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Thread: Spinning Shields and You: The Cataclysm PvE Protection Warrior

  1. #1

    Spinning Shields and You: The Cataclysm PvE Protection Warrior

    Last edited by Dellingr; 04-02-2012 at 05:56 AM.

  2. #2

    The protection warrior threat/damage rotation functions on a priority system revolving around maximizing your usage of Shield Slam for single target, and Shockwave/Thunder Clap for multiple targets. Below are the "priority" queues you follow to maximize the damage in your rotation (from top to bottom, left to right.)

    Single Target (Heroic Strike over 50 Rage)

    Shield Slam Available: First or second global cooldown after Shield Slam use (no S&B proc): Last global cooldown before Shield Slam natural refresh:
    Shield Slam Thunderclap (1.5s on rend remaining) Thunderclap (4.5s on rend remaining)
    Revenge Shockwave
    Rend (if not currently on target) Revenge
    Devastate Rend (if not currently on target)

    Multiple Target (Cleave over 50 Rage)

    2 Targets: 3+ Targets:
    Rend if not present Rend if not present
    Thunderclap if Rend not on both targets Thunderclap if Rend not on all targets
    Shockwave Shockwave
    Revenge Thunderclap if off cooldown
    Thunderclap if off cooldown Revenge
    Shield Slam Shield Slam
    Devastate Devastate

    Single target, you can add Concussion Blow or Heroic Throw just below Shield Slam as a threat gain, but damage loss (both abilities have a high threat modifier not present on other abilities.) This should generally not be necessary or a good idea. Also, rolling rend single target via Blood and Thunder is not ideal if you do not execute this with near perfection, so do not do this if you are not confident that you are going to be able to focus on timing it, as the gain is not extremely large. If you are not entirely able to follow the tables, it boils down to Shield Slam > Rend/Rend maintenance > Revenge > Devastate for single target and Rend/Rend maintenance > Shockwave > Thunderclap or Rend depending on target count > Shield Slam > Devastate.

    On Heroic Strike/Cleave:

    These abilities are where the largest gap between good warriors and mediocre warriors damage forms. Heroic Strike and Cleave are a large, large percentage of a protection warriors damage (seeing 25-30% on a rage unlimited or near-unlimted encounter is not unusual.) Generally newer players tend to be light on the number of Heroic Strikes on any given encounter, and not use Inner Rage nearly enough. Make sure you're ALWAYS using Heroic Strike if you're over the rage threshold where you can safely do so without costing yourself on the global cooldown abilities.

    Gearing for Damage/Threat:

    When choosing a weapon, you will always want to choose the slowest (2.6 speed), highest damage range weapon available to you (hopefully with defensive attributes!) Avoid using a fast weapon wherever possible, as this will have a serious impact on certain abilties damage, namely Devastate and Rend.)
    Keep in mind, that threat stats should generally not be necessary for threat purposes in the slightest unless your dps outgears you to a ridiculous degree (You're in greens, they're in tier 13 heroic.) For the sake of increasing your DPS versus raid content bosses, the stat priorities are as follows:

    26 Expertise (Removes the chance for you to be dodged by your target, lowers their parry chance by half; 24 for non-raid bosses.)
    8% Hit (Removes the chance for you to miss)
    56 Expertise (Completely removes the targets chance to parry. 24 for non-raid bosses.)
    Critical Rating
    Last edited by Dellingr; 04-02-2012 at 05:47 AM.

  3. #3

    Glyphs for protection are fairly standardized; Major glyphs are the only place with any meaningful choice involved.

    Prime Glyphs:
    Shield Slam

    Major Glyphs:
    Thunderclap (optional)
    Victory Rush (optional)
    Shield Wall (very situational, don't use for general use.)

    Minor Glyphs:
    Demoralizing Shout
    Berserker Rage
    Battle (optional)
    Command (optional)
    Enduring Victory (optional)
    Last edited by Dellingr; 04-02-2012 at 05:30 AM.

  4. #4

    Prot Warriors are in the wonderful situation of having more talents that are useful than points to spend. There are many, many good threat/dps talents that you'll need to choose between. These are the talents I consider 100% mandatory at 85 (note that you need to take other talents beyond the truely mandatory to progress down the tree completely):

    3/3 Incite
    Strong threat talent single target. You should not be skipping this ever.

    3/3 Toughness
    Increased armour? Yes please.

    2/2 Blood and Thunder
    Very significant for AoE threat. A Single target threat/damage gain, as well.

    3/3 Shield Specialization
    If you're playing correctly, you're likely not going to have enough rage without this talent. Take it.

    2/2 Hold the Line
    Threat and damage reduction all rolled together. Awesome talent.

    3/3 Shield Mastery
    Reduces the cooldowns of shield wall and shield block, in addition to adding magic DR to shield block. Very important for anything you could be doing.

    2/2 Bastion of Defense
    Critical strike immunity and an enrage effect.

    1/1 Warbringer
    Probably not 100% mandatory, but it is an extreme amount of mobility for a 1 point investment. It would be silly not to take it.

    1/1 Devastate
    Your key filler ability for threat.

    2/2 Improved Revenge
    Revenge is one of your highest damage/threat abilities. 60% damage is sweet.

    2/2 Heavy Repercussions
    Shield block has extremely high uptime if you're pressing it on cooldown like you should be. Take this.

    3/3 Sword and Board
    Shield Slam is your core rotational ability. Extremely important talent.

    1/1 Shockwave
    Mandatory for multiple targets and a single target threat boost as well.

    Optional Talents:

    2/2 Gag Order
    Ranged Silence and reduced cooldown on Heroic throw as well as a silence on shield bash. Very useful for heroics, but of debateable value in a raiding build.

    1/1 Concussion Blow
    Solid single target threat ability, as well as stun utility. Could be considering mandatory by some, but you can get by without.

    1/1 Last Stand
    With the addition of Rallying Cry, this is a talent that mostly depends on your raid comp and how often you need a cooldown with a longer duration/slightly higher max health gain.

    2/2 Impending Victory
    Currently extremely mediocre, as it only works in execute range. Self healing in a single target build might potentially be useful though, however underwhelming the talent is.

    1/1 Vigilance
    A single target buff you put on your co-tank in a multiple-tank situation. Increases your Vengeance when they get hit, and refreshes your taunt cooldown when they get hit. Extremely useful in any situation with tank swaps/adds, all but completely useless when doing single tank fights/5 mans.

    2/2 Thunderstruck
    (mostly) AoE talent. Weak on anything that won't live longer than 3 shockwave cooldowns. Moderately useful at best, Terrible at worst.

    (Arms)3/3 War Academy
    Devastate and Victory Rush damage increase. Reasonable Talent, required for a DW build.

    (Arms)2/2 Field Dressing
    6% healing taken increase, increased self healing by 20%. Not mandatory, but definately worth taking in most builds (best choice, in my opinion, for a deep wounds spec.)

    (Arms)3/3 Deep Wounds
    Very good threat talent, just not accessible in certain builds.

    (Fury)2/2 Cruelty
    10% Crit on Shield Slam. Generally strong threat talent.

    Sub-Optimal/Extremely Situational Talents:

    (Fury)3/3 Blood Craze
    Extremely weak, not worth the points.

    (Fury)1/1 Piercing Howl
    Dubious value to prot, weakens your spec to go this deep fury. If your raid needs an aoe snare, the possibility is there.

    (Arms)2/2 Blitz
    Not useful enough to justify the point cost.

    (Arms)2/2 Drums of War
    Massive cost for free pummels. Pooling rage when you need to interrupt is a better option.

    2/2 Safeguard
    As always, extremely situational. If you run into a boss in raiding that requires the cooldown on the other tank, pick it up by all means. Useless other than that in PvE.

    My Suggested Builds:

    5-Man Build.

    Progression Raiding. Can trade points from cruelty to IV if desired.

  5. #5

    Arcanum of the Earthen Ring

    Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz

    Enchant Cloak - Protection

    Enchant Chest - Greater Stamina

    Enchant Bracer - Dodge
    Enchant Bracer - Major Stamina

    Main Hand:
    Enchant Weapon - Windwalk

    Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery

    Drakehide Leg Armor

    Enchant Boots - Lavawalker
    Enchant Boots - Earthen Vitality

    Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond
    Austere Shadowspirit Diamond

    Fine (orange parry/mastery cut)
    Defender's (purple parry/stamina cut)

    Solid (stamina cut)
    Puissant (mastery/stamina cut)

    Puissant (mastery/stamina cut)
    Fractured (mastery cut)

    On Gem Selection:

    Stamina versus Mastery gemming is one of the major decisions you have to make in terms of your gear. The choice of how you choose to gem depends on multiple factors (the content you're running, the quality of your gear, the quality of your healers gear, among others.) If you're mostly running heroic 5 mans or normal mode raiding, "stacking" mastery is likely ideal for your situation once you're at a health level where you're comfortably able to survive damage bursts (generally, you'll be at that health level fairly easily from gear alone.) Once you can *passively* hit 102.4% combined block, dodge, and parry with mastery gemming/specific gearing, it is undeniably worth doing so, and once you're past that point, overflow should be gemmed into stamina.

    The decision you make for meta socket depends on your gear and what content you're running; Generally if you're not near pushing full hits off the combat table, Austere is the meta gem for you.
    Last edited by coopers98; 04-03-2012 at 06:06 PM.

  6. #6

    For the sake of simplicity, generally you will want to always reforge a piece so it has mastery on it, with parry or dodge (depending on your current ratings) being the second choice.

    With the interactions between Parry and Hold the Line, you're going to want to keep your parry rating ahead of your dodge rating. Reforging all of your dodge away for parry is a very bad idea. You'll generally want to keep your parry:dodge ratio at 1.3~:1, or 120~ parry rating ahead, whichever is easier for you in your gear. The difference between the two is close to nil. This is very much a secondary concern to trying to cover as much of the combat table via mastery as possible, though.

    You can also potentially reforge DPS stats such as crit or haste on mis-itemized but substantially higher item level gear or excess threat stats on normal tank gear to an avoidance stat, or avoidance into more threat stats if that is what you feel you need (generally threat stats beyond what you get incidentally should prove to be unnecessary).

    Relevant stats in no particular order (Avoidance is before diminishing returns):

    1% Dodge requires 176.71 rating
    1% Parry requires 176.71 rating
    1 Stamina = 16.905 HP (Sentinel x Plate Spec x 14 HP per stam)
    Armor cap vs boss(level 88 mob) is 97717.5
    1 Mastery Point requires 179.3 rating
    1 Strength provides 2 AP, and 15% of total str is converted to parry rating
    1% hit requires 120.1 rating
    1 Expertise Point requires 30.03 rating
    Last edited by Dellingr; 04-02-2012 at 05:46 AM.

  7. #7

    Warbringer Macro:
    /castsequence [harm] reset=15 Charge, Intercept; [help] Intervene
    If your target is hostile, it will use charge. if charge is on cooldown and your target is hostile, it will intercept. If your target is friendly, it will intervene.

    Shield Block/Shield Slam Macro:
    /cast Shield Block; /cast Shield Slam
    Some people swear by this, although I'm not a fan. Maximizes your Shield Block uptime if you're forgetful about it.

    Mouseover Intervene Macro:
    /cast [target=mouseover] Intervene
    Intervenes the target you're mousing over. Can be intergrated into your warbringer macro, as well.

    Cancelaura Macro:

    #Showtooltip Shield Slam
    /cast Shield Slam
    /cancelaura Hand of Protection
    /cancelaura Hand of Salvation
    For those paladins that like to troll you, or tend to be bad about fatfingering. I've sadly had this macro (and other ones like it for other classes) save many, many pulls of raid bosses.

  8. #8

    Choosing the ideal 2 professions can be something fairly easy to mess up if you don't stop and think about it. Here is a quick overview of the perks of each profession. I'll compare each and rank in terms of the stamina provided.

    Leatherworking (155 stamina vs 50 dodge)
    With the bracer enchant providing 195 stamina and the lack of a Cataclysm health bracer enchant, this is the largest stamina upgrade profession as far as I'm aware. It also provides cheap leg enchants.

    Blacksmithing (120/150 stamina or 80/100 Mastery, depending on blue/epic gem use)
    Add an additional socket to your bracers and gloves. One of the more flexible professions, 2 additional gems nets you a good chunk of stats for any spec.

    Jewelcrafting (123 Stamina or 81 Mastery)
    3 JC-only gems, as well as a couple entry level trinkets. Overall a flexible and strong choice, especially at entry level.

    Enchanting (120 stamina)
    Gives you the ability to enchant your rings for 60 stamina or 40 strength (the only two relevant as a warrior,) another solid choice.

    Alchemy (120 stamina while flasked)
    Mixology is still alive and kicking. This profession also provides a reasonably good entry level tanking trinket. Bonus, you get to turn into a dragon and make your friends ride you around!

    Mining (120 stamina)
    Unsurprisingly as much stamina as the other professions from this bonus as well.

    Inscription(120 stamina)
    Upgraded shoulder enchant. Nothing else particularly exciting as a warrior.

    Engineering (1500 armor for 12s/min, 16k-21k absorb/5min, Rocket Boots)
    Unfortunately, even though this is my favourite profession, it is looking fairly weak as it stands now. Crippling misfires and underwhelming mitigation make this a fairly poor choice. Provides an entry level helmet, as well.

    Herbalism/Skinning/Tailoring (0 stamina, 0 defensive stats)
    Pretty much useless for tanks outside of damage done. Don't take these if you intend to even remotely maximize your professions.

  9. #9

    Consumables are an important part of any raid. Fortunately, for the most part, the choices here are pretty easy. You get to use 1-2 potions per encounter (2 if you pop a potion right before combat starts.) Fortunately, potion choice is extremely easy, as there is only two of note:

    Earthen Potion - Provides a ~6.8% increase to your effective damage reduction at 50% DR for 25 seconds.

    Golemblood Potion - 1200 Strength for 25s. Useful for encounters with extremely tight enrage timers, and for prepotting.

    For your Flask/Elixir choice, theres 2 potential choices that I can see:

    Flask of Steelskin - 450 Stamina pre-modifiers. The obvious choice if you need to maximize your health.

    Elixir of Deep Earth or Prismatic Elixir and Elixir of the Master - 900 armour or 90 resist all and 225 mastery. This averages out to ~1.36% Effective DR @ 50% DR from Deep Earth, 9%~ magic DR from Prismatic (Post raid buffs) and ~1.88% Block/Crit Block from Master. Better for overall damage reduction, if that is your aim.

    For Well Fed buff, the ideal choice is Lavascale Minestrone - 90 Mastery Rating/90 Stamina. As a cheaper alternative, you can use a feast buff for 90 dodge/90 stamina.

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