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

The first is a detailed look at exactly how ridiculous Soul Link is right now and how that can be used and abused to no end in it’s current implementation. So rather than going into “mathy” specifics I’m going to just go over it’s general behavior and show how ridiculous it is. In it’s most basic incarnation it turns the health pools of you and your pet into a single large health pool that is the sum of the two. To do this it splits all damage and healing you or your pet receive between the two of you. Where it gets tricky is that all damage is divided in such a way that, based on your current health, that you and your pet would die at the same time from sustained damage. A basic example is that if you have 200k health remaining and your pet has 100k left, you take 2/3rds of the damage and your pet takes 1/3rd. Heals, on the other hand, are split such that you and your pet would be healed to 100% health at the same time based on the amount of health you are currently missing. If I am at 200k/400k health and my pet is at 100k/200k health (these health pools are approximately how they are at 90) then I also receive 2/3rds of any heal either of us receive and he the remaining third. So with the health pools about you effectively have a 600k HP lock tank, cool right?! Now to turn this into a survivability CD you just combine this with the fact that for 250 fury in DA you can instantly summon any of your demons out with 100% of their health. Let’t look at an extreme situation to see how this works. Let’s say we get hammered by something in a raid and it reduces both the lock and our pet to 10% health. That puts us at 40k health and the pet at 20k, as soon as this happens we summon out an instant pet at the full 200k health, now any damage we take is split such that we take 1/6th of the damage and our pet takes 5/6ths of the damage BUT!!! any heals we receive go 100% to us since our pet is no longer missing any health!! Obviously all of this is only true until we get that heal and the percentages change but it’s pretty sweet on a 1 minute CD!

Soul Link and the double dip!: This is something that I think Blizzard is going to have to change but right now Soul Link is an amazing way to increase the effective HPS of your healers on a single tank. Since all heals are shared healers can each roll two HoTs (one on you and one on your pet) on a single health pool as well as the benefit of double ticks of any AoE heals on both you and your pet. This “bug” gets to unreasonable levels with a holy paladin healer. Normally a heal and it’s copied Beacon effect can’t apply to the same target, this is not so with a Soul Link lock tank. I’m sure Blizzard is going to have to address at least the beacon effect, I’m not sure how they can possibly do it w/o reworking Soul Link or changing beacon in someway.

Bear-Catting syndrome: Depending on the needs of the encounter the only thing a Lock tank looses over a pure demo DPS is a glyph slot and perhaps slightly suboptimal reforging and gearing. With the introduction of 4 druid specs Blizzard hopped to solve the issue of having a tank that can DPS much better than others when not required to actively tank a MOB. Well, with this Glyph they’ve introduced a whole new one after removing the druid issue. I haven’t looked at tank DPS too much when not tanking but it’s possible that it’s similar at entrance gear level to what a sub optimal demo lock does but I’m sure this will not scale into later Mists tiers.

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2 comments on this post.
  1. MD:

    this makes me happy and sad at the same time…

    it makes me happy because warlock tanking is one of my greatest WoW dreams…
    it makes me sad because this article will cause warlock tanking to get a crushing nerf since blizz doesn’t want warlocks to tank…

  2. Shaid:

    Here’s the bnet thread where I’m trying to figure out exactly what it is Blizzard wants: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5968246879?page=1

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