Figured it would be a good time to write another guide for an issue many tanks seem to encounter, how to generate snap aggro. Snap aggro is simply generating as much enmity as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. It becomes mostly important in fights were adds are spawned while dealing with a boss, because if the tank lets the adds move at all, it results in multiple issues.
Most tanks know how to handle the initial pull, but there are a lot of misconceptions. The biggest one is using cooldowns before the pull. For a WAR, using Infuriate before the pull incurs no penalty at all (other then it being on cooldown), and therefore is highly encouraged. For PLD, however, it is both an enmity and DPS loss to use offensive cooldowns before the pull/while charging in. You will get a very slight increase to the initial Shield Lob, however, this means you will not be able to get 2 Circles and 4 Rages in on a cooldown rotation, which are your biggest enmity generators. It’s best to weave cooldowns in between your enmity combo to maximize results.
SINGLE ADD – MELEE RANGE
When adds spawn in the middle of the fight, they don’t engage until after a preset time, usually this is 3-5 seconds. They do, however, start generating aggro as soon as they spawn, sometimes even before they are visible. As soon as they receive damage of any sort, they will go after whoever has the highest enmity, which is usually the healer if the tank doesn’t handle the add correctly.
For single adds in melee range, it’s best to ‘preload’ part of your enmity combo, meaning you’ve already used the precursors on a different mob before getting in position to intercept the new add. A lot of tanks will recommend having your combo finisher ready (Rage/BB), however it’s actually not the best way to snap aggro. Having Savage Blade/Skull Sunder ready is for two reasons. Enmity isn’t calculated until damage is dealt, which is at the end of the animation. Savage Blade/Skull Sunder have much quicker animations compared to Rage/BB, which means putting enmity on the target quicker. Also, by opening with Savage/Skull, that means your follow-up WILL be Rage/BB, which means even more enmity gain in the shortest possible amount of time.
SINGLE ADD – LONG RANGE
Most tanks know that you should never pull with Provoke, it’s been beat into our heads. However, in the case of a single add at long range, it’s actually the best thing to do. Here’s why.
As I stated above, adds will not engage until they have been dealt damage, but while they are waiting there, the healer is building enmity up on the add. Pulling a ranged add with Provoke and immediately following with Shield Lob/Tomahawk basically ‘steals’ the healer’s enmity for yourself. Also, the add won’t start moving when hit by Provoke, they will start moving after the Shield Lob/Tomahawk connects. Using Provoke just turns into even more enmity gained, and a much higher chance you won’t loss the mob to the healers as you get them into position.
MULTIPLE ADDS – MELEE RANGE
Flash is your friend here. Once again, Flash doesn’t deal damage, which means you can generate enmity without forcing mobs to engage. For PLD, the go-to for multiple mobs is Flash -> Circle -> Flash. It’ll work 99% of the time. For WAR, they have a lot more options for aoe enmity generation. Starting with Flash is still good if the tank is prepositioned, as the mobs won’t engage right away. Using Steel Cyclone though, will make the mobs move immediately, which can also be a good thing if the WAR is planning on following up with Overpower as they will be more grouped.
TWO ADDS – LONG RANGE
Two adds spawn at the same time, in far apart locations, and need to be picked up by the same tank. This one can be a tough scenerio for tanks. However, it’s best handled by combining the three above strategies into one. 1) Start where you know one of the adds will spawn, and use a preloaded enmity move. 2) Then immediately Provoke the second add and follow up with a Shield Lob/Tomahawk. 3) Once both adds are close enough, use aoe enmity generation. You can even meet somewhere in the middle to speed up the process.
MULTIPLE ADDS – LONG RANGE
This one tends to be the toughest scenerio for new tanks. A bunch of adds spawn at the same time, severely spread out. It’s impossible for the tank to get all of the adds at the same time, even with you running around, trying to Tomahawk all of them, or Flashing like a maniac. In these scenerios, let your healer pull aggro and as the tank, get close to where the healer is standing. Watching target lines will make it easy to see where the adds are going to go. It’ll feel weird the first few times, but the healer will quickly group all of the adds together, and the tank can swiftly gain aggro on all of the adds at the same time, causing the healer to take minimal damage. For PLD, you can Cover the healer to prevent that damage since you going to be next to each other anyways.
Hopefully this guide will help tanks both new and old. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.