Optimal Raid Warrior Threat Rotation
Hi all, I'm one of the main tanks for my raiding guild on Cenarius. Karazhan down and Gruul almost on farm (2 kills at 16 growths)
Although we have not had any problems related to main tank threat generation vs. dps yet (75k threat lead between me and dps at the end of our Gruul kills), I keep reading in various places about 900+ sustained tps and regardless of how I tweak my rotation, I never seem to hit that except with some lucky shield slam crits for brief periods of time. I'm hoping that by outlining what my rotation is, I can get some advice from the uber tanks here.
First off, standard tank buffs with battleshout occasionally is the tanking group. No shaman for windfury or feral druid for LOTP.
For trash, I open as follows:
Shield slam off the bat (I have a macro that casts shield slam and queues heroic strike)
Sunder until revenge lights up or shield slam comes off cooldown
At 5 sunders use revenge, shield slam, and a macro that casts devastate then heroic strike
Repeat until dead.
With this I hit around 700 sustained tps on Karazhan trash and the like. I generally don't discriminate between shield slam and revenge, hitting whichever one is available.
For bosses its the same except instead of waiting for revenge, I use a macro that casts revenge if its up, otherwise it casts shield block. In the event shield block is down and revenge up, I can still hit this to get the revenge off.
For the most part, my tps hovers between 550 and 800 on Gruul mostly in the 700 range. Its typically lowest when I'm popping mitigation cooldowns during silences and the like.
As I very much want to be the best tank possible, I'd appreciate it if some of the more seasoned tanks could elaborate the rotation they use that nets them the awesome threat numbers. I've pretty much been using my devastate macro as my rage dump and do find myself with periods of 100 rage where I've been working mitigation cooldowns. I can typically spend that on shield slam-devastate+hs pretty quickly depending on the circumstances.
I'm also open to build/gear suggestions. Here's my armory profile.
I've been toying with going 3 imp hs/2 parry/3 imp tc and dropping imp shield bash/imp taunt for imp shield wall, maybe some points in anticipation. Not sure.
Thanks very much for the assistance,
I can't see much wrong with it, but you might want to check out the Warrior TPS Spreadsheet thread.
Threat generation tips - http://elitistjerks.com/f31/t10756-warrior_threat_gen_tips/
TPS spreadsheet - http://elitistjerks.com/f31/t11634-warrior_tanking_tps_sheet/
To answer your question, your optimal full rage 0 latency threat cycle is: Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, Devastate, with Heroic Strikes on every swing. According to the spreadsheet that will yield 885.4 threat per second in your current gear.
I screwed up my current armory spec, lesson: never respec when drunk.
I'm commonly around 850-900 tps on gruul with no wf/lotp, and the only real difference between my macro setup and yours is:
1) Heroic strike + Shield Block
3) Shield Slam
4) Revenge + Heroic Strike
Mouse5) Taunt (shift+click intervene)
so really no difference, do you use wws to track your fights?
heres a wws link to a gruul a couple weeks ago where i was really happy with my tps
I too am always looking to improve (I'm far from perfect), and my tps was probably helped by a third prot warrior in the raid doing demo and thunderclap for me
I had seen the spreadsheet but all the math started to make my brain hurt. I'll check it out again (now that exams are finished) and have another look.
By "heroic strikes on every swing" do you mean queing up a heroic strike on the use of each threat gen ability so
When do you find the optimal time to use shield block? As soon as its available (keeping upcoming attacks in mind) or do you make it part of the rotation as well?
I haven't seen wwws but it looks like an excellent tool for getting a picture of the fights. I'll recommend it to the guild number crunchers, especially since it will help troubleshoot other classes by looking at spell allocation and such.
And don't sign your posts in the future, you'll get a note from the mods.
Real world tanking isnt a rotation. Latency, rage problems, and a million other things will throw a lovingly crafted, theoretically optimal ability rotation into a tailspin in mere seconds. Fortunately, the pecking order of what to do is fairly clear, and will become second nature with some practice.
The GCD, your swing timer (heroic strikes), and shield block are all entirely separate. Try not to think about planning abilities with them all in some set order... it as doing three things at once.
The GCD is king. Instant abilities are you bread and butter. Shield slam and revenge are the top two, and when they are on cooldown, your most rage efficient threat comes from devastate and/or sunder. If you dont have enough rage to keep mashing away on the instants, don't heroic strike or shield block. If rage is a concern, then heroic strike is too inefficient, and shield block isnt necessary... if you were getting hit hard enough to warrant shield block, you would have more rage. Youll also need to mix in debuffs, taunting, etc on the global cooldown... for something like thunderclap, replace a sunder or devastate. For a taunt, well, you pretty much gatta do it when you gotta do it :)
If you are trying to maintain #2 aggro without incoming damage, try to save your bottom 17 rage for shield slam. Only pop a sunder or devastate when slam is on cooldown AND you have more than 29 rage. Delaying a sunder or devastate a bit wont hurt your threat generation as much as missing a shield slam cooldown will.
If you are fighting anything that can hit you fairly hard, and you need shield block, pop it whenever its up. Again, dont think of it as how many abilities you can squeeze between refreshing shield block... just pop it when its up. Theorycrafting can probably reason out holding out for that last second between the cooldown and the buff expiration, if it doesnt get consumed on charges... but thats 1 second, minus latency, and minus reaction time. Go ahead and pop it.
Finally, get the heroic strikes rolling if you still have leftover rage. When talking about rage-rich situtations, every swing means EVERY SWING. A absolutely perfect tank would do 0 white damage to vaelstraz. Again, dont think of heroic strike timing as having anything to do with your GCD abilities. When rage is up, activate it.
BTW... if you are trying to come up with a rotation to throw into a /castsequence, I have one recommendation: dont. A big part of being a good tank is making the quick, correct decisions on what abilities to use; and begin a great tank means getting that to be second nature so that you can keep it up while moving, breaking fears, charging around, managing multiple mobs, and doing whatever else an encounter requires. A macro cant make the good decisions for you.
If you dont feel you want to put the effort into tanking without a goofy macro, I respectfully suggest that perhaps tanking isnt for you, and you may enjoy a different role or class more.
Thanks Stampy for your detailed outline. Its never been my intention to shove everything into a macro for 1 button tanking, but I do like to use macros effeciently if they declutter things. I added the heroic strike to my devastate and shield slam macros because it seemed like a better way to get it in there more frequently and I was approaching it from more of a linear progression perspective than multi-tasking. I've got thunderclap and demo shout on one button too.
I have never really thought about seperating the cooldowns in the fashion as you have illustrated. I'm gonna spend some time with my ui tonight and some mouse bindings as suggested in one of the threads linked above. Gonna take some unlearning in my brain, I wager.
I suppose this makes improved heroic strike a smart talent choice since it boosts the threat per rage with heroic strikes going off so frequently.
I apologize about signing the posts. Its a rule I've never seen before.
Just got back from the nights Karazhan raid and I've got some interest results.
Based on the information here I made a few changes to my setup
1. Revenge-Shield Slam-Sunder are next to each other on my bars (3-4-5)
2. Mouse 4 is shield block, Mouse 5 is heroic strike
I found I was able to get higher burst and sustained threat on trash mobs with this setup (much easier to work heroic strikes in).
On bosses though, my threat generation actually went down. Something about how I was working shield block in (I'm guessing) was just not clicking.
Kind of surprised with the results. Any insight perhaps?
Maybe you're just too good at burning your rage now.
Tank gear upgrades can be part of the 'problem' also - if you end up with a lot of avoidance and there is a long dodge/parry/miss string in that time you get very little rage.
If you are tanking multiple trash mobs you will not typically have very long dodge/parry/miss strings, but it can be more of an issue on a boss.
There are already some helpful hints in this thread for those situations such as watch the number of rage available and set reasonable thresholds: Only burn sunder/devastate if you have enough rage for shield slam after that rage is spent, and likewise with heroic. Maybe the rule of thumb is if your rage bar is below a third, no sunder/devastate. If below half no heroic.
Imp HS certainly isnt bad, but what would you give up for it?
On any mob that can kill you shield block > all, being tricky and timing it for mob autoattacks instead of spamming? well... might be more work than its worth.
I'm with schnappi, I love having shield block tied to heroic strike, but I also tie revenge to heroic strike because it tends to get un-queue'ed, and I find that incredibly annoying.
I can't imagine having my revenges always try to queue up a heroic strike though... my preference is to keep my most rage efficient abilities as far from my most inefficient abilities as possible. I can imagine a lot of scenarios where I have 14 rage and want to use revenge, but wouldn't want that HS in there. But then again, I haven't tried it, so I wont knock it. My practice runs more along the lines of mashing the crap out of the HS button when I am high rage, and pecking shield block and GCD abilities when they come up. More control, but also a much higher toll on fingers, keyboard, and sanity.
As for improved heroic strike, the total rage cost of a heroic strike is the rage spent plus the rage you would have gained from a white hit. Just pulling some sample numbers out of my bum, a 180 white hit with a 1.6s weapon grants 5.2 rage, so a heroic strike costs 17.2 without imp hs, 14.2 with; so you can kind of sell it as a ~17% efficiency improvement, as compared to the 25% improvement that going from 12 to 9 appears to be. The harder you hit, the lower that 17%ish number goes (but it doesnt go down that fast).
Considering that you are usually only using heroic strike in rage rich situations, improved heroic strike is an efficiency buff that only takes effect when efficiency isn't important. Its not a bad talent, especially if you are throwing two points in to grab anger management (which I like better than most people, and miss dearly); but I'd give some real consideration to what other talents you could grab for those points.
Btw... if anyone is looking at my spec in armory, that point in iron will was a misclick. I'm taking up hydross duty this weekend and will be speccing to get imp defensive stance, so I just decided to save myself the 50g and leave it in until then.
I find when i manage to get an instant off right after a HS/white, queue and then another instant before my next white, my HS gets un-queue'd, and I'm forced to use a white hit, when i dont want to.
So I ended up throwing HS in 2 places, and I lose alot less heroic strikes to white hits this way. I've tried several action bar mods and UI packages over the last few months to see if this was just a mod problem but it affected me across everything, nor was it a /stopcasting problem.
I can also just revenge with alt+3 (where 3 is heroic+revenge) when I find myself rage starved. Similarly I can use 6 for just shield block where 1 is heroic strike + shield block.
I wanted to share my current rotation/sequencing that i use in patch 3.08. I should point out first that i use [Glyph of Revenge], [Glyph of Devastate] am a standard MT spec of 5/8/58. I use one macro: /castsequence reset=3 Revenge, Heroic Strike.
To open on a Tank and spank Raid Boss: Bloodrage > Charge > Shield Block > Shield Slam > Devastate x 3
Once that opening has been finished and 5 Sunders are up then it is simply using whatever is available(whilst keeping 5 sunders up).
There is a a lot to choose from
The main concept is to use Revenge and Shield Slam whenever available, Spam Heroic Strike whenever Rage is over 30/100 and use the other listed abilities when Revenge and Shield Slam and on CD. By using my macro listed ensures that i can use my free Heroic Strike as soon as it is available while keeping my binding simplified.
There is little competition on TPS from the DPS classes at the moment but i like to see how high my threat can go on fights like Patchwerk.
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