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 Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Talents;The must-have and the must-leave talents!

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Number of posts : 178
Registration date : 2008-06-27

PostSubject: Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Talents;The must-have and the must-leave talents!   Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:16 am

Recent changes in patch 2.3 make tanking more viable in trees such as Arms or Fury mostly by buffing the amount of threat dealt by abilities such as Mortal Strike. Truly, a Warrior can tank no matter what the spec - mileage will vary, however, depending on the nature of encounters you will face. You will not, for instance, see healers jumping at the chance to let a Fury Warrior tank the Prince in Karazhan. Protection rightfully remains the tree of choice for tanking.

Essential Talents

A minimum of 11 points in Protection are recommended for Warriors who plan on doing any measure of tanking. The talents of choice are:

Defiance (3/3) - Bonus to threat can never, ever be wrong. There is NO EXCUSE for a tank to not have this. None.
Shield Specialization (5/5) - Your goal as a tank should be to have ~25% Block rating, this talent can make that happen. The idea is that when you use Shield Block your chance to block an incoming attack leaps to 100% - thus guaranteeing that your damage is mitigated AND that Revenge will light up for use. Revenge is one of your top threat-dealing abilities!
Improved Shield Block (1/1) - Attained after 5/5 in Shield Specialization, this allows your Shield Block skill to soak TWO incoming attacks and boosts it's duration. This is key for damage mitigation and for keeping Revenge lit up continuously.
Last Stand (1/1) - Grants 30% of max hit points on use. This is your "Oh Shit Button" when healers are falling behind and you're at 5% health. Coupled with other standard tricks such as healthstones, Nightmare Seeds, and health potions - Last Stand is just one more way of saying, "Nope, not dead yet."

Awesome Talents

Talent points beyond those prerequisites are applied in whatever fashion that suits the Warrior's playstyle. Here are some awesome talents for tanking found throughout the Warrior trees:

Improved Shield Bash - This adds a 2 second silence when you kiss your target's face with the front of your shield. PWANG! Very, very handy in any caster situation!
Improved Thunder Clap - This ability is one of the best debuffs you bring to a party in terms of damage mitigation for EVERYONE. It also is a wonderful means to net aggro on a group of mobs! This talent is a MUST-HAVE for aspiring tanks.
Concussion Blow - AWESOME TALENT. GET IT.
Shield Mastery - AWESOME talent. Not only does this increase the amount of damage blocked by your shield, it ALSO increases the damage done by your Shield Slam ability!
Shield Slam - Contrary to what you may think, Devastate is not your #1 threat-dealer - Shield Slam is. Despite the 6 second cooldown on it, nothing compares to this talent for threat. For best results, make a macro that queues Heroic Strike along with Shield Slam. This will boost your TPS quite a bit and saves you having to track your Heroic Strikes on the swing timer.
Focused Rage - Reduction in all your offensive abilities? How could this possibly be wrong? Two thumbs up!
Devastate - This is a Protection Warrior's main source of dealing damage. It is a moderate-cost instant strike that auto-sunders on impact. It also renews the burnoff of your Sunder Armor effect, which is wonderful. From a tanking perspective this is nice, from a DPS perspective this is awesome.
Commanding Presence - The additional attack power or health this brings to the table warrants investment if you are not heavily invested in other trees.
Piercing Howl - One of the finer tanking talents, this acts as an AoE Hamstring - perfect for slowing stray mobs down before they smack a clothie or for those hectic escapes.

Good Talents

The following are talents worthy of note:

Anticipation - Some dump 5 points into this, but if you're already at 490 defense this is rather pointless. If you're not there yet, this is a GREAT way to get those last few points!
Toughness - Truth told, you can never have too much armor. Throwing all 5 points into this is a good idea.
Improved Sunder Armor - VERY handy for non-Protection Warriors. It is rather pointless to get if you have Devastate, since this ability now auto-sunders your victim.
One-Handed Specialization - More damage means more rage. More rage means more threat. A delicious cycle.
Vitality - While the increase in Str and Sta are rather minimal, this talent is still kinda nice. At 15,000 health this grants 750 more - better than any enchant you can find.
Deflection - Raises your parry rating, great for avoidance tanking. GET IT.
Sweeping Strikes - Generally a good utility talent, but WONDERFUL for tanking multiple mobs. Trigger this with a full rage bar and then Cleave like crazy. Watch the mobs suddenly find you attractive!
Iron Will - If they included FEAR effects in this bonus to resist, I'd be completely sold.
Anger Management - Who would pass up a free rage point every three seconds? Not I!

Lackluster Talents

Some talents exist seemingly as roadblocks to the really good stuff. Below are some of the worst talents in terms of tanking, avoid them:

Improved Heroic Strike - If you are tanking more often than not, a so-so talent. If you are using Heroic Strike outside of a tanking situation, you should be slapped.
Improved Revenge - Handy for PvP, modestly so in PvE. You'll find that many instance mobs are immune to the stun effect. In addition, all bosses are immune to stuns like this.
Improved Taunt - Handy to lower the cooldown on your taunt, but if you are relying too heavily on Taunt then there is something wrong with either your tanking ability or your DPS is too reckless.
Improved Disarm - Might be handy for PvP, mostly useless in PvE.
Improved Shield Wall - Extends your Shield Wall duration by a few seconds. I find this is rather lackluster considering you don't use this often.
Improved Demoralizing Shout - Useless beyond 2/5 points. Apparently instance bosses have a cap on the amount of attack power reduction. I skip this talent altogether.
Booming Voice - Pointless. On a standard pull you'll have all the mobs within range of a Thunder Clap, this is a complete waste of points.
Blood Craze - The regeneration from this is too pitiful to generate interest. Regenerating 175 health over 6 seconds is NOT going to save you when the mob/boss is dishing out 500-5000 damage a whack.
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Bolshka's Warrior Tanking 101: Talents;The must-have and the must-leave talents!
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