Thursday, November 12, 2009

We Got a Long Way to Go, and a Short Time to Get There...

OK, so maybe time ISN'T so short but still...

I finally got around to getting my dual spec. Yay, I’m officially a tankadin as well as a retadin.

Ho-lee-crap! It is a major change of pace! Not that I’ve tanked with any groups or anything, but even sauntering up to the practice dummy is all kinds of different. Fighting PvE just amplifies it… Lots to learn and it’s not the kind of thing you want to try out for the first time in a PUG.

Let me ‘splain to those that haven’t made the dual plunge…

(The first part kinda just highlights the changes that ALL dual spec folks have to deal with, but the last half (or more?) gets into some very specific Ret versus Prot yabbering)

And here… we… go!

There are 3 big things that change when you get a different spec, to the point that you are essentially using a completely new character:

1 – Talents & Glyphs – in general, nothing you know about your old character will work. In most cases (unless you have a PvP version and a PvE version) you are talenting for a completely different game style. Just researching what tree and different talents is nuts! Look at my talent numbers above, and it’s clear there’s not much overlap.

2 – Gear – This may actually be the easiest part of the change: at least for the under-80 crowd. For a ret pally, you want strength, strength, strength, with some attack power, crit and a “dash of haste” (hey a pun…) For a tankadin (Protection spec) you want stamina, block, defense and THEN maybe strength. While I’m probably getting the exact order of importance wrong, the basic premise holds true – there is gear that is primarily Ret, and there is gear that is primarily Prot. It’s fairly easy to see the difference and grab what’s right. It can be expensive, time consumingh and space consuming (in your bags) but it’s not all that tough.

3 – Spell/ability rotation – YIKES!!!!! Here is where things get a bit hairy. First, the basic spells I use are a tad different, and the WAY they’re used is different. Hmmm… this point is gonna get long, so I’m going to break it out even further… But in general, all your spells, abilities and how you use them will be changed. Either they are unusuable, or are less effectual, AND you will usually get something completely new to learn how to use.


Ok, for a Ret Pal, you use what is referred to as “FCFS”, which is “first come, first serve”. In practice, this means simply looking at your regular spells, and using the first one that comes off global cool down, and, if 2 or more do, picking the “best” one. Because the spell times, cooldowns and such are so all over the place, there's no real "best" rotation. The basics are:

Hammer of Wrath
Judgement (usually wisdom for me)
Crusader Strike
Divine Storm

Just start casting them in that order, and recast the next one to become available. If two come off cooldown at the same time use the upper one.
Though to be honest, if it’s just me, or me & Kattastrophe, I will pull with Hand of Reckoning, and then Judge them when they get in range, THEN start the list as above. But then, knowing to do that little thing to maximize damage as the baddie runs towards you, is part of knowing your character.

I don’t have that comfort/knowledge with the Prot build yet.

In Prot, you actually DO have a spell rotation; the 9696969 (or the 696969696)

For me this is usually as follows (I got it from HERE )

Hammer of the Righteous
Holy Shield
Shield of Righteousness
Hammer of the Righteous
Shield of Righteousness
Holy Shield
Hammer of the Righteous
Shield of Righteousness

And repeat. Over & over, til death do us part.
(also I will try to pull using Ardent Defender – which can hit up to 3 targets. YAY!)

Here’s a Pinkraidframes vid of it in action:

Learning to use this, when to bend it, how to watch threat/agro on other members so they don’t get their face chewed off, etc is a BIG deal. Test dummies don’t help with that…

There are 2 good taunts that we can use:

Hand of Reckoning – which taunts and can do damage on a single target

Righteous Defense – which pulls up to 3 attackers of a raid/party member

Now, I know *how* to do them, but one thing I would LOVE to find, is something like healbot, but shows whenever team members are taking damage (when they shouldn’t be) so I could just click that bar/frame/whatever to taunt them off.

Is there such a thing?

Lastly, I’ve been running into one other possibly MAJOR issue when I try to play as my tank spec – I keep going out of mana. FAST.

Now, if I use Seal of Wisdom, and I Judge Wisdom, the problem takes longer to manifest, but is that REALLY the way it should work? I had always thought that Tankadins should Judge Light (for the health rejuv) and that Ret should be the one to Judge Wisdom.

Now, I usually hit this problem when fighting “trash”, and I *believe* that we should be getting mana back from our shield blocks, which doesn’t happen much against low level trash.

I know Consecrate is a mana hog, but given it's the only AoE we have, I can't think it's advisable to skip....
Any thoughts?


  1. For trash it IS usually advisable to drop con from your rotation after the first drop in my experience.

    If you're taking the plunge to Prot Tanking, I'd definitely suggest Maintankadin Forums ( ) as a major resource.

  2. Make sure to always use Blessing of Sanctuary on yourself.
    Like jadedalt said, don't cast con to much, after the initial pull.
    Pull more mobs.
    More mobs attacking you = more mana gained + more effective con .

    That's my experience from leveling my Tankadin to 79 so far...

  3. COOL!

    I tried Sanctuary a couple times (and all I could think of was Quasimodo - "SANCTUARY!!!" lol) and didn't get much of a return. THen again, with shorter, smaller fights, that's not surprising.