Just keep tanking, just keep tanking

What do we do, we tank, tank….

Okay, aside from channeling Dory, what am I on about this time?

I’ve been having fun, trying to balance my time between what I’ve done for years, Bear tanking, and what I’ve just started having fun with, Tree healing.

I love healing, simply from the fact that it is new. Totally new. Not new like “Oh look I’m playing a different class that does melee DPS”, or “Oh look I’m playing a different class that does ranged DPS”, but “Omigod the entire party lives or dies depending on my whim. I am like unto a god! Muahahahahahaaaa!”


Sorry about that.

So anyway, tanking fun with Bears, oh my!

I was recently asked to answer some questions by Sylly of Rolling Hots, about Bear tanking… Bear tanking and what a healer ought to know.

It’s just one of a series that Rolling Hots did, introducing healers to each of the tanking classes, in the words of those that do the tanking themselves. It’s a nice idea, and she did a great job with it. Very good read.

Along the way, answering questions made me think about how the cahnges to Swipe ahve changed how I tank sometimes when I’m having fun, things I really haven’t talked too much about here.

How silly of me. I have long gotten tired of telling people who are already experts at Bear tanking things they already know about Bear tanking. But this… this is fun stuff that people might not have thought about or tried just yet! Well, shoot, that right there is worthy of a blog post!

Although the novelty of me writing about Bear tanking may cause long time readers to go into terminal shock.

I’ll risk it. */shiftyeyes*

Okay, so, things you already know.

  • Swipe is instant cast based on Rage (and the global cooldown).
  • Swipe affects a 360 degree around the Bear.
  • The target of Swipe does not have to be physically in range for Swipe to activate, and Swipe still will hit those other targets that ARE within range.
  • Bears cannot Dodge targets behind them.
  • Bears can cast Swipe while moving.

So here’s where I relate my fun.

In Culling of Stratholme/Heroic CoS, you could say the instance has three phases. The first phase would be the 10 waves, the second phase would be the Dragonkin battles in the Inn, and the third phase would be keeping that young punk ass Arthas alive as you run flat out through undead pafter the Inn, before you reach the final confrontation with Mal’Ganis (or rescue the dragon fro Chromie if you’re speedy enough on heroic).

So phase three. You’ve got Arthas, and lots of undead scrubs, and some elite undead and cultists of various types. Arthas loves to run ahead, and the undead has a very fast respawn rate, making slowing down too much a pain.

The normal progression of pulling/fighting in phase three makes for predictable difficulties.

Normally, a tank pulls (or charges), or at the least walks forward to attack a mob. Then, the melee DPS and pets run behind the mob to attack unaffected by Dodge.

Well, thats normally just fine, but with the fast spawn and frequent pathing movement of the undead in CoS phase three, this often results in the melee DPS being seen and attacked by the undead.

This FREQUENTLY happens if you did things the normal way.

Obviously all tanks that do Culling of Stratholme have worked out ways to address this.

For myself, the way I’ve found that is the most fun is to do the same thing you do when tanking Grobbulus in Naxxramas; kite your mobs while walking or moving backwards, and keep Swipe up in your rotation.

This lets you see everyone in front of you, so if one slips by on the right or left, you can Growl them at range back in to you.

As you waddle backwards, you are naturally attracting the attention of all the mobs first. You’re the first thing they see, so your melee players aren’t getting bothered. Sure, your healer is kept hustling to keep up, which is not nice… but they don’t have to spend so much time panic healing the DPS.

Yes, as you waddle backwards you are tanking with your butt… but as you continue to move, you move past the mobs, and gather them in… in front of you, where Dodge DOES work. So your window of vulnerability without Dodge is limited per mob as you are moving. Once you stop, IF you stop, that’s the time to adjust to get ’em all in front of you.

It’s fun. I find I like tanking with my butt. 🙂

Than you again to Sylly for getting me back into thinking about blogging about Bear stuffs… it is fun. I should do it more often!


8 thoughts on “Just keep tanking, just keep tanking

  1. rofl that I could be an inspiration for a post about… quite literally… bear butt tanking… this is beyond priceless. I feel so very, VERY special! Someone hand me the phone… I have to call my mom…


  2. I knew there was a reason I keep reading your blog 😀

    And belive me, we’re not all experts and we don’t all have your experience of tanking.


  3. Reading that article in in Rolling Hots was kind of interesting seeing how one aspect was stated as a weakness by one of you just to find another one stating it as a strength. It really is worth reading by everyone dealing with bears and you should take it slow and actually think about what is stated by the different writers since they apparently sees things quite differently.


  4. BBB, seems we both stumbled on the fundementals of bear tanking CoS using our BUTTS. I only failed to beat the timer on the very first heroic CoS timed run I tanked, until I stumbled on this lovely “Moonwalking” tanking strat for the undead alley of hell. Since then I have done a heck of alot of runs to help guildies get thier drake mounts, and haven’t tried it any other way. Also wanted to add, it was great reading your responses to Syll’s questions on her blog, always helps seeing things through the eyes of another bear sometimes. Also a BIG thank you to Syll for pointing the way to your blog, been reading it for awhile now and always enjoy your storys and ramblings. Please keep it going and as always RAWR!


  5. Hey 3B, good to see you going on about something we share a love in: Butt tanking!

    On the topic of the article you participated in, I thought it was interesting to read the different replies but only yours really impressed me on all the answers. Mainly because they’re related not so much to class mechanics (tho I thought those insights were wonderful), but universal tanking skills. Communication being a big one.

    You’re also probably the only, yes, *only* blogger I’ve ever heard mention the Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration. While it isn’t a built-in class feature, any dedicated bear simply should have this glyph. The self-heal is enough to keep you stabled in a 5 man environment (especially when you out-gear it) for some healer recovery, but it doesn’t hold up well in a boss tanking raid situation. But the 20% heals? A raid saver.

    One thing that all of you who said Savage Defense effects anything besides physical hits should be batted with a rolled up newspaper for (bad bears!) stating that Savage Defense works against magic damage. It does not. Heck, it even says as such in the ability description:

    “Each time you deal a critical strike while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form, you gain Savage Defense, reducing the damage taken from the next physical attack that strikes you by 25% of your attack power.”

    Emphasis mine.

    I wouldn’t expect a healer who has to solicit this info from tanking classes to catch that, two out of four bears not only neglecting to catch that but to state it incorrectly? Boo!

    Also, boo on the bear who said that we don’t handle trash well. Trash is place where I feel like I excel. The amount of critting we do and, by extension, the number of Savage Defense procs we get grows with the size of the pack. Trash is an excellent time to put on your Agility-heavy avoidance set as well. Tho generally any physical fight is when you want your avoidance high.


  6. “Tanking with our butts”. Heh. I love it.

    The bubble is better than I originally thought… but I still want the 20k armor I lost back.

    The interview link, she is broken…


  7. Love this post; tanking with your butt. I’m trying to get my horde druid up to 80 and will likely do resto, but I want to try tanking. I have no clue how to do it, i sorta tinkered with tanking in TBC, but now what. So, more like this pls!


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