“The warrior is the toughest of all classes in World of Warcraft .They have the highest health of any class, can use the best weapons, can wear the heaviest armor, and can also deal an excellent amount of damage.” – Vanilla WoW, Game Manual
When Blizzard First created the game, things weren’t balanced. Hordes had the rights to shamans, paladins were only loyal to the alliance and Death Knights didn’t even exist. Raiding was for only the most hardcore and rogue were really stunlocking people. In that same era, the only real tank was the warrior. Druids and paladin were “doomed” to healing. The game has progressed from there, TBC brought us druids and paladins, both of which could tank. Many guilds needed a paladin for Mount Hyjal, and I’ll agree that it did make things a lot easier. Then we had WotLK come along and suddenly there were 4 of us: Death Knights were added into the mix and they stirred things up. A class based all around cooldowns? Well, here you have it. Everything was viable, every tank had its niche and points were it excelled. It was a good time for the warrior, charging around in ICC, being able to intervene on fights like the Lich King or Sindragosa. Being the best choice for add tanking on Anub’Arak heroic. As warriors, we could use our cooldowns and were viable tanks on every encounter, on some we were the best choice by quite a considerable margin.
How has this changed in Cataclysm, you might ask. Well, it hasn’t. Every tank still has its strengths and weaknesses. Warriors are the weakest against magic of all classes, but we do have, IMO, the best survivability against physical bosses. Shield Block granting us a 30% damage reduction, if properly geared, from melee attacks for 33% of the time is really strong. Combining that with our ability to deal lots of AoE or single target damage, and one might wonder why one would choose another tanking class over a warrior. We have our different shout which can fill gaps in buffs, we bring Sunder Armor to help the melee a great deal, and we can use Shattering Throw during heroism to give those same melee an even bigger boost.
Nowadays, with every tank being viable and the differences being so small, little things like the buffs you bring are going to help decide whether you are getting a raidspot or are being benched. Skill and gear are still the biggest factors, but with an even playing field and in a min-max environment that alone isn’t going to be enough. So, what do you guys think? Do you agree with me that warriors are in a great, arguably the best, spot, or do you think they are lagging behind other classes. What tanking class do you feel is the best at the moment? Which one is the easiest to heal? Toss in your ideas and we can work with them.