Prot Warrior Tanking Guide (4.1 Edition)

Hello and welcome to Version 4.1 of my Prot Warrior guide. Honestly, hardly anything has changed, but I’m going over the guide with a fine tooth comb anyway and updating or simply polishing anything that needs it. If most of it seems unchanged from before, well, you’re not imagining things! Prot saw some changes in 4.1 but functionally we’re doing the same stuff.

For the sake of reference, the previous version can be found here.

Without further ado, onward!

A Quick Review of 4.1 Changes:
If you need to read the full blue posts, those are easy enough to find. This is just going to be a really quick overview.

Shield Bash is gone. You now use Pummel. It doesn’t make a sound to confirm it landed a hit… have fun with that.

Spell Reflect now has a 25 second CD, up from 10 seconds.

The Shield Mastery talent no longer reduces the cooldown of Spell Reflect, but it does give Shield Block a 7/14/20% reduction to incoming magical damage for 6 seconds. Don’t forget this when it’s time to mitigate a large nuke, like Nef’s Crackle.

Heroic Leap is off the GCD, meaning it’s more useful than ever before.

Gag Order, thank god, now applies its silence via Pummel since Shield Bash is gone.

We have a new raid-wide Last Stand. It’s called Rallying Cry, it’s on the same cooldown as Last Stand, it’s 20% of max health, and it effects everyone in the raid. Coordinate its use with other Warriors in raid to help even out things like Chimaeron feuds or Nef Crackles in Phase 2 for people on your platform (it does have a max range and won’t hit the other platforms).

Spec (Minor Changes):
This is the spec I’ve been using for a bit now, and the one I recommend especially for raids.

The only difference you’ll find is that I’ve dropped the one point out of Impending Victory and placed it instead in Piercing Howl. Now some of you might be wondering why that’s a good trade off, especially if you haven’t had to deal with fights like Nef, Cho’gall, or being the add tank on Maloriak. Having an ability to spam snare unlimited targets is pretty crazy on those fights, and puts Prot Warriors at the top of the list for roles such at Maloriak add tank among the tanking specs. Also, if you start as the second tank for Cho’gall, you’ll be free for each slime spawn to assist with snaring them if need be. It’s a great dose of utility that doesn’t really sacrifice much in trade.

Aside from that, the spec is the same. The one change I could suggest if you’re having serious single target threat issues would be to move one point out of Thunderstruck and move it into War Academy. It’s a change I’ve considered myself, but really I haven’t seen a need for it so long as DPS gives me the 5 to 10 second lead time on a boss pull that I need for Vengeance to ramp up. I mention it here for consideration regarding your personal situation.

Glyphs (Minor Changes):
The prime glyphs remain the same and are still Devastate, Revenge, and Shield Slam.

Thunder Clap and Shockwave remain as Major glyphs, but I’ve replaced Resonating Power with Piercing Howl. That increased radius is a pretty huge deal when you’re trying to keep twelve foaming at the mouth, exponentially self-buffing adds from eating your face so your team can get an achievement.

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 (Minor Changes):
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.


90 Stamina, 35 Dodge (Earthen Ring Revered)


75 Stamina, 25 Dodge (Therazane Exalted)


Protection (250 Armor)


Greater Stamina (75 Stamina) <– Best

Stamina (55 Stamina) <– Affordable


Dodge (50 dodge)


Greater Mastery (65 Mastery) <– Best

Greater Expertise (50 Expertise) <– Affordable


Charscale Leg Armor (145 Stamina, 55 Agility)


Lavawalker (35 Mastery, Run Speed) <– Best

Earthen Vitality (30 Stamina, Run Speed) <– Affordable


Windwalk (Dodge and movement boost proc) <– Best

Mending (Self-heal proc) <– Affordable


Mastery (50 Mastery)

Stat Priority and Reforging (Major Changes):
Here’s where things get weird. First off, I need you to understand two very unusual things about Cataclysm tanking:

1) Taunt never misses in Cata.

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. Why does this work? Vengeance. As a boss hits you, your attack power goes up. Way up… so while you’re going to be parried, blocked, dodged, and straight up miss, you’re also going to completely plaster the boss when you do connect. Once the fight gets going (5 to 10 seconds depending on encounter) you’re usually fine on threat even with zero Hit and Expertise.

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

Stamina > Mastery > Parry ≥ Dodge

When reforging, 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, reforge Hit to Parry

If it has Mastery and Expertise, reforge Expertise to Parry

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

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

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

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

If it has Dodge and Expertise, reforge Expertise 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.

Now here comes the big “but it’s really not that simple” part. Mastery may never experience diminishing returns, but Parry certainly does. However, Parry is also the trigger for Hold the Line, so it’s importance is higher than Dodge. Dodge, however, is more valuable the deeper into Parry’s diminishing return you get. There exists a sweet spot for Parry vs Dodge that is determined by your current Mastery rating.

Some fellow who I do not know personally, by the name of Swcarden, put together a handy graph we can use to calculate this sweet spot with relative ease. Do note that this graph assumes you are facing a single enemy with the standard 2.5 second swing time. For fights against multiple enemies, Dodge will outweigh Parry more so than this graph depicts, and for a slow attack speed fight like Chimaeron (who wings once every five seconds), Parry becomes more valuable than Dodge. The ultimate goal of this graph is to optimize Hold the Line uptime while having the highest combined evasion possible.

First, look at your total Mastery and consult the upper right portion of the chart. This will show you the corresponding color for your Mastery.

Second, add your total Parry and Dodge ratings and find the resulting sum on the bottom of the graph. This is your Total Avoidance Rating.

Now, draw a line straight up from your Total Avoidance Rating until you hit the circle of the color pertaining to your Mastery.

Finally, draw a line from that circle to the left edge of the graph to find your Parry/Dodge Ratio.

Using this ratio, you can tweak your reforging to get as close to the optimal ratio as possible. Keep in mind though that it probably won’t be possible to reach it exactly, but it’s a good idea to try for it.

Example: Your ratio is 1.25. You should have 1.25 Parry pre 1 Dodge. Divide your Parry by your Dodge and see how it stacks up. If it’s higher than 1.25, you need more Dodge. If it’s lower than 1.25, you need more Parry. Just get as close as you can, but *never* reforge Mastery into either Parry or Dodge.

Gemming (Minor Changes):
Gemming has gotten a lot easier with no caps to shoot for…

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

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

Red = Parry/Mastery

Blue = Stamina

Yellow = Stamina/Mastery

Prismatic = Stamina

Meta = Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond

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 (Minor Changes):
For an AOE pack:
Rend > Thunder Clap > Shockwave > Revenge > Cleave spam as rage crosses 60.

For a boss, tell your DPS to wait roughly five to ten seconds before unloading the heavy artillery, and then follow these opener and maintenance rotations.

Charge > Shield Block > Shield Slam > Devastate to three stacks of Sunder > Rend > Demoralizing Shout > Thunder Clap > Heroic Strike spam as rage crosses 60.

Be sure to also use any Revenge or Sword and Board procs you get while performing this opener.

Shield Slam > Revenge > Devastate > Heroic Strike spam as rage crosses 60

Thunder Clap as needed to maintain Rend and the Thunder Clap debuff.

Demoralizing Shout as needed to maintain the debuff.

Shield Slams should always be followed by Revenge if it’s available and by Devastate if it isn’t. If this then procs a Sword and Board, you should then Shield Slam again and again follow with Revenge or Devastate.

A Brief Word on Trinkets (No Changes):
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.

That wraps up this update of the guide. As always, please feel free to leave questions. Enjoy 4.1 and here’s hoping 4.2 isn’t too far off. What’s being shown of Firelands looks like a lot of fun!

~ by Udiyvli on 05/16/2011.

32 Responses to “Prot Warrior Tanking Guide (4.1 Edition)”

  1. The enchant on shield, Block +40 doesnt exist anymore in 4.1.
    It has been changed into Mastery +50!

  2. Hey thanks for the guide! I’ve always been a nervous tank, because usually I use my Arms spec. This has helped me become more confident because I know my stats and gear are well done for what I have available to me(no raid gear) Tanking is more fun than DPS’ing now, to be honest.

    • Always nice to hear from someone who’s enjoying tanking 🙂 Glad the guide was useful for you!

  3. Thanks for putting this together. It’s on of the better guides I’ve seen, please keep them coming!

  4. hi, i,m currently a prot warrior, main tank in fairly serious progression guild. we arent a “world first” guild, but we do expect a lot from out guild as far as progress. that in mind, im always trying to make sure im not the weakest link. ive tanked with my warrior since tbc and im very comfortable tanking anywhere and anything, but lately it seems i just cant generate enough threat early in any boss encounters to avoid losing threat to someone. this usually happens to the fury warrior, mage or hunter. they all pull 20k DPS and more. ive macrod hero strike to my main threat abilities in the past and that worked well but just isnt seeming to quite do it now. are there any other tips or advice anyone may have? thanks in advance for any info

    • For opening threat, it is pretty hard for us. If you have a rogue and/or hunter in raid make sure they’re tricks/MDing you. Also make sure any pallies have Salve ready to go for someone who’s high on threat ,and make sure the threatmonkey calls for Salve when they need it (and watches their threat meter… and uses one!)

      As for your absolute max threat, make sure you’re using Shield Slam every time it’s available, and always follow it with a Revenge if possible, or a Devastate if Revenge isn’t up. It sounds like a small detail but it’ll help. Also make sure you do not hit Heroic Strike unless you have 70 Rage. Starving yourself with HS is far worse for threat than anything else.

      Oh and make sure, if possible, you pop Shield Block before you Shield Slam if you took Heavy Repercussions.

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this guide! I am always nervous tanking and spend the entire night on the edge of my seat scoping for runaways and trying to keep my threat above the warlocks. It’s nice to see someone successful in warrior tanking and know that we all haven’t gone the way of the paladin. Thank you. Also, any idea where I can find some macros? I want to take your aoe threat rotation and turn it into a macro, then one for single target that has a longer string allowing time for the rend to cycle. I just stink at writing them. Thank you!

    • Honestly, I don’t use many macros myself. I’ll use an Intervene on mouse over, but that’s rarely needed really.

      The one I use often is a very simple Charge/Rend one.

      /cast Charge(Battle Stance)
      /cast Rend(Battle, Defensive Stance)

      It’s simple, but it’s useful… If you’re far enough away to charge, then you’ll charge. If you’re too close, then you’ll rend. Use the red ? icon and it’ll display as Charge so you can watch it’s cooldown. Really useful for applying an early rend to spread with ‘clap.

      I also hate that hitting a button for an ability doesn’t turn on Auto Attack anymore, so for Devastate, Revenge and Shield Bash I use something like this.

      /cast Shield Slam

      And lastly for that pesky DPS who just won’t stop pulling threat…

      /use [target=targettarget][] Vigilance
      /run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

      This will put Vigilance on your target’s target. You follow it with a taunt, and if they pull off again, they already have Vigilance and your taunt will come off CD when they take a hit. You can use the same macro to re-apply Vigilance to your OT when they taunt the boss off of you as well, since they will then be the boss’s target (and you’ll be targeting the boss).

      A similar macro can be set up if you ever find that a kill requires you to spec into Safeguard so you can Intervene the boss’s target (your OT) to give them the damage reduction effect. So far Heroic Chimaeron is the only time I’ve found that even tempting to use, but there it is…

      • Wouldn’t Warbringer eliminate the need for the (BattleStance) piece of the first macro?

        I’m a little confused on the parry/dodge ratio thing. For one, it appears as though my mastery is below 2000 (1701), so I don’t fit into the circle categories. Do I need to reforge to mastery?

        My parry s 2104, dodge is 1243, as I reforged most things to parry, some to mastery. That puts my ratio at almost 1.7, which it would appear to be way too high given my mastery rating (assuming I need to drop even further down than the magenta circle with lower mastery). I’m guessing I should be around 1.2 or 1.1.

        I know I have some work to do with some of the upgrades, especially trinket, but any other glaring weaknesses you can see?

      • I’m glad you asked! That part of the macro is actually for a really strange glitch in the way the game deals with /cast macros.

        Basically, most commands you do with a / will auto complete to the most likely conclusion if you only put in part of the full command. That’s why /tar works for /target and half of someone or something’s name works fine so long as they’re the only thing nearby with that as the start of their name. Well, in this case, simply putting Charge works most of the time. Unless you go do the old jousting dailies in ICC… The horses have a spell called Charge. Once you mount up, the game loads that spell into memory and from then on, even after you dismount, any /cast Charge will try to cast *that* Charge and not Charge(Battle Stance), which is the full, proper name of the Warrior Charge ability. You can get full names into a macro easily by having your spell book open, and Shift+Clicking the spell to have the name automatically types into the Macro window at your cursor location. So, really, the only reason I use the full name is because there is one very specific, fairly unlikely case where you could do something in game that would break the macro till you relog if all it said was /cast Charge. 😉

        Looking at your armory, the first thing I notice is that you may want to swap to the +Block meta. It’s pretty much on par with the Armor one right now, and is being buffed back to Cata Launch percentages in 4.2, which should put it well ahead of +Armor once the patch lands.

        Your Parry looks fairly high to me… well into severe diminishing returns territory. If you have anything reforged into Parry that could be reforged into Mastery instead, I would definitely do that. Mastery has no diminished return and the Hittable Hard Cap is still likely not going to be realistically seen till late T12, if not T13, so I wouldn’t be concerned at all about stacking Mastery like mad.

        Now, that said, Parry being so high and Dodge being much lower (and suffering from much less diminished return) you may consider moving Parry into Dodge even on “perfectly” itemized gear like your boots. You could also reforge the Dodge trinket into a nice chunk of Mastery, and look into buying Mirror of Broken Imaged from TolB to replace the blue trinket you’ve got.

        Your total potential evasion is much higher than what’s being shown, because so much of your itemization is being taken up by diminished returns in Parry. Let’s see if I can summarize…

        If anything can be reforged into Mastery, then do so. Reforge to Mastery in this order of priority:
        Haste, Crit, Hit, Expertise, Parry, Dodge

        If an item has Mastery on it, reforge into Dodge at this point (contrary to basic theory, I know, but there is a point where basic theory goes out the window thanks to diminished returns):
        Haste, Crit, Hit, Expertise, Parry

        So basically, as much Mastery as you can get, and see if you can’t dump a little Parry back in to Dodge where you can’t put it into Mastery.

        As a compare, unbuffed in my raid gear with two Stam trinkets I’ve got 10.56 Dodge, 14.44 Parry, and 52.33 Block. So you see when I say your Parry is high, I mean it’s well over mine even XD

        Hope that helps! If you need more specific help on what to reforge where, I can do that too. Oh, and get your gear enchanted! 😉 That’ll help a little too.

      • Great – done. Took anything that could be mastery, and made it so. Took anything that couldn’t be mastery, and made it dodge.

        Now I’m at 1945 Mastery, 1525 Dodge, 1570 Parry, with 48.35% block. Or, 11.98% dodge, 13.14% parry. I reforged the dodge trinket into mastery.

        That sound about right in terms of what I should have done?

        Need to run TolB I know – just haven’t gotten into that place too much – there’s like 1000 quests there, so I guess the grind isn’t too bad.

        I hate enchanting things before I get gear I know I’m going to hold onto for awhile.

        Thanks for the help.

      • Yeah, that sounds about right. And you’re probably pretty close on the sweet spot for Dodge/Parry too for your Mastery level. I actually can’t get to my sweet spot because I don’t have enough Dodge on gear, but that’s actually not super critical. We’ll see how T12 itemization treats me!

        I’d suggest for enchants, only going with the expensive ones if you’ve got something that’s epic. I’d say Troll 5-man loot counts. For blue quality (or god forbid green) go with the cheapest option from my enchant list, or none is it’s a green really… Up to you. These days crystals aren’t that pricey, so you could probably throw Windwalk on that tank weapon you have and not feel too bad about it. About the only replacement you’re looking at really is Soul Blade or the mace from Maloriak, so unless you plan on buying Soul Blade or killing Maloriak any time soon, it’s a safe investment. Your shield is also only going to be replaced by two drops right now, one of which is off of Nef.

  6. Heya and thanks for the nice update!

    2 Questions I have:
    1) Is deep wounds still something that a tank would consider? Having war acadamy and deep wounds seems a nice threat boost (referring to the other post as well about the warrior although I realize thats early on in fights).

    2) I wondered in the part where you talk about trinkets. Seeing how important mastery is and looking into a bit of armories, I also noticed several warriors combining the two TB trinkets for a 620 boost in mastery. Or is the extra strength boost too big of a loss compared to a dodge/parry/equip trinket?

    KR, B.

    • Well, the bleed from Deep Wounds would be a threat boost over all, it’s definitely not a snap threat gain, and that’s where we’re behind right now. It’s that 5 to 15 seconds after the boss is pulled, before we’ve build up Vengeance (or on a fight where we aren’t hit hard enough to build Vengeance at all) that we start to see some serious issues with our threat. However, at least for raids, this period of threat vulnerability can be dealt with via Tricks of the Trade, Misdirect, Salvation, or simply letting your OT start the fight, assuming it’s a boss switch fight, if they have a higher front-loaded threat. Death Knights and Paladins are quite good at that. And of course it can also be managed by simply having DPS who aren’t, well, trying to “win” Omen.

      Remember, an Arcane Mage who dies from a threat pull with Invis available to them is a bad Mage 😛 Same for Rogues with Vanish, Hunters with Feign, etc.

      But, more to the point, yes, over all it would be a threat gain. You’d probably end up dropping Blood Crave (which plays really well with Field Dressing) and a point out of Thunderstruck to pull it off, which will lower the threat of your Rend and your Thunder Clap, which you should be using even on bosses for the debuff and the rolling bleed. You’re also losing the self-healing from Blood Craze, as well as the utility of Piercing Howl (which is pretty much mandatory for Nef and Maloriak, and helps on Cho’gall too). That spec would probably look like this:

      Now if you wanted to max out your burst threat, you may want to try something like this…

      That completely drops Thunderstruck and Blood and Thunder, so your AOE threat is greatly reduced, and you are going to be losing the Rend-buffing of Thunder Clap and the added Thunder Clap damage. In fact with this build it’s unlikely you’d bother to Rend at all, but you will still be Thunder Clapping unless someone else is applying a similar debuff. You’re still missing Blood Craze and you’re still missing Piercing Howl. I’ll admit though, I haven’t tried this spec in a very long time. In theory, it should work, but you also shouldn’t need this spec to hold threat after the first 5 to 15 seconds unless your miss/dodge/parry rate is on a crazy unlucky streak.

      For the sake of argument regarding Blood Craze, I just looked at the logs from our Al’Akir 10 kill this week and Blood Craze was nearly 8% of the total healing done to me. That beat out Vampiric Embrace from our Shadow Priest and nearly beats out Rejuvenation from the raid healer. Keep in mind, too, that this is a fight where nothing in Phase 3 can trigger Blood Craze because nothing is a direct nuke or melee hit in that phase. So, I guess my point is that that’s a pretty good bit of self-healing from that talent. Is it vital? Nah probably not… but it’s the best thing to take if you’re getting down to Piercing Howl, it’s not a throw away talent, and I’ve had plenty of times where I’ve lived by less than 1000 HP after a nuke or big melee hit, and Blood Craze ticks for more than that. Without it, those wins may have been wipes. Just food for thought.

      Anyway, onward to question 2!

      Mirror of Broken Images is god tier and should be in your select of trinkets as soon as possible. The on-use is absolutely one of the most useful things you can have, and rather trivializes otherwise very dangerous things like Nef’s Crackle and even greatly reduces the over all effect of Acid Rain in late Al’Akir Phase 2, or Chimaeron’s Feud spit bombs. And, hey, if you’re tanking Maloriak and he decides you’d be hilarious to put the fire damage debuff on, well, that’s another wonderful use for it. Being singled out for the focussed fire attack on Omnitron is another good use for it, as is every time Cho’gall goes Order of Flame and starts doing the heavy fire damage to his tank.

      Over all, you can’t go wrong. I just wish it had a Tier 12 counterpart. Haven’t seen a drop like it yet… but it’ll probably still be one of my main trinkets for situational uses.

      Impatience of Youth, however, is not as good. In fact I’d consider it nearly a throw away unless you simply don’t have anything else for your other trinket. I’d even suggest Darkmoon Card: Earthquake over Impatience of Youth, reforging the Dodge into Mastery. Over all though, going with Mirror of Broken Images and a decent Stamina trinket from a Heroic 5 should do you just fine. Ultimately, for fights without heavy spell damage periods where the Mirror would be well used, you’re best off going double HP trinkets after you have access to both of the raid drop ones. Don’t forget that a well timed Shield Block also gives a hefty amount of spell damage mitigation now. I’ve stopped using Mirror on Nef in favor of precisely timed Shield Blocks, as the extra HP is also really nice to have.

      Anyway, hope that answered your questions alright. Please ask more if you care to!

  7. Hello and thanks for the fast reply,

    Bit longer than i expected, nice to see you give it some good thoughts and help fellow warrior (even though i am not into raids that much anymore). I for sure will listen to your advice and keep checking this page for other people’s questions. Have the idea I learn more here than on all other sites I ever checked 😉


    • Glad to hear it! And you’re welcome. Always happy to answer questions and offer some advise.

  8. Just wanted to say thanks for putting this together. I’m a long time tank, short time warrior tank, so having the specifics all broken down and laid out, especially with the “why’s” in most cases is incredibly helpful.

    Somewhere, someone is theory-crafting on Elitist Jerks, but I’ll be living off this list for a while 😀

    • I do check in with EJ to see if they’ve come up with anything new, but my information here is a combination of EJ, researching Prot Warriors from World Top 5 raiding guilds, and my own experimentation and experience. Plus, I tend to try and distill information come across from EJ or similar places into easier to understand language. Really, reading 50 pages of people arguing a .5% difference in something isn’t for most people. I don’t even enjoy it. But, if I can do that, test the theory and report the results here in plain English, all the better for the community 🙂

  9. Hey,

    great guide. ive been a prot pally for a while now but i am starting to look into changing it up since i jsut joined a guild with another prot pally tank. Ive been leveling my warrior in dungeons and i have found that sheild slam is almost useless compared to devastate, especially on bossus when 3 stack sunder is up for much longer.

    You have clarified its use for me, it sounds like it becomes much more useful at max level, and also you have confirmed that i have been tanking correctly, charge, rend, clap ect.

    Sometimes i find that i have nothing to use in a global cooldown which can be anoying, but overall, i am very enjoying the warrior play style, thanks for the guide

    • You’re welcome 🙂

      Shield Slam’s your biggest single hit threat gain, especially with Shield Block up when specced into Heavy Repercussions.

      Any global that you can’t use on Shield Slam, Revenge or need to use on Thunder Clap or Demo Shout should be used to spam Devastate. Heroic Strike/Cleave only when crossing 70 Rage so you’re never starving yourself out of your normal rotation and Deva spam.

      Anyway, sounds like your new career as a Prot Warrior is coming along well. Let me know if you have any questions come up!

  10. Hi,

    Great info, I’m new to tanking and this post has been extremely helpful. I played a hunter but decided to tank to help my guild out.

    I have a question concerning addons. I use “Tidy Plates” to watch threat. Are there any other addons you can recommend for threat management and overall utility.

    • I would suggest picking up the “Threat Plates” addon for Tidy Plates. I find default Tidy Plates to not be nearly as useful, and to be a bit big actually… from a screen real estate perspective anyway.

      I really don’t use any others that are specific for tanking. I run Omen to watch who’s outpacing me or to make sure I’m not outpacing the OT on a tank swap fight. I also run with Recount to monitor who isn’t pulling enough DPS, but that’s more from a Raid Leader aspect than a tanking one.

      You could in theory run something like Grid + Clique and set it up for Intervene if you find you use it often, but that’s kind of situational and by no means something everyone will need to look into. I’ve also heard of something called TauntMaster but I tried it out and found it to be just about useless. Honestly, it confused my incoming data more than it helped in any way.

      As a side note, my first WoW character was a Hunter too. I started leveling a Fury Warrior for fun, and ended up swapping her to Prot and adopting her as my new main because the guild didn’t have a single tank at the time wayyy back in early to mid Burning Crusade. So, hey, welcome to Prot Warrior 😀 Enjoy your stay… I think you’ll find your Hunter’s still a nice vacation from time to time.

  11. So, I don’t have enough Mastery to make it up on the chart yet xD I’m working on my t11 stuff, and am doing just fine in keeping aggro in heroics with your build. I’ve got 95.51% avoidance in my gear, with Battle Shout on, and Shield Block up. Do you think I’ll hit 100% once I get enough gear?

    • You absolutely will be over 100% with shield block up and no other buffs just from T11 Normal loot. I’ve only got one piece of T11H gear right now and I can get past the unhittable softcap with two Stam trinkets.

      Do keep in mind however that anything that buffs AGI will no longer add to your dodge in 4.2. However, everything that buffs STR will still add to Parry and the conversion rate for STR to Parry is going up slightly. So, basically, your unbuffed evasion totals are going to be going *up* in 4.2 so long as you aren’t geared with anything that has AGI on it.

  12. This is an excellent guide. Thank you for creating this and taking the time to explain items like reforging and the avoidance chart.

  13. Hey nice guide there. I had trouble working out the reason behind your reforge priority list but it finally clicked ( I can be very slow sometimes).
    On a slightly OT note. with all other things being equal, ie speed and other stats, a higher damage weapon would always increase threat per second wouldn’t it?
    I had a guildie ask “why you using that mace when you had X”
    stats were the same except higher damage and therefore also higher dps from the mace.

    Am I missing something or was he just being a Mage 🙂

    Alt 1

    • Nope, you’re right. All stats equal except damage, you want the higher damage 🙂 A lot of your attacks are figured on weapon damage, and threat is figured on damage the ability does. So, higher weapon damage = higher threat from most of your abilities.

      Also, thanks for the compliment! Happy to help!

  14. Just curious, what is the reason to use heroic strike instead of devastate when you’re over 60 rage? Devastate hits harder for me at least( I am bad geared though so if its a scaling thing).

    Or is it simply as a rage dump just for the sake of it?

    Fantastic guide though, really helped me get into tanking on my new 85 warrior.

    • Heroic Strike is not on the GCD, so technically you can use it at the same time as Devastate or any other move provided it’s bound somewhere or someway to make hitting both buttons at once easy for you.

      HS is actually a fair bit of threat, but mainly it is simply a threat generating Rage Dump. If you have 100 Rage then you aren’t maximizing your potential threat. It’s… kind of like resource capping in StarCraft. You have a resource that’s constantly going up. If you don’t use it, it ultimately goes to waste. The key with Rage is to try and *not* use a dump until you have enough of it to not be left starved. I find 60 Rage is a good point to dump it into a Heroic Strike for me. Others tend to say 70 Rage. You’ll get a feel for what works for you, and of course in some fights you take enough constant hits that you can just spam HS and never starve out.

      Thanks for the question! Also, I’ll be posting the 4.2 version of this guide soon. Going to try for tomorrow.

  15. Great guide ty much, have a question regarding:


    Charscale Leg Armor (145 Stamina, 55 Agility)

    Would (145 stam, 55 Dodge) be an acceptable alternative? I though agi didn’t come into play for tanks anymore? Thanks for clarifying.

    • You are correct. The Dodge armor was introduced in patch 4.2 and I have not had a chance to update my guide yet. I should really work on that this weekend!

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