During Vanilla WoW, sunder was the threat causing warrior ability of choice. We remember the ridiculous days of "wait for three sunders" and even *gasp* CC (crowd control for you Wrath babies where everything gets AOEd down.
Then there was BC. Shield Slam, Revenge, and Devastate came to the forefront of tanking rotations. Devastate was sunder only better. If you were a warrior tank and not needed for tanking on a particular fight you could throw on some fury gear and do the ole DWD (Dual Wield Devastate). It was somewhat effective as I got into the 700 plus dps range doing that during BC. This was back when tanks had crap damage and monster threat modifiers. 300 dps ftw!
Then came Wrath. We got all kinds of new goodies and our long time standby, Devastate/Sunder fell to the wayside a bit. It was used only to get the 5 sunders up and one from time to time for a refresh. It was no longer part of our rotation. Then 3.2 came along and dumped it right back into our lives.
I really noticed the effects of devastate when on my ret pally and grouped with another prot warrior. He did about 1800 dps in Heroic ToC. 40 percent of his damage was from devastates. This seemed very odd to me, so I started mixing it a lot more into my rotation, and wouldnt you know it? DPS went up.
I decided to take it into a raid setting last night against Emalon and give it a try. The result was bout 2200 dps. As a prot warrior. My top damage dealer was Heroic Strike followed by Devastate. I was critting with devastate 35 percent of the time and had crits as high as 3300.
There are a few things that make devastate the proverbial "shit". First, it does actual damage now. No longer 60 percent weapon damage, but 100 percent (plus some amount I dont readily have available). Seconds is that the cooldown is just a global cooldown meaning it can pretty much be spammed. The third awsome part is that it procs Sword and Board. Between Devastate and Heroic Strikes, it should be proccing all the time.
Dont neglect the other parts of your rotation, but now this should be spammed every time that shield slam and devastate are not available (and shockwave and concussion blow are on cooldown).
It is not longer retarded to spam devastate. It is like an old friend returning to our tanking rotations. The master has returned....and its name is Devastate.