Best in Slot! Warrior Tanking Gear "At a Glance"
Table of Contents
II. Icecrown Citadel Heroic Mode BiS Gear
III. Icecrown Citadel Normal Mode BiS Gear
VI. Additional Information
Archived Gear Guides:
ToC BiS Gear (archived on my Journeytank blog)
Ulduar BiS Gear (archived on my Journeytank blog)
Pre-Ulduar BiS Gear (archived on my Journeytank blog)
Passive Unhittable Set (archived on my Journeytank blog)
Several current, comprehensive tanking gear lists are easily accessible. MMO-Champion has a good one, and several have been compiled on these forums as well. However, as in the past, this guide seeks to take the concept of a gear list a step farther and identify how different pieces of gear best suit different sets for different situations.
The initial gear guide for Icecrown Citadel will necessarily be incomplete, due to the fact that not all the item drops have been recorded yet. As we progress through this (what seems to be) awesome raid instance, I'll keep updating as we see more gear become available. Since the hard modes of Icecrown Citadel won't be available initially, everyone will have access to the same loot (for a while, anyway). Until we defeat the Arthas encounter and gain access to hard modes, this guide will only list gear from normal mode content.
Just as I've suggested in this guide in the past, I would highly recommend maximizing the effectiveness of the gear you pick up by building multiple tanking sets. To do this, a couple of key gearing principles deserve consideration:
1. Build multiple gear-sets for different situations.
2. Socket/enchant each individual item to the strength of that item (i.e. if a piece is itemized heavily with threat stats, use threat enchants/gems on that piece).
Ok, lets get down to details. Gearing principle number one indicates that ideally we should be building multiple "sets" of gear. (Note that some items may be "best in slot" in multiple categories). What are the sets? and what stats does each set focus on? To answer these questions, I hope to develop a section of this guide where I will explain the theory behind each set in greater detail. For now, here are the sets I'll be using in the guide:
- Effective Health (EH) For any tank looking at progression content, the EH set is the primary set you'll be shooting for. Even if you don't have the BiS EH piece for a particular slot, you'll probably be gemming / enchanting everything for EH until you get multiple pieces of gear for the same slot.
- Avoidance (AV) There have been a few fights where you want to gear for avoidance instead of EH or Threat. In heroic ToC, the situation was not very favorable for an avoidance set. It remains to be seen if Icecrown Citadel and the avoidance debuff will change that. Nevertheless, having avoidance pieces will come in handy for any content you out-gear significantly. Wearing a mixture of avoidance / threat gear will pay off for Ulduar farming runs, or any other lower-level raids (note: this doesn't apply to heroic 5mans, where block value / threat gear is the way to go). Lets face it... you really don't need 50k health to do content that you were lucky to have 40k health in back in the day. Instead of stacking an extra 10k health (and never dropping below 50% hp) stacking avoidance and threat instead will lower the amount of healing needed, making speed runs even faster!
- Threat (T) This is usually the first set to work on building after your EH set. Once you pick up two pieces for a particular slot, you can switch between them as needed (though if you're doing hard modes you'll still probably have both gemmed / enchanted for EH).
- Passive Unhittable (UH) This used to be a novelty set, for the most part. However, due to the mechanics of the Anub adds, having a set that makes every attack a "blocked" attack and has significant block value as well can greatly reduce the damage taken by the add tank. You can go to this section of the guide for more info on this set. Icecrown Citadel may have a similar fight that lends itself toward an unhittable set, but we'll have to wait and see!
Just like the previous gear lists in this guide, the Icecrown Citadel gear list will be compiled "at a glance." I haven't done a lot of math or set up formulas for my "best in slot" picks, but merely compared the top pieces of gear in each slot to determine what set to put it in. I'm sure there will be differences between what I pick and what others would pick, and I welcome criticisms and suggestions. If you're looking for a comprehensive list, you won't find it here. You'll have to go to one of the other listings on this site or the MMO-Champion list if you're looking for that.
II. Icecrown Citadel Heroic Mode BiS Gear
III. Icecrown Citadel Normal Mode BiS Gear
Head - right now there are only three helms in ICC that I'm aware of. One drops off of Lady Deathwhisper on 25man normal mode, and two are the tier helms.
EH - Sanctified Ymirjar Lord's Greathelm (T10.25) and Broken Ram Skull Helm (ICC25, Lady Deathwhisper): both these helms have the same EH potential. I would go with the non-tier helm, unless you need the tier helm for the set bonus.
AV - Sanctified Ymirjar Lord's Greathelm (T10.25)
T - Broken Ram Skull Helm (ICC25, Lady Deathwhisper)
Neck - 3 pieces available from normal modes.
EH - Bile Encrusted Medalion (ICC25, Rotface): same amount of stamina as the other 25man neckpiece, but the Rotface neck has armor which pushes it to the top of the EH chart for this slot.
AV - Marrowgar's Scratching Choker: this neck is from the 10man, and while it doesn't match up well against the two 25man options for this slot, you can gem it for avoidance and use it on Saurfang or wherever else you need avoidance.
T - Noose of Malachite (ICC25, Valithria Dreamwalker) : most tanks will be swimming in hit rating at this point, but if you have this and the Rotface neck you can put an expertise/hit gem in this one and use it for your threat set.
Shoulder - Only two pieces here worth mentioning right now: the tier piece and a 25man drop. The drop has an extra gem slot, so it beats out the tier piece for EH potential.
EH - Boneguard Commander's Pauldrons (ICC25, Gunship)
T - Sanctified Ymirjar Lord's Pauldrons (Tier 10.25): I list the tier shoulders in the threat category because they're a good piece to go for to pick up the 2 piece set bonus.
Back - the badge cloak really shines when it comes to progression fights, due to the bonus armor.
EH - Sentinel's Winter Cloak (50 Emblem of Frost): This piece has bonus armor which makes it the best EH option for the slot. The fact that it's available through badges makes it a must-have for every prot warrior.
AV - Cloak of Many Skins (ICC10, Festergut): this cloak from the 10man is only really useful as a potential avoidance piece - gem/enchant accordingly.
T - Royal Crimson Cloak (ICC25, Blood Prince Council): gem/enchant this for threat if you have the badge cloak.
Chest - there are really only two pieces worth considering for this slot.
Cataclysmic Chestguard (90 Emblems of Frost): if you're only going for the 2pc set bonus, use the badge chestpiece.
Sanctified Ymirjar Lord's Breastplate (Tier 10.25): if you're going for the 4pc set bonus, you'll need to pick up the tier chestpiece.
Wrist - one drop in the 25man and one in the 10man for this slot. Interestingly enough, the bonus armor on the 10man bracers makes them a viable choice for EH.
1) Bracers of Dark Reckoning: If you have the 10man bracers gemmed/enchanted for EH, you could use the 25man bracers for either your avoidance or threat sets.
2) Gargoyle Spit Bracers: You lose 16 stamina compared to the 25man bracers, but gain 580 armor. I'd go with these for your EH set, and gem/enchant them accordingly.
Hands - The gloves you wear in your EH set will depend on which set bonus you are shooting for. There are also pieces for the avoidance and threat sets in this slot.
EH - Gauntlets of the Kraken (60 Emblem of Frost) and Sanctified Ymirjar Lord's Handguards (T10.25) are both viable for your EH set now that they buffed the armor on the tier gloves. Wear the badge gloves if you're only going for the 2pc set bonus, and wear the tier gloves if you're going for the 4pc.
AV - Taldaram's Plated Fists (ICC25, Blood Prince Council) - because these don't have the bonus armor of the tier and badge gloves, they won't be much use for EH but you could use them for an avoidance set.
T - Veincrusher Gauntlets These gloves drop in the 10man version of ICC, so they should be pretty easily obtainable. They are the only gloves in ICC to carry expertise rating, so they could see use in your threat set (though you don't want to lose the T10 2pc set bonus).
Waist - this is a slot where a "bonus armor" piece shows up, providing a huge survivability boost.
EH - Verdigris Chain Belt (60 Emblems of Frost): the bonus armor makes this an excellent EH piece.
AV - Belt of Broken Bones (ICC25, Festergut): this piece doesn't have the bonus armor of the badge belt, but it has more avoidance stats.
T - Ironrope Belt of Ymirjar (ICC10, Valithria Dreamwalker): Significant EH loss compared to the two higher itemlevel belts, but this belt from the 10man does have hit rating, so you could potentially use it for a threat set.
Legs - this slot is a choice between EH and Threat. The crafted leggings have massive EH value, while the other pieces available have a lot of threat stats.
EH - Pillars of Might (Crafted, Blacksmithing): the bonus armor on these leggings make them a valuable upgrade to your EH set.
T - Sanctified Ymirjar Lord's Legguards: Loads of expertise as well as a possible 2 piece set bonus. Other threat pieces in this slot are Legguards of Lost Hope (ICC25, Marrowgar) and Deathforged Legplates (ICC10, Saurfang).
Feet - Two nearly-identical pieces to choose from in this slot.
Boots of Kingly Upheaval (Crafted, Blacksmithing) and Grinning Skull Greatboots (ICC25, Valithria Dreamwalker) come in a tie for the top EH value for this slot. While the crafted boots are obtainable by anyone (with the gold and/or badges to obtain Primordial Saronite), the boots from 25man Dreamwalker are my "BiS" pick for this slot due to their expertise rating.
Rings - There are four rings that you really can't go wrong with in ICC. This slot is pretty self-explanatory: if you need hit, wear a ring or two with hit on it. If you're swimming in hit rating, wear the defense/dodge/parry ring. If you have all four rings, gem them according to their stat distribution and customize them that way.
- Ashen Band of Endless Courage (Ashen Verdict Exalted Reputation)
- Devium's Eternally Cold Ring (ICC25, Valithria Dreamwalker)
- Harbinger's Bone Band (ICC Trash Mobs)
- Juggernaut Band (ICC25, Lady Deathwhisper)
The Facelifter (ICC10, Putricide)
Mithrios, Bronzebeard's Legacy (ICC25, Lich King)
Troggbane, Axe of the Frostborne King (ICC10, Lich King)
Bonebreaker Scepter (ICC10, Marrowgar)
Last Word (ICC25, Putricide)
Shields - there's only one shield in the 25man and one in the 10man version of ICC.
1) Icecrown Glacial Wall (ICC25, Blood Queen Lana'thel): Slightly better than the similarly-itemized ToGC25 Crystal Plated Vanguard.
2) Neverending Winter (ICC10, Gunship): If you have the ToGC25 shield, you probably won't want to use the ICC10 one, but if you didn't pick up the ToGC25 shield then the ICC10 is the best before you get the ICC25 one.
Ranged Weapons -
Rowan's Rifle of Silver Bullets (ICC Trash Mobs): best in slot!
Dreamhunter's Carabine (ICC10, Valithria Dreamwalker): the only thing this weapon would be good for is a block set.