10 tips to being a better tank!

On wow.com they were having a reader submission for the top 10 things to be a more successful tank.  I thought about submitting, but hey, I have a site of my own to write for! Check out my top 10 below:

Top 10 tips for being a better tank!

1. Make things mad at you! You are a tank. There are two jobs that a tank must accomplish to be successful. The first job is to make things mad enough at you to swing at you rather than the guys wearing dresses. You need to get aggro on mobs otherwise your not tanking anything. Get into your tanking “stance” at the beginning of the zone. If you’re a druid, get into Bear form. If you’re a warrior go Defensive stance. If you’re a paladin throw up Rightous Fury. And a DK needs to be in Frost presence. They all grant the tank the abilities needed to make things mad. They also grant the ability to…

2. Stay Alive! (aka do what is necessary not to die!) – Things are now mad at you. Great! Now they will try to kill you. The second no-brainer to being a good tank is to not die. Seems simple enough, right? If your dead, no mobs are tanked. We are in our tanking “stance” so we have the added survivability packaged with it, but what else can we do, as successful tanks, to do this?

 The most effective way to do this is to wear tank gear. It is designed to keep you alive by making you crit immune as well as raising your defensive stats and health. You would be surprised how many people who click tank on the dungeon finder don’t do this. Nothing makes your healer look fondly towards you more in an Heroic ICC5 man than being a Fury warrior with 2 giant axes and a 25k health pool. (Sarcasm is fun!)

 3. Use your whole toolkit – Using all of your abilities can make or break a fight. A druid dropping form when not tanking an add to raise a raid member can make or break a fight with a tight enrage timer. A paladin tossing out Hand of Salvation on the aggro hungry warlock can allow him to dps more without worrying about threat. Knowing your full capabilities can allow you make a fight end in your favor.

 4. Know your healers – I don’t mean personally get to know your healer. (They may think your creepy if you start whispering them asking if they are Babylon 5 fans or something). What I am recommending is inspect your healer/healers at the beginning of a run. Just join an ICC 10 pug? Take a look at your healers. What kind of gear are they bringing to the table? If they have top level stuff you may be able to pull faster. If they are bringing 232 stuff you may want to move at a slower pace. And if you only have two healers in the run and one is rocking quest blues, get out of there as fast as possible!

 5. Know your limitations – Not only knowing what you can do, but knowing what you can’t is important to being an effective tank. Have trouble getting aggro on a large amount of adds? Warn your dps to hold back for a few seconds. Have a 28k health pool? Have your dps use CC on the big pulls near the end if your running Heroic Pit of Saron. It’s always better to have some humility than to wipe.

 6. Be observant – Are you in the fire? Move! Is the big fire breathing dragon you are tanking facing the raid? Turn him! Knowing what is happening around you is very important to being a successful tank.

 7. Use raid frames – Many fights allow for the tank to be in a static location. If you have raid frames up you can keep track of what is happening around you and have it dealt with. A paladin tank can see a health pool dropping and toss out a Lay on Hands or a Hand or Protection.

 8. Be a General – You’re the person who has to gain control of the mobs. Tell your group where you want them and what is happening on complex pulls. Call out if something is happening that needs reacted to. You often don’t have to move often, so pay attention and do what you can to direct the raid when needed. Your raid leader may cover this, but in a pug this is a role you have almost every advantage for on an average fight.

 9. Do what’s comfortable – Is your pug heroic group is asking you to pull faster? Do you like to do a Line of Site pull at a particular location in a dungeon? Then do it. Tell your group how you’re going to do a pull and do it your way. Why make your job more difficult?

 10. Don’t think you are special – That’s right. Sure, tanks are on average the most difficult slot to fill in a group, however, they are not that rare. Be pleasant; don’t be cocky. You can be replaced!

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