Season of Discovery Protection Warrior Tank Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities

Last updated on Jul 10, 2024 at 03:00 by Seksixeny 6 comments

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Protection Warrior Tank, depending on the type of damage you will be tanking in WoW Classic - Season of Discovery. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc in order to minmax your survivability and DPS.


Rotation for Warrior Tanks

We will present the skill rotation of a Warrior tank as a priority list. This is not an exact sequence in which abilities should be cast. Instead, whenever you must choose between using different skills, try to use the one at the top of the list first.

Our list assumes you are running one of the recommended builds from the talents page and are playing a maximum level character. If you are still leveling, please refer to the leveling page for a leveling-specific rotation.

While they are extraordinarily powerful, explosives such as Heavy Dynamite Icon Heavy Dynamite will not be detailed in the rotation. Usually, you will want to use them on pull to generate threat on the target. The main exception is when you are facing multiple or particularly dangerous (such as enraged) enemies at some point in the fight. Saving explosives to carry you and your group through these moments, especially when you need to gain AoE threat, is very much worth it. The usage (on cooldown) of potions, such as Mighty Rage Potion Icon Mighty Rage Potion, will not be specifically detailed in the rotation, either.


Pre-Pull Strategy

If possible, Charge Icon Charge to initiate combat and generate Rage. Dump your Rage with Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike and Devastate Icon Devastate (or Sunder Armor Icon Sunder Armor if not available), then swap to Gladiator Stance Icon Gladiator Stance or Defensive Stance Icon Defensive Stance to begin your rotation as advised below.

If you are able to start with a significant amount of Rage, by stopping all ability usage once previous packs are almost dead for example, just shoot or body pull the next pack in order to be able to use that Rage, as stance dancing will cause you to lose a significant amount of it. Use Bloodrage Icon Bloodrage to keep yourself in combat and generate even more Rage while lining up the next pull!


Single Target Rotation

  1. Let Rage pool above 60 frequently to activate Consumed By Rage Icon Consumed By Rage (if runed) as much as possible;
  2. Use Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam on cooldown;
  3. Use Shockwave Icon Shockwave on cooldown unless waiting to use it for its stun soon;
  4. Cast Battle Shout Icon Battle Shout if missing its buff, Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout if the enemies are missing its debuff and consider using Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap on the hardest hitting enemies;
  5. Spam Devastate Icon Devastate (Sunder Armor Icon Sunder Armor) to build extra threat;
  6. Queue Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike with any excess Rage.

Multi-Target Rotation

Replace Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike with Cleave Icon Cleave and use the single-target rotation on the available targets as needed to keep threat on as many as possible. As you should have Furious Thunder Icon Furious Thunder active on any multi-target encounters, make sure to also use Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap on cooldown, as it will now hit up to 10 nearby targets!


Cooldown Usage

As a Warrior, you have various offensive and defensive cooldowns at your disposal. Using your defensive cooldowns properly is often the difference between life and death, and as such, you should always be watching your health and be ready to use them if necessary.

Enraged Regeneration Icon Enraged Regeneration can be used to self-heal during emergencies, but make sure you activate Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage or Bloodrage Icon Bloodrage first, as it will not be usable otherwise. If you have Rallying Cry Icon Rallying Cry instead, use it just before dangerous raid damage events.

Retaliation Icon Retaliation can be used to help establish solid threat when tanking multiple targets or fast hitting enemies. Alternatively, Recklessness Icon Recklessness provides an incredible DPS increase for 15 seconds, but at the cost of a large damage intake increase. Finally, Shield Wall Icon Shield Wall is a great defensive you can use to live through emergencies.


Ability Usage

Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout is much more powerful against most bosses than it is against players, as bosses gain damage much faster per point of Attack Power they have. If you have the Improved Demoralizing Shout Icon Improved Demoralizing Shout talent (at the request of your raid group), make sure to keep its debuff on enemies.

As a flat 10% swing speed reduction Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap is weaker, especially considering its Rage cost, than Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout. Regardless of this, it might still be worth applying, especially to faster swinging bosses who might otherwise land three hits on the Warrior before Shield Block Icon Shield Block can be refreshed, opening up the possibility for a devastating critical strike.

Taunt Icon Taunt is your single-target taunt ability. Casting Taunt instantly makes the enemy focus on you exclusively for 3 seconds, and increases your threat threshold to be equal to whoever had aggro when you taunted. Using Vigilance Icon Vigilance on the off-tank or someone else being directly attacked will reset its cooldown constantly.

Mocking Blow Icon Mocking Blow is an alternative, higher cooldown, single-target taunt ability. Unlike Taunt Icon Taunt, it does not give you equal threat to the highest person on the aggro list, so be prepared to use Taunt Icon Taunt at the end of its effect, if you want to maintain aggro.

Intimidating Shout Icon Intimidating Shout should be used for crowd control or survivability purposes. Be careful with this ability, however, as the fleeing enemies can run into another pack of enemies and pull them, possibly resulting in a wipe.

Many players simply do not use their interrupt unless specifically instructed to. Interrupting enemies can stop potentially deadly casts from going out. Identify those dangerous casts and use your interrupt to prevent them.


Mastering Your Warrior Tank

In this section, we will dive a bit deeper into the core mechanics and various abilities of Warrior tanks. Understanding these topics is an important step to truly mastering the specialization.


Rage Generation

Warrior's primary resource is Rage. It is important that you understand how Rage is generated, so you can effectively manage and use it.

Rage has a maximum capacity of 100, and is empty by default. Rage decays at a rate of 3 per second while out of combat. In combat, Rage does not decay and may even slowly tick up, if you have the Anger Management Icon Anger Management talent.

You generate Rage in two main ways, by hitting enemies with auto-attacks (white hits), and by being hit by enemies. The amount of Rage you generate depends on the damage dealt and the damage sustained.


Rage Management

It is important to understand that you do not have to spend Rage as soon as you get it. Pooling your Rage in order to maximize survivability or damage is an important aspect of playing a Warrior. For example, the Consumed By Rage Icon Consumed By Rage rune only works if you allow your Rage to pool above 60 frequently.

You can, however, also lose potential threat if you cap out on Rage. Once you hit the max of 100 Rage, any further Rage generation is lost.



  • 10 Jul. 2024: Updated for Phase 4.
  • 08 Apr. 2024: Removed Rampage based on new theorycrafting.
  • 02 Apr. 2024: Updated rotation for Phase 3.
  • 12 Feb. 2024: Updated rotation for Phase 2.
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