Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Dusted Off My Tank Yesterday...

...and it was a horrible disaster! A friend needed a run through of Azjol-Nerub for his new death knight and his son's moonkin, and I was faced with the decision to either overpower the instance with heals and pug a tank, or to try and tank and pug a healer. In hindsight, the first option would have probably been best, but I decided to dust off Shawndra and put her into the fray. She was specialized well, in the protection tree as she should be, and she had all her Karazhan gear, with the new addition of some plate shoulders. Her glyphs had not been changed out for leveling, as she still had glyph of Revenge, Thunderclap, and a couple other tank specific glyphs. We grabbed my hubby's death knight to round out the party, as there were no healers available, and pugged a healer.

Right from pull one I had trouble gaining rage. I chalked it up to my not knowing how to play a warrior, having been so deeply involved with my priestess. So, I shrugged of having lost aggro to the death knights, and pulled again. My rage starvation continued. I apologized, got to the first boss, and pulled again, hitting my rage generation button and prayed as I started Thunderclapping and using my new AoE stun Shockwave to help the healer keep me up more easily, and hoping it would help to gain on aggro generation. A little better, but I had still very little control over the mobs. But I had more rage! Got to the boss, used devastate, heroic strike, shockwave/thunderclap, and sprinkled in taunts to try and keep him on me. I think I remember dying just before the boss went down. I was resurrected, and we skipped down to the next boss' lair. Pull number one? Wipe! I forgot to mention we had wiped at least once on the way to boss number one, and once pulling the mobs directly in front of same boss. 3 wipes in, our priest says, "You guys are beyond bad." and leaves group. I had disclaimed myself before the run, and apologized after he hearthed out, thanking him for sticking it out. Seems part of my rage starvation was directly the cause of having been bubbled. I didn't say anything to him about that, but started figuring out how to continue this run so my friend could get what he needed. End solution? Pull out the overpowered healer and bring in an overpowered death knight to tank. Instance completed shortly after, no more wipes.

So, where did I go wrong? My hit rating is abysmal. This could have been a problem. I have no doubt that that was a big part of it. No recent practice, and no careful study of other warrior tanking blogs. I need to know what attacks to use, in what order, in different situations. guess I'll be looking over some tanking blogs! And, I need an overpowered healer to back me up while I tank guild runs until I figure out this tanking thing again.

Will I pack Shawndra away in mothballs again? Maybe not, but she definitely isn't my top priority. If you have any suggestions, places to go, stuff to try, alluring tanking items to equip...

Please leave a comment after the article!


Friday said...

I just gotta comment on this one :)

That wasn't a disaster! That was a PUG. Pretty normal one, too.

1. DKs, of all flavor, pull aggro off of tanks all the time. They even pull aggro off each other, because they jump the gun on a pull. That has to do with play style. They grow up thinkin' they're invincible. Not. Couple of you spank it, you tank it lessons usually corrects that. hee hee

2. Doesn't look like you did anything wrong. Warrior tanking is now about prioritizing abilities, rather than a set rotation. Sockwave then Thunderclap then Shield then revenge then sunder and so on. Sunder/Devestate isn't as high a priority any more, as far as threat goes.

3. If you're runnin' with a Priest, set out up front that you want Renew and not PW: Shield. A problem w/ disc priests, but it won't make much difference to your rage generation anyhow. You need a couple more hits before everyone starts turning loose, that's all.

There's a big difference between a tank not holding aggro after threat has been established, and a tank not ever getting to establish aggro because dps/heals starts too early. Sounds like the latter to me.

4. Priest left after 3 wipes? In a PUG? That's someone who shouldn't be PUGing to begin with. No apology to the Priest was necessary. That's a healer that would make my banned list, right off.

The problem there is he didn't say "Look this isn't working... tank can't get enough rage, dps is jumping too early, and I can't heal all four of you at the same time. Can we hang back 3-5 seconds and let tank build up a bit..." No, he said "You guys..." No claim to responsibility for himself, it was the other four that were the problem. Can be relatively sure that he was someone who's been babied with a guild and not use to playing with different classes and group dynamics. Boot and get another.

Ya don't need an overpowered healer, ya just need a good healer. :)

5. Your rage and hit will correct a bit after a few quest reward upgrades from Northrend. Get the quest sword the walrus drops in ZD. It'll do until HoL. Hit harder = more rage (though I still haven't found a slower sword to fix my own rage problems while questing... sigh...).

For threat, ya might consider a bleed build. Mine's set that way if you wanna look (didn't invent this one, but it works). Adds a little bit extra in the threat department.

Ahem... sorry... But people who blame an entire group for something they themselves are part of get me goin'. :)

I'm playing mostly on my Priest, too, the last two weeks. We're rerunning the Outland dungeons for grins and gears. Fun stuff! Might even try Disc soon!


Shawndra said...

Thanks, Friday. You made me feel a little better about things. Your build does look like it merits a try :) After that darned hunter finishes her journey to 80, Shawndra will be next. Thank goodness my altoholic nature is mirrored by many in my guild!

Friday said...

Me too! My guild is full of altaholics. :) Our guild leader just dinged his Lock to 80 and has three more close! (Course pretty sure he's some sort of Chinese gold farmer with a secret leveling guide or something. He levels while in the AH. sheesh!)

It's fun most of the time. Sometimes not. Got all fired up to get Fri through her Argent Crusade rep and spent the last two nights running guild low levels and alts through BRD and Scholo. sigh.

Although it's kinda fun to be able to pull two or three rooms at a time in Scholo. :)

Have fun!