Effective Health Gear Breakdown

In response to a request I got, I wanted to take today to discuss gear sets. While I have long since wrapped up the posts on gear set theory, how to select the gear, gems and enchants, and when to use them here and here, I have never provided the specific gear which I use for any of these sets. The reasoning behind this is that each person has different gear to work with, and different chances at obtaining said gear. Also, the benefit of being general is that you can apply this theory to someone who is just getting gear via the emblems, and decked out in T9.232 and someone who has full 264 gear.

I wanted to start with the progression set, the set which strives for the most effective health possible, and will boost your stamina and armor up to the 44th floor while dropping your hit down to the basement. The concepts of the effective health set are simple and finite: Gear for as much survival as possible, ensuring that you can take the biggest hits possible and survive. To cheat and quote myself from my gearing post:

A set that is centered around the theory of effective health, and it’s main purpose is to ensure that you can take the most amount of damage possible with out heals or avoidance. Most of the population that come to Maintankadin understands the concept of effective health, however for the purpose of a complete guide, effective health:

“…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”. – Ciderhelm

With that being said, Below is the compilation of my Effective Health gear set. I want to clarify up front that this set is the one which stresses overall effective health, so it is a stamina stacking set, and does not necessarily give you the most effective health for any given fight. I also have an armor set which buffs up to almost 42k armor pre pot. Here is the wowhead profile and below are screenshots to view for stats. The profiler looks a little off because of the fact that I have more armor than that by  a significant margin, and not that much health.

Now that you can see exactly what I wear for my max stamina effective health set, you can understand the correlation between the theory behind my gear sets, which I have listed below, and the application based off of the gear we have at our disposal in ICC.

The Basics of an Effective Health Set –
540 defense
Stack Stamina
Stack Armor
Stack Expertise
Shield Block Value (to a much lesser extent)

The Gems and Enchants Specific to an Effective Health Set –
Gem for Stamina
Enchant for Stamina
Armor to Cloak
Armor to Gloves (Alternate)
Mongoose to Weapon
Blood Draining to Weapon (Alternate)

I made some minor modifications to this based off of data which has been proven to be false with in the past few weeks in the theorycrafting community, namely that expertise can be considered a damage reducing ability in ICC. While Expertise does reduce the chance to parry, and as a result parry haste, it has been estabilished that parry hasting is not turned on for the vast majority of bosses in ICC.

As for the gearing, what you see is what you get when applying this theory to the gear which drops out of ICC. Now it goes with out saying that there may be upgrades to quite a few of the slots which I filled with non optimal gear, however I would like to reiterate that your gear sets are limited to the drops you can acquire, so you have to make do with what you have.

When do I wear this set?

I wanted to close the post by giving some perspective on when I wear this particular set. Now you have to understand that this is what I consider my general progression set, and I will wear this for first kills of ANY boss, or until it is identified that another gear set will better suit the encounter. Currently I wear this gear set in ICC 25 man for Festergut, Putricide, and Lich King. For the most part, the other fights are no longer considered progression, or have other sets which will benefit more based off of encounter mechanics.  In ICC 10 I wear this for every hard mode which we have killed in the past two weeks, and for Lich King on Normal.

I will hopefully follow up this post with one in which I outline what I wear for my Threat set, as well as the special consideration sets for Sindragosa and Blood Queen.


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