Side by Side

Thursday, June 10, 2010

So Gundther is finally nearing the end; lvl 80 is a mere 12 bubbles of Xp away. While real life as well as raid commitments have kept play time on the warrior to a minimum, Svenn has been able to squeeze in a regular random just about every day (insta-tank queues FTW!) While this hasn’t been great from a leveling standpoint it sure has been a great train-up for warrior tanking, as well as accumulating a fair number of badges (38 to date). Along the way, Svenn has come to see warriors in a slightly different light….I may have to change the tag line under the banner heading now :(

Anyways, the similarities between Warrior and Pally tanking are a lot more numerous than Svenn would have expected when compared side-by-side.

AoE hate:
While the AoE aggro generating tools may not be quite as good or “instant” as the Pally’s they are there (given you have the rage to use them).
Thunderclap is basically a non-persistent Consecration
Cleave
a slightly less hard-hitting Hammer of the Righteous
Damage Shield roughly equates to Retribution Aura
Defensive Stance is similar to Righteous Fury though it is not quite as good
There are no directly related talents to Avenger Shield or Seal of Command but Shockwave adds to the Warrior AoE toolkit, as well as Improved Revenge which operates very similar to a Druid’s Maul (glyphed).

Defense:
Shield Mastery is equal to Redoubt; when augmented with Shield Specialization actually results in higher block percentages.
Shield Block gives more extra block than Holy Shield but is offset with a longer cooldown and no damage component.
Improved Defensive Stance is similar in function to components of Devotion Aura and Blessing of Sanctuary, focusing more on spell damage mitigation as well as damage (TpS) increase.
Defensive cooldowns see a bigger divergence between the Warrior and Pally. While Shieldwall is similar in form to Divine Protection, Last Stand is more in line with a Druid’s Survival Instincts than anything in the Pally arsenal (Ardent Defender being their other main CD, though it is proced not activated).

Taunts:
Taunt is Hand of Reckoning minus the damage component, while Mocking Blow has the damage component but lacks the range
Challenging Shout is Righteous Defense minus the target limitations but at the cost of a hefty cooldown

Buffs:
There is no way a Warrior can match a Pally for group buffs, however Commanding Shout is a nice HP increase comparable to BoS/Kings from a Pally in the +Stam arena, and they have a few more debuffs than a Pally.

With all these similarities, and substituting a rage bar for a mana bar, the actual tanking mechanics become much more familiar. The differences are much more striking in nature. Warriors can apply the scalpel where Paladins must necessarily use a hammer. That is to say, Warriors have a much more varied toolkit at their disposal. Spell Reflect and Demoralizing Shout add survivability to magic and physical damage respectively, Shield Bash/ Shield Slam add interrupts and silences, while Devastate does good damage /great threat and debuffs the target (disarm is also a nice debuff when available). The ability to use Charge and Intercept in combat (Warbringer talent) combined with Intervene are great for zipping around, while Shoot and Heroic Throw add to your ranged options. Stance swapping opens even more possibilities; offensively with Whirlwind and Execute, and defensively with Overpower and Retaliation.

Overall I am finding the Warrior an engaging tank to play. While I still prefer the Pally for Off Tank duties/ 5mans due to its increase “utility” and self heals, I can see Gundther becoming a favorite for Maintank roles. I’m sure I will have more observations once I get some more exposure to tanking at level 80 and do a raid or 2 with him.

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Inno said...

I suspect that you'll be far more successful tanking on a warrior than I am. It's just not in my blood to do anything beyond melee dps. I look forward to seeing how the G man holds up tanking. Send me a holler and I'll dps or grumble/heal for you.

June 11, 2010 at 4:00 PM

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