Meet the Consumables
Raiding can be quite the expensive investment, as a Tank I put in about 100g a night of raiding in repairs, and receive emblems and possibly loots. Of course I have tons of fun, which is worth every copper of that damned virtual currency. Nonetheless there is more to Raid expenses than just repairing, and these my friends are called consumables!
What IS a consumable?
The best way to describe a consumable is something that you “eat” and in WoW, most likely buffs you. The three examples that you will be most familiar with will be Flasks, Food, and Potions. Just by having enough of all three of these items can increase your performance quite a bit, and so most Raiding Guilds REQUIRE you to use these on Guild-Run Raids. PUGs for specific Raids, not so much, but if you are tackling hard content, then you may as well strap a few of these on with you.
Hine over at Death Goddess wrote an article on Death Knight DPS consumables, so for any of our DPS cousins I suggest you hop over there and take a peek!
Up until 80 we generally only think of Food as the way to get our HP back in between pulls, but in fact cooks can create food that can buff the whole Raid/Party or just yourself. As a Tank, there are quite a few decent choices we can get, and the expense to acquire the consumables may vary depending on the server. Regardless, let us judge only by stats, not by a virtual currency.
Fish Feast: As goes the same with what Hine wrote, it’s free and it’s a pretty good buff. Generally I would use this with my guild if we were doing something that is on farm, and/or not a challenge to the group. Honestly, there is no reason to break my back fishing or break my wallet purchasing food if it is for a cake-walk Raid. As with most consumable foods it gives 40 STAM (contributing about 400 HP), and for a whole hour is a pretty sweet deal. On top of the 40 STAM, if that was not already enough to sell you, is 80 AP which of course boosts your DPS. To us this means that because we do a bit more damage, we will be doing quite a bit more TPS (Threat per second).
So for Farm content, or just plain easy instances/Raids mooch off of a friend and eat their Fish Feasts, eat them up!
EDIT: (Thanks for correcting me on that Gravity)
Blackened Dragonfin: Is certainly the best food out there for a DK Tank, with its 40 Agi and 40 STAM there is virtually nothing that can compete with it. The 40 STAM is a keeper just on its own, but what does the Agility do for us? Well, Agility as a stat increases Dodge, Armor, and also gives us a tiny bit of AP. Avoidance, damage mitigation, and a bit of Threat, exactly everything we need in a single stat. It is simply delicious, as a food and as a buff, go blackened and you will NEVER go back!
Personally I would only be using this if either your Raid has no Fish Feast (Very Unlikely) or if you are progressing through harder content that is not on farm or ridiculously easy!
Snapper Extreme: I will be completely honest, use this ONLY if you are severely lacking in Hit Rating. As a Tank we do want to get a bit of Hit, maybe not the Hit Cap, but we want to be “up there” enough to be able to successfully use each of our abilities. The problem with getting “up there” is that in ToC there are VERY few Tanking items with Hit on them, so we need to scrounge what we can out of the T9 Helm/Chest and possibly even use a couple gem slots for +Hit. Dark times indeed, but food can actually limit the amount of gems we need to “waste”! The Snapper Extreme gives 40 STAM still, but also 40 Hit Rating, which is about 1% Melee Hit and 1.5% (ish) of Spell Hit. The extra percent can easily boost your threat IF YOU NEED THE HIT RATING, otherwise like DPS overcapping HR it is completely useless.
So if you are lacking HR to the point of not being able to hit Raid Bosses and keep them on top of you the entire fight, grab a Snapper Extreme to give you that boost. Fish Feast and the Dragonfint are better but if you can not hit the Boss, you are not producing threat. What is the point of all of that survivability and uncrittable gear if you can not keep the boss on you?
Flasks are made by Alchemists, think of them as potions that last for a whole hour and persist through death. Flasks are VERY important to have, you can go without Food for Farm content, but you should always have at least 2 flasks on you for the duration of the Raid. (Onyxia/VOA/OS you could probably get away with not using one) These flasks will increase performance pretty significantly, and they are not even that expensive! Considering there are only 4 choices to choose from for Flasks we will only be using 1 as a Tank.
Flask of Stoneblood: 1300 HP ’nuff said. Really, that is a significant amount of HP to gain just by drinking some concoction, and it will make quite a big difference in terms of your survivability. Take me for an example, normally I have about 35.9k HP, and by drinking this I am at 37.2k HP self buffed, obviously this is a great deal of difference and will help the Healers not have to work their asses off to keep me alive. Sounds like the 25g a wack is certainly worth it!
Like I said earlier, you would be able to get away with not using Flasks in Ony10/VOA/OS if you are just futzing around with a PuG. Regardless, find an Alchemist and make friends with him/her, because you are going to need them!
Potions are the trickiest of the consumables to truly understand. You can only use them 2 times in a fight, once before the pull and once during the pull, so you will need to have a bunch but be able to use them wisely. Choosing the right potions is also a huge part of it, but luckily for us we only have one that we even need to think about as a Tank. Yes we are cheaters, but we are the ones keeping you from getting pounded by that fire-breathing worm over there!
Indestructible Potion: Words can not describe my love for this potion, because frankly, it has saved my life on multiple occasions. 3500 Armor is a ridiculous amount to come out of a potion, so much that it completely takes the Runic Healing potion’s potential use and throws it out of a window. The mitigation is tremendous, but that is not all that it gives you. If you have Bladed Armor you can get around 100 AP extra just by popping one of these, so on top of the amazing amount of mitigation it provides, it also gives us a ton of bonus Threat. Just incase we were questioning its awesome power.
Keep about a stack of these with you at all times, because you will never know if you need to whip one out. They are cheap and easily replaceable so do not worry!
So let us add all of these together, if we are fully buffed with all of the best foods/potions/flasks available we will receive about 1700Hp, 3500 Armor, a tiny bit of parry, and 180-200 more AP. A noticeable difference for sure, but it does come with a price. To get fully buffed/flasked it can cost 80g+, but there are ways to limit the costs, but generally only through a little bit of elbow grease.
Level your cooking and fishing to 450 on an Alt or even your Main. The cost of Food is certainly the most expensive of all of these, so by putting a bit of effort in you will be able to cut the cost of Raiding by quite a bit. If you have a gatherer/Alchemist get them to max level and farm on them for the mats/flasks/potions, this can be a bit time-consuming, but it gives you something to do on those boring times of the day.
Great job today guys, now let us take what we have learned and apply it on our next Raid!
Unless it is OS… just face roll. *snickers*