ArP now affects Thunderclap

March 24, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Patch 3.3.3 came out today and there has been much discussion about the changes for Warriors (including here and here).  Much has been said about the changes both to Revenge (more damage, cleaves) and Vitality (3% more stamina), so I will not belabor those subjects.  I’d like to talk a little about the change to Thunder Clap and what I believe this means for warrior tanks.

Here is the change, as seen in the patch notes:

Thunderclap: This ability now counts as a ranged attack, granting it double damage on critical strikes instead of 150% and ranged miss chance, and still cannot be dodged or parried.

Switching from a spell-type attack to a ranged-type attack has a few important implications:

  • As mentioned in the patch notes, critical strikes now do more damage.  Depending on your crit rate, this will probably represent roughly a 3% damage increase on TC for raid tanks.  In mostly dps gear, the change could produce an average increase of more than 10% for TC.
  • Since different amounts of hit are needed to eliminate misses for spells and ranged attacks (you need more hit for spells), this brings TC in line with most other warrior abilities.  Thunder Clap should miss a lot less now, increasing both damage and reliability.
  • Finally, Thunder Clap now makes use of armor penetration (results of testing below).  While this is unlikely to affect raid tanks very much, it makes the ability much more fun when tanking heroics in dps gear.

In other words, this is a very nice change for warriors.  I don’t believe it will make up for the raid dps gap between warrior tanks and druids/paladins, it helps a little.  For raid tanks, the best part of this change is probably the change in hit as fewer GCDs will be burned to keep the debuff up on a boss.

The change to TC really shines, however, in heroics when wearing dps gear.  With the T10 2p bonus and lots of ArP gear, it felt like all of my buttons were the nuke button.  Shield Slam, Shockwave, Revenge, Devastate, Cleave and TC all produce lots of damage.  Expect lots of dpsers with sad faces when they look at the meters.  Lots and lots of fun.


I wasn’t sure about the armor penetration claim above, though it seemed to make sense.  So, I did some testing.  While my tests are not entirely rigorous, I think they are convincing enough for my own purposes.  I share them in the table below.

Gearset 1 Gearset 2 Gearset 3
Attack Power 4503 4503 4515
Armor Penetration 10% (from Battle Stance) 30% (Battle Stance plus full Sunder) ~39% (Battle stance and ~29% from gear)
Damage range for non-crits lost data 721-798 815-890
Average damage 729 782 842
Trials (non-crits) 28 25 25

I’m wishing my recollection of various statistical tests were a little stronger right now, but I think that the fact that smallest hit from gearset 3 is larger than the largest hit from gearset 2 suggests that ArP is doing something.



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  1. Do you generally tank heroics in Battle Stance? I definately go with dps gear for most heroics, but I tend to stay in defensive stance.

    • I stay in defensive stance for heroics. My dps isn’t strong enough to hold aggro purely from damage, so the threat multiplier is needed. In the testing example above, I used battle stance so that I could better control my ArP.

  2. I switched a few gear pieces around after reading this, to get more ArP in my hc set (still at 535 def). Also managed to pick up the Nighttime axe – a very nice slow dps weapon. These two changes boosted my tank dps up to 3k, from approx 2,4k. Thanks for the tip Luj!


  3. MJ, which private schools are you proposing be removed? As far as I
    am aware, there are no teams that perform against public schools that actively recruit.

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