One of the main reasons I decided to start this blog was to try to dispel the rumors that warden’s are a useless class.  I’ve seen quite a few posts and heard a number of podcasts absolutely rip wardens apart, and I’ll have to say it is quite frustrating.  I started playing this class in Moria beta and totally fell in love with it – I think I had at least 5 wardens during beta plus my current main, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the class.

I think the main reasons we have a bad reputation:

  • lotta folks PL’d their wardens and never learned the class
  • it is an advanced class and takes some practice
  • ToT mechanics aren’t as responsive as traditional snap agro
  • ego issues (guards and champs feeling slighted)
  • we wear medium armor and tank

So with all that out there, we do have some work to do to gain acceptance.  I think one of the main things is to set expectations up front – I usually ask when joining a group (I do PUG a LOT) if they’ve grouped with a warden before, and if so how was it?  It really helps if you know the content as well such that you can do the pulls – but it isn’t critical.  I feel it comes down to being a good player and doing the following “general” things: (in no particular order)

  • know your class
  • have confidence
  • know the area/instance/quest
  • start slow with pulls
  • learn gambits (I’ll focus on this on another post)
  • being prepared (pots, food, scrolls, etc.)
  • define roles
    • puller
    • tank
    • off-tank
    • corrpution/interrupter (more a Moria suggestion, but REALLY important)
  • IMO, wardens are by far THE best AOE tank in the game.
    • Instances and areas where there are lots of mobs are where wardens shine – we can lock mobs down, suck agro, transfer morale, heal the group, and buff all our defenses such that we can survive it all.
    • Places like Fil Gashen, Skumfil, 16th Hall, and the Halls of Crafting are all classic examples of places where wardens not only shine but make the runs MUCH smoother.
  • We are also quite capable as single mob tanks but usually those mobs do hit harder and as such guards tend to handle them better.
  • We can be good off-tanks in certain cases but where we have issues is when the off-tank needs to snap-agro – example being the archers in the Grand Stairs last boss fight.
  • We’re really good at corruption/interrupt duty.
    • possibly the best class for these tasks
  • we can keep agro without having to do damage
    • not as big of a deal at lower levels, but higher up this can become important
    • one example of this helping are the archers in the Grand Stairs final boss
  • surviving fights without a true healer, or when yours goes down
    • this becomes important as there now is a lot of 3-man content available

In addition to what we do well, it is also important to know our weaknesses:

  • our DPS isn’t all that hot, unless we full out trait for it.  But at that point if you need DPS – grab a Hunter/champ/RK
  • no real snap agro skills or forced taunts
    • there is our legendary, but it takes a while to build and doesn’t last terribly long
  • not much else 😉

I think the warden boils down to AOE agro, and living through it.  We’re much sturdier then champs and can pull WAY more agro when we really try.  My philosophy is pull as much as possible, grab all the agro, and trust your mini to keep you alive through it 😉  I routinely will have 6+ mobs on me and with all our leaches am rather easy to heal.  Resolution with leach ~160 morale per mob and is spam-able, so with lots of mobs we can really maintain our health quite well.

Really the biggest key when playing a warden boils down communication with your group as our mechanics are a bit different.  Voice chat is huge for this, and if you don’t have a mic or can’t talk (I have wife-agro issues) you can still enable voice to hear and type responses.  Voice really does make  a difference and even if only a couple people have it, you’re better off using it for just those people.  If you don’t have voice, just take an extra few seconds to coordinate things with your group – it will make a big difference.

Sorry for the wall’o’text (I actually pulled out 2 topics), hopefully it is helpful and happy hunting!