Tanks are hard to find. Sure we have tanks in our guild like Antipas, Beefshank, DevilCS, Semore, and even an excellent druid tank named Currant. However, sometimes you just can't find one — especially in the middle of an Alterac Valley weekend.
So, I've found myself tanking with surprisingly interesting results. So, I'm going to go into how to tank entire instances as ... a Rogue.
Now, you think I'm kidding, right? I'm not, but then again, I'm not talking about tanking Karazhan or Heroic instances ... yet. But I have successfully tanked Steamvault and Old Hillsbrad. Yesterday, I tanked Old Hillsbrad twice with only one death (but it was a Mage and they don't count!) The first time was with two resto Shamans, one with pre-Heroic gear and another with Karazhan gear. And the second time was with a pre-Karazhan geared Paladin and the same pre-Heroic geared Shaman. Old Hillsbrad is unique also in that Thrall joins you and tanks targets as well.
Steamvault was more of a result of our druid tank (not Currant) not being able to keep aggro against even my Auto Attack.
It's all about surviving and killing the mobs before you die. So go back and read my Dirty Tricks to Surviving if you haven't. Just remember you can't use the tricks that push your mob back onto your tank, because you are the tank and when you do, you push the mob onto your healers. 0_o
In Old Hillsbrad, our secret was that we had myself and a Karazhan geared wizard named Semoreo as DPS. As the "tank", I never had to hold back DPS or use Feint either. We also had my wife, a DPS warrior, who rounded up loose adds.
There is one major thing I left out of my previous post about surviving. Stamina means health and more health means living longer. A lot of rogues ignore this completely. Currently, I don't have a lot of stamina in my PvE gear, my unbuffed PvE health is only 8824. However, I swap out 6 pieces of my PvP gear and unbuffed I now have 10124 health, 3154 armor (23% reduction), 93 Resilence and 24.76% dodge.
As one of the five pieces, I found my PvP trinket, the Medallion of the Alliance, to be incredibly useful when faced against fears, stuns and Polymorphs. Like a Warrior's Berserker Stance, I use the Medallion with Sprint to get right back to my targets.
Next, I got this piece for the Stamina and the Resilience from Keepers of Time at Exalted:
My strategy was pretty simple:
- Use effective crowd control and mark your targets. In the first time we did Old Hillsbrad, I used Sap and the mage used Polymorph at every opporunity. We also focused our damage burning down our targets as quickly as possible.
- Use your stuns. Like I've said before, if your target is stunned, you're not taking damage. Use Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot whenever you can.
- Use your Evasion. Usually I saved Evasion for the bosses or way before I knew we'd be at a boss when I had multiple opponents as I was using Blade Flurry.
- Attack multiple targets at once. Making sure you're not breaking crowd control, you should be using Blade Flurry and Adrenaline Rush to burn down multiple targets at once.
- Use the right poison. As targets were going down so quickly, use Instant Poison rather than Deadly Poison. I also had the luxury of having Shaman on both runs, so I left my main hand open for Wind Fury which helped immensely.
- Get back to the action! I saved Sprint to mimic Warrior's Charge ability, for after fears or knockback.
- Don't let them escape. For those targets that try to run, I'd usually hit them with a Deadly Throw to finish them off or let myself catch up to them.
I asked some of the healers afterwards how they thought it went and we all agreed upon some things. First, it was awesome. I wasn't all that hard to keep alive even on the first two bosses. Second, I did have help. We had two warriors (albeit DPS Warriors) in each, a lot of crowd control and a lot of healing. Third, the biggest issue was that because I rely more on dodge than just armor or defense, I would go without getting hit for a while and then get large spikes of damage. However, with the pool of health I had available, it was fairly easy for the healers to keep up. We theorized that perhaps if I had a full set of PvP gear I might have enough armor, resilience and stamina to be even more effective.
This certainly didn't make me want to play a Warrior. It was fun and it is really just a novelty and something that can be done in a pinch. In the end game, gear plays a major role and it was obvious during these runs. Now, a lot of the normal BC instances give me that same feeling I had going back to Blackrock Depths when I hit 60. It's not a complete snoozefest, but it certainly makes you feel like you are a badass.