I'm a dedicated WoW player who play several alts, but I focus mainly on my Warlock. Since I have a lot of characters, on this site it's easiest that I'm simply known as Saga.
I'm a raider, guild officer and altoholic who loves chasing after new mounts and pets.
This site is where I ramble about my adventures and thoughts as I continue playing WoW.
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Category Archives: Warrior
Since Warrior has been my main for the last few tiers of raiding I wanted to try and keep up to date with their changes. It feels like things are still a bit up in the air and people are complaining quite a bit about having problems with rage/threat. This may depend partly on changes done to the warrior, but also the fact that a lot of classes’ damage was boosted quite a bit in the patch. Hopefully things will simmer down.
This is of course aimed towards Protection Warrior since that’s what I’ve played the most. If you would like me to go through the other specs, just let me know and I will.
THE SPEC ITSELF
As with most class builds at the moment the choices are pretty straight forward.
You can change a few points around if you want to get Impending Victory or Incite. However, with the current rage problems some warriors seem to be facing I don’t see us using Heroic Strike as much as before and Incite may not be as useful.
In the patch we lost Defense rating (you get uncrittable by speccing into Bastion of Defense) as well as Block Value/Block rating. Depending on each piece of gear those values would have all been turned into either Dodge or Parry.
Your new stat priority is Stamina, Dodge, Parry and Mastery.
There are currently quite a few discussions ongoing regarding whether or not one should reforge stats into Mastery rating. For protection Warriors the Mastery increases your chance to block by 10% and your chance to critically block by 20%.
At the time of writing no clear conclusion has been drawn, but if you’re having rage problems (as some tanks are) reforging some of your dodge or other stats that you may have too much of into mastery may help you. The reason for this is that you spec into Shield Specialisation, which gives you rage when you block an attack, and the mastery makes you block more often. And of course more rage = more threat.
However, if you’re planning to reforge – don’t bleed yourself. You’ll want to still keep a decent amount of dodge/parry on your gear.
I would say to not go below 18-20% dodge or parry. Also, remember to have 8% hit and 23 expertise (this will be 26 again at level 85). Interestingly enough up to 23, expertise is showing as the best threat stat – but beyond that it doesn’t seem as useful.
Prime glyphs are pretty straight forward in your choices, but you can probably play around with your Major and Minor glyphs. My own choices below.
The rotation for single target is for the most part the same, but you may want to use Thunderclap and Shockwave even for single target now. In general, prioritise Shield Slam, Revenge and use Devastate as your filler move rather than Heroic Strike as before. Most of the time we won’t have the rage to spam Heroic Strike as we have previously, only use it now if you have more than 60 rage and don’t need it for anything else. Pop Commanding Shout before the fight for an instant 20 rage.
AE tanking takes a little bit more work than before (and it took quite some then already). Remember that Commanding Shout (and the other shouts, but with a shared cooldown) now gives you 20 rage, so pop it before packs if you don’t have any rage or little rage. If you want to, you can also toss a Heroic Throw at one mob (costs no rage) and charge another. Put up Rend first, then Thunderclap which will apply it to every mob in the group. Use Thunderclap and Shockwave on cooldown. Shield Slam every cd as well on the mob that requires it most, stack sunders on as many as possible by tabbing between them.
If you specced into Thunderstruck, try to time your Shockwave for when you have 3 stacks since it will then do more damage. You will most likely have to rotate high threat moves and Devastate on the mobs in the group while using Thunderclap and Shockwave when you can. If you have spare rage, use Cleave.
AE tanking was difficult before the patch at times for a Warrior, and with the insane damage some classes do now you may still not be able to hold threat – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
OTHER CHANGES OF NOTE
- Vigilance has changed and no longer transfers threat to you, all it does is refresh your taunt cd when the target is hit and makes them take 3% less damage. This means there’s not much use for it in dungeons unless you want someone who pulls off you a lot to take 3% less damage and maybe refresh your taunt so you can taunt off them. (Personally I rather let them die!) In raids though it’s useful to put it on the Off Tank.
- You may have noticed that you lost a bunch of Armor. That was intended, and will mean that you will be taking a bit more damage. It’s one of the reasons I’m thinking Mastery may be worth going for.
- Blood Rage, our go-to ability for some instant rage was removed – but instead you can use any of the shouts to give you 20 rage instantly. If you still want more instant rage, glyph for Berserker Rage and that will give you an additional 5 rage when popping an ability.
Since I’m a big advocate of tanks being defense capped before entering their first Heroic instance I figured I should show you how you can easily become so.
To tank Heroics you need 535 defense (which is about 664 rating). If you get gear that gets you above that though, don’t fret – defense is always a valuable stat (though above 535 you’d not prioritise it over anything else – so at that point don’t gem for it or anything). Remember this is for Heroics – if you want to raid you need 540 (~689 rating). This guide is just about how to get you ready to tank Heroics however.
The quickest way of course is to craft some epics or even blues, but that costs you a little bit more in gold and materials. The slightly longer option – but the one which will also allow you to get some experience tanking – is to get some gear from quests and instances.
Below is a list by slot on where you can get tanking pieces without setting foot in a Heroic. This should get you defense capped and ready for your first Heroic!
Please note that this is mainly directed towards Warriors and Paladins since it’s plate gear. However Death Knights can use it and just find other weapons. Druids sadly can only make use of the rings etc. however I’m not too worried cause there are a lot of Druid sites out there! (And of course you get defense capped from talents alone anyway, you lucky….)
I’ve listed some items that can be crafted from Blacksmithing as well. Some of them you can find for a pretty decent price on the Auction House – or they can be crafted without much cost of materials. I did list a couple of the epics as well though, it’s all about how much you want to spend. Ironically though the blue Tempered Saronite set is usually the one with the most defense rating – which makes those pieces a really good choice for any slot where you didn’t get anything from a quest/instance.
Trinkets are a problem, but they very seldom award defense anyway, so don’t worry too much about those. I’m sure I’ve missed some items from my list – but I’ve tried to include anything easily obtainable from outside raids and heroics. Together with enchants and gems I think you should be able to get yourself defense capped.
(There are a lot more “tanking” items out there that I didn’t list since the point of this is to get you defense capped, so I’ve skipped any item that’s a “tank”-item, but doesn’t actually have defense. I also didn’t include the newer instances loot even on normal because they are a lot more difficult than the older ones and I’d not suggest going in there before being defense capped.)
- Flowing Cloak of Command (Culling of Stratholme: Salramm)
- Bloodbane’s Resolve (ICC Quest: The Fate of Bloodbane)
- Screeching Cape (Violet Hold: Erekem)
- Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions (The Wyrmrest Accord: Honored)
- Helm of the Ley-Guardian (Oculus: Cache of Eregos)
- The Crusader’s Resolution (ICC Quest: The Crusader’s Pinnacle)
- Greathelm of the Titan Protectorate (Sholazar Basin Quest: Reclamation)
- Tundra Pauldrons (Borean Tundra Quest: Have They No Shame?)
- Tempered Titansteel Helm (Blacksmithing)
- Tempered Saronite Helm (Blacksmithing)
- Crusader’s Square Pauldrons (Culling of Stratholme) BoE, check AH!
- Clutch of the Storm Giant (Zul’Drak Quest: The Storm King’s Vengeance)
- Bone-polished Iceplate Shoulders (Grizzly Hills Quest: Hour of the Worg)
- Tempered Saronite Shoulders (Blacksmithing)
- Reanimated Armor (Utgarde Pinnacle: Gortok)
- Battlechest of the Twilight Cult (Ahn’Kahet: Jedoga)
- Ivory-Reinforces Chestguard (Kalu’ak: Honored)
- Breastplate of the Solemn Council (The Wyrmrest Accord: Revered)
- Tempered Saronite Breastplate (Blacksmithing)
- Breastplate of the White Knight (Blacksmithing)
- Girdle of Obscuring (Oculus: Mage-Lord Urom)
- Waistguard of the Risen Knight (Drak’tharon Keep) BoE check AH!
- Indestructible Plate Girdle (Blacksmithing)
- Tempered Saronite Belt (Blacksmithing)
- Svala’s Bloodied Shackles (Utgarde Pinnacle: Svala)
- Saronite Swordbreakers (Blacksmithing)
- Tempered Saronite Bracers (Blacksmithing)
- Gauntlets of Vigilance (Storm Peaks Quest: The Reckoning)
- Expelling Gauntlets (Dragonblight Quest: Don’t Forget the Eggs!)
- Handguards of the Sanguine Gladiator (Grizzly Hills Quest: The Conquest Pit: Final Showdown)
- Gauntlets of the Disturbed Giant (Borean Tundra Quest: Postponing the Inevitable)
- Fireproven Gauntlets (Kirin Tor: Exalted)
- Daunting Handguards (Blacksmithing)
- Tempered Saronite Gauntlets (Blacksmithing)
- Iron Colossus Legplates (Storm Peaks Quest: The Iron Colossus)
- Void Sentry Legplates (Violet Hold: Zuramat)
- Leggings of Forceful Purification (Grizzly Hills Quest: Ursoc, the Bear God)
- Special Issue Legplates (Argent Crusade: Honored)
- Daunting Legplates (Blacksmithing)
- Tempered Saronite Legplates (Blacksmithing)
- Slaughterhouse Sabatons (Culling of Stratholme: Meathook)
- Boots of the Unbowed Protector (Borean Tundra Quest: Quickening)
- Toxin-Tempered Sabatons (Knights of the Ebon Blade: Honored)
- Sabatons of Draconic Vigor (The Wyrmrest Temple: Revered)
- Tempered Titansteel Treads (Blacksmithing)
- Tempered Saronite Boots (Blacksmithing)
- Pendant of the Nathrezim (Culling of Stratholme: Mal’Ganis)
- Amulet of Deflected Blows (Utgarde Pinnacle: Skadi)
- Burning Skull Pendant (Gundrak) BoE check AH!
- Blood-Infused Pendant (Sholazar Basin Quest: A Hero’s Burden)
- Betrayer’s Choker (Zul’Drak Quest: Betrayal)
- Woven Steel Necklace (Howling Fjord Quest: Disarmament)
- Seal of the Pantheon (Halls of Lightning: Loken)
- Dragonflight Great-Ring (Oculus: Cache of Eregos)
- Gal’darah’s Signet (Gundrak: Gal’darah)
- Solid Platinum Band (Zul’Drak Quest: For Posterity)
- Ring of Arachnathid Command (Azjol-Nerub: Anub’arak)
- Kurzel’s Warband (Grizzly Hills Quest: Search and Rescue)
- Staunch Signet (Borean Tundra Quest: The Struggle Persists)
- Eternally Folded Blade (Halls of Lightning: Volkhan)
- Blade of the Empty Void (ICC Quest: Tirion’s Gambit)
- Crescent of Brooding Fury (Zul’Drak Quest: Wanted: Ragemane’s Flipper)
- Leeka’s Shield (Culling of Stratholme: Mal’Ganis)
- Riot Shield (Violet Hold: Xevozz)
- Bulwark of the Tormented God (Grizzly Hills Quest: Ursoc, the Bear God)
- Shield of the Lion-hearted (Alliance Vanguard: Revered)
- Titansteel Shield Wall (Blacksmithing)
- Saronite Bulwark (Blacksmithing)
Ways to boost your defense rating further:
- Lesser Inscription of the Pinnacle (Shoulder Enchant – Sons of Hodir: Honored)
Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle (Shoulder Enchant – Sons of Hodir: Exalted)
Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector (Head Enchant – Argent Crusader: Revered)
- Enchant Chest – Greater Defence (Enchanting)
Enchant Cloak – Titanweave (Enchanting)
Enchant Shield – Defense (Enchanting)
I have returned, and I had this crazy idea of adding a post that might actually be useful. I know, it’s crazy – I blame it on the pain killers. Since my main character is a Protection Warrior, obviously that is what I will focus on.
Below are some pointers to warriors based on what I’ve seen people do (wrong) in Heroics. A lot of this advice will work just as well for any other tanking class, so feel free to give them a heads up. I would have thought a lot of it is common sense, but after having done some Heroics on my alts (not tanking) I have come to realise that believing so was rather foolish. I have been proven wrong. More than once.
I don’t proclaim to be an awesome player, or even an awesome warrior. But I know to do the below – and I suggest you learn to do the same.
First of all, I would like to make a disclaimer. If you’re thinking about being a tank – any tank – make sure you do it for the right reasons and that you’re willing to put the time into it. You may not be interested in raiding on a tank, but even for Heroics tanking takes a lot of work – more so than a lot of other roles. Your gearing up process is much more steep. There is no way you can enter a Heroic with your levelling gear and expect to do well. You have to work on it.
If you just want to get quicker queues for Heroics. Maybe tanking isn’t for you. Unless you’re still willing to put the time in to get your gear ready and learn how to do it well. A bad tank can ruin any Heroic run. (That said a bad healer can too, and bad dps is annoying, but it doesn’t necessarily wipe the entire group.)
So, here are my tips on how to be a better Warrior (or tank in general):
1. Get defense capped
This isn’t too big a deal at lower levels, but when you hit 80 – if you want to do Heroics you want to get defense capped as soon as possible. In short – it means bosses can’t crit you which means you won’t die as easily. The defense cap at 80 is 535 for heroics (540 if you want to do raids). Note that this is not the rating, but the actual value (the rating is much higher, ~689 defense rating for 540 defense).
Doing Heroics before you’re defense capped may very well be possible, but it is not advisable. Your healer especially won’t be too happy to see you getting crit for 20k. Especially if you’re a new tank with a total of 25k health. I’d even go as far as saying that you won’t be too happy getting crit for 20k since most likely you won’t survive. So do yourself (and everyone else) a favour and get yourself defense capped.
As a side note, getting more than 535 (or 540) defense is not a bad thing. Defense still provides you with useful things, so look at 535 (or 540) as your bare minimum rather than the number. So don’t pass up on gear because it “brings you over the cap”. Getting defense still gives you dodge, parry, block and chance to get missed. All things we love!
2. Don’t stand in the stupid
I’ve seen a lot of tanks in instances that seem to think that because they’re tanking or because they’re wearing such and such good gear it’s okay for them to stand in void zones, fires and whatnot. Let me explain this to you; It is never okay to be taking damage that you don’t have to take!
I don’t care if you’re wearing full T10 gear from ICC with a gearscore of ten zillion. Don’t take damage that you don’t have to be taking.
If you’re not well-geared, taking extra damage is most likely going to get you killed. If you’re well-geared you’re most likely pissing your healer off and you might still die, if that doesn’t happen – you’re still tanking the mobs in a place where melee have to choose between taking chunks of damage or not dpsing. In short; there is never really a good excuse to stand in the stupid.
3. Rage Starvation
As a new tank you may not have problems with this – if things hit you enough. I find this more of a problem at higher levels of gear when they don’t hit me as much, meaning less rage. However, if you do have problems getting enough rage. There are a few things to think about. First of all, charge into packs whenever you can because that gives you a little bit of starting rage. If you’re really screaming for some rage you of course also have Bloodrage. It only has 1 minute cooldown and you can glyph it to not take health from you.
Another thing to think about when feeling rage starved is to NOT use Shockwave. I know, it seems crazy, right – because it’s good AoE threat. But you have to make a judgment call here. The threat or rage (and more rage means more threat too, maybe you want to hold off on the Shockwave for a few seconds). Shockwave stuns the mobs – stunned mobs don’t hit you – you don’t get hit means no rage.
4. Love your Heroic Strike/Cleave
A large part of your threat actually comes from Heroic Strike (switch to Cleave if you’re tanking multiple mobs). It’s different from your other abilities though since it’s on a next swing timer. This means you won’t hit anything with it when you press they ability, but rather that you will hit it the next time your weapon swings. (Which also means that for tanking a quicker weapon is better.)
You want to keep your Heroic Strikes coming. What I do is basically hit that key every time I can, so it hits as often as possible between the other abilities I’m using. Some people bind it to their mousewheel and just keep “scrolling”, but I personally prefer to do it properly.
5. AoE tanking
I don’t want to scare you – or whine (okay maybe I want to whine a little bit) – but AoE tanking as a Warrior is not a dance on roses. You actually have to work for it if you want to hold aggro. We don’t have the luxury of putting down Consecration or Death and Decay. Or Swipe spamming. (Okay so a little bit of whining.) We have to use Thunderclap every cooldown, Shockwave (if our rage generation allows) every cooldown and Cleave. Yes, that’s important. You have to switch your Heroic Strike spamming for Cleave spamming when tanking more than 1 mob.
Even when doing all that, you still might lose aggro. If people AoE-ing, it’s usually not a problem. But say that you’re tanking 5 mobs. You’re focusing one and doing the AoE abilities to keep the others on you. If people AoE – that will be enough. But if a dps is focusing all his single-target dps on another mob (not the one you’re focusing) he almost certainly will pull aggro (unless he’s absolutely crap).
But why aren’t they just dpsing my target you ask? Well, because quite frankly. Most people seem to have forgotten the lost art of targetting the tank’s target. So don’t count on them doing that.
There is no easy way to keep all mobs on you. To make sure you hold the aggro on all of the mobs, you have to not focus on target but sadly you have to tab through them and put up sunders and use Cleave and Shield Slam and every other ability on which ever one happen to be targeted when it comes off cooldown. Do remember to keep Demoralising Shout up – it does do some threat, and Revenge if you have specced into it now hits a secondary target as well. If you do this – you will do AoE tanking fine. You just can’t be lazy when you AoE tank as a Warrior.
It sucks, and it’s annoying. But sadly, until people start targeting the tanks target (which will never happen) we have to do this if we want to tank multiple mobs successfully.
I think this can go for anyone that enters a Heroic actually. Just take a moment and breathe. Don’t bite people’s heads off – even if they’re being asshats. Remember that some people are new, sometimes mistakes are honest. Other times, yes there will be idiots who run ahead of you and pull mobs before you – and that really sucks. But try to take another deep breath, and remember that you can do this. You’re a tank and you can handle it. Don’t be one of those ***** tanks that give us all a bad reputation.
We all have bad days, and we all get annoyed when people play in a way that we feel are stupid. But try not to get rude. It’s not easy, I know. But try to take the high road – if someone is pulling before you are, ask them nicely to not do that. If they still persist, let them die. Okay okay, don’t let them die.. but yeah then you can be annoyed. But give people the benefit of the doubt. We were all new once. If you’ve been pleasant you will know that at least you did nothing wrong, and if people continue being asshats – well at least you know you’re not to be blamed.
By the way, as a warrior you have the greatest excuse to not have people pull before you (unless it’s a hunter with MD or rogue with tricks, but that’s besides the point). It’s quite simple. We don’t have awesome AoE threat. If they pull 4 mobs and actually do damage to them a Thunderclap won’t snap the aggro back most likely. And your taunt has 6 seconds cooldown. Sure, you can do a Mocking Blow. But even then getting 4 mobs off is a total of 6-12 seconds. During which they might die.
I’m sure I forgot lots of stuff. But this is what I could think of for the time being. If you have any Warrior questions, or even Tanking questions, feel free to ask. (I have tanked on Paladin as well, Druid a little bit and DK a tiny bit – so btw I can definitely say that Warriors have the worst AoE threat.)