Warlock Tanking Part 1

Thursday, January 7, 2010

As you all know, Svenn is a man of many Alts. Svenn also has a, some would say, unhealthy fixation with tanking. With 2 supposedly "pure" DPS classes on his lvl 80 roster, he has decided to give some time over to documenting some of his "tanking for DPS" experiments. While hunter pet tanking has been covered at length by various other sites (Big Red Rhino is an excellent resource for all things tenacity related), little attention has been given to the field of Warlock tanking. Over the next 2 days, Svenn will be handing the reigns over to his Lock alt Cromm for some in depth analysis and a how to guide for lock tanking. This series was originally written for his guild forums, but is good enough (IMHO) to be worthy of the Svenn blog readers as well....if there are any of you left.

So you want to be a Lock tank? You have questions. How do I get started?What gear do I need? What spec? What glyphs? What minion? Am I crazy? Don’t worry, all these questions and more, answered below.

Part 1: Talent Selection, Gear and Glyphs

Talent Selection: Cromm recommends a 3/60/8 but there are some points to play around with here, so he will focus on the must have talents from the build rather than try and put too fine a point on it.

3 points in Affliction for Suppression- you will see later on in the gear selection section that +hit gear will not be a priority so you will need to pick up hit wherever else you can get it.

~60 points in Demonology- obviously your minion is going to be doing most of the actual tanking, so a lot of the points spent here will be focused on improving him.

Effective Health:
Demonic Embrace
Fel Vitality
Demonic Empowerment

Damage Mitigation:
Demonic Aegis
Master Demonologist
Demonic Resilience
Metamorphosis/ Nemesis
Molten Skin (from the Destruction tree)

Improved Healthstone
Fel Synergy
Improved Health Funnel (has a damage mitigation aspect to it as well)
Soul Link
Fel Domination/Master Summoner (think of it as unlimited battle rez’s)

Aggro Generation:
Demonic Brutality
Unholy Power
Demonic Empowerment
Demonic Knowledge
Demonic Tactics/ Improved DT
Demonic Pact

8 points in Destruction- these points are just to get you down to 3/3 Molten Skin.

Minion Selection: Void Walker is the only viable option for tanking instances. Your VW should have around 30k health (Cromm will get to how you can achieve that kind of health pool further down in the guide). Due to his AoE taunt, single target taunt, and increased threat generation from attacks as well as his extra 10% damage mitigation from the Master Demonologist talent, he will outperform the Felguard when tanking. (Though with good heals, you can switch back and forth using the Felguard for trash pulls and VW for the bosses.)

Gear Selection:
Your minion’s attributes scale with yours; as you will be tanking, you will want a fair amount of stamina. In fact, stamina is your number one priority. A few pieces of “of stamina” gear will go a long way to increasing your VW’s effective health pool. Your need for stamina however, will be offset to an extent by a need for resilience. Ideally, tanks should be crit immune, unfortunately the Demonic Resilience talent will only get you half way there (3%). To make up the difference you will need a fair amount of resilience (useful to both you and your summoned demon). The good news in this is that PvP gear, which has all the resilience, focuses largely on stamina as its primary “white” stat, so you can build towards crit immunity even as you build up your demon’s health. Finally, when considering gear, make sure you do not neglect +hit. While it is unlikely that you will be hit capped when lock tanking, you should shoot for at least 8%.

Glyph Selection:
Glyph of Voidwalker (20% extra health for VW)
Glyph of Metamorphosis (we will see further down why this extra 6 seconds is worth it)
There is some freedom of choice for your last glyph, but Cromm would recommend Glyph of Siphon Life, Healthstone, or Health Funnel

In Part 2, Cromm will cover tactics for pulling, positioning, and maintaining aggro, along with other helpful tips to get started.


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