He hasn’t said much but Moowall is soldiering on levelling as a Prot Warrior. He has been leveling only on rested experience, as it accumulates, as my aim with him is to get him to the Outlands with the minimum of time wasted leveling. He is currently 28 and has just started in the Thousand Needles. He is easily soloing two foes at once even if they are a level or two above him and three at his level are doable. I’m not sure how much easier they have made the Old World generally since Turkelife was leveling, but this seems pretty good to me. Suffice to say leveling as Prot spec is very viable now.
There are a number of very tasty talents low in the Protection tree since the Echoes of Doom patch (3.0.2). Improved Thunder Clap is nice, but not new in tier one. Incite, in tier two, is new and is a killer. 15% extra crit on Heroic Strike and Thunder Clap, which are used every fight, is brutal. At level 28 with about 35 DPS normally Moowall crits for 300+ damage fairly regularly with Heroic Strike! In tier three Shield Mastery reduces your Shield Block cool down to 40s, so you can use it almost every fight. This means more Revenge, which means more free Heroics Strikes (with Glyph of Revenge), which equals Moowall the killing machine. Revenge in itself hits pretty hard and with Improved Revenge from tier three it hits even harder.
The synergy between blocks, Revenge and Heroic Strike for high damage as a Prot warrior has me thinking i’ll be maxing Shield Specialisation, before Anticipation so I can block more often when Shield Block is on cool down. Edit: Revenge triggers off dodges also, so there is no reason to take Shield Specialisation before Anticipation. If anything the situation is reveresed. 1 point in Anticipation means 1% more dodge which completely reduces an attacks damage. 1 point in Shield Specialisation means 1% more block, which only partially reduces an attacks damage.
If any die hard warriors are reading this and shuddering, remember i’m leveling a Prot warrior, not specing to tank level 80 instances. Is now a good time to mention I he has 5 points in Cruelty for the extra 5% crit all round and zero points in Armored to the Teeth? Leveling not tanking remember.
Although his next leveling waypoint is 30 and a mount (i’m sooo sick of slowly running everywhere), the one i’m really looking forward to is level 40. Two reasons, Plate and Shield Slam. The latter especially should add some spice just when i’m starting to get bored with my current combo. Talent-wise, although there are plenty of good ones to take, the one i’m most looking forward to is Warbringer at level 55. Charge in any stance and in combat, yummy!
Mitigation wise Prot spec is, as you would expect, very good. Moowall actually has less down time than my previous warrior who leveled as a dual wielding Fury monster. Shield Block in particular, when combined with a decent shield, makes a significant difference to the damage received overall. Moowall never drinks except after big pulls with multiple mobs at, or above, his level. Much easier that leveling a priest 😉
So in summary leveling as a Prot warrior is very viable. Slightly less damage than Fury spec, but significantly more mitigation, makes it my spec of choice for leveling a warrior.