This is information for patch 3.1 and not completely accurate anymore. I am currently in the process of updating this for 4.0.1
It’s day 2 of the 31DBBB challenge, and today’s task is to write a list post. I am going all out here and think big, so I shall try to come up with 10 things all protection warriors should know, if you ask me. Most items are old hats and just recycle known concepts, but my goal is to deliver concise information in one list. Credit goes to the many posters at Tankspot, Veneretio, Durnic, and commenters over in this little blog.
- Build threat based on priorities – Do not make the mistake of using a set rotation. For ideal TPS, choose your next ability based on its priority: Shield Slam > Revenge > Concussion Blow > Shockwave > Devastate. However, keep in mind you want 5 sunders on bosses. Confused? This flowchart hopefully makes more sense.
- Use your selfheal – In tricky situations when your health dips low, use your selfheal. What heal? Enraged Regeneration. Before you use it, make sure that you also use all health increasing effects first: Commanding Shout, trinkets like Repelling Charge, Last Stand. The higher your max-health, the more health will be returned. If you need numbers, Last Stand and Enraged Regeneration will restore 39% of your health in 10 seconds. Hot!
- Defense is our best avoidance stat – If you are building an avoidance set, don’t be shy with going well beyond 540.
- Parry is our weakest avoidance stat – Don’t bother with gemming for it. Parry will come naturally with gear, but dodge and defense are superior.
- Expertise is our strongest threat stat – If you are building a threat set, expertise will provide you with more threat than hit in most cases, plus it will add additional survivability once you have reached the parry cap.
- Intervene for fun and profit – With the advent of Warbringer, there are many fun options for this overlooked ability.
- Devastate is for support – The old role of Devastate was to be used as main ability of any protection warrior. Devastate spam was the preferred method of prot warrior DPS (if you can call it that). In WotLK Devastate threat is inferior to most of our abilities, plus it does subpar damage. Use it to provide a full sunder debuff for your physical DPS and once that is up only to get S&B procs.
- Faster weapons are better for tanking than slow ones – Faster weapons allow for more Heroic Strikes, which in high-rage situations should be used every swing. More Heroic Strikes = more DPS you contribute + additional threat. Slower weapons have higher Devastate damage, but that is insignificant compared to our other stronger abilities (Concussion Blow, Shockwave, etc.)
- The pull matters – Be smart about pulling. You don’t need to blindly charge into every group, even if you can. Use Heroic Throw to pull casters. Use of line of sight is still appropriate. Cluster your groups. Bring all ranged mobs into your melee range using your various abilities. Do not Shockwave until you have a cluster all nicely lined up. A good place to test basic clustering involving large pulls is dead-side Stratholme. Heroic Throw one Guardian, charge the other, Shield Bash, move towards the other. Clustered? Shockwave. Excellent for practice.
- Do not leave the house without glyphs – Apply glyphs based on what content you run. Heroics are trash-heavy, so you would use other glyphs than a raider does. Inform yourself about what glyphs are relevant, e.g. here or here. In case of the latter post, make sure to read the comments for different perspectives, and a perfect proof that you should base your glyphs on the content you run, and not generalize. I learn from mistakes.
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