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Thread: Best in Slot! Warrior Tanking Gear "At a Glance"

  1. #1

    Best in Slot! Warrior Tanking Gear "At a Glance"

    Table of Contents

    I. Introduction
    II. Icecrown Citadel Heroic Mode BiS Gear
    III. Icecrown Citadel Normal Mode BiS Gear
    IV. Gems
    V. Enchants
    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)



    I. Introduction

    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.


    The Principles

    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).


    The Sets

    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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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!
    3. 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).
    4. 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!

    The Rankings

    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

    (in progress)

    ______________________

    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)
    AV -
    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.
    AV -
    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)
    ______________________

    Trinkets -

    EH -
    AV -
    T -
    ______________________

    Weapons -

    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.
    ______________________
    Last edited by Halandir; 09-21-2010 at 07:49 AM.
    "Stop trying to hit me and hit me!"

    ~ Morpheus

  2. #2
    IV. Gems

    Meta Socket

    EH - Austere Earthsiege Diamond: The 32 stamina on this meta is common to a few other meta gems, but the 2% armor bonus makes it the gem of choice for the EH set.
    AV/BV/T/UH - Eternal Earthsiege Diamond: 21 defense rating isn't a whole lot, but if you need a little defense to get you over the cap, or you are already at the EH threshold for the content you're tanking, you can put this gem in your Avoidance helm, your block value helm, or your threat helm for that matter. The set that benefits the most from this meta will be your Anub adds "passive unhittable" set.

    Blue Socket

    EH - Solid Majestic Zircon: For a pure EH set, unless you have a stamina socket bonus you'll want to put this gem in every possible location (don't forget to include one red gem in your EH set for your meta to work).
    AV - Enduring Eye of Zul or Regal Dreadstone
    T - Guardian's Dreadstone
    BV - Sovereign Dreadstone
    UH - Thick King's Amber. You'll be using these pretty much exclusively for the Unhittable set, ignore socket bonuses and just stack defense for this set.

    Red Socket

    EH - Solid Majestic Zircon: again, use this unless there's a stamina socket bonus (in which case you can substitute a gem that matches the socket color and gives you 15 stamina + dodge or defense or whatever)
    AV - Subtle Cardinal Ruby, Stalwart Ametrine, or Regal Dreadstone. The parry gems aren't going to get you anywhere.
    T - Precise Cardinal Ruby or Accurate Ametrine are both great, also Guardian's Dreadstone or Resolute Ametrine if you are looking to add stamina or defense rating.
    BV - Bold Cardinal Ruby: You'll be using your BV set on trash mostly, and you'll probably reach the 177 hit / 22 expertise caps easily, so stacking strength gems is the next best way to increase block value.
    UH - Thick King's Amber. It's best to ignore socket bonuses and stack defense gems for your unhittable set.

    Yellow Socket

    EH - Solid Majestic Zircon: yet again, use this unless there's a stamina socket bonus (in which case you can substitute a gem that matches the socket color and gives you 15 stamina + dodge or defense or whatever)
    AV - Thick King's Amber is the best, followed by Stalwart Ametrine and Enduring Eye of Zul.
    T - Accurate Ametrine again, nice threat gem mentioned earlier for either a red or yellow socket.
    BV - Anything with strength on it
    UH - Thick King's Amber:

    V. Enchants

    I'm indebted to Veneretio for his great post on Warrior 3.0.8 Tanking Enchants. I've applied basically the same enchants he lists to the gear I've placed in the three categories (EH, AV, T). I've expanded on his work a little, but I'm not going to take credit for most of this section (no sense trying to re-invent the wheel anyway).

    Helm

    EH - Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector (Argent Crusade Revered):
    AV/UH - Arcanum of the Defender (Keepers of Time Revered): technically more avoidance than the new tanking head enchant--if it's worth it to gain a little avoidance at the expense of 37 stamina, then use this. Unless you're trying to absolutely max out avoidance for some reason (read: unhittable set) it's best to stick with the Argent Crusade head enchant.
    T - Arcanum of Torment (Knights of the Ebon Blade Revered):
    BV - Presence of Might (Zandalar Tribe Friendly): Yea... kickin it old-school style. If you have one of these sitting around or you want to farm ZG to beat the boredom, you could technically still use one of these on your BV set.

    Shoulders

    EH - Greater Inscription of the Gladiator (30 stamina, 15 resilience rating):
    AV/UH - Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle (20 dodge rating, 15 defense rating):
    T - Greater Inscription of the Axe (40 attack power, 15 critical strike rating):
    BV -

    Back

    EH - Mighty Armor (225 Armor):
    AV/UH - Titanweave (16 defense rating):
    T - Major Agility (22 agility)
    BV -

    Chest

    EH - Super Health (275 health):
    AV/UH - Greater Defense (22 defense rating):
    T - Powerful Stats (10 to all stats)
    BV -

    Wrist

    EH - Major Stamina (40 stamina):
    AV/UH - Major Defense (12 defense rating)
    T - Expertise (15 expertise rating):
    BV -

    Hands

    EH - Heavy Borean Armor Kit (18 stamina) OR Glove Reinforcements (240 Armor):
    AV/UH - Major Agility (20 Agility):
    T - Armsman (2% threat increase, 10 parry rating):
    BV -

    Legs

    EH/AV/UH - Frosthide Leg Armor (55 stamina, 22 agility)
    T - Icescale Leg Armor (70 attack power, 22 critical strike rating):
    BV - Presence of Might (Zandalar Tribe Friendly):

    Feet

    EH - Tuskarr's Vitality (15 stamina & run speed increase) or Greater Fortitude (22 stamina):
    AV/UH - Superior Agility (16 agility):
    T - Icewalker (12 critical strike rating, 12 hit rating):
    BV -

    Weapon

    EH - Blood Draining
    AV/UH - Exceptional Agility (26 agility)
    T - Accuracy (25 critical strike rating, 25 hit rating):
    BV -

    Shield

    EH - Major Stamina (18 stamina) OR Titanium Plating (40 block value):
    AV/UH - Defense (20 defense rating):
    T - Titanium Shield Spike (45-67 damage on blocked attacks):
    BV - Titanium Plating (40 block value):
    Last edited by Halandir; 09-21-2010 at 07:44 AM.
    "Stop trying to hit me and hit me!"

    ~ Morpheus

  3. #3
    VI. Additional Information

    (work in progress, check back soon for more information)

    I ran across an interesting post by Ghostcrawler that I thought I'd pass along as it relates to this guide... I found this quote here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler
    [blizzard]If you have great healers and never die, then you probably don't need as much survivability. If you have amazing and impatient dps, then you might want to emphasize threat more. Again personal experience here, but I have also found many tanks to be more reluctant to swap out gear per encounter than they should. Good tanks often swap out their rings, trinkets etc. from fight to fight.[/blizzard]
    You can start building multiple gear sets with just a few peices of gear--you don't need the top threat peice in each slot for an threat set. The general rule I'd suggest is to gem/enchant for EH on the first peice of gear you get for each slot, then as you collect more gear for that slot begin to gem/enchant to the strength of the individual pieces of gear for that slot.

    Naturally, which gear set you use depends on the situation you are tanking in. At this point where your raid probably over-gears most of the content you may wonder why you need multiple sets, but having a "trash" set (consisting of 177 hit, 22 expertise, 535 defense) that stacks block value and strength combined with a shield spike can help speed up trash pulls considerably. The Effective Health set is great for MT'ing Sarth+drakes or fights with stuns (i.e. Maxxena), the threat set can be used for fights like Malygos where dps'ers have damage buffs, and the Avoidance set is good for fast-hitting bosses.
    Last edited by Halandir; 09-21-2010 at 07:48 AM.
    "Stop trying to hit me and hit me!"

    ~ Morpheus

  4. #4
    Looks great!
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  5. #5
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    Strong post. If I wasn't so lazy... I would build a similar post for Paladins.

    As is, even for Prot Paladins, this is a great guide with the AV/T/BV breakdown. Of course there are a couple major differences (Tier pieces and the failure of Expertise mainly), but overall good direction for those who are struggling with gearing decisions.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dubzil View Post
    fixed, thanks.
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  8. #8
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    Are Inexorable Sabatons - Item - World of Warcraft just so awful that you wouldn't even take them for your block set ;-).

    Great work btw, I'm still really torn about the T7.5 gloves versus Horn Tipped for threat though.

  9. #9
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    Tempered Titansteel Helm would be your best choice for EH, rly insane now with the sockets.
    Ye, i dont proofread. 1 point per typo you can spot

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    nvm already posted
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  11. #11
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    Great guide, Thank You.

    I know you are focused on tank gear here but I wanted to point out a great piece that I got when all DPS passed on it. Since I have plenty of defense now I have managed to work the Bracers of Lost Sentiments (+38 expertise & +25 hit) into most of the sets I wear. With the extra BS socket I can add +16 defense as well if I ever really need it.
    "It takes less time to properly mark, CC and pull then it does to run back from the graveyard".

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dubzil View Post
    nvm already posted
    yea missed those somehow, updated.

    thx Dub and MM.
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  13. #13
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    Oooh, also Lavanthor's Talisman - Item - World of Warcraft is best BV trink you can get
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dubzil View Post
    Oooh, also Lavanthor's Talisman - Item - World of Warcraft is best BV trink you can get
    updated again, thx
    "Stop trying to hit me and hit me!"

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  15. #15
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    Looks good, well formated and concise. Thanks for this!

    Also wouldn't the Albative win out in EH as well? for the belts, most armor + most potential stam = winwin.

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Kazeyonoma View Post
    Looks good, well formated and concise. Thanks for this!

    Also wouldn't the Albative win out in EH as well? for the belts, most armor + most potential stam = winwin.
    listing top EH peice for each slot will hopefully be done later tonight!
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  17. #17
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    What about the 25man maly key neck? Theoretically wouldn't it be top EH? and probably top avoidance as well..

    Nexus War Champion Beads
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  18. #18
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    I think the Kel'Thuzad neck still wins out in EH because of the Armor no?

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  19. #19
    Nexus War Champion Beads - 28 def, 34 parry
    Heritage - 32 def, 41 dodge.

    for pure avoidance (I'm not considering block as avoidance, and Dodge rating is superior to parry) Heritage wins out, and and as far as EH goes, i'll have to do some calculating since Nexus neck has more stam but less armor than Boundless Ambition.

    I believe Satrina coined the phrase "Armor is subject to diminishing returns, while stamina is not" as it relates to calculating EH.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halandir View Post
    Nexus War Champion Beads - 28 def, 34 parry
    Heritage - 32 def, 41 dodge.

    for pure avoidance (I'm not considering block as avoidance, and Dodge rating is superior to parry) Heritage wins out, and and as far as EH goes, i'll have to do some calculating since Nexus neck has more stam but less armor than Boundless Ambition.
    you're apparently also not including the red socket which puts it at 50 parry or 16 dodge, however you'd like to look at it.
    [2-07-08 08:57 AM] Enelrad: hahaha, that and you're ugly! Ugly tanks tank better
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