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Montegomery

[WotLK] 4.0 Warrior FAQ

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This FAQ is no longer current, though it has half-finished Cataclysm changes present. You should instead refer to this FAQ if you're looking for Cataclysm information.

What you will see in this post: Simple, concise answers to frequently asked questions.

What you won't see in this post: The detailed reasoning behind those answers, advanced Warrior concepts.

NOTE: Cataclysm Warrior theorycraft is still in a rather disorganized and obfuscated state. Expect some of what follows to change or be clarified as new information comes to light. Any corrections or suggestions must provide a link to relevant theorycraft or contain in excruciating detail your own tests and theorycraft.

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Relevant Blue Posts

No recent posts.

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General

Q: I keep dying. What I am doing wrong?

A: Cataclysm content is hard and your gear went from epic to crap. Chances are you haven't adjusted. If you're having trouble: Don't stand in the fire, don't ignore healer mana, don't attack or AoE blindly, don't stand in the fire, don't ignore interruptible abilities, don't break CC, don't stand in the fire, don't assume people are familiar with fights, don't forget your defensive cooldowns and utility abilities whether or not you're a tank or healer, don't stand in the fire.

Q: How does Rage generation work now?

A: The amount of Rage you generate on a successful hit is now simply 6.5 * base weapon speed. Damage, Crit, fast vs slow weapons, glancing blows etc. no longer affect your rate of Rage generation. Only Hit, Haste and Expertise will have an affect.

Q: Is Inner Rage an Enrage effect?

A: No.

Q: Where can I learn Plate Specialization and Mastery?

A: Yes, you can learn them from your class trainer.

Q: Do Agility Amulets/Rings/Cloaks/Ranged Weapons break Plate Specialization?

A: No, as those items don't have an armor type. You still want to replace them with Strength items if you can.

Q: What happened to Armor Penetration/Block Value/Block Rating/Defense?

A: Blizzard removed these stats from the game. On pre-Cataclysm items these stats were converted into other appropriate stats.

Q: HALP! What do I gem for? What stats do I reforge? What about enchants? What-

A: I've conveniently listed stat priorities for each spec in the sections below. They apply equally to gems, enchants, and reforging. Use them.

Arms

Q: What is the best Arms spec?

A: Some variation of 31/7/3. You have a lot of leeway on Major and Minor glyphs.

Q: What rotation should I be using?

A: Maintain Rend, prioritize Colossus Smash > Mortal Strike > Overpower. Heroic Strike as rage allows, and only Slam if you have an extreme excess of rage.

Q: What about when Execute becomes available?

A: Keep prioritizing Colossus Smash and use Mortal Strike to take advantage of the Lambs to the Slaughter talent, but otherwise spam Execute. If you still have excess rage, burn it on Heroic Strike.

Q: When should I use Bladestorm?

A: When you need to AoE. It's not worth using for single targets.

Q: When should I use Deadly Calm?

A: When you're rage starved, when you need to burst, or when your procs align.

Q: When should I use Inner Rage?

A: Use it to boost Overpower and possibly Rend if you're above 75 Rage, but you'll want to cancel the effect immediately afterwards. Otherwise you'll rage starve yourself.

Q: What good is Shattering Throw?

A: It can increase raid DPS during Bloodlust if there are a number of other physical DPS present. However, it's a personal DPS loss.

Q: What are my stat priorities?

A: Get 8% Hit. After that, Strength > Crit > Mastery = Expertise > Haste.

Q: What should I use to enchant my weapon?

A: Landslide.

Q: My raid leader wants me to use Sunder Armor, I don't want to lose DPS.

A: Do it, the raid's DPS is more important than yours. Glyph of Colossus Smash makes it easy to maintain.

Fury

Q: What is the best Fury spec?

A: Some variation of 8/31/2. Swap Titan's Grip for Single Minded Fury as per preference. You also have a lot of leeway regarding Major and Minor glyphs.

Q: I don't like Rude Interruption, it sucks on bosses without interrupts.

A: If you're dying for some specific utility elsewhere that's your prerogative, but there are no other DPS talents to take.

Q: What rotation should I be using for Titan's Grip?

A: Bloodthirst -> Raging Blow (use Berserker Rage to activate if necessary) -> Bloodthirst -> Free GCD. Colossus Smash during free GCDs as the cooldown allows. Heroic Strike with any excess rage. Use Slam only when you have a Bloodsurge proc.

Q: What rotation should I be using for Single Minded Fury?

A: Same rotation as Titan's Grip.

Q: Isn't Raging Blow more damage than Bloodthirst?

A: Yes, but it has a longer cooldown and isn't always available. Building the rotation around Bloodthirst is simpler and just as effective.

Q: What about when I can Execute?

A: Spam Execute and use Heroic Strike at 70+ rage. Use Colossus Smash as the cooldown allows.

Q: When do I use Death Wish and Recklessness?

A: Use Death Wish on cooldown, but try to line it up with Bloodlust or a burn phase whenever possible. Recklessness should only be used during a free GCD when Slam/Shouts/Colossus Smash aren't available and preferably during Death Wish or a confluence of procs.

Q: What good is Shattering Throw?

A: It can increase raid DPS during Bloodlust if there are a number of other physical DPS present. However, it's a personal DPS loss.

Q: What are my stat priorities?

A: Get 8% Hit (including Precision), 26 Expertise. After that, Strength > Hit (up to 27%) > Crit == Haste == Mastery.

Q: What should I use to enchant my weapon?

A: Landslide.

Q: What about my offhand?

A: Still Landslide.

Q: My raid leader wants me to use Sunder Armor, I don't want to lose DPS.

A: Do it, the raid's DPS is more important than yours. Glyph of Colossus Smash makes it easy to maintain.

Protection

Q: What spec should I use?

A: Some variation on 2/6/33. You have a lot of leeway regarding Major and Minor glyphs.

Q: Your build is terrible, I prefer-

A: Protection is less set in stone and depend on whether you're running heroics or are raiding. The prior build is a general heroic setup.

Q: What's my maximum threat rotation?

A: Prioritize Shield Slam > Revenge > Victory Rush (with Impending Victory) > Devastate. Heroic Strike at 60+ rage.

Q: What about AoE packs?

A: Rend (if you took Blood and Thunder), Thunderclap and Shockwave become your top priorities. Use Cleave instead of Heroic Strike. Shield Block will greatly reduce your incoming damage.

Q: What are my stat priorities?

A: Stamina primarily. For ratings, Mastery > Parry >= Dodge.

Q: I thought Parry sucked.

A: Parry now converts at the same rate as Dodge, and has the same diminishing returns. It also has synergy with the Hold the Line talent. As such having about as much, or slightly more, Parry as Dodge is a good mark to aim for.

Q: My threat sucks, what should I do?

A: Expertise is your best single target threat stat before you hit 26 expertise, it gets more confusing after that. Strength is the best all around threat stat and for AoE. Look for tanking gear with these stats, or gem/enchant/reforge for it.

Q: Who should get my Vigilance?

A: Your offtank in a raid. Whoever keeps pulling threat in heroics.

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Q: What's my maximum threat rotation?

A: It's not a rotation, but a priority system. Shield Slam > Revenge > Thunderclap > Shockwave > Concussion Blow > Devastate. Spam Heroic Strike as your Rage allows.

I would have to disagree. The priority system is more like Shield Slam > Revenge > Shockwave > Concussion Blow > Devastate > Thunderclap == Demoralizing Shout.

This is on a single target fight. The only time Thunderclap should be a priority is when its debuff is going fall off. The same goes with demoralizing shout (which you will rarely need to provide due to Retribution Paladins Vindication).

What I always aim for in my rotation is to have Shockwave and Concussion blow on cooldown, always. Shield Slam takes priority, followed by Revenge. After that its devastate in order to proc Sword and Board. In a raid situation you should always have the rage to heroic strike every (or almost every swing).

In an AoE situation, Shockwave becomes the number one priority, followed by Thunderclap. Recently I've traded out Glyph of Last Stand for Glyph of Cleaving (because so far fights haven't been cooldown reliant like Ulduar). I find rebinding my heroic strike key to trigger cleave makes any AoE tanking situation much easier. You still have to tab target, but I no longer find myself frantically tabbing checking threat and the like. Rather I find myself actually pulling off other tanks.

Otherwise this is a brilliant FAQ, although I would disagree with your Prot Spec. Then again, Prot is also the most flexible of the spec depending on your raid comp.

Thanks!

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I based that priority on this post. That post was using Naxx/Heroic gear, and as such may be highly out of date. If current weapons and AP scaling are such that Devastate is better threat than Thunderclap then I can update the priority.

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Q: My raid leader wants me to use Sunder Armor, I don't want to lose DPS.

A: Do it. It's a DPS loss for you, but a DPS gain for the raid.

You might want to note that it's less of a DPS loss for Fury, as the standard Arms rotation uses every GCD, and Fury has a few spare here and there to use Sunder.

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Q: What rotation should I be using?

A: Arms uses a priority system. Rend (Do Not Clip) > Mortal Strike > Overpower > Execute > Slam. Heroic Strike at 80+ Rage.

Which post is this information based on? From what I've gathered, Overpower > Mortal Strike. If I'm not mistaken, there are even situations in which you would use Execute > Overpower (both TfB and MS on CD). Generally, however, the consensus I've noticed and in Landsoul's spreadsheet, Overpower > Mortal Strike 99% of the time.

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for fury dps, I'd say the stat priorities after hit/exp softcapping are:

Strength > ArP > Crit >
2AP
> Agi > Hit/Haste.

In fact, 2AP will always be worth 0.7576 of strength. Its position in this ranking is only a function of how good the other stats are.

For example, in full ICC gear:

Arp (till hardcap) > Strength > Crit > Haste > 2AP/Agi > Hit

But that may be be excluded from your FAQ for sake of simplicity. Excellent post!

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Which post is this information based on? From what I've gathered, Overpower > Mortal Strike. If I'm not mistaken, there are even situations in which you would use Execute > Overpower (both TfB and MS on CD). Generally, however, the consensus I've noticed and in Landsoul's spreadsheet, Overpower > Mortal Strike 99% of the time.

I had to amalgamate from about a dozen different posts, being unable to find a definitive one. I'll readily accept that Overpower comes before MS if that's how Landsoul's spreadsheet does it.

I'm also intentionally leaving out all the various and potentially confusing circumstances in which Execute or another ability takes priority. That kind of situational priority change would require too much explanation and/or take up too much space, cluttering the FAQ. If there's a good post already on the forums detailing all of that, I'll happily include a link.

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I based that priority on this post. That post was using Naxx/Heroic gear, and as such may be highly out of date. If current weapons and AP scaling are such that Devastate is better threat than Thunderclap then I can update the priority.

It's more that back then devestate's threat was threat from damage + threat from debuff, and refreshing 5-stack sunder didn't count as applying the debuff. It has since been changed to have the bonus threat tied to devestate itself, so it doesn't suddenly start sucking 20 seconds in anymore.

It looks like you pulled that cookie cutter prot spec from the same era. We all use deep wounds now.

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Yep a better "simplifiedl" rotation for beginners would be Rend > Overpower (either through tfb or dodge) > Mortal Strike > Execute > Slam. This is mainly because a Mortal strike can be dodged, which would proc an overpower and if you still have taste for blood up, that would be a wasted overpower proc.

You should also use 2AP for comparisons sake instead of 1 AP.

As for stat priorities, the best way to go about determining them if you can't eyeball them is to use landsoul's spreadsheet. Expertise isn't as important as you make it sound for Arms. Undercapping Expertise is fine, I wouldn't waste gems going for expertise. Once again, landsoul's spreadsheet is very helpful in determining that.

I would also change the why did you use poleaxe spec to something like What is the best type of weapon for Arms. If you can't get your hands on a polearm or axe, I would still spec into whatever type of weapon you're using. In general Poleaxe > Mace > Sword.

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For any future suggested revisions, I'd appreciate sources and/or data where relevant. You've all been helpful so far, but I can see the potential in the future for the topic to steer off a cliff if people start debating things. Just make sure that discussion stays in the discussion threads.

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Thank you for doing this Darian. I'd like to echo what he said, lets try to keep this pretty simple, and provide links/sources if you're contesting something. In-depth discussion belongs in the appropriate (arms/fury/prot) threads. The idea is for someone who knows nothing about warriors is able to read this and be able to jump into a raid with an acceptable spec/gear/ability usage. If they want to min/max it and understand it more in depth, that's what the other threads are for.

I'll sticky this thread so it'll have higher visibility for people visiting here.

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I have to pop in to say something about the arms section. You would be very hard pressed to find any decent arms warrior that would aim for 26 expertise with either gear or gems, infact i often find the opposite. The spreadsheet rates expertise (under the cap) as by far the worst stat, with gear boasting decent ammounts of expertise being considerably worse than non expertise items (Good examples are the badge cloaks, the agility cloak comes out a fair bit ahead for arms).

Also i will argue that ArP in arms specs pulls ahead at a fairly early gear level, with everyone having atleast 232 tier gear available, i think you would find that a much higher % of players and gearsets would favour ArP as the highest value stat.

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As far as I last read on tankspot (just after the devastate buff)

Devastate does more threat per hit than Shockwave or Concussive blow.

so as far as I have used for a good while now it.

Shield Slam>Revenge>(concussive/shockwave*)>Devastate (keeping up Demoshout and Thunerclap if those debuffs are needed/not given by others passively)

**only use Shockwave or conc blow when the mob is stunnable and it will mitigate some damage but again this is a threat LOSS over pressing Devastate so if your Tps capping other raiders dont even bother with either on single target)

AOE becoming

Shockwave>thunderclap>cleave spam+above prio if rage alows.

Feel free to correct me if I have made any errors.

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As far as I last read on tankspot (just after the devastate buff)

Devastate does more threat per hit than Shockwave or Concussive blow.

so as far as I have used for a good while now it.

Shield Slam>Revenge>(concussive/shockwave*)>Devastate (keeping up Demoshout and Thunerclap if those debuffs are needed/not given by others passively)

**only use Shockwave or conc blow when the mob is stunnable and it will mitigate some damage but again this is a threat LOSS over pressing Devastate so if your Tps capping other raiders dont even bother with either on single target)

AOE becoming

Shockwave>thunderclap>cleave spam+above prio if rage alows.

Feel free to correct me if I have made any errors.

Your facts are wrong. If all you care about is threat per GCD, using my current gear/spec/glyphs I get a priority list of:

Higher Threat: Shieldslam > Heroic Throw (not on the GCD as far as I know, but it does reset your swingtimer) > Shockwave > Conc Blow > Devastate > Revenge > Thunderclap

Higher Damage: Shockwave > Conc Blow* > Shieldslam* > Revenge > Devastate > Heroic Throw > Thunderclap

* Reverse Conc blow and Shieldslam once you get 2pcT10.

Yes, revenge is the lowest on the list for threat, no that doesn't mean it's useless. It does look like there's some scaling issues with it once you get decked out in mostly ToC or ICC gear (which is to be expected since it's mostly static damage with a low AP scalar). Generally speaking it looks like you want to only use revenge when you don't have the rage to do anything else or you care about DPS over TPS.

I'm also looking at it with a T9 passive damage bonus of 5% to devastate and the Devastate glyph (which is a pretty substantial difference for the ability). With 2pcT10 it swings even further toward Shockwave being an ability you will always want to use. I'm not going to overcomplicate the discussion with optimal timing of devastate vs shockwave for S&B, but that's also something to consider. If you want the cliff notes version of what to use when, play with the tankspot spreadsheet and insert your own stats. It will tell you what abilities give you the most threat per rage (useful for low rage tanking situations), what abilities generate the most threat per GCD on average (assuming miss, parry, etc.) and about how much damage you should expect from each ability per use.

Feel free to throw your own stats into the spreadsheet below, it gives you several different variables to look at so you know when to consider using different abilities. It looked mathematically accurate to me, but if you see any errors feel free to contact the spreadsheet's author.

'Complete' Protection Warrior DPS/TPS spreadsheet - TankSpot

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... Heroic Throw (not on the GCD as far as I know, but it does reset your swingtimer...I'm also looking at it with a T9 passive damage bonus of 5% to devastate and the Devastate glyph (which is a pretty substantial difference for the ability)...

As far as I can tell, Heroic Throw is one of those weird abilities that doesn't trigger the GCD but still can't be used during the GCD. So you can hit it then immediately devestate, but if you devestate you can't heroic throw for 1.5 seconds. Not sure what's up with that, but I've seen it on one or two other things (which escape my mind at the moment). Figured that out trying to use it as an auxillary interrupt during Deathwhisper p2.

When I was wearing 2pT9, I noticed the 5% damage bonus only applied to the weapon damage component, not the bonus per sunder stack, at least as far as the tooltip was concerned. I'm also not sure when if ever the devestate glyph will cause devestate to generate extra threat with the new implimentation.

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I'm also not sure when if ever the devestate glyph will cause devestate to generate extra threat with the new implimentation.

What do you mean? The devastate glyph increases the non-damage threat for each devastate to 10% of AP from 5% of AP. It's been that way for most of the expansion as far as I know. When you're at ~7k raid-buffed AP in ICC gear that's a meaningful amount of bonus threat.

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Q: But slower weapons do more damage with Devastate!

A: Stop worrying about Devastate. Slow weapons reduce how often you can Heroic Strike and Cleave. Stick to fast weapons.

Somehow should be added that slow weapon + shield is good in situations where you are not tanking, in those situations you are not using fast weapon + heroic strike, but devastating in order to get shield slam procs and waiting for your time to tank. (Festergut, Putricide25 3rd tank if warrior). You need to be fast on switching weapons aswel.

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540 defense is the level of defense required not to get critted by a raid boss. However reading 540 in the character sheet doesn't ensure that the character is uncrittable because of stat rounding.

Maybe you should specify as well that the defense rating should be at least 689.

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A couple suggestions:

1. Add something about glyphs to the dps specs. I know they're in the spec, but it might be easier to see it in text.

2. Add something about the usage of Execute as fury.

3. Add something about consumables for all specs.

4. Add something a question addressing which weapon to use in the MH and which to use in the OH on a more general basis (you have this for Bryntoll).

5. Add something about the usage of Cleave for both dps specs.

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The new prot talents look good, but taking improved disciplines without glyphing shield wall doesn't make sense. Really for progression content glyph of shield wall is nonoptional.

The aoe threat section should probably mention shield block (for increased returns from damage shield). Just be sure to do it while shockwave is on cooldown.

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Some nitpicks:

For Arms, Bladestorm should not be used on cooldown, rather on cooldown between TFB usage.

For Fury, Don't use Recklessness on cooldown. Only use recklessness after the 2nd BT in your particular period. In most cases recklessness as a GCD is only worth roughly 1 1/2 of an ability. (assuming 50% crit). If you use it and delay your BT-WW rotation it won't gain you much at all.

Haste > hit as fury. Haste will have no less than 0.7 SEP with average gear, while Hit is more around 0.4 or 0.5. Hit=Haste only over crit cap.

You should never ever in any gear level have to spec improved berserker rage. If you are hit/exp capped you should be able to use all BT-WW-Slam. Zerker rage takes up too much GCD space and risks loss of DPS with delayed rotations and slam loss. If you don't have the rage, you shouldn't have been heroic striking and you should have saved your bloodrage for this time.

For fury, during execute phase use every GCD for damage and use your strongest DPS ability BT>WW>Exe/Slam. Slam>Exe after 245 gear level/good weapon. Heroic strike if only you have 80+rage or really good gear.

Shattering Throw? DPS loss. Only 3% DPS increase or less (armpen capped). Use only after 2nd BT in rotation when you don't have a proc stack and also during heroism/lust/burn + Only if you have several physical dps classes in raid.

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I wouldn't say only stamina but include armor since it is part of the same gearing of EH and does not rely on randomness. I would put something along the lines of adjust your stamina to armor ratio depending on how high the percentage of burst that kills you is magic through the rough ratios done by TheckHD on Maintankadin Maintankadin • View topic - "Total" EH - incorporating different damage types into EH.

A shorter alternative would be simply read the link.

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I would put something along the lines of adjust your stamina to armor ratio depending on how high the percentage of burst that kills you is magic through the rough ratios done by TheckHD on Maintankadin

Thus far we've seen very few if any raid encounters in Wrath of the Lich King where magic damage played a significant role in a tank's death outside of abilities that you needed cooldowns to survive anyway. Magic damage can't burst, and thus it's typically either inconsequential or counterable by other means during progression.

Beyond that, there's not a whole lot of wiggle room for stamina gain. You have your trinket slots, and a few pieces of gear with more sockets than others, and that's about it. We're talking about maybe a 4-5k swing in HP as a Warrior, which is pretty minor in the face of mostly non-reducible magic damage. On the flip side, the encounters we've seen thus far in ICC put serious pressure on the tanks solely through melee damage, all of which is reducible by armor.

The point here is that you should gear for armor first, ignoring things like the badge stamina trinket in favor of a set that will serve you better throughout the zone, which is typically going to be an armor set. The 'magic damage burst' theory is great on paper, and it's a fine bit of math I'll grant you that, but the reality of the situation rarely plays out to take advantage of it. For the upcoming tank, things like the badge armor trinket will go miles towards putting them at an appropriate spot to tank things like Gormok's Impale or Marrowgar's Saber Lash, much more so than a secondary raw stamina trinket where they don't even have access to the top tier ones for quite a bit.

EDIT: Also should mention somewhere that chugging Indestructible Potions like candy is probably a good thing to do as a tank. If you drink a potion right before combat starts, you can drink another in combat and get 4 minutes of uptime on it. This is generally enough to cover most danger areas of boss encounters.

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Thus far we've seen very few if any raid encounters in Wrath of the Lich King where magic damage played a significant role in a tank's death outside of abilities that you needed cooldowns to survive anyway. Magic damage can't burst, and thus it's typically either inconsequential or counterable by other means during progression.

I'm prioritizing armour too but this seems extreme. Magic damage can and does cause damage bursts, usually by lining up with other damage. Plenty of recent encounters have multiple sources of non-physical damage that can line up with each other and/or a melee hit to cause trouble.

toxin/bile, spew, slime pool

fel lightning, fel inferno, fel streak

freezing slash, leeching swarm

frostbolt volley, vengeful blast (ghosts), death and decay, mind-controlled magic dps attacks

gastric bloat, gaseous blight, spore damage

..not being terribly familiar with rotface or professor, I don't want to put my foot in my mouth but I doubt they wouldn't make the list. By the looks of it the two new fights in the crimson hall will be throwing around some important non-physical effects too.

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Should say agi = 2 ap = haste for Fury, since they are all very close and sometimes one over the other.

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