Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shadow Tanking

Last night I logged on in hopes of getting into a Kara group. Mal Katai is a little different in that they don't really schedule much. It's kind of when people get on, put the group together and go. I've been told this week is a little different because the Guild Leader and his wife moving and not being online.

I managed to get with Snowson, one of Mal Katai's Feral Druids. He knows the recipe for making Ironshield potions. These are great to pop during a bosses enrage to reduce the damage I'm taking.

We rescheduled the Kara run for tonight. I'm really looking forward to getting back in there and tanking some stuff. Hopefully I'll be able to get a couple of upgrades tonight as well.

It looks like I really gave up a sweet gig that I had in Heroes. There is usually only one Main Tank in a guild, and I had that spot for Heroes. I gave it up in hopes of doing some 25 man content. I know that in 25 mans we will need a Warrior main tank. There are just some fights where you have to have things like Shield Wall, Last Stand, Spell Reflect, and Intercept. There are other tanking roles besides the Main Tank in these and other encounters, where a Tankadin has an advantage over other tanks.

Offtanking, or what I feel should properly be called Shadow Tanking is a challenge for most tanking classes. Shadow Tanking is the situation where you need to have 2nd threat on a mob. The Moroes encounter is a good example of this. Moroes will gouge the main tank from time to time and attack the 2nd target on his threat list. You want this to be another tank.

This is entirely different from Offtanking or what I feel should properly be called 2nd Tanking. This comes into play where you have multiple mobs that need to be tanked. The Romeo and Juliet encounter is a good example of this. You need one tank on Romeo and another tank on Juliet.

All tank classes are disadvantaged when Shadow Tanking because their threat resource (rage for Warriors/Druids, mana for Paladins) is not replenished as quickly as when they are main tanking. Rage tanks lose the rage they'd get from being hit, and Paladin's lose the mana they'd get from being healed. Only Druids have all their tanking tools available to them in a Shadow Tank position. Paladins lose threat from Holy Shield, Warriors lose threat from Revenge.

What I'm starting to do is create an Shadow Tank gear set. This one focuses on intellect, and spell damage. I still have 490 defense, but I leave myself crushable. This set of gear gives me more threat resource (mana) and allows me to create more threat per point of resource (spell damage). I leave myself crushable because by definition I shouldn't be taking very many hits and having one of those crush shouldn't be a big threat to my survivability. Taking a crush means I'll need more healing, which in turn will provide more threat resource (mana).

Doing an excellent job Shadow Tanking will prove I pass the first test of a tank, Threat. I could have 100% mitigation and it wouldn't matter one iota if the Boss wasn't hitting me.

I hope to get to do some Main Tanking as well. Maybe I can alternate Bosses with the Warrior tank.

Since nothing much was happening on Honorshammer, I switched over to my Hunter, Honorshummer and got him to level 43 questing in STV.
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