Hey Blizzard Watch, it's Hammer time!
"Tell Gul’dan to empty the Twisting Nether.
We’ve been here before. The long content drought where you find yourself raiding the same fights and the same bosses over and over again. It’s slightly more bearable if the encounters are particularly interesting, but that really hasn’t been the pattern this expansion. What’s a tank to do when you find yourself repeating the same old dances moves? Is it possible to shake things up so you can slog through another dozen months of the same raid content without going completely off your rocker?
A little more than four years ago–where does the time go?–Ghostcrawler posted a Dev Watercooler that would change tanking forever. In “Threat Level Midnight”, Ghostcrawler outlined what would come to be known as active mitigation, promising to “shift more tank mitigation to require active management.” We’ve been tanking under this new regime for the length of an entire olympiad now. It’s been tweaked and improved a few times from class to class as the expansions passed, and now the question is: was this new system an upgrade? Is tanking more fun now with active mitigation than it was before, and are there improvements that still could be made?
Like hiking a serious mountain, we’ve now breached the alpine zone and have the peak in sight. And much like how the air thins out at this point in the climb, so does the quantity of Orcs we have to suffer. Archimonde awaits just over the crest, but first we must throw down his vanguard: Zakuun, the torturer of Grommash Hellscream; Xhul’horac, a malevolent being from the void; and the reanimated vengeance of Mannoroth, who is essentially the Washington Generals of the Burning Legion.
Let’s talk today about some of the key tips and tricks that can assist with tanking success. What separates the serious tanks from the DPS that check the little box under the shield for a shorter queue time is the same thing that separates the successful from the also-rans in many aspects of life: preparation.