As promised, here is my 4.0.3/4.0.6 Tank Gearing Flowchart!
Green = Start
White = Me
Red = Me, making a recommendation
Grey = You
Death Knight-specific information is from Pwnwear; Druid-specific information is from the official tanking forums and The Inconspicuous Bear; Paladin-specific information is from Maintankadin; and Warrior-specific information is from my own flowchart.
For the sake of the flow, I did oversimplify my warrior recommendation. If you have over 1000 mastery, warriors should slightly prefer parry over dodge, but the specific ratio of parry:dodge varies with mastery and honestly I should just give you my spreadsheet, shouldn’t I.
Maybe after the weekend’s Rift beta.
Also, click on the flowchart to see it full size. Please. It’s not my intention to destroy your eyes.
P.S. I’m trying out the Riftstalker, the rogue tanking soul. Should be interesting. I may report back on what I find!
I’ve never really understood having a single “best in slot” list for tanking (or healing) gear. It makes sense for DPS, since in most cases what you need won’t change by the fight. Sure, you’ll have your occasional caster bosses or fights where you attack from the front, where melee could use more or less expertise; but generally these are fights where the raid is struggling with execution, not with DPS.
Tanks, on the other hand, have a lot to gear around. There are fights where sustained threat matters and fights where sustained threat is a joke; fights where armor and avoidance matter and fights with 100% magical damage (or nearly); fights where the most important thing is to take as few hits as possible, fights where the most important thing is to take as little damage as possible, and fights where the most important thing is to take as small of hits as possible; and of course, fights which call for X, Y or Z type of magic resistance, while gear of that resistance type is useless on most other encounters. To say that a certain gear set is best-in-slot can only really be done with reference to what it’s best at.
As we discussed before the patch, there have been some changes to armor on items. Bonus armor’s item point cost has been drastically increased on all items except for trinkets, shield armor has been reduced, agility no longer grants armor, and the Engineering tanking benefit, Reticulated Armor Webbing, has been nerfed from 885 armor to 250 armor. Between the reduction in our personal armor, the removal of some armor raid buffs, and the relative nerf to the -AP debuff, we would expect to be taking a bit more damage on physical hits.
We would not expect to be taking this much more damage.
Happily, a Death Knight tank named Valen, of Temerity – Windrunner – Alliance, figured out what was wrong and posted it on the official tanking forums. I highly recommend you read the original post if you like theorycrafting, are interested in the details, or just like the visual of Algalon dual-wielding Lich Kings.
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. Read more…
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.” Read more…