The Way of the Warrior: Why Wouldn’t We?

“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.



  1. I have yet to see a single bear tank while running randoms as Arms. :-/

  2. @Getharn
    What you have with Bear tanks is something I had with prot paladins. I never came across them until 2 weeks ago. Now I seem to be missing Death Knights…

  3. Mufasalord says:

    i dont think warriors are the best tank class in the game at all, that has to go to paladins there just too even balanced between them all. Warrior tanks have a very hard time holding aoe aggro and they most defiantly do not do this huge aoe dmg u think they do. Dont get me wrong tho warriors are great if not the best single target tanks but i much rather prefer using a dk as a tank or pally. (i played all the tank classes but druid so im not just being a massive prick here). However warriors do help benefit the raid alot more than other classes so they are very useful but i would give my award to a pally or DK.

  4. I have to agree with Mufasalord. On my raid the second tank is a Paly and they are hands down better at AOE than warriors are.

  5. From my personal experience, paladins or druids are nowhere near me on AoE threat/damage. What sort of spec are you warriors using? Because to do proper AoE damage you really need Blood&Thunder and Thunderstruck. The advantage that warrior AoE also has over paladins is that you aren’t required to keep standing still, whereas a paladin needs to keep his mobs in his consecration. This of course isn’t an issue for druids and dk’s are only affected by this in a lesser degree.

  6. pally tanks aren’t dependent on consecration any more, it’s our least useful ability any more

  7. Which is what I was not sure about. We were talking about AoE tanking, where the priority is still Hammer of the Righteous > Consecration > Holy Wrath > Avenger’s Shield > Shield of the Righteous / Word of Glory > Judgement. That is what I read on EJ a few days ago and I just checked and is still the priority.

  8. Um im a prot warrior and i find aoe tanking easy.. i even do near 15k dps during aoe pulls. just wanted to put that out there =)

  9. As a warrior tank I have to say our mastery sets us leaps and bounds ahead of other tanking classes. Plus being the most mobile tanking class is a huge plus. I tend to think of pally tanking as putting the game in easy mode. just IMO.

  10. Wayne Molina says:

    Speaking as a pally tank who has tried a Warrior tank (got him to 76 before I got bored stupid with Northrend dungeons and benched him just before Cata), I find the Warrior to not only be more survivable (and my girlfriend confirms this, having played a Warrior tank through Vanilla and TBC and how has a Holy/Disc priest) but also more fun to play.

    Tanking on the Warrior feels more fluid and dynamic; you are constantly acting and reacting to things, changing based on the situation. Pally tanking, by contrast, is still what amounts to a fixed set of buttons with very little leeway (and that’s going away if Patch 4.1 keeps the nerf to Word of Glory) or adaptability.

    If I ever do a re-roll again I’m going back to the Warrior, the way it was meant to be.

  11. I’m glad you threw that out there Wayne, i’m new to the tanking field and i’ve been torn between making a Tuaren Pally tank or a Blood elf Warrior(both new to world of wacraft). What would you say I should do being new to tanking? My only other character is a level 80 balance druid.

  12. Mightyshave says:

    I’ve played a warrior tank trough TBC and WOTLK and switched to a paladin tank for cata. In my experience its easier to keep a large amount of mobs under control with a paladin. There simply isn’t any limit to consecrate, avenging wrath or Hammer of the righteous. Easy to use, targets just have to be near. Cleave has a target limit, Thunder clap just doesnt generate a lott of aggro and shockwave is a pain in a trigger happy group.
    In terms of survivability, a palladin can keep using word of glory (with an extra 10% blocked dmg) or use an aoe heal to benefit everyone who is standing close, has 3 bubbles and a Lay on Hands wich is divine with the big health pools we have now a days.

    The only thing a warrior has over any paladin is charge, intervine, intercept and heroic leap. I wish i could nab some of those awesome moves.

  13. I think that a properly geared and spec’d prot warrior can do as good if not better AOE tanking…. Heroic Leap > Rend > thunderclap (thunderclapping a target that is rended will apply the rend to all targets effected of the thunderclap) > Shockwave (dmg + 4 sec stun to all mobs in front of you) >Cleave (with glyph of cleave to add +1 target) > and Revenge …

    I have an easy time holding aggro even when people are dishing out 7k dps on heroics. I think people are missing the fact that almost every prot warriors abilities generate high threat.

  14. Anonymous says:

    pally or dk do more agro respect a warrior!!!! Whit my dk today i have take agro of heroic boss of a dungeon only of aoe !!!! and than the start agro of warrior is very low , so when start big pull pally or dk agro all mobs!!!!

  15. Dwarf Warrior <3

  16. Fairly new to Wow just started in December, I have been fury Warrior since I started, and wanting to learn to Tank, is there a good guide to buy to learn on how to start to tank? I am comfortable doing heroic dungeon as a fury dps at 10-12k, getting a bit bored with fury, in a non raiding guild at the time.

  17. Bestmageever says:

    Guides are pointless. It’s really not hard, just grab some green ah gear, gem it for mastery, and run cata normals until you have decent gear for heroics. If you can read you’ll have figured it out by then.

  18. Donrean says:

    To Marilyn, I find that this blog has helped me plenty, being a new tank myself. Especially all of the posts on mindset and tactics. When you get to higher levels state checking out builds and talent trees, and also posts on specific raid bosses. Its all right here!