Why go impale?
I've been playing around with a new tweaked build since I have hit 80 and I'm looking to give an alternative build to using the oh so touted impale spec.
I suppose you can refer to this as an "Improved cleave" spec if you really want to. My reasoning for going to this is that I don't feel the point cost for going to impale is really worth it. With single target tanking, we already have enough talents in our prot tree to make threat a trivial joke, so why spend the points going for only 20% bonus damage on crits? I suppose there is the improved charge, but honestly in heroics with my build, I'm having 0 rage starvation. One thing to note on the side is that the warrior guide on this site has left out that you can use berserker rage in any stance now, which allows you to get that extra rage if you are getting starved in a fight, and also it can be used to break out of fear/some CC.
The biggest draw for me to try out this spec was to get the 5/5 in Unbridled wrath and 120% bonus damage to cleave. As I said before, I'm having 0 starvation issues with this spec, and my AOE tanking ability has gone through the roof. It's even at the point where I don't need to switch to a single target rotation because my AOE rotation can keep me on top of a single target already. For boss fights I find that I do still need to go to the single target rotation, but I'm still walking away on the threat meter, which confirms that you don't need to waste points going into impale just to get a bonus to only crits.
Maybe there's something I'm missing about this impale spec, but after testing out the two builds I have found my Imp. Cleave spec much more useful all around. So give it a shot in game and let me know how you feel about it! =)
Unless they changed something, Improved Cleave only affects the fixed damage bonus of +222 to Cleaves, not the weapon damage part. So, you'll get +266.4 damage per Cleave and target out of the talent, mitigated by armor (though further enhanced by One-handed Weapon Specialization).
Well, I've never been one for the math, I prefer to try specs out and then go based on experience. I'm seeing roughly 640 per cleave and 1300ish crits dealt to two targets. I've been seeing some folks complaining about AOE aggro and not being able to keep it, so I offer this as an alternative to make AOE aggro more liveable. Again I'm not sure why the impale spec is so great, given that you're basically looking for crits to build your threat, rather than your baseline abilities.
If the spec works for you go for it. My argument against it is that
1)No improved Hstrike so fewer hstrikes over the course of a battle.
2)Impale does 20% more on all of our abilities, which with the new prot tree most of our tanking things have a great crit chance. There's no reason you wouldn't want to improve the raid dps by a little bit so the boss dies instead of wiping the raid at 1%.
3)The damage bonus on cleave isn't very impressive. You'll probably see a net gain better if you take a point out of cleave and finish off 1H spec in prot.
4)MOST IMPORTANT. All of your abilities are improved by impale, one of them is improved by cleave. Since you don't just tank with cleave, it would make more sense to take the ability that makes everything better. For AoE purposes you probably still gen a lot of your threat from Tclap and shockwave. Tclap get's 15% crit chance from talents. That alone will net more threat for you on multi-tanking trash pulls.
5)2 xHstrikes gen more threat than 2xCleaves on two targets. It makes more sense to improve Hstrike in this case and just switch targets.
cleave is useless against raid bosses
its not really for the extra threat but tank dps is also an important component of fights too, its one of the most reliable since a tank will usually always be hammering the boss
plus its always fun to laugh at the dps'ers that end up below you on damage meters
you guys are doin it wrong. tanking is now hand in hand with the damage we are dealing. impale improves our threat of course, but the damage boost is why we take it. I just picked up the spec at 74, couldn't be happier. forget the old ways of the threat game, they are gone and dead. The talent has excellent synergy with the extra crit chance we get on shield slam from prot spec. My dilemma now is whether to take deep wounds or more points in cruelty.
Impale + Incite + Cruelty = More Critical Hits = More Damage = More Threat.
Revenge Glyph + Heroic Strike Glyph + Imp Heroic Strike = Less Rage Costs + Rage Gain + More Threat.
All these abilities work very well together, some people might say you get plenty of rage etc. However when you are tanking Malygos and everyone accept the tank have a damage buff and you have to move him on every spark any extra rage or threat you get is priceless.
Try a throw at this build:
The World of Warcraft Armory
The imp HS and Impale are great for bossfights, it's free most of the time yes, but I prefer to keep HS up ALL the time, instead of waiting for Revenge to proc the Glyph. If it's free it's a nice bonus, if not it's still cheap.
The Crit damage bonus is a no brainer as people have said before.
The extra rage on charge is something I really like on trash, if you're getting low on rage midfight or w/e position yourself so you can recharge for some extra rage.
the reason I skipped incite is because imo it's not worth the points ( devastate is last in prio aswell )
I did take vigilance, althought it's mostly useless it makes my raiders feel safe somehow, and who knows it might be usefull in the future
Goodluck on searching for your perfect build to suit your playstyle!
Imp cleave & impale aside, one thing you dont want to do is drop 1-handed weapon spec. It increases ALL damge done when weilding a 1H weapon. Imp defensive stance is pretty much a must too, it makes up for the def stance penalty because it is up naerly 100% of the time.
I would personally drop the 3 points in puncture and put 1 more point in imp def stance, and 1 more in 1H weapon spec and try that out (for the sake of trying the Cleave spec). devastate is no longer a huge part of our rotation and saving 3 rage on it isn't worth the points in puncture anymore.
Maybe something like this
Personally I wouldn't go w/o impale, i love the damage from the SS and revenge crits (even w/o imp revenge in my spec)
Last edited by feilong; 12-08-2008 at 06:28 AM.
Also impale affects your damage shield too. Combine it with your your shield block and the doubling effect that occurs you can see some great AoE threat from just that talent alone. I know I sure do I have the seen 500 plus damage shield crits which is some nice treat for mobs. Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
This is my current build I have no rage issues - I doubt any prot warrior does now. I took the rage per second for more damge from me and I was pushing 1200 dps with raid buff the other night.
Last edited by thecrazyman; 12-08-2008 at 10:59 AM.