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Thread: Blocking

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Blocking

    What is a Block?
    Where dodge and parry are damage avoidance (you avoid the entire effect of an attack), a block is mitigation (you avoid some of the effect of an attack). You have a chance to block, just like you have a chance to dodge and parry, and your chance to block can be increased by effects from items (Equip: Increases your block rating by 23) or by increasing your defense skill (+0.04% chance to block for each point of defense). Any time you are attacked, your chance to block is included in the combat table the mob has against you. If the number comes up as a a block, then you block. Simple! You can see your chance to block by hovering over the block icon in your abilities book. Also note that you can only block physical damage, not elemental (fire, arcane, frost, etc.) damage. As an example, using a shield against Baron Geddon is completely useless unless your shield gives you fire resistance, because all of his attacks are pure fire damage.

    Block Value? Block Rating?
    Block Value: How much you block for.
    Block Rating: Your chance to block an attack. As always, a rating converts into a game mechanic number. In the case of blocking, divide your block rating by X to get how much chance to block that translates into. At level 80 that's 16.4, so if you have 100 block rating, that adds 6.10% chance to block at level 80.

    So What's My Block Value?
    Mouse over your Block chance in the character window and it'll be in the tooltip.

    How Does it Work?
    When you block, your block value is subtracted from the damage you would have taken from the attack. Suppose you have 60% mitigation and the block value above. An attack of 1000 damage would be mitigated to 400 damage by your armour. If you don't block, you will take 400 damage (and your combat log reads Mob hits you for 400 damage). If you do block, you will take 278 damage, and your combat log will read Mob hits you for 278 damage. (122 blocked)

    If you block an attack where your block value is greater than or equal to the amount of damage, you get a full block. So, if some mob would hit you for 85 damage and you get a block on the attack you would see in your combat log: Mob attacks. You block., and you take no damage from the attack. It used to be that if you got a block against a special attack such as Mortal Strike or the like, it would be a full block no matter how much damage the attack was was for. This was changed quite a long time ago and is no longer the case.

    Shield Slam
    Also remember that your block value translates directly into Shield Slam damage. Shield slam is your biggest threat generating ability, even if it may not be your most rage-effective one (though Sword and Board fixes that up nicely). Other tidbits about Shield Slam:

    - 1 block value adds 1 to Shield Slam damage
    - Shield Slam crits as per your melee crit chance (plus 5% if you take Critical Block)
    - Shield Slam crits are double damage
    - One handed weapon specialisation applies to Shield Slam
    - Shield Mastery applies to your Shield Slam damage
    - Impale, Enrage, and Deathwish apply to Shield Slam
    - Shield Slam damage is mitigated by armour
    Diminishing Returns on Offensive Shield Abilities

    Starting with WoW 3.2, the contribution of block value to the damage done by Warrior Shield Slam and Paladin Shield of the Righteous has diminishing returns. These diminishing returns begin at 30 times your level (2400 block value for a level 80), and there is a hard cap of 34.5 times your level (2760 for level 80). If you have more block value than the cap, then it is not used to determine your shield slam damage. Block value gained from strength, itemised on gear, and gained through items such as block value trinkets all seem to be affected by the diminishing returns. Increases to block value through abilities and talents do not seem to be affected by the diminishing returns (i.e. you will still get pretty good Shield Clam crits with Shield Block up.)

    These diminishing returns DO NOT affect how much incoming damage you can block in any way.

    The Shield Block Ability
    The Shield Block ability gives you a buff that increases your chance to block and your block value by 100% for 10 seconds.

    Do I Need 25% Block?
    Why are you worrying about crushing blows anymore? The answer is still no.

    Can I Block Critical Hits?
    Short answer: In PvE you don't block critical hits. In PvP you can.
    In PvE, the block, critical hit, and crushing blow entries on the combat table are independent entries. When the random number is generated, the result has to be one or the other or the other. A great deal of parsed combat data from a lot of players supports this, showing that no critical hit from a mob has been blocked by a player. If you've got a screenshot of you blocking a critical hit dealt by a mob, we really want to see it! (email it to me please)

    In PvP, the case is definitely different, as shown by numerous screenshots. Right off the top, when a rogue with Cold Blood active hits a warrior with Shield Block active, the hit must be a critical hit because of how Cold Blood works, and it's extremely likely that the hit will be blocked given how Shield Block works. So, we see a blocked critical hit. Beyond that, what we are seeing in screenshots and parsed combat logs is that any white damage attack that is a critical hit cannot be blocked as well, just as in PvE. On the other hand, yellow damage attacks (heroic strike, backstab, mortal strike, etc.) that are critical hits can be blocked - and this is what we have people showing screenshots of. People on the Elitist Jerks forums have some parsing evidence that supports a two table model for yellow damage attacks in PVP. Still haven't seen anyone provide a screenshot of a white damage crit being blocked, but if you have one, please email me!
    Last edited by Satrina; 08-19-2009 at 04:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Maybe you can help shed some light on this. Without crushing blows any more, how is that affecting the usefulness of block rating?

    It's always kind of bothered me when people talk about their avoidance and lump block rating in, though I assume this all started because of crushing blows.

    So now we have miss+parry+dodge, which diminish on their own, and block which seems to diminish based on how hard the boss hits, such that it feels like block rating is more an OT stat and maybe a MT should push more towards stam or real avoidance. I just have a hard time placing its usefulness, especially since it scales largely based on how hard the boss is hitting you.

    Any insight would be helpful!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    The big change affecting block rating (for warriors anyway) is not the removal of Crushing Blows, but the change to Shield Block. Previously, Shield Block had (nearly) 100% uptime during boss fights. This meant that regardless of if you had a base 20% block or 60% block, with Shield Block up your chance to block was 102.4% - (dodge+parry+miss). Now, since Shield Block will only be up a maximum of 10 seconds per 40, shield block rating will have an affect on how often you do block.

  4. #4
    Aye, but when considered against other stats it seems to fall short.

    I didn't go in depth, but to me it seemed like if I were fighting a boss that after armor, hit for 7k, and had shield block up every time it was off CD, with 1000 SBV, 15% Shield Block Rating was equal to about 2% dodge.

    Obviously with harder hits, that ratio goes down, smaller hits it goes up. I think 5000 average damage was something like 15%/3%

    Now, normally I think of Shield Block rating like armor, I don't really gear for it too much, it just sort of comes with the gear, but there's at least one trinket that's only equip is SB Rating (and a use that gives around 400 SBV). I don't know how much stuff there is that is heavily itemized towards Shield Block Rating.

    Just kind of curious if that's the attitude to take, ignore it, if you have it, great, it helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    4
    Kinda thinking the same myself over the last month i have been gathering evidence (albeit not hard data) by asking eveyone that heals me how my healing performance has been for them and how they feel i can mitigate incoming damage.

    At the moment i gear for Stam and dodge+parry (i have read all about the non effectiveness of parry O.o) and block is something thats just there i am aware of the need for it for Damage but i have found that with the right ammount of attack power the difference in damage between 15% block and 20% block is negligable so, i guess what im asking is avoidance (overall) better to gear for with stam then block if your threat damage output is good enough ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Arlington, VA
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    I think a shield block Value/Rating set is excellent

    30 block rating items Items - World of Warcraft
    59 block value items Items - World of Warcraft (doh it includes every shield )

    Block rating is a cheap stat and you can stack it pretty high with excellent overall gear, this set is terrific for trash or heroics. When the individual incoming damage / attack is fairly low (my rule of thumb is currently about 3.5-4k/hit) then the shield set will reduce total damage more than the same points distributed in Avoidance.

    This set makes giant trash pack pulls ridiculously easy for warriors. If you pop shield block early in a trash pull you will block 100% of attcks for 10 sec with double block value (about 3k in my case).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    5,806
    Alot of gear pairs BR with BV so you're killing 2 birds with one stone. I'm OTing for Naxx25 and MTing Naxx10 so it benefits me to stack that way. I'm fairly overgeared at this point for 10 man and I'm not taking the most beating for the 25 man.....and it helps with loot distribution because those items are generally underapprieciated.

    And blocking soaks up alot of damage between activated SB and Critical Block.
    your hat may be nice, but I have the little white tank top that says Legendary right across my boobs. I win. (or more correctly, H wins)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Houston, TX
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    with SB and critical block I've seem myself block as high as 6300 damage while in my block set. Healers continually praise me for how easy I am to heal on 5mans and 10mans when I wear that set and it is becoming my bread and butter tanking set. I still have a perfectly good avoidance and EH set but as long as I keep aggro, all I gotta worry about on a boss is how quickly my healers are going oom and block rating seems to be what they like.

  9. #9
    I'd never specifically gear for Block (for raid tanking, and by that I mean bosses).

    As they hit harder, block means less and less. Don't discount it as worthless, you will block a decent amount of damage. Avoidance (unless you're getting amazingly diminished) is almost always better than SBR (against heavy hitters). Stamina on the other hand depends on what you're up against a bit more, and it's hard to know before hand. If you're fighting a boss where your healers keep you from going under 50% for 75% of the fight, then you die because they're OOM, drop stam, pick up block (unless it's obviously a DPS issue, but still you can help).

    Something to keep in mind is that block is after dodge/parry, so if you have 5% miss, 20% dodge, 15% parry and 20% block, you're effectively not turning 20% of your hits into blocks, you're turning 33% of your hits into blocks. As you increase your avoidance, more of your hits will become blocks, etc.

    Personally, after I downed 10man Malygos I changed all my non-blue sockets to either hit or expertise to keep threat up. In most cases no one gets close, but it's also nice to contribute. I know it doesn't top any meters but it's nice to do 1800dps on Patchwerk while tanking him.

    Maybe when I get to 25man Malygos in a little I'll switch all my sockets back, we'll see. Stamina = Progression tanking, it lets you and heals get used to the fight, giving a buffer for you both to react and maybe take some spikes you're not supposed to, like sparks getting to Malygos, etc.

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