Home > Talents & Glyphs > Tanking Specs for 4.0.1 – Warriors

Tanking Specs for 4.0.1 – Warriors

This is part 2 of a 5-part series on tanking specs in 4.0.1. I recommend you view the introduction to the series first.


Warriors are my area of expertise, or at least experience, so let’s start with them.

My Picks

Because of the complete overhaul of the rage system, warriors have a lot more yellow talents than the other tanks. How useful will Battle Trance, Incite, and Blitz be? It’s hard to say.

A few points of note on the new rage system:

  • Bloodrage has been removed. Yes, really. Something about enrage effects and the Fury rotation. Commanding Shout and Battle Shout now give 20 rage each, on a 1 minute cooldown which they will likely share with each other, though I haven’t seen any text to that effect. Berserker Rage can now be glyphed to give a small amount of rage on activation.
  • Rage from damage taken is now inversely proportional to your health pool. Again, yes, really. And with plate DPS gear creeping up on tanking gear in terms of health, an “undergeared set” like many of us currently use for the original Wrath heroics may not help much.
  • Rage from damage dealt is normalized. This means that no matter what the speed or damage of your weapon, if you hit on every swing, you have the same rps. It’s slightly more complicated with fury warriors due to dual wielding, but don’t worry about that for now.

The Blow-By-Blow

Incite – This is going to be a hotly debated talent. Heroic Strike is our rage dump, and the usefulness of the talent will therefore depend on how much excess rage we have. The crit-causing-a-crit mechanic will likely tie theorycrafters in knots, too – will Incite be better at high levels of crit, where procs are common, or at low levels of crit, where they’re less likely to be wasted?

Blood and Thunder – I adore this talent. I adore it so much and I wish that it were available for pretty much all of wrath. Aside from its totally badass name, the concept is basically Deep Wounds with more damage per tick, a longer duration, and a 100% chance to proc. That’s how awesome this is. And with the new changes to DoT refresh mechanics, we’ll never have to worry about Thunder Clapping too early and clipping ticks.

The potential problem with Blood and Thunder, though, is that as overpowered as it would have been in Wrath, we’re not playing by Wrath’s rules anymore. The devs have decreed that crowd control is to matter in Cata; and while no, you shouldn’t be Thunder Clapping near a sheeped mob, accidents do happen. Without Blood and Thunder, an accident would be fairly easy to overcome: re-sheep the mob and pull he pack further away before you use any more AoE. With B&T, your would-be sheep is now breaking out every 3 seconds to wreak havoc.

Shield Specialization – I should have colored this yellow, because it’s another talent the usefulness of which will depend on how rage is balanced. The new Shield Specialization gives 5/10/15 rage on block only – no longer on dodge or parry. While it’s sad to see those elements go, the increased rage per point (even after the points-per-level overhaul) and its continued synergy with Shield Block makes it still worth talenting. It’s unlikely we’ll ever have a use for 3/3 in Shield Spec (for PVE anyway), but 1/3 or 2/3 will probably be worth it.

Hold the Line – This talent is kind of a joke. Parries will occur with greater frequency in 4.0.1, due to our parry chance now scaling with strength (like death knights’ always have); but ultimately, the benefits are unlikely to occur often enough to justify the points. While the 10% increased chance to crit is nice, the increased chance to critical block is nearly worthless. Critical blocks occur on a two-roll system, so the 10% increased chance to critical block is actually only an increase of 10% times your block chance. Unless you have Shield Block up, the amount of your combat table converted to critical blocks will be more like 2%.

Impending Victory – Victory Rush is getting some major overhauls in 4.0.1. I believe they’re upping its damage, but more importantly, in an effort to reduce warrior downtime while leveling, they’ve tweaked it to also heal the warrior for 20% of his max health. Impending Victory is a talent that will allow us to harness that increased damage, and a reduced version of that healing, during the Execute phase of boss fights. Instead of healing for 20% it’ll only heal for 5%, but that’s still nothing to sneeze at.

Normally I’m not in favor of abilities that only matter for 20% of the fight – you probably won’t see me taking Improved Execute in my DPS spec, for example – but Impending Victory makes a lot of sense. The final 20% of the boss is when healers are most likely to be running into mana problems, needing to stretch every last point before they go OOM – and since bosses generally activate soft enrages somewhere between 20% and 35%, the 20% of the fight that Impending Victory applies to is the 20% that would need it most.

Again, this talent’s worth will depend a lot on tuning. If healer mana isn’t an issue, Impending Victory will be much less appealing.

Field Dressing – Field Dressing is an interesting talent because it buffs things that we don’t have much of. It’s a Divinity clone for warriors; but unlike Divinity in Wrath, which is worth less than it seems at first glance due to the drawbacks of protadin healing (when you’re casting you can’t dodge/parry block), warriors will get every point out of Field Dressing:

  • Normal victory rushes will heal for 25% of max health instead of 20%;
  • Impending Victory victory rushes will heal for 6% of max health instead of 5%;
  • Blood Craze ticks will heal for 1.9% of max health instead of 1.5%
  • The 20% increase may apply to self-bandaging or health potions (the name implies this, though the description does not)
  • Of course, the 6% increase in external heals.

With the changes to healing and healer mana, all of these heals will mean more effective healing. If you choose not to talent Impending Victory or Blood Craze, of course, Field Dressing loses value; but a 6% increase to healing taken is still a huge buff to survivability in a low-overheal environment.

Blood Craze – While the Wrath version only triggered self-heals on crits, the Cata Blood Craze is a 10% chance to heal on any damage taken. Soloing warriors shall rejoice.

Battle Trance – Again, how useful this talent is will depend on how rage generation is tuned. If we’re flooded, there’s really no point. If rage generation is a problem, then this is an excellent talent, and I’d probably take it before either of the healing talents.


Prime Glyphs
  • Glyph of Devastate – Increases the critical strike chance of Devastate by 5%.
  • Glyph of Revenge – Increases the damage of Revenge by 10%.
  • Glyph of Shield Slam – Increases the damage of Shield Slam by 10%.
Major Glyphs
  • Glyph of Cleaving – Increases the number of targets your Cleave hits by 1. I have a feeling this won’t be a great choice: given the rage overhauls with this patch, I doubt we’ll have enough to spam Cleave in heroics like we’re used to, and when you’re not spamming it, Cleave is frankly pretty weak. If we end up with enough rage to spam Cleave on cooldown in AoE situations, however, this would be the best glyph for sustained AoE threat.
  • Glyph of Heroic Throw – Your Heroic Throw applies a stack of Sunder Armor. This glyph will have its fights; Blood Queen especially comes to mind. Any encounter on which you cannot reasonably approach the boss for 20 seconds or so, but can target them at range, may benefit. That said, with Sunder maxing at 3 stacks, letting it fall off won’t be nearly as bad as it used to be; so the minor benefit of this glyph will likely not be worth reglyphing for.
  • Glyph of Long Charge – Increases the range of your Charge ability by 5 yds. I’ve always had a soft spot for this glyph, and will likely run around with it most of the time.
  • Glyph of Resonating Power – Reduces the rage cost of your Thunder Clap ability by 5. Again, rage savings. If you need them, use it. If your rage is fine, pass on it.
  • Glyph of Shield Wall – Shield Wall now reduces damage taken by [an additional] 20%, but its cooldown is increased by 2 minutes. I love what Blizzard has done with this glyph. Currently in Wrath Shield Wall is a 4 minute CD (after talents) that reduces damage taken by 60%, but can be glyphed to reduce its cooldown by 2 minutes and reduce its damage reduction to 40% . In 4.0.1, Shield Wall is a 2 minute CD (after talents) that reduces damage taken by 40%, but can be glyphed to increase its cooldown by 2 minutes and increase its damage reduction to 60%. I know a lot of warriors who will be thrilled about this change. Generally, the shorter cooldown is better; but there will be situations in which you’d rather have a stronger glyph with twice the cooldown. A situational preference, perfect for a glyph.
  • Glyph of Shockwave – Reduces the cooldown on Shockwave by 3 seconds. This brings its cooldown to 17 seconds and is a 6% increase in Shockwave DPS if you use it on cooldown, which I don’t. Not a great glyph in my opinion, but playstyles vary.
  • Glyph of Sunder Armor – Your Sunder Armor [and Devastate] ability affects a second nearby target. This was a dog of a glyph in Wrath and I don’t think it’ll be much better in Cataclysm. If rage is no problem, Glyph of Cleave will be better than this; if rage is a problem, Glyph of Resonating Power will be better.
  • Glyph of Thunder Clap – Increases the radius of your Thunder Clap ability by 2 yards. For the remainder of Wrath content, I would recommend this glyph; but given how important crowd control is supposed to be in Cataclysm dungeons, I’d recommend dropping it at 4.0.3. That said, the most important thing about the range of an AoE is to have an intuitive sense of it. If you’ve been running with Glyph of Thunder Clap since Wrath hit, you’re probably better off keeping it even into Cataclysm.
  • Glyph of Victory Rush – Increases the total healing provided by your Victory Rush by 50%. This is pretty huge. With both Field Dressing and Victory Rush, normal Victory Rushes will heal for 38% of your max health, and procs from Impending Victory will heal for 9.5% of your max health.
Minor Glyphs
  • Glyph of Battle – Increases the duration by 2 minutes and the area of effect by 50% of your Battle Shout. If you’re providing your raid’s Strength/Agi buff, this is a good glyph to grab.
  • Glyph of Berserker Rage – Berserker Rage generates 5 rage when used. This is probably not worth it. If you need rage desperately enough to glyph this, I’d recommend carrying around a stack of rage potions instead.
  • Glyph of Command – Increases the duration by 2 minutes and the area of effect by 50% of your Commanding Shout. If you’re providing your raid’s Stamina buff, this is a good glyph to grab.
  • Glyph of Demoralizing Shout – Increases the duration by 15 seconds and the area of effect by 50% of your Demoralizing Shout. I strongly approve of this glyph. As one of the two specs in the game which can provide an AoE physical damage debuff without breaking CC, warriors will be asked to provide demo shout often. This glyph reduces the GCDs you need to spend on it and helps out your off tank/main tank at further distances, too!
  • Glyph of Furious Sundering – Reduces the cost of Sunder Armor by 50%. In the past, glyphs which applied to Sunder Armor also applied to Devastate. If this glyph applies to Devastate, it will be incredibly useful. If not, it will be absolutely useless. I strongly suspect that this will fall into the “useless” category.
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  1. October 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm

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