4.0.3a Prot Warrior Nerfs

Well, this is a surprise. Just when you figured there’s no way Blizzard could possibly nerf Prot Warrior threat since it’s just barely hanging on as is, they do. And hard. Let’s list everything that’s changing tomorrow (when 4.0.3a drops) that’s going to mean less threat for us.

  • Cleave damage has been reduced by approximately 17%
  • Rend base damage has been reduced by approximately 17% and percent of weapon damage per tick lowered to 25%, from 30%.

Well our AOE threat really did need a nerf, right? I mean, it’s not like anyone with an AOE had any chance at all of pulling off of us ever… right? Yeah, not so much. The one place we really need a buff, and they give us a nerf. The funny thing is that this simultaneously makes Blood and Thunder less desirable *and* more essential. It’s an even weaker talent now than ever, but with what little AOE threat we have further slipping away, we need it to remain competent.

  • Heroic Strike damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
  • Victory Rush damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
  • Devastate no longer provides bonus threat.

Wow… hello, single target threat nerf. I’ve included Victory Rush in here for those folks who take Impending Victory, and hey, that might be all of us now. It may only be viable at the end of boss fights, but it’s at least another threat move to compensate for these other changes.

  • Shield Slam: Contribution of attack power reduced to 60%, down from 75%, and base damage brought up so that a level 85 warrior in Heroic dungeon gear deals the same damage with no Vengeance, but Vengeance has less impact. In addition, Shield Slam no longer generates 30% bonus threat from its damage

Now this one’s weird. It’s kind of a buff, in that we are going to be doing more damage with it right off the bat rather than after Vengeance stacks up. However, we’re also losing the 30% threat bonus, and Vengeance is going to improve Shield Slam less than it does now. Over all, will this be a net gain or loss in threat? I’m not really sure right now.

In other news of nerfs to things you like… let’s talk survivability nerfs.

  • Blood Craze now heals for 1/2/3% of total health, down from 2.5/5/7.5%.

Does this make it even worth it to take Blood Craze anymore? It’s hard to say. That’s a huge reduction in self-healing from a boss fight standpoint. With this and the nerfs to Heroic Strike, Victory Rush and Cleave, it’s probably better in 4.0.3a to go into Field Dressing and War Academy than to spend precious talent points for 3% self-healing.

As for our Mastery and Shield Block changes, I’m not really upset. I don’t see them as a nerf, but rather as a buff that we’ll not really fully benefit from till we’re 85 and getting Mastery in great meaty gobs.

  • Shield Block now only increases block chance by 25%, but excess block that pushes avoidance plus block to over 100% is now converted to critical block chance.
  • Critical Block now grants an equal amount of block chance and critical block chance (1.5% each per point of Mastery).

Over all, this is a good change. But, as I said, not till 85… for now, it’ll likely feel like a nerf, so be prepared.

So how about our other tank classes? Are they also getting nerfed across the board? Just taking a glance at Pally changes, it seems like they’re getting a mix of nerfs and buffs, but overall their threat looks like it’ll come out slightly buffed. My OT is a Prot Pally. I can tell you straight up, they do not need a threat boost any more than we needed a threat nerf. As for Blood DK and Bear, I don’t even know what I’m doing on those alts past 4.0.1 and I hold threat just fine by flailing at what ability I think might be a good, logical thing to hit.

So, Blizzard, what gives? I was under the impression your intent was to even out the tanks in both threat and survivability. As it stands, Prot Warriors are looking to become the worst threat tanks for both single target and AOE threat. I could accept this if we were outshining everyone else in survivability, but we aren’t. Where’s the upshot exactly? Is there one? You’re setting us up to be the hardest to play tank with the least to offer our groups. You’re even taking away Vigilance’s damage reduction, giving us one less thing we can offer other more threat heavy tanks in a raid.

  • Vigilance no longer provides 3% damage reduction, but still refreshes Taunt and provides Vengeance.

Seriously,what is your plan for us, Blizzard? Other than making us hate Prot Rofldins even more…


(Update: Looks like we got another one…

  • Shield Slam’s damage has been reduced by about 28% at level 15, with less, but still noticeable reductions at higher levels.

Well, I’m still hopeful that the net change to Shield Slam will be a threat gain at 85. Really I am.)



~ by Udiyvli on 11/22/2010.

18 Responses to “4.0.3a Prot Warrior Nerfs”

  1. Plan for Warriors, paraphrased from patch notes:
    “lol go play fury lol”

    Uuuugh. As if I needed more reasons to not pick up my Warrior come Cata. I LIKED Warrior tanking! I felt like my button pushes did things, and it presented a steady enough challenge that I had fun doing it.

    Now it seems like I’ll be seeing red from frustration all the time… Wait, no I won’t, because apparently we’re ragestarved as well. AGH.

    • There’s a real chance it’ll be better at 85. They did tune all this for 85 after all.

      However, there’s also a chance it’ll be worse at 85. While we will have more HP, and thus more Vengeance, and thus more DPS and more threat, all our DPSers will be doing more damage and thus pulling more threat too. Will it even out? Will it be the same as it is now? Better? Worse?

      In the end, what every progression minded guild will have to ask is this:
      “Can our DPS do more DPS if we have the Pally tank instead of the Warrior?”

      If the answer is “Yes” then expect Prot Warriors to be sat or asked to go Fury. I, for one, will go Fury as my main spec if needed for the wellbeing of the guild’s raiding efforts. I will try tooth and nail to make Prot work first though.

      It’ll all become clear sometime toward the end of December when level 85 raids start to take off.

  2. sif threat waasnt hard enough now your saying thats we have even less blizzard get ur stuff together if u gonna screw us over why dont u take our prot tree too not happy blizz…..is it even viable to play anything but fury now

    • Prot is still viable. It’s just heading in a scary direction. >< Things may improve at 85, or it may end up worse than at 80. We'll have to wait and see on this one, but right now, it looks worrisome.

  3. This is just my input on this Ktok, as you know my warrior is an alt. But as a Blood DK, I find that our survivability is getting nerfed somewhat hard, which in my opinion was making diseasless blood alot more appealing, but regardless its still better snap threat. But my threat in general, I’ve been having an issue with regardless. Just as you and I both know we have some high dps, and I realize alot other guilds have very high dps, this feels like cata is gonna bring back the *you wait till X sunders are applied* method.

    • Honestly, I wouldn’t be against that. I mean it only stacks to 3 now anyway… waiting for three Sunders wouldn’t kill anyone 😛

  4. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine at the start, but after Dancing rune weapon falls, then Vinncent rides my ass for all I’m worth. I know you probably are the same way with Aless/Cal

    • I’ve been staying ahead of people most of the time. The problem, honestly, is mostly Yg. He can sneeze, land two crits in a row and soar past me ><

      Deathwhisper H was kind of a bitch too, since she debuffs your threat gain AND is untauntable on Hard. We lost a couple people toward the end of the fight to that, and yeah, one of them was a DK XD

      • Yeah, I’m slightly jealous over Palli threat atm. But Yg is the same way with me, its how hard there abilities are hitting for PLUS the vengeance is scaling along with it, not to mention that Blood Presence/defensive stance/righteous fury/bear form has a huge threat increase on them period. Basically they way it is intended is for lvl 85, the scaling for it to balance out. But don’t get discouraged, cause if its a major issue then we’ll get buffed or palli’s will be nerfed. Also on another note apparently some bear tanks have gave Yg hell on threat.

      • I frankly only have a vague guess on how to play Bear, and I haven’t even tweaked my Bear’s glyphs or reforging, but I find the threat to be crazy high on her.

  5. It probably will be crazy high due to the fact of Vengeance, and Bear gearing being the same as rogue so, ALOT OF HIT AND CRIT FTW. I think YG’s 79 bear had at least 35% more crit than Kas, did in his tank gear.

  6. It’s kind of ironic. The single target threat nerfs hit us harder than the aoe threat nerfs, mainly because most of the heavy aoe hitters got nerfed as well. Now in a heroic dungeon, I can hold solid aoe agro on my prot warrior, but risk losing it on a boss fights when people start popping their CDs.

    It’s not even a burst agro problem either. It’s the fact devestate, shield slam, and heroic strike as a whole aren’t generating the threat per second that they were before. Rogues clocking 10-12k dps slowly catch up to me on the threat meters and I run the risk of losing agro toward the end.

    I haven’t had the oppurtunity yet to tank a raid boss yet so not sure how single target will match up on a 5-10 minute boss fight.

    All I know is never once had a single target threat problem when using priority rotation before the patch except in the first 5 seconds of a fight. Never once had a dps overtake my threat boundary at the END of a fight and not the beginning

  7. I’ve been tanking lots of heroics lately as some ICC 10 man stuff. I’d have to say that Warrior single target threat is very weak right now. a Mage doing 15k dps can easily overtake my argo, even when I pop my Orc racial and Shield Block to get 2-3 6k Shield slams. Devistate and Heroic strike don’t provide enough threat and revenge is not always arround to rely on. Back in the old days Taunt + Shield slam gave you a nice lead in threat, now it’s useless. Ontop of that Vegence only works if you’re taking tons of damage, which is impossible in heroics because the mobs hit for 500 dmg. The problem here is that with no block value we can’t make “Threat” tanking sets. Equip your Wrathful/t10 dps items guys, we need that to do enough threat to hold argo.

    • Not getting hit hard enough is really a big problem right now. Fortunately, at least from what I’m being told by people who were in Beta, we can expect to get wrecked by the trash in the new 5-mans. Actually, it kind of feels like trash in the revamped 1 to 60 5-mans hit harder relative to their level than trash in normal Wrath dungeons.

      I’ve tanked Wrath heroic 5-mans as Fury actually. Aside from needing a healer who can deal with you being crit, it’s actually a lot easier to hold aggro as Fury. Plus as a Fury tank you can knock out 11K DPS on trash pretty easy.

      I really do believe that at 85 we won’t have an issue, but till then it’s really caused some problems. Thankfully the new 1-60 content is really, really fun. I don’t feel like I need to play my Prot Warrior very heavily before the 7th. 😉

  8. All of this might also be the whole dps vs tank scaling, dps getting too comfortable with Wrath mechanics (aka. rarely any need to wait), or any sort of reason often related to being highly geared. The most anyone can really do is try it once the gear is balanced back down to greens/blues/first tier epics instead of constantly getting top tier gear in too easy dungeons.

    • I’m having to remind people pretty often to please, please not hit anything till the pull is under control. I can *feel* our DPS slathering at the mouth and pulling on their leashes as a pull starts like angry junkyard dogs. They want to mess the mobs up *RIGHT THE HELL NOW* and not 5 seconds from now XD

      Cata will likely work that out of people. It’s going to be a shock to the system to see 5-mans where CCing one of the mobs in a pull is the only way to really ensure the tank isn’t going to die. Or where killing the marked mob *first* is absolutely mandatory. I look forward to it from a “this is the way I want the game to work anyway” point of view. I dread it from a “I’m going to hate life till our DPS learns to stop being trigger happy” point of view.

  9. hey guys, just have to say prot warrior realy are not good,i have an alt prot pally that hold aggro ,single and aoe style and surpasses my Main tank warrior (which i still love playing more than pally) pretty much blizz screwed prot warrior since the start of burning crusade and i hope blizz eventually comes around and develope a true warrior tank!!

    • Actually, I’m finding Prot Warrior to be in a very good place at 85 so far. I’ll be making a post about it shortly…

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