Acrisius the Tank Tells All
UPDATED MAY 15, 2011
A little birdy tells me that you want to roll a Warrior tank. You’ve got your BoAs, you’ve got your enchants, and you’re all set to hit the LFG and take it by the storm. Well, from level 15 – 20, life is pretty much button mashing. The talents are self explanatory, and keeping aggro will be a frenzied mix of swearing and spamming Thunder Clap when you can.
This particular post will be detailing how I am tanking from level 20-29. First of all, this is Acrisius, more commonly known as Risi.
And she will be guiding you through how to tank in these first ten, intrepid levels.
First, we’re going to talk Talents. By level 20, you should have 6 talent points spent in the Protection tree. It should look something like this.
In case that link doesn’t work, I will describe the talents you should be investing in.
Toughness – 3/3 Increases your armor value from items by 10%.
Blood and Thunder – 2/2 When you Thunder Clap a target affected by your Rend you have a 100% chance to affect every target with Rend (scales from 50% to 100% with 2 points).
Hold the Line – 1/2 Improves your critical strike and critical block chance by 10% for 5 seconds following a successful parry.
In your trek from 20-29, you’ll gain 5 more talent points. Here’s where I would recommend putting them:
Finish fleshing out Hold the Line, which will increase the duration of the 10% increase from 5 seconds to 10 seconds.
Shield Specialization – 3/3 You generate 15 extra rage when you block an attack. You generate 60 extra rage when you Spell Block an attack.
For the third tier of talents, where you spend this one point really does not matter because you will eventually be filling up the entire tier with points. I would advise that you put your point into Warbringer, the talent that allows you to Charge, Intervene, and Intercept in any stance and during battle. Your Intervene will now also remove any movement impairing effects.
Next up, is Glyphs. You’ll be receiving the ability to glyph your character at the tender level of 25, and with that you can choose a Prime Glyph, a Major Glyph, and a Minor Glyph.
For Risi’s Prime Glyph, I ended up choosing Glyph of Shield Slam. This is really the only effective tanking Prime Glyph available to Warriors at this level. It’s effect is that it increases the damage of Shield Slam by 10%.
The Major and Minor Glyphs can be chosen by personal preference. A friend of mine chose Thunder Clap as his Major Glyph for those times when DPS just got too pull-happy. I chose Glyph of Sunder Armor, which allows your Sunder Armor to affect a second nearby target. For my Minor Glyph, I chose Glyph of Furious Sundering, which reduces the cost of Sunder Armor by 50%.
Finally, we get to Rotation. It’s fairly simple, and I will show you how mine is set up.
This is a picture of what my main action bar look like, and a list of all the actions:
1) Shield Slam: 20 rage, instant, 6 sec. CD, requires shields – Hits the target with your shield for high damage. Use this as often as possible; it is going to be your main source of threat.
2) Sunder Armor: 15 rage (not glyphed; 7 rage when glyphed), instant – Does no damage, but makes targets take more damage from other physical attacks. Makes creatures more likely to attack you.
3) Rend: 10 rage, instant, requires Defensive Stance or Battle Stance – Causes your target to bleed.
4) Thunder Clap: 20 rage, instant, 6 sec. CD, requires Defensive Stance or Battle Stance – Causes damage to all enemies in the area and slows their attack speed.
5) Cleave: 30 rage, instant, 3 sec. CD – A sweeping attack that strikes the target and a nearby ally, dealing 144 physical damage.
6) Heroic Strike: 30 rage, instant, 3 sec. CD – A filler attack.
8.) Victory Rush: instant – Procs when you defeat an enemy, and hits the new target for extra damage as well as heals yourself. Use this as often as possible.
And here is a picture of what my secondary action bar looks like:
s1) Charge: instant, requires Battle Stance (unless you have Warbringer) – Charges an enemy, generates X rage, and stuns it for 1.50 seconds. Without the talent Warbringer, this cannot be used while in combat.
s2) Heroic Throw: instant, 1 minute CD, requires Melee Weapon – Throws your weapon at the enemy causing X damage (based on attack power). This ability causes high threat.
s3) Shoot: 1.5 sec cast, 2.8 sec. CD, requires ranged weapon.
s4) Taunt: instant, 8 sec. CD, requires Defensive Stance – Forces a creature that is attacking an ally to attack you instead.
s5) Gift of the Naaru: instant, 3 min. CD, RACIAL – Heals the target for X over 15 sec. Amount healed is scaled by your level and how much attack power you have. (this is only available to Draenei)
s6) Shield Block: 10 rage, instant, 30 sec. CD, requires Defensive Stance – Increases your chance to block by 25% for 10 seconds. In addition, if your total change to clock or avoid an attack exceeds 100%, your chance to critically block is increased by the excess.
s7) Battle Shout: instant, 1 sec. CD – The Warrior shouts, increasing Strength and Agility of all raid and party members within 30 yards by 20 and gaining 20 rage. Lasts 2 minutes.
Now then, how do I work my mobs? First of all, before every pull, I refresh Battle Shout. Always. The 20 rage is a nice pool to start with, and otherwise I forget to refresh it for the buff every 2 minutes.
Secondly, how do I pull my mobs? If you have Warbringer, then Charging into the mob is a simple way to get ahead of your DPS and quickly establish your threat. If you are trying to pull a tricky mob, then using your bow, or Heroic Throw is a nice way to pull a mob back towards you. Another method is face pulling, but there is really no benefit to it, so stick with Charging or pewpewing a bit with your bow.
Shield Slam –> Sunder Armor –> Rend –> finish stacking Sunder Armor (so twice more) –> Shield Slam as it comes off CD –> Filler Attacks (Heroic Strike) –> Refresh Rend or Sunder Armor whenever they are about to fall off and Shield Slam when available
Two-man mob: My pulling technique remains the same for this sort of mob. The first creature will be Billy, the second will be Bobby.
This is my rotation without having Sunder Armor glyphed to hit one more target:
Target Billy –> Shield Slam –> Rend –> Thunder Clap –> Sunder Armor *SWITCH TO BOBBY* –> Stack Sunder Armor twice/Cleave/Shield Slam *SWITCH TO BILLY* –> Finish stacking Sunder Armor –> from here, refresh Rend, Thunder Clap, Cleave, and Shield Slam when possible, and keep an eye on the Sunder Armor stacks on both Billy and Bobby. If you find yourself lacking for things to do, toss in some filler moves.
If you have Sunder Armor glyphed to hit one other creature, this is my rotation:
Target Billy –> Shield Slam –> Sunder Armor –> Rend –> Thunder Clap *SWITCH TO BOBBY* –> Shield Slam –> Sunder Armor –> Cleave –> Sunder Armor –> Refresh Rend and Sunder Armor when needed, and hit Thunder Clap, Cleave, and Shield Slam when possible.
Three-man or more mobs: It depends on the scenario. These mobs names will be Ice, Will, and Apple.
Target Ice –> Shield Slam –> Sunder Armor –> Rend –> Thunder Clap –> Cleave *SWITCH TO WILL OR APPLE* –> Shield Slam –> Sunder Armor x2 *SWITCH TO THE THIRD MOB* –> Shield Slam –> Sunder Armor –> From here, it’s all Thunder Clap, Cleave, Shield Slam, and refreshing Sunder Armor and Rend if the need be.
Of course, the tanking styles are going to vary. You may find that another method works better for you; and I’d love to hear what it is! This is just how I do it, and I’m not necessarily looking for efficiency or least amount of Rage used for maximum threat. Using these rotations, I am a decent tank who can rescue flailing DPS (if I want to) and keep myself alive while my healer “accidentally” goes AFK.
Have any comments or suggestions? Leave me a comment! Thanks to Ice, Will, and Apple for letting me tank you. Also a huge huge huge huge thanks to Vosskah for giving me some tips when it comes to Warrior-tanking. Be sure to check him out!