All about Clanking
It has gotten harder to hold off wizzies, I'm not denying that, but it's by no means impossible. The thing people don't realize is it's actually easier for me to hold agro on a raid than a grind because;
For one, aggro is spread out across so many people, so one good wizzy is less likely to peel than one good wizzy on a grind.
For second, the AOE ticking on anyone that takes any sort of damage. non-deputies tanking raids is nothing to be afraid of; you just have to be a little more....creative to give them aggro initially (I find that pre-ticking the puller and pre-aoeing works beautifully). once that cleric has aggro, it's pretty much smooth sailing.
People don't realize how tough faithfuls or non-dwf/hlf/hum cls truly are. I talked to a Nec yesterday that thought delf cls only got 5 or 6 def mods max, and I've talked to countless people who did not know Faithful gave def mods.
The truth is, deputy may give 50 stamax, but FF gives 500 straight hp. 500 hp gives more hp than 50 sta would. FF also gives two def mods and your very own high-healing, high-aggro heal. FF is much tankier than people know.
As for resists, you're a cleric. clerics tend to have higher wis than the other tanks and, in turn, higher resists. it's funny, how once I convince people it's ok for a cl to tank, they complain about my MC. I convince them it's ok for faithfuls to tank, they complain about my race. seriously, I have 10 def mods and a shield with a hidden def mod on my dark elf Faithful. Once, I convince them my race is good to go for tanking, are they gonna complain about my gender? "omg girls can't tank!"
As for bpoa, I don't have it either. I've been trying for two years to get it with no luck, but i'm not even all that concerned anymore. I don't need bpoa; it's just a nice little item to make the mobs not hit me as hard but it's not like I have much of a problem with dying anyways. in the long run, perhaps not having a bpoa and still getting the job done may even earn me some extra respect. Don't feel bad if you don't have this item; it is not a prerequisite to clanking (even though some people think it is, much like Deputy).
Clanking Part Two
The addition of an aoe heal has made it much easier for a cleric to hold aggro, especially on raids. Although the line between clank and healer is not clear-cut, I would reccoment the aoe heal, Abolish Death, to any cleric who is aspiring to clank at all. There are some camp where using this on grinds can be tricky, however. The range on this heal is huge, and you may peel off groups next to you, so be prepared.
This heal also has a very nice side effect if you're looking to tank on raids with your cleric. Because Abolish Death is a tick heal, anyone or anything taking damage will cause the heal to show up; that considered, think about how many players and pets are taking damage. The necros are sitting behind you pacting themselves half to death. All the pets are in the AoE of the raid mob. Alchemists are draughting themselves. Anyone who makes a mistake may get into AoE range. All of these characters are increasing your aggro. On the other hand, if you are not looking to tank the raid, be very careful with Abolish Death.
Now that I have a bard, I've had more of a chance to observe how other grind clanks xp. There are a few things that I've noticed that clerics who want to tank need to be careful not to do.
1. Pulling without first checking to make sure your group is in group heal range.
Your aggro is almost completely dependent on group heals, and casters love to stand far away. Often, casters do not know how your aggro works, and standing far away decreases the aggro of the caster when they are with a tank. Test your group heals from a reasonable distance. Since I prefer clanking at goblins or a similar camp, I test my group heal from the spawn spot, so the group will be in group heal range at all times. If this is not possible (like at tenacious frost giants or bandits), try to make sure all of your group heals while you're pulling include the group. I find that casting the group heal while the group is barely in range and then walking up to pull works beautifully.
If the casters are reluctant to move up, gently explain to them that your aggro is actually dependent on their being close. Understand that they will be afraid because, with a tank, standing so close often means their death. Make sure they understand why. Once they realize everything is alright, they'll relax and move up without you asking them to.
Similarly, moving your group further away from the pull spot does not help your aggro; it actually harms it. Get your group as close as you possibly can without them being in aggro range themselves.
2. After pulling, some clanks it out of group heal range, trying to build aggro.
This actually may hurt your aggro, especially if petters are in the group. What you need to do is get back in group heal range as soon as you can and get that first group heal off. If you timed the group heal before it so that it hit and included all group members as you pulled and then got back into group heal range quickly, your aggro should be very strong and the mob won't run to the casters. This paired with chain-pulling will also prevent pets from grabbing aggro.
3. Hesitation between pulls.
This is not just a matter of speed of the xp group. Since pets and melees tend to rush up prematurely when you're pulling, resulting in half or none of the group in group heal range with aggro on pets instead of you, it's almost impossible to peel. When you chain-pull, you will be able to get the mob back to the group before the melees and pets even finish the last mob off so the issue of peeling out of group heal range is eliminated. Try to have the next mob back to the group before the mob before it dies.
4. Tick-healing every pull
If you absolutely need to do this, it's better than dying, but try to chain 3 group heals. It's hard to be always casting, I know, but this will help your aggro. You will be surprised how good this method is at keeping you and your group alive.
5. Pulling with a nuke
Don't do this! This will slow down your xp and actually hurt your aggro. A group heal while you body pull and melee the mob once is far more aggro and more effective. Also, as a clank, your blue bar will be working overtime as it is; you do not need to nuke and doing so will waste your mana.
There is a whole spectrum of clerics between MH and MT, and the line between them is not clear-cut. I recently switched builds slightly on my own clank. The original plan was to go for maxes at 575 cha 525 wis 525 sta 460 agi. This was wounderful for xp-clanking and raid-clanking smaller mobs but, as I tanked more and more, I almost never maxed my cha/wis and became more concerned with raising base resists so I can wear more hp/ac gear. I swapped out a few cha/wis maxes for agi maxes and godtouched. My cleric lost some power, gained some hp, and became a little more dependent on batteries.
Some people might say that clanks are "gimped" because of their dependence on batteries, but aren't warriors dependent on healers? The relationship is no different and nothing to be ashamed of. That aside, a good battery is still a wounderful thing to have in an xp group because it super-charges your dds. Imagine how great an xp group would be with a chain-pulling clank, a high-cha minstrel, and two sorcerors who do not have to hold back.