Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Helping out your Healers

A tank helping out their healer can go a long way. It makes people want to run with you, and you will make new healer friends that invite you along to their runs. This goes for guild healers as well as pug healers.

One of the easiest things a tank can do to help is use his cooldowns. In the AOE fest that was the end of BC, people stopped using common sense and cooldowns. Now that we are back to heroics and raiding, this can be bad. There are a number of things you can do to help your healing brothers and sisters out.

1) Use your trinkets: If you have trinkets with on use abilities, they should be on your tool bar. Better yet, make a macro that charges, then uses one of your trinket uses. This gives the healer a moment to get his bearings straight and start healing you. If you don't have on-use trinkets equipped (like me atm), then disregard this.

2) Mark targets for CC: It is not old and outdated. It is still good practice, and hit keeps you from taking 15k damage in a second. Marking has been around forever. Once again, people forgot about it in BC-AOE. Marking targets is also important as it make you learn what each mob does. Knowing your shit is part of being a good tank, and not a face roller.

3) Use your cooldowns: Pre Wrath, you didnt really need to use your cooldowns or special abilities. Shield wall was on a very long timer, and it was usually a given that shield block would be up all the time. Well, times have changed. Shield block is now on a 45 second cooldown. This is a huge change as you can no longer spam it. It is best used when pulling, then charging into a group. You take a lot less damage and give your healer a chance to catch up. Shield wall is now 5 minute cooldown and reduces all damage by 60 percent. Pretty nifty as it can be used on EVERY boss fight. Last stand is another nice OH SHIT button with pretty short cooldown. A new one is Frenzied Regeneration. This is basically a pretty powerful warrior hot that can help out a lot. If you notice you are taking alot of damage, it would be very useful help to the healer for you to pop it. It has a 3 minute cooldown.

4) Silence, and Stun, and reflect OH MY!!!!: These are normal abilities that should be used on a regular basis to help out your healer. Pretty much every tank should be specced into Gag Order. If you are, this gives you two silences. Heroic throw will silence casters as will shield bash. This is win. You can pull caster mobs with Heroic throw and have then run straight to you without having to LOS. Make sure that you are silencing caster mobs when you can. Spell reflect is also a very nice ability. If you are specced into the improved version, then you can reflect spells cast at your buddies as well. They will tank you for it.

5) Communicate: It is all well and good to use the abilities given to you. The last thing you can do to help out a healer is to let them know that you are popping a powerful ability. This may give them a chance to regen a little mana, or heal up an injured party member. In all relationships, communication is key. This includes the Tank-Healer relationship.

On a side note, I tried to mostly pug heroic VH last night, and it was not happening. I had a terrible DK for my guild who was doing under 1k dps, a pug hunter who was all kinds of dumb doing around 1k, and a very good pug hunter doing about 2k dps. The healer was also very good and a pug. Unfortunately, we got the Ethereal boss that drops the orbs, and the DPS kept doing dumb shit. The boss will enrage if his orbs get to close and hit me for 10-12k damage. Well, I would be kiting him along, and then all of a sudden, a bunch of ghould pop up and TAUNT the boss. He stays there whacking ghouls, the orbs catch up, he come back after me, and smashes me to bits.

We wiped 4 times on that boss before I logged off in disgust. I am probably going to talk to some officers about the DK, before he gets into a raid and sucks it up. During BC, he was an extremly well geared shadow priest that struggled to do 800 DPS. Now he is a level 80 DK and was only doing 800 DPS. He is well below the curve for similar geared DKs, and I fear he doesnt really know how to play. His terrible DPS was always tolerated because a) everyone likes him (he is a very nice guy), and b) he was a SP which gave mana to everyone. Now he is a DK which are a dime a dozen, and he really doesnt stack up.


Hudson said...

The problem is that YOU know this and I know this and long time vets know this, but the odds of finding a tank that even has spell reflect on his action bar let alone know how to use it is slim in these days.

Darraxus said...

Lol...and another problem is there is only ever one tank in a group, so we cant pass on out teachings!!!!

Herc said...


In heroic Ankahet Old King dom there is a spider caster that cast Shadow Blast.

If you do it right you will reflect it back for 50,000 DMG usually gonna take taht mob from 100-12%. So I tell dpsers to take out the other ones first.

In H CoT
I let my group know to not interrupt the first cast from the casters. Thats a free 4-5k dmg +threat right there for a single spell reflect.

There are tons of heroics where u can really help your healer out with spell reflects.

Talldar said...

Educate your DK. Esp. if he was doing bad as a SP already, education goes a long way. I do that all the time, and not only is it making PUGs way more enjoyable, it also gets me into many a friendslist (everyone likes tanks that, beyond tanking, soak in everything thats going on).

Start off friendly, give tips. If you don't know his class/abilities, at least tell him what NOT to do. And make clear that if he continues to, he'll not run anything with you ever again.

Don't dump people who're doing bad, chances are they just don't know why. These guys can become good an thankful companions on the way. And if not, at least you know for sure and tried.

Another note: I'd not spec into gag order, it's a 5-man only talent and I think there's plenty other good choices to invest talent points into. There's Spell Reflection, Shield Bash for the interrupt, Conc. Blow and Shockwave - those are a lot of spells not doing any damage.

Darraxus said...

The main reason I specced into gag order is 10 percent more SS damage.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought on the bad DK, would it be worth it to just help him learn to play better? In my experience it's easier to teach a nice guy to be good than to teach a good player to be nice.

Anonymous said...

shield block on a 45sec cd? when did this change get put in? I haven't played my warrior alt yet, but one of the things that I loved the most was keeping shield wall up. Isn't this really kind of unfair considering a paladin can pretty keep up holy shield (+30% block) all the time?

CJL said...

"shield block on a 45sec cd? when did this change get put in? I haven't played my warrior alt yet, but one of the things that I loved the most was keeping shield wall up. Isn't this really kind of unfair considering a paladin can pretty keep up holy shield (+30% block) all the time?"

You have clearly not played the new style of prot warrior.

Prot warriors are insanely excellent right now. Shield block is much better than it used to be.

Try it.

Darraxus said...

Agreed. Being a prot warrior right now is incredibly fun. I leveled as prot, and dont see myself changing anytime in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Draxx said => "Shield block is now on a 45 second cooldown."

And sorry, I meant "keep shield BLOCK up", not shield wall.

I played quite a bit during the invasion, just haven't since the xpack.

Darraxus said...

Lol, I knew what you meant. There are so many nice abilities now, and if the DPS sucks, they end up below you!!!