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:
- 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.