Adjusting to tanking – first week in Heroic SoO


So our first two nights in heroic SoO with me as a tank are over, and they weren’t too bad. I relied pretty heavily on advice from the other tank (he’s been our guild’s official off-tank for a while, so he’d seen and tanked more of it than I have) but in general there were only two fights I felt like I did poorly on – Heroic Norushen and Heroic Iron Juggernaut. Iron Juggernaut was just a matter of getting to the bombs and then, for whatever reason, not being able to click on them properly even when I was standing right on top of them. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn’t. No idea what was up with that, but I didn’t like it. Norushen I just found the downstairs zone add very difficult if I didn’t go down with Vengeance – there simply wasn’t any margin for error, and it was simply unavoidable that I would make errors when it was my first night tanking the fight on any difficulty. Other than that, I’m not too horrified by my progress. We cleared up to Malkorok on heroic this week and didn’t really wipe that often on any fight – if we’d wiped more than five times on Norushen, I’d be upset, but I believe we got him on our fourth try and everything else was a one or two shot.

That being said, I still feel intensely rusty. One of the big difficulties is working out when it’s best to use Shield Block vs. Barrier – I’m using Block a lot more than Barrier at the moment for Heavy Repercussions and it feels like I’m taking more damage than I should. I’ve improved my gear as much as possible, and I’m standing at about ilevel 571 at the moment, but part of the problem is that I haven’t really given a shit about Valor Points in a long time, and now suddenly I have multiple pieces of tank gear to fully upgrade. I could go run some heroics, I suppose, but people are such toolboxes about running ahead and pulling that I really don’t want to.

In general, tanking feels pretty good. My DPS still isn’t as high as my Guardian Druid co-tank (much less the Blood DK I’m filling in for this week) but it’s been respectable on some fights – H Galakras was basically just a big excuse to wear the DPS cape and Cleave trinket and go nuts. I’m only using the two-piece tanking set bonus because I’d have to drop down to normal pieces to get four – once we have Heroic Thok down I may switch. We’ve had a lot of people stop playing, so people have switched roles and we have new folks to gear up – I’m not in any hurry to worry about Heroic Thok until the rebuilding is done and I’m more secure in my role. I definitely feel like warriors are less equipped than some tanks to go long term without any heals, but by the same token we seem to be very easy to heal – I’ve had no complaints about my being squishy at all, not even on fights like Iron Juggernaut, Nazgrim or Dark Shaman. I found myself using Heroic Leap a lot on Protectors to get away from He and his stupid Gouge. He would start casting it, I would turn and leap away. Worked pretty well. I’m also glyphed for Watchful Eye so I can use Intervene to get away from him.

Heroic Norushen taught me to get comfortable with my Spell Reflection button. Reflecting that add’s cast onto him, when it works (when I don’t screw it up, I mean) was pretty boss.

So far I’d say I’m cautiously happy with where tanking is. It could certainly be better – I definitely don’t feel like TC hits nearly hard enough compared to DK or Druid AoE, and I found myself having to spec Bladestorm for H Galakras threat, even with the Hold the Line glyph. I can’t see using Resonating Power as Prot – having TC get a longer cooldown would make that period of a few seconds when it’s on cooldown and adds spawn just intolerable. Ultimatum Cleaves just don’t hit worth a damn, either – I won’t mind seeing them gone. In general, even with Heavy Repercussions, Curse of Hubris, and a ton of Vengeance I don’t feel like I’m hitting hard enough yet, but I just got a heroic leg and boot upgrade so we’ll see if that helps. I did get a couple of 1.5 million Shield Slams on Garrosh last week, I’ll watch this week and see where it ends up. Shield Block and Barrier are working out okay but I find myself using Enraged Regen a lot, so perhaps I still need to work on when to hit which. Giving up those bigger Shield Slams for more absorbs is a hard trade to convince myself on.

As for the big cooldowns, Last Stand and Shield Wall, they’re reasonable. With the cooldown reduction trinket I have Shield Wall every 1.5 minutes.  That’s pretty nice. I still feel like Shield Wall and Last Stand feel very outdated in terms of what they DO as cooldowns – More Health and Less Damage compared to things like “Come back from the Dead”. But they work okay.

I’m a bit worried about my tank DPS on Heroic Spoils – we’ll see how that works out come Sunday night. I may go with the DPS cloak and AoE trinket again for more oomph.

Anyway, this has been “Matt’s impressions of tanking after almost a year plus off from it”.

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2 Responses to Adjusting to tanking – first week in Heroic SoO

  1. Sounds like you did really well. GJ :)

    Norushen – You should at least do an intervene on your offtank on pull, then hit the orb. You can spare a few seconds, and you should be dropping skull banner for them on pull anyway. The add without vengeance is doable, but i’d reck/bloodbath/dragon roar if I was trying that without vengeance. If you want too, you have the time to just start with the boss, shield slam once or twice, get hit once or twice, then go in. Have your offtank ready to taunt off you and then you can go in there with some decent ap.

    Iron Juggernaut – Last night my 10man actually down this for their first time ( i’m 11/14 ) and I found that there were a few really weird phases with the mines too. I’m not sure if the instance servers were laggy or what, but I always try to click them as I run/charge up to them. You can also click 1 and then another before the first goes off ( if they are close ) and only take damage from one. I had one instance during the Seismic ( we stay far away ) where I got 3 bombs taking damage once since they were stacked tight, but it was laggy as hell. I should have taken damage at least once before the 3rd.

    I think the DPS cloak/cleave trinket on norushen would be awesome If I stayed down below. I take Bladestorm on Gal even though i’m up top and it seems to line up nicely anyway.

    For heroic spoils, remember that no matter what you do, if you get the tank buff, you’re going to be topping meters.

    For the Thunderclap glyph, I can’t live without this one, I find that while the cooldown is longer, its still worth it since it does so much damage on aoe fights (immers/sha/gal). I work around its longer cd with heroic leap, revenge/cleave, and good old tab devastate. Taunting banner for when shit hits the fan. I think that since you’ve had a good run, next week you’d probably be doing a bit more proactive pickup, like on Galakras, so you wouldn’t miss it as much. Its definitely easier when you’re used to the timing.

  2. I thought you did a great job & not a single complaint was heard this week! If you want a pocket healer while working on valor points, give me a yell. I’m always happy to follow tanks around.

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