Tank like a girl
Jan 11 2011

The revised top 10

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One of my more popular posts is 10 things all prot warriors should know about. Basically a quick cheat sheet of stuff you should know about this class, aiming at fresh warrior tanks. This is the version updated for 4.0.3. Enjoy! Experienced warriors, if you have a tip to add to this list, please comment!

  1. 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 > Shockwave > Concussion Blow > Rend > Devastate for single-target situations, Rend > Thunderclap > Shockwave > Revenge > Shield Slam > Devastate for AoE. On single targets and with no other warrior or feral druid in the group, try to get your 3 Sunders in asap. Pay attention to Sword&Board procs.
  2. 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 any of the Battlemaster ones, e.g. Heart of Thunder, 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. Here’s the macro that I use:

    /cast Berserker Rage
    /cast Last Stand
    /cast Enraged Regeneration
  3. Stamina is still our best stat – It’s not the end all be all that it was in WotLK, but it’s still pretty darn useful.
  4. Dodge is our weakest avoidance stat – It will become more important as we get into higher tiers of content, but at the moment both Mastery and Parry provide better avoidance. However, you want to keep your avoidance stats balanced, so keep Dodge fairly close to your Parry.
  5. Mastery is our best avoidance stat – The magic avoidance number to head seems to be 75% Parry-Dodge-Block, and Mastery is the big stat of the day at the moment. Having large amounts of mastery will smoothen the damage you take and will make it easier to heal us as well.
  6. Intervene for fun and profit – With the advent of Warbringer, there are many fun options for this overlooked ability. There are multiple encounters where you can ensure your survivability by using Intervene on a ranged party member. As example, Asaad in Vortex Pinnacle and Erudax in Grim Batol is an encounter where you are supposed to stand in a safe zone. You can continue building threat on Asaad as he casts and Intervene on your party members before the cast lands.
  7. Devastate is for support – The role of Devastate fluctuates a lot and moves up and down our priority list a lot. While it is going to receive a little boost in an upcoming patch, right now it is the ability to use when you have nothing else to use, to proc Sword&Board. Also, do remember to debuff bosses with 3 stacks of Sunder Armor at the start of the fight, to support physical DPS.
  8. The slower the weapon, the better – In a complete overturn of the WotLK world of tanks, slower weapons are now much better. As Heroic Strike now has a cooldown, you will now prefer a slow, 2.6 speed weapon. It will pack a lot more punch to all your abilities based on weapon damage. Don’t try tanking with a fast weapon anymore!
  9. The pull matters – Be smart about pulling. You don’t need to blindly charge or leap 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. Don’t be shy with Crowd Control. It will make your healer’s life a lot easier if you do not try to take on all six mobs of a pull. Assign crowd control, mark mobs consistently (Simple Raid Target Icons works awesome for quick marking) and learn how to tank without breaking controlled mobs nearby.
  10. 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. Learn all glyphs that a protection warrior has any use for, find a scribe to make you some Dust of Disappearance or buy it for 10 gold each, and be prepared to swap major glyphs based on the encounter. Our prime glyphs are pretty self-explanatory, but we have a lot of room with our majors.
Filed under : basics, warriors | 37 Comments »
Jan 10 2011

Slowly getting there

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Happy new year! I know, it’s late, but it’s time for my first post of the year. :) Here’s a quick run-down of what I have been up to since Cataclysm dropped.

  • Leveled to 85. A no-brainer. Didn’t take anywhere as long as I feel it should have. As I actually enjoy the hell out of leveling, I really felt it just didn’t take long enough. I would have been with requiring all five new zones to get to 85, but it took me 3.5 zones to make it. Hyjal, Deepholm, Uldum, and some Twilight Highlands. Quests are polished and fun. I leveled as fury, and at no point ever felt really challenged by mobs. All deaths that happened were entirely based on me going afk in bad spots. I would have been fine with progress being tougher. Due to Victory Rush I didn’t have to sit and eat much at all.
  • Enjoying the storytelling. I actually really enjoyed the stories of all zones. I didn’t mind the Harrison Jones stuff in Uldum, though I know there’s a big ‘love it or hate it’ camp for those. If I have one complaint about Uldum, it is that I found the use of cut scenes excessive. Sometimes I just sat there and felt that I would prefer playing over watching yet another cut scene. I thought the finale of Hyjal was fantastic. The quests about the Maw of Madness in the Twilight Highlands were excellent. Above all, I enjoyed the character continuity. Especially the Earthen Ring shamans, but also the old Zul’Aman crew, have recurring roles. I was especially fond of that tiny, angry woman, Stormcaller Mylra. I really need to level my dwarf shaman. :)
  • Diving into heroic content. I will frankly say that I love the new heroics. I love the challenge, the difficulty, the CC requirements, the time investment. I love having to chain cooldowns and bringing my a-game. It brings a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment to me when I can complete one of those new heroics. I haven’t done all instances yet. So far I have completed Blackrock Caverns, Vortex Pinnacle, Deadmines, Halls of Origination and Grim Batol on heroic. I found Deadmines and Grim Batol the most challenging, for sure. The toughest individual bosses for me were Altairus, Admiral Ripsnarl and Erudax. Go DIAF, Erudax. *rages* Grim Batol was the first ever heroic I extended the lock for, so that we could go finish Erudax off the next day. However, the time requirement is biting me a bit in the ass. During the week, I just don’t have the time to run heroics, or my timezone prevents my usual crew from being around. But it’s all good.
  • Working on my gear. I have three pieces of 333 gear left that I hope to upgrade asap. The bracers will be replaced with the Ramkahen rep ones, the gloves just need to drop, and the legs will either be bought with JP or Neptulon will be kind to me. My biggest hurdle right now is expertise. I actually switched to a DPS axe from H Deadmines, because it gives me tasty, delicious racial bonus expertise. Reforging is awesome, yo. I am close to my expertise goal of 26, after that I will have to check my gear for balance before we start raiding in February.
  • Leveling my shaman. The shaman is 75% through 84 and will be my 2nd level 85 character very soon. I have been a brave healer and have done some pugged instances, mostly Stonecore. What I noticed is that I feel more confident about shaman healing again. So far I am not running into mana issues, but it’s definitely not the endless mana pool that we got used to in WotLK. I also noticed that not a single tank is ever using any forms of CC in those instances. I am not sure what’s up with that. My personal theory is that it makes their epeens shrivel and wilt away, I have no other explanation for it. Can I heal this without CC? Sure. Would it be easier for everyone with CC? You betcha. Will every tank in the world pull all three groups of Devout Followers in the Stonecore because ‘lol, zerg’? My magic 8-ball says yes. My magic 8-ball also says that I will likely not continue pug-healing when I get to heroics.
  • Not blogging. Should have been obvious. I really want to remedy this, because I started this instance guide and then kinda lost steam. Now that I am running those instances as heroics, I will probably focus the guides on tactics for both regular and heroic versions.

What’s been up with you guys? Busy raiding again? Doing heroics? Just leveling up? Hope you are having a good time. Happy WoW year. :)

Filed under : ramblings | 21 Comments »
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