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Thread: Gearing for Threat: WotLK Guide to Hit & Expertise

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    Gearing for Threat: WotLK Guide to Hit & Expertise

    Table of Contents
    I. Introduction
    II. Important stats for threat gearing
    III. Frequently asked questions
    IV. Example gear sets
    V. Gear ranked by chance to hit and expertise

    I. Introduction
    With the new expansion, the world of tanking has changed again, this time for the better. Unlike TBC, stacking hit rating and expertise is no longer required to simply hold a mob or boss to you, but with tank DPS actually being significant now, it never hurts to get a healthy amount. This guide is for those looking to squeeze the most TPS/DPS out of their tanking time.

    The values for stat goals are outlined in Satrina's WotLK FAQ. Currently there is some debate as to whether or not the hit cap for level 83 mobs is the old 9% or has been lowered to 8% on Elitist Jerks. For the purpose of this guide, we will continue to use the 8% value that has been presented by the EJ theorycrafters until evidence supporting the old 9% hit cap surfaces.

    II. Important stats for threat gearing:
    • Chance to hit: A long time ago, some guys who are really smart at math managed to prove that the biggest return on their DPS stats comes from increasing your chance to hit if you are not already capped. As a raid tank, you need at least +8% chance to hit to eliminate misses. This translates into 264 hit rating, unless you're a Dranei or grouped with one, in which case you only need +7% chance to hit.
    • Expertise: This stat lowers a mob's chance to dodge/parry your attacks. Assuming the standard combat table, a boss has a 6.5% chance to dodge attacks and a 14.25% to parry your attacks. Every point of expertise skill (not expertise rating) lowers the chance for both by 0.25%. This means that if you want to eliminate the chance for a boss to dodge your attacks you need at least 26 expertise (214 expertise rating). If you want to eliminate the chance for a boss to parry your attacks you need 57 expertise (468 expertise rating). Since this stat lowers two forms of avoidance up to the dodge cap, this stat is doubly important as hit up to an expertise skill of 26. Luckily we get an automatic 6 points of expertise skill from Vitality - Spell - World of Warcraft.
    • Strength: With all of your tanking skills scaling directly or indirectly to your strength, this stat has become hugely important for threat. All tanking moves scale according to your AP (2 AP:1 strength) or shield block value (2 str: 1 shield block value) this stat is even more important than it used to be to your TPS/DPS once you reach the hit and expertise thresholds.
    • Shield Block Value: Shield slam has always been a critical component of any prot warrior's threat rotation. With the talent Sword and Board - Spell - World of Warcraft and the new value of 2 str:1 SBV equation (old value was 24 str:1 SBV), the importance is greater than ever. On top of shield slam, the new talent Damage Shield - Spell - World of Warcraft scales directly to 20% of your block value, increasing this value also passively increases your threat/damage with no extra effort required on your part.

    III. Frequently asked questions:
    Q: Is it possible to hit the caps for both hit and expertise with current gear ingame?
    A: Yes (see example gear set up below).

    Q: If I do stack these two stats, won't my effective health and avoidance be terrible? Won't I be below the defense minimum with this gear?
    A: Not necessarily. With the right combination of gear, enchants, and gems, it is possible to cap out both stats and maintain very respectable amounts of effective health and avoidance, all while meeting the 540 defense minimum.

    Q: Do I need to cap out both to put out enough threat to keep a boss glued to me?
    A: No, you do not. With the changes to threat scaling better with gear, along with a good baseline of threat without exceptional gear, it is not necessary to max out your threat stats, but it's never a good idea to neglect them either. Just keep in mind that the more your raid DPS gears out, the harder it will become to hold aggro if you disregard having a respectable amount of hit and expertise.

    Q: Why is expertise better than hit? When should I stack one over the other?
    A: 33 hit rating translates into a 1% increased chance to hit while 33 expertise rating translates to 4 expertise skill, which is a 1% reduction in the boss' chance to both parry and dodge. This means that up to a skill of 26 (at which point dodges have been eliminated) expertise is effectively giving you a 2% increase in your chance to hit the boss from the avoidance reduction. Past 26 expertise skill, both stats will give you the same increase in TPS/DPS, but expertise will continue to reduce parries, which reduces the chance of a tank gib, making it a superior stat to stack until you reach the "cap" of 57 expertise.

    Q: Why does reducing parry matter once I've eliminated boss dodges?
    A: Aside from the obvious loss of threat from having a boss parry your attacks, parry is also a danger to the tank (which is why melee DPS attacks from behind where a boss cannot parry). Any time a boss parries your attack, they receive an invisible haste buff to their auto-attack. This ranges from a 20% to 40% reduction of their swing timer on their next attack depending on when a parry lands after they swing at you. Some bosses do not receive the haste buff from parries, but many do, and it's one of the most common causes of the infamous "tank gib" where you suddenly die for no apparent reason.

    Q: When is stacking threat gear is a good idea?
    A: The best times to stack threat gear is obviously on trash (note that trash mobs are generally level 80-82 and do not require as much hit and expertise as bosses), but also on bosses when your gear levels meet/exceed the effective health & avoidance requirements, and on bosses where maintaining high levels of sustained threat is necessary (such as Malygos).

    Q: When is stacking threat gear is not a good idea?
    A: On difficult gear check progression fights, it is not advisable to stack threat gear unless you already meet/exceed the effective health and avoidance requirements. Some bosses may put out enough damage or may force you to go through extended periods of time without heals to where it is advisable to stack survival gear over threat gear.

    Q: Will you shut up with the math & history lessons and show me some examples and gear already?
    A: Yes (see below).

    IV. Example gear sets:
    Note: For these examples I used a Night Elf to show what is possible without racial abilities, such as Human/Orc expertise bonuses and the Dranei +1% hit aura. I also have not included raid buffs in these examples to show the base values.

    T7 - 25 man Gear - Hit capped with 57 expertise (note: Blacksmithing is required for the extra gem slots in this example)
    chardev.org v4 - A World of Warcraft character planner - template #107880

    T7 - 10 man/Heroic Dungeon Gear - near hit capped with 47 expertise
    chardev.org v4 - A World of Warcraft character planner - template #107897

    *more to come soon*

    V. Gear ranked by chance to hit and expertise
    Notes:
    • TBC gear is not included in this list.
    • A second section of gear with hit & expertise, but without +defense rating will be added to the bottom of the list

    Head slot
    Hit
    1. Valorous Dreadnaught Greathelm - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Heroes' Dreadnaught Greathelm - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Ground Tremor Helm - Item - World of Warcraft
    4. Helm of the Ley-Guardian - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Helm of Vital Protection - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Armored Titanium Goggles - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. The Crusader's Resolution - Item - World of Warcraft
    4. Greathelm of the Titan Protectorate - Item - World of Warcraft


    Neck slot
    Hit
    1. Heritage - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Chained Military Gorget - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Betrayer's Choker - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Boundless Ambition - Item - World of Warcraft


    Shoulder slot
    Hit
    1. Abomination Shoulderblades - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Wapach's Spaulders of Solidarity - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Pauldrons of Unnatural Death - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Pauldrons of Reconnaissance - Item - World of Warcraft


    Back slot
    Hit
    1. Platinum Mesh Cloak - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Cloak of Armed Strife - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Cloak of the Enemy - Item - World of Warcraft
    4. Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Gale-Proof Cloak - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Screeching Cape - Item - World of Warcraft


    Chest slot
    Hit
    1. Breastplate of Tormented Rage - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Sun-Emblazoned Chestplate - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Massive Skeletal Ribcage - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Breastplate of the Solemn Council - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Battlechest of the Twilight Cult - Item - World of Warcraft
    4. Ivory-Reinforced Chestguard - Item - World of Warcraft
    5. Clutch of the Storm Giant - Item - World of Warcraft


    Wrist slot
    Hit
    1. Bracers of Dalaran's Parapets - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Bracers of Reverence - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    None


    Hand slot
    Hit
    1. Gauntlets of the Master - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Gauntlets of the Water Revenant - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Gauntlets of the Disturbed Giant - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Horn-Tipped Gauntlets - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Valorous Dreadnaught Handguards - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Heroes' Dreadnaught Handguards - Item - World of Warcraft


    Waist slot
    Hit
    1. Ablative Chitin Girdle - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. None


    Leg slot
    Hit
    1. Dragon Brood Legguards - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Bolstered Legplates - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Ley-Guardian's Legguards - Item - World of Warcraft
    4. Special Issue Legplates - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Legplates of Sovereignty - Item - World of Warcraft


    Feet slot
    Hit
    1. Sabatons of Draconic Vigor - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Sabatons of Endurance - Item - World of Warcraft


    Ring slots:
    Hit
    1. Signet of the Impregnable Fortress - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Deflection Band - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Dragonflight Great-Ring - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Signet of the Impregnable Fortress - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Signet of the Accord - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Gal'darah's Signet - Item - World of Warcraft


    Trinket slots:
    Hit
    1. Battlemaster's Accuracy - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Grim Toll - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Sphere of Red Dragon's Blood - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Mark of Norgannon - Item - World of Warcraft

    Miscellaneous trinkets
    1. Lavanthor's Talisman - Item - World of Warcraft - WotLK version of the Gnomeregan Autoblocker
    2. Incisor Fragment - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Meteorite Whetstone - Item - World of Warcraft
    4. Vestige of Haldor - Item - World of Warcraft
    5. Fezzik's Pocketwatch - Item - World of Warcraft
    6. Sonic Booster - Item - World of Warcraft
    7. Goblin Repetition Reducer - Item - World of Warcraft
    8. Medallion of Heroism - Item - World of Warcraft or Medallion of Heroism - Item - World of Warcraft
    9. First Mate's Pocketwatch - Item - World of Warcraft
    10. Fury of the Encroaching Storm - Item - World of Warcraft


    Main-hand weapon slot
    Hit
    1. Last Laugh - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Broken Promise - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Red Sword of Courage - Item - World of Warcraft
    4. Slayer of the Lifeless - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Broken Promise - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Cloudstrider's Waraxe - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Infantry Assault Blade - Item - World of Warcraft
    4. Crescent of Brooding Fury - Item - World of Warcraft


    Shield slot
    Hit
    1. Crygil's Discarded Plate Panel - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Royal Crest of Lordaeron - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Barricade of Eternity - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Shield of the Lion-hearted - Item - World of Warcraft or Bulwark of the Warchief - Item - World of Warcraft


    Ranged slot
    Hit
    1. Armor Plated Combat Shotgun - Item - World of Warcraft
    2. Arrowsong - Item - World of Warcraft
    3. Accursed Bow of the Elite - Item - World of Warcraft
    4. Bow of Bone and Sinew - Item - World of Warcraft
    5. Sawed-off Hand Cannon - Item - World of Warcraft
    6. Sawed-off Hand Cannon - Item - World of Warcraft
    7. Sin'dorei Recurve Bow - Item - World of Warcraft
    8. Fury of the Raging Dragon - Item - World of Warcraft
    9. Whelpling-Skull Zapper - Item - World of Warcraft

    Expertise
    1. Deadly Saronite Dirk - Item - World of Warcraft


    Please note that this guide is a work in progress and will be updated with each new release of raid/badge gear as more content is pushed to live status.
    Last edited by Malignus; 12-30-2008 at 02:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    Albiet a small point, in the first gearset you have a socket in the Broken Promise. Pretty certain that you can't socket weapons at the moment. The list is great though. Good work, and keep it up.

  3. #3
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    Stuckied.

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    Nice list there !

    However with the availability of food buffs such as

    Recipe: Rhinolicious Wyrmsteak - Item - World of Warcraft

    and

    Recipe: Snapper Extreme - Item - World of Warcraft

    and

    Recipe: Dragonfin Filet - Item - World of Warcraft

    It can be argued that one dont need to cap the stats via Gear - atleast 40 points can be saved and thus better EH/Avoidance gear can be used.

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    Awesome guide: I will definitely be reading and re-reading this over time and again. I ve been wondering the Hit caps and exp. lvls and also the gear that would provide those. Thank u for u'r time and work into putting this together.

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    Nice post, thanks for that list.
    You forgot the Durable Nerubhide Cloak (crafted by Leatherworkers) which has expertise on it too, unless there was a particular reason for leaving it out ?

    One point in your FAQ section I don't quite agree with, you state that after reaching the "dodge cap" of 26 expertise one should start stacking hit instead of expertise. I'd like to know the reasoning behind this because even after the dodge cap, expertise rating is still giving me the same percentage of reduced boss avoidance as hit rating does (point for point), and has the added benefit of reducing the damage I take from parry-haste. So I would argue even above the dodge cap, expertise is still a bit better than hit and if I'm making a gear set for threat where I actively gem/enchant these stats I would still prioritise expertise.
    All of this applies to bosses only of course, for trash you cap expertise at 23 already anyway and you should indeed stack only hit rating after that (up to 197 hit rating which should cap you vs. lvl82 mobs if I'm not mistaken)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Malignus View Post
    with expertise being a cheaper stat in itemization, you gain more bang from your buck up to a skill of 26. Once you reach that point, you'll want to max out your hit before stacking any more expertise.
    Once you've reached the dodge cap, expertise rating and hit rating increase your chance of landing an attack at the same exact rate. Any particular reason for the above recommendation?
    Armstrong
    <Elysium>
    Burning Legion US

  8. #8
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    Is that a typo in that buff? Does it give 40 expertise or 40 expertise rating? This is so op if it's 40 expertise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turelliax View Post
    people don't know how to keep it in their pants for a little bit before exploding all over my face.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimoos View Post
    Is that a typo in that buff? Does it give 40 expertise or 40 expertise rating? This is so op if it's 40 expertise.
    I'm at work atm so can't check exact numbers but it gives ~ -2% dodge/parry. It is well worth levelling that cooking for

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimoos View Post
    Is that a typo in that buff? Does it give 40 expertise or 40 expertise rating? This is so op if it's 40 expertise.
    Typo. It gives 40 expertise rating.


    Also, I would also disagree on the "hit after 26 expertise" point. Any reduction of parry-damage is better than the advantages hit has - which basically boils down to less taunt resists.

  11. #11
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    Are you still sure it's 9% hit? There's a growing amount of evidence that it's actually down to 8%.
    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
    Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.

  12. #12
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    Come to think of it, there are situations where prioritising hit over expertise (after dodge cap) would be beneficial:
    1. Bosses with a tank-switch or aggro dump, like Noth, Gluth, 4H for example, where you want to reduce the chance for taunt resist.
    2. Bosses where you need to interrupt a spell, currently this is only Kel'thuzad's frostbolt. He can't dodge or parry while casting but your shieldbash can still miss. I'd imagine in the 25man version you should have enough melee dps with interrupt abilities, but in the 10man version this could be a consideration.

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    Why 9% hit? I'm still running with the old "6% cap or death by misses" and after a fight i barely miss anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Misko View Post
    Albiet a small point, in the first gearset you have a socket in the Broken Promise. Pretty certain that you can't socket weapons at the moment. The list is great though. Good work, and keep it up.
    This is some kind of error with that site, as it won't allow you to socket the Broken Promise. I have updated the template and it appears to have corrected that mistake.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeshi View Post
    Nice list there !

    However with the availability of food buffs such as

    Recipe: Rhinolicious Wyrmsteak - Item - World of Warcraft

    and

    Recipe: Snapper Extreme - Item - World of Warcraft

    and

    Recipe: Dragonfin Filet - Item - World of Warcraft

    It can be argued that one dont need to cap the stats via Gear - atleast 40 points can be saved and thus better EH/Avoidance gear can be used.
    You are correct. If a player decides to use food to bridge the gap, they have that option and can alter their gem choices appropriately.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sumendis View Post
    Nice post, thanks for that list.
    You forgot the Durable Nerubhide Cloak (crafted by Leatherworkers) which has expertise on it too, unless there was a particular reason for leaving it out ?
    The filter I used to generate the list was "Defense rating > 0" and "Expertise rating >0." This was intentional to avoid listing gear that could lead players to pursue it at a significant cost of time and possibly gold only to find out using it will leave them shy of 540 defense. I'll look at adding in a sub-section of gear for items that have hit and/or expertise, but lack defense.

    One point in your FAQ section I don't quite agree with, you state that after reaching the "dodge cap" of 26 expertise one should start stacking hit instead of expertise. I'd like to know the reasoning behind this because even after the dodge cap, expertise rating is still giving me the same percentage of reduced boss avoidance as hit rating does (point for point), and has the added benefit of reducing the damage I take from parry-haste. So I would argue even above the dodge cap, expertise is still a bit better than hit and if I'm making a gear set for threat where I actively gem/enchant these stats I would still prioritize expertise.
    All of this applies to bosses only of course, for trash you cap expertise at 23 already anyway and you should indeed stack only hit rating after that (up to 197 hit rating which should cap you vs. lvl82 mobs if I'm not mistaken)
    Blame me for doing my math at work.

    I was somehow coming up with expertise rating being ~20% more expensive than hit rating. I will revise now that I've verified they are in fact both the same amount of rating for a 1% increase in effective landed hits after 26 skill.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttocs View Post
    Are you still sure it's 9% hit? There's a growing amount of evidence that it's actually down to 8%.
    After doing more research, I'm inclined to agree with the new hit cap of 8% and have updated the guide to reflect that until/if evidence supporting the old 9% hit cap surfaces.

  18. #18
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    Awesome guide and I plan on using it for my warrior. Does anyone know if something similar exists for druid tanks?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malignus View Post
    [*]Expertise: This stat lowers a mob's chance to dodge/parry your attacks. Assuming the standard combat table, a boss has a 5.6% chance to dodge attacks and a 14.25% to parry your attacks.
    Bosses have 6.5% chance to dodge your attacks. I am pretty sure bosses have around a 12-12.5% chance to Parry. Not exactly sure on the Parry though. I vaguely remember running ~49 Expertise at lvl 70 and rarely seeing a Parry on my WWS. I suggest looking into this a little closer since the Parry seems a little off to me.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jathine View Post
    Bosses have 6.5% chance to dodge your attacks.
    Thanks for catching. My lysdexia can be the death of me at times.

    I am pretty sure bosses have around a 12-12.5% chance to Parry. Not exactly sure on the Parry though. I vaguely remember running ~49 Expertise at lvl 70 and rarely seeing a Parry on my WWS. I suggest looking into this a little closer since the Parry seems a little off to me.
    I'll have to dig around into some high-end guild WWS logs to confirm. I based the value off Satrina's guide.

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