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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.

- 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.

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

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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!

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


    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.

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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
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.

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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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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016


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