This should be a fairly short post to round out the current series.  So far, we’ve covered off;

Now we come to the final subject I wanted to discuss…

Part 4: Consumables & Professions

Hardly any human being is capable of pursuing two professions or two arts rightly.
– Plato (I guess he never played WoW?)

Preparation is important. This is especially so for raids, where you have 9, or maybe 24 other people present. It is good practice to never assume that you will be provided with consumables and so you should always arrive with everything you are likely to require in your bags. That way, if someone else drops a feat or a cauldron, it’s a bonus.

Consumables fall in to a couple of obvious categories:

Flasks, Potions & Elixirs

  • Flask of Steelskin – Flasks are a mainstay of raiding and this is no exception. Giving you 6300 HP (after talents) this is the preferred choice for progression raiding as a larger health pool gives your healers more time to react.
  • Elixir of the Master – Once you know how a fight plays out, where the big hits come etc, you should consider stepping away from flasks and going for elixirs instead. This translates to 2.84% block chance, so really helps to smooth out damage.
  • Elixir of Deep Earth/Prismatic Elixir – Depending on the fight in question (be it physical or magic based damage) you will want to pair your Elixir of the Master with one of these. Both are very strong and can help to further even out your incoming damage.
  • Golemblood Potion – Very useful in a tight spot when your cooldowns are used up and you need burst of parry (strength gives you parry, remember) to help avoid a big hit. Keep in mind that once you’ve entered combat you can only use one of these so time it well! If you expect a big hit immediately upon engaging a boss, you can also chug one of these as you run in (before entering combat) allowing you to use a second later in the fight.

Food

In my bags I usually carry a stack of flasks, a stack of each elixir mentioned above, some Golembloods (when I have them) and a couple of stacks of minestrone. This way I’m prepared for whatever comes along and am not left unbuffed/unfed if cauldrons and feasts are not available.

Aside from consumables, you should also take a look at your professions. A level 85 toon without two (maxed) professions is wasting a huge chunk of bonus stats. Most professions give very similar bonuses for reaching the upper levels, some are more suited to tanking than others, but it’s important to realise that even levelling mining to 525 can give you a significant boost. This post will look at professions purely from a grouping/raiding perspective. In future posts I’ll talk about professions more from a gold making point of view.

  • Alchemy – Rewards a selection of decent trinkets. Also gives you extended durations on your elixirs & flasks.
  • Blacksmithing – Allows you to add sockets to your bracers and gloves. This translates to room for two more gems.
  • Enchanting – One of the most expensive professions to level, however it allows you to add 60 stamina to each of your rings (Enchant Ring – Greater Stamina) which translates to 1680 HP after talents.
  • Engineering – A reasonable choice for tank, Engineering gives you access to an epic helm before most other players, you also gain a number of tinkers, so is certainly worth considering.
  • Herbalism – Fairly weak for tanks giving you a small self-heal Lifeblood along with a slight haste boost.
  • Inscription – Gives you access to Inscription of the Earth Prince which is a straight 120 stamina (1680 HP) gain over the shoulder enchants sold by Therazane.
  • Jewelcrafting – Grants you access to Chimera’s Eye cuts. Also gives you a chance to loot a number of quest items in the world which yield some rather nice trinkets making Jewelcrafting one of the strongest professions for a tank.
  • Leatherworking – Lets you place Draconic Embossment on your bracers. It’s important to note that despite this giving more stamina than other profession bonuses, this is partly due to the fact that anyone can enchant 40 stamina on their bracers bringing this much closer in line with other profession perks.
  • Mining – By far the strongest gathering skill for a tank. The bonus for reaching 525 (Toughness) translates to a sizeable stamina boost (1680 HP unbuffed).
  • Skinning – Master of Anatomy – The weakest gathering skill for a tank. The bonus is far more suited to a dps character.
  • Tailoring – Another weak choice with the bonuses far more geared towards dps/healers (eg; Swordguard Embroidery)

Personally, I’m Enchanting/Jewelcrafting as this gives me access to some good perks and helps with gold making. If I was levelling a Paladin purely to tank with no consideration to gold, I’d still go with Jewelcrafting and likely pair it with Blacksmithing.

Final Thoughts

Thus ends my introduction to Paladin tanking. This series has taken a little longer to put together than I originally expected, however I have covered more than I intended.

I have plenty of other articles planned, including a few on how to get started making gold, so make sure to subscribe to the feed if you haven’t already!