Repost: Tanking Q’s

Tanking Q’s

via Restokin by Garnaph on 7/13/11


I read in the 2009 version of Lissanna’s post someone asking if a tank version of the questions existed, so I figured I’d create one.

  • What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?

Garnaph, Druid, Feral Bear.

  • What is your primary group tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)

Purely 10-mans. I often offspec resto/boomkin. I also run 5 mans to farm VP, but it’s not as much of a concern when it comes to how I play my class.

  • What is your favorite tanking ability for your class and why?

Thrash. Nothing is as satisfying as seeing everything in range having the blood droplets animation. It also hits like a truck.

  • What tanking ability do you use least for your class and why?

Feral Charge. I actually didn’t even have it in my spec for a while, until last night. If I need to get somewhere quickly, I prefer to use stampeding roar, and take some healers and dps with me.

  • What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?

Unchallenged mitigation. We have more armor than any other tanking class at the moment, an 18% passive damage reduction talent, and another 6% spell mitigation (24% total for magic damage). When soft enrage mechanics kick in, you want a bear tanking the boss.
We’re also the only tank who can be taken semi-seriously as a DPS. I often do 2-3 times as much DPS as my 2nd tank.

  • What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your tanking class and why?

Lack of HP makes us vulnerable in some fights. Our abilities also don’t scale with HP or damage taken very well (aside from a small benefit to SD from vengeance), so if you take a string of magic hits, you’re in big trouble as a bear.

  • In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?

I generally prefer to add tank. We have some very nice AoE tanking abilities that make holding aggro easy, and in the small windows when you’re not taking, you can battle res, innervate, or tranquility – all of which greatly assist your raid. You can also push out some effective cat dps if there are lengthy periods where you are not needed as a tank.

  • What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?

My tanking wingman is a DK, and we balance each other out well. His abilities compliment my own nicely – where he can’t aoe tank so well, I can. Where I can’t scale with HP (e.g. Bael), he can.

  • What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?

I’ve had some bad experiences with warriors lately. Sad, since I didn’t have a problem with them in Wrath.

  • What is your worst habit as a tank?

Thinking of myself as a DPS. I sometimes let Demo Roar drop so I can get more vengeance, or I’ll charge into a group of adds and thrash them, just to do some DPS. This often puts unnecessary pressure on healers.

I also often pay more attention to raid leading than to my tanking. So I’ll get DPS killed by a breath attack, or not move something to the correct place on time, because I’m paying attention to something else.

  • What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?

When someone goes mad on DPS the instant you pull, before you’ve had a chance to build vengeance. DPS should know better by now.

  • Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks for PvE tanking?

Not completely. Our passive damage mitigation is arguably overpowered at the moment, and our mastery is pretty broken (although the two balance each other out, I guess).
We could really do with us scaling better with HP all around.

  • What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?

I obviously use WoL like most. I also run the mod Fatality, which shows how everyone died mid raid, so I don’t have to find out what wiped us hours later, when logs are uploaded.
I’m very critical of myself over cooldown usage. Even if I didn’t die, correct cooldown usage could have saved a healer some mana, or allowed them to heal someone else, who then wouldn’t have died.
Generally the criteria for spotting fail are :
(1) Did I keep pulverize up as close to 100% as possible?
(2) Did I push competitive DPS?
(3) Did I die to something stupid?

  • What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your tanking class?

People think that because you don’t wear plate, or use a shield, you’re not a real tank. I guess this stems back to TBC, where we couldn’t get uncrushable, so no one really took bears all that seriously. Recently Blizz has blurred the lines between tanks a fair amount, so a lot of that just isn’t true any more.
A lot of players still think of Bears as an offtank – even though this is a job I usually pick for myself anyway, we are quite capable of taking hits from a boss and surviving as well as any other tank.

  • What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?

The idea of a priority system that is based around both mitigation and DPS is a tough one to get to grips with. You want to push top DPS for threat, while also keeping Demo Roar up, and using your cooldowns appropriately. This can take a fair amount of practice to get right.

  • If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a tank via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. too much damage taken, not enough cooldown usage, etc)?

They’d see me dropping pulverize way more often than I should (I changed my power auras recently to make this much harder to do, however).
They’d also see much less cooldown usage than ideal.

  • Dodge or Mastery, and why?

I’m still stacking dodge on all pieces. I know there’s a growing argument for taking Exp, or going for a full DPS Mastery/Exp/Hit build, but until such time as my DPS would be a factor in my raids overcoming enrage mechanics, it just seems far too risky for me.

  • What tanking class do you feel you understand least?

Warriors. Perhaps it’s because it’s the only class I’ve never tanked with personally, but they just seem really complicated and non-intuitive to me. Taking a look at other classes it’s fairly clear what your rotation should be to maximise mitigation – for a warrior it doesn’t seem to clear to me.

  • What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?

Addons : TidyPlates (with threat addon), Skada (which includes a threat meter).
Macros : I have yells built into all of my tanking cds, so healers know when I start to panic. I also have healing potions and health stones macro’d into my FR macro, so when I hit low health, I pop it and my health almost instantly climbs back up.

  • Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

I reforge all to dodge, so I guess this applies to what pieces of gear I choose, as some stats will be be left behind regardless. Primarily I look for Mastery pieces, preferably also with Exp/Hit. I try pickup as much hit as I can, as Demo Roar missing a lot really distracts me from doing my job. I know I’m going to get flamed for not taking Exp instead, but this works well for me. Every time I pickup some hit, I can immediately see Demo Roar hit more, and it makes my life a ton easier.

Posted in Feral Bear tanking, Written By Garnaph


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