Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ask Coriel: Tanking as Holy

Ron writes:
Just starting to run Kara as a Holy Pally. I noticed your Armory snapshot today has you in tanking gear so I thought i would ask how u find the challenge of holding aggro and pulling mobs with so few points in Prot please?

I am keen to gather an off tank set but wondered what runs u have comfortably tanked as Holy spec with your tanking gear? Heroics, non-Heroics, etc.

I don't really tank much. I mainly tank adds that need to AoE'd down. That's pretty much murlocs on Tidewalker these days. I pull mainly with healing threat on a Life-tapping warlock. For out-of-combat pulls, I have Holy Shock.

As long as you have Improved Righteous Fury, holding aggro is not usually an issue. A full Prot paladin would find it easier, but Holy has cheaper Consecrations, Holy Shock, and extra spell damage.

The big difference comes in mitigation. A Prot paladin would take much less damage than I do. In fact, I *cannot* tank 73+ mobs or raid bosses as I would take crushing blows for 150% damage. You need Holy Shield to be able to tank raid bosses.

As for 5-mans, I can tank regular 5-mans fairly easily (my gear is pretty good). I can probably tank heroics as well, but I haven't really tried.

One thing that I have been trying lately is gearing for Avoidance. For example, I'm trying +8 Dodge, +8 Defense, +4 Defense/+6 Stamina gems, instead of the more standard +12 Stamina everywhere style of Effective Health tanking. EH tanking is really good for slow, hard-hitting bosses, as Avoidance tanking relies on randomness, and it only takes a small streak of full hits to kill you on a slow-hitting boss.

However, for AoE tanking, you tend to deal with lots of small attacks, and the Law of Large Numbers starts to kick in. This means that the odds of taking a killing streak are very low. Plus, paladins are pushed towards Avoidance because we have to gear that way to reach uncrushable status. I'm just keeping on going in that direction.

So far it seems to be working out. I think I do take less damage overall than in my previous setup. I'm not sure if it would be viable when tanking bosses, but as I am Holy, the point is moot.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with Coriel -- aggro should *not* be your problem as a holy tank, at least if you have Improved Righteous Fury. I've tanked in Kara and in heroics without too much trouble using a 42/19/0 spec. I don't have as much mitigation as a real tank should, but if the healer(s) fall behind, I can switch to my healy hammer and spam heals on myself in between judgements. You'll be generating plenty of aggro from healing the main tank (yourself). When I've done Shattered Halls runs as AoE offtank, I've had more problem pulling all the mobs, including the MT's, than I have with holding aggro on the ones I want. Give it a shot; it's a fun change of pace.