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Skarjin
12-18-2008, 04:47 PM
Hey folks,

Like so many other people out there, I'm in love with the new Prot tree. I'm also really intrigued by what it does in PvP, even though I am most assuredly pretty green when it comes to warrior pvp. I've never seriously set in arenas either. However, once dual specs hit the live realms, I am set on taking my PvProt spec and putting it to good use - whether it be arenas, world pvp or battlegrounds. So, I'm looking at talking about the basics of pvping with this spec here. Any advise from more experienced commentators is most welcome!

I know there's already thread about PvProt up there, but is quite a bit out of date at the moment. I'm looking to discuss basics pertaining to the current moment.

The Very Basics

Before even talking about the exact spec to use, I'm interested in discussing what abilities we should be using and what stances we should be employing.

It goes without saying that we should use Shockwave and Concussive Blow on pretty much every cooldown just for the stuns. Additionally, you should Charge as often as you can for the Rage. Also, Charge to get rid of CC. Intercept adds even more mobility into the equation just like Intervene if you got mates and aren't being focused.

Beyond those, it seems that Shield Slam should be our staple move, considering it does nice damage and has a good secondary effect. If that's true then we should probably be using Devastate's a lot to proc SnB (and I guess the armor debuff doesn't hurt either). Now, the third ability in the holy trinity is Revenge, but it finally begs the question: what stance are we fighting in?

The ability seems to suggest at least a partial answer. If we aren't being hit, Revenge isn't proccing so it's no good as a reason for Defensive Stance against caster opponents. Spell Reflection, on the other hand, is an awesome reason to utilize the stance against them. You could pop into the stance to use it, but stance dancing is going to hurt out rage starved butts. Beyond those two abilities (and the innate 10% damage reduction), you don't really gain anything by being in Defensive Stance.

What do we gain by going into Berserker stance? 3% increase to crit and access to Execute. So, Berserker Stance makes total sense when you aren't being targeted at all. If you're the target of spells, Defensive Stance is looking more alluring. Similarly when you are in melee with another melee class.

This line of thinking seems to suggest a simple strategy: "if not being focused on, go Berserker" and "if focused, go Defensive." Currently, I'm not seeing much need for Battle Stance at all (sure, it comes Execute with Spell Reflection).

Shield Slam, Devastate and Revenge

So, you Revenge when it is up, Shield Slam when it is up, and Devastate whenever Shield Slam isn't. There is a potential problem in spamming Devastate in that it will starve your Rage, possibly leaving you wanting when it comes time to use Shockwave, Concussive Blow or any number of other secondary abilities (Disarm, Spell Reflection, Enraged Regeneration). I'm really not sure about what is the right way to go here.

Heroic Strike is another source of possible damage, but I feel it is best left unused, except when glyphed with Revenge. Then macro it into your Revenge and benefit from some Rage-free damage. Otherwise it feels a bit iffy to me.

Talent Concerns

Here's a preliminary spec to consider:

WorldofWarcraft.com -> Info -> Classes -> Warrior -> Talent Calculator (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/warrior/talents.html?tal=050203012300000000000000000000301 00000000000000000000000005335122500301252003011330 1)

I'm concerned overall about Rage generation, which makes me think we should be taking Imp Bloodrage, but it would be a tight fit. Anger Management seems useful, but I wonder if it will truly be a significant Rage generator. Likewise, to make Devastate viable, we probably need to be taking Puncture. Focused Rage would be nice, but it's unlikely to fit it considering the relatively marginal Rage gains.

Going down the Arms tree for Deep Wounds seems like a good idea to do some actual damage. Whether to take Iron Will or Tactical Mastery along the way seems debatable, but both feel useful.

Anything extra - if there's any floating around - is going to go into Cruelty in Fury.

The End

Anyway, those are my preliminary thoughts on the class and spec. Now, I'd really appreciate your input!

Chisgule
12-19-2008, 01:57 PM
I don't have much time to post, but off-hand, there are a couple things I would mention.

1) Stuns and charges should be used appropriately, not just when they're available. I get the impression you haven't done much in the arena with prot pvp because you'll find your opponents rapidly on DR. There has been much discussion around this topic

2) Drop at least one point in party spell reflect. Seriously, that's one of the best talents for high-skill pvp (aka arenas)

3) Rage has not really been an issue at all for me. Reduced stun duration is probably a better pick than increased rage on charge.

4) I do not think that I have ever found myself spamming devastate except in pve. There is likely to be MANY better choices than devastate, unless you're running a melee train in arenas. Even if you were running melee train, it'd be glyphed for 2x sunder application and probably by the time you've used devastate 2x they're dead.

5) Did you mention that the use of active blocking doubles your SBV for the duration?

6) I spend almost no time in zerker stance. Against a non-priest caster I'm in battle to shield bash silence. Against melee dps there's really no reason to be in zerk at all except to pop zerk rage for increased rage gen and then immediately switch back to a different stance. Most people seem to miss the point of zerk stance in pvp... you take 10% more damage in exchange for 3% crit. That's a painful tradeoff. Use the abilities unique to the stance and, assuming you're taking damage, get out of the stance.

I think the most interesting direction that this conversation could go is around gearing: when do I care more about SBV than crit? The 15% boost to shield slam crit chance is pretty incredible.

Bloodwraith
12-19-2008, 02:54 PM
6) I spend almost no time in zerker stance. Against a non-priest caster I'm in battle to shield bash silence. Against melee dps there's really no reason to be in zerk at all except to pop zerk rage for increased rage gen and then immediately switch back to a different stance. Most people seem to miss the point of zerk stance in pvp... you take 10% more damage in exchange for 3% crit. That's a painful tradeoff. Use the abilities unique to the stance and, assuming you're taking damage, get out of the stance.

Berserker rage has been usable in all stances since 3.0 came out in October :p

Ceravantes
12-19-2008, 05:47 PM
The big selling points to Prot PvP is Imp spell reflect, Imp disarm, and Safeguard, all of which you have skipped in your build. You will not match people for damage, the key to being successful is keeping your group from being cc'ed. while doing moderate damage and keeping someone cc'ed through the proper use of stuns.

Chisgule
12-19-2008, 09:19 PM
Berserker rage has been usable in all stances since 3.0 came out in October :p

O.o Wow. I guess I did miss something when I quit for WAR at the end of the gladiator season.

virtuousone
12-20-2008, 11:33 PM
The big selling points to Prot PvP is Imp spell reflect, Imp disarm, and Safeguard, all of which you have skipped in your build. You will not match people for damage, the key to being successful is keeping your group from being cc'ed. while doing moderate damage and keeping someone cc'ed through the proper use of stuns.

Wow thats weird cause from my experiences its a bit different. Yes I do help to keep people CCed w/ stuns and keeping casters silenced but I strongly disagree wit the damage comment. It could be the 15-1600 ratings and/or the lack of pvp gear out there but I'm not just matching people in damage but usually out damaging most classes. I usually come out on 1st on damage done. I can easily kill mail or leather wearers. All it really takes for me is a nice 6.5-8k SS 2-3k revenge2-3k concussion and hs does about 2-3k, all that can be hit in less then 3 sec of engaging my target. With the stun/silence most ppl dont recover from that. So again maybe Im just not facing hard people but Ive been raping in arenas against most groups.

Nyd
12-23-2008, 07:04 AM
pvProt is a finess spec. What stance you fight in and what you do is heavily dependent upon the situation, especially in Arena play. If you are avoiding Imp Reflect, Imp Disarm, Imp Revenge or Safeguard you are doing yourself an injustice.

Arena Spec: 15/3/53 (http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=Lcrd0fZhZVGzrgbzidIdsuo)

Some general guidlines:

Battle Stance - When you are on the offense and not the ire of some ones attacks you should be in battle stance. It opens up hamstring to keep peoples mobility down. You still have access to Charge, Devastate, Shield Slam, Shield Bash, Shockwave and Conc blow. You can not disarm, intervene or revenge. The key here is Revenge. Revenge is a damage boost and a stun that does not share Diminishing returns with Charge, Intercept, Shockwave or Conc blow. It does however require someone (or something) beating on you to proc. If you are not getting hit there are only situational reasons to be in D-stance - both of which I'll get into in a minute.

Defensive Stance - When you are the subject of blows from an attacker, or perhaps when a dumb hunter has his pet on you stay in Dstance. If you have something wailing on you in nearly any situation poping to d-stance to pickup revenge procs and dish out some pain and stunners is where it's at. Of note, talented Disarm is on a 40 second cooldown and Intervene is on a 30 second cooldown.

Now that we've defined the basics of stances let me go into a little more detail about tricks to using your stances and abilities. Intervene intercepts the next attack (or two glyphed). What that means is that even if your partner or teammates are the subject of attacks you can intervene those attacks and not only re-direct some damage you also potentially open up the opportunity to dodge, parry or block that attack and proc revenge.

Lets also look at imp disarm for a moment. It increases the damage dealt to a target by %10. Lights should be starting to go off as we look at Prot combos.

If you are in battle stance and your approaching the 40 second mark you should be looking for the situation to d-stance, intervene, disarm, revenge. Take it a step further and if the opponent drops low enough you can pop Zerker stance, Reck and Execute.

Again, every situation is different and every situation is going to illicit a different response to stance, tactic and how/when you lineup cooldowns. But hopefully this helps shed some light on what stance is appropriate and when.

Chisgule
12-23-2008, 11:28 AM
I know that the spec I'm currently using isn't perfect, but could you help me to understand some of the choices you've made in arms and fury?

1) AttT over cruelty? AttT doesn't impact shield slam which is a huge percentage of total damage, whereas cruelty impacts all attacks. AttT has minimal synergy with impale relatively to cruelty. And finally, crits are spectacular in pvp. What am I missing?

2) Deep wounds over max AttT and cruelty?

3) I know only 1 point in TM is required for spell reflect, but given the amount of stance dancing one tends to do, why not max it for instant disarms as well? Maybe this is just personal choice.

Ceravantes
12-23-2008, 05:10 PM
I know that the spec I'm currently using isn't perfect, but could you help me to understand some of the choices you've made in arms and fury?

1) AttT over cruelty? AttT doesn't impact shield slam which is a huge percentage of total damage, whereas cruelty impacts all attacks. AttT has minimal synergy with impale relatively to cruelty. And finally, crits are spectacular in pvp. What am I missing?

2) Deep wounds over max AttT and cruelty?

3) I know only 1 point in TM is required for spell reflect, but given the amount of stance dancing one tends to do, why not max it for instant disarms as well? Maybe this is just personal choice.

AttT effects all attacks aside from SS, not hard to understand really, Shield Slam should be around 20-30% of your damage, you will still gain more from attack power.

Deep Wounds should account for something between 5 and 15% of your total damage, more than likely something on the lower end of that. With proper gearing, i.e. Arena gear, you will gain much more from the added damage from Deep Wounds than with 3% crit. Honestly, even wearin Tanking gear you will gain more from Deep Wounds.

You will find that stance dancing is not really going to be much of a factor, While I am in battle a decent amount of the time, I find that I am in defensive stance more often than not, and I generally will have a charge up for after a stance dance anyways.

Chisgule
12-23-2008, 07:49 PM
AttT effects all attacks aside from SS, not hard to understand really, Shield Slam should be around 20-30% of your damage, you will still gain more from attack power.

I guess I'll have to run a damage meter to track shield slam damage. I would be truly astounded if the total damage % is really that low for that attack.

Unger
12-24-2008, 11:15 AM
Just a side note....., I hardly ever PvP.... but I noticed your spec had you taking 3/3 puncture instead of 3/3 focused rage. Focused rage reduces your rage cost of all offensive abilities (including devastate) and puncture reduces the devastate only.... it seems to me that its a no brainer to take the focused rage and get the benefit for all offensive abilities. The only reason to not do this is if you need the points lower in your tree to advance and since you took the entire third row.... that seems unlikely.....

Celandro
12-30-2008, 02:02 PM
What I've been running:
WorldofWarcraft.com -> Info -> Classes -> Warrior -> Talent Calculator (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/warrior/talents.html?tal=050032002300000000000000000000302 00000000000000000000000002332112512001252033211332 1)

1676 3v3 with resto shaman, ret paladin, prot warrior
I've mostly been sitting in defensive stance for fast burst and better defensive abilities. resto shaman totem is ok for slowing but I do wish hamstring was useable in defensive stance.

Some tricks:
Shield block -> shield slam->concussive blow is extremely good. I plan on trying out recklessness ->concussive blow->defensive stance->shield block->Shield slam->shockwave for bigger burst but this is untested.
Locking down rogues and other melee with intervene-> disarm, concussive blow and shockwave is extremely effective

I currently wear a mix of dps and tank gear and am currious what other people wear.

Xav
12-31-2008, 06:52 AM
I've been doing PvP (3v3) as Prot for the past few weeks. My spec I use is different from those listed here, but generally I consider it superior for any "serious" PvP as protection spec.

Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft (http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=LGMMZGx0oZbIdrTbzidIdsho)

My current spec doesn't have Vigilance, but I'm picking it up today. I'll explain and describe some of my experiences thus far.

First off, I'm playing with a resto shaman and unholy death knight. My original team I played with was a resto shaman + boomkin, but that was just climbing out of the 1500s and getting to the mid 1700s, then I made this other team (rather, they made a more serious / dedicated team so I got new players)

3 weeks after the season start, the 1700's have quite an assortment of varied teams in terms of skill and composition.

What has been working for us is for me to completely shut down one of their teammates, often times the healer. I call my lockouts (not by name, generally, but in a number, so they know when I'm nearing "six" or so that my lockout is going to end). Example, our DK starts focusing on someone, I charge to the healer (or run over to it with a Heroic Throw at the same time, to prevent stun DR). When that is about to wear off I use a shield bash. By now I'd be saying "2", then "3" as I use a conc blow, "4" as I Shockwave, "5" as a fear/charge stun, "6" as I shield bash again, then generally I'm out at that point. 99% of the time this forces the person to bubble (honestly, it's almost always a paladin healer), or the person my DK was focusing on is dead.

However, the healer isn't always the best target for me. We played several games against Mage-centric teams. Mages right now have ridiculous burst and control, as usual, so we found the best use for me was to stick to the mage. The opening few GCD's a mage can do are the most important. Generally when you charge the mage in the opening, they will blink, then do some kind of super-charge move on the healer on our team (resto shaman) with their teammate to try and burst them down. I found that I made life most difficult for the mage by immediately charging and shield bashing the mage at the same time, so they're stunned/silenced. Then as soon as that's fading, they will blink, and I Heroic Throw silence them again. At that point I can generally intervene (safeguard) back to our healer, giving him a nice survivability buffer. Then I just harass the mage the whole game with Imp. Spell Reflect and constant stuns/silences so the mage is never in a good position to nuke someone repeatedly.

By far the most difficult teams for us were double burst DPS teams. A guildies team of Resto shaman, Boomkin, Rogue (the first 2 were my original teammates) was extremely difficult. The rogue simply sticks to our shaman and chain stuns/kills him while the boomkin contributes ridiculous burst. So we had a different plan for a few games and I went on the boomkin and completely locked him out for the whole game. The boomkin got no spells cast on our shaman whatsoever (except the instant cast Starfall), and our resto shaman still died. Infact, we were even playing it rather well with death gripping the rogue away, me charge stunning, disarming, snaring, then getting back to the boomkin, keeping him silenced, etc.

It just wasn't working out - surely we have room to improve, but a double DPS team puts so much pressure out. With me locking out one of their DPS, their team's healer can simply spam heal the other DPS our DK is working on (in this case the rogue), and we aren't really pulling ahead - especially cause my lockouts will fade eventually and just give them more damage output.

We mostly concluded that the damage output of some classes right now is far too high, and our resilience is far too low. I suppose once our shaman is over 700 resilience and has an extra ~2k HP, his survivability will go up, letting our finesse composition and playstyle actually show its strengths.

When games can be decided in such a quick time, all of the main draws of a prot warrior (control, damage reduction, numerous lockouts, high mobility), can't be fully utilized. Every single game I was able to get multiple defensive cooldowns off on our shaman, Safeguard, Stuns+Disarms on any melee dps on them, but it was never enough.

It will come down to needing our Shaman to be able to survive with minimal assistance from myself and our DK, so that way I can resume keeping a healer totally locked out and our DK kills someone. Right now if we try that vs a double DPS team our shaman will simply die near instantaneously when we haven't even killed their healer yet (This is magnified 10000x if the enemy healer is a paladin)

I do really really enjoy the prot playstyle though and enjoy learning to utilize some of our new abilities in the best way depending on enemy team composition, but I'm most likely going to spec Arms as soon as I get a 2h and just join the DPS-gib fun, until PvP damage nerfs go in place (ever?) or our healer is running with a ridiculous full PvP resil/stam set.

Xav
12-31-2008, 06:58 AM
I also want to say that having a paladin healer on your 3v3 team as a prot warrior, with another strong DPS class as your 3rd, will probably be by far the most succesful setup with a prot warrior. This will let you lock out a healer while your DPS kills someone, pretty much guaranteed. If their healer is a paladin, you force him to bubble, then repeat it and kill the person anyway. A paladin healer can stay alive for such a long time due to plate + shields + bof + bop + 6 second holy shock, it doesn't really compare at all to a shaman.

Guess I should mention what I wear too etc.

I wear full DPS gear. But, my damage output is irrelevent 90% of the time. Sure, most games I'm usually at least half our DK's damage - 60k~ vs 30k, sometimes it's much more favorable for me, especially if my target is softer or if I get rage somehow.

But most of the time I'm working off self-generated rage (bloodrage, charge, auto swings), and so I only have enough rage to perform lockouts. VS non-rush teams that involve a shaman, I was able to run around killing totems and get a full rage bar. After getting a full rage bar I could then not only perform my full lockout but put pressure on as well by having rage to use other abilities. But, that situation doesn't happen often.

I find speccing for DPS isn't going to do much in the games that will be most difficult for you to begin with. And basically, you want piercing howl for added control.

Also I was stance dancing almost never, because it's simply not very feasible - the instant demand requirement of needing to Intervene to your teammates and then using rage on abilities makes it extremely crippling to actually ever leave defensive stance. I found sitting in defensive gave me the most use of my abilities, moreso than tactical mastery + increased sustained damage output of battle stance, etc. But that isn't to say I never do it at all - the main stance switching I do is berserker stance for the Intercept stun if absolutely everything else is on cooldown.

If I ever get attacked (pretty much never happens if our shaman is still alive), I have shield block and shield wall, as well as last stand, which pretty much guarantee me not dying, so resilience/pvp gear doesn't add anything.

Elysian
01-02-2009, 08:24 AM
Hey Xav,

Do you use thunderfury in PvP too? ;)

I have been PvProt'ing it up the past two weeks on a 2vs2 team with an unholy DK. I also started a 3vs3 team with the same DK and a Dicipline priest. Although, last week he stayed holy to test out SoR glyph. He was able at some points, to stay as an angel for up to 30 seconds before fading - which was incredible, but pretty cheap. Although it is random and depends purely on healing crits to stay up - heck sometimes he would crit but the glyph would not work and he'd still die.

I noticed one of my weakest areas is beating through mana shields on mages and shields on priests. I believe these also negate gag order because I think those require to actually hit and deal dmg to actually proc. Shield slams and revenges are def. our top dmg dealing moves - and sometimes I am able to take people out with these alone without anyone helping me.

I wear DPS gear and I have 500 resilience so far. I did notice, even though I dropped in mitigation, armor, and health in the pvp armor, I last a lot longer with the 500 resilience.

As much as I keep a person locked down - I can't but feel that my team mates are far more effective in the arena team, this may cause me to also go arms as I just got my 2nd two hander DPS weapon last night - I was trying to hold out till dual specs.