Okay, this is NOT "is one better, then the other"; I know we don't do that here, that's for the unwashed masses on the Official Forums and Trade Chat. Rather, this is just a request for some insight into the mechanics of each.
I've tanked as a DK since WoLK, but recently I leveled a pally to 80 spec'd it Holy and geared it, I then dual spec'd and geared it as Protection; I've healed more heroics then I care to remember to get emblems and have put together a respectable Protection set (I know we hate Gearscore, but it's up around 4775 now) and I started tanking heroics (and one run at ICC 10 up to Marrowgar in a PuG that failed, but, that said, the under geared Pally, me, was last man standing); anyway, to my question.
I've noticed that tanking as a Pally is much different then tanking as a DK - Pally seems to have "less to do" so to speak and lets you focus more on the fight, do your 969, keep Divine Plea up as much as possible, keep Sacred Shield on myself, pop Avenging Wrath as needed and that's about it. Unlike the DK where I'm looking to put Mark of Blood on a boss, Rune Tap to heal, pop IBF; basically, mitigate all I can and manage cool downs and runes etc.; so my question is am I missing something? Is a Pally really this uncomplicated compared to DK tanking?
Not entirely sure, I have a Pally that is Ret/Prot and I hate tanking with the Pally over my DK, but then again the Pally is an alt and the rotation just seems Off to me...
I know several paladin tank friends, comment on they could nap while tanking.
I've noticed that tanking as a Pally is much different then tanking as a DK - Pally seems to have "less to do" so to speak and lets you focus more on the fight
I think this is a significant observation, I've noticed the same. My main is also a DK tank, and I'm not sure I could raid lead yet while tanking any kind of progression fight on him.
I feel like priority #1 is watching for big dmg spikes and blowing cd's or Rune Tap when they hit. I can also keep an eye on what the other marked tank/s are doing, but my attention is pretty much consumed by those two. I even created a UI specifically designed to put that crucial info front and center so I can see my health and debuffs while keeping focused on the center of the screen.
I have a 40 pally I've been tanking LFG with, so not an expert, but friends who are 80 pallies lead me to suspect what you've observed too. Not much work required, more steady dmg intake, hence more freedom to look around and watch the minutia of what's happening in the raid. If a dps is standing in fire or not running away from the raid when they get Legion Flame or Mutating Injection or whatnot, they can yell at him. Or if a healer messes up, they can notice. That goes a long way toward being able to troubleshoot wipes, which RL must be able to do.
I can't do that on my DK for fear of missing a cd. Having pro healers who anticipate DK spike dmg and compensate for it helps mitigate that alot, but the problem is still there. Pallies' raid awareness advantage is quite valuable, and I certainly wouldn't mind if Bliz ever realized that and figured out a way to equalize it.
I have both a DK tank and a pally tank. I have brought both of them to ICC and I prefer tanking on my pally. It may be because he is my original tank but I just feel his threat and survivability is more consistent than a DK's.
When playing a DK it seems much of my time is spent waiting for runes to become available. I also feel its harder to reach a solid rotation with a DK because of this. While playing my pally I'm able to cycle through my abilities easily and this lets me concentrate on the fight's positioning, raid warnings, and other raid members.
One other thing I like about the pally is they have some useful abilities that let them absorb raid damage. Divine Sacrifice can make an encounter that is hard for healers a joke. Hand of Sacrifice can save a raid member that might be a little on the squishy side during raid wide damage where they don't get the extra attention they need. Or it can be used for a second CD for another tank. Just last night I used Hand of Sacrifice on the other tank for Festergut and on my Shadow Priest who was tanking a member of the Blood Council. I used my Divine Sacrifice to soak damage during the Blood Queen's air phase.
All in all I think the paladin is easier to play but more rewarding in a raid environment. You might find it less enjoyable to tank in 5 mans because they are easy and slightly mindless but once you hit raids you will be able to easily tank and focus on the bigger picture.
Divine Sacrifice isn't as powerful as it used to be in raids since it's limited to just your group now but it can still save a ton of damage. When we are having trouble surviving a certain part of the fight I can just get all the healers in my group and pop Divine Sacrifice combined with a Divine Shield or Divine Protection and it will allow them to neglect themselves a bit a keep the raid up. Works like a charm.
For 5 mans it's extremely over powered. Since it reduces damage to the whole group and redirects it to the tank. Don't get me wrong I have killed myself with it back when it was raid wide and I would die laughing. Just don't be afraid to use with with or without cooldowns to combine with it. You will start to learn how much damage you can handle and best times to utilize it. It can make an instance like FoS easy for a weaker healer.
My main tank is paladin, and im also now gearing my DW Frost DK for ICC...It may be just me, but i think theres a little more to Paladin tanking than just 969...Personnally, i like to help the healers as much as possible..Meaning Divine sacrifice/HoSac with Divine Protection...JoL...Salv,etc...We always seem to have a Paladin tank no matter what we are running..I may just lean more to pally since it was my 1st class a few yrs ago.However i will say DK &, Warr tanks are WAY more fun...! Its just simply much easier to hold mobs of the masses as a paladin...Which is (I Belive) their main intent...That and taking massive amounts of dmg...Love my Pally >:P
P.S. In 5's i run into the same issue...I simply switch to a healing trinket to stay over7-8k mana...It makes DP much more useful...25% of 5500 mana isnt muchover 15 secs..Its much more after 7-8k...I find..Swap a piece or 2 from ur prot with ret/holy (Int prefferably) and 1. ull take more dmg, allowing moreheals with Spir Attun..2. ull already have alarger mana pool to give DP bigger ticks...GL
Just for 5man........
Last edited by Rizilliant; 02-24-2010 at 12:22 PM.
I DW'd my DK in Frost for a bit, but really didn't like it - so now I'm dual tank spec'd Frost and Blood. I use Frost for 5 mans and trash; and Blood for raid boss fights. I do like my DK, but the Pally is fun and feels a bit sturdier.