Protection warrior PvP
- Ever since Blizzard made the decision to make all specs viable for PvP, things have just been getting better for protection warriors. With rated battlegrounds in Cataclysm
, tanks have a solid place on the battlefield, holding down key points and carrying flags. Shield Slam
makes protection warriors one of the select specs that have offensive magical dispels, and with so much mitigation talents, protection will fit right in with the new combat environment of the expansion.
- Toughness - Resilience simplified to its current form, there's better value in most mitigation talents including Toughness, which grants higher armor. The removal of armor penetration from the game makes this a decent investment even at three points.
- Shield Specialization - You will block attacks and you will most definitely Spell Reflect harmful spells, so you might as well get some rage out of it (60 rage isn't anything to sneeze about, either).
- Shield Mastery - It's not as if protection is starved for mitigation, but Shield Mastery makes those special cooldown abilities usable more frequently. You'll like the fact that you can Spell Reflect every 7 seconds. Your opponents won't. Consider activating Glyph of Spell Reflection (major) to bring that cooldown down even further to 6 seconds.
- Gag Order - Still an awesome PvP ability, Gag Order gives protection warriors two short cooldown silence spells, with one that can be used on targets at long range. That's pretty scary for opposing casters.
- Last Stand - Typically considered a PvE talent, the bonus health works well in tanking situations such as when being focused upon as a flag carrier. With proper communication with healers on your team, this talent goes a long way towards keeping you alive.
- Concussion Blow - Although the damage component of this ability has been nerfed, it's still a 5 second stun every 30 seconds and it only costs 15 rage. One of the best PvP talents in the tree for just one point.
- Bastion of Defense - With resilience no longer reducing critical hit chance, talents like Bastion of Defense gains more value. Sure it only affects melee attacks, but it's not like protection needs any more tools to bring casters to their knees.
- Warbringer - Such a beautiful talent for PvP, allowing protection warriors to forgo the stance dance, granting them superior mobility. The talent has been nerfed, however, with only Intervene retaining the root and snare break, making it highly conditional. Still an important talent and it only takes one point.
- Devastate, Impending Victory, and Sword and Board - Devastate is listed only because you'll need it to pick up Impending Victory, which allows you to use Victory Rush even before killing your opponent, and Sword and Board, which gives you a chance at proccing a free Shield Slam.
Expect protection warriors to excel in PvP, especially in rated battlegrounds where groups will probably have at least one tank. Warriors are still susceptible to snares and roots, but as always have the means to close the distance. The specs feel balanced across the board, and with the nerf to Mortal Strike, it no longer feels mandatory to have an arms warrior on the team. Generally, every spec can be viable in PvP, so pick a warrior playstyle that suits you and go bash people's heads in. Next week, we conclude this series with a look at warlocks, then off to rated battlegrounds!
Zach delivers your weekly dose of battlegrounds and world PvP in one crazy column. Find out how the Cataclysm talent tree redesign affects PvP, how sub-speccing will work at higher levels in the expansion, and how the new Azeroth will affect world PvP. Visit Blood Sport for the inside line on arena PvP.