WoW - PvP Basics of the Warrior
Playing a warrior in PvP well is an art, and one or two wrong moves can lead to you being feared, controlled, thrown off a cliff, or otherwise humiliated. Our place in PvP is the same place it is in PvE, and that's right on top of them. Staying in that range is half the battle, and in this guide we'll take a look at some basic strategies for fending off some classes and making the best of our strengths in the various warzones
In a battleground, when someone clicks a player in the distance and sees no secondary bar, they know it's one of two things ; a free kill on a death knight, or a warrior who is probably seconds away from charging into their face. Do you know what to do once you reach them? Playing a warrior in PvP well is an art, and one or two wrong moves can lead to you being feared, controlled, thrown off a cliff, or otherwise humiliated. Our place in PvP is the same place it is in PvE, and that's right on top of them. Staying in that range is half the battle, and in this guide we'll take a look at some basic strategies for fending off some classes and making the best of our strengths in the various warzones.
The Fullback of the Team - The Protection PVP Tank Path
We'll go over this first to provide a point of view you might not have considered. From a basic standpoint, we absolutely dominate melee classes when we aren't stunned or incapacitated due to our ridiculous mitigation. We have an extremely potent stun setup if diminishing returns aren't against us, packing a solid 10 seconds of pain in the most ideal situation. The big problem is, we don't have a lot of offense between our stuns so we're better off supporting others in anything outside of 1v1, and against most opponents and situations, that simply doesn't happen! Someone will either get bored, realize the futility of their efforts, or reinforcements will show up. It's time we channeled our efforts more specifically.
Our stuns are all the rage (well, maybe literally unless we're getting targeted) but our Silences are perhaps our most devastating tool. Do not forget that Heroic Throw has a silence component! This is extremely effective vs. mages when our chase skills are on cooldown and we're encased in a Frost Nova. If you do get some time to beat on a healer, shield slam as much as possible to dispel their heals and buffs. You can use Shield Bash in a pinch to daze runners and flag carriers, but you are almost always better off doing a quick switch to Battle or Berserker and landing a Hamstring, saving the bash for when it really counts. Remember that at the higher ranks, you do get a bonus against dazed targets with Heroic Strike, so let it fly!
So if you're done being an annoying pest to enemy casters and laughing at melee challengers, there's something better you could probably be doing instead of assisting the offense. We make for outstanding runners in defensive, even more so if you took Improved Spell Reflection to help deflect spells for anyone. Speaking of deflection, the moment anyone targets you that could have a cast bar, start hitting Spell Reflection every time it's up and don't stop! The new 3.1 patch glyph of it is recommended, even though it's only one second faster, that one second can mean an entangled warrior or a entangled druid. Make sure you abuse the hell out of Warbringer. If there is a target, friend or foe between you and your capture point, use them as a stepping stone! Charge -> Intervene -> Intercept can provide more than 60 yards travel in a matter of seconds, and the rotation pays for itself in terms of rage. You'll have some trouble pulling this off in Eye of the Storm, but in Warsong's middle zone, it's not as hard as you think and will leave the mage who thought he could catch you blinking... both as the skill, and on the player's face as you get out of range.
We make a good defensive emplacement too. We have the endurance and panic buttons to hold key positions to alert others. We make an excellent sentry at Arathi Basin and Eye of the Storm as a result, battlegrounds where they have to go through you to capture the objective. Unfortunately our output simply isn't enough to be an effective defender in Warsong Gulch, but if you've played it lately I'm pretty sure you've noticed no one defends anyway. In Wintergrasp, we make good turret users on defense for our ability to quickly get in the fray should someone threaten your position from below.
In PvE, we are protectors of the weak. In PvP, we are the sword that defends the points, and the back that carries the flag back to those points for glory. If you really want to take an attacker off guard though, try hitting Lavanthor's Talisman, Shield Block, and then Shield Slam. You'll see the biggest numbers protection is capable of via this method, and probably scare a lot of people in the process! Oh, and good luck aiming Shockwave well against mobile PvP targets. Needless to say, you'll miss a lot.
Arms & Fury - 2 schools, one side effect - 'may induce death in opponents'
Every time you charge an opponent, your next move is Hamstring. This goes for even if they're afk, because you never know when they might try to foolishly get away. From there, the hard part is keeping your target in front of you, and right up alongside you. Devastate your foes as quickly as possible, and no, I don't mean the Protection skill. A DPS warrior overwhelmed will last about a tenth of the time as compared to a Protection Tanking warrior.
The very same rotations you use for PvE will work in PvP, but I can't stress enough that your targets are not immobile and will be doing everything in their power to get the hell away from you before you shove your sword down their throat. Be very careful when engaging groups, and have a shield ready for spell reflection if you believe someone is preparing to hurl flaming death at you. If forced, or rather, the opportunity arises to fight a melee class solo, always remember you have a Disarm on command. Defensive stance has a lot more than defensive uses; these are simply quick strikes that can very easily turn the tide of small group based combat.
Remember that you have two interrupts in the form of Pummel and Shield Bash, the latter being an emergency maneuver. The key is to use all of our tools, and not simply mash the hell out of Bloodthirst and Mortal Strike to hope for the best. Make your own luck and you'll survive long enough to get those obscenely large yellow numbers on those silly elves. Other good targets do exist though, besides elves. Elves are always good, but...
We're the bane of siege weapons in Wintergrasp as long as we can stay ahead of it. Strafe along the side (Do your best to avoid coming at it from behind or your charge will leave you behind it and out of range!) and blitz them with everything you've got, and that means your cooldown abilities as well. There's no point in Death Wish and Recklessness if you don't get, well, crazy from time to time. There simply isn't a better target than a vehicle with hardly any way to slow you down, let alone stop you.
Things to Keep in Mind
- If you get feared, Berserker Rage! If you get disoriented, berserker rage! If you for any reason lose control of your character for a split second, this is your button to immediately press. A 30 second cooldown is much better than the five minute one from your insignia.
- Remember that if you're doing the Protection Style, you want every enemy in front of you so you're not losing out on your 30-40 % mitigation bonuses. It also helps to set up shockwaves. Don't forget to put Vigilance on a target as well. It's obviously not for the threat reduction, just the nifty reduced damage.
- If you see a cast bar, stop it. Unless it's a Hearthstone, at which point you should pat yourself on the back for the classic Shield Hearth you were just a part of.
- It's difficult, but do try to run some kind of interference against anyone targeting your healers. A disarm, a fear, a bash - all can go a long way and without that healer, you're not going to last so suck it up and Intervene liberally.
What's the point?
PvP rewards are almost all designed to include some form of resilience, or resistance to criticals and DOT type spells. If you are satisfied with your current gear levels, try out some resilience gear and see how it pans out for survivability vs. output. Your first purchase with your Honor points should be the trinket of your side to dispel any effects that cause you to lose control, and has a large amount of resilience to boot. Similar item levels of PvP and PvE gear typically sacrifice one stat category for a similar pool of resilience on the item. Balance your equipment though. It's okay to be crit as a protection spec since... it probably won't hurt very much if it's a physical hit. Going too heavy on resilience type gear will lower your actual offense a good chunk. After all it is a defensive stat, and that's not what we're typically looking for when we want to kick ass.
You'll need some arena rating to get the best of the best unfortunately, and in order to compete there to get to the gear ratings for the top end of the PvP spectrum, you'll need top notch standard and PvP items. If you're serious about PvP, don't abandon PvE! You can come into a battleground in full PvE regalia if you're a damaging class, and still tear through people with relative ease while earning the gear to give you staying power in all situations. Keep raiding those instances and battlegrounds, and maybe I'll see you in Wintergrasp sometime. My siege engine could use a Gunner!