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Thread: TankSpot's Protection Warrior Guide

  1. #1
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    TankSpot's Protection Warrior Guide





    Quote Originally Posted by Ariedan
    Hi, welcome to Tankspot's guide to the protection warrior. My name's Ariedan, and in this video I will be covering the basics of protection warrior mechanics and abilities.

    Warriors have three stances: battle, defensive, and berserker stance. Defensive stance is the stance warriors tank in, as it decreases damage taken by 10%, damage caused by 5%, and increases threat generated.

    Warriors rely on rage in order to use our abilities. Unlike mana, we start out with an empty bar which caps at 100, and - simply put- gain rage from hitting things, being hit by things, or using special abilities (such as bloodrage or charge). If you spec into Shield Specialization, you will gain 5 rage every time you block, parry, or dodge.

    Let's talk about our rage dumps. Heroic Strike is what we call a rage dump- an ability that doesn't share a global cooldown and exists solely to expend the extra rage you aren't using. What that means is we can- and should!- use Heroic Strike while simultaneously going through our normal rotation. During boss fights in raids, you will almost always have a full rage bar, so you getting used to spamming it while hitting other abilities is a key skill required for a protection warrior. If you are tanking more than one mob, you will turn to Cleave as your rage dump.

    One thing to keep in mind is the nature of rage. A lot of the time, you have more rage than you know what to do with. But at times, you will find yourself having a difficult time gaining rage. In those situations, you need to be careful so you do not rage starve yourself. People refer to rage dumps as a "gas pedal," where you must learn to let it go every bit or so to gain rage. You should never rage starve yourself to the point of lacking rage for your rotation.

    Now before I delve into rotations, let's talk about talented abilities we'll need for said rotations. The first ability you can find in the third tier of the protection tree, which is Last Stand. When used, Last Stand grants you 30% of your maximum health for 20 seconds.

    The next ability is Concussion Blow, which can be found in the fourth tier of the protection tree. Concussion Blow is a stun that lasts for 5 seconds, and is required to get Vigilance. Vigilance is a crucial threat ability, which has many uses and makes warrior tanking easier in many aspects. It's a buff that you put on a selected raid member that reduces their damage taken by 3%, transfers 10% of the threat they cause to you, and if they pull aggro, refreshes your taunt ability.

    In a typical raid setting, you will most likely want to put vigilance on the player who will transfer the most threat to you. One thing to keep in mind for threat-sensitive fights is that you don't always keep it up on a single player the entire duration of the fight. A good example is Hodir- especially on hard mode difficulty. Due to a combination of the damage buffs and the mobility required of a tank, it's difficult to hold aggro against everyone without making use of several tricks, one of which is vigilance-swapping. Just keep an eye of the threat meter and be ready to switch targets on the go.

    The second major use of Vigilance is for taunt-refreshing. Fights such as Sartharion with three drakes, warriors shine tanking the little adds due having taunt refreshed in an AoE setting.

    And last of all, it's especially good in situations such as Faction Champions, where the threat factor is hardly existent, but the damage reduction is very appealing. I personally put it on a healer who tends to take a lot of damage, and coupled with intervene, it makes protecting that healer a manageable feat.

    Moving on to the next ability, we have Warbringer in the 9th tier of the protection tree, which allows you to charge and intercept in defensive stance.

    Next to that, we have Devastate- a primary ability used in tanking rotations as well as being an essential debuff for melee players.

    Below that is Sword and Board, another must-have talent. It increases the critical strike rating of your Devastate for one, but when you use devastate or revenge, it has a 30% chance of refreshing your Shield Slam ability and reducing its rage cost by 100% for 5 seconds. This talent is a defining threat ability for protection warriors.

    And last, just below Sword and Board, we have Shockwave, which is an AoE stun but also one of our two AoE tanking abilities.

    Protection warriors have no specific rotation we follow, but instead have a priority system for our abilities. Our primary threat abilities, in order of priority, are: Shield Slam, Revenge, Concussion Blow, Shockwave, and Devastate. Our rotation is more of a priority system because all of our cooldowns eventually overlap each other, as well as Sword and Board proccing, making it difficult to follow any set rotation. When you are boss tanking, however, Devastate actually gets bumped up the list and becomes top priority until you get sunder armor stacked to five, as it's a major buff for your melee DPS.

    With that said, warriors are very flexible in terms of rotations. We have many abilities we must weave in between cooldowns. When tanking a boss encounter, I typically begin with a Shield Block and then Shield Slam for burst threat, then put up Demoralizing Shout and Thunderclap, and immediately followed by sunder to five. You also need to be prepared to weave in things such as interrupts, Berserker Rage, Vigilance target switches, shout and debuff refreshes.

    If there’s one thing prot warriors exclusively have that other tanks don’t, it would be an arsenal of magic interrupts/stuns. We have heroic throw, which if talented, silences the target for 3 seconds. Then there’s revenge, which, again, if talented, gives us a 15-45% chance to stun the target for 3 sec. If applicable, charging a target also works. Last of all, and more reliable, are Concussion Blow, Shockwave, and Shield Bash.

    Learn to efficiently make use of your cooldowns- Shield Wall, Last Stand, and trinkets. Unless healers are dead and the boss' health is low on a close kill, it's typically not a good idea to use all cooldowns at once. It's also good practice to save them for moments where bosses have increased damage, rather than a large damage spike and you overreacting. If you have to often use cooldowns because a healer isn't paying attention, it puts you in a difficult position when you actually need it for things like enrages. Trust your healers to do their job so you can do yours.

    AoE tanking as a warrior is typically regarded as being a bit more work than the other tanking classes. We don't really have an AoE rotation, but more or less a few abilities situationally used in conjunction with our normal single-target priority rotation. When I pull groups of adds, such as in heroics, I thunderclap as I'm charging in, and then run through the mobs and turn out to cluster them correctly. Then I Shockwave. Mob placement is KEY to being successful at multiple-mob tanking as a warrior. Shockwave is a great snap aggro ability, but with its rather lengthy cooldown of 20 seconds, you don't want to waste it by not hitting all your targets with it.

    The hardest part about multiple-mob warrior tanking is the tab targeting. With lesser geared or skilled DPS, it might not be necessary to tab-target but if you have decent to good DPS merely spamming Thunderclap and Shockwave isn't enough to hold aggro. Tab through your mobs constantly, going through your normal single-target rotation to keep good threat up on every mob.

    If you're tanking adds in a boss encounter, you need to be prepared to even be more flexible than main tanking, as it's not a simple "press threat buttons and win" situation. If you need to constantly pick up adds, you need to be able to assess your tools available and respond immediately. Thunderclap is good for multiple add pick-up, but if it's just one or two adds, you have many other viable options. If Heroic Throw is down, as our Taunt is ranged, it can work as a back-up pulling tool. Never forget you can also Charge an add, or if the add is frolicking towards a healer, you can Intervene and then smack with a Shield Slam. You can also turn enemy health plates on by pressing "V," which helps in case you don't notice single adds.

    As I just mentioned, Warbinger and Intervene help really define warriors in terms of utility. Beyond being a pulling tool and a source of rage, there are many other situations these abilities come in handy. If a boss has a knockback, you can charge immediately so the raid does not have to reposition. If you are backed out of range of Stormcaller Brundir due to Overload, you can time your charge back in to interrupt his next cast. You can also make good use of the stun ability in particular situations, such as Faction Champions. Last of all, don't underestimate using intervene as a means of getting out of range of nasty boss abilities or to get somewhere faster. If a mob is too far away to charge, for example, you can even Intervene someone first and then charge.

    Before I end this guide, I'd like to address another major component of tanking. While it's not specific to warrior tanking, it's something I feel most most beginner tanks don't understand. You can gear correctly and press threat buttons in the right order, but that doesn't compensate for poor situational awareness and mobility. As a tank, you play a key role in your raiding team, and while you are no more important than any other single player, your raid is as only good as you are. If a damage dealer dies to standing in fire, he simply made a mistake; if you, the tank, dies to standing in fire, you've most likely just caused your raid a wipe.

    Get into the habit of keeping yourself aware of your surroundings by zooming your camera out fully instead of staring at the boss' feet. That way, you have a better chance of seeing area of effect abilities and adds roaming about.

    And last of all- mobility. If you've noticed a mob as it spawns, it won't do you any good if you slowly keyboard turn to go pick it up. If you see fire, slowly back-peddling out of it won't keep you any more alive. Learn to strafe while being able to tank, as the raid can't halt its functions because you can't press more than one button at once. Learn to be able to move bosses without having to turn your back to it. These are all crucial habits to get into, because all the TPS in the world won't do you any good if you can't manage your rotation as you're kiting the boss backwards. Most tanks don't hone these skills until they've tanked for a while, but it's easy to learn; practice while doing dailies, or even PvP! Your raid will thank you.

    Thanks for watching, and good luck in your tanking endeavors!

  2. #2
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    Nice work Criss. Can't wait to see the accompanying video.
    I feel like butter melting on top of a big ol' stack of flapjacks.

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    I've got to head out for a little bit so I've got everything queued up for donor download. It should be ready in about ~39 minutes.

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    Warrior tanking 101, ya?
    I wouldn't necessarily agree with or recommend all the usage of abilities as you do here. Example: shockwave after tclap on aoe pulls limits your rage heavily. Sblock and your tabbing rotation work better without shockwave.
    Also, a couple errors floating around. Vigilance refreshes taunt on your target receiving damage, not on pulling aggro.

    All in all, should help the 79 warrior tanks-to-be out there.

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    I don't have a problem with rage after a shockwave. Although I do tend to tclap, smack them into a nice neat little ball and then shockwave em. I like to leave nice little piles of corpses. Bravo! Great video that will no doubt be extremely helpful for new tanks and ones in need of a refresher!
    Quote Originally Posted by Satrina View Post
    Teaslin!

  6. #6
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    Very useful for new warriors in general, which is the target audience for this, but even some "veterans" don't know things and will probably learn a thing or two from this.

    For maximum front loaded threat Risky, tclap/shockwave is the best way to do it, but yes, rage starving yourself could be dangerous.

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    Assuming it's a new pull, you ought to have Bloodrage up as well as Charge -- rage isn't a problem if you use both. I always pull groups by first using Bloodrage, then Heroic Throw on any casters, then charge any other ranged in the pull, then Thunder Clap, cluster them, then Shockwave. It's easy.
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  8. #8
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    just a little thing i saw in your tanking @utgard tower. keep spellreflect on cooldowns

  9. #9
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    uh.. either i'm blind or there is no button to edit a posting.
    i wanted to say Utgarde Pinnacle of course.

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    News posts don't allow editing of posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turelliax View Post
    I will never be a kaz.. no one can reach the utter awesomeness of you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risky View Post
    Warrior tanking 101, ya?
    I wouldn't necessarily agree with or recommend all the usage of abilities as you do here. Example: shockwave after tclap on aoe pulls limits your rage heavily. Sblock and your tabbing rotation work better without shockwave.
    Also, a couple errors floating around. Vigilance refreshes taunt on your target receiving damage, not on pulling aggro.

    All in all, should help the 79 warrior tanks-to-be out there.
    First off, this is a starting point. Anybody who has ever tried to warrior tank (both with and without prior tanking experience) knows that doing the same thing over and over again for every situation does not work (Druids are the closest tank who could get away with it using a maul/swipe spam, even on single target). Warriors are especially tough to master because it is a priority system rather than a set rotation like paladins.

    But yeah in that example, they charged in (also assuming they forgot to pop lood rage before charge), they TC and walk through mobs. They're bound to get hit/dodge/block/parry a few times while walking through, topping up the rage bar. With a full bar pre-shockwave, they should last until the stun wears off.

    I would say that the second useage of vigilence, namely slap it on to somebody who will get hit alot (they don't say it, but they really mean MT/OT) to keep near 100% availability of taunt, but that's still debated in some tanking circles, the benefits of availability+3% DR over gimping your tanking buddy's aggro by 10%, especially on DPS races.

    SBlock+tabbing is what was done pre+wotlk, and that is what makes old warrior tanks amazing. Even with all other classes, if you can tab target everything, you will be a superior tank to the ones that rely on aoe (Swipe/Consecrate/DnD or HB)

    I would say this guide helps warriors between 60 and 70. You don't get your 51 pt prot talent (shockwave) until 60, and the rest of the points you dump in either arms or fury merely upgrade you (which is true for most every class). If you can't learn to tank/heal/DPS within 10 levels, then the additional run between 70-80 won't be much different, I say.

    Finally, I am amazed that in all the years this place has been around, especially with the historical warrior slant from vanilla, this is the first time this article has been published. I guess the info was there, it just wasn't put together.

  12. #12
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    Insahnity, we have the "holy bible" of warrior tanking in the form of Fortifications, Cider's Guide that put him on the map in the Warrior Class Forums.

    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f200/...nce-guide.html

    Aside from it being un-updated, it is still for the most part, very true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turelliax View Post
    I will never be a kaz.. no one can reach the utter awesomeness of you.
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  13. #13
    Very good work, I would like to study your UI any chace of a download. Thx

  14. #14
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    That does not sound like the Criss I know from that soundboard. WTF happened
    Xav
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rak View Post
    control+c control+v amirite?
    Quote Originally Posted by Magnuss View Post
    Hell no, its Xav, he is gonna type that bitch till his fingers fall off.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kallen View Post
    Very good work, I would like to study your UI any chace of a download. Thx
    And so it begins...

  16. #16
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    Whats her UI?
    I love it

  17. #17
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    DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMEEEEEEDDDD!!!!

    Run criss!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turelliax View Post
    I will never be a kaz.. no one can reach the utter awesomeness of you.
    http://i.imgur.com/3vbQi.gif

  18. #18
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    As a Warrior 101 tanking guide, this is very good! I especially appreciated the example of warrior mobility - Intervening the party member and immediately charging the target dummy. Good stuff! The only thing I'd like to see that wasn't in the video would be an example of Vigiliance switching. The narration described it really well, but it'd be good to see it in action, too.

    This is a great addition to the library, thanks!

  19. #19
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    Work appreciated, thank you for the time put in Criss.

  20. #20
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    In both the thread

    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f14/5...ockwave-2.html

    and

    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f14/4...otation-7.html

    Devestate for a new warrior would out threat a SW/CB rotation, and at higher gear levels would drop revenge out for devestate.

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