New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

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New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

Post  Kurasu on Tue May 12, 2009 1:49 pm

People have been giving all sorts of great tips for 'how to pet tank' for the more advanced players. However, a lot of people who are coming here might be just starting out on the path of pet tanking. I figured that maybe a 'hint dump' posting might help out for those people to get a foot in the door. This isn't necessarily 'How to tank heroics' or 'advanced tactics for Naxxramus'. This is 'Hey! How do I become a tank as a hunter?' And who knows? Some of the hints that pop up here might be a few things that even the advanced tankers can use!

- The important stats for pet tanking are hit (for hitting), stamina (for hit points), resilience (for crit immunity), Armor (for damage absorption), and attack power (for threat). All of these will 'trickle down' from the hunter to your pet.

- The order of importance of the above stats will often depend on what you're tanking; if you are against something with massive physical hits, armor will be handy. If they're using tons of magic, stamina is better. If you are main tanking, threat will be important.

- If you are genuinely wanting to be a tank, get a dedicated set of 'tanking armor' the same way a hybrid would. Ihlos has a great selection of equipment to look for for tanking; use it!

- Always use a tenacity pet for tanking. A Cunning or Ferocity may be OK for an emergency-tank or offtanking, but without the threat bonuses, they will not be able to hold aggro.

- Always, *ALWAYS*, get Guard Dog. The only time I would remotely consider skipping this is if my pet was to be tanking adds that no one will attack. For example, the adds on Kel'thuzad. Otherwise, I consider this an absolute *MUST*.

- Make sure that both 'Growl' and 'Cower' are on your pet's action bar. For one thing, this seems to stop the 'auto-toggle on/off' problem. For another, you can quickly toggle them even if it doesn't.

- Don't be afraid to use macros to put pet abilities on your own action bar. To do this, open macro (/macro), go to 'New', Choose an icon and name, then hit 'OK'. In the box, type /cast <pet skill name>. This macro can then be pulled onto your action bar, and the pet spell can be cast in the same way as one of your own skills would be: either by clicking or through a keybinding. This is important for skills like taunt, intervene, and last stand.

- Growl is the single most powerful threat generation your pet has, so don't skimp too much on RAP to get stamina, as Growl scales with RAP (this is something I wish I'd known at the start).

- The +hit from 'Careful Aim', as of 3.1, trickles down to your pet. Hit goes to the pet on a 1/1 basis. Therefore, if you are hit-capped, so is your pet (except in a few unusual circumstances).

- With thunderstomp, your pet can hold aggro on multiple enemies. However, this does not make them Paladins. Their AOE threat-holding is a lot less than a paladin's, so be careful. Mark the enemy that your pet is holding the threat on so they know who to focus fire on.

Any other basic hints that I'm missing, that people feel might be good to add for the newcomers?


Last edited by Kurasu on Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:24 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Updating to add 'resilience' to tanking stats.)
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Re: New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

Post  noodle on Tue May 12, 2009 4:10 pm

I recommend turtle for leveling and questing and tanking. Shell Shield will save your ass on so many occasions and when you hit shell shield its good to whip up a mend pet. The glyph that gives 40% more healing is a must also the one that gives happiness too. At lvl 47 Im ticking 470 hp with my mend pet and also spirit bond ticks 100. Once you hit 44 your pet gets thunderstomp which is great if you wanna mix up some questing with aoe grinding and with shell shield you can whip it up and allow your pet to get another thunderstomp for more aggro before you starting attacking. My pet hardly ever loses aggro.

Not sure how much of this is relevant since Im on my first char and only lvl 47 but meh Very Happy

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Re: New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

Post  Ihlos on Tue May 12, 2009 4:30 pm

Great thread here!

Off the top of my head, ill say to make sure to include Blood of the Rhino in your pet build. The extra healing is needed to make up for other deficiencies.

Also, if you want to use Eyes of the Beast to position a boss, do it after the initial attack, intimidate, bestial wrath etc. Make your dps wait until after you have positioned them. If you start the pull in eotb, you may not be able to generate enough threat to match healing.
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Re: New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

Post  darkynhalvos on Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:03 pm

For gems, should I go with pure stam, or AP/Stam? My current tank gear has mostly pure Stam, wasn't sure if I should swap some for AP/Stam to possibly increase threat.

I'll log out in my tanking setup so anyone who can give advice can see what I've got atm.
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Re: New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

Post  darkynhalvos on Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:20 pm

Putting my armory link in my sig for easier viewing.
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Re: New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

Post  Kurasu on Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:30 pm

Taking a look at your armory, you've definitely got a good set for stamina even without the gems. I would probably give it a test and see how your TPS is right now, as well as your survivability. Maybe poke your head in to the opening area of a couple instances (heroic or non) and test it out with a friend.

Myself, since a lot of my gear is PVE, I have enough TPS that I go full stamina. My threat can hold in most heroics as long as I don't have full Icecrown folks wailing on the enemy. Very Happy
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Re: New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

Post  darkynhalvos on Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:52 pm

Kinda want my gear to be good enough to possibly tank in a raid setting, although I haven't been able to tank beyond the Sapph fight yet. TPS seems better after I switched a couple points in my pet's spec from Silverback to Spiked Collar. As it stands, my pet and I can reach 40k with raid buffs, so I may end up using AP/Stam gems in my next gear pieces when the new arena season starts. I just hope Relentless gear won't have an arena rating req on it then.
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Re: New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

Post  Rokat on Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:28 pm

Is there threat rotation to maximize threat in combat ?
Like having the glyph of the possessed strength.And go to eye of the beast to increase threat from thunderstomp? (using BW or other CD)
I dunno if the threat of growl is affected as well.

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Re: New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

Post  Durante on Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:28 am

Threat from Growl isn't based on damage, so its not effected by Glyph of Possessed Strength. If your build uses Go for the Throat there's no threat reason to use Eyes of the Beast to pull, since when you're not using EotB you can use Bestial Wrath for the same 50% damage increase, plus damage from focus through GftT. On pulls where BW isn't available, or its an especially tricky pull, it might be worth it to pull with EotB.
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Re: New Tanker? Basic Tips Roundup!

Post  Kurasu on Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:11 am

My threat rotation relies on a big burst in the very beginning. If there is no 'subtlety of positioning' required: Send Pet, Kill Command, Intimidation, MD full round of shots.

If there is subtlety, then position your pet and pull with the MD series of shots, or alternatively, pull with EotB, position, then MD.

For tanking a group, take off autocasts if you have them, then send pet, wait a half-second or so (for proximity aggro on the others, without taking so much time the healer catches attention), Thunderstomp to collect, then MD + Volley. *Mark your target*. Our AOE threat-holding is better with Volley + MD, but it's still not going to hold against a full raid (or even group) of AOE attacks. People will need to watch their threat. I suggest holding the half-second because if a group is spread out, your first Thunderstomp may miss one, and they may go right for the healer. And fast movements with a pet are difficult because of long CDs in most cases.
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