It's not so much that you're creating rigid sets of gear for particular reasons... that's a valid approach, but I was simply suggesting that you make sure you acquire and hold on to pieces that you may find valuable in certain situations, but not others.
As an example, Both Malygos and Sartherion (with multiple drakes) incorporate a significant quantity of magic damage. Our main defense against magic attacks is stamina so if you have a few items in your backpack that are really high on stamina and don't threaten your 540 defense, those may be valuable for you to use. A simple example of an item that excels against magic damage encounters is the new version of the Tempered Titansteel Helm with an Effulgent Skyflare Diamond (2% magic dmg reduction) and stam gems. In most ordinary circumstances you wouldn't use this helm since it sacrifices too much avoidance and threat stats to attain it's high health, but it has it's uses.
As others have suggested, items that are high in block rating are generally more useful on trash than on bosses. They're not useless on bosses, mind you, critical blocks + deep wounds are a nice way to boost dps (and thus threat) on many bosses. However you'll typically require a bit more suvivability (stam/avoidance) on bosses compared to trash and may find yourself only using a heavy-duty block set on trash or light-hitting bosses (like Loatheb).
It's all about situational awareness and being able to decide if you're going to get more mileage out of one piece of equipment or another on a given encounter. As long as you're maintaining your basic minimums (540 def on bosses, min EH for a given boss) how you gear for any given encounter is fairly flexible. Starting out you likely won't feel this way as you'll be constantly switching gear/gems/enchants around to maintain 540 defense, but later on when you're not worrying about that you'll be glad to have kept around some of the older gear that shined in certain situations but weren't able to wear at the time.
I still have a ton of trouble identifying what gear to use in a given set and when to use it - How do I decide what the min EH is for a given encounter?
Originally Posted by Kaptain O
It's just something you have to get a feel for. There are so many factors (like your spec, your guild's gear progression, player skill / guild skill) that it's hard to put a definitive answer down for best in slot for every fight / pull in the game.
Just don't be afraid to experiment and try out new gear combinations that you think might work in a given situation.
Like how do I judge success? If I drop my health by 2k and put on threat gear and then we do the pull and I don't die does that mean that's right?
Right now I think Im close to 29k unbuffed, coming in at 37k fully buffed - what sort of point should I worry more about things other than EH for 10 mans? What fights generally need more EH? (patchwerk obviously)
If your health spikes below 40% a lot (or you're dying several times) or your healers are going OOM then you need to up EH. It always helps to check in with your healers and let them know that you're going to be swapping some gear around and ask them to give you feedback after the pulls / fights to let you know how hard you were to heal. My main for a long time was a healer and it's really easy to immediately tell whether or not someone is hard to heal. Within 3-4 pulls in a heroic I pretty much have the tank pegged as X Y or Z in terms of gear and skill. So just ask your healers what they think of a certain fight after you make some changes.
Originally Posted by Kaptain O
Personally Sartharion with Drakes, Patchwerk, and Sapphiron (and only because there's so much raid damage I like to give my healers some leeway) are the ones I try and stack EH on. Nothing else really hits too hard.
I like to use a block set on Loatheb since he hits so softly that you can block a huge portion of the damage that isn't avoided.
Trash should maximize AP and SBV. 535 defense. Trinkets that boost AP on use or have a large amount of on equip AP.
EH on Maexxna and Patchwerk (if OT). If MT on Patchwerk, then just standard boss set.
Frost resist on Kel'Thuzad. You can resist entire 15-20k frost bolts wearing max FR gear.
Optionally some FR pieces on Sapp but not a big deal since you will be healed all of the time.
Pretty much everything else is the standard boss set which maximizes threat. 29-30k unbuffed health, 263 hit, 26+ expertise. This set normally contains threat trinkets like Lavanthor's Talisman, Shard of Contempt, etc.
Prot-dps for when you aren't tanking which is your fury gear and two 1h 2.5-2.6 speed weapons. Try to get to at least 8% hit so you are capped for special attacks. At least until dual-specs come out.
Crafted frost plate gear? but keep above 540 def still? Or it doesnt matter because of him having week melee?
Originally Posted by jlafleur
See here might be my problem, I don't have that much health, hit or expertise in ANY set of gear so maybe I am not at the point where I am able to have "sets" of gear, I just have the one epic per slot I have got my hands on, and a handful of blues I havent been able to replace.
Originally Posted by jlafleur
I stuck 16 defense in every slot of the FR gear so with properly choosing my other gear, I am at 540+. Wearing frost resist didn't subsantial lower my avoidance but obviously dramatics increased my resists. A little more armor and avoidance wasn't going to reduce the amount of pysical damage by as much as the FR gear reduced the frost damage I took.
Normal Damage 682,640 (84 hits)
Avoided 85 attacks
Frost Damage 448,033 (43 hits)
Resisted 12 attacks
Partial Resisted 356,024 damage
Well I cart around 1 1/2 bags of additional tanking gear including things when I just started tanking at 80 like the Titansteel Helm and Shieldwall. Even though I have T7.5 legs, I kept my T7 legs and gemmed them with straight stam for the EH fights. Old stuff can be enchanted and gemmed differently and still serve a purpose. Some pieces no one wanted like the Fleshless Girdle which is great for Loatheb in my opinion or if you were constructing an "uncrushable" set (yes, you can no longer be crushed but a set where no attack isn't dodged, parried, missed or block could conceivably be useful).
just curious, why do you recommend EH gear on patchwerk? i always put on my avoidance set for OT'ing him. there's no way i can get enough EH to eat two hateful strikes back to back anyway, so avoidance seemed like the way to help the healers out.
Originally Posted by jlafleur
We run two OTs, so I gear myself to be able to take 2 out of 3 hatefuls (where the middle one hit the other OT) and still survive with a minimal amount of healing in the intervening 2.4 seconds. This means an EH set. If you go avoidance, then you still have no guarantee that you won't take 2 out of 3 hatefuls but your margin for error for survival is lower maybe even zero if you get minimal healing since you need some much more healing to survive. Avoidance certainly helps but I like to stack stamina and armor as the OT. I get up to 42-43k raid buffed. His hatefuls hit me for 21-24k before frenzy. I just need 5-6k in heals to be able to take two in succession. Hopefully HoTs are delivering at least that much. Its likely the difference in avoidance between your avoidance set and my EH set isn't that great anyway. In addition to that, I'm offsetting it with 11% dodge for 10 seconds every minute with my monarch crab (likely the most overpowered avoidance trinket in the game). Obviously, just ride out the frenzy between shield wall and last stand. I guess this all really to say: pretend to be a druid (or get your bear form on)!
You would be correct sir, but just for the hell of it I'll expound all the mechanics of it.
Originally Posted by FoldingZebra
The reason we maintain 540 def rating is because a lvl 83 mob (or raid boss) has a 5.6% chance to crit us, so we must maintain 5.6% reduction (540 Def). Likewise, a lvl 82 mob has a 5.4% crit chance on you, so you need 535 Def rating, lvl 81 mobs have a 5.2% crit chance. So you need 530 Def. If you want to get really crazy with itemizing you could have a set for trash in heroics and bosses in heroics/trash in raids and one for raid bosses. That's a little overboard probably though.
Also another important thing to consider regarding the expertise/hit debate is that expertise will increase your overall damage reduction by reducing parry haste as well as increase your dps by more than hit. The advantage of hit rating is that a number of your abilities cannot be dodged or parried anyway. Things like Tclap, SW, and the ever important Taunt are all independent of expertise. Expertise will scale your dps faster, but resisted taunts can still wipe a raid . Personally I balance the two.
With regards to required HP to raid tank, people are always going to state values higher than they actually are. People want to be carried, and overgeared tanks are a great way to do that. I remember back in TBC when the T6ish epics came out I would hop on my healer and heal kara and people would come in to tank kara with 13-14k hp and were getting turned down because 15-16k was the new "minimum", which I laughed at because I was under 12k unbuffed when I first MTed kara and it didn't particularly feel like I was undergeared for the place.
Also with regards to the dodge trinket, the chest is probably better as an upgrade. In any other piece of gear would you take an 800hp drop in favor of 2% dodge? You probably don't really need the extra stam, but it might get you into more groups.