I think everyone who has every written a blog about their class has made a post about talents. Usually it about which talents are best for whatever particular task and I might do a post like that in the future, but this one isn’t it.
The following talents are awful and you must have been confused or drunk when you did your talents if you have them. To qualify, some of these talents may be great for 5-mans and trash (redundant?) but any Joe Shieldbearer can tank that stuff, tanking performance on bosses is the only thing that matters because they drop teh purpalz.
Tactical mastery: There are only two situations where you will ever leave defensive stance as a tank. You get knocked back or are somehow far from the boss and you want to intercept back. In that situation can could just as easily stay in def stance and intervene to someone close to the boss or you could do a better job of postioning by having your back to a wall so you don’t get knocked back in the first place or you could not be a hotshot and just run. The other time you leave def stance is to break fear. You break fear with berserker rage. Berserker rage also increases rage from damage while it is active so you very quickly make up for any rage lost in the stance dance.
Improved revenge: The mobs that are stunnable are the ones you want beating on you so that you can get rage. The mobs (and bosses) that hit hard and that you would want to stun are immune to stun.
Improved disarm: lol. Seriously, bosses will actually laugh out loud if you try to disarm them.*
*they don’t actually laugh, I totally tricked you. This talent actually does suck though.
Improved taunt: If you are taunting so often that you need to shorten the cooldown, then either you or your dps are doing something fundamentally wrong. The only time I have ever genuinely thought that this talent might be useful is during the trash in Hyjal when there are 14 mobs at a time and you are running around like a crazy person. But even then, I refused to get this talent simply on principle. Instead of using imp taunt, I just got more resourceful with mocking blow, concussion blow, and aoe taunt in an emergency.
Improved shield bash: If you actually interrupt the spell, it silences the mob anyway. But if you try to preemptively silence a mob, the mob will still queue up the spell and cast it the moment the silence is over and now your interrupt is on cooldown. And just like improved revenge, the mobs where a silence might actually help are all immune to silence and the ones that aren’t immune really need you to interrupt the spell cast, not randomly silence them.
Improved shield wall: See my other post from last month about when I think shield wall ought to be used. With that in mind, when you use this mid fight because your healers are silenced or out of range or you take a spike or something, your healers really only need 2-5 seconds to get you to full health. The other 5 seconds of untalented shield wall are an unecessary bonus. Talent points are a precious thing and I simply cannot justify spending 2 points to increase an unecessary 5 second bonus to 10 seconds. If there is something that you cannot recover from in 10 seconds, then you probably wouldn’t recover in 15 seconds either. (At time of writing I think I have 1/2 Imp Shield Wall thanks to a mis-click when going back to prot after MS for the weekend)
Everything else in protection is good. I have 46 points in protection in my usual tanking build. If you ever see anybody who put 61 points into protection, you need to give them the gold to respec immediately. Preferably to MS because any idiot can play an MS warrior and not give us tanks a bad name.