Ecgric will soon hit level 65, which means that I’ve now experienced almost 5 levels of play as a Protection warrior. Seems like I ought to have something to say about what leveling as a Prot warrior is like.
I’ll start off by saying that my big concern, when switching from Arms to Prot, was how quickly (or slowly) I’d be able to kill mobs. I tend to like to move through single-target mobs quickly. I don’t have a problem with harder (read: elite) mobs taking more time to kill. And I also understand that taking on multiple mobs at once will not be as quick as killing one mob. I was fully prepared for Prot to be slower than Arms, but if it was much slower, than I wasn’t sure I’d be able to resist the urge to respec back to Arms.
I am happy to report that Prot killing is not significantly slower than Arms killing. At least not at level 60+. It is somewhat slower, of course, but not so much slower that I can’t tolerate it. The big advantage of Prot, though, is survivability. And I’m talking about amazing survivability. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced as much survivability in a pet-less class.
As an example, I decided to try soloing Blacktalon, a fight that I’ve found quite challenging to solo with other classes. I was level 64 when I made the attempt. Blacktalon is level 63, I believe. The first time I attempted the fight, I was killed because I ended up fighting both Blacktalon and an add. But even with the add, I still came close to winning. So I decided to try again (the add was dead, so I figured I’d only have to fight Blacktalon the second time). The second time around, I did have to pop Last Stand to buy myself enough time, but I managed to finish the fight alive.
Keep in mind that Ecgric’s gear is nothing special. Basically just quest greens. I have yet to take him into any instance to get better great. Even with just quest greens, he was able to kill Blacktalon without too much difficulty. I was quite impressed, to say the least.
In general, when fighting normal mobs, I never even have to look at Ecgric’s health bar. I also don’t have to worry about how many mobs I’m about to run into. I find that I can pretty much wade right in and I’ll be more than capable of handling however many mobs I end up fighting. Even if I get adds in the middle of the fight.
I’m still planning to write a post that goes into more detail about exactly how combat as a Prot warrior works. For now, I hope Kadomi (of Tank Like A Girl) doesn’t mind my quoting from a comment she made to a previous post:
As prot you use a priority system, that basically looks like this:
Shield Slam > Revenge > Concussion Blow > Shockwave > Devastate
When Sword & Board procs, always Shield Slam right away.
For AoE tanking, pull 4-5 mobs, Thunderclap, Shockwave, Demo Shout, alternate between TC and Cleave and weave in Shield Slams.
Kadomi’s advice has been working perfectly for me.