Archive for January, 2010


Best in Slot? It depends…

Between all the stuff going on I have been neglecting the blog quite a bit lately. The now 20 page thread on armor versus stamina over at MainTankadin is hard to keep up with, and when you get behind you have about an hour of reading at the least to catch up. Also our guild has been having some issues which have occupied a lot of my time. For once it is not attendance, but given the circumstances and attitudes of the past week, I think I may welcome the 20 raider Wednesdays to the 35 players and drama now. Honestly with all of the discussion about armor versus stamina, it is hard to think about anything else to blog about, however I will not indulge in more of that banter, the discussion has been beaten to death in my opinion.

Achievements galore

Last night we went into ICC 10 man and decided that since we had a great group we would knock out all of the achievements. Unfortunately we decided this after we passed up Lady Deathwhisper, so I have one more to go on the available content.

I was surprised at how easy they were. We were plowing through the instance one shotting everything that was trivial and taking a few attempts here and there to understand some modified strats for the achievements. What it came down to is that we still wiped on blood princes more than any of the other fights. Queen was a one shot, dances with oozes on putricide was a one shot, Rotface was the only other boss where we needed a few attempts to get dances with oozes.

Best in Slot dogma

In light of the long thread that started early in the week, which has morphed from a flame thread to a very important piece of our communities theorycraft, I wanted to talk about the concept of best in slot when applied to tanks. For a few months now on MainTankadin, there have been many threads and posts regarding the 3.3 Best in Slot lists. All of these have contained the question “when are we going to see your BiS List?” Well I believe that we have gotten to the heart of the matter to why you have not seen one yet. If we have learned anything from this 20 page thread, it is that there are a lot of different variables which we must take into account when trying to gear ourselves for a fight.

I used an analogy regarding Theck’s great work on Total Effective Health (TEH), and I believe that it can not be said enough with regards to gear selections and making generalizations about best in slot gear. The analogy says that

A hammer is an amazing invention that changed the way in which we perform construction but you should never use a hammer to put a screw in a board….

While this is a bit anecdotal, it proves a point regarding Theck’s work. You have to understand the purpose of the tool and use it only when it is applicable. The same goes for general gearing philosophies and gear sets. An extreme example of this lies in the passively unhittable set, aka the Anub’arak Hard Mode gear set. While it is powerful when tanking 4 adds during the Anub’arak encounter, you would not want to wear it to any encounter in ICC. The same holds true to a lesser extent for any of your other gear sets (if you have them), or your coveted BiS gear.

The gear on your back is only as good as the knowledge you use to apply said gear to a specific encounter. I am going to repeat that statement, bold it and italicize it because it is just as important as understanding what gear to wear to be a good tank, why there is a defense minimum, and what stats you should prioritize. The gear on your back is only as good as the knowledge you use to apply said gear to a specific encounter.

Before you walk into an instance, as a member of your main tanking core, you should understand what each boss does, what your raid will need to be doing, and what you can do to make the rest of your raid’s job easier. Once you have understood all of this, you can then tailor a gear set to help you ensure either maximum survival, maximum threat, or a balance of each depending on the fight, and its ease of completion with in your guild.


Armor and Egos

The internet is full of egos

I wanted to discuss something that I tested with quite a bit of success this weekend, however there was a thread up on MainTankadin which bothered me enough that I need to address it prior to continuing on. Most of the contributors to MainTankadin are very civil and reasonable people who like to discuss tank gearing, mechanics, and philosophies based off the the scientific method, e.g. I have a theory, I test said theory, and I provide data to support conclusions surrounding said theory. Well this past weekend we had a new member from the warrior community, JamesVZ who decided that numbers, facts, and data are not necessary to prove a point.

This person claims that if you have been tanking for 5+ years, that stamina sucks, armor is king, and all of the theories on gearing and stat prioritization that Theck has worked so hard on are false, and that Theck is just posting lots of numbers to stroke his internet ego. Well I was two pages into the discussion before MT went down and I have yet to see a single shred of a legitimate argument from the original poster. His arguments are full of heresy and lacking any sort of data driven conclusions. He furthermore does not understand the concepts for which the new Total Effective Health formula and concept should be applied.

In the end, he comes off as pompous and egotistical, as well as uneducated as he has based his accusations on less than all the facts, and has yet to back them up with evidence to counter our general beliefs on gearing. While I assume that 90% of everyone who reads this has been to MainTankadin and contributed in one form or another, I feel that it should be emphasized that these arguments are quite baseless and childish in that they simply seem to be for the fact that the poster wants to yell at the wind.

Blood Queen and Armor

Unfortunately I wanted to talk about how awesome armor is for particular fights, but this dilettante seems to have overshadowed my thoughts on this subject. I was thinking about Blood Queen and the best way to mitigate incoming damage for both myself, and the damage I do to the off tank, and it occured to me that either avoidance or armor would be the best course of action.

My motivation for reducing damage was so that the healers could focus on the raid as much as possible, as it is a very healing intensive fight. After looking at our parses from the 25 man attempts, I decided that the amount of damage that was coming in would better be mitigated by armor. I set up a gear set of my best effective health gear, and then swapped out what I had to wear the Cataclysmic Chest, Guantlets of the Kraken, Pillars of Might, Unidentifiable Organ, and Glyph of Indomitability. I was buffed to the teeth with bonus armor, and still sitting in a comfortable position with respect to my health pool.

If you look at this parse where we wiped (yeah we sucked last Tuesday), you can see that the average hit size I took was 22k.

Now if you look at the damage from a fight with a different gear set, one that increased the amount of armor by ~7k, I took an average of 18k damage. These are unmitigated hits. Most hits had absorbs and blocks added to them. There was a relative damage decrease of 19%. That is quite siginficant. Now once you incorporate those numbers into the fact that you have actually reduced incoming damage by 6k and not just 3k, it becomes much more obvious that armor is a very powerful stat for this boss.

While this is only one instance of the application of armor and its relative benefits, it is a powerful one. As we double our benefits based off of blood mirror, this is a perfect example of a fight where armor is extremely powerful. This will however, not translate into armor being king on other fights. In conclusion, if you understand the mechanics of the fight and tailor a gear set to augment your ability to perform to the best of your ability during said fight, you will be a better tank and a better player as a result. There is no end all be all for gear, each encounter will have different mechanics which will make that BiS set better or worse.

Oh and don’t be a douche, it is really just not worth it, rise above antagonistic pre pubescent teens who feel they need to exert a force for which they do not have.


Icecrown Gear Set Analysis

Why cant we define a BiS List

I should send Theck some cookies for continually giving me great topics for discussion on this blog. Yesterday he did a great analysis of the different options for each gear slot and broke down some great gear sets. The problem we as a community have faced is that there really is not one best in slot list. While some of our newer contributors are trying to compile lists and get posts stickied, they all fall short of Theck in their analysis because of one thing, there is too much gear. What I mean by this is that blizzard has graced us with three different pieces for almost every slot, and each piece is tailored to a specific purpose, threat, avoidance, or effective health.

My habit with Thecks posts is to read the conclusions first, as he loves to write more than me, and then read the main body of work, so I will provide you with his conclusions first, which I completely agree with….

The EH enthusiast – T10 Helm/Shoulders, Cat/Kraken/Pillars for massive Armor. The off-set shoulders can be subbed in if you don’t want the set bonus.

The Stam enthusiast – T10 Helm/Chest, Boneguard/Taldaram/LostHope. Unconcerned with armor, they pick up the 18 stam bonuses while trading as little avoidance as possible. Possible variant is T10 Helm/Chest + Boneguard/Taldaram/Pillars if they care about armor a little bit.

The Avoidance Lover – T10 Helm/Shoulders/Chest/Legs, Taldaram’s gloves. Gives you the highest avoidance possible along with the 4-piece bonus.

The Tightrope Walker – T10 Helm/Chest + Boneguard/Kraken/Pillars. This guy likes balance, and makes the most efficient ratio trades for armor (Kraken/Pillars)

This is the TLDR version of his analysis, but I think it is important to know why we got to this conclusion, and not just what pieces of gear you should pick up. I honestly think this is valuable information when it comes to gearing choices and the selection of how to spend this months most precious commodity, an Emblem of Frost.

Our options and choices

Since Blizzard was generous enough to give us three different pieces of gear for almost every slot, they have made it very hard for those people in the community who love the concept of a BiS gear list to create or find one. The fact that we have a significant amount of gear which is very specialized makes the assignment of Best in Slot a very difficult one. With that being said, the specialization of gear has allowed us to create close to BiS lists for specific functions. In previous tiers, you had a few options for rings, cloaks, necks, and a few pieces of gear, to craft your Effective Health set or your Avoidance set, however now we have a piece for almost every slot.

I wanted to focus on our progression set, because that is what most of us will be wearing for a majority of the encounters in the next few months. As the final wing opens up, and the Lich King’s defeat unlocks hard modes, we will need to focus on gearing for a few tank check encounters. What this means is that we need to increase our ability to take unmitigated damage, and mitigate the rest. There are bonus armor pieces galore, and a few pieces that offer ungodly amounts of stamina on them, which we will want to focus on when compiling this set. As you can see in Theck’s suggestions for the EH lover, we can squeeze a lot of bonus armor out of two badge pieces and a crafted piece. This means that these pieces of gear are available to everyone and we do not have to worry about the rng of loot dropping off of a specific boss.

Special Considerations and Caveats

Theck also pointed out in his post that there are some caveats to your gearing strategies. These caveats come from the fact that the pieces that you can acquire are so full of stats such as expertise and hit that you can not just slap on all of the hit and expertise pieces because you will be WAY over the hit cap, and probably even over the expertise hard cap. With that being said, when compiling these sets there are even places where you will need to trade out some expertise or hit for a lesser piece simply because it is wasted itemization.

When comparing some of the pieces, you will notice that Theck points out that you have the ability to drop below the soft cap for expertise, and this is something you should NEVER do because of the relative gains that it will give you. It is interesting to note that some of the better pieces at the 264 item level are then eclipsed by the T10 at the 277 level. What I mean by this is that there are three pieces of T10 that are best in slot once upgraded to the 277 item level. For those of you who never think you will see hard modes, or will not see them for some time, the choices become much easier for you. For those of you who will be attempting them in the first week and believe that you can get your hand on a piece of 277 T10, it gets a bit more difficult.

Armor versus T10

To quote Theck once again –

As an interesting side note, let’s look just at Pillars and Cataclysmic. If you had to choose one of these to replace T10, Pillars is almost hands-down the better choice. It sacrifices less avoidance and gives you slightly more armor. Both pieces are roughly threat-neutral provided you’re soft-capped without either – the expertise gain from Cataclysmic offsets the STR loss, and the STR gain on Pillars offsets the expertise loss.

Cataclysmic is superior only if:

  1. You’re below the expertise soft-cap, in which case it’s threat positive, or
  2. You lose uncrittability by using Pillars

This is a very good point which shows the very dynamic nature of trying to assemble gear sets. This is an ideal example of the balancing act you have to do when selecting an item for any given slot, and your decisions ramifications on other items you may want to use. The Cataclysmic Chest and the T10 legs both have 82 expertise on them. If you have to make the decision between these two, and you lean towards the Pillars, you have just effectively lost 164 expertise.

You have to take this into consideration because if you want to go with a balanced set, where you use the T10 chest and the Pillars of Might, you will have to find your expertise other places, namely the boots and the gloves. We can use this as an example for any other combination of gear. If you decide to forgo a stat on two pieces, you have to see what it has on the effect of your overall gear set. For me, If I chose to use the EH set that theck outlined, I am going to have to wear the ToTGC bracers and Cloak (off jaraxxus), to make it to the soft cap. Now this isn’t to say that you cant do your job with a measly 16 expertise that is granted by talents and glyph, however your threat will take a dive because Expertise is the best threat stat when you are below the soft cap.

My choices

I agree with Theck on his assessment of the EH set (I would be an idiot to ever disagree with the man), and Will more than likely sport the same type of gear set for my progression Hard Mode encounters. For my personal gear selection, I will more than likely continue to hold off until I know that my gear needs an upgrade. This is because the longer I hold out, the more likely it is that I will have some other pieces drop from the bosses, such as the boots, which would change my decisions on order of acquisition.

Good luck to all of you on your gearing selections, and may the tank drops be plentiful…


10 man is serious business

I’m not kidding, the crimson hall is very challenging…

The Crimson Hall

Last night we decided that we needed to see the Blood Queen in 10 man before we pushed any more of our attempt counter. So, with that in mind, we split our raid up into three 10 mans and went into ICC 10 for a shot at the title. The first seven bosses died in quick succession, and we even picked up a few achievements on the way. I personally felt pretty good about our group, we had some solid players who really knew what they were doing. Each dps was averaging upwards of 7k minimum on most fights, our healers were some of our best, and I was tanking with our fury warrior in offspec tank gear that puts our new recruit main tanks’ loot to shame. Then the crimson hall hit us like a brick wall.

The Blood Princes

Yesterday, I did not have much to say about this trio of blood elves, as our 25 man made quick work of them. During the 25 man, I was concentrating so hard on avoiding stuff, cleansing off the spirit finger sparkles, and using all the utility I could muster between my hands spells and raid wall (DS/DG). Last night was another story. I had some quality time to analyze the fight and see it from every aspect as we wiped over and over again. All three of our 10 mans were having major issues with the princes, and were all stuck there for a very long time after plowing through the first seven bosses.

Our particular 10 man group was having problems with a few key issues of the fight. Namely, the empowered flames, the initial pull before our lock could get enough of the nuclei on him, and the nock backs from the shock vortex’s sacking on the raid. We tried a lot of things. And each time we tried something, a new issue creeped up and bit us.

We initially tried to two tank it with me on Valanar and Taldaram with our lock on Keleseth. With a priest and shaman as our healers, and the requirements of spreading out constantly, we found that there was way too much damage on the tanks. I was doing fine, but would every now and then drop to about 30% because I would take back to back hits from both princes. We decided that it would be easier on healers if we went to three tanks, so our fury warrior went back to tanking and we had one person per boss. At this point, we were running into issues with shock vortex.

While the issues with shock vortex’s knock back were short lived as people were good about spreading out, the shock vortex itself was a bit more problematic a few more times before we got our kill. There were plenty of times where our lock tank just dropped from the damage, and there were quite a few times when the empowered conjured flame was the source of our wipe. We were also victim to some unlucky combos of shock vortex and empowered flames. Finally we conceded that we needed three healers. So, our dk logged over to his disc priest, and we one shot it.

Apparently we should have thought about that earlier….

The Blood Queen Lana’thel

With a fresh set of attempts, and this time 15 and not the 10 we got in 25 man, we started in on the queen. Once again AoE damage was really plaguing us and our ability to sustain. We were watching people die to the first bite damage, Delirious slashes, and pact of the darkfallen. This fight seems pretty straight forward if you can heal through the raid damage. I was main tanking with our warrior OTing the mirror. The biggest hit I took was in the 11k range, and that is easily healed through when i have around 56k hp in 10 mans.

The encounter got me to thinking about the gear that you should wear for this fight to minimize the damage done to both the main tank and the off tank. I am conflicted in my opinions. Part of me wants to say that I should be stacking pure armor to mitigate the damage as much as possible. This will enable me to take less damage and as a result will double dip with the off tank taking less damage too. The other side of me is wondering if an avoidance set would be powerful. There were strings of 10 seconds where the MT/OT were taking 0 damage because I was avoiding all of the hits. While this is not a sound plan for surviving burst damage, that is not the concern of this fight.

We may have found our first fight where avoidance as a MT is truly rewarding. She does not hit that hard, and her swing timer is fairly slow, leading me to believe that avoidance is the best solution to damage prevention. I know that we have squashed the theory that avoidance is as good as stamina in ICC, however this may be one of those exceptions to the rule, and a fight where it may truly shine. Stacking stamina in this fight does nothing to prevent the incoming damage. We say that stamina is beneficial because it allows you to take more burst damage, of which there is none on this fight, as well as extending the range of Ardent Defender. Extending AD would be great if I got below 35% but I did not once drop below 50%, making more stamina worthless.

In the end, we called the raid with 9 attempts remaining because it was late and we all had work in the morning. I think I am going to give the avoidance set a shot when we get back in there for the last 9 attempts, and see what happens.

10 man difficulty

I know that there are quite a few people on the MainTankadin forums that are claiming that 10 man ICC is srs bsns and its a joke in terms of difficulty level, but they must be in a different instance than I am. I took a group of 10 people in 258 gear into the instance and spent three hours on the Crimson Hall. One of our three groups cleared the hall, but they did it with a Resto Shaman, Holy Priest, and Holy Paladin. In my opinion if you cant heal through any type of damage with those three, you should consider getting rid of your healers.

There is a known bug on the 10 man Blood Princes encounter which made me feel a bit better, and allowed me to congratulate our group after wiping for so long. The bosses hit as hard in 10 man as they do in 25 man. The damage was not scaled down, and as such your healers will be stressed to the max. For all of you who have cleared it, your healers are excellent players and deserve a pat on the back, I know ours do.


Blood Prince Council and The Queen

Blizzard is just out to get us

So while I am a huge supporter of the attempt counter, blizzard had promised me that we would get 5 more attempts last night with the new wing opening up. THEY LIED! We had our usual Tuesday attendance of a crap load of people, we probably could have cleared AQ40 at level 60 with the raid we had, but we got our 25 and got the raid going. After plowing through the usual lag fest of the first four bosses, we went right to the Crimson Hall and had some fun times with the trash. I was having flash backs of Tempest Keep with all those evil blood elves.

I will come back to our Blood Pricnce Council fight, the mechanics, lessons learned, and a bit of story telling but I wanted to jump forward to the big bad girl at the end of the hall. We went up to the Queen’s room and immediately noticed something was fishy. We had an attempt counter, but it said 10 of 10. Now WTF, I thought we were going to get 5 more attempts with the new wing. We were a bit taken back by this, and we are all hoping that Blizzard fixes this ASAP so we can get some quality attempts in on the old hag. I have not seen any blue posts, and I have not heard from anyone else first hand on our sever that they are experincing the same issues, but I have asked around to a few guild leaders on our server about it. While I patiently await their responses, It is time for the Blood Princes break down.

Three Dudes and tons of balls

Hmm, that didn’t sound right. Oh well. We cleared the trash in the BP room and proceeded to talk about each of the princes abilities. The fight itself seemed straight forward and other than it being akin to the Council fight in Black Temple, we went in blind as usual. I took Valanar and tanked him in the middle Our other tank took Taldaram and tanked him on the right side of the room facing away from the raid, while Keleseth was tanked by our resident Lock tank. The first pull was as expected, messy and full of “oh crap what was that!” lines in vent. We figured out a few things about the vortexes, balls of fire, nuclei, and spirit finger sparkles!

Honestly I don’t have much to say about this fight currently because the kill happened so fast. We had a few wipes to figure out that you had to run away from Valanar when he cast his abilities, and then on the Third pull, everything just clicked, I was tanking and dispelling like crazy, and then all of a sudden I had loot bubbles on my target. I will have to say that even though our kill was probably a bit sloppy, it was too quick to even evaluate any real difficult parts of the encounter.

I have heard from multiple sources that if you put an imp or another pet on the Kinetic orbs, you can bounce them into the Queens room and burn an attempt. We had our hunters on the orbs at all times.

The Queen and My impressions

We gave the queen a few attempts, even though our counter was bugged out, just to see if she was a pushover. Now while she was not a pushover, the fight seems fairly straight forward. The key to the fight is managing your bites and ensuring that your whole raid has stellar environmental and debuff awareness. This is not good news for the likes of CF. While we are a great guild and we power through encounters, it takes us a little while to get used to these specific mechanics. Now normally there is no reason to be of concern, however with 5 less attempts than we were expecting, it concerns us.

In the end we gave it two attempts, plus one lagged out aggro pull, and called it there. We are going back in tomorrow to kill her after getting some experience and hoping for less lag from our server. From a tanking perspective, these two fights are lackluster. They dont seem to be tank checks in any way, shape, or form. I was never below 50% health the entire night on these two bosses, and both encounters are basic tank and spanks with a small amount of movement.

Goodies for Wrathy

I have been pretty stagnant on my gear acquisition over the past 7 weeks, only picking up a few pieces over the course of our progression in ICC. There are two reasons for this. First, we are gearing up some new tanks and I have passed two sets of shoulders, a belt, chest, helm, bracers, and ring to our other tanks. Secondly and more importantly, my 258 loot is more than sufficient for the tank checks in the instance so far. I have not really come in danger of wiping the raid by dying more than a few times since the instance came out. However last night, the tank loot fell from the heavens and I was a greedy little pally. I scooped up 4 pieces for my gear sets, and I can’t wait to see where they fit in. I picked up the hit helm, the avoidance belt and gloves, and the effective health neck. While I am happy that I have the options for avoidance and threat, the neck is by far the sweetest upgrade so far.

It is difficult for me to take so much loot, but the other officers reminded me that my two off tanks have been in the guild for a few weeks at most and will get their gear in due time. The biggest problem our guild has right now is the guilt that the officers have for sitting 12 people last night for the main raid, including two tanks. We have a great roster filled with some quality players, and we want to be able to provide the experience of the main raid for everyone, however its just not in the cards when you have that many people. Luckily we have our alt raid to take the last 12 people to, where they can pick up all the gear they want.

Thoughts on my gear and Emblems of Frost

With the completion of most of the 25 man last night, I am sitting pretty in the mid 240’s with Emblems of Frost I am once again feeling the temptation to buy some gear. While I am very partial to Tier sets and the free bonuses that come along with them, more and more people are leaning towards the offset gear. There are a few pieces that I can not pass up, namely the Chest. I am working my way to transmuting 12 titansteel bars so that I can make my Pillars of Might, and I am getting less and less confident that there will be a huge brick wall of magic damage coming before the end of the instance, which is leading closer and closer to buying the bonus armor pieces.

For my progression set, I know I will wear the T10 helm, and possibly the shoulders. I know that the shoulders off the Gunship battle have more stamina, but I am a sucker for more damage. After hopping over to Chardev, I took a look at what I could do but the simulation was missing way too many peices of gear including the expertise gloves, the expertise boots, the weapons and the shields. More on that later I guess.

For all of you who are still waiting on your Queen attempts, good luck and hopefully I will have some kill shots for you tomorrow!


Bosses Who Parry Haste

I wanted to create an individual blog post about this, so that I can reference it later on. Below are the links to a few MainTankadin thread where we are discussing parry haste, and providing parse information as to whether or not a specific boss parry hastes. This is very important because, as I mentioned yesterday, expertise has moved way ahead on my priority list of stats to gear for inside ICC with the caveat that the boss must still have parry haste activated. There are a few bosses where it has been confirmed that blizzard has turned parry haste off, but for the rest of them, the majority of the tanking community seems to feel that it is still active and kicking.

From Theck’s post on Calculating the Avoidnace value of Expertise, which happened to be the source of inspiration for my blog post from yesterday, he mentions the following:

“Most bosses” is a bit of an exaggeration. Last I checked, it was only a few isolated hard-hitting slow-swinging bosses. So far on the compiled list, only Gormok, Jaraxxus (still no idea why they chose to do this on him), Ignis, Kologarn, and Patchwerk have it disabled. If anything, “most bosses” have parry-haste enabled, not disabled.

We’ll have to do some testing on ICC bosses to see for sure, but it’s unlikely they’d turn it off for the newer breed of weaker-hitting faster-swinging bosses. I could maybe see the Gunship captain and Festergut being ones that might have it turned off, since they can both hit pretty hard under the right conditions. Maybe marrowgar too, if his sabre lash is a special ability rather than a regular melee swing.

Now while the list is fairly incomplete, as it is a work in progress, we already see that some of the bosses in Trial of the (Grand) Crusade have parry haste turned on, and have been empirically proven to be able to parry haste. As we go through Icecrown Citadel and acquire more data from parses, we can start to understand which bosses parry haste in that instance. Once this is known, an Effective health set with expertise will be very valuable at preventing spike damage. For discussions sake, here is the list of bosses in ToTGC which we know about:

The List

Halion – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed here

Lord Marrowgar – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed here, here
Lady Deathwhisper – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed
here, here
Gunship (Saurfang/Bronzebeard) – –
Deathbringer Saurfang – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
Festergut – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
Rotface – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
Professor Putricide – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
here, here
Prince Taldaram – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
Prince Valanar – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
Blood-Queen Lana’thel – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
Sindragosa – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed
The Lich King – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed

Onyxia’s Lair
Onyxia – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed here, here?

Crusader’s Coliseum
Gormok the Impaler – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed Here
Acidmaw – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed Here
Dreadscale – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed Here, here
Icehowl – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed Here, here
Lord Jaraxxus – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed Here, here
Faction Champions – Not looking for these as they’re not a tanking encounter
Fjola Lightbane – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed here
Eydis Darkbane – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed here
Anub’Arak – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed here, here

Since I am getting all of my values from the thread linked earlier on in this post, please reference that thread for all links to evidence.


The hidden value of expertise

Theck  has once again graced us with some stunning theorycraft regarding the value of expertise relative to dodge. For those of you who are unaware of this turn of events, or the common theory surrounding expertise and its ability to prevent damage, expertise has the ability to prevent parry hasting by pushing parries off the attack table. Now while most of us have never see a balanced set of gear with 56 expertise, every point over the soft cap of 26 gives us valuable damage prevention with a threat bonus, and it is very possible in this tier to get close to the cap.

Theck’s Conclusions are as follows:

Current conclusions:

  • For Icecrown Citadel, expertise is roughly 91% as effective as dodge rating for reducing incoming damage, assuming a boss swing speed of 1.4 seconds (after JotJ). It varies significantly with boss attack speed though, from 78% @ 1.2 to 154% @ 2.4 speed.
    • For Warriors, this range narrows to 52-102%, with an “average” of 60% at 1.4-speed.
    • For Druids, it’s 49-98%, with an “average” of 60%
    • For Death Knights, the range becomes 36-71%, with an “average” of 46%.
  • For bosses outside of Icecrown, we would use an average swing speed of around 2.0, giving average values of 87% for paladins (53%-104% range), 57% for warriors (30%-69%), 56% for druids (28%-68%), and 29%-45% for Death Knights (28%-52%).All of these can be seen in the plots in the “results” section.
  • Each point of expertise rating (above the soft-cap) also gives a Paladin about 60% the threat that a point of STR would.
  • What this means for us paladins

    Since I love gear sets, and optimizing my gear to be the best that it possibly can be, this means that I need to re-evaluate what I will be wearing when hard modes come out. The relative benefits of expertise seem too good to pass up. Now while I have not and will not gem expertise ever, I have been known to stack it on my gear. Because of the fact that we now benefit more from expertise than any other class, it is essential that we work with our other tanks to get the pieces of gear which will help us prevent parry hasting and incoming damage. According to this pretty graph that Theck has graciously put together for us, you can see that we already have a higher efficiency than any other tank. In addition to that, we scale better as the bosses swing timers get slower.

    As you can see, we benefit in multiple ways from expertise, and it scales better for us. Now that we all understand what it does, I wanted to talk a little bit about where we can get this lovely stat, and how I plan to create my hard mode progression gear set. I want to break down slot by slot our options, so that we understand where we can get the best bang for our buck, I have neglected mentioning any slot which doesnt have an expertise piece in the item levels of 264 to 277. First the off set pieces –

    The Cataclysmic Chestguard is drool worthy, it has three sockets, 207 stamina, tons of defense, and bonus armor to boot! This will be a guaranteed not tier piece of my gear set. The best part about the chest is the fact that it comes from the badge vendor. There is no need to hope for a drop, or not be able to get it because you haven’t been able to kill the boss that is selfishly holding on to this piece. The gloves are nice too, dropping from Blood-Queen Lana’thel in 10 man heroic. The Grinning Skull Greatboots drop off of Valithria Dreamwalker and have a 277 version as well! These will definitely be the boots i chose to wear over the crafted threat ones. As for the Tier gear, the only piece that has expertise on it, and one that I have always considered wearing are the legs. As you can see below, they are not the best for effective health, as the pillars of might have similar stamina at 207, but three sockets and a LOT of bonus armor and avoidance to boot. This is all a trade off of course because of the fact that they have no defense on them.

    What do these pieces get you?

    In the end you are going to have a total of 82+70+53+82 = 287 expertise rating or roughly 287/8.2 = 35 rating from gear. If you add this to the 10 rating from your Seal of Vengance Glyph and the 6 from Combat Expertise, you have 51 expertise. Now while this gear set may not be the best for every fight, being at 51 expertise with four pieces of gear is a great start to decreasing the damage you take and increasing your threat indirectly. There are other options for these slots, and the are very strong in their respective categories, however they are specialized. For instance, for the leg slot, you have the option of the aforementioned tier 10 pants, the bonus armor pillars of might or the legguards of lost hope for threat. To me, the decision on which pants to wear in what set is pretty cut and dry. I will wear the Tier legs for my balanced set (which I tank most non progression fights in), the pillars of might in my effective health set, and the legguards of lost hope in my threat set. You will see that there are similar results when you look at the other gear slots.

    In the end, you will have to decide how you want to gear for fights, however with the new data that Theck has provided us with, expertise is looking more and more attractive by the day for us.


    • What is this nonsense? HoPo and a total overhaul. It's going to be a long weekend of playing around.. 8 years ago