So, here I am registering and posting to TankSpot. I've always been a lurker on EJ and here recently as I decided to fill a tank role for Cata. I always held somewhat of an elitist mind set in this game and it's hard for me to deal with new players in this game. I still play the game and want to always be very competitive, I'm a previous glad on other characters and have been in a top 20 US progression guild for some time BC - Wrath.
I find myself in that role after a 6 month break and a lot of my views have recently changed. I would like some advice from the community as to what I may be doing wrong in terms of my gear and maybe some tips on rotations and how I can stop refreshing my debuffs / buffs so damn early.
It seems like I miss fractions of a second a lot of the time in between my rotations, refreshing tclap or demo shout too often. I have my priorities straight with my main rotation but the questions come in with clap, demo shout and sunders. Do you guys try to get sunders up asap, a tclap, demo, what? All 3 can play a part in overall mitigation as quick devastates will increase dps early, resulting in a shorter fight but demo/tclap before hand would reduce mitigation as well for those few seconds.
As far as gear goes, as you can see I'm reforging master where I can while giving up hit and expertise for avoidance stats where possible. Threats not a huge issue right now even with a 316 weapon.
I guess for gemming, am I doing it right? I still see a lot of warriors in progression guilds on this server stacking stam regardless of what I have read elsewhere. Tips on the gear is also very welcomed, I've only been 85 for a few days but I've done some work.
Any advice from you guys is going to really help a lot, thanks for reading.
For the most part you are doing it exactly like I am, I would suggest reforging into parry instead of dodge, you want parry slightly higher than dodge for HoTL.. Keep replacing those DPS pieces and you will be at the unhittable 75% easily..
If I can I run in TC and Shockwave em, while they are stunned I Revenge and usually throw Demo shout up, then I throw 3 stacks of devestate on the skull straight away. Cleave <tab> SS/Revenge <tab> Devestate etc.. etc.. I only demo shout again if its falling off them, I TC/SW on CD pretty much..
When I looked at your char you had loged out with your dps spec, so I cannot speak about your gear. But if you do what you wrote, you should be fine. And yes, parry should be a little bit higher than dodge, but since you are not finished with upgrading your gear probably fast (you seem to do running heroic 5 mans), one or two upgrades can change the balance between dodge and parry easily.
About stam stacking and mastery stacking. I don't think it really matters what you do, a lot. For 5 mans mastery gemming should be better, because there is no mechanic that needs a high amount of stamina to be survivable by the tank. If you do your stuff right, you should easily live, if you (or maybe someone else) screws up you will probably die anyway. There are some few where a high health pool may just save you, but you can reach that via LS or a trinket more easily than with stam stacking.
I'm not through normal raides, since I'm not in a progress guild at the moment. But as far as I've read you should be fine with mastery stacking, there, too. I've not seen bosses two hitting tanks so far. However that may be different again on heroic modes.
In most cases I would adwise to take the socket bonusses. The additional ratings you get via socket bonusses should probably be taken. They don't make a big difference either, but well they add up and it does not hurt as much as before to take them.
In general: Mastery stacking smoothes your dmg income so healers may save some mana because they can better predict which heal you need. Stam stacking is only there to maybe let you live one more hit before you die. However, the differences between 0 stam sockets and full stam sockets is something around 8k HP raidbuffed. Tanks who start raiding should be somewhere around 160k HP raidbuffed, they will have more life with t11. So gems only can give or take you 5% of your life, probably less. Going full out on expertise may give you an additional 4-6% block compared to full stamina. The differences were never so small.
A rule of thumb probably is: If you don't die because of bosses two-hitting you, you probably don't need to gem for stamina. If healers start to complain about you being hard to heal you maybe should reconsider your gemming. If your healers finish the encounters with mana left you probably don't need to gem for more mastery. (If they go oom because the raid at the whole get's too much dmg changing your gear will probably not change them going oom.)
The only important value you should aim for is 72.4% combined dodge, parry and block, so you can reach 102.4% combined miss, parry and block with shield block up. You will not get any normal hits when it is up, which is a very nice CD every 30s or 1/3 of the time.
I chose stamina and not mastery as the focus of my "free" halfs of the gems, because going all out on mastery (even without taking bonusses) would only give me 2% more block, which probably nobody would notice. On the other hand, my guild is not a progress guild and they are used to stam stacking tanks. They trust me to be a good tank, but, I don't want to get them worried about my survivability if they see me with lower stam than other tanks have. I don't want to need to answer questions about this all the time - it's a better investment to inform them about stuff related to their classes than about the complex block mechanic and introducing hit tables to them and stuff...
About the rotation:
I don't have a fixed starting rotation. When tanking multiple mobs TC and SW should be quite early, if you have Blood&Thunder rend should be early, too. If you have B&T and Thunderstruck it's a good idea to TC early so your rend does not drop, and your Thunderstruck buff is full when SW is up. That's ok to do even on single target mobs. However you don't loose much, if you decide to not use it on bosses if you have to fokus on other stuff.
If it's a dangerous boss or the healer does need some help, I start with early TC and Demo. If my survivabilty is not a consern, but threat may matter, I focuss more on SS, Revenge ans S&B proccs. When I'm rage starved I neglect to use Demo at all, it would only rage starve me more. If melee is present, I try to get sunder up early but most times it's more important to get some big hits out, before Devastating multiple times. It just depends on your situation. Don't train a fixed opening rotation, focus on what's most important for every pull. In most cases you should be fine for a few seconds without TC and Demo. Other tanks cannot apply them on will at the start of an encounter, so tanks should be able to survive without them. But if everybody has to run to their positions healers may be happy with you getting only little dmg at the start. Well you should open with SB if possible anyway for early Heavy Repercussions, but if you cannot charge in you will not have the rage for both SB and SS at the first hit.
Awesome reply, thank you. I'll log out in my tanking gear tonight and people can take a look if they have any other questions. (The weapon enchant is a big lulz, it was 5g and I wanted it to look pretty while I look for a replacement for the pos).