Building Tank Combat Strategies: How to Play a Defensive World of Warcraft Warrior

The tank, or protection spec, is a warrior in all its glory. Though not too hot at soloing, no other class can beat a tank warrior for its sheer aggro and ability to take hit after hit. This spec is perfect for a warrior who aspires to be in groups and raids. Not even pallys can match warriors. And here’s a big plus to being protection spec: being a true tank helps you get a spot in most parties, which is nice in end-game play. Here’s how.

Building a Tank

Tanks are all about protecting the others in their group and taking large amounts of damage. This means that focusing your spec on protection talents and defensive stance is a must.

The rules used to spec a powerhouse hold true for tanks, but in reverse. Primarily build your protection talents, with arms being secondary, and fury being last.

When building your points, remember to focus on abilities that deal with taunts, shield abilities, attacks that aggro (such as thunderclap), and abilities that help to dodge and deflect. Because these can be found in all of the talents and stances, be sure to work on a range of abilities. Tanks are more flexible in this regard. My level 60 tank had her protection branch full, a few in fury, and the rest in arms. Arms was important to her spec layout because she soloed quite often. You can have a tank that focuses just on protection and fury, but that character would be forced to group and would be almost useless alone.

Here is an example of a tank spec thanks to level 60 undead warrior, Darthbizzel:


  • 5 Deflection points
  • 5 Tactical Mastery points
  • 1 Anger Management point


  • 2 Cruelty points


  • 4 Shield Specialization points
  • 5 Anticipation points
  • 5 Toughness points
  • 3 Improved Revenge points
  • 2 Improved Taunt points
  • 2 Improved Shield Bash points
  • 1 Concussion Blow point
  • 5 Iron Will points
  • 5 Defiance points

If you are still confused about how to spec your character, try doing different combos of points at the World of Warcraft site.

The best weapons for tanks are strictly one-handed swords with a good shield. Not only is your shield used to protect in this spec, but it is also a very effective weapon thanks to abilities such as shield bash and shield slam. Shield bash and its friend pummel are also effective weapons used to halt spell casters from using their spells. Your one-handed weapon should be very quick so that you can get agro quickly.

These are just a few ways to make a defensive warrior great. The most important thing is to do more research, as well as practicing playing the character.

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