Yet another WoW post based off my most recent experience in learning to Tank.
1. Omen is my friend. It is also your friend. Keep your friend close.
A good dps does great damage. A great DPS does good damage and keeps his threat below the tank’s.
You could out gear me, I could have missed or been parried, they could have resisted, regardless I need to worry about rotations and building threat. Not chasing a mob across a room because you couldn’t be bothered to watch a threat meter or listen to the loud crashing noise saying you are about to take threat. And before you say anything, I played a Warlock when they had 6 dots to track. Your job as DPS is to do damage, stay out of bad stuff, and not pull aggro. My job is to build threat, stay out of bad stuff, and focus on the 3 cooldowns and other special abilities I might need to keep the boss focused on me.
2. Speaking of running across the room…
If you do draw aggro run TOWARDS the tank, not away. My taunt has a 20 yd range. That is smaller than the range at which you can ranged attack the boss. I know when something big runs towards you it can be scary. Consider me your blanky. Cuddle me close when you are scared.
3. 3 Second Rule.
Healers have a 5 second rule. Tanks have a 3 second rule. If you are leading with a nasty spell that might crit for 15k, wait and cast it at a time that it doesn’t land on the boss until the tank has had 3 seconds. If it is a DK or Pally tank and there are multiple mobs, wait 3 seconds regardless. They need the time to build enough aggro to protect you from pulling it if you crit.
4. Speaking of DKs and AoE…
I am a DK tank. Priests love me because I love the bubble. However if there are more than 2 guys you have to wait for me to drop Death and Decay (the big red circle thing) and give it 2 tics before blasting away with your AoE. If you are a DK, don’t drop your death and decay until after you have seen me do Pestilence. Unless you feel like tanking.
5. How I generate threat:
As a DK tank I generate threat in three major ways:
Death and Decay: this generates an insane amount of threat for me. Do not cast your consecrate or death and decay in the same spot at the start of the fight unless you want to tank with me. If you don’t see it go down, be worried, it means something got missed and I won’t be building threat as quickly.
Rune Strike: this is actually my bread and butter. It generates a huge amount of threat on any one target. Problem – I can only use it if I parry them. (This is also why you might notice me leaning towards a balanced parry/dodge number.)
Damage: as a Frost tank I get some nice survivability in the form of three cooldowns that increase my armor and decrease my damage. I also get a great skill that increases the threat off my frost spells. What does this mean? Strength is just as important as Stamina to me. High damage is important because it means high threat. Guys who resist or are immune to water/frost damage… they are going to be a problem, hold off with the 15k crits until you see the black lines flow between the mobs. This means I have Pestilence and they all have dots from me ticking away on them now.