Home > Gear, Tanking > Things I Will Judge You For If You Use

Things I Will Judge You For If You Use

Parts 2 and 3 of the tanking debuffs article are still on their way; in the meantime, have some judgment!

Late last night, after my night class and my weekly helping of fail VoA, I needed a daily on my warrior, but was too sleepy to tank. No, no, this isn’t a fail tank story – quite the opposite. Myself and two friends queued up and were placed with a low-geared but skilled tank, and after some pleasantries and compliments all round the tank asked the enchanter in the group if he had Blade Ward, because he wanted to see the mats. And because we were friendly, and I was sleepy enough not to care, I felt comfortable to interject that Blade Ward is bad. We had a nice little conversation: Blanket tried to whore out my blog, I whored out Veneratio’s blog instead (since, um, actually, I haven’t written anything about enchantments), and we discussed the merits of Mongoose, Blade Ward and Blood Draining.

After this pleasant incident it occurred to me that while, yes, BiS enchantments and gear and talents have been done to death, you rarely read about what’s terrible. Most tanks don’t have access to BiS gear, and with Gear Score’s prominence it can be tempting to “upgrade” your GS with high item level garbage over low item level but well-itemized items and enchantments. This is terrible. It impresses idiots and repulses the knowledgeable.

So without further ado, the list of items to avoid like the plague (except maybe for your Flame Leviathan set!) as a tank.

Trinkets

To be fair,  almost any trinket is better than no trinket, and I understand that a lot of people are gearing up new tanks at the moment and may not be able to afford being picky. That said, the reason these trinkets are terrible is that they are significantly worse than the easiest to pick up trinkets imaginable, The Black Heart and Glyph of Indomitability. (Also the Brewfest trinkets, which should be coming available again soon!) If you’re gearing up through heroics or building a tank off spec while running raids as a DPS, it’s understandable that you’d use these temporarily; but by the time you’re advertising yourself as a raid tank, if you are wearing these trinkets, I will judge you.

Ick’s Rotting Thumb – Also known as “Ick, Terrible Trinket,” this trinket is a major offender in tanks gearing for Gear Score. First of all it’s an avoidance trinket. Avoidance trinkets in general are a bad idea. Prioritizing avoidance over effective health stats puts your survivability at the mercy of the RNG – while it will decrease your damage intake on average, it makes the damage you take spikier and hard to predict. On top of that, avoidance is suffering from high diminishing returns at this stage of the expansion – even for someone geared exclusively from badge gear, Ick’s dodge would not likely amount to more than 1.75% or so. The on-use is the only potential saving grace of the trinket, but even that is terrible compared to the easily obtainable Battlemaster’s trinkets, which for a mere 34,000 honor give threat stats and better on-use effects.

Eitrigg’s Oath/Ferver of the Frostborn – This is another dodge trinket, with an interesting stacking armor on-use effect. We’ve already discussed why avoidance trinkets are bad, so let’s talk about the on-use.

Now you know I’m a big fan of armor; but what I like about armor is that it’s always on, reducing the size of hits when you’re topped off as well as when you’re low. On-use trinkets are mini cooldowns – you pop them when things are looking hairy. And when things are looking hairy, it’s too late to get the full benefit out of the armor. Effective health is about the multiplicative effect health and armor have on each other – but whereas when you’re at low health and pop a health effect, you multiply that health by all of your armor, if you pop an armor effect instead, you multiply that armor by only the health you have left.

In addition, this is an on-use stacking proc with a short duration. I have no idea what the devs were thinking here, but this kind of effect is near to worthless against single targets – which is most of when you need mini cooldowns. An oh shit button that doesn’t take effect right away? You have to be joking. For the final icing on the cake, compare the armor of Eitrigg’s on-use to the armor from The Black Heart‘s proc. That’s right, at full stacks Eitrigg gives less armor than the Black Heart; and while Eitrigg’s would have a 16.7% uptime even if it didn’t have to wait for it to stack and even if you used it on cooldown (not recommended for on-use effects, btw), the Black Heart’s armor has a 22% uptime. And it has stamina.

This is a terrible trinket.

Purified Onyxia Blood Talisman – Of all the trinkets I’m listing here, this is the only one that is ever justified in a raiding environment. This is Seal of the Pantheon v 3.0, and like Seal, it serves as a convenient way for a new tank to reach uncrittable. This is especially true given the new craftable pants and shoes, neither of which contains defense rating and both of which are conveniently priced for a bored 80’s new tanking alt or spec. If you’re using this to reach uncrittable, more power to you. If it’s taking you significantly over the defense minimum, I will judge you. Harshly.

This is the most common Gearing for Gear Score offender on the list, as it is a guaranteed drop of item level 245 from a 10 man raid. Again, it is an avoidance trinket; there’s nothing of note on the trinket but avoidance, making this the worst trinket on the list. Even worse, of all the avoidance stats in all the game it had to pick parry rating, which is flattened by diminishing returns before a tank even reaches uncrittable.

Corpse Tongue Coin – This is probably the best of the avoidance trinkets, but it’s still bad, for all the reasons we’ve discussed above. Like Eitrigg, CTC’s additional effect is an armor proc – except unlike Eitrigg, it’s not an on-use, but a 100% chance to proc below 35%. The same basic problem applies: Effective health is health times armor, not max health times armor.

Enchantments

Blade Ward – This is one of those ideas that seems great at first, but on further reflection is terrible. On the one hand, it’s the only avoidance enchant in Wrath, and the amount of parry it gives is more than enough to make up for the steep diminishing returns on the stat. 200 parry, stacking up to 5 times? Awesome!

Except, except, except. When you parry, the stack is consumed. It goes away. Blade Ward increases your chance to parry, but instead of giving you a greatly increased chance to parry for 10 seconds, it greatly increases your chance to parry once within that 10 seconds. As soon as you parry, it’s gone. Avoidance is unreliable enough as it is without removing itself as soon as it’s been used. The only saving grace of the RNG is that over long periods of time, it tends to even out – sure you may not avoid for five attacks in a row, but over the course of the whole fight you’ll probably avoid about as much as you’d expect to. But when you lose your avoidance buff as soon as you successfully avoid, that’s difficult to calculate the benefit of.

Though now it’s got me wanting to try to calculate the exact benefit. Hm.

Major Agility/Flexweave Underlay – Look I know agility gives you dodge, and that parachute is pretty nice on the overworld, but 1) You get more avoidance from Titanweave (exception: druids, death knights with truly excessive amounts of parry), 2) You shouldn’t be falling off of things while you’re tanking, 3) There’s an EH enchant for cloak, Mighty Armor.

Death Knights with Weapon Enchants – Dude. You’re a death knight. You have this class-specific set of weapon enchantments called Runeforges. They are absolutely overpowered, and you should be using them.

Gems

Parry gems – We’ve already discussed parry and diminishing returns. If you really need to meet that red socket bonus, dodge or agility will give you avoidance, or expertise will give you threat. Gemming parry makes Button judge you.

Strength gems – If you need a red gem, use dodge, agility, or expertise. If you need a threat gem, use hit or expertise. Point for point strength will give you less threat than either of these.

In conclusion, I’m bad at conclusions, so let’s just leave it at that.

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