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Thread: Non-standard tanking

  1. #1
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    Non-standard tanking

    Hi, I'm new here but I searched on mage and nothing came up so I'm asking now....

    Does TankSpot have a discussion for the theory and practice of tanking by non-typical tanking classes? I have seen every class in the game tank at some point, and being a mage (high aggro) it's typical for me to off-tank on a regular basis to protect healers when mobs get loose or adds arrive, or to assist in pulls by bringing casters into tank aggro range or by tanking them directly (generally in 5-mans, but there's some raids it's likely to happen as well). Not to mention when I'm helping somebody out with their BC instance runs and I'm tanking because nobody (level appropriate) can match my aggro.

    Like I said, I've seen every class do it at some point, and I was wondering is there a discussion for the non-typical tanks here? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    A few rare exceptions aside, if you tank a mob as a mage in a 5-man, either the tank screwed up or you did. Sorry.

    No, mages aren't a high aggro class. And cloth armor makes you far too squishy to tank anything that might actually be dangerous. Heroic trash typically hits for 6k or more damage pre-mitigation, non-crit, not counting splash damage and special abilities. You may be able to survive a couple of hits, but you can forget about a healer actually being able to keep you alive for more than a few seconds.

    There are, unfortunately, fairly limited contributions a mage can make outside doing direct damage the way WoW is designed.

    Polymorph and Counterspell are the obvious ones (and there is some really nasty stuff in Halls of Lightning that I wish mages would help out with Counterspell more, to be honest). Frost Nova as a controlled immobilization effect is situationally helpful. Frostbite tends to hurt more than it helps, if you're specced frost. Kiting as either a frost or arcane spec can be viable situationally, but is hardly a mainstay.

    To make things worse, most groups these days are too impatient to do anything that requires finesse outside a raid boss. The general mindset is that if a fight turns out to be an issue, you didn't apply enough brute force to the problem. You won't find many people that are interested in a more studied approach.

  3. #3
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    There historically has been little, if any, discussion of atypical tank classes. While there certainly are situations where any class might "tank" (mages and warlocks had multiple fights in BC), the mechanics of those encounters are something that would generally be confined to those encounters themselves. While I'm sure no one here would be opposed to having a discussion about mage tanking or something, it's generally not the kind of thing that much discussion can really be had about. There's very little theorycrafting or gear theory involved in those types of situations; or if there is, it has nothing to do with defense, EH, avoidance, or the many other topics that generally arise here.

    As always, everyone, including the non-standard tank, is welcome here. I'd personally suggest the Tankspot Strategy and Project Marmot forums as great places to start discussion about specific encounters where atypical tanks could be required or useful. Welcome to Tankspot!
    I. Am. Warrior.

  4. #4
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    I'm quite sure that the only non-standard class which actually managed to tank serious things are Shamans.
    Someone definitively has seen that shaman tanking Flames of Azzinoth, and the one tanking Archimonde.
    But even then, Shamans have mail + shield.
    Worlde - Prot Paladin
    Darkworldie - Tank DW Frost DK
    Uord - Prot Warrior
    Huordie - Feral / Resto Druid

  5. #5
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    Haha I thought you meant "non standard" as in non-warriors, since this website is mostly run & populated by warrior tanks.

    Never even crossed my mind that mages were offtanks. Those few fights where mages are requred to "tank" a raid boss are very specific, and usually its just about the mage standing still, casting, and having enough health that the healer can keep them up right?

    Rogues occassionally "evasion tank" too right? (though I've never seen it done successfully). My experiece when dps classes have to tank a particular boss is that the raid goes down the toilet pretty quickly. I hate those sorts of bosses.

  6. #6
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    Thank you all for your responses. I think I shall take this to the theory board to open discussion on the theory behind atypical tanking.

  7. #7
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    @OP: have you read this?.. 25-man Razuvious mage tanked - WoW Insider

  8. #8
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    The real problem with 'atypical' tanks is that they lack almost every advantage of a traditional tanking class.

    Mitigation, obviously. No plate means even the sturdiest shaman or hunter is taking an extra 10% or more per hit. Nor do most classes have a wide array of avoidance-enhancing abilities - and very few people have taken them when they're there. Trying to make a mage or a warlock more sturdy is an exercise in turd-polishing; it simply doesn't matter if you can improve your tanking ability by 100% if that means the boss two-shots you every time instead of one-shots you. ;p

    Threat is the other big issue. All of the traditional tanking classes have a significant bonus to threat generated, at least when they're in "tanking mode". Other classes simply don't have that extra threat; if anything, they've got talents to reduce threat generation! No taunts either, for the most part. It's simply difficult to overcome without gimping everyone else's damage output.

    Rogues were a special case, because it was theoretically possible for them to achieve a state where they could not be hit at all - really really good raid gear, enchants, the proper buffs, et cetera got them over 102% avoidance, so their lack of mitigation didn't matter. That won't happen again, with the addition of diminishing returns. ;p

    You mention the mage tanking Razuvious, but that's exactly what we're talking about - boss fights that require non-traditional tanking methods, well, non-traditional tanking methods become possible. ;p

  9. #9
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    About shamans tanking, they can do it.....when you outgear the content. Higher then 50% mitigation from armor isn't hard to obtain. Frost Shock gives bonus threat and works really nice. Also by stacking enough resilience you can become crit-immune. Which is key because if you're stacking resilience you're at the same time stacking stamina (they both come on the same pieces.)
    While single target threat is enough, AoE threat is little so your party needs to know you're not a traditional tank.
    To give a bit of a ipcture, while I haven't tanked on my shaman I did pvp. Not a lot but enough: In PvP gear my shaman had more hp and more armor then my warrior tanking his first heroic.


    Btw. define tanking, if tanking is just keeping aggro of a mob, then my frostshock kiting striders on Vashj was one of my more enjoyable tanking moments

  10. #10
    BC rogue evasion tank: RoS in BT was tanked first phase by our guild leader, a rogue because he could reach the 102% avoidance since you cant really heal during that phase and we had to stand in, traditional tanks, during the enrages so he wouldnt die to a faster hitting boss, but he did it during the whole phase but did crap dps on the other 2 lol.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kemikalkadet View Post
    Woah. I'm gonna hafta study this one for when we get there - should be soon too! Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott644 View Post
    Hi, I'm new here but I searched on mage and nothing came up so I'm asking now....

    Does TankSpot have a discussion for the theory and practice of tanking by non-typical tanking classes? I have seen every class in the game tank at some point, and being a mage (high aggro) it's typical for me to off-tank on a regular basis to protect healers when mobs get loose or adds arrive, or to assist in pulls by bringing casters into tank aggro range or by tanking them directly (generally in 5-mans, but there's some raids it's likely to happen as well). Not to mention when I'm helping somebody out with their BC instance runs and I'm tanking because nobody (level appropriate) can match my aggro.

    Like I said, I've seen every class do it at some point, and I was wondering is there a discussion for the non-typical tanks here? Thanks!
    To add to the comments already posted here.

    Generally mages tanking on melee mobs is a bad idea, in fact in heroics it's a good way to get one shotted by the harder hitting melee mobs.

    Where casters are great at tanking is pure magic encounters, mobs, phases and it can be really helpful. Two good examples are Krosh Firehand - NPC - World of Warcraft, one of High King Mulguar's adds. We had a Mage spell steal his shield and tank him. This worked only because that mob would stay at casting range and would attack the Mage with magic. If it had come in melee range and attacked, it would not have worked. With the stolen spell shield, the Mage had superior magic mitigation to what a Warrior/Paladin/Druid (traditional tank) would have, so it worked out. Leotheras the Blind - NPC - World of Warcraft we often had a fully fire resist geared Warlock tanking him in phase 2 because again, it's pure magic damage with no melee hits to avoid/mitigate.

    So short version of the story is that yes certain encounters work really well with a mage/lock tank. Generally speaking though it's something that I would not suggest is needed or even wanted on ordinary stuff by tanks. And to a degree the stuff is going to take longer to die due to division of efforts/dps.

  13. #13
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    Agreed. See my Atypicals thread in the theory section for a discussion and to add your comments regarding this if you feel they're warranted. Although, I think I actually gave similar comments about melee and the normal lack of desirability in having atypical tanks.

  14. #14
    Actually, this is exactly the kind of thread I was looking for.

    I would love to have the ability to rogue tank, and I am more than willing to do the work to get the gear. However, I don't really know a whole lot about tanking stats (though I do know plenty about pulling and keeping aggro), and I'm told that it is now impossible for a rogue to tank, with the new mechanics in WotLK. Can anyone discuss said stats and the way they function, and if it's really impossible to do it with the way the game works now? (PS, I say this because I do end up rogue tanking occasionally, as one of the highest dps, aggro often falls to me when the tank goes down.. through evasion I actually tanked Maxxena in Naxx 10 for about 35 seconds while enraged, the other day, and the raid got her down because of it. I would love to be able to tank on a more reliable basis if needed.)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by XagorTheNinja View Post
    Actually, this is exactly the kind of thread I was looking for.

    I would love to have the ability to rogue tank, and I am more than willing to do the work to get the gear. However, I don't really know a whole lot about tanking stats (though I do know plenty about pulling and keeping aggro), and I'm told that it is now impossible for a rogue to tank, with the new mechanics in WotLK. Can anyone discuss said stats and the way they function, and if it's really impossible to do it with the way the game works now? (PS, I say this because I do end up rogue tanking occasionally, as one of the highest dps, aggro often falls to me when the tank goes down.. through evasion I actually tanked Maxxena in Naxx 10 for about 35 seconds while enraged, the other day, and the raid got her down because of it. I would love to be able to tank on a more reliable basis if needed.)
    I don't want to say it's completely impossible but diminishing returns on dodge means you couldn't possibly get enough dodge to actually dodge-tank anything anymore.

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