Can you explain different gear sets
I have been tanking on a warrior since WoTLK came out in a fairly small/casual guild. One thing that I have seen repeatedly in different threads is how warriors have different gear sets that they use for different occasions, but I have not seen a good explanation on what the different gear sets are and how to decide when to use them, which gear goes in which set.
Could someone break it down for me and explain this a little better for me.
The majority of the time your standard EHP set will suffice, I even use my EHP set on trash. However, some people have fairly intense threat setups with lots of armor pen and crap that they use for trash. I frankly don't care about trash, so I've never put forth the effort.
There's also avoidance sets, there are a very small number (in my opinion) of fights that actually do favor avoidance, so far the only 1 in ICC so far is Gunship if you're single tanking the enemy ship, if you're doing I'm on a Boat you want to stack stam out the butt.
There are also two different classes of EHP, physical EHP (or PEH) and magical EHP (or MEH). Basically if a fight does a lot of magic damage and not a lot of physical damage, then the value of armor goes down, and the value of stam and magic resistance goes up.
Tanks also will carry different sets for anub'arak, specifically heroic 25 man, where the MT will go with a lot of resistance enchants and favor armor way over stamina because stam makes leeching swarm hit harder, so it becomes non-optimal, and the OT will sack stam at all costs and stack avoidance and block and block value for the adds.
There are also just standard threat offsets that don't really deal with armor pen or anything much, they just focus on getting hit cap and expertise cap. It will typically end up with decreased EHP, but if it is on a fight where your EHP really doesn't matter (like Lord Jaraxxus) then you might as well throw on tank gear that allows you to get to the caps.
Some people might even use a "taunt" set, where they put on hit gear to make sure that taunt doesn't miss. There's a footnote in my guide that breaks down the levels of hit you would need to guarantee taunts landing provided taunt glyph and various raid buffs.
[Today 09:38 AM] Reev: The older I get, the more I think those Greek philosophers were just annoying hipsters.
There are some general rules, and almost always you have 1 gear set that you use most of the time, and swap out trinkets, weapons, shields, and the occasional piece of normal gear (assuming you've had good raid drops) depending on the situation.
There are several different "sets" people speak of and I'll try to give them here in brief format:
1) EH - This set comprises of the highest possible armor + HP combination to allow you to follow the traditional method of progression tanking gearing, enough Effective Health (EH) to survive multiple blows assuming no avoids or stream of heals
2) Avoidance - Generally not often used except for gimmick fights (similar to Tanking adds on Anub'arak) this set focuses on getting as high a possible miss/dodge/parry (and to a lesser degree block if an 'unhittable' set is required). This is typically used on bosses that dual wield, and swing very fast, so having high avoidance allows you to greatly reduce the incoming damage by smoothing out how often they land. This isn't always advised though because sometimes being able to survive a chain of hits is more important than hoping you "randomly" survive based on avoidance #s.
3) Threat - This set consists of generally your normal tanking set, but with an emphasis on threat stats such as expertise/hit and to a lesser extent str and crit. You normally only pull this out on bosses you've got on farm, or on bosses that have very strict enrage timers but don't hit that often (doesn't happen very often for the latter case).
4) Unhittable - this is a variation of the avoidance set which further pushes your need for avoidance, but largely a greater emphasis on defense rating, and block rating due to faster scaling, and reaching either 102.4% or 101.6% combined miss/dodge/parry/block so that you essentially never get "hit" and in the worst case, you get a "blocked hit".
5) MEH - This is likewise a variation of the EH set which focuses on maximizing your magical effective health, largely based on your ability to stack as much HP as possible (since armor now plays little to no role against magical damage) and sometimes coupling specific magical resistances.
I'm sure people will find other gear sets as well, and you'll often find pieces cover multiple sets, because they are just that good, or they are multi-functional.
I want to re-iterate though that lots of the time, you're gonna use 1 base set that you find is a good balance of survivability, and threat, and then adjust it from fight to fight, (even on trash!) based on your individual raid's needs. Sometimes you have awesome healers and can tweak your survivability some to allow for more threat, and sometimes you have dps'ers that are always on your tail no matter what you do, so you need to get more threat, or you're healers constantly run out of mana, so you may need to get some more avoidance.
There's lots of threads that exist about the arguments of EH vs. Avoidance vs etc, but the simple fact is that it's all good, you just need to adjust to the fight and your raid, and do what's best for the situation. More often than not, this'll be EH, but you're results may vary =]