Season of Discovery Protection Warrior Tank Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities
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 max level 40 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 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 Rage Potion, will not be specifically detailed in the rotation, either.
The goal of our proposed rotation is to generate as much threat as possible, while ensuring you always have enough Rage for essentials, such as Shield Block.
If possible, Charge to initiate combat and generate Rage. Dump your Rage with Heroic Strike and the new Rune ability Devastate (or Sunder Armor if not available), then swap to 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 to keep yourself in combat and generate even more Rage while lining up the next pull!
Single Target Rotation
- Use Shield Block whenever it is off cooldown if tanking a dangerous physical attacker;
- Activate Bloodrage to generate extra Rage if you are currently healthy;
- Apply stacks of Sunder Armor (with Devastate if possible) until the maximum 5 are reached
- Cast Battle Shout if missing its buff, Demoralizing Shout if the enemies are missing its debuff and consider using Thunder Clap on the hardest hitting enemies;
- Cast Revenge whenever you block, dodge or parry
- Spam Devastate ( Sunder Armor) to build extra threat
- Queue Heroic Strike whenever you have excess Rage. Keep in mind that Heroic Strike and Cleave replace your next auto attack, which will not grant you any Rage. Their real Rage cost is much higher than what is stated in the tooltip.
If you have the new Furious Thunder Rune, use Thunder Clap on cooldown while following the single target rotation. If you don't have the Rune, just follow the single-target rotation while alternating between targets, with a special focus on whatever target is being focused by DPS in your group.
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.
Last Stand should simply be used whenever your health drops so low that the next hit, if not avoided, will kill you.
Enraged Regeneration can be used to self-heal during emergencies, but make sure you activate Berserker Rage or Bloodrage first, as it will not be usable otherwise. It combos well with Last Stand if external healing is not forthcoming.
Retaliation can be used to help establish solid threat when tanking multiple targets or fast hitting enemies.
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 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 is weaker, especially considering its Rage cost, than 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 can be refreshed, opening up the possibility for a devastating critical strike.
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.
Mocking Blow is an alternative, higher cooldown, single-target taunt ability. Unlike Taunt, it does not give you equal threat to the highest person on the aggro list, so be prepared to use Taunt at the end of its effect, if you want to maintain aggro.
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.
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 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.
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, if you are in a fight and trying to maximize threat, you might be chain casting Heroic Strike, only to find yourself lacking 10 Rage when you need to refresh Shield Block, getting yourself killed in the process.
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.
- 12 Feb. 2024: Updated rotation for Phase 2.
- Season of Discovery Hotfixes: February 27th
- Season of Discovery: XP Buff, Mount Discounts, Gold Buffs and Future Phase Plans
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- Season of Discovery Hotfixes: February 26th
- (Updated) Upcoming Season of Discovery Phase 2 Class Tuning: February 27th
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- Dragonflight 10.2.5 and Season of Discovery Hotfixes, February 21st
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