Dual specs have arrived, though the implementation is still a bit buggy. My primary talent tree, my DW build, claims that I have only spent 50 points in prot, and did not pick up Devastate. Funny how I still have Shockwave and Devastate both in my spellbook. I am sure this will be fixed very soon (maybe a bugfix patch next Tuesday).
But what are our options at the moment? This pretty much depends on if you are planning on being main tank for new content or if you happen to have an offtank role most of the time.
As MT, three options are currently floating around:
- A threat spec: 15/5/51 This is pretty much cookie cutter as it gets. You spend points in arms to get to Deep Wounds, which allows easy AoE threat, as Damage Shield will crit and put Deep Wounds DoTs on most of the mobs whacking on you. On average, this ability does 7-10% of my total damage on bosses. This is a great spec for heroics, trash tanking and farmable bosses.
- Survivability: as example I will use the one I chose for myself: 5/10/56 Important parts here are full points in Improved Demoralizing Shout, Improved Disciplines and the Shield Wall glyph. I might pick up the Last Stand glyph as well, ensuring that you can use both Shield Wall and Last Stand multiple times on long boss fights, for more survivability. This build depends a bit on the new glyphs becoming available soon, but we’ll see.
- DPS: what Deep Wounds was for 3.0, the exciting new threat spec, the new UA spec might become for 3.1. It’s a highly situational tanking spec with more points in Arms than Protection, and is built around Unrelenting Assault in the Arms tree. Your basic attack will be Revenge, which causes a lot more damage and should be available most of the time. The spec was first tested by the venerable Veneretio, and now Ciderhelm has posted one of his video guides about it. If you are a 25-man MT, this sounds very unusual and interesting. The DPS mentioned sounds fantastic. However, as my personal focus is 10-mans, I will likely never ever spec into it. We just don’t have the possibilities to supply all necessary debuffs to a boss in such a small group setting for raids. But nevertheless, it sounds like a very interesting spec choice, and shows the full power and flexibility warriors now have thanks to dual specs.
As offtank, you will probably want to use the second spec a bit differently. There will always be fights that are one-tank encounters. I don’t know about Ulduar, but Naxxramas-10 has a few encounters where a second protection warrior is a bit of dead weight. Heigan and Loatheb come to mind, as well as Sapphiron, Thaddius after the two other mobs are dead, etc. As offtank, it just is handier to spec into a DPS spec as second spec. Ideally, one that allows you to provide utility, like the Trauma debuff, Imp Demo Shout, Commanding Presence, etc. Of the four level 80 warriors we have in my guild, I know two will be choosing Arms as their second spec (which was pretty buffed with the patch). I know very little about warrior DPS trees at this point, but a) I am trying to wrangle a guest post out of my friend Shaeldre who plays Arms and b) I am working on a completely new leveling guide and will level as Arms and test Fury as well. Watch this space.
Got any other tanking specs you are trying? Got some crazy ideas? Let me know. Now is the time to try new specs!