View Full Version : Opening pull technique (theorycraft)

01-16-2008, 10:22 AM
I'm curious to how other druid tanks handle opening pulls. I've played a druid tank almost exclusively for over two years, and my technique has evolved to:

1) Wraith/Starfire one target (sheep target preferable, so I get aggro if it breaks), Moonfire two/three other targets that won't be CCed, open with Maul/Mangle on primary target. Taunt as needed.

2) On pulls that require AE killing, Regrowth + Rejuv + Barkskin + Hurricane.

3) I have a ton of rage before a pull. DPS is still drinking and less likely to pull early aggro. I've already marked targets OR it is a one mob pull. I stay Dire Bear Form and use Feral Fairie Fire to pull, Maul + Mangle to secure aggro.

4) It's a single mob pull and I have no rage (this includes boss fights). Starfire + Wraith + opening Maul.

There may be some other tactics I use, but generally one of those three apply to at least 95% of my pulls, period. This includes heroics.

Now that I'm playing an alt healer, Shaman in this case, I've been able to see some other druid tanks. I've noticed a lot use Regrowth + Rejuv on almost every pull. To be frank, I don't see why. Half of Regrowth's mana is wasted on the direct heal, and at least 3-4 seconds of the HoTs are wasted just waiting for the mobs to get to the group. Even then, the threat is over time and evenly distributed to mobs. The following should be correct (or as close as I feel like calculating =P):

Regrowth + Rejuv before pull
3 mob pull
3 seconds for mobs to get to group
Assuming you are not full health at any point after the mobs start attacking (even for an instant), the Regrowth heals you for 1092 (18 seconds of the 21 second 1274 HoT, no +healing). The Rejuv heals for 795 (9 seconds of the 12 second 1060 HoT, no +healing).
You will get 1887 (1092 + 795) healing and generate ~1365 threat (1882 healing / 2 threat per healing point * 1.45 threat modifier) over 18 seconds (the time it takes Regrowth to finish ticking.

You've just spent 1260 mana (845 for Regrowth and 415 for Rejuv) to generate ~455 threat on each mob over 18 seconds, or ~.35 threat per 1 mana and ~25 TPS.

Keep in mind a Shaman's Earth shield and your Improved Leader of the Pack accomplish the same thing the same way with much better results. In fact, if either heal you to full health your Regrowth and Rejuv just became that much less effective at both healing and generating theat.

Wraith + Moonfires
Same 3 mob pull
You get immediate threat of ~400 on the Wraith target (~400 damage). You also get immediate threat of ~325 on the two Moonfired targets (~325 direct damage) and another 870 threat on each one over 12 seconds (600 damage * 1.45).

You've just spent 1245 mana (255 for Wraith and 495 for each Moonfire) to generate initial threat of ~1050 threat and another 870 threat on two of the mobs, or ~1.53 threat per 1 mana and ~155 TPS.

3 mob pull
Regrowth + Rejuv before hand yields roughly 25 TPS and ~.35 threat/mana.
Wraith + two Moonfires yields ~155 TPS and ~1.53 threat/mana.

Having said all this, how do you generally pull when you're tanking? Am I nuts, or is my logic contagious?

01-16-2008, 02:50 PM
I always just enrage then FFF to pull. The only exception is when there is a mob that shoots/casts from range in the pull. Then I feral charge to pull.

I have pulled with spells before, but never in a serious tanking situation.

01-16-2008, 11:00 PM
The health from Improved Leader of the Pack doesn't generate threat.

The only time I pull with spells is when I have two or more mobs I need to have focused on me and I don't trust my group not to pull them off me before they reach me. I'll do a Wrath+Moonfire because it allows me to cast Moonfire while Wrath is flying (Starfire doesn't have a travel time). I'd probably have time to cast Wrath while they're moving towards me, but I don't like it and haven't tried.

It's not viable in raids -- most of the time, I only want one target on me anyway, and I can't risk being caught out of Dire Bear Form. I've done it on Moroes and on trash, I think... but that's it.

I'd never pull with Regrowth+Rejuvenation. It's pretty pointless, as you've shown. I might cast a Regrowth or Rejuvenation prior to a pull, but only if my healer is slacking off and I want to hurry.

01-17-2008, 08:03 AM
The health from Improved Leader of the Pack doesn't generate threat.

Hmmm. That I hadn't heard that and couldn't track down any sites that suggested as such, either. I pulled apart the Threat1.0 addon (the backend of Omen) and sure enough it doesn't include ILotP for aggro. Learn something new everyday.

I can get by with just FFF and Demo as well when I trust the group, but just the same, if pulling with spells is more aggro, then why not? It just depends on my mood, I guess. The truth is I don't trust most of my groups completely, as I tend to PuG 90% of them (including heroics).

Depending on the raid instance I may or may not pull my mob with Moonfire. I hadn't thought about Starfire's travel time, either, since I usually pull with Wraith, but that's also a good thing to consider.

01-18-2008, 05:07 AM
Of Teeth and Claws: Pulling for Maximum Threat (http://teethandclaws.blogspot.com/2007/09/pulling-for-maximum-threat.html)

might be useful for discussion as well.

01-18-2008, 08:15 AM
Hmmm. That I hadn't heard that and couldn't track down any sites that suggested as such, either.

It was specifically adressed in the patch notes for one of the patches after 2.0. (Can't remember which.)

01-19-2008, 01:22 PM
Pulling with spells means less mana to powershift... and when fighting monsters that like to ice nova at just the right moment to leave you a pinch out of melee range, inspiring them to go over and eat a mage or your priest? You'll come to love that /cast !Dire Bear Form macro.

in an ideal pull, that never happens. But c'mon, random stuff happens, people misread your movements and open up early and rip aggro before you ever have it, etc. there are plenty of reasons you'd want to powershift multiple times in a fight, the question is can your mana pool stand up to it?

01-22-2008, 09:24 AM
I've since switched to a Warrior, but my bear had 4 T4 and the normal accessories, had tanked all of the heroics, etc.

My favorite technique was the hurricane pull. Used it every time I could since we almost never use CC anymore. With that and Swipe I routinely held 4/5 mobs on me. Could usually successfully even miss sap'd targets. That's the thing I miss the most with the Warrior.

As with you, on 1/2 pulls and I had rage left over, usually just FFF'd them.

On other pulls where we needed CC I often Cycloned the target I wanted sheeped, so that the chance of the mage sheeping it in Swipe range was minimized.

If charging in just Enraged first.

Have noticed that Bears have a much easier time with Rage than Druids, but that's off-topic.