View Full Version : Warrior Warrior Tank and Threat

02-05-2011, 02:07 PM
Hello folks,

Lately I've been having large problems with threat generation early on in a fight. I'd like to ask so of you warrior tanks out there to help me set up a new initial rotation flowing into a sustained rotation. At this point I'm so frustrated that I'm going to just go at it anew.

Here's the link to my character: any advice here would be well appreciated as well: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/alexstrasza/skumbag/simple

Lastly, would anyone mind sharing some of their macros with me? I do use a couple, but as I mentioned earlier, I'm willing to start afresh.

Thanks folks.

02-05-2011, 02:08 PM
would love some macros as well

02-05-2011, 02:15 PM
Early in Cataclysm when I hit 85 and started to do heroics, I had the same problem. Mainly with Deathknights.

What I do when Aoe tanking:
Charge, Rend, Thunderclap, Cleave, Revenge, Shield Slam, Thunderclap, Cleave, Revenge, Shield Slam, Thunderclap, Shockwave.

This works perfectly for me, go ahead and try it!

About macros, I don't use any, so I can't help you.

02-05-2011, 02:24 PM
Early in Cataclysm when I hit 85 and started to do heroics, I had the same problem. Mainly with Deathknights.

What I do when Aoe tanking:
Charge, Rend, Thunderclap, Cleave, Revenge, Shield Slam, Thunderclap, Cleave, Revenge, Shield Slam, Thunderclap, Shockwave.

This works perfectly for me, go ahead and try it!

About macros, I don't use any, so I can't help you.how do you remember the order? do you line them up that way on taskbar?

02-05-2011, 03:14 PM
Check out the guide section, perhaps there's a guide or primer that may help.


02-05-2011, 06:34 PM
Warriors don't have a starting rotation they use in more or less every situation. We have a big toolbox and it's our job to use the right tools for the right situations at the right time.

I try to give you a small overview about some openers. I also try to give you some of the different reasons behind them. It's this reasoning that one needs to learn as a warrior tank.

My advice would not be to read as many guides as possible, but to read the tooltips of your abilitis, and try to find the optimal usage for them. Start with the basic ones and after that try to include more and more of the others. Start with a basic rotation and add the other stuff when needed. Come back and read some gides to improve your priorities. Read the reasonings why the author of the guide uses one ability over another. Go back and try it out.

You will not be able to learn it just by reading and memorizing. You have learn it by trial and error. The error part being quite usefull, because it teaches you where one tool is enough or another is needed. But if you don't try to do it all at once, you should be able to get your own openings quite soon. You will just see what does work and what does not work. You will be able to see the different situations quite soon. Because of the errror part. You have to see it going wrong once to learn why you do other stuff to prevent it. But once is probably enough for most cases.

Basic (single target) rotation:
Shiled Slam (SS) -> 3 X Revenge (Rev) if possible, else Devastate (Dev). Everytime you get a free SS from Sword and Bord(S&B), you start your rotation again.

If you get no proc for SS it probably looks like: SS -> Rev -> Dev -> Dev.

Well but you have to do other stuff, as well. Since the last Devastate would not lead to one more SS proc because you SS CD will be free anyway, you normaly replace this last Dev with whatever else you want to do. This "else to do" is keeping Demoshout(Demo) and Thunder Clap(TC) up, using Rend, or Shockwave(SW) or doing whatever you need for the encounter.

Additionally you use Heroic Strike(HS) for single targets and Cleave for multiple mobs on CD. At least if you can afford to use them. If you need your rage for more important stuff like stuns or interrupts (or debuffs) wait with them until you are sure that you will have enough rage again.

That's the theory. But your start may be a little bit different, because there is so much to do.

Generell Pull:
Generelly you would try to pull with using your Battle or Commanding Shout whatever is not covered by anybody else or you need more. Than Heroic Throw your target and Charge in if possible. If you have to start right beside the mob, start with SS or TC. If you want to pull the mob to you and it's a caster it may be a good idea to start with your ranged weapon(!) and follow it up with the Heroic Throw instantly. But that's just a pro trick. Then wait until the mob is near enough and charge it anyway. (You may step backwards to do this.)

If you can charge in, you will have enough rage to use SB right bevor the SS, to make it hit harder (Heavy Repercussions) and to help your healers at the start.

Try to use HS as soon as possible on CD, but don't ragestarve you for the first few hits.

Have your taunt at hand if something turns around to face someone else. But don't use it beforehand (well while there are exceptions to this rule, you don't do it normaly because it will not put you above someone else in threat if you have the attention of the mob when you use taunt).

Single target opener:
I can think of 3 possible one mob scenarios for the start after the pull:
1. You face a dangerous boss, who is very well able to kill you fast. So you want to concentrate on your survivability.
Begin with TC. SB+SS -> Rev to get some threat going. One of the next GCDs should be Demo. Start to do your normal rotation or do stuff of the next two scenarios. Think to get Rend on the mob soon. Use SB as soon as possible (again).
2.[I] Your DDs need to do high dmg right from the beginning, because the boss has to die quite soon. You have to concentrate on threat.
Begin with something like SB+SS -> Rev -> Rend -> TC-> SS -> Rev -> SW -> TC -> SS -> Rev -> Dev -> TC.
Use SB and TC and SW more or less on CD, apply Demo eventually. Use HS whenever possible! Especially over Dev.
3. You have many melee who have to do high dmg. You maybe want to help them with early Sunder Stacks.
Start with (SB)+SS -> Rev -> Dev -> Dev -> Dev -> SS -> Rev -> get your other stuff up.

The 3 scenarios are ordered in their priority. So if 1. is the case you should focus on getting TC and Demo on early, 2. and 3. probably have to wait. 2 is more important than 3 in most cases. So you have to balance between those scenarios somehow if you have more than one of them present.

Multi mob rotation:
You have another rotation going on here. It's more or less additional to the above one. You use the free places in the AoE-rotation to fill it up with the single-target rotation bits: TC on CD, SW on CD, Cleave on CD, Rev on CD. If you have the talent Blood and Thunder, ensure that Rend is up early on one target. If you have Thunderstruck, use SW after 3 TC.

Your basic AoE-Rotation will look somehow like this (I assume that Rend was used before):
SW -> TC + Cleave -> SS -> Rev + Cleave -> Dev -> TC + Cleave -> SS -> Rev + Cleave -> Dev -> TC + Cleave -> SW -> Rev + Cleave -> SS ...
If you have a target that should be focussed by your group you more or less stay on that target. It's a good idea to switch over to the next one shortly before the first is dying. If there is no focus target, use tab all the time, to get all the stuff on as much mobs as possible.

Multi-Mob opener:
If you can charge in, do it. If there are CCs, it's often not a good idea, because TC cannot be used well, cleave and Rev also tend to open CCs and you have a hard job to use SW because you have to face in the right direction. So maybe you want to pull mobs back or collect them somewhere else. Try to charge something, if possible.

The beginning can look something like this:

Heroic Throw -> Charge -> TC -> SW -> Rend -> SB+SS -> TC ...

Add Cleave as soon as you have enough rage.

About macros:
I don't use them for my abilites. Well, that's not completely true. There is one thing I do macro to all my basic abilities. That's startattack. Because it's just annoying to press a button so that you will use a special attack on a new enemy or group of enemies, but you don't have enough rage so your toon is just standing there and doing nothing.

The reason why I don't have other makros is that as a warrior I do not always use one thing right before or after another. I may do it often, but I definitly don't do it all the time. I don't use HS/Cleave all the time when I use something else. Sometimes I just NEED the rage for much more important stuff than dps/threat. I sometimes have to stop my normal rotation and want to enter it somewhere else than where I stoped. So binding a basic rotation is not usefull. I often combine some CDs like last stand, berserker rage and self heal. But there are situations where I want to use them seperatley. I just ensure that it's easy to use them right after another.

02-05-2011, 07:18 PM
The only macro I'd recomand is:

/cast shield block
/cast shield slam

This way, you'll have the maximum of uptime for your shield block. I also have my on use trinket woven into it, since on most aoe pulls, the first few seconds are the ones I'm getting hit the most. I also have shield slam off the macro in case I'm saving those two as minor CD's for some point of the fight, but it's very rare I'll use those not on macro with shield slam.

As for opener tip - it won't solve all threat issuies, but on bosses or every 3rd pull or so so in HCs, you can use recklessness. You'll have to go berserk stance, activate it, move to defansive stance and charge but that way you'll have 3 crits for sure [most likly 4 if you pull a HC strike crit off it and have the incite talent :)]. It looks like 20% more damage are scary, but I find that they're up for only a few seconds and might only apply for a single hit or even none if you're quick [I usually use it for HC throw, shield slam and hc strike the sec I'm in range, so it disapears before the boss even hits me once].

If you try that out, nothing in the world can catch up with you.

02-05-2011, 07:31 PM
I would not recoment to use the above macro.

That's because SB is a very valueable CD on a short cooldown. You can use it to cover most boss abilities. (Even if you cannot reduce the magic part of the ability, the boss will hit you before and afterwards, for the healer it does not matter where the dmg stems from.) Most bosses have some kind of special abilities worth to wait fore with SB. Sure, use it at the start, but think about when to use it again.

02-05-2011, 11:29 PM
Please keep them coming folks. It's nice see all these different points of view. I'm gleaning all I can from all of this. I didn't mention that I'm not "new" to tanking, however was forced away from the game for quite some time and still haven't regained the "knack" I guess. The other day I was having trouble with building quick threat on Anshal in a 10 man To4W.

I'd like to thank everyone who's taken the time to reply so far and to all who've yet to post.

02-06-2011, 06:55 AM
how do you remember the order? do you line them up that way on taskbar?

I don't. Basically this is the best options for me while Aoe tanking, so I do this. But Katzazi is right, warriors don't have a starting rotation, and it's our job to use the right tools for the right situations at the right time.

02-06-2011, 02:53 PM
Odd that nobody has mentioned Retaliation (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=20230), even though it is on a fairly long cooldown, I find that on pulls where TC has the risk of breaking CC, Retaliation helps me keep threat while getting away from CC'd targets. Simply switch to Battle Stance cast Retaliation and switch back to Defensive Stance before charge.

02-06-2011, 03:27 PM
I did not mention anything that needs stance dancing. It's because the question was obviously done by someone struggeling with basic pulls. Those are advanced mechanics, that may increase your initial threat. But in most cases your threat should be at least ok, even without them. In any case you should be quite familiar with the basic pull strategies, before you start to include stance dancing into your pulls. The things you do with your "normal" abilities are much more important than what you add via stance dancing.

(Btw: wasn't Retalliation changed some time ago to only work while you are in Battle Stance? I know it's different for the one you can use in Berserker stance. I always forget the name, sorry I'm german and don't see the button most of the time.)

02-06-2011, 05:33 PM
Not talking about "Stance Dancing" during fight but simply using an ability before pulling, and Retaliation only requires Battle Stance to cast not to be active. I used it quite frequently during WotLK when DPS was way over the top compared to Warriors on AoE threat generation, and have continued using in Cata for the CC heavy "Dungeon Finder" Heroics

02-07-2011, 08:27 AM
It concerns me that you asked how he is remembering them and "do you line them up on the bar that way". This indicates to me that you likely click your abilities. Keybinds are more important to a tank than any other role in my opinion. No matter how good the clicker, they will improve their performance once they have learned to keybind well.

Remember, you didn't learn your clicking in one day. There will be a hard learning curve. Your performance will go down before it goes up. In the end, I firmly believe learning to keybind will make you better, however.

I suggest starting with like three keybinds that you take off your bars or put them on bars that are not clickable if your addon (assuming you use a bar mod) allows that. Make them ones you use frequently like Shield slam, devestate, heroic strike. Once those are second nature, add three more...and then three more...and you get the picture.