Druid Tank significantly better than Warrior Tank?
As a warrior tank, I've been the MT in my guild for a while now and we have progressed through Military, Arachnid and Plague quarters of 25-man Naxx. As a guild we are currently working on Patchwerk (25-man) and Malygos (10-man).
My most common running mate these days is an equally geared Druid tank. I haven't run much with druid tanks in the past so I am just getting used to it now. I've noticed quite a bit though in running with him and wanted to get input from other folks on their experiences.
1) Fully raid buffed in 25-man, the druid tank sits over 40k health with me somewhere in the mid 30's. Sorry for not writing the exact number down but I think the difference is ~7-8k health. This seems like a HUGE difference, especially for fights like Patchwerk and Malygos.
2) With not having to stack defense gear, it seems druid tanks can focus quite a bit on dps. As a result the druid tank destroys me with damage done.
Given the huge difference in health and the damage difference, I have been thinking I should step down as MT, especially for the 10-man Malaygos fight. With Malaygos's arcane breath + melee, that fight is very taxing on the healers. With the druid tank, I presume it would make the healers job much easier. Add in the extra damage from the druid and it seems like a no brainer.
I know practically nothing about druid tanks, so perhaps I am grossly overlooking something. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
HP and dps do not make the tank.
skill, leadership, and other factors roll into being the guilds Main Tank.
Likewise, druids as much as they have HP, they lack overall avoidance, and the block mechanic which smooths out damage intake. From healers I've run with they tend to feel the druid tanks are huge mana sponges to keep them up while the other tanks seem to fair better in the mana department. But that depends on your raids healers.
druids have much lower avoid so they end up taking more hits, not sure if it equals the amount of extra HP/AP/HIt/haste/expertise/AC but hey least we got sheilds that = ~3-5% dr?
I never found malys breaths to be that big of a deal on 10 man version in fact I waited for them so I would have rage.
Honestly, the differences between tanks these days are largely exaggerated (mostly by people pushing for buffs or nerfs, I think). Druids and warriors both get the job done just fine in almost every role on almost every encounter in the game. I realize that the 7-8k HP difference seems like a lot, but on most encounters it's just not an issue whoever your tank is. It's probably also worth remembering that bears generally sported 1-3k more HP than warriors in TBC times, and the difference has scaled roughly proportionally with total HP (until you start talking about druid tanks being able to use the polar suit while tanking - which does give them some seriously silly numbers - but that's probably a seperate issue).
Druids may be "mana sponges", but healer mana is already a trivial concern in 25-man raids with appropriate buffs (Replenishment, Arcane Brilliance, etc) - if it hasn't become a trivial concern for you yet on Malygos, it's likely because your healers aren't comfortable with the fight yet and/or your DPS isn't maximized. It's not a tanking issue, it's an issue that'll simply resolve itself as you practice the fight.
The only place I've found where I felt like specific tanking classes had advantages was Sartharion+2/Sartharion+3. Death Knights and Druids can live far more reliably through the massive breath damage (either through cooldown usage or raw HP), and Warriors/Paladins take demonstrably less damage from blazes/whelps thanks to blocking. I won't get into what I think this indicates for class balance, because honestly, Sartharion+3 is only one encounter, at the far end of the difficulty spectrum, and it's not entirely surprising that it may bump up against the limits of their tuning.
I've never felt like survivability/TPS/damage dealt/etc differed enough to really make or break any of our attempts anywhere else. Sure, I've been gibbed randomly on Malygos once or twice due to bad damage combos, and maybe the druid would have lived through that, but there's also been the odd time here or there when Shield Wall clearly saved the day where Barkskin/BearStand wouldn't have. Mostly, it just hasn't been an issue, or the issue indicated some other problem with our strategy/attempts.
Obviously your mileage may vary, as we're all playing with different groups of people and at different levels of skill (not trying to insult you, but maybe your druid friend is God's ursine gift to tanking or something). If you truly feel like the druid is just better suited to tanking on some fights, let him take a crack at things.
Oh I agree, I say bring whatever tank is ready and good to go, it doesn't matter if it's a warrior, a paladin, a bear, or our new brethren the DKs.
One thing I may add into the equation for MT is that there are some fights where another style tank may have a distinct advantage and it is always prudent for the MT to discern this and adjust accordingly.
For example, I have a great deal of tanks in my guild at the moment. I am mainly deep in Warriors but i do have 1 Feral, 1 Paladin, and 1 DK. The other 4 tanks are Warior. Many times i bring along 3-4 tanks just to keep people in the rotation. There are some fights like Anub and Sapph where i have my DK tank MT and I just DPS and refresh Commanding on him. His anti-magic shell make him a clear cut choice for that role, imo, for both of those fights. On Patches, when my Feral gets better geared I will slap him on OT for that fight. On gluth i usualy let a Feral and DK tank play the trade game and I will take all the zombies. It isnt that a DPSer couldnt do it but my mobility and AE is better then theirs and it is easy for me to group and "stunlock" the packs in the back of the room easier. I also mitigate the damage better for those "oh shit" moments that would wipe a regular DPS.
I guess my point is that with so many variety of tanks my opinion is that we all tank good but still maintain certain areas where one may slightly excel over another. It isnt that we cannot do it, but rather, one class can do it a littler easier. In a raid mentality, the less chance for error/wipe that i can bring my people the better. I just think that part of being an MT is knowing when to step aside a moment for the greatest benefit of the team. This also has a very nice benefit of letting your OTs have their 5 minutes of fame that they normally do not get as the unsung heroes of the raid.
Last edited by Calintara; 01-05-2009 at 12:16 PM.
Put on Icebane, gem/chant it out for stam and you will probably sit close to a druid in both stam/avoidance after raid buffs. You will soon miss your avoidance rating and appreciate what prot warriors bring to the table in prot warrior gear
Most likely what you'll miss the most is your crit immunity, quickly followed by your dignity as your healers start to say things like "whoa I thought they took out crushing blows man, you totally got gibbed."
Originally Posted by blahism
There is no "best" tank. But despite how Blizzard has tried to homogenize all of the tanks, they still have their distinctions. Druids are best suited for certain types of encounters, Patchwerk as a hateful tank is a very good example. That fight requires only one thing on hateful tanks, a crapload of health and armor. I would still say warriors are the Jack of all Trades among the tanks, and are probably the ones you will see main tanking a lot of encounters. But they are not the "best".
Poor AOE agro.
Huge health pool.
Good snap agro.
Decent AOE agro.
Best overall mitigation.
Font updated to original state.
Originally Posted by Corbusier
Wow you describe almost the exact same situation in my guild, except that I'm the druid tank, so I've pondered all the issues you mention. I see exactly the same things.
MT designation: I dont think it means what it used to. I agree, leadership, likeability, trustworthiness & reliability are more important qualities for
"MT"... not the class you rolled way back before you had any idea you'd love tanking so much.
Class differences: all tanks can tank all content, and you need to find work arounds in certain situations, for sure, but I dont believe its a big difference. We tend to roll tanks in and out of fights. Having said that, our warrior tank is less pro-active about being a leader than I am, coming along for the ride rather than leading the ride. My guildies want to raid, and nothing makes you more popular as a tank if you're willing to lead.
High damage fights: we all shine in certain areas, and yes I tend to get used for the high damage attacks like Sapp & Mal, and for enrage + damage debuffs. But I'm sure a warrior can do it just as well. "Mana sponge" in my experience is just a term people throw around superficially. A lot of players are more in their heads about the game, it would seem, than in the game. The bottom line is that our healers never go oom no matter who is tanking.
Some warriors feel bad that they lost their priviliged status as THE TANK. And just so you know, some druids feel bad because they no longer have the "fun" of messing around with uncrittability, and because our gear (in their opinion) is not perfectly itemized like a warriors'.
I've raided enough now, that I believe the biggest differences we all see in the game are human, not algorithmic. Which may seem pretty obvious to some, since it gives the game so much depth.
I am a druid tank, consistently going with my guild to pretty much every 10 and 25 man raids. Where I have found my nitch, is as an off tank. If i am the main tank, and there is another tank in the group, and it isn't a 2 tank fight, I generally feel as if a mistake has been made, or we are learning an EARLY phase of a fight, where i might have more survivability. Why?
Druid tanks have cat form. This boosts our DPS far beyond just about anything that a warrior tank can put out while DPSing, in fact, I can get in the top 4 consistently in 25 mans (which is not an easy feet in my guild). I don't have to worry about defense, I can step in if the MT dies, in my DPS gear, and last longer than if a warrior steps in while lacking defense (I have several times stepped in on Max, after the berserk killed the MT during the weblock, to down the last 5% or so before the next weblock). Lastly, sorta mentioned above, i feel that being very competitive DPS wise, there is no loss on fights that only require 1 tank for parts of the fight, in order to bring a second tank. But this is all just my opinion
Thanks all for the very helpful responses. Sounds like I may just be overreacting to the difference in hp.
The co-MT in my 10-man raiding guild is a Druid (also my son).
Right now in our current gear (roughly equivalent), I feel there is not much difference between us when MTing except for a few fights:
1. Fights were a higher health pool is advantageous.
2. Fights were higher threat from Berserk is advantageous.
3. Fights were burst non-physical mitigation from barkskin is advantageous.
On the converse the Warrior AE tanking capability is better. While my raw AE threat seems lower, this is offset (and some) by easier positioning.
Overall I am happy with where we sit relative to each other in MT capability.
However, I do feel prot-Warriors lack utility. I would like the ability to slot more effectively into a non-MT spot in the raid.
1. If I DPS on a 1-tank fight my DPS will normally drop from ~1200 to ~1000, my sons DPS will increase from ~1400 to ~2000.
2. He can swap to a healing weapon mid-fight and heal
3. He can innervate or rez.
4. He has MotW.
Basically, if I am not tanking, I feel the raid is carrying me. This means I have to ask him to DPS when he would rather tank. Even though he tanks at least as well as me, I have less flexibility to fill other roles.
I've ran with q a few druids now (i always pick druids to tank nax25 with me) and I really like the way they tank. Very handy on patchwerk, great to switch to dps on 1 tank fights (as long as they have the gear/skills). I really like their initial aoe aggro, paladin+2bears mops up all the trash in nax so quickly. Only thing I've noticed is their sustained aggro is not as high on bosses (tho that might be down to gear). I like to switch who MTs from fight to fight and there's little difference, I'll still tank fights where actual mitigation and cooldowns win, but clearly no tank is superior to any other (ignoring very well geared DKs as they are clearly imbalanced).
Originally Posted by Omok
With the proper gear/idol druid AOE aggro isn't poor. With a glyph Maul can hit 2 targets and swipe can hit an infinite amount of targets within the area. Swipe is not great aggro alone but with the right gear it is possible for a druid to have decent AOE aggro. Druids also have more armor than a warrior or paladin in most cases. I'd say the difference is block+parry vs. armor and HP. It's really a matter of playing style and the situation.
A friend of mine is an OT for a 25man guild, while I'm MT for a 10man guild.
His druid sits on about 45k raid buffed (Actually I think he's up to about 49k now, something rediculous) while I'm at around the 30 - 33k mark depending on trinkets.
As he's geared with 25man T7 he puts out a hell of a lot of threat and has a massive HP pool. The problem I've seen is that he can run into a group of 5 or so mobs and his HP will drop like a rock, when compared with a class that can block.
A lot of times he will just go cat and put out a lot of DPS, but is a much better tank for fights in which the boss does a lot of damage. He may be a sponge for healers mana, but when it comes to taking 15-20k hits every few seconds I'd much rather it be him than me. As a Pally with almost 78% block with redoubt/holy shield up I'm reluctant to rely on my passive blocking/avoidance abilities than I am his pool o HP :P
I'm not a longtime feral tank, but heres my thoughts:
As bears, we have low avoidance. Thats why we have rogue gear. Agility. Dodge, crit and overall increase in damage helps us generate threat very well. Yes, we can't block, but heck, our armor, our dodge chance, and our HP mitigate it extremely well. Yes, healers use "more" mana on us it seems. But, warriors take more damage overall when they don't block, and if they happen to have a bad luck streak, they will take more heals to stay alive, and its harder for them to stay alive because of their lower health values. Us on the other hand, sponge up the damage done, and say "More please!" While the healers are just laughing their asses off at how easy it is. But, thats just me In some places, druids suck for tanking though. We CANNOT mitigate magical damage as well, so thats where the beloved DKs come in. We also can't AoE tank greatly, but we can easily handle 3-4 mobs with swipe + Glyph Maul + Beserk, and when the time calls for a 10+ mob fight, we cower behind our pallies to help us out. But remember this, whenever a warrior can't handle a one target encounter, most of us, while in our cat forms, just kind of jump into a bear in troubling times, taunt them off, keep a well organized DPS up, then Kitty Form/Cower/Shadowmeld combo to get off when the warrior is fine.
So, all in all, we are clutch tanking meat shields that love those hammer in our faces.
Druids have a harder time starting out (just like DKs) however, once you get them into some decent gear they become onpar if not a little better than warriors/pallys.
HOWEVER, it doesn't really matter. all tanks can tank all current content.
difference between the classes has nothing to do with the class =p, its the player. your reaction time, situational awareness and leadership have more to do with your ability to do content than your class.
whos a better tank a warrior who can jump to thaddius' platform but has less HP or the druid who has more but misses the jump every week. =p