View Full Version : Warrior Tank in Ulduar - Need Expert Opinion

06-22-2009, 09:59 AM
The World of Warcraft Armory (http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Ghostlands&n=Kiyah)

I'm basically going to tell you what I do and link my armory so you can check out my spec and gear. My spec is for off tanking with capability to MT, my gear is based around EH and at this point I do not have a lot of options to use different pieces of gear, but if you have a general comment on the direction my gear needs to go then that is more than welcome. We are currently finishing clearing Ulduar 10 and have downed a few of the first bosses in 25.

My plan for gear is to definitely reach the hit cap which I'm close to, and I'm thinking as long as I have a fast weapon, to take points out of deep wounds and put them somewhere else. With my slow weapon, it was doing noticeably heck of a lot more damage. I'm just not decided on where to stick the points yet.

I've come here because I'm thoroughly frustrated. While I have read and read and tested and whatever else, I'm still not getting feedback that actually works and I am the only consistently active warrior tank in my guild so I'm not getting any good feedback from my guild on my tanking as I already outgear and not to sound like a jerk, but outperform them as well.

I need help with a couple of things - keeping up with threat of a Pally tank (he's MT) with similar gear level during trash, and suggestions for AoE threat. I single target threat very well (stay around 6-9k tps atm without considering vigilance) and don't see any forthcoming issues here as my gear scales.

I'm just extremely frustrated with my performance, and apparently I'm doing something wrong but I have NO CLUE what.

Here's a scenario of an AoE pull.

Bloodrage/Berserker rage are popped.

1. Charge in
2. TC
3. Shield Slam current target then tab
4. Within 1-2 seconds of pull, Shockwave
5. Revenge on tabbed target
(Cleaving and tabbing and cleaving inserted somewhere here as I'm using all of the single target threat skills in order of Shield slam, revenge then devastate on different targets....)
6. After stun from Shockwave is off, shield block then spam shield slams
7. TC is usually up again so I use that
8. Spamming cleave the whole until my eyes bleed (I have glyph of cleave)

I'm basically using my 1-4 buttons with left hand and spamming cleave with my mouse and clicking shockwave/TC when they are off cooldown. So SOMETHING is always being cast here.

What can change? What can I do better?
My problem is even with all this going on, pally can 90% of the time take threat off of me even if I get initial threat.

My mitigation is really good, better than his.

My dps is almost half of his. He has 2.2-2.8k dps through an instance, and I'm struggling with 1.4-1.8k dps. Granted, with my faster weapon my dps went down 200 points even though the dps of the weapon was greater. So now I average 1.6k instead of 1.8k dps.

What could I do to improve my dps back to where it was? I feel like deep wounds is part of the problem and that maybe I'd be better off putting it into something else until I get a slower weapon?

Your help is greatly appreciated. I want to beat him so bad....and I'm trying so hard...but nothing is working.

06-22-2009, 10:08 AM
I just never understand posts like these. If you are in a guild. You're a tanking TEAM, it's not a tanking COMPETITION.

I could care less if my tanking bretheren out threat and DPS me on trash or bosses, if we continue to progress at the pace that suits our guild.

Now if you want to improve your rotation or your abilities for the sake of improving yourself, I can understand, but just wanting to "beat" another tank in your guild, I just don't....

06-22-2009, 10:14 AM
Well I see what you are saying, but when the person I'm talking about treats it as such, and I'm being left in the dust (and effectively collecting dust until boss fights) then I see absolutely no reason why I should not be making an effort to improve my skills to improve my performance.

The main reason for this is, I'm hearing people on here, and on warrior forums, saying I'm basically sucking and lacking skill, so I'm looking for criticism and advice on what I can do better. Sure there is competition involved. I don't deny that, but it's because I don't like it when a person says "quit whining and get better" which is what I hear from him. Of course I'm going to go to great lengths to do just that.

So if you have anything constructive to say, please post.

06-22-2009, 11:02 AM
well a warrior can never beat a pally in aoe threat given similar gear/skill.... just let the pally aoe tank trash imo

I find it very hard to tank when dps are doing 10-15k dps on a aoe pull as a warrior.

with dps, dps throughout the instance meaning dps including trash? i dont' see dps on trash important, and again, warrior can't beat a pally on aoe dps, its the class, not your problem.

06-22-2009, 11:13 AM
The point is I don't try to "compete" on trash.

Our guild generally runs it this way. I mark one mob with the skull, charge in and keep my threat on him. the pally tank does his AOE tanking magic on the rest. Once skull dies, I taunt one of the other mobs off him to help a bit. Or I move ahead and get the next pull ready.

Then when we get to a boss, we decide who's best for what job and we do it.

But a few things I can specifically talk about for you. I've found hitting the "v" key to show you the mobs nameplates and then click target the mobs in an aoe group. Making sure if we've raid marked targets, that I am hitting them in the correct order that way. Tab targeting is just too random for me. This also helps if a mob happens to get away from you or the pally. Much easier to grab a nameplate with a single click and taunt them back to you.

But other than that your rotation looks fine.

06-22-2009, 11:17 AM
I apologize - I did say tab targetting.

I do currently use V nameplates and click to make sure I have threat on the specific ones I want.

06-22-2009, 11:50 AM
The mechanics are frankly against you, particularly if the pally is pulling and you're second to attack. Basically:
- Avenger's Shield (1500+ to 3 opponets) assuming it doesn't crit
- Consecrate (let's say 300-400/tick)
- Hammer of the Righteous (4x weapon damage) every 6 seconds to 3 (or 4 if glyphed)
- Holy shield (274 per hit), oh and the pally is block capped so every hit is a block.

If he pulls, he's probably got 10-15k threat before the mob takes its first bit of white damage. As they stand in consecrate and beat on him, he'll generate more threat from holy shield and HotR than you are likely to be able to even if you out gear him by a decent amount. For trash, the warrior that I run with tends to try to pull the nastiest single mob off me in trash pulls (particularly if its a caster and he can throw the occassional spell reflect). Thus he tends to use sunder/heroic strike rather than cleave. Definitely don't try more than 2 targets as you're spreading your threat too thin there and he'll pass you on all 4 mobs (which is basically what he's donig). Keep in mind he's probably not had to switch targets at all to out threat you. Trying to out AoE the AoE tank doesn't really get you far.

One thing that I'm confused by is that you said your weapon damage went down as you went to a faster weapon. That goes against what I know about warrior tanks (keep in mind that I'm a pally) as between cleave and heroic strike, your on next swing stuff is enough of your damage that speed matters. The classic example of this is that broken promise is worse that the red sword/slayer of the lifeless for warriors (as I understand it). Any warrior want to comment on that?

What sort of threat numbers do you put up in single target/boss attacks? I would expect you to be similar to the pally in those situations (though he still has the advantage if he's first to pull).

The only thing

06-22-2009, 12:27 PM
Thank you Headknocker. This is very useful information and I hate to just throw up my arms and say "I give up" but it sounds like I need to take your advice and not get so butt hurt that I'm unable to generate the threat and just focus on 1-2 mobs like you were saying.

Yes, I'm confused about my dps going down too. That's not critical for the tanking portion of my question, but I'd like to maximize my usefulness wherever possible. Literally all that changed was my weapon. So I have to assume that it has to do with my top end damage being a lot lower with my Last Laugh vs the Broken Promise I was using before it. And the major skills that are affected by the top end damage would be my heroic strike and cleave which I spam the hell out of every pull. Heroic Strike for single target, Cleave for multi-target.

Right now on single target, I pull 7-9k tps. I can generally out threat him single target as long as I have initial aggro. He pulls about the same numbers.

06-22-2009, 12:29 PM
The classic example of this is that broken promise is worse that the red sword/slayer of the lifeless for warriors (as I understand it). Any warrior want to comment on that?

For bosses, faster weapons are generally better. For trash, slower weapons are often better as higher weapon damage yields to higher deep wounds ticks.

06-22-2009, 12:33 PM
So maybe just a swap in weapons would greatly improve the threat and damage output during trash. I'll try this out for sure. I guess the age old "tank needs fast weapon!" doesn't quite apply like it used to.

06-22-2009, 12:41 PM
I doubt it's going to be fixed with a weapon swap. Your rotation begs for aggro pull, and I'm surprised it hasn't been brought up yet.

Granted, this is trash, and who really cares- but if you want to AoE threat, drop your defense to 535 (uncrittable still) and increase your block value as much as you're able. Follow this rotation

BRx2 popped.
Shield Block
SSlam (crit + sblock = "glued"), Tab
Revenge (or Concussive... I usually throw a grenade here)

You see, using your shockwave early increases the likelyhood that other tanks as well as your dps will go "oh, theyre grouped up, let's aoe"
In addition, you produce no rage, have no meaningful output, and don't return damage.
Shockwave, in my experience, is what you cast once your taunt is on CD and you're rdy to finish your pack.

Induce arguements if you feel the need.

06-22-2009, 01:03 PM
No I have no argument - I'm pretty much open to anything at this point.

I hope with additional gear dropping I will be able to follow this advice more closely. Right now though like I said, I don't have much option as far as gear swapping because I've been so focused on obtaining a good mitigation set.

I mean I GUESS I see the point of using SW too early. I haven't had a rage starvation problem, but I definitely see your point on the extra damage taken by mobs from your damage shield making a difference. Maybe waiting an extra few seconds would make a difference. I just hate losing out on the threat it does generate. I'll try it this way and let you know :) Time to get out my old levanthor's talisman! (spelling) lol Also, good point on the 435 defense cap. That is something I have not thought about changing that I could definitely swap a couple aggro pieces in exchange for some defense rating.

Thanks for this tip.

Also, I'm starting to doubt the effectiveness of Blade Ward and it's really not helping my threat or mitigation as I'd like it. The thought of it was awesome, but I think Accuracy would probably be much better at least until I am hit capped. Anyone disagree?

06-23-2009, 06:10 AM
I've dropped using cleave since I entered Ulduar as there are so few trash packs. Instead I've gone towards Impale and have just gone for Deep Wounds to help increase single target TPS.

The only place in Ulduar I can think of with significant trash is the worms leading to Hodir where I let our pala's do their aoe thing and I pick up any that go loose. The big mobs in there I generally pull to leave the pala's free incase our playful dps decide to bring some more worms to the party. :)

06-23-2009, 06:27 AM
I am not that expert of a tank as I started tanking mid BC but as far as situation goes now, on AOE you will find hard to keep mobs off pally/DK, personally speaking I used to try and out threat them on trash but its not worth it and will only happen for first 3 secs into the fight even if you do the pull.

To be very frank it pretty tough to outhreat a pally tank even on single target, you fingers will hurt, specially the one which has HS on it :(.

In our guild we run as tank team no-one it MT or OT, we have add tank and boss tank which depends on each fight, I do the Big Guys on razorscale, swap between adds and boss on ignis/XT, Molgein on IC, fun times with rubble on Kolo, go crazy on auriya, DPS on hodir, tunnel on thorium, adds on Freya etc etc

One thing I can add is I dont use Bloodrage in the begining, I do charge - TC - SS(with trinket) - Demo - SW + Bloodrage - TC + tab(use all single Target abilities)/cleave + Shield block

Also I would use slow wep(Broken Promise) for trash and fast wep(Stoneguard) on boss, this helps only if you have deep wounds.

EDIT to ADD: With amount of hit you have, I would go "accuracy".


06-23-2009, 07:14 AM

I took some advice that was suggested here. I also am going to ditch blade ward for accuracy on my Last Laugh.

I redid my specs. My trash spec is more tuned towards threat (not focused on avoidance) with deep wounds and paired it with a slow weapon, glyph of blocking, cleaving, heroic strike, bloodrage, thunderclap and battle (for lack of a better minor one atm lol). Gear wise for this spec I reequipped my lavanthor's talisman and dug up some more block gear. This puts my block at 31%ish. I tried also waiting for shockwave. I also added more hit rating and tossed out some defense in exchange for threat stats so I'm at 435 defense.

I've started charging first then thunderclapping before the pally can get there and take my 2-3 out of consecrate. Just this small change made all the difference in the world. Also, my overall dps went up 200-300 points from these changes.

My boss fight spec and gear are almost the same as before, but I took out of deep wounds and put the extra points into avoidance. I also tossed glyph of cleave (not sure why I had that on my main spec to begin with) and got glyph of taunt.

So far so good...people noticed a difference and this time, the tank was scratching his head at me :) Just how I like it!

Thanks all for your help and I'm going to continue to tweak til I'm happy.

06-23-2009, 12:51 PM
You might consider choosing either cleave or heroic strike glyph for your trash spec/set since you won't be doing both at the same time. Then you have the opportunity to grab a devastate glyph to put up two sunders on each swing to both increase raid DPS and extra threat.

If charging in first to grab initial agro but wanting to hold off on Shockwave so that you get some good initial rage it can help your healers out if you throw a Demo Shout out initially and when glyphed with Shield Wall/Last Stand with Imp Disciplines you usually have at least 2 minutes before needing them again for a Boss fight so there is no reason not to use them in trash pulls so that you can attack more aggressively without creating incoming damage issues for yourself but still getting good rage.

I see you are currently at the 26 soft cap for expertise, the more you can get the better for threat and you although your armory may not be showing your threat set currently I would definitely reconsider using that parry trinket as parry is the worst stat available for us. One huge piece until you start worrying about maintaining the 4 set bonus are the Legplates of Sovereignty from 25m EoE throwing another 66 expertise your way. Even the Mark of Norgannon trinket from EoE may be nice for your trash set with another 69 expertise.

06-23-2009, 01:50 PM
This may be the voice of ignorance talking, but I was under the impression that after patch 3.0.2 the devastate no longer applied additional threat from sunder armor. I don't see how this would really help my threat much besides my melee swings hitting the mob for just a bit more when additional sunders are up. I'm usually so busy spamming revenge and shield slam that sunder is one of the lower priorities on my rotation. Perhaps it is just my tanking style.

I kept HS glyph because as people above me pointed out, there are a lot more single target pulls in Ulduar than AoE packs, and HS glyph has seemed to help out greatly in that aspect and if the note I mentioned on glyph of devastate is true, then I don't see having both as hurtful. Any more insight on this?

Yes I agree with you on that parry trinket. I want the dodge/stam one off Ignis but it won't drop and I get to wait in line for our MT :(. In the meantime I'm considering using defender's code or just going back to lavanthor's talisman full time for my EH set. I liked the extra parry, and I still consider it a good thing to be sort of even on avoidance stats to get the most out of the rating before diminishing returns, but I agree the trinket is a bit much and I should probably use something else.

My expertise with threat gear is around 37. I'm definitely not turning down any expertise gear if it comes my way, but this is all I can really do right now.

Thanks for your imput.

06-23-2009, 02:00 PM
My reasoning for possibly using glyph of devastate was mainly coming from this: http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f14/43175-glyph-devastate-double-check-me.html#post210685

06-24-2009, 08:32 AM
If you are looking to keep threat off of your palladin buddy, try to keep your adds out of his consecrate and ideally out of his weapon range. I know a lot of other tanks are surprised that my pally can keep high threat on even their target, but they often neglect to move far enough away resulting in two of my higher threat abilities (consecrate & hammer) hitting their target. At the very least start the fight not inside those ranges, get a good threat lead and then move them back in for the extra dps/grping for aoe.

Personally, I try to overlap my threat with other tanks....just to be on the safe side. I do however attempt to monitor my threat on their adds. I know I cant tank EVERYTHING at once no matter how nice my mitigation stats get.

06-24-2009, 08:43 AM
- Holy shield (274 per hit), oh and the pally is block capped so every hit is a block.

Actually if we dodge, or parry Holy Shield doesn't proc, only on a block.

One of the best tools you have to slow down the Holy Shield threat is Shockwave. Stunned mobs don't hit the Shield.

Consecrate is not as strong a threat move as it was in tBC.

I still can't compete with a good Death Knight. Death and Decay and I think it's Pestilance, but some other AoE move he's got.

06-24-2009, 08:45 AM
It still ain't a competition between tanks. If it goes so far that you are directly working against your fellow tanks something is wrong.

06-24-2009, 08:51 AM
I wish it didn't feel like a competition. I've been used to tanking with other warriors and that has always been a lot more stress free and fun because it's like "ok i got left you got right!" "alright cool!" and off we go. He's got a big e-peen and basically makes my life difficult. He would rather do everything himself than work with me. At the same time, a little competition can make you a better player :) Maybe it's cuz I'm a girl.

Wait...can I pull that card anymore? LOL

06-24-2009, 09:26 AM
Our other guild tanks are Pallys so I know how you feel. I don't spend a lot of time trying to out threat them but I do try to use my abilities to make the trash tanking smoother.

1. I think it's the warriors job to group the trash for easy killing. I'm likely to Charge, Thunder Clap and Heroic Throw to gag/pull-in a caster. Once they're grouped I Shockwave the entire lot of them leaving them in a nice little stunned pack.

2. By this time the pally has run up and laid down a Consecrate. It's OK if the Pally tank starts pulling mobs off me (I hope he does) that's his job. Now that the Pally has set up home base around the majority of the mobs I'm going to switch to problem solver mode.

3. If anything gets away or wasn't caught up in the initial pull, I'm on it. If a caster is casting, he's stunned. If a whirlwind is beating the crap out of the mele, it's disarmed. If a patrol wanders into the fight or a second pull can be made to speed up the run then get on it. Don't forget about the Demoralizing Shouts, sunders etc.

Basically what I'm saying is that you've got good mobility and can still use all of your AoE abilities and interrupts on the move. If you feel a need to compete take a look at your strengths. You're not likely to win the DPS race as is (and it doesn't look like help is coming in 3.2) so focus on excelling at a complimentary roll.

06-24-2009, 12:15 PM
Simple solution to your problem.

(1) Get DPS gear.
(2) Purchase dual spec and spec arms or fury.
(3) DPS trash and let your Paladin friend have his fun.

Whether or not you think it's "fair" that Paladins and DKs will always outpace your threat in AoE packs or not is a subject for discussion, but the bottom line is that right now it is fact. Even a mediocre Paladin will do better AoE threat than a high skilled, highly experienced Warrior. There's no point trying to "fix" it because even with a 100% perfect rotation, the Paladin will still win against the majority of the targets in an AoE pack.

Help DPS, kill trash faster, and then tank on bosses (when it really matters).

06-26-2009, 01:34 PM
I agree with the assessments in here. The tanking is a team..... but we also need to be educated tanks.

The easiest way to see if a tank is good is to check their health pool.... and see if they can hold aggro. Its also the lazy way. Tanks have TWO jobs; hold threat and SURVIVE. The problem is that the second talent isnt easy to see. If you have your spec correct and you are working on survival, it is likely not to be recognized unless you are VERY squishy. If your Paladin MT dies because he is specced for threat, the raid typically blames the healers. But if he rips threat from you, then he is the superior tank?

The bottom line is that having a penis measuring contest with another tank about aggro is immature and uninformed at best. At worst, it can pull apart a guild. Your raiding team NEEDS to have tanks that can handle different events better. If there is an AOE trash pull, dont even BOTHER trying to match the Pally. Mark two of the 6 mobs, single target one of them for threat (skull), and when its dead, taunt X and do the same.

Warrior tanks have taken a few shots on the chin in this expansion..... but we are still superior tanks on MANY fights. Mimiron is a great example. You dont want the Leviathan running around and our charges are huge for getting the boss back in the middle. And have you seen Paladins try interrupts on Iron Council and Stormbreaker? I can lock that guy down with Conc blow, shockwave, imp revenge, charge, heroic throw, shield bash and war stomp. Easy mode with a warrior.

If your paladin tank is all into his ability to rip from you, explain to him that threat is only one piece of the puzzle. And that you only need enough threat to hold aggro. Tell him he is a fool to think that having an all pally tanking squad would be beneficial, since they couldnt be ripped off of. And then tell him to go tank that crappy AOE pull.... and that you will handle the tough stuff. Tell him the penis measuring contests can go on in Naxx, but Ulduar is big boy time and your guild doesnt have the patience to let his Alpha Male bravado put the raid at risk. I did this once with a DK that thought it would be funny to taunt me in open vent during a raid. Big mistake.

As a tank, you have a responsibility to the raid and to the team. Its not about who is the biggest and baddest. And if he is doing this, its hurting your efforts.

And if YOU are the one with the Alpha Male hurt feelings because you are getting ripped off of..... then grow up and recognize that you have a role. You will be a better resource for your guild when you do.