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Top 5 Tips for Tanks

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-05-31


As a tank, your responsibility is to hold aggro so the whole party can attack the enemy targets.  There are a variety of ways provided to tanks to accomplish this, and using them in conjunction with each other can be the difference between being a good tank and a great one.  Here are a few tips that separate the tanks from the squishies.

5 Piss Off the Monsters, Then Keep Them That Way

  Every tank has some kind of taunt or shout that attracts aggro and forces targets to attack you for a period of time.  These should be used as often as they are available, especially if the tank is having problems holding aggro against another party member (which happens to even the best of us, mainly when fighting trash).  The difference between a good tank and a bad one is the ability to manipulate the aggro even when it’s lost.  Taunts and shouts were made for two purposes – to call attention to yourself, and to call attention away from other players.  Use them in both ways to the advantage of the entire party.  

4 Survival Mode

While any healer worth their salt is going to use every spell in their book to protect the tank, the tank should also be prepared for if the healer can’t heal for some reason, be it death, mana shortage, or simple line of sight issues.  One thing about tanks is they have all sorts of abilities to restore and preserve health points that are similar to direct heals and heals-over-time.  Tanks also usually have in-combat health regeneration in spades.  A really good tank can be self-sufficient, and leave the healer either bored as hell or healing only the rest of the party.  

3 AoE Tanking

  Area of effect tanking is the most overlooked aspect of tanking there is.  In multi-monster mobs or against a boss with slave monsters, a tank has to make sure he has the attention of everything, and that one of the monsters doesn’t stray off to another party member.  It also happens a lot that a party member will target a monster other than what the tank is attacking, and AoE tanking is important to keep the aggro.  There are two ways to do effective AoE tanking.  The first is, of course, to blow all your AoE abilities (not necessarily all at once) and ensure you hit every target.  The second is to tab around to various enemies and use damage-over-time attacks on them before you focus on a single target.  Tabbing between targets is something a tank should be doing anyway, so adding a DoT to your rotation should be a simple matter.  

2 Know Your Surroundings

  Another important aspect of AoE tanking is being aware of your surroundings at all times.  A tank cannot afford tunnel vision, which happens when the tank zones in on what he is attacking at the time and isn’t paying attention to other monsters or enemy players and where they are in relation to the tank.  In most games, the camera gives you a 360-degree view.  A tank should be watching all 360 degrees, at once if possible!  

1 Maximize Damage

  Many tanking classes have area of effect or splash damage available to them, and these skills should be used as often as possible.  Not only does it achieve the effect of adding a DoT to your tabbing, but both actions have another very important function – they wear the enemy down.  The less health an enemy has the easier it is to kill (as if you needed to be told that) so wearing down health only makes it so your party can kill the enemy that much faster.  DoTs are useful in this regard, and this is also more likely the time you’ll use your big, expensive burst damage attacks, especially if you can damage more than one target with them.    Protect the Party  

All of these tips are designed to do one important thing, and that is protect the party, especially your healers.  There’s an old gaming adage that if the tank dies it’s the healer’s fault and when the healer dies it’s the tank’s fault.  In most cases this is absolutely true.  An encounter is like a chess match, and each player is a strategic piece in that match.  Protecting your pieces and not losing any is what the tank is there to do.

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