Protection Warrior Leveling in WoTLK
It has been a week since my last post, but I’m not going to apologize. Like you I have been leveling and enjoying what I believe to be the best World of Warcraft expansion to date: Wrath of the Lich King. I am also proud to announce that I was the first person in my guild to hit 80. What I am even prouder of is the fact that I leveled from 70 to 80 as a Protection warrior. That’s right I said Prot!
In actuality, I really believe that Prot specced leveling is the way to go. I talked to both Arms and and Fury warriors while I was leveling and they were all very intrigued by the fact that I was leveling up with sword and board. In fact, they all acknowledged the benefits in survivability it gave and mentioned a few downsides to leveling in their current specs.
I also saw several other Prot warriors who very happy with the speed and ease in which they were able to level. All who stated comments like “I just won’t die, I am too survivable.” And this was referring to both the PvE grind and the occassions in which they came into contact with someone trying to gank. The truth is in my whole time leveling I died 6 times in total. Two of those deaths can be attributed to stupidity on my part, falling off a cliff, etc. Another two were in PvE situations and the last two in PvP situations where I was outnumbered heavily.
Another added advantage was the fact that I had zero down time when trying to run instances to complete quests. Because I was Prot specced the entire time I simply needed to show up and blow up. Where as DPS warriors were shunned in a lot of cases because tank specs are rare due to people switching specs to level. So I could go into an instance, tank it like a pro and then go right back to the quest grind without a second lost.
There are numerous other advantages to Prot spec leveling as well. Being able to test your spec while leveling gives you the ability to figure out what is good and what needs to be tweaked once you hit 80. It allows you to get used to the new talents so when you start to raid they are already second nature. It also gives you the right to need on tanking gear in instances without being spammed and labeled a ninja from another plate wearing class.
If you are a prot warrior who switched to Arms or Fury to level, then I would invite you to switch back to Prot and try it out. Or if you are a DPS warrior and you are getting frustrated with the hard hits that the mobs are dealing and the lower health than why not try out leveling as a Prot warrior. Who knows you might find out you love tanking.
So here is the spec I used while leveling. It might not be a cookie cutter build that you’ll see on WoWWiki but I can speak from personal experience that it works well. It has all of the core talents to allow you to tank and a few to help with the PvP along the way. Feel free to comment on what you would change or submit the build you used.
Arms (3 points)
Improved Heroic Strike – Rank 3/3
Reduces the cost of your Heroic Strike ability by 3 rage points.
Fury (14 points)
Armored to the Teeth – Rank 3/3
Increases your attack power by 3 for every 180 armor value you have.
Cruelty – Rank 5/5
Increases your chance to get a critical strike with melee weapons by 5%.
Unbridled Wrath – Rank 5/5
Gives you a chance to generate an additional rage point when you deal melee damage with a weapon. Effect occurs more often than Unbridled Wrath (Rank 4).
Piercing Howl – Rank 1/1
Causes all enemies within 10 yards to be Dazed, reducing movement speed by 50% for 6 sec.
Protection (54 points)
Improved Bloodrage – Rank 2/2
Increases the rage generated by your Bloodrage ability by 50%.
Shield Specialization – Rank 5/5
Increases your chance to block attacks with a shield by 5% and has a 100% chance to generate 2 rage when a block occurs.
Improved Thunder Clap – Rank 3/3
Reduces the cost of your Thunder Clap ability by 4 rage points and increases the damage by 30% and the slowing effect by an additional 10%.
Incite – Rank 3/3
Increases the critical strike chance of your Heroic Strike, Thunder Clap and Cleave abilities by 15%.
Last Stand – Rank 1/1
When activated, this ability temporarily grants you 30% of your maximum health for 20 sec. After the effect expires, the health is lost.
Improved Revenge – Rank 2/2
Increases damage of your Revenge ability by 20% and gives a 50% chance to stun the target for 3 sec.
Shield Mastery – Rank 2/2
Increases your block value by 30% and reduces the cooldown of your Shield Block ability by 20 sec.
Toughness – Rank 5/5
Increases your armor value from items by 10% and reduces the duration of all movement slowing effects by 30%.
Puncture – Rank 3/3
Reduces the rage cost of your Sunder Armor and Devastate abilities by 3.
Concussion Blow – Rank 1/1
Stuns the opponent for 5 sec and deals [0.75 * AP] damage (based on attack power).
Gag Order – Rank 2/2
Gives your Shield Bash and Heroic Throw abilities a 100% chance to silence the target for 3 sec and increases the damage of your Shield Slam ability by 10%.
One-Handed Weapon Specialization – Rank 5/5
Increases physical damage you deal when a one-handed melee weapon is equipped by 10%.
Improved Defensive Stance – Rank 2/2
While in Defensive Stance all spell damage is reduced by 6% and when you Block, Parry or Dodge an attack you have a 100% chance to become Enraged, increasing melee damage caused by 10% for 12 sec.
Vigilance – Rank 1/1
Focus your protective gaze on a group or raid target, reducing their damage taken by 3% and transfers 10% of the threat they cause to you. In addition, each time they are hit by an attack your Taunt cooldown is refreshed. Lasts 30 min. This effect can only be on one target at a time.
Focused Rage – Rank 3/3
Reduces the rage cost of your offensive abilities by 3.
Vitality – Rank 3/3
Increases your total Strength and Stamina by 6% and your Expertise by 6.
Warbringer – Rank 1/1
Your Charge ability is now usable while in combat and in any stance. In addition, your Charge, Intercept and Intervene abilities will remove all movement impairing effects.
Devastate – Rank 1/1
Sunder the target’s armor causing the Sunder Armor effect. In addition, causes 50% of weapon damage plus 101 for each application of Sunder Armor on the target. The Sunder Armor effect can stack up to 5 times.
Critical Block – Rank 3/3
Your successful blocks have a 30% chance to block double the normal amount and increases your chance to critically hit with your Shield Slam ability by an additional 15%.
Sword and Board – Rank 3/3
Increases the critical strike chance of your Devastate ability by 15% and when your Devastate or Revenge ability deals damage it has a 30% chance of refreshing the cooldown of your Shield Slam ability and reducing its cost by 100% for 5 sec.
Damage Shield – Rank 2/2
Whenever you take damage from or block a melee attack you cause damage equal to 20% of your block value.
Shockwave – Rank 1/1
Sends a wave of force in front of the warrior, causing [0.75 * AP] damage (based on attack power) and stunning all enemy targets within 10 yards in a frontal cone for 4 sec.