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!
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Batolis 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.