Category Archives: Warriors

PvP gearing revisited for Patch 5.0.4 and onward

I came across an excellent post on PVP Power and Resilience today, Eldacar’s Guide to PvP Power and Resilience.

The author does a great analysis of the value of adding resilience and the interplay of PvP Power and Resilience. I strongly recommend reading the entire post.

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5.0.4 and PvP gearing

It was a rude surprise for me when I logged in to find my PvP gear nerfed. All the Cataclysmic gear was nerfed from 397 to 384. Having Cataclysmic gear that I had to work for downgraded to raid finder level gear didn’t feel too nice. This is different from Cataclysmic gear becoming easier to get, this is about good gear being nerfed more than half a tier. I was at 153K health unbuffed, and post patch in the same gear I am 138K. My equipped ilvl was 402, it was now down to 389. So all in all, it didn’t feel nice. But what can you do, you have to adapt and roll with it.

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Patch 5.0.4 – Initial thoughs

Patch 5.0.4 is here. I’ve been traveling for work most of this week so I couldn’t really sit down and play to get a feel for it until last night.

Thunderspank the Prot Warrior

First the talents. What I love most about my warrior is his mobility and Double Time was at the top of my list. I also love to intervene, so I took Safeguard. Dragon Roar is also tons of fun, though I’ll probably switch back to shockwave for prot – the shorter cooldown on it is handy and I’ve come to see it as a staple of my trash pickup toolbox. Second Wind is probably more useful for me in PvP so I’ll explore the other two in this tier. And Disrupting Shout sounds very useful but I need to train myself to use it appropriately.

At this point I hadn’t been able to get the blasted glyphs UI to work in game so I queued for a HOT 5man heroic without glyphs.

What a total clusterfuck it was.

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Sticking up for the newbies!

Yesterday, I popped into LFR on Thunderspank as DPS. I only have PvE prot gear and my good set is my PvP set. Still, I figured it was more than enough for LFR. I was last in there months ago so I was fresh and cheerful.

I queued for the second half to try and get the 2H sword that everyone keeps raving about.

Zoning in, I don’t even bother to look at my raid frames to see what the tanks and healers are geared like because… I’m all bright eyed and bushy-tailed. This stuff was easy a long time ago. How bad could it be?

I am very quickly schooled.

After this, one of the tanks says “Oh damn! I didn’t know I was queued as a tank…”

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Battleground Tactics – Carrying the Flag

Thunder ran down the ramp of broken rock, the unwieldy alliance flag strapped over his back, over the grassy knoll towards the swiftly flowing stream. On the far bank he saw a night elf mage.

Long ago the night elves had cast out his people from amongst themselves for practicing magic. That set off a chain of events that had led his people from one betrayal to another. So many of his people had perished and it had all started with the Night Elves’ phobia of magic and distrust of magic users. Seeing his duplicitous long separated kin on the opposite bank infuriated him.

He dove into the stream.

The Night Elf caster, in the fine ranged military tradition of striking while the iron is bogged down in water, began to cast.

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Transmog trap

I am geared well for PVP on my warrior. I do not have too much trouble dispatching all but the most persistent healers. This is not to say I’m “leet”, it just means I’ve acquired enough gear to stack the deck in my favor in most random battlegrounds.

So imagine my surprise when the last few battlegrounds I did, I found myself hitting like a wet noodle. It felt like all of a sudden everyone I was fighting was geared like a Blood DK in DS10 heroic tank gear. I wasn’t getting hit hard but I couldn’t hit hard enough to be of much use either. I had been playing alts so I thought it was just because I was out of my groove and in a few games I’d do better. Continue reading

Eternal Optimism in BGs

Last night I had the pleasure of running a few battlegrounds with my guildies. There were four of us, we queued for randoms four times and we won all four. By all accounts, it was a very entertaining night.

In one of the battlegrounds, we had a healer clad only in a helm, shoulders, chest and gloves along with a weapon and shield. Of course he did not have any gems or enchants either but then item enhancements are not your biggest concerns when you’re missing entire pieces! Continue reading

The Pandaria Arms Warrior

I recently copied my warrior to the Mists beta and I’ve been trying it out. I spent a little time getting my keybinds etc sorted out and then queued for a dungeon as arms (dps). A few minutes later the queue popped and what followed was… a total treat. Such a total blast to play, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Being able to use all my abilities without stance dancing and stance penalties was amazing. My warrior felt light and effortless – more like a samurai than a slow armored juggernaut and I loved it. Arms is supposed to be the class of warriors who are extremely disciplined and skilled in the use of a single 2 handed weapon and it totally feels like it now.

And the numbers… I am sure they’ll be tweaked and adjusted several times before the beta ends but right now Arms hits hard. I was getting 180K executes by lining up my cooldowns. Take a look:

(Sorry about the Boss’s cast bar blocking the numbers somewhat, was too excited playing to hit PrtScr on time!)

With Dragon Roar, Whirlwind, Sweeping Strikes and Cleave all in the toolkit, AOE was no slouch either. Dragon Roar seemed to hit for 48 – 64K depending on procs and buffs and with a 1 minute cooldown, it is an awesome ability to use on packs of mobs. It was especially useful on the last boss when in the add phases, you need to burn down the adds quickly and being able to smash out 55Kish damage on each mob was awesome. That and thunderclap, cleave and whirlwind… sheer bliss!

On the subject of Thunderclap – the glyph of Thunder Strike adds lightning bolts to thunder clap and it looks like this…

 

Mists is looking like a fantastic time to be a warrior indeed!

 

Active mitigation for druids and square wonder bread

Over on wowinsider, Allison wrote a great post on how bears are looking in the beta.

Blizzard was very happy with the tanking model for death knights and is now bringing active mitigation to the other tanks too. I do not have beta access yet so my thoughts on this are based on what Blizzard itself has announced and what people with beta access have been saying. Disregard for the moment how threat is difficult for all tanks – Blizzard has said that tank damage is too low and they’re fixing it. That should remove the threat problem. What I want to talk about here is how the classes will flow and what the rotation/priority system will look like.

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Vengeful no more

Patch 4.3.2 went live yesterday and with it came a disturbance in the force – as if millions of vengeance stacking juggernauts were suddenly silenced. PVPers were either delighted or despondent over this change:

“Vengeance is no longer triggered by receiving damage from other players.”

There is no doubt in my mind that a nerf to vengeance was needed. Any geared (4K+ resilience) tank with a healer in PVP is already hard to kill, that through vengeance they could also do damage comparable to a dps was unbalanced.

The most imbalanced were blood death knights because they didn’t even need an external source of healing – the basic death knight tanking model relies on self heals through doing damage which becomes wickedly potent in PVP, especially once they get a high stack of vengeance.

I’ve been doing PVP on my prot warrior and while I could get some crazy high numbers on the scoreboard for damage, it usually didn’t translate into kills. This is because a large part of  protection warrior damage in battlegrounds comes from spreading Rend around via Blood and Thunder and perhaps cleave and shockwave. These abilities by themselves do not kill very often – they just put “background” damage out that needs to be healed up. This kind of damage looks good on the boards but doesn’t help you win games – an enemy at 30% health does the same damage as one at 100% health.

A prot warrior’s real strength in PVP is the control we bring. We have a plethora of stuns, gap closers, interrupts, aoe fear and disarm that turn us into force multipliers. What I mean by that is that on his own, a prot warrior can’t do much to kill a single target however if its a prot warrior and a dps versus two dps, all the control the prot warrior has effectively turns into the prot warrior holding the enemy down while his buddy beats them up. It also makes us great for things like holding down a node in Arathi Basin or Battle for Gilneas – it takes a lot of effort to kill a prot warrior and if your team is responsive, there is ample time to get reinforcements while a prot warrior holds the fort.

Last night I ventured into a battleground on my prot warrior again, expecting the worst but I ended up having a lot of fun. All the control I was used to exercising was still there, I could still charge all over the battlefield, I could fear, shockwave, disarm, spell reflect and intervene. My damage as prot had never been huge so while I could certainly feel the lack of vengeance, not having it didn’t ruin my fun.

For me, even after the nerf to vengeance, Prot Warrior PVP in battlegrounds is still viable and fun.