Hi! Welcome to TankSpot guide of Protection Warrior, my name is Ryle and at the end of this video, I'll be covering the basics of protection warriors, mechanics and abilities. Warriors have three stances: battle, defensive and berserker stance.
Defensive stance: the stance that warriors take when tanking as it decreases damage taken by 10%, damage caused by 5%, and increases the threat generated.
Warriors rely on rage in order to use our abilities, unlike mana, we start out with an empty bar which caps at 100 and simply put, getting rage being hit by things and using special abilities such as blood rage or charge.
If you spec into shield specialization you will gain 5 rage every time you block, parry or dodge.
Heroic strike is what we call a rage dump, an ability that doesn’t share global cooldown and is used to spend that extra rage you are using, that means we can and should use heroic strike while simultaneously using our normal rotation.
If you are in boss fights in raids you will always have a fully rage bar so get used on spamming it while using our abilities, if you are tanking more than one mob replace heroic strike with cleave as your rage dump.
One thing to keep in mind is the nature of rage, a lot of times you will have more rage than to know what to do with it but other times you will find yourself having a difficult time finding rage, you need to be careful so you do not rage starve yourself.
People refer to rage bar as a gas pedal, which basically means you need to learn to let it go so you can keep the same speed, you should never rage starve yourself to the point of not having rage for your whole rotation.
Talents and Abilities
Now before we go down into the rotation let's talk about talents and abilities, the first ability you can find in the third tier of the protection tree which is Last Stand, when used Last Stand grants 30% of your maximum health for 20 seconds.
The next ability is Concussion Blow, which can be found in the fourth tier of the protection tree. Concussion Blow is a stun that lasts for 5 seconds and is required to get Vigilance.
Vigilance is a crucial threat ability which has many uses and it makes Warrior tanking easier in many aspects, is a buff that you put on a selected member which reduces their damage taken by 30%, transfers 10% of the threat they caused to you and if they pull aggro refreshes your taunt ability.
In a typical raid setting you most likely want to put Vigilance in a player that will transfer the most threat to you.
One thing to keep in mind for threats and vigilance is that you don’t need always to keep it on a single player the entire duration of the fight, a good example is Hodir, specially in hard difficulty due to a combination of the damage buffs and the mobility required to tank is difficult to hold aggro against everyone making without making use of several tricks one of which is Vigilance swapping.
Just keep an eye on the threat meter and be ready to switch targets on the go.
The second use of Vigilance is for taunt refreshing, fights such as Sartharion, with 3 drakes warriors shine taking little adds due to having a tank refresh and aoe setting.
And last of all its especially good for situations such as factions champions for the threat factor is hardly existent but the damage reduction is very appealing, I personally put it on a healer that tents to take a lot of damage and complement with Intervene it makes protecting a healer a manageable feat.
Moving on to the next ability we have Warbringer in the nine tier of the protection tree, which allows you to Charge and Intervene in defensive stance.
Now we have Devastate, a primary ability used in tanking rotations as well as being an essential debuff for melee players.
Below that is Sword and Board another must have talent, it increases the critical strike of your devastate ability for one, but when you use devastate it has a 30% chance of refreshing your Shield Slam ability, reducing the rage cost by 100% for 5 seconds, this talent is a defining threat ability for Protection Warriors.
And last just below of Sword of Board we have Shockwave which is an aoe stun but also one of our two aoe tanking abilities.
Protection Warriors have no specific rotation we follow but instead have a priority system for abilities, our primary threat abilities in order of priorities are:
Shield SlamRevengeConcussion BlowShockwaveDevastate
Our rotation is more like a priority system because all of our cooldowns eventually overlap each other as well as Sword and Board proccing, making it difficult to follow any set rotation.
When you are boss tanking however Devastate gets knocked up in the list and becomes top priority till you get sundered armor stacks to 5 as is a major buff to your melee dps.
With that said, warriors are very flexible in terms of the rotations, we have many abilities that weave between cooldowns, when tanking a boss a typical begin with Shield Block and Shield Slam for burst threat then put Demoralizing Shout, Thunder Clap and immediately my sundered armor to 5.
You also need to be prepared to weave things such as interrupts, Berserker Rage, Vigilance target switches and shout debuff refreshes.
If there’s one thing Protection Warriors exclusively have and other tanks don’t is your arsenal of magic interrupts and stuns, Warrior has heroic throw which talented silences the target for 3 seconds.
Then there’s Revenge which again talented it gives a 50% chance to stun the target for 3 seconds, if applicable charging a target also works.
Last of all and most reliable are Concussion Blow, Shockwave and Shield Bash.
Learn to efficiently make us of all your cooldowns:
Shield WallLast StanceTrinkets
Unless healers are dead and the bosses health is low in a close kill is typically not a good idea to use all cooldowns at once, it's also good practice to save them for long fights when bosses have increased damage rather than a large spike and you overreacting.
If you have to often use a cooldown because a healer isn’t paying attention, it puts you into a difficult situation when you actually need it such as enrages, trust your healers doing their job so you can do yours.
Aoe tanking as a Protection Warrior is typically regarded as being a bit more work than the other tanking classes, you don’t really have aoe rotation but more or less a few abilities we can situationally use at the same time with our single target rotation.
When I pull groups of adds I Thunderclap as I'm charging in, and then I run through them all to cluster them correctly and then I Shockwave, mob placement is key if you want to be successful at mob tanking as a Warrior.
Shockwave is a great snap aggro ability but with its rather long cooldown of 20 seconds you don’t want to waste it by not hitting all the targets with it.
The hardest part about multi mob Warrior tanking is the tab targeting, with lesser gear to scale dps it might not be necessary to tab target, but if you have decent dps really spamming Thunder Clap, Shockwave might not be enough to hold aggro, tab 3 mobs constantly going though your normal single target rotation to keep good threat up on every single mob.
Tanking adds in a boss encounter you need to be prepared to be even more flexible as it's not that simple press threat buttons and win situations.
If you need to constantly pick up adds you need to be able to assess your tools available and response immediately.
Thunder Clap is very good for multiple add pick up, but if its only one or two adds we have many other available options, if Heroic Throw is down our taunt in range can work as a backup tool, never forget we can also charge an add, when the add is far or towards a healer you can Intervene and then smack it with a Shield Slam.
You can also turn in enemy plates on by pressing V which helps any case you don’t notice any single adds.
Since we are in the subject, using our Intervene really helped defining warriors in terms of utility, beyond being a pulling tool in source of rage there are many other situations this ability comes in handy, if a boss has a knock back you can charge back immediately so the raid doesn’t have to reposition.
If you are back out of range in stormcaller due to an overload you can charge back to interrupt his next cast, you can also make good use of the ability in particular situations such as factions champions.
Last of all don’t overestimate using Intervene as a way of getting out of range of nasty boss abilities or getting somewhere faster.
If a mob is too far away for a charge for example, you can even Intervene someone first and then charge it.
Before I end this guide, I’ll like to address another major component element of tanking, though is not specific to Warrior tanking is something I felt is most beginners tanks don’t understand, you can gear correctly and press threat buttons in the right order but that doesn’t compensate for poor situational awareness and mobility.
As a tank you play a key role in your raiding team and while you are not more important than any other single player your raid is only as good as you are, if a damage dealer dies standing in fire you simply made a mistake, if you the tank dies standing in a fire you most likely will cause your raid a wipe.
Getting into the habit of keeping yourself aware of your surroundings by zooming your camera fully instead of staring at your bosses feet, that way you have a better chance of seeing area effects abilities and adds running.
And lastly our mobility, if you see fire then backpedaling out of it won’t keep you any more alive, learning those will help you to tank as the raid can’t function because you can’t press more than one button at once.
Learning to move a boss without turning your back to it, these all are crucial habits to get to because all the threat per second won’t do any good if you can’t manage your rotations as you kite the boss backwards, most tanks don’t hold any skills till they tank for a long time but it’s easier to learn.
Practice while doing dailies or even PvPing, your raid will thank you.
Good luck in your tanking endeavors and thank you for watching this movie, as always feel free to ask questions or suggestions!