When it comes to tanking you have one job and that is reducing the amount of damage your party/raid is receiving as a whole. In order to accomplish this you need to do 2 things.
#1 – Get hit for less damage than anyone else in the group
#2 – Hold agro so that you are the one being hit
In order to succeed in either of these areas, 95% of the work is in preparation before your raid/dungeon group.
In order to mitigate as much damage as possible you need to get the best gear available to you, enchant your gear and get consumables.
Many players think that holding agro just means having the highest threat and that it comes down to skill. This is a falicy. Pushing the right buttons is not hard and you can even make macro’s to use the right abilities so all you have to do is mash 1 or 2 buttons.
In order to be a truly great tank you need to first understand threat mechanics inside and out. After that you need to understand how each of your abilities causes threat. Without this knowledge you may be amazing at tanking a single boss but fail horribly as soon as you have to tank multiple mobs or deal with boss mechanics that leave you with low rage. Knowing how the game works and how your abilities work allows you to adapt to any situation. In some cases you will need to take shield slam out of your rotation so you can use it to remove a buff on a boss/mob or stop using shield block because you don’t need the crush immunity in that situation but you really need more rage.
This guide is broken into 2 parts (Mitigation and Threat) with a short note on HP. There are plenty of good talent specs all over the internet and these forums so I won’t bother covering that. The intention of this guide is to cover all of the game mechanics related to a prot warrior in detail.
When a boss attacks you many different things can happen. The boss could miss, you could dodge, parry or block. The boss could crit you for increased damage or hit you with a crushing blow (also increased damage but not as much as a crit).
When a mob is higher level than you it has a chance to land a crushing blow that deals 50% increased damage. This is like a modifier on their normal attacks and a crushing blow can’t be a critical hit, it is one or the other.
Raid bosses (level ??) have a 15% chance to hit with a crushing blow.
When a mob is the same level as you and your defense skill is at it’s maximum for your level, it has a 5% chance to land a critical hit.
For each point of difference between your defense skill and a mobs weapon skill, the mob has a 0.04% increased chance to land a critical hit on you (if their weapon skill is higher than your defense skill) or a 0.04% reduced chance to land a critical hit on you (if their weapon skill is lower than your defense skill).
Mobs have a weapon skill equal to 5 * level. So a level 60 mob has a weapon skill of 300 and a level 63 mob has a weapon skill of 315.
Raid bosses are counted as level 63 so they have a 5.6% chance to land a critical hit on a level 60 warrior with 300/300 defense skill.
(315 – 300) * 0.04 + 5 = 5.6%
At 440 defense skill you have 125 higher defense than raid boss weapon skill which is a 5% reduction in their chance to crit, which reduces their chance to 0%. This is what everyone calls the “Defense Cap” but in reality it is the “Crit reduction cap” because the defense skill continues to give you dodge, parry, block and reduces the bosses chance to hit you when you go beyond 440.
Miss works exactly the same as critical hits except the opposite. Defense increases the mobs chance to miss you instead of decreasing it and as a result there is no attainable limit.
A Miss is very similar to a dodge or parry in that you take no damage from the bosses attack. Together these three outcomes are called “Avoidance” because it completely avoids the attack instead of reducing the damage of the attack like armor and block.
The difference between Miss and the other types of avoidance is that a mob can still miss you while you are stunned or otherwise incapacitated.
The Dodge, Parry and Block outcomes are covered later in the guide.
In order to determine the outcome of a mobs attack, the game constructs an attack table with 10,000 rows and fills it up with each possibility. If you have a 2% chance to dodge, then 2% of those 10,000 rows will say “Dodge”, if you have a 20% chance to block, then 20% of those 10,000 rows will say “Block”. Hit is added last and it fills the remaining rows.
Sometimes when you add up the percentages for all possible outcomes, the total is above 100%. In this case, each possible outcome has a priority. The highest priority outcomes are added to the table first and when the table is already full the remaining lower-priority outcomes are simply dropped. This is what it means when players say that you can push crushing blows off the attack table.
At first the attack table for the boss looks like this:
Total = 100%
Crushing Blow 15%
Now we use shield block which increases our chance to block by 75%, our attack table now looks like this:
Total = 100%
Notice that the block chance is only 78% instead of 83%, that is because some of our block is being pushed off the table.
This mechanic also means that it is impossible to block a crushing blow or dodge a critical hit. A single random value is generated between 1 and 10,000 and the corresponding row is pulled from the table. As a result, it is not possible to combine outcomes.
The outcomes that I already described are really properties that exist on the mob that you are fighting. The remaining stats are stats that exist on your character and they can be enhanced with gear and consumables.
When it comes to block there are 2 stats, Block Value and Block Chance.
This is the amount of damage that attacks are reduced by when you block. If you have a block value of 50 and a mob hits you for 100 on a normal hit, then when you block the attack it will only hit for 50.
This stat is determined by adding up the “block value” on all of your items. Some shields have a block value in white text and then a second block value in green. This is because the block on a shield is determined by it’s item level. Some shields have increased block value as a bonus stat, this is what shows up in green.
Stength also adds a little bit to your block value but it is a very small amount.
This is the chance that a block will occur and is affected by Defence, a shield enchant, the shield block ability and a few pieces of set gear.
You can only block attacks against mobs that are in front of you and you can not block while stunned or incapacitated.
You can’t block spells.
Pretty obvious, gives a 1% chances to not be hit.
You can only dodge attacks from mobs that are in front of you (NPC’s and pet’s are able to dodge attacks from behind, but players can NOT) and you can’t dodge while stunned or incapacitated.
Same as dodge plus reduces the time until your next auto attack by a little bit which makes it slightly better than dodge. If you have a straight choice of 1 dodge or 1 parry you might as well go parry but the difference is small.
You can only parry attacks from mobs that are in front of you. You can’t parry while stunned or incapacitated.
Each point of defense increases your dodge, parry, block and enemy miss chance by 0.04%. It also reduces the chance for enemies to crit you by 0.04%.
8 defense increases your avoidance by 0.96% so it is almost the same as 1 dodge or parry even when you are at the “Defense Cap” of 440.
Defense continues to reduce your chance to be crit or hit while you are stunned or incapacitated; however, you are still unable to block, dodge or parry.
Each point of strength increases your shield block value by ~0.05 (the formula is Block value = <total block value from gear> + [(Strength / 20) – 1]).
Each point of agility increases armor by 2 and your dodge chance by %0.05.
10 HP per stamina
Each point of armor increases your physical damage reduction. As your armor goes up each point increases the percentage of damage reduction by a smaller amount; however, each point of armor increases the amount of time you will live (without being healed) by the same amount.
You have 0 armor and 10,000 HP.
A certain mob hits you for 1000 damage every 1 seconds, so you will live for 10 seconds. (10,000 / 1,000) = 10
Adding 2000 armor increases your damage reduction from 0% to 25%.
You are now hit for 750 damage and will live for 13 seconds. An increase of 3 seconds.
Adding another 2000 armor only increase your damage reduction to 37.5%, not 50%.
You are now hit for 625 damage and will live for 16 seconds. An increase of 3 seconds.
Note: These are random made-up values to illustrate the point, actual values are much different but have the same effect.
Armor provides it’s full effect even when you are stunned or incapacitated.
Increases your chance to block attacks by 75% for 5 seconds (1 charge), this will push crushing blow off of the attack table.
You should have Shield Block up 100% of the time when fight raid bosses or any hard hitting trash mobs. When tanking a large number of mobs that don’t hit that hard, shield block is pretty much useless as the charges are quickly consumed.
It is very bad if you are tanking a boss and a small mob is hitting you at the same time. The small mob will consume your shield block charges allowing the boss to land crushing blows. Examples include welps on onyxia or Broodlord.
Shield block can also be used to force a block and allow revenge to be used. Sometimes this is useful when attempting to retain second on the threat list. You can stand in cleave range with shield block up in order to activate revenge.
The improved shield block talent goes up to 3/3 but you only need 1 point to gain a second charge, the extra duration is useless as bosses have a 2.5s attack speed (and should be slowed further by debuffs, see below).
This ability lowers a bosses attack speed and is by far the biggest damage reducing debuff that can be on a boss.
The instinct is to say that you should have this up on every boss 100% of the time but there are many cases when this is not true. If a boss does not hit that hard and your healers are bored, you should not be using thunderclap. If the boss attacks more often, then you can be hit more for increased rage (and by extension, threat).
Note: The MT should not be wasting global cool downs to use this ability, it should be kept up by off-tanks or
This ability can have a big effect on some bosses and should be up most of the time. Since it reduces boss damage instead of slowing down their attack speed you shouldn’t see too big of a rage increase when it is left off.
Putting anything more than 3 points into Improved Demo Shout has no effect on bosses as their attack power is reduced to 0 after 3 points; however, if warlocks in your raid are using Curse of Recklessness to reduce armor then you should have a warrior with 5/5 imp demo shout for harder bosses.
Note: The MT should not be wasting global cool downs to use this ability, it should be kept up by off-tanks or
You get this ability from talents and every prot warrior should have it. This ability can be used when you are low on health (to keep you alive temporarily until healers can catch up) or to increase your maximum health when you know a big hit will be coming soon (adds exploding on death during Garr for example).
Ideally your healers will have addons that show the duration of your Last Stand and can start casting their spells so they land shortly after it ends.
Note: When the ability ends your maximum health is first reset, then you lose the bonus health. You can be reduced to a minimum of 1HP when this runs out so be careful when you use it and warn your healers after using it.
Many warriors rarely use this ability. When you first hit 60 and start tanking dungeons it makes a world of difference. You should disarm anything that hits hard as often as possible. Some mobs also lose their special attacks when disarmed like the rogues in UBRS, they can’t gouge when disarmed.
When you get into raiding most bosses are immune to disarm but it can still be useful when tanking a large number of trash mobs or hard hitting trash mobs in BWL.
This is your ultimate “oh shit” button but much like last stand, you can use it pre-emptively when you know a big hit is incoming. It is on a long cooldown so be careful when you use it.
Always warn your healers when you use shield wall so they know to expect you to suddenly start taking a large amount of damage again. Ideally your healers will have addons that show the duration of your shield wall and can start casting their spells so they land shortly after it ends.
As for Improved Shield wall, if you are the MT then chances are you won’t need an increased duration on shield wall so I don’t recommend the talent; however, if you are the 2nd or 3rd tank and offten step up when a tank goes down, then the increased duration can be a huge help as you probably aren’t in the right gear to be tanking a boss.
If your guild is currently in progression and having difficulties on some bosses, then improved shield wall might be a good idea even for the main tank.
Berserker rage increases the amount of rage you receive when hit and makes you immune to fear.
This ability requires berserker stance but nobody says you have to stay in berserker stance after using it. As a prot warrior you absolutely must have at least 2/5 tactical master. This allows you to retain 10 rage when you switch to berserker stance, use berserker rage and then immediately switch back to defensive stance. You can also switch to use intercept. This is what we call “stance dancing”.
When you are tanking mitigation is more important than health. Most players think of their health as a full container and you want to keep it full. Instead, think of the health as an empty container that holds damage. The more health you have, the bigger that container is. It doesn’t matter how much damage is in that container, as long as the container isn’t over flowing.
Healers remove damage from your health container. With this mind set, it should be clear that your health is just a buffer. More health just gives you a bigger buffer so your healers have more time to heal you after taking damage. Being at 30% HP is not a bad thing but being at 30% for 5 seconds is. If you are getting as low as 30% HP all the time but you never die, you really don’t need more health. If you are at 30% for 5 seconds, you don’t need more health or mitigation, you need healers that aren’t sleeping. Why am I telling you this? Well, you need to watch what is happening while you play and make smart choices about gear and consumables that you use.
If you are using a flask of the titans (increases health by 1,200) but you never go below 1,200 HP for the duration of the flask, that flask was kind of a waste. This might not mean that you shouldn’t be using the flask. Maybe you could swap some of your gear with high stamina for gear that has higher mitigation (armor, defense, dodge, parry, etc.) but lower stamina.
The point is, do not go overboard on health. You need enough to survive any bursts of damage that you will be hit with but after you reach that point, any more health is a waste and you should be gearing for more mitigation. If you have really good healers with you, then you don’t need as much health. If your healers still have terrible gear and don’t use many consumables, you might need a high health pool.
There are some fights where a boss can hit so hard in a very short time frame (1-2 seconds) that you actually want to swap out some low-stamina/high-mitigation gear for higher stamina gear.
When it comes to how threat works there are tons of class specific modifiers that change things. In order to keep things simple let’s just start with the basics and ignore all of the modifiers and exceptions.
Every PvE mob in the game has a hidden threat table that keeps track of every player’s “Threat”. In general, every time a player does 1 damage, 1 threat is added to their total on the mobs threat table.
The mob will “agro” which ever player has the most threat on it; however, when a second player increases their threat above the mobs current target, it will not switch targets immediately. Mobs wait until a player has 10% higher threat than their current target before switching agro to the new player.
If the new player is standing further than 10 yards away (I can’t remember the exact value, someone help me out here), the mob will wait until the player has 30% higher threat than the current target.
MrTank has 100 threat on a Harvest Watcher. MrRogue then walks up and starts attacking the Harvest Watcher. He ambushes it gaining 109 threat, the Harvest Watcher continues to attack MrTank, even though MrRogue has 9 more threat.
Next, MrRogue punches the Harvest Watcher gaining 2 threat and now has 111 threat, the Harvest watch immediately switches targets and starts to attack MrRogue.
A few minutes later, MrTank is attacking a Goretusk and has 100 threat. MrMage then walks up and hits the Goretusk with a frostbolt gaining 129 threat. MrMage now has 129 threat while MrTank only has 100 threat but MrMage is standing 30 yards away so the Harvest Watcher continues to attack MrTank.
MrMage then uses his wand and gains 2 more threat, the Harvest Watcher immediately changes targets to MrMage and starts to run towards him.
In reality, very few attacks actually cause threat on a 1:1 ratio with their damage. Most Melee DPS classes have a hidden threat modifier of 80%, that means that for every 10 damage they cause, they only generate 8 threat on the creatures attack table.
Warriors in defensive stance and druids in bear form have a threat modifier of 130%, that means that for every 10 damage they cause, they generate 13 threat on the target.
Many classes also have talents that reduce or increase the threat caused by their attacks and abilities. Warriors and Druids can gain a second threat modifier of 115% which stacks multiplicatively with their stance modifier. That means the threat caused is calculated with the following formula [Damage] * 1.3 * 1.15 = [Threat].
There are also player buffs that add threat modifiers like Salvation (30% decrease) and Tranquil Air Totem (20% decrease).
Abilities with Bonus Threat
In addition to threat modifiers, some classes have abilities that cause bonus threat. Most of these abilities have a note in their tooltip that says something like “this ability causes a high amount of threat”.
There are two types of bonus threat from abilities, the most common is a flat threat modifier. This means that there is a static amount of threat added to the attack when you use that ability. So the final threat caused by the ability is [damage + bonus threat] * [modifer1] * [modifier2] …
The second type of bonus threat is a multiplier. Instead of adding a flat amount of threat to the ability, it instead multiplies the threat caused. Instead of causing 1 threat for each damage, the ability causes 2 threat for each damage. This type of ability is not very common at all, some examples are Maul (druid), Mind Blast (priest). There are also a few abilities that function the same as the flat threat modifiers but they subtract threat instead of adding it. One example of this is Feint (rogue).
Healing and Buff threat
When it comes to healing or buffing other players things get a bit more complicated. Healing other players causes 1 threat for every 2 health healed (note: overhealing causes no threat). Each buff has a flat amount of threat that it causes and some have a flat amount of threat caused per player that is buffed.
If you are in a group of 5 players and currently fighting 3 different mobs, which mob should have your threat added to it’s table when you cast a healing spell on another player? The answer is, you add threat to all 3 mobs.
Any threat caused by healing or buffing other players is divided among all of the mobs within a certain radius. I don’t know the exact radius but it is big enough that we can effectively say that the threat is divided among all of the mobs that are currently in combat with your group.
Your group is fighting 3 mobs and you heal someone for 600 health causing 300 threat. The threat is then divided among all 3 mobs so you have 100 threat added to your total on each of the mobs tables.
This means that if a tank runs up to three mobs and hits one of them, then the healer casts a heal on anyone (or buffs anyone) the healer now has a small amount of threat on all three mobs. Since the tank only has threat on 1 mob, the healer is now agro’d by the remaining 2 mobs (even 1 threat is more than 30% higher than 0 threat).
On the flip side, if the tank pulls 3 mobs by shooting one with his bow, then uses battle shout to buff all 5 members of the party, the tank now has a small amount of threat on all 3 mobs. If the healer then buffs or heals anyone for a small amount, they have to exceed the tanks threat by 30% to pull agro. If the heal was small enough (for example, renew ticking on one party member) all 3 mobs will probably stay agro’d on the tank.
Threat from Power Gain
Aside from damage, abilities with bonus threat and healing there is one last way to add threat to mobs. Any time your character gains mana or rage it causes a small amount of threat on all mobs in combat, just like healing threat. This does not apply to normal mana regeneration due to spirit or “x mana per 5 seconds” gear. It applies to things like mana potions, rage potions and drinking/eating. Generally speaking, if the power gain shows up in the combat log, it probably generated a tiny bit of threat.
Initially I did not include this section in the guide because it deals with such a minuscule amount of threat. You will never have to worry about someone pulling agro off of you with power gain threat nor will you ever use it as a tool to hold agro.
That said, in any situation where there are multiple mobs in combat and you have 0 threat on any of them, power gain threat is suddenly a big deal. If you pull 5 mobs while a caster is sitting in the back drinking, any mob that you have 0 threat on will immediately head straight for the caster.
If a mob is currently attacking you and you use taunt, the ability does nothing.
If a mob is attacking someone else and you use taunt, your threat is first set to the SAME as the mobs current target. The mob is then forced to switch agro to you.
AoE taunt abilities do not work in the same way, Challenging Shout (warrior) and Challenging Roar (druid). These abilities force every mob in range to attack you for the duration but it does not change your threat.
Many raid bosses are immune to taunt.
Special Boss Mechanics
There are some boss abilities that also effect threat but outside of raiding they are very rare.
These abilities come in various forms, the most common are abilities that reduce the threat of anyone hit by either a set amount or percentage (usually 50%). As a general rule of thumb, any knock-back ability will also reduce threat by 50%.
Some bosses will have a threat wipe where their threat table is either completely cleared after using an ability or the threat of their primary target is reset to 0.
Infinite rage and low rage, two different types of tanking
When tanking a raid boss you will often gain rage far faster than you can use it. This is due to the boss hitting you quite hard. This is the situation most people are talking about when giving advice on how to generate the maximum amount of threat. If you have infinite rage then ignore the rage cost of your abilities and simply use those that generate the most threat.
Unfortunately, you won’t be in this situation all the time. Sometimes you have to generate the most threat that you can but with limited rage. The most common situations are tanking 5man dungeons in MC or BWL gear (you simply don’t get hit hard enough to generate rage) or when off-tanking a boss in BWL. In the previous section I mentioned that some bosses will reduce your threat during the fight. There are also some abilities that will stun your character and the boss will ignore you for the duration.
This means that on many fights you need 2 tanks so that when the first tank has their threat reduced or is stunned, the boss will attack the second tank instead of the DPS. It is difficult to be the off tank in this situation because you only generate rage from your auto attacks and have a lot less to work with. For these situations, you really want to use abilities that generate the most threat PER RAGE instead of simply the most threat overall.
Threat per rage is included in (brackets) beside the ability name. Defensive stance and 5/5 defiance are assumed.
Sunder Armor (25 untalented, 32 with talents)
Sunder armor generates 260 base threat. Modified by defensive stance and 5/5 defiance -> 260 * 1.30 * 1.15 = 388 threat. Sunder armor continues to generate the same amount of threat after the mob has 5 applications of the debuff.
Heroic Strike (NA)
Rank 8 adds 138 damage and a flat 145 threat to your auto attack (157 damage and 175 threat with Rank 9 from AQ). Combined that is 283 base threat.
To get your total threat multiply by 30% for defensive stance and again by 15% for defiance. It comes out to 423 threat per heroic strike.
Heroic Strike replaces an auto attack and does not generate any rage. Since an auto attack generates rage you have to add the rage that would have been generated to the rage cost of heroic strike. In short, a Heroic Strike has lower threat per rage than sunder armor so in any situation where you care about the threat per rage, spend your rage on sunder armor instead of heroic strike.
When you have plenty of rage and are not concerned with the threat per rage of the ability, then heroic strike is excellent because it can be used at the same time as your other abilities. Since heroic strike has no cooldown, the only restriction on how often it can be used is the speed of your weapon. The ability always adds the same amount of threat so the faster your weapon, the better this ability is.
In order to compare weapon threat based on speed it’s easiest to look at the threat per second. Simply divide the total threat from heroic strike by the weapon speed for the total threat per second.
Thunderfury – 1.90 speed -> 423 / 1.9 = 222.632 tps
Alcor’s – 1.30 speed -> 423 / 1.3 = 325.385 tps
As you can see, heroic strike will generate 102 more tps with a 1.3 speed weapon than a 1.9 speed weapon.
Shield Slam (45+ increased by 1 for every 13 block value)
Shield slam has a flat +250 threat modifier on top of threat from damage. Shield slam crits can do over 1500 threat.
This ability has the highest burst threat and is by far your best option for quick agro at the start of a fight. When it comes to threat per rage, Shield Slam is the only ability that sees a large increase on a crit (a heroic strike crit is a lost opportunity for an auto attack crit which actually makes the threat per rage even lower than a hit).
Revenge (63 with rank 5, 71 with rank 6)
Revenge can only be used after you block/dodge/parry. It uses a very low amount of rage and causes a little bit of damage but has 315 bonus threat (355 with Rank 6 from AQ).
This ability has the highest threat per rage so always use it in place of sunder armor when it is active.
Cleave has a flat threat modifier of 100 threat on top of damage caused. The threat is applied to both targets hit by cleave, not just the primary target. Cleave should always be used instead of heroic strike when tanking 2 or more targets. After threat modifiers Cleave adds 197 threat to the primary target and 197 + auto attack threat to the secondary target.
Much like Heroic Strike, Cleave replaces an auto attack and should only be used if you have rage to burn.
Battle shout causes 55 threat PER party member buffed with battle shout. This results in 411 threat (after stance and talent modifiers) divided among all mobs in combat; however, all party members must be within 20 yards to receive the battleshout buff.
Demo shout causes a small amount of threat to each target that is debuffed. With 3-4 targets this isn’t enough to keep agro off your healer; however, when tanking a large number of mobs, (for example the imps on the way to luci in MC or the goblins in the BWL lab packs) the healing agro is spread among so many mobs that you can keep agro by spamming demo shout. The reason why is because healing threat is divided among all of the targets that the healer is in combat with. That means if you get healed for 4000hp while tanking 10 mobs, each mob is only getting 200 threat from that heal (less if the healer has threat reducing talents/buffs). After 2-3 demo shouts even a big crit heal shouldn’t pull agro.
In a 5 man with 1 AOE caster this isn’t enough as that one caster will have to do 100% of the damage to kill all of the mobs, which works out to way too much threat (you’d have to stand there spamming demo shout for 5+ minutes just to hold agro until the mobs die). In a raid, we have a lot more AOE casters which means the total threat generated in killing those mobs is divided among many casters.
In short, demo shout can be used to hold aoe agro, but only really in a raid setting.
Bloodrage gives you 10 rage (15 with talents) and a 10s buff that gives 1 rage every second.
This ability generates a small amount of threat on use and on each tick. If you are an off-tank and have this buff ticking while your raid pulls a boss with lots of adds, they may all head straight for you on the pull. This is the leading cause of bad pulls and boss wipes in MC for many guilds.
On the other hand, if you are tanking a 5man instance it might be a good idea to use blood rage just AFTER pulling as it will add little bit of threat to each mob.
Don’t be afraid to use bloodrage in combat if you are low on rage, even if you haven’t lost agro yet. Keep in mind that it does damage you slightly so be smart and refrain from using it in combat if your are low on health or the healer is running out of mana.
This ability requires battle stance and functions like a mini-taunt. It does not change your threat like taunt but it does force the mob to attack you for 6 seconds. Otherwise the ability causes threat just like any other warrior ability and it does have a threat bonus.
This is another stance dancing ability. A good warrior will be able to quickly stance dance and use mocking blow when taunt is resisted. It does not solve the problem completely but it does buy you time to wait for your taunt coodlown or try to increase your threat above the player who pulled. Unfortunately, most players don’t understand what is happening when your taunt is resisted (even if you announce that taunt was resisted in voice chat) and will continue to DPS hard after you use mocking blow. You should be prepared to lose agro as soon as mocking blow runs out.
TF is a bit more work to calculate, first we have to break down all the components of the proc that cause threat.
300 Nature damage, primary target -> 300 base threat
Attack speed debuff, primary target -> 92 base threat
NR debuff, all targets hit -> 149 base threat
In total that’s 541 base threat on the primary target per proc. Multiplied by defensive stance + defiance -> 541 * 1.3 * 1.15 = 808.80 threat per proc.
Now we need to get a tps estimation in order to compare with alcor’s 102tps bonus due to heroic strike.
The easiest way to do this is to spread out the threat from the proc across all attacks that can cause a proc. In short fights this will be wildly inaccurate but in a boss fight it should come out to a pretty close approximation.
We have 2 types of attacks that can proc TF, auto attacks / heroic strikes and instant attacks on the global cooldown, which are sunder armor and revenge. These two sets of attacks do not interact with each other so we’ll treat them as two different independent sets and add the tps together at the end.
Auto attack / heroic strike is one attack every 1.9 seconds. TF has a 15% proc chance so let’s add 15% of the total threat from the proc to each attack -> 808.80 * 0.15 = 121.32
Now let’s account for the 1% resist chance, again, the easiest way is to just factor the resist chance into every proc by reducing the threat per attack by 1% -> 121.32 * .99 = 120.107 threat per attack.
Now we account for the attack speed -> 120.107 / 1.90 = 63.214 threat per second
Now let’s look at sunder and revenge. These attacks are on the global cooldown so they occur every 1.5 seconds BUT we are also using some attacks on the gcd that can’t proc TF, mainly shield slam. Assuming we use a rotation that is something like this: 0.0s Shield Slam -> 1.5s Revenge -> 3.0s Sunder -> 4.5s Sunder -> 6.0s Shield Slam. We can see that we are getting in 3 attacks that can proc TF every 6 seconds then the rotation restarts.
3 attacks every 6 seconds is 1 attack every 2 seconds, now we can do the same calculations that we did for auto attacks and heroic strike but using 2.0 as the attack speed instead of 1.9, since the calculations are exactly the same until the last step, let’s just do the last step with the new attack speed -> 120.107 / 2.0 = 60.054 threat per second.
In total that is 123.268 tps, ~20 tps higher than a 1.3 speed weapon.
If you are horde and have access to windfury, then thunderfury is even better. The proc can occur on your extra attacks but windury does nothing for a 1.3 speed weapon.
It shouldn’t need to be said but thunderfury is the absolute king when it comes to tanking multiple mobs. The NR debuff adds threat to every target hit by it and each hit by your cleave/WW should be able to proc individually.
Note: Alcor’s also has a damaging proc that increases it’s threat generation a little bit but it is much lower than 20 tps.