Level 85 Warrior Talent Spec

Well, now that the dust has finallys ettled, how do you feel about the way your talents work?

Are you finding that they work well together and help you out? Or do you feel more like you’re bashing your head against the wall everytime you need to tank?

Well I’m here to help!

Thankfully, the vast majority of protection warrior builds are mostly cookie-cutter. There are a huge number of talents in the protection tree that are unavoidable.

So for almost any and all tanking situations, this is the core build you want to be using: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#LMZhZIcGzRRozru

The differences between the various tanking trees lies in the smaller outlier talents lies mostly in how you prefer to play, what you have trouble with.

There are basically three big areas that you can tailor your tanking build for.

The first one is survivability, the second is single target tanking, and the last is aoe tanking.

Now when it comes to survivability, the very fact that you have to invest in talents to climb down the tree takes care of almost all of that. Once the 31 points in the protection tree have been taken, unless you’ve made a horrible mistake somewhere, you’ll pretty much be set for survival. The big exceptions being, of course, Blood Craze in the fury tree and Field Dressing in the Arms tree. Those are talents that you have to invest some extra points in but you’d be crazy not to.

What comes after that is more down to player preference.

Once you’re set with the core talents, you have 5 floating points that you can use to shore up what you think you’re weaker in.

Two options available for more threat is War Academy in the Arms tree and Cruelty in the Fury tree. Keep in mind that these serve different purposes. War Academy is used for more sustained threat over a period of time while Cruelty is more if you prefer the chance at a large burst of threat at random intervals.

Another place to dump some points in is Battle Trance in the fury tree if you find yourself having some rage issues. While 15% chance to have a free Shield Slam doesn’t sound all that much on paper, over the course of a 5-10 minute fight, it can really make a huge difference to your rage generation.

The last optional talent is Thunderstruck, deep in the protection tree. Now this is a bit more of a specialized case and it’s primarily something you want to spec into if you need a bit of help with aoe tanking. Again, it might not seem like that much of a difference, but given that warriors generally don’t have much trouble with single target threat, I’m going to put this one as well as one of the single target based talents as a viable option for putting points into.

So as everything else, the one thing, if anything, to take away from all this is to tailor a spec based more on what you’re doing and what you’re comfortable having and get out there.

We’ll start to cover the entry raids soon so stay tuned.


  1. Can somebody explain to me WHY do everybody insist on taking Heavy Repercussions? It seems so useless to me, because I usually tend to save my Shield Wall for emergency once-per-boss situations only, like “healer is dead and is being BRed right now” or “shit I’m going to be oneshotted right now”. And why do I need additional damage in these situations?

    • It’s likely because the Heavy Repercussions talent increases your Shield Slam damage when you use Shield Block, not Shield Wall =)

      A lot of times, when you’re first running into a mob, it’s usually a good idea to burn that Shield Block right at the start to boost your threat as well as provide some damage mitigation to smooth out that beginning portion of the fight where things can get a little rocky due to an inattentive healer.

  2. I’m popping my Shield Block constantly, so it is definitely a nice accessory.

    I can see the misunderstanding you were under, however. It’s a slight difference in name.

  3. I don’t agree with much of this talent tree.

    My own tree: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#LGZhZcfGdRRRbbu

    I rarely every use heroic strike. In almost every situation i’ve found myself in it better to use the rage elsewhere. I find those initial points better placed in B&T. It’s useful as an opener and ensures that rend ticks throughout a fight. This is of course better for mobs but how many people reading this are focused solely on tanking raid bosses at the moment?

    Gag order is much overlooked and is a fantastic ability to pull casters to you with a Heroic Throw. Its not an ability that is used in single combat often but for causing threat and pull casters its a beautiful ability. Also with the high damage of casters in cata some more silences are always welcome.

    Impending victory is always overlooked i have never understood that. With glyphs and field dressing it gives you a nice self healing ability. Anything i can do to make the healers life and mana usage easier is a bonus. A healer spending less time worrying about me is a happy healer.

    No thunderstruck? A massive portion of my damage is from cleave. I have zero threat issues while tanking. Why wouldn’t i want to take an ability that increases that damage.

    Vigilance is pretty much useless now. Ever since they took the threat transfer from it. If you need taunts refreshed something is going horribly wrong.

    Again I’ve never found a use in intervene. Putting 2points there seems like such a waste.

    With those 3 extra points I chose War Academy. Increasing your cleave damage further. Threat has never been issue Mobs stick to me like glue.

    I’m all for learning more about tanking if anyone thinks I am completely wrong that’s fine. Explain why though… After tanking alot in Cata it seems to work amazingly well.

  4. Woltering says:

    I agree with most of Ealiom’s tree and thoughts, with the one exception of Impending Victory. It has potential to be a great talent in the less over-healing Cataclysm environment but the stipulation that the target has to be less than 20% health makes for very limited effective scenarios. Even as I’m typing this, I realize that in a long boss fight, the healer(s) could be running low on mana around 20% and then it could be very helpful, but that’s still a bit too specific of a circumstance for me to invest 2 talent points.

    If they changed it to having a 5/10% chance of allowing victory rush anytime, I think I would almost certainly use that.

    As it stands, I just put my remaining talent points into Blitz, which is not only great for generating extra rage but stunning two additional targets is a great way to mini-CC mobs to give me time to Rend->TC->Shockwave. I also have one point in Deep Wounds, which I know is a throwback to Wrath but it’s still nice to have an extra bleed effect for extra damage/threat. I could easily consider putting that point into finishing War Academy though.

  5. I agree w/ Ealiom, most of us warrior tanks are still focused on Dungeons, trying to master each instance and trying to gear up for Raids. I feel that in Cata us warrior tanks have to get used to the “mitigation” idea, our rotation is one of the most complex of all classes in wow.

    So when i say mitigation i mean that not only with our gear/stats but also with our talent points. So as for me, i love cleave and had a hard time getting used to it being on the GCD as of 4.0.3 but am really enjoying how it works now that i got used to it.

    I spread my points around on talents I feel are necessary for MY tanking style. So i use B&T, Thunderstruck, Gag order(1 pt.), Vigilance (when my ccing dpsr’s fail & mobs are 5 and my cleave cant hitehm all rght away) and there are some mages and locks hitting 15k so the refreshed taunt comes in handy for “me”at times. I also grabbed blitz (for the extra rage and brief stun), Field dressing, blood craze (2pts.), cruelty (gotta love SS when glyphed too, oooo ive done 40k+ Shield Slams b4-lol) and War academy (2pts).

    Also we dont want to forget the “dual talents” most of us spent ALOT of gold to get this(pre cata). So why not use it, i have my main spec set up for what i call my trash spec (listed above) and my 2nd spec for Bosses is pretty much what Lord snow suggest’s. So why not use that dual spec option and switch before the boss??

    Im still trying to master this and get used to the difference in rotations but i feel that once i do than all will be gravy. I am honestly having rage issues when im rolling with DPSers/heals higher geared than me. I dont know what im doing wrong i even glyphed for resonating power to save some rage on TC. I wish that the cleave glyph reduced its rage cost as well….Dear santa…..lol–Maybe it will get better once im full of epics, i hope. Are there any other warr tanks with this problem as well??

  6. Spankytank says:

    I think this talent build is decent, for the most part. Taking Safeguard isn’t a good option in my opinion. Sure, you might save a someone from dying, let’s say a dps in this case. Firstly, that dps probably shouldn’t be taking damage in the first place. Secondly, what if the damage you take that is now transferred to you is enough to kill you? Dead dps, still have a chance of downing the boss….dead tank, not likely.

    And really, how often do we use Intervene? I can remember a total of 3 times in ICC, and each time was because a healer had mobs on them, due to healing’s insta-aggro.
    Just my opinion, someone please tell me if I am wrong :)

    • I’ll refer you to this post done earlier: http://www.tankhard.com/2010/08/02/safeguard/

      Used correctly, it’s not something that I use mainly on the damage dealers as a “ZOMG I’LL SAVE YOU!” ability but more as a spare tank cooldown.

      I don’t know how your raids and dungeon groups are looking but in most of mine, after the first thirty seconds of a fight or so, provided that there are no threat dumps from the mob, there isn’t a single damage dealer out there that is threatening to pull threat from the tank provided they’re using their own threat mitigation abilities as well as the occasional help from the party (Hand of Salvation/Misdirect/Tricks).

      In that case, saving your healers from the occasional panic inducing moment during a heavy damage phase on the boss can be invaluable and much appreciated.

  7. Just 1 thing…if you plan on running any of the new raids, impending victory is a must. The last 20% of 30 million lasts quite a long time.

  8. Vigilance is absolutely necessary for raiding. Put in on the other tank and watch your attack power (and damage and threat) go through the roof. On some fights you’ll be competing w/ mages for dps. It ain’t about the taunt refresh it is all about the massive damage/threat buff from having the other tank pounded. If there are two warrior tanks then it is doubly good.