A short guide to Tanking Consumables

Thursday, July 2, 2009

While this guide will probably leave you muttering sarcastically to yourself something along the lines of, "Wow, you're breaking some new ground there Copernicus" bear with me. (Note: Svenn had to google "bear vs. bare" to make sure he used the right one. It seems there is much debate on the point but in fact bear the verb comes from the root to forebear and is correct. To "bare with me" would involve us all taking off our clothes and I don't think anyone wants that to happen).

Ideally, going into a raid you want a flask and a food buff. Flasks give you more bang for your buck, as compared to Elixirs, as well as persisting through death; while food buffs are pretty much the only other "consumable" buff that can stack with a flask (flasks count as both a battle and guardian elixir).

Flask of Stoneblood is the current "best in slot" flask for tanking. The case can be made for using Flask of Endless Rage if your effective health pool is already sky high, or you are having trouble generating enough threat but in general, the extra health is the way to go.

However, if you don't have any flasks available for whatever reason, you can stack two elixirs to help make up some of the shortfall. For tanking, the cheap way to maximize the dual elixir buff from an effective health increase standpoint, is to stack a Guru's Elixir with an Elixir of Mighty Fortitude. Other viable options are:

Battle Elixirs (by order of preference):
Elixir of Mighty Strength -more strength equals higher block value and a bit more damage
Elixir of Expertise -less dodge/block/parry by the boss equals less damage taken from instant counter attacks (if you aren't capped)
Wrath Elixir -more damage equals more TPS
Elixir of Accuracy -more hits equals more TPS (if you aren't already hit capped)
Elixir of Deadly Strikes -more big hits equals more TPS (not as reliable as the AP increase from the Wrath Elixir)

Guardian Elixirs (by preference):
Elixir of Protection -the damage reduction from the extra armor makes this a close second to Elixir of Mighty Fortitude.
Earthen Elixir -steady damage reduction from all sources is good
Elixir of Mighty Defense -good for new tanks struggling to make it to the defense cap, otherwise not much use (It could possibly allow a well geared tank the option to switch out some +def gear for higher +sta or resist gear, but that would be very situational ie. Sapph)
Sheen of Zanza - old school quest reward; don't hold your breath on this one, but its worth a mention if you haven't already done it and want to get back into some of the older content
Bloodkelp Elixir of Dodging - same as above

Fish Feast is the best source of food buff for tanks (and everyone else for that matter). It is however, BOP so, if no one in your group has any on them here is a list of alternative foods that can substitute in for tank chow:

Great Feast -one step down from the Fish Feast (2nd best option for Pally tanks, all other tanks should probably opt for one of the other foods with +40 Stamina on them)
Dragonfin Fillet -strength equals increased blocked value and minor AP increase
Mega Mammoth Meal -AP equals consistent TPS
Poached Northern Sculpin -the fishy version of the Mega Mammoth Meal
Rhinolicious Wormsteak -(if you aren't expertise capped)
Worg Tartare -(if you aren't hit capped)
Snapper Extreme -fishy version of the Worg Tartare
Spiced Worm Burger -TPS gain not as consistent as the AP buff food
Spicy Blue Nettlefish -fishy version of the Spiced Worm Burger
Blackened Dragonfin -increased agility indirectly increases armor and crit (wouldn't be my first "second choice")
Slippery Eel -more avoidance at the cost of 40 stamina
Stormchops -just plain fun

In addition to the standard "food & flask" combo, tanks can use Runes of Warding to help "soften the blow". These are Outland Blacksmithing items and have probably been forgotten by most. While they aren't game changers by any means, why not stack some extra damage absorption on? The Greater Rune of Warding is obviously preferred, but as it is made from rare Khorium, the Lesser Rune of Warding will probably be the more accessible option (made from Adamantite). The 25% proc rate pretty much ensures that with as often as a tank is getting hit (physical damage only), you will get the damage absorption pretty much every time the cooldown is up. Like I said, not great, but for the little bit of effort required to makes these things why? Plus, it shows everyone who cares to check that you are doing all you can to be prepared.

Finally, scrolls are a possibility for a little extra buffage. Changes with the Wrath expansion, make it so that you can only use one scroll at a time. Most scrolls have player buffs that they will not stack with, so check your raid composition prior to using one so you don't waste them. The following list contains the scrolls and their corresponding buffs:

Scroll of Stamina -Priest's Power word: Fortitude
Scroll of Spirit -Priest's Prayer of SpiritScroll of Protection -Paladin's Devotion Aura
Scroll of Strength -Death Knight's Horn of Winter
Scroll of Agility -Death Knight's Horn of Winter
Scroll of Intelect -Mage's Arcane Brilliance

This is Svenn's first attempt at a guide of any sorts, I hope it is at least helpful in some small way. If there is something he left off, leave a comment and we will get it updated.


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