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Thread: Warrior WotLK Arms Tank Guide

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    Warrior WotLK Arms Tank Guide

    Warrior WotLK Arms Tank Guide
    version 1.0
    by Halgreg

    Changelog:
    3/16/2009 - Version 1.0 posted.

    The information contained in this post may easily be outdated when 3.1 and Dual Specs arrive, but in the meantime, this is essentially an option for the WotLK version of Vanilla Wow's "31-5-15" Arms Tanking spec. This is a fair option to warriors who may want to save their dual spec for PVP, but still want to be flexible in PVE content as both DPS and Tanking.

    Please Note: This guide does not go over the current experimental Max single target threat spec, otherwise known as the UA spec, since the purpose of that spec is more on specialization (single target max threat) than it is for flexibility. (DPS and Tanking in one spec)

    If you are unfamiliar with Arms, I highly suggest reading [The PVE Arms Warrior Compendium & FAQ 1.0]. Do it now! The Compendium has a section for Tanking as Arms, and my guide is simply an elaboration on those concepts. Additionally, Elitist Jerks has a great Arms DPS discussion thread useful for figuring out the correct priorities for using your abilities when DPSing.

    Disclaimer:
    If you want to Main Raid Tank, I suggest going with a tried and true Protection Spec. This guide is more for experienced tanks who want to give other tanks in the guild a chance at tanking farmed areas, but you still want tank viability just in case. Please do not attempt this spec unless you have the proper gear because you simply won't get the performance you're looking for in either the Tanking or DPS sense. In terms of capability, you'll do more damage with this spec than with a Prot spec, and you'll tank better with this spec than any purebred DPS spec in terms of threat, mitigation, and avoidance. In short, it's about as good of a "best of both worlds" scenario you'll get as a warrior.

    Also, I'm keeping up with the PTR changes for 3.1, and I'm already of great changes such as the +ArPen for Battle Stance, the Juggernaut talent, Weapon Mastery jumping over etc. so I'll look to update this document as changes (hopefully some improvements!) arrive.

    Table of Contents:

    I. Spec
    II. Glyphs
    III. Roles
    IV. Gear
    V. Frequently Asked Questions
    Last edited by Halgreg; 03-20-2009 at 03:56 PM.
    Stay strong. Stay smart. All heart.

  2. #2
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    I. Spec

    Basic
    (52 / 0 / 14) + 5 flexible points
    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    Malygos Variation
    52/2/17
    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    More DPS oriented
    53/4/14
    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    More Tank oriented
    52/0/19
    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    II. Glyphs

    Glyphs are difficult because ideally you want the best of what a spec has to offer. Most of the glyphs are up to the player's preference, so please keep the ones that you are most comfortable with. Here are the notable ones for this build.

    Glyph of Execution: Sudden Death Executes make up a large portion of your DPS, particularly during lucky streaks. This adds to the damage per execute.
    Glyph of Rending: An added 6 seconds means less refreshing during a fight.
    Glyph of Revenge: With Unrelenting Assault, you definitely use Revenge a lot more.
    Last edited by Halgreg; 03-20-2009 at 03:48 PM.
    Stay strong. Stay smart. All heart.

  3. #3
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    III. Roles

    Rather than talk about each talent's separate benefits, I'll just note how these talents help you out in your major roles.

    Tanking Perspective

    Tanking - Single Target
    Unrelenting Assault is an incredible boost to single target threat by means of a spammable revenge. Activate Shield block, Shield Slam, then get ready to spam Revenge (and Heroic Strike if glyphed) for excellent single target threat. Against bosses, if nobody else is sundering, it would be wise to sunder your target to 5 stacks after you've built up a sizeable threat lead from first run of revenge spam. After that, continue with your Shield Slam/Revenge rotation while occasionally refreshing the Sunder stack.

    Tanking - AOE
    Most warriors use Improved Thunderclap, Cleave, Incite, Impale & Deep Wounds to hold AOE aggro, and this build contains all of these tools. Granted, we don't have Damage shield and Shockwave of a full Prot spec, but this should do the job. Additionally, try running up revenges on targets in succession. In Trash situations, your revenge should be up pretty much all the time. Keep rotating until you've run up a lot of revenge threat on all of your targets. Lastly, Bladestorm and Sweeping Strikes can nab a lot of quick AOE aggro, but only use it when you're in a fairly safe situation because of the 6 second lockout.

    Tanking - Other Notes
    All the talents in the protection tree are valuable tanking tools seen in traditional Protection specs, with Strength of Arms helping out for the lack of Vitality. Wrecking Crew is our enrage instead of Improved Defensive Stance, activated by critical strikes. Even with a low crit percentage, Incite gives us added 15% added crit for Heroic Strike, Thunderclap, and Cleave. Liberal use of those abilities should keep you enraged most of the time tanking. The points in Tactical Mastery are a tossup since they could go into Improved Heroic Strike as well. The bonus of increased threat with Mortal Strike in DStance was interesting, so I got this talent to try to use that. Plus, it's nice to occasionally be able to activate Sweeping Strikes with Whirlwind on a whim.

    DPS Perspective

    DPS - Single Target
    Arms is all about procs, bleeds and high crits. If you haven't played Arms, a lot of it depends mostly on procs and deciding what to hit first on the fly instead of a rotation, but if I were to summarize, it would be 1) Always keep Rend up, 2) Sudden Death Execute, or Taste for Blood Overpower when they're up, and 3) Slam otherwise. Some people would argue to use MS, but I don't bother with just stick with slam spam since a 2 piece Dreadknaught set gets you 10% extra slam damage. Choose the right time to use your Bladestorm. For example, I like popping mine when I'm enraged, have the Mirror of Truth buff up, and only when I know Rend won't expire in the middle of Bladestorm.

    DPS - Multiple Targets
    Rending all the enemies in a group constantly lights up your Taste for Blood Overpowers, so spread the love and keep Overpowering. Sweeping Strikes and Bladestorm both work together and do a huge burst of AOE damage, but just make sure your tanks have aggro first before attempting this kind of thing. If you can spare the GCD you can also Thunderclap whenever it's up.
    Last edited by Halgreg; 03-18-2009 at 04:12 PM.
    Stay strong. Stay smart. All heart.

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    IV. Gear

    Weapons
    Let's talk about Axes. With the available weapon specialization talents in the Arms tree, the only option you have for weapons are axes or polearms because of the added damage benefits in the poleaxe specialization.

    Tanking Axes
    One-Handed Axes - Items - World of Warcraft

    DPS Axes
    Two-Handed Axes - Items - World of Warcraft

    Tanking Set

    Chances are, you already have a pretty good tanking set by now. If you need a refresher, below is a link with all the Tanking gear guides available on TankSpot. Use it, love it.

    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f97/4...mpilation.html

    Arms Set

    The rules for gearing up your Arms set are as follows:

    1) Reach Hit Cap of 8% (264 Hit Rating)
    2) Bring Crit to 30% unbuffed Battle Stance
    3) Reach Expertise to about -5.0%
    4) Bring Crit to 35% unbuffed Battle Stance
    5) Reach Expertise to -6.5%
    6) Increase Strength and Crit evenly.

    As long as you follow the rules listed above (particularly with Gems and Enchants) in that order, you should be fine.

    Off Tank Set

    The Off Tank set combines the necessities of the Tanking and DPS set. Usually you can combine pieces from your Tanking and DPS set to make this set, but in some cases, you can use old Tanking pieces re-gemmed and re-enchanted for this purpose. If you have the money, try it out! Put Crit gems in your old tanking gear. Put Defense gems in your old DPS gear. The rules for this set are as follows:

    * Reach Uncrittable (Defense minimum to 540) when wearing your Tanking Weapon and Shield.
    * Hit Rating to 264 when wielding your 2 hander weapon.
    * Expertise to about 5%.
    * As much Crit as you can muster.

    The usefulness of this set is basically when you're tanking and need to be uncrittable, but once you down the add, or whatever it was you were off tanking, you can switch to your 2 hander and dish out some damage.
    Last edited by Halgreg; 03-16-2009 at 12:57 PM.
    Stay strong. Stay smart. All heart.

  5. #5
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    V. Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. How can I tank, but do more damage on bosses that only require one tank?
    A. That's exactly why I started exploring the Arms tree...to find an answer to this. I've researched Protection spec DPS and was never really happy with the results.

    Q. What's a good example of how well this build works in terms of DPS vs. Prot DPS?
    A. I've been practicing my rotations a bit, and on bosses where you are not tanking, you should see roughly a 25% DPS increase compared to DPSing in Prot Spec with your DPS gear. What's interesting is that I can pull about the same DPS in my "Off-Tank" set by switching my weapon as I did DPSing in my Prot Spec with my DPS gear. That means in this configuration, I can be in an uncrittable, fairly decent tanking set, switch to a 2 hander, and do as much DPS as my old Prot DPS. That's either a big indication that Prot DPS is that sad, or a big indicator of how Arms is weapon dependent. Luckily, we can switch weapons in combat.

    Q. Why not Fury as your damage tree? Why Arms?
    A. Arms has Unrelenting Assault for great single target threat capabilities, and Strength of Arms as a little brother replacement to Vitality. I tried going Fury at first because I am also a fan of Fury, but I was just unsatisfied with the flexibility of that tree. Also, Arm's Enrage is the only one of the three that can activate in both roles of DPS and Tanking.

    Q. What's this cool 37/0/34 spec going around? Why isn't it in this guide?
    A. That's a pretty cool spec. It's focused entirely on maximizing single target threat with sweet sweet unrelenting assault revenges bolstered with improved revenge, and one handed weapon spec. The TPS generated with that build skyrockets off the charts, which makes me look at Protection's method of RNG Sword and Board Shield Slams and shake my head. Still, the spec is focused more of a full hybrid spec for specialization while I meant this guide to be more of a mainly Arms guide focused for flexible Tanking and DPS. This hybrid spec along with the 15 points in our trusty 15-5-51 build just goes to show how supportive the Arms tree can be.

    Q. Do you think other warriors have tried tanking in Arms?
    A. Absolutely. Ever since Druids could muster DPS and Tanking in one spec, or DeathKnights in all three of their specs, I'm sure both Warriors and Paladins have been looking for this kind of flexibility.

    Here are a few threads regarding similar ideas, with mixed results from other Warriors.


    * http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f14/4...tml#post161966
    * Arms Tank in Ulduar
    * World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Arms tank
    * World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Tanking as arms

    Q. Why is your FAQ so short?
    A. You're right. Once I get more questions asked, I'll update this section.
    Last edited by Halgreg; 03-18-2009 at 04:04 PM.
    Stay strong. Stay smart. All heart.

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