View Full Version : How to tank as a warrior?

10-07-2009, 04:59 AM
Posted this in the WoW Warrior forum. They sent me here. :) I've read through some of the guides, but alot of them seem to assume you're level 80. Here's the lowdown:

Background: I started playing WoW when it first came out as a human paladin. I leveled it to 63 before leaving the game for awhile. My raid experience extends to wiping on Lucifron once, back when that was the thing to do :)

I recently decided to get back into WoW and created an orc warrior. My goal is to become a key member of whatever guild I join, specifically as a tank. I want to tank Arthas and all the other endgame content :) I'm in it for the fun and to experience the thrill of interacting with the lore at that level.

I've been leveling as Arms/battle stance, which has worked pretty well. I've been in a few groups so far (RFD and SM Cathedral) as a tank, with my 2H axe/hammer/sword of the day. This has worked pretty well, although I've often lost aggro on mobs that weren't my main target. I thought it was because the groups I ran with were overloading with damage.

Fast-forward to today: ZF invite. I thought, "Sure, why not? I tanked/ran ZF tons as a pally back in the day". I happened to have a 1H and shield in my inventory for just such an occasion (never used 1H/shield or defensive stance before), as I had heard that tanks should use 1H/shield and defensive stance. I worked on some of the mobs outside the instance to get my weapon skill up to where I could actually hit mobs of my level, and then jumped in. The first pull was no different than any of the other instances I've done, with the addition of switching to defensive stance:

- Charge
- Rend main target
- (Optional, if it's up) Retaliation
- Sweeping Strikes
- Thunderclap
- Overpower
- Switch to defensive stance
- Heroic strike (which I recently saw causes additional threat)
- Taunt any runners

I had mobs run away (taunt only recharges so fast), but I thought I was doing OK. My group, though, started talking about me in the third person: "The tank can't hold aggro, this is bad; etc". I was thinking, "I'm doing the best I can with the tools that I have". 1 pull later and the group disbanded. I had never experienced that kind of reaction before.

What can I do differently? Should I have gone with my Mograine's Might and tanked that way? Should my group have focused fire on my target, instead of the other targets? Is it possible for a warrior to hold on to multiple targets when the group is hitting all of them?

I really want to learn how to tank effectively so I can be a solid part of a group and eventually a raid. Any pointers?

Thanks in advance for the help!

10-07-2009, 07:32 AM
Lesson 1 - stay in def stance all the time

The group pull
1) blow bloodrage
2) charge one of the rearmost mobs
3) thunderclap
4) (do you have shockwave yet?) move your toon so that all the mobs line up and shockwave.
5) shield slam the Kill target

Cleave + devaste the kill target
tab to another target - Cleave
Tab to another target - cleave
shield slam the kill target

Popping retaliation before a charge is a fun option but you cant do that too often.

10-07-2009, 07:40 AM
Warrior Tanking Is Alot Differnt Then Pally Tanking, First Off Dont Use That Rotation..And Are You Even Speced Protection? After you answer those questions..When Tanking You Always, always are on D. Stance. Even Though You Can charge you don't need to.. Just run in go after spell casters first(If there is any) Thunder clap, Cleave, Heroic Strick, Thunder Clap, Taunt Any Adds that go after party members, Let Dps get Runners. It might look hard but once you practice or just get to know how to run it, its easy..

By What you were kinda saying with the rotation you use, You have no idea what your doing, but thats okay, everyone has to start somewhere.

Low Level tanking Is very Simple Its Mostly Mobs And The Boss Fights Don't Really Have Any Special Ways To Kill Them. So its a breese tanking with a warrior or any tanking class. Untill you get to outlands, whitch tanking gets serous.

Link Me Your Armory And Ill see if i can help

Need Any More Info just ask


10-07-2009, 07:40 AM
at first glance it appears the problems you had were in the abilities used.

At the appropriate level for ZG (which im assuming you are, around 45) you simply cannot generate enough rage to support a large rotation. Working with limited rage, you have to prioritize a few things. First, pick a stance. Defensive is best obviously so ill go on that. Swapping stances clears most/all of your rage (depending on talents) so this is definately NOT something you want to do. Back in the day maybe, but not now.

If you have the warbringer/juggernaut talent (allows you to use charge in all stances/in combat) open with a charge, otherwise body pull. with bloodrage you can get off a thunderclap, which gets initial aggro. Begin applying sunders to your main target, either via Sunder Armor, using thunderclap when its off cooldown. Once you have a large enough threat lead, switch to your next target. If you find yourself with more rage than you know how to use (which should be rare) use either cleave or heroic strike, dependant on if you are fighting a single target or multiple targets. Taunt anything that runs and build some threat on that target.

Thats about all you can get at low levels. As you've pointed out yourself as your character grows in levels and gear the rotation may change slightly, but if you understand a few basic mechanics you will know situations you can and cannot perform well in and will be able to adapt accordingly, which brings me tooo...

Basic mechanics.

For leveling:

Mobs 3 (4?) levels higher than you or more are bad. Your damage against them, and in turn your threat, are all greatly reduced. Do not try to tank encounters you cannot tank.

Warriors gain rage when hitting, or being hit (this you know im sure). The amount of rage gained is proportional to the amount of damage taken/dealt. At low levels, taking low damage (wheither its high for you or not, it is low damage vs say, Arthas), you will not get alot of rage to play with. Use what you DO get well.

Finally, keep in mind that it is not your job to kill things. It is your job to keep them on you. Alot of tanks i know will become focused on their main target and "tanking him till hes dead" while 2 or 3 others run off to the healers. I probably dont need to explain why this is bad.

10-07-2009, 07:42 AM
prot. warriors don't get shockwave untill 60 but thats only if they choose the specs they only need to get that far.

10-07-2009, 07:46 AM
Drakmon, As You Can See 2 of these posters have posted some good stuff, but they have shown they don't fully read your post, They Don't Relize That You are not 80. Because 1 said to use shockwave witch you don't get untill 60(Lowest Level you can get it) And One Said Warbringer whitch is in your 50-60`s

PM me And We Can Talk, Im not saying im the greatest tank but i can atleast help you get on the right track.

10-07-2009, 07:51 AM
If you truly want to be a tank in higher level instances, then I would say the best way is to respec to the Prot tree now, and start leveling that way. I respecced from Arms to Prot at level 49, and actually found I leveled faster than I was before (more survivability, and I didn't know how to play very well in Arms at that point). By respeccing to Prot, you not only get access to abilities that generate better threat, but you can essentially stay in Defensive stance all the time. Although you take a slight damage penalty in defensive stance, the big reasons for always staying in that stance while tanking is because you take 10% less damage and you generate much more threat.

As for abilities, at your level the big ones are going to be Heroic Strike, Shield Slam, and Thunder Clap. Remember to that you may have to do more than just Thunderclap to hold groups of people. If you're tanking more than one mob, use Cleave instead of Heroic Strike, and remember that you may have to switch your targets. For example, if you are fighting X - Y - Z mobs, you may need to charge in, hit X with a Shield Slam, throw down a Thunderclap, cleave, then select Y and hit them with a Shield Slam, cleave, select Z, hit them, then back to X... so on.

The other little key tip I would give is this: until you're very comfortable holding groups of people, mark the kill order that you want your dps to follow. They'll still ignore it some, but if they're focusing on one person at a time, you can make holding aggro on that target your primary concern and use your cleaves and thunderclaps to hold the others. You may still have to taunt one of the others back, but if they follow the kill order it makes it much easier for you.

I was in the same boat you were, being asked to tank stuff while in Arms spec, and not really sure how tanking worked... worked for some instances, but I had trouble in ZF too. Once I respecced Prot, that helped a lot. You'll still need practice, but if you really want to be a key tank in a good end-game guild, it's never too early to start. You're on the right track in asking for advice early, though, so keep it up!

10-07-2009, 08:02 AM
Very True, If You Want To Tank Try Respecing To Prot. If You Would Like a Base Line Heres my Tanking Spec (http://www.wowarmory.com/talent-calc.xml?cid=1&tal=0500300000000000000000000000000302000000000000 000000000000053351225010012521330113321). If You really Want To Start Tanking, You Shoudl really get it down now, But Don't Think tanking is going to be this easy when you hit higher levels. BC and Wotlk Instances are the hardest. I was a Prot. Warrior Ever Sence I First Made My First Toon Over The Summer of 09, I was In the Recruit A Friend Program whitch power leveled me and my friend to 60 but once i hit 60 i soloed, I've Tried All the warrior specs, But I only tried for a week dpsing when i missed tanking. Prot. Warriors Have A easyer time leveling then arms or fury, They Can Take more dammage then the other specs so you can have more npc`s on you at a time.

10-07-2009, 08:28 AM
As stated, your biggest problem (from the sounds of it) is that you are not specc'd prot, and thus not geared for it either. Either buy dual spec now (which I doubt if you have no way to farm gold) or respec to prot. Once respec'd you will be able to stay in defensive stance all the time, and use your threat generating abilities.

There are a few good quotes (funny and not necessarily true, but somewhat based on fact). "If you want to sit back and eat ramen noodles while tanking like a palli, you are playing the wrong class." Basically, Warrior tanking requires a lot of thought and action on your part, more so than a lot of other classes. *Disclaimer: I'm not saying that Palli's/DK's/Druid's don't require skill, just that warriors are a little harder to play properly*

Review your abilities when you respec, learn which generates the most threat.

10-07-2009, 09:12 AM
Great advice! Thanks all. I'll review in more detail when I get home tonight and see if I have any questions.

Here's my armory profile: The World of Warcraft Armory (http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Anub%27arak&n=Fortress)