Protection Warrior Guide

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Protection Warrior Guide

Post by Riko on Sun 31 Jul 2016, 9:48 am

Table of Contents

• Introduction
• Abilities
• Play-Style
• Talents
• Glyphs
• Racials
• Stats
• Enchants
• Consumables
• Gear

This guide is aimed at covering the basics you will need to tackle content in WoD as a protection warrior. While many abilities have been removed the core of protection warrior game-play remains similar to the pre-WoD ERA. Conversely the tank and healer meta has shifted and changed dramatically from MoP. Additionally tank self-sufficiency and cool-down/active mitigation power has been reduced.

Healer throughput is significantly lower relative to health pools and their resources are limited. This means that as a tank you are more likely to be in an HP deficit at all times and while bosses hit hard it usually takes more time to die. Usually boss melee swings wont one round you from full to zero. Additionally healer resources, both mana and GCD's are limited so as a tank how and when you use your defensive abilities directly impacts their game-play and mana both short and long term in encounter combat.

Additionally the meta for tanking has shifted away from a damage centric priority influenced by the use/abuse of vengeance. Resolve has replaced this and now only provides the defensive benefit of scaling active mitigation abilities. As a tank in the new healer meta your goals should be to minimize the damage you take, reduce predictable spike damage, execute raid and encounter mechanics, and put your raid in the best position for success. Focus on boss movements and position to be melee and DPS friendly.

As a quick rundown for those interested the following skills have been removed from the protection warrior kit in WoD:

-cleave(available in glyph form, modifies heroic strike).
-skull banner
-rallying cry
-demoralizing banner

(Obtained in a random order leveling from 90 to 100)

Rage Generators:
Shield Slam
Berserker Rage

Rage Spenders:
Shield Block

Defensive Cool-downs:
Last Stand
Demoralizing Shout
Shield Wall

As always protection warrior game-play is less of a rotation and more of a priority queue based on what is available each GCD.

Single target ability priority list: shield slam > revenge > devastate >devastate/filler 

Just as before the 4th GCD can be substituted with any other skill available as needed.(example: dragon roar)

AoE target ability priority list: Thunderclap > AoE talent options > revenge > shield slam > devastate

(if you feel confident in your AoE threat and don't need as much damage plugging in shield slam over revenge can net higher rage gains)

Keep in mind tank damage is far less of a factor in the post-WoD ERA. The goal should be to maximize rage gains and efficiently use shield block and barrier to mitigate damage. Shield blocks recharge time has been altered as has the potency of shield barrier. To counter this plan ahead and proactively use all cool-downs, trinkets, pots, etc. especially when you know higher damage windows are incoming. Many encounters in WoD have specific queues to use your active mitigation abilities and successfully doing so makes a noticeable difference in damage spikes.

As always during farm when you and your raid group over gear content and have the experience with encounters you can shift your play-style towards maximizing your damage. In order to do this it requires spending resources in a slightly different manner, taking alternative talents, and executing(no pun intended) a slightly different ability priority. For most players I recommend building a good fundamental baseline towards defense before offense first as this is what will be required in level 100 content. Forming good habits now is a good idea as this is something many are not used to because of MoP's tank meta where you were encouraged to take as much damage as possible.

As always talent and glyph choices are dictated by the encounter and group needs. As you approach each encounter rifle through your options and think about what fits best where. Taking advantage of these subtle adjustments can be the difference between a good and great player.

Level 15: Double Time/Juggernaut based on preference or need. It is worth noting charge no long stuns so warbringer can have some value.
Level 30: Enraged Regen/Impending Victory based on preference or need. Keep in mind enraged regen is off the GCD and has no rage cost where as the on demand burst healing of IV requires the GCD & 10 rage.
Level 45: Heavy Repercussions unless you are interested in higher DPS at a defensive opportunity cost in which case Sudden Death is a larger contribution.
Level 60: Dragonroar/Shockwave. It is worth noting that dragon roar has fundamentally changed to do equal damage to all targets rather than dividing it amongst them making it far more effective for burst AoE situations. Unless you need the stun or rapid availability of shockwave it is the higher DPS choice.
Level 75: Safeguard/Vigilance. What you take just depends on what suits your party and the situation. Keep in mind as well that mass spell reflect now replaces spell reflect rather than giving you a second option limiting its value.
Level 90: Bloodbath unless you need high burst damage in a window of time in which case you take Avatar, Bladestorm is deceptively good for AoE situations even as protection with a one hand weapon.
Level 100: Generally Gladiator's Resolve gives you the best performance but in any situation with AoE or adds take ravager for damage and the increased avoidance. Additionally if you can plan well in an encounter with mostly melee damage ravager can be a good defensive cool-down.

With the removal of heavy repercussions and hold the line several utility based options have opened up in the glyph tree. What you pick as always depends on what you have a need for in each specific situation. 

undefined is likely the only mandatory glyph.

In AoE situations having undefined and undefined is a good idea, with the option of slotting undefined if you aren't assigned to adds. Depending on frequency of spawns you can also take undefined.

undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefined are all options for single target situations.

With WoD there have been many racial adjustments making all options viable with regards to race. Really you should pick your race based around looks and preference as they are all very close performance wise. The list below will be ranked for tanking but is subjective.

Night Elf – QuicknessTouch of EluneShadowmeld
Dwarf – Might of the MountainStoneform
Pandaren - EpicureanQuaking Palm
Human – The Human SpiritEvery Man for Himself
Worgen – ViciousnessDarkflight
Gnome –Expansive MindNimble FingersEscape Artist
Draenei – Heroic PresenceGift of the Naaru

Tauren - EnduranceBrawnWar Stomp
Pandaren - EpicureanQuaking Palm
Blood Elf – Arcane AcuityArcane Torrent
Goblin - Time is MoneyRocket JumpRocket Barrage
Undead – Touch of the GraveWill of the Forsaken
Troll – RegenerationDa Voodoo ShuffleBerserking
Orc – HardinessBlood Fury

A few notes about stats as they have changed in WoD:
-Bonus armor provides AP at a 1:1 ratio
-Mastery provides a percent AP boost in addition to its defensive effects
-Versatility provides increased damage, healing done, and damage reduction
-Crit now also increases your parry at an equal rate(replaces riposte)
-Haste now lowers the GCD as well as the cool-down of shield slam and thunderclap
-Multistrike grants a percent chance to trigger extra attacks at 30% of the value and trigger bloodcraze(a rolling 3% heal over time)

Defensive Stat Priority: Bonus Armor > Mastery > Crit > Versatility > Haste > Multistrike
Offensive Stat Priority: Bonus Armor > Crit > Multistrike > Haste > Versatility > Mastery

**Haste breakpoints allow you to fit an extra GCD inside shield block or drive your GCD down to one second. The first is at 25% w/ raid buffs and the second is at 50%.**

The above is a rough priority for stats however your play-style and the encounters can also dictate what you want to do with regards to stats. For example on a magic heavy encounter you may skew your set-up towards versatility.

Below options are listed for both defensive(mastery) and offensive(crit) set-ups.

**Enchanting has changed to only include neck, cloak, ring, and weapon slots.**

Weapon Options: 
Mark of Blackrock
Mark of the Thunderlord 
Mark of Bleeding Hollow

Neck Options: 
Gift of Mastery
Gift of Critical Strike

Cloak Options: 
Gift of Mastery
Gift of Critical Strike

Ring Options: 
Gift of Mastery
Gift of Critical Strike


**It is worth noting that gem slots are now always prismatic**

Greater Mastery Taladite 
Greater Critical Strike Taladite

The most notable change with WoD especially for tanks is the increase in power of healing potions and their seperate cool-down from armor or strength potions. Currently these potions are not only better than healthstones but scale with resolve making them extremely potent when used. 

Healing Tonic which come from First Aid now.

Greater Draenic Stamina Flask
Greater Draenic Strength Flask 

Draenic Versatility Potion
Draenic Strength Potion 

Situationaly useful: 
Draenic Living Action Potion
Draenic Swiftness Potion
Pure Rage Potion 

Sleeper Surprise
Blackrock Barbecue
Gorgrond Chowder
Talador Surf and Turf

Dungeon BiS Gear: 

Helm: Verdant Plate Crown
Neck: Necklace of Holy Deflection
Shoulders: Verdant Plate Spaulders
Cloak: Rigid Scale Cloak
Chest: Gutcrusher Chestplate
Bracers: Verdant Plate Wristguards 
Gloves: Incarnadine Gauntlets
Belt: Incarnadine Girdle
Legs: Verdant Plate Legguards
Boots: Rivet-Sealed Treads
Ring 1: Bladebinder Ring
Ring 2: Unsullied Signet
Trinket 1: Toria's Unseeing Eye or Solar Containment Unit
Trinket 2: Enforcer's Stun Grenade
Weapon: Tharbek's Brutal Possessor
Shield: Draconian Doomshield

Highmaul Raid BiS Gear:

Helm: Casque of the Iron Bomber
Neck: Collar of Wailing Mouths or Choker of Violent Displacement
Shoulders: Uncrushable Shoulderplates
Cloak: Fireproof Greatcloak
Chest: Chestplate of Arcane Volatility 
Bracers: Bracers of Mirrored Flame
Gloves: Gauntlets of the Heavy Hand
Belt: Fleshchewer Greatbelt
Legs: Legplates of Fractured Crystal 
Boots: Mosscrusher Sabatons or Entrail Squishers
Ring 1: Seal of Unbound Frost or Eye of Tectus
Ring 2: Spellbound Solium Band of Sorcerous Invincibility
Trinket 1: Pillar of the Earth
Trinket 2: Pol's Blinded Eye
Trinket 3: Evergaze Arcane Eidolon
Weapon: Butcher's Bloody Cleaver
Shield: Absalom's Bloody Bulwark

Blackrock Foundry Raid BiS Gear:

Helm: Blackhand's Faceguard or Hardened Greathelm
Neck: Choker of Bestial Force or Fiery Links of Courage
Shoulders: Blackhand's Shoulderguards or Overdriven Spaulders
Cloak: Ravenous Greatcloak or Gronn-Stitched Greatcloak
Chest: Bloodsoaked Heart Protector or Chestplate of Rolling Fury or Blackhand's Chestguard
Bracers: Bracers of Martial Perfection
Gloves: Blackhand's Handguards or Gauntlets of Dramatic Blows
Belt: Uktar's Belt of Chiming Rings
Legs: Blackhand's Legguards 
Boots: Doomslag Greatboots
Ring 1: Razoredge Blade Ring or Stonefist Band or Siege Bomber's Band
Ring 2: Spellbound Runic Band of Elemental Invincibility
Trinket 1: Blast Furnace Door
Trinket 2: Tablet of Turnbuckle Teamwork
Trinket 3: Battering Talisman
Trinket 4: Horn of Screaming Spirits
Weapon: Kromog's Brutal Fist

As usual trinket options can vary based on availability, play-style and encounters. This list is also not an absolute BiS list as there are a variety of set ups that work. The biggest thing is to determine your preferred stat priority and stick with items that follow it. Ultimately the items you have available to you also dictate the way you set up your gear. Keep in mind obtaining items with sockets and the warforged modifier can trump itemization in some cases.

Gladiator's Battlegear

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