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Protection: Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags

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Oak and Iron, guard me well. Or else I'm dead and doomed to hell.

Why tank as a warrior?
Tanks, to be truly successful, need to have a high degree of control in a broad range of categories. They must have control over a boss, adds, or both through optimal positioning and threat, but must also control their intake of damage along with their damage output. By picking up adds efficiently, a tank is able to allow DPS to take less damage (i.e. fewer melee swings landing on friends) and to do more damage to the adds or to prevent adds from dying if they need to be kept alive. Through the active mitigation paradigm implemented in MoP, a tank becomes the largest part of their own survivability.

In both of these categories, protection warriors are very strong while also being very dynamic and entertaining to play. With Shield Barrier and Shield Block (hereby known as SBar and SBlk, respectively), warriors have fantastic options for mitigating incoming damage and may make their damage income very smooth and predictable. Through Boodbath and Dragon Roar (BB and DR henceforth), warriors have the ability to output immense burst AoE and single target threat and damage, while choosing Shockwave gives superior add control and allows the warrior to take less damage. Importantly, warriors are also well-suited to helping their fellow raiders through the use of CDs such as Demoralizing Banner, Rallying Cry, and Vigilance. One of the most notable things about a warrior is their superior mobility in fights, which a tank must utilize in order to be a truly note-worthy player.

Talents and Glyphs:
Keep a stack of Tomes of the Clear Mind handy at all times. Warriors have a very nice selection of talents and glyphs that are highly customizable for every fight that one may encounter. I typically go through about five per night, at least, and having the option to try a new configuration in the midst of progression attempts is a must.

Tier 1 Talents:
Juggernaut and Double Time are two different methods of obtaining the same goal, which is the ability to Charge more often in a fight. As stated above, mobility is one of a warrior's biggest assets. the choice between Juggernaut and Double Time is, however, largely personal. Juggernaut will give you very slightly more rage in ideal conditions, but keep in mind the number of times you will be able to use Charge. If you are currently tanking the boss, running out to use Charge is often simply not an option. Even if you Heroic Leap out and Charge back in, the boss will have moved several steps, causing your DPS to move and thereby losing damage on the boss. Another important consideration is the fact that Charge will often put you behind a boss if the boss is in mid-step when you Charge because bosses will not be stunned by it. If this happens, you will likely take a melee in the back, the DPS will be vulnerable to any frontal cone abilities the boss uses, and those classes who do not hard-cap expertise may get parried. All around, Charging a boss while you're already tanking is, in most cases, a very bad idea and not worth the small rage gain. (Note: starting a pull with Charge is highly recommended, unless there is some other mechanic that would make a Charge dangerous.)

Essentially, any possible benefit from choosing Juggernaut would be very small. Double Time, on the other hand, is very useful in fights with adds, especially where adds spawn spread out or with high frequency. It is also very strong on highly mobile fights.

The last possibility is Warbringer. I don't have much at all to say about it, as its raiding applications are limited. I would only recommend using it in the case where you have ONE add spawning that can be and needs to be stunned. A three second stun on a small add would be less than optimal as in almost every case, small adds need to be picked up and moved to a better position. Stunning one for such a long time would make it lag behind the pack and would make it more likely that you will lose threat on it. A mostly useless stun would not be worth the immense loss of mobility.

Recommended: Double Time. I use it exclusively, but the differences between the Tier 1 talents are small enough to make the choice between Juggernaut and Double Time very personal.

Tier 2 Talents:
This tier of talents is where the choices become more interesting. There is no one, true way to go with this tier.

Second Wind is my choice for soloing or doing dailies. It is mostly useless in raids, though if you encounter a fight where you tend to be sub-35% for extended periods of time, taking it could be very useful.

Impending Victory is a strong choice, but it has its drawbacks. Its primary limitation is the fact that it is not free. 10 rage may not be much, but it is still 10 rage. In addition, it does make the t15 2p's procs also cost 10 rage and will still put IV on its CD. Its primary strength lies in the fact that it has such a short CD. 20% every 30s is very strong and you do not need to line it up with Enrage, though with the way Enrage has been buffed, that should not be an issue. To get the most heals out of it, you'd want to use it on CD, but you will often not be sub-80% every 30s (hopefully). You should consider what's soon to happen in the fight. Will you be taking a very large hit soon? If so, then you should probably use it to get your health as high as possible just prior to that hit along with using SBar and possibly a CD. If you're sub-80% and there's no special damage spike to save it for, use it. Get the most out of it while trying to ensure that you're not throwing it away into overheals.

Enraged Regen is the final option. It is free to use when you are enraged and free is one of my favorite words. One may easily time Berserker Rage to be up at the same time or within seconds of ER, but with the many methods of Enraging now, you shouldn't even need to go that far. ER is great for fights with high damage spikes because it will give you 20% up front and tick for 2%/s for 20s after the hit, as long as you time it well. The problem with Enraged Regen is that it is a total of 40% of your health. That can be problematic to time well, especially since half of that is a HoT. It is entirely possible, even likely, that your healers will get you to full before you can fully utilize the HoT. However, the HoT can be a huge benefit in the many fights where you are rendered helpless during a heavy-damage ability, such as Korven's Vicious Assault and Rook's punches. Using ER just before you are immobilized will help your healers keep you up.

Recommended: Enraged Regen for fights where you are immobilized or fights with heavy damage spikes where the HoT will help.. Impending Victory for more frequent healing, albeit at the cost of precious rage. Second Wind for questing, soloing, or fights where you know you will be sub-35% for extended periods of time.

Tier 3 Talents:
There's not a whole lot to say about the tier 3 talents. They are all situational. If your composition and strat calls for something to be slowed, pick up Piercing Howl. If you need an AoE interrupt, pick Disrupting Shout. Staggering Shout has little use.

Recommended: Disrupting Shout for general use. It allows you to have an extra interrupt if needed or an AoE interrupt for trash packs. There aren't terribly many fights that call for slowing and kiting, so you'll get more use out of Disrupting Shout.

Tier 4 Talents:
This is the most fun tier, in my opinion. Bladestorm's recent buff is fantastic. It's my favorite talent for trash and any boss with adds.

Shockwave is the old prot standby. It is the ability you are most likely to see on inexperienced tanks. I am not implying that it is a bad choice or that taking it is a sign of poor tanking, but it is not the best choice for every situation. The stun is very nice for packs of adds, but is completely wasted on bosses and using it only on a boss will double its cooldown, meaning it is a poor choice for single target tanking. Its burst threat also just doesn't compare to DR's and it doesn't line up as nicely with Bloodbath. However, if you have adds spawning more frequently than one every minute or so, Shockwave can assist in picking up and controlling adds. An important caveat: when a mob is stunned, the swing timer on its melee ability is reset. If you are standing by a pack of adds once the stun wears off, they will all hit you simultaneously. Be very mindful and take a few steps back to stagger when the adds get to you and resume hitting you. Also keep diminishing returns on stuns in mind. If a pack of adds in going to be stunned in rotation by other members of your group, using Shockwave will not be helpful.

Dragon Roar is my go-to choice in single-target fights or fights where the adds do not last more than 6s. Ghostcrawler has made it very clear that he and the devs consider tank damage output important. You, as a tank, do have a large impact on whether or not your team makes enrage timers or not, especially in a 10 man environment. Doing poor DPS as a tank is now akin to having a DPS who does not pull his or her weight. From a purely tanking standpoint: if it dies faster, it stops hitting you faster. DR is also extremely helpful to secure aggro for tank swap mechanics. One particularly good use is in the Garrosh encounter. A full-vengeance DR will break out your mind-controlled group members in one hit.

Bladestorm. It's visceral, it's classic Warrior, and it's pretty much my favorite thing ever. Use caution, though. Before BSing, make sure to put up an SBar or SBlk, whichever is appropriate. Although you can still use many of your CDs, having your active mitigation up is a must. To scumbag for more damage have better odds of surviving without stressing your healers, pop a dodge trinket. You'll have the wonderful benefits of Riposte and take less damage as well. Everyone wins.

Recommended: Dragon Roar for single-target boss fights. Bladestorm for fights with adds that live longer than 6s. Shockwave if necessary.

Tier 5 Talents:
This is the warrior utility tier. These talents provide you with ways of helping your raid take less damage. The use of these abilities separates decent tanks from good tanks. If your fellow tank dies when the proper use of Safeguard or Vigilance could have saved him or her, it is YOUR fault. You should never let your tier 5 talents go unused. Exercise due caution though. Don't Safeguard or Intervene when you have a debuff that would endanger your life or hurt your raid, such as Jin'rokh's Static Wound, as you will hurt your raid by taking a melee, and be very cautious about using either ability if you have the Decapitate debuff on you as one melee will hit you very hard. For SoO, be cautious about using it on bosses like Malkorok and Nazgrim, as you can Intervene and take an additional stack.

Mass Spell Reflect can be powerful if used well, but it suffers due to limited applications. When it's useful, it's godly. When it's not, it's saddening.

Safeguard is best used when you are standing near your other tank for most of the fight. I know this seems odd, as I've stressed the importance of warrior mobility. If you're not near your other tank for most of the fight, there's a reason for it. Lei Shi, for example, would be a very poor choice for Safeguard. You would likely get hit by a Splash before you could get out of range, refreshing your stacks and actually causing your fellow tank to take more damage because they will have to wait even longer for your stacks to drop off. It is also a poor choice for Jin'rohk for the reasons stated above. It is a good choice if taking a boss melee will not refresh any stacks on you, cause splash damage on your team, or put you in a position you should not be. The 30 second cooldown is very nice for the 20% reduction it gives. In the current tier, there are many fights where you are able to take a debuff application by Safeguarding. However, that's probably not what you want.

Vigilance is the best choice for general cases. You can use it without causing positioning issues, the 30% reduction is very nice, and you aren't counted as taking a hit from a boss. With the 5.4 change, you no longer take the 30%. It is a free 30% external CD. Use it! If you have Fury or Arms warriors in your group, train them to use it as well. This CD is excellent.

Recommended: Vigilance for most fights.

Tier 6 Talents:
Bloodbath pairs well with Dragon Roar and Bladestorm, but it does take time to fully utilize it. Avatar's damage increase is immediate, but lesser % and on a longer CD. Stormbolt has potential, but abilities that scale with % weapon damage don't tend to scale as well with Vengeance. If your weapon has superb weapon damage, give it a try and see if you like it. Stormbolt's stun can also have situational uses, but you're giving up the damage is does in that case.

Recommended: Bloodbath for most cases.

I'm ignoring minor glyphs as they are almost exclusively aesthetic.

Heavy Repercussions: This is a personal favorite of mine. It provides good incentives to keep active mitigation up at all times and helps to smooth tank swaps. It pairs very well with the avoidance build as the rage generation allows layering SBar and SBlk and the crit makes good use of the glyph.

Hold the Line: I almost always have this glyph in. Shield Slam hits very hard and has fantastic threat output. The rest of our abilities don't do quite as well. This glyph allows Revenge to hit harder, so you have a higher threat ability to fill in between your much stronger Shield Slams. If you're using the Avoidance build, you can get some awesome mileage out of this glyph.

Incite: I am less enthused about this than I am about the previous two choices. Tank DPS matters, so the three free HSs are nice, but it encourages tanks to use Demoralizing Shout as a DPS CD instead of a survivability CD. They did finally fix the issue with Incite charges and Ultimatum procs both being used, but three HSs still don't do all that much damage.

Death from Above: Use when there are adds, especially if they spawn more often than 45s, or if the fight is very movement-heavy. It can add a bit to your AoE DPS, but at the cost of the adds moving a bit, making it possible for your melee to get parried.

Unending Rage: I am considering making this glyph one of my general glyphs. I enjoy the three free HSs of Incite, but they just don't do that much damage and with the rage generation of the avoidance build, having some extra space in your rage pool helps to ensure that you're not wasting rage by overfilling your bar.

Rude Interruption: Great if you're interrupting regularly, useless if not. I don't think I've ever really used it.

Enraged Speed: No real applications in raids, but I wanted to give it a mention for its use in the Troves of the Thunder King.

Resonating Power: This glyph is much nicer now that TC got it's huge buff. I particularly like it on Galakras and Spoils. The harder-hitting TC helps me get threat on the adds faster.

Victory Rush: Limited use as it only works on VRs, not IVs.

Bull Rush: 15 rage every 12-20 seconds sounds great, but it suffers from the drawbacks addressed in the tier 1 talents section. It's not especially useful during a pull either. Shout+Charge+Shield Slam+Revenge=80 rage within 3 seconds of the fight starting. That's sufficient for what you'll need when pulling.

Recommended: Incite or Unending Rage, Hold the Line, and Heavy Repercussions unless a fight mechanic makes another glyph a better choice. Play around with it and see what you like.

Edit- A note on minor glyphs from comments:

Glyph of Intimidating Shout is handy for packs of trash mobs, providing some emergency crowd control (or sometimes doubling as a poor man's interrupt) without the risk of runaway mobs pulling in more adds. It is particularly helpful for novice tanks starting out on heroic five mans, giving the warrior a few extra seconds to get mobs under control, to drink a healing potion, or apply some AoE threat. Bosses are not affected by it, and it is almost useless in raids, although it still works on a select few varieties of raid trash.

Glyph of Burning Anger is purely cosmetic, but if you're in a situation where you can't afford to take your eyes off what is happening on the screen, it provides a visual cue to let you know when you've procced an enrage. This may be helpful for tanks who don't use add ons to track things like this.

Overall, I don't use Glyph of Intimidating shout anymore for my own purposes. I don't really end up in situations where a fear is going to be helpful, but this is a good emergency option for newer tanks, as stated. I would be cautious about coming to rely on it as fears are quickly broken by groups.

There is also something to be said of the Burning Anger glyph being used to see if you're enraged or not. I find it less than useful in raid situations due to the mass number of spell effects and would highly recommend a Weak Aura to track enrage instead. However, using the glyph as a temporary measure would work. It also looks quite nice.


Recommended stat priority:
1) Hit to 7.5%
2) Expertise to 15%
3) 2*Dodge<=Parry<=2.5*Dodge (Parry should be somewhere between 2*Dodge and 2.5*Dodge)
4) Crit

5) Mastery

Rage generation. Now that Devastate and Shield Slam crits Enrage you, avoidance-stacking gives absolutely absurd rage generation. Although heavy avoidance is usually a very spiky build, warriors have SBlk whether we stack mastery or not. Although you will not crit block nearly as often, you can have an extremely high uptime on SBlk and use the rest of your rage to fill in between SBlk charges or even on top of Sblk if your rage allows. This gives you the smoothness of blocking with the total reduction of avoiding and absorbing damage.

Your gems will follow your overall gearing strategy for the most part.



Yellow Slots: Subtle Sun's Radiance or Stalwart Vermillion Onyx

Red Slots: Flashing Primordial Ruby or Stalwart Vermillion Onyx

Blue Slots: Regal Wild Jade or Defender's Imperial Amethyst

Prismatic Slots: Subtle or Flashing

Meta: Indomitable Primal Diamond. You should have it by now.


Why so many ORs!?

Your gems depend on your needs. You want your parry to be about 2-2.5x your dodge %. If you're well geared, you'll be more towards the 2.5x. If you're a bit one way or the other, it's not a huge deal since Riposte depends on ratings, not percent. However, you do want to get the most from your stats.


To be more precise, the goal is to maximize your combined dodge and parry percents with a certain rating. It you really want to go for optimization of this, add together your dodge and parry, switch a Regal Wild Jade with a Defender's Imperial Amethyst (or vice versa), and add your dodge and parry percent again. If the second total is higher than the first, move on to the next gem slot and repeat. If it is even, you can leave the gem in. If the second total is lower, swap the gem back to what it originally was. This method can eat quite a few gems, but will also give you more dodge and parry % and thus will allow you to have a higher uptime on Riposte.



After getting a piece of gear, I wanted to check to make sure I'm still balanced as far as DR on dodge and parry go. I added my total dodge and parry together and got 60.57%, then replaced one of the Regal Wild Jades in my shoulder slot with a Defender's Imperial amethyst. After adding my dodge and parry again, I found that my total was 60.56%, so I swapped the gem back to a Regal Wild Jade. This gives me a parry to dodge ratio of 2.395 at a 579 ilvl, so the approximation using the ratio would have worked as well.


If my total had been 60.58%, I would have continued to switch gems until I stopped getting a higher percent.


Yellow Slots: Fractured Sun's Radiance or equivalent
Red Slots:   Fine Vermillion Onyx
Green Slots: Puissant Wild Jade
Prismatic Slots: Fractured Sun's Radiance
Meta: Indomitable Primal Diamond.

Effective Health:
Blue Slots: Solid River's Heart
Green Slots: Regal Wild Jade
Purple Slots: Defender's Imperial Amethyst
Prismatic Slots: Solid River's Heart
Meta: Same as above.


For the most part, you'll want to get as much stam as possible if you really need it, but going for avoidance outside of your stam will help to smooth out your damage with rage. Depending on how much stam you need to make up for, you may want to consider forgoing all but the stam slot bonuses.

Mastery gemming vs. Effective Health gemming vs. Avoidance gemming:
Your choice mostly depends on your gearing choice. Please see https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/3002-54-protection-gearing-suggestions/ for a discussion on the different gearing sets.

Can I use expertise gems to get me that last little bit to make the 15% exp cap?:
Yes. Have at. I wouldn't recommend expertise gemming all the time, but if you need just a little bit more putting in a few expertise or expertise/mastery or expertise/stam gems is better than not having enough.

Most enchants should be pretty intuitive, though you do have a few places where you may make choices.

Shoulder: Greater Ox Horn (Secret Ox Horn if you are a scribe)
Back: Greater Protection or Accuracy, but ONLY if you cannot otherwise make hit cap
Chest: Superior Stam
Wrist: Major Dodge or Mastery (or Fur Lining - Stamina if you're a LW AND prioritizing EH)
Hands: Superior Mastery or Superior Expertise if you're still in need.
Legs: Ironscale Leg Armor (Heavy Leg Reinforcements if you're a LW)
Feet: Pandaren's Step
Weapon: River's Song. Dancing Steel is no longer a good choice because it does not contribute to Riposte.
Shield: Parry
Rings(if you are an enchanter): Stam or strength based upon whether you're working on magic/heavy-hitting fights or melee-based fights. I tend to go with stam on my rings in general as there are a multitude of fights with high magic damage.


My favorite combination of trinkets involves having one on-use trinket and one proc trinket. This provides a nice uptime overall from the proc trinket while also having an on-use trinket allows you to have more control and an extra CD for when you need it. Do not get rid of any trinket unless you get one that is a linear upgrade. Having just one set of trinkets for every fight is a very poor choice. You will need a static stam trinket for magic-based and frequent-heavy-hit-based fights, but dodge and mastery trinkets perform better on more physical fights. Keeping a trinket with expertise as the static stat may also allow to to more easily hit the expertise cap, though it needs to have a worthwhile proc on it.


Currently, the Resolve of Niuzao (435 version) is quite nice to have around despite its ilvl. The dodge on-use serves well when tanking He Softfoot as dodging his attacks will prevent a poison puddle from forming. For other fights, it also allows for burst threat and increased rage generation during its duration. The latter two reasons are also why the Curse of Hubris is nice. Additionally, Rik'kal's attacks during the Paragons encounter do not proc Riposte, so the crit on Hubris is quite nice for additional rage if it becomes necesary. I'm very much a fan of Rook's Unlucky Talisman. Most people think it's uselessly situational, but nearly every fight in SoO has some source of very high AoE damage. In particular, I find it essential for Iron Juggernaut and Thok. I also like it for Dark Shaman, and a few others. Juggernaut's Focusing Crystal can either be very nice or almost useless. It shines in fights with high tank damage, especially with heavy DoTs (I'm looking at you, Juggernaut). I also find it quite nice on Malkorok. It helps boost the shield when it first goes out and helps to keep it up when you're actively tanking. The Vial of Livng Corruption is only as good as you make it. If you do not rotate your CDs well, it is nearly useless. If you do, it's one of the most amazing trinkets I've ever seen. It can make a huge difference in any fight, but it requires you to be using your CDs frequently and well. If you habitually leave your CDs unused, you must improve on that. There is an immense difference between a tank who rotates CDs well and a tank who doesn't.

Ability Priority:
Having a proper countdown before boss pulls is important. Use Battle or Commanding Shout (depending on what stat your group needs) on 3 or 2, then your prepot on 2 or 1, then Charge in. You may Charge and Heroic Leap at the same time in order to get the rage from Charge and the damage from HL, though the benefit is very minor and the timing can be tricky. HL is best used for AoE pulls.

Single Target:
1) Shield Slam, especially if Sword and Board procs (+5 extra rage)
2) Revenge
3) Apply/refresh Sunder Armor using Devastate and to fill
4) Apply/Refresh Weakened Blows with Thunder Clap
5) Tier 4 Talent ability
6) Battle or Commanding Shout
7) Heroic Strike if Incite has charges or if Ultimatum has procced (note: HS is not on the GCD, so it can be used simultaneously with other abilities for best effect)
8) Heroic Strike as a rage dump ONLY if you have no need to mitigate damage AND do not have Heavy Repercussions or if SBlk is on CD.

AoE Priority:
1) Thunder Clap
2) Tier 4 Talent ability
3) Revenge (If the mobs aren't grouped closely enough to be cleaved by Revenge, then use SS)
4) Shield Slam
5) Incite or Ultimatum Cleaves
6) Cleave as a rage dump.

During Execute phase, Execute takes the place of HS as a rage dump. If you are not in danger of dying, you may use Execute more than you would HS because of its massive damage, but do not put yourself in undue danger because of it. If you die at 4% because you wanted to see those big numbers, your team is not going to be happy.

Active Mitigation:
I have seen debates over whether SBar is the go-to choice or whether SBlk is better. However, there is no one, true way. Every situation is different. You need some way of estimating how big of a shield your SBar would give you versus how much damage you are likely to block. Thus, you have several major considerations in choosing between SBar and SBlk:
1) Is the damage blockable? If the answer is no, don't ever use SBlk.
2) If it can be blocked or absorbed, how large is the SBar going to be? If you are at very high Vengeance, SBar becomes stronger and stronger. However, using SBar when you can block will make your damage intake spikier even if your total damage taken is less.
3) How quickly are you being attacked? If the boss has a fast melee or you have a pack of adds, your shield will drop very quickly, often much faster than you can replace it. In those cases, you will generally be able to mitigate more through SBlk anyway, while also having a smoother damage intake.
4) Are there external absorbs on you? If yes, how large? Other absorbs may be used before SBar begins being used up, this can lead to some heavy overheals with SBar and every overheal is a waste of rage. If you do have a large number of external shields on you and the damage you are taking is not likely to eat through them in less than SBar's duration, go with SBlk.

Try experimenting with SBar versus SBlk and see what your healers have to say. The optimal usage involves the intelligent choice between the two based on current situations. It is a rare fight where one completely trumps the other to the point where choosing only one for the entire duration of the fight gives you the maximum benefit. Very often, people over value SBlk because of Heavy Repercussions. Don't let your desire for ranks cause you to perform poorly as a tank.

Keep the timings of your active mitigation in mind. SBlk has two charges on 9s CDs. Don't leave yourself in a situation where you are likely to die because you used all of your charges. Also keep your rage generation in mind. Don't rage-starve yourself if a hard hitting mechanic is coming up.


Keep in mind that your overall highest source of damage isn't always your most dangerous source of damage. Identify what is most likely to kill you and plan your mitigation accordingly. If the boss has some hard-hitting mechanic (like Haromm's Froststorm Strike), you have to be sure that you will have an SBar for that AND that your SBar will still be up by the time the ability hits. Many bosses have their hard-hitting mechanics on a CD, not on a timer, and therefore the timing of the ability may be slightly odd. You have to watch your SBar. If it's been eaten away by melee hits, you have to have enough rage to put another up before the hard hit. This means you will need to have roughly 90 rage (without Unending Rage) or roughly 110 rage (with the glyph) before you use your first SBar. Take the time to make sure that after that first use that you have enough rage for another, full SBar. Make sure to use your SBar with a minimum of 60 rage, but also make sure you're not capping your rage and wasting it. Even a small amount of wasted rage is a serious drawback. If your group uses World of Logs, you can go into your own page and check by fight the number of HSs, Cleaves, SBars (assume 60 rage), SBlks, Executes, and then subtract the number of Ultimatum procs/Incites from HS/Cleave total. That will be yout total rage used. On your buffs cast page, it will show you how much rage you gained from each source. Compare that with how much you used. Ideally used=gain. If you have a lot of left over rage you didn't use, you need to focus on using every bit of rage you can. Be sure to check your healing as well. You will see the total of your SBars in your healing tab and will be able to compare their average size and how much went into overhealing. SBars count as overheals when they expire before being fully used. If you have more than 10% overhealing, then you are timing your SBars poorly. If you have a low average size, then you are either using your SBars mostly when you have low Vengeance (when they wouldn't be very necessary) or using them with less than 60 rage. The former is a timing issue and the latter is a rage-use issue. I'm not advising that you don't use SBar at lower vengeance, but merely that you should keep in mind that perhaps at that low vengeance SBlk may be a better option and to be sure to use them at high vengeance when you will see a large benefit from them. You can also use logs to check what damage you've taken and what your SBar is being used on most often. This can show whether or not the SBars you've used for Froststorm Strike (for example) are actually being used by that ability and not getting eaten by melee swings.


If you need help assessing your logs for any of the above errors or to see where you might improve, please feel free to create a thread and link your logs. I'll take a look and get back to you.

To make the best use of your CDs, you must research fights well. You should not wait until you have an emergency before you start using your defensive cooldowns. Intelligent use of your CDs will almost always prevent emergencies. That said, should you end up in a bad spot Healthstones, Last Stand, procced VRs, Tier 2 talents, and health pots are your best options for getting out of it alive. Do not use all of them at once, though.

One of the hardest balances to learn as a tank involves CDs. You cannot afford to blindly use them on CD nor can you afford to hoard them and wait for "ohshit" moments. Know your fights. Know where you will likely need them. Try to plan out in advance what you're going to use for the fight. Make sure to keep a CD in reserve in case of emergencies (but also make sure you're not hoarding that CD to your own detriment) and also keep your trinkets in mind. I keep a notebook with information about every fight. I take note of abilities, especially if they cannot be blocked or if they bypass absorbs, and try to plan out my CDs if I can.

For an example of CD planning, on Ji-Kun I would take 3 stacks before my fellow tank would taunt off me. On the first stack, I use Demoralizing Shout, for the second I call for an external CD (usually Ironbark or Hand of Sacrifice) in conjunction with Last Stand, and for the third I use Shield Wall. I usually have Demo shout back up by then, but I do hold on to that one in case my fellow tank is late getting back and I have to take a fourth stack. In which case, I would call for another external CD (probably Pain Supression) and use my Demo Shout. In case of "ohshit" moments, I still have my Healthstone and health potion. I will also typically use my trinket between the second and third stacks so I will likely be at higher health when the third hits. Naturally, I toss up a 60 rage SBar before every Talon Rake as well. When I fly back down from the nest to taunt back off my fellow tank, I toss Vigilance on him for his third stack.

Keep your Demo banner and Rallying Cry in mind when you and your team are planning raid-wide CDs. Not using them to benefit the raid is a waste, but you will also have to work with your team to find the best time to use them.

Utility CDs:
Mocking Banner is an impressive tool for picking up adds. It allows for an immense amount of control with no real effort out on your part. Be careful when using it, though. It will often need to be paired with a defensive CD or you will be in danger of dying.

Disrupting Shout allows you to control casters much more easily. Use it when multiple mobs are casting simultaneously or to make up for a missed interrupt when you are in a interrupt rotation.

Heroic Leap is useful for its damage and its movement. If you need to move swiftly, have been trapped by fire, or need to quickly move a boss, it should be your go-to choice. It will also help when picking up adds or during other AoE situations.

Disarm can allow you to take much less damage, but many hard-hitting mobs are immune. Notably, t can greatly reduce the damage of Froststrom Strike.

Spell Reflect is fun and typically useful on trash. Sometimes useful on bosses and should always be used on those bosses. After all, what could possibly be better than not taking damage AND hurting mobs with their own spells? I use it often for Norushen (the tank add), and when tankng Kardris.

Intervene can be used to prevent someone else for taking a melee, but may also be used as an alternate charge. If you have Safeguard, using it will break snares. You can also use it to proc Riposte. Be cautious, though.

Your damage is important. Use your Skull Banner either at pull or with Lust, if you can do both, even better. Try to work with your DPS to see when the optimal time for them would be. If you have multiple warriors in your group, make sure you're not dropping two at once. The same idea goes for Shattering Throw. You should line up Bloodbath with Dragon Roar and try to have Berserker Rage with both of them as well, but don't hesitate to use it earlier if you need it for its rage generation. If you can, line up Incite with Bloodbath/DR/BR, but do not prioritize that. Demo shout is much more important for keeping you alive than it is for increasing your DPS. Recklessness should be used with as many other CDs as possible to maximize it, particularly with Skull Banner. It is a fantastic tool for helping smooth out tank transitions and it makes Executes drool-worthy.

Prepot: Potion of Mogu Power
In-fight pot: Master Healing Potion or another Mogu Potion, depending on damage type and need. The healing pot has greater utility as an "ohshit" CD, but strength will give you parry and more damage.
Flask: Stam for magic fights or ones with hard-hitting mechanics. Strength for melee-heavy fights.
Food: Same as above. You can get strength from feasts if you feel like switching specs in order to eat, but either way, have a full stack of each type of 300 food at the very least.

Movement and You:
This is a section I have been chewing on for some time. It is something I initially left out due to the difficulty of trying to describe it in words. Moving as a tank is largely a product of experience and instinct, but watching videos of high-end tanks and seeing how they move can help. Good movements can win the day for your team and no one will ever notice. You will likely never be praised for a smooth move. A bad move can easily kill your melee or wipe your raid. A decent rule of thumb is that the less time you spend moving, the better. Almost every class loses DPS while moving and there is an inherent risk of death due to out-ranging your healers. I'm finding it extremely difficult to try to convey how to move because every fight is different. Essentially, you want to make life easy for your team. Make your moves efficient. Turn the boss so your melee don't have to run to the back, only you do. Make sure there is enough room behind the boss for all of your melee to stand without them being dangerously close to fire or other damaging ground effects. Keep an eye on range checks. When taunting, position yourself so that the boss won't move or turn. Be very aware of range-based, AoE, cone abilities, and cleaves and COMMUNICATE your moves when a boss has such abilities.

A large part of moving a boss is knowing the size and, for lack of a better term, finickyness of its hitbox. Some bosses have large hitboxes. Some bosses have small hitboxes. Some bosses won't move until you're off in BFE and haven't been able to hit them for days. Some bosses move every time you sneeze. Get to know how each boss moves and use that to plan how you move.

The best example of cone abilities I can think of at the moment is heroic Primordius. In 25m at least, his 180 degree frontal cleave can one-shot your melee. I have seen poorly communicated moves kill melee on more than one occasion. If such a thing occurs, it is not the fault of the melee, it is the fault of the tank who didn't state when they were moving and which direction. Furthermore, the purple puddles on that fight present more than one obstacle to your melee as they give harmful mutations if touched and also eat up space behind the boss, forcing melee to stand closer to together. This last part is especially bad if a range check is out. You have to be watchful and make sure your melee have the room they need. You have to be efficient in your moves in order to reduce their travel time and to collect the puddles into as small an area as possible. Thok is very much the same way this tier. He has both front and back abilities that will seriously harm your raid. If you are going to move the boss, your team needs to know in advance! When taunting, you must be sure that you won't turn the boss enough for anyone to get caught by the breath or the tail.

Another good example of how good movements save the day and bad movements kill people is Lei Shen. On any difficulty, he must be moved from pillar to pillar at specific times. When he is not connected to a pillar, he AoEs the raid. A slow move taxes the healers in normal and kills the raid in heroic. Having efficient moves and being familiar with how the boss itself moves means you can stay on one pillar longer, giving more breathing room at the end, and makes for less transit time, which your DPS will appreciate. Furthermore, you can be sneaky and manipulate where your melee stand without even telling them! Melee must follow the boss, thus YOU can largely decide where Crashing Thunder will be placed by moving the boss. This becomes important during intermissions as the last platform or two will still have Crashing Thunder and bringing the boss near an edge (and therefore making the melee bait the Crashing near the edge) will provide more space for the melee to move after the Crashing and more room to move for the people on those platforms during the transitions. Everybody wins.

ProtWarBar: Allows you to track your vengeance, CDs, absorb shields currently on you, your current rage, and gives an estimate of how effective an SBar will be.
Tidy Plates: Threat Plates: Makes tracking mobs and aggro much more easy. The nameplates are easier to see than the default and will change color based upon whether or not the mobs are aggroed on you.
OmniCC: Puts numeric countdowns on top of your abilities, allowing you to know precisely when you will be able to use an ability or CD again.
Deadly Boss Mods: Don't go to a raid without it or BigWigs.
Weak Auras: Essentially, you can make your own alerts for basically anything you want. It's like your very own DBM and so much more. I don't have many strings myself yet, but I use it to track when healer CDs are on me, when I have buffs/debuffs from Primordius (and to sort those buffs), and hopefully some day I'll find someone to help me make one to tally how much damage I am blocking.
Skada: It is useful in determining if you were hit by something you should have avoided, what type of damage you are taking, what killed you, and other more epeenish things. Not necessary, but it can be nice.
Quickmark: Allows you to put markers out more efficiently.
BigBrother: See who's taunting. See who hit their interrupt. See who is missing their flask or food buff. See who is MDing whom. Tons of information and you can report it to just yourself or everyone.
MikScrollingBattleText: Displays healing, damage intake, damage output, blocked attacks, etc in a more useful way.
Hermes: ESSENTIAL. It shows you everyone's CD and whether the player is in range, alive, and if the CD is available. You can configure it to show however many abilities you want it to. Got it recently. Don't know how I lived before it. It takes some configuring before it works fully.
GTFO: Plays a loud, obnoxious sound if you get hit by something avoidable. Very useful in knowing whether you're standing in Eye Sores and it develops good habits by annoying you out of fire.

I don't tend to use many. Macroing abilities together gives you fewer options, but saves you space on your bars. That said, I find these useful:

Both shouts on one key (press alt to get Commanding):
/cast [modifier:alt] Commanding Shout; Battle Shout

Remove Hand of Protection easily:
#showtooltip Devastate
/cancelaura Hand of Protection
/cancelaura Hand of Salvation
/cast Devastate

*Don't use if you will need HoP to stay on you. I added the Hand of Salv portion because I had a friend with a fat finger. I have several macroes similar to this for various abilities.

Yell at your raid to facillitate add pickup:
#showtooltip Mocking Banner
/cast Mocking Banner

*You may wish to add a line to automatically set a marker on your flag.

/cast Bloodbath
/cast Berserker Rage
/cast Blood Fury
/cast Skull Banner

*The last line not always advantageous. I have Skull Banner on another spot on my bar so I can use it to better advantage, but having this macro gives me one less button to push at pull (assuming I'm dropping it at start), if I don't want to use it just yet, I have essentially the same macro without Skull Banner.

Please feel free to leave comments and questions. I'll try to address them to the best of my ability. See something I'm doing wrong? Tell me and tell me why it is wrong. Addon suggestion? Please mention it. Awesome macro? Would love to hear of it. Got that weakaura I've been wanting? Post it and I'll love you forever.

Thanks for reading!

Edited by Estarriol
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That is awesome! I've had some plans to write a protection guide these past few weeks, but with a lot of guild drama going on, among others, I really didn't have the time to focus on writing something about my offspec. Even more, you look like you know much more about prot than I ever will :)

Cheers, and thanks again for the awesome guide! ^_^

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Wow, awesome guide, lots of useful tips. As a shockwave tank I never did consider the swing timer, now debating on if I should lose that control (ya, when tanking I'm definatly a control freak) and go with dragon roar or just cover my eyes and hope for the best as the stun wears off. Also will be stealing the mocking banner macro (to many dungeon finder dpsers think its better to run away from the tank with a mob they aggroed as opposed to running towards the tank).

Random question though. As I've been pouring through all of the guides for Protection Warriors everyone has hit the debate on the usefulness of parry/dodge. The general answer to the question is hit/exp to the cap is the priority for active mitigation control, then mastery. So with that being said, should prot warriors be looking for hit/mastery, exp/mastery gear instead of gear with parry/dodge? Generally this gear would be aimed for DPS, but according to the stat priority it would be better for prot warriors, right?

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Hit/mastery and exp/mastery gear is great if you're not already at the hit and exp caps. Once you're there, gear with those stats becomes less and less attractive. Ideally you'd aim for gear with parry/mastery or dodge/mastery and reforge for your caps in order to have your cake and eat it, too. If you happen to have a peice drop that is a significant upgrade and it has hit or expertise, go for it. It may allow you to drop some of your other reforges in favor of more mastery elsewhere or more parry/dodge. If you have the choice between peices with dodge/mastery and parry/mastery and your hit and expertise are fine, use the dodge/parry ratio macro to see which one would give you the greater benefit.

Let me know if you'd like any clarification.

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Going to start adding fight-specific advice. Please feel free to request fights, otherwise I'll be putting them up in order as time permits. I will be focusing on the heroic encounters as I believe that will provide the greatest benefit right now.

Heroic Jin'rohk:


-Vigilance. Safeguard would cause your raid to take Static Burst damage, so don't use it.

-Dragon Roar. There are no adds, so Shockwave is a waste.


-Heavy Repercussions. Although there is an emphasis on nature damage in this fight, most of the tank damage is from melee attacks.


-If your system allows, have your screen panned out as far as possible (/console cameradistancemaxfactor 4). This will help you dodge lightning balls during the storm phase much more easily.

-You don't have to pull Jin'rohk out very far in order to influence where he throws you or the other tank. There is an inner ring on the floor, if you have him pulled onto this inner ring, that is sufficiently far to get you thrown where you want to be. It is advantageous to not pull him very far as every moment you spend moving, you are wasting precious DPS and risking range issues with your healers.

-If you were not thrown, be careful not to be standing where your other tank will land. The fall causes a ton of damage and a very long stun.

-If you are the tank who will be tanking the boss during the lightning storm, make sure to have a BIG cooldown for when he resumes meleeing you. There will still be lightning balls for several seconds and your healers are likely out of range and have to dodge balls themselves.

-SBlk is your go-to choice for this encounter; however, make sure to have a SBar up during lightning storms. You can stay within enough rage of Jin'rohk to generate enough rage to cover yourself during these phases. Additionally, should you fail to dodge balls properly, having an SBar up means it hurts you significantly less.

-You always want Jin'rohk to be on the very edge of the water pool to make it easier for DPS to get out of the pool when they need to. This means that you will have to slowly kite Jin'rohk backwards as the pool expands.

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Heroic Horridon:

A note: I am only adding advice for Horridon duty, not add duty. I have not yet done add duty on heroic, so I don't feel that I can give good advice. In general, though, do what you'd do for any other add-heavy situation: Shockwave and liberal use of Mocking Banner. In the case of add duty, you will generally prefer SBlk over SBar. However, keep in mind that you will need to be prepared for the Rampage phase.


-Both Vigilance and Safeguard work well here. You'll need one of them for the last phase after Horridon goes into Rampage. Your fellow tank will need help surviving. I prefer Vigilance as it allows me to apply it at range and be less in danger of double swipe.

-Enraged Regeneration or Impending Victory. Simply put, if you're sub 35% once Horridon Ranpages, you're probably dead.

-Dragon Roar. Yes, there are adds, but as the Horridon tank, you won't have the opportunity to spend much time on them.


-Drop Heavy Repercussions. SBar is your go-to choice for the fight.

-Unending Rage. Being able to stockpile a bit more rage during Double Swipes is essential.


-Pan your camera out. It doesn't have to be all the way, but having a bit further out helps determine the edge of Double Swipe and where your raid members are.

-Put plenty of distance between Horridon and the door. Having more room to maneuver means your team is more likely to survive the mechanics the adds present.

-Spend the time that Horridon is stunned after breaking the door to help clean up adds with Dragon Roar. Be mindful of when his stun wears off as he will often do a Double Swipe immediately after the stun wears off. Try to be positioned such that the swipe won't land right on top of your raid.

-Use SBar about 1-2 seconds from the end of Double Swipe's cast timer. If you use it when he starts the swipe, it will wear off before the Triple Puncture that is almost always just after the Swipe.

-Call for external cooldowns. Call for them by name. Call for them by name from a specific person whom you also call by name. Randomly panic yelling into vent, "I NEED EXTERNALS," will get you externals. In fact, it will probably get you almost every external CD your raid has available and then you will die on the next Triple Puncture.

-During Rampage, have tank swaps during the Double Swipes. When it is your turn to take the boss, take it with a nearly full rage bar. Use SBlk to smooth the initial damage from melee, but also have enough rage to get a full SBar up in time for the first Triple Puncture you take.

-Make sure to utilize Rallying Cry and Demoralizing banner for Dire Call and Bestial Cry. You should discuss with your raid group ahead of time to know when the best time to use them would be.

-Have a plan for your Vigilance. Talk to your fellow tank to see when he/she's likely to want it or tell them in vent or mumble what stack you'll be using it on them for. Communicate so they can better plan their own survivability.

Again, great advice here. I wanted to add that Jalak can be Disarmed, which will slow his stacking of Bestial Cry. This will greatly aid the healers, especially if you can set up a Disarm rotation, as I do with our monk.

Edited by Estarriol
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As a warrior tank since end of wrath, and pally tank before that i just have a question about the dragon roar vs shockwave. Granted that dragon roar is better against a boss due to the ignore armor part and shockwave is better against adds except for the first hit part. As a tank it frustrates me to the point of kicking group members when they use dragon roar (or any push back ability) on adds be it in dungeon or raid, the push back DR has is in my opinion a dps loss as my melee group have to run after the adds or wait for the adds to return to the tank. That includes tanking the boss while I the off-tank is on adds, Shockwave on adds first attack is easily avoid-able by just moving 2 or 3 steps to the side, the mob closest to you hit first and the mob on the opposite side that you moved to will hit you last thus giving you a second or 2 in between adds hit. I therefore choose SW over DR anytime of the day until blizzard take the push-back off from DR. Even as boss tank I would keep SW not to have the push back on adds that might have slipped passed the off-tank, SW can help me there to stun the add and give dps some time to kill add on me or off-tank to aggro it of me. It might be that i am just old school with SW or as Estarriol have said 'inexperienced tank'. Please advise me as i don't see the benefit of DR over SW in most situations other than bosses that have no adds.

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As long as you're aware of the swing timers, the simultaneous hit isn't really an issue. The problem is that most people never even consider it and it can easily lead to a death. I actually died to it a number of times myself when I was doing challenge modes. In addition, you're completely overestimating the pushback of Dragon Roar. It does not even take the adds out of melee range. It isn't a pushback that a shaman or druid would have. It is very small and is not an issue. To be completely frank, if you're kicking dungeon members for using DR, the issue is you. DPS warriors use Dragon Roar and Dragon Roar wins out over Shockwave for tanks, too. Acclimate. Even when the two fury warriors in my raid and myself use DR one after another, the adds still don't end up problematically far from myself or the other melee.

It also isn't as clean as use DR for boss, use SW for adds. If you have adds that either do not hit hard or need to be burned very quickly OR there's already a stun rotation, DR is better. That last point is perhaps the most important. If there is already a stun rotation, using SW on top of it will only hurt your raid in the end by pushing diminishing returns on the stuns. Don't be that guy.

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Thank you for the better explanation between SW and DR, it seems that i have over estimated DR push-back (which to my understanding is 5 yards) and agreeing to your statement that they are not as powerful as druid or shamans push back.

It would seem that i now have to play the two out against each other according to my play style and raid needs.

Just to clarify the push-back kicks, if it so happens that after a few warnings and/or plea's to stop using the push-back ability (be it shaman, druid or warrior) and one or more of the other melee group members start to complain about it there would follow up a kick from the group. Though since i have been tanking throughout MOP it hasn't happened that someone regularly use it while it is uncalled for.

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I agree with kicks for druid or shaman knock backs if used repeatedly, but DR is just going to happen. Fortunately or unfortunately.

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Thank you for the excellent guide. I've been playing a Prot warrior as my main since vanilla, and I've recently switched to DPS for Mists just for a change of pace. Your guide is quite comprehensive, and there is very little to add to it, but I thought I would mention the only two minor glyphs that I have found beneficial for tanking.

Glyph of Intimidating Shout is handy for packs of trash mobs, providing some emergency crowd control (or sometimes doubling as a poor man's interrupt) without the risk of runaway mobs pulling in more adds. It is particularly helpful for novice tanks starting out on heroic five mans, giving the warrior a few extra seconds to get mobs under control, to drink a healing potion, or apply some AoE threat. Bosses are not affected by it, and it is almost useless in raids, although it still works on a select few varieties of raid trash.

Glyph of Burning Anger is purely cosmetic, but if you're in a situation where you can't afford to take your eyes off what is happening on the screen, it provides a visual cue to let you know when you've procced an enrage. This may be helpful for tanks who don't use add ons to track things like this.

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Heroic Horridon:

-Make sure to utilize Rallying Cry and Demoralizing banner for Dire Call and Bestial Cry. You should discuss with your raid group ahead of time to know when the best time to use them would be.

Again, great advice here. I wanted to add that Jalak can be Disarmed, which will slow his stacking of Bestial Cry. This will greatly aid the healers, especially if you can set up a Disarm rotation, as I do with our monk.

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Thanks for the comments! I'll edit those into the posts with credit going where credit is due.

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Great guide, but there are two things regarding stats that I disagree with:

1) Gemming strength. There really is no good reason not to gem expertise instead right now. Even if you are at 15% already, using expertise gems will allow you to reforge differently, essentially getting more mastery out of the deal. The exception would be if your gear is so expertise heavy that you are having trouble getting below 15%, but that is very unlikely.

Stat priorities might change a bit with 5.4, but I'm definitely still going to gem a secondary stat in red sockets because their value is twice as high as primary stats on gems.

2) Keeping expertise at 7.5% if you can't get to 15%. The reasoning for this statement seems flawed to me. Just because you are still going to get parried anyway does not devalue expertise rating. In fact, if you want to go with that argument, why even get 7.5% then? There is virtually no difference between getting dodged or parried at this point. Not being at the cap means your abilities won't always connect.

I don't think this is actually a big issue because you can cap hit and expertise at pretty much any gear level. They are basically the best secondary stats though, so always get as much hit and expertise as possible until their respective caps. Every bit helps and as it says in the guide, tanking is all about control these days.

Edit: something screwed up the text formatting long after I posted this.

Edited by Dots

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1) Gemming expertise is a stand-in for what one cannot get through gear itself. To say that one gets more mastery by gemming expertise is, in and of itself, a flawed statement. It is not necessarily true that one will get more mastery by gemming expertise and changing reforges. If one's ultimate goal is mastery, then one could skip the set bonuses (which are mostly dodge, strength, and stam anyway) and gem hard mastery. Given trinkets and the number of pieces available with expertise, it is easy to get enough expertise through gear alone. Thus, we have the options of gemming for something we already have a sufficient amount of (expertise), gemming hard mastery (certainly an option), or gemming for a stat that gives multiple benefits in one (as discussed). Sure secondary stats get more in gems, but the difference in actual parry% based on gemming parry versus gemming strength are absolutely minuscule.

2) The point is about doing what one may with what one has. For those who are at very low gear levels, where even gemming expertise will not get them to the hard cap, attempting to squeeze every bit of expertise out of their gear will rob them of the opportunity to have sufficient mastery (or stam) and make them more difficult to heal due to spikiness. Yes, tanking is absolutely about control, but the primary focus of that control is damage intake. Expertise serves to reduce damage intake by providing more rage whereas mastery smooths damage out. The goal of hit-capping and expertise soft-capping is to have enough rage to sustain a good uptime on SBlk with enough rage to cover the bare spots with SBar. With such low ilvl that hard capping expertise is not possible, keeping the 7.5% and focusing more on a mastery build overall will give a smoother intake. A smoother intake is a more survivable intake in most cases. This mindset lasts well through t14. It is in t15 where frequent hard-hitting attacks become more of a norm and therefore, a higher rage generation is needed. By the time that people can reasonably tank t15, they should be switching to the hard cap.

Ultimately, we are nit-picking and we are nit-picking on very small things. Yet it is the very small choices and their ramifications that separate the truly outstanding tanks. Keep questioning. Rationalize every minute decision you make. If you cannot, or you have to go to extreme lengths to justify it, it may well be time to try something new.

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1) I generally wouldn't gem strength as due to the amount of strength on gear, the DR on parry means that i get more avoidance per rating from doge at this point, even if i average the uptime of phase fingers and Riversong. In 5.5 i definitely wouldn't gem strength as parry from strength doesn't get converted to crit via riposte.

2)Have you looked at Theck's maths on expertise hard capping? it is most rigorous; You need to get a lot closer to the hard cap than the expertise "soft cap" before Mastery is better than Expertise for preventing spikes or damage smoothing in fact you can be <0.3% off the hit and expertise caps combined before your RPS is stable enough to maintain decent uptime on Sblock (you'll need to be closer if you're not very good at the rotation, or if you actually want to use Sbar without risking a significant drop in sblock uptime). The expertise soft cap just does not exist for tanks, its just an arbitrary value. I can understand forgoing the hard cap for stamina, but if you don't have enough health you forgo everything until you do, there's no point thinking "ooh i need 7.5% expertise" if that stops you having enough stamina to not be 2 shot. THis is the think, Hit and expertise and Mastery all devolve there value from Sblock uptime, a decrease in sblock uptime devalues Hit, expertise and mastery, however stacking hit and expertise has a greater increase in sblock uptime than stacking mastery, becuase they are stronger RPS stats than mastery, and its only once you have the high Sblock uptime that mastery's value is optimized. No healer cares if all your blocks are crit blocks if you hardly have any blocks.

FYI you can Expertise hard cap in 463 gear.

Edited by Tengenstein

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Even at 7.5% expertise, there is more than enough rage to maintain SBlk as it is only 60 rage every 6 or so seconds. It is by no means difficult to maintain a good uptime on SBlk even at soft cap. If a person is finding it difficult, they may need to assess their rotation. The difficulty of being at soft cap comes in maintaining a good SBar uptime. Thus the point that it is a temporary measure.

From Theck: "Even at 15% combined hit and expertise (5% hit, 10% expertise), about 0.03% of all events exceed the 90% spike threshold."

Yes, this means that the gear is .03% suboptimal, but if the gear is poor enough to struggle for hard cap, they are sub-optimal in more than that one way.

He ends his SBlk section with this: "In summary, this data seems to suggest two viable gearing paths for the “Shield Block spam” finisher queue. We either stack hit and expertise to cap and then focus heavily on mastery (the standard Hit/Exp > Mastery >> Avoidance control strategy), or we try and push mastery sky-high with a side of avoidance (the Mastery >> Avoidance > Hit/Exp strategy). Either of those two gives a pretty good result, with one being better at eliminating the high 90% spikes and the other being better at minimizing spikes above 80%. I also wouldn’t be surprised if a Mastery >> Hit/Exp > Avoidance strategy would perform as well as the mastery/avoidance strategy – the high mastery value seems to be the key component of that queue’s performance."

Which, I feel, backs up the emphasis on mastery that I gave. Sure, it pertains to the SBlk section of his sims, but at such low gear that exp hard capping is challenging, one should be focusing on maintaining a high uptime on SBlk and getting the rotation right as one is likely doing mostly dungeons and LFR, where proper use of SBar is less emphasized.

As an aside, everything that has been discussed here pertains only to the current patch. 5.4 is not out. Riposte is not in the game. Therefore, I am not gemming as if those changes have been made and I will edit my guide and change my gemming pertinently once the 5.4 changes have come into play.

Edited by Estarriol
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1) I didn't mean that one should gem expertise in red slots to get more mastery. I meant that one would get an overall higher number of (useful) stats by using exp/mastery gems instead str/mastery gems in red slots. Some of that amount will usually turn into mastery through reforging.

2) I don't care all that much about what the theoretically best stat is in this case, as long as the difference is fairly small. Even if mastery was slightly better in theory at every point before the hit and expertise caps, I would still get as much hit and expertise as possible first. Rage generators being more reliable is very valuable because it allows you to better plan ahead. This is the kind of control that really matters in actual game situations.

Ultimately, we are nit-picking and we are nit-picking on very small things.

That's part of the fun of the game!

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I think you've misread Thecks Blog. ALL the gear sets he uses have a greater RPS than what is needed (6.67) to keep Sblock on CD even the ones that don't stack hit/exp at all.

The point is that 7.5% expertise is an arbitrary number, if you're suggesting they go heavy mastery they should completely ignore hit and expertise, and dump as much as they can into mastery, if they're going to go for hit and expertise they should be going for nigh as close to the caps as they can get. There's no magic cap at 7.5% expertise where expertise suddenly loses value like it does for DKs. No one is arguing that full Mastery is bad, We're disagreeing that 7.5% expertise is some special number people should have. You either value mastery over expertise or you don't and if you don't the maths says that getting very near the hard cap is what you should aim for. If you do value mastery over expertise why sacrifice 2.55k rating for an inferior stat?

Edited by Tengenstein

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Heroic Council of Elders:



-Impending Victory or Enraged Regen would both work here, it's more a matter of preference.

-If your team allows Sandstorm to happen, Bladestorm would help to burst down the adds while allowing you to kite out of the way as they die. If your team does not allow Sandstorm to happen, go with Dragon Roar.

-Mass Spell Reflect. Due to vanilla and mass spell reflects, warriors are well suited to sitting on Mar'li. Additionally, you can compensate for a missed interrupt on Sul with a clutch Mass.

-While you should not need Avatar to break you out of sand traps, if your team does allow the Sandstorm to happen, you can get yourself out of a tight spot with it while you're killing the adds.



While the general glyphs are fine, if you're on Mar'li full time, you can use Glyph of Hindering Strikes to slow the Loa Spirit as it spawns. Depending on how effective you are at keeping a solid interrupt rotation, you may want to consider switching out Hold the Line.



-If Sandstorm happens, Mocking Banner is your friend. Once the adds are out, go along the side of the circle and kite the adds slowly as they die. Since you now have the option of determining where the puddles go, try to make sure you're dropping them somewhere convenient for your raid.

-Once Malakk dies, almost all of the damage on tanks is gone. Once Mar'li dies as well, the tanks become big, beefy health pools to soak Soul Fragments. Make sure your raid knows! Once Malakk goes down, the tank without Mar'li should immediately get a Fragment and not pass it on.

-Don't be afraid to ask for ranged interrupts in you have to move a caster and your taunts are on CD or if they stopped moving in something bad.

-Dodge is your friend. Dodge on-use trinkets are great for Malakk's Frigid Assault as you can dodge applications of the debuff.

-Be vocal when taunting Malakk. You'll take little to no damage with only a caster boss on you. Don't let the healers be surprised when you start taking Malakk's melee damage.

-Be vocal if you get frozen. This serves two purposes: to let the other tank know they needed to taunt a few seconds ago and to let the healers and others know that now would be a good time for a few externals if the other tank can't taunt Malakk (dealing with Sandstorm adds, for example).

-Remember Rallying Cry and Demoralizing Banner! There are several points in the fight where there is high AoE damage on the raid. Don't let your utility go unused. Talk to your raid and make sure you know when to use your abilities to benefit everyone.

Edited by Estarriol
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So as a new prot warrior, I have a question:


What's the best opener for threat?


I'm usually okay, but sometimes when the DPS really outgear me (i.e., 530 ilvl versus my 490 ilvl), I have trouble, and I'm sure there's a better way.


At the moment, right before pull I'm popping shout, Berserker Rage, Blood Bath, and Recklessness then Charging, hitting Revenge so I can quickly Shield Block to follow with glyphed Shield Slam, but then I'm stuck spamming Devastate until I get S&B proc or Revenge proc.

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I'd recommend Shield Slam first. Shield Slam hits very hard and everything else basically hits like a wet noodle, so go with Shield Slam, then Revenge. A few seconds in, pop Berserker Rage, BB, Reck, maybe Skull Banner (depending on your raid's needs), then a nice beefy Dragon Roar. After that, keep your Heavy Repercussion and Shield Slams going and you'll have solid threat. If there's a case where you need to move a boss right after pulling, your DPS will just need to suck it up and hold for a few seconds.

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That's actually made a marked improvement in my snap agro (I totally hadn't even tried Dragon Roar yet, what a noob). Now I still have one curiosity.


I'm still starting with shout right before the fight, then Charging in, Shield Slam then Revenge, then I have one free GCD before I pop CDs and Shield Block for a nice big Dragon Roar and Shield Slam. Should I use that for Devastate for better damage or Thunder Clap for Weakened Blows faster. Which is more important in the first few seconds?

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That really depends on your offtank. If, for example, you're tanking with a monk, you will never need to apply weakened blows yourself as they do it as part of their rotation. Pretty much the same with DKs and I think druids. I don't think paladins do it (I'll check if I remember) as part of their single-target rotation. It also depends on how hard the boss is hitting you. If each melee hits extremely hard, use TC (as long as it's not already on from your offtank). Most of the time, I'd say go for Devastate.

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Updates for 5.4 are coming... soon? The more I prepare for 5.4, the more I realize that many tests must be done before updating my guide. The addition of Riposte and therefore the importance of avoidance is one thing that I must explore. It will absolutely take a week of normals and perhaps another week or two of seeing heroic damage. Either way, it seems that Blizzard is emphasizing SBar in this tier by giving us the ability to generate far more rage and thus have more frequent SBars. Anecdotal, but interesting is that fact that even in LFR on the PTR, scaled to 496, and losing about half of my parry/dodge ratings because of it (maybe a bit hyperbolic, but you get the gist), AND not being able to hit the expertise hard cap due to the scaling, I was still seeing absolutely, wonderfully absurd rage generation through the avoidance build. Very exciting. 


That said, SBlk will still be important of course. In fact, during the Paragons fight, Rik'kal's Injection and Xaril's Caustic Blood must be mitigated by SBlk. With the buffs, having enough rage to actively mitigate comfortably AND ensure a SBlk is up for those two abilities was very, very easy.


The last thing of note, BLADESTORM. <3


I am a very happy Esta.

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