Orvillius of D/E the Tank somehow got the idea that I was a qualified candidate to speak on tanking issues and asked me to post in the Tanking Circle. I would like the reader to know off the bat that I consider myself a tank of last resort. Whatever the current number of geared tanks we have in whatever guild I am in, I always without hesitation rank myself dead last. This probably has more to do with my frail tanking ego than anything else. Regardless I agreed to do the circle in the spirit of easy to generate content. Fill out a survey, how hard could that be? We shall find out.
1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Gnoblerage, warrior, Protection. 8/2/31. So far this doesn’t seem so hard of a survey.
2. What is your primary group tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Primarily I am a heroic 5 man and trollroic tank. I have on a few occasions tanked in t11 early boss content, and done both BH bosses currently available.
3. What is your favorite cooldown for your class and why?
Probably Last Stand. It is enough of a boost to give the healer time to catch up in a bad situation.
4. What tanking CD do you use least for your class and why?
Probably Enraged Regeneration because it requires you to be enraged and costs 15 rage so isn’t always available. Also because it is a HoT essentially I tend to feel it won’t do enough quickly enough to save my gnomish ass.
5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
This stems more from tanking in Wrath, but I always felt like Warriors excelled at single target boss tanking, and had more abilities to throw at a situation making them less of a niche tank.
6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your class and why?
Probably AoE tanking. It has gotten a lot better, but it still can be hell to tank several mobs at once without one slipping away. That skill set takes lots of practice to master I find.
7. In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
Due to the gear gap with other tanks who are in our raiding program I’d say off tank. The problem with this question now is that so many raid fights require both tanks to do the exact same thing because of a tank swap mechanic that every tank usually has the same assignment. There are some exceptions, but in general that is true.
8. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
In wrath I usually tanked with another Warrior, but I’d probably say Paladin because the ease of Pally AoE tanking makes me less nervous on trash packs.
9. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
Probably Death Knights. It seems that mastering DK is pretty hard, so finding a quality DK tank is a rare thing. That said I’d like to say Morehnai would be a fine tanking partner.
10. What is your worst habit as a tank?
At this point it is keeping Demoralizing Shout up all the time. The initial need to get a jump on threat and stay ahead of DPS on the first part of a pull makes me put it off a few GCD and then I sometimes forget to actually do it. My old worts habit would be blow all the cooldowns at once.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
DPS who can’t control their threat in AoE situations. I can only get threat so fast, and if the hunter is nuking one target, the rogue another, and the warlock a third, somebody is going to die. Waiting a second so I can get them nice and tidy for you would make it better for everyone.
12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with others tanks for tanking?
Well historically it seems that Warrior’s damage intake is slightly spikier than Paladins so I think healers worry more about me than a similarly geared paladin. But I think overall with practice I could be equal to any other class/spec of tank.
13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
Tidy plates and omen are good tools, also I look at each pull like a hole of golf. Every one is a fresh start and I evaluate myself on how well I held threat and made incoming damage manageable for the healers. Sinc eI don’t really raid often I don’t have Word of Logs to look at.
14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your tanking class?
I think people who don’t have an alt or main which has rage, really get how if things go badly with a pull and I get rage starved that we could be in for a world of hurt. Unlike every other class our resource pool starts empty and that makes it hard to start super strong sometimes.
15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
Probably to understand what all of their abilities can do. Warriors have such a large toolbox that sometimes they don’t realize how everything works. I tanked two tiers of Wrath content before I realized how Enraged Regeneration works and that it was a survival cooldown. Players of any class should take the time to read up on everything in their spellbooks and think through scenarios when they would be helpful so they can plan to use it when it is time.
16. So, how about that whole vengeance mechanic, eh?
I think it is interesting. It combined with a few other changed in warrior I think have made AoE easier from what it once was. On single target though I don’t really notice a huge difference from the way it played in wrath. My gearing strategy hasn’t even changed that much.
17. Stamina, Combat Table Coverage, or total Damage Reduction?
I currently am aiming for about 15% Parry, 15% Dodge, and 50% block. Anything after that would go into stamina. I’m not any of those numbers yet, so I still have a ways to go.
18. What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
Bears. I cannot recall a single time I’ve tanked with a bear in a raid. So they are like some kind of rare breed of tank I only see once in a blue moon in a pug when I’m on my mage. When I see one I feel like I am seeing something special because I can’t remember the last time I saw a bear in action.
19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
Tidy plates, Omen, Deadly Boss Mods, and Grid. I know many people think of grid as a healer thing, but I have actually found it very helpful in tanking. When you start plugging in things like Raid Status Debuff and aggro alerts you can get an easy gauge on how things are looking. There are lots of fights wher eyou need to do a tank swap at a certain number of stack of something. Grid helps me see where my tank is and as soon as he is at the limit I know it is time to taunt. In addition grid’s aggro warning let’s me know who has aggro quickly so I can decide if they are worthy of a life saving taunt.
20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats (stam, mastery, avoidance), or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Right now I’m trying to get my mastery up. I want to make my incoming damage to be a lot smoother so healers don’t think I’m so spikey to heal. Spikey equates to squishy and no tank wants to be thought of as squishy.
Well that wasn’t so bad. I don’t have that much Cata raid experience so some of my thoughts draw upon my wrath experiences that I still think are relevant to my opinions. Hope this helps any if anyone has corrections, opinions, or questions please sound off in the comments. If you are a tank, feel free to contribute to the Tanking Circle as well.