Safeguard

I’m here to talk to you today about one of the unsung heroes in the protection warrior talent trees.

Taking a look at it, we can see that what it adds to the Intervene ability is a simple scaling damage reduction of 30% for the next 6 seconds. It seems a good talent on paper but the fact that it’s attached out our Intervene ability is what makes a lot of tanks hesitant to pick it up on the way down the tree.

Taking a look at Intervene, we find an ability that’s also sadly underused. Most tanks only use it for the defensive portion, to intercept one hit directed towards a fellow party member. The best part of the ability, and most often useful, by far is the 10% reduction in threat it provides.

Sadly, this isn’t an ability that you’re free to use as the main tank, namely because you always tend to be busy.

However, as an offtank, the Intervene ability, especially tacked on with the Safeguard talent can become invaluable.

Looking at it in context, it’s a life-saving cooldown that’s almost as good as a discipline priest’s Pain Suppression talent, can be cast on just about anyone, so it’s not a self only skill and on top of all that, you can use it every thirty seconds.

Did you miss that? I’ll repeat it.

As a protection warrior, you have a thirty second Pain Suppression.

How could you pass up something like that for just two talent points?

For a solid example of an effective use of it, take this anecdote:

My guild has taken to using a paladin main tank during the latter half of our ICC trip, relegating our previous tank, a warrior, into the role of the offtank in most encounters. This enhanced his role significantly in our encounters as it freed him to use all of his abilities to the utmost. Careless DPS that regularly found themselves calling for Salv from our absent-minded paladins found their threat issues largely taken care of as he pre-emptively Intervened them as he found their threat rising to uncomfortable levels.

On many of our attempts on Professor, many green slime targets would simply get Intervened and then everyone would be saved the hassle of bunching up on them, freeing up the DPS and the healers to have more time burning it down, often preventing it from selecting a second target.

Attempts against Deathbringer will occasionally find him intervening and eating a hit from the blood beast on the odd occasion where they’re not killed fast enough, saving the life of a raid member.

Finally, while learning how to deal with the Lich King, we’ve found that simply between the paladin’s Arden Defender and a well timed Intervene, we could keep the Soul Reaper under control, leaving all of the other life-saving cooldowns free to help the raid in case of bad Infest positioning or some extra hits from the Raging Spirits.

There are a countless number of ways to use Intervene without the talent. Throw the damage reduction of the talent into the fray and the ways that Intervene can be used becomes innumerable.

The only thing to really keep an eye out for if you’re going to use it on a tank is to make sure that they have a very strong threat lead or you’ll end up causing more problems than you’re hoping to solve.

Comments

  1. I’m fairly new to prot warriors, I’m still leveling mine, at level 71 now, and quite frankly I’m loving it. Moreso than tankadins or dk blood tanking.

    Just a quick newb question though…I was under the impression that OT-ing as a prot warrior is a rare ocurrence, be it the raid’s choice or the player’s choice not to man up as OT? Or had I heard wrong? I passed up Safeguard because of this. Dunno. I’m guessing once I ding 80 I’ll respec…yet again…for like..the 5th time.

    • LordSnow says:

      Looking at it from a stand-alone perspective, yes, a protection warrior would be better as the main tank as an off tank. But if you have a great tank in the wings that could do the job, I would suggest that the warrior provides greater utility and benefit to the raid by being in the position of off tank instead.

      Just granted that the boss is NOT immune to taunt, this gives you access to all of the warriors debuffs on the boss as well as the variety of useful skills available for use WHEN you need them.

      Safeguard isn’t really something you’d pick up right off the bat just as you started tanking. It takes some time and experience to learn how to use it safely and to the greatest benefit but later on it’s not hard to find two talents somewhere that you can spend on it.

  2. Pre-Wrath Intervene had no threat reduction. I used it on the main tank all the time on fights like Gruul. Once the threat reduction was applied the ability fell off the radar. I still use it on fights like prof but it definitely has limited use as in many fights.

    I would argue that if the threat reduction were remove then this talent would be taken more often since the main reason threat is getting out of control right now is the ICC buff

    • LordSnow says:

      Threat IS somewhat of an issue at the moment, but keep in mind that it’s largely because people have grown completely accustomed to NOT using ANY of the threat reducing abilities at their disposal. If your paladins keep their hand of salvation on cd, hunters MD and rogues tricks the tanks, threat is REALLY not an issue.

      Even hitting the tank with a 10% threat reduction here and there doesn’t affect ours much as he’s usually 3-4 times the threat of the highest dps.

      In those cases, Intervene and Safeguard is an amazingly cheap option for a defensive cooldown.

      If your tank CANNOT generate that sort of threat, obviously, your mileage of the talent will vary hugely.

  3. Roktharr says:

    I mostly agree, mainly with the opinion that Intervene is underestimated by a lot of tanks. The threat reduction is good, but nothing amazing too. i myself have no problems with threat, unless i encouter in my raid group some crazy warlock :) But i mainly use it in the PvP because of the warbringer enhancemet. Why? Well as a guild MT i often have to be carefull about position the boss in the right place, and intervene might sometimes screw it up. Thats the downside i think is important to notice.

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