This idea sprung up from a sort of “survey” that’s being spread amongst numerous WoW bloggers called the “Circle of Healing”. so Orvilius, over at D/E the Tank! decided that tanks deserve to have our voices heard as well, and so: The Circle of Tanking was born!
1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Vaerron – Druid, 0/32/9
2. What is your primary group tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I’ve been the “main tank” and standing raid leader for Stands in Bad for almost a year.
3. What is your favorite cooldown for your class and why?
Survival Instincts – no doubt. It’s simple. Druids are far more about avoidance than mitigation. Fully raid buffed, my druid is sitting somewhere around 44% dodge, and reducing the damage i DO take by 50% for a long period, on top of my big avoidance, I really take almost no damage for the duration.
4. What tanking CD do you use least for your class and why?
Survival Instincts – Even though it’s my favorite, it’s harder to time this than Frenzied Regeneration (which increases my healing taken, and my max health for a period of time). If I use it when i’m way low on health, I might die anyway, and generally, the “predictable” damage streaks are much better uses for Barkskin. If I hit SI, it’s generally an OMFG SHIT moment, and I don’t like those.
5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
Highest base avoidance, and highest base damage reduction. My DK tank, in full 359 gear had ~30k armor and 27-28% dodge/parry. My Druid in full 359 gear had ~46k armor, and just under 40% dodge/parry.
6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Spell defense. We have the greatest passive spell defense through the resto talent Perseverence (6%), but aside from that, we’re generally gonna get hit harder by spells since we can’t dodge them, and armor doesn’t mitigate them.
7. In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
Since the swipe change, and the formulaic changes to our damaging abilities, our AOE threat is almost unmatched these days. Swipe/maul, Thrash, Swipe/maul in 3 consecutive GCDs put out ABSURD large amounts of threat.
8. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
I don’t really prefer tanking with one class over another, but i’m most comfortable tanking with a pally, because our main OT is a pally, and we’ve become pretty in tune with each other.
9. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
Warriors. I don’t dislike the class, I just have the least experience with them over the other 3 classes, so i’m not as familiar with how they operate.
10. What is your worst habit as a tank?
I have the worst habit of not using my cooldowns as much as I should. There’s almost no reason I shouldn’t be using barkskin on cooldown, but my uptime on it is *horrible* and that irks me.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
I’m kind of a control freak (raid leader AND tank? yeah i’m sure you guessed) so picking my biggest pet peeve is pretty hard. I think my biggest one would be DPS who don’t know how to /assist or don’t know how to watch their threat, and just go apeshit right from the start. Generally, this doesn’t happen in my raids, cause my DPSers know better… it’s mostly 5-man pugs that I have this issue with.
12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for tanking?
Absolutely. The highest physical resistance with the lowest magical resistance seems like a fair trade off. The highest avoidance with (arguably) the weakest mastery also seem like a fair trade. I think druids are in a good place overall.
13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
I keep one eye on omen a good portion of the time, cause if i’m not putting enough threat out, then my DPS is being throttled. I look back through World of Logs often to see where i’ve made mistakes, and where I took bigger damage spikes, trying to figure out why.
14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your tanking class?
“Bears are the high health pool tanks.” That may’ve been true in BC, and even in late Wrath, but it just isn’t anymore. Our health pool is pretty equivalent with pallies, DKs and warriors in equal gear. (Truth be told, I think my druid’s health is actually a bit lower than my DK’s health.)
15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
It’s hard for me to say. I learned to bear in Wrath, when bears were basically a 3-button class (swipe, mangle, lacerate. Maul was bound to EVERYTHING FOREVER), so I didn’t LEARN the class from the ground up when 4.0 changed everything, I just had to make a few adaptations to add in pulverize, and throw maul on it’s (very short) cooldown.
16. So, how about that whole vengeance mechanic, eh?
I think it works perfectly. Maybe even a bit too well, because threat (generally) still isn’t all that important more than a minute into a boss fight.
17. Stamina, Combat Table Coverage, or total Damage Reduction?
Damage reduction, without a doubt. My job as a tank is to stay alive, and to do so without having my healers curse my very existance. If I wanted, I could easily have a 200k health pool, but that just seems like a waste. I would make me take WAY more damage by missing out on that dodge, and it would also hurt my threat generation, since agility gives us AP and dodge. What’s the point of a 200k health pool, if my healers are having to refill it from 60k every GCD?
18. What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
Warriors. I’ve levelled a warrior from 85, but she’s pretty much parked and retired since then. I’ve never done any heroics with her, and i’ve only run a raid one time with a warrior tanking with me.
19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
I use ElvUI, which has a great number of things I use for tanking. It comes with it’s own threat plates (so I can easily see when someone’s pulling threat in a group of mobs). On top of that I also have the basics like recount (to show things like interrupts, damage taken, etc), and omen so I can see if someone’s creeping up on threat. Another one I really like is Tauntmaster, which makes taunting mobs out of a group much easier than manually targetting the mob and hitting my taunt button.
20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats (stam, mastery, avoidance), or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Avoidance. Agility is pretty much teh sex for bears right now, and we’re not anywhere near the dodge diminishing returns as far as I know, so the more avoidance, the better as far as I can tell.
So! It’s my turn to tag somebody, so i’m gonna tag @Riftmaker and @Reesify at The Inconspicuous Bear.