How to be great tank.

90 Blood Elf Paladin
7175
Do you like being told how awesome you are? Do you actually hear it often? I do, and I like it. I'm sure you'd like to hear it more often too. Keep reading and I'll help you out.
Truth is, tanking is easy. Good tanking is more complex than you might see. I decided to compile some tips that you could take advantage of, if you'd like to be better too.

With 7 90s that have needed gearing and more to come, I have spent a LOT of time in 5 mans. When I tank, things go fast and smooth. When I dps and heal, I find myself critiquing the tank, thinking of all the things they could do better. I'd like to pass the suggestions on to others.

Now this isn't a class guide, or tips on mitigation. These are mostly tips on how to please your fellow group mates.

There are A LOT of things a tank needs to do to be "great". No doubt about that, but first we should cover the basics.

Now of course, your job as a tank is to:
A: focus most damage on you (by getting aggro on all mobs)
B: minimize the damage you take. (with your lovely tanking toolset)


The group will take damage in the fight, damage that needs to be managed and healed. Honestly, your job should really be viewed as a support role to make the healers job easier.

Doing these 2 things simply makes you a tank.
You need to do more to be a good or great tank.

Know your class.
Should go without saying, but study your class to make sure you're mitigating as much as you can. This means proper gearing, gemming, reforging, rotation. Practice your rotation on dummies or quest mobs if you must. This is something you should do before even pressing that lovely "Find Group" button.
The group will respect you for holding aggro, dps will respect you for challenging them on the meters, and healers will respect you for making their job easier.

At this point, you should have all aggro all the time, and should be shrugging damage like a brick wall. You're a good tank. But not great.

So what can you do to make yourself great? Time to start thinking outside the fight.

Think of how you can help your group members.
There are plenty of things can you do as a tank to make the dungeon experience more pleasant for your fellow group members. Small things, but very helpful to the other players.

Here's some examples.

-Go faster. Imagine, you all have things to do, you want to finish the dungeon, get your gear. The faster the better, right? Well guess what, you're the one making the pulls, you get to set the pace.
Before charging like a panzer, take a look at yourself, your healer, and glance over your dps.
Are you good or well geared? Can you handle more? Does your healer look bored and have full mana? Pull more. Take in as much as your group can handle. Put their gear to work.

-Keep it moving. Commonly known as chain pulling, this keeps the pace. Your dps likes pew-pewing, so make sure they don't have to stop. This requires you to be attentive to the group, "raid aware". If your threat is great and the mob is almost dead, feel free to pull the next and give them something to transition to.
Think of the entire dungeon as a single fight, the more downtime your dps has the longer the fight will take. Keep them shooting. But of course, don't pull more than they can handle, or you'll end up exhausting your healer while you get beat on by 12 guys that might not be dead any time soon. If your healer gets low, stop for a mana break or pull slower so they can regen it back. But don't let your healer get bored, or they might be inclined to pull more themselves. Balance your capabilities with that of the rest of the group.

-PULL. The ENTIRE group is waiting on you to pull it, and staring isn't going to make the pull easier or make the mob go away. This goes along the same lines as keep it moving, Don't leave your group and yourself tapping feet.

-Consider melee dps. So you're tanking a large pull or a boss, and you probably have melee in the group. First, if you're only pulling a few turn them away from the group. Melee dps like attacking from behind, and doing the simple act of rotating the mob will make their charge a lil bit easier. Next, stop moving. If you've got everything in melee range and in front of you, don't dance. The melee don't want to have to chase around the mobs to hit and get behind them, especially rogues.

-Stop Moving. Mentioned in the previous tip, Don't move without a purpose. You don't want to have your group chasing you around. If you're moving to another pull, Then do it, get in position, and stop. Don't creep into the next pull. Make all movements brief and deliberate.
Edited by Razgrad on 2/15/2013 10:46 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
7175
-Move clear of fire. Anything on the ground which does damage to you, move out of immediately. Less damage for the healer to manage. Also, don't just move out yourself and leave the boss standing in it, because you're going to endanger your melee by forcing them to stand in the fire, or the boss front where they can be cleaved or parried.

-Consider the range dps. Range dps don't like having to move, so don't do anything that will make them move. Avoid pulling a mob towards them. Avoid pulling a mob out of their LOS (Line of sight). Don't stand the mobs in smoke bombs, or they will loose valuable attack time. Understand that your range might also have certain aoes that require a locational commitment. Again, don't go moving anything if you don't have to.

-Consider your healer. Don't break LOS, don't stand in smoke. Don't get back attacked. Remember, your purpose is to make their job easier. So please consider their effort. Use your cooldowns when things get rough, preferably before you drop below 50%, as to prevent your health from dropping that low.

-Pick up adds promptly. Kinda goes with your basic function as a tank, but could use additional attention. Sometimes bosses sommon them. Sometimes the patrol crosses you. Sometimes someone else in the party face pulls. Deal with it. The goal is to not let them get a single direct cast or swing at any other member of the party. Hit them before they hit your friends. Doing this will make you look pro.

-Be ready. Get started. Let's be fair, your que is instant. Don't que up and enter dungeon, then run out because you need to regear, respec, reforge, gem something. Be ready when you get into that instance, and get pulling promptly, don't go waiting 2 min staring blankly at your healer for some sign of approval. Aim for 15 sec tops between entry and pull.

Practice all these tips and you'll receive your share of compliments left and right. Everyone wants a tank. Everyone absolutely adores a great tank, especially these days.

Also, see some of the stickies for further information. Yes, I know they're long, but they're pretty complete and might have something neat to help you further.

I mentioned the need to move, if you would like tips on the proper way to do so see Jay's elaborate post: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1920715056

Feel free to rate up if you like, If you can think of any other tips I'll see if they're worth adding and credit you for the suggestion.

Edit: Link to movement guide
Edited by Razgrad on 2/16/2013 3:50 PM PST
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90 Night Elf Monk
8430
Only two points I have issue with, in a 5-man:

Moving - If the melee DPS cannot keep up, they need to reroll to another class/spec. It is not hard to follow the tank. I've played a feral druid and a rogue; easily the two most movement penalized DPS classes. It is still not hard to do DPS when the tanks moves, especially since in most 5-mans you will be doing AOE damage which does not require you to flank the mob(s).

LOS - This is, unfortunately, the only tool to get the mobs/group you where you want thems sometimes. I don't have much pity for the ranged DPS here. They tend to go out of their way to stand in spots that attract pats or other groups. Nor do I have any sympathy for the healer. I've healed. As a healer, you have one basic rule: Stay with the tank. Are the DPS attacking something else and the tank moving on? Stay with the tank. If the DPS want heals, they'll follow.

Otherwise, the only one I'd add is:

Make Sure You Are In Your Tank Spec - You would think this is obvious, but sometimes after tanking for so long you get used to logging out in your tank spec, and you might forget if you've logged out in your DPS spec. Especially if you have most of your keybinds setup the same.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
7175
@Lightning

I completely agree with you, sometimes you do need to do an LOS pull, and the melee should be able to keep up with movement. There's only like 2 pulls in this expansions 5 mans where I'll have to call for an LOS pull before doing so, in which case most the group stands back.

As for the melee movement, you know you can't expect everyone you meet in 5 mans to be good, hell you can't even expect them to be decent. I'm not saying don't move at all, but make your movements brief and deliberate. Don't move without a reason. Yes, they should be able to keep up, but it'd be really nice if you stopped to consider their effort.
We're talking the difference between good tank and great tank.
Edited by Razgrad on 2/15/2013 10:33 AM PST
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99 % well thought out, and well worth reading, and keeping in mind.

One comment on the "Aim for 15 sec tops between entry and pull." I'd personally amend that to "Aim for 15 seconds tops between entry and being ready for the first pull - but make sure everyone appears to be ready first!"

More often than not as a healer I will need more more than 15 seconds to switch gear sets and mana up from whatever I was doing before the q popped, and very frequently 1 or more of the group may not even be in the dungeon yet. A tank that pulls 4 seconds after I zone in without checking first has already set my teeth on edge, and even more so when it's OBVIOUS that someone wasn't ready yet. I don't want to be there any longer than any one else does, but I don't want to start the instance with a trash-wipe on the first pull, either.

A comment on the LOS - Yes, it's sometimes the only way to get get Mobs where you need them to be when tanking, and as a healer I expect a good tank to take advantage of it.

But I don't think that's what the OP is referring to - what I assume he's referring to is the tank that appears to be completely unaware that he's LOSing the other group members, and especially his healer - especially when it's completely unnecessary and therefore totally unexpected. (Such as the monk that kept running around the pillar in Scarlet monastery the other day - each time I'd reposition and start my cast, he'd back another few feet around the pillar and LOS me, breaking the cast. After the second time, I went and stood on him.)

That's what's being referred to, or at least, is how I read it.

<S>
Edited by Sylth on 2/15/2013 10:48 AM PST
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90 Human Paladin
8415
02/15/2013 07:17 AMPosted by Lightning
Moving - If the melee DPS cannot keep up, they need to reroll to another class/spec. It is not hard to follow the tank. I've played a feral druid and a rogue; easily the two most movement penalized DPS classes. It is still not hard to do DPS when the tanks moves, especially since in most 5-mans you will be doing AOE damage which does not require you to flank the mob(s).

Paladins, warriors, and Enhancement shaman have to melee attack a target to AoE. :P
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90 Pandaren Monk
12435
(Such as the monk that kept running around the pillar in Scarlet monastery the other day - each time I'd reposition and start my cast, he'd back another few feet around the pillar and LOS me, breaking the cast. After the second time, I went and stood on him.)

<S>


I... I may have been that monk. I didn't seem to be getting healed and my CDs were down so I just kited the mobs around the piller. I main heal so I'm aware it was annoying, but it worked.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3810
I try not to move stuff too much as long as there isnt fire/crap/w/e on the ground. I have to say maybe its not all monk tanks but the ones I have been with move the boss too much. When they do the spinning thing they wind up spinning the boss to face the group and melee have to keep repositioning behind. This is with no aoe effect that needs to be moved from. When monks spin can they not control the direction their char goes?
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
7470
Now of course, your job as a tank is to:A: focus most damage on you (by getting aggro on all mobs)B: minimize the damage you take. (with your lovely tanking toolset)The group will take damage in the fight, damage that needs to be managed and healed. Honestly, your job should really be viewed as a support role to make the healers job easier. Doing these 2 things simply makes you a tank.You need to do more to be a good or great tank.Know your class.Should go without saying, but study your class to make sure you're mitigating as much as you can. This means proper gearing, gemming, reforging, rotation. Practice your rotation on dummies or quest mobs if you must. This is something you should do before even pressing that lovely "Find Group" button. The group will respect you for holding aggro, dps will respect you for challenging them on the meters, and healers will respect you for making their job easier.


Then why is your Expertise not at cap? Your priority as a pally tank for mitigation and agro is getting 7.5 hit and 15 exp. All that mastery you have is wasted when your Hopo generators are getting parried. You cant hit the boss with your Hopo generators means you are not able to keep you active mitigation up?

Also being haste gem when not hit/exp capped just means you are going to get parried by the boss alot more.
Edited by Rosbos on 2/15/2013 11:37 AM PST
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I can assure you it wasn't you Xiun :o) It was someone with at least 60 percent of their name from the extended character set, and a name that was an attempt at spelling "Pandemonium".

But perhaps that is what (and why!) he/she was doing it as well - I had every HOT I have rolling on her (and I'm not poorly geared for 5 mans!) and I was having to chain cast Regrowth to hold her up.

For some reason, Monks and DK's seem to really take it in the shorts when they engage the mobs after you enter the monastery, there before the boss - the boss himself/herself/and himself is easy peasy lemon squeazy in comparison.

<S>
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
7175
Then why is your Expertise not at cap? Your priority as a pally tank for mitigation and agro is getting 7.5 hit and 15 exp. All that mastery you have is wasted when your Hopo generators are getting parried. You cant hit the boss with your Hopo generators means you are not able to keep you active mitigation up?

Also being haste gem when not hit/exp capped just means you are going to get parried by the boss alot more.


You're a sad person.
Edited by Razgrad on 2/15/2013 12:17 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
7470
I am sad for calling you out for not knowing what you are talking about when you claim to be a "Great tank"?

- Yes well go with that one, but please do try to atleast figure out how your class works before you make threads on how great you are.
Edited by Rosbos on 2/15/2013 12:36 PM PST
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90 Night Elf Monk
8430
02/15/2013 11:33 AMPosted by Tivana
I try not to move stuff too much as long as there isnt fire/crap/w/e on the ground. I have to say maybe its not all monk tanks but the ones I have been with move the boss too much. When they do the spinning thing they wind up spinning the boss to face the group and melee have to keep repositioning behind. This is with no aoe effect that needs to be moved from. When monks spin can they not control the direction their char goes?


You can control it. I'm not sure what boss you would use spinning crane kick on outside of those with adds. Only useful on 3+ mobs as otherwise you do not get any chi.

Now, I am guilty of this on Commander Ri'mok in Gate of the Setting Sun. Reason being that Keg Toss requires you to lead the target, and my camera goes all wonky when I use targeting reticules. That, combined with the fact that they don't always pull threat has me spinning to kick them up.

Now, if the healer stayed close, that wouldn't be an issue. I could just strafe. And if a DPS was obviously going after them, so they didn't hit my healer, I wouldn't bother (I tank them on my ele shaman when I run DPS, so I know DPS can tank them just fine).

So its sometimes a matter of "is everyone else doing everything they can to make things easier; are they bringing the mobs to me so I can pick them up" and the answer to that question is usually "no".

Paladins, warriors, and Enhancement shaman have to melee attack a target to AoE.


I can't speak to warriors or enhancement shaman, but paladin can move and AOE at the same time. Hammer of the Wrath and Divine Storm. Neither of those require you to be stationary (maybe lead the target a bit for DS, but that's about it).

Unless the tank is using some super-speed boost to stay ahead of everyone else, it's not that hard to DPS on the move.

But I don't think that's what the OP is referring to - what I assume he's referring to is the tank that appears to be completely unaware that he's LOSing the other group members, and especially his healer - especially when it's completely unnecessary and therefore totally unexpected.


I'm guilty of it, I'll admit. Best example I can give is Scarlet Monastery. The cannonball area. There are three groups of about ten mobs, total. Generally you will only do one or two of those. I've gotten to where I just spin kick my way past all three and duck around a corner as fast as I can. I know I'm breaking healer LOS, and I know the Evangelists do massive tank damage, but those caster mobs don't move unless you break LOS, and I'd rather not leave them out in the area with the cannon balls. I want them bunched up so I can AOE stun them and daze them with BOF. Knocks them out of those heavy casts. It's 100% intentional, and I know what the dangers are when I do it.

I'll also use LOS to drag half dead mobs in the interest of speeding things up sometimes. For example, skeletons in Scholomance. Things take a while to do, and I'd rather not kill just one. They can die with the next group.

As for the melee movement, you know you can't expect everyone you meet in 5 mans to be good, hell you can't even expect them to be decent.


I can and do expect the other four players to be, at minimum, decent. Not good. Not great. But decent.

Half the time I zone into a dungeon my first thought is to drop group because I hate the zone (Niuzao Temple, I'm looking at you!). I don't. It'd be rude. Damage dealers only pulling 13K DPS? Fine, I'll carry them. Healer afk half the time, or doesn't know where his heals are? Fine, I'll heal myself. All I expect in return is for them to keep up and stay out of the fire. That's it.

Guess I'll just setttle for being a "good" tank. Great is over-rated. ;)
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3810
You can control it. I'm not sure what boss you would use spinning crane kick on outside of those with adds. Only useful on 3+ mobs as otherwise you do not get any chi.


It was Feng, and he was all over the place the boss was spinning good thing it was lfr. Like I said I dont know anything about monks just thought on bosses that move was not a good idea esp with fire in the area
Edited by Tivana on 2/15/2013 12:53 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
7470
It is relevant to correct you especially when you are trying to spread information to the public and yes not being expertise capped is "wrong" You talk about getting the best possible threat and mitigation when you yourself are not properly gemmed and reforged for it. No matter what the scenario is. . Your job will always be to get threat and mitigate damage taken. .. and like what I said before You need to hit the mobs/boss to get threat and gain resources for active mitigation.

Anyways good luck with your "great tanking"
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90 Human Paladin
8415
I can't speak to warriors or enhancement shaman, but paladin can move and AOE at the same time. Hammer of the Wrath and Divine Storm. Neither of those require you to be stationary (maybe lead the target a bit for DS, but that's about it).

Not stationary, but you do have to be in melee range so it IS a bit annoying when the enemy keeps moving out of range. :P
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3810
Stop confusing the noob <--------

I am already trying to digest pally tank info its all new to me, first im told im wayy over exp cap, but then I look at the best pally tanks I know and they are high exp cap...Im told gem haste for hopo, then I am told exp and stam etc....pulls out hair.
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90 Human Paladin
8415
Stop confusing the noob <--------

I am already trying to digest pally tank info its all new to me, first im told im wayy over exp cap, but then I look at the best pally tanks I know and they are high exp cap...Im told gem haste for hopo, then I am told exp and stam etc....pulls out hair.

You're not over the cap. The cap is 15% for paladin tanks. There's very, very little reason to ever purposefully be under the cap, since both your active defenses and damage output rely on it.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3810
You're not over the cap. The cap is 15% for paladin tanks. There's very, very little reason to ever purposefully be under the cap, since both your active defenses and damage output rely on it.


Right I read that later on, after I reforged out of exp because someone told me I was way over. Then went back and started to reforge back to exp /grumbles something about fire and dying
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