Well, look who didn’t post like she said she would. If you checked back yesterday, my apologies, I got carried away stockpiling herbs and watching cheesy movies. But I am back today!
In the last countdown entry, I was talking of what you can do to keep yourself uncrittable until WotLK post-patch. Today I will start looking at protection warrior changes. Our whole concept of tanking has been overhauled. Formerly we were all about avoidance and mitigation. This made soloing tedious and considerably slower than for other classes. Many compared druid soloing to warrior soloing, and they were lightyears apart in terms of DPS. Warriors, welcome patch 3.0, hug it warmly, we get what we wanted, and even more!
So what exactly is changing? Currently we are building our threat mostly through abilities with innate threat. The classic threat rotation of protection warriors uses Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, plus Heroic Strike as rage dump. None of these abilities do a lot of damage, though Shield Slam is okay. This will change with the patch. Threat will scale directly with the attack power we have, and every single ability I have listed will do quite a bit of damage. In some cases we might actually give the DPS a run for their money.
Let’s compare the big 3:
Shield Slam in 2.4.3 does 420 to 440 damage, modified by block value. The new and improved Shield Slam does 549 to 577 damage, modified by block value. This is a nice change. Which becomes a lot bigger when you realize that our tanking gear will be changed to fit the new tanking concept, gaining strength. Strength directly improves our block value (2 strength per 1 BV in 3.0), so get ready for amazing new Shield Slam crits. My highest on the PTR was 3.8k, and I have heard of 6k crits on level 70 warriors. You can imagine what this much damage does for our threat. You got it, awesome things. For soloing, you will always want to use the Auto-Blocker or Coren’s Lucky Coin. Or both if you have them, they stack!
Fitting right into this concept is the new Shield Block. This ability is changed forever, they work completely differently. It’s going to take me a while to get used to it. Our current Shield Block has a 5 sec cooldown, increases our chance to block by 75% and is popped every cooldown on bosses to keep us from getting crushed. The new Shield Block has a cooldown of one minute and increases our chance to block by 100% for 10 seconds. Mini Shield-Wall! A new ‘Oh Shit’ button. But on top of the Oh Shit effect, the new Shield Block will increase our block value by 100% in those 10 seconds. Savor this. Use Shield Block, use the Auto-Blocker, Shield Slam to the face. Aaaah. This is going to be excellent macro material.
So, block value is going to be huge, that’s covered. How do Devastate and Revenge fare? Very well, I dare say, very well! Devastate has seen a couple changes in the beta but is currently back at applying 50% of the weapon damage plus 56. This is a damage improvement from the current form on live, where it’s 50% of the weapon damage plus 35. Revenge has seen a huge increase in damage, and it now scales directly with Attack Power instead of a set amount of damage. It’s going from 414 to 506 damage to a scalable 855 to 1045 damage, each of the values modified by AP * 0.207. You won’t trigger it with Shield Block reliably, but I have still seen it available a lot on the PTR, and it’s just a joy to behold the kind of damage it does.
But that’s not all. We are getting another old classic protection warrior ability revamped to actually do damage! I am talking about Concussion Blow. The current form stuns a target for 5 seconds. Which mostly makes it an ability to use on Trash as bosses are immune anyway. The new and improved Concussion Blow stuns a target for 5 seconds and does 0.75 * AP damage. Prepare for four digit Concussion Blows, I kid you not. Which you can still use in boss fights, even if they’re immune to the stun they will still take the damage. That is definitely an ability you want to start using every cooldown.
Let’s talk about another pimped ability: Thunder Clap. The non-talented version does 184 damage up from 123, but the most important part? No target cap! The talented TC will increase the damage by 30%, and we get a talent to improve our crit rate for TC, Heroic Strike and Cleave called Incite, which is going to be a must in every prot build.
Speaking of Heroic Strike and Cleave, their damage output has been increased as well, making our rage dumps hit quite a bit harder.
We all might have to re-learn how to gem and enchant our gear, for maximum threat we’ll want as much strength and attack power that we can get our hands on.
In my next install in the countdown, I’ll talk about more warrior abilities that are changed in 3.0 to make our tanking lives easier and more fun.
Please also see:
- Countdown part 1: How to get defense-capped again
- Countdown part 3: The Emperor’s New clothes, old abilities re-visited
- Countdown part 4: Brand-new toys of the protection tree
- Countdown part 5: Raid changes and the rest of the world