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 Warrior Tank Guid

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PostSubject: Warrior Tank Guid   Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:40 am

Warrior tank guid

The first thing we must talk about is the multiple functions of a tank, and this guide will review only the ones of the Warrior class, considering that I have little experience with the Paladin class, and even less with the Feral or Druid class.

A tank is what a player becomes when he finds himself holding threat (or aggro) of a certain Mob or Monster, and taking it's damage, preventing the other players of the party or raid from taking direct damage. That would be my definition anyway, and it can often change depending of the fight. There are two "known" jobs in which a tank can perform:

Main Tanking:
Basically, the "Tank" job, you will be directly responsible for the security of your group, through mitigation, positioning, and making sure to hold enough threat so that other players in your raid can do as much damage as they can without getting aggro. Truth must be said, sometimes this position is quite wanted by some people in order to gain a kind of "fame" or "respect". If you intend to do this job, leave that aside, and concentrate on doing your job the best that you can for your group.

The MT's job can be quite stressful as well, and is probably one of the jobs that will you make hate this game if you weren't "born" for it. You must be active and vigilant throughout the whole instance, if it's a raid it can take several hours, and you cannot go away for a minute without warning, because people will die due to that. A rogue can go away a moment without telling anyone and most of the time no one will find out, you, on the contrary, go away a moment and everyone will know you were not on the ball. Yes, the job sounds scary, but you decided to take the responsibility.

Off Tanking:
Okay, not as bad as the Main tank, but you still have quite some responsibility, especially if the MT decides to stop living and wants to play with the worms on the floor. I often find myself with OTs that are not doing what I believe is a secondary part of tanking, but rather doing DPS. This is a misconception of the job, although it is true at the same time. An Off Tank on the same target as the MT is trying to build threat on it, so that in the case that the MT dies, he will be holding threat.

But that's not it! A Main Tank is in defensive and can hardly move away from it. It is the OT's job to Thunder Clap the target (an excellent skill many times not used), since it must be done in Battle Stance, or in some rare cases where the Mob is positioned in such a way that it's too far away from the Main Tank, yet the Main Tank is hitting him, and he can't use Demoralizing Shout, then you'll have to provide that as well. If you have been entitled with this position, then remember you are the Main Tank's mate, and he relies on you for certain things he can't do. Help him in the best of your abilities, his job is hard enough as it is.

2b. Onto Tanking..


# a) Mitigating Damage:


Maintaining the target on you, creating threat or aggro on that target so it will stay hitting you directly, and not others in your party will obviously incur in you taking that damage. Why you and not someone else? First of all, if you have been appointed or decided to become a tank, you will be geared in such a way (gear is reviewed in another section, check summary) that you will be taking less damage per hit than other possible options in your party or raid. This will not always be true, since an assigned tank could die and you could find yourself becoming the Main Tank due to your threat, over a better geared tank, who could not create such a high amount of threat in time, whose taunt was resisted, who just got a blue screen, or was afk (away from the keyboard) with auto-attack on.

Your first and most important job is done even before engaging, and that is knowing how the encounter works. Whether you read a guide about it before-hand, or you are in a learning process, you must take into account what the mob that you are about to face is able to do. Does it have a cone breath attack 90 in front of his face? Does it have a tail with which it can kick other people? Does it spit venom clouds on the ground in a controlled way? Etc.

All these are factors that you must be aware of, and take them into account while tanking. After making sure the target is on you ( creating enough threat or aggro to have it on you), this will be your biggest worry, and must act accordingly and POSITION the mob in such a way that none of these factors will be a problem for the raid, if they are avoidable at all.

Once the immediate damage to the raid issue has been corrected, the damage to you will be your primary worry in this area. There is not much you can do in the middle of a fight to change the way you are geared other than make sure to switch to MH/Shield if you suddenly become tank in the middle of the fight (this is best done via a macro that will switch between your other weapon sets and this one, and if you can't do a macro, here is a good mod that can do it for you: StanceSets v3 http://www.curse-gaming.com/mod.php?addid=2617). Shield Block will immediately become your friend, not only will it help mitigate, but it will trigger a block which will trigger Revenge, an excellent threat creating ability.

There are several means to increase your mitigation via gear and talents. Not going too deep into the subject since it'll be talked about again in the Gearing section, we'll talk about a few stats and introduce you to them. First of all, dodge, parry and blocking. All three of them prevent damage, the first two the whole hit, and block for as much as your block value.

Next we have defense, a very important stat for tanks. It'll affect a brutal number of factors while tanking, such as your dodge, parry and block, but not only that, it'll also decrease the chance of your character being hit (or increase the chance of being missed), decrease the chance of suffering a critical strike and the chance of suffering a crushing blow (this one though, you can't avoid by means of gear). The exact number of the increase for dodge, parry and block is 0.04% per defense point, and the same figure for the chance of being crit ( and a mob has 5% chance to crit, hence at level 60, you would become immune to critical strikes from mobs at 440 defense).

Last of all I'd like to talk about the Avoidance Cap "Myth". You'll hear people every now and then tell you that there is an avoidance cap, that you can't reach a certain point where you would be able to 100% dodge or parry a mob (I think the biggest idea going around is that you can't go over 60%). This is in fact false, there is no such cap, and it has been stated by Blizzard that this cap does not exist, although you obviously can't reach it at this point in the game.

In any case, just keep in mind that your job isn't to avoid all the damage (you would get no rage for getting hit then!), but to avoid a good percent of the damage so your healers don't have major problems, making your best effort to avoid spike damage as much as you can. Spike damage would be a lot of criticals being received, and your health bar spiking a lot, making it very difficult to heal. It is always good to talk to your healers and find out what worries them and what they think would be best while gearing up, to prioritize stats. In any case, your best weapon to fight spikes is Defense.



# b) Pulling and Positioning:


The first thing once the battle has started, and you have studied how to approach it, is gaining aggro on your target and force it to stay on you. As you know by now, this is done by rage, and high threat producing abilities, such as Sunder. You have two options to go on this, which can even be mixed. Whether the target is being pulled to you or not, you can either start with a taunt, which will give you time to land something else even if the first misses, but is a dangerous ability, since you will be without it for quite a few seconds, where many things could happen and you could have used that taunt (luckily, you can still use Mocking Blow or Challenging Shout at this point).

If you are preparing for a fight, and until this is fixed, you can select your target, hit attack even though you are far away, and start hitting Bloodrage every minute. The rage will stay there, and even increase if you have the talent Anger Management (this will be fixed). At the moment of the pull, you can have a Heroic Strike ready to go, taunt and sunder, and unless you are very unlucky, all three won't miss and you'll have enough rage to even hit some more abilities, or you can hit Shield Block, taunt and use revenge immediately after, which is a ton of threat, there are even more ways to get initial aggro. In dungeons like Molten Core, if your guild wants to go fast and steady, you can stop hitting targets with rage-needing abilities to have enough rage to continue pulling and keep the targets on you even if warlocks and hunters are attacking before you even hit the target.

So basically, rage is your friend, keep a few rage potions with you no matter where you go, as they always are handy, and needed to maintain aggro.

Positioning, which was already mentioned in mitigation, is a part of pulling too. As soon as the target is on you, and you are secure enough that it will stay like that, move it to a position where it will not endanger your party or raid. Some mobs heal themselves if too close, others have cone frontal attacks, other spit venom or throw bombs. Positioning is one of the most important parts of tanking, and doing it correctly will mean victory for your group. For example, do not position a cleaving mob in the middle of your healing camp, they won't last long.
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PostSubject: Re: Warrior Tank Guid   Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:40 am

Many fights in the game are based around using walls or doors, each fight itself is different, but you must always be aware of your surroundings and how to use them. A wall properly placed and used can avoid your group from taking damage, while you must remember that you need healed, and if you are out of Line of Sight you will get no heals, and die. So this takes us to the next part of positioning.. which is the damned Line of Sight and Out of Range!

No matter what you do while tanking, you must remember that you need heals. And if you position yourself and your mob in an unreachable area, without previous warning, and not enough time given to healers, you are toast. Communicate heavily with your healers, either by voice-communicating software or learning how to type quickly while tanking.

In any case, remember that positioning is no matter what one of the most important things while tanking, and must be always present on your mind.



# c) Threat:


So we got to this, which is quite simple to explain quickly, but so hard to understand. There is a post in the Warrior forums that explains quite well the value of certain abilities through testing. There is even a mod by Kenco that will measure your threat. Studying these values certainly helps, but it's not all that it takes to hold aggro. Taunt spamming every time it's up is not the answer either, this ability is dangerous to use.

The best way to hold aggro, is whatever you make out of it. You can study it as well as you wish and still be surprised every now and then. I will cover the use abilities in it's own section and explain how much threat each of them produces and how they are best used (in my opinion), but in this section I will mention that a good combination of them will do wonders. Sunder is one of the best abilities we have to hold threat, and as you should know by now, after 5 sunders, it still produces the SAME amount of threat.

You do not need to be protection for tanking and holding threat well, in fact, you may find it easier to hold threat with other specs while keeping Defiance. That's going to be highly depend on how your guild/raid/party plays, and there is no absolute truth about it, simply because the situations vary so much. One thing is true though, if you understand all of the threat terms well, you will have a much easier time adapting to a style of play or another, and do your job way, way better.

In battle or Berserker stance, a warrior produces 80% of threat per damage point or innate threat of abilities. Defensive stance produces 130%. Defiance adds 15% to this. This information is not all that useful on a daily basis unless you are calculating your threat, so by saying that "You produce much more threat by being in Def. stance" and "Defiance helps produce more threat" you'll be safe. Knowing those numbers though, is usually something good to remember and will tell you, just so you know exactly how much more threat you need to be making in different conditions.

No matter what, all of this doesn't matter if you don't have rage. Rage is how warriors produce threat, and without rage, then you'll have no threat generation. So a few things on this:

Taunting, make use of this skill when needed, but remember that if something bad happens, you need to have it available. Using it to force the target to hit you and gain rage is great, or to hit shield block and a rage and keep it on you, or whatever you may think of. Taunt will also equal your threat to that of the highest target, but then you will have to make up a 10% of extra threat to keep that target on you. This is what we call the "10% rule".

This rule is very simple, and it just means that even if you have more threat than another target on a certain mob, it must be 10% higher to that of the person who currently has aggro to gain aggro, else, it will stay on it's target. Taunt will automatically reach that person's threat level, so you can make the other 10%.

On controlled fights where you must switch aggro and the mob is tauntable, remember this and start saving rage right before you are making a switch, so that you can make it clean, and by clean I mean taunt, spam your abilities, and keep aggro, instead of watching the target bounce back to it's original target after you taunted.

Now let's talk about white damage. Many people don't think that much about it, but this is quite a huge amount of threat. Remember all those percentage numbers that Defensive stance and defiance add to your abilities? Well, they also multiply the threat of your white damage! So let's try to understand this, because it is not easy to. You have abilities with innate threat, with Sunder and Heroic strike being great examples. Sunder Armor deals no damage whatsoever, but it's obvious it produces threat (261 in comparison to damage without any modifier). Heroic strike, deals damage, so on top of it's innate threat (145 with no modifiers at rank Cool, it will be dealing that extra damage that is also multiplied by your threat modifiers.

Quite damn nice isn't it? HS rocks! Why use Sunder at all?! Well, first of all, Sunder is an instant attack, whereas HS is not. Second, Sunder increases the damage of your abilities and the threat you will cause on a fully sundered mob with other abilities (not to mention the rest of your party's and raid's damage). And third, which is what interests us in this paragraph: HS uses your next swing attack, so you will not be hitting with white damage, which not only gives you it's normal threat, but also adds rage by hitting, while HS only removes. So with slower weapons like Spineshatter, HS becomes less attractive as rage generation is not normalized. You will be getting more rage per white hit, and, although slower than with a white weapon. It is really going to be dependent on how much rage you have to decide whether you will be using HS or not.

So yes, DPS does in fact matter while tanking, but threat producing abilities are needed to hold aggro, and produce a higher amount of threat (although not all that much). This bit of knowledge will help you throughout the rest of your tanking career, every 1.9, 2.0, 2.3, 2.6 seconds or whatever your tanking weapon speed is. HS will sometimes be good to use, and other times it'll be best to save it so you can obtain more rage per hit. The only exception is when you have unlimited rage, and there is only one fight in this game that has that description, Vaelestrasz the Corrupt in Blackwing Lair.

Dual Wielding along with 2H tanking is something that may not sound so bad after studying it for a bit. As we know by now, rage is our primary source of threat, and white damage helps as well. So, although personally I have not tried using the 2H method because of my Protection spec and devoted love to fury while leveling, I will leave that for whoever wants to comment on 2H tanking and go ahead with dual wielding tanking. Basically, throughout trash mobs in many instances you will find yourself more suited using two weapons than a shield and a single weapon, if your party is very aggressive. By aggressive I mean that they will start attacking the mob as soon as it's pulled, and they will not be waiting for you to have a comfortable amount of threat. Dual wielding you will be obtaining more rage to use, and producing more threat through white damage. You may find it useful while OTing too, since you have to stay on top of threat versus all those damage mongers and you won't have the benefit of being hit on by the mob and gaining rage through that. Have your macro ready to switch to Shield though, no matter what the situation and place, things can always get freaky and that extra bit of mitigation could save someone else.

Remember that your job is to protect. Your healers may complain sometimes "why aren't you wearing a shield?" and thinking "uh oh, we got a tank who wants to be a DPSer", you can either explain to them how threat works, or ignore them and keep doing what you must do to protect your party. This is situational as well, like most of what is explained on this guide, because every guild is different, and players play differently. So get yourself a good offhand weapon that will give you rage and a bit of extra DPS for all the time you're not on bosses, as long as your healers can afford it (they should). Theory-craft only can teach you to a certain point, so go out there and smack some beasts!

3. Skills and Talents

I guess I can't avoid this section, so here we go. First of all, thanks to Kenco for his work on threat values, we're all very thankful for all the hard work you have put into it, I'll be using some of those values in this section. What I will be explaining in this section is how certain important tanking abilities work. I will not be detailing all the abilities of the Warrior class, and I will be centering myself around the Protection tree, although there are other very good tanking specs. I will attempt to avoid long explanations or being stuck in a skill for too long, and I will be offering no talent trees for you to take and copy. You will be, however, learn about those talents and pick whatever you choose as best talents for your playing style.
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PostSubject: Re: Warrior Tank Guid   Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:40 am

a) Skills





Battle Stance required:

# Charge: I find myself hardly using this ability to start a fight with. It has it's worth in instances with low-hp mobs such as Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn Qiraj, to charge as soon as you are done with a pack, but the main reason a tank will be using this is for gaining rage, and considering you will be switching stances back to Defensive, this will only be useful if you have points in Tactical Mastery, your bloodrage is on cooldown, and you are low on rage.

# Mocking Blow: Excellent ability to use if you find yourself in a problem and taunt has been resisted. You can macro it or find one of many mods that will le t you "macro" it. Switch to Battle stance, use Mocking Blow, go back to Defensive, hit stuff, hold aggro. Six seconds of having the mob facing you as opposed to 3 from taunt. It even deals damage, the only downside is that it can be blocked, parried, dodged, etc. and it has a two minute cooldown. Save for emergencies.

# Thunder Clap: An OT's must-remember-to-use ability. This ability will slow the mob's attack speed by 10% for 30 seconds, which helps slightly against spike damage and also saves healer's mana. This skill is not all that frequently used since most warriors enjoy being in Berserker stance and only going on Battle stance for Overpower, so a designated OT has to cover this as well as they can.





Berserker Stance required:

# Berserker Rage: This skill owns. Yes, for tanking too. Not only do you need Berserker rage for several fights in the game such as Onyxia or Nefarian (some of us don't have dwarf priests even if we aren't Horde), but popping it right before engaging a mob and being low on rage or having no rage at all is quite great. This skill will give you extra rage for damage taken, and people often forget about it. Will be even greater once Blizzard fixes Anger Management/Stuck in combat for popping bloodrage.

# Execute: Okay, it's a Battle Stance skill too, but since it's in the fury spellbook, I'll list it here. So you say you're a tank, fine, that's great. So am I. This doesn't mean that if a fight doesn't require a lot of healing and the damage can spike a lot (like Nefarian) you can not use execute to help your raid. After all, you are the one getting hit and getting the most rage out of all your mates, so why not use execute for a while? It's going to depend a lot on the situation, and probably has less use in a 40man than a 20man or blue instance, but the option to use it is there, and if you think you can do it and that it will help, go for it. If you aren't completely sure though, don't do it, after all you may only save one person or two by helping the fight end faster, if any at all. Be careful with this! (personally I don't really use it, but the chance is there, mostly in 20mans).

# Intercept: Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Yes and no. Again it is very situational for a tank to use it, considering you can only keep so much rage by switching stances. I have used it every now and then on Majordomo, but the gains aren't that high.You get to him slightly faster.I guess it depends, once again.





Defensive Stance required, or can be used on:

# Battle Shout: Well.. yes, battle shout is powerful even for tanking. It increases your AP and your damage, and hence your threat, but it also produces threat. Good skill once you know you have good aggro established, but don't use it when it's tingly, you'll need the rage to hold aggro.
Threat Generated: Around 50 unmodified.

# Demoralizing Shout: An excellent skill for pulls, whether single or multiple targets are being targeted, due to it's range and threat (43 unmodified per shout to each mob affected). If you're in a situation where several mobs are rushing into your group, an initial demoralizing shout will make them all face you, giving extra time for other tanks to obtain their targets and prevent other classes from being hit. Not only that, but the Attack Power reduction can be quite handy as well, offering further mitigation.
Threat Generated: 43 unmodified.

# Challenging Shout: Just like mocking blow, it is usually used as a life-saver, although this ability has a bigger function since it'll force every mob in a small radius to face you for six seconds. Although you might find an use for certain fights, scheduling the shout (for Nefarian's phase 1 for example), you can use it just like mocking blow if both taunt and that fail to perform, the difference being that you will most likely not able to use the skill again for that fight since it is on a 10 minute cooldown.

# Bloodrage: Very nice skill, you'll be using this a lot, especially on first pulls.It also works as a threat puller since each Rage you gain through it equals 5 unmodified rage with a huge radius, so excellent for drakes in BWL. The talent is worthless, but Last Stand is a great skill. Rage is what gives you threat anywhere, and you need threat to maintain aggro.. so use it whenever you can.
Threat Generated: 5 per Power Gain (rage point after the first 10).

# Revenge: The best threat producing ability that we have. It produces 315 threat at rank 5, and this is not calculating the damage inflicted. The downside to it is that you can't spam it, as it has a 5 second cooldown. Still, whenever it's activated, use it, as it is the best threat-per-rage ability. Shield Block to force it to lit if you need it.
Threat Generated: 315 unmodified, not taking damage into the sum.

# Shield Bash: Have extra rage? Disarmed? Use it, it does a fine amount of threat (180) plus damage. It's obviously great whenever you need to interrupt a mob.
Threat Generated: 180 unmodified, not taking damage into the sum.

# Shield Block: Sweet skill, it will increase your blocking by 75 making it reach 100% or close to that. Without talents it will only block once though, but enough to force Revenge to lit up. With talents it has even more power, and some of it is hidden.

# Shield Wall: Speaks for itself? Use it when you know healers are going to have trouble, when you are about to have a rough moment, or when you are really low on life. It's a life saver, even 30 minutes.

# Shield Slam: (1.10 Notes)Even though this is a talent, I'll put it next to Sunder and Heroic Strike for better understanding of the three skills. Shield slam is the tier 31 talent in the protection tree, and as argued by many, produces too little threat for being where it is in the tree and doesn't scale with new gear. This makes it a better skill for a new tank with bad weapons than for a tank wielding an Edge of Chaos.

Anyway, it's threat value is around 250 by what Kenco was able to calculate comparing to Cop's data, plus damage. Without taking armor into account, and thinking it'll do it's maximum damage, we're talking about 250 plus 550, so 800 unmodified threat. It's pretty nice, and you'll see below that comparing to other skills, on a fully sundered target, it can have it's use to burn your 90-100 rage bars, but it loses strength as your gear becomes better, and as soon as you get rank 9 Heroic Strike, Shield Slam goes right down the hill. Still, good for starting tanks.
Patch 1.11 Shield Slam, another world:
As of patch 1.11, shield slam is another completely different ability. I will not remove the 1.10 notes so newer tanks will understand why it was changed.
In 1.11, Shield Slam was changed, reducing the base damage, but allowing your shield block to be a factor of the total damage. This means that your Shield Slam's damage is now based on base damage + block damage.

Around ~180 shield block, this becomes as much damage as the old shield slam, but attention, here's the breaker: Now it costs 20 rage. Not only that, this ability can also crit, and (bug?) it will dispel ALL magical buffs on a target 100% of the time. As a tanking ability it improves a lot, especially for tanks with better gear, but at 20 rage it really helps everyone, and as your gear improves, so will this ability (much needed as you reach certain levels of mitigation). I have not calculated if there was any change to it's innate threat, I will update whenever I can test.

Threat Generated: 250 unmodified not considering damage.

# Sunder Armor: Here we have a winner, one of the best skills to hold aggro. Currently, it is dealing 261 threat, is an instant attack and reduces the armor of your target. There is a great world of combinations with what to use it, but that's it's definition. You should probably wait for 5 sunders before starting to use other abilities if you're not high on rage, although sometimes you will find yourself using both HS and Sunder quickly to use several skills in a very few seconds to grab aggro. At 5 sunders though, even Shield Slam might have an use!
Threat Generated: 261 unmodified. Same value after 5 stacks applied.

# Heroic Strike: This ability is pretty nice, and one of the best uses to burn extra rage. It causes 145 innate threat at rank 8, and around 172 at rank 9. It's use can vary, and including the threat from damage, it becomes a great threat producing skill. The only problem is that you lose your white damage and rage generation through that, so it is best used to burn rage (although I am finding myself using it more and more at rank 9).

Let us calculate a bit, to compare to other skills. Let's say our HS is hitting a mob for 338 damage, at 15 rage per hit, without any modifiers, we'll be doing 495 threat per hit, and 990 in two hits. Shield wall, will be doing 750 for the same amount of rage, the only difference being that you'll hit with white damage during your SS, for 200, which would kick it up to 1000 if it does it's maximum damage (watch out here, as we are not taking into account weapon speed and unlike HS, SS does from 450 to 550 damage, whereas HS does a constant +138 to your damage) and give you some rage. Not bad, 10 less threat, more or less depending on situation, armour, weapons, sp
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PostSubject: Re: Warrior Tank Guid   Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:41 am

# b) Talents


Arms Talents:

# Deflection: Increases your parry by 1% for each point. This is an excellent talent for mitigation, and if you are heading that way, you really should get this. Your base parry % is 5, and this doubles it. Parrying 5% more of hits is really nice.

# Improved Heroic Strike: This talent can be very good if you have the points to use it. Reducing your HS per 3 rage points may not seem like a lot, but at the start of fights or while killing trash it becomes quite clear that it has a great function. Remember that there is absolutely no fight with unlimited rage other than Vaelastrasz, and as you reach more mitigation through gear, it becomes harder and harder to obtain rage off trash mobs. With this talent, every 4 Heroic Strikes that you perform you would gain a "free" HS, although this is not the most important thing from the 12 rage Heroic strikes, but is quite a nice bonus. In my opinion, what makes this and Improved Sunder Armor good talents is at the very beginning of fights, where you need to create threat as quickly as possible to not lose it to a "lucky" rogue who just ambushed for 2200.

# Tactical Mastery: I would not recommend maxing this and then not getting Anger Management, but once they decide to fix Anger Management, you will have to reconsider your points. Right now I have this maxed and got Anger Management, and it's a nice talent where you'll probably want to keep a few points even without Anger Management. Switching stances is necessary in some fights, whether OT or MT (as MT mostly just for Berserker Rage) and having some rage left to do something with is usually good. I would probably put at least 3 points in this just so you can use Sunder Armor after switching stances.

# Anger Management: In it's current form, this talent is great, you'll love it, and for now, I'll just explain how it works in it's current form. To make it easy, you know how rage decays when you're out of combat in bumps of 3 or 2 rage? Well, During combat, your rage still decays, simply those bumps are reduced to 0 so it looks like it's not decaying. What this talent does is reduce the decay by 1 point, so in combat the bumps are not 0 anymore, but actually 1, and your rage will INCREASE every bump. So, before it is fixed, as in it's current form, this talent is really worthwhile and you'll be using it a lot, especially while the raid leader is explaining strategy or groups are getting buffed. You can simply lock yourself into combat with bloodrage and use this to not lose any rage and even increase it before you go.



Fury Talents:

Before going into the talents themselves, there are some good talents in this build which will help you maintain more threat. The problem with fury is, that it needs gear to work well, and to tell you the truth, when you're tanking you're also trying to mitigate damage. Enrage should never pop on you, you shouldn't get critted. Your critical strikes will be around 10%, so Flurry won't trigger that much ( Sunder Armor can't even crit either, although white hits can). Death Wish is a difficult card to play and won't be useful in all situations, because again, you're trying to mitigate as well as maintain threat. Personally, I will stay Protection for tanking, it offers more mitigation, and someone skilled can hold threat perfectly with a Protection build.

# Cruelty: Increases your critical strikes by 1% per point. Very nice even for a tank, because not all that you'll be doing is mitigating damage, you need to hold aggro as well. This is not a breaking talent, you can pass on it and I've used builds that didn't have it in and worked just fine, but that's because Skill > Talent Build. IT is a nice bump, and those crits will help every now and then, not to mention that they will give you extra rage, so I'd use it.

# Improved Demoralizing Shout & Unbridled Wrath: If you decide to go deeper in the tree, whatever you pick, Unbridled Wrath or this, it won't matter much. This, I guess, would be the mitigating talent, and Unbridled the Threat talent, but the bonuses of each are quite slim, so you won't notice huge differences whichever you pick. Unbridled can give you an extra point of rage for the start of fights if it triggers, which can be quite useful at those points, but that's about it.

# Piercing Howl: Causes all enemies near the warrior to be dazed for 6sec. Useful for certain fights, like Razorgore, depending on the strategy of your guild. I don't have this anymore and I don't really miss it, but it's not a bad talent.



Protection Talents:

# Shield Specialization: I would put all 5 points on this if I were going strong for Protection. This is a great talent, increases your block by 5% and giving you a rage point every time you block, which also translates into a "Power Gain" that gives 5 unmodified threat per block is very, very nice. On top of that you need it for your point in Improved Shield Spec.

# Anticipation: Great mitigation talent again, 10 defense without needing to use gear to obtain is a nice extra. Refer to the second section of this guide or the Mitigation section to find out more about Defense and it's goodies.

# Toughness: Armor is always nice, reducing the damage of incoming hits, this would give you an extra 10% bonus, so it's worth picking up. I would not consider it vital though.

# Iron Will: Okay, this talent is interesting, probably worth more in the PvP world. It's 15% is not enough to rely on, but how many of us have lost hunters when those Wyrms in BWL stunned us? In any case, I don't believe it's worth picking up considering the limited amount of talent points we have, and seriously, who cares about hunters anyway?

# Improved Bloodrage: This is no longer an useless talent as of 1.11! It will now give 5 extra rage at 2 points which is an excellent upgrade to the ability, 5 extra rage beig a whole world at the beginning of any fight.

# Last Stand: This is an awesome talent and a life saver. It'll increase your HP by 30% and heal you for 30% for 20 seconds. If things are going wrong, it is an excellent talent to have. It isn't game breaking, but three points to get to it is probably worth it, your healers are not always available, and seriously, I use this a lot even when healers are fine. Stuff can always go wrong and this could make the difference.

# Improved Shield Block: One point. Just one point, that is all you need in this talent. It'll give you the extra block, and you don't need anything else here. It doesn't escalate and will not grant you extra points. But this one point will be pretty nice, giving you an extra block whenever you use this ability.

# Improved Revenge: If you're a raider, you'll probably want to pass on this, but if you play in 5-10man instances a lot, you'll probably enjoy this talent. Whenever it procs and stuns the target, it'll also cause threat, so for all the stunnable trash it's pretty nice to have. In a 40man though, you won't need this since everything is immune to stun.

# Defiance: Warning Warning, Winner incoming. Pick up this, especially if you're going deep in protection, because it'll be a major factor in threat. At 5 points, 15% extra threat is a LOT. Each of your abilities causing threat will be modified by this 15% and it is of great value. Even tanks who do not want to spend many points in protection will probably want to keep this close, even more as Horde.

# Improved Sunder Armor: Same as Improved Heroic Strike. Go up and read what I had to say about Imp. HS, because the same thing applies here. I think it's a fine talent, many people will argue against it, and many others will argue in it's favor. Try it and decide for yourself if it's worth keeping.

# Improved Taunt: It is important to understand Taunt before really deciding about this talent, and we'll talk about it deeply in the team play section, but even so, it is not that great of a talent and you'll only see big results from it in a fight in AQ Temple (Sartura). Anywhere else, it loses a lot of value, because a tank that knows what he's doing is not spamming taunt every second it's up or whenever anyone but himself is tanking ( OTs can tank just fine without you trying to grab aggro in every trash pull mob). It helps a bit on resists or when you're not able to lock aggro.

# Improved Shield Wall: I don't know what this is doing here. I really cannot even begin to comprehend why you would want to give 5 extra seconds to an ability you will use once every 30 minutes, well, not even since you'll be saving your Shield Wall for critical moments! Very situational, very.

# Improved Shield Bash: A silence is always nice, but same rule applies than Improved revenge. Highly depends on your field of play. Go back up to Improved Revenge, same thing applies, although Imp. Revenge may have a bit more of value. For PvP though, things change.

# Concussion Blow: Probably useful for any tank, since if you have went this deep in Protection, you're going for Shield Slam, and this is a nice extra.

# One-Hand Weapon Specialization: Maxing this talent will override the loss of damage of Defensive Stance, and damage = threat. It is another nice extra use of talents to improve your threat, and 10% is pretty nice. Even if you do not have the points to fill this up, a few points will still prove useful.

# Shield Slam: This talent was commented in the skills section, and there's not much more to say. The dispel will most of the time not be useful, first, fights where you must dispel another class will be doing it. And second, you can't rely on Shield slam to make sure the target will be dispelled, It is not a 100% dispel effect after all, is on a 6 second cooldown, and costs too much rage to spam it. Other than that, it's nice talent, especially for starting tanks who don't have amazing weapons. It doesn't escalate well in that sense. Edit: As of patch 1.11 there have been signnificant
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PostSubject: Re: Warrior Tank Guid   Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:41 am

4. Team Play, Coordination

This section is much more based off my own personal experiences than any calculations or theories, so read it, take what you think is good and use it, and scratch the rest if you don't like it or doesn't apply to your own situation.

Team Play with other tanks.

The first part I'd like to talk about is how to coordinate and play with a team of tanks. That would be, in most cases, in a raid. First of all, having a channel or ventrilo/teamspeak to communicate is probably of vital importance to this subject. You need to talk to your mates and let them know what you're thinking, what you're up to, and about to do if it's risky. You'll need their help for anything else.

It is important to know who is doing what job before starting, even if the jobs will be switched around during the encounter. The Main Tank is the Main Tank and the Off Tank is the Off Tank. Everyone needs to be aware of his responsibility, and acknowledge the responsibility of the others in his group. If the Main Tank is pulling, it is his job to pull, and if things go wrong, he must be able to explain to the rest of the group what went wrong and under his responsibility, acknowledge errors and mistakes.

If another tank decides to start doing the Main Tank's job, this MT is still responsible for the group, but no longer has the tools to do his job. A perfect example would be when the Main Tank is also the puller (instead of a hunter), the group is waiting for mana, but another tank wants to hurry, and decides to pull. People could die due to lack of mana, something that tank may have not thought about, but it is still the MT's responsibility. That tank just insulted the MT in the face and even may have killed people. And sadly, people will most likely look to the MT for responsibility over what just happened.

In several target pulls, every tank must know what he is tanking, and others must be aware of what the rest is tanking. Yes this is stressful, and can even be forgotten on easy pulls, but in more dangerous places, even on farm status, things can always go wrong simply because your group of tanks did not care enough to take 5 seconds and assign targets.

Considering that several points bring us to taunting, I'll open up a mini section on the matter, since taunting is a powerful skill, but can end up being difficult to understand use.

Taunting, is basically just that, using the skill taunt to force a target to look at you. The description of the skill is in the section above, but we'll repeat. Whenever you use taunt, the target is forced to look at you for 3 seconds. On addition to this, your threat will equal the one of the highest target, which will leave you 3 seconds to make a 10% more threat and gain total aggro. Fine until here. Now the complications:

Let's talk about the necessity of rage to maintain aggro and increase your threat: during the 3 seconds that the taunt debuff is on the target, the target is locked on you, and hitting you, which in return, gives you more rage, with which you can build more threat. If an OT decides to taunt as well during this time, he is preventing you from getting this aggro, and not only that, he is making you lose precious time to reach that 10% you need for the aggro lock. By the time all the taunters are done, through this, if the person who stole aggro was still hitting the target, you could have not made up for the 10% needed and the target would return to the DPSer, while your taunt is on cooldown and requiring other methods to obtain aggro and keep your target alive. Basically, the MT could have made 4% of the total threat necessary, but then an OT taunted and this OT may not be able to do as much threat as the MT (the OTs usually are OTs because they don't have defiance, or because they simply aren't as skilled as the MT).

More to this then, it is quite difficult to explain but I'll keep trying to do my best. Let's say we have an MT who doesn't have a Target's Target mod (this is a good one http://www.curse-gaming.com/mod.php?addid=1161, although I just use nurfed unitframes). He just goes around hitting things and trying to get everything to face him, because if it's not facing him, it must be facing a dpser! That's very sweet of that MT, he's trying to do his job, but what if the target was being hit on one of his OTs? This OT had the situation perfectly controlled but the MT comes after his target died and taunted his target. This, usually, won't be too dangerous, heck, it may even go back on the OT. But was it necessary? Did you just burn your taunt for nothing, switching the healers attention to you, the OT was at half life, the mob goes back to him, does a crit and a crushing blow immediately after, the OT dies, someone else had secondary aggro (you don't seriously think that simply by taunting you'll have made all your homework do you? That mage is gonna burn his ToEP and crit it down like he's possessed!), it flies to that mage, wipes him in the face, maybe even does a cone breath on all your healers, all this while your taunt is on cooldown, that cone breath had also a debuff that lasts 30 seconds and does damage every 3 seconds, etc.

This may seem very unlikely to happen, sure, it is. But dude, you just wiped your group because you did not know how to use your taunt correctly, and trust me, the only time where you learn how to tank, is while you are tanking, not when you go solo mobs for practice. So doing things the right way every time will prepare you for that day that things really will go wrong, and save your group.

Taunt is not a little toy to be spamming, you need it up when things go wrong, and seriously, what are you gaining by spamming it, bumping your threat to the maximum target, who, by the way, was you? Learn how to use the tools you have at your disposal the best possible way, and taunt when it's necessary, get mods to help you watch and coordinate with other tanks, if they're about to die, taunt off them, save their life. But don't go around in a competition to see who can hold as many mobs as possible to him/her, if it's not broken, don't fix it, your OTs, or your MTs, are not totally useless.

That brings me up to the next point, and that's doing things correctly all the time. Just because something is easy at this point in the game and in your experience does not mean you can totally disregard them and act like they can be shrugged off. You need to be on your toes all the time, ready for anything, and be as serious as you can while protecting the rest. A "he disconnected" is not an acceptable excuse to yourself if you could have saved the group by doing things correctly and thinking of the encounter as it is. No one will blame you if you don't, but you should blame yourself for having the chance to prevent a catastrophic ending and not doing so because you didn't want to be serious.

Even more, for a starting tank, and even an experienced tank, you don't have many chances to tank and learn your job. Tanking is all experience, and reading this guide will only give you pointers or comparisons that you'll meet or have met during your tanking life so that you can organize your thoughts and explain things to yourself. So remember that it's important to be serious on the job, if you don't feel like being serious about the security of others, then this is not the job for you.

Team Play with the rest of your group.

Priests, paladins, shamans, droods, your healers. Mages, warlocks, rogues, hunters, DPS warriors, etc. All these classes have their own jobs, and accommodating to them, knowing their jobs, their worries, their classes in general is a good thing to add for your tanking ability. If you know that a backstab dagger needs to be behind your target to backstab, you'll be able to offer them better positions, move less and help them fulfill their job. Knowing that a hunter can pull for you from far ahead, or feign death if the pull doesn't work out well, can save people many times.

And just like you think about them, they need to think about you, especially on dangerous mobs or bosses, give you some time to build threat on these so it won't fly off to them right away. This is more of a raid leader's job, but on boss fights, they need to give you time and you must do your best to put out as much threat as you can after positioning. That way your group will be able to do as much DPS as possible without stealing aggro, and killing the mob faster is the best mitigation you could have!

I have said it in another section, but thinking about your healers is very important. Positioning is most of what you'll have to do while thinking about the rest of your group, but other times the job will prove even further and again, communicating, will be your best friend. Listening and asking your group what is best for them and how to accomplish it will not only improve your skill as a tank, but your understanding of the game (which directly improves your tanking ... ). Remember things such as Line of Sight and Range while tanking, AOE damage, cone attacks, etc.

Coordinate your pulls with hunters using low ranks of their spells or higher ranks depending of the situation. Ask rogues to stealth and check what's in the next room for you and do the assists for you and the OTs (ok this won't really happen often, but you get the idea). Coordination with the rest of your group will not only improve their security, but also the speed at which the dungeon goes and how enjoyable everything will be to everyone.
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PostSubject: Re: Warrior Tank Guid   Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:53 am

Hey Cypher,
Thanks for the info, it helped alot. I'm very new to WOW, and this is my first Toon. Most of the time I just Grind my way through Lvl's.
I love the Warrior, I love the Wep's and the Damage done. I'll be reading this a few more times to take it all in.
ADS Rocks
Von
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PostSubject: Re: Warrior Tank Guid   Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:45 pm

vonhelsing wrote:
Hey Cypher,
Thanks for the info, it helped alot. I'm very new to WOW, and this is my first Toon. Most of the time I just Grind my way through Lvl's.
I love the Warrior, I love the Wep's and the Damage done. I'll be reading this a few more times to take it all in.
ADS Rocks
Von

A lot of people use to grind to get lvls but ever since the burning crusades came up they made to exp more for quest so even if you're doing green quest you'll lvl faster then if you were to grind.
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