Thursday, June 12, 2008

Doomed To Off Tank?

I got a question for you. It seems I am going to have to settle for being Off Tank for a bit as I just transferred servers. Are Pally Tanks doomed to OT? What can I do to my gear,enchants and gems to be the best add tanking, threat generating Off Tank I can be? Seik of Bleeding Hollow

The reality of your situation and one that I didn't recognize quickly enough is that the guild you joined was likely a successful one which means they likely have some really good tanks. Wait for your opportunities, and be the very best tank and Raider you can. Try to run some 5 or 10 mans with your guild and be excellent in those environments as well.

Paladins are not 'doomed' to Off Tanking. That said, Paladins are really well suited for tanking multiple mobs and for generating fast threat. That makes us an ideal choice for many Off Tanking situations.

But do not think for a moment that Paladins can't Main Tank. Paladins (and Druids for that matter) have progression Main Tanked every encounter in the game. Also many encounters don't have just one Main Tank sitting there getting pounded on the entire time. Many encounters (most really) encourage and require the use of multiple tanks. What class those tanks are is up to your guild, and will depend on many factors including gear, player skill, and seniority.

If you look at the guild I was in, Mal Katai, I was one of the best geared and most senior tanks available, so I was given the privilege to Main Tanked many of our raids. When we got to Najentus, I was the one Main Tanking the boss.

To contrast that, you can look at my new guild, Dominion. Dominion has two senior and well geared tanks who happen to be Warriors. So far, every Boss attempt has been Main Tanked by them. In those fights that don't require multiple tanks, I have done my very best to use the full array of Paladin abilities to help my guild down the boss.

No one may notice the small heal that kept a Mage alive long enough for a big heal from one of the raid healers to land. No one may notice the Blessing of Protection on the Warlock who pulled aggro. No one may notice the cleanse of a DoT ticking on your Rogue. No one may notice the Lay On Hands when the tank had 1% life.

You won't rock any chart (Damage or Healing), but hopefully your raid leader and raid members will notice that things go smoothly when you are around.

As far gearing for Off Tanking, study the encounter, and expected your role in it, but also study the other tank roles, and possibly healer roles. You want to be ready if your Raid Leader decides to change roles up from what you were expecting.

If the Off Tank involves the Boss switching tanks like Void Reaver or Bloodboil, then make sure you maintain Uncrushable and a minimum of 490 Defense.

If its just Add tanking like Lurker or Akama, then don't worry about Uncrushable and only maintain 485 Defense. Try to boost your Spell Damage as much as you can and a little larger mana pool might be in order as Adds typical don't hit anywhere near as hard as the Boss.

Try to get your spell damage as high as you can. The Tier pieces are good choices to use, as well as  some of the Badge Gear (Sabatons of the Righteous Defender, Inscribed Legplates of the Aldor). Trinkets are another great place for Threat pieces like Battlemaster's Audacity, Crimson Serpent, Eye of Magtheridon, or the Tome of Firey Redemption.

If you don't need to worry about Uncrushable, then swap in the Libram of Divine Purpose or the Libram of Eternal Rest.


Looking Back

A year ago today, I attempted my first Heroic Dungeon on Honorshammer. It was Heroic Slave Pens. I had 10.5k health, 12k armor, and 489 defense. The run was hardly flawless (I died on the first pull trying to AoE tank the Bogstroks), and we wiped multiple times on Quag, but we got him down. I got an Ace of Furies off of him which saved me some major gold as I was trying to build the Furies deck.

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