Depends on your strategy. Obviously you take every other one in HM. In NiM, some strats dictate that both grenades are taken by tanks, which means that you're taking all of them.
As to whether or not it does enough damage, that depends entirely on your HP. I haven't done Titan in NiM yet (bad week for scheduling), so I can't say how hard it hits me.
The NiM grenades hit really weakly so that a dps can survive it.
The problem is not that the healers need to work harder (this is just part of healing an assassin tank), it's that the damage can and will outpace what a healer can reasonably do. The kel'sara combo drops me by 88% in the span of GCDs when neither of the abilities are shielded or defended. Sure, healers *can* react to that, but they need to land their big heals before the next ability in the chain, which is a 7k Discharge that will not be shielded (as it is internal damage). Is it possible to anticipate and heal through this? Yes. It comes with a very specific timing and a really good healer will know this. Is it realistic to expect this? No. Will it lead to overheal and wasted effort? YES. It's RNG whether or not this combo does any appreciable damage at all (when I shield, I take embarrassingly low damage levels). If the damage levels are that low, then the healer probably just wasted a precast heal on me.
This sort of damage is the bad side of the trade for taking an assassin. Healers who aren't really good shouldn't be able to clear progression NiM content to begin with.
Terminate is the rule in new content, not the exception. While it is the highest spiking single damaging ability, it's far from the only one. Dash'roode and Thrasher both have brutal swipes (especially Thrasher). The snipers on Thrasher are practically "shield or die". Even Writhing Horror, who is otherwise a pushover, carries a risk of nearly instagibbing an assassin tank. I generally roll cooldowns in scripted sequence on that fight to avoid Nasty Bite RNG from compounding.
On Dash'roode the burst isn't too bad, I've never been insta bursted.
NiM Thrasher's damage spike tends to be from the snipers, the damage from thrasher is not that bigger issue. Our wipes were mainly mistakes in positioning (either tanks or rockets hitting people). You can rotate between deflection and overcharge saber to deal with the sniper groups that you tank.
Writhing Horror's biggest healing pressure is when the adds come out and there are multiple targets to heal, it's easy to use a cooldown here. Also assassins can vanish when the adds spawns to completely avoid the puddle mechanic (which is ridiculous and would make 2 assassins my ideal choice for this fight).
Your point about Terminate is valid, it *is* in a sense the ability's fault, but it's not a problem for the other two tanks. You can look at this in one of two ways: the content is biased against assassins, or assassins are biased against the content. In either case, it's bad news. Two of the three models put forth by the theory crafting community to quantify this issue take content into account and demonstrate what happens when you fiddle with burst levels.
The point is that assassins are spiky beyond their control on current content, and that spikiness is so severe in places that no amount of healer skill will save them. If you get hit by Terminate, you either a) defend, b) shield, or c) lose 100% of your HP. That's just a coin flip, really. No amount of healer skill (or tank skill) will save you. Terminate is nice because it's a single ability that we can point at, but as I said, it's far from the only example of this problem.
Fair point if they want moves like this in the game then they need to change the way assassin tanks work, but i think it's easier to change this move.
Regarding proactively hitting CDs when you know heavy damage is coming… duh? :-) That's like, tanking 101. CDs are occasionally good emergency buttons, but if you're running with a healer you trust, you're probably not going to use them as such unless you see the rest of the raid is in worse shape. If you're running with good DPS, you won't need them to negate an enrage, so you can use them strictly as part of your mitigation profile when heavy damage phases are about to hit. Unfortunately, your assertion that no boss has a heavy damage phase which comes more frequently than CD availability is simply false. Thrasher is a great example of this, since his swipe happens once every 30 seconds (on the dot) and is melee damage, meaning you have only Deflection and BR to deal with the issue. The snipers pose a similar problem to the off-tank. Kel'sara's high damage phases come once every 15-20 seconds, though her burst is definitely lower than Thrasher or Operation's Chief (and split into many abilities, thus less RNG prone and more healable). We already mentioned how Terminate comes once every 40 seconds, which means you can use Deflection on one for a *chance* to live and BR on another for slightly better odds (assuming really good healers), but you can't keep it up indefinitely. Better hope your DPS can kill the boss before you have to take a third Terminate!
Heavy damage isn't the same as increased damage.
NiM Thrasher is a healing intensive fight but the area of increased damage is when tanking the snipers which you can have cooldowns for (I would however bring 2 juggs for ideal comp for this fight as there's no use for the assassins utility).
The utility that shadows bring is generally out-matched by the other tanks, which is why I don't accept this argument. Stealth is useful situationally, but far more rarely than one would think. Vanguards bring the pull, and Guardians have a more targeted knockback (I rarely use my knockback anyway, and then only on trash). Stealth Mez is cool, but only useful on certain trash pulls (my raid group essentially never CCs anything). That leaves cooldowns…
This isn't all the utility that i mean. Stealth brings the ability to refresh your medpack for a second use, can cheese some mechanics (eg. writhing horror pools, vanish+rocketboots dash'rhoode, etc) and stealth rezing. Force sprint is incredible for kiting and re positioning. Assassins have the highest threat and dps allowing for cleaner pulls and higher raid dps to push through difficult phases. They also have great 10m range tanking (as do powertechs) for when the situation calls for it (which is fairly often). The phase walk healing boost is also good, and u can also use the active in some situations.
Shadow cooldowns obviously roflstomp vanguard cooldowns, but that's primarily because vanguards don't have cooldowns worth speaking of. Unfortunately, shadow CDs are categorically out matched by guardians in every possible respect. If there's a mechanic you can cheese with Resilience, you can also cheese it with Saber Reflect, and Saber Reflect works 100% of the time (vs 95% for Resilience) and affects more attacks. If there's a reason to pop Deflection, then you may as well have popped Saber Ward to receive a brief 100% buff to defense, followed by the same defense buff and a *superior* force/tech buff. Battle Readiness for a 25% DR buff? Try Warding Call for a 40% DR buff! Now that Guardian CDs are on 2.5 minute timers, shadows no longer have a significant advantage in CD availability.
I'd agree with this. My opinion is that juggernauts are the best maintank due to this. I also feel powertechs need a similar cooldown to force shroud or saber ward.
Overall, I see no significant utilities that shadow tanks bring which the other tanks cannot match or exceed, and certainly nothing that even remotely justifies their near unhealability on certain fights. The best thing you can say for shadows is that they take less damage averaged over time than other tanks do. This is absolutely true. Unfortunately, it's not a *lot* less (guardians are really close in terms of mean survivability) and the advantage is essentially swamped by the extreme difficulty of keeping a shadow tank alive through spikes and bad RNG.
That's fair enough, as with any comparison there are people who would fall on both sides of the fence. I feel the best balanced progression comp is 1 Assassin and 1 Juggernaut, however there are fights where 2 juggs would be better or a different comp.
I should probably stop derailing this thread now.