CD usage / Heroic Guides for Tanks

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CD usage / Heroic Guides for Tanks

Postby Jeroboam » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:50 am

After the exodus of several of the top tanks from our guild this week, I have been asked to step into that role by my guild. I did tank a bit in BC and a little in Wrath, but never as MT and not at this level of progression.

It hasn't been horrible, but the feedback that I'm getting from my RL in heroics and raids is that I need to step up my CD usage and awareness. I'm hoping this forum can provide some advice.

How often should I be using me cooldowns and when? Since I'm tanking most of the trash and boss for the first time, I tend to be reactionary, and hit the CD's when I see my health dropping sharply. Usually I use them in the following order: Engineering Shield, Divine Protection, GotAK, AD, LoH. I also hit WoG whenever HS is not in danger of going down and I have 3 HP.

Should I be saving these for critical moments or should I be popping most of them as they come up? How should I prioritize CDs and should I be popping them before I need them (anticipating damage spikes)? Also, is there a resource to help me learn the trash and bosses from a tank's perspective?

I'm pretty sure my gear is set up well, but I'll submit armory link here if anyone would like to comment.

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Re: CD usage / Heroic Guides for Tanks

Postby inthedrops » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:52 pm

ll of your questions are very broad and answers cannot be consolidated. For example, every single boss, and every raid comp you're in can change when and how to use your personal cooldowns.

The best advice I can give is to REALLY pay attention to the timing of boss abilities. For example, if one particular scary ability happens every 1 minute or so, then you can easily time Divine Protection around it. It might not be the right thing to do, but the more you do a certain fight the more you get a feel for things.

Also, as a tank in a raid it's important that you understand all of the mechanics. The more you understand the healers challenges for example, the better you will know when using a cooldown reactively is the right thing to do.

I'll give you a very specific example of the advice I'm trying to give. On Cho'Gal, he does three Shadow Pulses that hit everyone in the raid for a large amount of damage. Basically, everyone takes as much as 100k in a few seconds. This means that the healers are spending a lot of attention towards the raid and not you.

As a tank, you would be doing your job well if in this situation you:

A) Recognize that it's coming BEFORE it's even cast (are aware of what's coming next).
B) Assess how dangerous the situation will be when it comes (a quick glance at raid health a few seconds before the ability can tell you a lot, use Grid or similar addon for this)
C) Have timed your cooldown usage such that you actually have something available and you also know what you will use (are prepared to execute)
D) Realize in advance that you won't have a cooldown and start working on a plan to keep yourself alive. e.g. "Hey Ted, I'm going to need your Pain Supression in about 5 seconds".

Basically, if you're constantly finding yourself in a situation where you're going "OH #$%#, OH @@#$" and trying to find what cooldown you should use then it's a problem.

Chances are that cooldown usage isn't your problem. Probably better understanding of all of the mechanics in the fight, when the come, when they are or are not dangerous, etc. is where you want to focus your energy.

There is no magic "use cooldown here" formula.
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Re: CD usage / Heroic Guides for Tanks

Postby theothersteve7 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:37 pm

Keep your healer (or in a raid, favorite healer) as your focus so you can track their mana. I also use this so that I only use Word of Glory when they're below 90% mana or so.

Remember that you have Divine Guardian and Holy Radiance to use when there's party/raid damage.

Sometimes there are obvious times to use cooldowns, typically involving boss emotes. A good example is when Forgemaster Throngus pulls out swords. Guardian of the Ancient Kings should be your default reaction.

When you drop below 30%, you probably want a cooldown. I recommend Ardent Defender as a default there, and you may want to macro in Divine Protection and your trinkets.

If the healer is OOM, use Lay on Hands at the last moment you can safely do so. You may also want to do this is your run out of range of healers for some reason. Also be sure to spam Word of Glory as much as you can.

You may wish to just macro in Divine Protection in with Word of Glory.

Having a panic button that blows every cooldown in your toolkit at once can be fun. At the very least, you'll survive ten more seconds.

Most tanks don't use cooldowns as much as they should. If you ever die, and you have a cooldown you haven't used yet, it was at least partially your fault. I've soloed some pretty tough heroic bosses from 30% just by using cooldowns and Word of Glory.
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Re: CD usage / Heroic Guides for Tanks

Postby Olen » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:57 pm

In a quick scan I didn't see this covered, but your WoG heal procs Holy Shield, so you don't need to consider that when picking WoG or SotR. Pretty much WoG on 3 HoPo unless you just pulled and need the threat. I found it more useful in ICC to time the heal before a big shot like Frost Breath mechanics but I haven't seen as much benefit to saving/timing it in Cata.
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