A tank with no army.


My tank is doing ok,  she is just shy of 5k gearscore and has never stepped into anything greater then a 5 man ( and I say that with a GS qualifier of that it does not have one piece of Pvp gear, and its gearing for items not score – but it gives you an idea of where she is at)   Mixed Badge, Boes ect,  34k health unbuffed, and 44k has been been the highest HP i’ve seen her in an instance.

But I am now at the point where I have no idea what to do with her – besides maxing out her professions ( which I have been lax with).  This is what guilds are for.  Taking undergeared/under experienced tanks into places they wouldn’t be able to sneak into otherwise.

The frost badge collection is slow going not running ICC, the holiday instance for brewfest has helped a lot, but still, I need more frostbadges then I am likely to ever obtain.

If I had enough throw away gold I might be able to buy my way into a TOC GDKP as an offtank or something, as a carry, and if I had 85 k ( I think it was the price being offered)  I could buy my way into an icc 10 including gear.  But I have never needed that sort of gold,  so never tried to make it.   Sneaking in without any raid tanking experience into places like naxx or ulduar might work but I really wouldn’t want to try that. Tanking 5 mans and halls of stone for the gazillionth time is still far away from tanking any raid tanking experience.

I might be better off getting a dps set,  as dps are a little more accommodating if you have another toon that has the experience – just to get the achievement.

I have gleaned a few more things of wisdom from tankage.

Charge – not only does it generate enough initial rage to do your thing, it also puts distance between you and trigger happy dps that fire high agro salvos as their opening shots.  While charging too far ahead of the healers will pee them off ( as I have been pee’d off while trying to heal a charging warrior) it stops the hunter from multishotting before you’ve even hit the lead target.

I had a lot of difficulty early on when learning to tank some instances on multiple targets for this reason.  Hit target one with a shield slam for your threat,  then thunderclap before dps grab agro on the other targets. But trigger happy dps was hitting multiple targets before I could even hit one,  so Thunderclap as an opener for agro grab meant I was still chasing after loose mobs.  Charging ahead gives me a breather.   There is still a GCD between when I can thunderclap after my sheild slam has gone off, and everything else but using Challenging shout ( 10 yard enemy focus on you) is all single target.

I told one highly geared dps Boomy  that was single targeting mobs that if the “mob starts hitting you – stop hitting it”  I was told it was my job to get agro off him He had my vigilance, and I ended up taunting on cooldown. Really made running that instance a chore.

Stuff like MD’s/fades. and all the other agro reducing abilities  are just not getting used in 5 mans because of the facerolling. I might set up a poweraura for Misdirect so I know if the hunter is using it on me,  and maybe get used to poking them if they don’t use it,  and I think I need it.

The other thing  I have learned is also to be more aware of my Melee dps when positioning.  They all like doing it from behind. So moving the target sometimes to allow for them to get in behind  means they die less.

But even they can’t help when the healer decides to stand behind with them on Krystallus in Halls of stone, and blow them all up.  Pulling the Maiden of Grief back a little further from a Storm of Grief ( the black circles)  ( also from HOS)  means the melee dps don’t stand in it as often, and die less.  From my tanking I know that when your standing in bad stuff  with all the aoe, and spell affects and the like it can take longer to realise,  but thats not an excuse.   I’ve never melee’d dps but I would have thought that range have less environmental distractions so can be more aware of the ground beneath them by sight, without having to look at debuffs.

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16 Responses to “A tank with no army.”


  1. 1 Narx October 3, 2010 at 12:44 am

    “I was told it was my job to get agro off him”

    Hahahahahahahahaha

    I would have told him to go fuck himself and left the group.

    No, its your job to protect the healer. Its his job to dps YOUR target down.

    Cataclysm can’t come too soon for some of these morons :(.

  2. 2 Bobii October 3, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Just stop taunting the mobs off the dps. After you ask once, let them start asking for reses.

  3. 3 Shiva October 3, 2010 at 6:28 am

    I would suggest if you don’t plan to dps, but do plan to occasionally raid tank to use two prot specs.

    I noticed you didn’t mention a couple of neat tricks to 5 man tanking.

    Charge will always give you enough rage to cleave, I suggest using the Cleave glyph too. And while you’re at it, you can pick-up Imp. Cleave in the Fury tree. I am sure you know Cleave is on-next Swing, so you can actually Cleave on your Charge, and Cleave while you’re Thunderclapping. If you want, you can use macro Cleave into both your Charge and Thunderclap abilities.

    Another thing is, don’t forget Revenge is a “Cleave” ability, it will hit two targets very hard, and should hit harder than Shield Slam to boot (but Shield Slam will give you +10% block if you’re using the Glyph).

    Extra perk of speccing into Imp. Cleave is you can spend another talent point and grab Piercing Howl, it has a lot of uses while soloing and keeping mobs from running away while AoE tanking, also marginal use for buffing your heroic strike damage/threat (and some other abilities like Steady Shot from hunters). It’s really spiffy, 120% extra Cleave Damage and it hits 4 targets. Think of it as heroic striking 4 targets, super amazing.

    One cool trick and something often overlooked is Shield Block for building AoE threat as well. While Shield Block is active, not only do your Shield Slams hit harder, but your Damage Shield procs hit for 2x. This is non-trivial when it comes to holding things on you, but keep in mind mobs which are Shockwave’d aren’t hitting you, so you can’t proc Damage Shield on them (but on the same token, if they’re Shockwave’d, they’re stunned and you don’t need Shield Block for the extra mitigation — so choose your poison; but that said you can always use Shockwave to lock down mobs to you before DPS’ers pull. As in, stun them in place, buying you time for 1-2 more Thunderclaps and extra Shield Slams / Concussion Blow).

    I don’t want to sound too patronizing here (or pardon the bad pun, pugnacious), but something else often overlooked by new warriors is using both Retaliation and Recklessness while tanking. Retaliation should be self-explanatory, but Recklessness is also amazing for picking up boss mobs. Recklessness -> Shield Block -> Charge -> Shield Slam -> Revenge -> Heroic Strike. Sure you take 20% extra damage, but that should be for only 2 seconds (charges are consumed once you Revenge) and you will have 100% block value and 100% chance to block to cover your ass.

    • 4 Pugnacious Priest October 3, 2010 at 7:27 am

      my Majors are deveastate, blocking, and sunder – though I am not using the sunder one as much as I thought I would so I’ll try the cleave one – and try and use cleave more often, as for the fury/berserker that equires stance dancing I was getting the impression from what I was reading that it wasn’t as necessary, but Ill give some of what you said a try and let you know :)

      • 5 Shiva October 3, 2010 at 9:03 am

        It does, but those situations it shouldn’t be a huge issue. I wouldn’t use Recklessness on your average trash; it only affects 3 hits (although, it would make for some mean cleaves), but the bigger problem is the 5 minute cooldown.

        Try this macro:

        #show Recklessness
        /cast Shield Block
        /cast [stance:3] Recklessness; Berserker Stance
        /cast Defensive Stance

        This should work for Retaliation, albeit honestly I don’t use this one often. It’s certainly handy in some instances where you know there are going to be AoE pulls (I like pairing this one with Challenging Shout and Shield Block on Garfrost, for example, Challenging Shout keeps them on me, Shield Block ups Damage Shields reflective damage and Retaliation hits for more threats; finally after Challenging Shout wears off, one last Shockwave to keep them in place / extra threat while dps finishes them off):

        #show Retaliation
        /cast [stance:1] Retaliation; Battle Stance
        /cast Defensive Stance

      • 6 Anonymous October 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm

        Glyph of Sunder Armor works with any sunder – bot from the original Sunder Armor ability and from Devastste, so you’re using it every time you Devastste. However, Glyph of Devastste only effects your primary target, so whule having both glyphs installed, your Devastste puts 2 sunders on your primary target and 1 on any nearby target.
        Speccing into Imp. Cleave is not recommended because you will lose many useful talent from Arms tree (+rage on charge, +20% damage on crits and additional bleeding on crits), resulting in significant aggro loss on single target.

    • 7 Anonymous October 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      Recklessness: “Your next 3 special ability attacks have an additional 100% to critically hit but all damage taken is increased by 20%. Lasts 12 sec.”
      Both effects last 12 seconds, so it’s +20% damage for 12 seconds and not for 2 – not healthy. The only time I’ve used Recklessness when tanking was when breaking XT-002 heart (heart phase lasts 20 seconds, and +damage thing expires).
      Retaliation is, on the other hand, very overpowered ability in some cases (like patrolling trash mobs at the entry into Plagueworks), especially combined with Challenging Shout.
      Just make sure you won’t be needing Shield Wall for a while before using it. :)

      • 8 Shiva October 4, 2010 at 11:57 pm

        You’re 100% wrong, by the way. Test it yourself. There is no phantom debuff/buff that causes you to take 20% more damage once Recklessness is off. — I just tested this in game.

        The cooldown on Recklessness is NOT shared with Shield Wall. There is a 12 second shared CD to ensure you cannot use both Shield Wall and Recklessness (and Retaliation), but using Recklessness does not put Shield Wall on 5 minute cooldown.

        Also, I did explicitly mention using a dual spec; and I believe both of us were talking about 5-man tanking, not raid tanking. Comment says as such.

  4. 9 Nikola October 3, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I have to ask, why not kicking that Boomkin. I know I would. We all complain about how the community is going to hell, but we let these things happen. If you are the tank, you have allot of leverage. Use it to make the community better. Show these type of people that their crap wont be allowed with you in the group.

    Simply kick the offender, if the votekick doesn’t pass, explain to the group why you started it and if it doesn’t pass the second time, leave yourself. In any case, add the player to your ignore list. I see no reason to allow him to act that way.

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but that’s how I see it. If I’m wrong, then please point it out to me.

    • 10 Pugnacious Priest October 3, 2010 at 7:16 am

      cause if I start leaving groups for everything that p’s me off, or if I don’t get my way ill be the prima donna. Being a prima donna in writing less damaging to a tanking career. But your right, I need to probably be more assertive when I know they are doing stuff thats bad for the run – just don’t have the confidence in what I am doing yet to be able to tell all the time if its my fault for them dying

      • 11 Nikola October 3, 2010 at 7:56 am

        Well, I can save you some trouble there. If a dps tells you it’s your job to taunt mobs off him, he deserves a kick and an ignore. Anyone with half a brain in their head will support you in that. You aren’t being a prima donna if you leave group after you have stated a valid reason for kicking someone and the vote kick doesn’t pass.

        On a side note, I’m guilty of such things sometimes to. A few weeks ago, i was in a random with a guildie and we got a DK who barely attacked at all and was needing on anything he could. It was Gundrak, and five minutes in I noticed this so i warned him to stop. He didn’t, so i asked the tank (guildie) to wait with pulls so we could kick him. She said it’s OK and that “it isn’t worth it”. The pulls went by to fast and there was no chance for kicking him. He tried to ninja the tanking trinket on the last boss to, but luckily, i could do the same so it ended up in my hands and i gave it to the tank/guildie. Did she regret not kicking him when i asked? Yes. Should i have insisted on doing it? Hell yes!

        The next day, I was tanking another random and the same guy got in. This time, I didn’t even wait for crap to happen. I explained to everyone what he did the day before and he was promptly kicked and ignored. One lass ass to deal with.

      • 12 Narx October 3, 2010 at 11:54 pm

        “Being a prima donna in writing less damaging to a tanking career.”

        Pffft – all tanks are prima donna’s. Seriously. You have to be. When it comes to things like gear tokens etc you gear your tanks first and foremost (or should be) because let’s face it, you can DPS and heal those DPS all you want but without a tank – splat!

    • 13 Anonymous October 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      Vote kicking is not necessary. If a moonking pulls agro and dies, and mob returns to the tank after, no real harm to the group was done. Moonkin just got himself a repair bill.
      Vote kick should be reserved to situations where DPS member just runs into pack, or pulls the pack with AOE, or pulls agro on the boss, or misdirects to a healer, or runs on /follow.
      The reason: vote kick has a cooldown, and the more times you use it, the longer cooldown becomes. Vote kick must be available to get rid of game-ruining player, not lost on minor inconvenience.

  5. 14 Katherine October 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I always boot people that are making it harder than it has to be. DPS facepulling (it’s always the lowest dps too), DPS unloading AoEs before the tank has aggro, anyone breaking CC (we don’t use it often but it makes a couple of hard pulls into ez mode), anyone starting events before the group is ready, anyone wanting to do achievements and not giving the group a choice. This might sound like a rant at DPS; I don’t mean it that way, I usually run as half of a tank/healer combo sitting in the same room.

    Recently booted: A hunter called Deadforfun who complained about dying when he facepulled and when he broke CC, claiming that he “didn’t have time to read lol”.

  6. 15 Glowlimn October 4, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Why does this all sound so familiar ;p

    In the 3 weeks since my new tank (frost dk) has hit 80, I think I have everything that can be got outside of raids with the exception of the crafted ICC boots/legs and the BOE tank ring. Lack of which is due to lack of funds from being on a new server.

    At least being a DK I have an advantage in initial Aoe threat generation, but even that doesnt stop the total asshats that tunnel a target until it kills them because all my taunts are on cooldown. As Narx said, it is your job to protect the healer, it is the dps’s job to manage their own aggro so that they stay alive. This especially so in 5 mans where it is quite likely for a heroic geared tank to be grouped with an ICC geared dps. There is no way in hell that the tank will be able to hold aggro if the dps tunnels, but the dps are so used to being able to do that with ICC geared tanks that they assume that any tank should be able to hold aggro.

    I think what worries me is that I’m becoming a tank with a bad attitude.
    I have been tanking heroic PoS every day for the last week, and if I’m top dps/damage by the time we get to Garfrost I just drop group. If I can pull off 2-3k+ dps in tank gear then I expect the dps to be able to at least match it. But if I’m top dps by Garfrost I know that the rest of the instance will be a real struggle and so I just leave.
    I’d rather wait out the debuff that struggle with poor performance. My reasoning being that you should not even be in there unless you know what you are doing. If you can’t out dps the tank, you don’t know what you are doing, especially in an instance that has a gear level restriction on it.
    Does this make me a bad tank? Or just one with a bad attitude?

  7. 16 Anonymous October 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I’ve found it more efficient not to use Shield Slam right away. My first priority is securing AoE threat before any DPS member can do anything.
    The plan is following:
    1) I Charge. The target for charge is either central mob or a caster. Variation: if there is 2 casters in the group, I open with Heroic Throw (talented) on one then charge in another.
    2) I Thunderclap immediately to hit all of them.
    3) I wait a bit (1-2 seconds) for mobs to gather in a tight group, while I circle around them a bit so that they all are in front. I go in clockwise direction but it’s a matter of preference. :)
    4) Now that we are in the ideal position, I fire Shockwave.
    This is an ideal opening because Shockwave gives a great margin of threat over AoE abilities of DPS members. Using it early will also allow the second use sooner.

    This opening will likely change in Cataclysm: I think it will be essential to use Rend on the mob you charged in prior to initial Thunderclap, so you can spread the Rend to all mobs. Shockwave probably would still be the next move after first Thunderclap if DPS members want to AOE straight away, although Shockwave’s damage is buffed from Thunderclap and buff stacks 3 times. On the other hand, if I come with reasonable DPS members who are willing to withhold on AOE, it’s possible to wait until after 3 Thunderclaps to get fully-buffed Shockwave.

    This doesn’t, of course, cover the situations where CC is needed (currently there is plenty of such in Cataclysm heroics). There will be a lot of other pulling strategies to avoid breaking sheeps etc.

    On the point of what to do with warrior tank in the remaining WoTLK time… I think the path is pretty clear: you do ICC heroics for 232 offset loot, then move to TOC10 to complete missing slots. With the mix of 264 (badge, craft, and AH BoEs) and 232-245 (badge, dropped from ICC heroics and TOC10) loot you will have enough GS to get into TOC25 PuGs. From TOC25, there is smooth sailing into ICC10 with some UnderAchiever achievemnet faking.

    Also, patch 4.0.1 will drop in a week or two and it could change things a bit in terms of gear requirements, hopefully lowering them.


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