Today I’m going to look at tanking cooldowns. This is not supposed to be an argument over who has the best cooldowns or who is overpowered or blah blah blah. This is a learning exercise so that everyone can better understand their tanking teams. Remember that cooldowns are not balanced in a vacuum; Blizzard takes everything into account when they balance tanks, not just your damage reduction cooldowns.
All pictures are from Wowhead.
— Last updated: Patch 4.3 (March 30, 2012) —
These are pretty consistant. It’s always something that reduces all damage taken by around 50%, lasts for around 12 seconds, and has around a 3 minute cooldown.
Survival Instincts, 50% damage reduction, 12 second duration, 3 minute cooldown.
- 40% damage reduction, 12 second duration, 2 minute cooldown, or
- 60% damage reduction, 12 second duration, 4 minute cooldown
These cooldowns tend to vary significantly between classes. Some classes have more than one; some are relatively weak, some are relatively strong. I’ve included anything that qualifies as “something that might save a tank’s life”.
Last Stand, 30% increased maximum health.
Enraged Regeneration, regenerate 30% health over 10 seconds.
Divine Shield + Taunt, 100% damage reduction, 3 second duration (from the taunt duration), 5 minute cooldown. Also reduces damage that the paladin does by 50% and leaves the Forbearance debuff on the paladin (so they can’t be the target of another Forbearance-causing ability for 1min).
- This cooldown requires precise timing if you want to use it while tanking. You have to pop Divine Shield and Taunt immediately after, then cancel your Divine Shield buff before the taunt wears off.
Ardent Defender, 20% damage reduction, 10 seconds, 3 minute cooldown. If the paladin takes a killing blow while it’s up, it will instead heal them to 15% health.
Word of Glory, heals the paladin for a medium amount, 20 second cooldown. Scales with Vengeance, and usually heals the paladin for around 30k.
Holy Shield, Increases the amount a shield blocks by 20%, for a total of 50% physical damage reduction, 10 second duration, 30 second cooldown.
Anti-Magic Shell, 75% magical damage reduction (up to 50% of the death knight’s health), 5 second duration, 45 second cooldown.
Vampiric Blood, 15% increased maximum health + 25% increased healing, 10 second duration, 1 minute cooldown.
- Can be glyphed to grant 40% increased healing but no increased maximum health.
Rune Tap, heals the death knight for 10% health, 30 second cooldown.
Will of the Necropolis, (passive) 25% damage reduction if the death knight drops below 30% health, 45 second internal cooldown.
Dancing Rune Weapon, 20% parry chance, 12 second duration, 1.5 minute cooldown.
Back to consistency. Minor cooldowns are approximately 20% damage reduction, 10 second duration, less than or equal to 1 minute cooldown.
Barkskin, 20% damage reduction, 12 second duration, 1 minute cooldown.
Bone Shield, 20% damage reduction, lasts as long as 1 of the 4 charges remains, 1 minute cooldown.
As always, please let me know if I missed something. I only actively play a druid and a warrior tank, so death knights and paladin tanks are less intuitive to me.