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Caperfin's Guide to Priest Tanking
by Caperfin • ------------------------th March 2019

Hi, my name is Caperfin and welcome to my guide! I am know in the community for pushing WoW to its absolute breaking point during my +6 years of playing it and have redefined what classes can do. Today, I will be broaching a subject that is near and dear to me. It is my pleasure to feature the most peculiar class that can tank in the game if given the right amount of effort.

Can Priests tank in World of Warcraft's original iteration? The short and to the point answer is, yes. This answer will come as a shock to many people. However, as previously mentioned it will demands a great deal of dedication and effort.

Basics Rotations
Gear + Enchants
Raid Composition

Every possible subject that comes to mind will be dissected to answer any lingering questions you might have. In the likely situation a subject is not addressed or poorly please bring it to my attention. I expect the same amount of scrutiny from readers as I have put into writing this guide, so don't hold back. Before continuing, an important aspect needs to be brought to everyone's attention. For some players this will be old news, but for many others players this will be a much needed revelation.

The topic of Viable and Optimal is a highly controversial topic as some people simply don't see the difference or mixed these words up and commonly interject their own misguided philosophy onto it. To put it simply, Optimal is the most efficient and foolproof solution to solve a problem that eliminates as many negative variables as possible and favors a more easy going route. Next, is Viable or commonly referred to as possible, which is often seen as the more challenging path to take but to many feels like a greater personal achievement.

A Priest in BiS Tanking Gear

You will often see experienced raiders from top guilds play as a healing priest and build a tanking set while healing. Eventually, they will transition into Priest tanking due to its extra challenge in an otherwise easy to clear content patch, they usually make the switch after the initial rush to get world first on a boss/raid is claimed or the subsequent following content drought approaches. As I previously stated it is not for the faint of heart, if you are brand spanking new to World Of Warcraft consider leveling up a ranged class, for example: a mage to get an adequate grasp of the PVE raids. All the while researching about tanking and talking to peers to get a feel for it and slowly transition to the world of Priest Tanking. If you are a veteran of the game by all means start leveling that Priest.

Let me put your fears to rest, Priests are fully capable of tanking 5mans, 10mans, off-tanking and even main-tanking a few raid bosses. Of course, as stated before, each form of tanking is heavily reliant on personal and guild experience. I should specify there are non-traditional factors that make tanking easier, such as generally bad server coding, bugged items/talents and traditional factors such as having: ,, tier sets, etc... Regardless, of these implementations and their magnitude a few things never change: A Priest's overall armor will never approach a warrior's armor mitigation. This results in a lower mitigation of physical damage. However, you compensate in other areas and provide some beneficial assets.

Priest Threat

As you are probably aware tanking is composed of two categories. One part Defense/survival and the other Threat. Unlike other tanks, while in combat we gain threat from damage and healing. To be more accurate, the healing threat is global and normally .5x of the amount replenished. Let me demonstrate how to get creatures more mad at you than unusual.
is first on the list of threat generators as it provokes a tremendously high amount of threat because of its 2x damage threat modifier. Catering to increasing its shadow damage is one of the key objectives a priest tank has to face.

is second on the list and requires all downranked versions of the spell on your action bar. This will come in handy later on.

is very close threat wise in comparison to its predecessor. In some situations, it supersedes Greater Heal in threat when many raid members have low health. But its important to remember on average this spell can be a drain on mana compared to other spells in our toolkit even when downranking.

although, this is fourth on the list it will be our bread and butter safety spell for quenching indecisiveness. This is due to its low cost for heal ratio and its very low casting time. might not seem like much but gravitates around fourth on the list. The reason its exact position is unclear is because it situation as it provokes requires no action to be performed for 0.2 seconds. However, it is undeniably good to use before a boss pull or against multiple mobs.

Luckily, they can be bought on the Auction House or simply created through Alchemy with a profession skill of 220. I suggest stocking up on them or the necessary ingredients when they are affordable and depositing a few in the bank for a later purpose. On top of all its benefits, it does not trigger a GCD so you can continue to wreck havoc uninterrupted. ... per-charge is great to generate additional threat but unfortunately has a long cooldown. Luckily, there are other bombs with shorter cooldowns. Regardless, it is a definite must have against multiple mobs. The majority of explosives are created through engineering with the exception of the last one in the following list:

Here is the list of explosives centered around threat management: Firstly, we have Goblin Sapper Charge the highest threat generating explosive and is also instant cast. (shares a 1min cooldown with other bombs) Secondly, is deals damage in a 5yrd radius but requires to stand still and a 1 sec cast. The last one is:, which deals similar damage to its predecessor but in a 3yrd radius and can be cast while moving. Another similarity is that both can be activated before Sapper is off its 5min CD. and similar healing potions as well as mana pots, bandages and eating food are last on the list of threat generators and they produce a very small quantity of threat. To be more accurate, the healing threat is global and normally .5x of the amount replenished.

Unfortunately, both health and mana effects cause no threat if already at maximum capacity. Contrary to popular belief, the basic shaman restoration spell: Mana Spring Totem does in fact yield a small amount of threat with each pulse. Seasoned players on brisk coherent fights will often pop a heal pot after using a Goblin Sapper Charge or Major Rejuvenation Potion to induce an immense amount of threat. In the same vein, you can use and consume a pot or bandage up oneself to generate threat. Mana and healing over time potions do not generate threat.

Here is a list of a few food/consumables centered around threat management:
      In order of threat: is the highest threat generator when it comes to regenerative items but it can be expensive. is given to us by a warlock. converts health into mana. nearly identical to the previous, however, this item can be traded between characters and bought on the Auction House. takes care of mana & health. Very easy to acquire so get a large amount and place them in the bank. it only grants health. grants a good chunk of mana and drops throughout the world quite often. is created from a neck item and saves on time, money, etc… (the single root will disappear after 1hr.) is last because the amount ratio of granted health is on a large spectrum and random. doesn't generate much threat, but it can be casted onto you by an ally. (this triggers the pot CD for ced ally)

The items above can relives some pressure from healers as they have to spend less mana to keep you topped off. As you familiarize yourself with a fight and the limits of your raiding partners, it will come intuitively what is the best to use. Its worth mentioning some items don't share a cooldown, thus can follow each other in quick succession.

Here are the two different cooldown categories:
My personal recommendation is to have a diverse pool of the items featured in this section to cater to any situation that might arise. and similar reflective effects to put it simply are passive buffs that deal damage to attacker when hit. Contrary to popular belief as well as many tooltips, reflective buffs will only damage the attacker if they strike you with in melee range. Although, it provides the lowest amount of threat in our toolkit it is still note worthy.

Typically, these buffs are great against multiple mobs however they still maintain some relevancy in single target scenarios, especially versus bosses with high attack speeds. There is no reason to not have the majority of them. All the buffs below stack with each other.

      In order of threat: is the highest and originates from druids & its damage is amplified with a druid tier set bonus & a talent in the balance tree. is second and is casted by a warlock's imp and improved by a warlock talent in the demonology tree. is an item any class can cast on you and should be accumulated and stored in the bank for later use. originates from completing a repeatable quest in the Barrens from the NPC, Mangletooth a caged quillboar. is gained from using the head item: Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator. The effect will stay even while unequipped.

Threat Diminishers

Aggro and threat from teammates is another daunting obstacle to tackle with. Conveniently, there are ways for heavy hitting classes to reduce their threat. To begin with, ranged classes are highly adored because if they were to mistakenly get aggro, they are likely at that sweet 30-40yrd range, so it's easier to supervise. Also characters standing out of the 30-40yrd range will not draw aggro until they exceed the threat level of the mob's current target by 30% as opposed to 10% for melee classes. Here are a few examples of diminishers or dumps in no particular order:

       Rogue can reduce their threat with and flat our wipe threat with It might disrupt their rotation but its appreciated.
       Mage who have taken the frost talent: or the fire talent is their overall way to reduce threat.
       Druid who are mainly spending their time in cat form have and healing druids can obtain through talents.
       Priest have two of the easiest threat reducers to acquire, within the discipline talent and the spell
       Shaman within the restoration talent tree can obtain the talent: & casting the basic spell:
       Paladin have the basic protection spell: and (can halt additional threat gain)

Additionally, there are some threat reducing items that drop in the latter portion of raiding content that are used in raids to combat the threat produced. This is good news because serious petal to the metal fury warriors generate a tremendous amount of threat. So we are grateful for the melee trinket and the caster trinket used by fire mages and destruction warlocks. Advise your high dpser's to keep an eye out for these items. Also, an honorable mention should be made for the potion and for its aggro reassignment effect as well as its halt on additional threat. All that was mentioned is also useful for bosses that reset threat globally due to a unique boss mechanic, a timely potion pop from teammates can help you quickly establish threat. There are some servers, where ... rification not only removes aggro but the debuff/buff it places can be clickable-off but these instances are rare and its unclear if that was the item's original intention. This guide will continue without considering this item as a key component to tanking.

As you probably know a character can have a theoretical cap of 32 beneficial buffs. The limit may differ from server to server or what is acknowledged as a buff. Prioritize collecting survival buffs before acquiring damage buffs. Disclaimer: because of the nature and duties of an OT, less damage is taken, therefore, it is not 100% necessary to aim for survival buffs. Also, some buffs are unobtainable due to certain patch restrictions or unable to stack with others. On a side note, I suggest installing NirkBuffRemover/NBR to help with overall buff management and ease of mind. Down below is a table of relevant buffs, separated into sub groups to better highlight their usefulness. Resistance buffs/totems are disregarded.
Threat Increasing Buffs +2% spell crit to all party members within 30 yards. (Does not stack with Moonkin Aura) +3% Spell Crit. +3% Spell Crit. +5 Intellect, + 5 spirit and increases frost damage done by 15. +10 Intellect for 30 min. +20 Intellect. +31 Intellect. +15% Melee Haste, +300 Hp, 10 mana regen every 5 seconds. Increases Mana regen by 400% for 20 sec. +12 mana per 5 seconds. (Although, an enchant, it appears in the temporary weapon buff slot.) Deals 50 Fire dmg to target within 5yds every 3 sec for 15 sec. Deals 5 Nature dmg to melee attackers. Deals 12 Nature dmg to melee attackers. (the quest is repeatable and any class can cast this) Deals 13 Fire dmg to melee attackers. Deals 18 Nature dmg to melee attackers.(32 dmg talented + tier set) +150 damage done by magical spells & effects for 2 hr. Only 1 flask effect can be active at a time. +20 dmg dealt from spells & abilities. +5% dmg to melee, range and spell damage dealt. The target receives +20% spell damage & healing for 15 sec. Increases a melee, ranged, or spell to crit by 5%, +15 all stats. 2% chance when struck in combat of increasing all stats by 25 for 1 min. +10 move speed, +15 all stats. +384 armor, +162 all attributes,+270 all resistance.

Horde Only: Intellect for 30 min. (Shaman): +10 mana every 2 sec. (Mangletooth): Deals 8 dmg to melee attackers for 10min, +25% total armor. (might not stack w/Inspiration)

Alliance Only: +45 mana per 5 seconds for 15min. +10% to all stats for 15 min. 50% chance of ignoring spell interruption when party members are damaged within 30 yards. 20 Holy damage to any creature that strikes a party member within 30 yards.

With the Threat Increasing buffs out of the way, lets proceed to look at buffs that increase our chances of surviving a fight. Although, there is no strict order, you should still prioritize getting world buffs before obtaining other buffs. In the scenario some of the following buffs are not obtainable for whatever reason, they will be separated into categories to provide alternative solutions.

      Survival Increasers: +10% Stamina or +10% Armor. (A armor version of this buff also exists) +25 Stamina. (does not stack with other food buffs) +15 Stamina. (Priest): +54 Stamina. +15% Stamina overall. +50 Stamina, +50 spirit. +10 Stamina (must be applied by group member & then they logout) +42 Stamina (the amount of stamina can be increased through a warlock talent) +120 Hp. +1200 Hp. Dreamwalker Raiment tier set bonus 6/6 (Druid): Increase max hp of target by 50, stacks 7 times. When hit has a 1% chance of increasing the party's armor by +250. (can have 2 in trinket slot.) +2000 Armor for 2min. +450 Armor. +570 Armor. (allies can also cast): +200 Armor. (Priest): Increases armor by 25% for 15 sec. (might not stack with Razorhide buff). Increase armor by 1395. Each melee or ranged damage hit against the priest will remove one charge. Absorb 1105 dmg for 30 sec. While active, casting isn't interrupted by dmg. Target can't be shielded for 15sec. Heals give a shield that absorbs damage equal to 15% of the amount healed for 30 sec. (can be item swapped) Vestments of Faith tier set bonus 4/4 (Priest): On critical hits, cast shield absorbing 500 damage. +3% dodge for 30 min. +5% Dodge for 10 sec. Vestments of Transcendence tier set bonus. GH is now a Hot & equivalent to a rank5 Renew. (Druid): Heal for 888 over 12 sec. (Druid): Heal for 1064 over 21 sec. (Priest): Heal for 970 damage over 15 sec. (Mage): Decreases damage from spells by 135 & healing spells by 270. (effect is increased through a mage talent). Increase dmg taken from spells by 112 & healing spells by up to 225. (effect is increased through a mage talent).

Alliance Only: Gives 735 additional armor to party members within 30 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per...

Horde Only: Summons a totem for 1 min that heals group members within 20 yards for 14 every 2 seconds. Summons a Grace of Air Totem increasing the agility of party members within 20 yards by 77. Reduce melee damage taken by 30. (effect is increased through a shaman talent).

Mind Control Buffs

I wouldn't be thorough if I didn't mention the wonderful world of Mind Control buffing. Refer to my video to learn more about Mind Control Buffing:

Although, not mention in the video we can also get: from Vile Tutor in Eastern Plaguelands, which increases Shadow damage dealt by an ally by 35 for 10 min.

Special Event Buffs

On an ending note for buffs, we can also get buffs from special events/holidays. An example, is The Midsummer Fire Festival a seasonal event that celebrates the hottest season of the year. It starts on the (earthly) northern summer solstice, and lasts about two weeks (mid-late June to early July, usually). The next ones are Love is in the Air, Lunar Festival, Wickerman Festival and Scourge Invasion that all feature some useful buffs for tanking. It is possible for the Love is in the Air Capital Gift Collection buffs to be stacked with each other, ask around to find out its exact limits. The following buffs are separated by their event. Increases Intellect by 30 for 1 hour. Increases Intellect by 30 for 1 hour. Increases Stamina by 30 for 1 hour. Increases Stamina by 30 for 1 hour. (stack with the stamina buff above) Increases damage done from spells by up to 23 for 1 hr. 30% chance to deal 60 Fire dmg on any melee, ranged, or spell attack. (works outside only) Increases critical strike percent and spell critical strike percent by 3% for 1 hr. Increases Defense by 13 for 1 hr. Increases Defense by 13 for 1 hr. Increases damage done from spells by up to 23 for 1 hr. +10% to all stats for 30min. All stats increased by 10% for 1hr. Increase health & mana regeneration by 25% and Stamina by 25%. Increases all damage caused by 10% for 30 minutes.

In conclusion, let's compile all of the buffs we have seen.
Here is a screenshot of the best buffs, we can get for our means: NEEDS TO BE DONE
Here is a screenshot of realistic buffs, we can get for our means: NEEDS TO BE DONE

Having as many debuffs on the boss as possible is of paramount importance to tanking. Therefore, our interests are heavily tied to the release of patch 1.7, due to its extra 8 debuff slots introduction totaling to 16 debuffs. Tanking before patch 1.7 can be quite a troublesome route. All debuffs on the list below benefit us in either threat or survival and assumed to be at their maximum rank/talent improvement. (Warlock): Shadow Bolt critical strikes increase Shadow damage dealt to the target by 20% until 4 non... Reduces Shadow & Arcane resistances by 75 & increasing Shadow and Arcane damage taken by 10%. (Priest): Shadow damage spells have a 100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to Shadow damage.       This vulnerability increases the Shadow damage dealt to your target by 3% and lasts 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times. After a 1.5sec cast, reduce an enemy's hit chance by 10% for 12 sec. (preferably casted by healers) (Druid): The enemy is swarmed by insects, reducing chance to hit by 2% & causing 324 Nature damage over 12 sec. Periodically deal 300 Nature dmg & jumping to 5 nearby enemies. Each jump       reduces the victim's Nature resistance by 25. The primary target is consumed by a cyclone, slowing attack speed by 20% for 12 sec. Increases the time between attacks by 10% for 30 sec. Will affect up to 4 targets. If an enemy strikes the imbiber, the attacker has a 30% chance of being inflicted with disease that increases dmg       taken by 8 for 3 min. Lasts 30 min. Spell damage taken by target increased by 15% for 5 sec. (Warrior): Reduce melee attack power of enemies within 10 yards by 140 for 30 sec. Damage caused by target is reduced by 31 for 2 min. (effect is increased through a warlock talent)

Alliance Only: Decreases target's chance to hit by 25% for 10 sec. (a quest reward item that can only be activated once)
Crystal of Zin-Malor

This item is responsible for making us tanks in World of Warcraft. To say its necessary for raiding is an understatement, since the byproduct of our healing is responsible for +60% of our threat. However, we are not the wearers of this item. Instead it is worn by party members, preferably rogues since they can Vanish and equip another item if healing them becomes to much of a burden. In a similar fashion, they can also Vanish to equip the item to help us with threat. It is recommended, ced rogue(s) are fitted with above average health related buffs or continuously swap it in and out until the damage being inflicted is suitable for you before a fight. Moving forward, the trinket item: will be shortened to: "Crystal".

On the notion of taking damage intentionally, on certain boss fights designated raid members can "stand in fire". This route is riskier but will allow members to avoid wearing the Crystal and keep their original trinket. Another way for players to intentionally receive damage is for designated warlocks to use their basic spell: in conjunction with self damage dealing items, such as Demonic Runes or Goblin Sapper Charge. An honorable mention must go out to the food item:, on some servers the damage inflicted is a percentage of health. Typically, used by raid members before a boss fight in conjunction with the spell: Amplify Magic or during a boss fight with rogues and hunters. Designated healers can also wear and use the item
Horde don't have access to Imp. Concentrention Aura and Imp. Devotion Aura, therefore Alliance is the most optimal faction. To be more specific, Horde can only reach a 50 to 60% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting Mind Blast and they don't have access to an exorbitant amount of armor, unlike Alliance. They also have the added advantage of being able to use Light of Elune and Bag of Marbles on the majority of bosses. I highly suggest sticking to the Alliance faction. The list below, will feature the best race per faction.
      Gun Specialization: Guns skill increased by 5. Instantly heals the caster for 1637 to 1924.
      Frost Resistance: Frost Resistance increased by 10.
      Find Treasure: Allows the dwarf to sense nearby treasure, making it appear on the minimap.
                  While active, grants immunity to Bleed, Poison, and Disease effects. In addition, Armor increased by 10%.
                           Fear Ward: Wards the target. The next Fear effect used against the target will fail, using up the ward.

What does this mean?: Dwarfs are the ultimate choice for surviving the majority of bosses out there. Threat wise, Humans are above average because of their +5% spirit which synergizes with Spiritual Healing. However, this talent is centered around a specific talent setup and is contingent on the boss, gear and so on. Refer to the Talent section for help. Also, Feedback has the potential to institute great amount of threats, if it scales with spell damage and can be activated through indirect or AOE boss spells. In conclusion, Dwarfs provide consistent results that don't rely on specific scenarios to be effective.[/color]

Troll Increases your casting and attack speed by 10% to 25%.
      Regeneration: Health regeneration rate increased by 10%.
      Beast Slaying: Damage dealt versus Beasts increased by 5%.
      Throwing/Bow Specialization: Skill with Throwing/Bow Weapons increased by 5.
                  When the caster is hit, the attacker will be struck for 116 Shadow damage.
                           ] Reduces damage caused by 20 and reducing the effectiveness of any healing by 20%.

What does this mean?: Troll are the most optimal race in both threat and survival. Undead come in second because Devouring Plague is typically not worth the consumption of a debuff slot in a raiding environment. Undead are slightly more favored for 5mans or 10man raiding content but unfortunately fall short in other content.

For the sake of generality and simplicity these talents setups assume a server between patch 1.9 - 1.12 and taking part in a serious guild who are confidently clearing raids. As stated earlier, the later a patch is, the easier the content is to tank. The default talent-build, calculated as the safest to pursue and viewed as a preliminary starter pack into the world of tanking 5mans/10mans. Typically, Crystal is not necessary. Highly, suggested if you are unsure of an upcoming boss fight or are still in the learning phase of tanking. It assumes you can place all dots on the boss. Naturally, if mana is not an issue take 2 points from Mental Agility and put them in Shadow Weaving or place them in Healing Focus for the occasional healing spell, especially if warlock are commonly within your group. If Horde is your desired faction and foresee never moving away from 5/10mans consider Undead. Very similar to the previous build. However, is aimed against bosses that mostly deal magical damage and delivering the occasional heal on a member. In the event, Spell Warding does not reduce the damage of boss spells use the above talent spec. (good gear required) Assumes a 40man raiding setting with the appropriate buffs and knowledge of the fight. This includes Devotion aura and Concentrantion Aura as well as Marshal's Satin Gloves. There should be 2 Crystal users and a few designated life tapping warlocks that the priest tank should heal. Everything mentioned in this guide needs to be considered to properly tank at this magnitude. High spell crit warrants a point in Inspiration, assuming it generates threat. In the event, the buff it places is incapable of granting threat put points in Holy Reach. If you have below 4% hit with gear, slightly prioritize gear that boosts healing over spell damage. (good gear required) Considered as the build that guarantees survival even with mistakes done but at the cost of lower threat. Also, due to the lack of threat generating talents, good gear is required. Basically, choose this if the boss deals a tremendous amount of physical damage and your are never able to get out of Shadowform. I recommend high dpser's to acquire Light of Elune, Fetish of the Sand Reaver, etc... refer to "Threat Diminishers" for additional help. (good gear required) Should only be chosen by the most talented of priest tanks for a short ~2min duration boss fight. Considered as the build that generates the most threat at the cost of survival. Having a few Bag of Marbles is practically mandatory. Basically, it involves going in and out of Shadowform to heal and deal damage. Therefore, dodge is slightly more valued, because of the 1.5 second GCD spell restriction. It is very mana intensive and requires 2-3 druids to use innervate. [/color]

Finding the perfect balance of gear will be the hardest aspect of this subject. To this day there is still a debate between the usefulness of stamina over dodge in the tanking community. If unsure of your guild’s performance, I recommend carrying several focused gear sets: a Stamina, Dodge and armor set in your bags to accommodate any encounters that might arise. For some players, a mix and match of particular gear stats may be needed, to compensate in other lacking aspects. Keep in mind to maintain a constant flow of damage its recommended to acquire
Down below is a document with a plethora of options for proper gearing.

Gear SpreadsheetShow

A few things need to be remembered while gearing. Down the road, the universally top-grade gear gives hit chance as an unintended byproduct. Install the addon: “Outfitter” to assist with handling specific sets of gear against the numerous bosses out there. To give an example of a gear set, down below on image #1 is an armor centric set designed for bosses that deal high physical damage but don't require much threat. Image #2 to the right is a gear set focused on generating threat while retaining some survivability.

An item of notable value in the image#1 is: in the first trinket slot. This trinket can be activated before a boss fight and swap out for another item, these types of items are referred to as "Pre-Activated Items". Note: Pre activating items is very situational and not included in the google doc spreadsheet above. However, some will be listed below. Can be switched out for another trinket before pulling the boss. Can be switched out... lasts 40 sec, will heal if caster is below 50%. Can be switched... great against bosses that cast spells.

Similar to gear, enchants must be tailored against the specific boss you will be facing. Allies can also help us, by enchanting their own cloak with Note: To avoid constantly having to re-enchant a piece of gear to tailor to a specific boss fights, have different versions of that gear in the bank or backpack to save on time and money. Down below is a spreadsheet of enchants suited for our tanking duties:

Enchant SpreadsheetShow
I also suggest to keep on you if you are aiming to assure the takedown of a specific boss and stay on top of aggro. The skull scales with spell damage and shadow buffs alongside related debuffs.

First, on the list is a simple rotation and we’ll be presuming the enemy is a simple tank-spank. A more complex rotation will be addressed later on as well as a solution to completely nature immune targets. The following rotation is split into several sections to better highlight the course of action. Next, is rotation and we’ll be presuming the guild is well versed with the boss and our robbed friend is adequately geared. If you are missing some items it is not the end of the world.

      Preparation: Firstly, we will need to decide how many party members will be using the Crystal. Optimally, we'd like 2 rogues. They will       be equipping the item until you are comfortable with the amount of damage its dealing, they should be eating food while swapping the item.

      Pre-pull: Make sure before engaging the mob all possible buffs are present on you and on their maximum duration. Try and have a healer with Scarab Brooch cast a healing spell on you seconds before engaging the boss. The healer can remove the trinket and the buff will remain on you. Also, contrary to warriors we benefit from a Power Word: Shield regularly cast on us.
       - Equip a healer set with the most healing possible on it. Cast Renew on yourself, the users of Crystal and a life tapped warlock.
       - Equip (8/8) Vestments of Transcendence + healer set. Cast Greater Heal on yourself, the users of Crystal & another life tapped lock.
       - Consume food to regain health/mana.
       - Activate Zandalarian Hero Badge and swap with regular tanking trinket. (unless it is required later on to counter a boss ability.)
       - Activate Petrified Scarab and swap with regular tanking trinket. (unless it is required later on to counter a boss ability.)
       - Designated Crystal users should stop eating.

      Pulling: Activate Oil of Immolation and cast Mind Blast. Optimally, we'd want to cast Vampiric Embrace. But this will depend, if it gets       easily pushed off and its debuff priority. There is no need to worry if you don't have this talent.

      Combat: At this point, use the appropriate healing spell on the Crystal user without overhealing (not overhealing will take some       practice). Cautiously evaluate your healing spell cast time to have it sync with Mind Blast's cooldown. After 3-4 seconds, of the boss hitting you tell raid members to engage the boss. Once our Greater Heal Renew and normal renew fade away, a priest should apply their own Renew on us.

      Situational: If a boss mechanic forces you to move around or causes too much distance between members, cast preemptive renews on Crystal users. If you are left in an awkward yet very rare situation where there is not enough time to cast a spell (-1.5seconds), use JuJu Escape and potentially use an item from Threat Management. I can't stress how much a scenario can go from peaceful to chaotic in the blink of an eye, so watch KTM Threat at all times. For foreseeable threat problems refer to the topic Threat Management. Raid members should also be vigilant of their threat and use the appropriate item to reduce threat, refer to Threat Diminishers. It should be noted, it is not possible to dodge, block and parry while casting a spell. If a boss mechanic will surely lead to death or the raid is falling apart, equip Hand of Edward the Odd and start meleeing. Activate JuJu Flurry and if the mace procs, cast Hearthstone, in order to save your buffs.[/color]
On patch 1.12 a full BIS and buffed Alliance Priest will be the closest in survival stats to approach the commonly known feral bear tank, let take an in-depth look at the stats to see the differences. As a guideline, the Example Druid Tank below is BIS/buffed and able to clear most bosses without a problem. A priest similar to other tanks customizes gear in accordance with the boss they will be facing. Obviously, the Example Druid Tank can reach higher numbers & has defensive spells, ex: Barkskin, but the goal is to showcase the class (druid) with the closest similarity to a priest stats across the board that gets the job done in raids.

Now, let's explores the threat generated by other classes to showcase where shaman tanks stand. Remember, threat will depend on gear, boss mechanics, etc... But in general, the current standing of tanks that can do the most threat are:
      1. Feral Druid/Warrior.
      2. Paladin/Enh Shaman.
      3. Dem warlock.
      4. Priest tanks.
The threat we can produce comes extremely close to Paladin Tanks using Holy Mightstone, if they don't use it we surpass them. We can reach an even higher threat ranking against bosses who have little to no nature resistance or the raiding group is capable of maintaining a consistent uptime of the Flame Buffet debuff.

5man Group Composition

Generally, it can be a burden to ask random strangers to equip the Crystal. Therefore, we will be relegated to using BUILD#1. Preferably we want 1 holy paladin and 1 ret paladin to give us Devotion aura and Concentration aura. They can also provide an emergency Blessing of protection if a dps member is generating to much threat and also apply Blessing of Salvation. However, we can forgo Concentration aura and to some extent replace the paladin for a holy priest w/Inspiration. Next, class is a rogue, we might ask them to use the occasional feint and emergency vanish. The fourth member is ideally a Mage. If you have good gear and buffs the fourth member can be either a warlock or warrior.

Raid composition differs with each boss but its considered an acquired technique that develops over time and reflects the playstyle of a guild or raid. The following image is an example raid comp with a few minor exceptions that differ from the norm. This image is by no means the perfect raid comp since raid comps drastically fluctuate along side: content patch, gear, experience, etc... With the raid leader's permission offer your advice on an ideal comp that caters to your needs without overstepping.

  • Discipline priest with experience and ease of mind may occasionally throw a on a shaman tank during the pull phase to help the tank gain a larger amount of threat.
  • In (Group 7): A mage could be replaced by a shadow weaving healing priest.

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed exploring one of my favorite classes in World of Warcraft. If you are left with some lingering questions after having read the guide, feel free to swing over to the link below and I would be more than happy to answer them.

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