Tanking for Trees

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yesterday Svenn wrote about his “L337” tanking DPS in ICC, which prompted some questions. Tanks are supposed to be built to survive, go the distance, in it for the long haul, etc. right? Who cares about their DPS as long as they maintain threat and nobody dies?

Well, putting aside the continuing need to compensate for lower DPS toons in order to beat enrage timers (Raid Centric), there are several good reasons to build a Tank/DPS hybrid spec.

Svenn finds himself tanking for Druid Healers much of the time. Now trees are some of his favorite people (/wave at Star and Raen), but unlike other healing classes, their ability to DPS from their shifted form is minimal. In raids healers have their hands full chasing bars back up to full, but anyone who has ever healed a heroic for a tank in full epics knows how boring it can be. In the ongoing quest for badge efficiency, healers have taken to “pitching in” as DPS to help speed things along. As speed tanking becomes the norm, the trees have been relegated to the woods, so to speak. That’s not to say they get any fewer invites to heal- everyone needs healers and trees are great for the job. Rather, they don’t get as many highlights in the speed runs because their options for “pitching-in” are limited (in the DPS arena).

As such, Svenn has forgone several of the more “traditional” tanking talents in favor of higher DPS choices. The same goes for stat priorities; while stamina remains the stat of choice and the 540 defense rule remains inviolate, other tanking stats such as Dodge and Parry take a back seat to stats more traditionally assigned to the DPS arena. Shield Block (both value and rating) remains a good choice for its utility as both a defensive stat (mitigation) and an offensive stat (damage done by Shield of Righteousness is based on block value while Holy Shield deals damage on each successful block). While these choices lead to more incoming damage for Svenn, they are great way to leverage a dedicated healer’s mana into increased DPS output for the group.

In this way, Svenn maintains the traditional tank cooldowns for damage spikes while hitting like one of the DPS.

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Vidyala said...

Of late, when I know my tank is incredibly geared for content like 5-man heroics, I've taken to just healing in caster form and forgoing the tree altogether.

Ultimately, I'm losing: 20% mana cost reduction for my HoTs, 5% of my spirit as spellpower, increased armour from tree form and 6% increased healing for party members.

The mana part doesn't matter. I don't go OOM as a tree, ever, and when I go OOM as a caster I just make sure to innervate early. I lose a bit of spellpower for my healing, but I'm swimming in the stuff anyway so this doesn't make my healing ineffective, likewise for the extra healing for folks in the group. As for the armour? Well, I shouldn't be getting hit anyhow most of the time, even if I get hit by AoE damage it's just as if I were a cloth-wearing character, only with leather! If healing ever gets hairy I can always swap back to tree form. Meantime, I can pull some fairly respectable numbers for a healer-dps. Around 800 DPS averaged out over the instance, or up to 1500 some pulls. Better than nothing! I'd imagine your DPS as Tank tactic works similarly, except that pally tanks already do quite a bit of damage (from what I've seen) without any modifications!

February 17, 2010 at 10:58 PM

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