2.4 Berg's Tank Gear Rankings (03/19/2008)
Berg's Tank Gear Rankings (Updated 3/19/2008 - wow version 2.4)
The definite source for this guide will now be maintained on Tankspot Berg's Tank Gear Rankings (3/19/2008 - wow 2.4) - Tankspot
I will continue to crosspost to the official wow forums, but Tankspot allows item link popups, advanced formating and I've never read someone type "L2PLAY". The itemstat popups really make the guide much more useful.
Yes its another warrior gear guide. Warriors are the most gear dependant class in the game, and we seem to have the most guides. This one is a quantitative analysis of physical mitigation/avoidance gear (tanking gear) based off the popular mod Tankpoints 2.6.8 by Whitetooth TankPoints | World of Warcraft @ Curse.com Tankpoints turns the various tanking stats such as stamina, armor and defense rating into a number that represents how long you can last without heals given a boss mob beating on you physically. This number represents your hitpoints given no physical damage reduction, for example: 10k hitpoints and 50% reduction equals 20k tankpoints.
Why do we need another tank gear guide?
I like having a gear guide and found Evergreen's pre-MC gear guide a must have for the lvl 60 days. But I prefer an objective quantitative analysis such as Cronedog's guides, but I just wish it was kept up to date more often :-) (Respect to both Warriors) This guide will be very similar to Cronedog's, with just some slight variations.
Table of Contents:
Weapons pt 2 http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f97/3...html#post38105
05/08/2007 - initial version created. This is a first draft, so if you see incorrect links or badly done values, let me know
05/10/2007 - added in gem set bonuses where an item has all blue, added Goblin Rocket Launcher to trinkets.
05/22/2007 - Updated all gear for patch 2.1 - massive updates, and I will make extra 2.1 commentary in the sections to highlight changes
05/31/2007 - New items: The Fel Barrier, Gauntlets of Dissension, Spaulders of Dementia, Yor's Revenge, A'dal's Signet of Defense, Darkmoon Card: Vengeance, Darkmoon Card: Madness, Violet Badge
06/19/2007 - The Boomstick, Merciless Gladiator set, new Honor veteran items
07/05/2007 - Added SSC and the Eye
07/13/2007 - Added forgotten item: Seventh Ring of the Tirisfalen
08/23/2007 - Added item links (Tankspot version)
08/28/2007 - Added Black Temple and Hyjal (All items as of 2.1 now complete!), switched to Armory links where available
10/02/2007 - Patch 2.2 - Pepe's Shroud of Pacification, new Jewelcrafter only gems, updated the DPS of the 2 SSC weapons
10/17/2007 - Patch 2.3 - Zul'Aman and new badge reward preview
11/16/2007 - Finalized 2.3 items added S3 Arena gear, Spinesever, and Glove Reinforcements
01/09/2008 - Patch 2.3.2 Spinesever nerf, forgotten items: Gladiator ranged, Heartrazor. Fixed Praetorian legs.
02/10/2008 - Patch 2.4 Preview (ongoing updates until live patch last update 3/19)
09/29/2008 - In progress of fixing entire thread ~Kazeyonoma
Most gear guides give a breakdown of stats. I figure that information is already given elsewhere, I'll just state some info that is less commonly available:
1 Stamina > 10 hitpoints. Stamina is affected by Blessing of Kings and the warrior talent Vitality.
1 Strength > 2 Attack Power. Strength is affected by Blessing of Kings and the warrior talent Vitality. We are also the only class that benefits the most from Strength, so items that stack it heavily are made for warriors and you don't have to fight over the roll. 20 Strength also gives you 1 Block Value.
+Block Value (not rating) increases the amount of damage reduced during a shield block and the +Block value is added onto Shield Slam damage so it is also an aggro stat. Shield Slam is one of the few moves that scale with gear, so stacking +Block is important. Assuming you Shield Slam every 6 seconds (also no mob armor and shield mastery), 4.6 Block = 1 DPS. Personally, I keep all gear with +Block just so I have a set of gear that can put out some ridiculous shield slam crits.
Resilience will count as 0 tankpoints in all items that have it in this guide since the baseline is always over the 490 defense mark, but it does have a useful benefit. If you are trading off some tanking gear for aggro generating gear, you usually try to remain crit-immune. If some of your gear has resilience, the defense cap is actually lowered. For example, if you have the Gladiator's Shield Wall, then your defense cap is actually 472.
Items with gem slots have a lot of flexibility. 3 gem slots could add 36 Stamina to an item, or +1.5% to hit. When you get a mitigation upgrade and replace a socketed item, often the right gems can turn your replaced gear into an excellent aggro piece.
Expertise is the 2.3 replacement of weapon skills and is now the top tank aggro stat along with giving burst damage avoidance. This stat reduces the mobs chance to dodge and parry. This is a HUGE stat for tanks, and in patch 2.3 we can now gear to maximize it. First of all mob parries are tank killers. Back to back parries along with a special attack are those rare events where your health goes from full to empty in 2 seconds. Expertise is a avoidance stat in that it reduces those parries. If you are a big fan of Effective Health gearing and evening out damage received to make healing easier, then reducing mob parries is one of the best ways to get rid of those damage spikes. But not only does expertise prevent parries, it is also an overpowered aggro stat. 5 Expertise skill gives you the equivalent to 2.5% +hit (-1.25% mob dodge and -1.25% mob parry) and it will stack along with all your +hit gear.
+hit is the #2 aggro generating stat for tanks and is capped at 9.0% for a pve skull boss. Generally any time I choose aggro gear over mitigation gear it will be a piece with +hit on it. On the gear below I will note any piece that has +hit because it is that important.
Strength/Attack Power will increase your white damage, Revenge and Devastate damage only (and shield slam damage in a tiny amount). All other abilities do not scale with attack power.
Agility is a magical stat that increases both your damage reduction and your crit rating. 30 Agility = +60 Armor +1% Dodge +.91% Crit and crit will affect both your white damage and your special ability damage (because it can crit). Stacking agility for aggro usually doesn't have as much defensive opportunity cost as the other stats. I will rank +crit last since stacking Agility is usually a better way to get crit and the items that carry it often are not made for tanks.
Haste rating will increase your swing timer but not the global cooldown, so a 2% haste buff will make a 1.8 speed weapon hit every 1.78 seconds. This only affects white damage and Heroic Strikes, not Shield Slams and all other tanking abilities. Not worth stacking for aggro and few tank items have it.
Armor Penetration reduces the mitigation of the mob and stacks with Sunder. This will affect both white damage and special moves so it is a better tanking aggro stat than haste but is more beneficial to use it on mobs with low armor. For Example, Void Reaver has a 50% mitigation and 10700 armor, and Shade of Aran has 26.5% mitigation and 3800 armor. Sunder will take away 2600 armor leaving their mitigation at 43.1% and 9.4% respectively (ALWAYS keep that stack sunders up on bosses). 100 Armor penetration will give .3% DPS increase on Void Reaver and .8% DPS increase on Shade of Aran. Armor penetration gives more benefit the lower you can bring the mobs armor, so it is something you need to stack alot of to gain efficiency. So adding armor penetration is really only of penefit if you've already met the 8.6% hit cap and you are fighting a soft boss.
Aggro generating stats:
3.) Block Value
To understand how to gear yourself you first need to understand Effective Health Theory and how to gear for progression raiding:
Effective Health Theory - TheorySpot
Then understand the different roles/situations you will be tanking in. Understand when you need to gear for aggro and what to do to tank magic damage. Read Ciderhelm's Fortification guide for that:
TheorySpot - Fortifications Guide
Now, hopefully you understand the key concepts of those excellent guides as related to gearing. Tankpoints and this guide focuses on balance.
Tankpoints gives you an effective hitpoint number similar to Effective Health Theory, except that it also counts in avoidance. Without going into pages upon pages of formulas, the value of health, mitigation and avoidance upgrades change in relationship to each other as the values increase. Given the current itemization and what warriors will experience with upgrades: mitigation/armor scales tankpoints linearly, stamina/health scales tankpoints with diminishing returns and avoidance scales tankpoints with increasing returns. A tank in dungeon blues will have 1 stamina > 1 agility > 1 defense rating, but a tank in full Kara gear will have 1 stamina < 1 agility < 1 defense rating. Maybe I'll produce graphs someday, but the point is you can't use a simple point weighting system to determine the best upgrade, and the helpful mod Tankpoints will do this math for you.
But no matter how much avoidance you have you will encounter a streak of bad luck where avoidance fails you for 3-6 hits in a row and you need to survive this. We need to choose gear that gives us the most tanking stats, but also keeps effective health as a top priority. So as a general rule, keep trying to accumulate items with higher tankpoints. Tankpoints value balance and favors items that improve your capabilities the most overall. If two items are close in value, go with the one with more stamina as a tiebreaker. Your Effective Health is most easily increased through the use of stamina gems and stamina enchants. Always favor effective health theory in this area (thou shall not socket dodge/parry gems).
Reducing physical damage is only a small part of proper tank gearing. In a magic-based fight, stamina is the only stat that matters (and sometimes the various magical resistances). If you ever have two relatively equal gear pieces, always go with the one that has the most stamina, and just for a quick reference, I will always list the stamina of every item.
Generating aggro is often more important in fights than physical mitigation. I almost never wear gear that equals my maximum possible tank points. The more damage you mitigate the less rage you have, and the less you can spam your aggro generating moves. The ideal tanking gear for a situation is the weakest damage reduction you can wear so that your healers can reliably keep you up. In some of the slots, I will list some aggro generating gear and give you an idea of how much damage reduction you are sacrificing.
The tankpoints calculated in this ranking use a baseline lvl 70 protection warrior in lvl 70 tank gear fighting a lvl 73 skull boss that hits for 7480 damage before damage reduction swinging at 2.0 speed. This is an important baseline to use due to the 490 defense elimination of critical hits. If there are no critical hits, resilience has no value in calculations, the value of defense does not include crit reduction anymore. The baseline warrior is Berginyon of Aegwynn's baseline gear Kara/T4 level epics gemed for effective health including enchants. I use my gear so that I can easily calculate tankpoints on other items more quickly, and I will keep this gear set for future calculations. Keeping this guide up-to-date with Blizzards additions, buffs and nerfs is what will make it a useful reference. I don't claim to have the greatest gear, but I'm sure the "l2play" geniuses will have fun critiquing it regardless.
My base stats in my baseline gear:
81.25% total damage reduction
38k effective health
(Note: I have changed the baseline I use to rank gear to a set of full-Kara/T4 level gear. This gear reprepresents an 8k effective health upgrade over the old baseline even though my total damage reduction is about the same. This should more closely represent the stats of raiding warriors since effective health doesn't change all that much over the tiers.)
To do each calculation, I'll compare the item to an empty slot in that position while in defensive stance, but with all the other gear. This means there is a slightly different baseline for each gear slot, so 1000 tankpoints in a bracer slot is not exactly the same as 1000 tankpoints in a shield slot but should be pretty close. But within a single gear slot, all values should be relatively comparable. If your gear varies greatly from the stats listed above, the tankpoints numbers in this guide do not apply to you. It can still be a helpful reference on gear, but you might want to download the mod and see what stats it thinks you need to prioritize.
Since people that use gear guides are typically looking to max out their gear, all gem slots count as the best Effective Health readily available gem (Solid Star of Elune). Red, Yellow and Blue slots are all counted as a +12 Stamina gem. A meta gem counts as a +18 Stamina gem for Powerful Earthstorm Diamond.
I don't count set bonuses or procs. Too hard to measure, but I'll asterisk the item and note when it has bonus features.
I'll list the tank points in a value like TP:6387(4854 base). In this example the item has 4854 tank points unsocketed, 6387 loaded with Stamina gems.
This guide will include all BC 5 man dungeons, BC heroic mode dungeons, PVP gear, crafted items, and raid encounters. In some slots I will list the best lvl 60 items, or best quest rewards if they are exceptional, but don't consider it comprehensive.
As I mention above, Tankpoints measures physical reduction/survivability ONLY. Don't treat this as the ultimate guide to tank gearing, just a quantitative analysis of one aspect of tanking. (Half the people that respond to this thread don't read that line :-) )
Ignore tankpoint differences or 300 or less. You can consider these pieces equivalent, and can focus on stacking whatever stats are important to a fight. The gain is negligible and since defense only increases when your defense skill goes up by 1, sometimes 2 defense rating points won't even register since it takes 2.4 rating points to increase the skill.
Proper tank gearing is both situational (it depends on what your are tanking) and contextual (each gear choice is dependant on your spec and what your other gear choices are). There will never be a guide that applies to all situations, but hopefully I provide enough information for this to be a useful resource.
Patch 2.3 Commentary
Devastate now applies Sunder armor so you no longer have to stack them then switch over, and Devastate now benefits from Improved Sunder and you can do it for 9 rage. I used a non-devastate dagger build through most of Kara, but the benefits and rage efficency of devastate now make that build hard to justify.
All tanks got +6 Expertise as a bonus on Defiance. That +6 expertise gives the equivalent of +3% hit as -1.5% mob dodge reduction and -1.5% mob parry reduction.
Expertise is now the top tank aggro stat. 1 Expertise skill gives you -.25% mob dodge and -.25% mob parry. Back-to-Back boss parries along with a special attack are those rare events that instantly kill you and you are left wondering WTF? Expertise is an avoidance stat in that it is the only way to reduce those killer parries in addition to being a completely overpowered tank aggro stat. 2.3 gives us two new Expertise items available as Heroic Badge rewards: [item]Brooch of Deftness[/item] (48STA, 22hit, 21Expertise [5.38 skill] ) and [item]Bracers of the Ancient Phalanx[/item] (703AC, 45STA, 23Def, 22Expertise [5.64 skill]). Not only are these a must have for any aggro gearset, I would use them on almost any fight for the parry reduction.
If you get enough items from Zul'Aman and heroic badges, you might have problems meeting the Defense cap of 490. Creative uses of gems, socket bonuses and resilience will help you hit the mark. This will be something you have to manage instead of taking it for granted in the tiered sets.
There are quite a few items that could be used to attain passive uncrushability in this patch. As long as you don't stack too much dodge, you should be able to generate enough rage to make it work using the rage you would have spent on shield block on aggro.
Patch 2.4 Commentary
Lots of fun new stuff in this patch. WARNING: this is a preview, the stats could change. I will try to update as we discover more items and learn where they come from.
This is the last major content patch before an expansion, and like the patch before BC, it gives many opportunities to get geared up. Heroic Badges are now flowing from all raid bosses and even flow from dailies making all badge loot easily attainable. They also added some T6 equivalent items in the chest, legs, belt and ring slots. So bascially you can do some dailies where you kill some non-elite mobs for a week and you get a chest that is just as good as the one that drops off Illidan. :-) Some people are offended by this, but I play for the challenge of learning and executing new fights and to see cool new stuff. The game is not about playing dress me up barbie. I know, a little hypocritical coming from a guide to playing dress up, but I publish this to better prepare you to defeat tougher fights.
Tier 6 Onslaught has been expanded to an 8 piece set. No new bonuses have been added, but its now easier to use some of the other non-set high end items and still get your bonuses. The 3 new pieces (bracers, belt,boots) are all really sweet and best in class.
There is a new enchant that will become important to tanking (as long as it stacks with thunderclap) Deathfrost. It applies a 15% slow for 4 seconds on a proc along with 150 damage. It will be important to learn the proc rate of this enchant.
Expertise: 5 new slots now have an Expertise item available so everyone should be able to hit the soft cap of 23 Expertise Skill to remove dodges from the combat table. Likely, many tanks will be able to make a parry hit extremely rare if not hit the hard cap (currently assumed to be different per boss). Stacking Expertise past the soft dodge cap has more value than stacking +hit, and now it is possible to really stack it!
New crafted items: There is a new tanking meta gem that gives 12 Defense and +10% to shield Block Value. A bonus that scales with your gear is huge and this is a must have. The engineering googles are now upgradable, and you will want to upgrade them unless you have the helm of Illidan. Hopefully you didn't disenchant them :-( There are a couple new blacksmithing and JC patterns that won't really come into play unless you are just starting out tanking.
Many of the new items are not only the best in class as far as damage reduction, they also stack an aggro stat as a bonus. For example, Felstrength Legplates are equivalent to T6 in damage reduction, and they stack 40 Expertise Rating! Breastplate of Agony's Aversion is best in class and has 40 Haste.
There are quite a few Protection Pally items in this patch that would appeal to a Warrior, don't be afraid to take it if you don't have a dedicated tanking pally. Often the pieces are pretty close to warrior T6 in stats.
There is a new trinket that has 57 stamina and had a godly tank saving proc of 20% dodge that was recently nerfed to 8%. But even if there was no proc, I'd still wear it just for the 57 Stamina.
2/22: Removing the stam bumped the DPS Onslaught off the list
3/19: Updated the armor values, fixed some errata, changed meta to Eternal
Reserved for the best questions...
Reserved for the best questions...