Being a tank for Eff the Ineffable, Orvillius is particularly sensitive to the tyranny of healers. What with their members only healing channel and their posh sense of entitlement, seeing this Circle of Healers reboot floating around was just too much! Using ancient Paladin secrets (replacing ‘heal’ with ‘tank’), Orv reforged the healer meme into a mighty tanking meme.
1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Orvillius, human protection paladin, 0/31/10
2. What is your primary group tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I mostly tank EtI’s 10 man raids. I used to pug weekly 25 mans in WotLK, but with the raid lockout change that became impossible.
3. What is your favorite cooldown for your class and why?
That’s a tough one, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say the new Holy Shield. It’s on a super short cooldown, so I can pop it any time I feel like my healers might need a little breathing room.
4. What tanking CD do you use least for your class and why?
Ardent Defender. I always want to save it as an “oh shit” CD and take advantage of the “extra life” mechanic and end up leaving it unused more often than not.
5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
Our toolbox. I have a super short CD that gives extra damage reduction via block (and we block a ton) a short CD that gives 20% DR or 40% magic DR, and two longer CDs with either 50% DR or 20% DR and an extra life. And then there’s LoH, bubble, hand of protection, Divine Guardian, the list goes on and on. Basically whatever goes wrong I feel like paladin tanks have a button to take care of it.
6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your class and why?
The lack of a gap closer. DK’s can death grip an errant caster mob, warriors and bears can charge, Paladins can run over there a little faster.
7. In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
I think, especially since the cata changes, the days of Main Tank vs. Off Tank specialization are really over. As a shield tank I can handle a lot of hard hitting adds perhaps a little better than a DK can? But aside from Maloriak I can’t think of any fight where I feel there was a difference in what was needed from either tank.
8. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
Another paladin. Chain Divine Guardians for the win.
9. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
Bears. They don’t have plate armor... they don’t have a shield and I have no idea how any of their abilities work.
10. What is your worst habit as a tank?
I tend to go too far one way or the other with my CDs, either getting a little jumpy and popping them too early, or hesitating on deciding which to use and not popping them in time.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
Lack of communication. I hate when the other tank does something unexpected (moves the boss, taunts off me, etc) and doesn’t call it out first.
12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with others tanks for tanking?
I do. I think that DKs are struggling a little with the whole Mastery vs. Avoidance issue, but on the whole I think that Paladins can hold their own with the other tanking classes just fine.
13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
In real time I use omen and tidyplates: threat plates to keep track of my threat and my debuffs. I use recount to check cause of death after a wipe, and I love world of logs for digging in deeper. I’m still not sure how to quickly get all the info I want from WoL but I spend a lot of time each week digging in there.
14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your tanking class?
That Paladins are just AoE “faceroll” tanks. Once a paladin has started raiding, their glyph and talent selection really trims back the AoE utility in exchange for a focus on survivability. I think this is lessening the further we get into cataclysm, and was mostly a holdover from Wrath.
15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
Cooldown usage. Especially if you have a healing team as good as EtI does, you can get through a lot of fights without making proper use of your CDs, and I think for a lot of tanks, that can mask the importance of learning how to plan out your CDs for different boss abilities, and to get into the habit of using them properly.
16. So, how about that whole vengeance mechanic, eh?
I like the ability to move away from threat stats and focus on survivability, but when you run with a trio of mages sometimes the early seconds of a boss fight can get a little tense if I have a good avoidance string/bad miss string. Overall I think it makes threat trivial through most stages of fights which lets me focus more on maximizing my survivability and less on pumping out high threat.
17. Stamina, Combat Table Coverage, or total Damage Reduction?
I go back and forth with this a lot. I added a few lines to Rhidach’s CTC calculator sheet to show the change it makes in damage reduction as well. Then I bugged my healers, and they seem to prefer I go with as much CTC as I can, so that’s how I’m gemmed at the moment.
18. What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
Bears. I decided to dig up my level 42 druid tank the other day and level him just so I have some sort of idea how bear tanking works, and I ended up staring at the talent tree scratching my head.
19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
My computer is a little on the wimpy side so I go very light on the add-ons. This has gotten easier since blizzard let you unlock your own frame and your targets frame and move them around. I use recount (for death report checking) omen and tidyplates: threat plates to keep an eye on the threat situation. I use DBM for my boss timers, RSA to call out my CD’s and I just added a /rw macro to a few of my CD’s to make it more obvious to our healers when I’ve blown them.
20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats (stam, mastery, avoidance), or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Right now I’m stacking a lot of mastery. It gives the best return on investment as far as combat table coverage goes, and my healers insist they like more predictable damage better than less total damage overall.
Now for the exciting part, seeing if we can get this thing off the ground! I think I'll tag Miri, Achloryn (aka Fuzzbutt), and Rhidach.