The Emergence of the Sturdy Damage Dealer

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”.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Vengeance

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.

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Heroic Tanking Siege of Orgrimmar: Thok

You can either single tank or two-tank this fight. I’ll cover both scenarios to the best of my knowledge. Single tanking is fun, and useful if you need to increase your raid’s dps to beat the fight, but it is difficult and it requires quick reflexes and defensive play. Two tanking is much more stable, and allows both tanks to play offensively, but you won’t get as much total raid dps.

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Mists Retrospective: Shuffle as Maintenance Buff

As the game grows older, we see fewer and fewer maintenance buffs. That is, buffs that are expected to be active most of the time. In the case of the maintenance buffs that have disappeared over the years, most of them added little gameplay by themselves. Shuffle doesn’t meet the strictest definition of the term, since it plays into our resource management, but it is something vital that any brewmaster should be able to, and will be expected to, keep active almost all the time.

Right now, Shuffle / Blackout Kick is the default thing to spend chi on. It’s our most important active mitigation tool, and it’s our easiest to maintain. You will start a fight with activating Shuffle, spend most of the fight Blackout Kicking, and end the fight with a 2 minute duration. Could shuffle management be more interesting on it’s own? Does it need to be more interesting?

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