I’m a Warlock, but I can Tank, if I Have to, I Guess.

Tank Hard – I’m a Warlock, but I can Tank, if I Have to, I Guess

You want me to let what, exactly, hit me in the face repeatedly?

NB: This has all changed with the removal of the 6% crit reduction for locks and non-prot warriors, this change relegates lock “tanking” to low level mobs or purely spell based bosses. If you are reading this and would like me to do a full on guide for the kind of tanking we can now do, please let me know in the comments. It’s going to be extremely situational in progression raiding so I won’t be doing too much on it unless I get some feedback!!!!

It appears that despite what Ghostcrawler has said in the past, as of the current beta build (5.0.1 (15781)), Warlocks appear to be a fully functional, raid worthy, tank. I have tanked many random heroics as well as organized guild groups and even the current raid content out for testing. Threat generation is a non issue and healer feedback has ranged from “just fine” to being “way easier to heal than other tanks”. I’m sure most of this is due to the skill level and game knowledge of various tanks but it’s a good indication that there are not glaring deficiencies in our abilities to fill that role. Before anyone makes assumptions, no, warlocks cannot queue as tanks nor can we “roll” on tank trinkets or gear in group loot situations. However, what we can do is keep the attention of the trash and bosses in an instance away from the rest of the group and stay alive while doing so.

Streams: http://www.twitch.tv/shaidyadvice

Youtube videos (including lock tanking): www.youtube.com/shaidyadvice

Warlock Tanking Basics:

I assume most of you know this already but for those of you who don’t know the answer to “how the fuck are warlocks a tank?” I’ll address that here in brief. In Mists, for I will be referring to Mists of Pandaria by this moniker as I hate that people have settled on calling it “mop”, Warlocks have been given a glyph called Glyph of Demon Hunting. The glyph grants a Demonology warlock the ability Dark Apotheosis (DA) which does the following “You imbue yourself with demonic energies, reducing damage taken by 15.10% and allows the use of various demonic abilities. In addition, Soulshatter taunts your target, Twilight Ward will absorb all schools of damage and Demonic Slash is shorter range and generates fury.”  What the glyph description neglects to mention is that Dark Apotheosis also grants the Warlock 500% increased threat and massively increased armor combine that with the taunt and we have the basic scaffolding on which we can construct a tank build. Please read on for the details.

Warlock Tanking Details:

Okay, so we’ve covered the basic passives as well as the fact that SS becomes a taunt. The damage reduction in DA scales, but not terribly well with mastery. Since tool-tips tend to be pretty off in the beta  and numbers tuning for mastery is one of the last things done due to the fact it’s almost always a flat increase to something it’s hard to tell how this will compare to what innate reduction other tanks get at 90 but currently I have ~7.5k mastery and that increases the reduced damage by ~10%. With out DA I have ~16k armor which becomes ~50k with DA active. Let’s move on to discuss the active abilities and cool downs.

Base Abilities:

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