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 Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: The Basics; Have Shield Will Tank

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AZURITE
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PostSubject: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: The Basics; Have Shield Will Tank   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:55 am

Bolshka:
The Warrior is, by definition, a form of mobile of crowd control - keeping the attention of mobs off healers and damage-dealers alike through a wide array of threat generation. No matter what the spec, a Warrior has several methods of controlling the tempo of the fight.

Keeping control of the mob's attention is a team effort, so make certain your party knows when to scale up DPS and healing. If your team uses threat meters such as Omen or KTM you can be assured to have better teamwork.

If your team does not use a threat meter using the stacking debuff of Sunder Armor can be your method of gauging control over a mob - by five sunders you need to have total control of that mob, so apply them only as you are weaving in Heroic Strikes, Shield Bash, Shield Slam, etc.

Most tanking is done in Defensive stance to gain the bonus to threat generation. Also note that having three points in Defiance should be a perquisite for any tank.


Last edited by AZURITE on Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: The Basics; Have Shield Will Tank   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:55 am

Rage Generation: Rage against the Tank

A Warrior lives and dies by rage. Rage is gained by either dealing or taking damage - thus it is key for a tank to be able to mitigate the flow of incoming damage and outgoing damage.

While in solid tanking gear a Warrior's damage output is sub-par, usually ranging from 400 to 800 Attack Power. This is easily half of what it would be otherwise. Rage generation from damage output will usually be lacking for this reason.

To make up for this shortcoming the Warrior's tanking gear usually grants a large amount of Stamina for soaking damage. Most of your rage is generated by soaking damage.

Your health is finite, however, so you must temper rage generation with damage mitigation. Abilities such as Shield Block can negate a great deal of damage, as can having a high level of Dodge or Parry.

If you are rage-starved in a fight, stop using Shield Block and take a couple hits on the chin to stoke the fire.

If you are rage-soaked, abilities such as Heroic Strike are useful "rage dumps" to generate large amounts of threat. By definition an ability such as Heroic Strike does not generate rage and costs a fair amount to use - thus it should only be used when at 20% or more rage. That's why they call it a rage dump!

Gauge your fights carefully. Most battles are fine to use the standard high-Stamina gear for soaking damage. If your target hits extremely hard then you might need to gear towards avoidance, thus relying on Parry and Dodge to prevent getting two-shotted.
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: The Basics; Have Shield Will Tank   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:56 am

Threat Generation: Single White Target

Gathering aggro on a single target should be a simple matter for any Warrior provided it's threat list is otherwise virginal. In situations where the enemy has veered off to attack a vulnerable party member it can be very difficult to top the threat being generated, so make certain your team knows when and how to unleash the DPS.

Healing effects also generate threat, so be cautious and aware when your Druid tosses a Rejuvenation on you just before a pull - it can drag aggro off of you! Ridiculous as it sounds, bandaging can generate aggro.

Charge in whenever possible, switch to Defensive stance, and immediately throw down a Thunder Clap. Follow up with a Demoralizing Shout and then start your tanking rotations of Sunder Armor/Devastate, Revenge, and Shield Slam.

Try to alternate between Revenge and Shield Slam mostly, queue Heroic Strike each time you Shield Slam. Throw a Devastate or Sunder into the mix every few hits just to keep that debuff going and to boost threat marginally. Make certain that your debuffs such as Demoralizing Shout and Thunder Clap remain active as you continue, just be mindful of mobs under crowd control because your Thunder Clap WILL break it.

On a single target the tank should be able to maintain a minimum of 300 TPS. A green/blue-geared tank can easily churn out 500-600 TPS and a top-end tank can deluge with 900-1500 TPS. The more threat you can dish out, the more your DPS members can open up on a target.
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: The Basics; Have Shield Will Tank   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:56 am

Target Order: Who's On First?

In a pack of five mobs it's hard to determine an optimal kill order unless you know all of their abilities. Crowd control is the key here, as always, and knowing what order to burn down targets.

Some prefer to whittle down "soft targets" such as casters first but in almost every situation the healers must go first. If a healer mob cannot be crowd controlled and isn't the primary target, someone should be on top of it for interrupting heals. Rogues, Warriors, Shamans, and Warlocks are ideal for this role since Priests and Mages have a longer cooldown on their silence/interrupts.

Dangerous, hard-hitting targets should be handled by main/off-tanks or they should be put under heavy crowd control. Relying on a Warlock's seduction to lock down a mob that hits for 9,000 damage can get VERY tense, so try for polymorph/banish/shackle/trap.

Mobs with dangerous abilities such as silence, charm, or fear should be strongly considered for primary targets.

Mobs that are immune to crowd control should be primary targets no matter what.

Whoever is marking your targets should make it VERY clear what each symbol means and what order things are to die. DPS should be focused whenever possible!
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: The Basics; Have Shield Will Tank   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:57 am

Taunting: Yo Momma SO FATů

Sometimes a teammate will pull aggro of a mob through proximity, healing, or damage-dealing. In those panicked situations taunting can save the day. Taunting forces the mob to attack you for a brief set of time. It is within that brief moment you must regain aggro because after the taunt effect fades the mob will reorient on the former target.

There are three means of taunting a mob off a teammate, the simplist way is to simply use the Taunt ability. Secondarily there is Mocking Blow. Last but not least there is Challenging Shout, which causes all mobs in range to attack the Warrior.

Follow up a taunt immediately with the highest threat-generation you can manage. It is best to drag the taunted mob away from the previous target so there is some breathing room between them when the taunt wears off, you might consider hamstringing the mob as well as a Thunderclap - anything to slow the mob down if it runs amok once more. If you have enough points in the Fury tree, Piercing Howl is also great for this.

Note that taunting is not a reliable means of tanking and should not be used unless the enemy's attention is suddenly redirected. A Warrior's truest ability to keep a mob's attention lies in high-threat offensive abilities.

That being said, even the best of Mages or Warlocks will nab aggro from the best of tanks with a high-end crit. Reserve your taunts for those rare and panicked moments, ya can't save 'em if it's on cooldown!
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: The Basics; Have Shield Will Tank   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:58 am

Pulling: Charging Versus Shooting

This is usually a matter of preference for the Warrior but the use of Charge generates more initial rage than shooting a mob. Crowded rooms might make charging impossible, however, and the Warrior will be required to take a shot at a group of mobs to initiate a pull.

When charging, make certain that you aren't going to trigger other nearby mobs. Also be mindful of mobs that can fear you INTO another pack. Sometimes it is just safer to shoot.

When shooting, try to follow up with triggering Bloodrage. The rage generation will help to toss out those essential first moves and will also generate a little bit of threat by itself.

Just be careful, you might put someone's eye out with that thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: The Basics; Have Shield Will Tank   Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:58 am

Pulling: Who Started It!?

A fight is often started by the Warrior charging in head-long. This is preferred in most cases so that the Warrior can be first on the mob's hate list, even if it is simply from proximity.

Alternatively, Hunters can make excellent pullers since they can Feign Death on a botched pull. At high-level, Hunters can also use Misdirect to pass the baton of threat over to YOU instead of bearing the brunt of that hate.

Even in that situation, however, a Warrior should prefer starting the fight to use abilities that generate rage. Misdirection is better utilized to supplement the Warrior's threat instead of initializing it.

Rogues can also make good pullers since they can Vanish on a botched pull.

Sometimes a pull is initiated by other classes that perform crowd control - sheeping, sleeping, shackling, or banishing.

The Warrior should be quick on his feet to pick up other targets in that situation, being careful not to Cleave or Whirlwind or Thunderclap to break the crowd control. In those cases a good Demoralizing Shout works well to nab aggro. Use it often and drag those suckers AWAY from the crowd-controlled mob!
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