The ‘Threat is Dead’ Myth

I’m just going to touch on this a little as I don’t really have hard numbers to back this up. I am going to do my best to gather some hard facts on this but it is not easy to stop in the middle of a boss fight to take note of differing threat numbers.

The simple fact is this. Threat is not dead. At least not when you have upper level dps’ers who have the gear, capacity, and skill to play at the top of their game.

Since Patch 3.0 hit, we have seen tank threat skyrocket. It’s great fun to see 2500 TPS, and one would think that would mean we would have zero threat problems, and many tanks and raids are saying this is true. But I’m here to tell you, there are still DPS raid members who can, and will be right on your ass on threat, possibly even threat capped and having to hold back.

Strong mages, DPS warriors, ret paladins, enhancement shaman. These are the ones I see riding my ass in threat since Patch 3.0. I keep an eye on those who are right behind me in threat and will even use a GCD to move my Vigilance to someone who is right behind me on threat.

So basically, the point of the story is this. Do not neglect your threat. Perfect your rotations and your reactions to Revenge, Shield Slam, Devastate and Sword and Board. Use Heroic Strike whenever you have the surplus rage to do so, or reactively use it after a Revenge if you have the Glyph of Revenge


  1. Yep yep. And lets not forget how important Threat is when you are in a fight that necessitates an Off-Tank (Gruul, Void Reaver, Etc.) You’ve still got to look at keeping your threat high even when you’re not the one being pummeled, which is much more of a challenge.

  2. I am still able to keep ahead on threat but it is just a little more difficult than pre-patch. I am wearing my best block value gear most of the time to keep ahead where before I typically used my best effective health gear.

  3. I have dropped all the survival talents I could out of my talent build. With the physical damage nerf that all the bosses got in the 3.0 patch, tanks just don’t die. This is the build I have been playing with – I also usually wear a few PVP items (ring, ranged weapon, neck, and sometimes the breastplate) instead of more traditional tanking items. With an aggressive spec and aggressive gear selection, I almost always have 50+ rage and I am using HS almost every single swing. With a relatively high crit rate (around 15% plus another 15% from Incite) and glyph of heroic strike, HS is no longer a rage dump, its just a monster threat generator.

  4. I agree threat is not dead. DPS warriors and Enh shamans (in my guild) are usually close to me in threat (but not holding back). Vigilance helps a lot on those guys. I can do ~2500 TPS sustained easily, with some peaks to 4-5k TPS.
    I don’t agree survivability is an issue, even after the patch for some fights like brutallus (where 5% more dodge is a must). He still hits hard (not as hard, i know), but I don’t think a tank should sacrifice his survivability to achieve good dps. I’m mostly doing 700-800 dps on bosses and I would never drop Anticipation in favor of more dps. I haven’t been rage starved too, but I’m mostly at sunwell, so I can’t really judge it by that.

  5. Just editing my previous post: I wanted to say that survivability is not something that should be ignored

  6. i have been meaning to make a post on how even though putting out good threat has been made easier, i still run into a disturbing amount of warriors who cant TPS their way out of a wet paper sack.

    My rogue isnt geared TOO insanely well (put out between 1000-1400 DPS on mobs, you can armory her Shankr Baelgun US) but it seems with a lot of tanks, after the first mutilate, i am grasping for my evasion button. It is disturbing to see the amount of tanks taht charge, auto attack, heroics trike and then maybe shock wave…

    IMO the threat changes only further widened the gap between great players, good players, and terribad players.

  7. Interesting idea on respec’ing for more threat instead of the dodge and parry. I’ll have to give that some thought.

    I haven’t looked at my TPS but my DPS around 850 on bosses. Our best mages and hunters went from 1000-1100 dps to 1600-1700 dps. One mage has something close to 50% crit when fully buffed. He gets my Vigilance.

  8. First off, I would have to agree with you, threat is not dead. Threat is still there. However … The race to TPS is dead. It only rises from the grave when you have people who are jumping the gun.

    ie, a DPS warrior decides to start dpsing before the first SS has landed in an encounter. The warlock who dot’s the boss as its landing. If you can surpass these small obstacles, you will be successful.

    With lower gear levels on the tank, I would say that threat is not dead, but its almost, and Vigilance is designed to help out warriors. They do not have the incoming threat that is JoL and overwhelming holy threat mechanics.

  9. Matheuswm says:

    for patch 3.2.2 and so on threat is not a problem anyway,if you keep devastate,rend,demoralizing,and TC debuffs,and spam shield slam/revenge on the target,your threat only goes forward. the main problem now are the paladins with righteous fury because “it gives damage reduction” and,of course,the ones that want to pull the mobs ahead of me.