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WoW Classic Tanking Guide for Beginners

WoW Classic Tanking Guide
By | May 11th, 2020 | Categories: World of Warcraft

Being able to absorb massive amounts of damage has always been quite alluring to many players who are into World of Warcraft. There’s just an undeniable appeal to spearheading a raid or party and protecting all the damage dealers and healers from harm’s way. Still, it takes some learning and practicing to be a really good tank. And that’s why we’ve created this WoW Classic tanking guide for beginners!

Now, it’s worth pointing out that the way tanking works in Classic WoW is rather different than what you might be used to on retail servers.

Things in Classic are much simpler in terms of game mechanics, although don’t instantly assume that this means tanking in vanilla is easy. There are plenty of core mechanics to master in order to become a great tank so read on to learn more!

What is Tanking? (WoW Classic Tanking Guide)

Tanking is a gaming term that stands for a character whose main role is to absorb most of the damage by generating enough aggro (or threat). Essentially, the tank in a group is the player who has to keep his fellow party members from being attacked by the enemy.

By default, tanks have to throw themselves at the forefront of the battle as a sort of a meat shield who protects everyone else in the group by taking all the damage.

Being a good tank pretty much revolves around being capable of holding aggro well enough. This is crucial since in cases when the tank fails to generate enough aggro and/or other party members generate too much of it themselves, then chaos ensues and that’s how groups wipe most of the time.

What About the Term Main Tank?

Main tank refers to the primary tank in a group, although it’s mainly used in raid scenarios where there are typically multiple tanks. Thus, one of them (usually the most skilled and beast geared one) is considered the MT (main tank) to lead the line and take the most damage.

Tanking Strategies and Pros/Cons for Each Tanking Class

To make our WoW Classic tanking guide complete we’ll now focus on some neat tips and strategies regarding each of the 3 tanking classes. Moreover, we’ll give you the pros and cons of each so that you can choose the right tanking class for your needs!

1. Protection Warrior

  • Pros:
    – Second to none tanking abilities such as Shield Wall & Last Stand
    – Exceptional mitigation and threat-generating abilities
    – The go-to class for tanking in Classic WoW
  • Cons:
    – Not as good as Paladins at generating AoE aggro

The Warrior class is considered the only real tanking class in vanilla WoW due to several key reasons. On one hand, Warriors have superb mitigation and aggro-generating capabilities, but they also rely on the most potent type of weapons for tanking (as well as Paladins), which is a 1H weapon and a shield.

Now, since Warrior tanks always have most of their talent points in the Protection tree, here are the most valuable things to remember:

  • Go for a deep Protection build of 11/5/35 (Arms, Furt, Protection)
  • Improved Revenge, Taunt and Sunder Armor are a must
  • Always go for Deflection (5/5) in the Arms tree instead of Rend as it’s better for tanking

And these are the best races for a Protection Warrior in WoW Classic:

2. Feral Druid

  • Pros:
    – Aggro-generation that’s comparable to that of Warriors
    – The highest armor values from all tanking classes
  • Cons:
    – Lacks defensive cooldown abilities e.g. Shield Wall

While Druids are definitely inferior to Warriors when it comes to our end game tanking, they still offer similar threat-generation and even higher armor levels than Warriors. In fact, thanks to utility abilities such as Leader of the Pack, Druid can even be the best tanking option for specific end-game encounters.

Now, this is what to focus on when it comes to Feral Druid talents:

  • Your best bet would be to go for an 11/33/7 (Balance, Feral, Restoration) build
  • The Bear Form is your most essential tanking ability
  • Ferocity and Feral Instinct both complement Maul that costs less rage, while providing even more aggro

And when it comes to the best races (only Night Elves and Tauren have Druids) for Feral Druids, here is the best one:

  • Night Elf – Because they have Quickness and the most base agility among all Alliance races

3. Protection Paladin

  • Pros:
    – Brilliant at generating AoE threat
    – Self-heal, self-preservation abilities
  • Cons:
    – Doesn’t have Taunt
    – Not a viable option for end game tanking

Protection Paladins can often be found as supporting (or secondary) tanks in party and raid groups and on rare occasions they can even be seen as main tanks. However, even though Paladins carry plate mail just like Warriors, they lack crucial threat-holding abilities such as Taunt.

Still, Paladins have plenty of useful abilities and talent specs to help them in tanking scenarios and here’s what to keep in mind when it comes to Prot Pala talents:

And when it comes to the best race-class combo, here is the clear winner (note that Paladins are only available to Alliance players on Classic servers):

Recommended Dungeons for Beginner Tankers

If you’re an up-and-coming tank who’s still getting to grips with how to be a decent tank, then the most optimal dungeons to visit would be low-level dungeons such as Ragefire Chasm for Horde and The Deadmines for Alliance players.

These two dungeons will give you the chance to experience tanking in a party for the first time since you started leveling. And since they aren’t as complex and engaging as higher-level dungeons, you might get away with some blunders as you gain a better understanding about how tanking works.

Conclusion – WoW Classic Tanking Guide

So there you have it folks, we hope that you found our comprehensive WoW Classic tanking guide for beginners helpful and useful.

Although tanking is rather simple in its core principle, there are actually a lot of core mechanics that one should learn in order to become truly good at tanking.

Being able to absorb massive amounts of damage has always been quite alluring to many players who are into World of Warcraft. There’s just an undeniable appeal to spearheading a raid or party and protecting all the damage dealers and healers from harm’s way. Still, it takes some learning and practicing to be a really good tank. And that’s why we’ve created this WoW Classic tanking guide for beginners!

Now, it’s worth pointing out that the way tanking works in Classic WoW is rather different than what you might be used to on retail servers.

Things in Classic are much simpler in terms of game mechanics, although don’t instantly assume that this means tanking in vanilla is easy. There are plenty of core mechanics to master in order to become a great tank so read on to learn more!

One Comment

  1. Avatar
    cooper May 12, 2020 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Great guide! It’s really not easy to be a great tank.

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