4.0 Warrior Cataclysm Preview – Talents


To be honest, I don’t know quite what to tell you.

Patch 4.0 has landed, a preview of all of the changes to come in the Cataclysm to come.

How are you liking it so far?

You know, there are a lot of changes to discuss so let’s get right down to it.

The first thing you’ll notice is that while there have been a lot of restructuring changes to the tree, there are a lot of talents bear more than a passing resemblance to their older counterparts.

As there are only a few talents that you wouldn’t get while travelling down the tree, it’s those that I’ll cover more than anything else.

The first talent to avoid is pretty much a no-brainer. Blood and Thunder in the first tier of the prot tree is near completely useless as a tank because you’ll never really have Rend up on those mobs.

The next talent to avoid occurs on the second tier and is a little harder to choose from. The two weaker talents on that line are definitely Shield Specialization or Gag Order. While both have their place, the rage intake will largely keep you filled up on rage in a raid setting while the occasional 100% silence on a caster mob can be invaluable when it comes to positioning while the bit of extra rage that comes your way here and there, if you had to, you could do without. If the talent offered a bit of mitigation, it’d be fine but as it is, it feels pretty lackluster. Take it instead of Gag Order if you’re having rage issues but ignore it otherwise in favor of other talents.

The next unfavorable talent comes a few tiers down and is actually linked to Devastate and since it’s obvious that Sword and Board is pretty much a required tanking talent, the obvious culprit is the Impending Victory talent which really, while it can be nice occasionally to have an extra attack to throw around at execute range, it’s really not going to make that much of a difference. Feel free to snag it if you’re bored or if you’re into prot PvP, but other than those two situations, there really isn’t much use for a talent like that in our already lean spec. Cut it out.

It’s when you hit this point and branch out that things become confusing.

Your out of Protection talents are really up for debate and completely up to your preferred playstyle. If your healers are impeachable and you never have problems with survivability, then by all means, dip your few remaining points into a combination of Cruelty in Fury and War Academy in Arms.

If you find yourself with a bit of rage issues, pump some extra points into that Shield Specialization in Protection or Battle Trance in Fury.

This last is my personal favorite though. Splitting your remaining five points between the reworked Blood Craze in the Fury tree and Field Dressing in the Arms tree yields a great synergistic combo resulting in a near constant healing effect on yourself as well as making all the heals landing a bit more effective.

Whatever your remaining choices, take your picks, gird those loins and grab your wallets as next week, we’ll take a look at the potential glyph choices and if your server’s anything like mine, that’ll cost you a pretty penny still.


  1. Why are so down on Blood & Thunder? I took it for AoE threat generation & it seems to help. I think of it as a two button consecrate. Plus, everytime you Thunderclap thereafter you refresh Rend on every target.

    I’m a fan.

  2. yea i like Blood and thunder too but their right i rarely ever use rend (boss fight mostly) manly revenge and shield slam am going to have to agree with them.

  3. Tanking really not a problem it just became hard for me to hold threat after the new patch. dont know if my talents are off or my attacks are not timed right.

  4. @Rodd:

    Yeah, I can see how B&T would be nearly worthless in a boss fight. Though, it really helps me in trash pulls (or at least it “feels” like it helps).

    This is why we need 10 specs. I need to respec for trash, boss (melee-fast attack), boss (melee-slow attack), boss (magic), PvP, etc… :)

  5. As far as B&T, I’ve seen it work. TC right now is pretty worthless, compared to what it used to be, IMO, but I have tried it as a follow up to rend, and it’s turned the tide of aggro going to AOE spammers.

    It does feel a bit ungainly though, having to do rend first, then TC. I think there’s another talent to follow up this with Shockwave, but I can’t seem to emember what it was…I’m still getting used to the changes, including losing aggro to crit chickens doing 5x as much dps as I am doing. =/

    • Keep in mind guys, it’s not necessarily that B&T is BAD on it’s own.

      It’s not, it’s a good talent that does just enough to keep itself interesting and can change the way you tank.

      The question is more, what would you give up to get it?

      Gag Order when being able to move a caster mob might save your life? Improved revenge when it takes one of your stronger threat moves and turns into into a cleave type ability? You could potentially give up Safeguard but I’ve extolled the virtues of that talent before and it’s situational usefulness is really nothing to sneeze at.

      And keep in mind that for a while at least when Cataclysm hits, we’ll be returning to a CC focused dungeon crawling experience. Do you REALLY want to slap all of the mobs you’re tanking with a 15 second dot?

      Maybe it’s just my preferred style of play, and if yours is otherwise, feel free to ignore my recommendation and go to town with the talent. But I don’t believe that the SMALL amount of damage and threat you gain from having Rend up on the mobs your tanking outweighs the benefits of being able to stun, CC and move the group away from a single dangerous add int he middle of a pull.

  6. Because you know, you couldn’t charge, thunderclap, CC, move away, rend and then thunder clap again. That’s silly.

    • If you’re running with a group you know and can actually communicate with, of course it’d be a benefit.

      If you have a mage you can trust to be intelligent enough to spam that Polymorph on a Rended target until the bleed falls off, it’ll be a benefit.

      But have you SEEN what LFG groups are like?

      There are a lot of words I could use to describe them but intelligent is certainly not one of them.

      In a random LFG group, pretty much the only times I’ve seen CC working reliably is when the pull starts with it, the mobs all run over to where you’re standing and then you pick them up. This works because even the simplest random dps can realize not to hit something that’s started the fight controlled.

      To expect them to start the fight attacking, then CC a target, then hold off on attacking until you’ve moved the rest of the mobs safely away so that you can spread that Rend around? I think you’re flying with pretty high expectations to be honest.