How to tank in WoW for beginners: 5 tips to become a PRO

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If your question is “How to tank in WoW for beginners?” then this article has been created specifically for you with all the tips, tricks, and necessary information for your adventure.

How to tank in WoW for beginners: 5 tips to become a PRO

To successfully clear a group content in World of Warcraft, a balanced party is required. A healer to cure the wounds, several DPS to quickly deal with the enemies, and a tank to draw enemies’ anger and protect teammates. But what exactly does being a tank in WoW mean?

In today’s guide, we at WowVendor will share everything you need about tanking in World of Warcraft. With our beginner tanking tips in WoW, you can become a professional in no time.

What you need to know about tanking in WoW

How to tank in WoW for beginners: Basic knowledge about tanking

In the heart of World of Warcraft, gameplay lies the classic trinity of roles: tanks, healers, and damage dealers or DPS. As was mentioned above, Tank’s role is to draw aggro of mobs, enduring the damage that otherwise would be spread across the group. It is possible thanks to Tanks’ kits, which allow them to generate huge amounts of Threat quickly. As for the damage part, the highest maximum Health and armor rating will enable it to survive where others cannot. 

If you are still wondering if Tank is a role for you, here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of playing one.



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Traits of a good tank

But what makes the difference between a good and a bad tank? The minimum to complete most of the content is to keep mobs on you. But Tanks can do some extra things to make the experience better for everyone in the party. Good tanks know such things as positioning, mob priorities, instance knowledge, etc. Knowing your abilities, when, and how to use them most efficiently is a key to making a difference between a barely clear and great smooth run. 

Tanks are considered group leaders, as they lead others. They are the first to enter a room full of threats. They set the pace for the whole run. A cool head and quick reaction to unexpected situations are great traits for a tank main.

WoW tanking guide for beginners

How to tank in WoW for beginners: 5 tips to become a PRO

Below, you’ll find 5 beginner tanking tips in WoW that will help you master any instance like a PRO. And maybe, they can also help you perform well in other MMOs. However, beware, each step is more complex than the previous one, so we advise taking them one at a time.

Choose your tank

Before we dive deeper into tanking basics, you should choose your class. There are currently 6 tank specializations in the game:

Each is unique and has a specific kit, allowing them to tank in their own way. This, in turn, makes some of them more mechanically involved than others. If you’re new to tanking and wondering what the best tank class for beginners in WoW is, we advise you to try one of the following:

Of course, this doesn’t mean the other three specs that are not on the list are difficult. All tanks are quite simple to understand. Starting from the three above will translate your experience to others successfully. 

Know your role 

One of the most important WoW tanking basics is to know the role. As we mentioned above, a tank’s role is to tank by keeping the enemy’s aggro all the fight. But what’s more important is how you tank your enemies. This is where positioning comes into play. Mobs need to be positioned close together for DPS to deal with them. Dungeons and raids have groups of enemies made of both melee and ranged mobs. This means you have to bring melees close to ranged units.

There are also such things as patrols. Fighting with them can be avoided if you position yourself correctly. Some enemies have cleaves and AoEs, so you should avoid keeping them on top of your party, preferably facing away from them. Marking threats that need to be taken ASAP also helps a lot, as not everyone may know whom to focus on.

The same goes for boss encounters, be it raid or dungeon. It is an unspoken rule to keep a boss facing away from the party, as most of them cleave. There are some exceptions, as bosses may have back cleaves as well. This means you have to keep with the side facing the group.

Keep enemies’ aggro at all times. Except in cases that ignore Threat mechanics.

Position enemies close to each other, so DPS can take them down quicker.

Avoid enemies facing the group to avoid extra damage.  

Know your possibilities

Things such as positioning and keeping aggro are universal among all the tanks, but each is still unique. Every tank has its own kit with various resources that enable better tanking. Yes, you can only hold aggro and let a healer deal with all the damage you get. Such a decision however will make a healer burn through their resources rather quickly. Instead, both of you should make smart use of them, increasing the efficiency of each other’s work.

Take as little damage as possible while performing your primary duties. Each Tank provided unique tools to help with that. Damage mitigation cooldowns, self-healing, life steal, shields, dodges and parries, etc., allow you to significantly reduce the incoming damage. Even crowd control helps with that — if the enemy is stunned, they cannot attack you. 

This doesn’t mean you should use them all at once, however. Each cooldown has its value, and it should be spread evenly over the fight duration. Saving stronger abilities for big pulls and tank busters, using something light for smaller packs — find a proper use for every defensive button in your kit. Know exactly what your class can do to help your healer. 

Know your limits

World of Warcraft is a game with gear progression. Consider that when you play such an important role as a tank. You may be skillful and know a lot, but sometimes your or your group members’ gear will not be up to the task. It is important to understand what you can do and what you can’t. Having a slower clear is better than several wipes and no clear at all.

When you start a dungeon, sometimes it is better to ask your Healer if it is okay to pull big or at least to warn them what you are going to do. Or, if you’re not confident in your run, you can start slowly to assess the situation — how hard enemies hit, how strong your heals, etc. And if things are looking good, you can pick up the pace from that.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge yourself. Overcoming challenges leads to valuable experience. You will grow as a Tank, and get a better understanding of your class. But the challenge should be possible, not a headless charge into an imminent wipe. 

Know your raids and dungeons

The final and one of the most important things about tanking is game knowledge. Knowing dungeons and raids, various encounters, and enemies is crucial. You need to know what enemies in the dungeon do, tank-specific things bosses do, how to better position specific enemies, target priorities, high-threat targets, patrols, etc. All these come with game knowledge.  

As a leader, knowing a dungeon layout, pathing, and various skips is equally important. As you’re the one who goes in front of the group, you need to know where to go and what path to choose.

Of course, all this comes with experience. The more you play, the more you learn, the more you know. But watching or reading beforehand a guide will help you figure out what to expect. Going blind into content has its own charm. But unless everyone else in the party is also a first-timer, this is a luxury tank players cannot afford. Learning the game allows you to improve in all previous steps and become a truly exceptional player. 

WoW tanking addons for beginners

To somewhat ease this process of accumulating game knowledge as well as WoW tanking tips and tricks, we advise using addons as well. Addons help you to track information during fights or provide some extra information. We can recommend the following WoW tanking addons for beginners. 

These are not all addons, but many consider these the useful base for tanking.

Useful resources are not limited to just specific guides and addons. Following up some WoW content creators who specialize on Tanks, allows you to learn many new things from their knowledge. Some extra tanking tips and tricks, info on trends, preferred builds, meta, etc. We recommend following people like Quazii, Sha, Noawh, and Darkmech for quality Tank content. 


And this is it for our guide on how to tank in WoW for beginners. Let’s quickly summarize them.

If you mastered all these guidelines then congratulations — you can rightfully call yourself a true tank professional. But if you’re still a beginner, then follow these guidelines and you will become a pro in no time! The only way to be a better tank is to play tank and not give up. And while you’re doing so, do not forget to have fun, it helps a lot. Happy tanking!

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