I've been tanking for since BC, and am used to not considering DPS part of my contribution to the raid. To date, when there's a 10s or more window where I'm not tanking something during an encounter (say, the adds are down, or it's a tank swap encounter), I just maintain debuffs and Devastate/Shield Slam as rage permits. Partway through Firelands (and looking forward to encounters in DS), it became evident to me that there are enough encounters where these opportunities exist that I should perhaps entertain a change in strategy. So, what kind of results have you had in trying to improve DPS as Prot when you are in an encounter as Prot but not presently tanking? (Note: I am not speaking about single tank encounters; this is a completely different issue solved by dual speccing). Assume that you'll be in full tanking gear at the beginning of the encounter, so the only thing that can swap is really your shield and sword:
Do you swap weapons from sword and board? If so, do you go to 2H or dual wield? (I assume the former to minimize the low hit/exp you'll have on your gear)
What stance and rotation do you use?
Do you execute at all?
Do Vengeance stacks impact your decision in any of the above? i.e. above a certain Vengeance you do X, otherwise you do Y
Unfortunately, due to Vengeance, it's hard to test out if doing anything other than being in Defensive stance is even worth it, so I'm curious what others have experienced.
1.Stay with shields, you're gonna want to shield slam, at low rage/incoming DPS, you're gonna need the rage effiency of Sword and board procs. with high vengeance shield slam is one of your hardest hitting abilities.hit/exp doesnt impact on the choice.
2. Stance depends on incoming rage, enemy health, and how long i'm going to not have to tank for., on rapid taunt swaps, Ideally you spend most of your time in zerker stance, if you have alot of incoming DPS you switch to battl stance to maintain Rend via TC. generally you want to priotise
a. Shield slam
b. Rend maintinence
c. shortening SS's CD
d. Colossus smash
e. execute <30 rage
h. HS excess rage
alot of this is ver rage dependant. its not worth mainitining rend if it menas you're gonna stall out on heroic strikes. however it is worth executing even if you do stall out on HSs, but not if you stall out the main rotation. CS is pretty much 30% damage increase to everthing bar rend/tc.
3. Yes, but this is always the casr no matter if you have aggro or not.
Check out the Cataclysmic protection warrior thread. it has alot more detailed information. and the spreadsheet which is pretty good too.