Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Tanking 101 (Single Target)

Here it is folks... Your first guide to basic tanking.

Tanking: is when you become the sole target for all DPS for a group. It is your job to stay at the top of the aggro list and bear the brunt of the dmg. Warriors are built for this.

Like I said before, this is a blog for Warriors. My personal beliefs aside ( Warriors make best tanks ) we are willing to concede that Paladins and Druids do a fair job. I will also concede that a good Druid/ Paladin will outtank a poor Warrior any day of the week. So Warriors here is your wake up call. Learn to play your class and you will be better than other classes at tanking. Don't learn to play the class and you make them all correct in thinking they are better than you.

Tanking is mainly done in instances. You need to be in Defensive Stance.

Pulling/ Gaining Aggro

As our friend over at BigRedKitty will tell you, Warriors do not make the best pullers. That particular honor goes to Hunters and they can have it. Warriors have NO way of dropping aggro if they make a bad pull.


Let Hunters pull!

However, if you are in a group without a hunter, you become the next best puller because you have the best damage mitigation and the mobs are going to be hitting on you anyways. How to pull? Well there are 2 ways: Melee pull and Range pull. Now Warriors can equip all range weapons and you should have at least 1 equipped at all time with ammo to go with it. Now BRK can tell you that I ran out of my fair share of ammo. Ah well.

Range Pull

Use the (gun) to target something and shoot it. Simple eh? Well, remember to shoot the one in front and try to only pull 1 target. You will mess this up... you will pull 5 and you will LEARN from every encounter with pulling. You don't just start off great at anything in this game, so expect some a learning curve.

Melee Pull

Now these are not a No-No. But! They are more likely to pull multiple mobs! Now what about Charge? What bout Enrage? Don't I need Rage to tank? Yes, you do! The good thing about the melee pull is that you will acquire some Rage while doing it. I don't think charging a target is inherently bad, but you do need to be very aware of pats.

Gaining, Keeping and Holding aggro

At this level of play 1-20 you have the basic capabilities of tanking. Since so many of you liked the breakdown of fighting here it is for tanking.

Sunder, Sunder, Revenge( whenever it pops-up)Sunder, Sunder, Sunder.

Sunder is you bread and butter for tanking. Let's review

Sunder ArmorRank 1
15 Rage5 yd range
Requires Melee Weapon
Sunders the target's armor, reducing it by 90 per Sunder Armor and causes a high amount of threat. Can be applied up to 5 times. Lasts 30 sec.

Sunder causes a high amount of threat. What is Threat? Threat is when the mob thinks you are the one doing the most damage and killing it. Warriors hold the threat so that the other party members can kill the mob. Sunder also has the added benefit of -90ac per Sunder which can be applies 5x. Now we are now BRK in the math department but we do know that 90x5 = 450. So you are causing damage, gaining more Threat and reducing the mobs ac by 450 at 5 Sunders. Woot!

One thing to remember about Sunder is that it needs to reapplied or it will fade. You can not get to 5 Sunders and then quit hitting the Sunder button. You can throw in a Heroic Strike which adds DPS and Threat and you can always and should hit Revenge when it pops.

What about Rage?

The great thing about tanking is the mob should only be hitting you and with you hitting it rage generation should not be a problem. If it is you can always hit Bloodrage or pop a rage potion if needed.

How do I integrate Heroic Strike in?

Heroic Strike can be used in any stance so make sure it is on you Defensive Stance tool bar. Honestly, HS is a guilty pleasure. Once you go tank your job is no longer DPS it is Threat Generation and with that said if you have an extra amount of Rage that you no longer need hit Heroic Strike if you feel like it.

You can now modify the attack pattern to look like this.

Sunder, Sunder, (Revenge), Sunder, Sunder, Sunder, Demoralizing Shout, Thunderclap, Sunder, Sunder, Block, (Revenge) Sunder, Disarm, Sunder Sunder.

WTH?! Did you just throw in all that stuff we normally do when fighting a mob? Yes, I did. The only thing you need to remember when tanking is... you are still fighting a mob just like you do on your own. All of those things still work and work well... they should all be done... AFTER you have 5 sunders and are sure no one is taking aggro.

Aggro Stealers and the Taunt button

Ok, classes that like to steal aggro in my humble opinion are as follows. Mages, Rogues, Priests and Hunters / Other Warriors.

Now any class is capable of stealing aggro, but the above list has been my personal experience. When this happens, then and only then do you tap the Taunt button. Taunt is used reacquire aggro. It is NOT used to gain aggro. Aggro should be gained by your first hit or shot.

This was a very small guide to tanking 1 mob... I have plenty more to spout about tanking and next up will be multiple mobs and when things go to hell in a handbasket.

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