Tank Rotation & Cooldowns for Protection Warrior in PvE | Latest Patch 6.0.3
The following rotation guide was developed through extensive simulations and play testing with the goal of keeping the guide as simple as possible without sacrificing performance. This guide also included AoE rotations and provides details on when to use special talents and cooldowns.
Single Target Rotation
Stance: Defensive Stance
Tanking Priority: Execute this priority to build Rage and threat.
- Shield Slam on every cooldown. Watch for Sword And Board procs.
- Revenge whenever available.
- Execute as a Rage dump when your target is below 20% health.
- Devastate as a filler ability and to proc Sword And Board.
- Heroic Strike as a Rage dump when your target is above 20% health. Watch for Ultimatum procs.
Active Mitigation: Consume Rage with these skills to mitigate damage.
Protection Warrior single target tanking involves building up Rage and spending it on either Shield Block or Shield Barrier. To build Rage, use Shield Slam on cooldown while watching for Sword And Board procs. Use Revenge whenever it is available. Use Execute to dump excess Rage when your target is below 20% health. Devastate is your filler ability and procs Sword And Board. Finally, use Heroic Strike to dump excess Rage when your target is above 20% health and to consume Ultimatum procs.
The choice between spending Rage on Shield Block or Shield Barrier depends on the specific encounter. Shield Block is used to mitigate physical damage delivered through melee attacks. Shield Barrier can be used to mitigate any type of damage, but is best used to mitigate magic damage and group AoE damage. In general, Shield Block is your go-to Rage spender as it helps you mitigate boss auto-attacks with Shield Barrier used to bleed off excess Rage. However, if you are expecting a major magic based attack, then you should pool Rage to use on Shield Barrier.
The Protection Warrior AoE rotation is fairly straight forward. Use Thunder Clap as necessary to apply and maintain Deep Wounds. Beyond that, continue with your single target rotation and spread your attacks among the targets as necessary to mainitain threat on all enemies.
Below is advice on how to use the performance-enhancing talents that were selected in this guide.
- Second Wind provides its benefit passively and does not require any interaction or change in your rotation.
- Unyielding Strikes mostly provides its benefit passively. Continue to use Heroic Strike as directed in the rotation section. At 4+ stacks of Unyielding Strikes you will begin to use Heroic Strike quite frequently due to its low Rage cost.
- Shockwave should be used as often as possible when you can hit multiple targets. Shockwave is especially helpful for grabbing new spawns or adds at a distance. As Protection, Shockwave is mostly a threat-enhancing talent and should not be used at the expense of survivability cooldowns or abilities.
- Vigilance is best used to mitigate incoming damage to a group member and to remove the cooldown on Taunt. This can be especially useful when you need to pickup adds or new spawns.
- Avatar should be used on cooldown. Try to stack Avatar with other major burst cooldowns.
- Gladiators Resolve provides a new stance that greatly increases your damage dealt and provides you with Shield Charge. Only use this stance if you are dealing damage and do not expect to tank as you cannot swap from this stance in combat.
These are effective cooldowns to try and incorporate into most all encounters.
- Berserker Rage Use as often as possible for additional Rage.
- Demoralizing Shout Use proactively as a minor defense cooldown.
- Last Stand Use if very low health or expecting a large attack.
- Mocking Banner Use as needed for an AoE taunt.
- Reflection Use proactively to prevent magic damage.
- Shield Wall Use proactively to prevent damage.
- Taunt Use to establish threat on targets not attacking you.