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 Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Advanced Techniques

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AZURITE
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PostSubject: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Advanced Techniques   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:47 am

ALL UR AGGRO AM BELONG 2 US
Bolskha:
There is always room for improvement, be it in gearing or technique.

Reaction time is essential for tanking. Thus, keybind whatever you can and get very, very intimate with those mappings so you don't have to take your eyes off the fight. Mouse use should be minimal since that takes one hand off essential keys for abilities.

Let's discuss some techniques that require more skill, shall we?


Last edited by AZURITE on Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Advanced Techniques   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:47 am

Threat Generation: Multiple Targets

Occasionally you'll encounter mass numbers of mobs that defy conventions of crowd control. Typically these are trash non-elite creatures designed for your AoE to burn down swiftly. This does not preclude your duty to soak the damage, however! Clothies are delicate!

Identical to standard tanking situations - charge in, switch to Defensive Stance, and drop your Thunder Clap and Demoralizing Shout. Rather than start up your regular tanking rotations, immediately switch to Berserker stance and Whirlwind. Switch back to Defensive and Thunder Clap. From this point simply Cleave in between stance-dancing for Thunder Claps and Whirlwinds.

If you have it, throw out a Piercing Howl to slow down mobs rushing at your casters.

You can also use Challenging Shout to magnetize everything to you for a few seconds. I typically save this for situations where the mass of mobs is going to kill the AoE caster.
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Advanced Techniques   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:48 am

Stance Dancing: Bounce Like Yo Ass Got Da Hiccups

A Warrior's abilities are spread out across the various stances. Certain ones, such as Berserker Rage or Recklessness, are exclusive to specific stances.

A Warrior is expected to be able to quickly shift stances to suit the situation. The most common of situations is starting a pull by charging in, then switching to Defensive stance to drop a Thunder Clap. Yes, you can Thunder Clap while in Battle stance, but you want that extra threat! Dance!

More tense situations exist where stance dancing is a must! For example, it is not uncommon for mobs to cast fear. This means that the Warrior has ~1 second to switch into Berserker stance and hit Berserker Rage.

In those situations it is handy to have your PvP faction trinket equipped just in case you are not fast enough, using it will clear any charm/fear on you. Your problem relying on that trinket is that it has at least a 2 minute cooldown. Most fear-capable mobs will drop it every 30 seconds, usually within 5 seconds of getting in range.

Speed is key and for this reason it is imperative to key your stances somewhere convenient on your layout. Clicking with your mouse is NOT fast enough, folks.

My three stances are keyed to I, O, and P. This allows my left hand to maneuver using WASD and my right hand to trigger whatever stance is needed.
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Advanced Techniques   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:49 am

Stun Locking: Combination to Domination

A Warrior has a surprising ability to stun opponents if properly spec'd. This is wonderfully useful in tight situations where a mob might be immune to taunting or has a certain ability that must be interrupted. The scant few seconds that a Warrior's stun offers may not seem like much, but it will provide healers some breathing room to handle critical damage. Stunning is also a great way to save your favorite clothies from being flattened when aggro is pulled off you.

A Warrior's stun ability centers around talent spec. Arms offers this through Mace specialization - though it is erratic, undependable, and getting nerfed as of patch 2.3!

The Defense tree offers two means of stunning an opponent. By putting points into Improved Revenge, you can achieve a fairly high chance to stun your target after blocking. By far the best stun ability the Warrior can have is Concussive Blow, which outright stuns the enemy for five seconds with a 45 second cooldown.

Another means of stunning opponents is Intimidating Shout, which stuns the primary target while AoE fearing other nearby enemies. This can cause mobs to domino into other nearby enemies, so use with care.

If you are a Tauren you have War Stomp, which is an AoE stun. For a defensive situation this ability is one of the best racials in the game.

A big caveat to stunning opponents is that these mechanics do NOT work on bosses.
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Advanced Techniques   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:49 am

Global Cooldown: Not Global Warming!

Perhaps the biggest mistake that Warriors make (including myself on occasion) is to spam your attacks. Almost every ability a Warrior has is tied to a global cooldown of 1.5 seconds. That deadzone of time leaves you unable to do anything but swing your weapon and pray.

The only exception to this cruel rule is Heroic Strike, but as you know by now this ability is a rage dump. It is not an instant, it does not generate rage, and it queues on your next swing - which could be from 1 to 3 seconds. Hardly reliable.

Spamming abilities non-stop ties up your entire arsenal. If you are dealing with casters or mobs that fear, this can be a very bad thing. The majority of spells a mob can cast will be done before your global cooldown is off, thus causing you to fail to interrupt it.

Carefully and calmly time your shots. You cannot use Pummel or Shield Bash to interrupt a caster while spazzing out with Devastate.
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Advanced Techniques   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:50 am

Line-Of-Sight Pulls: Peekaboo! PEWPEW

Perhaps the most frustrating pulls involve mobs that have ranged attacks. You bravely line up your sights, pull the trigger, and what happens? They just STAND THERE casting or shooting at you!

What's a Warrior to do?

Try ducking around the corner or behind an impassable object. The mob will finish casting but the spell will fail, and since they can't see you they charge in like morons.

Play peekaboo with a Shield Slam to their FACE once they get around the corner. :devil:

This is a classic technique, lovingly termed LOS pulling.

Before taking your shot, you might warn the group not to draw aggro until the mobs have raced around the corner and are within your range. Otherwise the mob will focus on THEM and things might go pear-shaped.
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Advanced Techniques   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:50 am

Building Threat: What to use and when

Each ability a Warrior has does specific amounts of threat, some more than others. As detailed in a previous post, here are your tanking abilities in descending order of threat - greatest to least.

Shield Slam
Disarm
Revenge
Devastate
Sunder Armor
Thunderclap (net aggro over 4 targets is very high, individual target aggro is middling)
Heroic strike
Shield bash
Whirlwind, Cleave (these only give threat for damage done, no bonus modifiers)
Bloodrage
Shouts: Demoralizing, Battle, and Commanding. Shouts need to buff your party to generate threat.

Knowing this is the rank of your abilities, choose carefully how and when you use them in order to optimize your threat output.

Also, abilities such as Bloodthirst and Mortal Strike have changed in the recent patch to do more threat. I suspect that they near Heroic Strike provided the damage dealt is decent.
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