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Old 06-05-2006, 11:12 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 8
Default Warrior Tanking Guide

This is a post created by a long time tank and friend, Butternutz on Magtheridon. Perhaps some benefit can be gleaned from this, I know I'll be following this guide myself for offtanking.

My tanking strategy and the information I use to make tanking decisions.

Main Tanking is taking absolute responsibility for raid mitigation through several methods: Funneling damage, removing damage, and controlling chaos. While each class has enjoyable and unique raid functions, from Hunter kiting to Rogue and DPS Warrior damage dealing, tanks take complete control of the actual battle.

You will often feel overwhelmed upon encountering a new boss fight such as Razorgore where the sheer complexity seems impossible to overcome.

You are also alone in this responsibility. You will rarely have right to blame others for failings, and as such, should never take a stance that it is someone else's fault that you died. If you have any cooldown available on your hotbar, be it Shield Wall, Last Stand, Healthstone or a Major Healing Potion, you are responsible for your own death.

Our primary job it maintain aggro on a mob so that all the damage gets mitigated through us.

Here's our tanking skills, and how they work... in detail.

Taunt - this is how taunt works. If a mob is not targeted on you, you can use taunt to get that mobs attention for a second before it goes back to whoever it was previously beating on. On top of that, taunt sets your current hate on the target equal to the hate of whoever is the highest on the mobs aggro list. Now, even though you are now equal with that other person, you do not actually have aggro yet. A mob will not change its target until you have 10% more hate on that mob than the person who currently has the aggro. Also, if you are the person who gets initial aggro via a bodypull or something, you do not need to use taunt. At that point you have the focus of the mob, but no hate has been generated yet. Taunt does not produce any hate at all. SO if the mob is currently hitting you, using taunt will have zero effect. Some mobs, like Onyxia are immune to taunt. A good example is the first boss in AQ20 where the tanks bounce aggro back and forth. If you taunt the boss off of the current tank you get aggro for a second.You also just made your hate equal to the hate of that tank. Now, its your job to get 10% more aggro on that boss than the other tank, or else the boss will just bounce back to that other tank.

SunderArmor - This is the staple of tanking. It generates a large amount of hate, and doesn't stop doing so after you stack 5 sunders. This skill should be spammed over and over and over. THis skill is on a global cooldown.

Revenge - THis skill generate tons of hate. This skill should be spammed over and over and over as well. THis skill is on a global cooldown.

Heroic Strike - This skill is not on a global cooldown. This skill is different as it is a next "swing" attack. When you use it if kind of puts the heroic strike in a queue to be used the next time you swing your weapon at the target. So, you can queue this up in between using your sunders and revenges.

I usually alternate between sunder armor and revenge(when it is available) and throw in sheild blocks when it is available
Like this: sunder, HS, revenge, HS, sunder, HS, revenge, sunder

You can tell if you are doing a good job by looking at your rage meter. MC monsters hit very hard and generate tons of rage. IF you have more than half your rage bar filled up, you arent generating enough hate.Just sunders and revenges alone are not enough to use up all the rage you are generating. Heroic Strikes are the key to putting the rage to good use.

I also keep my weapon sharpened, and always keep battle shout up for the extra damage.

My equipment strategy thus far has been to get my Health(Stamina) as high as I can possibly can. BWL bosses will be hitting you for upwards of 7000 point attacks. You can have all the strength and dps in the world, but if you get hit you are going to die. It is our job as tanks to get our health as high as possible to give as much breathing room as possible for our healers.

Stamina: Magic Armor
Defense is very good, but it comes naturally through normal raid gearing. Most tanking items you pick up along your 40-man raiding experience will have Defense already built in. I always opt for the high Stamina over the high Defense. Why is this? Because Stamina is, in a way, your only Magic armor rating.

Consider your health bar not as a number but as a percentage. At 7,800 health, Nefarian's Shadow Flame does 80% damage to you during a Warrior class call. If your Stamina and health enchants, as well as flasks and consumables bring you up to 10,000 health (an achievable raid buffed health bar), suddenly that Shadow Flame is doing more recoverable damage to your percentage bar. Then, with 15% or even 30% more health by using Lifegiving Gem and Last Stand, 14,000 health during one of the later Warrior class calls on Nefarian will cement your survival.

Stamina is essentially a buffer. Like consumables and flasks, it creates breathing for your healers. Broodlord Lashslayer is known for one-shotting tanks that are new to him -- his Mortal Strike ability is one of the physical abilities that does massive damage regardless of your Defense rating (it isn't a critical strike).

Stamina also gives you the ability to gain more rage. Since a Stamina build does take more damage than a Defense build over the long run since you are avoiding fewer incoming attacks, you wind up with more overall rage to work with.

My personal opinion is this: as you progress through the endgame and you are faced with decisions between Stamina and Defense on non-armor items, take the Stamina; the Defense you need will naturally fall into place through normal raid gearing.

Understand that the decisions to choose Stamina items are based on two things: first, a healing strategy which is more suited to this build, and second, the use of Stamina buffs to further your lifebar to a maximum amount in the 10,000+ range without the use of Last Stand or Lifegiving Gem. Not utilizing these buffs for new encounters negates the entire purpose of going to a Stamina build, because anyone wearing a full Defense suit can just pop those buffs on and be higher than you in terms of their healthbar anyway; good game.

The 2.5 second heal is the root of the Stamina gearing theory. In almost every new boss encounter, before healers really get a chance to work out what's going on and the ebb and flow of a battle, they are going to be slamming you with heals... Whether you avoid the damage or not has literally no bearing on whether you receive heals or not -- you are still sapping the healers mana bars.

A note on Shield Block:
I consider Shield Block to be in the same league of mitigation as Armor and Stamina; when you wish to use it, you can guarantee a 100% block rate just due to itemization and your skill Shield Block. Shield block is a constant reduction of damage taken in, and for most Mixed boss fights -- that is, Magic and Physical -- it can be used on every physical attack. Note that the dynamic of Shield Block is unique to mitigation: it is added after all other mitigation is calculated, and it is not based on a percentage. If a mob does 500 damage to you, you mitigate 60% of it through armor (300 damage), your shield block of, say, 150 is then subtracted from the remaining 200 damage physical strike -- bringing a 500 damage strike down to 50 damage.

In conclusion:
One thing I never suggest about being a Stamina build warrior is that you will take less damage than a Defense warrior; I readily accept the reality I am not the most efficient object in terms of avoidance -- but I believe, for raid progression, simply having more health is more helpful when coming to new encounters.

It is your responsibility to keep yourself alive through whatever means possible. If you die at any point and had a cooldown available, it is generally your fault. If you die due to unexpected burst damage, it is again your fault if you did not utilize every constant effect buff prior to the fight.

Firstly, your skills: Shield Wall and Last Stand. I'm a big fan of Improved Shield Wall, because almost any time I use Shield Wall it's because the healers have to recover from some tragedy or I want to cement a kill in stone; both of these times, the additional five seconds is a boon. Last Stand is the same way: if you are going to Main Tank, this ability is required.

Next, Healthstones. You can hold three healthstones at a time, a 1440, a 1320, and a 1200; this naturally requires 3 warlocks, one of whom is a raid build (1320 has to be a conscious decision while choosing talents). These will act as your Major Healing Potions. because unless you are on a pure melee fight, you won't be touching Major Healing Potions.

Why not? Because you will have Greater Protection Potions. These are preventative potions that will not mitigate melee damage but will mitigate a very high amount of magical damage. Unless you are in the most dire cirucmstance where the melee damage is likely to kill you, you should be using these every 2 minutes or at intelligent intervals. For instance, Chromaggus does two types of fire breaths, an instant massive breath and a DOT breath; your healers can heal through a DOT much easier than they can heal a very large drop in health, so save your protection potion for the massive burst damage. The reason you use Protection Potions instead of Major Healing Potions is that the healing potions won't save you after you die; the protection potions will prevent that death.

Not in a resistance fight? Try Greater Stoneshield Potions for the tough physical encounters. This will give a static 2,000 Armor bonus for 2 minutes and can be refreshed accordingly. This should be considered a necessity for getting through new encounters.

None of us have it yet, but the Lifegiving Gem. Wear it. THE best warrior trinket in this game. If you have it in your bags and you die, you have absolutely no right to complain to a healer.

Not everything is about health recovery; many of the buffs you will want for fights will extend your health bar, aggro, armor, defensive statistics. There are plenty of relatively easy to acquire buffs and consumables you can use through fights to ease progression through new content. The following is short checklist of constant effect buffs you can utilize:

Flask of the Titans (Lasts through death)
Flask of Chromatic Resistance (Lasts through death)
Zanza's Spirit (Lasts through death)
Lung Juice Cocktail (Does not stack with Zanza's Spirit)
Elixir of Giants
Elixir of Brute Force (Does not stack with Priest Fortitude)
Elixir of Fortitude
Elixir of Superior Defense
Elixir of the Mongoose
Dirge's Kickin' Chimaerok Chops (none of us can make these yet)
Tender Wolf Steaks
Cooked Glossy Might Fish
Major Troll's Blood Potion
Gift of Arthas
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