I was working on a new post about professions for tanks but it will have to wait.
The release notes for patch 4.03 are out and they’re none too tender with warriors. Now, I know that I keep saying how great we are but to be honest, I thought we were simply in a good spot, pretty much on par with Pallies and DKs. Then this dropped on our head:
- Cleave damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
- Execute damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
- Heroic Strike damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
- Overpower now does 125% weapon damage, down from 150%.
- Rend base damage has been reduced by approximately 17% and percent of weapon damage per tick lowered to 25%, from 30%.
- Shield Block now only increases block chance by 25%, but excess block that pushes avoidance plus block to over 100% is now converted to critical block chance.
- Slam now costs 15 rage, down from 20, and now does 125% weapon damage, down from 150%.
- Victory Rush damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
- Whirlwind now does 65% weapon damage, down from 75%.
- Mortal Strike now does 150% weapon damage, down from 185%.
- Second Wind now heals for 2/5% of total health, down from 5/10%.
- Strikes of Opportunity now does 100% weapon damage, down from 115%.
- Blood Craze now heals for 1/2/3% of total health, down from 2.5/5/7.5%.
- Bloodthirst damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
- Raging Blow now does 110% weapon damage, down from 150%.
- Unshackled Fury now gains approximately 50% more benefit per point of Mastery.
- Critical Block now grants an equal amount of block chance and critical block chance (1.5% each per point of Mastery).
- Devastate no longer provides bonus threat.
- Shield Slam: Contribution of attack power reduced to 60%, down from 75%, and base damage brought up so that a level 85 warrior in Heroic dungeon gear deals the same damage with no Vengeance, but Vengeance has less impact. In addition, Shield Slam no longer generates 30% bonus threat from its damage.
- Vigilance no longer provides 3% damage reduction, but still refreshes Taunt and provides Vengeance.
I’m sorry, but are you kidding me?
I’ll focus on the Protection Warrior part as this is the topic of this blog. I just finished doing Heroic Lich King twice and Business Time had decided that we were done with ICC and were now just raiding to hang out or get one more Warhorse out of TotGC. I’m glad that we’re done now as it would have been quite difficult to do it after this patch.
In phase 1 of our H LK fights, I was tanking the Horrors and Ghouls. Since the number of enemies to tank was quite large, I was using Cleave continuously to supplement Thunderclap and Shockwave. I still lost a lot of Ghouls to healer aggro that had to be taunted back. This is a nerf to our AoE threat. Warriors were never the AoE kings so that hurts. Also, those who used the Blood and Thunder Talent are also having their Rend effect nerfed.
For single targets, I am quite happy that Shield Slam will no longer be so dependant on Vengeance but again, I thought we were in a good place single target threat wise. I am also not a fan of baked in threat bonus so I’m happy it’s going away but I am concerned about keeping that threat up if there is no compensation on the damage side for the lost threat.
I usually try to be positive about changes but you must admit that this one is a hard one to be positive about. If we had been dominating (Like Fury Warriors), I would agree that a nerf was needed but this doesn’t feel warranted except if they were seeing huge discrepancies on the Beta at 85.
This is my gut feel reaction so I could be wrong and I’ll be doing some more research to be sure. Right now, it sure feels like taking a mace blow in the codpiece.