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What’s That Role?- Tank Style

December 27, 2009

As you fly smoothly through the air near the Ice Crown Citadel, you see a single Death Knight charging into the citadel, alone. What an idiot…

There are three roles that any given player can pick to play as in WoW, the Tank, the DPS, or the Healer. Each of these are given to specific specs in each of the ten classes in the game. Although, not every class can be a Tank, a Healer, or a DPS mind you. Since Tanking is my favorite of the three, let’s break it down what we are SUPPOSED to do, and of course, who can do it!

Who can be my meatshield?

There are only 4 different classes that are able to Tank in WoW; this includes the Druid (Feral), the Paladin (Protection), the Warrior (Protection), and the Death Knight (Frost, Blood, or possibly Unholy). Each class is significantly different to the others, even though they do the exact same job.

There may be specific encounters where it does benefit the Raid for having say, a Warrior Main Tank as opposed to a Death Knight MT, but for the most part, any class can Tank any encounter Endgame.

If you have the desire to become a Tank, I suggest you try out all of them. Each gives a fresh, new, look to the role that is Tanking, and maybe the Paladin that you refused to play was actually a hell of a lot more fun than the Druid that you are kicking your self in the ass to level! It’s merely personal preference!

What do I do now?

Now that you have picked a Class to play as (*cough Death Knight cough*) how about we talk about what in sam-hill you are going to be doing as said character? Tanking is a very unique role, and it is generally a hit-or-miss for most people, meaning that either you will LOVE it or you will HATE it. All in all, there are a few things that the role of Tanking requires you to do:

  1. Be able to receive multiple, large hits and still live to tell the tale- no, don’t stack STAM and hope to [insert deity here] that the bosses don’t crit your sorry ass. As a Tank, you’ll need to understand the concepts and mechanics of each of the stats that are useful in your job of being on the receiving end of lots of damage.
  2. In addition to number one (1) you should also be focused on being able to mitigating the amount of damage that you are receiving. By means of Armor, Avoidance, or Talents; this will take a bit of the load off of the Healers, and it will make you look/feel really confident about your abilities as a Tank.
  3. Have the ability to keep the mobs/bosses off of the rest of the group. Each mob/boss is “glued” onto a specific person depending on if they have the highest Threat on said mob/boss. It is your job to have the most Threat (TPS- Threat Per Second) on any given mob/boss in the Raid/Instance, or be able to hastily get the mobs off of the rest of the group and THEN put a shit-ton of Threat on it!
  4. Know your limits- sure, you may be THAT GUY the Tank who knows what to do, and when to do it, but as God-Tank you should know your limits. If your gear just isn’t good enough for a ToGC run, you should not offer to Tank it. Remember, there are 4-24 other (REAL) people in that group with you, and they are counting on the sheer assumption that you know what you are doing. Maybe you do know what you are doing, but if you are severely under geared, or just know that you don’t have the skills needed at this time, save everyone the stress and sit it out.
  5. Have nerves of steel- it is scary AS SHIT being a Tank. Your Health could be at 5% for 4 seconds and then jump to 100%, but it is only when people freak out (or have a horrible Healer) that they end up dieing. You have to train yourself to not be scared and run around, just pop some of the OH SHI- buttons you have and hope that your Healer knows what they are doing.


Great, that Paladin that you rolled is level 60 and you really just stopped liking Tanking, maybe you just tried to force it upon yourself because you wanted to get into groups really fast, but nonetheless you don’t like it anymore. As I said earlier you will love Tanking or just plain hate it, so it is a horrible sin and you are going to be sent down to- perfectly acceptable to just not like Tanking.

Luckily for you, each of the classes that can be Tanks are in fact… HYBRIDS! This meaning that if you just did not like Tanking, but did in fact enjoy your Class, you can just as easily play as a DPS Warrior, a DPS Death Knight, a DPS/Healing Pally, a DPS/Healing Druid without having to re-roll. Call it a perk, call it a deadly secret, but it is very simple to be able to switch your roles at any point in WoW.

Happy WoWing!

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