Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jump! Jump!

I had an Oculus group turn into a tween hip hop duo last night when one of the drakes was pulled from behind as we were killing a group of trash on the inner ring.

The one ranged DPS we had was the one that pulled it and died early on, another melee we had was just starting heroics and died shorty after due to AOE from the trash.

So it's a warrior tank and my enhancement shammy along with the healer that finished off the trash mobs and started in on the blue drake. The tank successfully brought it onto the platform using line of sight, but it was still a meter or so too high to hit.

The tank and I spent the next few minutes jumping up and down to swack at the dragon as best we could eventually getting it down.

I've had drakes pulled while no one was mounted before, but the drakes were always more or less at ground level. So keep in mind if you can't reach as melee, don't just stand there, jump!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Boomkins are Naughty, Some are Naughtier

I came across a balance druid yesterday in Halls of Stone that rubbed me the wrong way. The first minor transgression was an add-on which announced in party chat whenever he innervated or barskinned himself. That information is never useful except perhaps if you are innervating someone else that needed it and wanted to let other druids know you were doing so to avoid wasting it. Other than that anyone being innervated will know by the sudden jump in mana.

The second was frequent use of Typhoon which wasn't glyphed to avoid knock back. Obviously a raiding druid and well geared, probably dropped the glyph recently to exploit Saurfang in ICC by blowing the adds off the edge. Still no one likes that in a heroic, least of all the tank.

The third and final strike was frequent use of Starfall to pull additional mobs and I let him get away with it twice. Third and fourth times not so much.

Now there is one and only boomkin that I like enough to let that slide and often encourage. Anyone else that pulls before me when I am tanking takes their life into their own hands. Usually even if I let them tank a single mob they never die since my healer won't allow it; I'll turn her to the dark side yet. I end up tanking most of what anyone aggros though just to keep stuff off the healer since 99.9% of the time someone who pulls just hits one mob and the rest are essentially body pulled.

Starfall provides a unique opportunity though for someone to pull a lot of stuff and over aggro the healer on all of it! This allows for a naughty tank such as myself to raise the repair bills of anyone who would do it since I don't have to worry about my healer getting beat on. They fall down since no healer alive could keep them up and all I have to do is ensure I am second for threat so no one else gets hurt.

Isn't that just terribly naughty! I'm pretty sure I got a dirty look from my healer when she found out I had done it on purpose after the second time, she asked and I was quite forthcoming. I don't think the boomkin ever figured it out though (or didn't care) as they did it again even after their second death, but I just picked them up that time. I had my fun by that point.

I've become increasingly more open to allowing DPS to tank when they go out of their way to do so. I had a rogue the other day in Utgarde Pinnacle that tanked pretty much every boss and even some of the trash. They had the best gear I think I've ever seen on one person and it was obvious they were going out of their way to pull aggro. At first I was doing my best to hold aggro, but eventually I was ok with just being second for aggro and saving some durability damage to my armor. I was on my death knight so rune strike made up most my aggro and since I wasn't being hit to proc that there was no way I could catch that rogue without taunting. I'm so not using my taunt every cooldown for one rogue not even using tricks (of if they were they were using it on themselves).

Ironically later that day I came across another well geared rogue that was actually carrying a tank who could not hold AOE threat just by using tricks of the trade and fan of knives. I knew that to be the case when that rogue left halfway though Violet Hold, just before the last boss, and chaos ensued. We made it, and it wasn't as bad as I made it out to be, but the difference one good player can make sure is obvious. I was on my hunter and just had to misdirect more as did the other hunter in the party.

Behold the Power of Mockery

So I ran like a bazillion heroics Sunday evening and had the usual mish mosh of players and experiences, but one stands out as particularly amusing. We we're making our way to the last boss in Utgarde Pinnacle and three pulls before the boss all hell broke loose, I think the tank had a cat on his keyboard or something, and we wiped.

Coincidentally our feral druid who was DPSing announces in all caps, yes really, that his wife had just asked for sex and he added that sex was better than badges. I quipped back with something sarcastic implying that his wiping must turn her on.

Hilarity ensues when he changes his story again in all caps and said it was his girlfriend that asked him to raid with her. Yeah, he was full of the Angus of manure. To which I simply responded...

"Just finish the instance you punkerdoodle."

After a few moments to contemplate that, I bet it was the first time he'd ever been called such a thing, he agreed to finish, but asked us to speed things along. Not like we were going all that slow to begin with non stop chain pulling. We finished the instance of course and parted ways.

If I leave a group, which is rarely, it is because I don't see things progressing and I just go without explanation because by that point it should be obvious and preceded by numerous wipes. You don't just bail at your earliest inconvenience.

One time I did leave a group on the second trash pull since I was waiting to see if I could get into a raid and 5 minutes after their start time I figured it was a safe bet I wasn't needed. I queued for a 5 man, got in, buffed and we started pulling. I was healing and got the whisper that I was indeed needed on the second pull in the Forge of Souls. I let the group know, but by that point that tank had rocketed off to the next trash group. I rushed ahead and kept everyone alive and healed everyone up before leaving.

As a rule of thumb I allow an hour for a heroic when I know I have something else coming up and don't like feeling rushed. Ironically there are few tanks that can, and more importantly make good on that ability and actually do, pull an instance faster.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Death Knight Tanking Stall

If you think of a death knight tank as a plane, I find it helps to picture this tank as a gnome who are often punted, perhaps in that aerodynamic tier 9 gear with little wings. Where was I... oh yes, flying tank.

Imagine the tank's health to be their speed and their threat to be their altitude. Now anyone with a basic working knowledge of planes know that if you pull up to gain altitude while at too slow a speed the plane will stall and being to free fall toward the ground. The only way to avoid a crash is to level out and build speed. In the death knight's case, stop building threat to regain health.

The analogy takes a comic turn when you picture a healer as a rocket strapped to the flying gnome, providing an extra boost of speed when needed. An afterburner of sorts. Yeah, healers just got cooler.

Death knights are unique in comparison to other tanks due to the fact they use the same resources to mitigate and heal through damage as they do to cause damage and threat. This is most true of a tank specced into the blood tree. There is a ton of survivability there, but it comes at a higher price in runes than other talent trees.

So here we have our little squadron of plaople (plane people?) with the tank in the lead and the healer strapped on for the ride. The tank loses speed and the DPS fly right on above their tank above the poorly engineered downward facing radar jamming transmitter on the tank. They enemy spots them and proceeds to shoot them down. Up until that point the enemy was only aware of the tank.

So something DPS should be more aware of when working with a death knight tank are more abrupt fluctuations in threat generation and in turn should give the tank a slightly larger lead on threat and/or keep a closer eye on it. This is especially true of AOE encounters where the first thing to get axed are the more expensive AOE threat generation abilities.

The healer also needs to keep in mind as they have just somehow magically become attached to all the planes whenever they chose is to not boost any DPS past the tank. In other words in order to keep your tank making threat don't let their health play second fiddle to that of a DPS. This is really only an issue when healing someone who has pulled off the tank.

When someone pulls off a death knight tank and that death knight is forced to use runes to protect themselves they are less capable of regaining aggro aside from a taunt. Luckily we have one and a half of those, I count death grip as a half since it doesn't match threat like a traditional taunt. The death knight still need to expend resources in addition to a death grip to retake aggro permanently. So if the DPS doesn't stop damaging while that process is taking place they will be stuck with that mob and compound the problem as they require more heals and the tank must concentrate more on themselves.

Compare that to a similar situation on my bear tank where all I sacrifice are a couple global cooldowns and it is a night and day difference. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses.

* No gnomes were punted in the writing of this post.

You Tear It, You Bear It!

Words to live by as a feral druid since we are uniquely capable of becoming a tank at the push of a button when things get hairy (which they usually are).

In an ideal world pulling threat is something we strive to avoid, but it does happen even to the best of us. Our problems lie mainly in initial burst damage, but our sustained output can rival that of all but the most seasoned tanks even with our 30% threat reduction.

What limits our damage is our energy pool and at the start of a fight that is full. Combine that with our often being positioned right behind our prey stealthed ready to pounce at a moments notice there is no delay of running up like other melee. There is a lot of burst damage all at once right as the tank is building threat.

Our opener of choice, pounce, stuns the target for that initial onslaught giving the tank to overtake us in threat even if we got a little too excited to let the tank actually hit it more than once.

Another cause of up front burst damage is berserk which we blow close to the start of a fight so it is more likely to become available again before the end of the fight. Hopefully by that point the tank has a serious lead on threat and this just fills the gap.

Oh yeah, you better believe we are going to pull threat on occasion. Our aggro dump, cower, is not very useful and removes about as much threat as a single white attack. Handy to compensate at the start of a fight if you jumped the gun, or it is a fun button to press rather than do nothing waiting for the tank to get more threat. More of a preemptive ability than anything.

When you do have threat you want to stop attacking and be all the tank you can be. All feral druids are going to be talented crit immune already so that is an advantage. We also have barkskin to reduce damage 20%, survival instincts if you took to one talent point to get some temporary hit points, bear form and frenzied regen to increase health, mitigate damage and heal yourself. Be especially careful in bear form to avoid hitting stuff, you generate a ton more threat.

If things are looking particularly bleak you can always pop a tranquility and heal yourself and those in your party around you which helps the healer out. Aside from that feral healing isn't all that helpful and you're better off as a bear to avoid damage than try and heal through it in caster form. The exception being an instant healing touch after a finishing move if you are in kitty form and talented for predatory strikes which of course you are.

While you are doing all this you are probably already near the tank and behind the mob so the tank should get threat back from AOE threat generation and/or notice the mob is facing you and taunt it. You just have to live until that happens and if you don't it was so your fault, remember that. :)

I mentioned the tank taunting as well as the first thing you should do upon getting threat is to stop attacking. There is a reason for that. A taunt matches the tanks threat level to your own and grabs aggro, if you keep attacking and over-threat the tank by 10% again then you get that mob back plus that taunt will be on cooldown. Tanks will generally taunt 2-3 times before giving up on you. :P

Now different tanks work in slightly different way which leads to some considerations for when to be more cautious. For example paladin and death knight tanks generate a lot of threat by getting hit and blocking or parrying to activate threat generating abilities. This is a larger concern for death knights single target as it is the majority of their threat. If you have a warrior or a druid tank on the other hand, give them hell, but don't push your luck.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Kitty Spec

Well since I just updated my kitty "rotation" thread to reflect current times and a little more information I thought rel event I think it is time to review where you should stick those talent points for maximum DPS.

Lets start with the absolute must haves. In the feral combat tree you need...

5/5 in Ferocity to reduce ability costs and in turn increase damage done.

3/3 in Feral Instinct for more AOE swipe damage and the improved stealth which lets you sneak places others can't even with stealth.

2/2 in Savage Fury which increases your mangle and rake damage. Not really an awesome talent, but we need 5 points to get to the next tier and this is the most bang for your buck.

2/2 in Feral Swiftness to increase your movement speed and your chance to dodge. Mostly it is the speed boost that is helpful to increase damage. If you aren't in melee range you aren't doing damage so the faster you can get there the better. A little dodge is always nice too if you happen to pull aggro.

3/3 in Sharpened Claws for more crit, more combo points and more damage.

2/2 in Shedding Attacks for decreased cost of shred which is you primary combo point builder when you can be behind your target (that is usually always unless you are alone).

3/3 in Predatory Strikes for more attack power; plus it is a requirement for Heart of the Wild. As an added bonus this talent will give you an instant cast nature spell after a finishing move, 100% chance with 5 combo points. More of a PVP thing, but it can certainly come in handy to toss a healing touch in a pinch.

2/2 in Primal Fury for extra combo points when you crit.

At this point we need three more points to get to the next tier and have some options:

You could take 1/1 in Feral Charge to be able to instantly jump behind an enemy. I love this for starting fights, knockback effects and such so I can keep hitting more or less uninterrupted. More time smacking stuff is more damage.

If you aren't expertise capped then one or two points in Primal Precision is an excellent choice to get 5/10 of the 26 expertise desired (213 expertise rating). This talent will also refund energy if your finishing moves if you miss which is really nice if you aren't yet hit capped (163 hit rating).

If you don't like either of those then Feral Aggression is probably the only other damage related talent and will make your ferocious bites (which you won't use all that often) more ferocious.

So now we have our 3 points and are back to required talents.

5/5 in Heart of the Wild for increased attack power. As an added bonus you get more intellect and in turn more mana from this as well so if you have to shift/cast for any reason you will have more mana to do that.

3/3 in Survival of the Fittest for a 6% increase in every stat not to mention you are now crit immune.

1/1 in Leader of the Pack for increased chance to crit, for you as well as everyone in your party/raid.

Now we have a lot of choices to get through the next couple tiers and need to spend 4 extra points to make it to the end of the tree. If you are only interested in damage and would like to max out Feral Aggression now would be the time, you'll still have at least a couple points to blow.

You could take 1/1 in Survival Instincts to provide an emergency ability to give you some temporary hit points and provide healers with an opportunity to keep you up. This is handy if you ever hop in to tank in an emergency as well, you are already crit immune after all.

You could take one or two points in Brutal Impact to increase the duration of your pounce stun. Great for soloing and will also give your tank a little more time to build threat on your stunned target as you rip its spine out through its neck without waiting.

You could take one or two points in Improved Leader of the Pack to heal you when you crit as well as healing anyone else in your party/raid that crits with a melee/ranged (aka not a spell) attack. You also regain mana when you crit.

If you skip ahead to the next requirements and come back you will have access to some additional options to spend points in to get to the end of the tree such as Improved Mangle which I mention later.

Now that that filler is out of the way here are the rest of the feral combat requirements.

3/3 in Predatory Instincts for extra crit damage and the added bonus of taking less damage from AOE which is quite handy in melee range.

3/3 in King of the Jungle for more energy returned by Tiger's Fury. This makes shifting forms cheaper as well, yay.

1/1 in Mangle because if you don't I will hunt you down and show you why or at the very least you will be mocked.

5/5 in Rend and Tear for more damage on bleeding targets and your target should always be bleeding. Also increases the chance of your ferocious bite to crit if your target is bleeding (as if there was a chance it wasn't).

1/1 in Primal Gore to make your Rip ticks able to crit. This is quite possibly the best talent in the tree.

1/1 in Berserk to pump out dish out a lot of hurt in a little bit of time. This is also a fear breaker/immunity so you can continue to DPS while everyone else is running around filling their underpants (cats don't wear underpants so even if you are feared no worries).

So now you have 19 points left... what? you don't? You greedy little kitty! You haven't even seen what the resto tree has to offer. Well lets keep going and hope you still have enough to get all the required resto talents. A working knowledge of healing gains insight into reversing the process. ;)

2/2 in Improved Mark of the Wild to increase all your stats by 2%. This also makes your buff better like the resto druids of old when we didn't take the talent. We still make them buff, but we get more damage out of it.

3/5 in Furor to keep some energy when flipping back into cat form rather than losing it all.

5/5 in Naturalist to do 10% more damage. See the healing tree isn't too bad now is it?

3/3 in Natural Shapeshifter to decrease the cost of shifting, but more importantly to get to Master Shapeshifter.

1/1 in Omen of Clarity for free attacks. Damage without any energy cost is quite nice.

2/2 in Master Shapeshifter for more chance to crit.

Ok that is enough in the resto tree, you have 3 more points (unless you already spent them) to go back and fill in something you like in the feral tree. You can go back and fill in any of the options already mentioned or go for the following.

You could take 3/3 in Improved Mangle to reduce your energy cost and in turn do more damage. If you want to put on the hurt this is pretty much the only option. Mangle is only used as a debuff for the most part, but when you can't be behind your target it is also your primary combo point builder.

Anything else won't do anything for your damage, but would come in handy for tanking or PVP or just because it sounds cool. It is up to you and since you already have all the important talents no one will think any less of you so long as you stay in the feral tree.

So now you need glyphs. For major glyphs you should take Glyph of Savage Roar first and foremost since the buff will be up pretty much all the time and give you more damage. Glyph of Mangle is another good one to give you more time and energy to concentrate on more damaging attacks. Finally take Glyph of Shred. Glyph of Shred provides potentially 6 seconds more of Rip (2 seconds per shred) while Glyph of Rip provides only four seconds all the time. Chances are you will always get at least two shreds in during your rip and probably three making Glyph of Shred as good or better than Glyph of Rip.

For minor glyphs take Glyph of Dash under the assumption that moving faster more often means more damage. You probably want Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth as well so you don't have to remember reagents for you battle rez. Last one is up to you, Glyph of Aquatic Form perhaps on the off chance that you need to hit something on the other side of a body of water and want to get there faster.

Be sure to read up on how to use your new spec to its full potential. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pay Attention When You Queue!

When I don't feel like tanking or healing or am on an alt that can't I'll queue for a random dungeon as DPS. The wait is a lot longer, but I'm generally doing something else to pass the time in game like dailies or leveling.

Two times out of three though one of the DPS times out and I am stuck back in the queue for another 20 minutes. Why? The group already had a tank and a healer how hard is it for the system to find us a dime a dozen DPS?

My old theory was we all go back to the bottom of the queue and start over unlike if we had actually zoned it and been in a group together we'd of had first pick. After mentioning that theory many dismissed it immediately saying they didn't notice that happening and insisted that you stay at the top of the queue.

Another theory I have and am leaning toward is that tanks and to a lesser extent healers and dropping and rejoining the queue as soon as a DPS doesn't accept immediately. Then they requeue and get stuck in a group of DPS that was paying attention higher up in the queue leaving my group to wait longer. No skin off a tanks' nose; they get a group immediately, even the terrible ones.

In either case it is DPS hurting other DPS. DPS has the longest queue times of anyone and are actually making their fellow DPS wait longer by going afk in the queue. Obviously if you are afk you won't get a group and will have to queue again so why waste your time and the time of others?

Blizzard should add a mechanic where if you time out on a dungeon ready check you get the 15 minute debuff to discourage such behavior.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Clickers Anonymous

Posted the following comment in response to a self proclaimed clicker and thought it warranted its own post. The clicker, dare I say keyboard turner (ooh harsh, we've all been called worse), was a bear even! Hard to imagine anyone could click anything with the ample posterior of a bear obscuring the screen, but practice makes perfect.

"From one reformed clicker to another. Bind as much around WASD as you can reach to action bar slots (even if you still continue to click it you will see the key binding on the icon and it will sink in eventually). Populate your action bars so that your most use abilities are on the easiest to reach keys. Infrequently used abilities go on the harder to reach ones.

Over time (a few minutes really to start seeing results) the benefits are high mobility with little to no sacrifice of access to abilities and much faster response times on using the ability you want when you want. Another perk is you aren't screwed when you lose the mouse cursor in the heat of battle. Longer term you start developing a muscle memory which enforces the aforementioned benefits and in turn helps with additional classes/specs. For example you'd probably stick your druid's Bash in the same spot as your paladin's hammer of justice. So if anything I noticed that it has improved my cross class/spec play style rather than confuse me.

Some abilities have a very tight correlation with abilities in other classes, other are more open to personal interpretation. Basically, you just match abilities based on what you think when you use them. Things like I want to keep that guy from chasing me, I don't want to die or I am out of mana and need more. Some are just oddballs and you sneak them in where you like.

Core abilities in your "rotation" (we use the word but does anyone still have one?), charges and interrupts will be the first things that become second nature. I've only recently begun getting better at some secondary abilities. For example I have B and V bound to a couple slots on my right side bars and on my hunter those are aspect of the dragonhawk and aspect of the viper. Getting away from clicking those was so very liberating and I found I wasn't forgetting I was in viper as much.

In the end I am still a clicker I just click with keyboard buttons instead of the mouse. There isn't much difference though since I still see the ability I want to use on the screen and then "click" it, it is a very visual process unlike someone who would hide the default UI and memorize key bindings."

Oh Shit Button, Worst Macros Ever

I see so many macros out there combining as many defensive cooldowns as possible into a single button. The benefit being when something goes wrong you probably know right where that button is and hit it without thinking, but the benefit ends there. These are the constructs of leveling/inexperienced players. I think I just insulted a few people, but I can explain.

When you are leveling you don't have anyone to heal you (aside from yourself) so if something goes wrong chances are you aren't in a tanking spec or tanking gear and don't have the luxury of time to decide how many cooldowns you really need and if they could of been used better.

On the other hand you have inexperienced players, tanks for the most part that use these types of macros as a crutch. On one hand it it one less thing to worry about (managing defensive cooldowns), but on the other hand you are glossing over a fairly important part of tanking which will only hurt you in the long run. Especially you death knights out there, your class is built around defensive cooldowns.

So if you are a squishy DPS/Healer type then an oh shit button might be a good tool, but not great. Tanks however should avoid such things like the plague and here is why. If you blow all your cooldowns at once and take near zero damage for 20 seconds then you better hope whatever is hitting you falls over in those 20 seconds or else you go down in that 21st second followed by everyone else in seconds 22 and 23.

If you have a healer and/or a health pool large enough to draw on for a while then the best course of action is to blow one cooldown, look how things are going, and blow another if necessary. Spread them out so instead of 20 seconds of god mode you have 40 or even 60 seconds of decreased damage that will hurt, but won't kill you outright. Healers have cooldowns too and will probably be looking at your health bar to determine when to use them. If you drop down and blow all your cooldowns chances are your healer used one or more as well.

There we have a second benefit to spreading out cooldowns, if you keep taking damage, but a decreased amount, your healer may just be able to keep up without a cooldown so when you run out they might still have a trick or two up their sleeves to keep you alive for another minute and before you know it you have more cooldowns ready to use again.

Also healers like consistency with their tanks, we don't like to see tanks go from taking no damage to taking a ton of damage. Non tanks tend to require immediate attention when their health starts to drop while tanks can generally wait a second or two for you to get a heal off on someone else. As I healer I generally get a feel for what my tank can handle and decide what I can get away with based on that. If something horrible happens and the tank blows everything the healers might use their cooldowns on someone else and not be prepared if the tank starts to plummet soon after or blow all their cooldowns on the tank. The end result being that no one has any cooldowns left.

Another way to be consistent is to use cooldowns preemptively. You certainly don't want to use them all at once in this case and some are better suited to certain situations. For example something enrages for a few seconds and you know it is going to happen before hand, you can have a damage reduction cooldown ready to cancel out the increased damage so it appears to the healer than nothing changed. Then if your healer does notice a change, most likely because you ran out of tricks, they will know that they should bring out the big guns. It will ideally be a small change that tips off the healer.

So bears, we've got Survival Instincts, Frenzied Regeneration, Barkskin, Trinkets, and your consumables (potions and healthstones). Also a couple other things like Bash and backpedaling can be used defensively. Bash doesn't work on bosses aside from an interrupt, but it will stun any trash or adds some of which can do a bit of damage if left alone. Never underestimate running away either; chances are with all the debuffs players put up these days that whatever you are hitting isn't all that fast and you can stay ahead of it while running backwards (infected wounds does the job if you took the talent, but I didn't).

Just a reminder never point your butt at something that wants to kill you as you cannot dodge from the back. There are exceptions of course if you know you will stay ahead and not be hit or that whatever is behind you won't be there long. For example I do a lot of gauntlets back asswards for a couple reasons. I move slowly and consistently along so everyone can keep up and I have an excellent viewpoint to confirm everyone is caught up and make sure they don't have any friends. In a gauntlet you get a few mobs coming at you at a time and while you might be showing them your tushie chances are they will be more interested in your healer. Swiping them just as they are passing has little chance of having one hit you in the back, but even if one or two do you are moving backwards and they won't stay there.

Back to the real bear defensive cooldowns. Barkskin is your first line of defense, if something bad is happening don't hesitate to use it. It has a minute cooldown, even shorter with a T9 set bonus, and is available pretty much every time you want to use it.

After that are trinkets. They vary in effect, some absorb damage, some increase avoidance or mitigation and others increase or replenish health. Most all are on two minute cooldowns. Most of them you can use as a backup or a compliment to barkskin, but if you are taking a lot of spell damage, more armor isn't going to help. I'll mention trinkets that affect your health more below.

When really horrible things happen we have the combination of Survival Instincts and Frenzied Regeneration to fall back on. I generally start with Survival Instincts and if I still see I need more I will go ahead and use Frenzied Regeneration. Frenzied Regeneration heals based on your maximum health so Survival Instincts and any trinkets that increase your maximum health compliment it wonderfully. A lot of times Survival Instincts on its own will be enough to get out of a sticky situation and your healer can use the extra large health pool to catch up. That frees up frenzies regeneration for another time since it is a waste to use it if it would be only over healing anyway and would be better used even without the bonus.

When I have a maximum health pool increasing trinket I will either use it at the same time as Survival Instincts and Frenzied Regeneration or save it for a Frenzied Regeneration without Survival Instincts.

The absolute last line of defense for a tank is health potions, healthstones and any trinkets that provide health. Healing potions don't heal for very much, compared to what a healer can do they are a drop in a bucket for a tank, but you only need a drop to not be dead. I use these types of things when I am really low and one or two hits could kill me. It is basically a little something to give the healer just a little more time to get a cast off. A few thousand more health is not going to save you all on it's own unless you are really close to killing whatever it is that is hitting you. A health potion without fear of imminent death is just a waste.

There you have it, leave your cooldowns on separate buttons and learn to use them to their full potential. You will be a better player for it.