Saturday, January 16, 2010

How to! Warrior Tank - Level 15-29 (part 2)

Welcome back to my part 2 of this first bracket of levels in my guide of how to become a good and fun to play warrior tank! I talked you through glyphs and addons the last time, among other things. This time I thought we'd pay attention to skills and talents. Yet again I underestimate how much there is to say about this so I'll do a part 3 tomorrow with instancing and something I forgot to mention yesterday - professions. So pay attention.
I'll take this tier by tier. By level 29 you'll be able to spec as far as into tier 4, but lets see what you should pick.
For your very first tp (talent point) there is a choice of some nice talents actually. Some classes have trees that start out really lame, like the arcane tree for mages. Anyhow, for your first point I'd either pick Shield Specialization or Improved Thunder Clap. They're both equally good so you could put your first 8 tp into them in any combination. In tier 2 both Anticipation and Incite are great talents. But you get the most out of Anticipation after you've specced Improved Revenge (since revenge benefits from dodge), so let's wait with that one. Grab Incite and then Shield Mastery, you'll want to lower the cooldown on Shield Block as soon as possible for more awesomeness. Once you've got full Shield Mastery, go on to grab Improved Revenge (since Revenge will be one of your main dmg skills, 20% extra dmg to it fits nicely. The stun is a great bonus), and put your last talents into Anticipation. EDIT 5/5: The stun has been removed since, but the skill has been changed for the better, making this talent even better to grab. Note: If you like to you can put a point into Last Stand at any time. I don't find it very useful though since you'll rarely end up in situations where you'll need it and where it will save your ass. That is more later on in the game in my opinion. So lets review;

Tp 1-8 into Improved Thunder Clap and Shield Specialization.
Tp 9-11 into Incite
Tp 12-13 into Shield Mastery
Tp 14-15 into Improved Revenge
Tp 16-20 into Anticipation
As a level 15 prot warrior in defensive stance you won't have many skills to choose from yet, but most of them are really good. I won't mention the ones you can't use in Defensive Stance here.

Thunder Clap, Heroic Strike, Shield Block and Revenge will make up main arsenal of skills both when questing and instancing. These are the main skills needed to quest and tank properly and should be easiest to reach at all times. For instancing and tanking you'll add Sunder Armor. Since Sunder Armor is instant it is better to tank with than Heroic Strike, which is used on your next swing. With Sunder Armor you can pick mobs up fast, but it won't be needed when you solo-play. Therefore it should be close at hand, but not too close (you'll replace it eventually with devastate which is good for both instancing and solo-play). The same thing goes with taunt. Taunt is good for both solo-play and instancing though, since it is great for pulling mobs. You'll also use Bloodrage all the time, since warriors still have a few rage issues on low levels. Since it has a relatively long cooldown and only has to be used now and then, it could be even further away than Sunder Armor.

Even less used will Battle Shout be, it's a typical skill I use shift-combinations to cast. Since you want to cast it quite often, but not too often and you don't need it fast when you need it. That goes for Demoralizing Shout as well (and later on Commanding Shout).

Shield Bash is quite situational, but when you need it you need it fast. Keep it somewhere you can reach it with ease without it being a hog of a too good a place (I keep it on A). Disarm is similar to Shield Bash, but less needed. It's more of a comfy thing to use now and then and so can be placed slightly out of the way. The same goes with Mocking Blow. Some use Mocking Blow as a regular dmg skill and that isn't a bad idea. Unfortunately it has a long cooldown and doesn't do that much dmg. In my opinion it's not very useful.

As an arms warrior you use Rend all the time. From level 10-80 it will be one of your most important skills to use. But since you're not an arms warrior it will be less useful. For tanking, placing a Sunder Armor gives more threat than a Rend. For questing, I usually only use Rend when fighting several running mobs. That way I don't have to run after them when they run, since I know they'll die from the dot eventually, and can focus on the mobs I'm still fighting instead.

Intimidating Shout and Challenging Shout can become really handy from time to time. Intimidating Shout when questing mostly and Challenging Shout when instancing. So keep them close, like Bloodrage.

And finally, at level 28, you get your first real tanking cooldown (unless of course you've specced into Last Stand) - Shield Wall. I usually keep my tanking cooldowns and trinkets and such to the F-buttons. Remember that just like with Shield Bash they are quite situational, but it will be extremely important to reach fast and easy once you need them. So give their positioning some good thought.

The easiest way to keep threat at level 15 is probably;
Run in (don't stance dance with charge) - Thunder Clap every cooldown - Keep Shield Block up as often as possible- Revenge as often as possible - Spread Sunders.
 If you want to pull mobs together for a bigger pull, spam Demo Shout while running to keep mobs on you and Thunder Clap as soon as you've collected all the mob.s
That's it for today, welcome back tomorrow for what will (hopefully) be the last part of the first bracket!

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