beginner tanking tips

Hi tank, i'm a newb when it comes to warriors and tanking.

I've played a mage dps and never really cared for levelling other toons really.

Im levelling as prot and soloing is fine. I did a few 5-mans earlier it went OK I guess I had the mobs on me for the most part but I still think I'm having issues.

a) i keep finding myself clicking and i despise that. Why am I clicking as tank!?
b) i never have enough rage! I always find myself shiel slamming, thunder clapping, doing heroic throw (when not on CD) ...sunders are not coming often, i can do 1 then I have to wait 4-5 GCD before I have enough rage again.
c) What are my bread and butter abilities tanking in a 5-mans? Right now i find myself doing this:
Charge, Heroic Throw, Shield Slam, Thunder clap, Sunder...then whatever is off GCD or if I have rage to use a rage ability i'll use that instead...

I never seem to have 60 rage to use shield block..i mean like NEVER! So i really think im doing something wrong..not sure?

I don't see aware of my surrounding as much as I was when Im on my mage..its pissing me off im always looking down at my toolbar cause of all the damn cooldowns! Is that normal?

And I have to confess Im also facerolling on this toon, again something thats unheard of on my mage...please help!
a) I used to be a clicker. What it boils down to is figuring out what your priorities are, and bind those to keys you can easily access. The Shift Key is your friend, and effectively doubles the number of hotkeys you can easily reach with your left hand. It's awkward at first, but after you get used to it, it becomes second nature to hit a key to activate an ability and you barely think about it.

Also, for long CD abilities, it's okay to click them actually it's better to do that. You don't want something like Shield Wall to be right next to Shield Slam on your keyboard. You rarely need to hit a CD with split-second precision, and using up a CD at the wrong moment means you've just lost it for awhile, maybe for the whole fight.

b) That's because you're low level. When you get high enough to replace Sunder with Devastate it becomes a whole new world. You just kind of have to suffer until then, unfortunately. At max level you'll be rotating between Heroic Strike and Revenge, which are building Rage, and hitting Devastate, which is free, while maintaining Thunder Clap.

c) Honestly I'm not sure at your level. The last time I tanked at that low a level it was WotLK.

When you get to be higher level, just about the only thing you'll be spending Rage on is Shield Block and/or Shield Barrier (depending on the fight). I rarely feel Rage-starved at level 90 as Prot.

Being aware of your surroundings is essential as a tank. You need to control the fight. In some fights, success relies on being able to move a boss or group of enemies to a particular spot at a particular time. You also need to be aware of what the rest of the party/raid is doing, to a certain extent, though probably not as much as a healer. Zoom out as far as you can, that helps, but a lot of it just comes with practice.

Don't faceroll. Warriors don't have rotations, we have priorities.
A: Warriors don't seem to have many more abilities than other classes i've played. so i'm not sure what to say to this. I personally don't like shift/ctrl binding to overload my number keys, so i took to binding keys like R, T, Y, U, G, H, J, V, B, N for extra keys. it's a preference thing. Obviously if you were to use a razer naga or another multi-button mouse you could avoid the whole problem.

B: you can do reasonably well with just sunder/thunder clap. Warrior tanking is a bit awkward at low levels, so there's no need to blame yourself for that.

C: yeah.. in general it's different if there's a lot of low HP mobs, or 1-3 mobs or a boss or something. if it's a pile of mobs, you might want to start with thunder clap

Some tricks:

switch on enemy health bars (v by default, i think) and use them to select targets though, this will help you because you can switch to whatever mob is losing health fastest so you can build threat on it.

One trick that i find helps me personally is to use grid (the raid frames mod) to track who has aggro. sometimes it's best tool I have to quickly check whether or not the fight is still under control. sometimes that puts me at ease, and makes things feel less chaotic.
By the way, don't forget to check out our Protection sticky at the top of the forum if you haven't yet:

Much of it won't apply to you until higher levels, but there is info in there good for all levels and it will also let you know what to expect later.

Also, don't forget to check out the tanking forum for advice and tips:
thanks guys i don't feel as bad anymore!

you're right about it feeling "awkward" at low levels it really feels like something is always missing.

As dps, even at lower levels, it felt more natural and there was a sense of completeness (for lack of a better word) during 5-mans; in other words you felt like you were performing your roll well, whereas as a tank i fee like im letting my group down because I could of done something "better".

I'll take a look at the sticky as you suggested; i've googled looking for tanking guides but 9 out 10 are for end game! (rightfully so, as these are simply the natural growing pains).

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum