Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gordrin and tanking.

I am taking some posts I made on our guild forums and placing them here.

If you guys raid with me you know I'm completely insane about tanks, I expect the most out of tanks because I don't like criticizing people about things I know nothing about, thus why I have a DPS and a Healer as well.



Boss goes here!

Use of strafe keyboard and mouse to get the boss exactly where it needs to go, not where all the guides tell you to tank the boss, that hardly happens, but know where about it's supposed to go.

Need a quick ramp up? like festergut? Run through the boss strafing so you don't get hit in the back so his back is to everyone charging in, they do more damage hitting the back, so if you find yourself standing next to a whole bunch of melee suddenly, go to the other side of the boss. Tanks can move and it doesn't matter much, melee need to be killing shit not moving.

A better DPSer than the DPS

If anyone asks me what I love about tanking one of the main things is I get to max DPS almost 100% of the time. In fact, I get praised as a tank for DPS and threat numbers. I check other tank's Threat as well. Notice how sometimes further into content I start DPSing as ret? That's so I can more easily keep track of TPS on other tanks. If I look at omen or healbot and see another tank keeping up or gaining on my threat I am happy. If I'm blowing someone out of the water and they are pulling less than 5k threat (naxx geared levels for Dethbane and I) then I have to talk to people about it.

What can I do to maximize TPS?

uh.. hit capped and get near or over 20 expertise? Warrior or Deathknight? 25 or higher expertise. Can't hit it = can't keep up corruption procs = slow threat building.

Use your highest threat abilities when they show up and when it makes sense.

When I pull and I want to burst TPS(like I always do because it's fun to see how high I can get at the start of the fight) I follow this rotation.

Say I'm pulling.. wait a second because of vent lag, then run at boss.

I use my taunt to aggro boss(free 2 to 4k damage wee?) blow wings, watch for tricks of the trade to appear over my head(thank you awesome rogues of Malice!) and then throw my shield. A winged/tricked shield throw gives me, let's see.

Hurls a holy shield at the enemy, dealing [1100 + 0.07 * SPH + 0.07 * AP] to [1344 + 0.07 * SPH + 0.07 * AP] Holy damage.

That works out unbuffed on me for about 1500 to 1800 damage.

Take that with raid buffs, so 3 to 4k damage(this might actually be low, but I'll check my logs later) + 20% avenging wrath + 15% tricks of the trade = about 4 to 5k damage. now add in 80% righteous fury = around 10k threat for a single cooldown.

Throw in a nice judgement and a shield bash for tons o threat!

The reason I burst is simple, warlocks and mages and warriors and every other class in the game bursts too, thank god for tricks and misdirects to help out TPS so I can hit over 20k TPS at the start of a fight.

Why worry so much about threat?
Hand-in-Hand with that is the freedom this gives other DPS. If a DPS passes me I have to think what I might be doing or what mechanic might be in play for someone building that much threat over me. If I TPS harder than everyone else DPSs then they can do what they want to do to a boss. 10k-12k dps from our top spots, I need to make sure they can keep their rotation and not have to wait for me or I'm gimping the raid and the fight will take longer and healers will have to do more work.

Threat and moving
OP paladins for this, we have a lot of abilities that work at range. But if you can strafe correctly, which most of the main tanks of Malice can, you can still melee attack and use 0 range abilities while strafing at full run speed. takes practice but people won't pull the boss off of you and die the instant you start moving the boss which brings me to my next point.

Stop DPS from killing themselves, they can't help it.
I'll get into how I do this next, but when I start a fight if anyone jumps up on the threat meters huge I throw a hand of salvation on them to reduce their threat, if someone pulls agro I taunt the boss almost instantly, extra adds? I know who in my raid usually ends up with them and I make sure to taunt off of them to make sure adds come to me instead of the warrior bladestorming in the center of the pile.

This part is the easy part. Use everything at your disposal to help DPS not kill themselves, Raynen tanks things for me because he knows I'll pick it back up if he takes aggro from me before he ends up dying.

Stop killing yourself you CAN help it!

Cooldowns are there for a reason
Average boss fight is around 6 minutes, cooldowns are usually around 1 to 2 minutes.. therefore you can use them and win!

I haven't actually gotten any data on this, but I will this weekend for my next 10 man ICC run. I use cooldowns ALL THE TIME! In fact, I use them constantly on trash because they come back up so fast.

Times I use a cooldown for myself:
1) I take a huge hit or two in a row.
2) Healers are moving(they usually call this out on vent)
3) I hit below 50%, I don't care if I show a huge incoming heal, I'm blowing my 50% cooldown to let them catch back up.
4) Giant raid damage, healers can heal other people while I take less damage, more alive raid members = better attempt on boss.
5) It's just sitting there asking to be pressed, boss is hitting me for steady damage, I'll blow a cooldown just to use it and let the healers know so they can relax a few seconds. Don't do this much in ICC, but it's nice to let everyone get back into their dps/healing cycles before it wears off.

Times I use a cooldown to help everyone else:
Saurfang I like the druids/shaman in my group because of Divine sacrifice.

Oh divine sacrifice, this spell is so full of awesome I just can't explain it, but I'll try.

Basically, because I'm talented in it, my entire party takes 20% less damage straight up. THEN 30% of that damage is transferred to me, THEN, my sanc takes off 3%, my divine plea takes off 3%, and my shield of the templar talent takes off 3% more.

So if I see other tanks taking a lot of damage, I use this with no other cooldown, chances are there is a healer set to heal me, I want to make sure they have something to heal so I spread the damage out making it easier for both healers.

This basically gives the other tank a free cooldown, I don't have to tell anyone(I try to anyways), I don't have to yell at them to blow a cooldown, I just do it myself.

Healers get a mark in saurfang? pop it, congrats they take 20% less damage from it for a bit.

Hand of sacrifice? Same deal, I don't need to bubble when I use it, I just use it to even out spike damage when another tank starts taking more damage than I want them to.

Hand of protection? Pulled extra mobs? yeah druid or shaman healer is getting this spell on them.

Lay on hands: Barely ever use it on myself, it has the same cooldown basically with my 50% bubble, so I use this on other tanks.

and lastly.. Don't stand in stupid stuff
Don't stand in stuff that kills you, it wipes the raid. thanks.


Know what the hell everyone else in the raid is doing!

Use the /console cameradistancemaxfactor = something above 5(max is 15) so you can see around the big ass boss in your face.

In fact I have this in the middle of my bars simple so I can hit it during a boss fight just to be sure I still have it on and I'm zoomed all the way out.

If I can't see what the hell everyone else is doing I can't adjust bosses or yell at people to not be in certain areas. I like to call out people saying whoever is standing next to me is about to die.. oh look you just died, remember to move people! This also makes it easier to adjust when shit hits the fan. Offtank dies? extra adds? I can see em all and adjust.

Be a leader!
Don't mean guild officer or officer, I mean there is a reason a lot of GL and RL are tanks, they set the pace, they control the bosses movements, they see usually what other people are doing, they can issue commands easier once a boss is in position and they are just going through their normal threat/saving DPSers routine.

Don't stand around waiting for the healer to do a ready check, all tanks get assist, if YOU are tanking the boss, even with me in the raid, you can control when we start, I'll adjust to whatever and whenever you pull. Don't get overly aggressive, but don't stand around asking in vent and on chat if people are ready, do a ready check, 1 person not ready? new boss? pull anyways, I've 9 manned bosses with people afk before, it's fine, keep things moving.

Set a goal!
Notice how I like to say at the start I want to get through Saurfang in an hour to take our first break then down so and so before the end of the night? I'm not making guesses, in my head that's what I want to do, if the raid can't keep up with what I think they are capable of they better take that break I finally give them to go cry somewhere in shame and come back ready to do stuff right.

Suck it up!

Stop blaming other people!
Tank died? Don't say "damn healers", say "ok what went wrong there", sometimes you take 80k in damage in .5 seconds, sometimes you get 2 ticks of rejuv over 5 seconds. Once people figure it out, ask them.. "ok you guys got that figured out?" yes? ok then pull. Trust them healers, they don't want you dying just as much as you don't want to die. They make MH to yell at healers for you, you just need to make sure you are on the same page as them. DPS pulled aggro? Did they taunt or did you move the boss and stop dpsing? Figure it out and address it like.. "I'm not building as much threat as Gordrin, wait a couple seconds for me to move the boss before you blow it up!", they can wait, better than being dead.

Stop blaming gear!
It's proven time and time again, stop blaming gear for things and get better at tanking. Was I decked out in pure awesomeness gear the first time I solo tanked Yogg? lol no.. mostly 10 man gear. When we get into new content do I already have all the best gear because I'm MT? no.. look at dethbane, he just got back, we ran him through two 10 man raids for gear and he went right back to being a badass tank. Gear matters to a point, but as long as you are a good tank you can overcome that. Remember there is a group that downed all of ulduar in greens.

Stop blaming yourself for everything
Everyone screws up, even the tank. Apologize and move on and don't make the same mistake again. I've done plenty of "I accidentally use multi taunt on a mob that was attacking the tank on the boss and pulled the boss" and had to get the other tank to pull the boss back. It happens, move on. We will make fun of you for it, but that's because we've all done it, will do it on new content and some older content. But this gets less and less an issue as you face the boss more and more.

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