A small note: the name of my own cleric is not Radak but Alovnek (Blightweald-EU) the name of my account was from before I decided to fully play my cleric.
First something about me and the tanking I did so far.
I started tanking somewhere around beta 5 after having only healed. I came to like the way cleric tanks worked and this only increased since they fixed some annoying points like the old way we used to manage our threat.
And as of this latest update I have now main tanked the first 4 bosses in Greenscale blight.
And to get things started I will first discuss a couple of different tanking builds that you will often find.
Stats and tanking
As a cleric tank there are a lot of stats that are usefull to you and here I will show you what each stat does assuming you have atleast picked up the basis to tanking spec (see below at tanking builds).
Toughness: Reduces bonus crit damage taken from non player sources. 1Toughness gives a 2% crit bonus reduction.
Endurance: Increases you health by 9 per point. We get a 90% endurance buff from MoL and as a result 1 endurance on your gear will give you 17.1 health.
Wisdom: Increases your spellpower by 0.75 per point and also some mana regeneration.
Intelligence: Increases your spellpower by 0.25 per point, your max mana by 10 per point and your spellcrit by 0.5 per point
Strength: Increases your Attack power by 0.5 per point, your block by 1 per point and your parry by 1.5 per point.
Dexterity: Increases your Attack power by 0.5 per point and your dodge by 1per point.
Focus/Hit: Increase the chance to hit with spells/melee hits by 0.2% per point. (1 focus also increase hit by 1)
Attack Power: Increases the damage of your melee attack.
Spellpower: Increases the damage of your Spells, gives you 1.95parry per point and 0.3block per point.
Parry: Increases your chance to parry an attack by 0.01618% per point resulting in 0 damage taken.
Dodge: Increases your chance to dodge an attack by 0.02369% per point
Block: Increase your chance to block an attack by 0.04854% per point and also effects the amount you block for.
Some stats have caps that effect how high the priority of each stats is.
Parry: 20% (1236 parry rating)
Dodge: 20% (unconfirmed at 845 dodge rating)
Block: No known cap atm
Armor: No known cap atm
Because of the parry cap Spellpower stats to lose it's priority relatively quickly and as a result.
The stat priority assuming a raid environment (this means parry will always be capped because of the raid buffs)
Toughness (until cap) > focus (until cap) > block rating > strength > Endurance > Spellpower > Wisdom > Dodge > Intelligence > Dexterity > Anything Else > Parry
Toughness, focus and block are as a result the stats you should be looking for the most on gear.
The basis to tanking: 38 Justicar / 7 Shaman
This is the spec that has all the mandatory talents though a few points can be switched around. All talents builds should have at least all these talents picked up (healer's greed can be switched to Doctrine of Bliss or Hammer of Virtue).
The remaining 21talent points can be changed nearly everywhere to pick up the thing you want. Below are a few of the more common examples.
51 point builds
The most basic spec: 51 Justicar / 10 Shaman / 5 Sentinal
This is one of the most basic tanking builds. It has all the points in justicar which gives you Doctrine of Authority. It has all the mandatory talents in shaman and a few more to pick up Courage of the Bear that will increase your block by a additional 40 if you don't have a archon in your party/raid. The 5% spellpower in Sentinel gives you a bit more block and parry (if not already capped) and will also increase your damage and healing (and of course threat as a result).
Basic with inquisitor: 51 Justicar / 9 Shaman / 6 Inquisitor
This one is nearly similar to the spec above however it has changed to 5% spellpower in sentinal for 5% spell crit and 50 endurance from Armor of Devotion. With this change you do lose courage of the bear but if you got someone else with a strength aura this is no problem as they don't stack (and you can still use courage of the Jaguar to keep 40 dodge). Also notice that because you lose 5% spellpower you will need more spellpower from gear to keep your parry capped.
Now one of the first things you have to notice is that when using a lot of AoE heals to assist the healer your mana can go down fast. In this case getting the most out of your Purpose is very important.
So here are a few tips:
- Use it at a time that the need to heal is a lower priority or is unneeded if your healer is on TS having him use a cd works very well. This way you can maximize the efficiency of your Purpose.
- Another thing which should be quit obvious is do not use your Sovereignty or Bolt of Radiance while active as they return no mana (Of course if it is really needed for a taunt use it).
- Then a small warning Doctrine of Autority is a melee attack however it seems to be bugged and is not considerd a melee attack for Purpose and does not return mana so try to avoid using it.
- Also try to use it at precisely the same time as a melee attack is this case it will also return mana from that attack and you should be able to get a total of 7 attacks out of your purpose for a 70% mana return.
- Do not pop it the moment your at 50% mana or when it comes of cd but look at the above points and time in wisely.
- Time it correctly after getting back from a knockback is the mobs/boss has one.
Single target tanking.
In the case of single target tanking it will mostly be boss encounters so I will assume it is one.
We lack a charge and as a result I will 90% of the time open with Sovereignty while running in immediately followed by Bolt of Radiance. After you should make about contact your the boss and immediately use Precept of Refuge.
From here on it is just a keeping up your Precept of Refuge and your Censure. Try to avoid refreshing Censure early because even though the damage in the tooltip seems to have it only deal slight less damage then a Strike of Judgement it will deal about 20-30 less damage which is of course less threat (and less self healing). If you know there will not be any adds spawning in the fight use your Sovereignty and Bolt of radiance on cd as they deal more damage then a Strike of Judgement.
Lets take a look at the defensive cd's and when to use them
- Just Defense: Don't be afraid to use very often it only has a 1min cd and will be available pretty quickly again. I myself use it every time I see myself drop below 50% hp and it's off cd.
- Reprieve: This one is a bit harder to time but using it at a moment your healer is incapacitated is the most logical option. Another option I regularly use it for is only to heal the target of my Righteous Mandate which is most of the time the healer but I might switch it mid fight if I see a person taking large amounts of damage for some reason.
- Resplendent Embrace: This one is probably the hardest one to time correctly and with a cd of 2 min it's available less often then Just Defense so timing it is more important. One of the moment I myself use it is if there is a party wide aoe and everyone needs to be healed up again. Using it at such a time allows your healer to focus on his AoE heals and less on your because those AoE heals will heal you for 50% more. A more obvious one if of course when the boss does a enrage effect that can't be dispelled but there aren't that many bosses that have one.
Now one of the biggest problems a cleric tank has is initial AoE threat. So I will explain how I do my aoe pulls. (all these pulls assume a spec without having a silence which makes these a lot easier)
Group with some casters:
Try to see if there is any way to do a corner pull even if this is a small walk from the trash pack. In case of a corner pull most mobs won't be coming in at the same time so use a even justice every time a mobs comes around the corner. Sometimes this means you have to wait half a gcd doing nothing because a new mob is still incoming. Only once all mobs have been picked up you will use your precept of refuge and start a normal AoE tanking rotation.
One of the things you have to learn your group is that is you do a corner pull they stand together with you this way even if they get aggro in some way (bard seems to have a habit of this) they still go around the corner where you are waiting with your Even Justice.
If a corner pull is not possible things get a bit more tricky. For example lets look at a group with 2 ranged and 2 melee mobs which is a pretty common pull. In this case the way the group stand effect the way I do the pull. Most of the time they will be standing all 4 next to each other which will be my pull setup.
So lets see. "R" will the the ranged mobs and "M" will be the melee mobs.
The most important thing in all pulls is that you need to be hit/focus capped because missing the mob you will meet in the run in will mostly result in failing to pick it up correctly. (But even if you miss with the way I do the pulls you will always have your taunt available to pick it up)
So the easiest pull is a M R R M pull.
Just use Sovereignty on the left mob while running in toward the right mob. Pick up this mob using precept of Refuge and continue walking toward the 2 ranged mobs while using healing breath to heal the damage the melee mob did on contact. This part is pretty important as it generates healing threat on all 4 adds (if you have a purifier healer ask him to not pre bubble you as you will lose this threat). Once you arrive at the 2 ranged mobs (stun of Sovereignty will have worn out now) walk through them and turn around and use a even justice. At this point you should have threat on all 4 targets and you can use a the normal AoE tank rotation. However if your mages couldn't wait to start there aoe attacks until you arrived don't be afraid to use your AoE taunt to get aggro back. (You can change left and right depending on what is easier with the surrounding area)
A little bit harder is a R M R M or M R M R pull
In this case use your Sovereignty on the center melee mob and run straight in. When the outer melee mob reaches you use your Precept of Refuge on him while still running. Depending in the distance when your gcd is free again use your Healing Breath if your still at range from the ranged adds or a Even Justice if you are close. Again walk through them and quickly turn at which point you can start the normal AoE tank rotation.
The hardest pull is the R M M R pull.
Having the 2 ranged stand that far apart makes it very hard to keep aggro on both and the only good way to deal with this is having someone in your group with a silence.
In case you have a silence in your group handel it as followed: Mark one of the ranged that needs to be silenced after the pull. Start the pull with a sovereignty on that ranged mob while running toward the second ranged mob. When you meet the 2 melee mobs use your even justice to get threat on both followed by a healing breath again. Now a small difference here is that you will want to turn around and walk backwards toward the second ranged mob. The marked ranged mob should now be out of it's stun and run toward you because of the silence. Keep using even justice until you arrive at the second ranged mob and use your precept of Refuge on it. After that you can start the normal AoE threat rotation.
If you do not have a silence it is a little bit different Do the pull exactly the same as with a silence however the ranged mob will not walk toward you in this case. The only way to keep aggro on this ranged mob is to use your Bolt of Radiance and Sovereignty on it every time it is off cd. Using some extra self heals will also help to keep threat on it. However in this pull there is some serious chance of losing aggro so really check of there is really no corner pull possible which will make a a lot easier. (trash doesn't reset very fast so you can actually pull and run toward where a corner is available)
Standard AoE rotation
The standard aoe rotation isn't really hard but I see one thing a lot of people forget to do.
After everything is togather you can basicly spam Even Justice while keeping Precept of Refuge up. If the dps isn't very high this is perfectly fine. However if you got some very high aoe dps players with you a small extra stap really needs to be added that for some people is very obvious and by some people is 100% forgotten. This extra step is called using your "Tab" button. Just use it after every Precept of Refuge and your aoe threat will be a lot better spread out.
Another thing that can sometimes increase aoe threat is healing. This is only the case if the party takes damage during a aoe pack. Using Doctrine of Autority will cause a serious amount of healing threat if people have taken damage. The same if true for Dotrine of Loyalty however this one does less healing and no damage. But remember the threat from overhealing is very very low so only use it if people have actually taken damage.
Just Defense: This is a good cooldown to use right after you picked up the entire pack. If your healer knows you will be using this right after the pull it will give your healer a chance to wait with healing reducing the chance of losing initial aggro (which actually shouldn't happen if you do the pull correctly).
Reprieve: Just use this after you see your health drop low it actually isn't bad to use pretty quickly after the pull when you have low health as it will give you a large amount of threat when you do.
Resplendent Embrace: Just as with single target probably the hardest to time right. But using it a bit after the pull works best. The biggest problem is that you use a gcd not building any threat which can end badly if used to early into the fight. But later in the fight damage income should have stabilized and it isn't necessary anymore.