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Thread: What builds do prot wars like so far?

  1. #1

    What builds do prot wars like so far?

    I've been in beta about 2 weeks, playing almost exclusively my copied over ~5kgs prot war Hammurabi (link in sig). Still just questing though, tanked H CoS once and got rocked by Chrono-Lord Epoch (which has never happened b/f in Wrath), so haven't tried tanking the Cata dungeons yet.

    What tank specs are other MS prot wars gravitating to, or tested in the new dungeons? It seems like there are a few options to focus builds on:

    1. Bleed-heavy builds with Blood & Thunder + Deep Wounds

    2. Buffed HS and Cleave with Incite + Thunderstruck + War Academy

    3. Buffed Shield Slam with Cruelty + Heavy Repercussions

    4. Buffed Victory Rush with Impending Victory + War Academy

    5. High Enrage uptime with Bastion of Defense + Enrage

    (I'm assuming Field Dressing is mandatory, and perhaps Blood Craze as well)

    Are any favorites emerging yet, or still too early to tell? I'm currently leveling as prot with a Cleave + HS + Self-heal spec and a Bleed-focused secondary spec. I don't much like the latter's mechanic of requiring you to Rend a single target then TC to spread Rend around - too much like the clunky PS + Pest on my DK - but could get used to it if that becomes the BiS spec.

    The standard lvl 80 - 82 area drops are ilvl 272 greens, whose stats are just barely below Wrath ilvl 251 epics, it seems. I've only so far replaced my Wrath ilvl 219 shield (Splintered Door of the Citadel from reg HoR) and and a Wrath 226 epic neck.

    Killing things solo is slow, but Field Dressing + Blood Craze + Victory Rush keeps my health up on 99% of the mobs I've come across (sole exception being some head crab pets and their Naga shadow priestess masters in Vashj'ir).

  2. #2
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    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#LMZhbzoZcfGdRRodbu

    With possibly second point in Heavy Repurcussions, the point in Rude Interruption and Piercing Howl being flavor.
    Other options would be War Academy, Blood Trance or Blitz + Piercing Howl. I'm against Incite because it only is decent if you're spamming HS on the cooldown and even then the total effect has a diminishing return on gear as well as Hold The Line.
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  3. #3
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    I was thinking something like:

    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#LMZI00oZcfGdRRodbu

    I may move the points from Battle Trance if I find I am having no issues with rage.

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    Most of those builds are interesting in theory, but not very great in practice.

    1) Deep Wounds isn't very good anymore when compared to the DPS in Fury
    2) Very little reason to buff both HS and Cleave, given that they share a cooldown. Unless Incite affects Cleave later on, there's little reason to get Incite in an AoE-centric build.
    3) Pretty much all builds should take all the Shield Slam talents. Shield Slam is our hardest-hitting ability by a megaton and our primary source of damage and threat.
    4) Impending Victory is a bad talent.
    5) Waste of points really. The two Enrages don't stack and you have a pretty decent uptime on it with Shield Block. Not worth spending 3 points just to get a slightly higher uptime on Enrage.
    6) Battle Trance has poor synergy with the Protection rotation. Usually gets eaten by a Revenge for almost no savings at all. Best for Prot off-tank DPS scenraios, but not very good for actual tanking.

    Two me, there are two cookie-cutter base specs: one for single-target, one for AoE.

    Single Target
    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#LMZhbZIcGdRRozbu
    3 points free for: Blitz, War Academy, Piercing Howl, and Rude Interruption. I prefer Blitz and Piercing Howl, but situational.

    AoE/Trash
    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#LMZhb0oZcfGdRRobbu
    2 points free for: Blitz, War Academy, Rude Interruption, or Shield Specialization.

    Don't see much of a reason to mix single-target and AoE into the same spec. It's such a huge amount of points to 'waste' unless bosses actually require the AoE talents to function correctly. In that event, you could simply allocate the floating points as appropriate (e.g. http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#LMZhb0oZIfhdRRodbu )

    Among raiding tanks, I doubt there will be too huge deviation from the above two basic specs, unless they dramatically change the value of many talents further down the line.
    Last edited by Kojiyama; 10-06-2010 at 12:38 AM.
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    War Academy looks more appealing to me than Incite, increasing both HS and Cleave. Blitz looks awesome, stunning three targets instead of one every 15 seconds in addition to Shockwave and Concussion Blow. But no points left, what a pitty. Dropping Vigilance while offtanking doesn't seem like an option to me.

    All in all the prot tree is still too bloated, eg compared to the fury tree: five filler talents needed to reach tier six..

    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#LrZhbZcfGdRRodbu

    edit: if PH comes handy for some trash or even bosses i did consider dropping one point from War Academy.
    Last edited by klausi; 08-31-2010 at 12:21 PM.

  6. #6
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    @Kojiyama: In your mixed spec I would assume War Academy > Incite because it also works on Cleave (depending on how much you will need HS ofcourse)
    Also, it will depend on how Rend will work out at 85 vs Shield Block requirement to be on CD. Blood and Thunder (BaT lol) might be worth it even on single target, because you will get the 'free' damage/threat for keeping up Thunder Clap vs how often you will gain Heavy Repurcussions.
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  7. #7
    Interesting, is everyone taking Blood & Thunder in their builds then? I was rather hoping that would be optional, to avoid complicating my AoE threat rotation with having to keep Rend up on all mobs.

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    The problem is that War Academy and Incite aren't totally competing for points. It doesn't really matter if one is better than the other. War Academy is mostly competing with Cruelty and/or Battle Trance.

    You can get Incite while traversing the prot tree, so it's really only an issue in the mixed spec where you end up spending more than 31 points in protection.

    As for Blood and Thunder, I don't think many people are taking it other than testing it out. It's awkward to use, applying Rend is annoying, and there are bugs with it. If they fix the bugs, it will be useful--but it's still actually a bit annoying to use in practice.

    I can't see Blood and Thunder being at all useful single-target. We don't use Thunder Clap enough to keep Rend up 100% on a boss this way, so you only gain 1 Rend extention for the cost of applying Rend and using Thunder Clap. I haven't seen anything to indicate that this would pay off as a TPS increase--and even if it did, it would only be a tiny one for the point cost.

    Heavy Repurcussions is a 20-30% increase in damage to our strongest ability. Blood and Thunder can't possibly beat that. (If Rend is that good, we could just apply Rend.)
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    As for Blood and Thunder, I don't think many people are taking it other than testing it out. It's awkward to use, applying Rend is annoying, and there are bugs with it. If they fix the bugs, it will be useful--but it's still actually a bit annoying to use in practice.
    Thanks, I too noticed it doesn't always successfully apply Rend, and submitted that as a bug report in the feedback tool. And it's definitely annoying to use, glad I'm not the only one thinking that.

    Another thing I'm wondering is, just how much AoE threat will we need to spec for? If the dps is getting most of their AoE nerfed and will be focusing on CC and single-target dps, then maybe just a bare minimum of AoE threat will be enough to do the job and hold aggro on non-cc'd targets.

    Eg, it will be nice if tanks no longer feel as if we have to make tradeoffs between AoE threat and single target threat, can just focus on the latter and rely on our unbuffed base abilities to suffice for the former.

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    Indeed, some of this is speculative inasmuch as it's hard to know the exact value of the AoE talents. It could well be, for instance, that just swapping glyphs could be enough in many situations--or it could be that we always need to run around with 2 points in one talent or another for AoE scenarios.

    It's hard to pin down exactly what builds will be like until we see actual heroics/raid encounters--however, it should be pretty easy to sort out a 'standard' build once we do. Most of the speculation between builds at the moment is just due to the speculative nature of balance right now and the unknowns about what encounter design will be looking like at large.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtosis View Post
    Eg, it will be nice if tanks no longer feel as if we have to make tradeoffs between AoE threat and single target threat, can just focus on the latter and rely on our unbuffed base abilities to suffice for the former.
    I don't think you will be a really good tank if you focus on single target threat only. It may be ok to have one spec with mostly single target talents and another with more AoE talents. But I'm not sure if that will be what most tanks do. Someone here described how much AoE is done in 5mans at the moment. While CC is used and dps focuses on one target there often seems to be more than one target to tank because not everything can be hold in CC all the time. So it looks more like what we (warriors) did in BC: Mark something for CC, mark something for focus fire but tank more than one mob.

    I think that's a lot better than what we have today and if we would only have to tank one target at a time. I'm not in beta and nobody is high enough for heroics anyway. So nobody knows about endgame content. But I doubt that tanks will be fine to dismiss AoE threat stuff. We even have seen many boss encounters where AoE threat was needed and I doubt they will remove those encounters completely.

    I doubt it's optimal to have such single target focused specs. If one has more than one tanking spec it would probably something with different utility talents. For example one for much spell-dmg including Rude Interruption, Shield Specialization and Gag Order and another more focussed on kiting with Vigilance, Piercing howl, Safeguard, Warbringer.

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    Why would you not spec into both the utility and the AoE talents at the same time, as I suggested above?

    Utility and AoE usually go hand-in-hand, as most of our utility has no effect on bosses or single-target environments.
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    I would spec into both utility and AoE. I tried to answer to the idea of a build without any AoE at all and as you said, I don't think that it's worth to do. I tried to say that I would prefer two specs with AoE and different utility over one spec focused only on single target threat.

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    I really hope that AoE tanking is a very rare occasion. I know some warriors can afford to run around with two prot specs, but my guild uses me as fury a lot and so having a single target spec and an AoE spec on hand at all times isn't really an option. I know a lot of other prot warriors have a dps offspec also. That being said, this means one of two things for cataclysm - either the AoE spec isn't necessary to be able to fulfill that role or blizzard has forgotten (or rather slightly altered) their motto of "Bring the player, not the class."

  15. #15
    "Bring the player, not the class."
    "Bring the gearscore, not the player." is the new motto.

    Anyway, they've said they're trying to get away from the "Gather it all up and spam Hurricane on it" model of trash in Cat, so we'll see how that goes. Maybe a return to Magisters Terrace style heroics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    4) Impending Victory is a bad talent.
    How bad is the threat decay? Too much for you to be able to switch to victory rush and still keep threat? I know SS>Victory Rush but Survivability>Threat also. What's the actual TPS difference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eetabeetay View Post
    That being said, this means one of two things for cataclysm - either the AoE spec isn't necessary to be able to fulfill that role or blizzard has forgotten (or rather slightly altered) their motto of "Bring the player, not the class."
    It can mean another thing, too: Tanks are not balanced around having a spec that focuses on single target situations only. And since Blizz tries to give every spec more points for their tree than they need for their "core" stuff, I think that's what Blizz expects. Most prot warriors will not take everything one would take for a single target only spec and take some utility and some AoE stuff, too.

    If you try to take only stuff that is clearly useful in classic tank & spanc one MT no adds situations your tree would probably look like this: http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#LMZhbMZIfhdRRR0bu I doubt that spec is optimal for even most MT situations. So we will probably want to have something else, anyway. So most tanks will probably have one or two AoE threat talents in their main tanking build, even if they have two tanking specs.

    While I have two healing specs with my priest I never had two tanking specs on my warrior. It never was a problem. If I want to have something special for special encounters I'm working on, I try to include that into my tanking spec and tank with it all the time. However I never tried to have a single target only tanking spec. Since I'm a tank for mostly the whole instance, I have to tank more than one mob most of the time. That's even the case for many boss encounters. So why bother with a single target spec at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eetabeetay View Post
    How bad is the threat decay? Too much for you to be able to switch to victory rush and still keep threat? I know SS>Victory Rush but Survivability>Threat also. What's the actual TPS difference?
    Victory Rush is really poor damage for Protection. It is a 45% AP ability with no talent synergy vs. a 100% AP ability which gets turned into a 200% AP ability with Shield Block up. Improved Revenge is also better than Victory Ruch and can proc SnB.

    It can possibly beat Devastate, but due to the inability to proc SnB, it is still a massive TPS loss. To use it without being a major loss, you would have to delay it to your 3rd post-Shield Slam GCD (very much like optimal rotations use Shockwave now), however that would only be every 25-30 seconds on average.

    So, to get any healing value out of the talent you have to take a pretty monumental TPS loss. If they wish people to use it, it almost certainly must be added to the SnB talent or altered by the Impending Victory talent somehow.
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  19. #19
    Concur with Kojiyama on Victory Rush.

    When you use it on Impending Victory procs, it's too weak in both self-healing and threat (even with 2/2 Field Dressing) to be worth using it instead of a stronger ability like SS, Revenge, HS, or Devastate.

    Unless Impending Victory gets buffed or changed, I don't think Prot Wars will be relying on this talent to help our newly-mana-constrained healers out in 5mans and raids. Field Dressing yes, Blood Craze maybe, IV no.

    However, the untalented version of Victory Rush is useful when solo quest leveling - it heals you for 20% of your hp, or 24% with Field Dressing, which is usually enough to overheal all the dmg done by the mob you just killed (as Prot at least). But that's about it as far as its uses go right now.

    PS - looks like the recent beta patch just switched the positions of Hold the Line and Blood & Thunder.
    Last edited by Kurtosis; 09-01-2010 at 08:47 PM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Katzazi View Post
    While I have two healing specs with my priest I never had two tanking specs on my warrior. It never was a problem. If I want to have something special for special encounters I'm working on, I try to include that into my tanking spec and tank with it all the time. However I never tried to have a single target only tanking spec. Since I'm a tank for mostly the whole instance, I have to tank more than one mob most of the time. That's even the case for many boss encounters. So why bother with a single target spec at all?
    Can't speak for anyone else, but personally I'm just wondering if a single-target tank spec will still have enough aoe threat from untalented base abilities alone to suffice for whatever aoe needs Cata throws at us.

    If so, and Wars can focus on talent-buffing single-target abilities like SS and HS (the latter of which feels weak so far without Incite and War Academy), then we might be able to contribute a little more to the single-target dps than had we otherwise would have.

    Even in Wrath, the ability to squeeze every ounce of single-target dps out of a raid on most boss encounters was valuable, and Cata seems to be heading in that direction even more.

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