Tanking for Dummies

Preventing “The Claw” – Binding Heroic Strike to Mousewheel
November 30, 2009, 11:57 am
Filed under: Analysis, How To | Tags: , , ,

I make a lot of jokes about Warrior tanks crippling themselves trying to max out their Heroic Strike usage.  In the parlance, I refer to the ravages of carpal tunnel as “The Claw” (pronounced like ‘da crah!’), that feeling after raid like you cannot move your hand because your fingers hurt from jamming that Heroic Strike key for 4 hours.

I can’t help but feel I’ve been a little flippant about this whole thing.  So to make it up to everyone, I’m going to give you all a brief primer on setting up the best temporary solution to give your left hand a break: Bind your Heroic Strike Key to the Mousewheel.

To review briefly how important Heroic Strike is, let me point you to this old post on Tanking Tips.  Veneretio does a much better job summarizing it than I could.  The context is this: there’s pretty much no reason to not be maxing out your Heroic Strike usage, but doing so can have consequences for the health of your digits.  If you’re not feeling the burn, you’re probably not Heroic Strike-ing enough.  Eventually, you will want to know how to get some relief.  This is the best way I know how.

If you are using the Base UI

If you are using the Base UI, you need to get to the Key Bindings menu. To do this, pull up the options screen by hitting the “Esc” key and then click on the Key Bindings button.  There will be a lot of potential commands available.  You want the section that looks like this:

If you’ve never messed around in here before, these will all be set to their defaults.  No great problem there, save that your hand is hurting and you need an alternative.  For me (and I think a great majority of Warrior Tanks) my Heroic Strike is Action Bar 2, which as you can see from the above is linked to the by default “2” key on your keyboard.  Easy to reach and all of that.  But now it must change.

If you click on the the button listed under “Key 1” (which on the above is currently reading “2”), the very next thing you press is going to become bound to that function.  This is the point at which you should start scrolling with your mousewheel.  You can also do similarly with the “Key 2” listing and scroll your mousewheel the other way.  That’s keeping your bases covered.

It’s worth noting that this disables using the mousewheel to zoom your camera.  You may wish to fix that by binding those functions to other keys.  I use Shift+Mousewheel for such things.

If you use Dominos

…I don’t use the Base UI, however.  I use Dominos.  If you are like me, the operation is different.

The first step is accessing the options menu for Dominos.  The easiest way to do that is to just type /dom.  You should see this:

You want to click the “Enter Binding Mode” button.  Once you have done so, the options menu will disappear and you will see your nice Dominos UI highlighted with its current key bindings.  Bring your mouse over to your heroic strike key and scroll the mousewheel in the direction you’re going to use (NB: You need to do it using the base UI if you want to do it for both directions).

There, easy enough.

Before Proceeding…

I will say a few things about doing this, just based on my personal experience.  The first is that your Heroic Strike to white hit ratio is going to drop, particularly if your mousewheel isn’t that sensitive (or you are a Mac user with a Mighty Mouse).   You will obviously want to let the interested parties who are accustomed to your awesome TPS know what you’re up to.

Secondly, if you press down on your mousewheel too hard, and “click” it, you’re not going to get heroic strike activation.  This seems like common sense, but you would be amazed at how often it happens in the heat of the moment.  Use a light touch.

Lastly, this is only a temporary measure.  You can just as easily give yourself carpal tunnel using the mousewheel as you can using the keyboard.

Just always remember, dear readers, like Dead DPS doesn’t do damage, crippled tanks can’t tank.  Take care of yourself out there.


11 Comments so far
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Good post. I would recommend you take it a step further by creating a macro, then bind that macro to a key. Since Heroic Strike is a “next swing” attack, you can queue one up every time you do an instant attack. Create a macro like so:

#show Shield Slam
/cast Shield Slam
/cast Heroic Strike

Then, bind that to your Shield Slam key, and voila, every time you hit Shield Slam it automagically does a Heroic Strike for you. You can do the same for Revenge. I did a similar thing with Thunder Clap and Cleave.

Comment by TankyMcTank

I have my HS on a macro with revenge and have found it to be most useful for getting the best bang for my button. My HS gets spammed, and at the same time I get all my revenge procs. Moving it to my mouse-wheel is a good plan though… same spam of the macro and one more button opened up for another ability.

I also like the idea of putting TC in with SS, although the rage cost might get pretty severe on trash if they are both off cooldown and you didn’t get a sword and board proc.

I also have my shield block macroed in to my devastate and HS for max uptime, very handy if you are like me and always forget about it.

Comment by Kudos

Just re-read TankyMcTank’s comment again and realized that he was talking about putting cleave and TC together with a macro, not SS and TC… plus I realized that my way wouldn’t work because of the gcd.

Thats what happens when you post a comment when you are too tired to read/think properly.

Comment by Kudos

I keep HS bound to the mouse wheel one way, cleave the other, works wonderfully for me. I also use a macro where I tied together Charge and Shield Block, which I find quite useful. 1) It softens that initial damage when you enter combat (very nice if you out-range your healer on that charge) 2) It bumps up the damage on Damage Shield for a bump in initial threat. 3) I can still use the button to pop Shield Block when in combat, as I’ll not be at sufficient range for Charge to go off.

Very simple macro too,

/cast Shield Block
/cast Charge

Comment by Wiredude

I macro rune strike to everything on my DK, but that’s mainly because runic power isn’t used to power the basic attacks. With a warrior, simply blindly macroing Heroic Spam onto every ability could wind up putting you in some bad rage situations. Binding it to the mouse wheel seems to be an excellent plan, the next closest comprimise I could think off, for those of us who don’t have the luxury of a mouse wheel, would be to bind two bars, one with the normal abilities, and one with the abilities tied to HS macros. That way, when you go above or below the rage threshold, then you can just shift bars and adjust.

Comment by The Renaissance Man

I moved from having HS macroed with Revenge to mousewheel (up is HS, down is Cleave), because on low rage situations I had to be careful or it would eat all the little rage I have.

And when soloing stuff like ZG, Revenge is far more useful than HS spam.

Comment by Saithir

Oh and I remembered one thing just as I clicked the submit button – I also use Dominos, and it respects the default keybinds just fine, which wasn’t the case with Bartender.

Comment by Saithir

@Saithir – The rage situation is the main reason I don’t bind a macro to it, though obviously from all the comments this is something a lot of people do. It was mostly a realization that came out of farming with it. You just don’t get a lot of rage when one lonely herb guarding mob decides to take exception to you.

@Kudos – Your realization about what goes with what on a macro is worth repeating. HS & Cleave = does not trigger global cooldown.

@Renaissance Man – I did the “macro everything with Heroic Strike” thing for about a week; it just didn’t produce the same results as button mashing spam. Odd, but I guess it had to do with using a weapon that was so close in timing to the Global Cooldown.

Comment by Tarsus

[…] you are playing a warrior tank, follow this tip: Preventing “The Claw” – Binding Heroic Strike to Mousewheel « Tanking for Dummies.  I did this near the end of tanking Karazhan and found that it helped a lot.   I wonder if […]

Pingback by Binding Heroic Strike to Mousewheel « Joel's Scattered Thoughts

I have three bars set up with exactly identical buttons.

I have Dev, SS, rev, conc and SB all macrod

On page 1, nothing is macro’d. On page 2, everything is macro’d thusly :
#showtooltip Devastate
/cast devastate
/cast !heroic strike

On page 3,
#showtooltip Devastate
/cast devastate
/cast !cleave

Heroics and AOE pulls, I push shift 3 and I’m basically done spamming for the rest of the instance, going to 2 bar for bosses

Raids, I use shift-2 and I’m also basically done.
If I run out of rage, I push shift-1, manage myself a bit, then shift back once I’m confident (picking up adds, if that’s you, for example.)

I do about 50% (bad night) to 90% (great night) of my heroic + white hit count as heroic strike in raids and about 50% white hits as cleaves due to rage issues in heroics, and I press maybe… One or two heroic strikes per instance or maybe 10-20 when I want to manage my rage in raids (a whole ToC 25, for example, about 10 strike pushes and still 50-80% heroic strikes)

Macros are yer friend.

Comment by Lolz

[…] least for warriors tanks, staying active on heroic strike/cleave spam is tough on the hands.  I’ve seen this firsthand; I usually need to take a break after tanking 3 heroics, but I […]

Pingback by The tank shortage situation « Lujanera's Tanking Notes

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