Comprehensive Warrior Tanking Video Guide
I've created a Warrior Tanking Video Guide covering many aspects of Warrior Tanking. Enjoy!
The first thing you will need as you step into tank is a good talent build, there are a few that work depending on what your role is, but this video is basically going to be about main tanking progression content, so I will not go over gimmick builds like Unrelenting Assault.
Obviously most of your talent points are going to be spent in the protection tree. For the most part the 51-53 points you spend in the protection tree is not going to vary by much. Make sure you pick up 3 points of Armored to the Teeth in your fury tree, and for the arms tree pick up Deflection, and work your way down to 3 points in Deep Wounds and there you have it, you have the necessary talent build for effective tanking.
Now let’s look at those glyphs, there are a couple that are interchangeable but the ones that I use 90% of the time are Glyph of Blocking, Shield Wall, and Devastate. Blocking glyph provides you good threat and some mitigation with the increase to block value, Shield Wall glyph when combined with the Improved Disciplines talent reduces your shield wall to two minutes, that means you can use it twice, maybe even three times during a boss fight, and Devastate helps you stack those Sunders on target twice as fast and improves threat generation as well. If it’s a fight like many in ICC where tanks taunt off each other, than having a glyph of Taunt is invaluable, keep in mind that taunt is considered a spell and thus has a higher miss rate than melee strikes. You will need to use the Taunt glyph if you want to make sure you never miss a taunt. You can also use the Last Stand glyph to reduce the ability's cool down by 60 seconds.
As far as the minor glyphs go, make sure you have Thunderclap and Bloodrage and the get whatever you want for the third.
Now that we have talents and glyphs taken care of we need to make sure your picking up the right gear. Gear is pretty abundant for tanks as there’s not much competition usually but that doesn’t mean you should just equip anything with a higher ilevel than what you have.
First you will need to know some useful stats and caps for your class.
I would hope by now you know that the Defense cap for becoming uncrittable is 540 points or 5.6% if you’re looking at the tooltip, Defense is still useful in increasing your Dodge, Block and Parry, and also increases your chance to be missed by the boss. Defense comes on gear automatically and you usually don’t have to worry about it too much, just make sure you stay above 540 defense.
Dodge and Parry are straight up avoidance, they allow you to avoid an entire hit from the boss weather it’s a 60k hit, or a 2k hit, it doesn’t mater, and you completely avoid the damage. Dodge is worth more per point than Parry so if you have a choice, you generally want to go with Dodge.
Shield Block rating, and value are not worth itemizing in your gear at the latest tiers, and you won’t see much of those stats at all on Icecrown gear except for shields. Block Value helps with threat more than anything since it increases your Damage Shield and Shield Slam damage.
Armor on the other hand is a very valuable stat, it comes on most gear by default, and some pieces have more than normal. The stat itself reduces ALL physical damage taken and caps at about 75% reduced.
Last but not least of the defensive stats is Stamina! Stamina is point for point the best stat to have for tanking. Stamina is the best because it has no diminishing returns, and it even gets better the more Armor you have because every Hit Point you have is worth more if you take less damage on every hit.
So those are your defensive stats but not the only stats you will need for tanking.
Hit is a valuable stat but is often replaced with mitigation stats like Dodge and Parry. The hit cap for Warrior Tanks is 8%. While it might be hard maintaining 8% hit on your normal tanking set, it’s highly recommended that you have a couple pieces of hit gear you can swap in to bring yourself to 8% in case you encounter a boss where you MUST interrupt a spell cast.
The last stat we will be going over is Expertise, it’s a hybrid threat and mitigation stat. Expertise itself reduces the chance that your attacks are parried or dodged. It’s good for threat because you connect more hits but it’s also a mitigation ability because you get parry hasted less by bosses. To maintain the soft cap you will need 26 Expertise. However like Defense if you have more of the stat it is not wasted and can still benefit you even above the soft cap.
Now that we have that taken care of, it’s time to actually learn to tank, the following techniques are a good starting point but it’s important to remember that practice makes perfect. As you play you will become more comfortable with your own methods of tanking and should strive to improve on them yourself.
The first thing we will go over here is AOE tanking, it’s probably the hardest form of tanking for Warriors to master, but don’t worry, you will get plenty of practice because you’ll be tanking more AOE pulls than any other type in the game.
When starting an AOE pull you will want to begin by hitting your Blood Rage ability for some rage then Charge into the group, immediately hit your Thunderclap ability followed by your Shockwave, throw a couple of Cleaves mixed in with a Revenge or Shield Slam, make sure your taking advantage of every global cool down.
When the Shockwave stun is about to wear off make sure you hit your Shield Block ability, what this does is double your Block Value, so when the mobs start hitting you they will take double damage from your Damage Shield talent, this trick might not seem like much but it will make the difference when you’re trying to keep aggro off of hard hitting DPS.
Now from here you should have a sufficient aggro lead on the DPS and you will just follow a simple priority system on what ability to hit next. The priority system on AOE pull is as follows: Thunderclap, Shockwave, Revenge and then Devastate.
Now something very important on AOE pulls is SPAMING your Cleave ability at all times, it’s still important to make sure your hitting an ability every global cool down, so if your raged starved you might have to hold off for a second but a good reference is to cleave when your rage is over 30, although you probably won’t have to worry about it much because when you’re AOE tanking rage is generally unlimited.
Another trick to keep in mind when your AOE tanking is to use your Spell Reflect anytime there is a caster in the group, you can even use it to get aggro on a caster that is out of your Thunderclap range. Start the pull and Spell Reflect right off the bat, if you keep reflecting the mobs spells back you should be able to stay above the healer aggro. You can also make it run to the AOE group by silencing it with your Heroic Throw ability. Practice and perfect these steps enough and your group will love you, and that’s what it’s all about.
Now for the part you’ve been waiting for, time to tank a boss!
To start off a standard Boss pull you will want to use Heroic Throw and then Charge in to meet the boss, be careful not to charge out of your healers range, but as your charging in hit your Shield Block ability immediately followed by a Shield Slam, remember that using your Shield Block ability doubles your block value and that makes your Shield Slam ability hit for two times the damage and cause double threat as well.
From here stack your Sunders as quickly as possible but still hit Shield Slam every time you can. Also hit your Improved Revenge every time it lights up.
After you have 5 stacks of Sunders on the boss you will again use your abilities on a priority system, this one is different from AOE tanking though. At the top of the list will be your Revenge, hit this every time it’s up followed by Shield Slam and Devastate. Your longer cool downs like Shockwave and Concussion Blow will be up about even with Shield Slam on the priority list, so use them in your rotation whenever they are off cool down.
I also like to use my Shield Bash ability for threat if I don’t have to worry about interrupting the boss, it’s off the global cool down so you can mix it in whenever it’s up and the ability causes high threat.
Make sure you keep your Thunderclap and Demoralizing Shout debuffs on the boss at all times. In a raid setting these abilities will often be overwritten by other class’s abilities, so if they fall off don’t worry.
Again it’s important to dump your rage whenever you can so in single target fights you will be spamming Heroic Strike whenever you are over 30 rage, in most boss fights a main tank should be able to convert about 95% of normal melee swings into Heroic Strikes, so yeah, you will be spamming Heroic Strike a lot!
Remember to use your specialized abilities like Disarm, Intimidating Shout, Vigilance, and Berserker Rage where applicable.
Now as a tank you have a lot of roles you must fill, maxing out your survivability is one of them, the best tool to accomplish that is proper use of your cool downs. You can use your cool downs in two ways depending on the encounter: Reactively and Proactively.
Reactively using your cool downs is pretty straight forward, if your tanking a boss and you take a bunch of spike damage you might run the risk of dying on the bosses next melee swing, you need to react to this and use one of your cool downs, probably Last Stand in this situation.
Proactively using your cool downs is knowing when the spike damage is going to happen and using your abilities to mitigate as much as the damage as possible before it’s too late.
Another thing that you will have to master when tanking is positioning the boss, if you have aggro on the boss you’re going to be the only one that can position it properly, depending on the encounter this could mean moving the boss from one side of the room to the other, or moving the boss out of an AOE spell. It’s all going to depend on the particular fight, and it’s your job to make sure it’s done right.
One last thing that I want to go over that separates Warrior tanks from the other tanking classes in the game is our mobility during an encounter. We have several fun and useful ways to move around the playing field. Remember to use these abilities often to your advantage in a fight.
Intervene is one ability that Warrior tanks don’t use enough, it’s a great way to close the distance between you and an ally, and it lowers their threat too; and of course Charge and Intercept are great abilities for closing the distance on enemies helping you pick them up quickly and then moving them into position to be tanked.
Well that about wraps up this guide, I hope this tanking video helped you, as always if you have any questions you can leave a comment or message me in game, Happy Tanking!
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