Finally, there is the ability to avoid attacks altogether.
Depending on the game and class, a tank may focus on any combination of these.
see also "Tanking" occurs when the unit's intention is to be the one taking in damage (typically by being dangerous or detrimental, or using a game mechanic that forces it to be targeted), and secondly, to ensure that they can survive this damage through sheer health points or mitigation.
In real-time strategy games, the role of a tank unit is to provide a health buffer for weaker ranged classes.
Many basic strategies in games such as Star Craft and Warcraft III revolve around learning to micro-manage units so they attack tank units first and that the tanks do not continually attack units.
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It then falls upon a healer unit (in large-scale play, often specifically assigned to the role, with spells specializing in high healing output over one or two targets) to restore the tank unit's health so they do not die and allow them to take the next attack.
In MMOs, there is typically a mechanic that tanks rely on known as enmity, "aggro", or "threat", which is generated from damage and taunts. However, when fighting other players tanks will attempt to interrupt spell casters and apply debuffs, making them a high priority target for damage (as they are nullifying or mitigating the potential of the opposing team).