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Paladins and your role as the tank, a beginner's guide to tanking! AKA pally tanking for dummies!

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Paladins and your role as the tank, a beginner's guide to tanking! AKA pally tanking for dummies!

Post  Lawbreaker on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:34 pm

Hey all, Lawbreaker here. I have noticed a lot of paladins online lately, which is nice and all, and i figure if there's anyone who was interested in beginning to tank and/or has an offset but wants to know what the hell your supposed to do, i have put together my own little 'guide' for you. I am not expecting this to be the all-out gospel, hell, some may even disagree with technique, but we all have different techniques, and i will share mine also. A lot of you are either main spec holy or retribution, and you may be a huge asset, which most of you are if not all =), but maybe you feel like you want to round yourself out a little bit and start on the tanking game. Without further ado, here we go, hope you take something from it =)

The 'niche' of the paladin

As a Paladin, you will absolutely shine when it comes to tanking multiple mobs. This in tandem with the multitude of abilities you have will allow you to hold packs of 3 or more with great ease. As a paladin you must also realize the roles of the other types of tanks, the Warrior, Druid, and now the DK. Warriors have been given a few AOE aggro tricks but still excel in the single target tanking job. Druids do well also in the single target and are quite good at dealing with any mobs/bosses that deal melee damage, as their mitigation depends on their armor and dodge chance, as they have no way to block because they cannot equip shields. DK's are best at tanking the caster types, and though there may not be many on our server, i have seen about 3 who do the job very well so far.

The numbers, back to some basics

Firstly, the magic number for you if your building your protection set is going to be 540, this is the defense SKILL that you need to be uncrittable in a raid situation. If you are going to start tanking Heroics, you will need 535, as the bosses are going to be 82 elites, and not 'skull' bosses who are defined as 3 levels higher than you. In regards to defense RATING, for a skill of 540 you need a total of 689 defense rating to reach this defense cap. Once you go over 540 defense as you replace gear, you may start choosing to substitute defense rating gear for other stats such as block value, block rating, stamina, and others.

Spell Power? I thought i use warrior gear?!?!

Paladins rely on spell power for nearly all of their aggro retaining abilities. Righteous Fury is the spell that will allow you to generate threat necessary to hold aggro, as it increases the threat geneated by your holy spells by 90%. For example, if i cast consecration, and it ticks for 100 holy damage per second for 8 seconds, this would normally, WITHOUT Righteous Fury, do 800 threat. With Righteous Fury Active, the threat being generated by each tick will increase to 190, thus doing 1520 threat over 8 seconds.
Now, i have Spell Power equaling 500. At rank 6 consecration, and with the one-handed specialization talent having 5/5 points put into it, all of my spell power is equally distributed among the 8 ticks of consecrate. Going back to my baseline 100 threat/tick consecrate, i add my 500 spell power to it, which will make it do 162 damage/threat per tick, equaling 1296 threat over 8 seconds. NOW, adding the effects of righteous fury to this new example, i have generated 2462 threat over 8 seconds.
If this paltry example does not show the necessity of having spell power, then i cannot help you =). Spell Power is huge to our aggro in any situation. The talent Touched by the Light with 3/3 points in it gives spell power equal to 30% of your stamina, so the 'stamina whores' have something to justify their Solid Sky Sapphires all over their gear =)

What kind of stats should i look for in my gear??

This is the part where it gets down to what you like personally, really. BUT, let us take a look at what we do to justify the widely accepted stats that a paladin wants to gear with. First off, we are a multiple mob tanking machine, so therefore we must come to the conclusion that we will take a lot of damage from all those hits. Therefore, as far as primary stats are concerned, Strength and Stamina are the two you want to shoot for. These provide 1)Block value for your shield and 2) Hit Points (really?!). Block rating and block value are the bread and butter of a paladin, you want to shoot for mitigating as much of an attacker's melee hits as possible. The more chance you have to block, and the more you can block it for, the longer you can tank that 5 pack in H UP or the wave group in H CoS, and the easier you make it on your healer(s). Since reaching 'uncrushable' is no longer an issue, this eliminates a lot of the headache of making sure that you are at 102.4% total mitigation. Also Remember that the talent Holy Shield gives you an extra 30% chance to block, and does holy damage on each block you do, with 8 charges for 10 seconds (mind you this is with the improved holy shield talent). The spell power equation for it is to add 5% of you total spell power to the holy damage done on block, the 20% extra damage should be included in the tooltip if you have the imp. holy shield talent.

Can i stack dodge and parry for mitigation also?

Dodge and parry should be considered 'luxury' stats as they do provide what i like to call 'actual avoidance' by mitigating ALL damage from any melee attack, but in general shouldnt be hunted down. Dodge is just what it says, you dodge the incoming attack. Parry has a mechanic that decreases your swing timer depending on the remaining time left on your swing, so over the course of a very long boss fight you have slighty increased DPS, but at the cost of having a higher ratio of parry rating/% parry. These stats were only required in good amounts in the Sunwell raid, where a constant zone debuff caused you to have 20% less dodge chance, therefore any tank entering was almost always crushable because of that fact.
As a side note on myself, i like to try and balance my blck value stats with dodge stats (bad paladin!). I like to have the extra 'actual mitigation' thrown in there as a way of reducing incoming damage.

Whats a good spec for me to have as a prot pally?

You know, i won't get into this topic in this thread because there are many resources out there to help you out in deciding a suitable prot spec for you. I would direct you to take a look at my own forum of choice for pally tank discussions, or go to where you can go to their tools section and find the talent calculator, where some people have public talent specs loaded on there that you can pull up at will.

How should i set up my spells?

Generally you would like to have Holy Shield / Consecration / Hammer of the Righteous / Shield of Righteousness / and a judgement of your choice in the mix. Threat generating seals will consist of Seal of Righteousness or Seal of Vengeance to provide that constant aggro generation on your melee swings. Run Blessing of Sanctuary normally for the mitigation it provides you and the mana regen it gives on any block/dodge/parry. Blessing of kings can give you that extra block value, HP, and slightly increased DPS, but if you like to consecrate non-stop, you MAY find yourself Out Of Mana, which is not a good thing for a pally to be. If your hurting for the mana running blessing of kings throw on seal of wisdom and hit with your melee only, but keep up Holy Shield and use Shield of Righteousness because of its extremely low mana cost and huge aggro generation it provides, you will stay ahead on the threat if you have been doing your job correctly and allow yourself to regenerate mana. If you are extremely hurting, then assess your situation accordingly. If i am tanking just a 3 pull, i will allow myself to turn around for a second or two to take some full on hits in the back, having my healer heal me and thus, from my Spiritual Attunement, transfer his mana bar to my own mana bar, and then resume aggro holding. Just a technique, i wouldnt say its the greatest thing to do when your tanking Patchwerk in 10M Naxxramas! But this rotation has to fit you and your play style, i just offer up some of my own techniques.

Anything else?

Get in there and have fun! Yes you ARE the tank and if you die it's almost a guaranteed wipe, and yes the learning process can be a pain, but if you don't try it at all how will you know if your a good tank or not? You have to expose yourself to it, and then later on if your mainly a healer or DPS you can understand our pain when the mage is pulling mad aggro and pulls Grobbulus off of you to cause a raid wipe. It's ALWAYS a learning process, and i myself enjoy trying new things and tanking those hard hitting bosses and surviving to tell the tale!

If you found this useful in any way let me know!! This is my first attempt at a basic guide to help anyone thinking of taking the path toward tanking! Thank you for reading and i'll see you online!

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Re: Paladins and your role as the tank, a beginner's guide to tanking! AKA pally tanking for dummies!

Post  Ozmademos on Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:56 pm

All this is good lookin' stuff Very Happy

On a personal note of being a tank, and keeping in with my kind of etiquette, if you're going to tank you really shouldnt have to use your taunt button. If you dont have aggro on something, dont taunt it... and this is meant specially for when you're tanking with another person. If they've got it, and you dont, go to the next mobs (after you've alerted your healers that you're going to get the next mobs) and keep the group moving. Try not to compete for aggro with the other tank; it's just not cool.

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