So the talents have been picked, the glyphs have been bought, what next? Originally I intended to cover itemization first, but then I thought you have to go out and tank before you can get the gear, right? So lets talk about how to play a paladin tank first, it's more fun than numbers anyway.
Marking the targets
Every fight starts with a pull, ideally a non-ninja pull. But prior to the pull, the mobs should always be marked with symbols to ensure everyone knows which target to dps and which to crowd control (CC). To the best of my belief, the preparation of a fight is just as important as the fight itself. When marking targets, you have to make the choice between klling and crowd controlling the most dangerous mobs, this of course requires that you know the mobs. And believe me, people expect the tank to know the mobs, and they expect the tank to mark the targets, so you may as well ask for the leader and take some responsibility. Here are some advice on marking the targets:
- Announce which mark is what, and try to stick with the setup during the whole run.
- When (or just before) the skull dies, mark a new skull.
- Mark the patrols to keep track on them.
- Mark any group of mobs that you skip.
- Use macros to mark targets.
- If you don't know the instance, mobs with mana are generally more dangerous than mobs without.
- If people keep ninja pulling, mark yourself and tell them to stay behind you. (Don't use the green triangle though, because in China, wearing a green hat means that your partner is cheating on you! And this is not a joke, I just thought I'd share this, since the World of Warcraft servers are filled with chinese people (gold farmers or not, they all know about the green hat) :D)
Pulling the mobs
As a tank, we want all the mobs to focus on us right after the pull, that's why we want to pull the mobs ourself most of the time, we want to pull them at range, and we want to build some threat on all of them. Fortunately we have various tools in our disposal to accomplish that. Avenger's Shield (AS) is our main tool for pulling the mobs, especially when pulling groups of mobs. AS instantly generates a great amount of threat on 3 targets aswell as slowing them, I always try to ensure that the targets my AS will hit and the CC targets are identical, to buy more time for sheeping, trapping and so on. Combined with Exorcism and Judgement, you should be comfortable in front on the threat meter of atleast 4 or 5 mobs, by which time the mobs should be in melee range. Here are some general advice on pulling the mobs:
- Never pull by walking into the mobs.
- Cast Holy Shield before you pull, especially before tough fights.
- Get out of line of sight after the pull will force ranged mobs to come to you.
- If you are only meant to tank 1 or 2 targets out of a large group, pull with Exorcism.
- Avenger's Shield will not bounce to CC'ed targets.
- Hammer of the Righteous will not bounce to CC'ed targets either, BUT if Seal of Vengeance/Corruption is on, and your Hammer of the Righteous lands before the targets are CC'ed, they can't no longer be CC'ed.
After the pull, you should get into a threat generating rotation in order to keep the mobs on you, the next part of my guide will therefore deal with threat generation. But always keep in mind that the preparation of a fight is just as important as the fight itself, think of it as the relation between foreplay and sex :D