Posted Tue, Jul 03, 2012 by Messiah
All of the classes are getting significantly new talent trees when Mists of Pandaria launches due to the change to the new Talent System. Gone are the 51 point talent trees, which are replaced with the new 6 tier talent tree where at level 90 you will only end up with 6 talents, one from each tree.
I have looked at several of the new talent trees already, and this time I take a closer look at the new Warrior talent tree. Remember that this tree is now common to all three specs, so there are not more tank or dps specific talents but instead there are talents meant to round out and provide options to all specs.
Tier one is about changing up your charge ability, either to provide more mobility or to grand some extra functionality. The talents in this tier are Juggernaut, Double Time, and Warbringer.
Juggernaut reduces the cooldown of your charge ability from 20 seconds to 12 seconds, a 40% decrease. Double Time allows you to charge twice within your normal 20 second cooldown before it triggers a cooldown timer. Warbringer keeps your cooldown the same but knocks down the target, stunning it for 3 seconds.
All three are useful in almost any situation. At first I would be tempted to say Juggernaut and Double Time are more PVE and Warbriger more PVP based, however upon reflection I think all of them work in all situations. The first two can be used for players that like to move around more often and either want a shorted cooldown, or the ability to charge back to back before triggering the cooldown, both have their uses. Warbringer and the stun would be really useful in PVP, but also in PVE to reduce incoming damage as a tank, or as DPS for a tank.
I really like this tier, all three are great options, and fairly evenly balanced.
The second tier of Warrior talents is about your health and healing. Again three very different options that provide roughly the same overall benefit in the form of Enraged Regeneration, Second Wind, and Impending Victory.
Enraged Regeneration provides a 10% heal instantly and a further 10% over the next 10 seconds for 60 rage on a 1 minute cooldown. The rage cost is canceled if you are enraged. Second Wind provides 3% healing per second whenever you are below 35% health. In addition anytime you are stunned or immobilized it grants you 20 rage over 10 seconds. The last talent is Impending Victory which is an attack that costs 10 rage that hits for damage and heals you for 10% health, on a 30 second timer. If you kill an enemy that provides experience or honor it resets the cooldown and allows your next Impending Victory to heal for 20% instead. This talent replaces Victory Rush though.
All three talents have their place, and will depend on your role in a group and your play style. While leveling I would strongly recommend Impending Victory as you will be able to use it on pretty much every enemy to start the fight healing 20% health on each one. This will make it far easier to more from enemy to enemy and reduce your downtime. Of the other two I like Enraged Regeneration better because it can be used when you want it and grants 10% right away and another 10% as a HOT. While the 3% per second from Second Wind could add up to a lot more healing over time, and is passive, meaning you will not have to worry about it, I am not sure I like waiting to get below 35% to have any benefit. If it was below 50% I think it would be a no brainer choice for tanks and most players, but at 35% I am hard pressed to recommend it.
This tier is about warrior shouts and providing some extra utility. The options here are Staggering Shout, Piercing Howl, and Disrupting Shout.
Staggering Shout stuns any enemies within 20 yards that are already snared for 5 seconds and is on a 40 second cooldown. Piercing Howl snares all enemies within 15 yards making them move at 50% movement speed for 15 seconds. Lastly, Disrupting Shout affects all spell casters within 10 yards interrupting their casts and locking them out of that spell school for 4 seconds and is on a 40 second cooldown.
Staggering Shout is an interesting talent as it requires you to work with other abilities or other players to get benefit from it. However, when you do use it paired with another abilitiy or player it can be devastating. A 5 second stun of a whole group of enemies in either PVE or PVP is nothing to sneeze at. Piercing Howl is also great, especially in PVP to keep players from getting away, but also good in PVE to prevent runners. Disrupting Shout seems like the go to tank ability to keep casters from getting off their damaging abilities, but also has huge benefits in PVP for DPS players.
Again, all three provide some really nice options and while unique feel like they are all valid equal options.
Mists of Pandaria Warrior Talent Tree: Tier 4
This tier grants you some very cool abilities. There is Bladestorm, Shockwave, and Dragon Roar.
Bladestorm is essentially a whirlwind ability that hits everything within 8 yards for damage each second for 6 seconds. In addition while you are under its effects you are not subject to movement impairing or loss of control effects. It is however on a 90 second cooldown. Next is Shockwave, which is only on a 20 second cooldown and deals damage to everything in a frontal cone within 10 yards and stuns them for 4 seconds. Lastly there is Dragon Roar which is on a 1 minute timer and deals damage to all enemies within 8 yards and knocks them back and down for 3 seconds.
As a tank I am very interested in Bladestorm, as you boost your damage (and therefore threat) while still being able to dodge, block, and parry. In addtion the not being affected by movement impairing effects is a great bonus as well. While the Dragon Roar stun would be equally useful as a tank, most tanks do not like knock back abilities as it gives the enemies space which means you no longer have control and they may run to a different target. Dragon Roar is an awesome ability for PVP though in group situations like battlegrounds. In PVE though, again that knock back will probably end up pissing off your tank.
For DPS players Shockwave is likely the go to ability if you are looking for a stun, and if not bladestorm for the DPS increase.
This tier is about protective abilities and therefore one of my favourite tiers as a tank. There is Mass Spell Reflection, Safeguard, and Vigilance.
Mass Spell Reflection is just what it sounds like, for the next 5 seconds the first spell cast at each of your party members and yourself is reflected back at the caster. It is on a 60 second cooldown. Safeguard replaced intervene and is on a 30 second timer. It allows you to run at a friendly player and removes any movement impairing effect on you, to intercept the next melee or ranged attack against them and reduce their damage taken by 20% for 6 seconds. Vigilance allows you to protect a friendly player for 12 seconds, during this time 30% of the damage they take is transferred to you. Also during this time your taunt has no cooldown and attacks against the target cause to to enrage for 6 seconds.
As a tank, by preffered talent here would have to be Vigilance. It offers so many options that could really save the group. Either against a player that has drawn agro, or is in a bad situation location wise, or best of all, on your main tank in a raid. As an off-tank you could absorb 30% of the damage during spike damage periods of a boss fight to help even out healing for the healers. Instead of on player taking huge damage, you could take a portion of it and make healing easier. Both of the other two talents provide very useful abilities, and depending on how you like to play could be useful, but for me Vigilance is the hands down winner in this tier for a tank.
For DPS players my recommendation would be Mass Spell Reflection to be able to help out with incoming damage.
The final tier grants three new and unique abilites to the warrior class. They are Avatar, Bloodbath, and Storm Bolt.
Avatar is an ability on a 3 minute cooldown that transforms you into an unstoppable colossus for 20 seconds. During that time you deal 20% additional damage and generate 50% extra rage from attacks. In addition you are immune to movement impairing effects. Bloodbath is only a one minute cooldown and lasts for 12 seconds. During that time your attacks cause the targets to bleed for 30% additional damage over the next 6 seconds and move at 50% speed for that time. Storm Bolt allows you to hurl your weapon at an enemy every 30 seconds, causing damage and stunning them for 3 seconds. If the enemy is immune to stuns they suffer 300% bonus damage.
Avatar is an awesome ability for PVE and PVP as a DPS player. In either situation it allows some burst DPS ability to be able to finish off an enemy, as well as some free movement if you are suffering or likely to suffer some movement impairing effect. Bloodbath is also great for DPS players, and especially those in PVP since it deals more damage over time that players need to deal with, slows players, and is usable more often. Lastly Storm Bolt comes across as a tanking ability to me as it allows you to pull from a distance, establish agro on something quickly and stun it all at the same time. Better yet, since most bosses are immune to stuns, they take more damage establishing even more threat. This also has great utility in PVP since it is on a 30 second cooldown it will allow you to stun enemies trying to flee more often or interrupt casters more often, both of which are keys to winning the match.
I have watched all of the talent trees since the Mists of Pandaria beta started and have seen many changes over that time. The warrior talent tree started off fairly “bleh”, but over time has really shaped up nicely. In fact at this stage it is one of my favorite talent trees as there are great and fairly well balance choices at each and every tier.
While some tiers have obvious choices to me, since I prefer tanking, those tiers also have strong choices for DPS or PVP players as well.
While I am still not 100% sold on the whole “you only get 6 talent points” plan with this new system, I do think that the system appears to be offering more real choice rather than just spending points every other level for a 1% increase in something. So maybe even though I would like more choice, and think this system is a bit of a cop-out, I will have to agree that it is doing a better job at providing options than the old system did. Could Blizzard do even more with a system closer to the old one?
Sure they could, but they keep refusing to split PVP from the core game, which would allow them to do that. After all so many balance issues could be solved by providing one set of PVP talents and abilities, and a completely separate talent set and ability set for PVE. Then each could be balanced for what it was meant for, rather than both types of player being forced to suffer with a mish-mash that doesn’t suit either situation ideally.
You can find the official Warrior talent tree calculator over at the Blizzard site here: Warrior Talent Calculator.