Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hunter (helps) Tank: A Different View

I was reading on the forums once again about how DPS are completely useless and tanks and healers are all that is important.  I've made my argument for DPS being just as important and in some cases even more important then tanks or healers.  As I play all three roles I can say I speak with some degree of knowledge.

While it is true that you do not need DPS for a great deal of the dungeons now, a tank and a healer can run them alone, that was not always the case and in some way still isn't always.  When the dungeons where new you would have never made it through with just a tank and a healer.  You needed those mobs to go down and the faster the better.  Even now I have run some dungeons that would be destine for ghost runs if it were not for good DPS because of shaky tanks or horrible heals.

So with that I share three stories.  Two yesterday and one a while back.  All including hunters, one was not my hunter.

Yesterday I get the Halls of Stone on my healer and I always wonder what this little adventure will be like.  I've been in groups with all 6K gear scores and wiped on the Tribunal gauntlet before.  There are some people that you just can't save and others you just do not want to.  I've come to the conclusion that the higher your gear score is in a heroic the lower your IQ becomes.

So the dungeon starts, bear tank, right off the bat I am worried.  As a bear myself I know that with stupid DPS things will get messy, and fast.  That is exactly what happens.  The first few trash pulls and I am healing like crazy, using more mana in a few trash pulls then I usually use in an entire dungeon.  I even need to drink, twice, before we got to the Tribunal and we headed straight there.  We skipped the other bosses.  So you see where this is going right?

You are going to say it is going to a complete and total wipe fest on the Tribunal right?  Nope, wrong.  It is as if the group that handled the trash where the pet dogs of the players and the players showed up for the important part.  None of the DPS took any aggro from the tank.  The hunter was trapping to slow things and sending his bear to off tank any adds that ran past.  He was all over the place.  The other DPS where beating the crap out of anything that moved without taking aggro at all.  The DPS where doing everything that DPS are supposed to do according the the DPS text book.  All I needed to do the entire fight was throw new shields up when they broke or disappeared and throw a mending once in a while on our friendly neighborhood bear.  I ended the fight at almost full mana. 

The DPS kicked ass and this proves how important DPS can be.  For as bad as they looked on trash they looked fantastic there.  The hunter more so being hunters have so many tools.  The hunter dropped a trap every chance he had to slow things down.  He MDed every chance he could to the tank.  He sent his pet after runners and then recalled the pet so the runners chased the pet back to the pack so the bear could pick them up again with their swipe without having to run after them.  If it were not for the DPS and more importantly this hunter that fight would have never run as smooth as it did.  I just wonder why they let their dogs play to begin with?  Maybe teaching them on the trash?  Who knows.

The second story of Hunter (DPS for that matter) basically tanking something comes from me on my Hunter.  I don't run weeklys or randoms or anything else really on my Hunter any more.  No need to, I have all the badges I need so when a friend needed help with the weekly he came looking to me knowing I have good DPS and know what I am doing.

He said that the tank was having some troubles so DPS had dropped out.  The weekly was Ignis from Ulduar so that means people were now saved to get to that point.  If people where leaving and giving up knowing that they could very well be screwed out of doing the weekly this tank must really be a piece of work.  I agreed, switched from my dancing bear (which is what I like to do while hanging around Dal) over to my Hunter, and headed there.  I walked in to see lots of people complaining about having wiped three times already.  This was not looking good at all.

As soon as the pulls starts the tank is losing aggro, no biggie, my MD would be hitting hard soon.  Within no time at all he is already losing aggro.  So now it is time to start thinking here. If I let him lose aggro we are all dead.  The offtank is a complete tard when it comes to getting the stone guys but that is none of my concern at the moment.  I slow my DPS as much as I can to line up some of my best shots and watching my procs.  When my MD comes off cool down I am ready to go and help him with his shaky, at best, aggro management.  I wait and wait because I know a few procs will be coming soon that will give me more damage and thus more aggro to transfer. 

My procs click perfect and go off and unload holy hell on the boss and it still does not seem like enough.  I click readiness and MD again and continue my onslaught.  Finally a small lead in aggro for him which he seems to start losing almost instantly.  I am out of cool downs if he loses aggro this time there is no way I can help.  Just as he slips and the boss goes to move to someone else my MD comes off cool down and I click it and go off with all my huge stuff, I had been saving it so I knew I had it for that moment.  Even kill shot was lit and went off there too.  A nice little boost for that end run. 

It was at that point that I knew there was no turning around.  If this fight lasted until my MD was off cool down again we where either dead or the boss was.  I give it all I have and the boss goes down.  That whole fight the tank never had secure aggro except when I was the one doing it for him.  I do not care what anyone else says, he did not tank that boss.  I did.  DPS is important when you have one that knows what the hell they are doing.

So yesterday I join in on an AQ 40 run.  Mostly 80s and some lower levels that needed gear from there.  We move along just fine until... you guessed it... the twins.  We explain it at the start, we go over it a few times, we go for it, no one gets it.  I just flat out stopped DPS all together.  What use is hitting it at all if it is gaining life faster then it is losing life when an idea came to mind.  The tank won't listen, he just follows the guy around trying to keep aggro on him so I am going to have to make the guy follow me and force the tank to follow me in the process.

I hall off on the one boss I am working on.  They switch, I have aggro, I disengage and the boss comes after me.  The tank follows a few seconds after and grabs him.  So do all the others and they start banging on him.  I set myself up so I know which way I am going next and when they switch I do the same thing.  Over and over I start moving him around the room and making the tank chase me basically by chasing the boss.  The life is finally starting to go down some.  This continues for a bit and I noticed after the 5th jump or so that the tank seemed to realize what I was doing and he started to prepare to move the boss himself.  So I stopped fighting him for aggro and let him do his job.  He did fine after that and we downed the boss.

Not to toot my own horn but if it were not for me there that pug would have ended at that fight.  The other tank never moved and the tank on mine never did either until I started making him move.  Next time you see a DPS grabbing aggro, more so a hunter like myself, think for a minute like this tank must have.  I have more then enough tools to handle aggro.  If I am ripping it off you and not using any of them (when I normally do) maybe I have a reason.  Sometimes, DPS can be more important then a tank, it was in this case and the above ones.

Never discount the DPS and write them off as nothing special.  They are really needed and more so, never underestimate how much a hunter can really control a fight.  Sometimes, a good hunter, is the difference between a win and a wipe.  DPS is important.

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