As many are blind to the gloriousness that is gladiator stance, I decided to create a guide to save my fellow warriors from certain frustration. Here's to those who charge blamelessly into arena with their futile specializations that result in their imminent demise; may they soon respec at the graveyard.
Gladiator stance is our new level 100 talent introduced in WoD. It allows us to play prot, but in a more DPS focused roll. By taking the talent, we give up the stamina bonus from prot as well as the ability to use defensive stance. Luckily, all our spells don’t have stance requirements. We retain the simple spell rotation that once resembled MoP arms, and gain even more defensive cool downs. The only downside is no MS, but MS has been irrelevent for a very long time now.
Fun fact: Blizzard made all tanks take 50% more damage in PvP, however, this doesn’t apply to protection when in gladiator stance.
Rotation and abilities
Fortunately our abilities are very straight forward. They all just do damage, with very little actual thinking involved. Some abilities will reset the CD of others, but that's as deep as it goes.
Execute > Shield Charge > Shield Slam > Revenge > Devastate
If above 60 rage then roll some heroic strikes. Avoid being rage capped unless you are setting up a significant burst opportunity. Use heroic strike procs as they happen, and attempt to control your shield charges so you will at minimum get a shield bash and revenge off during its duration.
Fun Fact: Shield Charge has two charges, and they add to the duration instead of replacing it. There’s no need to be worried about overlapping this ability.
Ah, talents. So many choices, how shall I ever choose!?!
I wish. Warriors have some of the worse talent choices in the game at the moment, especially as arms and fury. Prot is nearly as bad, except our talent choices are actually useful sometimes.
Juggernaut for consistent charges, or Double Time for those moments where you really need to chase down that Hunter or Druid. I personally have been running Double Time for a while now, and I much rather prefer it over Juggernaut. However, it is pure preference as to which talent you take.
With the removal of charge stun, it may seem smart to pick up Warbringer in order to bring back interrupting casts, among other things. Unfortunately, our mobility has been gutted so much that a 20 second charge isn’t really an option.
As such, the MoP style of preference will be the way to go until they inevitably give us charge stun back along with the warrior overhaul in 6.1
With the nerf to second wind, the only option has become enraged regeneration. Luckily it no longer requires to be enraged for the full effect, and with battle fatigue gone it’s pretty damn reliable.
Fun fact: Enraged Regen and Last Stand scale directly with health. If you’re using battle shout, swap over to command before using these two abilities in order to maximize their effects.
Fun fact #2: Last stand is different from rallying cry in that unlike cry, you do not lose the health once the effect ends. It’s essentially a free 100k+/- heal.
Heavy Repercussions. It’s a significant burst damage increase that US and SD can’t hope to compete with.
One of the significant changes from MoP is now Storm Bolt and Shockwave are on the same tier. This choice will really be up to which comp you play. Storm Bolt may seem better as it’s a ranged, 30 sec stun, but the skill cap for it is much lower. Getting a triple Shockwave is huge in a game, and it will also reduce the CD to 20 seconds, which is obviously shorter then Storm Bolt.
If you’re playing with a Hunter and you need some help landing those ranged traps, then take bolt. However, if you’re playing double time you can charge someone, drop a shockwave, then charge back as well. This would leave you with shockwave in case a big opportunity presented itself for some big plays.
I prefer shockwave as it is has a much bigger play pool to pick from, giving it much more utility.
With the nerf to Safeguard it is no longer our go-to talent. What you will take will be dependent on which comp you are up against.
MSR is great for those dirty wizards spamming CC, or that sense of mind that you can reflect that CC regardless of who the enemy is targeting. MSR now replaces spell reflect, and with the CD at 30 seconds you really need to understand when to use it.
Safeguard is good for those who like to train the blue all game. It’s a consistent 20% damage reduction every 30 seconds.
Vigilance is good when you’re up against something like ret/priest/hunt where their entire kill window comes in short windows every couple of minutes.
Avatar or Bloodbath. Totally up to your preference and to what kind of comp you’re running. Bloodbath sync’s really well with the on use trinket. Avatar breaks roots on use, which actually means something now that our mobility is so weak.
Gladiator’s Resolve. That’s why we’re prot in the first place.
Shield Slam: Offensive dispel as part of your main rotation? Brainless application? Hell yeah!
Death From Above: Reduces the CD of your leap by 15 seconds, but reduces its range to 25 yards.
Heroic Leap: The old 4pc bonus. When you leap, you gain a 70% sprint for three seconds.
With slippery Hunters and Druids I honestly cannot see the CD trade off being worth the
severely reduced range. If you don’t mind it, then go for it. I much prefer the sprint.
Blitz: For triple rooting action.
Rude Interruption: Since you'll be training casters often, this is a fun choice. How dare they try to cast.
Long Charge: More chasing potential for those slippery classes.
Hindering Strikes: Those shape shifting Druids won’t understand until it hits them.
WoD did a significant number of racial tweaks this time around. I firmly believe the following can be applied to every class.
All DPS - > Human; Rogues -> Gnome; If Druid - > Night Elf
All Healers - > Dwarf; if unable - > Night Elf.
Horde racials were nerfed into oblivion. The entire faction is unviable from a competitive standpoint. Here’s to hoping the NA community picks up on the EU way of life and everyone goes to the significantly superior Alliance.
If you become frustrated from sitting in roots all day, and you’re not playing with a Paladin, then just go Gnome. You’ll lose a significant damage bonus, but the 1minute escape artist is just so much fun.
I’m still working out the actual best stats to go and I’m sure Veev will be around eventually to set everything straight when he does.
Strength > Crit > Haste/Mastery > Multistrike
Our mastery increases critical block chance (useless) and gives us a % attack power increase. Even small amounts is noticeable with the stat squish being so prominent with main stats. Haste now reduces the CD on many of our abilities, as well as reduces our GCD. I’m going to go with a healthy balance between the two. As reforging is gone, this is rather easy to do with the new gearing system. It’s really up to preference between these two stats.
PvP gear does not have any gem sockets. I’m not happy about it either, but it is what it is.
Intervene healer/DPS. Have one of these for each of them.
#showtooltip intervene /cast [@catflaps] intervene
Intervenes the first thing in front of you. Will not drop target, nor randomly bug out like most macros do. *No path available bug still exists, but it’s nothing that can be fixed on our end*
#showtooltip intervene /targetfriend /cast [noharm] intervene /targetlasttarget [noraid, noparty, noharm, exists]
We no longer have recklessness or banner, so this is literally our ‘Swifty one shot macro’. It’s just your on-use (You are Human, Right?) and whichever talent you picked.
#showtooltip 13 /use 13 /cast bloodbath
Suck it arms/fury, we still have banner intervene. This macro will not drop your target, nor randomly bug out and target random people. It is –the- best banner macro you can have, bar none.
#showtooltip Mocking Banner /targetexact Mocking Banner /cast [noraid, noparty, noharm] Intervene /targetlasttarget [noraid, noparty, noharm, exists] /cast Mocking Banner
Space saving macro, will charge/pummel your focus depending on range. This works due to charge’s minimum range requirement.
#showtooltip /cast [@focus] Charge /cast [@focus] Pummel
Charge and intervene in one macro. It’s convenient when some random pet is following the enemy if you don’t have anything else over there to charge/intervene, and using the fast intervene macro would be unwise.
#showtooltip Charge /cast [harm] Charge; [help] Intervene
Macroing taunt into your main abilities will piss a lot of pet classes off. Really brainless but has led to plenty of pet kills in my time.
#showtooltip shield slam /cast shield slam /cast [@arenapet1] taunt /cast [@arenapet2] taunt /cast [@arenapet3] taunt
Prot is insanely strong. Border-line overpowered. I’ve been toying around with in for the last five months on beta, and it will be the go-to spec once WoD launches. You do twice the damage, twice the utility, and die twice as slow.
You will run kitty cleave, WLD, TSG, ATC, or any other melee cleave and enjoy it. The enemy team will become truculent the second you connect. You are what Blizzard wanted; the result of turning our favorite spec into unplayability, and resigning to simply do what they wanted and become god incarnate while having fun.