In Defense of Block Rating
In Defense of Block Rating
Punch me in the face ~ Thugthedum
Block rating seems to be a misunderstood stat by many tanks. People have thought wrongly that block was avoidance (like dodge, 100% reduction). People have confused block rating and block value. People have even stated, wrongly, that 25% shield block was required for some reason. This has been disproved over and over by smart tanks doing the warrior community a service. In the process, however, block rating has been vilified. "It's a paladin tanking stat" I've heard more than once.
I suggest that while block rating has some obvious misconceptions and limitations, a tank should not shun it or avoid it just because of these problems. Block can be very useful.
Many tanks working their way through Karazhan for the first time will eventually notice that their threat per second rating seems to be going down; maybe right around the time you pick up Boots of Elusion or Moroes Pocketwatch.
It happened to me; I worked hard to get the Aldor Vindicator's Hauberk, Boots of Elusion, and Pocketwatch - I worked hard enchanting everything I could find with agility for the dodge value, and I worked hard getting the pattern for the Felsteel Longblade to increase my dodge via agility. My dodge rating was a thing of wonder; and without really giving up much stamina.
And I wasn't getting any rage. My defense skill was 540, dodge was 25%.
I clearly remember looking over a combat log from a wipe to try to see what had gone wrong. I remember, on that fight specifically I was rage starved, and more than once skipped an occasion to shield block to get extra rage. I was consciously aiming to take damage so as to increase my rage, because I was worried about my threat output. I died when I took four hits in a row followed by two crushes.
Unlucky? Yes; sort of - but remember, I was skipping the shield blocks that would have kept me alive because I was being rage starved. I was overgeared for the fight, in other words.
Many tanks carry around tons of gear for different situations; lots of warriors in T4/5/6 either complain that they are rage starved in heroics or carry "older" gear around so they'll get more rage.
In that grand tradition, I recommend to the aspiring tank as they find themselves rage starved and therefore threat reduced that they focus on increasing block rating.
Keep the Vindicator's Hauberk in your bags; it's a wonderful avoidance piece and you'll need it. But tank 90% of Karazhan in the Jade Skull breastplate. Jade Skull is a high block rating, high stamina piece, that on the surface looks inferior to the Vindicator's Hauberk in every way. But you're going to get more rage wearing the Jade Skull.
Same goes for the Boots of Elusion - keep them, but get Battlescar and tank in them. Don't equip the Moroes pocketwatch for what should be an easy fight - trade it out for a high stamina piece like the 51 stam trinket or the 45 stamina engineering trinket. Or even the Terrokar Tablet for the hit rating.
To sum it up: dodge is a great way to make a hard fight easier; but Dodge can also make an easy fight harder. And in that case, trading dodge pieces for block rating pieces can be your best friend.