New Tank Basic Questions

Hi all! I am new to WoW and just completed Tanking Deadmines and Rage Fire Chasm as a Blood Elf Protection Paladin. I have some basic questions I hope the community will adress for my sake:

  • Is Hand of Reckoning my only Taunt?

  • How do I AoE Taunt trash packs?
    • for example, if I hit an enemy first, do I automatically get aggro
    and if so how long does that aggro last?

  • I have zero understanding of something I have heard called Threat. I hear Threat determines aggro, which, if the case, how can a Tank do more DPS that a proper DPS and then what is the purpose of a Taunt? Super confused here.

I greatly appreciate all input and will be returning to read and discuss your responses.

As a Paladin, you have a couple of tools to keep aggro over a group. Primarily, you’re going to be dropping Consecration and using Avenger’s Shield. Both of these will help you hold aggro over enemies. You’ll also have an AOE ability called Shield of Righteousness - this will both mitigate (reduce) damage, and generate Threat.

Threat is basically your aggro. It’s how much of the enemy’s “attnetion” you hold.

As a tank, your damage automatically generates more threat than a DPS player, meaning you don’t have to do near as much damage to generate equal threat to your DPS.

More or less, as long as you’re using your abilities, you will hold aggro.

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Awesome! Thank you for clarifying trash/AoE aggro. I feel like a basic ‘rotation’ to begin trash fights is to throw Avenger’s Shield and then drop Consecration and then begin using Hammer and Shield of the Righteous.

Yep - that works! Shield + Cons is pretty common. You might want to open with shield and then hammer, though. (Or shield then judgement.) Otherwise that’ll work.

You’ll probably find it getting easier as you level, too. Classes are pretty wonky before, like, 58.

Oh! I also want to say that taunt has two purposes:

  1. Sometimes certain adds won’t bunch up easily (perhaps they’re ranged) or they straggle and you lose aggro on them.
  2. Most raid bosses, with are 10-25 man content, require tank swaps between both tanks, so you need to taunt off the other tank in order to execute this.
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Is this to ensure Taunt never runs off? If so, is this because the DPS will be pulling to high Threat to rely on the Tank’s DPS to keep aggro?

Tank swaps are required due to mechanics where the first tank would die if you didn’t swap and share the incoming damage/debuffs, etc

I highly recommend the popular Icy Veins Protection Paladin Class guide. It will provide you everything including but not limited to proper rotation, priorities, cooldowns, talents, etc. There is also a good Icy Veins general tanking guide on the same screen where you pick a specific class guide.

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Tank swaps are generally due to boss abilities rather than threat generation.

For example, say you’re fighting Dreadlord Spaghettius Maximus, and he has the ability “Lunch Time: Instant Cast, 10 second cooldown - Slaps target with a wet noodle, causing target to take 10% extra damage for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 10 times.”

At 3 or 4 stacks, the tank would start to take too much damage from the boss and would need to swap with the other tank in order to let the debuff fall off them.

The taunt in this case causes the boss to ignore all the threat generated by you, and focus on the other tank. During the taunt window tank #2 starts building their own threat in order to keep his focus.

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Thank you both for your responses.

I’m enjoying figuring out a rotation intuitively as I level. I’ll keep Icy Veins in mind for when I get to the harder content.

Most of your questions have more or less been answered already, but I just wanted to add on how to improve your experience as a new tank. I wouldn’t worry too much about looking at external sites, because most of the information is more slanted towards end-game tanking.

My suggestion would be to organically learn how to play your class by running through the dungeons, learning various mechanics, seeing experimenting with your various abilities and cooldowns (as you get them). It may also be to your advantage to look at getting Omen, an addon that allows you to visualize how much threat you are generating from a mob, so you know when to taunt off that hunter who is pressing buttons too fast and pulling mobs off of you.

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Thank you! I will get this that you mention as it will help immensely without holding my hand. And yes, I am absolutely learning organically. The game thus far has done an excellent job of layering new abilities that build on what you have recently learned. I am a major, former theorycrafter from years on another MMO so learning by reading the abilities and then testing my organic rotation (meaning rotation changes per encounter as determined by situation) is both fun and full of learning moments. So far I’ve gotten positive feedback after each Dungeon as I make it clear I’m super new.

I’ll throw this out there as something to consider if you didn’t pick paladin for strictly the lore. It’s not a bad idea to level 2-3 classes to 30ish to see which you want to take to 120 first. 1-30 you’ll have most of the core skills, and it goes so fast with the exp buff and repeating content. My 8th and 9th 120’s turned out to be my favs.

If you never plan to heal, I would also try a warrior and a DK as they have two dps specs compared to pally only one. DK starts at 55, and they have a cool unique starting area. In the open world at max level, you will be playing a dps spec, and you spend much of your time out there everyday. It’s nice to have two dps specs for variety and nerf projection. Some specs are better than others for different types of content. Lastly, the characters you are not playing gain rested exp. Almost everyone has multiple 120’s.

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Thank you for all of the advice. I chose a Palidan because on my first character, a low level Warrior I made just before my Palidan, I saw this Blood Elf Paladin Tank just owning the Dungeon. Mind you it was a low level Dungeob but my noob eyes were in awe. So that’s why. I’m really enjoying it so far.

I will try other Classes down the line. I like to focus on one thing at a time to maximize effort and thus potential of said activity or in this case, a game character. I like Warrior (Arms) but feel it plays similar to Palidan (Protection) in the low levels I’ve thus experienced. Death Knight looks so dope too that it may be my next choice.