Need for Multiple Gear Sets?
So after lots of EOC grinding, I have what I think is a pretty respectable gear set (Armory link below):
The World of Warcraft Armory
This set has pretty much everything I have ever been trying for. 33k unbuffed health, about 65% avoidance, def capped, expertise soft capped, hit capped, etc.
My question is I always read about people having multiple sets (block, threat, EH), but I have never had more than just my main tank set. Granted I am in a very casual guild, and the only raiding I do is PUGging when I get the time, but even when I jump into a 10/25 man, I never seem to see the need for these alternate sets. I'm trying to find pugs for TOC 10 as I think that's about where I am at with regards to what I can tank (and I need a new shield badly), but I can't imagine needing to have specific sets to swap out for that given that across the board this set seems to foot the bill.
Any advice from tanks that were in my position before on the necessity of developing multiple sets? Also I'm open to any advice on where I can get ups for my gear. Current plan is Shard of the Cyrstal Forest for neck, then converting badges down for Platinum Mesh Cloak, and saving my EOT for the new ring (to replace Signet). Any advice on other ups I can get w/o hardcore raiding?
A block set is generally for trash/heroics/add duty
It can speed up pulls and make the pulls generally easier on your healers, and you can pull more, meaning trash is cleared much more easily and cleanly. Is it necessary? Probably not. But it does help, and its not like anyone else needs that block gear.
For a threat set, its usually for fights that are more threat sensitive (DPS get huge buffs that the tank doesnt) or for off tanking, so you can build threat on a boss without too much trouble. Malygos for example, because he doesnt hit too hard, but your DPS get huge buffs, and you will have a bit of trouble staying ahead of them.
Being in a casual 10 man guild, Ive never felt the need to have a threat set, but I carry around a block set to run heroics etc.
It's funny you should say that, because I always carry around Guantlets of the Disobedient and Lavanthor's Talisman and tell myself I will slot them in for a block set when I need it, but in all the heroics I have run (and raids, few as they may be), between the TC, Cleave, Shockwave, Cleave, Tab and Slam rotation I have never found myself really wishing I had thrown on these block items before the pulls. Usually my AOE threat is through the roof, and between alternating cooldowns on Sheild Block and Monarch Crab, trash mobs are barely even able to hit me, and when they do it's only in the range of about 2000 per hit. As far as I'm concerned these two block items are just taking up bag space, but I'm deathly afraid I won't have them when I need that little bit extra block because I vendored them.
I guess my real question is, if I start making a more concerted effort to get into Uld 10/25 and TOC 10/25 raids, am I really going to need different sets, or will I be able to go with what I have, and just try to make sure all my stats move up uniformly as I gear up, and keep any one from dropping too low (i.e. letting hit plummet for example)?
Multiple sets doesn't necessarily mean swapping out every piece. Sometimes it means exchanging one or two pieces. Most commonly I play around with stamina vs avoidance. Generally I go with more avoidance but if its a magic heavy fight there's just no avoiding it, pile on the stamina.
As for SBV, yes, it does speed up trash pulls, but as most tanks will readily admit, trash should never NEVER be an issue even in your boss gear (and if it is, you have more serious problems). As a warrior, I would recommend you keep a spare older shield with a spike on it for helping out on multimob trash tanking paired with SBV gear, it's way more effective than anything else you can think of.
Finally, multiple gear sets allow for min-maxing, whereas having one set means you need to gear for both avoidance and EH, and compromising between the two can mean you fail at both in some cases.
You mentioned the spiked shield for trash pulls (I think I have a Royal Crest of Lordareon sitting in my bank that would work), but are there other spots that it's common to swap fast for changing between EH/AV? Trinkets come to mind mostly, but there may be others I'm not thinking about.
Also what are the HP and avoidance levels I should target in EH and AV sets to do Uld 25, TOC 10/25?
Lastly, looking at my gear overall, where do you think I'm at in terms of readiness for the above mentioned raids, and are there any places I can still gear up in lower raids? (I shudder to think of grinding Naxx 25 to get Wall of Terror, but I can't see anything else short of ULD hard modes dropping the new shield I need so so badly).