Craig’s Gone Away, The Real Tank Can Play!
So, Craig has neglected to tell his readers (or at least hasn’t posted about it) that he’s leaving to “summer” camp ’til Sunday. I’ve also heard that Craig has been inundated with literally 2 emails asking for a Protection Warrior-related post. I have something to say about that…
Why don’t you fuckers just email me?
Anyways, it’s time to learn, children.
HOW TO DPS TANK AS A PROTECTION WARRIOR.
Yes, the title does have relevance to this article, and it’s not just me being a fucknugget. Turns out, in the WotLK beta, Devastate hit for 100% weapon damage, and a good chunk more damage per Sunder. However, because of this, Fury Warriors were actually speccing deep enough into Prot to get Devastate, then going back into Fury, and actually putting out really good DPS. So, Blizz being Bliiz decided to nerf it. Now, why do I bring this up? Because Devastate is being buffed back up to it’s beta equivalent, but it now requires a shield. This means that Prot is gonna be able to pull MAD DEEPS MANNNNNN.
Not really. But it is significant. Hell, it’s significant enough to stop my constant stream of swearing.
And I should probably get back to how to tank again.
I’d like to do a progression-based guide, so I’ll probably end up breaking this post into a few chunks, and talk about the Warrior patch changes in-between.
Part 1: How to Not be a DK/the Basics.
And I do mean the basics.
The first thing you’ll actually tank is probably RFC. At that time, probably around levels 13-15, you’ll have very few skills, and probably feel a bit crippled by your lack of pulling abilities or mobility skills. At 13, your primary tanking skills will be Sunder Armor, Thunderclap and, most people don’t know about this one, Shield Bash. Now, you may be wondering, “How the fuck does this guy know how I’m wondering?” And the answer is turn around, and look under your bed for the beeping camera.
But really, Shield Bash is a great skill. It does no damage (it used to, ;_;), but it generates a large amount of Threat (for the new readers, Threat is GOOD) and lets you smash a guy in the face with a piece of wood strapped to your arm. How badass is that?
For exact Threat amounts, a Sunder (not a Devastate, which is subject to weapon damage and RNG, and thus a bit harder to calculate) generates 301 Threat, and Shield Bash generates 293 Threat. However, Shield Bash does have a 12 second cooldown, but is off the GCD and doesn’t trigger it as well, meaning it can be safely macroed to your other abilities if you’re a lazy fuck (read: me).
All your other abilities are kind of self-explanatory: Sunder Armor does no damage but produces a lot of Threat, and is spammable, and Thunder Clap is your AoE Threat button. You also have Heroic Strike, but it’s probably a bit dangerous to use at 13 reliably due to it’s high Rage cost (15 Rage + the Rage you’d make off your next attack). Weirdly enough, you can also Rend in Defensive Stance, but it’s not worth the trouble.
If you head back into RFC at 14, you’ll have 2 new, very good tools at your disposal: Revenge and Demoralizing Shout. Revenge can be used on a Parry, Dodge or Block (think Rune Strike, except a lot stronger, scales with AP more and it’s not on next melee hit) and hits very hard. It’s the hardest hitting move of ANY spec at that level, and is very good for leveling and for Threat.
Your second move is fairly basic, but very useful nonetheless. Demoralizing Shout reduces the AP of any hostile unit within 10 yards of you by X. While it doesn’t build a lot of Threat (in fact, the amount is very, very small. Like, don’t spam this in the hopes of being useful), it boosts your survivability by a ton. Endgame, this ability probably shaves off 100k damage over the course of the fight that could have gone to the tank. Basically, keep it up all the time.
Now, I’m getting tired as fuck (and fuck is really, really tired) so I’ll end with a post on tanking SFK.
In SFK, you’ll have a few more talents to work with, as well as a few new abilities. If you go in at 18, which is probably the earliest, safe level to head in, you’ll have a few more tricks to use: Mocking Blow, a melee range Taunt that does weapon damage, Shield Block, which boosts your chance to block and shield block value (more on this later) by 100%, and Disarm, which, go figure, disarms your target.
Now, if you’re a Warrior, one thing you’ve hopefully noticed is that shields have a block number. At early levels, it’s usually some pitiful number like 5, which seems like shit, and is probably shit, until you learn the mechanics of block. The block value of your shield can be boosted by certain talents and abilities, and is also boosted with your strength. So, when you block an attack, you subtract your block value from the amount of damage you would’ve taken, and then you get hit. Or:
Damage = Monster attack – shield block value.
At early levels, it usually means you’re gonna take no damage if you block, so Shield Block is basically your can’t touch dis button. Buy a shield spike and use Shield Block often.
Now, at 20, my recommended level to tank SFK, you’ll finally have a sizable tanking arsenal of abilities to use, so let’s go over ’em, shall we?
Cleave hits your current target and their closest lover for weapon damage +X. Well, you poor, poor bastard, you may be wondering “Oh God, why hasn’t this post fucking ended? You know no one’s reading this shit so why are you wasting your time? Also, why is Cleave good?” The answer is fuck you, fuck you, because I’m bored and because it’s Heroic Strike for pulls with more than 1 mob. That’s basically it. Results may improve when it’s Glyph is used.
Protip: I use Glyph of Cleave endgame. So ha, now you have to use it.
Now, your other level 20 skill isn’t really a tank skill per sé, but Hell, this skill is just a lot of fun.
Retaliation turns you into an ass-kicking machine. Simply go into Battle Stance, cast it, switch back to Defensive Stance, and go pull lots of mobs. Sadly, you must be hit by the attacks to Retaliate, so dodging, parrying or blocking won’t trigger one, which is a bummer at endgame, where your avoidance stats are fairly high.
And that’s about all the typing I have the time and patience for. I’ll try to post as frequently as Craig does to make up for his absence, but don’t count on it. 😀