Yes, it really is that good

I feel like every other thread on Tankspot is about deep wounds. And every other post in those threads it someone saying, ‘I don’t like putting dots on mobs’ or, ‘my crit is too low for it to work’, or ‘I don’t want to give up all my survivability’ or ‘I tried it and it wasn’t that good’. It is driving me crazy. Yes, you are putting dots on mobs but nobody uses CC anymore so it really doesn’t have a negative effect, it will however increase aoe threat. Yes, your crit looks low at a glance, but check your talents and consider raid buffs – you have plenty of crit. Yes, you lose 3% shield block but you probably won’t notice it because you aren’t reliant on blocks to save your bacon and because there are really only 3 bosses that kill tanks – enraged maexxna, patchwerk, and Sartharion while Shadron and Vesperon acolytes active.

The last point is really the only semi-valid argument because a lot of tanking is subjective and maybe your playstyle doesn’t fit with a high tps/dps spec. To that I would say: adjust your playstyle because deep wounds is quickly becoming THE cookie cutter tank spec for the expansion. If you look at the tanks in top end raiding guilds, they all use deep wounds and if you read through Tankspot, all the ‘opinion makers’ use deep wounds. Those guys aren’t using a deep wounds spec because it is the flavor of the month, they are using it because deep wounds is a very powerful tool and the spec is an amazing overall performer.

So give it a try. If you don’t like it, keep trying it until you do like it. If you just plain can’t stand it, then you can go back to whatever spec you like with full knowledge that for whatever reason, deep wounds doesn’t work for you. But know that all the math says that deep wounds gives you a ton of tps and dps for the very small sacrifice of 3% block.


  1. Ebenthorin says:

    Maybe once dual speccing comes out. But for now, Shield Block is my Soloing friend. 1500 block val means every blocked hit is completely discarded, even from most non-instance elites. And Shield Slam crits hitting for 4k+ keeps the DPS from bottoming out while grinding on mobs.

  2. I get the math behind it… going to test it out tonight when I get home from work on the 81-82 Elite Postulant Horrors (Flesh Giants) over in Icecrown. I had been soloing them w/ about 75-80% health leftover at 5/8/58. I’ll let you know tomorrow how it goes at 15/5/51.

  3. You don’t lose any block value and your shield slam damage doesn’t go down at all. The only thing that you lose is 3% chance to block.

    I suppose you can make the argument that there are better specs for soloing/grinding, but if you want to spec for raiding, 15/5/51 is where its at.

  4. It definitely increases the value of Heroic Strike… Ergo significantly raising the value of my favorite 1-2 punch Major Glyph combo: Glyph of Revenge & Glyph of Heroic Strike… nothing like following up a Revenge with a free Heroic Strike (thanks to GoR) that has an improved chance to Crit (thanks to Incite) that will do more damage than a regular crit (thanks to Impale) and tack on a 48% Melee Wpn avg. dmg bleed for 6 seconds all while giving you 10 Rage just for putting that altogether (GoHS).

  5. “Yes, you are putting dots on mobs but nobody uses CC anymore so it really doesn’t have a negative effect”

    The only caution here is you forgot to use the word “now” in that sentence. CC is something that is becoming more and more prevalent in the not quite geared groups for heroics and the like, and breaking CC is an issue. Where the tank is concerned its usually not so bad because whatever they’re on its the target, but for random PuGs, having CC available means that the healer isn’t struggling to keep up the tank with less gear on him.

    T6/7 geared tanks, sure, but a crittable undergeared tanks in mostly blues and a few greens isn’t going to be able to just swing randomly and dot everything.

    (Yes I’m primarily a healer, and we took so long to teach warriors not to spec Deep Wounds, back in MC)

  6. I am gonna give Deep Wounds another shot this weekend. Tried Deepwounds (although not the cookie cutter version) and was only getting like 2-3 percent damage from DW. Like I said, I have to give it another shot.

  7. Ok, so I’m trying it. I did not get out to test it on the Pustulant Giants like I wanted to but I did do my Hodir dailies and run a couple of lower lvl guildies through Drak’tharon. I was impressed with the speed at which the Brittle Revenants died while doing Hodir, and I didn’t notice myself ever being in any particular danger of death. I’ll try to get a group together to run something with a little more teeth to it tonight. I have to admit, I had gotten rather used to seeing 15% Block, so only seeing 12% on my screen does scare me just a little bit.

  8. Attorneylaw - Hyjal says:

    This past week I finally respec’d to Deep Wounds, and I’ve actually noticed a considerable increase in both my DPS and TPS. One thing to note: you don’t actually have to sacrifice more than one point in shield specialization and still get the full effect of deep wounds.

    Because of talents such as Incite and Critical Block, it’s not your white swings that are going to keep procing it, but your shield slams, thunder claps, and heroic strikes. I’ve noticed that it’s up for a huge majority of the time for a typical boss fight, and that’s without putting any points into cruelty.

    I think at this point, where Naxx 25 is really such a cake walk, it ultimately isn’t a big deal either way…but I think once the new raids start opening, it’ll be better to have those points in shield specialization than simply 2% more crit.

  9. Ebenthorin says:

    I’m still not entirely sold on this spec.

    Starting with Deep Wounds. Fully raid buffed, we’re pushing what, maybe 20% crit rating. So 1 in 5 attacks will give you a DW proc. Average weapon damage for entry level tanking weapons is going to be in the 300 point range.

    If we’re burning rage like mad, getting a yellow attack and a white attack every oppertunity, with a 2.6 speed weapon, over a 10 second period we will have 3 white attacks and 6 yellow attacks. So 9 attacks all together, odds are we’ll see two DP procs.

    So 800 damage over 10 seconds is an 80 DPS increase under ideal situations. Not horrible, but not over the top awesome.

    The other thing that makes me wonder is the choice of Armed to the Teeth instead of Cruelty. If DP was all it was cracked up to be, it would seem to be way more useful to get a full 5% crit chance for more DP procs instead of the flat DPS increase.

    Assuming most entry level tanks are pushing 22k-24k armor, Armed to the Teeth is going to give about 130 AP. 130 AP is only going to be about a 10 DPS increase. where as getting an additional 3% crit is going to be closer to 11.5% dps just off of the DP (not including the actual critical damage).

    I might give this a try though:

  10. The only way for Deep Wounds to get on a target in the first place is for the tank to crit the mob which means the mob is in range of tclap or shockwave which means any CC is going to get broken anyway. But thats not really an issue because I am not trying to promote a build for undergeared tanks in 5mans, this is a raiding build and nobody uses CC in raids.

    Fully buffed you have about 15% crit but a whole bunch of your other abilities get another 15% through talents, it is more than enough to keep Deep Wounds rolling on a mob. Look through some WWS reports and you see than deep wounds is consistently adding 7-12% damage. That is, in fact, over the top awesome. There is nothing else you could spend your talent points on to get that kind of return.

    Armed to the Teeth blows Cruelty away. Shield Slam is the only ability you have that doesn’t scale with AP and things like revenge, concussion blow and shockwave scale ridiculously well with AP. Add in the fact that a majority of your abilities get an extra 15% crit from talents and Cruelty falls even further behind.

    If/when content gets hard again, I will move the points out of cruelty and into shield spec.

    Cruelty used to be one of those talents that you would be foolish to skip, but with Incite, Critical Block and Sword and Board, it just isn’t the case anymore.

  11. On the CC issue, mages can get a glyph that clears all dots from their target when they cast sheep.

    I went with a slight modification of the spec I posted above and it seemed to do slightly more DPS in a heroic run. I was also experimenting with using Rend in my rotation.

  12. I don’t get why you’re dropping 3 points out of shield specialization, when there’s points that can be dropped elsewhere. I’ve tried a Deep Wounds spec, and I dropped focused rage instead. Rage starvation is hardly an issue any more, so you could certainly lose a couple of points there and not notice much of a difference.

    One thing I’m noticing is that Deep Wounds even procs with Damage Shield, so I’m seeing lots of little yellow damage flying off mobs that are hitting me.

  13. The reason for dropping points out of shield spec instead of something like focused rage is that while you don’t necessarily need the rage efficiency from focused rage, you need the survivability from sheild spec even less – tanks don’t die in WotLK raids.

    The only fights where you see tank deaths are Sartharion +3 (where tank gets killed by magic damage so shield spec is worthless), Maexxna (but only during an enraged web wrap where you can’t block anyway), and Patchwerk (more block can be helpful on this fight).

    So its a toss up between more survivability when you don’t actually need anymore or more rage management when you don’t really more. The only way more survivability is helpful is if you can start replacing healers with more dps. An extra 3% shield block doesn’t get you enough extra survivability to replace a healer. But more rage is always more damage and more threat.

  14. I don’t think you’re looking at all the angles of block, it’s not to be sniffed at.

    1. Block procs revenge, meaning more more damage and threat.
    2. Block procs enrage (with improved def stance), which also means more damage and threat.
    3. More enrage, more opportunity to use enraged regeneration.
    4. Full Shield Specialization means you always generate rage when blocking. So when we’re talking about a toss up between focused rage and Shield Spec, rage is even less of an issue, because you’re guaranteed rage from blocking.

    Now, you say that more rage is always more damage and more threat. Well, this would only be true if rage starvation was an issue, and it’s not. In boss encounters, I’m burning full rage constantly, and the difference between an ability that costs 15 rage or 12 rage is meaningless. So someone with focused rage is not doing more damage and threat than someone without it.

    The damage mitigation from blocking isn’t to be sniffed at either, off the top of my head, I’d I’m mitigating about 2000 damage when I block, and I’m sure for someone with better gear it’s a lot more. Over the course of a fight that 3% chance to block will shave off a bit of damage, which in turn makes things that little bit easier on the healers. No, 3% block is certainly not going to replace a healer, or for that matter mean the difference between life and death in a boss fight. It will however reduce the overall damage you take by a small degree, and that will make instances and raids just that tiny bit more efficient.

    Focused rage will make no difference when you’re burning 100 rage, and when you’re speccing into improved heroic strike and improved charge in order to take impale and deep wounds, you’re already getting talents that add to how rage efficient you are, making focused rage that little bit more worthless.

    5/5 Shield Specialization on the other hand, is more chance to mitigate damage, to generate rage, to enrage, to proc revenge, and to be able to self-heal. That 3% effects a lot of things, and I think it matters a lot to a tank. 3/3 Focused rage effects most of your talents, but unless you’re being rage starved, it’s an effect that’s worthless.

    Anyway, I hope that provides some food for thought, and perhaps you should try dropping focused rage instead of shield spec. See if you notice any difference when you’re burning full rage in raids.

  15. I tried it over the weekend. My dps varies a lot from fight to fight but it looks like my dps went up by about 150, which is pretty huge. Some of the DPSers weren’t liking it since I’m doing more dps than them again, making them look bad.

    As the soaker on Patchwerk in 10 man I was at 1250 dps. That was with me keeping TC, Demoralizing Shout and Commanding Shout going.

  16. Ebenthorin says:

    According to Recount for 4-horsemen, Patchwerk (soaker), and Grobulus(MT):

    Deep Wounds was showing a consistant 5-6% of my averaged 1-1.2k DPS. So probably a 50-70 DPS increase.


  17. I recently tried out the DW spec and love it. My dps is now consistently above 1200. The only thing im worried about is getting back into dps mode, where its all about the numbers and less about paying attention to each fight/surviveability.

  18. After a lengthy break from tanking (vacation and all, don’t have the time to raid) I got drafted into a Naxx 10 raid with my guildies. I used it as an opportunity to test DW (15/5/51). I wasn’t running any tracking addons or anything, but I have to say, I wasn’t that impressed. Sure, my shockwave was critting for higher numbers, and ticks for around 60 damage from DW were appearing everywhere, but I don’t know if I really need it.
    We have a few problems clearing Naxxramas sometimes (we get stuck on Sapphiron sometimes, I don’t know why, the rest of the instance goes flawlessly). I think I liked my previous spec where I had imp spell reflection and the extra 5% blocking more. I will test it in a 25 man raid next week and see how it goes.

    I was pushing out very respectable DPS and TPS without DW spec (whenever a DPSer was creeping up I methodically followed the SS>Revenge>Devastate priority system and up it went), so I don’t know if this is going to be extremely relevant. Maybe for Malygos, a boss that I have yet to truly attempt after 1 1/2 months of WotLK (kinda disappointing), but for the rest… meh.

  19. Beefbringer says:

    I’ve tested DW the otherday out of curiosity, I’ve tested in in everything but raiding so far (doing our next naxx run wednesday).

    So far I like it, its a subtle change but highly noticeable on the threat meter, yes I feel a bit wrong for using it and even got accused of being a pvp prot ( the guy thought tanking as a warrior was too hard and said prot pallys are the best tanks for everything, as well as getting his info off wowwiki) and to top it all off made some of my DPS feel useless.

    But I do like it, we will see how it stacks up in a raid ofc come tuesday, so far its passed the heroics test.

  20. I’ve been running 15/5/51 for a couple of weeks now (since my last comment) and I haven’t really noticed any problems or improvements. Now, I am still in the Heroic phase of progression. My guild can easily handle UK, Nex and VH, but anything beyond that unless we have a specific healer on gives us trouble. Trying to get some healer alts geared up so we can keep hitting heroics until we get a 2nd dedicated healer to start into Naxx, but that’s neither here nor there.

    I think the key to Deep Wounds that Karl hit on briefly is that it can proc from Damage Shield crits. 48% of your weapon DPS over 6 seconds on a single target at the standard Prot Warrior crit rate is not all that great, but when you have 4-6 mobs beating on you all that the same time, each hit giving a chance for damage shield to pop off and crit (in addition to your swings, your SS’s, your TClaps, your SWaves and everything else) THAT’S where Deep Wounds earns its money.

    Now, like I said, I don’t notice a HUGE leap in my ability to hold aggro – I was doing fine before respeccing to Deep Wounds. I DO notice a big difference in how long it takes me to take down a 6 mob cluster of Brittle Revenants while doing my Hodir dailies, so that’s a nice bonus.

    The only time I’ve noticed Rage Starvation is when I’m taking guildies/alts on gear runs through the non-heroic content… but that’s why Pants are removable. I’m tempted to monkey around with Karl’s suggestion on dropping the Rage savers and getting my 3% Block back. But in the end, I think Blizzard has idiot-proofed tanking so much that there really is no longer an “It-Build” because as of right now, there’s no need for one. Now, if Ulduar comes out and Yoggy continues the Elder God tradition of making lazy, non-optimzed tanks pay for their whimsical indiscretions, that may change. As it is, I’m kinda thankful that I can get away with having my Engineering parachute on my cloak without having to shell out big bucks for Titanweave.

  21. I believe that losing the 3% crit from 2/5 Cruelty is a pretty minor loss when you think that I have 7% crit unbuffed before adding in the 15% critical chance from Incite and Critical Block. The result is that Deep Wounds is still up very quickly at the beginning of a pull and that 3% loss becomes less and less noticeable the longer the fight lasts.