- Author: Raulwing
- Date: May 30, 2019
- Expansion: WoW Classic
The warrior has been and always will be the premier choice for tanking dungeons and especially endgame raid-content in WoW Classic.
However, Warrior tanking has changed much from 2005 to nowadays. While it used to be all about being as beefy as possible, with new strategies and more optimized gameplay being the standard in pretty much every raid today, it is now very important even in a more casual raiding environment to generate a lot of threat.
In this guide we will discuss your optimal character setup, your job in the raid as a tank, possible talents and using the best possible rotation. We will also include some gearing options with enchants.
This guide is addressed to players at beginner as well as advanced level who want to play a warrior tank in WoW Classic. Chances are that if you are an expert level player, you know most of the things this guide includes. However, at the end of this guide there also is an advanced tips section where even the best tank players might find some inspiration.
The tank position is the most influential as well as the most expensive and demanding position in a raid and arguably the hardest one to do right.
A great tank can make an overall worse raid much better, while a bad tank can really mess up the raid day for an otherwise really strong raiding team.
As a Tank you are really at the bottleneck position in your raid. Therefore, playing a tank in a serious raid requires more effort than any other position. A good guild will prioritize valuable items to a tank, so it is your job to pay them back by doing a good job.
For Horde, there are multiple options for different scenarios.
If you want to take more of an off-tank role who also deals good damage on encounters that do not require multiple tanks, I recommend to play orc due to their +5 weapon skill for axes from Axe Specialization as well as their strong dps racial Blood Fury (Don‘t use this when actively tanking, as it will reduce all healing on you by 50%!). This does not mean that an Orc would be a bad main tank either, as long as you wear an axe the +5 weapon skill alone makes this race a very viable option for main tanking as well.
Apart from that, both Troll and Tauren are also good options. The Troll‘s biggest selling point is their high base agility and their Berserking racial ability, which grants you an increase in attack speed and therefore threat generation. A well played and geared troll warrior is the king of threat generation in all of classic World of Warcraft.
Tauren on the other hand have a high amount of base stamina and when combined with their +5% health racial bonus from Endurance are therefore the kings of survivability. The 5% become really noticeable in the end-game and have saved my life multiple times when tanking as a Tauren.
However, the disadvantage of Trolls and Tauren is their lack of a weapon skill bonus which is a really important stat. This forces you to use certain items which grant bonus weapon skill, and while there are only a handful of those in the game those are usually ill-equipped with other important stats as well as possibly very expensive.
On Alliance, humans are the overall best race for PVE tanking as a warrior due to Sword Specialization which grants you that sweet +5 weapon skill on swords and maces which is a big boost to your threat generation. We will explain why weapon skill is so important in the gearing section of this guide.
If you are planning to get serious on raiding end-game content, your best profession choice is engineering because it gives you access to the Goblin Sapper Charge which causes an instant explosion for high damage at AoE. This allows you to increase your damage output and therefore threat generation and gives you a handy tool to pick up initial AoE Aggro which is something the Protection Warrior otherwise lacks in his kit.
Another very useful item is the Gnomish Battle Chicken which has a chance to grant your whole party a temporary haste buff. You can stack this buff with multiple Chickens in one party, so make sure to coordinate with your group members. However, if you do this you have to carefully calculate your remaining buff slots so as to not get buff capped and lose important buffs.
For your second profession, you can go for whatever you like. If you want a profession that can earn you money, I recommend herbalism or possibly mining. You can of course also take a crafting profession, but more than one player per profession per guild is usually a waste as every craftable item in classic is only bound on equipping.
This section includes a few interesting pieces of information and resources that we have gathered. Maybe you will find something useful in here.
Attack Table Test Data
Fight Club Warrior Discord Server
Most accurate threat simulation tool as of February 2021:
Playing without weapon skill
Some of the best tank players worldwide have started to use an interesting concept in their weapon choices. In theory, when being full world buffed you do not need to have weapon skill for your main hand weapon as long as you have access to 9% Hit Chance from your gear and have a close to 100% Heroic Strike uptime. You would still want to use an off-hand weapon that you have at least +5 weapon skill though as you still need to prevent glancing blow penalty.
Battle Shout Tanking
If you have access to the 3 Piece T2.5 Set bonus, Battle Shout beats Sunder Armor for threat per rage if you can apply it on at least 3 friendly targets. The threat from Battle Shout spreads on every target in the 40 yard range of the user so this is only applicable on single target fights without adds. If all those conditions are met, you should replace Sunder Armor with Battle Shout in your Rotation. This also enables your raid to run a rogue with the Improved Expose Armor talent which applies a higher armor reduction to the boss than 5 Stacks of Sunder Armor.