Warrior – Prot (Level 80)

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Hello everybody. First, I would like to tell you something about myself and what you can expect from this “guide”.

I play wow (= warrior) since january 2009. I switched several servers, before I ended here. Majority of my playtime was spend on protection (even though I am an altoholic playing all classes), and I PVP only rarely. I love math, theorycrafting, and testing.

Warrior threat generation was fixed (as of 6/2015). We are now doing pretty good threat. How good warrior tank you are going to be depends on how well you can use all the tools you have at your disposal – other tanks have many things included for free in their rotation, while warrior has to actively use them (attack speed slow f.e.) That being said Warrior has potential to take least damage out of all tanks. (Paladin instead provides awesome utility + ardent, Druid massive EHP pool, DK avoidance + selfhealing)

You will notice that I am not trying to say how are you supposed to play like many others. I dont want to – I want to provide resources, so you can find your own way. I want to present multiple possibilities and mention their consequences. Main reason for this is that I have only limited insight into your situation. I can tell you what worked for me and when and why. But you have to decide what will work best in your situation.

Feel free to check video of Warrior MT LoD by Shizel here.

1) Talents

Green = Must have
Red = Rage
Blue = Threat
Yellow = Other options

This is my general-use talent build. – As you can see I am not a fan of Rage talents. Its simply because I find them useless. When you are main-tanking you have enough rage for everything, when you are offtanking you don`t need rage.

If you find yourself lacking rage while maintanking, it means that you are heavily overgeared for the instance. Rather consider swapping to some dps gear (trinkets,…) while keeping defensive cap (“Stats” section).

Improved Thunder Clap
Attack speed slow is a great dmg reduction and 30% bonus dmg from Thunder clap is awesome aoe threat bonus.

Incite
15% crit to HS, Cleave, Thunder Clap – great for both aoe and single target threat.

One-Handed Weapon Specialization
10% bonus dmg ~= 10% bonus threat.

Improved Disciplines
Awesome synergy between this and Glyph of Shield Wall (“Glyph” section). Great for Gunship and LK, especially on heroic difficulty.

Safeguard
External defensive cooldown usable every 30s. Very good, if you offtank at LK (you can even mitigate EVERY soulreaper with this). Only downside is that your target will loose 10% of their total threat.

Improved Cleave
Good for aoe threat, especially at low gear.

Piercing Howl
Control Viles.

Commanding Presence
Nice boost to your EHP, but fury can take this, while loosing almost nothing.

Improved Demoralizing Shout
Increases attackpower reduction.

Impale
20% bonus crit dmg sounds great, especially when you realise how much bonus crit % you can have from other talents. Best optional threat talent. Only downside is that you need to waste 5 talents into arms tree to get this.

Deep Wounds
Even more threat from crits.

 

3) Glyphs
Glyph of Taunt
Increases spell hit chance of your taunt by 8%. This is together with 9% spell hit from gear a must have anytime you need to be sure that you will land your Taunt. You might be able to get a reset from your “Vigilance” in most cases, but those when you don`t = wipe.2.1) Survivability
Glyph of Last Stand
Decreases Last Stand cooldown by 3 minutes, making it 2 minute CD.Glyph of Shield Wall
Decreases Shield Wall cooldown by 2 minutes and lowers its damage reduction from 60% to 40%. Great synergy with “Improved Disciplines” (Talents) makes this ability 2 min cd. (40% dmg reduction is enough)

If you have both of those glyphs you can use a really strong defensive cooldown every minute. Pair that with Shield Block and 4t10 bonus and you can use defensive cooldown every 30s on yourself. Its my no1 choice also because you jump on gunship 1/minute (you have def cd for every jump) and LKs Soul Reaper has 30s cd. But both of those glyphs loose value on shorter fights, since you would be able to use them only once anyways.

Glyph of Blocking
Increses block Value by 10% after Shield Slam. Strong glyph for both survivability and threat.

Glyph of Enraged Regeneration
Increases healing of this ability. (heals you for 40% instead of 30%) of your total hp over 10s.

2.2) Threat
Glyph of Vigilance
Transfers 15% instead of 10% targets aggro.

Glyph of Devaste
Applies 2 stacks of sunder armor.
It is often unclear how this glyph increases aggro.. Devaste threat has 2 parts. 1 part is from damage dealt (which is increased with slower weapon – “Stats” section) and other part is constant for sunder armor effect, this glyph doubles this constant.

Glyph of Blocking
Increses block Value by 10% after Shield Slam. Strong glyph for both survivability and threat.

Glyph of Cleaving
Cleave hits 3 instead of 2 targets. Great for starting in dungeons.

Glyph of Shockweave
Lowers Shockweave cooldown from 20s to 17s. Again great for starting in dungeons.

2.3) Rage
Glyph of Revenge
Next Heroic Strike after Revenge is free.

Glyph of Heroic Strike
Crit with Heroic Strike returns 10 rage.

Both of those are great for leveling. I find them useless in raids (since I am not lacking rage at all), but if you need more rage and are not worried about survivability…

2.4) Minors
Glyph of Thunderclap
Increased range of Thunderclap makes it a bit easier to pull a huge amount of adds.

Glyph of Command
You don`t have to think about refreshing it that often.

Glyph of Battle
I use Battle Shout instead of Command in 5mans. And in bgs, when I am tired of pve.

Glyph of Charge
Better range on charge sometimes comes in handy.

Glyph of Bloodrage
No damage taken from Bloodrage, ok choice if you don`t have 4t10 (yet).

 

3) Abilities
Vigilance
Transfers 10% of targets threat to you. Resets taunt cd everytime your Vigilance target is attacked.
There are 2 logical targets for this ability. Damage dealear who does most threat (look at your meter). Or other tank. Place it on tank whenever you are sure that he is not going to have any threat problems. When I MT at LK I place this on top dps, and switch it to OT after burst (20s). I can then get any ghoul that runs away from either of us.3.1) At pull
Retaliation
Causes you to autoattack in retaliation to up to 20 attacks in next 12s.
Less risky than Recklessness, and my prefered. Battle Stance -> Retaliation -> Defensive Stance -> Charge to pull boss. Recklessness
Guarantees your next 3 special attacks to crit, but increses damage taken by 20% for its duration.
More risky, threat boost is about the same, but this time it is guaranteed, Retaliation threat boost is rng based. Again switch to Berserker Stance, use this, back to Defensive Stance, and use your top 3 abilities (skip Heroic Strike).

3.2) Single Target
Heroic Strike
Upgrades your next meele attack to ability. Which makes it impossible to be Glancing Blow. Adds minor dmg and treat bonus for each use.
Should be used on every attack, but skip a few Heroic Strikes if you are temporary out of rage.

Shield Slam
No 1 threat/GCD ability since it has additional 30% threat multiplyer.

Revenge
Strong 2 target dmg – 2nd best threat/GCD.

Devaste
Sunder armor replacement. Causes 120% of weapon dmg + bonus threat for application (or refreshment) of sunder armor effect.
3rd best threat/GCD if you have slow weapon (2.6). In case you have fast weapon both Shockweave and Concussion Blow should do a little more threat.
Note, that sunder armor and armor penetration are not the same effects and sundering armor further increases dmg even for hard arpen capped players. I might add the math later, for now you can trust me, that it increases physical dmg (except bleeds) by +-10%.

Rend
Rend can provide more threat than Devaste when boss is above 75% hp, Especially if you have it talented.

3.3) AoE
Cleave
Same as Heroic Strike, just makes your autoattack hit 1 more enemy.

Thunder Clap
Shockweave does more threat, but it is more difficult to land.
Use Thunder Clap on adds to slow them – so they can be easier positioned for Shockweave.

Shockweave
Huge frontal cone damage + stun.
Stuned mobs do not give you rage, keep this on mind when you approach huge number of adds and lack rage.

3.4) Shouts
Battle Shout
Use this for leveling or when you are lacking paladin might buff, and have destro lock/other war in group.

Commanding Shout
Do not let this fall, always refresh it before its down, not after it disappears.

Demoralizing Shout
Lowers attackpower of nearby enemies, causes minor amount of threat.
Surprisingly effective damage reduction especially at low lvls.

Intimidating Shout
AoE fear.
Helps CC at Lady.

Challenging Shout
Makes all nearby mobs attacking you for 6 seconds, does not alter threat tables (they will go back to their previous targets, unless you overaggro them meanwhile).

3.5) Situational
Consussion Blow
5s single target stun.
Should be quite good aggro source as well. (but many bosses are immune to this)

Mocking Blow
Causes target to attack you for 6s. Does not change threat table.
Great for using just before someone is going to take aggro from you. They will be first in aggro, but boss is still going to attack you, and you can safely taunt it once this effect ends.

Heroic Throw
One of your few ranged abilities.
You can use this while charging to boss at start.

Shoot
Or Throw, simply your ranged weapon.
Surprisingly good when you can not move and have to get Nucleii/shoot down Kinetic Bombs at bpc.

Bloodrage
Use before pull to get that starting rage. Otherwise pretty useless (unless you have 4t10).

Berserker Rage
Fear imunity.
BQL/some adds.

Disarm
Most bosses are immune. Has its uses in 5mans.

Shield Bash
Spell interrupt.
5mans, drake before Sindra.

Spell Reflection
Should be usefull on lady/Keleseth, but sometimes feels kind of buggy.

 

4) Defensive cooldowns
Shield Block
Doubles your shield block value. And increses your block chance by 100%.
Surprisingly strong. Guarantees to reduce incomming hit by at least almost 5k or almost 10k when critical block occurs. LK hits for 30-40k depending on Necrotic Plague Stacks. -> 12%/25% – 18% on average physical damage reduction for 10s. I am using this together with Bloodrage and trinket as defensive for every second Soul Reaper.Bloodrage (4t10)
Shield equal to 20% of your current max hp.
In my opinion significantly stronger than Enraged Regeneration. Since this hp comes instantly and not as a hot. Pop this whenever you get below 50%, unless you need it for something else.
Stacks with Last Stand.
Shield Wall
Your strongest Defensive cooldown. But you have to use it before you expect huge load of damage. Using it after you have dropped too low will not save you.

Last Stand
Increases your max hp by 30% for 20s.
Can be succesfully used both before and after incomming damage spike. Highest probability of saving you when you drop really low.

Enraged Regeneration
30% of your total hp over 10s.
Since its hot, you ussually use this only with conjunction with other abilities.

 

5) Stats

 

5.1) Survivability
Defense
Makes you immune to crits. (and increses avoidance)
Defense cap = amount of defense you need to be uncritable (note that defense still increases avoidance chance past this point) = 25 + 5 * attacker level. (= 535 for 5man heroics and 540 for raids)EHP
Efective health = Your max hp / (1 – percentage of armor reduction)
Basically tells you how much (physical) damage you can take without incoming heals before you die.
More of this stat is ussually better, but there are some exceptions (like loosing 0.3% EHP and getting 5% threat or avoidance).Note that armor reduction in game tooltip is vs lvl 80 opponent, for reduction vs raid bosses use this formula: Damage Reduction% = Armor / (Armor + 16 635). Damage reduction from armor caps at 75% (= 49 905 armor) which is unreachable.

Resistances
I might rewrite this myself later, for now read this Elitist Jerks article.
Usefull mainly for tanking Sindragosa (frost resist gear from bs and jwc) and Keleseth (tbc shadow resist gear).

5.2) Avoidance
Defense
Increases your chance to be missed, dodged, parried, and to block enemy attack.
Best avoidance stat.

Dodge
Second best avoidance stat.

Parry
Ussually not worth getting due to having higher diminishing returns than dodge. (If you have less dodge ratting than 1.88 * parry ratting, dodge provides more avoidance.)

Block
Not a pure avoidance stat. Reduces damage taken from enemy attack by a flat amount (which is counted after armor damage reduction).

Note: It is possible to get high-end unhittable set (getting enough avoidance to make block/dodge/parry or be missed by every enemy attack – outside icc ofc). It does not have much practical uses, but its fun for soloing vanilla/tbc world bosses. Since your block value is high enough to negate any physical attack.

I used it on third miniboss (the one that reduces armor) in RS 25n yesterday to test it out and it turned out to be great for this particular encounter. I took 150k dmg while tanking boss, and 2 offtanks (both paladins btw) each over 750k dmg from adds. Damage is more spiky though – let your healer know in case you are about to try this.

5.3) Threat
Weapon Speed
Slow weapon means (2.6) a little bit less aggro from Heroic Strike (less Heroic Strikes overall), but significantly more aggro from Devaste. Resulting in ~5% total threat increase.

Expertise
Reduces chance of being dodged/parried. (I believe that Warmane bosses do not parry atm, which makes Expertise less worth atm, but still 4 expertise ~= 1% of total threat).
Cap is at 22 expertise atm. (Should be at 26, might be repaired in the future.)

I consider one expertise item to be a must-have on warrior tank. On retail it was more desired stat due to:
Parry Haste
Whenever you or mob parries an attack, the attack timer of next attack is reduced. (Getting parryed = boss attacks faster -> you take more dmg.) I believe that it is currently broken on warmane, but I heared that it might occur sometimes – keep an eye on this and get more expertise in case you see any parry from boss.

Hit
Reduces chance of missing an attack. (1% of hit ~= 1% total threat increase)
Cap is at 8% of meele hit.
I highly recommend getting at least 9% of spell hit + Glyph of Taunt. (To make Taunt always hit.)

Don`t worry about rest, you will get it without focusing on it.

 

6) Gear

Piece of gear that is currently best for you depends on the rest of your gear and on particular encounter. Sometimes the best stat you can get is avoidance (3rd miniboss in rs/soloing), sometimes stamina and resistances (kele/sindra), sometimes EHP (lk mt – most of his dmg to you comes from his autoattack + he hits like a truck – armor shines in this fight).There are several variants of items fit for most of the slots (in order of general use viewability) together with reason why could it be best (f.e. avoidance means that its best item for getting as much avoidance as possible, but is not that good in other situations).

Head
Broken Ram Skull Helm – hit
Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Greathelm

Neck
Bile-Encrusted Medallion
Noose of Malachite – avoidance/hit

Shoulder
Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Pauldrons

Back
Royal Crimson Cloak
Sentinel’s Winter Cloak – armor

Chest
Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Breastplate
Blightborne Warplate – avoidance

Wrist
Bracers of Dark Reckoning
Gargoyle Spit Bracers – armor

Hands
Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Handguards

Waist
Belt of Broken Bones
Verdigris Chain Belt – armor

Legs
Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Legguards – expertise
Legguards of Lost Hope – hit

Feet
Treads of Impending Resurrection
Grinning Skull Greatboots – expertise

Ring
Devium’s Eternally Cold Ring
Juggernaut Band

Signified Ring of Binding – armor/resistances
Loop of the Twin Val’kyr – armor/easy to get

Trinket
Petrified Twilight Scale
Sindragosa’s Flawless Fang

Unidentifiable Organ – armor
Juggernaut’s Vitality – stamina
Corroded Skeleton Key – stamina/easy to get
Purified Onyxia Blood Talisman – avoidance
Corpse Tongue Coin – avoidance

Weapon
Havoc’s Call, Blade of Lordaeron Kings – weapon speed/armor(agility)
Bloodvenom Blade – weapon speed/armor(agility)/hit
Mithrios, Bronzebeard’s Legacy – stamina/expertise/avoidance

Shield
Icecrown Glacial Wall
Neverending Winter – avoidance

Ranged
Dreamhunter’s Carbine
Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets – hit/easy to get

 

7) Gems
Meta
Austere Earthsiege DiamondBlue
Solid Majestic ZirconRed
Regal Dreadstone – a little more avoidance
Shifting Dreadstone – little less avoidance, than 10 dodge, but some armor (1 agi = 2 armor)
Guardian’s Dreadstone – if you are desperately trying to find a bit more threat

Yellow
Vivid Eye of Zul – that last bit of hit to have taunt capped
Enduring Eye of Zul

You can go with 30 stam in every socket, but I higly recommend to keep at least every socket bonus that gives 6+ stamina.

 

8) Enchants
Head
Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector – Argent CrusadeShoulder
Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle – Sons of Hodir
Greater Inscription of the Gladiator – PVP
Fortitude of the Scourge – Voteshop
Master’s Inscription of the Pinnacle – Inscription onlyChest
Enchant Chest – Powerful Stats
Enchant Chest – Super Health

Hands
Enchant Gloves – Armsman
Glove Reinforcements – Leatherworking
Heavy Borean Armor Kit – Leatherworking (pick this over ^ on pure spell fights, otherwise armor provides more EHP.
Reticulated Armor Webbing – Engineering only

Feet
Enchant Boots – Tuskarr’s Vitality

Legs
Frosthide Leg Armor – Leatherworking

Wrist
Enchant Bracers – Major Stamina
Fur Lining – Stamina – Leatherworking only

Cloak
Enchant Cloak – Mighty Armor
Parachute from engineering is not worth it. (It is good only on VDW encounter.)

Shield
Titanium Plating – Blacksmithing (receipe is reward from reputation with Alliance Vanguard/Horde expedition)

You can also get defense ratting enchant -> use that one if you are below def cap (Stats section).
Other option is TBC enchant with 18 stamina – but its good only on full spell dmg fights (kele). – BV from plating synergizes well with Shield Block ability (defensives section).

Weapon
Enchant Weapon – Blade Ward – Not worth it, really low uptime.
Enchant Weapon – Blood Draining – Only EHP option, ~2.8k heal in ICC – my choice atm.
Scroll of Enchant Weapon – Exceptional Agility – I prefer this one to Mongoose, since I do not like procs while tanking.
QAEnchant Weapon Mongoose – Great enchant, but does not have 100% uptime.

 

9) Consumables
Flask
Flask of Stoneblood – Only flask worth using is 1300 hp. Last 2 hours, doesnt expire with death.Elixirs
You can use one battle and one guardian elixir instead of a flask. Downside is that they last only an hour and are removed if you die. There is wide variety of stats they provide – if you need to cap defense/expertise/hit… Best combination is probably:
Guru’s Elixir
Elixir of Protection
I recommend using Flask, especially during progression.Food
Blackened Dragonfin – Best food is agi (armor) + stam, you can also use hit/expertise food, but I would recommend getting those from gear. Fish Feast is good enough if you want to save the effort.

Potion
Indestructible Potion – Have a few stacks of those ready. They are usefull at LK the most. (prepot one and use second on the start of ph2).
Nelfs can make this pot to have 100% uptime with smeld

Scroll
Scroll of Stamina VIII

 

10) Proffesions
Best proffesions are ENG (885 armor on gloves + better health pots) + JWC (63 stam).
LW gives 62 stamina or 70 resist (better wrist enchant) and is 3rd.
ENCH, BS, Mining all give 60 stamina and are 4th.
I would not recommend getting Alchemy, Skinning, Tailoring, or Inscription, but difference is not that big at the end of the day..

 

11) Macros

Unhittable macro

/run ChatFrame1:AddMessage(format(“Unhittable at 102.4%% – you have %.2f%%”, GetDodgeChance() + GetBlockChance() + GetParryChance() + 5 + 1/(0.0625 + 0.956/(GetCombatRating(CR_DEFENSE_SKILL)/4.91850*0.04))))
it tells you your current total avoidance + block (change 5 to 7 in formula if you are Night Elf)

Pure avoidance

/run ChatFrame1:AddMessage(format(“Total avoidance: %.2f%%”, GetDodgeChance() + GetParryChance() + 5 + 1/(0.0625 + 0.956/(GetCombatRating(CR_DEFENSE_SKILL)/4.91850*0.04))))

it tells you your current total avoidance + block (change 5 to 7 in formula if you are Night Elf)

Whisper to focus “taunt”

/run SendChatMessage(“taunt”,”WHISPER”,nil,UnitName(“fo cus”))

Shout reminder

/in 180 /w your_name renew shout_name

this macro whispers you “renew bs/cs” 180 seconds after you used it – you can set it to /w you later I just like to know in advance

Mouseover Intervene

/cast [target=mouseover] Intervene

12) Addons
Tankpoints Helps with counting your EHP, you can change your stats with this addon as well to see how much would something improve your tanking ability.
GTFO Makes noise when you take dmg by avoidable source (you stand in marrow flame, etc). I find it very usefull since some such effects are a bit wider than their graphics here on molten.
Tidy plates Better nameplates.
Threat plates Theme for tidy plates that shows aggro percentage on nameplates.
Vigilance tracker Shows name of your vigilance target and allows simple recast.
DBM Shows incomming boss abilities. (important for timing your defensives)
Some threat monitor (I use Skada since it also gives me a look at heals + absorbs after the fight, but Omen is more common).
Any Raid frames to have good raid awarness (I use Grid2).

 

13) Tips & Tricks
AoE Threat
You don`t need full tank gear to tank trash, especially when you are overgeared. You can make set with 540 defense and rest of the gear being your dps parts. This is also a good idea for rdf hc`s (I often top rdf dmg with my prot war, even vs 6k rets).
Carefull with this in ICC, cause combat bug. (unless you are Night Elf as I am)Intervene
This ability also removes any movement slows – great for Sindragosa.Indestructible Potion
3.5k armor for 2 mins. Get a few stacks of those. Use them for LK. (prepot 1, use 2nd at the start of 2nd phase)
Nelfs can make this pot 100% uptime with Shadowmelt(it will reset pot cd), while MTaking – use pot at the end of transition phase, shadowmelt and immediatelly move.

Combat bug
Use combat bug to your adventage. You are not loosing rage while in combat – you can start every fight with 100 rage while in combat bug.

Engineering
I have second pair of gloves with rocket enchant (40y range, 45s cd) just for Keleseth. – Taking nucleuses at range while not having to move.
Second boots with nitro enchant for even better movement.
Second back with parachute is usefull for VDW. And for entering ICC while the entrance is full of enemy faction.