Welcome to Crestfall Gaming

Register now to Crestfall Gaming. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Throktar

[1.12.1] Triface's Guide to Threat and Tanking in Vanilla

28 posts in this topic

---Triface's Guide to Threat and Tanking in Vanilla---

 

**Disclaimer: This guide was not written by me. I've only done some formatting. All credit goes to the Reddit user Triface for writing this guide! You can find his original comment here. I'm submitting it to the Crestfall Forums for the sake of posterity.**

 

Quote

Vanilla tanking can be a bit confusing coming from retail since so much has changed since then, I'll try and make a guide to break down the basics of 5-man tanking for you if I can. 

I will go into the mechanics of threat and abilities a bit so if you just want a quick step-by-step guide you can skip to the tl;dr at the bottom of the post.

 

Defensive Stance

The stance you are in affects how much threat you deal:

  • Battle Stance and Berserker Stance both give your threat a x0.8 multiplier, meaning that if you do something that causes 100 raw threat it will only cause 80 threat in these stances.
  • Defensive Stance on the other hand has a x1.3 multiplier, so that 100 threat is now 130.

While there are some benefits to using the other stances, they are usually specific to only a few situations and to some more advanced techniques which you would mainly need when raiding. In general you want to ignore the other stances as they will only complicate things for little benefit (the main exception to this rule is using Mocking Blow which I will go into a bit more detail about later).

 

The Pull

As a tank you should always be the one to pull, the reasons for this are twofold:

  1. The mobs attack you first which makes them easy to group together and the damage that they do will be giving you rage right away.
  2. In order to pull aggro from someone you need to cause 10-30% (10% in melee, 30% ranged) more threat than the person at the top of the mob's hate list. If you are the first to pull then you are instantly at the top of the hate list and everyone else needs to do at least 10% more threat than you to gain aggro.

It's always best to pull with your ranged weapon if possible, this way you can always pull to a safe position and minimise the risk of other packs of mobs getting aggroed by accident.

After pulling, the first thing you want to do is to activate Bloodrage - gaining rage causes threat at a rate of 5 threat per 1 rage so you are instantly putting out threat before the mobs have even reached you and you have some rage to start using your skills right away.

 

Rotations

So you have pulled the pack of mobs and activated Bloodrage. Nine times out of ten the next step is to Shield Block - this means that you will almost certainly block the first hit which will enable you to use your most powerful threat-generating ability: Revenge.

Revenge is both the most efficient threat ability that you have (even including the cost of Shield Block) and the highest threat-generating ability in your arsenal outside of Shield Slam. You should use Revenge on the main target on cooldown, using Shield Block to proc it when necessary.

Next is Sunder Armor: this is your bread and butter threat spam skill. You generally want to put one or two Sunder Armor on the main target after Revenge just to put you ahead of the DPS. Heroic Strike shouldn't be used at all unless you are generating rage faster than you are able to spend it with Sunder Armor, which won't be often in 5-mans.

At this point, you need to start thinking about generating threat on the adds.

Contrary to popular belief, Thunderclap is actually a poor choice for AoE threat in vanilla; Battle Shout is almost always the better option.

In vanilla, Battle Shout does 55 threat per person buffed (so 275 threat in a 5-man party) split between all the mobs which can be compared to the 130 split threat plus the damage caused per mob with Thunderclap. When you add in the multipliers for being in Battle Stance (x0.8 threat) or Defensive Stance (x1.3 threat) that changes to 375 threat total for Battle Shout vs. 104 + (damage x0.8) threat for Thunderclap. Another thing to take into consideration is that Thunderclap costs 20 rage compared to Battle Shout's 10 rage, meaning that you can get two shouts to one clap.

In addition to this, since Battle Shout is a buff it causes no damage so it doesn't break CC and has full threat at any range from the mobs since it is affecting your allies rather than the mobs directly, while Thunderclap's damage can break CC and only causes threat to the mobs hit by the skill.

Battle Shout or two will build up some initial threat on all mobs, giving you some time to start cycling through the adds; solidifying your threat with Sunder Armor.

Your average rotation will look something like this: Pull ---> Bloodrage ---> Shield Block ---> Revenge main target ---> Sunder Armor main target x1-2 ---> Battle Shout x1-2 ---> Sunder Armor adds one at a time, switching to Revenge main target whenever it's up, with extra Sunder Armor on the main target as needed. There will be deviations depending on the situation of course; for example if you need to gather up caster mobs with Shield Bash, but this is the general order you want to go with.

 

Managing Your Group

The hardest part of tanking is generally trying to stop your group from doing stupid shit :P.

From the high damage DPS with no concept of threat management or crowd control mechanics to the healers who think that they need to keep everyone at 100% at all times, no matter how well you play you will lose aggro to these people and it will always be your fault. Always.

Taunt is your go-to skill for these situations: it works by giving you threat equal to the highest person on the monster's hate list (so if you have aggro already it does nothing in that regard) and forces the monster to attack you for a time. During that time you need to build your threat up quickly so that the mob doesn't just switch back after the Taunt ends.

The temptation is to Taunt as soon as you lose aggro but say a DPS gets aggro, takes some hits and you taunt it back, then your healer throws a big heal on the DPS and gains aggro instead; the cooldown on Taunt will seem like an eternity at that point! You should generally save Taunt for when your healer gets aggro since a dead DPS is a slower fight but a dead healer is a wipe.

If you think the healer is safe you can Taunt but sometimes it is better to let a DPS take a couple of hits to help them remember that they need to manage their threat as much as you need to manage yours :).

You also have Mocking Blow available in Battle Stance if your Taunt wasn't enough or was resisted. Challenging Shout, the AoE taunt, is another option if things are looking really grim. Binding both of these abilities to a key is very useful and putting Mocking Blow in the same position on your Battle Stance action bar as Taunt is on your Defensive Stance action bar lets muscle memory aid you when switching to Battle Stance.

Using Tarket Markers to mark targets (skull icon etc.) can help greatly in keeping the group on the right target and keeping CC from being broken, so where possible you want to do this or at least try and get the group leader to do it.

Additionally, another great piece of advice is getting a threat meter addon as this can give you pre-warning of losing aggro and makes you aware of those in the group with poor aggro management.

There are a lot of other little points as well but I think this has gotten pretty huge already so I will leave it at that. I hope this helps you!

 

TL;DR

  • (Almost) Always be in Defensive Stance.
  • Always be the one to pull.
  • Pull from range to a safe spot.
  • Skill order after pulling is generally Bloodrage ---> Shield Block ---> Revenge main target ---> Sunder Armor main target x1-2 ---> Battle Shout x1-2 ---> cycle through adds using a Sunder Armor on each while using Revenge on main target whenever you can plus the odd Sunder Armor.
  • Try and save Taunt for pulling aggro from your healer.
  • Try and manage your group by calling targets.
  • Get a threat meter addon.
Edited by rooted
6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember reading this the other day. Weren't people pointing out that Battle Shout only works so well for initial group aggro because it was broken on Nost? Can anyone confirm/deny? I never did dungeons on my warrior in vanilla. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how it worked on Nost but in Vanilla (retail) it was pulling ahead of tclap and demo shout depending on how many party members were actually buffed by it.

So in parties with 2 melee in range of it was really good, in a party with clothies at range not so much.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to know! Kind of weird design philosophy with thunderclap being so low on TPS. Or perhaps not design philosophy so much as not bothering to tune it so it's better. Wtf blizz. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Dawnstorm said:

Kind of weird design philosophy with thunderclap being so low on TPS.

10% less swings on the maintank from the boss/npcs for 10s, it actually seems fair enough.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea tclap and demo shout were mitigation cooldowns primarily, not threat abilities.

Edit: to add.

Tanking in vanilla was awkward at times but it was also much more interesting especially in small group play.

The way the group dynamics worked, it created a whole spectrum of tanks by ability and experience instead of 80% to 95% as it was in post-midCata expansions where snap aggro, "easy" aoe threat etc was a thing.

You could be really bad at your primary function of redirecting damage away from the group, so by comparison you could also be quite good.

Conversely it opened up the opportunity for healers and dps to shine (a good healer or a smart dps that assisted, used cc intelligently, played healer bodyguard could carry a mediocre tank)

 

I much preferred that model personally.

Edited by Roadblock
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How does that work on raid bosses with debuff slots? Do raid groups usually allow for use of tclap or do they try to do without it for more dots or curses?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Dawnstorm said:

How does that work on raid bosses with debuff slots? Do raid groups usually allow for use of tclap or do they try to do without it for more dots or curses?

Tclap is regularly used with 16 debuff slots when the debuffs got their priority list, when at 8 slots and before the prio list set in, most debuffs weren't used for fear of pushing Sunder off.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/24/2016 at 7:54 AM, Elicas said:

Tclap is regularly used with 16 debuff slots when the debuffs got their priority list, when at 8 slots and before the prio list set in, most debuffs weren't used for fear of pushing Sunder off.

Thank you for answering instead of trolling because I'm not familiar with vanilla tanking. So far this little community is A+.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Dawnstorm said:

Thank you for answering instead of trolling because I'm not familiar with vanilla tanking. So far this little community is A+.

No worries mate. Pretty much no one on here is trolling, because while we might have disagreements over PvP/PvE and blizzlike features, we all want the project to succeed. The first part of a solid server is a solid community after all, I hope that ours can chase out a lot of the trolls in the pserver community.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always disliked this guide because it doesn't emphasize the right aspects of tanking in vanilla. So think of this post as an addendum to the guide in the OP.

 

Pulling

 

Tank pulls with a ranged weapon: what you'll do 90% of the time. You do this in order to pull your group and the mobs away from potential patrols, to prevent feared/running mobs from aggroing more stuff and to LoS enemy ranged/caster mobs.

Tank charges in: you do this only when there is no risk of patrols/mobs running away/mobs getting feared.

DPS pulls with CC: use this one when you absolutely have to CC a very dangerous mob right at the start. Usually a good idea to let bad Hunters pull in order to let them trap more easily, just make sure to Battle Shout the mobs off of the puller.

Pet pull: almost never used. You use this to force the mob to waste an ability on the pet, extremely long distance pulling, to position the mob in a favorable spot or to skip trash packs by making use of the slightly smaller pull radius of pets compared to players. For most tanks, the only time this is relevant is for The Beast in UBRS so that the pet eats the first charge.

 

Another very important thing about pulling in raids is telling (read: shouting at the top of your lungs) your raid if you get a long avoidance streak on your threat generating skills. If your first 2-3 skills miss or get dodged/parried, your raid NEEDS to know before they blow their load.

 

 

Skills

 

Skill usage varies between 5 mans and raids. In a 5 man group and against trash in general, you NEVER want to use Shield Block as it is a complete waste of rage. Revenge will proc within the first few seconds of the mobs reaching you - even when you're in greens - and the amount of damage blocked is almost always insignificant. Against lvl 83/skull targets and bosses, ALWAYS use Shield Block on cooldown - it becomes your single most important skill. The *ONLY* exceptions to this are when you're fighting Illidan or a mob that literally never melees you or a mob that has crushing blows turned off; but mobs with crushing blows hit so damn hard that it'll be the only time when blocking 50 damage is relevant.

 

Revenge and Shield Slam are your high threat abilities. Use Revenge whenever you can, use Shield Slam whenever you have the rage for it if it won't impact your chances of hitting Revenge on the next GCD. Sunder Armor is your filler threat ability. Use it when you either have enough rage or when you're tanking multiple mobs and need to generate threat on the mobs not getting attacked in order to keep them off of the healer. Only use Heroic Strike/Cleave if you have extra rage to burn or if you need the extra threat yesterday. With 3 points in Improved Heroic Strike, Heroic Strike becomes more useful on larger pulls because Cleave has a chance of generating threat on targets you don't want/need to generate threat on. Without Improved Heroic Strike, Cleave will generally be a better choice for AoE tanking.

 

A good strategy to use in 5 man groups for handling pulls with 3-4 mobs beating on you is to start the pull by using Taunt on the target that's supposed to die first without attacking it, use two threat skills on the other mobs of the pull and then Conc/Mocking Blow the first target, go back to putting threat on the off-targets and finally Taunt the first target again. This result in the first target dying without you putting any threat into it and leaving you more time/rage to generate threat on the other mobs in order to keep them off of the healer.

 

One important thing to note is that Mocking Blow and Challenging Shout are NOT taunt abilities. They're fixates: they simply force enemies to focus on you for the duration of the debuff, unlike the actual Taunt skills which forces the enemy to focus on you for the duration of the debuff AND gives you threat to match whoever is on top of the threat list.

 

Stats

 

The general idea behind stat selection is to 1) prevent burst damage at all costs and 2) prevent burst damage at all costs. Sometimes threat matters.

+140 defense. No other stat matters until you reach that point. Not 138. Not 139. If it's not +140, you will get crit, you will die and your raid will wipe. After that it's a mix of Armor and Stamina. Far below Armor/Stam are Dodge and Parry. And far after that comes Block%. And the least important stat is Block Value, which is only ever relevant on *one* fight during WotLK.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice Guide :)  I would have done one like this for Paladins but i am not good in writing creative .

If elicas "very good writer" party me in privacy chat we might manage to do that :)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Killerduki said:

Nice Guide :)  I would have done one like this for Paladins but i am not good in writing creative .

If Elicas "very good writer" party me in privacy chat we might manage to do that :)

I can make one in 1 sentence:

"Wait for Burning Crusade".

 

But jokes aside.. Pala tank was good for cheesing Baron 45' when it became a thing for tier 0.5 questline (in retri / holy spec) and in general dungeons with predominantly undeads.

It was decent and kinda fun for the group in other 5mans when they knew to focus fire and be aware of the lack of tank saves with taunt.

It was quite improbable in raids, unless they had their pick of gear funneled to them and the whole raid built around them (for mana regen) and playing to their strengths i.e. only "viable" as a gimmick experiment (in the same vein as 40 shadow priests against Onyxia being viable in all the roles) ...

Both warrior (primarily) and druid are way better choices as raid tanks in vanilla.

Edited by Roadblock
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Roadblock said:

Both warrior (primarily) and druid are way better choices as raid tanks in vanilla.

Speaking about Threats both starve for Rage while Paladin can and use Major Mana Potions and Demonic Runes in order for unlimited Mana and can generate Mana by Seal/Judge of Wisdom.

Especially when targets are immune to Taunt Paladin is beyond them regarding Threats. (example Onyxia  P3 and 70% of other Bosses that exist).

3 hours ago, Roadblock said:

It was quite improbable in raids, unless they had their pick of gear funneled to them and the whole raid built around them (for mana regen) and playing to their strengths i.e. only "viable" as a gimmick experiment (in the same vein as 40 shadow priests against Onyxia being viable in all the roles) ...

 

They are more Viable than Druids because Paladin can MainTank everything including hard Bossfight damage while Druid can't. (exception is 4hm) .

Mana is not problem at all because of Seal/Judge of wisdom = unlimited mana regen + Demonic rune + ,major mana potion.

 

"Edited as reply to the bottom reply"

Quote

 

Edit:

On second thought if this is who I think it is I'd kindly suggest to take it to another thread as this is obviously about warrior tanks as seen from the OP.

You have a tendency to invade irrelevant threads and go on a crusade for paladins.

 

I came here and said good Thread and nice to use it for Paladin one if i could and nothing more than that.

You are the one that invaded this thread with explanation and miss information regarding Paladins.

Edited by Killerduki
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tanked Onyxia P3 multiple times in classic while disconnected (was playing on dialup unfortunately) so you'll have trouble convincing me warriors lack for threat on her.

 

Edit:

On second thought if this is who I think it is I'd kindly suggest to take it to another thread as this is obviously about warrior tanks as seen from the OP.

You have a tendency to invade irrelevant threads and go on a crusade for paladins.

Make one about paladin tanks and be sure to share your tactics on a boss by boss case, it'll be interesting to read.

Edited by Roadblock
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/24/2016 at 3:09 AM, Ester said:

Re itemisation:

As said above, hit your def cap (140), all your other stats are redundant until that.

You cannot hit the def hard cap before T2 if we use 1.12.1 itemisation, so you may have to settle for the soft cap (110 iirc).

The Soft Cap makes you uncrushable, the hard cap makes you uncritable.

Itemisation past T2 is trivially easy.

There's no such thing as a defense soft cap and having a 410 defense doesn't make you uncrushable. The only way to be uncrushable is to have shield block up so that you have enough parry to push off normal hits and crushing blows off the bosses' attack table.

 

P.S. Technically you could become uncrushable with just defense, but you would need an impossible amount of defense just to do so.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/22/2016 at 2:37 PM, Dawnstorm said:

I remember reading this the other day. Weren't people pointing out that Battle Shout only works so well for initial group aggro because it was broken on Nost? Can anyone confirm/deny? I never did dungeons on my warrior in vanilla. 

No, people just didn't understand agro that well.

Battleshout generates threat for each target buffed and that threat is divided among all of the enemies in combat with the tank. So if you are talking about tanking 1 mob, then yes battleshout does pretty high threat but still far lower than sunder armor, revenge, shield slam and heroic strike.  But it doesn't require melee range.

If you are tanking lots of mobs, demo shout causes a static amount of threat to EACH mob debuffed. So if you are tanking 1 mob, it causes X threat to that one mob. If you are tanking 100 mobs, it causes X threat on EACH mob. At the same time, if a healer causes 1000 threat from healing someone, it is divided among each mob, so for 10 mobs, the healer gains 100 threat on each mob.

If you are tanking around 7+ mobs in a raid, demo shout is plenty to keep threat off healers (but not DPS!). Battleshout is great on the initial pull to gain some threat while the boss is running towards you but it won't stop a mage or warlock from pulling agro with frostbolt/shadowbolt spam the second you pull.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stickied! Also added prefix [1.12.1] considering this is a vanilla guide (Yes, I know it states it in the thread title, but it's good to have a prefix for these things. Whilst not optimal now, it'll be later for during future expansions.)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shouldn't battle shout pnly generate threat when its applied for the first time? Not when its re-applied before expiring? Like demo shout? Thats what they told me.. (The OP mentions using it twice.. Hence i wonder)

Here I am, just keeping the threat up by spamming revenge/sunder/cleave/heroic strike on everything..

What a lame mechanic, looks like you can pretty much afk tank groups then!

I really love Paladin tanks in 5 and 10 mans, though theres no denying they lack certain things for certain encounters. But its a warrior threat. :P

Edited by Munin
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24 July 2016 at 6:21 PM, Roadblock said:

Snip

Edit:

On second thought if this is who I think it is I'd kindly suggest to take it to another thread as this is obviously about warrior tanks as seen from the OP.

You have a tendency to invade irrelevant threads and go on a crusade for paladins.

Make one about paladin tanks and be sure to share your tactics on a boss by boss case, it'll be interesting to read.

You wrote a wall of text on how un-viable paladins are because the guy said it was a nice thread and he'd like to make a similar one for Paladins.

I know his previous endeavours and rep but you are a proper **** aswel.

Weak

 

Edited by Munin
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Battle Shout threat was wrong on Nost. Some of that info in regards to rotations etc will not be good here.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoever wrote this guide, have made some good points, but also miss couple of important ones.

You should never ever prioritize anything above Shield Slam, not even Revenge. And when it comes to raid tanking, specially with geared raid groups who can pull quite a lot of dps, you should spam your Heroic Strike (since rage in raids is not exactly a big issue, as it can be in 5 men dungeons) after all 5 sunders are up (remember, Shield Slam>HS, don't burn all your rage on HS, have some spare for SS when it's up on cd).

Also, not necessary thing to have, but can help in 5 men groups, if you have Piercing Howl specced. For whatever reason you will lose aggro here and there, your AoE taunt may not be ready on cool down, and more often then not, your BS will be insufficient to get all those mobs attention to attack you, rather then anyone else. Second best thing is to have is that Piercing Howl specced. It will not make mobs attack you, but it will slow them down, which can be all that you need. Besides, it can give chance to other players to remove them self from harms way. Also, with a little practice you can use this to kite mobs who are already attacking you, and there for reduce stress on healer. I found this useful in situation when group is facing possible wipe and healer being already oom.

Your another big friend in dealing with large messy pulls should be Intimidating Shout, but you must be aware of down side for using this. Yes, I know that feared mobs can pull additional packs, and that is why I stressed that you must be aware of how it works. First of all, if you can, you should pull packs a bit toward the group so that you have enough space between spot where you tank those mobs and next pack. You should ask your group to wait till you have them exactly where you want them to be. If you have put some distance between your group and next pack, it should be safe to use AoE fears if necessary, and even if it's not, but you lack some other ways of CC, it is smart thing to do. Again, apply this only and ONLY if you have enough space for it.

Potions and oils: If your intention is to become raid tank, main or side kick, you should pick herbalism and alchemy as your professions since raid consumables for tank can be quite expensive. With those profs picked, you should always have a lot of rage potions as well as some oils of immolation. First are very helpful in situations when you lack some rage to do what must be done in order to keep things under control, while last can help you generate some extra AoE threat. You should not use potion cool down for healing pots, unless it is really only move left on the board. I prefere using this cd for rage pots when dealing with trash packs, and stoneshield pots for some boss fights.

Last but not least is communication. While this is not an issue in raiding environment (or at least it should not be), you can end up in party groups with people who will not be with you on Teamspeak, Vent, Skype or whatever else you use. It might be a good idea to macro some simple party chat communication, no matter how fast you type, it is always faster to just click macro, then to type it. Another useful thing to have is Tank Buddy addon which will not only announce when you use your cool downs, such as Shield Wall, Last Stand, AoE taunt...but will also help you in raids by removing salvation if it was buffed on warriors (and therefor you will not to worry about it your self).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/23/2016 at 5:29 PM, Dawnstorm said:

How does that work on raid bosses with debuff slots? Do raid groups usually allow for use of tclap or do they try to do without it for more dots or curses?

Tbh if you can't tank a boss (gear-wise) without TC&DS up, you won't be able to tank him even with them being applied. My point is that they are only there to help well geared tank to mitigate some damage, not to make bad geared ones become capable of tanking more.

In any case debuff slot limit expands with AQ opening, but nevertheless you should teach your hunters to refrain from using serpent sting. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0