I just got finished responding to some questions on Maintankadin regarding the mechanics of Chill of the Throne and why exactly blizzard chose dodge as their target reduction. While I understand some of the mechanics of our tanking brethern, this explaination will be specifically tailored to Paladin Tanks, as that is what this blog is about. If we take a closer look at the debuf that we will recieve, we must ask ourselves, why would you select one over the other? What follows is a detailed hypothetical situation of the effects of our gearing philosophy if Chill of the Throne was a 20% flat reduction in parry…
The benefits of Dodge and Parry
If we want to understand what we will be losing based on a flat 20% reduction in either parry or dodge, we first must understand what these mechanics give us, and their diminishing returns in general. Dodge is plain and simple. You completely avoid an attack. Dodge’s diminishing returns are less stringent when compared to parry, and as such, we as tanks always have more of it. A fully unbuffed paladin with best in slot gear will have more than 20% (Typically 26-28%) dodge standing in Dalaran regardless of gemming and enchanting philosophy.
Parry on the other hand, has two components to it which factor into its value and reasoning behind the steeper diminishing returns. Parry gives us the same flat avoidance that dodge does, if the attack table deems that we are to parry an attack, the attack completely misses us and we have suffered no damage. In addition to the built in avoidance that parry provides, it also speeds up our swing timer, creating an additional threat component. The hasting that we are granted following a parried attack is one of the reasons that parry is on a much steeper diminishing returns curve. Going back to that fully unbuffed paladin I mentioned above, That same tank can, based on gear selection modify his or her parry percentage to be anywhere between 17% and 23% parry regardless of gemming and enchanting philosophy.
This disparity between parry and dodge gives us some insight into why the developers would choose dodge over parry. This is completely forsaking the threat component of parry that all tanks use. I will provide you with some raw numbers that a tank will have based on their selection of “Best In Slot” gear to minimize parry while maximizing stamina and armor. There are only four pieces of gear that will need to have substitutes in order to go from all 258 gear Best in Slot to a minimum parry gear set.
The gear set
The following gear is what I used to calculate the relative values of dodge, parry and stamina. Also keep in mind that, because we are talking about theoretical situations with in Icecrown Citadel, all gems save one are stamina, all enchants are stamina.
258 T9 Helm, Shoulders, Gloves, and Legs, 258 Legionnaire’s Gorget, 258 Pride of the Demon Lord, 258 Hauberk of the Towering Monstrosity, 245 Saronite Swordbreakers, 245 Heroic Belt of the Nether Champion, 258 Dawnbreaker Greaves, Band of the twin Val’kyr, Clutch of Fortification, 258 Juggernaut’s Vitality, 245 Juggernaut’s Vitality.
As you can see, unbuffed, you have 28.31% dodge, 17.5% parry, and 45.1k HP. The gear that you had to trade out to get to this point is a net loss of 1k stamina from pure best in slot items, and 2% avoidance. Clearly the set linked above would be in response to the environment, as best in slot gear gives you a much better bang for your buck in all areas. By switching out the cloak to the Tribute Chest cloak from 10 man Hard Mode Insanity, the Bracers to the Bracers of the Shiledmaiden, the belt to the Belt of the Bloodied Scars, and the Ring to the Band of the Traitor King, you have lost a good deal of avoidance and stamina, but you have gained your four piece set bonus.
The trade offs are fairly even when it comes to the grand scheme of things, however the effect on chill of the throne is quite noticeable.
What if Chill of the Throne effected parry?
As you can see from the chardev link from above, you would be sitting at 17.5% parry. Your total avoidance in that set is 61.07%. If Chill of the throne was a 20% reduction in parry, your parry percentage would drop down to 0, and you would receive a net GAIN of 2.5% avoidance because you were below the 20% mark. This gives you effectively 44.2% total avoidance. Conversely, if you chose to use all best in slot items, your gear would be giving you a total avoidance of 63.4% total avoidance, before you step into Icecrown Citadel. Post Chill of the throne would place you at 43.4% avoidance. This is a swing of 3.2% lost avoidance, so the relative benefit is quite significant.
Empirically speaking, while 1% avoidance for 1000 hp does not see like a reasonable trade off with what is looming ahead in Icecrown Citadel, you have to remember that as we start to get into the 264 item level gear, you can pick and chose even more and extend that discrepancy between your parry and dodge. Your parry will still suffer steep diminishing returns, while your dodge percentage will continue to climb. In order to push past that Chill of the Throne reduction in avoidance, it would require more parry than dodge per point of avoidance. Now I must clarify that Chill of the Throne does not change the diminishing return formula, so the previous statement holds true no matter where you stand, however if you chose to eliminate parry from your gear sets, then it would take you more parry to start seeing an avoidance benefit than if it were dodge.
In the end, these differences are as small as the gearing differences between the Stamina tanks an my own gear sets. When we have discussions based on stamina versus avoidance, it was for that last few percent after you ensured your survival. To me, and I may once again be alone on this, the trade off of 1k hp is more than worth get net gain you would get if you had a parry reduction from the Chill of the Throne mechanic. While I don’t believe that the developers were strictly looking at this as a justification to select dodge, I believe that with their current knowledge of the gear stats coming on the T10 items (which we currently do not know), this gearing philosophy could be achieved and chill of the throne could be partially avoided, thus the underlying motivations behind reducing dodge by 20%.