This post has been last updated on July 14th 2011.
So you’re new a this tanking thing and you want to be a great tank? Not just a good tank but one your guild will trust with their lives all the time. When everything goes to hell you are the rock that see things through as if nothing as happened. As long as you are there, nothing can go wrong.
So how do you achieve this? By doing more than just tanking a mob. Everyone can tank a boss and move it around once in a while. That is easy. Tanking a single mob when everything goes to plan and you have the gear is no trouble, it’s when the unexpected happens that a tank truly shines.
1. Tank in pugs and play along!
Tanking in pugs is the best training one can get. Not only will you develop that though skin you need to survive wipes, stupidity and verbal abuse, but you will also learn to deal with the unexpected. Super aggressive hunter pulls before you? Don’t let him die, try to get the agro back and hold it. Better yet, do that while completing the rest of the pull and allowing the mage to CC. Dps hits multiple mobs? Multi target practice! Healer is asleep? Survival cooldown use training. Every pug is a lesson to be learned. If you can tank successfully in pugs you can pretty much rest assured you can tank in raids.
2. Research the fights!
I’ve said it 10 000 times and I will say it once more. If you tank and don’t know the fight you will wipe the group again and again. It makes me cringe to hear a tank in a raid say he doesn’t know.
3. Help out the dps!
Tanks are expected to help out the healers by taking as little damage as they can but the one thing that separates great from truly awesome tanks are those that try to help out the dps. What about positioning the boss so the dps can hit it in the back? How about training the boss to that debuff pool where he takes more damage? How about using that ability that lowers a boss resistance? How about moving the boss before he does his AoE to help out the dps take less damage? A few good rules of thumb to help out dps:
-Move the boss as little as you can. The less you move the boss, the less your raid has to adjust and movement at the wrong time can spell doom
-When you do move the boss, move it so the dps has room to do their job. For example, if the boss throws down a patch of bad on you, move the boss back enough so that the dps can melee the boss back without standing in the bad.
4. Be a dps and a healer!
So you got the agro, you have the gear and enough hit points so what’s left? Why not try to raise that dps or that self-healing? Don’t stop at being only a tank. If you have cooldowns that boost dps do it. You know that unused cooldown that boost your damage by 200% ? It’s still good even when you’re tanking. Same goes for self heals. If I don’t need to generate aggro because I have a lot of threat, why not use a few more self-healing strikes? Or spend that rage on doing more damage? You’d be surprised at how much dps a tank can do.
And with that said I wish you all happy tanking.