Continuing on now with our primer, of sorts, for level 85 entry level tanking, we come to another important part of getting ready for tanking and those would be the glyphs you choose.

With the new glyph system in Cataclysm, there are three types of glyphs to look at.

Prime glyphs provide a small boost to a spell or ability. Oftentimes, these are small percentage based boosts.

Prime glyphs tend to be pretty cut and dried and there really aren’t that many variations in them from one variation of a spec to another.

The main glyphs that you’ll be taking for tanking as a warrior are the following: Glyph of Revenge, Glyph of Shield Slam, and Glyph of Devastate.

Keep in mind that as prime glyphs, these aren’t game changing glyphs. They’ll make your main rotational abilities hit a little harder but they don’t add a lot of flash to your play, just makes it a little more solid.

The major glyphs are the things that really change things up but even here, you won’t find your playstyle changing much; they’ll just make things a little easier.

As with the prime glyphs, the choices are fairly simple as there really aren’t that many options available to you in these slots.

The two must-have major glyphs are Glyph of Sunder Armor and Glyph of Shockwave. Both of these glyphs serve the dual function of helping you with single target as well as multi-target threat. The lower cooldown on Shockwave lets you use your signature ability for aoe threat/control more often while the Sunder glyph lets you spread around those Sunder Armors a lot more easily, letting you take less time to tab around mobs and land a few Devastates on them to keep them on you..

It’s important to note that the Glyph of Sunder DOES work with the Devastate spell, which makes it an inarguable choice. The third slot is really just down to preference but you will likely want to choose between Glyph of Thunder Cap if you’re having rage issues, Glyph of Resonating PowerG if you want just a little more range on your Thunderclap or Glyph of Rapid Charge if you want to really get more use out of Warbringer and the warrior’s unmatched mobility in a fight.

The final type of glyphs are the minor glyphs. These glyphs really have little effect during most fights and just serve the purpose of improving the quality of life.

The only really serious one here if you raid would be Glyph of Demoralizing Shout which is a must-have if you’re ever responsible for keeping up that debuff.

If you run a lot of heroics, you might want to grab Glyph of Intimidating Shout which turns your Shout into something like the DK’s Hungering Cold which can save lives in the right situations.

The last thing for minor glyphs would be Glyph of Command. It’s almost completely unnecessary but it saves you a global cool down once every 2 minutes and who knows, maybe someday that will save lives.

Stick around next week where we’ll be taking a hard look at finalizing the spec now that everyone’s getting back into raiding.


  1. Very good article, i’m going to change 2 of my major glyphs in favor of what you suggest. By the way, you forgot to mention the major Glyph of Cleaving. I use cleave as part of my rotation, and i noticed that a lot of encounters are with 3 mobs (or can easily be CC’d down to 3 mobs), so this glyph is a prime choice for me. I suggest it to other prot warriors as the 3rd choice for major glyphs.

    Chervil @ Moonglade – EU

    • Probably the biggest thing standing between me and picking up glyph of Cleaving is that I’m mainly starting to look at specs for raiding.

      And in the majority of raid encounters, you will rarely find yourself tanking more than 2 mobs at once.

      If you’re still mainly doing heroics and instances, by all means, the Glyph of Cleaving is likely the best of options among those remaining but if you’re starting to get into the raid tanking scene again, you’re mostly better off with one of the other majors that I’ve mentioned.

  2. Concerning major glyph i was wondering why you left out Glyph of Cleaving? I find it useful in AoE situations hitting a third target. For minor glyphs I would add Glyph of Berserker Rage as another option which grants some additional rage.

  3. Glyph of Berserker Rage is pretty much useless. What can you do with 5 rage? Grin at your opponent furiously or call him all sorts of bad names? ;)

    Intimidating Shout and Demo Shout are pretty much necessary, the last one, whatever. You’re gonna use Battle/Commanding shouts anyway cause they give rage, so might go with either of them, or with Enduring Victory for soloing.