This is my tank alt that I made to help me get away from playing a mage all the time. I've been gearing him fairly steadily, and I am hoping to get into a position where he can tank at least Ulduar 10-Man and preferably TOC 10-Man, so I can help out my guild friends if they find themselves lacking a tank.
I'm having real trouble getting a decent amount of HP together though. With frost presence I sit it around 31k hp, which is probably not enough to tank Naxx-25, and definately not enough to tank Ulduar-10. I see the cause of this as that I'm mainly having to use defense gems just to stay defense capped. I assumed that this would be made easier as better gear became available to me but it seems that this isn't the case. Transitioning from mainly blues, to mainly ilevel 200 epics to more 213ish gear hasn't really seen my defence increase that dramatically. Am I always going to have these troubles?
Secondly, most of the healers that I have had in heroics or Naxx-10 have said that I am extremely difficult to heal and that they have to spam heal me. Is this normal for a new tank MT-ing Naxx? Or am I lacking avoidance as well has a large health pool?
Sorry for the wall of text but I'm not very good at making short forum posts. :]
There's also a perception among healers that DKs take high spike damage, which is a bit of a self-confirming bias. I admit I have that bias too, and I notice the spike damage more on low gear level DKs. But I've also healed some DKs that seem to take hardly any damage. You're more than OK to tank Naxx 25, and you could honestly handle Ulduar 10 entry level also. Your avoidance levels are slightly low, but that'll come to you quickly as you gear up.
I might consider replacing one of your stamina trinkets with an avoidance trinket, just because you aren't in the high pressure world of effective health yet, and have plenty of stam for what you want to do. In this world of PuGs expecting tanks to have 35k HP, that might make it harder to get a group, so make sure you always log out in your stamina trinkets, and surreptitiously switch in your avoidance trinket while the raid is buffing up.
If you put SSG on your weapon you won't have to gem for defense. Also, you're better off gemming for dodge than parry, you shouldn't ever gem for parry from what i've read...
And your enchants seem to be missing or inadequate, especially if you're looking at getting into Ulduar or PUGging into a Naxx 25 (at least on my server Tanks especially have a hard time pugging into raids and if they saw your enchants they probably would pass). +18 Stam on your chest should probably be Greater Defense or Super Stats. Personally i'd go with Greater Defense and replace the defense gems once you put SSG on your weapon. Also, make sure to enchant your cloak and your bracers.
So there's a few questions in that, so I'm going to try to break this out to address them seperately.
1) Is 31k a big enough health pool to tank Naxx25?
Yes, easily. Back when it was something I raid lead regularly, my rough rule of thumb is an OT would need 21-22k-ish health while def capped, and a MT would preferable be up in the high 20ks to 30k, but I've probably worked with people as low as 25k.
2) Is the def cap going to continue to be a problem?
Yes and no. If you grab SSG you're probably going to be ok with the base defense that's on tanking gear (with the exception of some rings that carry armor/health/avoidance stats but no defense). If you go Swordshattering, yes, you're going to constantly fight it from here on out (even in Uld/ToC25 gear I'm still trying to ditch Signet of the Impregnable Fortress simply because it has a good chunk of def on it)
3) Are you too squishy/prone to spikey damage to tank?
This is the main issue with effective health stacking (and please don't misconstrue this as an argument against EH, just an acknowledgement of some of it's issues). Maxing your EH is the best strategy for tanks pushing progression, the idea is to maximize your ability to survive spikes, but at the cost of higher average healing requirements (the assumption being that progression guilds have skilled healers for whom standard damage is trivial to deal with, so the focus becomes on surviving non-standard damage spikes).
Looking at your gear, you've got fairly high EH for your gear's ilevel. Which means you're probably able to tank above your weight to an extent if you have healers to back it up. The flipside is your won't have as much avoidance/armor as someone in higher ilevel gear which might allow healers to slack and focus elsewhere for parts of the fight. In your current state you're probably going to need at lease some healers to watch you and pre-emptively, rather than reactively heal you (don't stress about it, that's just life when you're pushing content at or beyond your gear level, and since you're averaging somewhere between 200-219, Naxx25 qualifies).
What you can do to mitigate that issue: First, I'm not sure if you've changed gear around a bit (you're currently below def cap on the armory, so if I'm talking about the wrong gear, apologies), but assuming the current armory is correct do four things immediately:
-Get to the def cap
-Put defense on your Cloak/Chest, Argent Crusade enchant on your head, and one of the Pinnacle enchants on your shoulders (all are BiS or close to, reasonably affordable, and provide a decent chunk of defense which may free up sockets)
-Put SSG or Swordshattering on your weapon. period.
-Get a tanking sigil. Either Insolence or Unfaltering Knight, both are available for badges and are very useful (UK for getting over the def cap if you're having trouble, Insolence for avoidance)
Those changes should boost your avoidance, get rid of any crit issues, and free up some room to pick up more stam in sockets etc.
The second set of stuff you can do is tanking behavior. If there are periods of the fight with higher damage, blow cd's. If there aren't either cycle cd's proactively, or blow them when your healers are likely to have trouble (maybe the raid takes damage while you don't, blow cd's to let healers raid heal. maybe healers need to blow some mana regen abilities (hymn of hope, divine plea, etc.) or need to get out of the 5SR to regen a bit more, pop cd's to give them extra breathing room). When moving bosses never turn your back (prevents you from dodging), either backpedal, or better, learn to strafe while tanking (I think this is my #1 way to distinguish good and bad tanks, whether they strafe on boss pulls like Ony or Ignis to get them to the tanking position).
Bottom line is some of this stuff will work itself out with gear. But currently you are perfectly fine to tank, but you aren't geared to trivialize the content, which means you and your healers will have to make an active (though not herculean) effort to beat bosses.
Thx for your time, My question is this in relation to avoidance: 1.Is there a 50% avoidance cap? 2.If there is, is everything over 50% useless? 3.How do you measure the cap? (Parry + dodge)?
Thorium Brotherhood / US / horde / Devesh Iím sitting over 50% now unbuffed, which if this is true then I need to change a bunch of stuff thx for your time.
Don't think there's any flat cap to avoidance. There's diminishing returns on the stats that act as a soft cap, so you're not getting as much bang for your buck at higher avoidance levels, but there's no reason to try to keep your avoidance under a specific number.
Heck, I think my avoidance sits somewhere around 60% and heads north of 70% when things start proc'ing in fights, and since I gem/enchant for EH rather than avoidance, that's pretty much base armor stats doing it for me. So you'll go over 50% avoidance at some point regardless probably.
You need to lose the mage, dps, PuG mentality that all that matters is HP. Those who've been tanking since at least WotLK came out remember the days of blues, greens and a sprinkling of purple tanking Naxx 10; and Naxx 25 belonged to purples and blues (lvl 213 gear awesome drops in Naxx 25). A tank who was over 30k HP unbuffed was uber geared; the rest of us mortals tanked it with 25 to 27k HP unbuffed.