On Threat - A phased approach to threat priorties
Single target boss tanking rotations can no longer be simplified into a wash-rinse-repeat priority list or cycle. There are 'phases' of tanking a boss, and each phase will have different priorities. The phases are The Opening, Debuffing, and TPS/DPS.
The reason I put this together is because everyone is trying to simply warrior threat into a 12-step program. Your priorities list will change depending on which phase you are in (and many other factors).
Note: I'm not including abilities off the GCD.
Phase one - The Opening
This is where our blood starts to flow... the pull. The sole focus in the opening is to get initial snap aggro so that you can guarantee the boss will be focused on you for the next 10 seconds or so. You probably won't have revenge lit up initially.
You'll use abilities like:
- Bloodrage as your pulling
- Beserker Rage as your pulling
- Retaliation as your pulling
- Shield Slam, Devastate, or Concussion Blow on initial contact based on rage permitting.
You'll likely go into a 'mini-cycle' for two or three GCDs to build a solid threat foundation so the rest of the raid can do it's work. Hit revenge if it lights up. Hit Shield Slam. I REALLY like ConcB here for it's shorter GCD, in case I miss.
Phase two - Debuffs
This phase is like an investment. You're still trying to build threat but focused on abilities that don't do immediate DPS or survival but that pay dividends over time.
As necessary, you'll stack buffs/debuffs like:
- Demoralizing shout
- Sunder armor (via Devastate)
- Commanding shout/Battleshout
while using your two top threat abilities (Rev, SS) as necessary to overcome the onslaught of DPS, although I wouldn't worry about your threat lead at this point. You might even prioritize debuffing over a SnB or Revenge Proc unless you have very agressive, overgeared dpsers.
This phase may last as long as 20 seconds. The critical path is typically 5xSA. Watch for misses on your debuffs.
Phase three - TPS/DPS
This is where the threat priority list everyone knows about comes into play. Follow the flow charts as such. Keep debuffs up as necessary.
SnB SS > Rev > SS > Dev/ConcB/ShockW*
A flowchart created by Karilyn for your phase three priorities can be found here:
On Concussion Blow, Shockwave, and Devastate
How do you prioritize ConcB, ShockW, and Devastate?
Depending on different specs, weapons, and gear levels these abilities may get integrated into your p3 threat priorities. It's clear to the community that Revenge and SS are the top dogs, but what comes after these two?
If you don't have 5xSA applied, prioritize Devastate. Your DPS will thank you!
I believe ConcB triggers a 1-second GCD -- it might be .75 seconds but I can't confirm this right now. If it is 1-second then it would effectively be 150% of the TPS/DPS as Shockwave. (If ConcB triggers a .75 second GCD, then its 200% the TPS/DPS of Shockwave.) Additionally, the CD is longer, so you'd like to get that started as soon as possible. In a single target situation, always, always prioritize ConcB over Shockwave.
With 5xSA up, ConcB is a clear choice over Devastate for TPS/DPS at most current gear levels, regardless of rage, because of the shorter GCD and higher damage.
With 5xSA up, Shockwave is much closer in DPS to Devastate and Prioritizing Shockwave over Devastate in your threat rotation should be based on the following:
- Attack power (both scale on attack power, but I'm not sure the relationship is linear. Need more information about damage of each at specific AP levels)
- Current Rage level (more rage in the pipe favors Shockwave)
- Weapon speed (Slower weapons favor Devastate)
- Weapon DPS (Higher DPS weapons favor Devastate)
- SBV - Higher SBV favors devastate for SnB procs. Talents that increase SBV or SS damage favor Devastate.
- T6 set bonus, Glyph of Blocking favor Devastate
- Current SS cooldown, as the SS cooldown decreases, so does the value of SnB procs.
- Talents that synergize with crit favor Devastate due to Devastate having increased chance to crit via SnB. Points in talents like Impale and Deep wounds favor Devastate.
- Availability of Shield Block, and to a lesser extent Recklessness, favors Devastate
I'm curious if anyone has done a comparsion of Devastate and Shockwave based on these factors?
You have different priorities at the start of a single-target boss fight then you do in the middle/end of the fight.
Phase 1. Establish aggro
Phase 2. stack debuffs
Phase 3. Optimize TPS/DPS
If your killing trash that doesn't live long, you'll likely skip phase 2.
Applying and keeping debuffs up is more important TPS/DPS unless your in danger of losing aggro.
ConcB and Shockwave are not the same in single target siutations. Although they do identical damage, ConcB is significantly better for single target TPS due to the shorter GCD.
Devastate is a much sexier key before the 5-stack of sunders has been applied. After 5xSA, the verdict is out on ShockW/ConcB/Devastate priorities based on a number of factors.