New Paladin Tank seeking tricks and must have add-on's
Just before MOP dropped I started playing World of Warcraft. I power leveled a paladin to 85 and now am geared at 90 for raiding. My guild has me set up as off tank for a second raid group they made and i'm wondering what kinds of tips and tricks i should know. Also, what add-ons should i have? I know DBM, GTFO, and Omen, but what else should i have? Like UI or anything else that i'm forgetting. Would mean alot to me if you guys would help me out, thanks.
The single biggest thing that helped me to become a better tank (at least as far as our healers were concerned) was when I realized the importance of knowing your cooldowns and the fight mechanics and how those two intertwined.
The specific encounter/example that I learned this on was Warlord Zon'ozz in Dragon Soul. He has an ability called Psychic Drain that was cast on a timer (DBM gave warnings for it, so you knew when it was coming). At the time, glyphed Divine Protection reduced magical damage by 40% for 10 seconds. Since Psychic Drain was 100% magic damage, DP was the best cooldown to use for that ability, so you needed to save DP for that.
Prior to learning/realizing that, the Psychic Drain ability would nearly kill me depending on if I had a cooldown available or not... which meant we sometimes wiped. After I learned that, it was a trivial thing.
This is just an example, doesn't apply to anything in specific in MoP. I haven't looked up any tanking stuff for MoP as I've switched to DPS.
Beginning tanking can be tricky for anyone. It is often a whole new level of awareness and responsibility. Healers can be close or even harder depending on the fight and the mechanics. For people used to dps, however, it can be a rude awakening. The best thing for a new tank? Time. I realize that’s not what you’re asking for, but I do want to make sure that you have some expectations that even a good player may take a fair amount of time to really feel comfortable with the role. If you can find the right mindset, then stick with it until you are comfortable. Just don’t let others discourage you from learning it if you like it and expect it to take some time.
As to your actual question, here are a few things that I think help me be the best tankadin I can be:
Tidy Plates – this allows you to modify the name plates above mobs’ heads. You will want to turn those on for tanking even if you don’t like them. They will become very helpful to you for awareness while tanking, especially with Tidy Plates
Tidy Plates: Threat Plates – this is a plug in for Tidy Plates. You need both. This is a set of rules or conditions already preset to modify the name plates based on threat. You can set this to change colors, size and transparency based on threat and is a HUGE help any time there is more than one mob.
Who Taunted – puts a line in your chat any time anyone uses a taunt, including pet taunts. For randoms and LFR, this can help you not get frustrated with the morons that keep stealing threat this way. While that is still annoying, at least you know it wasn’t because you were tanking incorrectly with this addon. Now you know they were playing incorrectly and you can let them die with no guilt.
VuhDo – this is a raid frame addon that is popular among healers. It works similar to healbot and one of the core features is click casting like many healers do. I find this useful for every class in one way or another. On my rogue for example, this allows me to easily switch focus and tricks of the trade. On my paladin, it gets a LOT more use. Paladins have a ton of utility and most of it is casted on friendly units. Lay on Hands, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice, Hand of Freedom, and the list goes on. When you are comfortable with your own rotation/survival and fight specific mechanics, you get to start watching the raid frames more for ways to use your utility to make the fight easier. I find this a big difference between a “good” paladin and a “great” one.
I'm sure there are others but those are the big ones that come immediately to mind.
Seconded on Threatplates - those times when you play without add-ons, this is the one I really miss.
It's not tankadin specific, but I would also make a plus for addons that can create auras for different effects etc. It's almost like creating your own interface. For example, for most classes, I create an aura with a sonar beep for when I should do a big attack (e.g. for being at 5 holy power) and a sword zing for when I should do an execute type attack (for paladins, when hammer of wrath can be cast on my target). I used to use PowerAuras for this but when it was not updated quickly with MoP, I switched to Weakauras. These addons can be intimidating to start using, but theckhd has provided some nice ready to use ones for tankadins: