Are Faster Or Slower Weapons Better For Tanking As A WoW Warrior?
My Warrior just hit level 70 the other day and I really want to be a great tank. I have most of the stuff I need to know as a tank down but I am really kinda stuck…I want to know if faster or slower weapons are better for tanking as a WoW Warrior.
A Warrior that is tanking is better off using a fast speed weapon. “Fast” for a Warrior means around 2.0 and faster.
The most common tanking weapons in The Burning Crusade are 1.6 speed. The Legendary quality Thunderfury – generally accepted to be the best tanking weapon pre-TBC – is 1.8 speed.
It’s easy to say that because all the best tanking weapons are fast speed, that fast weapons are better for tanking. The weapons that have been put in the game with common tanking stats (defense, hit rating, stamina) reflect this – but why is that so?
Speed, Top End Damage, Specials, and DPS – 101
Weapons have several stats on them that effect what classes they are best suited for. Lets consider some common tanking and non-tanking weapons and break down these stats.
The first thing you may notice in the above table is that the Damage Per Second works out to be very close on all the the weapons, despite their speeds and top end damage being so drastically different. So if their DPS is roughly the same, aren’t all the weapons equally effective? No. If all we were concerned about was the Auto-Attack damage per second, there would be no need for speeds and damage ranges. However, most Special Attacks are instant attacks that come in between normal weapon swings and therefore aren’t dependent on weapon speed. This is where the damage range becomes important, since the amount of damage dealt by an instant attack is greatly effected by the top-end damage of the weapon you are using.
Weapon Speed, Heroic Strike, Devastate, and Threat Generation
So how does all this information effect Warriors? Well, that is where it gets a little more complicated. Previously you learned that most Special Attacks happen instantly, between weapon swings. That means that some specials do not. One of these special attacks is Heroic Strike. The amount of threat generated by heroic strike doesn’t vary based on how hard it hits. This means that the more times Heroic Strike hits, the more threat it will generate. On the other hand, the threat generated by Devastate is dependent on the amount of damage it deals. Being a instant special attack, the Devastate ability benefits from a slower, harder hitting weapon. The benefits of this, however, do not outweigh the benefits of using a fast weapon with Heroic Strike. You generate more threat from frequent Heroic Strikes than from a hard-hitting Devastate. While there are many other attacks a Warrior can use, the comparison of these two is the most compelling argument for why tanking Warriors benefit more from using a fast weapon.