Protection feels the least finished. Shield Slam is the new rage generator for the spec, granting the usual 10 rage, and being buffed by Sword and Board to reset its cooldown and increase its rage generation. What’s interesting here is that the two spec-specific cooldowns, Shield Block and Last Stand are both now expensive, 80-rage abilities. This seems to presage the implementation of the active mitigation model, with abilities like Devastate and Revenge neither generating or costing rage. Essentially, it’s up to you if you want to blow rage as soon as it comes in on abilities like Cleave, Rend, Thunder Clap and Heroic Strike or start banking rage for those big, 80-rage cooldowns.
Â With Shield Wall now back to 5 minutes on cooldown, you can basically start off blowing your rage for threat and rely on Shield Wall for your first cooldown, then start conserving once you’ve established a rotation for the 80-rage cost Shield Block/Last Stand. Frankly, I’d hope that Shield Block will see its rage cost lowered to match that; it’s simply not as good a cooldown as Last Stand right now. Either reduce the cost to like 40 to 50 rage, or increase the amount of block value. This is something we will likely see thrashed out as development gets more earnest.Combined with Flurry, fury has a chance of becoming an extremely fast spec. With attack speed increased by Flurry, more white hits will mean more rage, and any enrages you enter will generate more rage thanks to Unshackled Fury.
With Bloodsurge lowering the GCD, and discounting Wild Strike, you could easily get into a situation where you’re taking in and dishing out rage as a much faster rate than either arms or protection, making fury finally feel like the lunatic berserker it’s always wanted.Prot also ends up the most passive once you hit level 46. Everything you get that’s prot-specific at that point is a passive ability. That’s strange, and I’d like to see the tree rebalanced so that a few active abilities were added past 50 or so. Perhaps the return of the Wrath standby Damage Shield, tweaked to be an active mitigation ability? 10% of incoming damage instead reflected to the attacker sounds nice.