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Getting Raid Ready - Warrior Style

Updated Thu, Apr 09, 2009 by Stow



    There are two ways to play a warrior. One is to be the shield of the weak, the other is to be the physical embodiment of the apocalypse. Oddly enough, it's actually easier upon hitting 80 to do the latter! There are many requirements and gear specifications required to take blows like a champ and not a chump, so take it from someone who tried to be a 'born to tank' warrior and stop. Grab that two hander, and get ready to dive into some instances. We've got a lot of ground to cover, and you've got some time before that next portal opens in Violet Hold.

DPS - How to cause a lot more than Deep Wounds

    Rule #1 of gearing up as a grizzled plate wearer is to... throw out stamina when weighing items. You heard me. It doesn't exist. I don't care if your socket bonus is +742 stamina, it doesn't matter because that doesn't help your raid kick more ass, and that's what you're here to do. Your priorities are Strength, Attack Power, Critical Rating/Hit Rating, and Expertise in that order when it comes to enchants and gems. You should only ignore this when going for a Meta gem bonus. With that in mind, here are the gems that will typically go in a slot.

Red Slots Blue Slots Yellow Slots
Bold Scarlet Ruby Sovereign Twilight Opal Inscribed Monarch Topaz
Once you get a helm with a Meta Gem slot, use Chaotic Skyflare Diamond there.


An example of what you should be going for whenever possible - no defensive stats whatsoever, just offensive goodness.  Just be sure to dodge those whirlwinds and AOEs.

    Remember that you should only be socketing with appropriate colors when the bonuses are worthwhile. Stamina is not worthwhile unless you are going to get your Meta requirements met at the same time. The Meta helm of choice that is both attainable and potent for a raid setting would be the Chitin Shell Greathelm from Anub'arak in Azjol-Nerub. Between that and the Runeblade of Demonstrable Power from the Ebon Blade reputation rewards, so long as you're not wasting your points on defensive stats you should be equipped well enough to do respectable damage in your first raids.

    However, in your spare time you should try to get the epic legs out of Utgarde Keep, as well as take your Sons of Hodir reputation to the top to get your fantastic DPS enchantment. Raiding isn't just the raid, after all, and doing the reputation work outlined in our previous guide will go a long way towards putting you at the top of the charts. Be prepared to put some solid time into the respective daily quests and heroics to outfit yourself accordingly so you are not a burden in the larger setting. Speaking of being prepared....

    Come prepared! Bring haste potions and Flasks of Endless Rage. Bring fish and meat for the various Feasts that your raid cooks can provide to give a little something to everyone, and an attack power boost for yourself. Also, for the love of God, come repaired as well as prepared. There is nothing more embarrassing than showing up for a raid and realizing you need to repair after one failure.   Remember that there is a certain finesse in how you use your skills as well, and that your gear can only bring you so far.  Pay attention and make good use of your triggered abilities as soon as they are available!

Tanking - We're only as durable as our healers make us out to be.

540 defense.

    Memorize this. Sear it into your skull. It is your lifeblood, your essence, that which will separate you from any other newly 80 tank that isn't knowledgeable. This magical number is the point of 'no criticals', and enemy physical damage will no longer spike as a result of critical hits. It is absolutely essential in a raid setting where some bosses can backhand you for 20,000 or more. If you are having trouble reaching it, the blacksmith Saronite and Daunting sets of equipment are loaded with defense and can get you to that point. Loken in Halls of Lightning normal drops a trinket with a high defense value as well, freeing up some of your armor choices.  Remember, the Wyrmrest Accord is your best friend as we went over in the Reputation article.  You'll be going for anything with gems, and here are the gems you should be looking for.

Red Slots Blue Slots Yellow Slots
Solid Sky Sapphire Solid Sky Sapphire Solid Sky Sapphire

    It sounds like a joke, but once you hit the defense cap, you literally want to load up on Stamina wherever possible unless your sockets provide a similar or defensive in nature bonus. Being a giant mass of HP allows our healers to breathe when we fail to dodge or parry, and is more or less essential for heals over time to really benefit us. Only use defense or mitigation gems to achieve a Meta bonus as before, and slap every HP enchant you can find on your gear as you acquire level 80 gear. You can't enter the raid market unless you're properly equipped.


Now we're getting somewhere.  Solid stamina, solid defense, accessible, a little enchant goodness, and you've got a cape that will last you until your Emblem of Valor cape and beyond.
   
    So pay visits to all of the heroic epic tanking strongholds. Grab the belt from Azjol-Nerub, the sword from Utgarde Pinnacle, and the legplates from Violet Hold to start. Enchant them appropriately, for they'll be your symbols of strength. For weapons, since we are so focused on stability, you can't go wrong with a Titanium Weapon Chain or Accuracy so we can land more blows. Good tanking rings come from Utgarde Keep and Drak'theron. The trinket of choice to go alongside Loken's would be the Essence of Gossamer from Azjol-Nerub as well, so make that zone a priority.  Many of these places have quests that have moderate tanking rewards as well, so keep an eye out!

     Buy potions by the barrel. If you go down without using all of your resources, you are at fault. Do not be afraid to chug health potions and healthstones! Find a buddy that has the ability to make Flasks of Stoneblood as well for the health boost. Feasts are more than enough for food for us since they provide the stamina we crave and the attack power that helps us hold threat. Just whatever you do, don't be afraid to ask your guildmates and raiders for assistance when it comes to having an optimal set of buffs. If you fall, everyone falls!

     Once you start raiding, it'll change how you look at gear and equipment. Suddenly, everything turns an ugly shade of purple and has more green text than ever before. Getting to that point where people actually want to take your warrior raiding is another matter entirely, and you should be well on your way with some time invested in the right spots and setting yourself up with the appropriate buffs and enchantments. Running without enchantments and food is like running without thousands of hp, or hundreds of attack power. Running without the appropriate gems is insulting, like running around with the wrong elemental weapon as a shaman. You want to be remembered fondly, so that slot in your raid is reserved for you next time, and not that new transfer! So bring your best when you show up, and give those bosses hell!

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