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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A pile of my enemies' bodies

Matthew Rossi

Welcome back to The Care and Feeding of Warriors. The carnage you see above you is the entire Scarlet Monastery Cathedral (and all the mobs before it, too!) except for the ones who died before we got this far. (I stole this idea shamelessly from a commenter named Brian Arnold.The video he linked is pretty much exactly how it went down for me.) Damage Shield, you complete me. Well, you and Shockwave, and the new limitless target Thunder Clap. This is my build: I skipped over Anticipation because, while an excellent talent, I want to be hit instead of dodged. I'll pick it back up again once we start leveling. A couple of fun screenshots from my character panel:

This is my admittedly gimmicky shield block value set. Pretty much every piece on it has block or str, I hover at around 16000 health in it. What I find really fun (and what allowed me to pull the entire Cath as well as both bosses onto myself) was this next trick. Nothing up my sleeve but Shield Block.

Yes, for ten seconds, you can have double your normal block value and block every single attack that will possibly land. (Well, not magic, but that's why Blizzard made Spell Reflection.) Now, while this is fun for ridiculous trash pulls in underlevel instances, it's what it says for raids that's important. Shield Block is now an excellent spike damage reduction tool. If your health is low and you want to give your healers some help, you pop Shield Block and for ten seconds, if a hit doesn't do around 2k damage, you don't take any damage. Meanwhile, with damage shield up, whatever is hitting you will be taking around 400 damage for its trouble. This means that on trash pulls, Shield Block has become a threat generation tool. Just think about the Shield Slam crits with Critical Block.

"Let me introduce you to my shield." Wha-BANG!

There's so much to talk about in the wake of Echoes of Doom that I find myself unsure where to go. Clearly, we need to cover glyphs. I still want to discuss gear in Wrath, as we were interrupted in the middle of that. We've covered talents pretty exhaustively over the past week (to the point where my poor tired brain simply can't bear another discussion of them to be honest) but there's more that can be said.

For some reason, playing the same changes on live that I'd experience in the beta somehow makes them seem more real, if for no other reason than I'm doing raids with a raid leader dual wielding two handers while the warlock tries to tank things in demon form and I'm holding groups of adds onto myself with a charge - TC- Shockwave rotation, Divine Storm is going off everywhere around us... we took a group into MC to help a friend tame a Core Hound and next thing we knew 10 of us were standing over Ragnaros' dead body. We had to rotate people in just to put out the runes for us because we'd cleared the entire instance but the quintessences we'd brought weren't off cooldown yet. Now, it's MC, and ten of us could have done it easily before the patch. But before the patch, no one could have said "Okay, Matt, you tank Garr's adds here." A follow-up in Zul'Aman only served to confirm my suspicion, as I simply allowed the hatchers to pop an entire side at a time and tanked all the spawns. It still required some work, but can you imagine a warrior holding that many dragonhawks? It's quite possible now.

Okay, let's talk glyphs. I'm currently using the Glyph of Resonating Power and Glyph of Sunder Armor (I will replace the Sunder Armor glyph with the Glyph of Revenge as soon as I find one, or level an inscription alt and make one) as my major glyphs, and the Glyph of Thunder Clap and Glyph of Mocking Blow as my minor ones. I wish I'd found the Revenge one, as the idea of rage-free Heroic Strikes while tanking makes me all kinds of excited. Once I get my third glyph slot at 80 I'd definitely consider the Glyph of Heroic Strike to go with the Glyph of Revenge for a potent one-two combo: not only would HS not cost any rage, but as many posters point out, thanks to Incite my HS would then have a good chance to generate rage for me. It might be worth dumping the Resonating Power to go for this combo now, once I have the Revenge glyph.

For my tauren, who is Titan's Grip specced (man, you guys who think I'm crazy for having four warriors at 70, let me tell you, it's awesome not having to blow 50g every time I'm curious about a spec, and it only cost me, what, days of gameplay? Okay, the 50g would be easier, and I'm crazy) I went with the Glyph of Bloodthirst and the Glyph of Whirlwind for major glyphs. I'm frankly not terribly happy with the BT glyph, it's a good ability for soloing and I'll probably want it back when we're leveling to 80 but right now the Heroic Strike glyph would probably be better. I've actually switched in and out several minor glyphs (my horde guild has several Inscription makers furiously scribbling away) and right now I'm sitting with Glyph of Battle, Glyph of Bloodrage and Glyph of Enduring Victory. I don't really like the Enduring Victory one all that much (I should, shouldn't I? I know it's not awesome for bosses but for trash waves Victory Rush comes up a lot. It just feels unimpressive to me, and both the Battle and Bloodrage ones seem better. I could be crazy here.)

For arms, which my draenei is undoubtedly going to be (he's moving into full-time PvP, so that I don't have to respec or even switch specs when that becomes available) I'm very interested in the Glyph of Execution to make Sudden Death even better than it already is (and it's already very, very good). I'm going to avoid the Glyph of Mortal Strike for arms PvP, but for PvE it should be a good potential choice. 10% more damage is 10% more damage, after all. The Glyph of Overpower is another contender if you're already relying heavily on Overpower for a Taste for Blood oriented build, although if you're melee DPS in PvE you should be behind the mob, where it doesn't get parries. For PvP, it might give opposing warriors or ret pallies a reason to regret speccing Deflection. You might be better off going with the Glyph of Rending if you're relying on Taste for Blood, though. I expect I'll be spending a lot of time switching glyphs around trying to find the optimal ones for PvP. I figure I'll be respeccing a lot anyway, so might as well. Heck, for PvE arms the Glyph of Sweeping Strikes is very hot, and you can't really say anything bad about more rage for PvP. Supposedly the Glyph of Whirlwind works with Bladestorm, too. A lot of choices here.

I'm still playing with glyphs myself, so any neat discoveries you've made of awesome glyph combos would be greatly appreciated. Right now, I'm delerious with glee over protection, loving fury, and am discovering that arms is a lot better than I thought it was going to be. (You can become an overpower and execute popping machine with the right talents and glyphs, it's insane) What about you guys? Happy or unhappy?

I really want to get back to the Wrath gearing discussion, prot in PvP (let me just say that Shockwave and Spell Reflection can really annoy people trying to cap a flag) and how DPS warriors have changed, so I have no idea how next week will look. If you want to see one of those topics, or to suggest one I've missed, please do.

Check out more strategies, tips and leveling guides for Warriors in Matthew Rossi's weekly class column: The Care and Feeding of Warriors.

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