Post 3.0 Non-Prot War Tanking
So i thought it would be good to start a thread for people like me- warriors that primarily play a raid dps role, but do a good deal of tanking in things like heroic 5mans, 10 mans, and Off-tanking as needed in 25 mans. In general, these specs have between 0-15 points in prot. I have some general thoughts but Im sure the community can help refine. In general, it does seem that the arms tree is more of an off-tank tree than fury, based on the talents.
Threat abilities/glyphs: There seem to be more options in 3.0 here.
*Devastate- new base ability. Nice to have it but have to figure out if/when to use.
*Sunder- nothing new i can think of for this one.
*Revenge/Heroic strike Synergy: this looks really hot to me at first glance. The idea is to 1) talent revenge to 1 sec with Unrelenting Assault, 2) use the Revenge and Heroic Strike Glyphs, 3) make sure to have at least some Block % rating gear, and use these 2 abilities primarily. In addition imp HS and Inciite/Imp Revenge (if you go a bit into prot) can assist this strategy. Also, i realize that mob attack speed will limit revenges, but in multi-mob tanking more revenges may increase the threat/rage efficiency on the first kill target so more TCs etc can be used for aoe aggro.
*Mortal strike/bloodthirst- TM still gives a threat boost to these (any idea if it has changed?) so bliz must mean for some role using them. In addition, the MS glyph (+10% MS damage) would be helpful, esp since it would be a standard glyph for arms dps raiding.
*Wrecking Crew/Enrage- these will increase your damage output while tanking by 10% in 3.0 whereas before enrage was based on you being crit which wouldnt happen while tanking. This should be kept in mind when calculating threat of the above abilities (save sunder).
*Rage Management: Just an aside that in general non-prot wars seems more rage starved while tanking, esp at the start. If this is the case in wotlk as well, it should be considered as well.
Havent thought about this much except for a tank weapon issue i have.
So, as a arms war i need to choose a weapon spec for dps raiding. Yes, axe is far and away the best atm but they have stated they will fix that, starting with the upcoming Sudden Death change.
But as a dwarf i now get +5 expertise skill with maces. So if i do end up going with axe/sword spec for dps i am wondering if i should go with the same for tanking (i.e. 5% crit/second attack chance) or a mace for the +5 expertise.
As an aside i am also wondering if axe/sword turn out to be better for raid dps still if my +5 expertise will narrow that gap enough for maces. Or it may be the gap becomes small enough that maces is better because endgame wotlk fury dps may scale better and i would end up going TG with 2 maces. I understand that i can cap expertise with my dps/tank gear/enchants as well but there is always an opportunity cost and it would be nice to make use of my racial :-D
My pre 3.0 playstyle, esp for situations such as Heroic MgT with few CCers, used alot of stance dancing for intercepts, Piercing Howl, Hamsstrings, etc. I have thought about using Bladestorm after an intial TC/Demo for fast aoe aggro but, obviously incoming damage would be an issue (though i could put on a shield in arms for it, and i can think of situations wherethe "unable to be stoped" attribute can be nice for pulls).
In conclusion, i have found the role of the OT/0-15 point prot war quite fun and versitile in wow over the past 3.5 yrs. Starting after MC, the need for multi-role war's has slowly decreased, and maybe in wotlk it will rarely be needed. But if it is i am looking forward to being a "special teams" player in that role when i am not being pure dps. I do wonder, however, if bliz wants to put stuff in like duel specing, why do they alude to the potential viability of the OT war with talents like Unrelenting Assault, TM, and Armored to the Teeth?