Yesterday while tanking a random heroic I got extremely bored and decided to actually read the scrolling combat text for once. When I did I noticed however that "savage defense" was proccing quite often. I knew about this before but never actually thought about what it did:
"Each time you deal a critical strike while in bear form or dire bear form, you gain savage defense, reducing damage taken from the next physical attack that strikes you by 25% of your attack power"
this got me thinking... since raid buffed i'm already sitting on almost 50% crit I'm critting every other hit so SD is essentially up constantly. I did some math and found before stacking str I had about 1300 damage reduction through SD, however when I switch I jumped to 2000 reduction through SD...
People are calling me crazy for not stacking stam since that's all druids ever do, but looking at the 700 extra dmg reduction over a 5-10 min boss fight that seems like a miracle, am I crazy or is this actually worth losing the stam?
here's a link to my armory page:
I began messing around with str because I knew that bears get 2 ap for each str they have and the haste gems are for maul since it's the main threat generator for bears
If you're going to gem for mitigation and threat instead of effective health (which is what you're doing with strength), you may as well gem for avoidance. If you're trying to reduce overall damage intake, my bet is that you'll get far better returns gemming agility for dodge than strength for savage defense. I haven't done the math, so I don't want to pretend I have stats about the actual returns, but I tend to believe that the druids in the top guilds have something figured out. I've never seen anyone do it, and I'd never do it under current mechanics.
And before someone starts talking about damage taken over time...
DAMAGE TAKEN OVER TIME DOES NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT matter. Ever. Ever. For any reason. Ever.
You are talking about damage taken over time. 1 20 str gem is 10-12 more damage absorbed by the shield vs almost 450 HP for a 30 stam gem.
Also your math is wrong, you have 17 sockets, if you have 20x17 strength gems that gives you 800 AP with kings and talents, which is not 700 more absorbed by a shield it is only 200 more. 200 vs 17x30 stam is EIGHT THOUSAND hp (almost 8400).
Also you have a terrible spec, drop those 2 points in furor and get something better, like master shapeshifter, which is better than KOTJ.
damage taken over time still wouldn't matter, you'd just have to figure out how to balance healer mana/composition, with maybe some avoidance. the simple fact is that if you start balancing for damage taken over time, you increase your odds of damage to kill you when avoidance doesn't help.
Blocking, which is what savage defense is in essence, is craptastic. You don't see warriors and paladins going bonkers over any block value gear do you? There's a reason for that. Gem stam, is DPS close to your threat? Then look at more threat, whatever druids use for threat. You don't need haste gems or any threat gems unless you are having issues with threat.
Now for heroics I use a hit capped/expertise capped, high block % and value, high AP gear set, but thats for heroics. As long as I am facing all mobs I take very little damage. If I hit shield block I am effectively immune to damage from heroic trash and bosses. I wouldn't think of wearing that even on ICC trash though, I'd get stomped.