I’m working on Bear Tanking tips pre-Cataclysm

I am not ready for a real post yet, but I’m working on it.

See, the first thing is, there are bugs we still have to contend with. As was noted, Skull Bash ain’t working right, for one thing. It’s hard to make any kind of definitive statement when things are NOT at a live and ready state.

Who would figure that when it went live, it still wouldn’t be ready to write about.

Going along with that is the fact they’ve already announced an upcoming change to Swipe. It’s currently got a 6 second cooldown and 30 Rage cost, so using it up front for initial aggro takes some planning. Like, popping Enrage, letting Rage build up and the 10% damage taken increased buff fall off, THEN Feral Charge and Swipe.

More steps, but doable, right? And with our Talents, Swipe on multiple mobs should give us back some fast Rage to keep going with single target threat. Hit one mob with Feral Faerie Fire, tab to a second for Mangle, tab a third and hit Maul if you’ve got enough Rage, and then settle in on your main marked kill target.

Should work, right? 

But they already plan on changing it to a cheaper cost… 15 Rage. Hey, makes it easier to use early, so that’s good. Isn’t it?

Well, to be fair they’re also cutting it’s damage and threat generation by 50%. AND the 6 second cooldown stays the same.

That’s, frankly, gonna bite.

I can see why they would go that way… they want us to be able to stay ahead of Healer threat on groups, but ONLY Healer threat. They want DPS to have to pay attention, focus on specific targets as part of the team, and suffer the consequences for sloppy play. Sloppy in this case meaning hitting any other target besides the one the Tank is focusing the majority of their attention on.

This is NOT the end of the world. But it can sure feel like it.

Obviously, those of us that’ve been doing this for a while remember quite clearly the days of Burning Crusade. We didn’t have Swipe then, we didn’t have Berserk and a 3 target Mangle, and we managed. We got by.

Boy, was my blog popular. Why? ‘Cause all I talked about was tanking lots of mobs without AoE threat generation. lol. Go figure.

See, we could do it, but it took work, and it took the willing assistance of our friends amongst the DPS to perform crowd control on marked mobs, watch their threat levels on individual mobs with Omen, attack only the designated targets in the designated order, and to not break crowd control once applied.

The key difference here, of course, is that the Burning Crusade content was tuned for crowd control and single target threat generation, and the times when we fought groups we had 3 to 4 mobs, rarely 5, and everyone was used to that.

Wrath of the Lich King not only introduced the AoE threat generation all tanks had asked for, but it had also introduced upper level content that was designed with large scale threat generation in mind.

Instead of 3 or 4 mob groups, we got 5+. Lots of group encounters, situations where little guys go running willy-nilly everywhere.

Your very first trip into Utgardt Keep gave you an idea of what was to come.

The challenge became how to pull everyone close together to get them in range of your AoE. Silencing ranged casters or pulling them with Death Grip became the new “I wish I had that” tank envy ability.

Me, I loved, and STILL love, being able to bop back and forth from mob to mob with Feral Charge to apply threat on whoever needs it but ain’t coming. It was our own thang, and I liked it that way. I still like the concept of Skull Bash, and my only gripe is I think they made it expensive for us to use with a reduced range because of it’s awesomeness in PvP. Which, I don’t do. But hey, we take what we get.

Now, we’re back to Burning Crusade basics. We’ve still got new modern doodads like AoE Swipe, but it’s been drastically reduced in effectiveness and availability.

But we still have the Wrath of the Lich King design.

I don’t have an immediate answer for you on how to make this work until Cataclysm. I did want you to know I’m working on it. I’m going to do my best to test things out, and try to come up with an updated guide. Probably after the Raid from the Heart.

Short term, now more than ever I think Tidy Plates and Threat Plates are a must-have set of addons for Bear Tanks (available from Curse). Knowing exactly who you are losing aggro on at any given time is the key to knowing who to target in what priority to apply Growl, Mangle, Feral Faerie Fire or Maul to. Or use Challenging Roar, which I see getting more and more valuable now.

In the meantime, until I can do some in-game testing with the live build and get some better modern day tactics described incorporating our current spells and Talents, I invite you to refresh yourself on the basics with Threat mechanics and the concepts of tanking multiple targets without AoE threat generation by reading this ancient post of mine from 2007 concerning exactly that;

Bear Tanking Strategies for Multiple Mobs

It’s very, very old, but threat mechanics themselves haven’t changed. Rage generation has.

If we could do it back then without Threat Plates or Swipe or Glyphed Maul, by damn we can figure it out now.

I can tell you right up front what the most valuable ingredient is going to be; playing with people that know how to play old school style, instead of being rock star AoE hit whatever they like balls to the wall DPS meter demons.

I cannot WAIT to tank my first LFG random. It’s going to be so much FUN!

35 thoughts on “I’m working on Bear Tanking tips pre-Cataclysm

  1. Hey BBB —

    Long time reader here, eternal fan. 🙂

    If you’re still working on a new tanking guide, I’d love to help you for once as karmic payback for all the times you’ve helped me.

    I’m our guild’s backup main tank for ICC 25, and I took the plunge and hopped on the PTR, and worked on playing with rotations and getting the feel of it.

    When the patch went live, I volunteered to help folks play with their new skills. And the first thing we got? HoR. x.x

    Now, I have an advantage most bear tanks don’t — I have a tanking warrior as well, so the 6 second Swipe is the same thing as Thunderclap for me. After griping about the lack of a secondary AoE attack (Warriors have Cleave) and thinking about glyphing Maul, I hit on this rotation:

    Tab-Lacerate everything. That’s still on the GCD. It’s a bleed, so it generates threat even when you don’t have something on it. With that many bleeders going on at the same time, you start proc’ing Berserks a lot faster, and now you’ll have a running free 3-target mangle on a GCD to use whenever it pops. In between your Lacerate-o-spam, don’t forget to hit Swipe/Maul whenever their cooldowns come up, too. 🙂

    I’ve only been using Pulverize on bosses. The berserk proc is way more important to me, especially when you have a free fear break running — Marwyn did not find my pears to be at all delicious. 😀

    Worked fine for ICC/25 two weeks running, and the T9 2-set bonus is a good thing to keep around for the DPS who haven’t got a clue yet.

    Keep on tankin’,
    -Tielyn Pawtucking, Head Gerbil Wrangler of Prophecy


  2. Hey BBB/Guys!

    First of all, I know I am posting in an old thread but I would like to share my experiences as a Bear tank who pretty much started his journey from 1 > 80 in the wotlk expansion… I tanked Vanilla and BC instances with some issues but nothing too promlematic but as soon as I hit wotlk I had no issues except from when I was going from norms to hero and had no gear.

    Now that I am geared with JP/ICC 5 man heroic gear I had no isses, then came 4.01 *arrrrrghhhh* I used to rely heavily on Macros but now I am at a loss, I am unable to hold agro on more then 3 mobs and was wondering if you guys could offer some pointers/macro details for some form of AoE tanking for 4.01

    I am not interested in Raiding as much on this toon as I leave that for my mage but the druid is for fast queue ups for mates to insta-dungeon, but at the moment I am no use, any help would be much appreciated.


    Vaeltarn – Proudmoore.


  3. Hey BBB,

    Well I ran an ICC 10 man raid the other day as my first new tanking style experience and I hated it from the first pull to the last boss kill of the night.

    Rotations have changed, threat mechanics on abilities have changed and it all seems a bit messed up right now.

    After reading other sites and trying to get some feedback from other bears, it was refreshing to come on here and see your post.

    Since that night, I have remained kitty dps for inances and dare not return to tanking for now.

    Thing is, the tanking went fine, no major screw ups, everything went OK. But I ddn’t feel like I knew what I was doing and I didn’t have that feeling of agression I used to get from bear tanking, it felt more like a Paladin tank… horrible.

    Plus side was, I pulled 10k dps as a tank over the nights raid – there might be some balance issues *grin*

    Looking forward to your updated post on bear tanking when you get time to complete it.


  4. Combining Barkskin with Enrage is also an option, both have 1 min cd’s, and barkskin’s, and the combo leaves you with 10% damage decrease, and up to 15% increased damage (with king of the jungle). I generally use that combo on cd in dungeons the extra threat and rage are so handy at the start of pulls.


  5. With 4x T10 gear, Enrage reduces damage by 12%, which is a net decrease in damage by 2%, so you can still Enrage in combat (and perhaps even talent into KotJ


  6. Dear BBB,

    Hello, I am also a bear tank. I have been goofing around a little bit with the threat rotations and such in LFG today (I am brave because I brought some friends). From what I’m seeing, and from the tooltips I’m reading, lacerate is now a really big front-loaded threat move with the bleed portion counting for significantly less than it used to. As well, it’s almost the only thing we got left that isn’t on a cooldown. What I’ve been doing for trash packs, sounds a lot like your first idea of popping enrage and then waiting for the damage debuff to go away, then running in, swiping, demo roaring, and then throwing mangle on cooldown, lacerates as fast as I can chuck them, and Pulverizing any time I see 3 lacerates on anything, with swipe on cooldown and demo roar and FFF thrown in as soon as I can. I’m also finding Skull Bash and Pulverize even with less than full lacerate stacks to be excellent moves to pull a mob back onto you. All this seems to be doing very well, I’ve had a few people whispering me after a dungeon and telling me “good job” rather than “You suck”.

    What I think I see, from my practice, is that instead of swipe being the fill-in spell, a lot of tab-lacerate-pulverize seems to be the go-to method of maintaining a lot of AoE threat. It’s rough right now, but I think once Cata goes live it will get slightly easier.

    I think a lot of the problems I’m seeing stem from the fact that as of this patch, we can no longer play like we’re at level cap. We’re technically level capped, but we’re capped at level 80 in a level 85 environment. Everyone is missing spells and talents at this point, and unfortunately, I think Thrash is going to play a major role in our play style. When you have 2 nice AoE threat abilities on a 6-second cooldown, it means you’re throwing around AoE threat every 3 seconds, which is a lot more manageable than the current situation.

    For now, I’m reveling in the challenge, and getting better as a player for it, I think. I never had to go through the TBC or Vanilla days of tanking, so all the efforts I made to maintain absolute control of a fight went unnoticed at best and mocked at worst… until now. And I think going forward, as things settle down and everyone gets their whole toolbox in order, it will get easier. But I doubt we’ll ever see the days of “Sleep on keyboard, Win at Threat” again.


  7. Hey BBB,

    Here are my thoughts on the game mechanics. Basically what people need to understand is that Cataclysm dropped on Tuesday. No ifs, ands, or butts about it. The mechanics are in game. Now we are just missing the content. Tanking is more challenging which is great in my opinion. I stopped using my balance druid because I got bored with him. This is what I have to say about it: hey dps, wake your asses up! I mean seriously. The game changed, stop dropping starfall on every mob or get used to dying in cataclysm. Pay attention to what the tank is doing and let him get some threat! Last night I tanked for the first time with the new patch. I picked nexus for myself so I could run through and get a feel for things. There was only one multi-mob in the entire place I held threat on because the boomkin continued to drop starfall and hurricane on EVERYTHING. I’ve never been so stressed while tanking.

    /rant /QQ

    I will be focusing on the rotations you’ve laid out up above. Always great to read up on your blog and tips.


  8. My bear just hit 80 (tanking all the way) the day before the patch. I was about 3800GS and I have been slamming heroics for 2 days now to get new gear and JP. I’m now about 4700 GS and I haven’t had a SINGLE problem in heroics (I have done them all since the patch. I can hold aggro just as fine an occasional mob gets loose but I snap it right back. I paniced liek everyone else at first and when describing my issues to a warrior friend he said it sounds like they made us alot like war tanks and gave me tips on how he does things and it worked. The biggest difference is I have to try, and I have to pay attention. No more swipe spam. So consider that many of you long time bears may have just gotten comfortable in your ways and it’s time to get back to actually playing instead of mindless swiping?

    krowdKontrol – Deathwing


  9. @Minos, I think that I was in that group with you. lol
    Seriously though, we did HPoS last night and the Pally tank was having trouble holding aggro off of a DK doing almost 7k. When asked if he could tone down the dps a little he said “I’ll just stop hitting stuff then” I was doing 3k in Boomkin ’cause I could see that the tank was having trouble getting his bearings after the new patch (and it was just PoS for cripes sake). Everybody has to relearn their toons, right? My owlbear dps or a DK dps is easier to learn than a pally tank. Cut the guy some slack, right?
    My son was sitting beside me healing on his pally and I told him: “he yanks it, he tanks it. If the DK continues to intentionally try to keep aggro from the tank, blacklist him on Healbot”. After a few times being rezzed, he got mad whispered my son (the healer) a few choice words and left. The best thing that he coulda done for the group. The rest of the instance went as slick as snot on a doorknob.


  10. Pingback: Tanking Without the Tools the Environment was Designed for. « Feral Instincts

  11. Hey mate thx for this inspireing message. You got me remembering the good old days, geeze i was stuck too long in this aoefest. I was kinda sad when i saw al the changes coming but tbh tanking was a lot more fun back in the days before aoefest. You made me realize it and i’d like to thank you for it. now i’m ready to get my talents and glyphs up tonight and go for icc again, lol was almost thinking of just stay healer and do nothing xcept spam rejuve regrowt and LB or the ocassional WG. thanks a lot mate you made my day for sure. ./bow

    grtz shar


  12. So after hiding in the corner yesterday and refusing to spec at all I finally woke up after reading all day yesterday and learning all the new things and the changes, and decided to Spec Feral tank which I have been since about 5+ years ago. I reglyphed, reforged some things for Mastery stats, and then hopped in a LFG. First thing that happened is I crashed in the loading screen, but I got back on the horse, it loaded and I tanked Hall of Reflection. I loved it, I marked what I was targetting and people had to listen or die. (First couple pulls were a little heal intensive) We worked through it, and our group did just fine.

    I’m really liking the changes to feral tanking. Though I have to stress that Mastery is very important as a survivability stat.

    Thank you BBB for your help through the years!


  13. Lol, I’m not offended Enk, I’m just confused! BUt no, that’s fine. I was just giving a cursory throwaway sentence as an establishing point rather than trying to get into the details of what happened, anyway. As with any drastic oversimplification, you have to hope your audience is willing to go along with the main point, and forgive you the fine details.

    No worries. 🙂 And look! There was discussion! This is a good thing!

    Dechion, I am shocked that you are not already an accomplished tank. After all, we both know you know how to play and gear, so shake it off and get out there!

    Me, I have no idea about how to spec or Glyph my tree build. I kinda did my Druid and made every Druid Glyph out there, just to have ’em. Then I played with speccing my Mage, and hey, look, time to go to bed.

    In other news, still no volunteers for Alliance Mages for Saturday’s Raid ffrom the Heart. I’m actually pretty upset about this now, I really wish I had leveled my Mage before this now.


  14. Alrighty, I am looking forward to your posts on how to tank in the post 4.0.1 world.

    I logged in to my tree, remembered my tree was gone, and respecced Feral tanking.

    Now I just need to learn to play (and learn to gear)


  15. Pit of Saron and even HoL (did do HoS, but the Brann event is gnarly with the random group spawns) is extremely hard to do like it was before 4.0.1 You can’t just AoE the ramp groups, or even the Ice Tunnel. AoE threat generating is GONE, which is perfectly understandable, AE tanking in wotlk was the norm, they gave us 360 degree swipe, they gave dk’s blood boil/dnd, Shockwave and Thunderclap to other classes (Even gave AE spells to non AE classes, Fan of Knives for Rogues, NEW CATA TALENT Earthquake for Shaman [hows that for kick in the groin, no more AE tank, but your 31pt mastery is an AE spell]), but to take it out while wrath is still the end game… makes no sense.

    I just really have a hard time understanding why they are releasing the patch now, but expect us to do current content, with the builds that are meant for Cata. We are going back to the SSC days of Mages spamming, “SoAndSo just broke Poly, they broke it they tank it!!!” in raid chat.

    I mean, 6 second Swipe… OK, I can deal with it, FFF, Growl for runners, Challenging Roar for emergencies, Mangle and even the ???? 30 ???? cost Maul. but nerfing it even harder… Cat DPS LFG.

    I for one, won’t be using the LFG tool anytime soon, its all guild all the time.


  16. Enk, sure, you can list situations where tanks working with their group properly will have no problems whatsoever, which I’m pretty sure I implied. But I can also list situations where being able to handle multiple mobs quickly is important and that I’d like to provide some suggestions for, such as the Brann timed encounter in Halls of Stone against the waves.

    Right, but it’s no worse than TBC. Actually, for Warrior tanks at least, it’s still a darn sight easier than TBC was. The Brann event in Heroic Halls of Stone is downright easy compared with Heroic Shattered Halls. 6+ mob pulls when Thunderclap only hit 4 of them, they hit like trucks, and Thunderclap wasn’t enough to out-threat healing aggro … /shudder. Heroic Halls of Reflection is much easier than Heroic Magister’s Terrace was.

    I think (the only) point of disagreement between us is what led to the change to the CCless AoEfest of WotLK. You seem to feel that instance design changed where the developers made us use our new tools.

    I feel it was a combination of instance design giving less dangerous mobs (can tank a whole pack in blues without going *splat*) and supercharged tank AoE threat. So where before you had to CC mobs, there was no advantage to doing so in WotLK. And when you don’t need to CC mobs AND a good tank can keep up with any and all AoE threat, there’s little reason to do anything but AoE zerg an instance.

    Anyway, I certainly hope I didn’t offend you with what I said. Just had a minor disagreement over the etiology of WotLK AoE – I agreed with 99% of your post. 🙂


  17. OKay, and I don’t see it again

    How can you say group sizes are the same between the two? After I listed Brann, Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection right off the top of my head?

    Is it the word trash that people are getting hung up on?


  18. @Habba

    I can only speak for myself on this, but I wasn’t trying to invalidate BBB’s point about the number of mobs pulled. More CC was used and, subsequently, less mobs were pulled in BC – without a doubt.

    The disagreement, as I understand it, comes moreso from a point of design. BBB suggested that more trash was pulled in Wrath because there was more to pull. But when comparing BC dungeons to Wrath dungeons, trash packs are of similar size. So, yes, tanks pulled more trash in Wrath than BC, but because they had the tools to manage it, not because there was more trash to deal with. It’s mulling over the finer details of cause and effect, that’s all.

    I also don’t think anyone suggested that non-elites weren’t dangerous. I was just using it as an example for trash size. When trash packs exceeded 5 mobs, it usually involved a larger group of non-elites, but there aren’t any (intentional) pulls with more than 5 elites in Wrath. I think we only got up to 5 elites with the ICC 5-mans, really.


  19. I agree that LFG tanking would be really awful right now.. I predict an upswing of pally and DK tanks and a slight down tick in furry tanks. (no they don’t have ticks…) the die hard ferals i predict will run as kittehs till things normalize. give it a month or so for the new patch smell to finally be washed off. (leave it to your own imagination what that smell is.) Course about that time the expansion should be rolling into view so.. give it another month for things to settle down.

    Of course, there will then be the leveling race to get from 80-85, and a large portion of the population will be doing the 1-85 run on their shiny new goblins, worgens, and the troll druids. (ya mon, don worry bout a ting….)

    so I wouldn’t expect any decent population at max level to do LFG for another 3-4 weeks after the expansion.

    Also, every class will be re-learning how to play. Those poor hunters will have to deal with focus instead of finding ways to increase their mana pools. everyone is stuck in one tree till they max it and unlock access to the others so no more hybrid builds taking the best of the low talents in each group.

    Good luck guys, I might come join y’all in a few months once the bugs are worked out, and the bugs added by the bugfixes.


  20. Speaking of Thorns, WHY isn’t it castable in bear form? We’re already pretty busy with managing the new Swipe/Maul cooldowns and Lacerate/Pulverize cycles, but I think maintaining Thorns would have been an interesting way to break up the swipe spam instead.


  21. OKay, gotcha. I just wasn’t getting it, but that makes perfect sense. Thank you very much! Sometimes, you’ve just got to hit the bear in the head over and over and over before something gets through. 🙂


  22. I think Enk, Sarabian and, Naturalregis are actually demonstrating one of the main themes of your post BBB. Maybe I’m mis-remembering but, I don’t recall a situation in BC tanking where I ever thought to myself, “it’s OK these random non-elites aren’t a big concern to be picked up and if they get pulled off by AoE and smack a DPS it’s fine”.

    Perhaps I misinterpreted what their posts are trying to get across regarding instance design but, I haven’t seen that type of attitude before the Wrath mentality of the only thing that can actually hurt anyone in the group is the elite and even then it’s not that big a deal.

    So while yes you may be able to say “there are only 4 elites in pack X” that does not invalidate BBB’s point that the number of mobs in the pull elite or non-elite are generally higher in a Wrath dungeon than in a BC dungeon.

    Through the first raid night after the 4.0 patch I was actually surprised at how few aggro problems I did have. Thorns was definitely buoying tank threat for us especially on trash packs (lol at 15k DPS on trash with thorns on CD) even before we realized that we should be using thorns we only had a few aggro pulls. This will probably change when swipe gets nerfed though :(.


  23. I guess what I (and maybe Enk & Sarabian) was trying to say is that the dungeon design isn’t really different, which you may have suggested. And that’s not the difficulty with the changes to our tanking tools. The difficulty will be the folk who don’t know the limitations of these revised tools.


  24. I think where they believe you are wrong is the groups of +5. There really aren’t any situations with more than +4 bits of trash, barring a few pulls with non-elites. (ie: Occulus) That, and there are a few cases in BC where you have some pretty big trash pulls as well.

    Outside of that, I can’t see what’s wrong. AoE threat generation was designed to out-threat everyone. And now it’s just meant to out-threat the healer.

    I do agree with Enk’s last sentiment: “The trick is going to be getting all of the DPS that WotLK spoiled out of the “MUST AOE AS HARD AND QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE” mindset.”

    Our DPS friends are going to have to learn the limitations of tank threat and that skull means “KILL FIRST”. Unfortunately, I think it will take a few untimely deaths in Cataclysm content before that message gets across to most of the masses.


  25. I really don’t like that they keep nerfing all these abilities. I understand that they want to change the way that people play (from more aoe to single target) and that can be hard but people have gotten used to really fast instances. When they need to start cc-ing targets and the instance takes longer than they think it should then bickering starts. Remember when Magister’s Terrace came out and you couldn’t find people to go unless there was a warlock and/or mage in it for cc.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the changes they are putting in but imo they are bringing back some of the nightmare of yesteryear where it was “never dps’ fault when they pull off the tank. It is always the tanks fault.” I have heard that battlecry since vanilla wow. That is why I actually have enjoyed playing my tank lately because I can hold on to mobs even with triggerhappy dps.

    As I said I understand why they are trying to do some of this stuff but if they make it harder for people to tank then they might find themselves with a shortage of tanks like they had for so long. I know I for one will not play mine anymore if all I have to hear the whole time I play is dps bitching about tanking or healing or whatever.


  26. Well my first post here.

    I also did a heroic last night getting Halls of Stone, and I have to say it was really hard to tank it. I don’t know how warriors are doing with AOE tanking right now, but coming from swipe every GCD you needed it, to once every 6 seconds was hard to get used to. I was having real problems keeping those little air elemental adds that spawn under control, and the Bran fight was just very messy. As both previous commenter used warriors for their instance runs, it might have been a combination of shockwave and thunderclap helped, and maybe just that as Warriors they were used to managing abilities with cooldowns for AOE tanking in the first place.

    I was less the pleased with the healer we got from LFG who was jumping up and down doing the whole go go go go go thing while the DPS and myself were trying to get used to a very different skill set.

    I do think that I’m getting even more single target threat then I used to, but I don’t think I’ll be much use on that first hallway in ICC, or those big packs at the start of the plague wing.


  27. I’m just so glad that I’m not alone. I was whimpering in the corner, rocking myself for comfort after a heroic last night, wondering if I could ever face LFG again….


  28. OKay, now Sarabian agrees with Enk that I was wrong. Someone, please tell me, what did I say that was wrong? I’m still not seeing it, but if you’re going to take the time to say you agree with Enk that I’m wrong, I’d really like to know where.


  29. Enk, sure, you can list situations where tanks working with their group properly will have no problems whatsoever, which I’m pretty sure I implied. But I can also list situations where being able to handle multiple mobs quickly is important and that I’d like to provide some suggestions for, such as the Brann timed encounter in Halls of Stone against the waves.

    I don’t believe I ever said we couldn’t do it, I just said that with the difference in emphasis in content tuned to assume we had different tools than we do now, it was gonna take me a little time to rewrite some suggestions and tips for getting it done. And yes, there are were encounters designed with the new mechanics in mind.

    Sure, “most” WotLK content is no harder when done with a good group that knows what they’re doing. But “some” WotLK content DOES require careful consideration of the tools available to us. Such as Halls of Reflection during the first two bosses, the waves during the Brann encounter in Halls of Stone, the groups up the ramp and at the top of the ramp in Pit of Saron, the frost tunnel in Pit of Saron, etc.

    I agree with most everything you said, I guess I just don’t see where what I wrote made you feel I was portraying things differently than they are. Maybe I messed up and made it sound like everything was “oh nooes!”. I can see that. 🙂

    Regardless, to finish up the same as in the post, I need to do some testing to figure out how to best incorporate what we’ve got for tools into the changed situation before I give any advice for newer tanks unfamiliar with the old style of doing things, but there’s nothing in Wrath that can’t be done as it is with a good group, which is I think the core of your point. We could handle Shattered Halls, so we can handle this.


  30. I agree with Enk. I just did my first warrior tank heroic and it’s changed just enough to really throw you off. Now I have to try the paladin and see how that is. My druid is still only 77, but that should be interesting as well.

    I’m still pissed they took my tree and screwed with it.


  31. BBB, I have to respectfully disagree with a portion of your post.

    If you look at most WotLK content, it’s no harder to tank than TBC content. And the majority of WotLK content can be done using TBC strategies. Even if you look at UK, most of the ‘big’ pulls are four elite mobs. Heck, there were a bunch of 4-5 mob pulls in Ramparts (think for example the casters pumping up the one melee guy)!

    VH has groups of at most 4. The biggest group (excepting non-elites) in Oculus is 4. UP has groups of 4 mobs tops. CoS has no more than 4 elites in a group (sometimes with additional trash mobs that don’t hit hard enough to be a concern). AN – groups of 4. AK – groups of 4. Nexus – groups of 2-4 elites (occasionally additional normal mobs).

    What changed wasn’t instance design. It was that tank AoE threat went through the ROOF, and heroic mobs weren’t as dangerous as they had been in TBC. So the optimal strategy went from “CC everything possible and single target” to “pull three groups, then AoE them down”.

    I ran a few heroics as a (warrior) tank last night, including HoR without CC. Threat is definitely harder than pre-4.0. But in general, if you can just get DPS to single target down a skull first, you should have a solid grip on the rest of them, even if DPS then decides to AoE the bejeezus out of them.

    The trick is going to be getting all of the DPS that WotLK spoiled out of the “MUST AOE AS HARD AND QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE” mindset. And it is going to be tough to do. If you can though, you’ll find that WotLK heroics are going to be a walk in the park for you.


  32. The reduction in AoE threat is already pretty brutal, and now it’s going down even more? After testing things out in a Heroic Pit of Saron last night, I resolved to not tank randoms for the rest of Wrath. I’ll do them with guildmates, but dealing with AoE happy gogogogo DPS is even less fun than it used to be. And players as a group aren’t going to change their style until things start killing them in the Cataclysm dungeons.


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