Welcome to the second level bracket of my guide on how to become an imba tanking warrior! This time we'll talk about level 30-39, and there is lots to say so might as well start at once.
The overall feeling of these levels is that it becomes harder to tank. Now don't get frightened, it's still not hard! At level 30 ish will be the start of doing instances with people who actually do more damage than you. Up until level 30 you can basically tank just based on the fact that you do the most damage, thunder clap is that good. But the skills of other classes have become better, and you will have to learn to spread your threat love around the mobs to make enough threat. Some thunder claps still generally do the trick, but start practicing on getting sunders on different mobs, as well as revenges.
Level 30-35 will also be tough to level. Although you get Concussion Blow at level 30, and it's a great skill, you won't have many dmg skills. These are some levels of lacking, one could say. Lacking in skills and lacking in stats. Just get through them and you'll get onto better grass soon though, hang in there. Speaking of Concussion Blow, remember not to use it together with Shield Block since that would negate the effect of Shield Block.
There are some general troubles when tanking as a lowbie that will become more apparent at these levels. The lack of hit and expertise. Some BoA gear have these stats, and I congratulate you if you're lucky enough to have some of this gear, it will make things alot easier. When tanking you will constantly miss and get your skills parried, dodged or blocked. This is what makes Thunder Clap even better. Since it is considered a spell it can't be dodged, blocked or parried, only missed. This means you'll have a much higher chance of landing a TC than any other of your skills (the same goes with Demoralizing Shout, but that barely does any threat). Thunder Clap will in other words still be your main skill for tanking, without a doubt.
You will have to wait until level 40 to get plate, but I noticed the Satchels of Helpful Goods that you get after each completed instance will start giving you plate items as early as level 35. Just store them in your bank for later.
At level 30 we get to choose another major glyph for ourselves, hooray. Considering the continuing awesomeness of Thunder Clap I will strongly recommend taking the Glyph of Resonating Power, which reduces the rage cost of your Thunder Clap by no less than 5 rage. It's great! Both for questing and instancing.
We have ten new talents to place, and this time some really tricky choices ahead of us. The first talent, the level 30 one, is an easy choice though. Place it into Concussion Blow and you'll have access to a great tanking and questing skill. For the next few talents there are several good choices however. Improved Spell Reflect is ok, but since you won't get the actual skill Spell Reflect until level 64 we can wait with that one. Toughness is good too, but at these levels even 10% extra armor won't be noticed much. And although the reduction of movement slowing effects is nice for a tank, it's still more of a pvp factor. Improved Disarm is definitely more of a pvp talent. Very few mobs do that much damage with their weapon that they have to have it disarmed. 10% extra damage on a mob won't be noticed much on low levels either, where most bosses are quite easy (you generally die on pulling too many mobs rather than the one mob being to difficult). If you haven't grabbed Last Stand already I suggest you go for it. Improved Disciplines is good too, but the problem when tanking and questing is like mentioned rarely the mobs hitting too hard. You'll way more often have trouble with rage starvation. Grab Puncture to help you out on that area, at least when tanking. And then I recommend One-Handed Weapon Specialization since it is great for both tanking and questing. It will increase all your damage (except thunder claps unfortunately) by 10% which means more threat for you. If you feel you have a lot of trouble with casters standing and shooting the healer you can throw some talents into Gag Order. If you find yourself constantly grouping with morons who overpull you can throw two talents into Improved Disciplines instead, to have Shield Wall available more often. At this point you are pretty free to talent according to your tanking needs. Most talents will be used later on anyway. Let's summarize;
Lvl 30 into Concussion Blow
Lvl 31 into Last Stand
Lvl 32-34 into Puncture
Lvl 35-39 into One-Handed Weapon Specialization
At these levels you'll have two new skills at your disposal, Concussion Blow. Being a stun of 5 seconds and dealing great damage, it is a great tool which should be used with some consideration. However it doesn't have a long cooldown, so don't save it for too long. I usually save it to interrupt casters, especially healers, or any other mobs with annoying skills.
The other skill is Berserker Rage, also a great tool with two uses. It removes fears and incapacitate effects (which unfortunately doesn't include stuns) and gives you extra rage when struck. Although not many mobs will fear or incapacitate you at these levels, the extra rage is always welcome.
Finally we have the instances. Good news, this level bracket holds some really good instances!
- Scarlet Monastery (32-40)
This instance is actually four different instances, and therefore varies greatly in level. The best thing about the Scarlet Monastery instances is that they are really easy in design. No risk of getting lost or confused here. Generally just run straight ahead and you'll end up where you should. The first part, Graveyard is really straight forward and easy and can be done in less than 10 minutes actually. The second one, library is a little more tricky as it is easy to overpull. The third, Armory, holds some annoying healing mobs but they shouldn't be too much of a hazzle. The last one, Cathedral is the toughest one. It holds a range of casting, healing, kicking and stunning mobs which easily could become too much if pulled recklessly. They'' run too and if they're not killed fast they'll pull more mobs, and even the boss, onto you. Beware of that. All instances hold great loot, more notably Cathedral with the shield Scarlet Aegis and the legs Scarlet Leggings (which can drop in Armory too).
Razorfen Downs (33-40)
RFD can either be done in a fast run or a slow run. The fast run skips the first two bosses. If you've already gotten the great chestplate Carapace of Tuten'Kash from the first boss I recommend you opt for the faster run. There is nothing else for you as a tank to get from the first two bosses *snicker snicker*. RFD too has some tricky mobs and tricky pulls so be careful. Especially it has some mobs that silence, Frozen Spirits. Since you can't taunt, thunder clap or demo shout while silenced, make sure the dps take care of them fast by marking them with an evil skull. When commencing the ascent up to Amnennar you'll get to fight rather bigger packs of mobs, and overpulling is easy at some places. There is a rare spawn in here, Ragglesnout, who drops a really nice shield, Savage Boar's Guard. And when I say rare I mean raaaare. Don't expect to see him. I've encountered him maybe twice in 50 runs.
Uldaman used to be a real hazzle to get to, especially in the old days when there were no summon stones. Imagine that. It is placed quite off over in Badlands, where usually no person had the flight point to get to. Getting a whole group there could really take some time. Thank lord for the lfg-system. Uldaman is also a really big instance and quite a maze. If you haven't been here before you'll definitely get lost and also probably miss some of the bosses. There is also a slight bug to think about. One of the bosses (Ironaya) needs to be summoned by getting two items, one of which is dropped by another boss (Revelosh). The same person needs to have those items to make them work, and that wasn't much of a problem before because you could always trade them. But nowadays you'll end up in groups with people who aren't from the same server as you and therefore can't trade things between you. Make sure whoever gets the Shaft of Tsol from Revelosh grabs the Gn'kiv Medallion from the chest, or you probably won't be able to summon Ironaya. Most of the instance is quite easy though, only the Stonevault Troggs generally pose any trouble.
Here you can find the Lost Vikings as bosses, and they'll drop a nice shield for you! Battered Viking Shield. They also drop a bow which gives hit, Baelog's Shortbow, which I strongly recommend getting. Ancient Stone Keeper, a slightly off boss which is easily missed, drops some really nice tanking gloves, Cragfists.
That's it for this level bracket, see you at level 50 where we have gotten epic mount, plate gear and one of the best tanking skills we'll get our hands on - Shield Slam.