09
Mar
11

raid tank?

My protection paladin so rarely gets called into service.  I keep him in reserve in case the guild needs a tank for a raid, but I don’t try to make him a primary tank.

Why?  Laziness, I suppose.  I learn all the fights from a dps perspective on my rogue.  Its completely different from a tank perspective – especially if you have to mark targets and determine a kill order as a part of tanking.  Its not that I can’t do that.  I just have a long-time habit of focusing on the dps side of things.

Still, my tank toon has managed a few accomplishments.  I tanked a significant portion of Ulduar back in the day when that was current.  I tanked Arthas in our first ever Lich King kill.  In Wrath tanking was easy.  Gear flowed like water and threat was a non-issue.  It was easy to gear up with badges and farm content.

Not so in Cataclysm.  Gear does not fall into your lap as rapidly.  Due to my aversion to tanking heroics  I have not accumulated enough Valor or Justice points to be of use.  And yet, I need this character to be ready in a pinch if the guild is short on tanks.

So I geared through the Auction House.  Ring, both trinkets, gloves, epic boots, epic belt, relic, cloak, sword, and neck were all BoE items purchased from the AH.  My last few pieces were filled in by quest items, and I made my helm with engineering.  That investment (about 25k or so gold) got me to a 340-ish item level… good enough to start raiding.

Admittedly, I am a bit squishy for a raid tank.  My raid-buffed health is 152k – good, but not great.  I’m not so concerned about that.  What concerns me is that I have not tanked a whole bunch since Cataclysm started, so the abilities have yet to become second nature.

This week we brought a new raid group into Bastion of Twilight.  One of our tanks bailed, so I stepped in on Derence.  I got the job of tanking the drakes (Nether Scion and Slate Dragon), along with tank swaps on Halfus due to the stacking Malevolent Strikes debuff.  (Its not the first time I have tanked this raid, but this time was harder due to the drake combination)

Despite my relative lack of practice, everything just clicked for me.  I managed to use every cooldown in the paladin’s toolkit to stay alive.  The timing was great.  Every time my health dropped to 15% or less, I had a damage-reduction ability that was available just in the nick of time.  I even threw out Lay on Hands on a dps when the raid damage was making things dicey.

My healers probably don’t feel as good about it as I do, since they had the job of propping up my yo-yoing health bar.  Still, I’m really happy with the results.  Tanking in Cataclysm is more challenging than it was in Wrath, and it was an enjoyable experience.  My cooldowns were not a luxury, but were a necessary part of survival, so it was important that I knew when and how to use them.  (answer:  whenever they are available!)

Most importantly, I got to help the guild by filling that important role.  If I hadn’t been willing to step up to the plate, the raid would have been canceled and a whole group would have lost the change for their first raid boss kill.

And the best part is that I didn’t have to slog through heroics to get there.  It makes me glad that I pulled in all that profit on inscription back in the good old days.

At my gear level there are limits to how far I can go as an emergency tank.  I could certainly hold my own through Magmaw and Omnitron, but I don’t know if I could get much farther than that without some more gear upgrades.  And without tanking raids my gear upgrades are limited.  Time to check the auction house again…

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3 Responses to “raid tank?”


  1. 1 Arrawnn
    March 10, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Well done – my main is a tank and Halfus can be a tricky fight to tank, especially with all the interrupts, taunting back and forth, and trying to watch your health bar at the same time. That was no easy mix of drakes either! TBH, I find tanking to be much more work (although I enjoy it) – for me, DPSing on my rogue is fun-vacation-r&r time.

    As for gearing up, has it ever been easier? Between faction-rep epics and BoEs, it is entirely feasible to get item level 356+ without ever raiding. BoEs may seem expensive, but we seem to be living in a gold rush economy, and I find it as easy to farm 30k now as 10k back in WoLK days, maybe easier. I have guildies who sometimes complain “it isn’t really worth that much”, but what else are you going to do with all the gold we are making these days? You sure can’t pay your real-life rent with it. Buy your epic upgrades, empowering whoever sold them to buy their epic upgrades, helping everyone gear up faster, thereby encouraging Blizz to get on with releasing new raid content!

    • March 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      “As for gearing up, has it ever been easier?”

      It would be, except that by choosing not to run heroics, I am not getting my faction reps up and not getting any JP or VP. My paladin doesn’t have a single Cataclysm faction at exalted.

      I did every stinking daily quest that there was on my main. I can’t bring myself to grind through them again on my alt.

      But I agree that gold is easy to come buy, so why not spend it? Some of my guildies were appalled that I was going to spend 25k on a Landslide enchant for my new dagger. As you said, I can’t pay the rent with it, so I might as well use it.

  2. March 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    “My healers probably don’t feel as good about it as I do, since they had the job of propping up my yo-yoing health bar”.

    Well as your Primary healer it was a thing of beauty and I greatly appreciated every cool down that flashed across my screen. Healing that fight was the most fun I have had healing in quite a while. :)


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Armory

Dinaer - 90 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 90 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 90 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 90 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 90 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
March 2011
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