World of Warcraft

Tanking in BfA

wow2 - Tanking in BfA

TL;DR We as a community should strive to make a better effort to help, not hinder any player who decides they would like to learn to tank.

This post stems from a discussion I read earlier this week regarding how difficult it can try to be learning to tank while levelling as well as learning in current content in dungeons or raids. The general issue is that tanking does have a learning curve and no one can be expected to know exactly what to do with no experience. Related to this is the issue that the only way to gain any real experience is by actually tanking.

For new tanks: Make every effort possible prior to entering the LFG queue or a group to prepare your character. Maybe play as a healer or DPS and pick up some off spec gear before you jump in. Be familiar with every tanking ability you have. What generates high threat? Which ability taunts? What is your active mitigation? Where is your interrupt? Bring consumables. Every buff will help. In dungeons, watch how the trash is pulled. See where the boss is positioned (if applicable). Play with the mindset of a tank before you try it. In LFR, you might be able to ask the other tank for pointers. If you haven't already, use a boss ability tracker such as Deadly Boss Mods or BigWigs. These add-ons will generally notify you when there is an upcoming taunt swap or suggested defensive cool down. Look at Wowhead or Icy Veins for talent builds / azerite / stat priority.


After you've decided to take the plunge consider the responsibilities involved. As a tank, you will need to maintain threat on all hostile targets. First and foremost, keep your healer safe. Use defensive abilities to reduce the amount of damage you take. You will be in charge of the pace / speed of the dungeon. There is definitely a groove to it.

If threat is an issue, gear for damage output. If dying is an issue gear / talent for survivability.

For everyone else: Be patient with a new tank. Offer advice or if you really can't handle it, drop and requeue.

I've seen many people indicate that tanking can be intimidating or scary. You can get used to it if you try. Hell, you might even like it. Tanking should be scary because there are a dozen angry mobs heading straight for you or there is a boss 50 ft tall and you're supposed to fight it, not because the group you're with will eviscerate you for screwing up.

There are tons of resources and guides out there. This is meant to spark conversation.

If anyone would like help with their character or their role, I would be glad to help. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading.

I am Toasy_One and thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

ETA: Regardless of your view on this topic, tanking is part of the game. As players explore every facet of WoW, they will eventually end up at the decision to tank. Everyone, good or bad, should get to try without being told to die in a fire.

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