Back to Basics – Gear Sets

Gear choices – the gear set that you wear is dependent on the content that you are tanking –

This may seem like a very simple concept but too many tanks get caught up in making a set that is only good for certain content. What I mean by this is that as your progresses through a new instance, your priorities on gear itemization change drastically. At the beginning of a new instance, in a type of raiding most people call progression raiding, tanks want to gear for effective health and avoidance.

Effective health is really a theory and combination of stats more than the number that you have on your health bar. It is a combination of your Armor, mitigation, and health pool. “This is basically a measurement of how much raw damage a creature has to deal to kill you. It is a measurement of Armor and it’s relation to Stamina. Effective Health is the measurement of how much breathing room your healers have to keep you alive assuming all other factors fail — assuming you do not avoid or block attacks or have a mana shield active. Effective Health is important for tanking heavy hitting creatures because of Murphy’s Law — if you can have long strings of not Dodging an attack, it will definitely happen. Raid tanking, ultimately, is about stability.”

Avoidance stats are as simple as they sound, the ability to complete miss an attack. For the purposes of our discussion, that means the percentage of dodge and parry that a tank has (both of these stats now suffer diminishing returns). When starting out in an instance, prioritizing these two “stats” are what tanks should strive to do. At a certain point the raid begins to out gear the instance and avoidance and effective health become less of a priority for tanks. At this point, threat and mitigation are key priorities. As your raid becomes more and more geared, the tanks will start running into problems with performance. As the abilities of the healers and dps increase with the volume of gear that your raid soaks up, the necessity for avoidance and effective health gear drops substantially.

This drop in need for avoidance gear is mirrored by an increase in the need for threat gear. As the dps out put of the raid increases, and you start attempting dps hard mode bosses, threat becomes an issue. The accumulation of both sets of gear simultaneously will substantially improve your raids ability to progress faster. For paladins threat gear is anything with Strength, Stamina, and Shield Block Value.

The most obvious stat is strength, as it gives you the following:

1 strength = 2 attack power (AP) = 0.14 dps weapon (white) damage.

2 strength = 1 block value before talents, 1.3 block value with the Redoubt talent.

Shield block value is the modifier by which the Shield of Righteousness spell gains damage. And Stamina effects your spell power through the talent: Touched by the Light (rank 3): Increases your spell power by an amount equal to 30% of your Stamina and increases the amount healed by your critical heals by 30%.Why AP and spell power combined? Because your judgements are affected by both as seen below:

Judging your Seal of Vengeance does the following: Unleashing this Seal’s energy will deal [1 + 0.22 * SPH + 0.14 * AP] Holy damage to an enemy, increased by 10% for each application of Holy Vengeance on the target.


2 Responses to “Back to Basics – Gear Sets”

  1. 1 Peter
    August 11, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Love seeing a new tanking blog, but how are you going to make threat stats that cut and dry? For most tanks who aren’t in a pile of ulduar gear, their best available threat stat isn’t even one you mentioned – it’s hit rating. Hitcapped tanks didn’t really show up until the ulduar gear that is like 80% “def/dodge/hit” itemized. Plus, with DR on shield block value now, it’s a pretty lousy threat stat despite the doubling of it. Hit rating = win, strength = alsowin. Personally my plan for threat fights is to get both of the new librams, and swap in the 200 strength libram for the dodge rating libram. That alone makes a huge difference between my avoidance and sets.

    • 2 jpmakal
      August 11, 2009 at 7:24 am

      I think you are absolutely correct. By the end of the week I hope to go into more details when it comes to each individual set and the itemization that I look for. The reason that I did not mention hit as a vital stat here was simply an oversight, because it is something of a luxury for paladins. Our threat is quite impressive even with a sub par amount of hit. In my effective health set, i have 88 hit, and I am still significantly above our “look at me I can pull off of you” warlock. Moreover, I do not deny that until you are hit capped, it is the number one threat stat that you can get.

      Thanks for the insight, and I will be sure to go into more detail on the theory behind threat sets and itemization by the end of the week!


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