The expansion has now been around for a month. Can you believe it? It’s only been 36 days since that very cold night stuck standing outside EBGames (Gamestop for you Americans). How have you been enjoying your expansion so far?
I’m still of two minds about the expansion but one thing I’m definitely clear about is that the Protection Warrior is OP; and no, not just the players in this case.
I remember back before Cataclysm came out, patch 4.03 nerfed us by a good huge percentage. We were not happy with the change but there had been reports that with proper gear, we were outdpsing our DPS in raid instances on the beta. So the nerf came and made our levelling rather slow. My first instances were not the most enjoyable either. Threat was a bit of an issue and our damage was low. The Death Knights in our group were doing much better at the time especially with their overpowered self healing.
Oh how things have changed! The warrior, like a fine wine or our almost limitless rage bar, gets better with age and mostly, with better gear. I believe my gear is now about iLevel 350 and the difference is enough to make our guild dps have rage bars of their own.
I’ll give you a couple of examples:
- In Bastion of Twilight. The first trash pull, I did 21k dps, leading the raid in damage done.
- On our Valiona kill, I was doing 11k dps. 40% of that damage was heroic strike.
- I would rarely use Inner Rage and instead kept the rage to be able to spam Cleave and Heroic Strike.
A nerf was most definitely needed and it’s coming with 4.0.6. Here are the current patch notes:
- Charge now shares diminishing returns with stun effects.
- Cleave damage has been reduced by 20%.
- Hamstring now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
- Heroic Strike damage has been reduced by 20%.
- Inner Rage has been redesigned. It now reduces the cooldown on Heroic Strike and Cleave by 50% (to 1.5 second) for the next 15 seconds. 1-minute cooldown. It still cannot be used during Deadly Calm. This ability was originally designed to help warriors with rage capping, but the Heroic Strike and rage normalization changes seem to have solved that problem on their own. This new design will still allow warriors to burn off excess rage faster, at their discretion.
- Slam cast time is now affected by haste.
- Talent Specializations
- Juggernaut no longer increases the cooldown on Charge, but instead increases the duration of the Charge stun by 2 seconds. In addition, Charge is usable in all stances, however, the talent now causes Charge and Intercept to share a cooldown.
- Lambs to the Slaughter: Instead of granting 10/20/30% damage to the next Mortal Strike, Overpower, or Execute, it now grants a 10% buff to any Mortal Strike, Overpower, Slam, or Execute that stacks 1/2/3 times.
- War Academy no longer buffs Heroic Strike or Cleave. It now buffs Mortal Strike, Raging Blow, Devastate, Victory Rush and Slam.
- Bloodthirst damage has been increased by approximately 30%.
- Raging Blow weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased from 110% to 145%.
- Unshackled Fury (Mastery) now grants 5.6% benefit per mastery point, up from 4.7%.
- Charge’s stun continues to not trigger diminishing returns for Protection warriors who have the Warbringer talent.
- Glyph of Rapid Charge has been changed from a 7% reduction to Charge’s cooldown, to 1 second off of the cooldown. This change is primarily to clarify the exact cooldown reduction this glyph provides.
At first glance, I think this looks good. Reducing the damage by 20% and further reducing it by removing the buff from War Academy seems to be the correct way to go. We’ll need to see the results from the PTR but I think this should bring our damage back in line with the other tanks.
I also like the changes to War Academy which will now buff Devastate and Victory Rush. It might be time to see if Impending Victory is worth its cost.
The only change I’m dubious about is the change to Inner Rage. Granted that I was rarely using it now, just reducing the cooldown on Heroic Strike and Cleave, meh. Will it be enough? One thing for sure, Heroic Strike and Cleave are staying on my mouse wheel!