Ciderhelm's Of Steel; Guidelines for New & Leveling Warriors


Of Steel – Guidelines for New & Leveling Warriors

By: Patrick O’Callahan / Ciderhelm

Originally posted on the official WoW forums and reposted on TankSpot and Ten Ton Hammer. This was excavated from an archive made by the Wayback Machine. As such, offsite links will likely not work. Note that this was posted on July 31, 2007 – so it references Burning Crusade talents and builds. Much of it is still applicable to Vanilla though.

The experience of choosing and playing a Warrior is different from any other class. You will never have the tools of escape that other classes do. You will never have the healing powers. You will never have magic or beasts to give you an edge. The only edge you will ever receive will be the bloodied blades you wield.

When facing battle as a Warrior, you will learn this truth. Either you or your enemy must die. If you are not cunning, you will die. If you flee, you will die.

The experience of playing a Warrior is as easy or as difficult as you make it. The class, like all classes, is very easy to pick up and play. It is nearly impossible to master. You can be a decent Warrior with little effort, but it is neither simple nor easy to be a great one. It will take time. In the end, it will be limited only by your dedication and desire to become better.

What This Guide Is, and Is Not

This guide is a brief summary of information you may want as a new Warrior. Anyone is welcome to submit additions or ideas to the guide and, space permitting, I will edit the helpful stuff directly into these posts.

This guide is not a description of PVP, gear, talents, tanking, movies, macros, etc. As more time becomes available, those subjects will be covered in a separate guide.

Picking a Race & Picking Trade Skills

  • 0.1 General Differences and Recommendations
  • 0.1.1 Min/Max: Tauren, Angus Meatshield
  • 0.1.2 Min/Max: Go Gnome or Go Home
  • 0.2 Blacksmithing, Engineering or Harvesting?

Talents and Milestones for Leveling

  • 1.1 Picking your First Talents (Level 10)
  • 1.2 Defensive Stance & Tanking (Level 10)
  • 1.2.1 Some Notes on Positioning
  • 1.3 Retaliation and 30-Minute Cooldowns (Level 20)
  • 1.4 Berserker Stance (Level 30)
  • 1.5 Whirlwind Axe & Upgrades (Level 30)
  • 1.6 Must Get That Instant Attack! (Level 40)
  • 1.7 A Checklist of Goals by Level 60
  • 1.8 When is Protection Spec a Good Idea?

Using your Abilities

  • 2.1 Too Much Rage? Heroic Strike!
  • 2.2 Thunderclap & Cleave
  • 2.3 Understanding Taunt
  • 2.4 Charge & Intercept
  • 2.5 Revenge & Shield Block

Making Good Decisions with Gear

  • 3.1 Hunting Alone
  • 3.2 In Parties with People You Don’t Know
  • 3.3 In Parties with Friends
  • 3.4 Choosing Instances based on Your Gear

Additional Information

  • 4.1 Tips from Other Warriors

Racial Differences & Recommendations

So you are stuck at the Character Creation screen. You are already faced with an impossible task of finding a name you like that hasn’t been taken. Beyond that, you must also decide your race.

My own personal rule of picking a race is very simple: What do I want to play for the next weeks, months, and years? What race has appearances that I don’t mind? For me, I’m a big fan of humans, draenei, and tauren. At level 70, most races do not have significant differences from each other.

However, the criteria you have may be different from mine. So, let me give some (hopefully accurate) pointers.


Do not underestimate Human Diplomacy. In addition to a helpful boost to attack abilities with +Weapon Skill, Humans also gain 10% reputation gain over other races. Warcraft at endgame has a large number of factions with great rewards. If you choose to become a Blacksmith, this will speed up the process of getting rare plans. For my own part, I found that Diplomacy kept me slightly ahead of others in getting new gear for tanking, even if only by a few days. With +Weapon Skill, Humans have one of the strongest passive offense of the Alliance Races.

Night Elf Dodge is very good, and being able to stealth is a true strength. As you reach the endgame, Dodge may become less important in PVP and will have less impact in raid zones. Stealth, will always be useful when used at the right times. In terms of Damage Reduction, while very slight, Night Elves have the strongest passive defense of the Alliance races.

Dwarves are unusually powerful against Rogues. Stoneform is a great racial, and the Dwarven ability to find quest items will smooth the leveling process. Stoneform will have more uses as you reach raiding as well. Dwarves are a very solid, defensive race.

Draenei, apart from their females being very sexy, also sport the most solid combination of abilities – a passive +Hit aura and a healing spell. Gift of the Naaru covers one thing that no other Warrior can do, and can come in handy in many situations. The passive +Hit is also powerful and great for groups, as it increases the Hit of all party members as well. Overall, Draenei are a very solid choice.

Gnomes are covered in a subsection.


Orcs are arguably the best-suited Warriors in the game. This draws heavily upon their lore in Warcraft. Blood Fury can provide a substantial boost to damage-per-second and, at endgame, will find many uses. Like Dwarves, Orcs have an unnatural ability to counter Rogues, due to a Stun Resistance. This Stun Resistance can increase dramatically through the talent Iron Will. Orcs also have a +Weapon Skill with axes. Orcs may be the most powerful offensive race from either Horde or Alliance.
*Special Note: Orcs and Gnomes look similarly menacing as of 07/10/07.

Tauren are covered in a subsection, though for the purposes of this general listing I will cover one ability. War Stomp is incredibly potent in both PVP and PVE content. This stomp can interrupt spells, lock people in place, and in some cases, allow a Tauren to get away from targets that would kill him or her.

Trolls. While a great race overall, Trolls have two of the weaker abilities on Horde side. Berserking will save your life, but the number of times it does may be limited. Also, passive health regeneration while in combat will reduce down-time. Trolls’ increased damage to beasts applies to Druids and Shamans in forms, as well as some bosses.

Undead. Will of the Forsaken alone is the defining characteristic of Undead Warriors. The ability to gain Fear, Sleep, and Charm immunity from any stance is potent, and some of the most prominent PVP’ers have been Undead. Further, the ability to Cannibalize corpses will significantly speed up recovery time while leveling.

0.1.1 Min/Max: Tauren, Angus Meatshield

Tauren for tanking. If you really want to min/max (that is, the process of picking the absolute best race/class combination, gear, etc), you want to play a Tauren Warrior to tank.

Taurens have a passive 5% increase to Health. By endgame, this is a step ahead of the rest of the pack for tanking. The 5% affects base Health as well – or, the portion of your character’s health that is not derived from Stamina. The effects of this ability increase with buffs and talents such as Blessing of Kings and Vitality.

0.1.2 Min/Max: Go Gnome or Go Home

Gnomes for PVP.

The biggest weakness of Warriors at endgame will be mobility. That is, the ability to reach your target is often the only thing stopping you from killing it. For this reason, Gnomes pull ahead in PVP, as they can immediately break out of most immobilizing effects. Combined with a PVP trinket and effective use of immunities, Gnomes are the most capable of overcoming rough obstacles in PVP.

Blacksmithing, Engineering, or Harvesting?

0.2 Blacksmithing, Engineering or Harvesting?

When picking a trade skill, there are a few things you have to determine.

First, ask yourself how seriously and how often you intend to play. If you will not be playing too seriously, I would recommend picking up harvesting skills such as Mining, Herbalism, or Skinning.

Second, determine your expected income. Do you think you can spend a good amount of time at the Auction House, buying and selling items for a profit? Or, do you have another character which can fund your Warrior? If the answer to either of those is yes, pick two crafting skills – I recommend Blacksmithing and Engineering.

Finally, if you care about your character but do not particularly care for spending all of your time trying to make money, I would suggest picking up either Blacksmithing or Engineering, not both, and then picking up Mining.

Why Blacksmithing and Engineering?

A good argument can be made that Enchanting and Alchemy are great for Warriors. However, Blacksmithing and Engineering are great for Warriors all of the time, at all levels, and for all purposes.

Blacksmithing will produce some of the most powerful weapons in the game. These weapons will get consistently better depending on the amount of effort you put into them. Also, Blacksmithing will help in quickly getting your character’s Armor up to par for instances at any level.

Engineering is similarly effective, and always fun. Engineers can create powerful items for all levels. As you get to higher levels, you will be able to make solid tanking trinkets, as well as very strong head pieces. Engineering also gives your character flexibility that is not naturally found in the class – Grenades are often useful, the ability to Slowfall through a cloak, small things that add a new dimension to your character.

My recommendation is to prioritize Blacksmithing over Engineering if you do not intend to take both. That, of course, is entirely up to you.

Also, be sure you pick up First Aid early and use it often, with all the cloth you can find. You will not regret it.

Picking Your First Talents

At level 10, you are going to gain your first talent points. You may allocate these however you wish, and always be sure to get points that will help you in the immediate future.

Without going too much into detail, let me suggest the following. This is recommended, not required:

  • 10-14 Cruelty
  • 15-17 Improved Heroic Strike
  • 18-19 Deflection
  • 20-21 Improved Charge
  • 22-24 Improved Thunderclap
  • 25-26 Improved Overpower
  • 27-27 Anger Management
  • 28-30 Deep Wounds
  • 31-34 Two-Handed Weapon Specialization
  • 35-35 Sweeping Strikes
  • 36-39 Poleaxe Specialization
  • 40+ Go immediately to a Warrior trainer, shell out some gold, and respec full Arms or full Fury.

Level 40 Arms -> Info -> Classes -> Warrior -> Talent Calculator
With the Arms build, get Cruelty with the next 5 points, then build towards a traditional build (will be covered in a separate guide).

Level 40 Fury -> Info -> Classes -> Warrior -> Talent Calculator
With the Fury build, you will want to be using two One-Handed weapons. Put the next point into Dual Wield Specialization, then builds towards a traditional build.

Milestones for Leveling

1.2 Defensive Stance & Tanking (Level 10)

Part of being a Warrior is learning how to tank effectively. It is not absolutely necessary, especially if you plan on playing alone for most of your time, but it sure helps.

The first thing you need to do is find the quest. These will usually be located in the second starter village of your race. This quest generally involves killing a creature which is slightly overleveled – you should be fine, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a friend with you.

Once you complete this quest you will learn Defensive Stance. When to use it? Generally, any time you are with at least one or two other players who are dealing alot of damage, Defensive Stance is a good stance. As you increase in level, you will want to spend less and less time with it unless you are inside instances, but early on, it’s fine.

Tanking is the act of keeping creatures attached to you and controlling fights. Usually this involves wearing a shield, but again, at lower levels it isn’t necessary. There are plenty of good places to read more about this.

1.2.1 Some Notes on Positioning

One thing that comes as a surprise to many players is that ranged classes such as Hunters, Mages, and Warlocks are supposed to stay at a range from the tank. It isn’t just for looks, but there is a penalty applied to anyone who stays near you and the creature you are tanking.

This penalty comes in the form of their ability to “pull aggro,” or, cause the creature to start attacking them instead of you. They are 20% more likely to pull a creature off of you if they are standing within melee range of that creature.

With that in mind, keep monsters and players at a distance from each other. Obviously Rogues and other Warriors will need to be in close – but they have hidden attributes which reduce their “aggro” penalty due to their class.

I have largely simplified this. To read more, read Fortifications under the Threat sections.

1.3 Retaliation and 30-Minute Cooldowns (Level 20)

At level 20 you are going to learn the first of your 30-minute cooldowns. This is Retaliation.

Retaliation is useful any time you are fighting creatures with very fast attacks and any time you are fighting multiple creatures. For instance, if you are in Lakeshire, you will get Retaliation around the same time you will need to be in the Rethban Ore caves; there are Dredgers there which attack very fast. Using retaliation will kill one or two of them very quickly.

Retaliation is most effective with a good two-handed weapon.

As you level, you will find the ability has very limited uses. However, I would strongly recommend you take advantage of these uses any time you can – at 30 minutes in between, the sooner you use it the sooner it’s cooldown will be up to use it again. Retaliation is also helpful in the earlier levels because much of your time is spent traveling, not fighting, and 30 minutes can move pretty quickly.

The best piece of advice I can give for all 30-minute cooldowns you receive is simply to not keep waiting for the right time, but to try and use them as often as possible.

1.4 Berserker Stance (Level 30)

At level 30 you must find the quest to learn Berserker Stance. For Humans, this will be found in Stormwind’s Old Town in the Command section. From here, you will head to Fray Island, Southeast of Ratchet.

On this island, it can be very helpful to have a friend. There is an extended fight sequence you must outlast and it will be difficult to do at level 30 (though much easier if you wait a couple levels). Either way, do not miss this quest, as it will open up a variety of new play options!

Finally, use Demoralizing Shout on people you fight. Try it!

1.5 Whirlwind Axe & Upgrades (Level 30)

The first of your great weapons comes at level 30 as well. The Warrior quest for the Whirlwind weapons will involve a troll Northeast and up the river from Southsore and Tarren Mill. This quest will take you across the world and through Stranglethorn and Arathi Highlands.

I’m mainly giving you a heads up because you cannot complete this quest at level 30 without help.

The best thing you can do is talk your higher level friends into helping you with this quest. The weapons are still good at level 38+, so the earlier you get it, the longer you will be overpowered. Also, alot of the components can be purchased on the Auction House if you choose to.

When you get to picking the quest reward, get the Axe.

As I said, the Whirlwind Axe is the start of the great Warrior weapons. From this point on, and especially after you pick up Mortal Strike at 40, slow, high-DPS, high-damage weapons will be what you want.

Be very careful that you don’t make a mistake you regret due to the quality of items (Uncommon, Rare, Epic). There are some high DPS weapons in the mid-40’s and 50’s which are very fast and will actually cause you to do slightly less damage than items you might assume are worse.

Other good weapons are Kang the Decapitator, Twig of the World Tree, and Ice-Barbed Spear from Alterac Valley.

1.6 Must Get That Instant Attack! (Level 40)

At level 40, the first Instant Attacks become available if you respec for them. These are Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, and Shield Slam. Get one of these at 40!

People often ask the question, why get Mortal Strike when it isn’t much better than Heroic Strike?
Heroic Strike simply increases your normal damage. Mortal Strike, on the other hand, is an attack that occurs at any time and deals a large amount of damage in addition to the other damage you are dealing.

If you have this concern or do not understand the value of an instant attack, I would strongly recommend you allocate the points as quickly as possible. Once you try it, you won’t go back.

Goals by Level 60

By the time you reach level 60 (or 58), you are going to be heading to Outlands. On established servers, you will be interacting with a lot of very experienced players at this point – players at 60+ are no longer just people who have been recently leveling like you. You will also be with alt characters that have been at 60 for months and years, played by people who have an established level 70 already.

In many cases, these players will not be all that good at their class, but they will have plenty of unrealistic expectations for you. However, it is possible to meet and exceed those expectations.

  1. Do you have a set of gear designed for tanking, with +Defense and +Stamina on it? Is all of your tanking gear at least level 54? Do you have a shield?

  2. Have you gotten used to using keybindings – such as buttons 1-7 on your keyboard – to do all of your primary actions?

  3. Have you gotten used to quickly targeting enemies with your mouse? Can you functionally deal damage or tank if you cannot click your abilities, but can only use the keyboard? Are you familiar with the “Tab” targeting function, and able to use it to quickly target your desired opponent?

  4. Are you regularly keeping Battle Shout up?

  5. Can you quickly taunt enemies who run away from you?

  6. Are you quick at making sure you are attacking a monster? If your auto-attack is not on, do you recognize it quickly and tap “T” to resume?

  7. Are you quick at recognizing when monsters are attacking you or a party mate? Have you enabled “Target of Target” in your interface options? Also, if unsure of your Threat, have you downloaded any mods such as Omen Threat 1-0 to help you with this?

  8. Are you able to rapidly disengage from a target, either with “Esc,” “Tab,” or “T,” to attempt to prevent yourself from breaking a creature that is Polymorphed? Can you exercise the same control to avoid breaking your target after an Intimidating Shout?

  9. Are you comfortable with frequently switching between stances to make full use of all your abilities? (in particular: breaking Fear effects with Berzerker Rage, using Hamstring on low-health mobs while tanking, and using Disarm in PvP. – Armstrong

  10. Do you have an add-on to save and quickly swap between gear sets for grinding, tanking, PvP, etc? Do you have an add-on or macro which allows you to switch from 2H to 1H+Shield to DW “on the fly”? – Armstrong

When is Protection Spec a Good Idea?

This is a question that comes up fairly often, and there are many opinions on it.

Protection is basically good whenever you are willing to take the penalties attached to it. Before level 70, it is nearly impossible to develop a solid set of Protection gear for solo killing creatures, etc. If you’ve managed to do it, you’ve probably spent too much time trying.

The penalties to Protection, thus, are a major loss in your efficiency at completing content alone. Conversely, you gain far more efficiency at completing content that requires or recommends a party.

I would recommend this:

From levels 1-65, spec Protection any time you feel like you will be spending the rest of your leveling time in parties and instances. For most people, this will just not be the case; for some, they only level with friends, and Protection is ideal.

From levels 66-70, spec Protection to finish out to 70 if you have not practiced much tanking while leveling. This will not only help you get good gear for when you decide to go back to Arms or Fury, it will also save you a bit of embarrassment from being 70 with little working knowledge of tanking.

Obviously, if you just don’t want to party up, or just want to focus on PVP, don’t worry about it at all.

For my own part, I have leveled from 60 to 70 as Fury (on beta) and Protection (on live). Both were great experiences, and both were quick.


Using Your Abilities

2.1 Too Much Rage? Heroic Strike!

Heroic Strike is an ability you will receive at character creation. It follows an unusual evolution in terms of usefulness – it begins as core to all of your damage; as you level, it becomes less and less important; finally, it becomes core to your threat while tanking at level 70.

One thing that is always true of Heroic Strike, especially at early levels, is that it is a wonderful way to get rid of excess rage. It gives a great return on damage and a great return on Threat. Any time you have more than 30 rage (before getting an Instant Attack at level 40), queue up Heroic Strikes. Any time you have more than 50 after level 40, you can safely queue up Heroic Strikes.

2.2 Thunderclap & Cleave

Thunderclap and Cleave perform fairly dissimilar functions, but their ability to hit multiple targets is important. Use this to your advantage wisely, and recognize when it can hurt you.

Thunderclap is a wonderful aggro builder. Any time you are tanking in a party and have 2 or 3 or more creatures attacking you, go ahead and use Thunderclap.

Cleave can be an extremely powerful in the right situations. Like Heroic Strike, it adds damage to your next attack. Unlike Heroic Strike, it duplicates the damage on a second target – making it as if you had swung your weapon on two targets at once. This allows it to be very potent, especially when tanking with a two-handed weapon.

Thunderclap and Cleave both suffer from one big problem. They can break crowd control. More specifically, they are guaranteed to break some crowd control, such as Polymorph. Try your hardest to avoid Thunderclap and Cleave any time a sheep is nearby – if you still want to apply multi-target damage, move your targets away from the sheep before using them.

Other abilities such as Whirlwind and Sweeping Strikes take the same penalties and give the same benefits.

2.3 Understanding Taunt

Taunt is a core ability you should make solid use of throughout your leveling experience. It can also be very helpful when dealing with players in parties who are higher level than you and can pull aggro easily.

A full description of Taunt with the specific mechanics can be found in Fortifications. However, a simplified description which should help you use it:

When you Taunt a creature, the game checks to see who that creature was targeting. If that creature was targeting another player, the game checks their “Threat,” or, the hidden number that determines how much the creature hates that player. Then, the game gives you the same amount of hatred, and makes the creature attack you instead. Note that this Threat is not added – it does not increase your Threat, it replaces your Threat with the value the current target has.

The player you Taunt off of can still pull aggro fairly easily, if you do nothing and they keep blasting away. Because of this, it is best to follow up a Taunt with a powerful attack such as Revenge, Sunder Armor, Heroic Strike, and/or Shield Bash.

One thing you can do with Taunt is wait until another player has really unloaded on the creature, blasting it with fireballs or such. If you Taunt after they do that, you will gain all of the hatred those fireballs built up.

Finally, Taunt does not modify your Threat if the target is currently attacking you.

2.4 Charge & Intercept

These two are self-explanatory. However, there’s a very simple trick many Warriors do.

When you need to charge a creature, don’t chase it! It can be more effective to charge or intercept if you actually take a few steps back and widen the gap between yourself and that player. This is effective because both Charge and Intercept have a minimum range; that is, when you are too close to your target you cannot use the ability.

2.5 Revenge & Shield Block

These two abilities work well together.

Revenge is your cheapest defensive attack and also one of the most effective attacks you will gain as a Warrior. Revenge is second only to Shield Slam in the Warrior tanking arsenal.

While tanking, though, you may not always be able to use it when the cooldown is up. Especially at early levels, you simply don’t have it come up very often. The counter? Using the Shield Block ability virtually guarantees Revenge will light up.

Making Good Decisions with Gear

There are some fundamentals to gearing while leveling as a Warrior. I will cover specific gearing needs in the following sub-sections, but will cover some basics here:

Strength is your most effective attribute while leveling. It will help you dramatically in every aspect of your development, including soloing and tanking. Strength is the number one attribute to focus on, and this does not change at any point before level 60.

Critical Strike is also very effective. While it must be coupled with Strength to maximize your potential damage, items with good Critical Strike do not come until the late 40’s if I recall correctly. When you start picking up Critical Strike items, you want to reach 18-20% crit percentage as soon as possible, then expand on that as you head towards 70. One pitfall to Crit is that it gives you a perception that you are doing more damage than you are – if you give up too much Strength for Crit, you will wind up doing less actual damage, even though you’ll get flashy numbers.

Agility is most effective pre-40. Agility is never a bad attribute, and will often be found paired with Strength. However, there are items which offer combinations of Agility and other stats that are not as effective for Warriors as they would be for, say, Rogues.

Stamina is a core stat you will want to develop, but much of your gear will have Stamina on it, and you will not need to put too much effort into it. As you get closer to the Outlands, be sure to start picking up tanking gear with higher Stamina and Defense on it.

Finally, be sure you are picking up at least two sets of gear – one for damage and one for tanking.

3.1 Hunting Alone

For fighting alone and spending most of your time alone, I would recommend making sure you go through an Arms route. Effective Arms gear is available while solo’ing, via the Auction House, world drops, and quest rewards; this is not so much the case with Fury or Protection.

Make your gear choices based on what you are fighting and how quickly you can recover Health. If you can recover Health very quickly, find as much +Strength, +Crit, +Agility gear as you possibly can and stack it. In many cases, especially prior to Outlands, it does not always matter if you are wearing Leather.

One way to increase your health regeneration is by selecting creatures that drop Health potions. Almost all ogres do this, and ogres are very easy targets for Warriors anyway.

If you find that you are in areas where you can often aggro more than one creature, or if you are on a PVP server, I strongly recommend finding gear with +Strength and +Stamina. These are “Of The Bear” items on the Auction House.

Blacksmithing also comes in handy for solo adventuring. If you become an Armorsmith, you will be able to craft a full “Ornate Mithril” set for the low 40s. This set is good through the entire 10 levels and even a bit longer if you need to make it last.

3.2 In Parties with People You Don’t Know

If you really enjoy partying and running instances, but you keep on a rough work or sleep schedule that keeps you from always playing with friends, there are some things to keep in mind.

You care about the development of your character – that is why you are reading this. Many players do not. Often, you will find yourself tanking or dealing damage in a party with at least one person who either does not understand how to be most effective or does not particularly care.

This is fine. You just have to compensate for it.

Pre-60, if you play in pick-up groups most of your time, you want Stamina. It does not matter if you are tanking or DPS’ing, having a good health pool is virtually guaranteed to make the run smoother, especially if there is an issue with the healer. Secondarily, you want the best gear you can get. Your gear is the best way of overcompensating for the people you are with – this is just as true in 5-mans as it is in 25-mans at 70.

There’s a couple ways to approach this. First, get the best gear you can from the Auction House, as long as it is within the amount of money you are willing to spend. Second, be polite and play within the rules, but roll on every genuine upgrade you can, even the smaller ones.

3.3 In Parties with Friends

When partying with people you know and trust, gearing is almost the opposite as it is for pick-up groups.

Get as much pure damage gear as you can, ideally with good +Crit. Crit can become more effective than Strength in 5-mans due to party buffs.

Do not worry about Stamina unless you are tanking. Even if tanking, make sure you have generally good defensive gear, but you don’t need to overdo it. If you trust the healer, and the healer doesn’t mind, go ahead and use a two-handed weapon to tank.

Whereas with a bad pick-up group you must act as a focus to compensate for other people’s actions, partying with good players you trust can almost always compensate for any gear deficiencies you have. Until the Outlands, you can get away with having some pretty bad gear as long as learn how to play well and you have friends who understand their classes.

3.4 Choosing Instances based on Your Gear

Finally, there is almost nothing for a Warrior that your level will not overcome. That is to say, many of the penalties and gear deficiencies disappear simply by being a higher level than the creatures you are fighting.

If you are poorly geared due to quick leveling or any other reason, wait until the maximum recommended level for an instance. It will make the run smoother for you and will be courteous to your groupmates. Then, run that specific level range of instances until your gear improves, as it will boost you ahead.

If you are doing well with gear, maybe not all up-to-date but you’ve been finding drops at a decent clip, jump in at any time in the recommended level for the instance.

If you have a glut of tanking or DPS gear from recent instances and you are very well geared, you can tackle most instances 1-2 levels below the recommended levels. This becomes substantially more dangerous due to crushing blows, so remember to use Shield Block.

As you reach the Outlands and the late-game instances – assuming you wish to tank – you will need to start picking up true tanking gear with heavy +Defense, +Dodge, +Parry, +Stamina. If you decide to go Protection at 70, +Shield Block Value becomes an overarching stat… but when you get to that point, this probably isn’t the guide you need. :wink:

Tips from Other Warriors

*Amilie outlines the Fray island quest. Go here to read up:
WoW Forums -> Of Steel – Guidelines for New Warriors

*Kek writes:

Spec Protection when you want to be like Kek of Perenolde, who specced Protection for his guild and has loved it ever since. He is secretly my hero.

*Madere suggests getting some mods. Go here to find his list:
WoW Forums -> Of Steel – Guidelines for New Warriors

*Hypatia writes the following:

The warrior class, in the tanking role especially, needs to have a very good understanding of how threat works, and how the melee hit rules work (both offensively and defensively.)

As a new high-level warrior you need not know every detail of the system perfectly, but you do at least want to have a basic understanding of every piece of melee damage mechanics (incoming and outgoing), and threat mechanics (for all classes). You might not know exactly which classes have aggro reducing moves, but you should know that some classes do. Likewise, you should know a little something about what defense rating, hit rating, and weapon skill rating do (and why you should care about those, in either DPS or tanking roles.)

Later, you should aim to have a full understanding of the melee damage mechanics and the threat mechanics, and in addition a working knowledge of what buffs and debuffs each class can provide to aid you in your work. As DPS, you’re responsible for knowing how to optimize your damage output, and it’s up to you to know to ask for the right buffs to do your job—the paladin almost certainly doesn’t know whether blessing of kings or blessing of might will help you more, so you should. As a tank, your responsibility expands to include the enemy, particularly in boss fights. You’re the one who can most easily see what’s happening to you, and knowing what options are available means you can make more intelligent suggestions for how to change things around.

*Satrina writes the following:

By default, sit is bound to a hotkey. Get rid of it. Unless you’re a roleplayer, there’s no actual reason you should need to explicitly sit down for anything, ever. If you are sitting and something hits you, that’s an automatic critical hit. When tanking something, a fumble-finger moment means you take a critical hit and put yourself and your group/raid in danger of wiping. This is one of the leading causes of tanks that are normally “uncrittable” taking critical hits. At the very least, map sit to ctrl+something so it’s much more difficult to hit accidentally.


I’d also encourage people to experiment with keybindngs. I find that the standard action bar keybindings are extremely inefficient, especially once you need to hit 6,7,8,9,0. Since I drive with the mouse in my right hand exclusively, I’d lose measurable time shifting my left hand rightwards to get those buttons (this is only amplified by my natural keyboard, with its split at the 6 key.) So, my hotkey bindings are 123QWEASD456. the QWE keys are the three most used actions for the stance (e.g. revenge, shield slam, devastate). ASD are the next three most used, then 123 for the next, and finally 456. Alt+those are very easy to hit in combat, and ctrl+those are not, so they’re less used actions for sure.

I’ve had lots of people comment that they couldn’t live without wasd for movement, but that’s just retraining. I use wasd for every FPS, but not in WoW. I’ve bound the walk backwards and strafe actions to mouse buttons, but they could just as easily be mapped to the unused ZXC buttons. Driving with the mouse is 100% awesome in WoW. (Murmur’s Sonic Boom and Aran’s Arcane Explosion are even more trivial if you’re always ready to move with mouse.)

I’m not trying to convert people to my keybindings, rather giving a view to alternate keybindings and how they can be made to make you more efficient.

*Kazeyonoma writes about healing:

Probably the only effective way a warrior can heal (unless you’re draenei) is by intimidating shout, stopping attack (hopefully before int shout) and bandaging. That is a huge tool that I think lots of warriors especially new ones, dont know. The intimidating shouted mob that you TARGET doesn’t really FEAR. he is more of … stunned. He doesn’t run, but he is stuck and non-active… UNTIL you hit it. and thus you want to turn off your auto attack. Int shout to disable him for 10 or so seconds, and immediately bandage yourself (hopefully you have a hotkey for it somewhere!) This can make or break a lot of close fights, whether it be a quest mob you need, a stronger and higher level monster, or sometimes an extra add wanders into your grinding session, this will save any warrior a TON of corpse runs. Intimidating shout is our only reasonable and untalented form of cc so use it as much as possible.

Oh, and finally:
Kill ogres. They are really, really easy farming for Warriors.

Bonereaver’s Edge > Untamed Blade > Spinal Reaper > Arcanite Reaper