I’ll admit that I have become lazy in some of my tanking and I think some of it has to do with the way warrior tanking changed so significantly when patch 3.0 hit, being able to lay out Thunder Claps and Shockwave made AOE raid tanking like Mount Hyjal a breeze, especially when there were numerous warrior tanks.
It has become pretty apprarent to me that the EZ MODE that was engaged when patch 3.0 hit is coming to an end now. We’ve been raiding and clearing Naxx for weeks now and now that the DPS has really geared up quite a bit I find that I’m back to having to tab target during 5-man runs to stop DPS from pulling off of me when just using abilities like Whirlwind or Blade Flurry. In 3.0 all I had to do was mash my hand in the general direction of Thunder Clap and Shockwave and I held AOE aggro without a problem but that just isn’t cutting the mustard anymore.
Tanking Resolution #1
I resolve to stop using just Thunder Clap and Shockwave to hold aggro on numerous targets. I will use the other abilites that the creators of this video game have given me to stop falling into bad habits. I will make heavy use of the TAB button along with Revenge, Shield Slam and Devastate.
Tanking Resolution #2
I will stop relying on other warriors in the group to use Demoralizing Shout. This is another bad habit I have gotten into since I used to run with an Arms warrior with 5/5 in Improved Demoralizing Shout. This in and of itself is not a bad thing, the bad thing is that I have forgotten it’s on my action bars at all. I don’t use it on bosses 75% of the time and I don’t use it in 5-mans at all.
What are your resolutions?
Popularity: 68% [?]
Older readers might remember the post I made over two months ago about my speculation for tank gemming in the expansion entitled, “Tank Gemming in Wrath, some speculation”. At the time almost nothing was known about tanking stats other then we needed 540 defense and there was much speculation on hit raiting, diminishing returns and the like. In those two months, however, we’ve all learned a ton. I found it only fitting then to bring back one of my old posts and update it.
- Eternal Earthsiege Diamond. There really is only one choice for your Meta slot and that’s this baby. Not only is it a nice chunk of avoidance and mitigation in the form of defense, but the 5% Shield Block Value is just incredible. I’m going into raids with over 1000 SBV even before I had a helm with a Meta slot, and this baby gives me about 50 SBV.
- Solid Sky Sapphire. Always and without fail I will slam a stamina gem into a blue socket because stamina is still an awesome survival stat. Your healers will appreciate it; just ask Polgera.
- Solid Sky Sapphire. This section is reserved for your belt slot from the Eternal Belt Buckle and, for the Blacksmiths out there like myself, the sockets in our bracers and gloves. My theory? Stamina is good, but more stamina is better! Maybe it’s just the Burning Crusade tank in me unable to let go of the STAMINA STAMINA STAMINA mentality but it’s worked thus far.
- Guardian’s Twilight Opal. Expertise is the most important stat, in my opinion, that you can go for after you’ve reached 540 defense. By pushing dodges off of the table, 25 Expertise is the best thing you can go for to increase your threat and your damage output. Everything after that up until 57 Expertise is great for increasing your survivability. This gem is fantastic for giving you more health and more expertise.
- Precise Scarlet Ruby.
- Enduring Forest Emerald. Remember Veneretio’s post about How good is Defense? Yeah, it’s that good. Here I gem for it and stamina with a green gem. In the early days of the expansion it was hard to find Jewelcrafters with this pattern since it’s so off-the-wall. Every JC on my server had Solid Skyfire but only recently have their started to spend their daily tokens on this gem.
To you other tanks out there: now that the expansion has been here for a while how do you find yourself gemming? Is it similar to my own concept or do you think I’m a nutjob?
Popularity: 90% [?]
In this Suggested Reading post is Veneretio’s post over at TankingTips.com entitled “How good is Defense?“. This is a very good article showing that with diminishing returns from parry, dodge and miss, the good ol’ defense stat is better then ever for guarenteeing you are maximizing your avoidance (dodge, parry and miss) and mitigation (block chance) then it ever was before.
Great post, Vene!
Popularity: 32% [?]
Since the expansion has come out there has been little to no discussion about the speed of tanking weapons other then between some of tanks in my guild and myself. In the Burning Crusade your choice was a fast weapon or nothing else; no slow one-handed weapons with tanking stats dropped. In Wrath of the Lich King we have a multitude of slow tanking weapon choices: there is the Crescent of Brooding Fury or the Infantry Assault Blade or even Broken Promise, all of which are 2.5 or 2.6 speed which has been completely unheard of in the days of TBC.
I’ve done a little math and some theorycrafting, and here are my findings.
- Heroic Strike’s bonus damage does not scale with weapon speed. While your white swing will hit harder, do more damage and thus threat, the extra damage from Heroic Strike Rank 13 is still only 495. Doing a little math here means that an average Heroic Strike with Broken Promise is roughly 1034* and with Slayer of the Lifeless is around 785*, which is a different of about 24%. Seems like Broken Promise is the winner until you factor in that Heroic Strike eats up your next white swing, making it so that Slayer of the Lifeless hits 40% more often and therefore 40% more Heroic Strikes.
- The faster the weapon, the more you get out of Judgement of Light. The amount of healing received from Judgement of Light is the same whether you use a 3.8 speed two-hander or dual-wield 1.5 speed daggers; JoL procs on hits. It is safe to assume then that the faster your weapon the more often you will be proccing JoL. More healing is good.
- Heroic Strike is still a rage dump. If you have over 40 rage, which in Wrath is often, use Heroic Strike. With a slower weapon you run the risk of your HS swing coming slower then incoming damage and incoming rage. Remember that any rage over 100 is wasted damage and threat!
- What about bigger Devastates? Devastate is a waste of a global cooldown if you’re trying to put out maximum damage (remember damage = threat) unless you are refreshing Sunders. Otherwise, use Concussion Blow or Shockwave. If those are on cooldown, use Devastate to try to get some Sword and Board procs.
My verdict then? Faster weapons win out, hands down. Even if a faster weapon were to generate a little less threat, I would take one for the bonus healing recieved from Judgement of Light.
Not to mention that Slayer wins out of Broken Promise because it looks like a sword, not a dragon’s penis.
*Note: These numbers are before buffs and stats like Strength or AP. I’m also completely discounting the other stats on both of these swords, I am merely using them as examples for speed and damage and since they are found in rougly the same tier of raiding.
Update: It figures that after I write this long tirade, I get Broken Promise instead of Slayer of the Lifeless. The World of Warcraft gods are cruel and evil.
Popularity: 37% [?]
You’ve just hit 80! Congratulations! But I can see you asking yourself, “now what?” Well, read along. I’m going to assume in this guide that you leveled as Fury or Arms and haven’t picked up a single piece of tanking gear along the way and you are a loner with no friends who can craft anything for you.
Drops from heroics and badge items will be included in another post later this week.
Step One – Reputation
The very first thing you’re going to want to do is make sure you’ve done all of the quests in Dragonblight that have to do with the Wyrmrest Accord, this will save you massive amounts of time getting to Revered and picking up their amazing tanking pieces. I completely missed the long question chain that starts with A Strange Device and it cost me; don’t be like me. This quest chain also leads to the ability to do the Wyrmrest Accord daily which you should run every day until that magical limit has been reached.
- Honored – Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions
- Revered – Breastplate of the Solemn Council
- Revered – Sabatons of Draconic Vigor
Make sure to pick up your tabard and wear it in level 80 dungeons! Once you hit Revered, switch it out with the Argent Crusade Tabard and start working your way to Revered with them for the helm enchant.
Step Two – Crafted BoE Items
If you know a blacksmith, are a blacksmith, or have some gold laying around to spend on the Auction House, then I highly recommend getting these pieces to bump you up to the defense cap. These items should last you quite a while until you replace them with pieces from Naxx and heroics.
- Tempered Saronite Belt – 6x Cobalt Bars, 5x Saronite Bars
- Tempered Saronite Bracers - 13x Saronite Bars
- Tempered Saronite Gauntlets – 14x Saronite Bars
- Saronite Bulwark – 14x Saronite Bars
Total materials: 46 Saronite Bars, 6 Cobalt Bars.
Popularity: 41% [?]
There has been a lot of false information spread around the bowels of the internet lately about what the actual stat caps are for a tanking warrior at level 80. I’ve read up on TankSpot, Elitist Jerks and Something Awful (I highly recommend all of these links, by the way) to bring you the end-all-be-all of what you should be looking for as a tank in terms of your stats.
Defense for raiding: 540
Defense for heroics: 535
Hit (level 83 boss): 295 raiting
Expertise (remove dodges): 25
Expertise (remove parries): 57
If you would rather look at raiting required then these are the numbers you need:
Defense: 689 defense rating
Expertise (dodge): 205 expertise rating
Expertise (parry): ~500 expertise rating
Hit: 295 hit rating
Here’s stat conversion at level 80:
1% hit = ~32.8 hit rating
1% dodge/parry reduction = ~32.8 expertise rating
1 expertise = 8.1975 expertise rating
1 defense = 4.9 defense rating
Popularity: 20% [?]
When I first hit 70, I ran heroic Mechanaar only twice before the Sun Eater dropped for me. Other tanks in my guild had run it until Exalted without even seeing it drop, let alone getting it. Well apparently the World of Warcraft gods are cruel and unforgiving because I have run heroic Utgarde Pinnicle every day since dinging 80 and the Red Sword of Courage has yet to show it’s face to me.
A priest, a hunter and a DPS warrior in my guild have for Pete’s sake, but I haven’t even seen it drop. In the meantime I’ve had the Abomination Shoulderblades drop from Gluth in Naxx-10 (which according to WoWHead have a drop rate of 0.7% from Gluth since he drops everything else in the zone). My frustration has peaked to the point where the others who have it wear it around me before pulls and I’m going crazy.
Not to mention the Hammer of Quiet Mourning is one of the ugliest models and skins in the game.
Anyone else running into frustrating drop rates?
UPDATE (12/5/08): Woohoo it finally dropped for me!
Popularity: 17% [?]