Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Flashie and Puddles. I’m your host, Puddles! Today, we’re going to be going over the basics of a role that I’ve loved since I started playing the game: Tanking. So, to accomplish this, I will be going over what tanks are supposed to do, how they accomplish this task, and take a quick look at each of the tanking classes.
This video will not, however, detail how to play each specific tanking class, as plenty of other guides already exist for that purpose. This guide is mostly for just the concept of tanking. So, what is tanking? In short, tanking is the art of making everything hit you as hard as they can, while also keeping yourself alive. You want to make sure that everything attacks you, because you can take a beating, while other party members are not as well suited to do the same, and you want to stay alive for obvious reasons. To accomplish both of these tasks, Tanks a large health pool, and a wide range of abilities that focus on threat generation, and survival.
Some also have heavy armor to help them survive attacks. As far as health is concerned, when looking at current health pools in patch 7.3.2, most tanks are in the 7-11 million health range, while many DPS and healers are in the 4-5 million health range. This is important, as this gives the tanks and healers a large cushion to work with, in the event of any mistakes.
However, health and healing alone won’t be enough to keep a tank alive. There are some mechanics that no tank would possibly be able to survive without their second feature: mitigation. All tanks have some form of active mitigation, whether it be increasing their dodge/parry/block, or decreasing their damage taken. A good tank will know when to use these mitigators to maximize their impact, and keep themselves alive as long as possible.
The mitigation is different for each class, but they all do essentially the same thing. Whether it be a Demon Hunter’s Demon Spikes, which increases their parry chance by 20%, and reduces their physical damage taken, or Warrior’s Shield Block, which essentially reduces all incoming physical damage by 30%, all tanks have some sort of active mitigation. The only kind of exception is Monk tanks, which is more passive, and a bit more complex than other tanks. Another feature that is played with more prominently in some tanks is the self healing feature. This is incredibly useful to keep yourself topped up, and give your healers a bit of additional wiggle room, in the event of a mistake. However, there are two exceptions to this rule, with Warriors and, again, Monks. Warriors only have a single self heal as of right now, and it’s not really that good, and almost useless on boss fights.
Monks also have very low self healing, only having one spell that they can use for self healing, and it has cast time, so by the time you get it off, either you’ve lost all of the health that you would have gained back, or the healers have topped you off. So, that’s all good for being able to survive stuff, but there’s another issue: aggro. Aggro is also referred to as threat, and the two terms can be used interchangeably. If someone has threat on something, then that thing is attacking them. Threat is probably the more important of the two main tank concepts, as even with amazing healers, if you can’t keep aggro, you can still kill the entire group. Also, in raids, you’re fighting with another tank, who, if they’re higher geared than you, or you’re higher geared than them, you may accidentally rip aggro away from one another.
Also, in raids, you need to know when you actually don’t want aggro, as there are times where you may also die if you have aggro, so that’s why there’s another tank in the mix. But for the most part, your abilities generate so much threat nowadays that you won’t have to worry about DPS stealing aggro from you, unless you just sit there, and auto attack. Just use any of your damaging abilities, and you’ll be fine… Unless it’s skittish week, then you have to actually do some work. But you don’t have to worry about that yet.
So, in my opinion, your first experience with tanking should be in a dungeon setting, and if possible, with people you know. You want to try to focus on staying alive, and pulling single packs at a time at first. As I said before, keeping aggro isn’t that big of a deal any more, as you will generate more than enough passively, but make sure to open each fight with an AoE ability, just to get the initial threat on everything.
You also want to use your main AoE abilities as soon as they come off of cooldown, as this will keep threat on all targets, rather than just the one you have targeted. Every fight will start with what’s known as a pull, and there are a few different types of basic pulls. The first type, and the most popular type, is the charge pull, where you pull simply by running or jumping into the middle of a pack of enemies. This works really well, as you can have a lot of control over where you end up, and you don’t have to worry about losing your relatively small amount of threat while the enemies slowly make their way to you, because, well, they don’t have to make their way towards you. The next type is the ranged pull. All tanking classes have a limited ranged option, but it’s enough to start combat. This is a good option if the group of enemies that you’re pulling is close to another group of enemies, and most or all of the enemies that you’re pulling are melee enemies.
If they’re not all melee enemies, then you either need to line of sight them around a wall, have a death knight pull them to you, or silence the casters. Also, DPS or healers will sometimes pull. If this happens, though, just pick up threat as quickly as you can, to try and keep as many people alive as possible. So, you successfully pulled your first group of enemies. Now what? Your job now is, like I said, to stay alive, and keep aggro. In short, keep using your basic AoE ability to keep threat, and use your active mitigation to maximize its uptime. If your health starts to fall fast, or you know that a really big hit is coming, you might want to use a cool down. If your health is consistently dropping rapidly, even if you’re geared enough for the content, you might want to check out an icy veins guide for that specific tank, and I’ll put a link to all of those tank classes in the description.
And that’s pretty much it. A dungeon just consists of pulling and staying alive for tanks. Eventually, once you become more comfortable, you can begin to pull more packs at once, but don’t pull too much. You’ll get a feel for what you can handle as time goes on, though. Now we’re going to talk about raid tanking a little bit. The only real difference between raid tanking and dungeon tanking, other than added damage intake, and mechanics, is the addition of a new tank.
This may seem odd at first, as you’re used to being the only tank in the group, and unlike a healer, you don’t really add on to other tanks’ abilities. So, while in a raid you need to actually watch your aggro. If you and the other tank have relatively the same gear, you should be fine. If the other tank has much better gear than you, you may need to be repeatedly using your taunt on the boss to keep the boss off of the other tank while you’re supposed to have aggro. Obviously, if you’re not supposed to have aggro, this is a non issue. If you have much better gear than the other tank, you may have to slow your damage to a crawl while you’re not supposed to have aggro. Again, if you’re supposed to have aggro , this is a non issue. I recommend having Skada or Details on “threat” mode while in a situation like this. So, when do you want, or not want aggro during a raid boss? Well, all raid bosses are different, but they will generally have a debuff mechanic that they will regularly apply to the tanks.
After a certain amount of stacks of this debuff, the other tank will need to take aggro, usually because the debuff becomes too much for even the best tanks to handle. If you’re not sure when to taunt, DBM will usually tell you, or you can look it up in a guide. Also, during a fight, whether it be in a raid or a dungeon, position matters. Your position, the enemy’s position, and the position of your party members. You will always want all melee enemies to be in front of you. When these enemies are in front of you, that means that you can dodge, parry, or block the enemy’s attacks, which either completely negates, or greatly reduces your damage taken. You also want to have all melee enemies facing away from the party. This is for two reasons. The first is that enemies cannot dodge, parry, or block attacks behind them, and your party members will take advantage of that. The other reason is that enemies will sometimes do what’s known as a cleave attack. When an enemy cleaves, it hits either all targets in front of them, or at least a specific number of targets.
If the tank is the only one there, they can take it, and the healers won’t have to worry about the DPS as much. You don’t really have to worry about where the ranged enemies are, as long as you can keep aggro on them, and they aren’t that close to patrolling enemies, as you can’t dodge, parry, or block spells or other ranged abilities. Now, for choosing which tank to use, I like to split tanks into three different categories. The first category is mitigation tanks, which deal with most of their damage intake through ignoring it, or greatly reducing the damage. While all tanks have some form of both active and passive mitigation, these tanks are much more focused on the mitigation aspect of tanking. I like to include Warriors, Druids, and Paladins in this group. The next category is self healing. These tanks are far more focused on healing themselves than other tanks are, or, in the case of death knights, are built entirely on self healing.
I like to include Death Knights, Druids, Paladins, and Demon Hunters in this category. Lastly are agile tanks, these tanks are mostly focused on dodging and parrying their attacks, rather than mitigating them. I like to include Monks, Demon Hunters, and Druids in this category. So, to recap. Hold aggro, stay alive, and position enemies properly. Other than that, if you have any questions, or feel like I didn’t cover something correctly, drop a comment down below. If you like what I’m doing, and would like to see more of it, please like and subscribe. Other than that, have a wonderful day, everyone!.
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