Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Distance-Based Avoidance

Another day, another solid post by Vene - one focusing on clustering. And one that got me thinking about one of my favorite tanking tricks.

Clustering is all about getting mobs to you. Why? So you can hit them with various abilities, generate threat, ect. The flip side, is that they are beating on you too.

In heroics, raid trash, and even some raid bosses - you may want to achieve the opposite effect. If you can put distance between yourself and a melee based mob(s), you gain 100% avoidance. Some examples...

Shockwave: SW buys you 4 seconds of not getting wailed on by stunable mobs - right? Wrong. It gets you 4 seconds, plus however much distance you can put between yourself and the group - and not just back up speed, but full fledged 180-degree-mouse-turn-and-GO speed.

Intervene: If you have a party/raid member at a distance from you, you can tag them with intervene, and buy yourself some damage free seconds from even unstunable/boss mobs! It may drive the hunters crazy, but the healers will love you. This works well even in conjunction with Shockwave.

Charge: This only works if you've got other mobs, possibly being tanked by other people. Lead your group away, then charge to the other person's mobs. Bam. More damage-free seconds. You can even chain it with intervene, and fly dozens of yards around the dungeon while the slow, single-minded mobs struggle to keep up.

Knockback: Sometimes, you'll find yourself launched through the air. This is a gift that mobs give to you. Its really, really easy (and fun) to automatically hit charge, and warriorbringer them in the face while dropping from the sky. (I think I'm calling warbringer, warriorbringer from now on...). But when you think about it - whats the rush? Let the mob do the work of coming to you, and enjoy the personal space.

Now the important thing about all this, is that you do need to have a solid hold on the mobs before you leave them in the dust. Clustering is still important, and still how your going to want to start off your pulls. But when the damage is high, and the healers is busy/oom/dead, you can escape even more damage then big cooldowns would provide you - if you can put distance between yourself and the people that want to slash/stomp/bite you - and save the day.


Tarsus said...

Or, if you are wiping, you can use the distance to make it to the door/stairs/portal/etc to get there first.

In the words of a long forgotten game, "You don't have to outrun the dragon, you just have to outrun your friends."

Darraxus said...

I love charging thru the air on archavon when he chucks me. Makes me feel like I am a warrior charging down from the heavens to smite him for his loot.

Chad S. said...

I actually have a shirt that reads "When in the company of a halfling, and and ill-tempered dragon, you do not need to out run the dragon" on the front, and "only the halfling" on the back.

Veneretio said...

This reminds me of why I love Piercing Howl and miss being able to use it. Back in the day, it was so good for "tanking" Shattered Halls. (which I realize is different than the topic at hand since in that role, you're just playing the role of moving earthbind totem)

Piercing Howl really is super underrated. Running away from mobs to take less damage is why we're such amazing add tanks for fights like Sartharion Add tanking.

Good point about the charging right back in thing. I sometimes wonder if my natural bloodlust gets the better of me and I'm unnecessarily charging back in for no reason.

One thing I've really noticed is that WotLK has ruined Intervene for me. Ranged Taunt just totally destroyed my use of the ability. I used to use it all the time and now... basically never. Gotta start using it to move around again.

Chad S. said...

I'm pretty excited that I'll be getting piercing howl in my max survival spec, so I can play with it. I never had/used it much previously, but after putting 5/5 in demo shout, its going to be a given.

As far as intervene - I have it as Shift + Chargekey. So I think I have it mentally mapped out as another movement thing. One of my favorite ways to use it, is on 4H when we zerg it - to get from Zel to Blau - Intervene someone in the middle, charge the rest of the way - and get there before the other tank even starts to move :D

Tarsus said...

I'm also fond of Intervene on the Four Horsemen fight, especially for the achievement. It gives me an extra few seconds to let the Mark drop off while waiting in the middle.

The other fight it occurs to me that I use it on a lot is KT, at least when I'm off tanking. If we get lopsided Guardian spawns, I'll use it to get through the middle of the room quickly so as to minimize the risk of getting ice blocked.