Gem for Stam or Agi?
I just wanted to ask the opinions of the fellow druid tanks out there... what's better in your minds. +30 stam gems in every slot, +30 stam in blues and yellows, and reds with + 20 agi?
Basically the question is... is HP or Savage Defense more important?
I think most other druid tanks would agree, and I could be wrong, that its more preference when you choose, and a good balance of both stam and agi is whats important.
Most of the feral tanks that I have seen shoot for about 1k agility and after that stack stam. This will allow you to keep a good amount of threat and survivability. Depending on your gear that is around 40% dodge 65% damage mitigation from armor.
Stamina scales better, given the limited amount of either stat available via gems. I have 2 rules:
1. If the socket is Red and the bonus is either Stamina or Agility - socket shifting purple gem.
2. All else - solid blue.
Your dps/tps gains much greater returns from hit/exp/str than from agility. Unless you're desperately in need of avoidance, stack stam. If you are in desperate need, you probably don't have gear that deserves epic gems anyway.
I do not understand this line of thinking anymore. In 3.0 it seemed the common line of thinking for Patchwerk, who would kill you in 3 consecutive hits (without heals), that you geared for enough stamina to survive those 2 hits, and then poured on avoidance. Why is this not taken for Ulduar as well where bosses will likewise snuff you in (sometimes even only 2 consecutive hits without heals)?
Originally Posted by Barta
Everyone talks about the 'worst case scenario' and gearing for that, which means, for some reason, stacking stamina. Worst case, to me, is that 1 second where you get no heals and you've been parried twice (Auto attack and ability) and eat 2 20K hits back-to-back. If you have 40K HP, awesome, you live and your healers get the boss' swing timer to get you back up, if you don't, you die.
Granted, the exact numbers are fudgeable, but once you have enough stamina to survive 2 consecutive hits, why do you care about stamina? It's infeasible to get enough HP to survive 3, so what's the point of that extra HP buffer that isn't realistically going to make a difference.
Sure, if you have 43K HP and you eat that worst case, the healers have only 17K to heal you to survive the next hit, opposed to 19K on the tank who only has 41K HP, but wouldn't it be wiser to reduce the odds of the 'worst case' by investing that extra itemization into avoidance or expertise or (in the case of a Paladin at least) Block Value/Strength?
I know this proverbial horse has probably been proverbially beaten into it's third life, but any reasonable answer addressing these specific queries would be greatly appreciated. Or perhaps direction to where they have already been answered if in fact they have already been answered.
EDIT: I suppose I should say "was not adapted for ulduar" since it is no longer highest end content, and things in Trial seem to hit less fearsomely at-gear level than things in Ulduar, making stamina a bit more valuable as it is more feasible to gain the ability to survive "one more hit".
As you can see I am fan of stamina. I know some druids look at me and shake their heads. I got a bit over 54k fully buffed. My reasoning for gemming stamina over agi is that avoidance is superior when mana is an issue (vezax hardmode for example). We have never ever wiped because healers went out of mana (I cant recall that occassion at least).
So I fully agree Barta's last paragraph.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not discounting the value of agility or avoidance in general, but I can't get past the diminishing returns on avoidance. Also, like adizs, I cannot recall a wipe caused by our healers running out of mana. In addition, the warrior tank that I always run with has me beat on avoidance without question, but I have the edge on effective health - our healers always prefer me tanking the big hitters. I do not mind being over-geared or having too much stamina, and while I don't pretend to do the math behind it, I do know one thing: look at top-end tanks (of any class); they stack stamina. And they continue to stack stamina after they've cleared content. You simply can't go wrong stacking stamina in my opinion, especially given the fact that I give up only minimal gains on avoidance, and virtually zero gains on threat by gearing the way I do.
See, I think that after the nerf we got on stamina, agility got really more interesting.
The way I gear up is, I set up a stamina roof buffed and after I reach such roof I'll stack agility until my eyes bleed. Right now my roof is 46k health. I'm currently at 55 avoidance, 46k health and 35k armor.
I also keep a stam whore set. (Polar set with + Stamina on everything, + Stamina trinkets) that I will replace in for those fights where magic damage prevails. With that set I have 54k health and 45% avoidance.