There is so much happening on the last few levels up to 80 that I thought I might as well break it up into two-level brackets, instead of the usual ten-level brackets. So I was kinda off when I told you my next post would be my last one, previously. So many instances, so much gear, so much to say!
As with level 59, you just have to quest level 69 out (or if you wanna level by instancing, look for Outland specifics). From 58+ you will be pitted into Utgarde Keep by the random dungeon tool, and you will most certainly not be ready for it, gear wise. The gear you might've found in Outlands usually doesn't cut it for UK, which is a tricky instance actually. If you want to know if you can cut it for UK I recommend at least 10.000 hp, preferrably around 12k. You don't have to be crit immune though. At level 69 this could be difficult to get up to, but at level 70 we can gear ourselves in the wonderful Cobalt set. It is a tankset, crafted by Blacksmithers and consists of Cobalt Helm, Belt, Gauntlets, Chestpiece, Boots, Triangle Shield, Bracers and Legplates, all ready to be used at level 70. It isn't very expensive, but could be difficult to find simply from AH. The best thing is to get all the mats yourself and get some BS to help you, using your "Puppy Eye" special power. If I've counted it correctly the entire set requires 35 cobalt bars to craft, which normally costs around 60g (on the servers I've checked anyway). Don't forget to add a blacksmithers fee to that, but don't let anyone fool you into paying 10g per craft or something silly like that. A 20g fee for them all is generous enough.
With the complete Cobalt Set you'll definitely be ready for UK.
EDIT: A nice tankweapon can be obtained from the escort quest "Trail of fire" (horde) or the timed quest The Shining Light (alliance) in Howling Fjord. It's called Stoneblade Slicer and gives a nice amount of stamina and expertise and will most certainly be better than whatever you've got at the moment.
EDIT (30/4): Finding good bows/guns/thrown isn't easy. We really only need them for the stats, and not at all for the damage they do. Because if that I have used Baelog's Shortbow until level 74 just because it had some hit. I found a really nice replacement however, which you can get already at level 72. It's called Sure-Fire Shuriken (who doesn't want shurikens!) and give stamina and hit. Go get!
EDIT (5/6): I stumbled upon a nice tank neck, which I wish I had known about earlier. Thick Felsteel Necklace is crafted by jewelcrafters (who know the design) and obtainable at level 70.
We've got ourselves the last minor glyph slot to fill. I recommend Glyph of Command, which increases the duration of Commanding Shout by 2 minutes. It's mostly for the convenience of not having to think about refreshing our Commanding Shout every other minute. But some convenience that is!
Another convenient glyph is Glyph of Charge which increases the range of your charge ability by 5 yards. These are both good glyphs, so it basically comes down to if you prefer to not having to shout as often, or feel like you could use those extra yards on the charge.
Like I mentioned in my previous post we've taken the most important stuff in the Protection tree now so we can go and explore some in the other tree, if we like to. This means I won't give you any specifics but some general recommendations. Deflection and Heroic Strike of the Arms tree are must-haves (Deflection in any case). I also strongly recommend you get Toughness around now. The way you decide to spec (and glyph) as a prot warrior depends on where you intend to tank. There is quite a difference to tanking heroics and raids, where heroics is alot about fast pulls and tanking many mobs whereas raid is about getting alot of threat on one mob (and take those big punches to the face). But I'll go over all that at level 80 and provide you with a typical raid tanking spec, in case you decide you want to take that path.
Myself I've taken one point into Toughness, and one point into Armored to the Teeth (I don't know why, since I was going to complete Toughness, but I must have had a blackout or something. Since I am going to take Armored to the Teeth later anyway this doesn't matter much though).
We get Shattering Throw at level 71. It is a great skill, but alas - only usable in battle stance. This means you have to stance dance to be able to use it. And not only that, unless you've talented fully into the Tactical Mastery talent (and you shouldn't have), you won't have enough rage to use it anyway after switching stances. That means you have to switch stance and then build rage to be able to use it.
So you won't use it very often when tanking (actually, never). I can see one possible use for this skill. You start out in Battle Stance, build up rage with Bloodrage and use this skill on a boss before changing stance back to Defensive Stance and charging in. But that is alot of trouble for not so much buck, since the debuff only lasts 10 seconds anyway.Of course, the most obvious reason for not using it is that the debuff, 20% less armor, is applied by your Devastate anyway, just that Shattering Throw does it at once (but for only 10 seconds, so still not very useful). Well, actually the two skills stack but seriously, 10 seconds aint worth the trouble.
For the first two levels we will get to see Utgarde Keep, as mentioned, and The Nexus. There are some quests to be had for both these instances. Two quests for UK can be acquired inside the instance, the other two have to be found in Vengeance Landing. The quests for Nexus have all to be taken at Transitus Shield (as I think it's called). As I always only quest in Howling Fjord, and never Boring Tundra, I usually don't do any Nexus quests. Most of the quests (and that goes for all the instances in Northrend) provide with nice tank gear rewards however, so if you're not as lazy as me, I recommend you try to get them.
Utgarde Keep (level 69-72)
This is a rather tricky instance. Here are some pointers;
- The initial mobs have a stun, so don't pull too many!
- The dragons do a flame breath, so try to point them away from the rest of the party.
- The Strategists place bombs on the ground that do quite alot of damage, you can try to move away from them to avoid being blasted.
- The first boss' (Prince Keleseth, who will return in ICC!) shadow bolts can not be interrupted nor spell reflected :(
- The second boss' (Dalronn) shadow bolts however, can be both interrupted and spell reflected >:) He will randomly cast it around, so don't feel like you're failing if he isn't shooting at you.
- The last boss is nasty. One of the most difficult bosses in normal instancing, at least when you're the "appropiate" level of the instance. He does a smash, which you must move from as it does a huge amount of damage. Simply sidestep, or run behind him to avoid it. When he throws his whirling axes at you (it is almost always at you for some reason) don't try to run from them, they just seem to follow and you'll just get out of sight from the healer and die. This is where you should pop your Shield Wall and maybe Last Stand cooldowns and stand it through!
There is no tank loot in Utgarde Keep.
The Nexus (level 71-73)
Nexus is a very long instance, but I like it for some reason. It has a good mix of mobs and bosses. Not to difficult and none are particularly annoying (except for one, I'll get to that).
- All mobs looking like casters (except the clerics) have silences and mana burns. When silenced you can't thunder clap, as you know. So think about that when pulling them.
- The Berserkers knock you around, so don't stand too close to other mobs when tanking them or you might pull extra.
- Commander Stoutbeard/Kolurg (depending on your faction) does a nasty whirlwind. Which you of course stand through. He is a real boss with blue drops in heroic, but not in normal unfortunately.
- After the second boss (Anomalus) you'll get to an area with alot of little flowers running around. These flowers can't be killed, just put into a non-combat mode. They will resume attack after a minute or so, until you've killed the boss of the area, Ormorok. Here run packs with trees and nymphs. The trees have a frost shield on themselves that has a chance to stun you on attack. This is the annoying mob I was talking about. If you charge in and are unlucky enough to get stunned right away, you can bet your grandmas false teeth on someone pulling alot of aggro from you. Just be ready for it. The nymphs will most likely cast a Tranquility heal when on low hp, so save Shield Bash for that.
- This is important. When facing the last boss you must never stand still. Jump all the time. Just press space bar after each skill. If you stand still for too long you will get a debuff on yourself, that stacks indefinitely and does more and more damage to you. Which is bad.
There is no tank loot in Nexus either >:/