Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Yes, that is a BeeGees reference. And that song is awesome. Anyways, what I wanted to write about today is survival as a tank.

With the most recent content, survival really has not been challenged to the extreme. Many tank cooldowns go unused because there is really not much danger in dying if the healer is doing their job. Threat has not really been an issue either, and tanking has basically become a competition of which tank can do the most DPS.

With Ulduar coming out soon, tanks may need to take a step back and remember how to use those cooldowns. A good tank doesnt only keep threat, they also help the healers by using proper cooldowns to keep themselves alive. Gone are the days of spamming shield block to make sure you did not get crushed. The shield block mechanic has changed. Crushing blows are no longer, and if you are reading this, I hope you are already uncrittable.

Warrior survival comes down to several abilities and general principals. First we will go over the different abilities a warrior can use.

Shield Block: Shield block now block all attacks for a certain amount of time. A block is not considered actual avoidance as you still take damage. When you block, you remove a certain amount of damage based on your block value. For example, if you have 1000 block value, you will block 1000 damage on each hit. That can really add up and help out the healers a lot. Shield block is also good for threat as each block will proc damage shield, which can crit and possibly proc deepwounds (if you are specced into it as I am).

Shield Wall: As most Warriors know, this is no longer mostly useless. In BC I can remember very few times where I actually used this ability due to the very long cooldown. Now it has a 5 minute cooldown and will pretty much be up for every boss in a raid instance. Shield Wall reduces all damage by 60 percent for a specific amount of time. This is a wonderful emergency button that can really save your ass.

Last Stand: This is another one of those abilities that was made better in this expansion and can be used a lot more. It boosts your max XP by 30 percent for a short period. This is very helpful in situations such as soft enrages and Maexxna's web wraps. What tank wouldnt like to have near 50K HP every once in a while.

Enraged Regeneration: This ability can be a life saver in those situations where a healer may be a bit distracted. This ability heals you for 30 percent of your health over time (much like a druid HoT).

Demoralizing Shout and Commanding Shout: Demo shout reduces the amount of damage you take by reducing a mob's attack power. Commanding shout raises your maximum health pool.

Thunderclap: Not just an ability for tanking trash. Thunderclap also slows the attack speed of mobs, making it so they hit you less often. Obviously a survival tool. Dont forget that Thunderclap can now crit and apply Deep Wounds.

Some other things that can help you not die are pretty much common sense. Dont sit down in a boss fight. You will get critted. This was an old rage generation move, but is very dangerous and can cause extremly spikey damage. Do not turn your back to mobs. You can not block, dodge, or parry when the mob is behind you. Last is DO NOT charge when you are already far ahead of your healers. It will take them a while to catch up and you may be dead by then.

Remember, it is not only the healer's job to keep you alive. Do your part and become an UBER tank.


Kusamoto said...

I want to add a couple to your list of savemyass tools:

-Shockwave. If you're tanking Wrath content, you're probably getting gang tackled by 3-6 things at once. Manuever yourself into a position where you can get them all in front of you and hit do the wave. Not only is it a ton of damage, but it stuns everything in about a 45 deg cone in front of you, leaving the DPS to pound away with impunity.

-Shield Bash. Yup, good 'ol bash. Why? the 60% reduction in speed. If you just need to get out and get away, hit the bash and take off. after you get a decent head start, they shouldn't be able to catch you before they leash.

-REMEMBER YOUR TRINKETS! I'm very guilty of forgetting this one. Early on in the Wrath content, there's tons of stuff that can, and will, eat you alive. Remember the Regal Protectorate you picked up in Hellfire? Or the trusty 'ol Mark of Resolution? More Def & HP for free is good.

Darraxus said...

Yeah, I usually use shockwave more offensively as DPS does not always wait to open the floodgates. As far as trinkets right now, I am sporting two with passive effects! No clicking for me.

mitchbo said...

Something that I try to do if I'm in a REAL tight spot or if the healer went down, is silenced, can't get to me, what have you...

Commanding Shout = +2255 HP

Offering of Sacrifice (nice little trinket from H Gundrak) = +3025 HP

Last Stand = +30% of max health with CS and OoS on means 1584 HP more than without them.

Enraged Regeneration = 30% of total health healed which with the above proc'd is another 2059 HP which isn't much... but it can save you from one more hit which could be all that you need to save the raid.