WotLK: Protection Warrior Changes in 9014

The new patch (9014) has hit, and all of the Prot Warrior changes talked about for the last week are in:

Revenge damage has been increased, and can proc Sword and Board.
Shield Slam damage has been slightly increased.

  • These two changes were totally expected. Basically making up for the dps nerfs in the last few patches, and putting Revenge firmly back into the rotation.

Armored to the Teeth now increases attack power by 3 for every 180 armor (rather than being a strength buff).

  • AttT is back to being a straight DPS/Threat increase, not a “Gotta have it” Block buff. Certainly not bad place to put points, just not totally overpowered anymore.

Thunderclap target cap removed

  • Now the painful difference between a 4-pull and 5-pull is drastically reduced (or 8/9 with the Glyph). This is the single biggest change we’ve seen, and totally removes a whole class of encounters that “warriors can’t tank.” Give me a good healer, and let the AoE fly.

Vigilance is now a threat transfer, rather than a straight 10% threat reduction for the target.

  • For anyone on the fence about Vigilance, I think this should make it an easy call. This talent will certainly be in my builds.

Berserker Rage will be usable in all stances.

  • Wow.. this one surprises me. Between Warbringer and Berserker Rage, I can’t see why tanks would ever leave Defensive Stance. I’m not quite complaining.. but this totally removes the need to stance dance, and trivializes Nightbane-type encounters.

With these changes, Protection Warriors feel just about much done.  Talent/skill-wise, at least.

I expect that there will be tweaks as the avoidance/mitigation/threat stats for all the tank classes are balanced, but those will likely be slight changes to the numbers.

Any more major changes before WotLK goes live would be a surprise – but I didn’t anticipate the Berserker Rage change, so…

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