Other Class Guides

Table of Content;
  • Prot Warrior Guide [PWG]
  • Simple Feral Cat Raid Dps Guide [FCG]
  • Simple Protection Paladin Guide [PPG]
  • Fire Mage Guide [FMG]

[PWG] – Cataclysm Prot Warrior Guide
Welcome to my guide on how to tank with your warrior. I will take you through different talents, skills, glyphs and stats and also how you could go about tanking things with a suggestion on ”rotation”. This guides focus lies in being an easy access to what warrior tanking is all about, and what changes have been made in Cataclysm so that you can feel comfortable with getting started with your warrior tank right away. 
If you're only interested in getting started at level 15 with some easy pointers on what to think about, you could check out my guide on that matter here.

This is an ongoing project that will be updated as changes occur. Last update on 15/6-11.

Table of Content
  1. Introduction
  2. Talents (15/6)
  3. Skills (15/6)
  4. Rotation (21/5)
  5. Glyphs (2/3)
  6. Stats (6/2)
  7. Reforging (6/2)
  8. Gems (3/3)
  9. Addons (15/6)
  10. Resources

Some changes in 4.0 were to tanks in general and some to warriors specifically. Generally, all tanks have noted a significant loss in aoe-threat, and also a ramp-up time in threat-generation. That means that if you used to tank pre-patch you'll now notice a definite change in the easiness to keep aggro. It has been considerably nerfed. Pre-patch a Thunder Clap often sufficed to keep good threat for the first couple of seconds while you started spreading your threat-love around. This is no longer the case. In fact you'll probably have trouble keeping aggro even after using most of your threat-skills, especially when tanking several mobs. One-two skills per mob is not enough to hold aggro anylonger.

Single target threat has taken a blow too, but not as much as aoe-threat. Warriors have a good initial-aggro skill in Shield Slam and keep good initial threat in raids as compared to Paladins and Dk's.

All tanks have also seen the implementation of something called Vengeance. Vengeance does ”Each time you take damage, you gain 5% of the damage taken as attack power, up to a maximum of 10% of your health. ”. This is mostly what people are talking about when they say that tanks now have a ramp-up time for getting to their maximum output of threat. Not until you've stacked full Vengeance do you do the most threat with your skills. Warriors have less trouble with this than for example Prot Paladins, since we can use Vigilance to stack Vengeance faster (also Paladins have to stack Holy Power for optimal threat which further increases their ramp-up time).

Warriors specifically have seen their rage going through some changes. Blizzard have done a ”rage normalization” which is what they call anything that changes the way you generate threat basically. Before 4.0, rage was generated based on the amount of damage you did with your weapons and the amount of damage you took from being hit by mobs. For tank warriors this didn't work very well, because the better your gear got (aka the less damage you took from being hit by mobs) the less rage you got. Post 4.0 rage instead gives a fixed amount on each auto-attack swing when you're doing damage, and an amount based on your max hp when you're taking damage. This means the better your gear becomes (aka the more hp you get) the more rage you will get from being hit. You can read more about these changes here. Overall rage works better now. We generate it easier and most importantly it doesn't seem to decay as fast.

Right now we see ourselves in a tricky position because we are still in the borderline between two playstyles. The old playstyle where threat was fairly easy and dpsers could just nuke their brains out, and the new playstyle where dpsers actually have to mind their threat. Many dpsers haven't understood what state the new threat is in, and will nuke just as before. Hopefully they will learn sooner rather than later that that is a playstyle of old and that it won't work in Cataclysm.

The differences between raid- and instance-tanking are small, the main difference being choice of gear generally. For instance-tanking you can go with dps/threat-stats a little more, for raid-tanking you'd mostly want to go with survivability-stats. Overall however, and this is especially true for heroics, survivability will be the best way to go. Things are alot tougher than they used to be. Since the talent trees have been consolidated we mostly use the same talents when leveling and in end-game as well. For more information check the ”Talents” and ”Glyphs” section.

To get some general pointers on how to tank an instance nice and smooth, you could check out this post I wrote on the matter.

True & False about warrior tanking
Warriors are the only true tanks.
If you still think this, you live in the middle ages. All tank classes (dk, paladin, druid and warriors) have their strength and weaknesses, but in current content they all perform very equal. It mostly comes down to the skills of the player.

Warrior tanking needs stance dancing.
A long time ago alot of useful skills used to be available to tanking warriors only if they switched stance momentarily to either Battle or Berserker Stance. Blizzard eventually realized that this made warrior tanking unecessarily difficult, especially when compared to the other tanks and have made most useful tanking-tools available in Defensive Stance as well. One example is Charge. Nowadays, stance dancing is basically never used anymore.

Warrior tanking is the most difficult.
Whether something is difficult or easy depends alot on the player. It also depends on situation. Difficult in what area? Threat or survivability? Aoe threat or single target? Warrior tanking is probably the most complex of the four tanking classes (paladin being the easiest), but this also means there are several ways to solve a tanking situation. Some find this to make the class more dynamic and easier to use, some find it more difficult. Warriors do lack in some areas that may make tanking feel more difficult at times, most notably ranged threat.


What's so lovely about speccing a prot warrior is that you can tailor it a lot to suit your tanking style. If you prefer doing dungeons, pvp or raids, if you want more aoe or single target threat, want to focus on survivability or threat - there is a talent for you. Here is a rundown on my thoughts on each talent and what they're best used for.
Protection Tree
Incite: Heroic Strike isn't as important as it was before, and in instances we'd probably rather use Cleave than Heroic Strike. If you'll do instances I'd go with Blood & Thunder instead, for raiding you'll probably have better use of Incite.
Toughness: Armor has been nerfed in 4.0, making it less valuable than post 4.0. This is still a decent talent, and definitely better than the alternative (Blood & Thunder, see below).
Blood & Thunder: Whether you like this talent or not is mostly up to you. Tanking works absolutely ok without it at max level. B&T is mostly situational so that when you do need to keep aggro on a lot of mobs, this is very handy handy (as is the case in some few raid fights). I do actually recommend this talent for lower levels and for instancing in general since it deals a good amount of damage and is good aoe threat, until you eventually might decide on doing raids where aoe threat is of less importance.

Shield Specilization: Rage will probably not be an issue in raids,  but can still be in heroics, so this talent is as useful as you think it is. If you have big problems with rage starving, this will be one of your best talents to solve that issue. If you don't think you have much trouble with rage, it could be worth moving some points from this talent to things that seem more worthwhile.
Shield Mastery: Shield Block and Shield Wall are among our most important tank cooldowns (Shield Wall mostly for raiding however), lowering the cooldown on these skills are definitely something we want to do. The lower the cooldowns on these skills, the more survivability you'll have (as long as you use the cooldowns of course). This means you can use Shield Wall even if you're not on the brink of death, just to ease up for the healers. The less they have to focus on you, the more they can focus on someone else. There is no such thing as too many cooldowns.
Hold the Line: Block is something of a defining property of warrior tanking, and something Blizzard always want us to use as much as possible. Before Cataclysm block was inferior because it never worked as well as pure avoidance. Blizzard have made some tweaks to how block works however, and this is a good talent since it also increases your threat somewhat after a parry.
Gag Order: A great talent for when leveling and instance-tanking. Less useful when raiding since the tank rarely is responsible for silencing anything. Reduced cooldown on Heroic Throw is nice, but also something that is used more in Instances than in Raids.

Last Stand: A good tanking cooldown, especially when combined with Enraged Regeneration (which you won't get until level 76 however).
Concussion Blow: Currently our highest threat skill, and also a prerequisite for Vigilance. Any tank should take this talent. Should be used on each cooldown when tanking bosses.
Bastion of Defense: Has replaced defense as a stat against crit immunity. This means you're not a tank without this talent.
Warbringer: Allows us to use charge, intercept and intervene in Defensive Stance and in combat. This is great for utility tanking and should be talented by all tanks.

Improved Revenge: Revenge is one of our most important threat skills and it wouldn't be half as useful or good if we didn't take this talent.
Devastate: Devastate had its glory days back in Burning Crusade. Since then its usage has dwindled from being the bread and butter skill to being a filler skill when everything else is on cooldown or you are low on rage. Honestly I think you could do just fine without it, but for one talent point it is still a fairly strong and useful talent (and it does deal more threat than Sunder Armor).
Impending Victory: More useful when raiding than when doing instances, but generally a pvp-talent. As a lowbie tank you can expect to get the killing blow occasionally, and use Victory Rush as a way to get some extra health or threat. In raids we don't switch targets as often so this talent could be our best shot at getting to use Victory Rush but even on a well-geared tank this extra health would make a minor difference and these talent points are better spent elsewhere.

Thunderstruck: Best for aoe-threat which mostly means instance-tanking. Since aoe-threat is what we're currently having issues with, we'll like anything to help us out in that area. Less useful when raiding.
Vigilance: Vigilance has seen some changes. It no longer reduces threat on the target (and it doesn't reduce damage taken anymore either) but instead mainly works as a source of Vengeance for you. It also refreshes your cooldown on taunt when your Vigilance target is being struck, which will be a nice aid for tank-switching bosses. As such it is a well spent 1 tp and should be used on a fellow tank. Some tanks are (and always have) questioned the usefulness of Vigilance, and for instances you wouldn't be wrong to move this talent point elsewhere.
Heavy Repercussions: Great for extra threat, and we can never get too much of that.

Safeguard: The situations where this is useful are rare, on the other hand when used correctly this talent can make alot of difference. The best way to use it is on a target that you know will take a big blow (mostly another tank in a raid situation). It's not very useful for instances and it's tricky to use for raids, so you have to decide for yourself if this talent will have any use for you.
Sword and Board: Works basically the same as it did pre-patch and as such it is one of our best talents for extra threat.

Shockwave: Best for instancing, but a good tanking skill overall.
Arms Tree
War Academy: War Academy is a typical threat skill, and if you really want to boost your threat you could go for this. Personally I prefer a good mix of threat and survivability, and wouldn't choose this talent over other I think more useful.
Field Dressing:  6% extra healing taken is great, because it is a straight up buff to all and any healing received by you from someone. I'd only skip this if I knew I was in an environment where survivability really wasn't an issue, ever.
Blitz: This is a "comfy"-talent, meaning that it makes your pulls slightly more convenient and manageable in dungeons. You won't see much use for this in raids. If you like those extra rage at the start of a pull and being able to make sure a couple more mobs stand still for your initial skills, this is a great talent. It depends on how you tank, personally I like it.

Fury Tree
Blood Craze: Blood Craze works best when you expect to take alot of blows, since it increases its uptime significantly. This means that it is less useful on slow, hardhitting bosses, but quite useful in dungeons where you can expect to be hit from several targets quite often. It actually does provide a fair amount of extra healing.
Battle Trance: The rage gain from this talent is very low, and you should only take this talent if you're desperate for more rage.
Cruelty: Also a slight threat increase, but very slight.

Deep Wounds: The extra damage from this is unfortunately quite low, only around 1-3% depending on gear (more in raids where you can expect to have higher crit). If extra threat and damage is all you're after, this will still give you some extra oomph.

Raid Spec

For an instance spec I'd move points from Cruelty, Incite and Safeguard to Gag Order and Blood & Thunder and Thunderstruck. Could also move one point from Vigilance to Blitz.

Threat Skills
Challenging Shout: You don't use this often, but when you do you'll be damn glad you have it.
Cleave: No longer on-swing. Works exactly like Heroic Strike but on several targets instead, and should be used accordingly (aka Cleave as rage-dump when fighting several targets, Heroic Strike when fighting one). This is your new best aoe threat skill and you will find yourself using this alot in random instances.
Devastate: Has a rather low threat in itself, but does have a chance to proc Sword And Board, which means using it will increase your threat overall. Nonetheless it's not worth using if you have Revenge or Shield Slam off cooldown and a Sunder Armor stack (or equivalent) already applied to your target (stacking sunder armor debuff is only worth doing on raid bosses). This means we don't use Devastate all that often, especially not in endgame, but it is nice to have around for when you're waiting for everything else to come off cooldown.
Heroic Strike: No longer on-swing. A rage-dump skill and also a good single-target threat skill. As soon as you find yourself with alot of rage (+60-70) you should use this. As it has its own gcd you can use it while using another skill, which is important to keep in mind.
Heroic Leap: This is a great skill to get inital aggro on a bunch of mobs (unless one of them is being ccd, in which case you should avoid this). Use this instead of Charge if it safe to do so.
Rend: Not worth using while tanking at endgame. Too slow and low threat to be worth it. At lower levels this is a decent damage dealer for when questing however and especially useful on runners. Before Revenge this is our best aor-threat.
Revenge: One of your best threat-skills, should be used every cooldown whether you're fighting one or several targets.
Sunder Armor: Before you get Devastate, this is a good skill for single-target threat. Once you get Devastate, you have no need for Sunder Armor anymore.
Taunt: Works exactly like before, but you'll probably have to use it more often. Can also be used as a means of pulling mobs, especially before you get Warbringer. This talent can not miss any longer!
Thunder Clap: Although this has been significantly nerfed, this is still one of our most important aoe threat skills. In lower levels this used to be all you needed to use to keep aggro, basically all the way up to 80. This is no longer the fact, but when tanking several mobs this is still worth using every cooldown. Since it also reduces attack speed on the affected targets by 20%, this is good to keep up on any boss that isn't already affected by this kind of debuff.
Victory Rush: Could be counted as a survivability skill, but you'll mostly use this either when questing or when tanking as a lowbie before you've gotten any of the real threat skills. This becomes less and less useful as you level on.

Utility Skills
Battle Shout: Has replaced Bloodrage as our out of combat rage generator, and is also a really nice buff. You should keep it up at all times (until you get Commanding Shout). For instances, depending on that buffs the rest of your group provides, Battle Shout is probably more worth keeping up than Commanding Shout.
Berserker Rage: Mostly used in the same way as before, that is as a means to remove any fears/saps or incapacitating effects that may come our way when tanking. Can also be used as a way to get some extra threat if you really find yourself needing that.
Charge/Intercept/Intervene: Although they don't do exactly the same thing, they will be used for basically the same purpose – your positioning. Your goal is to be where the action is so you can prevent people from dying, these will be your main tools to achieve that goal.
Commanding Shout: Has replaced Bloodrage as our out of combat rage generator, and is also a really nice buff. Depending on whether you want survivability or threat, you could alternate between this and Battle Shout.
Demoralizing Shout: Has never been especially good for threat (although back in Vanilla this was considered a half-decent aoe-threat skill), but provides an awesome debuff. Less important in instances where things die so quickly anyway, but in raids this should be up all the time as long as no one else in the raid already applies this buff.
Disarm: Blizzard occasionally designs bosses around the need of disarming them. Unless that is the case, disarming isn't very useful (many bosses aren't even disarmable). But it's not a wasted gcd, so if the boss is disarmable, disarming will lower his damage somewhat for a short time.
Intimidating Shout: Aka Intimate Dating Shout. Very situational since fearing is something you rarely want to do in instances/raids. Mostly used for pvp.
Heroic Throw: Best used to get threat on something standing too far away for you to hit on, or to silence a caster.
Shield Bash: Whenever you need to silence/interrupt something, Shield Bash is your way to go. A great skill for collecting casters, and should be used as often as needed. Silencing casters usually gives good threat as well.
Spell Reflect: I've always said tanks use this way too little when tanking, and I'll say it again. Pve tanks use this way too seldom when tanking. This is a great way to get initial aggro on some caster while taking care of another caster or otherwise handle hardhitting spells. Use this more often than you need just for the heck of it, just to get into the practice of using it when you really need it.

Survivability Skills
Enraged Regeneration: Because of how this works, it is best used in combination with Last Stand. It's not wasted on its own however.
Last Stand: Because of how this works it is best used in combination with Enraged Regeneration. It's not wasted on itw own however.
Shield Wall: With the proper talents, Shield Wall has a measly 2 minute cooldown and should be used any time you know you will take more damage than usual, or at every cooldown if you know you'll take about the same damage the whole fight. In raids, reducing your damage taken is never wasted. When instancing, using Shield Wall is usually a little overkill unless you just did a humongous overpull.

Warrior tanking has never been about using a certain rotation of skill to acquire the most threat. Instead we have to keep track of which skills generate the most threat, and use those skills whenever they come off cooldown or proc. Since 4.0 threat is more based on the amount of damage your skills do, than some hidden theat modifier, which makes it slightly easier to figure out which skills are most worth using. Simply put we could use our recounts to find out what does the most threat. Some skills are used not because they do high threat, but because they have some utility use, like demoralizing shout. The skills not worth using aren't mentioned in the list, like Rend. I don't have any hard numbers on which skills generate the most threat after 4.0, but based on experience a rough guess would be; Satrina over at tankspot.com has provided us with the threat-values for 4.0, and Porcell was nice enough to dig it out for us;
  1. Concussion Blow
  2. Shield Slam
  3. Heroic Throw
  4. Revenge
  5. Devastate
  6. Heroic Strike
  7. Cleave
  8. Shockwave
  9. Thunder Clap
  10. Demoralizing Shout
My old guess was;
  1. Shield Slam
  2. Concussion Blow
  3. Revenge
  4. Devastate
  5. Heroic Strike
  6. Cleave
  7. Shockwave
  8. Thunder Clap
  9. Demoralizing Shout
This means that Heroic Throw is supposed to be part of our rotation.
In raids;
  1. Keep Commanding Shout up (unless someone else is already providing that buff)
  2. Keep Demoralizing Shout up (unless someone else is already providing that debuff)
  3. Keep Thunder Clap up (unless someone else is already providing that debuff)
  4. Use Shield Slam on each cooldown/proc
  5. Use Concussion Blow on each cooldown
  6. Use Revenge on each cooldown
  7. Use Heroic Throw on each cooldown, (unless you know there will be extra mobs coming that you want to apply a fresh stack of Sunder Armor to, in which case you might want to save this).
  8. Use Heroic Strike inbetween to dump rage when needed
  9. Use Devastate to proc new Shield Slams (and to keep Sunder Armor up)

In instances;
  1. Keep Commanding Shout up (unless someone else is already providing that buff)
  2. (Use Rend if you have Blood & Thunder Talent)
  3. Use Thunder Clap on each cooldown
  4. Use Shockwave on each cooldown
  5. Use Shield Slam on each cooldown/proc
  6. Use Revenge on each cooldown
  7. Use Cleave/Heroic Strike inbetween to dump rage when needed
  8. Use Devastate to proc new Shield Slams
  9. Demoralizing Shout and Concussion Blow can be used when needed.
A typical instance pull for me looks like this;
  1. Use Commanding Shout
  2. Make sure you have a plan for how to handle the group without breaking cc. Here is a guide on how to do that.
  3. Charge in
  4. Cleave and Rend (since Cleave is off gcd, it can be used simultaneously with Rend)
  5. Thunder Clap
  6. Shockwave
  7. Demoralizing Shout
  8. Shield Block
  9. The above priority list of skills
As for most classes, the choices of tanking glyphs are fairly easy.
Devastate: Although we don't use this skill that much, there isn't many other prime glyphs to choose from.
Revenge: Buffing one of our best tanking skills is never a bad idea.
Shield Slam: As with Revenge, buffing another of our best tanking skills isn't a bad idea either.

The major glyphs are more situational, here we might have to make some choices.
Shockwave: Best for instancing, but also good for handling trash in raids.
Cleaving (INSTANCE): Cleave is one of our best aoe-threat skills, now that Thunder Clap really doesn't cut it anymore. Glyphing it is highly recommended if you intend to do alot of instances.
Long Charge: Some raid bosses will aggro on you before you get into normal charge range, this glyph could remedy that. It's also nice in instances to get to the mobs a little bit sooner than the dpsers.
Shield Wall (RAID): For fights where you know you're going to take big hits occasionally, and rather would want a long cooldown dealing with those properly, than a short cooldown dealing with those weakly.
Thunder Clap: (INSTANCE) Great for collecting mobs in instances. Less useful in raids.
Heroic Throw: Good starter threat, especially when raiding.
Sunder Armor (INSTANCE): Useful for when tanking instances, less useful when raiding.

Nothing really interesting here.
Battle: Best for instances and lowbie tanking/questing
Demoralizing Shout: If you're the one expected to put up this debuff, this glyph is a must have.
Berserker Rage: Because there isn't much else to choose (which means if you prefer another glyph over this, go for it).
Command: Increased area of affect is useful when raiding, although this buff will most likely be provided by someone else anyway.

So to conclude;
Prime: Devastate, Revenge, Shield Slam
Major: Long Charge, Cleaving (Instances), Heroic Throw (raids), Thunder Clap (Instances) Shield Wall (when needed) otherwise Shockwave
Minor: Demoralizing Shout, Berserker Rage, Command

Prime: Devastate, Revenge, Shield Slam
Major: Shockwave, Thunder Clap, Sunder Armor
Minor: Battle or Demoralizing Shout, Berserker Rage, Command

Since defense was removed as a stat and we now get our beloved crit immunity through a talent instead, we're a little more free to choose stamina and avoidance stats than before. Hit and expertise too can get more love than before. So which stats are more important?

Stamina – Always a sure way to go. Stamina is by some considered the only ”true” tank-stat since it helps against both magic and physical damage, whereas avoidance such as dodge/parry/block only helps against physical damage. Druids for example long worked in this way, basically only stacking stamina. Blizzard have re-designed the raid-fights alot since then, and stacking stamina high and ignoring other stats would mean a tank with easy and huge dips in hp. Still, stamina is mostly what people go for. Actually now in Cataclysm, the way Vengeance and the rage changes work have made stamina an even better stat for warriors. Still, it is worth to note that just stacking stamina isn't a good idea anymore. You definitely want to keep your avoidance and block ratings up as well.
Dodge/Parry – Not only does dodge and parry not help against magic damage, it also suffers from diminishing returns. That mean the more you have, the less valuable it becomes. It's still an important stat, but usually any amount you get from gear (and that will be more now that all defense has been converted into dodge) suffices. Note however that Dodge and Parry aren't worth equally much. Because of the talent Hold the Line, Parry is actually slightly better than Dodge. Overall it is still best to convert the one you have the most in into mastery, because that will be more affected by diminishing returns.
Block – As mentioned block is something of a trademark skill of warriors (and paladins, but to a lesser extent). Blizzard have put alot of effort into making block a valuable stat for us, but only recently have they come anywhere near making it as useful as stamina or even dodge/parry. The reason is simple. Blocking an attack often meant reducing its damage by some fixed amount, say 3000 damage. Dodging/parrying an attack meant reducing its damage by 100% (since you avoided the attack alltogether). Blocks usually occured more often than dodges/parries to compensate for this fact, but in wotlk raids where bosses often hit for 10k-40k damage, block was just way underpowered for reducing overall damage taken. Warriors have something called Critical Block however, and our mastery is even affected by it, which means you have a chance to double the amount of damage that you block making block a more viable stat for damage reduction than it used to be. This means block is a great stat, but as with dodge and parry, stamina usually turns out to be way more reliable. Block does affect our damage with Shield Slam and as such it can be counted as a threat-stat as well. Blizzard have changed how block works in Cata, so that we block for greater amounts instead of small amounts more often, making it work more like the other avoidance stats.
Hit – Hit will mostly be a stat to increase your threat-output. Since our most important skill, taunt, can't miss anylonger, hit is alot less important than it was back in wrath (same goes for expertise). Focus lies instead on survivability. Because of this you should note that hit and expertise are good stats, but only as long as you feel comfortable in your survivability. For raids you can practically not get enough stamina and avoidance. For heroics however there might actually come a time when you feel like you can survive the content to your satisfaction and might want to work on your threat instead.
Expertise – Is a good threat stat. Having a good amount of expertise also lowers your damage taken since many bosses will reset their swing-timers if your attack is parried/dodged/blocked by them which means they will hit you more often. Exactly how much expertise you should collect depends alot on the rest of your gear. Doing alot of threat is second to being able to survive the content you want to play, just as with hit above. If your expertise is low you will have to hope your group can help you out. Just as with hit, you shouldn't start looking at these threat stats until you feel you've covered your avoidance stats.
Mastery - The current say on Mastery is that it is our second best stat, second only to Stamina. Many tanks right now will convert any avoidance stat on their gear (dodge/parry) to mastery because of this, and this is even more true for hit/expertise stats. I will thanks the guys over at tankspot and Kadomi at Tank Like a Girl for valuable information in this matter!

In order of importance;
  1. Stamina
  2. Mastery
  3. Parry
  4. Dodge
  5. Expertise
  6. Hit
The best reason to reforge something is to convert a less useful stat into a more useful one. What you want to remove and what you want to gain depends alot on your gear. If you've got alot of hit, but not so much expertise, it could be a good idea to reforge some of your hit into expertise, just as an example of how the system works. This also means that there is no exact way to reforge a gear, if you really want to min-max it you'll have to make small adjustments and see if you notice a difference to the better or worse, using the above priority list as a help. Like mentioned a good way to go is to stack as much mastery as possible by reforging hit/expertise into mastery. Remember that no tank-stat is useless however, so unless you're overcapped in some area or seriously lacking in another, your gear is probably good the way it is until you reach heroics. Once you reach heroics it's a good idea to reforge hit, expertise and dodge primarily into mastery.
When you're gemming you should try to collect the above mentioned stats. Unlike how it was in Wrath, we are now seeing socket bonused that might actually be worth our time. Unless the socket bonus is + 10 stats, you might actually be better off trying to match the color. That means Solid Ocean's Sapphire will be your best choice, or Defender's Demonseye for Parry + Stamina. If you want a yellow gem you could go with Puissant Dream Emerald, Mastery + Stamina
We have a choice between Austere and Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond. Since block has become such an important part of our tanking, simulations point towards Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond being slightly better than Austere. The differences are not huge however, so either will work fine!
Blue socket – Solid Ocean's Sapphire
Red socket – Defender's Demonseye
Yellow socket – Puissant Dream Emerald
Meta socket - Austere Shadowspirit Diamond or Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond

Using addons is to ease up on your tanking. Whether you want to use them or even find them necessary is up to you and your tanking style, but here are some I find helpful;

OptiTaunt: Addon that will notify your raid/party whenever you do something worth notifying. Like using a cooldown, missing a taunt (if that is even possible anylonger), or if your target is immune to taunt. Comes with a variety of settings and works for all tank classes.
TargetCharms: Gives all the raid marks in an easy to access bar, which makes it way easier to mark targets mid-combat than the default dropdown menu.
Tidy Plates - Threat Plates: The module Threat Plates to the name plate addon Tidy Plates gives you a very neat overview on your targets, allowing you to easily identify which targets you've got threat on, low threat on or no threat on among several targets. We all know how handy that can be when fighting 5 mobs. (You need the Tidy Plates addon first to be able to use this of course).

Here are couple of other bloggers who write about warrior tanking that are worth taking a look at if you'd like to know more. If you'd like to have a blog added to the list, give me a shout and I'll check it out.
[FCG] – Cataclysm Simple Feral Cat Raid Dps Guide
I finally got Love to update his old post on Feral Cat Raid Dps. With all the changes to feral cat dpsing alot of new things have come into the picture for little cats to think about. If you're interested you can check the old post out here!


After having promised Zinn to say something about ferals after 4.0.1, and after her reminding me a gazillion times, I finally decided that I had enough practical experience and knowhow to actually say something useful.

First I'll say that I like that ferals are now more accessible, and that if you're a newborn little kitten, this is actually a great time to get into it. Some have cried over ferals losing complexity, but I'd say they need to do their homework instead, as there is now a lot of room for minmaxing and timing, but it's not a must in order to get decent dps out of your furry little feline.

Back in the days only a minority could get even near their theoretical max dps, and a majority was left in the dust, because if your feral rotations fell, they fell like a house of cards.
Nowadays the rotations* are much more stable. Drop SR a few secs? No probs, you probably only lost a few autoswings, and perhaps even an OOC proc, no probs. Clipped Rake a second too early? No problems still, if you reapply your Rake with less than 3 seconds left, those 3 seconds (the last tick) will be added to your new Rake, same goes for Rip. You'll never see any crazy dips in dps if you just pool properly and run a decently tight rotation, without too much time spent away from the boss.

*They're not rotations, but I will call them that, as it's what other (easy /wink) classes call their buttonmashing

Since I'm not an active theorycrafter, and more of a guide-user than a guide-writer, I will only cite a few sources' info, and leave the indepth analysis and the extensive coverage of feraling to them, as they do it a whole lot better, and will also keep it more up to date when the Nerf Bat strikes.
(Consider this a tl;dr guide if you just want to find an introduction and random thoughts to let you find your bearings, but all the credit goes to the writers, links at the bottom).

Hit/Exp? Numbers? AARARGAGH!
Hit Rating: At level 80, in order to negate all misses on a 3 levels higher boss, you need 246 Hit, which will give you 8% Hit.
Expertise Rating: You need 6.5% dodge negation, which is 200 Expertise Rating, after that you won't get any benefits at all if you're behind your target. For some unknown reason Blizz (accidentally?) lowered the Dodge on the 83 bosses to 5.75%, which means that you need 177 Expertise Rating just at this moment. Might be changed at any time, so don't come after me with pitchforks and torches when the boss suddenly dodges one of your attacks and you wipe and everything explodes due to this.

You should note that you don't have to hit and exp cap yourself as a feral to deal competitive damage. In a best case scenario, perhaps, but not in the reality most of us live in.

Gemming, Reforging and all that new scary stuff you're supposed to know about all of a sudden:
There seems to be two routes for cats to go nowadays to deal damage. Either you reforge to Hit/Exp caps, plop Agi gems in your sockets, and go about your business as usual (my results weren't that impressive, but others say their numbers were ok), or you go the new and shining Bleed based way.
The short version of it is that because of us no longer having Arp, our relative stat values are now a bit more fixed, and that's why they are now actually quite useful to us.
Agi is our strongest stat, followed by mastery, and then Crit comes in, as it now benefits all our attacks, including dots.

This means that a good way to get your char back in shape would be to:
Regem all your items to Agility, Reforge all your items Haste (unless Haste is a lot lower than the Crit of that item) into Mastery, and put a Nightmare Tear into your best blue socket. If you have many yellow sockets, and you are not near BiS (as BiS most likely will have you crit capped anyway), you should also consider using Deadly Ametrines (Agi/Crit) in your yellow sockets, as the small difference in stat value can nowadays be outweighed by the bonus.

There are a couple of glyph slots left up to choice now, but the ones that increase your damage the most are these:
Glyph of Rip and Glyph of Shred, clearly stronger than all the others, as both of them increase your best damage skill by a substantial amount. My third glyph of choice is Glyph of Savage Roar. It increases the amount of damage that your Savage Roar increases your autoattacks with by 5%, so from 50% to 55%. Not especially strong considering your melee is only something like 15% of your damage according to Recount. But still a solid buff. The other alternatives for your third Prime would be TF and Berserk, but both of them have drawbacks that make them less useful.
Glyph of Feral Charge. Because flying cats are awesome. Some say that charging and Ravaging is a dpsgain. I say that... meh, /care. A few fractions of a percent isn't what I'm here for.
The two other Major's can be pretty much anything you want, as long as you DO NOT take Ferocious Bite glyph. It is a dpsloss, since the extra energy you save will only in the end be spent on Shreds that have worse DPE.
Glyph of Dash. For mobile fights like for example Professor Putricide, being able to run fast, and better yet, to run fast often, is a substantial damage increase.

And finally, the meat of the show, the rotation, with a bit of discussion. Like I said the last time though; "The idea isn't to keep your "rotations" perfect, since that is impossible, but don't let that get you down - instead try to break the lowest priority rule":


  1. Keep your debuffs up. Faerie Fire can be applied when engaging the boss, and you can refresh it with any of the several unused gcds you will have during its uptime. No problems here. And you must also keep Mangle up. Don't be afraid to clip a couple of seconds if you see that you will need to refresh Rake, Rip or that you will have to move. The duration of Mangle is 60 secs, and its Damage per Energy is actually half-decent now.
  2. Tigers Fury, make sure you're under 40 energy, or better yet, below 30 to give you some breathing room. A trick here is to use the 15% damage buff from TF to give your Rake/Rip some extra kick, and that means that if your Rake or Rip is just about to fall off, delay your TF a second or two. (Some say it's a damage loss in reality, and that only sims show an increase, but still; lots of room for minmaxing here, if that's your cup of tea).
  3. Berserk, this can be saved for burn phases and the like, and should also be delayed if your TF will come off soon, as you can first pop TF and then Berserk to get the 15% extra damage for all those Shreds.
  4. Ferocious Bites when the boss is at or below 25%, since your Blood in the Water talent will now refresh Rip's duration. Strangely enough this does not reset your Shred glyph, so you can't extend this new Rip with Shreds, but will have to Bite to refresh it again.
  5. Shred on clearcast. Personally I often disregard this rule and instead reapply Rake if that's what's needed, because the dps gain is minimal and I'd rather simplify it slightly and pay more attention to my movement and stuff like that.
  6. Rip, 5 combo points. My Rip usually accounts for some 30-33% of my total damage. That's one badass dot if you ask me.
  7. Rake. Some try to time it so that every second Rake gets a TF boost. This can be done since the cd of TF is twice that of a talented Rake. If you plan ahead in your rotations, and follow the rules of TF, this should happen anyway.
  8. Savage Roar. Woot! Talk about falling from grace. Roar is still good dps, but nothing relies on it anymore, so the other rules take precedence. Should still have a pretty high uptime, guessing something like 90-95%. Use at any combo amount, but 5 is best.
  9. Ferocious Bite. The prodigal son returns! Use when you have enough time left on Rip and Roar, and have 5 combopoints. 10 seconds left on both is a good and even number to remember.
  10. Shred to gain combopoints. The old usual guidelines apply: Pool to ~80 energy before doing this, as you want to be ready to refresh other skills when needed.

If you're unsure of what talents to pick, then Blizzard did their job. It was their stated goal to have fewer must-haves, and more utility talents. A fairly standard template could be something like this:

Most of the info comes from:
Covers all aspects of feraling and if you're hungry for more theorycrafting or indepth analysis of skill and talents, you really should give them a read. No, actually, give them a read anyway. They're both great. And if you're even slightly interested in feraling, you should also add http://fluiddruid.net/ to your blog reader, or just bookmark it if you're a bit more oldschool ;)

Have fun fellow cats, and remember the words of the wise Alamo:

[PPG] – Cataclysm Simple Protection Paladin Guide
Here is a simple guide that will take you through the recent changes made to the prot paladins in 4.0. All the tank classes saw alot of changes with 4.0, but prot paladins maybe more than the others. I will take you through the basics, so you can get started with your tanking right away without having to trial and error your way through your new arsenal of skills.

If you're new to prot paladin tanking I suggest you read this guide through to get a general understanding on what prot paladin is all about. You won't have all the skills at level 15, when you can be expected to start tanking, but the essentials are there. There is one big difference though, you'll use Crusader Strike instead of Hammer of the Righteous, since you don't get HotR until level 29. When you start out there are only a few things you need to keep track of;
  • Keep Righteous Fury buff up.
  • Keep Seal of Righteousness up.
  • Use Avenger's Shield to pull and hold aggro on several targets.
  • Use Crusader Strike to do threat on single targets.
  • Use Judgements to regenerate mana.
  • Use Word of Glory if someone needs a heal (which will most likely be yourself).

You've probably heard all about some of the changes already. Holy Power, ramp up times, procs. These are all new things to us, but how important are they to master to do a good job? Let me just say you can relax, it's all easier than it seems at a first glance. The major changes to paladin tanking are good ones, at least in my opinion. Instead of a rigid rotation we now have procs and synergies to keep an eye on.

Threat has become more troublesome however, there is no reason to deny it because you'll notice it at once (unless this is the first time you tank as a paladin). Unlike warriors, paladins don't have a good initial singe-target threat skill anymore, and keeping aggro those first seconds is alot trickier than it used to be. Where a warrior (I don't know about dk's and druids yet) can use Shield Slam we have to combine the use of alot of small threat-skills like Holy Wrath, Hammer of the Righteous, Avenger's Shield and even Consecration for our initial threat. So even if all tank classes have a ramp-up time to high threat, due to how Vengeance works, this seems especially true for paladins since we also have to stack Holy Power for best threat.

Holy Power  
Is a sort of combo point system. We gather Holy Power from using one set of skills so that we can use another set of skills. Holy Power can be stacked up to 3 times and each power lasts for 30 seconds. So if you have 3 stacks it takes 90 seconds before they all disappear. Anyone who's ever played a rogue or feral cat or even death knight knows the deal with this one, although there are differences of course, and it's not particularly tricky.

You get Holy Power
from using Hammer of the Righteous, so this skill is still among your most important. HotR has also sort of replaced Consecration as our main aoe-damaging attack. It deals low aoe damage affecting an unlimited amount of targets around you, much like thunder clap. HotR should be used at every cooldown to gather Holy Power.

We use Holy Power on two different things. Most importantly on Shield of the Righteous. SotR is our main single-target threat skill. The more Holy Power you have gathered with HotR, the harder you will hit with SotR, and trust me you'll hit pretty dang hard with it when you've got three stacks. If you've talented properly, and a suggestion on tank spec will follow, using SotR will also grant you 15% shield block for 20 seconds.

We can also use Holy Power on Word of Glory, which is an instant heal. You will use this skill considerably less than SotR, but it will be damn handy when you're taking alot of damage in a raid environment so it should be counted as part of your tanking arsenal and tanking cooldowns. This is a choice we can make and that we should make the rest of the group (especially in a raid) aware of. You'll either do good threat, or heal yourself, and we'll most likely have to do both in a regular raid encounter.

The skills
Your most important tanking skills will be, by name anyway, pretty much the same as before. But they do new things now, and you have to keep track of them to be able to use them all efficiently.

Threat Skills
Hammer of the Righteous - Like mentioned this is now an aoe attack that deals small damage to everything around you. It is your only source of Holy Power income. With the right talent HotR will also have a 20% chance to reset the cooldown on your Avenger's Shield. You should use HotR on every cooldown.

Shield of the Righteous - Becomes available once you have at least 1 Holy Power. It deals a big blow on a single target making it good for single-target threat. It also increases your block chance by 15% for 20 seconds (Holy Shield). Because of this it is wise to use it as soon as possible. Once you've got your Holy Shield up you can make the choice to stack Holy Power for harder blows or use SotR as often as possible for more, smaller blows. It depends a little on what you're fighting. The thing is that each point of Holy Power increases the damage (and thus threat) with SotR significantly. The first increases by 20%, the second by 60% and the third by 120%. Saving to three Holy Power when fighting a boss for example is therefore more threat than to save only to one for more blows.

Avenger's Shield - Has become a way more important tank-skill than it used to be. Before 4.0 AS was mostly used to pull, because of its long cooldown. Now it is supposed to be part of your standard rotation. It already has a pretty low cooldown and it has a 20% chance to be reset when using HotR meaning you'll often end up using this many times in one fight. This combined with HotR should be considered your new aoe-threat skills. It also no longer dazes targets which tbh only makes me really happy (you can glyph it to do that, but I can't see why you'd want that).

Consecration - Much less important than it used to be. One could say Avenger's Shield and Consecration have switched places in use. Now you often find yourself wanting to save Consecration in case there are some suprise adds. Consecration is still a good way to collect adds however, on fights like Lady Deathwhisper and should be saved for moment like these rather than used as a standard threat skill.

Holy Wrath - Now deals damage to any target, not just demons/undeads (but only stund demons/undeads) and should therefore be used as any aoe-threat skill.

Judgement - Is your source for mana, combined with Divine Plea and the talent Sanctuary. Judging also increases the crit chance of your next SotR by 50% (talents) which makes it a good single target threat skill in combination with SotR.

Survival Skills
People say paladins have become weaker cooldowns for survivability. This might be true, but I also think alot can be contributed to our survivability cooldowns now needing a little thinking before we use them. Instead of one big oh-shit button, we now have several smaller ones. In a way that means we don't have to be as well timed with our cooldowns as we used to be. It means we can use them more often, probably even have to use them more often. Knowing when to use your cooldowns will as always define if you're a good or bad tank, especially when raiding.

Divine Protection - Has been turned into something of a "Barkskin" for paladins. It now reduces damage taken by 20% for 10 seconds with a 1 minute cooldown. If you want to learn how to use this properly you should take a chat with a fellow druid tank, they've used this kind of skill for years. Basically it means popping it at any moment you expect to take a little more damage. If you know when that will happen, save it for then, but don't save it for too long! If you take about the same amount of damage the entire fight, use it every cooldown.
Examples of fights where you can pop it all the time: Marrowgar, Sindragosa, Saurfang.
Examples of fights where it would be good to save it: Gunship tanking Muradin, Deathwhisper picking up adds, LK for whenever adds/boss hits harder.

Ardent Defender - People say it is les good now. Most importantly it now needs you to actually think for it to work, but yes it has also become weaker. Ardent Defender is like a weaker Guardian Spirit. Because it has a longer cooldown it should be saved for when you really expect to die. This is difficult to know of course, and can only be based on experience. Remember that the 15% heal you get from it isn't much at all, so this should be combined with Divine Protection for example if you really find yourself in a situation where you take alot of damage.

We have four different seals to choose from.
Seal of Insight - If survivability is more important than threat, this is a great tank seal as it heals you when you judge and swing. You have to evaluate the situation and decide between more threat or more survivability.
Seal of Justice - Pvp-seal.
Seal of Righteousness - Is replaced by Seal of Truth as a tanking seal at level 44.
Seal of Truth - Just as Seal of Vengeance was the best tanking seal pre-patch, seal of Truth takes its place as the best tanking seal post-patch. They work about the same, doing both good aoe and single-target threat.

Tanking Rotation

There is really no such thing anymore. Instead we have a set of priorities and synergies to keep track of, depending on the fight.

Instances (aoe threat):
Pull: Avenger's Shield - HotR - SotR 1HP for Holy Shield - Holy Wrath - and then;
  1. HotR each cooldown
  2. Keep Holy Shield up with SotR
  3. Avenger's Shield each cooldown
  4. Holy Wrath each cooldown
  5. Judge for mana if needed

Raid (single target threat)
Pull: Avenger's Shield - HotR - SotR 1HP for Holy Shield - Consecrate - and then;
  1. HotR each cooldown, stack HP to 3
  2. Judge before using SotR (preferrably between your 2nd and 3rd HotR cooldown).
  3. Use SotR as soon as you've reached 3 stacks (or heal yourself with Word of Glory if that seems more necessary).
  4. Avenger's Shield each cooldown
  5. Consecrate each cooldown

And of course, use survivability cooldowns where necessary.

As with any tank we are choosing talents that either help us survive or help us do threat. Some talents are needed for the abovementioned synergy effects for example. Here is a suggestion on a tanking spec at level 80.

Some talents are open for discussion;
Reckoning - Ever since Blizzard changed it so that our white damage became less important for our threat generation, this has become a less important talent for us to pick. I am assuming hitting faster would make us stack Seal of Truth Censur stacks faster as well, but I don't think that would make a big enough difference on our threat to warrant putting talents here instead of at other places where they are better needed.
Judgements of the Pure - Similiar to Reckoning, I think haste is a less important stat for prot paladins, since most of our threat comes from skills  and not white damage.
Improved Hammer of Justice - HoJ is with the talent Vindication an interrupt, which means lowering the cooldown on it could be useful. But since we already have Avenger's Shield as an interrupt with only 15 sec cooldown (resetable with talents) it seems like overkill/pvp to want this as well.

Seal of Truth - Gives 10 expertise when SoT is active.
Hammer of the Righteous - Increases damage with HotR by 10%.
Shield of the Righteous - Increases damage with SotR by 10%.

Divine Plea - DP grants 5% more total mana. Since mana isn't much of an issue anyway this won't do much for us, but there isn't much of an alternative.
Holy Wrath - Now also stuns Dragonkin and Elementals.
Consecration - SITUATIONAL: Increases duration and cooldown on Consecration by 20%.
Focused Shield - SITUATIONAL: Avenger's Shield only hits one target but for 30% more threat. Could be good for raid-tanking.
Divine Protection - SITUATIONAL: Divine Protection reduces magic damage by 40% instead of all damage by 20%. If we ever get a fight where magic damage is the big issue, this could become an interesting glyph to have handy.

Lay on Hands - Reduces cooldown on LoH by 2 minutes.
[Free to choose] - The other minor glyphs barely make a difference, but I'd probably go with Kings and Truth.

Stamina has always been among the most important stats for tanks. Now that armor has gotten a nerf and we stack attack power based on our max hp, this is even more true than it was pre-patch. Also, stats like dodge and parry are subject to diminishing returns (you can't 100% dodge or parry), but stamina isn't. We also no longer need defense (and the stat doesn't exist anymore anyway) to become crit capped, but get this through a talent instead. This means gemming and collecting gear towards gathering alot of stamina always is a safe way to go.
Expertise is less important for paladins than most other tanks, since most of our skills are magical and therefore can't be blocked, dodged or parried. This means hit becomes more important for us. Expertise is still an important stat and overall paladins have to collect a nice amount of both. Blizzard have tried to help us out by giving us glyph of Seal of Truth (see above) which gives 10 expertise when using SoT. 10 expertise is still far from cap, but it gives us a chance to focus a bit more on hit. You should try to collect at least 5% hit.
For reforging it depends a little on your current gear. Note that you will want to keep a balance to your stats however. Just because one stat is higher on the importance list than another doesn't automatically mean you want to change all of the one into the other. It is important to keep a nice amount of all of the above. If you're hit capped, hit is a otherwise good stat to convert to Mastery.

In order of importance;
  1. Stamina
  2. Mastery
  3. Dodge/Parry
  4. Hit
  5. Expertise
[FMG] – Fire Mage Guide
This is a new and updated version of my old fire mage guide that I wrote back at the end of Wrath. Fortunately, fire mages work pretty much the same as they did back then, so you who have read my old version will recognize alot of things. There have still been some small, but important, changes to how fire mages work which I will mention, also the glyphs/gems section is updated for Cataclysm of course.

Table of Content
- Introduction
- Talents
- Glyphs
- Stats
- Gems
- Rotation
- Resources

What role does the fire mage have? How does it differ from the other mage specs and what can you expect from playing a fire mage?
More than any of the other mage-specs, fire mage is about dot-damage. In fact it is so important that our mastery affects nothing else. Alot of fire mage talents focus around spreading this fire damage and getting increased stats when more than 2 targets are affected by our debuffs. What does this mean for our playstyle?

The ”problem” with fire mage used to be that doing aoe-damage is part of our core-mechanics and standard rotations. Some of our most important talents depend on us being able to do aoe-damage. Back in Wrath this was more of an issue, but in Cataclysm there are plenty of fights that will allow the fire mage damage to get to their full potential. Basically any raid boss has some sort of aoe component to the fight, which allow us to get full use of our talents and skills. However, even though this is alot less of an issue now, it still means that playing a fire mage means you have to learn how to keep track of more than one target to deal optimal damage and that you will deal less damage whenever you only have one target.
The other issue with fire mages is that they are heavily dependant on crit, which gives an ”rng” feeling to the class. Your damage output can vary greatly depending on your crit streaks. Increasing your crit will reduce the rng feeling of course, but because of how crit works (either you get one or you don't, unlike haste which always affects all your casts) this is something that may annoy and frustrate players at time. On the other hand this could also be a reason for great fun with the fire mage – dealing decent damage without crits and awesome damage with crits.

Fire mage is arguably the best mage spec for moving dps. We have several skills that work while running (Flamestrike, LB, Blast Wave, and Scorch) that are unique to our spec. Fire mages are heavy on the mana, but are also the only mage spec that can cast spells when completely oom, thanks to Improved Scorch. This adds another level of planning to the spec. Because of the fact that Blizzard have designed most raid bosses to work greatly with the fire mage fighting style, fire mages are a really strong class in raiding right now. Fire mages are fairly easy to learn but difficult to master, allowing for great depth and potential. If you enjoy a challenge that really pays off, fire mage is definitely the spec for you!

Because of the above-mentioned issues, there are also some issues to how we would want to place our talents. Since some talents actually require us to have multiple targets they are essentially useless at any time that we don't have multiple targets. This also means the loss of alot of synergy between talents. There is also some difference between speccing a raiding mage and an instancing mage (this isn't a guide for pvping mages though).

Main Tree
Tier 1
Master of Elements: Although mana has become less of an issue than it was some patches ago, it's still something we have to keep an eye on. Since we really don't want to use Spirit (read more about stats further down) our main income for mana and resources for mana management will be talents like this.
Burning Soul: Because Fire Mage is alot about throwing Fireballs, any cast time lost is dps lost. This all depends on how big an issue you taking damage is. In instances this usually is less of a problem but some boss aoe-mechanics also have spell knock-back mechanics for instance, so even if you don't get actively hit my something you might be passively.
Improved Fire Blast: This isn't a bad talent, but overall we use Fire Blast too little for it to be worth the points.
Tier 2
Ignite: CORE TALENT. You are useless as a fire mage without this.
Flame Power: 3% extra damage straight off is awesome. Exploding Fire Orbs means more aoe damage.
Blazing Speed: You shouldn't be hit by melee or ranged attacks in pve (and if you do in raids you're usually dead anyway). This is a pvp talent.
Impact: This talent is in synergy with the talent Pyromaniac (see further down). One of the biggest contributors to those awesome amounts of aoe damage that fire mages can push out.
Tier 3
Cauterize: Since dying always is the ultimate dps-loss, this is also useful in a pve-setting. Especially in raids where there is loads of aoe damage going around that is unavoidable, and as a mage you might not always be on top priority on the healers list. Less useful for instances, I would skip this talent if you don't raid.
Blast Wave: An aoe skill which synergizes with Improved Flamestrike and Pyromaniac but will still only be useful when there are several targets. No longer has the knockback effect.
Hot Streak: CORE TALENT. There is no point in playing fire mage without this.
Improved Scorch: The usefulness of this talent depends a little on the content you're playing. Less useful in instances in instances where the fights are short enough that you won't oom. As soon as you feel you can handle most boss fights in raids without ooming, you don't need this talent much. Otherwise this is a great talent for mana management.
Tier 4
Molten Shields: This could've been an interesting utility talent for extra movement. Unfortunately the Blazing Speed effect doesn't kick in until after 30 seconds or after your Mage Ward dissipates due to absorbtion, which might make it a little difficult to time properly to actually be useful in pve.
Combustion: CORE TALENT: When used correctly this is one of your most powerful damage dealing tools.
Improved Hot Streak: CORE TALENT: You won't do any damage without this.
Firestarter: Great talent for both instances and raiding.
Tier 5
Improved Flamestrike: Aoe-talent. Synergizes with Pyromaniac, but is only useful when there are multiple targets.
Dragonbreath: Even though it has a limited range, in current raid and instance content there are plenty of opportunities to use this. It is also a prerequisite for Living Bomb.
Molten Fury: Talents like these aren't testable against dummies, but that doesn't make them less good. Great overall damage increase, especially in raids where you can expect your target to be below 35% health longer than in instances.
Tier 6
Pyromaniac: Great talent when you learn how to handle your fire mage. Requires you to have dots up on several targets, which is possible for at least periods of time on most raid bosses.
Critical Mass: 15% extra damage to one of our most important skills is awesome. 5% extra crit to our targets is also good, but often applied by someone else in a raid.
Tier 7
Living Bomb: CORE TALENT. Don't even think about not taking this.

Off Trees
Arcane Concentration: This has become alot less useful since the reduction of mana cost made to several of our most important spells.
Netherwind Presence: Haste is one of our most important stats.
Piercing Ice: We want tons of crit and thus we want this talent.


I won't talk about them all, but the interesting ones (which aren't very many unfortunately):

  • Molten Armor – Is our strongest glyph.
  • Pyroblast OR Living Bomb – The Pyroblast glyph gets better the better gear you have. If you don't proc Pyroblast often I recommend Living Bomb instead (thanks to Justin R for pointing this out!)
  • Fireball – Increasing the damage on one of your core spells is a good thing.
None of the majors change your damage in anyway, so you are pretty much free to choose. Here are some recommendations;
  • Polymorph – If you ever intend to cc, this is a good glyph to have.
  • Evocation – Being able to self heal in some way is always useful, but remember that the mana component of Evocation still is the main goal of using it.
  • [Free to choose] – Any glyph you like.
None of the minors change your damage in any way so you are free to choose any you like. I'd go with Slow Fall, Armors and Conjuring. Arcane Brilliance is also a good glyph for raiding, if you need to rebuff during combat.

As you might have noted by now, there are four very important stats for a fire mage - Crit, Haste, Hit and Int (and spellpower). Which one is more important?

Hit: Our most important secondary stat. If we don't hit with our spells, there is no meaning in even casting them. Since we no longer have any talents that give hit, we now need 17% through gear (which includes enchants and gems).
Crit: Without any crit our damage falls like a house built of cards. Crit is the very foundation of fire mage dps.
Haste: More haste = more casts = more crits = more damage.
Intellect: Our most important stat overall. Try to avoid trading intellect for another stat if you can help it. We want our spells to do a lot of damage when they hit of course. Nowadays we get spellpower through intellect. Intellect also gives us crit!

Unlike in Wrath, haste and crit are about equally good. Whether you should aim at more depends completely on your current gear, which means that if you want to min max your gear you really have to turn to number crunching or using programs like Rawr to do the numbers for you. Basically, a good balance between the two is what you should aim for. Mastery on the other hand is currently considered the weakest secondary stat, and can safely be reforged into any other stat that you need. In order of importance;

  1. Intellect
  2. Hit (to 17%)
  3. Haste/Crit (Keep a balance)
  4. Mastery

Use the above priority list to reforge any lesser stat into a better one.

Following the above rules for stats these are the best gems for us. Going for the socket bonus is overall better now than it was in Wrath, but it still doesn't mean that you should always go for the bonus. A bonus of +10 stats is for example worth ignoring (and putting a pure intellect gem there instead), unless it is 10 intellect.

Blue - 20 intellect and 20 hit Veiled Demonseye, until capped.
Red - 40 Int Brilliant Inferno Ruby
Yellow – 20 intellect and 20 Crit rating, Potent Ember Topaz or 20 intellect and 20 haste rating, Reckless Ember Topaz.
Meta – Burning Shadowspirit Diamond.

What makes Fire Mages so much fun is the lack of a dull rotation or spamming of one skill. There will be plenty of Fireball casting, but the better your gear gets the more you have to react to procs and debuffs. To do optimal dps as a fire mage you have to follow a set of rules and keep track of your buffs and debuffs.

  1. Keep Molten Armor up.
  2. Keep Critical Mass debuff up (unless someone else already is)
  3. Keep Living Bomb up. DO NOT CUT IT! Reapplying Living Bomb before it runs out is basically useless. Rather miss a second than reapply too early. It is no use applying it to a target that will die before the debuff runs out.
  4. When Hot Streak is up, use it.
  5. When Ignite, Living Bomb and Pyroblast debuff are on your target, use Combustion. (There are addons to help you keep track of this. I just use DoTimers).
  6. Spam Fireball

Skills with certain rules;
Mirror Image: The best time to use Mirror Image depends a little on the fight. Simple testing seems to show that Mirror Images are affected by your permanent stats, like your hit and spellpower. I am still unsure whether they are affected by temporary stats like procs and buffs, they seem however to be unaffected by Bloodlust, regardless of if they are cast before or after.
Impact: How to properly use Impact is a whole school of thought in itself. The best way to use Impact is when you have strong dots on one target among several others. Use Impact to spread that damage to the other targets for great amounts of aoe damage. Remember that Living Bomb only is applicable to 3 targets now, meaning that if you have four or more targets and use Impact on a target with LB, it will remove LB from your current target.

Here are some great sites for more reading (if you have suggestions for more, give me a shout and I'll check it out!)
Elitist Jerks - Fire Mage Compendium