Understanding Threat - Tanking
This article is out of date. Click here to visit our Big Guide to Tanking. Thank you for your patience in this matter!
Understanding Threat - Advanced Tactics (Tanking)
Having covered the basics of threat in our last guide, this time we will go over more advanced tactics such as Main Tanks and Off-Tanks, as well as when there's a need for both, and of course how to stay ontop of the mob's threat meter so it doesn't go out and kill your party. Finally, we will also discuss threatmeter add-ons such as KTM and Omen to help you out.
We will begin by going over the main tank and off-tank duty, with specific tips as to how to keep threat on yourself and keep your party members safe.
If you're the sole main tank in the group, you will need to use all of your offensive capabilities on the monsters at hand in order to keep them on you.
As a Warrior, having Defensive Stance, you will need to use Demoralizing Shout, Thunder Clap, and finally Devastate/Sunder Armor on the main target. The first two will make you gain base aggro on all monsters pulled so that heals and other spells don't make the monsters go straight for the healer. It is also recommended you tab-target or make sure that all your targets are sundered if it's a long fight so your healer is safe from the monsters. Should a monster run off to your party, make sure to use your Taunt ability so it comes back to you by making you go all the way up to the top of the monster's threat meter.
Warriors are not good at AoE Tanking as they have limited AoE threat-keeping abilities, so when facing multiple small mobs make sure to let your party know to go easy on all of them or go all-out and not expect many to stick onto you. A good example is the Magisters' Terrace second boss room, where you won't be able to keep all the Wyrms on you no matter what you try, so it's best if you either single-target kill them or AoE them fast enough so your AoE class doesn't die.
As a Paladin, you just need to upkeep Holy Shield and judge Crusader on your main target, as well as having Righteous Fury up at all times. Pull using your Avenger's Shield and toss up a consecrate, then Judge monster(s) if needed, the rest is up to you, as all monsters will take AoE damage from your consecrate and stick to you like glue, as long as you judge Crusader and then Righteousness and keep outputting Holy Damage through your shield and consecrate, you shouldn't have aggro problems. Lastly, if someone does manage to pull aggro from you, Righteous Defense will taunt them right back to you and your consecrate.
Paladins excel at AoE Tanking, using the same pull as before as an example, laying down Consecrate and having Holy Shield up, barring an extremely high damage AoE, will keep all the monsters in Magisters' Terrace second boss room on you for the better part of the fight.
As a Druid, you will need to be generous in the spamming of Mangle and using Growl to keep aggro ontop of you, much like the Warrior, use Demoralizing Roar and try to keep every monster atleast tapped by you once so they don't go off elsewhere.
Druids aren't the best at AoE tanking, but they can take a beating just like warriors, so 1-for-1 is suggested instead of mass AoE when a Druid is out infront tanking.
Off-tanks are employed in raids or big encounters usually, as they allow the group to keep other monsters that aren't the main target busy so that they can either be killed or tanked away from the raid, avoiding that monster's skills or abilities. In other occasions, it is best to have an off-tank to soak up some hits from several bosses that require so, we will go over these situations next.
The offtank is usually a Druid or Paladin, but it can even be a Warrior if needed, their main goal is to keep secondary aggro on the boss or primary aggro on certain encounters' mobs.
Karazhan ~ Moroes
Moroes has 4 friends to help him, and they're undead so you may not always have enough time to deal with all of them. The offtank will need to pick up one of the melee ones and bring it right ontop of the Main Tank, who's fighting Moroes, then fight for secondary aggro on Moroes. This helps two things: one, the melee monster is not out killing healers or DPS, and two, Moroes' Blind or Gouge will not affect the Main Tank, and instead affect the Off-Tank.
Zul'Aman ~ Nalorakk
Nalorakk switches between forms often, between Troll and Bear, and both use very nasty Bleed/DoT effects on any one tank, so when he switches forms, the Offtank, which should be fighting him ontop of the Main Tank, should Taunt quickly to avoid being killed by the Bleed/DoT Effects. In this fight, both main tank and off-tank alternate tanking the same boss with the use of Taunt upon form switches.
As we can see, off-tanks are very valuable in any kind of raid, so knowledge of the fight beforehand and appropiate tactics will lead you to victory!
Something that should be used by any serious raider is a threat meter, these meters work essentially like damage meters and assign points to every single person in the raid, giving them a numbered listing of threat and where they stand in relation to the tank (who should always be ontop) - this is handy to avoid "pulling aggro" from the Tank and wiping a raid on either trash or a boss fight by outputting too much DPS.
Some threatmeters include KTM and Omen, and are free to download should you want them, some even from here in TenTonHammer!
From KTM's Description,
Using these is highly recommended if you find yourself in raids often and are a Tank or a DPSer, however, some of these mods require your party members to have them too in order to reproduce accurately the data you need.
KLHThreatMeter is like a damage meter, except it records your threat. By monitoring all the abilities you use and checking your talents, armour set bonuses and buffs, the addon can recreate the threat list of a mob. This makes tank transitions simple, and allows DPS to maximise their damage without pulling aggro.