Tanking for Dummies

Dual Spec Experiment Take 1: Fury
May 1, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis | Tags: , , ,

Ah Dual Specialization.  You are such a mixed blessing.

Thus far, I have only bothered to buy Dual Spec with Tarsus.  There are practical reasons for this of course – I have other things to blow money on now that I’m averaging 250 gold in repair bills a night in Ulduar for one.  But other than that I can’t help but feel like I’ve got a touch of buyer’s remorse.  Not that Titan’s Grip isn’t stupidly fun or anything, it is.  It’s just… not as awesome as I thought it would be.

Allow me to be more specific.

I used Spinks’ excellent post as a reference for my build, but needless to say my off-spec is deep fury.  It seemed like a good choice for it’s utility, and thanks to some rather coincidental faction purchasable weapons I was able to quickly start working on increasing my two handed weapon skill slave for hours leveling up 2-handed weapons skills because Blizzard nerfed the hell out of all the good spots for easy weapon skill ups.  That should have served as an indication of just where this was going, but needless to say I pressed on, determined to feel good about that 1000 gold hole in my pocket.

The first real trial of my fury build was doing my usual rounds of Dailies and trying out the Argent Tournament stuff.  I came away with the following lessons:

  • I miss Warbringer when I don’t have it.  Victory Rush is a poor opener comparatively because it lacks the mobility to quickly engage new enemies.  I generally find that I run out of Victory Rush before I can actually get to a new mob.
  • Whiffing with a 2-hander sucks.
  • …but not as much as I suck at taking advantage of Bloodsurge procs.
  • The Brunhildar skin looks increadibly stupid dual wielding two handers.
  • Despite being more than half in Epics, it feels like I kill things so slowly because I’m only killing one thing at a time.
  • I end up swapping back to Prot halfway through running dailies because I get frustrated with one of the above.

Pair this up with there seeming like no need for me to swap to DPS while raiding Ulduar and you can see how it feels like Fury just isn’t doing it for me.  Maybe it’s the lack of shields or maybe I’m just so used to being Protection that other playstyles feel unnatural.  All that I know is that I’m looking real hard at a stronger avoidance spec and pondering if I would get more utility out of it in the long run.

Any other Tanks out there feeling similar pangs of guilt?

(P.S. – Happy May Day to those of you not living in the USA.)


15 Comments so far
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Totally agree, i blew 1000g thinking that I would smash though dailies real quick. Any time that i saved by killing quicker (kills didn’t feel quicker BTW) was eaten up by regening health. Needless to say i missed the invincibility that comes with the protection tree. Prot FTW!!!

Comment by Manhorn

I’ve tried an Arms build for mine simply to provide more raid utility; Blood Frenzy increases all physical damage on the target by 4%, and Trauma largely duplicates a druid’s Mangle effect if there’s no druids around. The DPS isn’t nearly as zomgawesome as Fury, but I figure that I’ll never do zomgawesome DPS anyway, and on those relatively rare occasions I’ll be deepscow instead of panzercow, I might as well go for utility over meters.

The problem with Arms is that you’re always waiting for something to happen. Waiting for Taste for Blood to proc Overpower, waiting for Sudden Death to proc Execute…it’s very reactive. The good thing is that it uses a priority system much like we use for tanking instead of a fixed rotation, so that’s easier for me to wrap my head around. It’s also stupidly RNG-dependent. Between waiting for procs, and some things being crit-dependent, luck is a factor. If the RNG loves you, you can burst out a metric crapton of damage in just a few seconds. If not, it feels badly underpowered.

So far in the front of Ulduar, the only place I’ve used the spec is Ignus. We have three tanks (I’m #3) and XT and Razorscale both require me to stay tanky. Which is cool with me, I prefer tanky.

Comment by Lewis

I went deep fury for my second, and ya, I’m feeling the pain too.

I think its mostly just a learning curve far too steep for those of us that spent our careers intentionally getting hit in the head, so I shall stubornlly (stupidly?)slog my way through and hopefully figure it out.

And btw, you can equip a shield and a 2H with titans grip… the SS feel rather pathetic without all the prot talents behind it to give it some kick tho :(

Comment by Kudos

@ Manhorn – Glad to know I’m not the only one.

@ Lewis – I had thought to maybe go arms, but I was under the impression that Blood Frenzy doesn’t stack with Ebon Plague. Maybe I’ll try it for my next experiment instead of a second Prot Spec.

@ Kudos – I think I would only do that if I could wield a spear in my main hand. /sparta

Comment by Tarsus

Watch someone with the Brunhildar skin try to wand. I ended up kicking shadow bolts at people. WTF. KICKING. WHEN I WAS WANDING.

Comment by Ambrosyne

I dual specced and went Deepwounds Prot and Fury. Then I respecced fury to Arms. Now i am considering making arms either a survival spec or trying out the Unrelenting Assault build.

Comment by Darraxus

@ Ambrosyne – It’s also interesting when you wear your offhand items as a shield. /bookslam

@ Darraxus – I’ll admit that I’m more suspicious of the UA build than I was of the “Spell Reflect Build” for Malygos. It just seems so situational – but maybe that is because I’m mostly the off tank.

Comment by Tarsus

I don’t feel that way at all. You should be blowing through multiple mobs waaay faster than prot. Whirlwind and cleave are where it’s at (especially with Glyph of Cleave). I love my dual spec <3

Comment by Brey

I ran into the same problems at first as you are. Sunder armor and rend are instant abilities and weapon skill is based off the number of times you swing. So I use those to skill up fast and can usually get up to 380 fairly quickly.
Bloodsurge is a huge DPS boost and I started using power auras simply because of that ability. When bloodsurge procs, it flashes on the entire space where my character is. Kadomi had a great video on how to set it up: http://www.tanklikeagirl.com/2009/04/08/addon-corner-power-auras-setup
As far as the lack of Warbringer… The only thing to “make up” for it is Intercept which is still not as cool and takes up rage. The Glyph of Enduring Victory helps for keeping up Victory Rush, but I still haven’t 100% figured out how to work it.
Overall I love the dps behind Fury… but when soloing, I love being able to take on 5 to 10 mobs at once with prot. It is really nice to be able to DPS when in an off-tank position in raids or on bosses where a different flavor of tanking is the better option.

Comment by Vencer

@ Brey – I just find it is easier to round up multiple mobs with Prot what with TC and Warbringer. Also, I loose health so much faster as Fury. It’s probably that I haven’t figured things out yet with Fury.

@ Vencer – I’ll have to look into Power Auras. Joveta uses it for her shaman, so I can ask her for a hand if I need one.

The main thing with Warbringer I think is I just didn’t realize how much I used it until I didn’t have it.

Comment by Tarsus

Well, Arms has Juggernaut, which is sort of Warbringer Lite–lets you Charge in combat, and also guarantees a crit on your next Mortal Strike or Slam within, I think, 10 seconds.

The thing I miss trying to do dailies as Arms is not having a damn spell interrupt in Battle Stance. I’m really spoiled by having a squillion ways to mess with casting mobs; with Arms, unless I dance over to Berserker Stance to Pummel and dump a bunch of rage, I got nothing.

Plus I’m squishy. I HATE being squishy.

Comment by Lewis

That is honestly why I was avoiding arms, no interrupt.

I might as well try it though.

Comment by Tarsus

I’m using Power Auras for my procs and it’s great.

I still have a second spec for fury dps (our guild alliance is hip deep in tanks) but I’ve gone back to doing dailies as prot. The mobs die a little slower but I get to the next one faster since I still have charge (<3 warbringer) and don’t have to bandage or eat. Fury is for bosses who don’t have adds.

Comment by Karl Gallagher

Ebon Plaguebringer = Curse of Elements debuff.
Blood Frenzy = Savage Combat debuff.

So if you have combat rogues, you won’t get its benefit. On the other hand, Fury has the worst raid buffs in the game and its personal dps is kinda terrible now unless you’re in 100% BiS, so . . .

. . . yeah, don’t even get me started on how badly they’ve raped the dps warrior.

Comment by Yuki

@ Karl – I was just looking at my Fury DPS for our Hodir kill, not quite as bad as I had thought (though still pretty bad). Sadly, my DPS for the Auriaya fight was higher (probably because of the adds, but still).

@ Yuki – We have a combat rogue so… yeah. I’m definitely not BiS. I’m not even in all “DPS” gear.

Comment by Tarsus

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