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Thread: Warrior-Tank problems especially aggro-wise. Advise highly appreciated

  1. #1
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    Warrior-Tank problems especially aggro-wise. Advise highly appreciated

    Dear fellow-tanks and WOWers,


    I am a warrior tank
    (http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sh...and&cn=Drasnal) and I am in trouble.
    I might have a serious problem with my tanking. I thought I am in control, but I am told by my lovely Tree of Life resto Driud healer and RL-grilfriend that I am not
    (http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sh...nd&cn=Geniwere).
    1. She complains of having aggro a lot of times, especially in add-heavy tanking situation.
    For example she constantly said that while PUGing Halls of Reflections and last night while doing Onyxia 10.
    2. She told my that my I loose life more rapidly than any other tank she is playing with at a comparable gear level (e.g. our ICC10 Pala-Off-Tank,
    http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sh...Hand&cn=Salfos).


    I read a lot about how to play a warrior tank (e.g. Agg's guide, all the official tankspot guides, regularily other psots on tankingtips.com, tanklikeagirl.com (even if I am male ^^), and I think I know that it is one of the hardest tanking class to play, if not the hardest, if I can believe all the complaints of the warrior being to nerfed down. I do not want to use this as an excuse, it is just what I read. I also am looking up gear improvements on maxdps.com which I use as a suggestion, I am not obedient to it, but I use it to see where to get gear.


    Don’t get me wrong. I love tanking and I like the warrior. And, most important I want to surpass the difficulties I have. I do not want to reroll a character just because I am not able to master the one I have, anyway I am not willing to pass on my Draenai warri in which I put so much effort.




    Here are my questions:
    1. Is anything wrong with my gear (I know very well my shield is mediocore, but the Splintered door of the Citadel never drops and I was not lucky in any raid content so far), gemming, enchanting? Anything else? Too low on armor, health, avoidance? I geared towards Effective Health (EH) as it is said to be best for ICC.
    2. Is there a "better way to spec?
    3. Can there be any proble with my playstyle, which is very difficult to know for any of you. I am glad for any suggestions. Perhaps you faced similar problems like me and found a strategy to overcome them?
    4. Is there any difficulty involved in playing with a resto druid healer that I am not aware of (even if vigilance is on her/him).
    5. Can I provide more information that will help to solve my problems?

    I thank you all in advance for contributing your thoughts.

    Last edited by Drasnal; 06-07-2010 at 11:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    For the most part your setup didn't look too bad. A couple of things though.

    1) You really don't need as many hybrid gems/socket matching as you have. As long as your meta is ok, stam in everything is usually a safe bet (maybe a 12 stam socket bonus like in your helm is ok - but not the pants).
    2) Cloak enchant should be 225 armor. Glyph of cleaving really isn't ideal, but if you are primarily doing heroics i GUESS it could work.
    3) Vigilance should always go on a dps, if add tanking is your problem then preferably your best AoE dps.
    4) I have no idea what your priority looks like, but generally SS -> Rev - > Dev while spamming HS/Cleave is pretty solid. In the event of a multiple mob pack, Shockwave -> Tclap -> Rev -> SS -> Dev. Once again, very general.
    5) Know the mobs you're tanking. if you know it's a pull with 2 casters (and x melee mobs), try charging/shield bashing one to start the pull and Heroic throw the other to silence it and force it to come to you.
    6) Get a new shield ;-)

    That's really all I can give you without actually seeing you tank. Hopefully you find it helpful.

  3. #3
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    Like the previous poster said, moar stam and armor is necessary.

    But I disagree about the Cleave glyph. While it's largely unnecessary to a raider, it is a godsend for 5-mans, especially H HoR. Hang on to it for now, maybe swap out for Devastate or Last Stand when you get more comfortable with your AoE threat.

    Typically yes, vigilance does belong on a DPS, but in certain cases putting it on a healer or fellow tank is preferable. In H HoR, I always vigi a Druid healer, simply because they have to preheal and spam HoTs, which is a lot more threat than another healing classes. Other healing classes I don't bother and just Vigi a ret pally or something.

    For AoE tanking, open up with TClap to get their attention, then position them so that Shockwave hits evertything in a cone in front of you (take a step or two back if necessary). Spamming Cleave works well (especially glyphed) but is also a fairly big rage drain, so keep an eye on your rage bar.

    Also, while SS takes priority over Revenge for single-target, Revenge wins for AoE tanking because it hits two mobs. So keep TClap and SW on CD, then tab target around with Rev -> SS -> Dev while Cleaving away the rage. For single-target, the rotation suggested earlier (SS -> Rev -> Dev while burning any extra rage with HS) is correct.

    In H HoR, make sure to throw up your Demo Shout once you have AoE threat established, and get in the habit of using it for any kind of dangerous encounter (including 99% of raids). This reduces a lot of the physical damage you take.

    A neat trick for tanking Ony whelps - right when they pop out, flip over to Battle Stance and turn on Retaliation, then go back to Defensive Stance and charge in (well, not INTO the caves). The next 20 attacks against you will deal a fair amount of damage to the whelp and help you establish AoE threat.

    Don't be afraid to use your AoE taunt (Challenging Shout) when things get dicey.

    The hardest part of H HoR, I've found, is how to control mobs without being able to really position them or Charge in. Make sure that you pop Bloodrage between waves, every time (preferably less than 10 seconds before it starts but it can be hard to time), and just SS the first one to get there. Then when a few more get there, TClap and begin with the Cleaves (Revenge too, if it's up which it should be). When everything gets there, Shockwave.

    Make sure to pop the mages on the head with Heroic Throw if they're being stubborn and refusing to come to you (translation: your groupmates refuse to LoS). If you have a DK DPS, Death Grip is fantastic.

    I like to mark a target for CC if possible. Ret pally's Repentance, a Priests's Shackle Undead, and other sorts of CC work fantastic on the first phase (with Falric and Marwyn).

    For the third phase, the part where the Lich King runs you down, look closely next to the big walls you tank in front of - there are little alcoves over to the left where you can hide and LoS everything. This helps a ton when dealing with those pesky casters that don't like to come to you (WTB frisbee of silencing doom on my warrior!).

  4. #4
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    gear and gemming looks good.

    probably just the group that you're with...

    my DK friend often out threat me, so cast Vigilance on him, then have him wait 2 secs after you charge in to get initial aggro, thunderclap and move back 2 step and shockwave then jump behind mob and cleave, before he cast death and decay and charges behind the mob...

    then for regular melee type mobs, i would TAB and devaste/shieldslam/revenge each target at least once, just to focus aggro on me
    get in the occational Taunt to have at least 1 aggro on me to keep the rage up
    above 50 rage, use cleave if 2 or more are still alive, and switch to heroic strike if 1 is left...

    pray you never have to Solo melee caster types, simply takes to long to kill one on heroic, without it killing your party mates....
    pray for at least one melee party member to be with your PUG.
    Last edited by SeptimX; 06-08-2010 at 03:49 AM.

  5. #5
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    You mentioned 2 of the more difficult fights when it comes to warrior threat.

    HoR is tough, you have to be on top of everything. The key is probably going to be help from your party members, pulling aggro on ranged, then running into a corner so the mob runs towards them and you can pick them up (Heroic throw or if you have a DK, death grip is helpful). People are hiding in the corner, rights?

    For Ony - who are the other tank(s)? As a warrior you're best suited for the elite in the back during P2. The Pally should be on whelp duty, he has far more AoE threat. If he's on the elite and you're on the whelps you're not using the tanks to their fullest.

    Pallys have self-heals - they help themselves out. It's frustrating, but pallies will always seem easier to heal because they are adding 'bonus' heals to themselves (at least from how it looks to a healer). Looking at the numbers, you have 30k base armor and 40,700 health. The pally has 26,700 armor and 35,700 health. There is no way he's taking less damage than you, it's his self-heals. Healers have to heal tanks. That's her job (though if things get hairy, are you popping your CDs too?)

    ****

    Really, running with a Pally, your best bet is probably to let the Pally take lead on trash while you stand behind and make sure nothing gets off him and hits the clothies standing in the back or focus on making sure guys like those caster trash before Morrowgar are pointed away from the party. You can do it, but if it's an issue it may be more effective to have the Pally on trash.

    ****

    Gearwise

    Cloak --> + Armor enchant
    Head --> If you're going to hit the +12 bonus, use +def/+sta, you're at 212 hit, more than enough (you can actually probably 'lose' 40 or 50 without noticing any difference) so the +10 hit there isn't very useful. Oh.. you're a space goat, you really don't need 212 hit.

    Legs --> Throw all +30 stamina gems in your legs. You'll 'lose' the 12 sta socket bonus (which gives you a total of 57 stamina as is) but will end up with 90 stamina. You don't need the defense as you're at 542 and you just need to stay above 536 with the PvP shoulder enchants you have. You probably don't need the expertise, but if you do, eat the expertise food (+40 exp rating, 2x the gem you're giving up), which won't cost you any stamina because it gives 40 stamina, same as fish feasts or whatever else you're eating.
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

  6. #6
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    Paladins have self-heals?

    Are you referring to Ardent Defender (which can proc once per two minutes), or perhaps Judgement of Light (nice debuff but hardly a significant amount of TANK healing)? If a Paladin is using Seal of Light to tank with, he/she should be slapped across the nose with a newspaper.

    Also, your Pally has a dodge trinket and uses the Hodir shoulder enchant, and Blade Ward (which is significantly less effective than Mongoose for a Paladin). Also needs the Lay on Hands and Sense Undead minor glyphs.

  7. #7
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    I don't know what it is, other than every pally I've ever run with has thrown heals on themselves when things got dicey. Prot Pallys don't have access to any of the healing spells? If so I do then wonder what they were using.
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

  8. #8
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    For Ony10, especially 10, make the entire raid stack in the center when whelps come out. One tclap and they're yours, then shockwave and go to town. Put vigilance on your girl and keep taunting anything that hits her off. Also, all gems but one should be 30 stam, no exceptions. The one you leave should be either 10 dodge or 10 agi and 15 stam to activate the meta. All enchants should be for stamina or armor (or hp for chest), also no exceptions. Spend some gold on Rowan's rifle and put a crit scope on it to help tclap a little bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tengenstein View Post
    just don't let them melee you up the bum.

  9. #9
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    Resto Druids heal the raid... all of it. If you don't have aggro, they do. Every time a hot ticks, they get aggro. Dreador is right, throw vig on the healer to give them damage reduction and get your taunt refreshed if they get smacked, this works for 5 mans.

    Ony 10 whelps, again Dreador got it right. Stack in the middle, thunderclap, shockwave the whole mob of them, thunderclap again when it is off cooldown and tab-devastate/ss while they are stunned. If you lose a lot of aggro when shockwave wears off, challenging shout and pop shield block, by the time that wears off they should all be dead.

    Cooldown use will help you be less squishy, know when the damage is coming and use a cooldown. Never let an enemy get behind you, and make sure you follow the gemming advice above.
    RNGesus - Saving you unreliably since BC.
    http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/v...ellvarsig3.jpg

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loganisis View Post
    I don't know what it is, other than every pally I've ever run with has thrown heals on themselves when things got dicey. Prot Pallys don't have access to any of the healing spells? If so I do then wonder what they were using.
    All of our healing spells have a cast time. Casting while tanking = no dodge block or parry = squish.

    Maybe this will be true in Cataclysm when Holy Shock becomes baseline (that way it's both a nice little ranged nuke, or a mini-Rune Tap) but right now, no.

    In fact, Paladins are the only class that doesn't have a fairly powerful self-heal. OK, neither do Frost or Unholy DK's. Blood DK's can spec Rune Tap (the other Blood cooldown, Vampiric Blood, also boosts healing recieved), Warriors have Enraged Regeneration, and Bears have their similar version of Enraged Regen (I think it's called Frenzied Regeneration - Blizzard is quite clever with names).

    Actually, my Paladin does have a self-heal. It's called Gift of the Naaru, and it sucks. :-P

  11. #11
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    Enraged regen=dead tank if you depend on it. Paladin's can LoH if they aren't using the bubble, but don't think of ER as powerful, it isn't.
    RNGesus - Saving you unreliably since BC.
    http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/v...ellvarsig3.jpg

  12. #12
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    I wonder what I was seeing then, because I've seen them heal themselves (one was a space goat but the other was a dwarf). Hmm....
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MellvarTank View Post
    Enraged regen=dead tank if you depend on it. Paladin's can LoH if they aren't using the bubble, but don't think of ER as powerful, it isn't.
    Yeah, I shouldn't imply that ER or FR are as powerful as Rune Tap. They're decent when combined with other cooldowns (Last Stand or Survival Instincts) but nothing really great.

    And pretty much any Paladin tank is going to be using their shieldwall (Divine Protection), which puts the same debuff on you as LoH and bubble and BoP. Can't use more than one of those every two minutes.

  14. #14
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    Loganisis - they may have judged light (or the paladin healer might have). Though that is not something that is recommended... or smart... >.> <.<
    RNGesus - Saving you unreliably since BC.
    http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/v...ellvarsig3.jpg

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drasnal View Post
    1. She complains of having aggro a lot of times, especially in add-heavy tanking situation.
    For example she constantly said that while PUGing Halls of Reflections and last night while doing Onyxia 10.
    2. She told my that my I loose life more rapidly than any other tank she is playing with at a comparable gear level
    First off, I think you need to be aware that you are trying to respond to 2 competing issues here. On the one hand, you are being told that you are having issues controlling the encounter, on the other that you are 'loosing life more rapidly'.

    When your GF is getting agro, it's highly unlikely to be a mob that you have started tanking but not generated enough threat on, although this is a possibility. Given the examples you've cited, I'd suggest it's more around those situations where you have new mobs spawning and you have a challenging time in picking them up. Maybe you haven't noticed an add, maybe you didn't catch it with that thunderclap, maybe you have been overwhelmed by the number of adds. Things you can do about this:
    - Work to improve your awareness. Ciderhelms video is good to get you thinking: http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...camera-control
    - Improve your UI. TidyPlates + Threat Plates makes it very easy to see which adds you are tanking and which you aren't. Good unit frames make it easy to see the same thing when you are tabbing around.
    - Practice, and keep getting feedback from your GF. Recognise that this isn't the easiest thing for a warrior.

    The perception that one tank is harder to heal than another is a common thing and one that can be very difficult to diagnose:
    - It can be down to gear/spec. The tips you've had above will help. Get lots of EH.
    - It can be down to ability. Are you good at keeping up demo shout/thunder clap (or knowing that an equivalent is already applied)? Do you use minor cooldowns like shield block and trinkets often and effectively? Are you using your major cooldowns at the right time?
    - It can be down to encounters. Lots of people fell in love with paladin tanks for the northrend beasts because people didn't properly understand the mechanics of impale... a mechanic that ardent defender was particularly good at mitigating.
    - It can be down to confidence. If a healer loses confidence in their tank, they can start finding them 'hard to heal'. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, especially if that feeling is shared across multiple healers in a 25 man group.

  16. #16
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    For heroics, your stats look pretty nice, close to hit cap (230 for melee specials as draenei - that 212 is just fine), just under expertise cap (you wont really notice much difference even if you did gem more stam, I'm pretty comfortable at 17 expertise at the moment). You even have a respectable amount of health.

    My best guess would be its a situational awareness thing, AoE tanking as a warrior is much harder to master than any other class, most of us are still perfecting it. The tips about UI are spot on, and I wholeheartedly agree with Swelt's Threat Plates recommendation - its fantastic. I think the one thing thats been missed so far as key bindings. Are you clicking your abilities? In HoR its so hectic that it will be pretty difficult to select the right mob and then use an ability instantly if you're clicking.

    There was a recent thread about a guy switching over to key bindings, with some useful suggestions: http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...ight=key+binds

    Bloodwraith has a fantastic key binding guide: http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...ybinds-and-You

    When you keybind your abilities, it also allows a lot more control over your camera for better situational awareness. Veneratio talks about it in his latest blog entry at http://www.tankingtips.com/

  17. #17
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    Yeah..being a clicker as a warrior tank in H-HoR is a tough row to hoe.

    When you keybind your abilities, it also allows a lot more control over your camera for better situational awareness
    It also means that you can focus on picking up mobs and not have to have your mouse hovering over your toolbar, trying to click your abilities.

    Another key talent for H-HoR is Spell Reflect. If DPS leaves them alone, you can tank ranged caster mobs with nothing but spell reflect and heroic throws.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreador View Post
    Spend some gold on Rowan's rifle and put a crit scope on it to help tclap a little bit.
    Does the ranged crit rating on the scope only apply to the gun, or to all ranged attacks (e.g., TC)?

  19. #19
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    I noticed a couple things that would probably help. As far as aggro is concerned. Go with a slower weapon. Blizzard has shown no love for warriors with their releases of tank weapons. faster weapons are absolute garbage for warrior skills and talents (many of which do damage based off weapon damage NOT weapon dps like some pally skills) slower weapon = higher weapon damage, higher damage output = more aggro... this is especially true with the deep wounds skill that will bleed based off your weapon damage.. and that bleed is responsible for a good amount of your aoe aggro if your thunderclap crits (which it does and will often)

    Also as far as your talents are concerned.. max out shield specialization and drop focused rage, even though shield block is only partial mitigation it helps considerably (plus you will gain far more rage from that talent than you would lose not having focused rage), and you should never run out of rage trash tanking, so the focused rage is unnecessary.

    another thing is you have gems for hit and expertise, lop those out and put in dodge, parry, or defense mixed with stam if possible, your gear should provide you with all the hit and expertise you will need to land attacks in a raid environment.

    also make sure to put your vigilance on the highest aoe dps, this wont be the make or break for aggro retention, but every little bit helps.

    In my experience as a warrior tank, the weapon choice makes the biggest difference, try it out... see if it works for ya.

  20. #20
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    The reason that warrior tanks favor faster weapons is that a big chunk of our threat comes from heroic strike, which is on-hit and thus with faster weapons, we can HS more often.

    If survival'snot an issue, you'd probably be better off with a fast weapon and threat trinkets (I usually use a crit trinket and DMC: Greatness (strength)) than a slow weapon.

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