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Proving Grounds: Protection Warrior Endless Tank Challenge

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I've been trying to get the 30 wave achievement on my protection warrior in the proving grounds for a while now. Attempting to do so has been a learning experience, not only in the challenge itself, but in improving my skill as a protection warrior in general.


For those that are looking for tips to help with this achievement, you'll probably be as disheartened as I was when the little information available fell in two categories. Either it was other classes showing off how easy it is for them, or it was the rare protection warrior that finished it also proclaiming that its very easy.


In truth, its not. Its not easy for a protection warrior and I'm rather glad that it isn't. There are very few things in World of Warcraft that require this level of skill to succeed in. Even when I was doing bleeding edge raiding progression back in the day, it wasn't this hard. The ability to put in as little or as much time into it whenever you feel like it is also part of its charm.


In an effort to help me improve in my attempts, I've kept a written log of all my recent attempts. Going over the log helps me avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over. I have also written some tips for myself to remind me of how I've been improving in case I spend a long time between attempts and forget what I've learned. I'll share both of them here and edit them as I continue.


I invite anyone who's working on this achievement with a protection warrior to chime in with any tips they might have, or ask for help and encouragement.


Attempts: 55. Best: Wave 32  (Note that I started logging my runs after maybe 20 tries or so)

Attempt 1: Wave 6 (Used shockwave late wave 5, so it was on cd at start of wave 6)
Attempt 2: Wave 6 (Shield Wall too late. Enraged regen on cd. Didn't use Healthstone)
Attempt 3: Wave 15 (Started wave on low health. Didn't use/avoid fire)
Attempt 4: Wave 9 (Sikari took too much damage in wave 8. Taunt was out of sync from spawns)
Attempt 5: Wave 9 (Didn't use Shield Wall or Last Stand)
Attempt 6: Wave 7 (Didn't handle knockbacks at end of wave 6 well. Started 7 in bad spot)
Attempt 7: Wave 5 (Finished wave 4 with ambusher and windguard up. Didn't manage the damage)
Attempt 8: Wave 9 (Shield Wall and Last Stand were on cd from wave 8)
Attempt 9: Wave 7 (Couldn't keep the windguards from wave 6 off Sikari in wave 7)
Attempt 10: Wave 17 (Couldn't keep the windguards from wave 16 off Sikari in wave 17)
Attempt 11: Wave 12 (Leftover windguard from 11 caused mess in 12. Didn't use Stoneform to clear stacks)
Attempt 12: Wave 7 (Missed crucial tclap at start. Intimidating Shout broken too quickly)
Attempt 13: Wave 7 (Missed crucial tclap at start. Didn't pop anything to recover)
Attempt 14: Wave 17 (2 Foragers leaked the intial tclap. Kiting failed by going back in to pick them up)
Attempt 15: Wave 9 (Started wave very well, so became miserly with cds at the end.)
Attempt 16: Wave 5 (Ran through fire several times.)
Attempt 17: Wave 17 (Sikari took too much damage at start of Wave 16. Loose windguards killed her in 17)
Attempt 18: Wave 18 (Screen froze for about 10 seconds. Sikari died soon after)
Attempt 19: Wave 10: (Didn't use enough CDs to survive the Conquerer and midwave ambusher)
Attempt 20: Wave 8: (Couldn't keep mid-wave spawns off Sikari)
Attempt 21: Wave 10: (Left the flamecaller on Sikari when her health was too low)
Attempt 22: Wave 9: (Didn't use Last Stand and remaining CDs)
Attempt 23: Wave 19: (Facetanked wave 19 with minimal kiting. Ran out of CDs towards the end)
Attempt 24: Wave 5: (Forgot to repair. Shield went red)

Attempt 25: Wave 14: (Very smooth run rudely interrupted by instance desync)

Attempt 26: Wave 17: (Sikari took too much damage in wave 16 due to not using mocking banner. Windguards killed her in 17)

Attempt 27: Wave 19: (Finished 18 on very low health with 2 mobs up and didn't pick up wave 19 cleanly. Couldn't recover.)

Attempt 28: Wave 17: (Got to 17 cleanly, but didn't handle the inherited windguards well.)

Attempt 29: Wave 9: (Forgot to use mocking banner)

Attempt 30: Wave 12: (Race changed away from Dwarf and the loss of Stoneform has made wave 2/12 tougher. Have to start kiting it)

Attempt 31: Wave 27: (Breakthrough! Got overexcited and forgot to use enough CDs)

Attempt 32: Wave 10: (Placed Mocking banner too late)

Attempt 33: Wave 9: (Didn't pop enough CDs)

Attempt 34: Wave 10: (Placed Mocking Banner too early. Sikari took too much damage after it expired. She died in 10)

Attempt 35: Wave 12: (Fan of Bananas' slow ruined kiting. Stacks didn't drop)

Attempt 36: Wave 9: (A bit rusty. Forgot to use CDs properly)

Attempt 37: Wave 17: (Untimely lag spike)

Attempt 38: Wave 20: (Wave 19 was very messy. Started 20 with leftover mobs, no CDs, and low health. Didn't survive.)

Attempt 39: Wave 17: (The surviving windguards from wave 16 continue to cause trouble.)

Attempt 40: Wave 19: (Didn't use enough CDs)

Attempt 41: Wave 27: (Missed a taunt towards the end of wave 26 and Sikari lost most of her health. She didn't survive 27)

Attempt 42: Wave 19: (Facetanked too much)

Attempt 43: Wave 27: (The tclap missed picking up a couple of wave 27 mobs. Going back to pick them up delayed kiting, which eventually ruined the attempt.)

Attempt 44: Wave 9: (Popped too many cds early and ran out late in the wave)

Attempt 45: Wave 19: (Delayed Mocking banner too long. Sikari died)

Attempt 46: Wave 22: (Didn't manage to drop stacks. Left my back to the pack when picking up 2nd ambusher)

Attempt 47: Wave 17: (A few leaked the intial tclap. Couldn't kite well after picking them up)

Attempt 48: Wave 19: (Used shockwave late in 18 and missed a 3rd target, so it was on CD at start of 19)

Attempt 49: Wave 29: (Heartbreakingly close! Started 29 sub 20% health, so panicked and popped too many CDs together. Lasted 40 secs into the wave before dying)

Attempt 50: Wave 30: (This was just devastating! I finished wave 29 on full health with 3 seconds to spare. Started 30 nice and easy. Was just about to start kiting the Conquerer when he enraged and 1 shot me from 70% health!)




Attempt 51: Wave 7: (Very rusty. Made every mistake imaginable)

Attempt 52: Wave 7: (Didn't pick up the wave 7 mobs correctly. Sikari quickly died)

Attempt 53: Wave 27: (Distracted by a phone call right as the wave spawned. Was badly out of position)

Attempt 54: Wave 20: (Facetanked the conqueror during his enrage with no cds)

Attempt 55: Wave 32: (YES!!! Was far too excited to focus on continuing. Didn't kite enough to clear my stacks)




* Intimidating shout will not be useful when Sikari is AoEing. It'll break instantly. You're better off using it when Sikari is doing single target DPS during dangerous waves. For example, early wave 6, late wave 8, and middle wave 10. 


* Most comments I've found don't recommend Piercing Howl for Proving Grounds, as the mobs move faster than you even after being slowed. However, since Ggnowards used it, I decided to give it a try. I've found that combining Piercing Howl with Shockwave/Leap or any other kiting method increased the kite duration significantly, even if they catch you eventually. This made it much more useful than Staggering shout, which is difficult to setup, breaks often, and has a cooldown.


* Demoralizing Shout should be used extensively. Use it early so it is available again for the next wave.


* The two most difficult waves, 7 and 9, both spawn on the same spot. Put a marker on the ground where they spawn and make sure you are in position to pick them up well before they appear. This makes both waves much smoother.

Wave 6:

CDs recommended: Intimidating Shout, Mocking Banner, Disarm.



Start by activating Shield barrier and pick up the windguards before they reach Sikari. Shockwave them immediately and follow it up with Intimidating Shout as the stun is wearing off. Drop Mocking Banner. Sikari will quickly break the fear from the one she’s attacking. Pick that one up and pull it as far as you can from the other two still feared. Once the fear wears off and they stack on you again, Shockwave them and Heroic Leap away. By the time they reach you again, there should be only two left. Use shield block and disarm to tank them and dps the one Sikari is attacking.



Edit: I've noticed that it doesn't really matter how much damage the windguards take in wave 6, since Sikari eventually just AoEs them down in wave 7. As such, I started saving my DPS cooldowns for wave 7. 


I've also noted that good positioning, well timed use of intimidating shout, and keeping up shield block combined can delay or eliminate the need for Mocking banner. However, if you place mocking banner later than 10 to 15 seconds into wave 6, it will be still on cooldown during the crucial moments of wave 9. So you might as well use it early in wave 6.


Wave 7:



CDs recommended: Vigilance, Shield Wall, Enraged Regeneration, Skull Banner, Recklessness, Bloodbath



As the wave is starting, keep your target on the healthier windguard remaining from wave 6. He’ll cause you the most trouble. Pick up all the mobs, shockwave and start kiting. As they get to you again, pop Shield Wall and all your offensive CDs and prepare to pick up the loose windguard(s) off Sikari with a Charge. Vigilance on Sikari right after the first taunt you need to use. Shockwave once its back off cooldown and Heroic Leap away. Keep taunting, stunning and kiting, using cooldowns as needed, until they’re dead.


Wave 9:



CDs recommended: All remaining CDs

Mocking Banner is crucial in keeping the windguards and the mid-wave ambusher spawns off Sikari. Don’t delay using Mocking Banner too long as the windguards will chain their knockbacks and keep you pinned to the back wall, making it very difficult to target the banner. Use every single cooldown available to survive. You don't need to save anything for wave 10.

Wave 10:



CDs recommended: Any CDs available



Park the Conqueror within a flame patch if possible since Sikari will need the help in dpsing him down, but don't attempt to do so if it puts you at risk. Use Demo shout and shield block. If you’re at low health, charge the flamecaller to start kiting the Conqueror, then Heroic Leap even further. Taunt the ambusher spawn from range and, once he reaches you, pop intimidating shout on the Conqueror to fear the ambusher away.


Note that the Conqueror when enraged will do a lot of damage by wave 20 and even more so on wave 30. As such, you should add CDs beyond just Demo shout and Shield Block. Rallying Cry is a good option. If Last stand is available, use that instead.

Edited by Lichdom

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So is trying the tanking proving grounds a useful thing to do as a new prot warrior?

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Very nice post, Lichdom. Thank you for sharing.


Proving Grounds is useful in that it forces you to handle your own damage intake. It's less useful in that it doesn't require you to learn to play with the strengths and weaknesses of others and that your PG talents are likely to be very different from your normal talents. It's mostly an epeen ring, but I could see it being useful for practicing CD usage.

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Thanks Esta!


@nefigah: Its useful in that it can quickly highlight any rookie mistakes you might be making. The better you know your class, the less mileage you'll get out of it.


Personally, I know that it forced me out of some bad tanking habits I had. I finally bound and started using many abilities that were just gathering dust on my taskbar for years. I rearranged some of my regular keybinds to make them more accessible. I configured an addon to allow me to track all my cooldowns at a glance.


Also, as Estarriol mentioned, since you're gear is scaled down in the proving grounds, you can't really outgear the content and as such have to actively manage your damage intake. With the recent shift in the warrior tanking paradigm to active mitigation, I found this to be good practice.

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Same as Lichdom said, it has forced me to look at all of my spells and abilities, move stuff around on my bars, sometimes even moving the bars entirely around. I think the proving grounds are good for rookies up to silver. For gold and endless, that is all bragging rights right there. Some of the mechanics for the waves you would never do in a raid situation nowadays. 

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This may, or may not be a little late for this topic. But as a Protection Warrior that has achieved wave 30 multiple times, the insight you seek is between your eyes not in between your logs. Dimmed down, I'm meaning you're over complicating things which in return is making it more difficult in your push to 30. I can give you some clever use of mechanics that might help you. On my first 30 wave I ran with glyphs of Unending rage, Heavy repercussions, and Death from above. Talent choices were fairly simple with Double time, Second Wind, Piercing Howl, Shockwave, Mass Spell Reflect, and Bloodbath. With having Heroic leap and Shockwave for every wave, you're able to avoid many certain mechanics that will destroy your HP, like the monkeys that spam banana's, shockwave and heroic leap away from them to allow the monk in the middle to aoe them down. Even the bunnies you're able to Shockwave, leap away to reset your stacks. The biggest factor I had issues with primarly was the 3 windguards at wave 27 I believe it is. This is what I did, at the start I threw mocking banner down, Shockwaved, after shockwave was done I indimidating shouting them (Don't thunderclap here), after this is done I piercing howl and leap away, by the time you leap you should have Shockwave up in about 5 seconds, once they reach you shockwave and the first windguard should be dead, after that it's fairly easy with just a simple disarm and shield barrier/block uptime. My best advice, is don't make it too overcomplicated with logs, and make sure you have a CD past 20 waves for every single wave. I needed 2 CD's on wave 28 alone along with jumping all over the place. Sorry if this is a long reply, but I want to make sure a fellow warrior tank can achiev his goal.

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Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I've recently leveled a priest to 90 and gearing him has been taking most of my game time. I managed to put in 3 tries yesterday though. As per your advice, I tried Piercing Howl and Unending Rage. Both worked out very well.


I feel I've got all the basics covered and I just need to put it all together into one good try and make it to 30. Its just a matter of time and focus now I believe.

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Here's some footage of attempt 41. The attempt is explained inside the spoiler in the first post.


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So I've come a long way since my first few tries where I couldn't get past the second wave. What at first seemed an insurmountable challenge to me is now actually doable. My last few tries were heartbreakingly close as you can see in the OP. As I'm about to take a long trip and I will not have time to play for a month or so, I feel its time to bring this to a close.


Even though I didn't achieve what I set out to do, I got close enough to see the finish line more than once, with a best score of 2935. I'm fairly certain now that I can do it, given some more time. Perhaps when I'm back from my trip I'll try to finish this off.


I have nothing but respect for those that have finished this challenge, especially with a Warrior. To those that are still trying to get the achievement, I hope that this average player's experiences have helped you in some way. I wish you all the best and see you in a month!

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A month has gone by and I just got back from my trip. I was eager to get back to this bit of unfinished business. My first two tries were humbling wipes at wave 7. But I quickly got back into the groove. Three attempts later . . .



There sits my warrior. Tired, but victorious. 

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