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Thread: Harsh Words and Steel: A Protection Warrior Guide

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Harsh Words and Steel: 6.0.2 Protection Warrior Guide

    Or, Just Don't Let Them Melee You Up the Bum

    Patch Version: Patch 6.0.3
    Latest revision: 20th November 2014
    Author: Tengenstein EU Azuremyst
    Twitter: @Tengenstein

    I'm in the process of updating the guide for 6.0.2, so expect a few broken links on patch day, and even more spelling mistakes and typos whilst I clear things up.

    The Protection Warrior, A stalwart protector who uses a shield to safeguard themselves and their allies, whilst breaking faces.

    1: Terminology and Acronyms
    2: Protection Warrior Veteran's Primer: What's Changed?
    3: Specializing in Protection
    4: Active Mitigation, Action Priorities & Resources
    5: Cooldowns
    6: Talents
    7: Stats & Gearing
    8: Gemming, Enchanting Professionans and Races
    9: Glyphs
    10: Consumables
    11: Gladiator Stance
    12: Macros

    1:Terminology and Acronyms


    Spell Name Level Acquired Source Acronym
    Heroic Strike 1 Trained HS
    Victory Rush 5 Trained VR
    Defensive Stance 9 Trained Def Stance
    Shield Slam 10 Specialization SS
    Shield Block 18 Specialization SB, Sblock
    Thunder Clap 20 Trained TC
    Heroic Throw 22 Trained HT
    Devastate 26 Specialization Dev
    Revenge 30 Specialization Rev
    Enraged Regeneration 30 Talent ER
    Impending Victory 30 Talent IV
    Second Wind 30 Talent 2W
    Deep Wounds 32 Trained DW
    Last Stand 38 Specialization LS
    Battle Shout 42 Trained BS
    Piercing Howl 45 Talent PH
    Shield Wall 48 Specialization SW
    Sword and Board 50 Specialization SnB
    Intimidating Shout 52 Trained IS
    Berserker Rage 54 Trained ZR, Zerker Rage
    Demoralizing Shout 56 Specialization DS, Demo Shout
    Spell Reflection 66 Trained SR
    Commanding Shout 68 Trained CS
    Mass Spell Reflection 75 Talent MSR
    Master: Critical Block 80 Specialization Crit Block
    Shield Barrier 81 Specialization Sbar, Sbarrier
    Heroic Leap 85 Trained HL

    General Game Jargon/Terminology

    Mob = an enemy, monster, or computer controlled non-player character (npc).
    Proc = a spell, talent, enchant, or glyph effect that triggers from some set of conditions usually providing a buff or ability.
    Tank = the designated character in a party or raid who gears to be strong on survival and takes the primary attention of enemy targets.
    DPS = short-hand for damage dealers. I will use the lowercase "dps" to short-hand for damage per second.
    Pop = slang for using a spell or ability.
    Cooldown (CD) = the period where a spell or item is unusable because it is refreshing.
    Global Cooldown (GCD) = the game is built with a base cooldown for the player client of 1.5 seconds. This keeps the player from being able to use most abilities less than 1.5 seconds apart. Some abilities can be used without triggering the Global Cooldown, while for certain classes, the Global Cooldown can be reduced in length with certain stats or abilities.
    Internal Cooldown (ICD) = a cooldown hidden in a talent, set bonus, trinket, or gear proc. Cooldown is not visible to the player, but the ability won't be able to proc again until the cooldown is finished.

    WoW = World of Wacraft
    Vanilla = World of wWrcraft prior to any expansions
    TBC = The Burning Crusade, WoW's first expansion
    WotLK = Wrath of the Lichking, WoW's second expansion
    Cata = Cataclysm, WoW's third expansion
    MoP = Mists Of Pandaria, WoW's fourth expansion
    WoD = Warlords of Draenor, Wow's fifth expansion
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 11-20-2014 at 06:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    2:Prot warrior veteran's primer: What's changed?

    Blizzard have changed a lot mechanics, but for the most part Protection is largely unscathed. the basic rotation/priority remain the same, keep shield block on recharge, and prioritise using shield slam over Revenge over devastate, use Heroic strike on Proc and use Shield Barrier against unblockable boss specials and to burn off excess Rage.

    The Stat Squish

    All stats have been squished; So instead of your helm having 1,802 crit, it will have 69 crit, however the actual amount of critical strike chance you get will stay roughly the same (just over 3% in this case). This has happened to all primary and secondary stats, the numbers have gotten smaller, player power has remained roughly the same. As a result you will have a smaller health pool, but boss damage has been scaled down to reflect this, so if you could take Nazgrim's execute with no CDs, you still can. if you had roughly a million HP you will probably have dropped to around 100k HP in 6.0.2. Player DPS has also dropped, a T16k geared tank who was doing about 200k DPS will probably find they are now doing closer to 20k DPS, as a reflection boss health pools have alos been diminished. so if you where ripping 0.5% of Thok's Health off per Shield Slam, you're still going to be knocking 0.5% off, Its just that your shield slam and his Healthpool are smaller.

    Player power has not diminished, they've just moved the decimal place to left a few digits.

    Hit & Expertise

    Hit and expertise are gone as stats. Instead mobs no longer have a chance to dodge from behind unless they are several levels above you, in excess of boss level, all tanking classes now passively ignore the baseline chance for mobs to parry their melee attacks when attacking from the front. Essentially as long as you're doing level appropriate content, you're attacks will not be avoided as long as you're attacking form the right direction. Melee should still stand behind targets, tanks are not penalized for not being able to get behind mobs they are tanking. You are still not going to play spin the dragon.

    The Other Stats

    Parry and Dodge are no longer found on gear. and as a Warrior other than a small amount of baseline dodge you're not going to have any real way of raising your dodge chance. Riposte has inverted and is now entirely passive, that is to say 100% of your Critical strike rating is also taken as parry rating (this being the only way warriors get parry rating), and its always there even if you're out of combat.

    Haste now lowers our GCD and the CD of Shield Slam and Thunderclap. Gear with Haste on should not be avoided (and haste heavy builds are rather fun)

    Mastery Baseline has been lowered to 12%, however Prot warriors now gain 5% more mastery from all sources. additionally Mastery increase our Attack power.

    In addition we have 3 new stats to worry about. Multistrike,Versatilty, and Bonus Armor. Multistrike give all of our attacks/heals the chance to hit 2 more times for 30% of the original damage. in addition prot warrior auto-attack multistrikes proc Blood craze a rolling HoT on ourselves.

    Versatility is a straight up increase in DPS, and healing throughput, and a smaller decrease in damage taken.

    Bonus armour is only available on non-plate pieces (Cloaks, Shields, jewellery) and works just like regular armour, with the exception that plate takes gain 100% of their Bonus Armor as AP.


    Berserker Stance has been removed in Warlords. Defensive Stance has had it's damage reduction pegged down to 20% rather than 25%, but its threat magnifier increased to 10x damage done however. As a Tank neither of these changes will particularly affect you and how you play. There was never a reason to swap to Berserker Stance, and Defensive Stance is still a better option than tanking in battle stance, further more the extra Stamina granted by Unwavering sentinel, is deactivated when not in Defensive stance, so you would lose +15% stamina, +6% crit immunity, +3% expertise, and after the perk, +5% armour

    Pruned abilities

    Prot warriors have lost a fair amount of abilities, mainly our raid CDs, we've forgotten the following abilities
    • Rally Cry - only available to Arms and Fury
    • Skull Banner
    • Demoralizing Banner
    • Cleave
    • Disarm
    • Sunder Armor
    Additionally the Sunder Armor and Weakened Blows debuffs have been removed, so we don't need to worry about keeping them

    and our 3rd tier talent row has been reworked from a control tier to a DPS tier

    Resolve is the new Vengeance

    Vengeance is gone, we no longer get bonus AP for taking damage, Instead we have Resolve. Resolve instead grants a % increase to our Self healing (including absorbs) based off our damage taken over the last 10 seconds. This means taking damage will not increase our damage done, So no more gaming vengeance to increase your DPS. Since your damage done is no longer reliant on how hard you're being hit, Blizzard has increased tank damage across the board, Blizzard wants tanks to be (roughly) dealing about 70% of damage that a DPS spec would do, so if you want to quest as Protection it shouldn't be quite so tedious. Additionally resolve has no ramp up mechanism, nor does it have a taunt transfer mechanism. However even without those mechanism Resolve hits it's steady state value much faster and also falls off a lot faster too, as unlike vengeance Resolve recalculates every second, rather than every damage event. This does mean that the sooner you react to damage events, the more benefit you will get from resolve. If you want to know more about the specifics of resolve compared to vengeance I suggest reading Theck'sBlog post on the subject.

    I've just got back from Pandaria What does this actually mean?

    As far as rotation and priorities go not a lot has actually changed. You still want to be keeping shield block recharging, and you still mainly want to stick to the old SnB based SS>Rev>Dev rotation. However we don't need to use Thunderclap to keep up the tanking debuff. Stats may have changed but for the most part you'll just want to go for the highest Ilvl. a few talents have changed, but most of them
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 10-15-2014 at 12:39 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    3:Specializing in Protection

    As a protection warrior you have acces to the following abilities
    • http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=23922: Our signiture ability, should be used at every opportunity, unless you need to stop killing things.
    • http://www.wowhead.com/spell=115767: This DoT effect is actually really powerful, but as you put it up via other abilities it is not something you should worry about or track, just be aware that you do dot things so reCCing targets can be a problem
    • http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=6343: A powerwul AoE ability, whilst the initial damage is not particualrily high, it applies Deep wounds to all targets it hits, and slows them by 50% for 6 seconds
    • http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=2565: our main active mitigation, it has two charge that recharge sequentially. If something if hitting you you'll want to keep this recharging.
    • http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=20243: Prot's single target Filler ability, like Thunderclap it also applies Deep wounds.
    • http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=6572: Procs off of Dodges and parries, a good spell for both AoE and single target. The cleave distance is rather low however
    • http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=1160: Prot's minor CD, you want to make regular use of it given it's 1 minute cooldown
    • http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=12975: Prots Panic button, it can function as a strategically used CD when necessary, but it shines most when used to pick yourself up from an almost certain death. if you're about to die this should be the button you reach for instinctively.
    • http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=174926: our secondary active mitigation tool and out only defence against unblockable damage. if you can't block an attack you really ought to use Shield barrier.
    • http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=871: Prots major CD, whilst not quite as powerful as most other tanks major CD, it is on a shorter CD, best used strategically to counter boss specials.
    Specializing Protection bestows you the following Passives


    New in warlords are Perks these are granted every two levels past level 90 and passives buff certain spec specific abilities. Protection warriors get the following.
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 11-01-2014 at 12:30 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    4:Active Mitigation, Action Priorities & Resources

    The main priority of a Tank beyond keeping aggro is staying alive (in fact it's very hard to keep aggro whilst dead, so hard i've only managed it once), Blizzard doesn't believe that struggling to hold aggro is compelling game play and so have made holding aggro against DPS and healers trivial. This means they have had to make something else compelling, and they came up with three ways of doing that; either by making tank DPS matter, making DPS buttons provide mitigation, or make DPS buttons provide resources which can be spent on mitigation. Protection Warrior gameplay is mainly formed of the latter in MoP.

    Single Target
    1. Keep http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=2565 recharging (off the GCD)
    2. Use http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=78, if Ultimatum has procced, or if you're at 6 stacks of Unyielding Strikes (off the GCD)
    3. Use http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=174926 to counter unblockable boss specials (off the GCD
    4. Use Shield Slam
    5. Use Revenge
    6. Use http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=118000, http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=107570, http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=152277 if you've talented them
    7. use http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=5308, if you have a Sudden Death proc.
    8. Use Devastate otherwise to fill empty GCDs
    9. Dump excess rage with Shield Barrier or Heroic Strike as long as it won't delay your next Shield Block

    The AoE rotation is essentially the same except when you have 2+ targets you want to be using TC on CD. Tab round the mobs trying to get SS's and Rev on all Targets. You will also want to be using HL as much as possible. Falling into the following rotation offers the best compromise between maximising RPS and maximising Threat on the maximum number of targets;


    This allows you to Keep both SS and TC on CD, but gives you the biggest windows for Revenge Procs,

    The Pull

    Pre-pull you will want make that if you're providing either the Attack power buff or stamina Buffs, that you have the appropriate shout active; either http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=6673 or http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=469. You want to pull with charge and Heroic Throw simultaneously. Mid-Charge you will want to Heroic Leap and Berserker Rage, you should then either Shield Slam (single target) or Thunderclap (AoE). Unless you specifically need save your offensive CD for elsewhere its probably a good idea to use them on the pull.


    All Taunt type abilities increase all threat generated against the target while the taunt is active by 200%. This is a bit misleading as its actually triples our threat modifier (to 3000% damage done), so if you lose aggro whilst your taunt is on CD you are doing something really wrong.

    IF AT ANY POINT YOU ARE SPAMMING TAUNT ON COOLDOWN ON A TARGET YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. Taunt is there to save lives, not as a means to maintain aggro. If everyone is performing their roles correctly you should never need to spam taunt. As a tank you should only Taunt off another tank to prevent them from dying, if they have all the aggro and are not falling over, they do not need you to taunt off them. It's not only bad tanking its bad tanking etiquette, you are being a dick. If a healer has aggro you could taunt but in most cases you should be using one of your primary rage builders to get snap aggro, or perhaps a charge/heroic leap to the mob. If DPS get aggro same deal, or if they're not using their threat dumps, don't, just let them die.

    If you feel you cannot actually tank without spamming taunt you may find this more suited to you,

    Active Mitigation Strategies

    The choice between using Sbar or Sblock is a crucial part of being a prot warrior, and its rarely a case of just using one or the other. On Most encounters, your largest source of incoming damage should be Boss melee and when this is true Shield Block should be you nominal choice. when it comes ot blockable damage Sbar just will not prevent as much damage as SHield block and will be used up before its full duration, leading a to a spikey damage profile of Absorb, partial absorb, hit, hit, hit, hit, and its those chains of hits in conjunction with either heavy raid damage, or healer movement that will usually lead to you dying. With Sblock however you'll take less overall damage but almost every hit should be blocked so the longest possible full hit chain is 2 hits. Shield block also has the nice effect of increasing your enrage uptime which means more rage and more DPS, especially with the GLyph of Heavy Repercussions. Now thats not to say Shield Barrier is useless, far from it; Unlike Sblock it stops all forms of damage, so if you're not particularly worried about the melee hits, but you are worried about something like a powerful breath attack timing an Sbar just before the attack is probably a very good idea. What complicates this further is that theirs no real pattern to whether a given boss special attack is blockable or not; Tortos' Snapping Bite is blockable, Ji-Kuns' Talon Rake is aswell. Vizier Zorlock's Exhale isn't blockable despite being physical, and Garalon's and Primordius' frontal cones are blockable despite being AoEs, Jin'rohk's Thundering Throw is blockable, but will still throw and stun you. The only real guideline i can offer is if in doubt use shield block against physical attacks, and use Shield barrier against magic damage but there are exceptions, so check your logs!

    Shield Block has a rather interesting recharge behaviour; It has 2 charges and they recharge sequentially over 12 seconds, rather like the DK's Rune system. Now on a patchwerk fight where we have the boss in our face 100% of the time we'll just burn a charge every 12 seconds and get ~50% uptime on Shield Block, however whenever we get the chance to let both charges recover and have enough rage (60 rage to start and 10rps for the next 12 seconds), you can have 18 seconds of continuous shield block uptime. this will then be followed by 6 seconds of down time to recover the first charge, and another 12 to recover the second; 18 seconds from full exhaustion to fully recharged. Now you'll notice that that's still ~50% uptime on SB. However if you only have aggro for 18 seconds at a time (or less) because of taunt swapping or boss phases you can use this to make sure you have SB up 100% of the time you have aggro and use the time when you don't to let SB recharge. It does mean you'll have to pool rage when not actively tanking, but on fights with such fast taunt swaps it can mean that whenever the boss is actually hitting you, you're effectively "unhittable".

    Just Using SBlock On recharge is actually a fairly decent way to play, and will suffice for most situations if you can get the mechanics right, against mobs that just melee (or the melee is the dangerous bit) its probably the best active mitigation strategy you can choose. The counter point to this which may come as a surprise is that attempting to bleed off extra rage with Sbar under this strategy can be detrimental if it delays the use of Sblock. This makes sense if you think about it; you end up stacking Sbar on top of an SBlock, which isn't really improving things much as you're not going to die to melee with SBlock up anyway, SBar or not, but to do that you're extending the the time between Sblocks, essentially opening a window for a hit string. That said if you're not worried about melee hits but are worried about a big boss special Layering Sblock and SBar over it is a fine way to trivialise it. If you're worried about boss special combined with melee hits you should stick to keeping sblock on recharge and making sure you have enough rage to time an Sbar with the boss special.

    And if you just keep one charge recycling you dump excess rage with shield block, or alterntively keep a shield block in reserve for boss mechanics.
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 10-19-2014 at 05:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    5: Cooldowns
    Every class and spec has lost some of its CDs in Warlords, For the most part Protection has lost it's not talented offensive CDs, as well as it's offensive and defensive raid CDs, as well as Disarm, which as a debuff type has been completely removed from all player specs and classes.
    • Berserker Rage: Grants Immunity to fear, sap and incapacitate effects, and causes you to enrage (which grants 10 rage and increases all damage done by 10% for 8 seconds). This will remove Fear, sap and incapacitate affects (such as Gouge and Repentence) from you.
    • Shield Wall: Our Big CD. It can be glyphed to provide 60% damage reduction on a 4 minute CD. SW should generally be used in a planned and proactive way before taking a hit to prevent the damage happening, whilst it can be used to recover from a big hit it's not optimal for this purpose.
    • Last Stand: Our other major CD, LS is an excellent panic button do not be afraid to press it. If you die whilst this isn't on cooldown you've failed as a prot warrior. Sometime the encounters will require you to save it in order for strategic use but other CDs are generally better in that role.
    • Demoralizing Shout: This is our minor CD, Feel free to use it liberally and as you see fit, Keep in mind this is actually a debuff you place on all mobs within 10 yards of you, so has no effect if you use it out of rage nor does it work against thinks that are immune to your damage or environmental effects.
    • Spell Reflection: Against the vast majority of raid bosses this just does not work. However there are usually a couple of places it does, and its very nice for trash tanking. Despite the tool tip saying reflect the next spell, it's a little quirky; Any spell that leaves the casters hands while you have the spell reflection buff will be reflected, however the first reflectable spell to land on you will remove the buff
    • Mocking Banner: Fixates all targets within 30 yards for 6 seconds every 3 seconds, the banner lasts 30 seconds. 3 minute cooldown. This is not some target dummy distraction tool like AoTD, or a Guardian's Treants, or a Brewmaster's Xuen, this thing fixates mobs on you, anything that walks within 30 yards of this will behave as if you fixated it. It literally pulses fixates every 3 seconds for 30 seconds, the the fixate debuff it places lasts 6 seconds. Most raid bosses are Immune. however their adds usually aren't.
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 10-13-2014 at 03:08 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    6: Talents

    Every 15 levels you are offered the choice of taking one of 3 talents, some are passive, some are active, some are upgrades to existing abilities, most you will recognize, some you won't; the choices here will tailor your skillset to suit the encounter. None of these choices are set in stone, and you will be best served by keeping an open mind and not getting too attached to certain ones. Hopefully by launch none of them will be substandard for every occasion.

    Tier 1
    Much as in Pandaria I still personally favour Double Time, I don't often charge on cooldown, but I do find having the extra Utility can be most useful. Technically if you do charge on CD Juggernaut has the has the highest RPS and gives you greatest amount of mobility. Warbringer has changed; SInce charge now roots the target instead of stuns it. warbringer gives charge this functionality back. As much as i miss the charge stun, I still don't feel warbring is strong enough to sway my talent choice. perhaps if the stun was longer. or if we had more baseline mobility, or if the fight called for it i would take Warbringer

    Tier 2
    Second wind has been changed,the healing amount is no longer based on our healthpool, but is now based on the damage we do, so that whilst under 35% health we heal for 10% of the damage we deal. this means it synergises well if the boss has phases of increased damage taken, and poorly if the boss has periods of decreased damage taken. It also means second wind is not such a good choice if we're CCed or if the boss is out of range or otherwise unattackable. IV has had it's healing amount nerfed so if used on CD it provided equal HPS as Enraged Regen. Enraged Regen no longer requires you to be enraged to get the full effect and as it arguably the only option that you can use whilst stunned, I'd say IV is lacklustre talent of the row since it costs rage, and GCDs to compete with ER, but like Second wind, can not be used whilst stunned.

    Tier 3

    our Tier 3 talent Row has been completely reworked. Heavy Repercussion works similarly to to the Cata Talent and MoP Glyph, we deal 30% increase damage with Shield Slam whilst shield block is up. The talent is entirely passive and gives the least complex rotation. Sudden Death gives our white swings a 20% chance to proc a free Execute which ignores health restrictions. Due to the fact that our GCD rotation is built about maximising rage rather than damage this Proc should be prioritised below Revenge Procs. Unyielding strikes, essentially means that every filth Devastate gives us 5 seconds where Heroic Stirke has no cost. Arguably this adds the most complexity to our rotation. Overall all talents are of near enough equal DPS value that you should take wichever talent you feel most capable using or that you get the most out of on a given encounter.

    Tier 4

    Shockwave has the greatest Add control on trash; Stunning adds is a great survival tool, stunned adds don't melee you which is nice, it also packs a fair punch, and the shorter CD make a great all purpose talent. Stormbolt replaces Bladestorme on this tier. if you need a long single target stun, or extra single target DPS Stormbolt is the talent for you. In terms of single target dps Dragon Roar is the talent of choice for Protection this tier, minimal investment of GCDs, Auto crits (so doesn't scale so well) and ignores armour. The Knockback can also be highly annoying on trash, both for the tank, and the melee who suddenly find themselves in front of the mobs. Furthermore Dragon Roar suffers some weird damage reductions when hitting multiple mobs:

    1 target = 1 hit at 100%
    2 targets = 2x75%
    3 targets = 3x65%
    4 targets = 4x55%
    5-10 targets = 50% per target
    10+ targets = 500% damge split between all targets

    So Dragon Roar for Single target, Shockwave for AoE/Utility, and Stormebolt for longer stuns on single target.

    Tier 5

    I really wish MSR was useful, it can be very powerful on the encounters it works on, otherwise its pure junk, probably will end up as the default 5-man choice. The choice between Safeguard and Vigilance is going to rather personal and reflect the encounter and your raid composition, Safeguard allows more often use, Vigilance is a much heavier CD, the Taunt reset on Vigilance does allow you more room for error if you screw up your taunts and maybe accidentally taunt a mob already on you rather than the boss on your co-tank, or if you've forced a boss to go Taunt immune through over taunting, or if you're dealing with a Taunt whore in LFR

    Tier 6
    None of these Talents provide much, if any survivability increase, they do provide a great deal of utility, Avatar is a root breaker, Bloodbath a Slow, Blade storm breaks loss off control affects. SInce we don't have recklessness any more, Blood bath is the strongest DPS talent of the row.

    Tier 7The new talent row is for Warlords. Anger Management sounds like a great idea but in practice i'm not so sure. on fights where we need shorter defensive CDs it may be mandatory, but on fights where we don't the only benefit would be lower CDs on offensive abilities (in 630 gear it works out to be about 25% cooldown reduction). Ravager gives us a nice AOE damage boost and give us an avoidance CD (so also buffs our single target DPS slightly with more Revenges, and thus more rage). Gladiator's resolve Buffs our stances at the cost that we no longer can change stance in combat.. Defensive stance gains an Additive 5% less damage taken for a total 25% damage reduction, this is not to be scoffed at, whilst boring and passive it's really rather nice. Battle Stance is upgraded to Gladiator Stance, allows you to perform as a DPS whilst specced Protection; increasing all damage dealt by 20% and changing shield block into shield charge, which (other than being a short range charge) buffs the damage of heroic strike, revenge and shield slam by a further 30%) whislt active.

    I don't see any competition here, Gladiator's Resolve give the easiest playstyle, simplest damage reduction, and lets you do daily quests or one tank fights without having to learn another spec, or carry round spare weapons. Just don't try to tank in Gladiator stance and make sure you're in the right stance before the pull.
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 11-25-2014 at 12:32 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    7:Stats & Gearing

    Stats on gear has changed a lot in Warlords. All warlords plate pieces will have both Strength and Intellect on them, but as warrior the intellect will be deactivated when you don those pieces, additionally all Secondary Stats found on plate gear provide some sort of defensive benefit, so as far as Plate goes all of it fair game for warrior tanks

    For no plate pieces, such as Jewellery, Cloaks, Weapons, Shields and Trinkets. you'll want to take pieces that give bonus armour on them as Bonus Armour is not found on plate gear, so these slots will be your only source of that stat and it is by far our best stat. as far as weapons go you will want as slow a 1-hander as you can get with strength on it, unless it's a ridiculously large upgrade stay away for agility Daggers, or Spirit or spell power weapons. You can not effectively play prot with out a shield equipped, make sure to use one with preferably bonus armor but definitely not spirit on it.

    What Stats Do

    • Stamina: increases your healthpool and thus your effective healthpool, allowing you to withstand more damage before dying, useful for buying time for healers to save you, can make you somewhat of a mana sponge. One of the few stats that offer some sort of survival bonus against magic damage.
    • Bonus Armor: decreases physical damage, the more armor the greater the damage reduction, useless against magic damage. Not all of pieces offer Bonus Armor. It does suffer from Diminishing Returns. The damage reduction form armor is capped at 85%, though it's nigh impossible for Warriors to reach this cap. DUe to our Bladed armor passive we gain 100% of our Bonus armour as Attack Power
    • Mastery: Mastery Rating increases your chance to block, chance to critically block and your AP. A good stat for increasing overall melee damage reduction. It is useless at protecting against magic. There is a diminishing return on Block chance from mastery. The (soft) cap for Mastery is 100% critical Block chance, past this value Mastery is only increasing passive block chance, and AP and falls off in value due to our class mechanics.
    • Parry: Parry Rating increases your chance to parry, it doesn't offer quite as much TDR as mastery does point for point and increases the variance in damage intake by a larger margin. It does have some RPS gain as it procs Revenge, it also suffers from diminishing returns. You generally won't see much if any Parry rating on gear, you will mostly being getting this stat from Crit rating via Riposte
    • Strength: Strength also grants you parry at approximately the same rate as parry rating does after Kings, you also get 1 AP per point of strength. Parry from Strength, and Parry from Parry Rating are both subject to a combined diminishing returns, however Avoidance from strength is not converted to Crit in combat via Riposte so parry rating is better for you than strength.
    • Dodge: Dodge rating is almost identical to Parry rating except it has much harsher diminishing returns (balanced out by the fact all your gear should have strength on it so you should end up much further into Parries DRs) and no other stat provides a source of dodge for warriors. it's highly unlikely you'll find this stat on your gear.
    • Crit: Increases the chance that your attacks have of dealing double damage, Your Shield Slam and Devastate crits generate 10 rage giving crit some defensive benefit but nothing spectacular.
    • Haste: Haste rating increases the speed of your white swings, lowers our GCD, as well as lowering the CD of Shield Slam and Thunderclap.
    • Versatility: Versatility decreases the damage you take as well as increase the damage and healing you do
    • Multistrike: Multistrike gives your attacks and heals a chance to deal 30% of the original damage once or twice more. Shield barrier can not multistrike. and our Auto attack multistrikes proc Blood Craze.
    How to gear

    Minimising TMI
    • Stamina>Bonus Armour>Versatility>Crit=Mastery>Strength>Haste>Mul tistrike
    Gearing this way will decrease the amount and magnitude of the damage spikes you take, theoretically making you easier to heal, when played correctly. TMI is essentially a metric for measuring how spikier you are More information can be found here. By coincidence this stat priority is very similiar to the stat prioty for maximising your Effective Healthpool (EHP)

    Minimisng DTPS
    • Bonus Armor> Strength>Crit>Mastery>Versatility >Haste>Stamina>Multistrike
    Gearing this way will minimize the overall amount of Damage take at the risk of being spikier and harder to heal when played correctly. DTPS (Damage take per second) Gearing this way assumes that the overall damage you take over the entire course of a fight is the issue i.e. the only time you die is if the healers oom, and no one's done anything stupid like standing in the fire or forgotten to equip a shield. If you invert the last two stat priorities this effectively becomes our Stat priority for maximizing our DPS.

    As previously mentioned there are a lot of different ways of making use of SBlock and SBarrier to mitigate damage, and there are a lot of different incoming damage profiles, Tank skill, healer skill, how geared you are, how geared your healers are, healing team make up, choice of co-tank and even how much DPS is expected of you is going to effect your stat priority; So the bad news is that what your actual stat priority is is going to be high mutable from fight to fight, and its unlikely you'll be able to find a stat priority that will optimize you for every fight. The good news however is that our secondary stats are, usually, within a magnitude of one another; so whilst you may not be perfectly optimized for every fight you won't that far off, and that for most part a higher Ilevel piece we usually be an upgrade unless it has non tanking stats, is under budgeted, or has some weird proccy mechanic like trinkets. At level 90 you're going to have to rely on simcraft, as it's the only widely available tool for generating stat weights, at level 100 you could alos use Booi's Spreadsheet to help you determine how best to gear.

    For the most part just get the highest ilvl you can, as many bonus Armor pieces as possible, and them gem either stamina or crit.

    Tier set Bonuses

    Tier 17; Blackhand's Battle Gear
    • 2 Piece: Shield Slam has an 8% chance to cast Shield Block
    • 4 Piece: Whilst Shield Block is active, block value is increased by 5%
    These set bonuses are very nice. the only down side is that the 2 piece does sort force you into using heavy repercussions as a talent. the 4 piece synergises well with the 2 piece. hopefully this will be the final nail in the coffin of Shield Barrier only tanking. Of course, neither of these bonuses will be worth a damn if the encounter does not deal blockable damage. FOr Gladiators, the 4p iece is worthless as for the most nothing should be meleeing you. the 2 piece is quite nice.
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 11-20-2014 at 06:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    8: Gemming, Enchanting, Professions, and Races


    Gemming in 6.0.2 has a couple of quirks; What where previously Expertise gems are now red HAste gems, and hit gems are now blue crit gems. So at 90; Gem Mastery for yellow sockets, or where you don't want the socket bonues, Mastery/Crit hybrids in blue sockets, and Mastery/Haste in reds for now.

    Meta gem wise; The Eternal beats the Austere hands down for physical damage reduction and as for most encounters the majority of the damage is physical and most physical boss specials are blockable, where they aren't the Austere may be a better choice. The Effulgent is our only anti magic choice before acquiring the legendary. The Fleet generally should be avoided unless movement speed is the utmost priority. If you are only going to use one meta it should be the Eternal until you unlock the Indomitable via the legendary quest, at which point it unsurprisingly usurps the meta socket. The extremely low proc rate for the DPS Meta gem (the Capacitive) really makes it a poor trade off.



    Professions no longer off Bonuses to specific stats, as such you could completely ignore having professions. Ideally you would take the 2 that either save you or make you the most money, or that you enjoy the most.


    Most of the Racials have been updated. and whilst most of the passive stat bonuses can be quantified the active racials will be more telling on fights. Goblins' and Worgens' extra mobility will shine on Kite fights. With the loss of Disrupting shout, Arcane torrent will be even better if AoE interrupts are needed.Where Dwarf's Stoneblood works on debuffs it can be overpowered. Nelf's ability to drop aggro could be very useful as well. As such don't put too much faith in the following comparisons of passive stats. as with all other aspects of this guide it is subject change at level 100, or future patches; So don't go dropping money on race schanges just because of this guide. Overall the difference between the best and worst race is 2.2k TMI. Your playstyle will make a bigger difference than your choice of race. the rest of the races are so close together in terms of TMI that the distinction is may as well be moot, if the comparison of all races wasn't moot before. I play a Goblin, I like mobility and I'm Horde.
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 10-19-2014 at 06:39 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    9: Glyphs

    You can choose up to 3 Major, and 3 minor glyphs

    One significant change to glyphs is that some glyphs are mutually exclusive with others. There are no longer any mandatory glyphs, I however rather like the following;
    Unending Rage Excellent for fights where you don't constantly have aggro, perhaps the only direct Survivability increase Glyph
    Wind and Thunder 50% Increase to thunderclap's range
    Enraged Speed current gearing should mean we're almost always enraged


    Only one Minor Glyph is potentially performance enhancing for Protection. The rest are purely Cosmetic
    Intimidating Shout Good for when you don't want feared mobs to pull more trash.
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 10-17-2014 at 04:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009

    I'm going to leave thes at level 90 foods.


    Feasts are now called Banquets and got really complicated. Pandaren Cooking allows chefs to specialise into many "ways" such as "of the steamer" or "of the grill" and such will be able to make Banquets of the Grill/wok/oven/steamer/etc each of which will provide more primary stat for particular specs. The top level feast is the Pandaren Banquet which gives all specs an amount of primary stat (stam for prot). However for maximum amount of stat you will want to bring your own food. Also any feast with the prefix "Great" means it has 25 charges instead of 10. If your providing feasts for a 25 man make Great Banquets. Noodle carts added in 5.4 supersede most other forms of raid food as they require substantially less mats for a given level of food buff, and the top level Noodle carts will provide the same buff as as the stat specific food.

    Outside of Banquets and noodle carts the following foods are itemised effectively for protection

    The Chun Tian Spring rolls give us the largest amount of stats of any food (incl. feasts) and are Stamina, arguable Prot's best stat food. Top level Noodle carts provide the same buff as the Spring Rolls. so Ideally eat them instead as they are substantially cheaper way to get 450 stam.


    with the item squish you're best grabbing some Cata flasks as the provide slightly more stats than the Pandaria flasks. and Protection warriors are probably going to want to start using strength flasks as standard


    As Alway you can take one Guardian and Battle Elixir simultaneously

    Guardian Elixirs

    Battle Elixirs

    LIke flasks, the Cata variants provide slightly more benefit than the Pandarai ones, Choices are limited to Armour as our guardian elixir and and either crit or mastery as ouras our battle elixir. The armour form the armor elixir counts as Bonus Armour so its actually pretty good


    Not a huge selection here either though its probably best to carry a few of each

    Those using stat potions (Strenght or Armour) may want to donw grade to the Cata versions as these provide slightly more stats, however the Healing pot should remain the cata version
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 10-26-2014 at 06:19 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    11: Gladiator Stance

    Or Just melee them up the bum.
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 10-14-2014 at 03:48 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    12: Macros

    The following are a selection of my own macros. None of them are mandatory for tanking. Most are designed to combat button bloat are by no means are the optimal way to do things. I'm not particularly knowledgeable of Macro syntax, so some of these are pretty bad.

    Victory Rush/Healthstone
    I use this as a Panic Heal, as such i usually don''t think far enough to check if VR is up or IV off CD(it will morph to IV if you take that talent). If the IV takes you to full health the Healthstone will not be consumed.
    /cast Victory rush
    /cast healthstone

    Spell Reflect/Extra Action button

    As far as i know their are very few encountes where you can utilise spell relfect and get an extra action button. THis macro just combines both into a single button
    /cast spell reflection
    /click ExtraActionButton1
    the following is a modification if you take the Mass spell reflection Talent, FIrst press will pop Spell reflect and attempt to use the extra ability, second press will attempt to use the Mass Spell Reflect, if you don't press it for 25 seconds it will revert to spell reflect.
    /castsequence reset=25 spell reflection, mass spell reflection
    /click ExtraActionButton1

    Last Stand + other heals

    This is what i use in place of last stand, generally because I use last stand as panic button, it goes through pots like a meth addict goes through teeth.
    #showtooltip last stand
    /cast last stand
    /cast enraged regeneration
    /use healthstone
    /use [combat] Master Healing Potion
    1 button charge thingy
    THis will charge your current target if you can hurt then, and bring up the HL targeting reticule (clicing on the game field will cause you to leap), if you can beneficiently interact with the target (its friendly or at lest neutral and you can buff it) you will intervene them(which morphs into safeguard if you took that talent

    /cast [nohelp] charge
    /cast [help] intervene
    /cast berserker rage
    /cast heroic leap

    Shield SLam and Misc

    this is my basic I use SS on CD and so macro other things in that i will use on cd too macro. essentially Zerker rage and my Engineering Gloves tinker (i do page my bars to have the ability to turn off this macro), this will also Remove Hand of protection form yourself if a a paladin has used it on you.
    /use shield Slam
    /cancelaura hand of protection
    /use [combat] berserker rage
    /use [combat] 10

    Taunt & never forget Def stance
    I don't know a single prot warrior who hasn't at some point forgotten to swap stances (and monks, and pallies and DKs, though not bears). I don't want to be that guy, but every one makes mistakes, so i made this macro. It will taunt your current target, pop you in def stance if you're not in def stance, and bring up the Mocking banner Targeting reticule.

    #showtooltip taunt
    /cast taunt 
    /cast [nostance:2] defensive stance
    /cast mocking banner
    Last edited by Tengenstein; 10-14-2014 at 03:49 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Looks like a great guide! Actually picked up a few things I had missed in all the flurry of changes. Only opinions I would differ on are that I don't really care for the new vigilance at all and doubt I'll ever take it over safeguard (or on the rare occasion where mass reflect would actually work in a raid. Also I think glyph of unending raid could be extremely useful in tank swap fights. 20 extra rage at the start of a tank swap means you are more likely to be able to maintain 100% shield block during your portion of the tanking.

    As far as glyph of incite I think it may end up being a valid dps increase option, my only concern is that deadly calm only lasts for 9 seconds so in those 9 seconds you have to pull off 3 devastates/heroic strikes while maintaining your priority rotation. If anything I wish they would increase the duration to something around 15-20 seconds for deadly calm.

    Also pummel cd is 15 seconds, looks like you missed the 1.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I still liked the Teng Commandments better.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." -Neil deGrasee Tyson

    Twitter @Aggathon || @Tankspot || Twitch.Tv/Aggathon

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I Hope i'm not coming off as saying "Take vigilance, safguard crap" that's not my intent at all, I just feel that what's essential a 30% damage reduction every 2 minutes tend to feeds in better with how blizzard designs encounters than the 20% damage reduction every 30s. I concur with your priority of tier 5 talents, Vigilance is in a vacuum my lest favourite and I love MSR. Looking at the fights unfortunately I don't think i can indulge my favouritism.

    I also realised I'd totally forgotten about DC when i was reformatting the Glyph of incite and then promptly forgot again. I'll rectify that oversight later. I'll update with your advice. I really hope that Prot DPS won't matter enough that using or not DC will mean the difference between being benched or not. You don't actuall yhave to Dev once per HS you want to be free. At the moment the glyph functions a little strangely when you press DC you get 3 charges of deadly calm that reduce your next HS by 10 range, this buff last 9 seconds, each time you HS you lose a charge, if you use Devastate whilst you have this buff you gain another buff, "Incite" which lowers the cost of HS by 20 rage, lasts 10 seconds this has No charges and is not consumed by using HS. Whilst both Incite an Deadly Calm are present HS costs 0 rage, however consuming DC, does not consume Incite. So if you time it well you can land a devastate right before your third HS in a DC, and refresh incite back to its original duration, consume the last stack of DC and still be left with ~ 9 seconds worth of Incite where HS costs only 10 rage. the glyph nets you 3 free heroic strikes and if you land second devastate at the right time a further 6 heroic strikes at 10 rage each.

    @Agg, I don't quite have enough ego to name my own guide after me.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    @Agg, I don't quite have enough ego to name my own guide after me.
    That will come with time, don't worry

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Cooldowns is one word

    Good job, ty.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    You should write something more detailed (Like: "Has a 30% chance to reset the CD of SS and boost the rage generated by it by 5") to devastate. "this boosts the rage generated by SS by 5 and shortens its CD." is... well, in the end simply wrong.
    Also, you'll want to use SS and Revenge on CD, and use Shouts/Dev in the gaps between those. (But well, it's a miniscule difference)

    This is great as long as bosses are meleeing you you want to keep this up, it has a 9 seconds CD, but it does have 2 charges, so if you could generate enough rage you could achieve 100% uptime.

    No. Each charge has it's own 9s Cooldown (those are serial (meaning, if both have cd, only one of them decreases it's cd)). (Oh, that's another bug in the RPS-Calc :>) The maximum possible uptime versus singletarget, with a 'infinite'/long enough length, is 66%, as you'd get, after 4 uses, to the point, where the charge comes off CD 3s after the 6s buff have run out.

    Sbarr doesn't cost 60 rage. (Or rather, it can cost 60, but... also something between & inclusive 20-60)

    (Disclaimer: The following is somewhat pointless, as it's more of a personal preference, which priority you take, as long as it's basically everything > devastate :>)
    Spell priority is (ignoring Weakened blows & SB/Sbarr, as those are off GCD): SS > Revenge > Shout > Devastate. (But to be honse: overall, everything, Shout > SS > Revenge > Dev, as well as SS > Shout > Revenge > Dev and SnB > Shout > SS > Rev > Dev are somewhat like <.05 RPS together)

    The RPS gain of parry/dodge is somewhat ridiculous, depending on your mastery, it can even be more of a RPS loss, as you get less (potential) CBlocks. (Also, agi grants some dodge! (Not, that it would be something like a not-in-the-least-important-amount... :P))

    The problem with 2nd wind is, that it comes only to use while you are below 35% health. I haven't seen any of the MoP raidcontent, but i assume it isn't this useful, if you've got to stay under 35% for a greater amount of time. (Rather: it's totally useless in the most raid/even 5m cases, as you don't want to be at <35% health. And if you are, it's much more desirable to get some (big) heals.)
    To use impending victory on CD, you'd use 10/30 RPS, which is equal to the amount anger management grants. Also, in the worst case you'd lose 10 Rage, which is another 10/30 RPS. So it's instead of ~6 RPS only ~5.3 RPS, if you take a 1 RPS = 10% SB-Uptime conversion, you'd end up with 60% vs. 53%, which is around 10% loss.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Like i said Second Wind provides very little in the way of spike prevention/recovery; it's too little too late. its main and only advatage in raid comabat is that it has no cost and is completely passive. I really do't even consider the extra rage on stun to even esist in PVE comabt, raid bosses really Just stundo not stun tanks. IV is the complete opposite Blind use will be Blerg, but well timed use will make it very strong, howerver as rage is precious and we're GCD locked it can be difficult make it well timed. but then again it's only a 10% heal which again is not much in the way. this is one tier where i think Blizzard have got it right for PVE. its very hard deciosion to make and will mostly come down to how a player percieves there strengths/weaknesses. But lets fool no one 3% hps whether from IV or SW isn't going let you self heal through much raid content

    Spell rotation is as said a gut feeling, we're gonna need simcraft to be able to judge for ourselves the 100% correct rotation

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    On the cloud.
    Quote Originally Posted by kopcap View Post
    Cooldowns is one word

    Good job, ty.
    So is per cent. Many 2-word phrases have morphed into single words throughout history, doesn't make their former forms wrong even in this sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tengenstein View Post
    just don't let them melee you up the bum.

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