View Full Version : Tank/Heal Smart Matches and Tactics!

05-14-2009, 06:29 AM
I wanted to start a compilation and discussion of some of the smart team-ups, strong synergies, and other clever tricks that healer/tank teams have come up with. If you are a tank and do not communicate with your healers, or vice versa, you are operating well below what you are likely capable of.

Each tank class (and spec for DKs) have their own specific nuances that suit them well, and each healing class/spec has their characteristic skills and abilities.

I put it to the tanks out there who are working with their healers, what tricks, synergies, and tools have you made best use of?

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I'll kick it off. I have been Blood spec'd DK for tanking since 3.1. Blood spec is characterized by using a very high health pool with self-heals and protection talents/abilities that are based off a % of total health. The tree's principle CD is based on improving total health while buffing all incoming heals. Even focusing heavily on health DKs always collect a healthy amount of avoidance, slightly above that of Warriors or Pallies. CD's are not as significant as they used to be, but they are still important and can make a world of difference on damage taken. DK's as a class characteristic are the one class that do not have to ever take damage to buff threat. Taking swings is important for RS threat (just as Revenge for warriors), but they gain nothing at all in taking damage.

Disc Priests = The one heal class that focuses significantly on damage reduction/avoidance over straight healing. This is a smart combo since as stated above, not taking large portions of damage doesn't hurt the DK at all.

Holy Priest = this is one I've been blown away by greatly, lately. One of my main healers is a holy priest and she just picked up Glyph of Guardian Spirit. For those not familiar, Guardian Spirit increases all incoming heals on the target by 40% for 10 sec. If the target reaches 0 health while under this effect, the buff is consumed and the target is bumped up to 50% health. Normally it has a 3 min CD. With the glyph, if the effect lasts its duration without proc'ing the life saving, the CD is reset to 1 min. Because a significant proportion of my survival is based on self-healing rather than just mitigation, this is a MAJOR buff. This means that 10 sec per minute all my self heals (along with all my incoming heals from healers) are increased by 40%. This has been terribly valuable in the last week we've been using it.

Ability Stacking:
One of the most powerful tricks that have been used are largely based around my and my Holy Priest's abilities to buff incoming heals. Vamp Blood gives me +35% for 30 sec every 2 min, and glyphed Guardian Spirit is another +40% for 10 sec out of every minute (it rarely procs the life save). These effects stack. Let me say that again. These effects stack! I have Rune Tapped myself for over 18k when the two overlapped. This can be used very smartly with on-next-hit heal mechanics. Earth Shield, Prayer of Mending, and Living Seed are very hefty values with this build, as I actually take more damage than a mitigation-based tank would. When these effects trigger they have a higher effectiveness.

What's your class/spec? What healers do you run with? And what tricks have you discovered that work well for your team?

05-14-2009, 08:14 AM
Im a Blood tank and my typical healing armada consists of a Disc Priest, Holy Priest, and Resto druid.

Typically the Disc Priest focuses on me, leaving the other two to heal the raid/OT. The massive shields + self healing of blood has been great. It more or less allows the Disc priest to help raid heal during Frozen Blows and tantrum instead of worrying about me. The added flexibilty is great in our 10man raids where everyone is doing double duty.

Though now that you mention the Guardian Spirit+VB, Im going to HAVE to try that out on Hodir.

05-14-2009, 08:56 AM
Warrior tank here, with a survival-modified version of the pre-Ulduar raid build.

Guardian Spirit? Is that the one that make you sport wings for a little while? When I see that on my Tauren, I keep getting craves for buffalo wings...

I've enjoyed priest healers for their mobility. I tend to run heroics with a shammy healer these days, and tend to get out of totem range as I run around collecting mobs. Also, the druid trees move so slowly...

:D S

05-14-2009, 09:26 AM
Just to clarify, druid trees no longer have a movement speed impairment to my knowledge (in other words all other thing's being equal they move at the same speed as the other classes' base run speed).

That being said, a Satorri makes an excellent point about tank-healer communication. Perhaps the most interesting and entertaining fight in the game for me at the moment is tanking General Vezex (spelling correct?) I try and time VB for when I expect to take a lot of dmg and make sure my healers are aware of this. They know that after a surge I will generally have a VB popped so they pace their heals some to conserve mana.

Another aspect of this thread that one could maybe layer in is tank/healer positioning. I always communicate with my healers where I will be tanking a given boss, where I will kite the boss if necessary, and most importantly (and I can't stress this enough) do a range check before an encounter! Best example of this is for our Ignis Strat, we have the casters stand along the walls of a pool so as to avoid initial aggro from a construct and get them moving there already when Molten (due to healer aggro on aggro reset). Knowing the range on this fight is key because if you get caught between a fire patch and you're healer while you have a golem you stand a pretty good chance to get Gibbed.

05-15-2009, 05:39 AM
Ha ha, buffalo wings, that's great! =)

Great points Vood. Raid positioning is very important as well, as anyone who doesn't talk to their healers has probably had 'that' fight where they ran in to position and died because the healer got stuck out of range not knowing where you were going to stop. I've made that mistake when running with strangers who don't know the fights we're doing.