While Tyds and Jayde are busy discussing all the current flaws of the warrior tank, a silent post emerged on TankingTips.com about what appears to be an entirely new aspect of utilizing the warrior tank - the dedicated add tank. Traditionally left to Consecration and Swipe, it now appears that we the juggernauts are now the new delivery boys of any given raid, and that certainly provides some food for thought.
I'll be assuming you've taken five minutes to read the original TankingTips post. Otherwise, go back and do that if you want any the rest of this post to make any sense.
To begin, I'd like to state that I fully approve and enjoy everything the post have to say. It's a great way to illustrate the diversity of the warrior tank, and underlines my post about tanking DPS a few days back. It also enlightened me on a few ideas I'd completely overlooked, namely the unlimited taunts and the Piercing Howl.
I'd originally thought Piercing Howl a dead prot talent - a fair bit of the trash, and absolutely every boss in both heroic dungeons and raid instances are immune to it. It does not cause threat, and it's deep enough into the fury tree to demand severe sacrifices to your (generally) superior arms tree choices. For nine out of ten fights in WotLK, Piercing Howl is a wasted talent. The upside to this is, of course, that you're going to be able to spec for improved Cleave, an awesome offtank-talent alongside the glyph, but you'll still take a severe pummeling for overall TPS dropping your arms choices.
I'm also critical to the lack of options presented for emercency buttons. Thunder Clap is on a six second cooldown, Shockwave on twenty. They are also offensive spells requiring rage, which is hard to maintain at the beginning of a fight where you're not actually being beaten on yet, or even beating on anything. Bloodrage is the obvious answer, but it still has a massive cooldown making it unreliable, so we are likely to be dependent on keeping Charge off cooldown and tabbing like a crazed maniac to ensure we not only build rage, but allocated it properly. This, to me, appears to be both the biggest drawback, yet at the same time greatest challenge to this tanking concept.
It's also worth noting that you, while nowhere near a bad tank, will be lacking main tank capacity with this build. Warriors are already lowering the average endgame raid threat roof by simply not being able to keep TPS high enough to compete with the DPS output by classes like arcane mages or enhancement shamans with the current metagame - losing improved Heroic Strikes and Deep Wounds, not to mention the added Charge rage in an already rage-starved environement will ensure our threat output in a main tank situation is signifigantly lower than desired.
Despite of these points, I still feel this spec is viable, and as such, I've tweaked my spec to a strange and absolutely unfamiliar 5/14/52 build. I will hopefully be testing it in heroic Naxxramas, Eye Of Eternity and Obsidian Sanctum within the week or so, and I'll be sure to post my findings. Until then, as always, watch this space.