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Thread: Possible to teach a new tank or is it a niche to have?

  1. #1
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    Possible to teach a new tank or is it a niche to have?

    I hope you get what I'm trying to say here.

    Anyways, do you think it's possible to teach someone new how to be a good tank or is it something only certain people seem to have the skill to be a tank? I have this warrior in my guild who is tank/dps and while he's awesome at dpsing, though pulls threat a lot, he's just horrible at tanking despite having just as good as gear as the other more skilled tanks. I'm trying to figure out a way to help him get better at it, but I'm clueless as to where to start.

    Also, when I'm in pugs on a dps toon that can't tank, I see tanks all the time letting mobs beat on healers, etc and not even trying to get them off of them. They move things around so much when it's not even necessary it's not even funny.

    So, is there more to tanking then just spending a lot of time learning or do you sort of have to 'have it' in order to tank well?

  2. #2
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    Well #1 you have to "Want to Tank" in order to be good at it!

    Many of these inept tanks you see are probably just doing it for the faster que's and to get a spot in a raid easier, when they are really a "DPS in Tank's clothing".
    Also many do not have the attitude to be the "Punching Bag / Baby Sitter" for the group.
    Still others are doing it for the prestige of "I am a tank" .

    So the first thing to find out does the Warrior want to tank or is he feeling forced into it.

    Then if he does want to get better have him do a few LK raid PUGs and cata heroic PUGs.
    I emphasize PUGs because they are the "forge in which tanks are tempered" ; IOW if he survives that he will learn more than 10 guild runs where everything goes as planned.
    "It's always the Healer's fault; unless it's the Tanks fault, just ask the DPS'er in purples doing 5k!"

  3. #3
    Sounds like he may not be taking it seriously enough. Sure there are certain things that tanks think differently about, and you have to have a certain type of mentality, at least different from DPS'n cause there are no meters to top while tanking it's just keeping yourself alive and healable. To some extent you need a shred of leading capability but it's not mandatory as long as you can listen.
    I know many people who have never tanked before get a set of gear and do fine with it, but normaly they revert back to DPN'n because of the attention to detail tanks are required to have during most encounters. Some people just don't like having the entire raid success hinge on their actions, that's the biggest thing I see most times.
    What kind of problems does he have; Is it threat issues, dying to much, positioning or not knowing/forgetting what to do?
    Or is it not knowing his toon or how to min/max his gear to best help his healers?

    As for as letting mobs beat on healers, that's probably someone that has a few pieces of tank gear and instead of waiting to que DPS they just que tank, I've seen it a million times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darksend View Post
    Best bet also is find 2-3 healers you know to q with and tell them to forget everyone else and just keep you alive.

  4. #4
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    I agree with prior two posts.. Interest lacking you may as well not even bother but I do believe anyone can do anything if they want it bad enough.. I fight HARD to keep people from dying it is very important to me and I will pull trash off a pug even who pulled the wrong group and etc.. I don't take deaths in my crew lightly I will burn cool downs and use Lay on Hands for DPS even.. That is my damn job and hell yes you drop everything to save the healer.. What amazes me is when tanks go blah blah blag "so I just stood there and watched him tank it".. Yup someone else fails so you fail by default... That is still fail imo excuses are like butt holes and make as much out of a tank.

  5. #5
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    I feel you can teach it. Tanking is not hard if you know what you're doing.

    Make sure he has the addon Tidy Plates, its basically a must in order to successfully tank dungeons. For those who do not know what this mod is, it changes the color of the name plate of the mob based off how much threat you have on it and if its attacking you or someone else.

    Verbally tell him when a mob is attacking someone else so he can taunt. Make sure hes using vigilance, even in dungeons, on the healer or highest dps.

    For groups of mobs, make sure hes charging, rending, thunder clapping immediately. he should also have the skills associated with these abilities, esp for dungeons. The big one is "blood and thunder", he should be 2/2 with this for dungeons.

    Using Omen or similar addon, he/she should be tabbing through the mobs and find out which one has the lowest threat, or is about to be pulled by a dps/healer, and should be focusing that one.

    For single target, is he/she doing everything necessary to proc a shield Slam, and using shield block coordinated with the procs? Is challenging shout being used, even on single target bosses if aggro is lost?
    Last edited by gigglepants; 03-15-2011 at 12:09 PM.

  6. #6
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    A lot of what is commonly regarded as tanking comes from situational awareness and experience. Mechanics in boss encounters are rarely 'new' and when you've been through a few bosses where you're picking up and tanking or kiting adds, doing taunt/cooldown rotations etc, its not that hard to apply those skills to the next encounter with similar mechanics.

    The same applies in 5-mans. Once you've pulled a few hundred trash packs of mixed caster/melee mobs, you get a sense for what the potential pitfalls are. You can position the pull to minimize risks from nearby mobs and anticipate other snafus that might arise.

    I also think that a lot of folks these days have forgotten that aggro management is a partnership between tanks and dps. It doesn't and shouldn't all fall on the shoulders of the tank.

    There are definitely 'best practices' that you can demonstrate to a tank that will help them improve though.

  7. #7
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    Healer has to manage their threat too but it is harder for them cuz they can’t just stop healing right. That is why we have Hand of Salvation it drops threat over time and they build it at about half the rate of others so even with DPS backing off / reengaging you don’t end up with your healer having to run up by you and faded to survive. I like to firmly have a DPS at next highest threat level and I fire RD off the healer just because it's open sometimes.

  8. #8
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    If the tank is doing his job right, healers shouldn't really have a need to manage their threat.

    And OP, yes you can teach someone to tank, but they have to want it. None of the tanking classes have overly complicated basic rotations. It's mostly the situational abilities and awareness that are things you have to think about while tanking. I never think at all about the rotation. I just mash buttons and the mobs stick to me. He needs to get to the point where he doesn't have to think about what ability to use and can concentrate instead on just watching the stuff around him and responding appropriately.
    Kathy, I said, "I'm lost" though I knew she was sleeping
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  9. #9
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    Thanks Reev I will strive to do better then. I thought it was bad in HC 5 mans but in raiding it seems like they specifically target the healer even.. Wonder what I am screwing up.

  10. #10
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    Well depends. The aberrations on Maloriak do seem to aggro onto the healer more easily than most mobs for some reason. Other than that, i've never really seen any healing aggro in 5 mans or heroics.
    Kathy, I said, "I'm lost" though I knew she was sleeping
    I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
    Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
    They've all gone to look for America

  11. #11
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    Glubtok in deadmines comes immediately to mind

  12. #12
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    Glubtok resets agro every time he blinks. The healers are usually casting a heal at this time so that is why you see them gain agro. Just taunt every time he blinks and you should be fine. Even use your shield or judge, those should give you the necessary threat to out-do the healers and the dps's threat.
    His adds are different, though. I'm often on the opposite side of the fire wall as my healer, so the healer does what they need to do and meet me in the middle so my thunderclap hits the mobs and they then come to me.

  13. #13
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    Yeah, Glubtok has an aggro reset that needs a taunt, or at least a fast response after the blink. The adds in phase 2 aren't that big a deal. Just try to stay on the same side of the wall as the healer, even if you have to intervene through it, and thunderclap/shockwave on cooldown. They don't really need to be tanked per se. They can just be killed with a quick AoE.
    Kathy, I said, "I'm lost" though I knew she was sleeping
    I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
    Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
    They've all gone to look for America

  14. #14
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    He wants to tank, that much I know. From talking to some healers that usually heal heroics/raids they all said he's sortof hard to heal, possible, but hard. I just don't know how to go about telling him how I tank. I mean I'm to the point where I just know where my spells, etc are and what they do to just mash em and know what I'm doing and spend all my time watching for anything happening. No way I can really explain that part is there?

    His threat gen could use some work as well, he'll have a full stack of vengeance and barely be able to keep aggro or not keep it at all. The DPS have actually whispered me 3, 4+ times during runs to tank it instead of him just because of that fact. I don't wanna sound like a dick or nothing, just don't know how to help him.

    And thanks for the responses.

  15. #15
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    Sounds like he's having a combination of problems.

    He needs to work on his rotation. With vengeance stacked, dps should never be pulling off the tank (on a boss). On trash packs, he can mark targets while he works on his aoe rotation until he's comfortable with it. I have been tanking for quite a while and I still mark skulls. It might not be the first mob that I pull, but it's the one that I concentrate the hardest on keeping agro while holding the rest of the pack. By the time that skull is down, I'm confident I won't lose agro on the rest.
    Tanks don't get that much of a benefit from working on a target dummy because the majority of their rage comes from being hit by the mobs/bosses. However, he could spend some time on a dummy just to get his fingers used to the rotation. Send him here to tankspot and have him review some of the posts here that talk about warrior tanking. There is a plethora of great information here, he just needs to want to find it.

    He needs to gear correctly and use cooldowns at the right time. The gear is something that he can read about here. I've healed prot pallies that stack mastery vs. those that stack avoidance or threat, and I can see a major difference. It's the same with warriors and other tanks. Stacking mastery makes it much easier for a healer to heal because it's a consistent but smaller amount of damage.
    Using cooldowns is something different entirely though. He needs to have them readily accessible and be able to use them in a pinch. It would also help him a lot if he knows the fights and when to expect the heavy damage to come. You, as an experienced tank or at least a tank that some others want to take over the role in the groups, can tell him when to use them. You can break down every fight, every pack of trash, every pull scenario, and everything else in the instances, but he needs to know them. He needs to be situationally aware (health dipping low? pop a cooldown... healer's got agro? taunt it off... spell is incoming? spell reflect... etc).

  16. #16
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    And Holy Shield must always be up and regardless of hit/exp cap you can keep it up but you have to watch it. "It procs from SoTR or even WoG if properly glyph'd".. Those are the two things to hush the healer Mitigate and keep Holy Shield up always.

  17. #17
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    I believe the OP is talking about a warrior tank Contra. I just mentioned the pally tanks that I've experienced healing because I rarely get to heal a warrior on my healers.

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  19. #19
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    The best way to teach a tank is to run with him/her many heroic 5mans while sitting on a dps toon. Always try to push the tank to the borders of what he can manage. First CC, stun, interrupt as much as you can. If the "normal" stuff works, stop doing stuff like that. Maybe mention that he has special abilities for those situations. But it should not needed if "show" him what you do when you tank (and he comes with you on a dps/healer). That's learning by doing and learning by watching. Don't spam infos of the class on him, just mention stuff, and answer questions.

    If that works, start to play "bad". Open CCs, or prevent them from beeing cast, try to pull threat from him, maybe pull a new group when he's not aware of it, stuff like that. But don't do it randomly. Do it, when you think he should be able to manage whatever you do. Go just a little step further and further until he has to be alert all the time, while runnig with you.

    I was taught how to tank in such a way by my former MTs (well they skied the "playing nice" part actually...). It teaches you a lot. It let's one get to all the nasty situations quite early and often while beeing in a friendly surrounding. One has to react, but one also knows that nobody is angry if it's the wronge decision.


    And yes: Optimal gear treatment makes a huge difference.

  20. #20
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    I have had some of the same problems tanking on my warrior and here are a few tips that have helped, the guides are great but in a real world with latency jumps this might help.

    1. Rend/Thunderclap is a suggested opening however if a healer has thrown a HoT or has started casting as you run in Cleave first or at least 1 mob will be beating on the healer.

    2. If healers are saying he's hard to heal suggest he uses his CD's when pulling, 2 min is not a long time if needed later in a fight but that initial health shock when pulling will be minimized for the healers if shield wall is up and makes point 1 easier to manage.

    3. Make sure he's not stacking sunders with Devastate immediately. This ability absolutely sucks for keeping aggro anymore, only stack sunders after you get a few good hits with higher TPS abilities.

    4. Shockwave is a horrible opener on group pulls, in my opinion, by the time the stun wears off the tank will be rage starved and have no way to build threat.

    5. Use a slow weapon and remember for Warriors expertise is one of our best stats to keep aggro not hit, this seems to be overlooked by alot of dps warrior who start tanking.

    Longer post that I wanted but hope it helps.

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