Thursday, August 27, 2009


Or: Uncle Mis's Guide to the Kama Sutra

Too creepy? Let me pull it back.

I'm actually going to talk about something that everyone in a group with a Warrior tank should know.

It's a very simple, yet true, statement: Warriors are not AoE tanks.

We're better at tanking more than one mob than we used to be...much better, in fact. We've been given a wonderful gift in the form of Shockwave. Thunderclap now hits everything in its range as opposed to a fixed number of mobs. All of it has made a big difference and we desperately needed the changes that have been made.

However, we still only have one "true" AoE damage ability: Good ol' Thunderclap. End of list.

Thunderclap affects mobs all over the front of us, to the side, behind us, etc. It's an AoE attack in it's purest, circular form. Demoralizing Shout is a fantastic AoE debuff that we should be using, but (a) it does no damage and (b) it creates very little threat.

Shockwave is a frontal cone ability, not a pure AoE ability. In order for Shockwave to be effective, the mobs have to be positioned properly in front of the Warrior. Beyond that, if the tank is tab or click-targeting the group and throwing around Devastates, Shield Slams, and Cleaves, anything not positioned in front of the Warrior will not be affected.

For Warriors, that means we have to move around to get the pack that we've pulled directly in front of us. If it's a "standard" pull (3 or 4 mobs in a group, you Heroic Throw, they come running), you can usually T-Clap, Demo Shout, take a step back, and they'll be in the perfect position for a Shockwave. If it's not a standard pull, however (think when the 3 or 4-packs split up in VH and run down different ramps, then start blinking behind you during the fight), you're going to need to be moving to get them in the right place. T-Clap will get their attention, but they won't stick to you long if a Lock or a Mage starts going apecrap with AoE DPS.

For the rest of the group, this means that you really need to be paying attention to where your tank is and where the mobs are. For melee DPS, you may have to do a little running around while the tank gets situated. For caster DPS, especially those who plan on AoEing everything in sight, be aware that if, for some reason, a mob is behind or to the side of your Warrior tank, you will probably pull that mob.

Frankly, most of the deaths I've seen in Heroics recently have been on trash mobs, not bosses. If I do a poor job of positioning or my group doesn't give me a chance to position before AoEing, the mobs will likely take off in any number of different directions and start smacking around clothies.

Bottom line: Warriors do not AoE tank. We can hold more than one mob, but to be truly effective at it we, and our group, need to be aware of where the mobs are positioned in relation to the tank.


Pookers The Druid said...

You know i must say that this post makes sense on so many playing fields, mostly about the aoe tanking i have been in one to many pugs where the tank took a lot of bs cause he wasn't aoeing enough...


Misneach said...

@Pookers: Yup. Since everybody just wants to AoE trash now and not focus-fire they expect the tank to be able to out-threat them. For Warriors, it's not as easy as it looks.

koalabear said...

We died once last night :-p

And it was your fault IIRC :-p


Misneach said...

IIRC, I didn't die. A couple of you got knocked out by non-elites. So there ;P

koalabear said...

We all died. It was a group wipe.


faulty memory there :-p

Misneach said...

I honestly don't recall wiping last night, lol. Was it an add issue? I seem to recall something going wrong with adds at some point in the recent past.

Having kids really does make you stupid :)

koalabear said...

I guess I should be very afraid then LOL

Darraxus said...

I always like to start with a charge, thunderclap, two steps back, shockwave, then start spamming cleave (glyphed) and thunderclap with my regular abilities.

Misneach said...

Yeah, Cleave - glyphed or unglyphed - is basically Heroic Strike for packs.

Opening with Charge, thanks to Warbringer, is a great addition to our arsenal...just gotta be careful with pats.

It really is a good time to be a Warrior. We still need fixing, but they've done a heck of a job so far with us.