Pulling – Single Target
If you are pulling a single target only, then your first ability must be Tomahawk. It is a ranged attack that generates additional enmity and it wont noticeably delay your first melee attack. Body pulling is not something you ever want to do in this game, don’t walk up to a mob and hit it, just throw your axe at it. Once you’ve done this, the mob is coming, and you’ve got to gain an enmity lead before the DPS decide you’ve had your 3 seconds and they’re unloading everything. To do this, you want to use Butcher’s Block. This is pretty much the case on every pull. Occasionally (if you have weak DPS) you can get away with Storm’s Eye first, but it isn’t really needed and it is risky. So, initial actions are:
Tomahawk – Heavy Swing – Skull Sunder – Butcher’s Block
We now have an acceptable lead in enmity, but it wont last, we need to really accelerate this or we risk letting those pesky DPS catch up. We now have enough breathing room to get Maim and Storm’s Eye running to buff our next Butcher’s Block combo, which we will need to use because we’ve just used a low enmity combo, and the DPS will be catching up. Our start-up now looks like this(full combos are bolded):
T – BBcombo – Heavy Swing – Maim – Storm’s Eye – Heavy Swing – Skull Sunder – Butcher’s Block
We’ve got a nice lead in threat and can think about other things now. Storm’s Path needs to be next, because Storm’s Eye is already running, and we have a nice buffer in threat. Reducing the boss’ damage is next priority after keeping threat. Adding this in, we get:
T – BBcombo – SEcombo – BBcombo – Heavy Swing – Maim – Storm’s Path
Looking at the opening combo, this will take 13 global cooldowns (32.5s minus skill speed modifiers) to get to this point, and we have several buffs that we can use to help us. We have defensive buffs, as well as offensive buffs that can be used to accelerate our threat lead and not leave so much of a chance to lose threat between our first two Butcher’s Block combos. let’s maximise our threat potential by using all of our damage buffs, and then make sure we have some sort of defensive buff active. To use Unchained, we will need 5 stacks of Wrath. The easiest way to do this is to use Infuriate, but we’re going to be building Wrath anyway, and we would most likely want to use our damage buffs after we apply Maim and Storm’s Eye to really get as much out of them as we can. Starting from 0, we would have only 4 stacks of Wrath after we applied Storm’s Eye. We could use Berserk to give us that last Wrath stack, but if we do that, we would be clipping Unchained and lose some duration, we want to use Berserk after Unchained and then Internal Release (if you have it cross-classed) after that because of it’s shorter duration. We don’t want to clip Unchained, so we will use Vengeance after our Storm’s Eye finisher, giving us both the 5th stack required and also some damage reduction early in the fight. So, we now have:
T – BBcomco – SEcombo(Vengeance) – Heavy Swing(Unchained) – Skull Sunder(Berserk) – Butcher’s Block(Internal Release) – SPcombo
At this point we have 5 stacks of Wrath and Vengeace is falling off. Looks like a good time to use Inner Beast (assuming you aren’t holding your stacks waiting for a large attack). We now have a nice lead on threat, we have reduced our incoming damage and we have all our debuffs running. This is the end of ‘The Pull’ and you should now move into a maintenance role. Maintain your lead in threat and maintain your debuffs. Note that in this starter, we make use of Vengeance as damage reduction, but mostly it is just there for the Wrath stack. If you feel that Vengeance is too good to throw away for a Wrath stack and some reduction on auto-attacks, then you can either use Berserk before Unchained, or simply use Infuriate before the pull. In either of these cases, I would recommend using Foresight and Bloodbath sometime during the first Butcher’s Block combo, as so:
Infuriate – T – Heavy Swing(Foresight) – Skull Sunder(Bloodbath) – Butcher’s Block – SEcombo – Heavy Swing(Unchained) – Skull Sunder(Berserk) – Butcher’s Block(Internal Release) – SPcombo
T – Heavy Swing(Foresight) – Skull Sunder(Bloodbath) – Butcher’s Block – Heavy Swing – Maim – Storm’s Eye(Berserk) – Heavy Swing(Unchained) – Skull Sunder(Internal Release) – Butcher’s Block – SPcombo
Pulling – Multiple Targets
These pulls are an easy place to lose threat, especially if you have an over-zealous single-target DPS class as well as an AoE DPSer. For this example, I will assume 3 targets as this is usually the case. I also will assume that they are all melee and you wont have to do anything fancy like hide behind a rock to get them to group up. Also please note that Flash is limited in uses by your MP and Overpower will murder your TP. Overpower does generate VERY large amounts of threat though, so you can use it only sparingly and still hold agro, especially when you combine it with Steel Cyclone. Standing around regenerating TP is something you want to avoid.
As above, you should always pull with Tomahawk on your main target. As soon as everything is in range use Flash twice so as you have a hit on every mob in the group. This is to keep your healer safe more than anything. At this point, you have a bit of a lead on the main target and the other two aren’t about to go and eat your healer. Flash doesn’t benefit from Maim or Storm’s Eye, but Overpower does, however you are unlikely to have enough of a lead from 2 Flashes to be able to get a full combo off, and Storm’s Eye can only be applied to one target. As such I prefer to put up only Maim here. So far, we have:
T – Overpower – Overpower – Heavy Swing – Maim
At this point you want to use Overpower a few times to solidify your hate lead and then move on to a single-target rotation on your main target. After a few Overpowers maybe some Flashes, most trash will stick to you like glue until they are dead.
T – Overpower – Overpower – Heavy Swing – Maim – Overpower – Overpower – Overpower
Again though, we can do more. We have Steel Cyclone available to us (either through stacks from the last pull, or Infuriate) as well as the secondary effects of Vengeance, and we should also make use of our offensive and defensive cooldowns (of which Vengeance is one). In this case, Steel Cyclone is going to be of more use to use than Unchained, so we will ignore Unchained, but Berserk and internal Release (if cross-classed) still need to be used. Steel Cyclone is a VERY large amount of threat, and it will benefit from the use of Maim, so we should put it in after Maim and before Overpower. To get the required Wrath stacks, we’ll need to use Infuriate before the pull.
Infuriate – T – Overpower – Overpower – Heavy Swing – Maim – Steel Cyclone – Overpower – Overpower
Again, Steel Cyclone is our biggest hitter here, so we want to make sure Berserk and Internal Release are available before we use it. Berserk does affect Flash, and using it before our Overpowers will not leave us without it for Steel Cyclone, but we have those two GCDs for Heavy Swing and Maim, and it would be a shame to use a quarter of our damage buff on a single target. As such, Berserk should be used after Heavy Swing and Internal Release used after Maim.
Infuriate – T – Overpower – Overpower – Heavy Swing(Berserk) – Maim(Internal Release) – Steel Cyclone – Overpower – Overpower
Now for some defensive buffs. While Vengeance’s retaliation damage is very useful for holding agro, using it before the Steel Cyclone would waste the Wrath stack it gives us. Bloodbath should be used with Vengeance (and especially NOT during Flashes) to maximise the health it returns, and Featherfoot would overlap too much with Vengeance, causing us to miss retaliation procs but we can throw out a Foresight while we’re waiting for our first Overpower. So now we have:
Infuriate – T(Foresight) – Overpower – Overpower – Heavy Swing(Berserk) – Maim(Internal Release) – Steel Cyclone(Vengeance) – Overpower(Bloodbath) – Overpower
At this point you can either continue using Overpower to trigger more Bloodbath heals, or you can swap to single-target attacks. Hate will not be an issue, so you should probably focus on getting Storm’s Path debuffs on the heavy hitters. I would recommend that you don’t go below 500 TP with Overpower, because you want to have something left in the tank if anything unexpected happens. Standing around doing nothing while regenerating TP is something you want to avoid.
Rotations – Maintenance
I’ve put this in here because it is expected, and not because there actually are any real rotations as such. Warrior rotations are not so much a list of combos that you use one after the other, but are more a priority list. You want to maintain agro first and foremost, with Storm’s Path being the next most important, followed by Storm’s Eye. With that said, it is almost impossible to create a rotation as such. There are a few sequences of combos that do get used often though, and they can go here.
*a note about Wrath spenders: Use them. Sitting on 5 Wrath stacks while tanking is a waste. The only time you want to do this is when you know you have a large hit coming and you’re not going to have time to get 5 more before you have to use Inner Beast to reduce it.
Generic, all purpose single target: BB>SE>SP. This is a chain you can use if you just want to mindlessly hold agro and keep your buffs up. You might consider a second Butcher’s Block on your first chain to ensure that you will keep agro while applying SE and SP.
Single target max agro generation or damage while tanking: SE>BB>BB – When all you care about is getting the most damage and enmity out. This chain has Storm’s Eye first, but you may find that you need to do one or two unbuffed Butcher’s Block combos first in order to get the SE buff up without losing agro. You can also simply throw out a 2-part Maim combo before starting. The basic idea is the same though, use SE enough to keep the buffs up and then use Butcher’s Block for high damage and enmity.
Single target off-tanking utility: SE>SP>SE>SP – SE first to help the other tank with agro, as the start of a fight is where it is going to be lost, then SP to reduce damage by 10% and also to provide you with a small heal. This is more or less what I do while tanking, as agro generation is very easy and as noted above, once you have a nice buffer on threat, Butcher’s Block becomes nothing more than an extra 30 potency worth of damage.