View Full Version : The six gear sets

08-29-2007, 02:12 PM
Hello all - just a mini guide I wrote up today, let me know what you think. If numbers are wrong post and I'll fix it. If you have comments or disagree, let me know that too.

Protection warriors need to carry around with them multiple armor sets to handle the various circumstances that they will find themselves in - these six in my opinion are the most common situations for a tank. They are the six gear sets a tank needs to be thinking of. Many items can play a roll in more than one set, of course, but generally it will do so for a different reason.


Heroic tanking is often not given much thought, especially by people working on progressing in to advanced instances - but many crafters especially may find that they need to enter heroic instances for primal nethers. Also, the gems that drop in the heroic instances have a place deep in to the end game. To that end; it's not a terrible idea to keep gear around specifically for heroics. The goal is to have 1000 AP, 20% crit, 485 defense, and 13k HP / 13k armor. Hit is less important against L70/71 mobs and L72 bosses. Block value still packs a decent threat punch, and provides some mitigation, but good old fashioned attack power boosts white damage, which increases rage. SBV can't do that, and you aren't likely to take enough damage to get much rage in a heroic, which will make your threat generation suffer. AP = Rage = control in a heroic.

minimums: 485 def, 12kHP
AP/Str > crit/ati > hit > BV
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Much has been said of late about effective health (EH), and it is currently the undisputed leading theory on the best way to gear for new content. When aiming for high EH, maximize armor and stamina to create a high effective health. (insert quick formula and link to tankspot.com here)

I treat EH as a stat, but of course it is not a stat you will find on gear. You can generally spot good EH gear though, as it has more stamina and / or more armor than it's counterparts. Generally, you are wearing your progression gear in new instances, and DPS should hopefully be watching the threat meter carefully, but a bit of hit rating wouldn't be bad.

Minimums: 490 defense, 13k HP 13k armor
EH > dodge > parry > defense > block rating

Bulwark of Kings Merciless Gladiator's Shield Wall Thoriumweave Cloak Darkmoon Card: Vengeance


The warrior ability Shield Block, improved with a talent point, will push the chance to block up high enough to remove the possibility of a crushing blow. This ability comes in the form of a buff, and that buff lasts for 6 seconds or two incoming hits. For most bosses, shield block and 490 def are sufficient. Certain bosses, such as the Prince in Karazhan, can deal large amounts of incoming damage via many fast hits instead of slower larger hits. In this scenario, you can't count on Shield Block alone to save you, as he is hitting faster than 2 hits per 6 seconds. This and other fights require large amounts of avoidance stat armor to reduce your incoming damage from crushing and other blows.

Minimums: 490 def, 13kHP, 13k armor
Dodge > defense > parry > block rating

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Raid Threat

When fighting L72 trash and skull bosses, the most important stat for threat is currently hit rating. Shield block value is a close second, and recently combat skill rating is making a resurgence with new numbers around it's improved viability in certain circumstances. This is your raid trash armor for the most part, and the armor you wear when a boss is "on farm" to help your DPS go just a bit faster and finish the fight more quickly.

Minimums: 490 def, 12k HP, 12k armor
Maximums: 8.6% to hit against L73

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In certain fights, resistance to a school of magic becomes the most important stat. Hydross the Unstable, for instance, alternates between heavy frost damage and heavy nature damage. You will need two tanks, one each in frost and nature resist gear. You will sacrifice much to put together large amounts of magic resistance, but there are tricks to doing it well.

Minimums: vary by fight
Maximums: 365 buffed resist (against L73)

In a pure resist fight, only stamina and resist count as life saving stats. If a boss is not swinging melee at you, there is no point to avoiding or mitigating it through armor defense or dodge. Stamina and resist are all at this point; after that focus on threat stats like hit or block value.

However, in some resist fights the boss (Hydross for instance) will still hit/crit you melee. In these fights, if you can't reach 490 def, you might consider using resilience heavy gear to manage crits another way. Much PVP gear is heavy on stamina and resilience, and has sockets for the relatively easy to get +4 all resist gems.

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Many protection warriors dual wield when solo, as we collect great one handed weapons as an occupational hazard and have an interest in +hit gear. Many protection warriors with over 185 hit rating will find a perfectly acceptable DPS output (400 dps give or take) when farming. Socketable str, ap and crit focused plate gear can be socketed with 8 hit rating gems.

Minimums: 180 hit rating, 1000 AP
Maximums: 19% to hit against L70, 22 against L73
hit > str/ap > crit/agi

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08-29-2007, 02:49 PM
My comments:

1: Heroics:

AP/Str are never, ever better for tanking that hit (below cap), or block value. All they do is make threat, and they make less threat that hit rating an block value.

Agi is pretty darn good, since it is basically crit + dodge. (Crit is like a bad version of hit). 2 agi is better than 1 hit + 1 dodge. Its awesome for situations where both threat and avoidance are good.

For heroics, once one already has reasonable effective health and uncrittable, I'd say (all comparisons assume equal itemization points worth of those stats)

Block Value > Armor > Agi > Hit > Defense/Dodge/Parry > Stam > Crit > Str> AP > Block Rating

(if one has trouble surviving, avoidance moves up the list in importance)

I'd put defense > dodge > parry in that order, though they are nearly identical in value. Defense gives 4% less avoidance than dodge, however some of it is parry (which gives a bit of threat, especially against many mobs), some of it is miss (which works on mobs behind you, which can happen in multimob tanking), and it gives some block (which has some value in multimob pulls).

Progression (physical damage):

Armor > Stam > Block Value > Hit/Agi/Avoidance (depending on encounter, if threat sensitive, hit and agi are better, if not, avoidance better) > Crit > Str > AP > Block Rating

Raid Threat (on a boss that is probably not going to kill you at your gear level, ex: Void Reaver for an SSC/Eye geared tank):

Block Value > Hit > Agi > Armor > Stam > Avoidance

Solo (in Fury Dual Wield Gear, with slow MH weapon)
I have done a lot of math on Prot warrior dps, and it should be based around very high str (for vitality bonus), followed by crit, and then hit. (However hit must be at least at the cap to always hit with specials). The reason Str/AP is best is largely because of victory rush, and gives a lot of benefit to DW. Crit is superior to hit because a lot of our damage is Devastate + Victory rush. And thus once past the hit cap for hitting with specials, crit is better. Thus:

Hit rating below cap to always hit with specials < Str < AP < Crit < Hit < Agi < Armor < Stam

08-29-2007, 02:57 PM
I disagree. (with the Heroics comment firstly, I'll address the other ones later)

Major problem for a raid geared tank in heroics is rage; AP/STR = increased white hits which = rage. Against an L70 or L71 trash mob (trash is 75&#37; of the problem in a heroic) 8.6% hit is wasteful. But; going from an all Kara gear 800 AP gear set to a heroics tuned 1200 AP gear set is going to mean you get more rage; even when the mobs aren't touching you because your armor and avoidance is so high.

Threat is rage. Rage can be incoming damage, or it can be white damage outgoing.

Sure, tanking in Hyjal you are drowning in your own blood - you don't need str/ap for rage. You have incoming damage for that. But go wear your BT gear in heroic Setthek halls and tell me what happens to your TPS.

BV only makes threat when you have the rage to do shield slams.

We, in general have a problem with theorycrafting where noone does any kind of check against what their theory does to rage; but rage is the most fundamental thing a warrior has. it's great to say "hit is better than str" but in saying so you assume the warrior has enough rage to land all the heroic strikes and shield slams you think they should be doing. Try getting off a single heroic strike or Shield Slam in a rage starved scenario. It aint pretty!

08-29-2007, 03:36 PM
I find that, for Solo, stacking shield block value and crit is more fun and relaxing. Kills a little slower but also less downtime. I think my dps was roughly 300.

08-29-2007, 03:57 PM
Str/AP gives small gains to rage generation when tanking.

Crit gives more. Crit is more beneficial to rage generation than Str and it also increases damage/threat from specials. So if the argument is based on rage, crit is better than str.

Block value is good because it provides threat and mitigation (which yes, you need in heroics).

I shield slam every cooldown in heroics. There is plenty of rage for that (and I have over 17k armor, so I'm preventing more damage than your average heroic tank). There definitely isnt rage for much heroic strike use. Heroic strike is very rage-inefficient. Its great in very high rage situations and bad in low rage ones. Adding str wont change this.

If youre not getting rage in heroics (and not taking much damage), swap out avoidance for hit/shield block value (or to a leasser extent, crit, str).

A 'BT geared tank' should go in with low avoidance (to get rage), high block value, high hit rating (but not over the cap for the level of mobs youre fighting), and some crit/str/ap. In that order of priority.

If you need more rage (and arent dying), the solution is to trade avoidance for block value/hit.

08-29-2007, 05:33 PM
I don't see numbers, I just see assumptions.

This criticism goes for me as well as you, of course.

08-29-2007, 09:49 PM
I find that, for Solo, stacking shield block value and crit is more fun and relaxing. Kills a little slower but also less downtime. I think my dps was roughly 300.


08-30-2007, 11:10 AM
Total kill time+downtime for DW grinding as prot, is less than total kill time + downtime for shield slam grinding, unless the shield slam gear is WAY better quality.

Unless youre fighting elites.

08-30-2007, 11:29 AM
I don't see numbers, I just see assumptions.

This criticism goes for me as well as you, of course.

Yes. Sorry about that.

I've spend hours doing math on this to figure it out and rank the stats, for a DW prot warrior grinding. But I didnt feel like reproducing it all here.

08-30-2007, 11:53 AM
well, here's mine.


This is a work in progress!!!

Here's what it tries to do.

- Factor in your hit rating
- Factor in your crit rating
- Factor in your AP
- Factor in your weapon particulars
- Go through 30,000 swings of the weapon
- Figure out if it was a hit, crit, dodge etc. based on an L73 boss
- Figure out how much damage
- Figure out how much rage you got for that damage
- Total it up

It does not yet factor in incoming rage from getting hit, or try to figure out how much rage you "spent".

It models threat per second based on a heroic strike every other swing, a shield slam every 6 seconds, and a five sunder devastate on the other gcd's. It currently ignores revenge, perhaps to its peril.

Next steps:

Figure out if the warrior has enough rage to do the maneuvere in the rotation instead of just giving it to him free to simulate "rage starved" scenarios, then get three bosses to pit our sim warrior against and see how often he goes OOR.

Also, check my math; i think I give the warrior hits on top of crits right now, instead of taking crits from the hit stack in the combat table.

Also, compare various weapons / gear sets against one another.

Edit: what it does do is give you a somewhat reasonable way to measure the effectiveness of say... 400 AP against 40 hit rating on rage generation.

08-30-2007, 12:53 PM
Revenge is very important to factor in. It is an ability that gets a big boost from hit rating (have to hit to do its 800 threat), a moderate boost from crit (doubling its several hundred damage is a big threat boost), and no bonus from Str/AP.

Devastate I find happens about 1.5 times per 4 cooldowns (once 5 sunders up).

Shield Slam once per 4 cooldowns
Revenge once per 4 cooldowns
Devastate 1.5 times per 4 cooldowns
Thunderclap/Demo Shout/Battle or Commanding Shout: .5 times per 4 cooldowns.

Hit increases the threat of all abilities, including sunder, since they must hit to do threat.
Crit increases the threat of most abilities (not sunder), but not by quite as much as hit.
Str/AP increases autoattack threat, and devastate threat somewhat.

08-30-2007, 01:07 PM
i was going to run it through the sim, see how much our warrior can get done with the rage he's getting instead of set it for a fixed number. if our sim warrior is drowning in rage, i'll let him heroic strike every swing for instance. if he has enough to shield slam every 6 seconds, do it.

08-30-2007, 01:11 PM
I think the 'sim warrior' should guarantee the ability every GCD. With a revenge and shield slam guaranteed ever 4 GCDs.

Then, with excess rage, add a few heroic strikes. Heroic striking but not using an ability every GCD is very inefficient, since heroic strike is very rage-inefficient. Its for high rage situations only.

There should alwyas be enough rage for SS/Rev/Dev/Dev with no heroic strikes. Extra rage merely allows heroic strikes.

I tanked, leveling from 60-70, without heroic strike even on my bar. It seemed really rage inefficient and I thought it sucked until I got to tanking raids.

08-30-2007, 01:27 PM
of course.

the logic that rage.php uses now:

5 sunders (first five gcd)

shield slam
shield slam

but underneath that, all the weapons swings are hitting too; and every other swing rage.php adds a heroic strike to it (which gets no rage obviously).

what I'll do for our sim is try to do the normal rotation; shield slam deva revenge deva, for instance; and add heroic strikes to auto-attack when rage is over, say, 45.

There should alwyas be enough rage for SS/Rev/Dev/Dev with no heroic strikes. Extra rage merely allows heroic strikes.

This is the conventional wisdom, yes. Lets find out.

08-30-2007, 04:26 PM
made some updates. it does a bit more now.

08-30-2007, 06:10 PM
Total kill time+downtime for DW grinding as prot, is less than total kill time + downtime for shield slam grinding, unless the shield slam gear is WAY better quality.

Unless youre fighting elites.

Hmm. Using Dragonmaw and Malchazeen with 28% crit, 200 hit rating, and 2000 Attack Power (shouted) I was getting roughly 350 dps. Spam sunder armor(9 rage) to 5 then spam devastate. Taking significantly more damage also.

Using a mix of shield block value and gladiator gear for crit, I was getting 300 dps. Also, I am able to solo multiple mobs at the same time even starting at 50% health. Roughly 700 block value with 19% crit.

Anything I'm not doing correctly to maximize my dps with DW prot? :P

08-30-2007, 07:42 PM
No idea. all i know is that in blues with the Vindicator's Brand and King's Defender in worse stats than you list I get between 350 and 500 dps most of the time; not even bothering to sunder armor, just devastate and whirlwind.

What are you farming?

08-30-2007, 08:24 PM
Did some minor testing. Used Recount to calculate the dps, btw.

Stats with DW:
30.31% crit in Berserker Stance
2016 Attack Power (shouted)
208 (13.19%) Hit Rating
Dragonmaw Main Hand
Malchazeen Off Hand

Both weapons have Crusader enchant. (yeah yeah, hush. Mongoose is expensive)

Kill some Nethermine Flayers. Average DPS was anywhere from 350 to 390. I'd say it can top out at 400 dps. Sunder armor up to 5 then Whirlwind and Devastate.

Stats with Shield Block Value:

22.40% crit in Berserker Stance
1338 Attack Power (shouted)
49 (3.11%) Hit Rating
727 Block Value
The Decapitator Main Hand
Shield of Impenetrable Darkness Off Hand

No enchant on the Decapitator.

Kill some Nethermine Flayers again. Average DPS was roughly 280 to 300. I'm hard pressed to go past 300 dps. Shield Slam whenever I can and Sunder Armor when SS is on cooldown. Rage is a bit harder to come by.

So, Dual Wield is roughly 100 more dps than using using Shield Block.

08-30-2007, 10:25 PM
seems like my numbers give or take. mongoose ftw.

also updated the rage sim; it's late, i'm calling it a night. rage sim is now "feature complete", other than the armory stuff, but it is not thoroughly bug checked, nor thoroughly math checked, just a glance and a good attempt to base my code on the general wisdom at EJ and wowwiki:formulas.

Forget about the "mini guide", I still think it was true, but whatever. Take a look at this, though, and let me know what you think.


It's based on an old piece of code I wrote just post BC to figure out if I was better off swinging a slow 1h devastating or a fast 1h heroic striking. Conventional wisdom now, and I'm proving it to myself as correct in raids, is that faster is better for threat - but you have to keep in mind, Devastate was new and all sorts of people were saying Devastate scaled better than anything. Well; we didn't realize back then just how much BV we were going to be getting on gear, so the AP-> Devastate scaling was looking much better than "white dmg + sunder scaling" pre TBC. Anyway, long story short I was in love with the High Warlord's Cleaver and did not stop raiding with it until I crafted my Felsteel Longblade in part because of what the original www.ro-guild.com/thug/swing.php site told me it could do in a perfect world.

Rage.php builds on that simple swing / gcd timer, adds revenge, adds rage tracking, and a slightly more sophisticated rotation handler. I'm not saying I think it's accurate (yet), but I don't think it's flawed. Please let me know if you disagree.

09-03-2007, 08:02 PM
Maximums: 8.6% to hit against L73

Testing done in this thread on the EJ theorycrafting forums has concluded that the base miss rate against a +3 level mob is 9%, not the long held 8.6%.
[Rogue/Warrior] Weapon Skill Adjustment Discussion - Elitist Jerks (http://elitistjerks.com/f31/t11885-rogue_warrior_weapon_skill_adjustment_discussion/)