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I would recommend using Shield Block for any time you're up against a mob that doesn't cast, and Shield Barrier for being up against one that does. A couple good examples of fights where I'd use each could be in Stormstout Brewery....first and 2nd boss I will almost exclusively use Shield Block, as there's little to no actual casts there. (on the upside, shockwave is great at interrupting casts by non boss mobs, even "uninterruptable casts") but on the last boss, that's almost exclusively Shield Barrier because there's a lot of casting going on there.
All that being said, if I'm having a rage happy fight, and there's no lack of it for me, I'll use both, just because i can. I do believe all boss mobs DO melee regardless of whether they have casts or not, so Shield Block will always be useful. The question is whether or not you want to mitigate the casts as well.
Use Barrier for anything non-blockable or magic, block for physical UNLESS the melee attacks are doing enough damage to make barrier worthwhile.
And I use barrier exclusively on the 1st boss in stormstout. Completely negates his frontal cone attack, I eat the stun and gain rage from second wind.
are you using a full 60 rage barrier when you do that? or is less enough to suffice? that's one part of the barrier mechanic I don't know...let's say an ability is thrown at you that would do, say, 60K damage...if I use a barrier set to absorb, say, 20K, do I get hit for the remaining 40? or will it negate the entire ability?...that might assist me in what to use when, and how big of a barrier to use.
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