Archive for the 'Gear' Category


Threat Gear Breakdown

To follow up on the post which I wrote yesterday and add to it, I wanted to discuss our threat set, what I wear for that specific set, and a few modifications I make based on what I am tanking. Once again, I want to reiterate that the theory behind this set is universal, and may be applied to any level tank with any gear available to you , however for my example, I will be showing you what I wear based off of the gear which has dropped for me. Gear sets are going to be different for each person because each person has different options available to them.

The purpose of your threat set is two fold, to pump out as much damage as possible and to ensure snap and sustained threat for the duration of a fight. We achieve this by becoming hit capped, stacking expertise, and ensuring that we have as much attack power and crit as possible. In addition to that, we have to have a weapon which leverages our abilities to for the best outcome. The reasoning behind this is outlined by Theck on MainTankadin in his TPS thread, and reiterated in my weapon analysis post.

As I mentioned above, I make a few modifications to this set based off of what I am tanking. If it is a heroic, or trash in a raid, I replace my stamina trinket to enhance my gear set. If I am tanking a boss in ICC, I keep the stamina trinket to increase my survival and ease of healing. It is important to not lose sight of the fact that you are a tank first and foremost, and must gear yourself to survive the encounter and mitigate a significant amount of damage. You also must maintain the defense minimum and have a respectable health pool and armor.

Before I show you exactly what I wear as my threat set, I wanted to reiterate what was said in my gearing guide regarding threat sets. A Threat set is…

A set that is centered around maximum threat output while maintaining the ability to be a feasible tank. A threat set is used for three things, any trash that can not squash you like a bug, farmed bosses where your dps can let loose on auto pilot, and hard modes with time limits. The focal point of developing a threat set is your ability to produce the maximum amount of threat per second, and in turn damage per second, so that you can kill the boss in a set amount of time….

…start to look at your other priorities: 263 hit rating and 26 expertise. While you can stack as much strength and crit as you want, if you are missing the boss, you are not producing any threat. Your ability to land a successful hit is paramount to this set, and as such your first goal is to achieve 8% hit or 263 hit rating. Expertise will further your goal of landing hits, and you can stack this as much as you like once you have hit the soft cap of 26 expertise.

Once you have taken care of your first three stats, you can stack Strength, … and even … crit.

Now that we have gone over the theory, we can get into the specifics. Below are the screen shots to my threat set, and the link to the wowhead profile is here.

And, a recap of the basics of the set:

The basics of a threat set –
540 Defense
263 Hit Rating (no more than this, its wasted Itemization)
26 Expertise Minimum
3100 Block Value (no more than this, its wasted Itemization)
Stack Strength, Expertise, and Crit

The Gems and Enchants Specific to a Threat Set –
Hit Gems until you are at 263
Strength/Stam Gems
Agility/Stam Gems
Armsman or Agility to Gloves
Icewalker to Boots
Accuracy to Weapon

When to wear this set

As I touched on earlier, this set is specifically designed for maximum dps and threat out put, and does not stress survival as much as may be necessary for ICC bosses. I wear this set for all trash mobs in ICC, and heroics. For the lower spire bosses, and the non attempt counter bosses in the upper spire I swap out the Vengeance of the Forsaken for a stamina trinket and am good to go. Normally this set is something  that makes tanking quite fun. The numbers which come out of this set can make you giggle, because there is nothing quite like seeing 12k HoTR Crits on four mobs.

Special Considerations Sets

There are two more modified sets which I wear in ICC for different fights, and will swap out trinkets, rings, cloaks, and necks if I want to modify my stats to accommodate for any given encounter. The first specific set which I use for Sindragosa is my frost resist set. This set replaces five pieces of gear to boost you up to 485 frost resist, while maintaining the defense cap. I use my complete effective health set which was outlined yesterday, and incorporate four pieces of frost resist which are available from Blacksmiths and Jewelcrafters. I found that once I replaced four pieces of gear, I was under the defense cap, so I put my Ony trinket back on to push me over the top.

The second special set that I wear is a max armor set for blood queen. The concepts and mechanics of the fight make armor a very powerful mechanic for the Main tank. All damage which the main tank takes is transferred over to the off tank. So, any time you mitigate the amount of damage taken, it has a doubling effect. To do this, I only swap out my trinkets on my Effective Health set, to use the Glyph of Indomitability and the Unidentifiable organ. This boosts my armor up to just over 40k while maintaining respectable statistics.

Little tweaks to the core sets you build, based off of encounter mechanics, will make you a great tank from a gearing perspective. Understanding what is being thrown your way and manipulating your ability to combat that is powerful. Good luck on your gear selection and equipment set ups…


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.


The Long Vacation…

After three weeks of absolutely no contact in the blogging world, I feel it is time to jump back on that proverbial horse. My blogging all fell off with the push for hard modes, and the fact that my time and attention was needed elsewhere. Between my piles of electronic paper at work and the amount of effort I needed to put into our guild at home, I had no time for my blog. Well, as the storm has subsided, I have plenty of things on my mind which I want to talk about, and still not enough time to write it all down.

Where I have been

In the past three weeks, I have been swamped at work, Killed the Lich King, taught two new tanks some gearing philosophy which I hope sticks, and dealt with multiple different types of guild drama. To top that off, I also bought a new home, making my free time drop considerably. I feel that a few of these things deserve their own posts, so I will start with the topic for which I am the most known for throughout the community, gear.

Walk a mile in your shoes

Over the past few months I have been working with a new tanking corps, and they all came in with different levels of understanding, skill, and overall competency. It took me a month or so to understand exactly where each of our new tanks were coming from, and what they knew when it came to their roll in the guild. Only after I sat down with another prot paladin tank in our guild did I have a clearer understanding of how I needed to approach each of them, what they already knew, and what lessons I had to impart on them. My main off tank, who now happens to be a paladin, conveyed what one of the other officers said to him and it finally struck home.

As an off tank in our guild, I do not envy you, you have the hardest role of any person here. You have to fill Wrathy’s shoes, and those are very very big shoes to fill…

Now while I am very aware that I have many areas and skills sets for which I can improve upon, what did not occur to me is that I am a respected member of the theorycrafting community, an expert on gear, and a very, very knowledgeable player who always comes prepared. Only one of my three fellow tanks in the guild realized this, as he is a paladin and visits the same websites which I contribute to. Once I understood that the other two tanks which I recruited to help us in the final push of the expansion had no clue what type of resource I was, I was in a better position to help them.

Gearing questions and advice

One night in ICC, our other paladin tank asked me about a threat spec, and why my offspec was always prot but always different than the cookie cutter specs we are used to. I explained that over the past six months my offspec has always been there for one specific fight, Heroic Anub’arak. As we dropped ToTGC from our raiding calendar and began to solely run ICC, I changed my offspec one more time. This time, it looks like a spitting image of the SoComm cookie cutter, however I glyphed specifically for Lich King, increasing my AoE damage for P1, and decreasing my holy wrath cool down for P3.

After this short discussion, he asked about gear, threat sets, and what I was aiming for. This brings me to my main topic for discussion today. The threat set for ICC. While most of us will be pushing progression for some time to come, and wearing our effective health set all time time, it is still nice to have that threat set for farmed content, trash packs, and dps races. I went on to wowhead and created a profile for my ideal threat set, only to find out that after 30 minutes of tweaking, I never signed in. As a result, you will be left with stats and screenshots, but this is my ideal threat set for hard hitting bosses, where you still need the stamina to survive.

This is the simple list of what I will be wearing for my threat set. There are a few things that can easily be swapped out based on the situation, such as the libram (trash and SoComm vs. Boss and Vengeance), however it balances the stats which you want for increased threat quite nicely. As I screwed up a bit, there are a few ilevel 277 pieces in here, but you can easily use the 264 pieces for those slots. This gear set is something that I complied out of bosses which I can currently (or with in the next week) kill. Below are the statistics and outcome of this set with the cookie cutter 0/53/18 spec, and no buffs….

As you can see, you are sacrificing a bit of health, sitting a hair below 40k, however you are looking at hit cap (a few points over), 50 expertise, 4k plus attack power and 20% crit unbuffed. This set will crank out quite a bit of tps.

When to use this set

This is a set that I would consider using only on farmed content. The definition of farmed content will vary from guild to guild, so it is up to your best judgement when to use this. For my guild, we are working on the Lich King in 25 man currently, so I will wear this for all bosses except the end wing bosses of the upper spire. On 10 man, I  used this on every fight up to Sindragosa.

For those of you who have stuck around for my short absence, here are a few things that I have on the back burner for topics in the upcoming week. I have been developing a good post on educating tanks, the role of a mentor, and your job as the leader of a tanking corps, a post on guild drama which will be more of a rant than anything (but a good read none the less), and a post on the Lich King, and how we got our kill.

It is good to be back on the old blog, good luck this week in your raiding endeavors!


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…


Pick up that Piece of Gear!

Icecrown gear swapping and you…

There has been a lot of discussion as of late on the concepts of gearing in Icecrown. Every tank in the game is hoping to get that edge on the encounter which will make it that much easier to defeat and help progress their guild through the instance. That is why I wanted to take some time to write a little bit about my opinions on gearing, icecrown, and what has changed in the past three weeks. The short and dirty version is that Icecrown is currently easy content, where bosses do not truly hit hard enough to provide examples of burst damage which we can subsequently gear towards. So, in the mean time, we can discuss what we should do with the gear that is now available to us, and why you, as a main tank, should be picking up as much of it as possible.

My equipment Manager

My bags are overflowing

Gear sets are a very important concept for newer tanks to understand. Even if you have been tanking for all of WoLTK, or even longer, if you are still using one gear set for a whole raid night, you are doing your guild a disservice. Knowing what a particular trash pack or boss does, and tailoring your gear that you wear into that encounter makes you a very powerful, and high end tank. This is important to remember as we plow through the first four bosses of this instance. I know that each guild had different experiences in ICC during the past few weeks, but speaking form personal experience, I have already swapped over to threat gear because my health never dropped below 40% in any given encounter (with the caveat that we were not wiping). This shows me that I out gear these progression bosses. This will be a different story when the hard modes open up, but until then this is what we have to work with.

Because of this gear disparity, it is important to understand that a tank has many “roles” during a raid. And, each of these roles usually required different gear sets to perform at your very best. Now while I have extensively gone over the different gear sets and the philosophies behind them, I have not truly justified why they are necessary. We will more than likely encounter bosses in the rest of the instance, as well as the hard modes to come, which will employ a multitude of methods to try to kill you. Having the proper gear available to counter this is crucial to successful progression. What this means is that if there are pieces that drop from ICC with hit and expertise on them, they may not be valueable to you now in your current gear set, but that will not always be the case. The same is true for bonus armor, or avoidance pieces.

Tanks are Loot whores by nature

This is something that most of my fellow tanks in Crypt Friends have yet to embrace. They take a look at a piece of gear, and say well that has dodge and parry on it, and I don’t really need more avoidance, I need the expertise that is on my current gear. The problem is that, there will come a time where you WILL NEED that avoidance, and that time is the week after you kill Arathas and decide that you want to try  hard modes. If you are not properly prepared with your gear before the day when your guild wants to try, you will be holding your guild back as you wait for those pieces to drop.

It is interesting to note that there are three distinctive sets of gear that drop out of Icecrown Citadel, can be crafted by reputation patterns, or can be bought with Emblems of Frost. Each of these sets tailors your statistics to bolster different strengths. There is a near complete set of gear which has hit and expertise, one that has bonus armor, and one that has a ton of avoidance on them. Now while balancing each of these will give you a nice balanced set, stacking each of these will give you a huge advantage when it comes to an encounter that employs a counter to one of these gearing philosophies.

Icecrown Citadel is the perfect example of a loot table that has gone above and beyond when it comes to providing different gear for different gearsets. Blizzard has done an excellent job with itemization of said gear and making most of it available to the masses. It is important that you consider what your role is with in your raid, when that next piece of gear drops, so that you know if it is something you should pick up immediately, or if it is something you can pass to your fellow tanks. Never let something get disenchanted or go to an offspec role if you don’t have it first, as each piece that drops in ICC has a purpose.


  • What is this nonsense? HoPo and a total overhaul. It's going to be a long weekend of playing around.. 7 years ago