Prot Warrior Tanking Guide (4.0.6 Edition)

Note: This guide is out of date. The 4.1 version can be found here: http://glaivecow.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/prot-warrior-tanking-guide-4-1-edition/

Hello again, everyone. Yes, I know it’s been quite a while… I’ve been a very busy cow. However, after a long while experimenting with specs, gearing and reforging options, I finally feel prepared to write an updated guide without fear of providing incorrect information. If you’ve been waiting, I appreciate the patience. Let’s get started!

Spec:

The biggest change I’ve made recently is to go to a more standard spec.

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#LRZhbZcfGdRRkdbu

Without belaboring the details, this spec has slightly more AoE threat than my previous one, slightly more DoT threat (both handy when single tanking fights with adds such as Al’Akir 10 Phase 2), and a little more focus on self-healing. I still don’t pick up Safeguard (but I do urge you to remember that it can be a Pain Suppression for your OT should you find you need it), and I move out of Incite and into Cruelty. This point is one I personally don’t fully support, but it’s what the most top end of the top end does, and I can’t say I see any difference in threat from making the change.

Glyphs:

Glyph choices haven’t changed much. The prime glyphs are still Devastate, Revenge, and Shield Slam. No shock there.

For major glyphs, I still use Thunder Clap, Shockwave and Resonating Power. You may find Cleaving to also be useful if you AOE tank lots of 5-mans, but with the build above, I don’t find that it’s needed to keep threat on lots of mobs at once.

Minor glyph selection should still include Battle and Command. I’ve gone with Demoralizing Shout as my third, because I’m the one keeping that up in raids, but you may find something else more useful if you have someone else doing that debuff.

Enchants:

Here are the enchants you should be going for. In cases where the best available cost maelstrom crystals (which are still fairly rare for most people), I’ve listed the affordable alternative. Keep in mind that the following list assumes that you are not a crafter and do not have access to proprietary buffs that they can provide. For example, ring enchants or the substantial (and best in slot if you can get it) self-only Stamina bracer enchant for Leatherworkers.

Head:
90 Stamina, 35 Dodge (Earthen Ring Revered)

Shoulders:
75 Stamina, 25 Dodge (Therazane Exalted)

Cloak:
Protection (250 Armor)

Chest:
Greater Stamina (75 Stamina) <– Best
Stamina (55 Stamina) <– Affordable

Bracers:
Dodge (50 dodge)

Gloves:
Greater Mastery (65 Mastery) <– Best
Greater Expertise (50 Expertise) <– Affordable

Legs:
Charscale Leg Armor (145 Stamina, 55 Agility)

Boots:
Lavawalker (35 Mastery, Run Speed) <– Best
Earthen Vitality (30 Stamina, Run Speed) <– Affordable

Weapon:
Windwalk (Dodge and movement boost proc) <– Best
Mending (Self-heal proc) <– Affordable

Shield:
Blocking (40 Block Rating)

Stat Priority and Reforging:

Here’s where things get weird. First off, I need you to understand two very unusual things about Cataclysm tanking:

1)      Taunt never misses now. I’ve still never seen a blue post confirming this, but I’ve also never had a taunt miss, and neither has any tank I know.

2)      Hit and Expertise are pretty much worthless stats now. Expertise still has its place for smooth threat generation, but Hit is basically ignorable. Case in point… the warrior that tanked the world first Sinestra kill has less than 1% Hit and Expertise in the low teens.

Now, with that in mind, here are you stat priorities.

Stamina > Mastery > Parry > Dodge

When reforging, personally, I suggest leaving Hit and Expertise alone. If you have it, great, leave it be. If you don’t, however, then don’t ever reforge *into* it.

Look at each piece of gear that you have and follow this thought process:

If it has Mastery and Parry as the two stats you can reforge, leave it alone.

If it has Mastery and Dodge, reforge Dodge for Parry

If it has Mastery and Hit, leave it alone

If it has Mastery and Expertise, leave it alone.

If it has Parry and Dodge, reforge Dodge into Mastery.

If it has Parry and Hit, reforge Parry into Mastery.

If it has Parry and Expertise, reforge Parry into Mastery.

If it has Dodge and Hit, reforge Dodge into Mastery.

If it has Dodge and Expertise, reforge Dodge into Mastery.

If it has Haste or Crit, then pick the higher stat and reforge it into Mastery if you can, or Parry if Mastery is already on the item.

The one caveat to the above guide is when diminishing returns are really kicking in for Parry. After about 15.2% Parry, you’ll get more total evasion by keeping some Dodge (or even reforging Parry into Dodge) than you will by using the above guide. If you’re sitting at about 16% Parry and 8% Dodge, sum the two, reforge something out of Parry and into Dodge, and sum again. Repeat till the gain is trivial. While Parry does outperform Dodge these day, highest total evasion chance is still your ultimate goal. Being over 100% chance to Dodge, Block or Parry when Shield Block is used is a very desirable thing, and entirely doable with T11 normal gear.

Gemming:

Gemming has gotten a lot easier with no caps to shoot for…

If the socket bonus of an item isn’t Parry, Mastery or Stamina then gem straight Stamina gems.

If the socket bonus is Parry, Mastery or Stamina, then gem like this.

Red = Parry/Mastery
Blue = Stamina
Yellow = Stamina/Mastery
Prismatic = Stamina
Meta = Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond

(Note: With the nerf to this meta in today’s build, it might not be the best option anymore. The numbers are not in yet. Should I find that the +Armor meta is better, I’ll amend this guide.)

If you find that more mitigation works better for you and your raid team, then use this alteration…

Yellow = Mastery
Blue = Stamina/Mastery

In the end, you want to have around 150K HP unbuffed for T11 normals. More, from around 165K to 180K, for T11 hard modes. Past those milestones, depending on content, you can focus more on the mitigation stats. It really depends on what you and your raid are planning to tackle.

Threat Rotations:

For an AOE pack:
Rend > Thunder Clap > Shockwave > Revenge > Cleave spam as rage crosses 70.

For a boss, tell your DPS to wait till they see three Sunder stacks, and then follow these opener and maintenance rotations.

Opener:
Charge > Shield Block > Shield Slam > Devastate to three stacks of Sunder > Rend > Demoralizing Shout > Thunder Clap > Heroic Strike spam as rage crosses 70.

Maintain:
Shield Slam > Revenge > Devastate > Heroic Strike spam as rage crosses 70
Thunder Clap as needed to maintain Rend and the Thunder Clap debuff.
Demoralizing Shout as needed to maintain the debuff.

One final note as I wrap this up… There’s a good amount of debate regarding straight Stamina trinkets vs mitigation trinkets. From what I’m finding, it depends on what you have access to. If you have epic mitigation trinkets, but blue Stamina trinkets, the extra stat budget of the epics seem to outweigh the standard rule of using Stamina trinkets. The reverse is also true if your Stamina trinkets are epic. Another factor is whether or not you’re a Jewelcrafter, as having access to the epic Stamina cuts makes up a decent amount of ground for not using a blue quality Stamina trinket. So does being a Blacksmith (more sockets) or Leatherworker (giant Stam enchant to bracers).

Of course, all things being equal, you should have a complete set of both and use them as the case warrants it. High spell damage fights are always going to favor higher Stamina, while high melee damage fights will always favor mitigation.

At any rate, I strongly suggest you pick up the Mirror of Broken Images (Mastery / Resist trinket) from Tol Barad and the Darkmoon Card: Earthquake (Dodge / Max HP trinket, reforge for Mastery) as soon as possible. Coupled with the two Stamina trinkets from the raid content, these four provide a lot of flexibility.

I hope this guide has been helpful. Other current projects include guides for each of the 5-man Heroics, the Stone Drake achievements, and perhaps even some raid guides. Happy tanking to all, and enjoy Patch 4.0.6.

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~ by Udiyvli on 02/08/2011.

36 Responses to “Prot Warrior Tanking Guide (4.0.6 Edition)”

  1. Great post this confirms a lot for me. Personally I took 1 point in piercing howl for the utility over the one point in war academy, which I suppose affects victory rush w/ the impending victory talent as well as devastate. And yea It’s time to drop heroic strike :(

    I noticed how strength affects both parry and block. And some tanking pieces have more strength while others of the same ilvl have more to other secondary stats (mastery, parry, dodge, exp, hit). It seems like given gear alternatives take mastery / parry and sta socket bonuses (helm especially) while generally ignoring weather you are sacrificing total secondary stats for str. Any comment on strength affecting block / parry? I think I would still prefer the headcover of fog over any other of the 346 helms.

    • STR does boost your tank stats a little and does provide a little more threat in the form of attack power, but in general you’ll get more out of the straight stat than STR. It’s definitely not a bad stat to have more of, but like Hit and Expertise it’s best looked at as a stat you’ll pick up incidentally while you focus on other, more important things.

  2. Hey this is great! I love the “if you have x, do y” portion! Thanks!

  3. Thanks for this great guide. I already knew about half of it, but you’ve made gemming and reforging very clear and straightforward, as is the whole guide. I’ll be linking this to my guildies and friends. Cheers.

    • Thanks for passing the link on! If there are any points I didn’t cover that need going into, let me know.

  4. I’m a veteran pally tank that’s just turned warrior as of 4.0.1 and have learned quite a bit from you. While your guide is superb at describing how best to start a fight and hold the aggro, I’m still foggy on best practices for recovering aggro when it’s lost – specifically on when its best to Taunt vs. Charge/Intercept/Intervene and also when one “charge” ability serves better than another and why Safeguard isn’t more of a priority.

    While I’m sure the BEST thing to do is not lose aggro in the first place, my experience in randoms so far has been that DPS players are more interested in climbing meters than being courteous to their tanks and healers… so I’d like a plan B a little more elegant than “panick and mash buttons.”

    Lastly, are there any plugins you recommend (eg. Tauntmaster) or do you advise against growing dependent on them?

    Sorry for the noobery and many thanks in advance!

    • In most cases, you’re fine to simply use a Taunt on most mobs that have gotten away from you. You’ll want to land a high threat ability before the Taunt effect wears off, so something like a Shield Slam, a Revenge, or a couple of Devastates. This is, of course, assuming that you lost threat due to AOE damage and not due to the DPS burning down the wrong mob. If a DPS is actively trying to kill the mob that got loose, you’ll need to start splitting your attention between that mob and the mob that’s actually marked to be killed since, we hope, at least some of the DPS is on that one too.

      If a mob has run off too far to get back to you with just a taunt, then your next option is probably going to be Heroic Throw. Just remember to taunt first to get one ahead of the other player’s threat, THEN use Heroic Throw to secure enough of a lead to make the mob run all the way back to you… then lay into it with some threat moves to keep it there. Of course you may want to just taunt and meet it half way, or Intervene to the offending DPS and charge back to the rest of the mobs. It’s pretty situational, especially when you’re tanking a pack of mixed melee and ranged mobs. Some of them will follow you to recover the runner, while the rest will hang back, making a charge back to the caster mobs a good plan. If they’re all melee though, and no reason to avoid moving the fight, then there’s no harm in picking back up where you get your hands back on the loose mob.

      As for Safeguard, it’s generally not seen as an important talent because most folks are building a spec for raiding. In which case, a DPS ripping a boss off of you is probably going to die with or without Safeguard. The only really useful place for Safeguard is if you’re going to want a Pain Suppression type CD for your off tank, or if you’re running some kind of Prot PvP build n 5v5 where a Prot Warrior can actually provide some utility with their stuns, interrupts and Safeguard boosted Intervene.

      You could, instead of taking Safeguard for 5-mans, make a macro that’ll put Vigilance on your target’s target and then Taunt. So, basically, if your taunt is on cooldown but a mob is still beating on a DPS (or healer), you can target the mob, hit that macro, apply Vigilance to the player the mob is hitting, and then get a Taunt refresh the next time the mob hits that player.

      Basically, just remember that Taunt doesn’t give you a threat lead. It’s just a catchup, and a temporary forced target on you. Don’t Heroic Throw and then Taunt. Taunt first to catch up, then apply threat gains to pull ahead.

      As for addons, I really don’t use anything for tanking past Omen and Recount. Omen of course to see who’s catching me on threat, and Recount more to monitor post-fight data like healing received, damage taken, mitigation, how badly I’m missing attacks, etc.

      I had to look TauntMaster up, because I’d never heard of it, but it actually looks pretty neat. It would actually solve the biggest annoyance I have when tanking raid trash. That is, whether a mob I lose threat on is on my off tank, or on a DPS. It’s not always immediately clear, but with TauntMaster I could just ignore the OT’s name when it’s red and only worry about anyone else. I think I’ll take it for a spin and see how it does.

      Thanks for the questions! Hope my reply helps. If anything’s still not clear, please let me know. Happy to help out.

  5. I began to tank as a warrior around BC. Since wrath I became very disillusioned with tanking but tanked from time to time. Most of what I know about tanking has been learned sadly from trial and error. I just happened to stumble across your guide this evening and I have to say it is the best prot warrior guide I have ever come across. “It’s so easy a caveman can do it” writing is clear, concise, and to the point. Thank you for this guide.

    • You’re most welcome!

      I tend to find most sources of information to be pretty hard to digest. An idea can be presented on EJ, for example, but not reliably confirmed with experimentation till a good 10 or 15 pages later in the thread. I’ve gotten use to doing the legwork and self-evaluating theorycraft recommendations, but I’m well aware that most people don’t have the time or inclination to climb that mountain. Boiling down the vital information and presenting it clearly is my goal here, so I’m very glad to hear it seems to be working :)

  6. Thank you so much. I’ve read everything I could get my hands on for my prot warrior but as you said it’s very hard to digest. Most of the time I’m more confused when I’m done reading than I was before I started. I’ve been tanking for about 3 years on my warrior and I love it. You make the reforging, gemming, stat priorities and rotations easy to understand and you explain why so that even I can get it. I do have a question though about exp and hit. It’s been drilled into my head that I have to be exp capped at 26 and hit capped at 8%. You say these stats are negligible now but is that still true for pre-raid geared tanks? I don’t have the T-11 gear yet. I’m just doing Cata heroics at this time. Will that stat priority still allow me to do enough damage to hold threat against 12-14k dpsers?

    • Well, the easy answer is “threat shouldn’t be a problem if your DPS are mindful”, but I think every tank knows that even guild DPS can be trigger happy and sometimes care more about big numbers than their own threat.

      I would suggest following my gearing guide here: http://glaivecow.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/gearing-guide-for-prot-warriors-4-0-6/

      Shoot for those items to be raid ready, but for the time being, be sure to pick up items with Hit and Expertise to make threat easier to hold in 5-mans. Personally, I have a few pieces of gear that I swap into when doing a 5-man. They bring my Expertise to about 16 and my Hit to around 3.5%, and it really makes a huge difference for threat in those runs.

      Basically, the reason Hit and Expertise are not useful in raids is Vengeance. We get hit pretty hard in raids, and Vengeance boosts our attack power to pretty absurd levels in those situations. While we don’t hit reliably, when we do hit, we absolutely plaster the boss and generate insane amounts of threat. Over the course of a fight, this means our threat is in no way a problem even if we have trouble landing a blow when we want to. The down side is that we’re not reliable for interrupts. All the more reason to field DPS who aren’t afraid to stop their rotation for a second to use theirs.

      In 5-mans, especially as you get more gear, you end up taking less and less damage and getting less Vengeance and therefore less attack power. So, when you do hit, you aren’t hitting for nearly as much, and you can’t afford to miss as often. Capping isn’t required, but getting more Expertise (Exp > Hit for threat) will smooth out the problem.

      To put it simply, on some raid boss fights I can pull 10K DPS as a prot warrior, while other DPS are pulling 14K on average. They’re pulling that much because that’s what their class/spec/gear can pull. I’m pulling that much because a boss is beating my face in. Now, put that in a 5-man where I’m pulling 4K to 5K DPS and they’re still pulling 14K. As you can see, to hold threat in this case, I need to make sure my big threat moves land as often as possible.

      Hope that helps to clear things up!

  7. Thank you for explaining. That does clear up a few things yes. But it begs a few more questions. If I drop exp and hit, sacrificing my efficiency with attacks and reliability with interrupts and then mitigate to the max, doesn’t that lessen the damage I take as well and therefore render my vengeance less effective? I’m guessing that’s why I want to stack more parry than dodge so I’m not completely blocking all incoming attacks with dodge? Which then brings me to the next question of the appropriate parry/dodge percentages. In your original post you mentioned a 16% parry/8% dodge combination. Can you expand on the theory behind finding the right combination and what you mean by summing and minimal gain? And can you tell me how being over 100% total mitigation is going to play out with regards to the way vengeance works and holding threat? Threat is a big issue for me even though i already do exactly the rotations you discussed above. With the 26exp and 8% hit, I’m not having as many threat issues as I was when cata was released so I’m wary of letting that go in favor of mitigation since vengeance is the only real threat generator warriors have, but I’m willing to try anything to be the best tank I can be. Perhaps it is the dps’ fault but I can’t change how other people play and I don’t want a group to wipe just because the dps doesn’t understand how to work with the tank.

    Again thank you so much for taking the time to explain things, I’m still a newb when it comes to the mechanics behind the stats and such.

    • Well, raid bosses (and remember the ditching of Hit and Expertise is a raid thing) are going to be hitting you plenty hard to drive your vengeance up. Even with tons of avoidance.

      Dodge is generally not focussed on because of how healing works in Cata. Healers have to do a lot more triage now, and the ability to predict how much damage per second is being done to the tank means that they’re able to plan their heals better, over heal less, and have more mana in the long run. A healer that just jams on one or two buttons in Cata (like they could in Wrath) is a healer that’s going to be OOM way before the fight’s over. Dodge, because it’s a total avoidance of a melee attack, makes for spiky damage on the tank. Parry and Block, however, both mitigate a chunk of the incoming damage. Over all, the result is largely the same when you look at the entire fight. However, Parry and Block make the damage on the tank smoother and easier to predict and, thus, easier to heal accurately. There’s also the added benefit of Parry triggering Hold the Line, which is nothing to sneeze at.

      16% Parry and 8% Dodge is roughly what you’ll see when you’re in Heroic 5-man gear, JP gear, and player crafted epics. It’s a good benchmark for “raid ready” if you’re seeing about those levels of Parry and Dodge after reforging, gemming, etc with an eye toward Mastery. Somewhere between 15% and 16% Parry, you start running into significant diminishing returns on Parry. What this means is that for every point of Parry you gain from gear, less and less is actually reflected in your chance to Parry.

      Let’s say, just throwing arbitrary numbers out here, that you have 15.6% Parry and 8.1% Dodge. Total, that’s 23.7%. However, since Parry is decently well into the diminishing returns range, if you reforge an item’s Parry into Dodge you’ll end up with something like 15.4% Parry and 8.6% Dodge, which totals to 24%. So, with the same gear, you added 0.3% chance to evade/mitigate an incoming attack just by redirecting some Parry into Dodge. It might not sound like much, but an extra one one-hundredth of a percent may be what turns a killing blow into a mitigated, non-fatal one and saves the raid.

      100% mitigation is actually a great thing to shoot for. It basically means that so long as your Shield Block is up, you’re going to be avoiding or mitigating whatever’s coming your way. And believe me, even if you do mitigate everything, you’re still being hit hard enough by raid bosses to generate lots and lots of vengeance.

      As I mentioned before though, if you’re mainly doing 5-mans, you’re probably better off going for Expertise and Hit. Or at least Expertise. In a raid, the folks you’re playing with should be disciplined enough to wait for three stacks of Sunder Armor to indicate that you’ve actually landed several attacks on the boss and it’s OK to start DPSing. In 5-mans, especially pugs, DPS isn’t anywhere near as courteous.

      I hope I understood and answered all your questions. If I missed anything, just let me know!

  8. Yep clear as a bell now. Thanks so much. I gave this a go tonight in a heroic. My stats after the reforge/gem/enchant are as follows now.
    Exp 9
    Hit 4.94%
    Mastery 15.69
    Dodge 12.37%
    Parry 12.63%
    Block 43.99%
    Unbuffed health is over 142k at the moment.

    Total mitigation at 68.99% before shield block and a trinket which ups my dodge by 1425.

    I didn’t notice a significant drop in threat or dps at all during my run. It was a little slower getting started but that was negligible. My healer did comment that I was much easier to heal now, so I think the change has made a lot of difference. Thank you again.

  9. thanks, i didnt ever tank before reading this and tried it out and was told i tanked like a champ, needless to say everything here worked like a charm, thganks so much

    • That’s really great to hear! Thank you for letting me know it worked out so well for you. If you need help with any points, let me know :)

  10. hey dude so should my parry and dodge be at like 1:1 at the moment its 8% dodge 15% parry should i even them out like 12%D 12%P got.

    • 15% to 15.5% is about where your Parry should be.

      Dodge isn’t nearly as useful as Parry is in Cata, but as I mentioned before, too far past 15%, and you’ll get a better over all avoidance by moving a little out of Parry and into Dodge. You really shouldn’t go under 15% Parry though when doing this.

  11. Good grief. I’ve been looking all over the web for something like this. I just started warrior tank “at” 85, been getting comments on my rotation and spec, and how wrong it is. Now, I’ve tanked as an 85 pally and druid, so I’m kind of uppity when it comes to being told what to do, especially by my undergeared healer. But man, this is just pure gold right here.

    • Thank you so much :D Glad it helped you out.

      Right now I’m checking up on evasion thresholds and seeing if it would be a good idea to invest a little into Expertise at my gear level. With DPS being so well geared now, threat before my Vengeance gets built up is becoming a bit of a pain.

  12. So is this setup going to make tanking heroics significantly more painful, or will i really only notice a difference in the initial grab for multi-target pulls, etc etc?

    I ask because i’ve got two raid ready warrior tanks (Horde/Alliance), who will likely be jumping into raids in the next little while, however i still tank a LOT of heroics, so naturally making changes either way concerns me.

    Thanks!

    • Well, not worrying about Hit or Expertise is going to make 5-mans harder to tank. Ignoring those stats for raiding is possible due to the attack power bonus from Vengeance. Once that gets going after the first 10 or 15 seconds of a pull, it doesn’t matter if we miss a lot because when we do hit, we plaster the mob for tons of threat. In 5s, we never get hit that hard, so missed attacks punish our threat a lot more.

      If you’re going to be doing both raiding and 5-man tanking, I’d strongly suggest that you gem, enchant and reforge your best gear for the raids, and hold onto your second best gear for 5-mans. Gem, chant and reforge that gear for Expertise and Hit up to the 5-man heroic caps. I’ve been doing that myself, and it makes 5s a lot less annoying to tank for.

  13. Many many thanks for this guide. This is the perfect combination of theory crafted data and straight forward presentation. Due to guild needs I’m a recent warrior tank convert from a resto shammy. Your guide has helped to make the transition as painless as possible for everybody. Again, GREAT guide and MANY thanks from myself and my guild.

  14. This guide is by far the best I have ever seen,you have a real “to the point” attitude that is clearly understandable.I currently have a prot warrior and we are trying BWD this fri,with all I have learnt from this site I will be more than ready.thank you for taking the time to do this it is greatly appreciated.potuterangi/nagrand U.S

    • Thank you for the compliments. I’m very happy to know the guide has helped you.

      Not much has changed since 4.1 but I am working on an updated guide… which mostly is going to say how very little has changed, but, eh, it’s worth posting an updated version anyway XD

  15. I just love your guide!well done on a clearly executed tanking explanation of pretty much everything pertinent to tanking today.my warrior honors you 

  16. This was a fantastic guide. I was reforging everything into hit up until reading this guide. Now my stats are as such:

    3.66% Hit chance (which having changed from 8%, i’m rather nervous about)
    6 Expertise
    8.92% Dodge
    15.19% Parry
    53.17% Mastery

    All on 157405 HP.
    If you need a reference, my armory site is http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/kelthuzad/conorex/advanced

    (If it’s still showing me as reforging into hit, then it hasn’t updated yet, but I’m assuming it’ll be fine.)

    I’m a little worried that my expertise and hit are too low, but because of the reforging, it brought my midigation % to ~77%. Should I be putting more things into hit/expertise?

    I also dropped mining and picked up/maxed alchemy this week for the sole purpose of that trinket and the mixology buff for raiding flasks. I’m glad I made that change.

    This is really helping me out. Been taking for years and there’re things like this that I haven’t even thought of yet.

    Thanks!

    • Honestly, pretty sure my raid gear has me at 0 Hit and about… 4 Expertise right now. Something like that :)

      It really doesn’t matter so long as your DPS can restrain themselves for a 3 stack of Sunder to show up on the boss (like the old days), and especially not a problem if you’ve got a Hunter or Rogue to MD or Tricks threat onto you at the start. And hey, those stack now, so if by chance you have more than one of those then you’re *really* not having early threat issues.

  17. Great guide! been looking for this sort of thing everywhere!, i have just one worry though after sorting out my gear i have o hit, and very low expertise i know you mentioned that there pretty much useless now cept expertise making threat smoother but will this have any major affect having 0 hit?

    • It’s really not an issue once the boss fight gets going. If you have a Hunter or Rogue to MD or Tricks you then it’s even less of an issue.

      Gearing for no Hit or Expertise means that DPS has to be careful and restrain themselves at the start of a fight. And by start, I mean the first 5 to 10 seconds. The down side to this is that an awful lot of DPS seem to have a REALLY hard time grasping the concept of “blowing all your CDs on the pull and going bonkers on the boss before even one Sunder is up is really bad”.

      The good side is that all that gear itemization budget that was spent on Hit or Expertise now spent on Mastery and Parry (ideally) and you’ll really see a difference in how long you live and how well you take hits. For example, I have two sets of tank gear. Both are fully epic. One’s pure raid tank stats, the other is Hit/Exp cap for 5-mans. I can’t run the Hit/Exp cap gear in the new ZA/ZG because the damage output is just too high. The Mastery/Parry/Dodge gained from my raid set makes that big of a difference.

      So, TL;DNR:
      No, it isn’t a problem on raids so long as your DPS isn’t stupid. If they are stupid, yell at them till they stop being stupid. If they won’t stop being stupid, replace them :D

  18. Hey! Many ppl are saying that its much more useful to gem mastery than stamina. What do you think?

    • Honestly, it depends on what you’re doing. When I first hit 85 I was gemming my yellow sockets for Mastery and blue for Stam/Mastery, but I changed up to Stam/Mastery in yellow and Stam in blue because of one simple fact…

      Mastery means absolutely nothing versus spell damage, and there are a lot of bosses out there with really high spell damage attacks.

      As you move into raiding, and especially as you move into hard modes, you’re going to find that bosses hit extremely hard, and while Mastery is a very important stat to have a ton of, having the health pool to soak up the incoming damage is just more important. Not by much, mind you… but ultimately Stamina is slightly ahead of Mastery in terms of priority. But again, I have to stress the “slightly”.

      Let’s take Magmaw Heroic as an example really quick… If you’re tanking the construct adds, and Magmaw is doing his AOE spew, that’s an awful lot of incoming damage, and half of it is non-physical. You want *both* high physical mitigation and a high HP total for this sort of thing.

      Also, this guide has been updated to 4.1 Please find the most up to date guide here. http://glaivecow.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/prot-warrior-tanking-guide-4-1-edition/

  19. Thanks alot! – Awesome guide man

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