Taking our Revenge: DPS while not tanking

I think, for the most part, 3.2 solved some of the Protection warrior DPS issues (certainly on single targets, where it actually matters) with the buffing of Devastate to 100% weapon damage. This allowed for a pretty good ratio of rage to DPS (15 rage untalented, with Sword and Board procs also included), while also helping out warrior single target threat considerably; particulary if allied with the Glyph of Devastate.

What it did not do, of course, was help make warrior DPS a bit more compelling while not tanking. When a boss is laying waste to you with as much effervescence as he can muster, you have rage coming out of your ears. Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, Thunderclap, Concussion Blow, Shockwave and the obligatory Heroic Strike spamming will all see use while your repair bill starts to creep up. But when a boss isn’t pummelling you and you don’t have much in the way of rage coming in, it can still get horribly frustrating to keep queuing Devastate while you wait on a Sword and Board proc. To quote the developers somewhat, it just isn’t very compelling. We’d like a little more DPS from our rage use, with our non-tanking rotation consisting of a bit more than just two buttons.

So, what can be done?

Look at the Arms tree. There are three talents in particular that should be looked at in the order presented, assuming you don’t already know them:

Rend
Taste for Blood
Unrelenting Assault

You can probably see where I’m going with this; how about Rend being used to get Revenge procs as well as Overpower? No damage dealer is going to be interested in the former, while no tank is going to waste GCD’s switching for the latter. Even considering the PvP implications, the use of Rend to get the use of Revenge means a warrior that’s been forced to go defensive can still be a threat after he’s blown Shield Block, as opposed to merely being kited for the duration of it.

Personally, I think this is a simple enough way of making Protection warriors a bit more interesting when not tanking, while also providing more options for rage management and something of a PvP buff that is possibly needed under such circumstances, anyway. It also throws Rend into the Protection mix, while not actually seeing it replace the standard (optimal whilst tanking) rotation when you’re on boss duty.

Food for thought, anyway.

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