The Importance of Shield Block

Recently it came to my attention that one of our warrior tanks was never using Shield Block while tanking. And I mean never! When I asked him why wasn’t he using Shield Block, he said because he was already uncrittable without using it. I then asked him about Crushing Blows to which he claimed he never saw crushing blows occur.

That night, I took some combat logs and uploaded them to WoW Web Stats (WWS) to show that he indeed was being crushed and causing his healers some undue stress!

Let’s look at what exactly Shield Block does. Shield Block is a 10 rage skill that increases a warrior’s block rate by 75% for 1 hit or 5 seconds, which ever comes first. You can further improve Shield Block by picking up the tier 3 Protection Talent, Improved Shield Block which will allow your Shield Block to block an additional attack and also adds 1 second to the duration.

As long as a warrior has a cumulative base 25% dodge, parry, and block, using the Shield Block skill will push Crushing Blows off of the damage table (we will go into this in another post) against even level or below mobs. Against higher level mobs (73 for boss mobs), you actually need 27.4% to be Crushing immune.

So what is a Crushing Blow? A Crushing Blow is an attack made by an mob that is 150% of the damage caused by a normal successful attack. Crushing Blows are spike damage that can kill a player rather quickly.

Being Crushing Blow immune is very important against raid level bosses to prevent tank death and a probable ensuing raid wipe. Because of this, against hard hitting bosses, it is imperative that warriors keep Shield Block up as much as possible while retaining mob aggro.

Next time, we will discuss the damage table as mentioned above and go into greater detail about how exactly Shield Block and other tank abilities can cause a tank to become Crushing Immune

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