I tank a lot. I moved back into tanking around March or so of this year, because a tank was needed, and I know how to tank. I've stayed a tank in Mists of Pandaria so far because the last thing anyone needs is another melee DPS, because I generally like tanking, and because the new tanking system has actually given me something to learn. What have I learned tanking so far? Well, lots of things, actually. Here's a few highlights.
- People will always want to be told what stat to stack. Saying "You should try and balance your mastery, dodge and parry, while keeping hit and expertise reasonable" is possibly the least popular thing you can tell people outside of telling them who to vote for.
- Shield Barrier is a lot easier to use than Shield Block, and especially in five man dungeons where you may not have a lot of rage to throw around on a pull. In a raid, you can usually time your rage acquisition to use Shield Block followed by Shield Barrier to smooth out incoming damage, but in a five man you're often tabbing around, gathering up adds, and in general using Revenge as your main rage acquisition move so you'll end up hitting Barrier for a cheap and easy damage absorb over Block. When I find myself with enough rage to hit Block, I do, but even then I usually follow it with a Barrier as soon as possible.
- I like the Glyph of Unending Rage a lot more than I expected to. Sure, it's a major glyph, but that extra 20 rage can actually come in handy. I like having the ability to bank rage in situations like Feng the Accursed and using it to blunt big damage spikes with a full rage bar Shield Block/Barrier combo.
- One of the biggest changes to tanking has nothing to do with the tank classes at all. The change to healer mana pools fixing them so that healers can't stack up a bigger mana pool means that we have to be more reactive than ever to incoming damage. The active mitigation system cannot be ignored: the more difficult the encounter the more you need to be on the ball with your Block and Barrier use and paying attention to cooldowns and mini-cooldowns like Demoralizing Shout and Demoralizing Banner.