How can I be a better warrior tank?

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
I'm a 42 warrior. I've been doing dungeons for the past several days. I would say that I am a "noob" when it comes to doing dungeons since I just started several days ago. Usually I do dungeons as someone dealing damage but here recently I've been a tank. Every time I do a dungeon as a tank it ends up being a complete and utter catastrophe. We all end up dying because everyone gets attacked. I can't keep the attackers on me. They wander off, kill the healer and then we all die. I use taunt but that's tedious because I have to watch attackers wandering off while I attack.

I talked to someone in the game and asked them how to be a better tank. They told me to constantly use thunderclap and cleave. I don't have cleave yet (get it at lvl 44) but I do use thunderclap and revenge. Although I use those two constantly we are still dying. Mostly because things wander off and kill the healer. Then players start complaining and in the end people leave. So my question for you all is (btw sorry this is so long)...what am I doing wrong? How can I be a better tank? How do I keep the attackers on me and "only" me? I was told by another player in a dungeon that my aggro sucks. How do I fix that? Is that even fixable?

I really want to be a good tank and not just give up on it. I mean, I will if it turns out to be something that's just not for me. But I want to gain all the information I can and try to be good at it first. Any and all suggestions are helpful. Thanks.

Specialization - Protection
Are you in defensive stance?
Then not sure what else to tell you. Are you always the first one to rush in? Are the dps pulling for you? If they're pulling for you, tell them to stop and let you pull.

Make sure you're tab-targetting and spreading your love to everything.

On a pull you might want to Heroic Throw one, Charge in, Thunderclap, hit one with Shield Slam, another with Devastate, another with Revenge, Shield Slam again, Thunderclap again, and so on. Use Heroic Strike if rage permits.

Also get Tidy Plates: Threat Plates. You'll love it. It shows nameplates over the heads of each enemy mob and the colour of the each plate will vary depending on your threat level on that mob.
Thank you. I appreciate the advice. When you say tab-targeting do you mean hit tab to target? Btw, they're not pulling for me. What I have seen is the healer will come too close (or someone else will) and the attackers will go to them. They'll also turn around and start attacking someone else that's attacking them instead of attacking me. I just want to keep them all on me and that's not working out so well.

As for the tidy plate and threat plate...I'm not sure I understand. Is that an item I can buy?
Tidy Plates: Threat Plates is an addon. You can get it from

Yeah when I say tab-target I mean using tab to switch targets. When you hit tab it'll usually switch to the next closest target that you are facing. So hit one with an attack, press tab, hit another with another attack, and keep doing that. Or you can just manually switch by selecting your targets with your mouse, that will work too. You need to be incorporating all your attacks in your rotation. Thunderclap alone would not keep aggro on a group of mobs. At your level you'll have Shield Slam, Devastate, Revenge, and Heroic Strike. Use them all.
For starters - it helps to map your keyboard. I like to have 1 as Devastate, 2 as Thunderclap, 3 as Revenge, and 4 as Shield Slam. A main part of keeping threat on multiple targets is Thunderclap. A key thing to remember is that Revenge will hit multiple targets in front of you, and part of tanking 101 is to keep everything that you are tanking in front of you anyways. Thunderclap is great for AoE tanking as well, as is Shockwave when you get it. Cleave you can use when it's free, but I would refrain when using it if it's not free. You get uses of Cleave for free with Devastate. Use Shield Slam on CD, I use it on targets I know I haven't damaged in awhile, as it hits hard and generates a lot of threat for free.
Also; One thing to keep in mind;

At your level and in lower levels in general people are going to be extremely AoE happy, pull ahead of you and attack targets farthest away from you. If they're doing this you're doing nothing wrong if you lose aggro because the DPS themselves aren't doing it right.

If the healer is the one getting attacked that's on you.
Try to adjust yourself to Shield Slam smack mobs on the edge of your "range" to prevent this from happening.

11/18/2012 04:26 AMPosted by Schwert
At your level and in lower levels in general people are going to be extremely AoE happy, pull ahead of you and attack targets farthest away from you. If they're doing this you're doing nothing wrong if you lose aggro because the DPS themselves aren't doing it right.

If DPS are pulling, you didn't pull enough to begin with. Pretty much the only exception to this is idiots walking into mobs you skip (But you shouldn't really even skip pulls leveling anyway).

Haven't I taught you anything schwert?
Thank you all for the suggestions. I sincerely appreciate.
Do NOT listen to the people telling you to tab-target. Don't do it, it's absolutely horrible. lol targeting a mob across the room rather than one next to you.

Have enemy name plates on and target mobs by mousing over their name plates and clicking on them. That way you actually have control of what you need to be on and there's no worries of accidently targeting a mob you don't need to be on, especially during important times such as having to interrupt an important cast for example.
I'll second Tidy Plates: Threat Plates. They're very handy. You can turn on the default nameplates by pressing "V" or "Shift+V" one of the two. The tidy plates turn color as you get agro on the mobs. Mine are set up so red is on me, yellow is about to drift off, green is on somebody else. It gives you a bit of time. Also, at my level, at least, Shield Slam is my big hitter. Whoever gets the Shield Slam love first, well, I kind of know in my head that I don't need to pay attention to him for a bit. So, I focus on his friends with a devastate or victory rush or whatever. Toss in thunderclap when it's up to keep everything focused on me and it works pretty well (so far).

Tab targeting vs. click targeting: for me, it depends on the situation. If there's stuff that I don't want to tab to, I'll click. If not, I'll orient the camera so that the only mobs visible are the pack that I'm fighting and tab away. Seems to work pretty well either way. I think I'm a bit slower clicking because I lose the mouse in all the graphic and combat text spam but more precise.

Disclaimer: You can see the level I'm at. I just picked WoW back up on a new server after being away since WotLK, so I'm still very rusty (couldn't figure out why I wasn't able to hold threat when I tanked my first dungeon.. till we wiped and I realized I was in Battle Stance *facepalm* kind impressed I held agro at all). Anywho, warrior AoE tanking isn't easy like it used to be for my Pally back in the day, but it's invigorating. Like driving a stick shift car vs. an automatic. Sure, the automatic is easier, but the stick shift is more FUN.
I'd recomend asking over in the tanking forums if you haven't, they're fairly friendly/helpful.
I keybind a Skull icon so I can quickly identify the target I want ppl to focus on first.

So I :
- mark Skull
- Charge the Skull
- Thunderclap
- Hit my target (the Skull) with Shield Slam or Revenge

If at that stage you can see other mobs in the group going towards the dps, you can politely ask them to focus on dpsing down the skull first :)

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