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Going Prot in PvP

January 10, 2011 1 comment

…or “How I learned to stop tanking and love the BG.”

My guild is starting to put together Rated Battleground runs. Thus far my attempts at Fury and Arms play has been less than stellar, but I did have a brief period of Protection PvP back in Wrath. I decided to look through the new talents and see what I could find and put together. What I discovered was a world of interesting choices completely unlike anything I had seen.

Heroic Throw what you thought you knew about Warrior Protection builds out the window. PvP is a lot more about Situational use abilities. Having the right moves at the right time, therefore a lot of the talents become more viable and several become less important. Certain pillars remain, but it’s definitely a whole new Talent Tree. The main goals being to outlive, outlast, and outplay our enemies. By “outplay,” I mean annoy the ever-loving Fel out of them.

Level 1
Toughness is still going to be the first thing to take, Survivability being the keystone of a Prot Warrior. Between Incite and Blood & Thunder, I am giving the nod to B&T. Incite’s second guaranteed crit is nice, but it is costly to Heroic Strike twice in such a short time frame when Rage generation can get iffy. Blood & Thunder, however, becomes a solid tool to put pressure on Healers when assaulting key points on the BG. Three or four of the defenders suddenly getting a bleed debuff and an attack speed debuff turns the battle more in your side’s favor and just might freak out that Priest on the other side. Note, if I were building for Arena, I may go with Incite, Prot isn’t as viable there, but on a 5v5 team there may be a spot. Though, with the coming nerf to Heroic Strike Incite will fall further in worth.

Level 2
Gag Order is the first thing to grab. Those two points give you more of a chance against caster with the power of Silence. Shield Specialization should be maxed out. This should prevent or at least limit Rage stavation with fewer people pounding on you, as you will want to be wearing PvP gear for the Resiliance, which means less Dodge & Parry, but some Mastery, but Shield Mastery will be equally important for giving you the abilities you need when you need them. Hold the Line should be skipped as your Parry rating will be low along with the fact that half of the classes won’t want to be swinging at you at all. So while leveling, grab Gag Order and split the other two, if you are already 85 max both Shield Specialization & Shield Mastery.

Level 3
Last Stand, Concussion Blow, and Warbringer, take them all. Warbringer first for mobility, then Last Stand. Concussion Blow is a solid stun that will give your side a moment to turn moment, and it has a moderate cooldown, allowing it to be tossed on each new enemy. You will probably wind up taking Bastion of Defense at some point, just to hit the 30 needed for shockwave. The Reduced Crit chance and Enrage are nice, but not SUPER important in PvP, fill those open Shield talents in Level 2 first while leveling to advance.

Level 4
Devestate and Improved Revenge will give you a bit more bite. Impending Victory will be mostly worthless as you will want to be switching to healthier targets to slow them down. I could see it being useful in a one on one situation for clutch healing as you both wear down, but for now, I say skip it.

Level 5
Vigilance can and should be skipped. Thunderstruck has great synergy with Blood & Thunder and will give you a ramp up on damage against small crowds. Heavy Repercussions grants a bonus for a buttons you’ll want to be hitting anyway.

Level 6
Sword and Board always should be maxed, just take it. Safeguard will not be as pointless in a BG or Arena as it helps save your teammates (read as healer or flag carrier). Just remember that Intervene breaks roots too.

Level 7
Shockwave take it. Leaving the tree looking something like: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#LZZcfhdRRobru

Arms & Fury Talents
Outside of the Protection tree there are a couple of options. First would be to go into Arms for Second Wind, which makes you harder to stop. War Academy is the most solid choice in the tree as it buffs key abilities further. Field Dressing is not as important in PvP but it is fairly equal to the advantage of Blitz, so either can work.

In the Fury Tree, the self healing of Blood Craze may be useful, but Cruelty should take priority making your Shield Slam all the better. Battle Trance will help cut back on Rage Starvation or, working with Shield Specialization, allow you to hit Inner Rage more often in the clutch, or have it ready at the right moment. Second Tier abilities worth reaching for are Piercing Howl to slow down runners and Rude Interruption to give you a damage boost on a healer or caster you just bashed.

Glyphs
Primes are Devestate, Revenge, and Shield Slam, all the Protection key abilities. Major Glyph selection can be a bit more difficult, but I recommend Thunder Clap to spread Rend further, Spell Reflection to give it more uptime, & Shockwave to have it ready when you need it. Minors that will work best are probably Beserker Rage for the bonus rage, Demoralizing Shout since it will benefit your teammates as much as you when you are together, and either Battle or Command based on preference (or group composition if you have someone who can supply the equivalent of the other).

Build Links
With what was covered here are some example builds.
The “Can’t Put Me Down” – http://www.wowhead.com/talent#LG0bZhZcfhdRRRbbu
The “In your Face” – http://www.wowhead.com/talent#LhZcbzoZcfhdRRobru
The Living Shutdown – http://www.wowhead.com/talent#L0bZcbMoZcfhdRRobru

So next time you hit the battlefield, remember your Sword (Axe, Hammer, etc) & Board and shut some people down.

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Cataclysm Warrior- Level 1-9

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

You have started your first Warrior. You have just gotten the run down on your race’s story and are now standing with a quest giver in front of you. I am going to assume that you either know the basic controls, or will take a moment to orientate yourself with them now. Take that first quest and let’s begin.

Glancing at your action bar you will see two abilities, Attack and Strike. For the time being Attack is Superfluous as right-clicking or using Strike on a target will accomplish the exact same goal. Depending on your race, your starting quest maybe to kill certain things or move to certain points. For the first few couple levels you will be auto-attacking targets and using Strike when ever your rage bar builds high enough. This is the simple “beat it until one of you stops moving” method that will continue to define your class with abilities being variants of “beating on the thing with something in a specific place”, “beating on the thing harder”, and “you are now harder to beat upon.” This level range is also a good time to practice using any racial ability you have to get a feel for how it works and how it can benefit you. Some races even have a quest for just that.

The quest rewards you will be taking are anything mail and any weapon that has a higher DPS than your current weapon, or eventually, Strength bonuses. If none of the above are possible from the rewards offered, you can grab a leather piece if it is in a slot not currently in use. If you hold Shift down while mousing over an item it will show what is gains over a currently equipped piece, but only if you have something already in that slot.

While doing quests picking up any junk items (with a gray name) to sell is recommended. Each time you pass by the quest hub, check for an NPC that has a bag or anvil icon when moused over, they will buy that junk for the money you will need later. Buy items or food from them at this low of level may help you, but generally will not be needed, better to save that money for new abilities or possibly an extra bag. Don’t be afraid to kill an extra mob or two while questing, the bonus Experience, loot, and/or copper always helps. Your quests for the first area are generally of the “Go get blank for me,” “Talk to this/these person/persons,” or “Kill these things.” The names of targets will light up when they are part of a quest or handy arrows may popup to point you in the right direction. Always seek out all Exclamation “!” Marks on your mini-map during these levels as quests offered at the same time will take you to the same or similar areas.

At level 3 you gain access to Charge which can be learned at the Warrior Trainer. Your mini-map should have the Trainer tracking on by default, so look for the little book icon. There is also usually a quest given to seek out the first trainer as well as a quest to practice charging on a dummy or nearby enemies. Charge becomes the default opener for the Warrior for quite sometime as it gets you to the target and gives you rage. The only two reasons you should not be using it are its on cooldown and the next mob is already next to you when the last one died, so you still have rage. More Rage means more Strikes, more Strikes means shorter fights.

At level 5 you gain access to one of the single greatest gifts to solo leveling and questing the Warrior has, Victory Rush. This ability is an instant attack that is only available for 20 seconds after delivering the killing blow to a mob or character that grants honor or experience. Meaning in common, nothing more than 8 levels below your level, and nothing someone else finishes off (why it’s less useful in groups). You can now chain pull mobs with the process of Charge, kill, loot, charge next mob, Victory Rush for a quick attack and heal, kill, loot, repeat. It can also be a life saver if a second and or third mob wanders up and trys to eat your face off, finish your current target for the Victory Rush for the Rush regain.

At level 7 you pick up Rend. This is a good ability to use earlier in a fight to slowly drain the life from your foe. If you plan on going Arms or Prot later, opening with this, after Victory Rush, is a good habit to start getting into. Several talents and/or abilities in those trees play off of Rend.

Finally for this section, at level 9 you pick up your first AOE ability, Thunder Clap. This like Rend will factor into talents more for Prot Warriors, but it is important to not that is slows the attack speed of anyone hit by it, increasing the length you can go in a fight. It may save your life when attacked by 2-4 enemies, so keep it in reach.

For the most part you will be spending these levels in your race’s home area with no real options to pick your path. That’s fine, there is some really good stories in these areas now. Take the time to enjoy them. Next time, we will take a look at the 3 Talent Trees, a brief review of professions, the late teens quest areas, and more.

The World is Broken

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

… And so are my plans. The Shattering happened a week earlier than I was planning for. Also, the Beta closed. The Leveling Guide will be delayed slightly because of this. I might be able to put something together by the weekend, but there are a lot of holiday things going on with family. Due to mitigating factors I was without WoW this past weekend (local convention) and will be without next weekend as well (travelling to see family). See you all next week sometime.

Need to come up with a Warrior send off.

Cataclysm Warrior- Basics

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Welcome to the Cataclysm Warrior Leveling guide. In this post I will be covering Race Selection, Profession selection, and the basics of Warrior stat choices. Making a Warrior is easy, just select the Sword icon on the character creation screen and you are all set. Note, any bonuses listed below may change before the drop date.

Race Selection – Alliance

 Draenei: Draenei were introduced with the first expansion Burning Crusade and are a fairly zealous race of space goats. Are far as Warcraft races go these are one of the few considered to be generally “good.” A Draenei’s bonuses are a +1% to hit, a small heal over time spell, a bonus to Shadow Resistance, and a bonus to the Jewelcrafting Skill. All of these add up to a flexible choice for a warrior. The healing spell can be a lifesaver in a tight spot while the hit bonus leads to more options for gearing. Of course, if you plan on being a Jewelcrafter (more on professions in a bit) then Draenei may be the way to go.

Dwarf: Dwarves have been the stalwart allies of the Alliance since the first Warcraft games. Recently revealed to be descended from Titan-created Earthen, they are a race characterized by exploration and perseverance. The Dwarven bonuses are a +1% to hit with guns, bonus Expertise with any kind of Mace, a clease/armor boosting spell, a bonus to Frost Resistance, and some tweaks to the new profession Archeology. Solid bonuses all around, but as a Warrior, the gun bonus won’t be that important, but certain areas and dungeons are overrun with Frost damage, so that might come in handy.

Gnome: Discovered and befriended by the Dwarves, the Gnomes are excentric geniuses with large amounts of know-how packed in a convenient travel size, also they are the target of many jokes. Their bonuses are 3 Expertise for daggers and one-handed swords, an increased Mana pool (which doesn’t affect Warriors), an ability to escape snares and other movement restrictions, a resistance to the arcane, and bonus points in Engineering. Before Cataclysm Gnomes wouldn’t have been the best choice for a Warrior, but now with the Shortblade Expertise bonus they have a few options especially for Tanking and Fury.

Human: The old standard race, which some may consider dull, is also easy to relate to. The bonuses here are simple, Expertise bonus for Swords & Mace, a Spirit bonus (again, not a Warrior Stat), a spell to drop snares and regain control of the character from opposing spell effects, and a bonus to Reputation gain. The Rep gain is a great boon that can save a human time, and the Weapon specializations give a human more options than most other races, while the spell is good enough to replace the standard PvP trinket. A Human Warrior doesn’t really stand out, but they aren’t held back either.

Night Elf: Long living beings who predate most of the current legacies of the other Alliances race, the Night Elves have a strong bond with nature and great amounts of experience on and off the Battlefield. Their racial bonuses are a bit less direct than the other races, having a small boost to avoid physical attacks, a resistance to Nature damage, a spell that acts like a lesser form of Stealth, and Wisp Spirit form in death that allows for faster returns to the body. Befitting of a race that was once immortal, Night Elves bonuses revolve around avoiding death, harder to hit, a combat escape, and even more rapid returns from the grave, all of which would help a fresh player get use to the world.

Worgen: The newest addition to the Alliance, these puppies are a real howl. Best described as British Werewolves, they bring a darker, brooding tone to the Alliance, also top hats and bacon jokes. The racial bonuses for being a Worgen (besides the transform between forms and ability to be your own mount) are 1% Critical Hit bonus, a resistance to Nature and Shadow damage, a speed boost spell, and a boost to the Skinning Profession. Less than thrilling stuff in comparison to the above, but they are fraking Werewolves, you know they will be around.

Race Selection – Horde

Blood Elf: A proud race of people who are an exiled offshoot of the Night Elves. They have gone from addiction to arcane energy to an addiction to fel energy, now trying to recover from both with a source of pure light energy. The racials are a Resistance to Arcane, a spell that silences enemies around you and grants rage, and a bonus to Enchanting. Warriors use to have a quick Rage generating ability called Bloodrage. The Blood Elves regain that ability in a lighter form and combine it with a silence. Blood Elves just might be a surprise hit come Cataclysm with such an ability in their arsenal.

Goblin: The new star of the Horde, the little go-getters from Kezan. After fleeing their island the Goblins, through a strange series of events, land right in the midst of the Horde war machine. The bonuses they bring to the table are, like Night Elves, a bit abstract. The Goblins capitalize with a 1% attack speed increase, Rockets that can be used to launch forward or blast a ranged target, always able to get a full discount from vendors regardless of Reputation (take that Humans), a Hobgoblin to allow Bank access and a bonus to Alchemy. That seems like a lot, but most of it is not as useful when it comes to combat as the flat stat boosts seen previously.

Orc: The poster race of the Horde. Solemn honorable to crazed berserkers, the Orcs from beyond the Dark Portal produce them in all forms. The bonuses for the Orcs are the standard Expertise bonus, but from using Axes this time, a 5% damage bonus to pet classes (which warriors are not), a Spell that grants an Attack Power boost, and 15% reduction in stun duration. Orcs are fairly standard fair for a Warrior, nothing stand out, but still able to hold its own.

Tauren: The other of the “good” races. These cows generally try to get along with everyone, even having ties to the Alliance race of Night Elves. They joined the Horde out of respect for helping to found their homeland and similar cultural beliefs to the Orcs. The big bulls are gifted with a 5% Health bonus, a Resistance to Nature damage, a small area stun for up to 5 enemies, and a bonus to Herbalism. The Tauren abilities say, “Survive,” their size says, “don’t hurt me,” and their nature says, “serve, protect, and honor,” All of which adds up to “Tank” in my book. A solid choice for a Warrior of any type.

Troll: Like the Goblins to follow years later, the Darkspear left their island homes to follow the Horde to new settlements and have been stalwart allies since. The keepers of the Voodoo gain a 1% chance to hit with Bows and Thrown weapons, a 5% damage increase against Beast type creatures, a slight increase to natural health regain and a small amount of health regeneration while in combat, an ability to increase attack speed, and a 15% reduction to movement impairing effects. Trolls be flippin’ out with some interesting balance in racial bonus that cover a lot of areas, mon.

Undead: The Forsaken of Lordaeron were the zombie minions of the Lich King during the Third War, but regained their freewill during a period of his weakness. Following the lead of former High Elf Sylvanas Windrunner, they formed their own nation and joined the Horde for mutual gain. The Undead bring an increased ability to breath underwater, a spell that removes charm, sleep, and fear effects, a Resistance to Shadow, and an ability to eat the corpses of their victims for health. The Undead are a mixed bag of things that mostly equate to given them advantage over the living of their opponents.

Race Selection – Summary

In the end any Race will work as a Warrior. Remember to use your Race’s abilities to your advantage whenever possible, seek the weapons that give you bonuses, use defensive abilities when you are in tight spots, and offensive ones to press on at key times.

Profession Selection

Alchemy: This Profession is used to make potions from herbs which can enhance stats for lengthy duration, and Transmute gems and elements at later levels. Alchemists gain more from their potions than non-alchemists, including double duration and a slight boost to its effect. For a Warrior, this is a B, will be useful, but not the “best” choice.

Blacksmithing: This Profession is used to turn metals and other raw materials into Mail and Plate Armor. Blacksmiths are capable of adding gem sockets to their gloves and bracers, allowing for greater stat customizing options. For a Warrior, this is a A+, considered to be a standard profession.

Enchanting: This Profession is used to reduce enhanced items into magical residue and then use said residue to imbue greater power into other items. Enchanters have access to special enchants that only they may have on their rings. For a Warrior, this is a A-, every class can benefit well, but is not usually seen on a Warrior.

Engineering: This Profession allows creation of strange gadgets and gizmos, not all of which are always useful. Engineers can upgrade various pieces of their gear in a way similar to an Enchanter that provide more unique options. For a Warrior, this profession is about a B-, fun and interesting doesn’t always mean super-useful.

Herbalism: This Profession is used to gather various Herbs around the game world for use in Alchemy and Inscription. Herbalists also gain the ability Lifeblood, which has a minor healing component and a Haste increase. For a Warrior, this is a C+, can be used to fuel other professions or generate gold on the Auction House, but generally not a top profession.

Inscription: This Profession is used to turn Herbs into ink for use in making Glyphs, Buff Scrolls, and Cards which can be turned in for Trinkets. Scribes can also “enchant” their shoulder items with an enchant that is superior to what other characters can obtain. For a Warrior, this is a B, useful, but not “good.”

Jewelcrafting: This Profession is used to make Rings and Necklace as well as prospect gems and minerals from raw ore and then cut said gems. Jewelcrafters may use a limited number of Superior gems which grant higher bonuses than their standard counterparts. For a Warrior, this is an A, a fairly obvious choice, if you didn’t want to Blacksmith.

Leatherworking: This Profession is similar to Blacksmithing, except it uses leather pieces to make Leather, and at later levels, Mail (but this we be after Warriors can use Plate.) Leatherworkers gain improved Bracer Enchants similar to Scribes getting improved Shoulder Enchants. For a Warrior, this is a D, might have a decent sales market, but doesn’t benefit the class in anyway.

Mining: This Profession allows a user to both mine ore for Jewelcrafting as well as Smelt that ore into Metals for Blacksmithing. Miners also receive a Stamina boost at they level the Mining Skill. For a Warrior, this is an A+, as ore and metal sell well and are used in the top crafting professions for a Warrior.

Skining: This Profession allows for the gathering of basic leather off the dead bodies of various creatures. This Profession also grants an increase to Critical Strike Rating. For a Warrior, this is a B-, the bonus is ok and Leather has a decent market, but it won’t fully help the class.

Tailoring: This Profession is used to turn the various cloth drops into Cloth Armor. Tailors can also create increased improved Cloak enchants for themselves and various non-combat gear. For a Warrior, this is a D-, much like Leatherworking, the gear is practically useless and the market for the other craftables is low.

Secondary Professions: Every character may pick any two professions from the above list, but can also learn Cooking, Fishing, First Aid, and eventually Archeology. These Professions have great utility from the Well Fed food buffs from Cooking, to emergency healing from First Aid bandages, these should not be overlooked.

Profession Selection – Summary
Most Warriors will receive the maximum benefit from the Mining/Blacksmithing or Mining/Jewelcrafting combination, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Herbalism/Alchemy and Herbalism/Inscription both can grant you more soloing utility. A combination of Enchanting and Skinning could be profitable without much of a loss.

Warrior Gear Stats
As you quest, level, and kill creatures you will inevitably gain new gear to equip. Each piece may have stat increase to give. By holding the shift key down and holding your mouse over a piece of gear in your bag you can see the difference in stats between the new item and what you are currently wearing. The first general rule is, you should probably be wearing Mail type armor (unless the Leather is substantially better) until you gain the ability to wear Plate.

For a Warrior looking to go into the Arms Talent Tree, you are going to want a single Two-Handed Weapon. The main stats you want to focus on are Strength, Crit, and Hit in roughly that order with Expertise, Agility, and Haste being acceptable other stats.

For a Warrior going into the Fury Talent Tree, you will want two One-Handed Weapons. The main stats you would want are similar to an Arms Warrior, except you will Favor Hit more highly than Crit as Dual-Wielding increase your likelihood to miss.

Finally a Protection Warrior will want a One-Handed Weapon and a Shield. If you are looking to Quest solo you should be wearing gear fairly similar to an Arms Warrior. If you are looking to Tank Dungeons using the LFD tool or grouping with friends, you will still want some of the DPS stats, but will also want gear with large amounts of Stamina, Dodge, Parry, and bonus Armor.

This is obviously a rather quick Introduction to starting your first Warrior and things to be mindful of. I have been adjusting my layout for this series and next week we will be getting into what to expect in the level 1-9 areas as well as getting introduced to a few Beta Warriors of mine for demonstations. Hopefully the next column should be rolling out Monday Afternoon/Evening of November 22nd. See you then.

Planning: So you want to be a Cataclysm Warrior?

November 12, 2010 1 comment

Since I haven’t heard from anyone for topic ideas, I have made a decision for the remaining few weeks before the Expansion drops. Leveling tips for people who are rolling new Warriors. I have a Beta account and a few new Warriors around level 10 and a bunch of heirlooms. The general idea would be to test all three specs for leveling in the 1-30 range pointing out advantages and the general feel of how the class is to play.

1-30 is being targeted mostly because I don’t think I will be able to get 3 characters much past that in the coming weeks. I have a busy schedule for the next couple weekends as well as achievements to go for on my main (Loremaster is almost done, I swear). Arms, Fury, and Prot are all very viable for leveling though and with Cataclysm being the time to start new toons, a class guild can be extremely useful for both people trying something new and new players. Also, I feel this type of overview will help me relearn the class a bit on a basic level (I need to get better at Arms & Fury) and lead to my own improvement in the future.

So starting Sunday, check back to meet the three warriors and get the 1-10 basics down.

EDIT: I have decided to Restart the Warriors from Scratch, just to triple check those first few levels. As such, the races of the Warriors are open game…

Stacking Avoidance instead of Stamina

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

… Or how to actually make your Healers wake up a bit and smell the Cataclysm.

Right now the common theory is to stack Stamina and let the Healers sort it out. That kind of thinking is going out of the window in favor of a more complex system of mana management. Taking loads of damage and expecting the Healer to just handle it all just won’t cut it. I am going to ask you for a minute to follow me with this. Warning any and all math involved is going to be brief and simple.

Currently we Gem for Stamina, the only thing with higher priority is Hit and Expertise to their respective caps. At the moment I have a total of 18 Gem slots. Now considering approximately 3 slots worth of those is spent adjusting Hit and Expertise that leaves us 15 to put straight Stam in. Doing so (without any Jewelcrafting or Blacksmithing bonus) would be worth 450 Stamina or basically 4500 HP. Assuming your average Boss swings for about 10k thats two swings worth.

I recently Reforged my gear (using mostly Dodge and Parry) to Mastery netting me a total Block Chance of 40.45%, my Parry and Dodge dropping from about 22.5% each. I then switched my gems to favor Parry, Dodge, and Agility (using some half Stamina Gems in places) which has reduced my Stamina bonus from that 450 to about 180, a loss of 2700 HP. My Parry is currently 20.23 and my Dodge is 20.07 (Parry being more favorable due to the Talent Hold the Line). So Basically in exchange for 4.7% avoidance I Picked up 10% Block all of this is without any buffs. Which is an increase overall. That 5.3% more reductions when spread over an encounter really starts to add up, but basically each boss’ physical swing is reduced by about 1.6% which on that 10k swing means about 160 damage which is more than the difference in a full 30 Stamina Gem and a +15 Stamina + something else gem. Factor in longer fights and Critical Blocks and those numbers start to add up.

The reason all this is important is come Cataclysm our Shield Block will only give us 25% chance to Block increase for 10 Seconds, but will convert the overages of using it that push us above the 100% mark of Block, Dodge, & Parry from Block percentage to Critical Block percentage. We want to be as close to the line as possible. Right now however, what we gain is survivability. I haven’t checked my fully buffed Dodge & Parry ratings, but in the last run in ICC I had a full 40% less damage taken than the off tank. We favor Block a bit because we no longer gain Rage from Dodges and Parries.

With the Healers focusing on keeping Mana managed we need to focus more on keeping down on incoming damage, not how we can just take more of it. Maybe spending the Gold to swap out now isn’t entirely worth it, especially if your guild is on break, but it is definitely something to keep in mind for the future when making Gear choices at 81 and beyond.

Blood an’ Thunder

October 27, 2010 1 comment

I am currently working on a Talent by talent review of the Protection tree, but it has come to my attention that one talent in particular is causing a lot of grief. The general consensus has been reached that at this time the Talent Blood & Thunder is simply not worth taking for a Prot Warrior. There are multiple combined factors that sort of mess into this view. Most of the blogs I have looked at have come to this decision after testing it out. My personal experience agrees with them, but lets break it down point by point.

Rend‘s damage is not substantial enough. That is, in Defensive Stance with a one hand weapon and minimal Attack Power bonuses, a Protection Warrior is going to be doing far less damage per Rend tick than an Arms Warrior would, and the ability is (as it should be) Balanced for Arms. There are two bonuses in Protection that would boost Rend, Thunderstruck (which is a synergistic Talent which gives a 20% damage boost to Rend when maxed out), the other being the Attack Power bonus from Vengeance, which takes a good deal of time to build on a trash pull; leading to my next point.

Cooldowns need to be used effectively and efficiently early in a pull, Charge, Rend, Thunderclap, then start building threat is too long. This seems to be the most easily identified part of the problem. Blood & Thunder forces a change to the “rotation” of a Prot Warrior that is ineffective at holding a single target. A dps attacking the “skull” or main target (or any target, especially if a kill order is not marked) will be able to get off 2 or even 3 (based on Haste) attacks in this time and will probably rip aggro. DPS patience is extremely low and very few will wait 5 to 7 seconds to begin bringing the pain, even if it is in their best interest. Which is just another of the compounding issues.

Speaking of other players, other Tanks still seem to hold snap AoE threat better. My personal experience is from ICC trash with two Paladin Tanks holding trash threat so easily I could hardly get a target to myself. I think this might be more of the time needed to pull off Blood & Thunder just not being effective, but I do just feel worth less on most trash pulls.

Having identified some of the problems, what are possible solutions?

If Rend isn’t hitting hard enough, the obvious solution would be buff Rend. However, Rend is, as I said earlier, balanced around Arms using it, not Prot (Tip: Blood & Thunder is actually useful as a secondary Talent in an Arms PvE build). So buffing the skill directly would not be a likely scenario. Adding a damage boost to Blood & Thunder along the lines of, “When Rend is applied via Blood & Thunder, its damage is increased by 10%/20%” is a reasonable balance and makes the talent more appealing to Arms as well. Lastly, increasing the Rend Damage boost in Thunderstruck could work as well, and wouldn’t in anyway affect Arms’ use of the skill.

If the problem more lies in the time needed, maybe there needs to be an alternate way to apply Rend. A wiser Tank than me suggested glyphing Heroic Throw to apply Rend instead of Sunder Armor. Heroic Throw does open most pulls before the Charge and this may be effective (obviously testing would have to be done). My thought was to add or change one of the Glyphs dealing with Charge itself to apply Rend. Currently we have a Glyph to reduce Charge’s cooldown and one to increase its distance (both of which have more PvP utility than PvE), adding a Glyph that causes Charge to apply Rend to the target would remove one of the cooldown uses and speed up the entire process without altering our toolbox too dramatically.

The final choice is to tell DPS to wait for the Sunders, but the odds of that happening seem low. Any ideas or concerns I missed?

/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage(“\124cff71d5ff\124Hspell:84615\124h[Blood and Thunder]\124h\124r”);