Rhus, my "little bear," is a small-group tank. I've raided enough on her to know I like it and would like to find a part-time (as my health permits) off-tank role in a raiding guild, preferably QSS but I'm keeping my options open. My only concern is dps. The role in a 25-man I'd like is one somewhere in that #3-4 tank/dps slot. Except I am so accustomed to solo-cat/group-bear that I've spent next to no time dps'ing. I need practice.
Enter Typhia, the Death Knight tank. Typhia is power-leveling for his guild, Edge.
This should be a win-win situation for me. OrdoSerp now has two mains who tank as their preferred role. Having Typhia around for group activities or for 10-mans when we get to them, means I have no pressure. For a while, I was the best tanking choice for OrdoSerp. Sometimes, however, that meant I was the only tank available for our group. Now, I can tank, off-tank, dps, even off-heal. Tonight, we blasted through Azjol-Nerub & Ahn'kahet. Typhia tanked and I dps'ed. We've done the opposite in both places with great success.
Now, let me emphasize that I know tanking. It's instinct. I rarely even look at my abilities/spells. I just click the right key in rhythm with the global cooldown. If I knew then what I know now, my first toon would have been one that could tank instead of my beloved hunter.
Furthermore, Bear tanks dish out a lot of damage right now. I'm out damaging other party members on AoE pulls. I also know my group. I react to their presence instinctively. I know that Stofnar, the Retadin, is durable, boosts my damage and can take take orders like "Protect the healer" or "Heal me" with great responsiveness. I know that Sofea, the Frostmage, will inevitably pull the #5 mob in an AE pull off of me. I know it so well, I can usually plan for it. I know that in "wave" fights, Calendriel's dots are always on someone, making it a safe bet that I should move toward her when mobs spawn.
Unfortunately, none of this is true when I switch to cat and take a dps role. Getting behind a single target and staying there is surprisingly disorienting right now. There's absolutely no time to get into anything like a rhythm. By the time I get a few shreds in and pop a finishing move, not only is my target dead, everything else is dead. The AoE took care of that. My damage & dps is dismally low in these fights. The truth? I feel like I'm spending more time trying to find the ass-end of a mob than I am fighting. That's just frustrating.
Boss fights or complex pulls with extra adds, it does get more interesting. On those pulls, things happen. I could end up cycling through a real attack rotation on a "stable-positioned" boss. I could end up switching to bear to help the DK pick up some mobs, even steal them from him while the healer tops him off. I could pop up to remove poison, back-up heal, or become the shit the party looks bad "tranquility!" The healer's in trouble. No problem. The healer's dead. No problem. My weak trash damage become forgotten thanks to pure utility.
Clearly, there's life for single-target cat to raid and put up good numbers. What I lack is experience in this role. I will get it. The question is about my real place in raiding. Is that what I really want? Do I really want to be the "extra" Off-tank because my class is so naturally good at it? Or do I need to be true to myself and say No! I'm a main-tank or #1 off-tank kind of guy. I'm the kind of guy who focuses on bear talents and bear responsibilities.
I will need real, honest opportunities to slay dragons. I need to pounce and shred them. To build combo points using max-dps rotations. I need to do this in such a way that I am making the most out of my situation in the new world of AoE instancing. Because there's no such thing as a sheep pull anymore.
The easy answer tonight would have been for me to bring Beroth. He would easily put up 1.2-1.4k dps on trash pulls instead of my weak 6-700 dps). But Beroth is like an old shoe. I know everything there is to know about the toon. I don't plan on raiding with him. There's no lesson learned. Rhus is the best choice.