Welcome to the first installment of a three part series entitled, “Pally Tanking: A Hand on Every Member”. My name is Melthrius and I am a paladin tank for a heroic progression raid team. Elizabella is my raid leader and she asked me to share my insite on the awesomeness of Paladin tanking. Here is part one of this series. I hope you enjoy and feel free to comment below with any questions you may have.
Well, I guess I will start this little piece with what it is not. This is not going to be a how to guide to pally tanking. This is also not going to be an elitist jerks style piece about your spec, your stats, and a spreadsheet mixed in for your min/max please. Despite that last sentence, I love those guys over at EJ. What this is going to be is a piece falling in the middle ground, a bit about what tanking is, a bit about how to do it right with some HOLY POWAH!, and a bit about how to complicate the simple feat of tanking.
Wait… You want me to stare at WHAT?!?!
Yes, yes you do. No matter if it is the dripping jaws or a dragon or the barely covered unsightly regions of an ogre, your job is to stare at it. As a dwarf, you will usually be staring at the lower areas. If you aren’t a dwarf, you need to race change now. Dwarves are awesome, even if your class can’t be a dwarf you should be. Now, I have only ever managed to get a pally tank to max, but I believe for all the classes that is what it comes down to. You are the guy staring at that ugly face or other regions for the duration of the fight.
I digress now to a more serious note about tanking. Tanking strays from your traditional DPS and healer roles in a major way. Gear does not (entirely) make the tank. Tanking is as much a state of mind as it is anything. You are the person in charge of positioning the boss, holding the boss, and the most visible reason for a wiping the raid about 90% of the time.
Tanking requires a decent amount of confidence because you WILL mess up at some point and wipe the raid. You may turn the boss too soon on Warlord, taunt the corruption when you meant to take the bloods on Spine. You might forget to turn righteous fury back on after you’ve gone holy for a fight. Those are all ways I have personally messed up during my group’s raids. Just ask Elizabella, I’m sure she’ll agree. The biggest part of tanking is taking the feedback, moving on, and having the belief that you will be awesome again. If you don’t have those abilities, tanking might not be for you.
I want to make a quick note on gear. While less gear intensive than the other roles, it is still very important to tanking. Survivability is everything to a tank. When you are starting out, threat is a concern but nowhere near as much as surviving. If a dps dies your group can still live, if you die it becomes much harder. The issue of threat is not a big one as the game stands now. While burst threat for pallys can be an issue at lower gear levels compared to DKs, it is not something you really need to worry about at this point.
Tune in next week for the second installment in the three part series entitled, “Pally Tanking: A Hand on Every Member”. Next week we will be discussing bashing things with Holy Shield!