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Rings of Binding

I was in the process of writing an article on runners, their curious absence in Wrath, their possible presence in Cataclysm, and strategies for dealing with them when they occur, when I signed on to an Onyxia 25-man to try for the Signified Ring of Binding, again. When I mentioned that that was what I was there for, the other tanks met me with bewilderment and laughter respectively. “Why would you want that?” the paladin said. “Spell resistance sucks.” “Yeah, spell resist needs a buff. But fine by me!” said the death knight. “One less after the head! I’m here for the trinket.”

Now I’m not inclined to care about the opinions of anyone who thinks the Purified Onyxia Blood Talisman is worth more than 13g 1s 76c, but as I was wandering google, trying to decide whether the Runed Ring of Binding would be an upgrade to Clutch of Fortification, I found the TankSpot warrior best in slot list. Clutch and the Rings of Binding aren’t even listed for ICC gear there, though in my opinion they are comparable to the Harbinger’s Bone Band and Juggernaut Band, but that didn’t really bother me, because the ICC list was drawing only on ICC gear. When I scrolled down to the ToC BiS rings, however, I was in for a shock:

EH – Signet of the Traitor King (ToGC25, Anub’arak), Loop of the Twin Valkyr (ToGC10, Twin Valkyrs) and Clutch of Fortification (Badges) top the EH charts for rings. For main-tanking Anub (due to the nature resistance) Signified Ring of Binding (Ony25) and Runed Ring of Binding (Ony10) are good options.

For reference, let’s compare the effective health stats of the Clutch of Fortification and the Signified Ring of Binding, which are of the same item level:

Clutch Signified
560 armor 800 armor
114 stam 115 stam
No socket No socket
30 resist all (minus holy)

Yet the BiS list lists the Clutch of Fortification as a top EH pick, while it lists the Signified Ring of Binding only for its Nature Resist.

What’s going on here, as far as I can tell, is that people see the novelty of the resistance stats, and assume that the piece is resist gear. It’s easy to look at 6 lines of “bad” stats and assume from their existence on the item that the item itself is bad; and while you would sometimes be correct, in this case the reality couldn’t be further from that. According to the diligent commentators on Veneratio’s analysis of Onyxia’s loot table, the spell resistance on the Rings of Binding are not taken out of their item budget. Rather than their existence penalizing the rings in other areas, the spell resistance on the Rings of Binding are bonus stats*, Blizzard’s way of ensuring that their staff aren’t the only ones celebrating WoW’s fifth anniversary.

Only, as we’ve already discussed, it seems that tanks aren’t celebrating, as the masses have passed these rings by almost entirely. Which is a pity, as for physical fights the Signified Ring of Binding (the version from 25m Onyxia) ranks behind only Devium’s Eternally Cold Ring, and potentially heroic Band of the Twin Val’kyr, for effective health; and it really shines for fights on which you gear for physical damage but are likely to take magic damage as well, not that that happens in ICC or anything.

Remember while you’re gearing for certain content that you don’t have to gear exclusively from that content. The only thing that extra item level is doing for you is inflating your GearScore.

* In most circumstances, points put into a garbage stat like block rating are points that could have been spent in stamina or armor or even expertise. The spell resistances on Onyxia loot are bonus in that they don’t take any points away from other stats; they’re just there.

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Categories: Gear, Tanking Tags: , , ,
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  1. August 31, 2010 at 9:39 pm

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