Posted this to WoW-US forums for easy referencing to all the many threads on the subject... but it may be useful here as well.
This is just a quick-reference set of notes which I'll probably link people to instead of rehashing all the exceptions to stacking Stamina. Nothing that hasn't been posted before. If you feel I've forgotten to mention something, please comment.
For new content that the tank is undergeared for -- not farm content, and not low-damage content -- the Progression Tank:
-Has high Health/Armor, producing high Effective Health and more steady Rage generation.
-Does not ignore +Threat stats such as +Hit and +Shield Block Value. Coupled with Health/Armor gearing, the Progression Tank gains significantly more Mitigation benefit from Shield Block Value and more reliable Threat.
-Uses Rage Efficient talents and understands that most talents have a time and place and specs accordingly.
Why This is "Balanced"
-Platemail tanking gear is heavily weighted to Avoidance. Gemming with +Stam gems is balancing your gear, which is otherwise imbalanced.
-Item stats are not equally proportioned by Blizzard; just because an item has equal Item Level does not mean they are equally viable for tanking.
-With above in mind, Armor/Stamina combinations on items such as rings nearly always provide the a higher percentage in damage you can take than equivalent damage reduction from Avoidance stats.
-"With tanking new content, one rule is important -- it's not about taking less damage; it's about being able to take more damage."
Quick Note on Effective Health
-This term does not and cannot include Avoidance. Please read more here:
TankSpot - Warcraft Warrior's Reference - Effective Health
The above is designed around healers, not tanks, as any gearing strategy should be. It is not the most efficient setup, it is the most effective, and easiest to heal.
Exceptions to the Rule:
-Unusually low Avoidance always warrants more to meet basic uncrushability. Avoidance helps keep Effective Health reliably high.
-If healers run OOM on a fight, you need more Avoidance.
-Fast, low-damage mobs always favor Avoidance, such as Prince.
-Socket bonuses such as Khorium Destroyer's +3 Stamina are better served with mixed gems.
-Slow progression or exceptional/neurotic healers warrant heavier Avoidance.
-All fights have Effective Health minimums that, once safely met, do not need more Armor/Stamina.
-All content that you've already completed warrants further gear improvements in Avoidance and Threat, not Effective Health, as you've already proven you've met that standard.
Can Avoidance Tanks be Successful?
-Sure, some Avoidance gemming and gearing won't destroy all progress. As long as their item levels stay up to par with the content, they'll be able to successfully get through content. Stamina gearing is min/maxing, not a necessity.
-With the above in mind, Paladin tanks are also viable through the entirety of raiding, barring gimmick fights.
Final Note on Stamina Gearing:
-Effective Health sees relatively little gain pre-buffs moving from Karazhan to Black Temple. With the exception of T5, gains are heavier in Threat/Avoidance.
-Stamina gearing is not new to TBC -- we've been having this debate on these forums since Molten Core. It just became really obvious in Naxxramas/TBC that Blizzard was moving to favor Effective Health tanks.
Different Gear for Different Encounters
-Have a variety of gear, particularly rings and trinkets, that can be switched and customized to the fight. More Armor/Stamina is not the solution to every encounter.
-Generally, Effective Health/Block Value gear is best for handling non-raid content while wearing raiding gear.
Gilded Thorium is better than Devilshark in nearly all situations; in situations where Threat is more important, Farstriders is better than Devilshark.
Virtually any level 70 epic shield is better than Crest of Sha'tar; S2 Arena shield is better than all pre-Hyjal shields.
Quick Note on Block Rating
-As many posters correctly point out, Block Rating does not increase uncrushability and should not be stacked at the expense of other stats.
-However, Block Rating always provides a benefit in overall damage reduction. If you have some on your gear, don't sweat it.
Originally Posted by Ciderhelm
D:Originally Posted by Ciderhelm
Without looking, I'm going to guess due to EH problems. Wish I'd known this before I blew 200g on it.
Oh man, getting together the arena points for the S2 is going to be painful.
Last edited by thugthedum; 08-17-2007 at 02:39 PM.
Melissa Theuriau is not a marmot.
What bosses in SSC/TK and beyond would require avoidance gearing versus Stamina gearing? Someone piosted on the WoW forums that you need to have avoidance gearing for soem bosses but did not say which ones......... or are they the warrior that just wants to do what they feel like versus what woudl be best for most raid progression oriented raids?
I look at almost all boss fights in this way:
1) If you can reach X level of effective health, you will not die unless someone makes a big mistake.
2) If you cannot reach X level of effective health, then over a given period of time, you will have some chance of death, even if everyone plays correctly. That chance is reduced the more avoidance you have.
A well geared avoidance tank is able to make it through an encounter "most" of the time in which no big mistakes are made. A well geared effetive health tank is able to make it through an encounter "all" of the time in which no big mistakes are made.
Both are able to progress, one more flawlessly than the other.
Once you are effective health level X (based on the boss), you could do one of two things:
1) Further increase effective health. Doing so will mean that it takes a larger and larger 'mistake' to result in your death. i.e. You might be able to avoid some healer not performing well. You might become able to survive not hitting shield block every 5 seconds, etc.
2) Increase avoidance. Doing so will reduce the %age chance that the mistake that might kill you, will actually result in your death.
Note that increasing armor is ALWAYS beneficial, since it both prevents damage AND increases effective health. So even in cases where you would say "avoidance is better than effective health here", avoidance is really only better than stamina. Armor still remains good in those cases.
"Avoidance decreases the number of situations where not having enough Effective Health results in death."
This actually reminds me a lot of Crit Gear for a Fury Warrior because while you need a certain amount of Crit Gear to be effective and keep Flurry going ultimately you want to be stacking Hit Rating and Attack Power. (or at least this is my understanding of it)
imo, there are three things, in a physical damage based boss fight, which can make avoidance better:
1) If the level of effective health needed to guarantee success on the encounter is so far beyond your gear level that there is no chance of achieving in no matter how much stam/armor is stacked, however, the chance of suffering this level of burst damage is dramatically reduced by high avoidance.
This is the case for dual wild, fast hitting bosses. Such bosses (Prince), have a small chance of inflicting a rediculous amount of burst damage. You would have to be well overgeared before you can say you really have enough effective health to completely eliminate the chance of death. Here, your goal is to use avoidance to make it so you can "probably" live.
2) If the boss has a chance on hit, stacking debuff, which is not dispellable and effects one's ability to tank the mob. Here, your goal is to use more avoidance to avoid stacks of the debuff, and to make the entire stack fall off due to not being hit for a while. Examples: Prince (sunder armor), Boss 2 in Black Morass (mortal strike debuff)
3) If some aspect of the fight inherently increases your effective health to far beyond your normal amount, and the boss deals substantially more damage than normal. Here, since youre getting a huge effective health boost, stacking a bit more doesnt matter, but avoidance will prevent significant damage. Example: Netherspite while tanking the red beam, you gian tons of health. Here youll have insane hp no matter what, so avoidance is good to avoid his big hits.
Ugh, i'm at a point in my arena teams where I'm pwning face and bring in over 450 points a week. Is this a good time (2 piece Merc Glad and around 200 resillience with DT) to ninja in a Merc Shield Purchase to boost my shield from the sha'tar to the Merc Glad Shield? or should I keep grabbing merc gear till i get my 4piece bonus, THEN grab my merc shield. Sigh decisions!
and interesting about guilded thorium. My guild almost doesn't LET warriors roll on it unless no one else wants it because they say "its a druid cloak" -_-'
If healers go OOM, it is probably more effective to get a more efficient heal setup for the MT, OR the healers a more efficient spec, OR more mp5 gear, OR more mp5 buffs, OR a shadow priest. Or some combination.
Also, the avoidance only helps for healers who are canceling their spells when you avoid the attack.
It takes substantial amounts of avoidance to make any noticable difference in the number of spells your healers will eb able to cancel. You would lose a lot of effective health to save your healers a moderate amount of mana.
When you are of appropriate gear level for the encounter this is true. Because in that case, no amount of effective health stacking will make you invincible, and avoidance will be better to allow you to 'probably' survive, than stamina.-Fast, low-damage mobs always favor Avoidance, such as Prince.
However, once you massively outgear the encounter, you could reach a level of effective health that would prevent all deaths from that encounter. While the overgeared avoidance tank would still ahve a small chance of deaht, the overgeared effective health tank would be able to actually become immune. For example: Kara level tanks should use avoidance gear on prince, and will probably live. SSC level tanks should use effective health on prince, and will always live.
Yes, I agree. The reason is that effective health gearing is better than avoidance gearing for roughly even amounts of itemization. But if you can get larger quantities of avoidance by giving up small amounts of effective health, this is good. This is the case with stamina socket bonuses.-Socket bonuses such as Khorium Destroyer's +3 Stamina are better served with mixed gems.
This is similar to saying 'if two tank items are of much different item level, always choose the high level one. if two tank items are of roughly even item level, choose the effective health one'.
I disagree. Speed of progression doesnt really matter, youre facing the same encounter with the same gear level, you just reached that point slower than some other guilds. You still need to do the same thing to beat it.-Slow progression or exceptional/neurotic healers warrant heavier Avoidance.
Exceptional healers probably still cant save you from insane burst damage if you have low effective health.
In fact, the better your healer's gear is, the more beneficial effective health gearing is relative to avoidance, because they can more easily heal your large health poool back up, and have the mana to keep doing so.
Bad healers need you to make it really easy for them, and that means high effective health, where all they must do is spam a heal button.
It is not the case that stamina and armor stop making you more safe once past a certain level. They can make it so that even if someone makes a big mistake (or gets silenced for a while, or whatever) you still live. Armor continues to prevent more and more damage, jsut like avoidance would, so it is always more beneficial than avoidance, since it gives you the avoidance benefit (damage prevention), and also increases effective health.-All fights have Effective Health minimums that, once safely met, do not need more Armor/Stamina.
Stamina can become less beneficial than other things, but it doesnt become completely un-beneficial.
I disagree. You can make your situation more robust in the face of a mistake by stacking ever more effective health. Addiitonally, armor gives you the avoidance benefit of damage prevention and also increases effective health, making it always superior.-All content that you've already completed warrants further gear improvements in Avoidance and Threat, not Effective Health, as you've already proven you've met that standard.
Also, on farming bosses, for which you are overgeared, you will take less and less damage as you get more and more geared. This will reduce rage, and thus reduce threat. So on that boss, you might now producing less threat than you were when you first killed the boss. However, your dpsers produce more and more threat.
Therefore, I think it is actually most effective to just increase threat generation, once you are completely safe in a certain boss fight. This way, you reduce the chance that the attempt will fail for reasons other than your death!
And in fact, avoidance reduces damage taken and thus reduces threat, so stacking avoidance on farm bosses can be counterproductive.
Once you reach the levels of effective health for a boss needed to never die, it is most effective to stack more THREAT generation, and not more avoidance. This is often true for 5 mans as well. Thus, I believe stacking block value in 5 mans for which you are overgeared is better than stacking more avoidance, which can cause you to lose aggro and result in deaths.
This is a main reason why block value is such a good stack.
Block value is good in all game situations. It increases effective health, it reduces damage taken, and it increases threat. Its good on a boss where you need threat, its good on a boss that you overgear, its good on trash, its good for 5 mans, its ALWAYS good.
Things that I see as the main purpose of avoidance / time when it is good:
Offtanking mobs which are not capable of high burst damage, in a situation where you have only 1 healer.
Tanking multimob pulls where you personally are responsible for tanking several (non-CCed) mobs, none of which are individually capable of much burst damage.
Essentially, times when effective health is not at all a factor, and the only factor is incoming damage taken vs how much your (single) healer can heal.
I find it funny that I would be defending effective health in many of these cases, to Ciderhelm, who initially explained to me the importance of effective health, in his guides.
A few months ago, when starting kara, I had 58% miss+dodge+parry, unbuffed, with pre-Kara gear plus boots of elusion and moroes pocketwatch as my only kara drops. Many boss fights would go well. But sometimes I would randomly die due to bad luck. I would even sometimes randomly die to trash mobs, such as the guys in moroes room that have the drunk-stun thing, the guys leaving to opera, the ghosts leading to curator. Because I had very low effective health (and my high avoidance made my healers get lazy, they'd sit waiting for hits which could take a while, and then maybe I would suddnely die).
I thought all the 12 stam gem stacking was dumb, and socket bonuses were all awesome. I defended avoidance on the forums.
3 consecutive deaths on Romeo (all from 'bad luck') in the Opera event started to change my mind, and made me open to the idea of effective health. Maulgar made it pretty clear that the effective health theory was in fact, correct. (That and the significant reduction in deaths on both bosses and also hard hitting solo trash mobs, as I began re-gearing).
Well, Ciderhelm is definitely one to agree to Effective Health Stacking, but he has always advocated that carrying various sets and finding a balance is the key to being the best tank, and that EH is most effective in progression.
I think what he meant by "slow progression" is that you aren't downing the boss once or twice and then moving on already, slow progression is basically, farming all of kara before moving on to Gruul, versus doing a full kara clear only two weeks ago and now trying to push down Gruul and after that Mag.
you're not necessarily "farm status"ing any of these instances when you are pushing for server firsts or world firsts. You hit em, you down em, and you move on.
I think Wanderlei explained it best that stacking EH is important, but reaching EH thresholds for certain fights is about as best as you can get, and after than, pushing avoidance is the best way to further your survivability.
I agree that multiple sets of gear is helpful. I'm just disagreeing with some of the cases in which is good to use the avoidance set of gear.
Once one has reached the necessary level of effective health to survive an encounter, the best way to increase the chance of success i not to start stacking avoidacne, but it is in fact to continue stakcing a combination of more effective health (mostly via armor), and threat gear (hit, block value).
Raising your threat cap and allowing your raid to down a 'farm' boss faster can increase the chance of success a lot more. My guild's boss attempt dont fail because I die, except in extremely rare cases. They fail becasue other people die. If I build threat faster (and have the aiblity to rebuild faster after aggro drops), it reduces the chance that other people die before we kill the boss.
Once reaching the necessary levels of effective health:
Stamina: Makes it less likely youll die due to some mistake that you or your healers make.
Armor: Reduces damage taken, making you more efficient, easier for the healers, and more likely to survive mistakes. Reduces damage taken thus decreasing threat, but in a stead y way, which you can handle.
Avoidance: Reduces damage taken, making you more efficient, easier for the healers, and more likely to survive mistakes. But it leads to rage starved periods, reducing threat significantly.
Hit rating: Increases threat over time, and also smooths over initial threat, reducing the chance something will go wrong on a pickup, and enabling your dps to go more all out.
Block value: Increases effective health, prevents damage, and increases threat. Very versatile and helpful in all areas.
imo, once one reaches effective health levels necessary for the encounter, the most beneficial stats, in terms of increasing overall success of the raid, are:
Stamina or Avoidance.
Is stamina important enough to worry about me switching to bold gloves over the crafted tanking ones? I think I made a decent decision, as I am gearing up to begin tanking kara.