Weeks after the fateful 4.0 patch the dust has finally settled. We’ve covered the broad range of topics that you’ll need in order to be an effective tank in the coming Cataclysm save for one. You need to be able to adapt.
Tanks, more than any other class, need to be fluid in their playstyle and this is what separates the good tanks from the great ones.
Do you remember everything I’ve written in the past few weeks about optimal talent specs, glyph choices and spell priorities? Well, if you have an established method that works for you, you can feel free to completely ignore it.
If you find that Blood and Thunder is a vital part of your tanking rotation, by all means, grab it. If you can think of a million and one ways to use spell reflect effectively to save lives, shift some points around so that you can put points into it. If you think that the Shield Wall glyph does a lot more for your survival and your threat than Devastate, ignore what everyone else says and swap them out, try it out, see if you’re right or not.
The good tanks are the ones that follow the cookie cutter specs, maintain a solid threat rotation and glyph/gear just like everyone else agrees is the best way to do it.
The great tanks are the ones that are bold enough to consider if a variation in spec or glyphs might not yield better results and are brave enough to go out and try it themselves to see if it works or not.
Your tanking game changes entirely based on who you raid with, moreso than healers or damage dealers. You change your spec to assist your survival with a weaker healer or you adjust your glyphs and gear to build up to a more threat efficient profile when you’re grouped with people that test your ability to hold threat.
The best talent spec and glyph choice and stat priorities for gear will do nothing for you if it’s not something you can make work for you. It’s why you can see players that appear to be set up correctly in terms of spec and gear but perform so poorly in a real life setting. It’s solid proof of the simple fact that the best advice in the world will do absolutely nothing for you if you can’t apply it to your own manner of tanking, if you can’t find a way to incorporate it into your own playstyle.
So take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt.
If everyone and their mother tells you that you’re crazy to spec into Blood and Thunder but you find that it’s the only thing that lets you hold AOE threat, by all means, keep the talent.
Tanking if a highly personalized role to play and the best advice that you can find online or from your friends will do you absolutely no good if you can’t apply it to the way you play.