I have noticed that a lot of people seem increasingly disinclined to tank in a PuG.
I think our guild currently has two people willing to tank if the group doesn’t have at least three guildies in it. Even then, there is a strong preference for an all-guild run.
While I certainly understand the sentiment I no longer feel this way myself.
I am now perfectly happy to tank in a PuG even if no guild members are present.
Unless I am on my warrior.
I have been trying to pin down why I have this exception and I think that I have worked it out:
When you don’t have aggro you are basically an off-tank.
Think back to when Naxx was the end-game and dual-spec didn’t exist. There were certain fights where only one tank was needed and so the off-tank would try to be as minimally useless as they could be.
After some testing, I determined my best DPS priority system was this:
- If Sword and Board is up hit Shield Slam
- If you have rage hit Devastate
- Wait for rage
I would swap in as much DPS gear as I could while still staying uncrittable (just in case) and just press those two buttons as often as I could. That was basically all I could do without the rage from incoming attacks.
A lot of tanks subscribe to the “you pull it, you tank it” principle. Given the current gear levels, there are very few fights in heroics where a tank and a healer won’t eventually win even if all the DPS die.
However, if DPS are being uncooperative and AOE before you even look at a pack of mobs, a warrior can get rage-starved and struggle to get back to the point where you have everything hitting you and giving you rage.
Nothing makes you feel like a useless more than trying to pull four mobs off different people when you have no rage.
Now compare that with other classes:
- The blood DK tanking rotation is almost identical to the DPS rotation. Apart from Rune Strike not being available they are not gimped by the fact that things aren’t trying to kill them.
- Paladins lose a little mana regen but with decent gear they aren’t getting healed that much anyway during a 5-man trash pull.
- So long as they have enough rage for a Swipe then bears can generate rage pretty quickly on a pack of mobs.
Add to that the fact that warriors have the weakest AOE threat.
So I have three tanks where I can jump into a group, do what I’m supposed to do and get through the instance. I only minimally have to worry about the healer and I don’t really have to worry about the DPS. If they die of stupidity it’s unlikely to wipe the group so long as I keep things off the healer.
And then I have the warrior where one Recount-obsessed jerk can make every pull a pain.
So for people worried about tanking in a PuG, just focus on your own abilities, let no idiotic behaviour disturb your zen-like calm and hope that you aren’t a warrior.