. If that were not a factor though, this ability makes for some great fun. It's damage has no threat modification on it, but it also bypasses armor. Right now, if you are to use Rend it should be very near the beginning of a fight. Before your sunders are built on a mob this will still do full damage, and each tick will build threat, adding about 20% to your build threat before you have your 5 sunders active. Beyond that it's damage becomes less than an auto-attack however, and will therefore become very weak. Only use it on bosses who drop aggro and only when you can see a low number of debuffs on the mob, generally just one row. If a boss has 2 rows do not use rend, as you will begin pushing to many debuffs onto the boss, and this will risk the bug.

    Disarm: In retail disarm was a limited use ability. Many bosses were immune to it, and so it was generally reserved for certain fights where it was intended to be used. On this server however almost every boss is disarmable, leading to this being one of your best damage reducing skills. Use this on bosses whenever you can, it's price may be high at 20 rage, but reducing a bosses damage by as much as 50% is huge! To give you an example, an Armed Ragnaros hits for around 1500 damage with no special resist or block. When disarmed that damage drops to around 800. Atm we don't need to keep bosses disarmed all the time, but as we move into BWL we may start forming disarm rotations to allow for a huge reduction in boss damage.

    Battle Shout: Battle Shout is not a direct tanking ability, but it does help with our tanking a lot. Increasing our AP with Battle Shout increases the damage of all our Heroic Strikes and auto-attacks. Over the course of a fight this one ability accounts for a huge amount of threat and rage generation.

    Pierceing Howl: This is a fairly uncommon ability in a tanking spec. However it is a very good tool if specced into it and used correctly. It causes an aoe snare to all enemies in 10 yards, slowing them by 50% for 6 seconds. Now this isn;t a lot, and in pvp it is no substitue for hamstring, but when used right after a group of mobs get to you it can give you a hell of a lot more control over the situation. All of the mobs being slowed gives you more time to react if aggro is pulled, allows you to pick up ones who headed for healers, and, if this were scripted right, would give you some decent aggro from the debuff it gives.

    Thunderclap: This ability is relegated to the last spot as it has one major flaw to it. This ability is the only one on this list that cannot be used in Defensive Stance. This ability deals a decent amount of damage to 4 enemies within a 5yd range. It is a great tool for aoe tanking but only if used correctly. How I use it is I have 2 macros set up. The first macro says /Cast Battle Stance. This needs to be on your main action bar. When you switch into battle stance your action bar will chang to that bar. On that bar, bound to the same button as the first macro you should have a macro that says /cast Thunder Clap with a /cast Defensive Stance on the line below that. This allows you to switch to battle stance, do a thunderclap, and then switch back to defensive stance in 3 clicks of the same button. This is very useful for hard damage fights in 5 mans, like Baron, where the 10% swing speed reduction can mean the difference between a kill and a wipe. This debuff should be used on almost every 40 man boss fights as the reduction can mean a huge difference to the effect of the raid. Once we have a Thunderfury this ability will lose almost all of it's use in our raids. Until then though, it is a huge benefit.

    This concludes the section on Warrior tanking abilities. One of the first steps to becomming a great tank is to know when and how to use each of your abilities. In the Section on Strategies I will discuss in depth how and when some of these should be used.

      Current date/time is Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:13 pm