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Hi, this is how threat works in vanilla.

I recommend either giving this a read or finding out how threat works on your own no matter what class you play. In a raid setting, knowledge of threat mechanics allows you to predict what's going to happen next, enabling you to react faster with the heal, the taunt, or the vanish.


Aggro: If the mob is attacking you, you have aggro.

Hate list: If the mob knows you exist, you are on its hate list. This means you either pulled the mob or generated threat on the mob at some point. If a mob wipes its threat completely (like Noth when he teleports), it will automatically target the player who pulled the mob, because that player is first on the mob's hate list.

Threat: Any time you damage a mob or heal someone on its hate list, you generate threat on that specific mob. The more threat you have, the higher the propensity of the mob to attack you.

How threat leads to aggro:

If you are in melee range, you need to exceed the threat of the aggro holder by 110% in order to pull aggro.
If you are further than melee range, you need to exceed the threat of the aggro holder by 130% to pull.

Also, excess threat does not lead to aggro until you let the mob know you've exceeded the threat limit. For example, say the aggro holder has 100 threat. You have 120 threat and are at range. You won't pull aggro if you simply move into melee range, but you will pull aggro if you move into melee range and then hit the boss once to increase your threat to 124 (or 121, or 123, or whatever).

Threat generation

When you deal damage, heal, or generate a resource (mana potion, bloodrage, etc), you generate threat. Various abilities (such as warrior tanking abilities like sunder) generate a set amount of threat.

Before modifiers, 1 point of damage causes 1 point of threat.

Healing and mana restoration generate 0.5 threat per point of health / mana restored. Overhealing does not cause any threat.

Passive mana and health regeneration don't generate threat, but effects like blessing of wisdom and mana spring totem do. The threat from these effects is attributed to the paladin or shaman who issued the buff; by putting wisdom on a mage, for instance, the paladin generates threat. This is why when a mage with wisdom pulls a mob with scorch while wearing 3 pieces of t2, the mob's aggro switches to the paladin on the next tick of wisdom. As a rule of thumb, effects that show up in the combat log generate threat.

Rage gained from bloodrage and talents generates 5 threat per rage gained. The basic rage gained from hitting or being hit doesn't generate any threat.

Threat from healing and resource gain is distributed in aoe situations. If, for instance, you are tanking Stalag and Feugen and you use bloodrage, the initial 10 rage generated by the ability causes 25 threat on each mob. As another example, say you're tanking four horsemen and they're all still alive. Your paladin's flash of light heals you for 1300, generating 163 threat (we're ignoring modifiers in this hypothetical) on each horseman.

Threat modifiers and some threat values

Battle stance gives a 0.8 threat modifier. Berserker stance gives a 0.8 threat modifier. Defensive stance gives a 1.3 threat modifier.

Threat modifiers stack additively, so with the defiance talent (+15%) you have a 1.45 threat modifier in defensive stance.

Here are the base threat values of the main warrior tanking abilities. These do not take into account threat modifiers; sunder, for instance, practically generates 378 threat when used in defensive stance with defiance.

Sunder armor: 261
Heroic strike (not counting damage): 145
Revenge (not counting damage): 315
Shield slam (not counting damage): 250
Thunderclap (not counting damage): 130
Demoralizing shout: 43
Thunderfury proc: 241 from proc effect, 300 from damage

Note that you'll always be in battle stance when you use clap, which gives you a nasty 0.8 threat modifier, instead of the 1.45 modifier you would have in defensive stance with defiance.

Max threat generation is with an Alcor's sunrazor, spamming heroic with a 1 slam / 1 revenge / 2 sunder rotation.

Decreasing threat

Feign death and vanish set threat to 0. Death (presumably followed by soulstone revival) sets threat to 0. Lots of classes have threat reducing talents, lots of tier set bonuses give threat reduction, and there's always salvation.


The warrior spell taunt has two effects.

1: The warrior's threat is set equal to whoever holds aggro. This effect is permanent. Side note that this effect will never lower your threat.
2: The warrior is given aggro for the duration of taunt.

When taunt resists, neither of these effects occurs. Note that taunt is a spell, as opposed to a melee ability, so it has a 17% | 12% | 9% | 5% chance to miss when cast against a level 63 | 62 | 61 | 60 mob.

Effect 1 is unique to the taunt spell. Mocking blow and challenging shout give the warrior aggro for their duration, but do not modify the warrior's threat the way taunt does.
Quote:When taunt resists, neither of these effects occurs. Note that taunt is a spell, as opposed to a melee ability, so it has a 17% | 12% | 9% | 5% chance to miss when cast against a level 63 | 62 | 61 | 60 mob.

I am very certain, that this statement is not true. Afaik Taunt is considered a "physical attack" which will miss 9% against lvl 63 mobs.
I did not test it with taunt, but i did with Thunderfury. The TF procc was considered a cast too, but thats wrong. 
During the Burning Crusade addon I tested it while hittig the lvl 73 boss dummy in Ironforge for 8000 times.
Thunderfury procced several hundred times and missed 8,84%.
taunt is a spell, there is a reason why blizzlike tanks use nat pagle's broken reel on 4 horsemen.

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