Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mana while tanking - it shouldn't be a problem

A day or so ago, Ambrosine over at I Like Bubbles posted about a PUG Paladin tank who asked her to stop putting her PW:S on him. Khraden over at Illumination touched on the same subject, and did a great job of explaining how you can keep your mana up even through some bubbles. I'm going to expand on that just a little, and toss in some math for you egg heads that keep coming around.

Spiritual Attunement

This is the biggest criminal in the existing mindset that Paladin tanks shouldn't be hit with a PW:S. The short version is that SA will return 5/10% of the amount healed as mana - so if they are healed for 10,000 in one shot, they'll pick up 1,000 mana. When an ICC geared Pally tank has around 5,500 mana (unbuffed), this is a sizable chunk of their mana pool. Because of the incredible amounts of damage that get dished out in the end game (heck, the trash in some heroics for at level geared tanks), most Protadins only take 1/2 in SA - meaning they only get 5% of the amount healed as mana.

Normally, this isn't an issue. When a tank is constantly being bombarded with heals to counteract the 20k shot they just took, they will accumulate mana regen very quickly. In the lower dungeons, especially where you might have an ICC geared Disc Priest healing a blue/green geared Protadin - this can become more of an issue.

A fully buffed ICC Priest will probably be sporting around 5k SP (probably less - but this number works for now). A Disc Priest with 5k SP will drop a PW:S that absorbs just over 10k - and they can do this every 15 seconds. Since this spell is one of their most efficient heals (you don't have to heal anything if there's no damage), getting them to not cast this on you will be nigh on to impossible. Heck, some of them will probably break down into fits if they even try.

So, if you're not taking any damage - how are you going to keep your tanking mana bar up, without stopping and having the "gogogogogo" DPS yelling in your ear?

Blessing of Sanctuary

Your first line of defense against the dreaded OOM, this blessing now bestows 10% Str and Stam (so you don't miss Kings), and will return 2% of your maximum mana - every time you block, parry, or dodge. Just popping Holy Shield on CD should push your block up high enough to keep this baby providing mana non-stop. If you can generate the threat (because obviously your healer is powerful enough to handle it), grab two sets of mobs to keep this going non stop.

Just make sure they're actually awake, and that your DPS isn't raining AoE on the area the new mobs will be running.

Don't be afraid to pick up trinkets that modify either of those stats. Not only is it adding avoidance, you're also adding mana regen!

Seal of Wisdom

While I know it's tough to use anything besides SoComm or SoC(V), given that all the DPS are yelling "gogogo" or pulling for you, remember that SoW will restore (chance) 4% of your max mana on each hit. Now, while this can take a while if you're autoattacking with a 2.6 mace, don't forget three important facts.

1) HotR can proc your current seal on each hit. This means that even un-glyphed, you'll have 3 chances every 9 seconds or so, to generate a ton of mana.

2) SoR can also proc your current seal now. That's both of your 6 abilities in the 969 being able to proc this mana regenerating star.

3) Your judgement can also proc your current seal - so now you have (assuming you use HotR, Judge, SoR) 5 chances of mana return in just 3 GCDs. Not too shabby.

Divine Plea

Forgetting for the moment that a glyphed DP will reduce your total damage intake by 3%, DP is one of those buffs that you should never let fall off. Returning 25% of your total mana every 15 seconds, just keeping this buff active should be more than enough to cover your currently bubbled butt. Properly talented, this effect will have a 100% uptime during a fight - and there's no reason to let it fall off. As mentioned above, if your healer's SP is high enough that their bubbles aren't being broken by trash, it's probably safe to assume that you can chain pull with abandon.

A note about Chain Pulling

Real quick - there's Chain Pulling, and then there's Idiotic Pulling. In short, Chain Pulling means you're moving from one group to the next, generally without ever dropping combat. It's generally fine to move to the next group when the last mob of the previous one is getting low on health. Just remember to check your healer's mana - or they may just let you die.

Idiotic Pulling is when you grab the entire hallway in UK - when you're a lvl 70 tank with a lvl 70 healer. Don't do it.

Judgement of Wisdom

This staple should probably be up with BoSan, but it's not really important. What is important is that you're judging this bad boy every 9 seconds. First, it can proc your seal, so if you're running SoW, that's another big chunk of mana back. Second, hitting any target that has been affected with JoW has a chance to return 2% of your base mana. While it's not a 100% proc, it is fairly high.


In short, asking your healer to NOT use their most mana efficient heal, is like asking a DPSer to not use their max ranked spells. With all the tools available to Protadins today, there's no reason that you can't find a happy mix between DP uptime, speed, and DPS. Even if you have to stop and drink now and again - this shouldn't be a problem. Twist your SoW and SoComm as necessary, always use JoW, and keep DP up.

And as the other bloggers mentioned, you can always tank without pants.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent breakdown of the mana regen tools available to a protection paladin. I wouldn't compare Power Word: Shield to a max-rank-dps spell of a dps class, however. Asking for a shield, or not to shield, is like asking a rogue to tricks of the trade, or asking a rogue to kick/interrupt that caster, etc, or asking the ret paladin or the dps warrior not to aoe during the first 3 seconds of a bigger trash pull. One tool in the toolbox.

    I'm going to point you to my blog post at, which I hope details exactly when bubbling your paladin tank is not the best choice available to a disc priest, and the specific situation that prompted Ambrosine's post as inspired by twitter (though she didn't have the specifics). As a disc priest of a paladin tank buddy, and THE paladin tank that posed the plea to my pug disc healer to please STOP bubbling me, I was quickly on twitter (unknowingly by my twitter mates) labelled a "bad" tank, or that I "obviously" wasn't using all my tools, or outgeared the instance. (I barely outgeared it, 4 pieces over ilevel232 and 5 pieces under ilevel232)

    I still believe that the fact remains: Disc priests, if your paladin tank is low on mana, you would serve them better if you didn't bubble them before the next damage spike, they'd actually love your real actual heals. Consider this part of your awareness test as a healer. And, if you're bubbling them every chance you get (on cooldown, regardless of the situation at hand and regardless of your gear level and your tank's gear level), you could probably afford to put more thought into your healing strategy and try something else.


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