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% (25% in RBG) 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.
Our mobility is absolutely horrendous at the moment, and after playing a bunch of games I've come to a couple of conclusions.
#1 - Use double time against mages (along with rude interruption glyph)
#2 - Use Warbringer against everything else (along with blitz glyph)
With so many classes having freedom, we simply cannot use anything else then blitz stun. Sure, it hurts our mobility but the utility that the stun brings is just so important at the moment.
Against mages I recomend going double time, as you need it to deal with both blazing speed and blink; along with any random novas you'll find yourself in. It can be used again ferals as well, but honestly the charge stun is still very important against them. Don't even think about using double time against ret teams. Ever.
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 stun/root 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.
BiS Gear List and Upgrade Patch
Bonus armor items first. Then trinkets. Then follow the biggest score difference. Legs, then waist, etc. Use the vers/mastery legs as your off-piece mainset as it gives the biggest stat allocation.
Use the 680 legendary bonus armor ring as your second ring. Attempt to pick up scabbard of kyanos if at all possible, as it is very strong.
If you are in a mythic raiding group, any 690+ gear with an RNG gem socket is instantly better then the corresponding PvP slot.
Ironicly, all the set bonus pieces give the absolute lowest stat values except for the shoulders. This mean that late into the season, you'll want to have two sets of gear. One with the 4pc set for when you're being trained and get the free rage, and one running only 2pc for the extra stats in games where you're not trained.
Bonus Armor = STR > Vers > Mastery > Crit > Haste > Multi
1 STR = 1 Bonus Armor. They both give 1 AP per point, except bonus armor gives % physical damage reduction which makes it a little better in a PvP setting. However, we do have a 5% str bonus passive, which means that it's a toss up if you want the very slight extra damage, or the much bigger physical damage reduction.
There's a couple pieces of offset that have bonus armor, so be sure to grab those as it's essentially bonus strength. Flat Str/AP increases are very noticable post stat squish.
These stat weights are based off the 50% nerf to crit & multistrike in PvP. It also reduces haste as there are significant periods of time where we're simply being kited.
Bonus armor - 4.39
Vers - 1.5
Mastery - 1.44
Crit - .98
Haste - .96
Multi - .85
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
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.