Vengeance and Brewmasters are two vastly different tanking specializations. Everything from their active mitigation to their fantasy are at odds, but despite that, many brewmasters are thinking of trying the new cool thing, so here is how they compare.
(This is not a guide that’s going to tell you what class is objectively best. That changes with balance tuning, and I’ve always encouraged people to play what they want. You’ll do the best playing the class that you’re motivated to master. This guide is just to help you figure out what that class might be.)
There’s something poetic about contemplating vengeance.
I’ve spent the weekend playing with Vengeance on the Legion alpha, and I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re great. If I had to draw a comparison, I’d say it’s similar to the protection warrior. They generate resources similarly (through damage taken and rotational abilities) and spend them on similar active mitigation. They both have a cheap, maintenancy ability (Shield Block, Demon Spikes) and a expensive powerful ability (Ignore Pain and Soul Cleave). The Vengeance resource, Pain, is the same as Rage, except it doesn’t decay (yet). After that, they two specs are very different.
Vengeance is far from presenting a cohesive theme. They don’t have a clear resource system (Pain? Fury?). The names of spells keep changing. It’s not even playable on the alpha yet. But that doesn’t stop me from making big guesses on stuff that was datamined. (All data from Wowhead)
With the simplified versions of tanking specializations that we had the privilege to preview a few weeks ago, we now can compare each class and analyze the patterns that emerge. For this round, I’m focusing on the resources and utility of active mitigation abilities, primarily from the information provided by Blizzard and excluding talents and artifact bonuses.
This is the second of a two-part post on the emergence of damage dealing-focused tank. The first one covers the elements of the game that contributed to this attitude, and this one will cover how small raid sizes contributed to the changing paradigm and how 20 man Mythic Mode may help bring back the defensive tank.
This is the first of a two-part post on the emergence of damage dealing-focused tank. This one covers the elements of the game that contributed to this attitude, and the next will cover how small raid sizes contributed to the changing paradigm and how 20 man Mythic Mode may help bring back the defensive tank. It’s something that I’ve been working on for more than a year, growing as the expansion aged and as knowledge of the next expansion increased.
Over the course of Mists of Pandaria, the role of the tank has evolved from the traditional, passive damage soaker. Active Mitigation has put our survival into our own hands, instead of relying entirely on our gear and healers. Vengeance has been nearly limitless and brought us to new damage-dealing heights. Traditional damage stats have emerged as an acceptable way to gear, thanks to more tanking classes who gain defensive benefits from them.
All of this has contributed to the emerging transformation of our role. Tanks, especially in small raid sizes, are no longer prized for surviving hard-hitting bosses or relieving their healers. Because survival can be easily achieved, a skilled tank is prized for their damage output. The role of tanks has steadily changed from “person who survives really well” to “person who can survive while also dealing damage”.
We only have a few months left of Vengeance, but I wrote this post a while ago and it’s still a pretty common misunderstanding. And I’m trying to clear out my backlog.
I’ve already talked quite a bit about making the best use of vengeance offensively, but I haven’t explained much about the defensive aspect and the basics of gaining vengeance. Vengeance is the most important scaling mechanism for our defenses that scale with attack power, but it’s often forgotten. It’s very important to tanking and sadly I’ve never really talked about it.
As a tank, you’re often desperate to find ways to improve and to compare your performance with others. There are ways to do this, but looking at Total Damage Taken is not that way. I know it’s tempting. To improve as a damage dealer, you often compare Total Damage Dealt. So this is the same idea for a tank, right?
No. It’s a good instinct! You’re trying to improve and you’re almost there, so don’t squash that urge! But there are better things to compare.