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Thread: Duel rotation tanking. Viable?

  1. #1
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    Duel rotation tanking. Viable?

    First off this is my first post and have spent a good deal of time searching for posts moderatly relative to what I wish to question here. Seeing how I was unable to locate any I'm posting my idea here to be discussed.

    When I speak of duel rotation tankng I'm talking of running 2 diffrent rotation of abilities at the same time. The first being your normal tanking roation the second a trinket/cooldown rotation.

    Wen I first came on to this idea of tanking style our guild was running 10 man ToC. I was looking for ways to midigate the amount of healing the healers were having to focus on me so they could spread the heals more towards the raid. (We had problems keeping DPS alive to actually finish fights.) I was at the time pretty much capped on gear upgrades I could get at the time so I searched the forums for another viable option. One night after downing a boss I noticed how very little I used my cooldowns. (Regeneration, last stand, shield wall, trinkets.) This of course was some bad tanking on my part where as I should have been using my trinkets more frequently. The healers never had a problem keeping tanks up so I just never worried about it.

    After the fight and noticing the cooldowns I wasan't using I decided to just throw them in on the next boss. From there the idea of my duel rotation tanking started. Immediately after the fight our officer in charge of healing asked me what I did diffrent. I explained to him what I did and he said "Keep doing that. You were hella easy to heal." So from there on out I built and semi-refined a second rotation to my tanking style.

    First off you have your normal tanking rotation of shield slams, devestates, revenges, etc. The second rotation of mine included using all the big cooldowns that I never seemed to use. Starting with the bigger cooldowns I would pop shield wall then last stand ino regeneration and trinkets. I assumed at first this would be bad because what if I need to use my "oh crap" abilities and they were on cooldown. So, I spoke with other warrior tanks and found that they themselves hardly use the big coold downs either. So, I continued refining my second rotation studying boss fights and learning there average fight times along with the phases and factored that into my rotations. The result of wich are healers who have to focus a little less healing on me and can spread it out somwhere else.

    Now I assume the amount that of healing this idea saves is probally minimal or maybe this is just a specific thing for me and my healers that woeks well. But it's all the little things that add up to the big. So any ideas, discussions, pros and cons would be greatly appreciated. As stated earlier new poster with a random idea I haven't seen talked about.

  2. #2
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    rotating defensive cool downs is necessary for some hardmode fights ... its definitively viable, but necessary for normal modes maybe not.

  3. #3
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    on normal I can see you getting away with using them in a "rotation", but on hardmodes if you don't save them for some good timed "oh shit", you are going to be much harder to heal.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stompya View Post
    on normal I can see you getting away with using them in a "rotation", but on hardmodes if you don't save them for some good timed "oh shit", you are going to be much harder to heal.
    I am of the opinion that 99% of the time tanks die because healers fall behind or a tank gets 1 shot. If you utilize your defensive cooldowns proactively (Shield Wall, Last Stand, Enraged Regen, Trinkets, Shield Block, Indestructible Pots, etc) you make yourself MUCH easier to heal which then results in healers having excess mana and never falling behind. The phantom "oh sht" need for cooldowns is greatly exaggerated and really doesn't seem to be an issue in current content (unless pugging with bads).

    Fights seem to fall into 3 categories:
    • Normal boss tanking and trash pulls
      • 90% of fights
      • Rotate through defensive cooldowns evenly so that you almost always have something up and make yourself very easy to heal
      • Never leaving any cooldowns unused since they will usually be back up before needed again
    • Pre-planned cooldown rotation for extremely hard hitting bosses
      • 9% of fights
      • Mimiron, General, Gormok, etc
      • Specific fight mechanics and timing which organized with DBM utilizes your cooldowns to prevent any insta-gibs
    • Oh Sht
      • 1% of fights
      • Common fear that at some point you might need a cooldown for some unforeseen reason to save your life
      • This really never comes up unless you are pugging and have bad healers / bad pulls / bad tanks / stupid DPS
    For a long time I have considered a defensive rotation to be baseline just like your offensive threat rotation, they go hand in hand for efficient tanking. I agree with the OP in that it seems like many less experienced tanks need improvement at offensive use of defensive cooldowns.

    Think of it similar to the mandatory debuffs used when tanking (thunderclap, demo shout, sunders, etc) cooldown use is something that should naturally be a part of your tanking routine unless specifically saved for certain times in a hard hitting fight (Gormok).
    Last edited by Squirrelnut; 11-06-2009 at 01:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    For the record,

    duel = combat between two parties
    dual = composed of two parts

    and, back to your discussion.

    As far as using cooldowns go, Squirrel said it well. Better to learn the fights and figure out how and when to use your CD's to best effect.
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  6. #6
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    On progression content imo trinket/ability cd should never be off.. keep rotating them and keep every ability in the loop.

    I usually use a cd on the pull... i hate pulling a mob and getting 1 shotted (aka patchwerk) and having the healers saying..i was in the process of healing you...

    the start slows incoming damage and enables everyone to get in to their rotations and calm down down.

    I do agree with the OP in that using a "avoidance" period on some fights helps the healers..ie low on mana or unable to heal..keep yourself alive for 10 secs pls.. moment, such as tanking general in ulduar.. in which case having a chain of avoidance procs will help..shieldwall, last stand, regen, trinket, etc..

    Overall however i simply try and smooth the encounter by keeping the elements in general rotation or keep the big ones, like shieldwall for the oh shit the healers dead the boss is on 5%... there is just the tank and the mage still alive...omfg ..moments. or as i like to call them ...The hero moments..
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  7. #7
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    it's simple.

    If you died with a CD up, except for the very rare case of getting globaled before you could even hit one (icehowl is one of them in heroic mode), then the tank did something wrong. You could've done something to help.

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    I wouldn't say there's a fixed rotation as such though, there's always more optimal times to use certain cooldowns than not, particularly something like shield wall which is very powerful. Of course, making the judgement is made even easier with:

    - good healer comms on vent
    - good knowledge of the parts of the fights where healers are pushed
    - one eye on the raid frames

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelnut View Post
    • Oh Sht
      • 1% of fights
      • Common fear that at some point you might need a cooldown for some unforeseen reason to save your life
      • This really never comes up unless you are pugging and have bad healers / bad pulls / bad tanks
      • Icehowl there are several cases that I remember this happened
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    Actually Icehowl's mechanics are fairly predictable as well. Most people don't time it out as precisely as Gormok because you can get away with no cooldown if healers are on their toes but he is still very repetitious in what he does:

    - Ferocious Butt (most dangerous because it hits hard and stuns you preventing cooldown use unless you did it prior to being hit)
    - Whirl (knockback)
    - Arctic Breath (blows on you and freezes you in place if unlucky enough to be hit)
    - Massive Crash (throw you into the wall prior to his trample)
    - Trample (get out of the fckin way)
    - Frothing Rage (only happens if he tramples someone so this should never take place)

    Really the one that owns tanks is the Ferocious Butt (the stun is the annoying part). If you can rotate through your cooldowns / ask for outside cooldowns just prior to the general timing of his Butt you really don't run into the Oh Sht situation that much.

  11. #11
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    - Frothing Rage (only happens if he tramples someone so this should never take place)

    since I am an Alt tank so I raid with pugs I have alot of problems with this one
    sKsBlaster/Blasterion for Stim Kill Smile and Last Light on Stim Kill Smile and MedivhUS

  12. #12
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    I updated my post so that the 1% now includes "stupid DPS" to account for the Icehowl trample issue haha

    I suppose if you do pugs a lot the 1% category turns into more like 10-15% because of bad people

  13. #13
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    I don't agree with using my full set of defensive cds on rotation for regular fights, nor do I think you can write off the value of keeping something in reserve for 'oh shit' (I'd prefer the term 'unexpected problems') as being only needed in bad groups. Even good players get lagged/disconnected, make occasional mistakes or strings of bad RNG. If you've got every one of your CDs in a rotation then what do you do then?

    I'm not quite sure I agree with the breakdown (90/9/1) you've given on CD usage either. I can't think of a single fight in TOC or Ulduar where I don't have at least a high level plan for CD usage. Sometimes those plans have a bit of give in them (e.g. I'll be ready to use SW when xyz happens if the healers are slow reacting).


    I actually think that the OP has a point when comparing it to regular abilities, but will argue about the use of the term 'rotation'. A rotation implies 'fixed sequence of activities repeated'. Warriors don't use a rotation, they use a priority system... Shield slam if you can, if not revenge, if not shockwave... etc. Because of the random element involved (sword and board) and because certain abilities are slightly situational (conc blow and shockwave may be needed as stuns) we adjust our ability usage to fit both the encounter and the RNG of the game.

    I'd say that's a good way to handle defensive cooldowns too. Shield block and avoidance trinkets you might put as high priority cooldowns to use as much as possible. Last stand you might consider as your spammable 'oh shit' button. Shield wall is the button you plan to use around the situation.

  14. #14
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    if the fight, is one where you need to rotate cooldowns, because you're in danger of being instant gibbed, or the hps required is more than your healers can putout, or will drive them oom.

    Then yes rotating cooldowns is a good idea, for alot of progression hardmodes it's necessary. I progression fights on Beasts + Anub'Arak add tanking are good examples of this.

    However, for most other fights, you need to save those cooldowns and use them as an "oh shit" button. Hoping of course, that they won't be required. So Jaxx when your healers are silenced, or twins if your OT dies and you have to pickup their tank target aswell. In these fights, cooldowns are best used to match a bosses cooldown ability, or to cover for someone's mistake (e.g. standing in fire etc)

  15. #15
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    I am not a warrior, am a paladin, so the cooldowns are a little bit different... id say, like stated before, in normal fights, have all of your CDs used, but if you're affraid of an "oh shit moment" save one of them... either the shorter one (time active) or the strongest one, which are pretty much the same ones :P... because you wont ever be needing to you ALL of your cooldowns at once... so if you're affraid of being in an oh shit... then just save one for that...

    Also try to time your cds to other events, like if the boss is about to cast something (dont use an avoidance cd for casting stuff) or if Anub'arak is about to submerje dont waste them, etc etc... you know :P

    Dont make a "rotation" for tanking CDs, be situational, and try to have a cd active most of the time, i try to use the shorter ones (CD wise) first, so when I finnish using all of my cds, the ones i used at the beggining are ready
    Last edited by MudNova; 11-08-2009 at 11:40 PM.

  16. #16
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    I wouldn't say using them for basically 'no reason' is a great idea. It's not really bad, but I think it's better to still use them situationally, but instead of rotating them without even considering the situation it's better to just relax the qualifiers of their use. When the warrior CDs were on much longer CDs, we would usually only pop them in dire circumstances like all healers are down and boss is at 2%. But now that LS and SW are on 2min CDs (talented and glyphed), I tend to use them the same, as 'oh craps', but what qualifies as 'oh crap' has just been reduced. Now I just use them when I think the situation will be harder to heal, or when I hear a healer say 'oh damn I'm silenced, so and so take over heals'. The situations where they help out quite a bit are enough that I would never use them 'just because they're available'. That seems like a waste, IMO.

    Great, not-so-obvious times to use a CD to 'help the healers':

    - On pull of Ony
    - Phase 3 Ony fear
    - Healer silenced on Ignis
    - Switch off on Gormok
    - XT tantrum
    - Phase 3 Thorim on switch
    - Anub re-emerges

    I'd say there's a situation like that in about 40% of the fights. On progression, I would never just spam them whenever they're available. Progression has the most 'oh shits', so you should have your CDs avail for those moments. Progression is paved with great CD usage! =D

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by swelt View Post
    I don't agree with using my full set of defensive cds on rotation for regular fights, nor do I think you can write off the value of keeping something in reserve for 'oh shit' (I'd prefer the term 'unexpected problems') as being only needed in bad groups. Even good players get lagged/disconnected, make occasional mistakes or strings of bad RNG. If you've got every one of your CDs in a rotation then what do you do then?

    I'm not quite sure I agree with the breakdown (90/9/1) you've given on CD usage either. I can't think of a single fight in TOC or Ulduar where I don't have at least a high level plan for CD usage. Sometimes those plans have a bit of give in them (e.g. I'll be ready to use SW when xyz happens if the healers are slow reacting).


    I actually think that the OP has a point when comparing it to regular abilities, but will argue about the use of the term 'rotation'. A rotation implies 'fixed sequence of activities repeated'. Warriors don't use a rotation, they use a priority system... Shield slam if you can, if not revenge, if not shockwave... etc. Because of the random element involved (sword and board) and because certain abilities are slightly situational (conc blow and shockwave may be needed as stuns) we adjust our ability usage to fit both the encounter and the RNG of the game.

    I'd say that's a good way to handle defensive cooldowns too. Shield block and avoidance trinkets you might put as high priority cooldowns to use as much as possible. Last stand you might consider as your spammable 'oh shit' button. Shield wall is the button you plan to use around the situation.
    I tend to exaggerate when making a point I think people are misconstruing what I said or at least what my intentions were (and likely similar with the OP). Feel free to ignore the 90/9/1, that was an extreme to make a point.
    • The Goal
      • Minimize incoming damage
        • Know the fight (trash vs boss vs spike damage boss)
        • Know what cooldowns are available and how long before they will generally be needed again (depends on your spec, the raid, dps, etc)
        • Know your healers (tanking varies greatly depending on being in a pug or guild run)
        • Don't waste potential cooldown time (aggressively use your cooldowns based on the situation since there is no point in going an entire run never using shield wall or last stand)
      • Stay alive
        • Any experienced tank knows what fights may have spike damage and thus utilize their cooldowns accordingly.
      • Common Sense
        • No one is telling you to burn all your cooldowns in a set rotation, we simply refer to "rotation" because it is quicker to say then "situational cooldown prioritization" lawl
        • It is a fact that I see many tanks waste potential cooldown time which could have made their healer's lives better. That doesn't mean you should thoughtlessly waste your cooldowns on minimal incoming damage, it just suggests taking a more aggressive approach to cooldown usage to make yourself easier to heal.
    People seem to be focusing on semantics instead of the baseline message. It is true that Warriors do not have a threat "rotation", instead they have an "ability prioritization" but it is simpler to just say rotation because most people know what that refers to. It is the same with defensive cooldowns and the objective of this thread is a reminder to consider your defensive ability usage more proactively.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelnut View Post
      • Common Sense
        • No one is telling you to burn all your cooldowns in a set rotation, we simply refer to "rotation" because it is quicker to say then "situational cooldown prioritization" lawl
        • It is a fact that I see many tanks waste potential cooldown time which could have made their healer's lives better. That doesn't mean you should thoughtlessly waste your cooldowns on minimal incoming damage, it just suggests taking a more aggressive approach to cooldown usage to make yourself easier to heal.
    People seem to be focusing on semantics instead of the baseline message. It is true that Warriors do not have a threat "rotation", instead they have an "ability prioritization" but it is simpler to just say rotation because most people know what that refers to. It is the same with defensive cooldowns and the objective of this thread is a reminder to consider your defensive ability usage more proactively.
    This is pretty much exactly what I was going for. I apologize for not being more specific in my wording of the post.

  19. #19
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    i always pop my trinkets/cooldowns as part of my rotation, just because i know it makes things easier for the healer, ASSUMING i know i wont need them later at specific points in the fight.

    i try to save at least one SOMETHING just in case there's a moment where the healers cooldowns are also on and there's a moment where something bad happens.

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