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Warrior Talents and Gear for fresh-60 Tank

Serakh

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Apr 1, 2018
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#1
Hello everyone,

I will be hitting 60 on my warrior soon, and would like to discuss talent build and gear options available to me. I am aware that this has been asked before, and I have read some of those threads, and would still like your opinions on this topic.

About my situation: I play a Human Warrior ("Rodric" - invite me to your groups if you're a brave Alliance player, and please don't kill me if you're Horde :D), and I am almost exclusively interested in tanking. Thus, my next goals are farming my Pre-Raid gear and hopefully snagging an OT spot on a guild running MC/Ony/ZG.

The way I see it, there are three aspects for me to consider, from most important to least important:
1) Being sturdy enough so I can run any dungeon with a fresh-60 healer potentially in DPS spec still
2) Generating enough threat so raid-geared DPS can unleash most of their potential
3) Retaining some solo-farming/questing ability

This leaves me 3 options, I think:
A) Going full Protection, getting Shield Slam and distributing the 20 remaining points for maximum effect
B) Staying in DPS spec (probably Arms?), for great solo farming between dungeons
C) Some sort of hybrid build, balancing group and solo play

OPTION A :
Fairly straightforward, using a 5-man prot build as a basis (https://classicdb.ch/?talent#LZZEbzse0zVo)
(3/3 Improved Revenge 5/5 Defiance, 3/3 Improved Sunder Armor)

For the remaining 20 points, 2/5 Tactical Mastery is a must I think, so it's a fairly obvious choice between Piercing Howl for utility, 5/5 TM + Anger Management against rage starvation, and more Prot stuff. An Impale build should be out of the question (gear, lack of world buffs, etc).

As much as I have learned to love Piercing Howl, I think the 5 additional points in Fury are too much of a waste in this setup, so it is between
OPTION B:
Keep doing what I'm doing and go tanking in Arms spec. Sweeping Strikes + Whirlwind is nice, as is the solo farming ability for in between dungeons.
Basically, 31/20/0 (https://classicdb.ch/?talent#LVhLbAboVzVVzm0x) (keeping the 2H talents, else there's no point to this)
(3/5 Deflection, 5/5 Tactical Mastery, 1/1 Anger Management, 5/5 Unbridled Wrath for tanking over the options, 1/1 Piercing Howl).
This will probably struggle to generate enough threat against raid-geared DPS, and require more gear to run the harder 5-mans/UBRS.

OPTION C:
A hybrid solution, I thought about foregoing most of the Fury points in Option B to get the most essential Protection stuff:
31/5/15 (https://classicdb.ch/?talent#LchxdAboVzVZebzoh)
(1/1 Last Stand, 1/3 Improved Shield Block, 3/5 Incite)
I am really not sure about this one, the Protection points should help a lot compared to Option B, but I generally dislike hybrid builds.

So this is my thought process concerning Talent builds. Any input, whether A/B/C or fine-tuning the posted builds?

To round it off, a quick question about gearing:
I have stumbled upon Undertanker's Tank Points approach, to rate and rank items fairly quickly, over at the Elysium Forums (https://forum.elysium-project.org/topic/22798-tank-points-by-undertanker/).

This seems to match Pre-Raid BiS rankings like in Storfan's stickied guide (https://forum.twinstar.cz/threads/guide-prot-pre-raid-bis-list-specs-enchants.114287/) pretty well. To my untrained eye, the stat weighting looked optimized for MT/raids, less so for fresh 60 5-man stuff. In particular, I am wondering about
  • 1 AGI = 1 STAMINA
  • 3 DEF = 8 STAMINA
  • 2 AGI = 100 ARMOR
AGI seems very highly valued, is this applicable to my situation, even without raid buffs? Armor is basically not valued using this formula, which I am unsure about. DEF/STAM ratio is highly on DEF side, but I guess I should get a solid HP pool before anything else, right? What would be a good unbuffed HP number pre-raid?
Also, the way +weapon skill is weighted means I should pretty much never stray from Human racial weapons. Currently I am using Hurley's Tankard, which beats all reasonably available Axes/Daggers, if that is the case. Correct?

I apologize for this wall of text, and thank you for reading this far. I am looking forward to your comments :)
 
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figgles

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Apr 2, 2018
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#2
Here's my take on it: Simply put, if you are barely in pre raid BIS gear trying to hold aggro over DPS in (mostly) raid gear, you will not be very successful. It's got nothing to do with whatever spec you use, it's just the fact that they deal so much more damage than you do. You can still do 5 mans and UBRS, but you should expect people to pull aggro often.

As for spec, if your gear sucks, go prot. Fury tanking is only viable once you have a lot of +hit/crit/ap. I've never tanked as arms but I can tell you for tanking 5 mans, a 30 rage skill (MS) is very expensive and honestly not going to be worth the threat per rage. The idea of you popping SS+WW isn't really feasible, by the time you've gotten your 30 rage to SS, and your 25 to WW you've already lost aggro on half the pack. Not to mention your gear isn't good so you hit like a wet noodle (and you're in zerker stance).

Threat is linked to the damage you do, especially as arms/fury. One of the reasons prot shines for outputting threat at shit gear levels is that your 3 main aggro generating abilities, sunder/revenge/shield slam, don't really scale that well with gear. Hence their baseline threat is decent, but as your gear gets better and better, it's harder for your tps to scale with upgrades. Sunder does the same threat for a fresh lvl 60 warrior as it does for a full t3 warrior. I don't know how revenge scales with gear, but the majority of it's threat comes from the "causes a high amount of threat" tooltip, aka it's a flat amount of threat added to your attack that does not scale. Shield slam only scales with shield block. You get more of it at higher gear levels, but I would say it's pretty minimal of a threat increase compared to the threat output of dps at similar gear levels.

When I was a fresh 60, the best talent in the game I found to help me tank was imp revenge. You will certainly need defiance, cruelty, and tactical mastery, and shield slam. Shield slam is a fucking awesome talent. It's got amazing snap threat and it isn't as expensive as your other 31 point talent alternatives. Imp taunt is also good. People will get aggro. That's part of the game. Don't expect to hold aggro on everything, especially if people out gear you. It's not going to happen.

My other suggestion is you take advantage of the fact that you're not expected to tank everything. If a warrior pulls aggro on 1 mob in a pack of 5, fuck it let him deal with it. You can disarm, conc blow, intercept, imp revenge stun, taunt, mocking blow to buy time until the mob dies. A lot of pulls in UBRS I'll open on the kill target with an ability or two, sunder some other mob, and then taunt the initial target. By the time the taunt expires, it's dead, so I don't even have to waste abilities on it anymore, you can focus on the other mobs in the pull while the taunt forces the damage from the kill target to be on you. Got some nonelites in the pull? Just tell your melee to go kill them and don't worry about tanking them.

As for stats, I say stack hit, armor, and stamina. You get stunned a lot in instances, and you can't dodge/block/parry shit when you're stunned. There's a lot of magic damage, and your defense is useless there. Not to mention the majority of fights are quick, and defense helps most with overall damage mitigation so that your healers don't run oom. Since your fights are short, you don't really have to worry about that. Just get a lot of health and armor so you can take a bunch of damage and survive. Mitigation doesn't mean anything if you're dead, especially if your healers have mana.

edit: Don't forget the best ability in the game for generating threat in 5 mans: battle shout. This shit is so underrated. It's not gonna hold threat over a mage AOEing, but it sure as fuck will get mobs to stick to you instead of running to your priest that never bought fade. Just make sure your entire party gets the buff.
 
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Serakh

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Apr 1, 2018
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#3
Hello, and thanks for your response :)

As for spec, if your gear sucks, go prot. Fury tanking is only viable once you have a lot of +hit/crit/ap. I've never tanked as arms but I can tell you for tanking 5 mans, a 30 rage skill (MS) is very expensive and honestly not going to be worth the threat per rage. The idea of you popping SS+WW isn't really feasible, by the time you've gotten your 30 rage to SS, and your 25 to WW you've already lost aggro on half the pack. Not to mention your gear isn't good so you hit like a wet noodle (and you're in zerker stance).
Maybe I should have specified, but with Option B/Arms spec I meant tanking pretty much as you would as prot, so using a shield, def stance, Sunder Armor, etc. I am not spamming MS, don't worry. The SS+WW actually works reasonably well, if your DPS give you like 3 GCD and you have some rage left over from the last group.

When I was a fresh 60, the best talent in the game I found to help me tank was imp revenge. You will certainly need defiance, cruelty, and tactical mastery, and shield slam. Shield slam is a fucking awesome talent. It's got amazing snap threat and it isn't as expensive as your other 31 point talent alternatives. Imp taunt is also good. People will get aggro. That's part of the game. Don't expect to hold aggro on everything, especially if people out gear you. It's not going to happen.
Nice, we are thinking along the same lines on the topic of Improved Revenge. I really got used to 5/5 Tactical Mastery and am somewhat wary of losing it, but especially on Prot spec, there is no good reason to go beyond 2/5 I think.

As for stats, I say stack hit, armor, and stamina. You get stunned a lot in instances, and you can't dodge/block/parry shit when you're stunned. There's a lot of magic damage, and your defense is useless there. Not to mention the majority of fights are quick, and defense helps most with overall damage mitigation so that your healers don't run oom. Since your fights are short, you don't really have to worry about that. Just get a lot of health and armor so you can take a bunch of damage and survive. Mitigation doesn't mean anything if you're dead, especially if your healers have mana.
Good point about getting stunned, I haven't really thought about that. Undertanker's TP doesn't value +dodge/parry too much already, but this might be even more important in 5mans concerning +Def. For the rest, I agree it's about juggling Threat, DPS mana and Healer mana. Ideally they run out at the same time, so drinking is most efficient. This is hard for me to balance on little experience, though. Trial and error I guess.

In other news, I did run Strath Living right after hitting 60, in my Option B Arms spec. We really struggled, hard, but cleared it in the end. I am fairly sure now that I will try out Prot, at least for a bit. What was said about Prot generating nice Threat even without much gear makes a lot of sense to me :)
 
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