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Introduction to Warrior Tanking at Endgame
What stats do I need? What gems? Defense, parry haste, what does it all mean?
Last updated March 24, 2010 @ 3:03:09PM
Viewed 2356 times

First off, this isn't a Tanking 101, there are plenty of those out there. This is more of a general guide to some of the finer points of tanking on a warrior. There are a lot of external links for further reading. I will be writing in such a way that I assume you have read the external links. My notes will refer to specific points in those other sources.

Lets start with a Back to Basics guide
* You only need 535 Defense for Heroic dungeons, 10/25 Raids require the 540 Defense mentioned
* Low on defense? Follow this guide for what to enchant with +Def first (Hint: Your Cloak, Shield and then Chest are the best options)
More extended reading: Agg's Prot Warrior Tanking guide on Tankspot.com


Threat, aggro, hate - Keeping the mobs on you, here is a primer on WoW Wiki
Information for all classes - What causes a mob to switch targets and stay on a specific target?
Threat, threat is what gives a Tank his power. It's an energy field created by all living (and undead) things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the World of Warcraft together. - Opally Won-Protnobi

* A ranged player must exceed 130% of a tanks threat in order for the mob to attack them.
* A melee player must exceed 110% of a tanks threat in order for the mob to attack them.
* Taunt brings the tanks threat up to the same level as which ever player has aggro at the time of the taunt (see next bullet)
* A Tank must exceed 110% of a targets threat after a taunt in order for the mob to stick to them.

This means that if a tank taunts a mob they now have equal threat to whomever the mob was just taunted off of. The tank now needs to do 10% more threat to make that mob stay on him. This is why using a "snap aggro" (high threat) ability like Shield Slam is important immediately after a taunt. This is also why the person who had aggro needs stop doing anything that generates threat.

Warrior Threat Priority system as of 3.0
* Devastate has been buffed and now is higher in the rotation and should be spammed in infinite rage situations
* I highly recommend macro'ing Revenge and Heroic strike, this way you can spam one button in infinite rage situations to queue up a Heroic Strike and set off Revenge.
Macro (use the ? icon to see the Revenge cooldown)
#showtooltip
/cast Revenge
/cast !Heroic Strike;


Hit, expertise, misses and caps
Here's a the big reveal, Expertise is always better than Hit Wait, what?!? Go read, come back and lets continue...... done reading? Great. Now, this isn't saying you should stack Expertise solely at the expense of hit, but at higher gear levels (Tier9 or iLvl 232 and above) you will have plenty of hit, anything over about 160 is more than sufficient in my opinion. At this point start trying to get that expertise up, you want at least 26 Skill, less with Vitality and Racials.

What does Expertise do? Well it lessons the big bad bosses change to Dodge or Parry your attacks. Meaning more of them hit (see how that works) and you generate more threat!

Lets talk about Parry Haste
What is it? In short when a mob parries your attack his next hit comes 40% faster. That means that next bit chunk of damage is coming 40% sooner than the healers expect it, that is a very bad thing. Parry Haste is how Blizzard tunes specific boss encounters, some bosses like Patchwerk don't have parry haste at all! Others, like Prince in Kara have even more parry than the average boss, most bosses in ICC10/25 have NO parry haste at all. This is because Blizzard already tuned those bosses to hit fairly fast, if they added in parry haste mechanics tanks would get torn to shreds.

If you have expertise the chance for a mob to parry/dodge you goes down and your threat goes up, expertise is your #1 threat stat.


Gemming
You should be using Solid Majestic Zircon in everything. Gems do NOT have to match socket color

What about socket bonuses? Lets explore
1 Socket - Is the bonus 9 Stamina? Yes - Match the color. No - Solid Zircon
2 Sockets - Is the bonus 9 Stamina and 1 socket is blue? Yes - Match the color. No - Solid Zircon in both.
3 Sockets - Is the bonus 12 Stamina and 2 sockets are blue? Yes - Match the color. No - Solid Zircon in all 3.
Blue: Stamina (blue)
Yellow: Defense + Stamina (green) or just Defense (yellow) if you’re under 540 Defense
Red: Expertise + Stamina (purple) or Dodge + Stamina (purple)
Meta: Austere Earthsiege Diamond and a Nightmare Tear or Purple gem to activate your Meta requirement


Enchants
Use this Back to Basics guide
* Get Tuskarr's Vitality on your boots, that minor run speed will save you more often then the 7 Stamina.
* Weapon Enchants See the list linked above, Blood Draining, Mongoose or Titanium Weapon Chain. Blade Ward is a very poor choice for a warrior tank.


Selecting Gear
Basic End-Game gear selection philosophy
What order to spend your Triumph badges
What order to spend your Frost badges
Best Pre-ICC Weapons Try to get Rimefang's Claw from Heroic PoS



Final tips:
You should be Double Potting on progression fights

Trying to work in Shattering Throw when you aren't the focus of the Boss

Spamming Heroic Strike Yes, it is a pain but it is a huge threat and DPS gain.

Using Vigilance
* DPS Race? Highest damage dealer or the highest without a threat reduction talent (Fury/Arms Warrior)
* Lots of Adds/Taunting? Put it on the OT or MT, every time they get hit your Taunt cooldown refreshes.
* Progression fight? Put it on the other Tank - 3% less damage is a lot

Want to lock a mob/boss to you? Open up with Heroic Throw, Shield Bash, Shield Block and then Shield Slam. This will give you a threat lead while you stack up the Sunders, TC and Demo shout. This is assuming a single target, no add fight.

User a mouse over macro for Heroic Throw - This will allow you to bring in that out of reach caster without switching targets! (assuming you have 2 points in Gag Order)
This Macro will Heroic Throw against your Mouse over target, if there isn't one it goes to your Main target and if you right-click it hits your Focus target
#show Heroic Throw
/cast [target=mouseover,nomod,harm,nodead] Heroic Throw; Heroic Throw
/cast [button:2,target=focus] Heroic Throw
 
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