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.