Do you know what’s a problem that I’ve seen so many tanks have?
Something unexpected will happen in a raid and they’ll drop dead. Immediately afterward, someone will always ask the question.
“Are your cooldowns still up?” And of course, the tank replies in the affirmative which means that the death and the subsequent wipe could have been avoided.
Do you know why this happens the way it does? It’s primarily because a lot of tanks out there don’t LIKE to use their cooldowns.
Yeah I said it. I’ll say it twice if it’ll get through to you guys. Most tanks, do NOT use their cooldowns properly.
See the thing is, a lot of tanks develop a certain mentality in the course of their lives. They have this packrat mentality when it comes to cooldowns where they always try to save it for a “rainy” day. They always think that even if their health drops down to under 10%, there’ll always be a situation right around the corner where they’ll NEED their cooldowns and THAT’S what they’ve been saving it for.
It’s important to understand that without using the cooldown that first time, that second situation will never come up. Your cooldowns should be used the instant you first get the feeling that you’ll need them. Whenever you see your health drop low, whenever you think your healer might not be paying attention, whenever you think that there’s even a chance that you’re about to eat dirt, pop that cooldown and revel in the fact that while you may not have needed it, you can be certain that you just prevented a potential death.
The problem’s deeper than just a single situation which is something that can be overlooked. The problem that most tanks don’t understand is that without constant and systematic usage of these cooldowns, you won’t have the proper instinct and muscle memory to hit them the second you do really need them.
If you’re one of those tanks that try to save all of your cooldowns for the ”real” emergency, do everyone a favor and start using them now. Put those cooldowns on an easy to see, easy to reach keybinding and hit it anytime you think you might be in trouble.
Do this for about a week and then see how much of a difference that all of that practice and muscle memory makes in the course of an actual raid. You’ll notice a very real difference in your reaction time and more importantly, in the sheer frequency of your usage.
You’ll find yourself using it more in the first moments of a fight where the healers might be caught napping and might not be quite ready to heal you. You’ll find yourself finally hitting that cooldown on time during a boss fight instead of fruitlessly smashing the key after you’re already dead. Heck, you’ll even find yourself using it more often on trash pulls and that’s perfectly okay.
Once you get into the habit of using those cooldowns the instant you need them instead of saving them for a rainy day, you will find many situations where the use of the cooldown saved your life where you would have otherwise died and you’ll be a better tank for it.