The Warrior Protector of The Pandarian Mists
- A Protection Warrior guidelines 5.1 -
Good day fellow Warriors !
I’m Kebess, a fearless Warrior Protector, who’s only job is to make sure he’s the one getting bashed hard in the face, while his allies hide ’’bravely’’ behind him.
I’m here today to share with you folks what I’ve learned during the past few years in this rather crazy and dangerous profession, so you don’t get killed by the first axe in the head.
The following Protection Warrior Guidelines is thus based on the mechanics and content of some very strange thing called the ‘‘Mist of Pandaria Beta’’, and will sure be regularly updated to reflect the most accurate functioning of the spec.
Your own constructive criticism and analytic view will thus naturally help in making an even finer piece of it - and so you are all more than welcome to help develop a lively discussion. Thank you in advance for any contribution you may bring to it.
Enough chitchat, let’s get started !
Table of Content
#1. A Formidable Protector (the Protection Warrior)
#2. Spec, Talents and Glyphs
- Main-tank (Defensive) Spec
- Off-tank & 5-man (Offensive) Spec
- Defensive ability usage
- Active Mitigation & Shielding abilities
- Offensive abilities and RPS/DPS priority rotation
- Stat priority
- Gear optimization
#5. Quick FAQs
- Why is Revenge higher than B/C Shout in the RPS priority rotation?
- Any useful Add-ons ?
- Any useful Macros ?
Protection Warrior guidelines 5.1
1.) A Formidable Protector (the Protection Warrior)
A Warrior Protector, lads, is a courageous stalwart and battle-hardened warrior, who uses special physical abilities to both shield against tremendous assaults that would instantly kill any lesser man, and offensively strike his opponents’ weakest spot with his iconic Shield Slam and Devastate, and taunt them into attacking him instead of his less beefy allies, while they cautiously smash them from behind…
This particular type of combat strategy my friends is called ''Tanking'', and the Warrior Protector is one of the best specialization there is to practice it.
He sets himself apart from other ‘‘Tanks’’ by being able to manage more effectively large packs of enemies, thanks to his unrivaled mobility, and capability to both weaken and snare, or stun and massively damage them.
His Charge, Heroic Leap, Mocking Banner, Piercing Howl, Thunder Clap, Shockwave and Dragon Roar are all abilities that truly make him exceptional when it comes to multiple targets tanking or ‘‘kiting’’.
In addition to this, thanks to his Shield Barrier and Shield Block abilities, the Warrior Protector can not only shield against physical and melee attacks, but also against magical and ‘‘unavoidable’’ ones, and thus survive and perform well against any type of foe.
Yes, lads! The Warrior Protector is a true formidable and reliable Tank!
2.) Spec, Talents and Glyphs
In MoP, talents are no longer bonded to spec as it was the case in previous expansions. They are rather linked to the whole class, and available to all of its different specs. As a result, all of your spec bonded abilities are thus directly given to you as baseline abilities available in your spellbook.
Furthermore, Talents just like it’s the case for glyphs can now be individually removed and replaced thanks to a Tome of the Clear Mind, and so you no longer need to visit that bearded Ander Germaine or Grezz Ragefist to do that.
With that said, you’ll still need their service to completely change your specialization, and switch to a DPS spec for example.
Talents like glyphs are also much more situational and less mandatory than they used to be, and so your choice will more often depend on the encounter, your raid composition, and even on your personal preference, rather than on your spec itself.
Warrior talent tree
As you can see there are 6 Tiers of talents, each available at a specific character level.
Tier 1, at level 15 : we get to chose a talent to improve our Charge ability.
Tier 2, at level 30 : we get to chose our self-healing ability.
Tier 3, at level 45 : we get an AoE ability to either root, snare or interrupt nearby opponents.
Tier 4, at level 60 : we get an AoE damage ability, with an additional stun or freedom effect.
Tier 5, at level 75 : we get to chose a new ability between 3 different raid utility abilities.
Tier 6, at level 90 : we get to chose between 3 powerful offensive cooldowns.
Spec specific glyphs
Minor glyph won’t play any noticeable effect on your performance as they are mostly cosmetic glyphs, I won't be discussing them thus. You can always find them here.
Major glyphs, on the other hand, allow to improve many of our ability in a very significant way. Your choice will have an important impact on your performance.
Main-tank (defensive) spec
Your main tank spec is your bread and butter spec that will provide the greatest survival utilities in most situations. I use the term ’’utility’’ and not ability, because in most case these talents won’t directly improve your survivability, but will rather ‘’make it easier’’ to do so.
It is not set in stone in any way whatsoever - as like I said above you will want to change it a bit depending on the fight, your raid, and what you feel more comfortable with.
Main tank talents
T1 talents can all be fairly useful at least in some few situations. Juggernaut has the shortest CD amongst them and thus can be used more frequently. It only has one ‘’charge’’ and a 1.5 sec stun, however, and so can’t be used twice in a row like Double Time or stun for a longer duration like Warbringer. Pick it whenever you need a frequent and predictable Charge, either for Rage or for movement.
Double Time, on the other hand, has two ''charges'', and thus allows your Charge to be used twice in a row. Each charge has a 20 sec CD, however, and when they’re both used in a row, only the first one provides Rage. Pick it whenever you regularly need to charge multiple times in a row, in order to pick up adds for example, or to cover a greater distance with your Charge ability.
Lastly, Warbringer allows your Charge to stun for 3 sec, instead of 1.5 sec, but triggers the diminishing returns effect. This is really weak on its own, and so won’t have many interesting uses in PvE. You are still free to pick it, however, if you absolutely need that extra stun time for a particular fight - otherwise don't.
T2 talents, like above, can all be fairly useful at least in some few situations. Second Wind for example, will be more preferable while soloing contents (as then if your opponent can’t DPS more than 3% of your life per second, he won’t be able to kill you) or whenever you regularly drop below 35% health, and stay there for a few seconds.
This can happen in situations where raid AoE damage is intense and your healers can’t keep you any higher, because of the continuous stress on the raid. However, this case should remain rare, and thus Second Wind remains a very situational Talent.
Enraged Regeneration is the Talent that provides the highest burst of heal. Its 60 sec cooldown is sure worse than Impending Victory 30 sec, but in most cases, when your health suddenly drops and you‘re about to die, you’d prefer to have the extra healing ER provides right away, rather than 30 sec later, even if it’s a 5 sec HoT. It’s thus more effective when used as a panic button - pick it whenever you need an extra defensive CD.
Impending Victory is the Talent that provides the most frequent healing, as its 30 sec CD allows it to be used regularly. It’s thus more effective when used frequently as a minor healing ability - pick it whenever your personal self-healing becomes a major factor.
In the end, these 3 talents can all be viable in some situations, and don’t differ very much in strength. Try them out thus, and decide for yourself which one suits best the situation you‘re presented with.
The first two T3 spells are most useful in PvP. However, Piercing Howl will always remain a must have whenever you need to kite mobs. Staggering Shout on the other hand appears to have very limited uses in PvE. It might have some worth if you combine it with a Hunter’s Ice Trap for example, and root mobs you’re kiting, but that’s about it.
These two talents can have some uses thus, but remain totally situational.
The clear choice is thus Disrupting Shout, which can be used as a second ‘‘kick’’, and this even if the mob is 10 yards away.
On T4, I went for Shockwave, mostly for its shorter cool down, which allows more CCs and more frequent AoE attacks. Dragon Roar would have been clearly better if it had a shorter cooldown, since it does more damage and also stuns enemies in all direction and not just in front of you. Thus if you don’t need to use Shockwave regularly because you’re timing it to pick up a pop of adds for example (that happens more or less once every minute), you might still prefer DR in that situation.
Bladestorm isn’t very useful for PvE Protection, mostly because of its high cooldown. Furthermore, it prevents you from doing anything else, and doesn’t have any CC effect linked to it. Its only benefit is the freedom effect it allows, which is very, very situational.
T5 abilities are all fairly useful as raid utilities (except perhaps for Mass Spell Reflect, which is still a bit more situational, since there aren‘t that many bosses on which you can actually Spell Reflect). I preferred Vigilance because it also allows my taunt to have no cooldown, and thus has an additional utility linked to it. It also doesn’t require any movement to be applied, like Safeguard, which makes it usable in more situations.
Safeguard, however, can still be better when movement isn’t an issue, thanks to its short 30 sec cooldown and root breaking effect. It also provides a true damage reduction and not a damage transfer unto you. Basically, this Tier is even more situational than the previous ones, and so feel free to change it regularly according to what‘s needed.
Our last Tier allows us to chose between 3 powerful offensive CDs. Avatar will be a clear choice, if you need an extra freedom effect to break roots and snares. Otherwise, Bloodbath should be the way to go, since it allows a higher DPS output.
Storm Bolt can only be useful if you absolutely need that additional stun effect in a given situation.
Main tank glyphs
There are 2 major glyphs that will directly increase your survivability by providing more Rage or allowing you to store some more. The 3rd glyph will be optional, as none of the rest provides any clear increase in your survivability.
[Bull Rush], [Unending Rage], [Optional]
[Glyph of Bull Rush] directly increases the Rage generation of Charge by 15. [Glyph of Unending Rage] allows you to store 20 more Rage and allow a better timing of your Shield Block and Barrier, without Rage capping too fast.
The last major glyph can be chosen from any of the remaining glyphs to fill in the gap.
[Glyph of Death from Above] can have an advanced utility, if you’re using the Heroic Leap/Charge combo. It will then indeed allow you to use more often your Heroic Leap to distance yourself, then Charge back in to generate some Rage.
But, this combo isn’t necessary easy to perform and so you should practice it before any attempt in a real fight. Most importantly, make sure it wouldn’t endanger your raid in any way before using it. And if you’re not sure, then better don’t use it at all - pick a different glyph instead.
In any case, it will be most applicable while you’re off-tanking, this way there is zero chance you disturb melee DPS, or endanger your raid by accidentally moving the boss.
[Glyph of Heavy Repercussions] (or [Glyph of Hold the Line] for multi-tanking) can also be picked to increase DPS a bit, which is always better than nothing. All the rest are completely situational and will thus totally depend on what you’re up against.
Off-tank & 5-man (offensive) spec
Your Off-tank spec will have to be offensive and allow you do deal as much damage as possible when you’re not tanking. Use it when your role is mainly to assist a main tank, in picking up an add, or by briefly taunting off to allow him to reset a stack of debuff, etc… or simply whenever survivability isn’t an issue. In most cases thus, it’s also more appropriate for 5-man dungeons.
Off-tank & 5-man talents
T1 : Double Time would be the way to go here. As an Off-tank, you’ll very often be asked to pick up adds, and so being able to Charge twice in a row will be very helpful to Charge to a first mob, then directly Charge from it to a 2nd mob, and then Leap to a 3rd location for example.
T2 : I picked Enraged Regeneration here because it does not require a GCD to be used, whilst Impending Victory does, without producing enough damage to be able to replace our ‘’filler move’’ Devastate. This makes it a less interesting option in an offensive build.
Second Wind could also be viable in the situation described above in the defensive spec. However, that scenario is even less likely to occur here, since you’ll be mostly off-tanking.
T3 : see defensive spec.
T4 : Dragon Roar is the way to go here, since it provides the greatest DPS. In a 5-man dungeon, however, you might still want Shockwave to have more CCs, and frequent AoE on thrashes. Blade Storm is still not an option.
T5 : Safeguard will come more in handy here, thanks to its root breaking effect. It will help you to have a greater DPS uptime if you’re being regularly snared. It can also be frequently used to mitigate damage on the Main tank, and assist him furthermore. However, in 5-man dungeons, and even Challenging modes, you may want Mass Spell Reflection instead of Safeguard, as there tend to be more deflectable spells in there.
T6 : Bloodbath wins here. It allows more DPS over time, and can be used more frequently.
However, if you’re being snared/rooted every now and then, you might want Avatar for its additional freedom effect.
Off-tank & 5-man glyphs
There are 2 major glyphs that directly increase your DPS, through Shield Slam and Revenge, and 1 that removes the Rage cost of Heroic Strike and Cleave after using Devastate only once during Deadly Calm. They will be the baseline choice thus for this offensive spec.
[Heavy Repercussions], [Hold the Line], [Incite]
The rest are all situational and will totally depend on what you’re up against.
Now that we know much more about Talents and Glyphs, let’s see how we’ll be using our different abilities to get the most out of them.
Defensive ability usage
You’ll find bellow every single one of our defensive abilities, classified in 3 different categories : Defensive CDs, Raid Utility CDs and Miscellaneous Defensive Spells.
Shield Wall is our classic major defensive CD. With a 2 minutes CD, this ability is best saved and used just before major damage spikes to you (or to your raid) to reduce the amount of healing your healers must provide. If no burst damage is going to occur for the coming 2 minutes, don't hesitate to use it to allow your healers to conserve some mana.
Last Stand is our primary Panic button. It instantly increases our current health by 30% of our max health, and increases that max health by the same amount. Most useful when your health suddenly and dangerously drops unexpectedly, it can naturally also be used prior to a major damage spike just like Shield Wall.
Demoralizing Shout is simply a weaker version of our Shield Wall. However, it only reduces damage affected enemies do on you, and not all incoming damage. Since it has a relatively short CD, you shouldn’t hesitate to frequently use it to allow your healers to conserve some mana.
Demoralizing Banner can be both used for yourself or your raid to slightly decrease incoming damage. When used for the raid, it has the potency to become a fairly powerful spell. Otherwise, it’s a weak damage reduction ability, and is most often used to support other defensive abilities.
Rallying Cry is a raid-wide version of Last Stand, but slightly weaker and it doesn't last for as long. Use this to save one or many of your raid members, who are at low health from dying, or to counter raid wide boss mechanics, or simply for yourself as a minor Last Stand.
Enraged Regenerationis best used coupled with either Rallying Cry or Last Stand for an increased amount of healing. Use it whenever you want to help your healers with healing, or simply as a panic button whenever you suddenly drop low in health. Keep in mind you must be enraged in order to use it, or have 60 Rage to spend, so you may want to save your Berserker Rage ability if you know you'll have to use Enraged Regeneration soon.
Impending Victory has the exact same role as Enraged Regeneration, except that it has a 30 sec CD, but also lacks the additional 5 sec HoT from Enraged Regeneration. It doesn’t have an enrage requirement, but uses the GCD and needs to be used to attack a target in your melee range in order to provide the healing.
Raid utility cooldowns
Rallying Cry, Demoralizing Banner, Vigilance, Safeguard, Mass Spell Reflection
Miscellaneous defensive spells
Defensive Stance, Intervene
Disarm, Spell Reflection, Victory Rush, Pummel, Disrupting Shout
Shield Block, Shield Barrier
Intimidating Shout, Piercing Howl, Staggering Shout, Commanding Shout
- Defensive Stance is your main combat stance as a Protection Warrior. NEVER leave it (unless you have some really good reasons to).
- Intervene is most often used to move quicker to a given location as an alternative Charge. Don’t hesitate to use it as such.
- Blue spells should be used regularly whenever applicable, even in a simple rotation.
- Red spells are your active mitigation tools (see below for more on this).
- Orange spells are completely situational and so are only useful in specific situations.
Active mitigation & Shielding abilities
One of the greatest changes that the Mist of Pandaria expansion brings is the tanking new system called Active Mitigation (AM). This system allows every tanking class to be able to convert one of their resources, whether it’s Rage, Runes or Holy Power, into defense, through the usage of 2 main abilities -- one for physical damage, and a second one for magical damage.
Those 2 abilities have a high resource cost, which forces the tank to first have to stack up the required resource (by mostly using offensive abilities) before he can use one of those active mitigation abilities, to protect himself.
This means that if the tank remains ‘‘passive’’ for a too long period of time, and stops using his offensive attacks to generate resource, he would most likely take too much burst of damage and end up dying, since he wouldn’t have enough resource for protection -- and so he needs to remain active at all times to be able to maintain a strong defense and stay alive, hence the name ‘’Active’’ Mitigation.
Moreover, those 2 AM abilities, can not simply be blindly spammed whenever you have enough resource to use them. They will sometimes have to be accurately timed to get the most out of them, and thus strengthen furthermore the ‘’active’’ aspect of the model.
As Protection Warriors Shield Block and Shield Barrier represent our 2 active mitigation abilities.
Shield Block is the physical damage mitigator. When it’s activated, it allows you to block every single normal melee attack that isn’t dodged, parried or missed for the next 6 sec.
It has 2 charges, each costing 60 Rage points and having a 9 sec CD, making it usable 4 times in a row (or during 24 sec) before you have to wait 3 sec for a charge to become available again. It’s your bread and butter defensive ability, and should be used as much as possible whenever you’re being ‘‘melee’d’’ by at least 1 opponent.Use these two abilities accordingly, and as much as possible without wasting any Rage by rage-capping - the Glyph of Unending Rage will help you have a better control over this. You will sometimes also have to slightly delay or time a Shield depending on the situation.
Shield Barrier is the magical damage mitigator. When it’s activated it allows you to absorb any type of damage for a given amount over 6 sec. It costs from 20 to 60 Rage and has a symbolic 1.5 sec cooldown, and so can be used frequently whenever you’re dealing with unblockable damage.
E.g.: The boss is about to cast a big-bang magic attack in 3 sec, but you only have 60 Rage to spend till then, and your Shield Block fades in 1 sec ? Then delay your next Shield Block, so you have enough Rage for a Shield Barrier, right before the big bang attack.
Offensive abilities and RPS/DPS priority rotation
Since Rage is a very important defensive resource, being able to generate it in an optimal and effective way, will be mandatory to assure an excellent performance. Let’s see in details how to do exactly that.
- Rage Generators : Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate (S&B)
- Free Attacks : Shockwave, Dragon Roar, Thunder Clap, Heroic Leap, Heroic Throw, Storm Bolt, Throw
- Rage Consumers : Heroic Strike, Cleave, Execute
- Personal CDs : Avatar, Bloodbath, Recklessness, Deadly Calm, Mocking Banner
- Raid CDs : Skull Banner, Shattering Throw
Miscellaneous Offensive Spells
Battle Stance, Berserker Stance, Battle Shout, Berserker Rage, Charge, Taunt
Single target RPS/DPS rotation
*Filler : Thunder Clap, HL/Charge combo > Devastate > Shockwave, DragonRoar.
(the ''Filler move'' is applicable whenever your Shouts, Shield Slam and Revenge are all 3 recharging, and there's only 1.5 sec, 1 GCD, left before Shield Slam comes off its CD. That last GCD before Shield Slam becomes available again, can be spent on those ''Filler abilities'' listed above, as you'll lose less to no Rage by placing them exactly there)
This rotation prioritizes Rage over DPS, since the more Rage you have the more survivability you can have. Shockwave and Dragon Roar won’t give any Rage, and so unless you really want that extra DPS, as a ''Filler move'', use a Thunder Clap (to debuff), or a HL/Charge combo (for additional Rage, if you're totally confident with that combo) or even another Devastate, instead of a Shockwave/DragonRoar.
Thunder Clap only when Weakened Blows needs refreshing (preferably as a filler move). Weakened Blows is a VERY important debuff, and so make sure it’s up at all times.
Berserker Rage on cooldown, or rather whenever you’re not enraged if you want to maximize Enrage DPS, unless you’re saving it for Enraged Regeneration.
Heroic Strike/Cleave whenever Ultimatum procs, otherwise don’t (unless survivability is absolutely NOT an issue).
Execute doesn’t generate any Rage, but instead costs some, so only use it as a filler when survivability is absolutely NOT an issue, otherwise don’t even look at it.
Multi-target RPS/DPS rotation
In multi-target tanking you’ll need both AoE DPS and single target RPS, in order to be effective, and both keep aggro and reduce enough damage while doing so.
Because of this, your rotation won’t be as predictable and set in stone as the single target rotation. You’ll have to decide when your powerful AoE abilities (Thunder Clap, Shockwave) are necessary to not lose aggro on mobs.
Here is a good way to manage a pack of mobs :
- 1. Shout and Berserker Rage, then Heroic Leap and/or Charge in.
- 2. Thunder Clap to directly establish some aggro. Position them in front of you, then Shockwave.
- 3. While they are stunned, Shield Slam and Revenge, then if you haven’t Charge yet, take a couple of steps back and Charge in.
- 4. Shield Block/Barrier as soon as they stop slacking around, then Thunder Clap again.
At this point, you can simply resume your normal RPS/DPS single target rotation, and use Thunder Clap and Shockwave on cooldown as Filler moves.
Cleave instead of HS whenever Ultimatum procs, or if you have more Rage than you can spend because you’re critically blocking so much. Deadly Calm can thus come in handy here. Don’t forget to regularly switch target with ‘‘tab’’, so your aggro remains equally spread among the mobs.
Offensive CD usage
Recklessness and Skull Banner :
can be used whenever you (or your raid) need extra damage/threat -- most often at the pull, so you can establish a solid aggro right on. It’s usually better to use them together.
Avatar and Bloodbath :
can also be used as above. I personally like popping all three at the pull (Reck/Skull/Ava or BB) to ensure a solid and reliable aggro (unless of course I’m saving any of them for a later time).
Deadly Calm :
is only useful with the offensive build, or whenever you can afford to spend 20 Rage for DPS, since it only reduces HS/Cleave Rage cost by 10. With the offensive spec, thus, you can virtually use it on cooldown.
Shattering Throw :
Can be used whenever your raid needs a little DPS burst. Be careful when using it, as you can’t avoid any attack during the 1.5 sec cast.
Mocking Banner :
Can be used to continuously taunt and fixate mobs on you, in order to facilitate picking them up, especially if they are rushing from everywhere. Use it whenever you feel you’re struggling to pick mobs up.
Mastery increases our chance to block an attack by 1% for each ~1200 Mastery rating at lvl-90. Most importantly it also increases our chance to critically block an attack by 1% for each ~273 Mastery rating at lvl-90.
It is our primary stat to reduce damage in a smooth and steady way, and avoid spikiness or bursts in our incoming damage. It may not always allow us to reduce as much damage as Dodge or Parry, but it will always be our best stat to smoothen incoming melee damage, and hence reduce spikiness.
Spikiness is generally a bad thing from a tanking perspective, as it makes healing less predictable, and thus harder. You should avoid it as much as possible.
Parry and Dodge
Dodge and Parry are our avoidance stats. They allow us to avoid and nullify a normal melee attack, and take zero damage from it, unlike block which only partially reduces an attack. These two stats are our strongest attributes thus, to reduce incoming damage even more than Mastery.
However, they tend to create more spikiness, exactly because of their capability to nullify some attacks (the ones that are parried or dodged), and not all (or even most) attacks. Mastery is generally preferred over avoidance thus.
Hit and Expertise
Hit and Expertise are primary our offensive stats. They allow our attacks to hit more often and increase DPS. Since Rage is a very important defensive resource, and in order to generate it we actually need to hit, and not get avoided or missed, they are also important defensive stats.
You should increase them, if you want your Rage flow to become more predictable and controllable.
Hit cap against lvl-93 mobs, at lvl-90 = 7.5% Hit, or 2549 Hit rating (at this point, your attacks can no longer miss).
Exp. soft cap against lvl-93 mobs, at lvl-90 = 7.5% Expertise, or 2549 Expertise rating (at this point, mobs can't dodge your attacks anymore).
Exp. hard cap against lvl-93 mobs, at lvl-90 = 15% Expertise, or 5098 Expertise rating (at this point, mobs can't parry your attacks anymore).
Strength and Stamina
Stamina and Strength are our two primary stats (all the others being secondary stats).
Strength will increase your attack power and thus your DPS. It also increases your parry chance, but you shouldn’t try to stack it, as the increasing rate is too slim (at lvl-90). Usually, you can ignore this stat, as you’ll always have enough of it on your plate gear.
Stamina increases your health, and allow you to take more damage before your HP reaches zero and you die. It is good against magical damage, because our other defensive stats (except for Hit and Expertise) have no effect on those. Usually, however, you already have enough on your base gear, and so shouldn’t try to stack it any higher.
This may not be the case, if you’re a bit under-geared for a particular content. In that case, stacking a little bit of Stamina can be very helpful to avoid getting 2 shot.
Armour is our stat that reduces the greatest amount of damage. It directly mitigates every single melee attack by a very significant amount, which will mostly depend on your gear item level.
You can’t significantly increase it with buffs and enhancements, however, and so should ignore it and settle for what you already have on your base gear.
Critical Strike and Haste
Critical Strike and Haste increase respectively your critical hit chance and attack speed. They have zero defensive property for Warriors, and low DPS increase for Protection Warriors, and so should be avoided.
In MoP (un)fortunately, there isn’t one magic stat priority model. Because most of our stats have defensive properties linked to them, and not always in the exact same scenario, or situation as another one, we can’t have one accurate stat priority for every single encounter we will be facing.
Below you’ll find 3 different stat priorities for 3 different type of encounters. Every calculations and analysis I have come across so far agree with them (including : Theck from maintankadin.com).
The spikiness reduction priority (useful on hard physical/magical hitters)
This one will be your bread and butter priority, as many bosses are hard hitters (whether it's physical damage or magical), and don’t necessary have tones of adds to manage. It's strong against both melee and magical damage.P1 Mastery > Hit > Expertise > Parry* > Dodge*
(*When comparing Parry diminishing returns (DR) to Dodge DR, there is actually a limit to how much more Parry percentages you should have to keep a balanced DR between those two stats. It will be about 2 to 3 times more Parry percentages than Dodge percentages, and so passed that limit, Parry becomes equal to Dodge in the priority.)
The melee attack damage reduction priority (useful in multi-target tanking situations and on hard melee hitters)
P2 Mastery > Parry > Dodge > Hit > Expertise
The magic damage reduction priority (useful on any magic damage based encounter)
P3 Stamina > Hit > Expertise
3 stat priorities ? Does this mean you have to modify your priority, and thus gear optimization, for every single boss ?
Well, yes and no... the only time you'll truly want to optimize your gear for each and every specific encounter, and scenario, is when you're progressing on an ''unnerfed'' heroic content. Things might get challenging enough in those situation to actually justify such an accurate optimization.
Now, if you aren't tackling anything that demanding, and you're only looking for something to get the job done, without necessary having countless different gear sets in your inventory, then you might simply want to go for the first priority set up. (Mastery > Hit = Exp > Parry > Dodge)
It's very effective on most melee hitter encounters, and you'll only get a better result in some few multi-tanking and exclusively hard melee hitter encounters with the 2nd stat priority. Furthermore, since you'll have a bit of Hit and Expertise with that orientation, you won't be too bad for magical based encounters neither, especially if you slip in a couple of Stamina trinkets as well.
TL;TR - Recommended ''Baseline'' Priority (for Tier 14)
Long story short, simply balance your stats out - get some Hit and some Expertise** (7.5% each, should be a very decent goal, then 15% Expertise if you can, without having to sacrifice higher ilvl gear for lacking Expertise), then convert the rest of your secondary stats into Mastery (preferably by reforging dodge, or even parry, if the first isn't available).T14 HIT > EXPERTISE > STAMINA > Mastery > Parry > Dodge
Finally, find yourself a couple of Stamina trinkets, for whenever stacking a bit more health is useful (e.g.: on magical encounters, or if your ilvl is a bit lower than recommended for a particular content), and you shouldn't do too bad.
**Notice that Hit&Expertise caps aren't strictly ''needed'', but are very helpful to maintain a predictable and controllable Rage generation. You will have to decide for yourself which one you prefer most between a bit more avoidance (~5% more), and a noticeable control over your Rage income (the latter is recommended).
Furthermore, Mastery right now on T14, isn't as reliable as it will eventually get later on, as we get better gear. This is because we simply can't have enough of it, presently, to make ''enough'' of our blocks critical (+70/80%), and hence assure a somewhat guaranteed survivability, as it used to be the case back in Cataclysm.
Because of this, right now with the Tier 14 gear, it isn't really that much more valuable than our other RNG based stats (e.g. Parry/Dodge).
Your gear optimization will thus follow one of the above stat priorities, depending on what you’re facing, and should include :
Yellow sockets: Mastery (P1-2), or Mastery/Stamina, Hit/Stamina (P3)
Red sockets: Expertise/Mastery (P1), or Parry/Mastery (P2), or Expertise/Stamina (P3)
Blue sockets: Mastery/Hit (P1-2), or Stamina (P3)
Meta Gem: Austere Primal Diamond (P1), Eternal Primal Diamond(P2), Effulgent Primal Diamond (P3)
- Bracer: Mastery
- Gloves: Superior Expertise or Superior Mastery
- Boots: Pandaren's Step (Mastery), Greater Precision (Hit)
(I haven't come across any epic quality pants enhancement in any database so far, so I'm guessing there isn't any out there yet. If you do find one, let me know, so I can /E this section)
- Pants: Ironscale Leg Armor
If no Dodge then, Parry ==> Hit/Exp > or Mastery
- T14: Dodge ==> Hit/Exp > or Mastery > or Parry
If no Dodge then, Parry ==> Mastery > or Hit/Exp
- P1: Dodge ==> Mastery > or Hit/Exp > or Parry
(unless you're capped, don't reforge Hit&Exp into anything, in order to keep a reasonable amount of them)
If no Hit/Exp then, Dodge ==> Mastery > Parry
- P2: Hit/Exp ==> Mastery > or Parry > or Dodge
If no Hit/Exp or Dodge then, Parry ==> Mastery
- P3: Dodge > Parry > Mastery ==> Hit/Exp
Armor Elixir, Hit Elixir, Expertise Elixir, Hit Food, Expertise Food, Strength Food, Parry Food
(I haven't come across any ''Parry Elixir'' in any database so far, so I'm guessing there isn't any out there. If you do find one, let me know, so I can /E this section)
Any Other Buffs
Remember that if you’re under-geared for a given fight, stacking a bit of Stamina before getting to any of the above stat priorities, would most likely be a very smart move. Otherwise, you may simply lack the minimum effective health required for that particular encounter, and get badly kicked in the butt…
In any case, good luck, and most importantly, have fun !
This last section will be regularly updated with new additions and quick tips. Keep an eye on it.
Why is Revenge higher than B/C Shout in the RPS priority rotation? Even though a Shout provides 5 more Rage?
This is a valid question, and here is a quick illustration to show why.
In an average 8 GCD cycle, we have :
A, Revenge is prioritized => SS-Rev-Shout-Dev, then, SS-Dev-Dev-Rev => 90 guaranteed Rage
B, Shout is prioritized => SS-Shout-Rev-Dev, then, SS-Dev-Dev-Dev => 75 guaranteed Rage
This means that on the long run placing Revenge before a Shout would in fact produce 15 more Rage, in at least 7 GCDs. This is because Revenge has a 9 sec CD, and thus delaying it by using Shout before it (which has a much longer CD, 60 sec), will simply prevent you from having a 2nd use of Revenge in those average 8 GCDs.
Furthermore, Revenge may proc from time to time, thanks to an avoided attack, allowing you to have even more uses of it, if you actually don't delay it with your Shout. You may indeed have this scenario :
A, Revenge is prioritized => SS - Rev - (you avoid an attack) - Rev - Shout => 70 Rage
B, Shout is prioritized => SS - Shout - (you avoid an attack) - Rev - Dev => 55 Rage
As you can see, delaying Revenge here actually made us lose a second full 15 rage Revenge.
Any useful Add-ons ?
There are many tanking and raiding add-ons out there - and websites like Curse.com will sure be your best friends when it comes to that.
Below, you can find the ones I’ve been using the past few years, both for Tanking and DPS’ing. Do keep in mind that add-ons are only there to help you, and support you in having a better performance. They are absolutely not there to play the game for you… no matter how helpful they may get.
I’m pointing this out as if you get too dependent on them, eventually you’ll necessary get to the point where you can’t do any single thing on your own anymore, even the very basic ones, which can’t possibly be a good thing, right ? ; )
List of some useful add-ons : (please do let me know if you find any other interesting one)
- ProtWarBar : a small and configurable Ragebar that displays your current Vengeance and your potential Shield Barrier size. A must have for every Protection Warrior.
- Tidy Plates : enhances floating health bars, nameplates, and provides a flexible theme system, making it easier to track threat, aggro, debuffs, etc...)
- Cooldown Count : allows you to track abilities CD, directly on the spell icon on your action bar, and accurately plan your rotation.
- Vengeance Status : display your Vengeance level on a bar, so you can track how high you've reached.
- Power Auras Classic : Buffs, Debuffs, Procs tracker... and much more.
- Bartender4 : is an action bar customizer. It provides you with all the features needed to fully customization most aspects of your action and related bars.
- Deadly Boss Mods : Helps track boss' abilities and mechanics CD in a very interactive way.
- Grid : a compact and highly configurable party/raid unit frame add-on.
- Recount : ...
Any useful Macros ?
Just like add-ons, macros are only there to help and support your gameplay, and not to become that gameplay. Furthermore, keep in mind that anytime you macro two spells together, you potentially lose options, as you can’t use them separate anymore, if a given scenario demands it for example. Of course, you can always have the individual spells separately on your action bars, but we both know it’s not always the case, ; ) as we are constantly trying to reduce that number of ’’useful’’ binds as much as possible.
Anyways, again don’t try to abuse them, as it may very well harm your gameplay instead of actually improving it.
Here are some easy ways of creating countless useful macros : (please do let me know if you find any other interesting one)
Announcing Shield Wall/Last Stand to raid and party
Code:#showtooltip Shield Wall /rw <your name> used Shield Wall /p <your name> used Shield Wall /raid <your name> used Shield Wall /cast Shield Wall /dbm broadcast timer 00:12 <your name>'s Shield WallFor any other CD, simply replace the CD's name in the macro, and its cooldown time on the last line.Code:#showtooltip Last Stand /rw <your name> used Last Stand /p <your name> used Last Stand /raid <your name> used Last Stand /cast Last Stand /dbm broadcast timer 00:20 <your name>'s Last Stand
Binding both Shouts on one key
Now pressing ''alt'' will allow you to use Battle Shout instead of Commanding Shout. You can use this macro for any other 2 abilities - simply replace their names in the macro.Code:#showtooltip /cast [modifier:alt] Battle Shout; Commanding Shout
You can also replace ''alt'' in the macro by ''ctr'' or ''shift'' to use other modifiers.
Charge and Heroic Leap at the same time
This one allows you to Heroic Leap while charging. Very useful to both get the HL damage and the Charge rage at a pull.Code:#showtooltip Charge /cast Charge /cast Heroic Leap
You simply need to press the keybind once. It will instantly activate the Heroic Leap target marker AND Charge at the same time. So all you'll have to do then is click on your left mouse button, to place the leap before you get into melee range.
It really simplifies this combo very much, and makes it usable without any sort of accurate timing.