Jasica's Guide to Tanking - Chapter 4 -Pulling (WoW)  

This guide was written by Jasica, Warrior Officer of Spaceballs The Guild on Draenor, and 70 Feral Druid on Hyjal. It is reprinted here with the author's permission.

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Jasica's Guide to Tanking: Who Pulls and Why

I realized that my warrior guide didn't discuss the subject of pulling, so here's a (relatively) short discussion of the various approaches you can take to pulling. There is no right or wrong answer to who pulls, but some approaches are better suited to some situations.

Real quick, what is pulling?

Pulling is when you shoot, wand, fireball, or whatever a group of mobs to make them come to you. The mobs that come and the fight that ensues are collectively called a "pull." If you just run up to the mobs and get them to come after you that way, it's called a "body pull."

Theories of pulling

  1. Hunter pulls with multi-shot - This is just a bad idea. Don't ever do this unless your tank is a paladin. The hunter gets aggro on three mobs at once, and the tank can only taunt one (unless he's a paladin, in which case see theory 4).
  2. Hunter pulls with auto-shot - This is just a bad idea. Don't ever do this. Why? It puts neither a small nor large amount of aggro on the hunter; it's the worst of both worlds. (See theories 3 and 4)
  3. Hunter pulls with rank 1 arcane shot - This strategy does take advantage of a hunter's long range to pull mobs that may be too close to other pulls to pull from a closer range. Hunters shoot faster than a warrior, so this is better for time-sensitive pulls than having the warrior pull (but not as good as having a druid pull with feral faerie fire, if the pull is really time-critical). Using rank 1 arcane shot puts the minimum amount of threat on the hunter. Using this strategy the tank can oftentimes pull aggro with a single auto-attack swing, thereby preserving taunt's cooldown for more useful situations.
  4. Hunter pulls with aimed shot - This is a gutsy strategy but can work very well with a coordinated group. The hunter pulls with his maximum-damage shot (usually aimed shot) to get the maximum amount of threat on the mob. The tank then taunts to instantly get that much aggro himself. The hunter then feigns death, dropping his threat to 0 (be careful not to feign before taunt). Voila - tank has a large head-start on threat without using any of his own abilities. If you've got a paladin, you can try this with righteous defense and multi-shot.
  5. Tank pulls - This should probably be your default, unless you're coordinated enough to do the aimed-taunt-feign trick. Most pulls are neither range-sensitive nor time-sensitive enough to require the hunter pulling. If the tank pulls, he doesn't have to pull aggro off the hunter. If you have a druid you can even do time-sensitive pulls this way. A paladin's avenger's shield is probably the best overall tank-pulling ability, since it generates a huge amount of aggro on up to three mobs simultaneously.
  6. Crowd control pulls (i.e. the Mage sheeps, the Warlock banishes, the hunter pulls into a freeze trap) - This is a pretty common strategy and is good for pulls that require crowd control but are likely to get wild and wooly pretty fast. The trouble with it is that every non-CC'd mob in the pull will go for the CC'er just as if he had body pulled them, so the tank then has to chase them down. Sometimes this is worth it; other times it's better to CC after the tank has pulled.
  7. Warrior charges - This is a bad idea if the warrior's aggro radius is large enough to pull in another pull by charging. If you are not pulling in tight quarters, or if your warrior has a very small aggro radius (and you're sure), it's usually the ideal way to pull with a warrior tank because it gets the warrior the maximum amount of rage to work with. Once the warrior has charged he of course should slowly back the mobs over to the rest of the party, where you can fight in peace. When I do this I hover my mouse over the defensive stance button just before I charge. You can actually change stances mid-charge, so you can immediately get off a shield slam or sunder in defensive stance.


Parts of this page were originally written by Jasica.
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This page last modified 2009-07-01 13:39:49.