Posts Tagged ‘Threat


Tanking Caps and You

Gearing Philosophy and Necessities…

I received a tweet this morning regarding hit and expertise caps and what one should focus on first, and I thought that the 140 character limit of twitter was just not going to cut it for a proper response, so here is a more detailed and informational (hopefully) response to the question:

AndrewAnderson5 Wrote: @AvengingWrathy I got a question in regards to pally tanking. is it better to be hit capped, exp capped or both?

Well the short and simple answer is Neither. It depends on your gearing philosophy and goal of the gear set. Hit capping will help with your threat, and ensuring that your taunts land every time (if glyphed and melee hit capped). Expertise is a threat stat first, and on bosses where parry haste is enabled, a defensive stat as well.

Hit rating

With a hard melee cap of 263 hit rating or 8% hit, you will never miss a hit which you attempt. In addition, if you are glyphed for Righteous Defense, then you will never miss a taunt either, as your taunts are spells and the glyph will give you an extra 8% hit to get to the spell hit cap. With the advent of 3.3, we have new threat stats which sit at the top of the charts, and your question has some merit for the changes we have seen. First and foremost, it is important to understand that if you cap hit, you will remove the chance to miss from the attack table. What this means is that your swing is left with three options, land (hit or crit), dodge, or parry. In order to eliminate dodge from the attack table, you have to get to the soft cap of expertise, or 26 rating. This will leave only parry on the attack table. Parry is quite a bit more expensive to remove from the attack table because of its added threat of parry hasting.

While we have proven that all but two of the bosses in ICC have parry haste turned off, and the two that do are for the most part more threatening with their frost spells, it is still worthy of note to understand that there is a defensive characteristic to the stat. Theck has proven that Expertise is 83% as good as Dodge when it comes to pure avoidance. This only is applicable for bosses which parry haste. However there is always the added bonus of removing dodge and parry from the attack table. Once you have reached 56 expertise, you will land every hit you attempt on a boss.

Now on to the pretty pictures, because that is really what helps me understand things. Hit rating is something that will obviously help us with our threat, however it has no effect on our ability to mitigate damage. Hit is something that you want to start stacking if you are having problems with threat capping your dps . Hit has a great relationship with threat, and is the second best threat stat out there, and  is illustrated by this lovely graph I ninjaed from Theck over in the 3.3 Stat Threat Analysis thread at MainTankadin. If you observe the graph you will find the following:

No surprises here. Hit drops off when you reach the melee and spell hit caps. Everything else is pretty much the same, with slight scaling of damage-increasing stats until you reach the appropriate caps.

The interesting thing to note is that after about 50 hit rating, STR increases enough to equalize the two stats. Note that this is with 0 expertise rating from gear; at the expertise soft cap this number will go up. What this means is that if you’re really optimizing for threat on a limited budget, you’d want to balance hit, expertise, and STR. On the other hand, it’s hard to come up with a rule of thumb for this, since it will depend on your current STR, hit, and expertise values. In practice it will be more common to just gem STR if you want sustained TPS, and hit if you want snap threat. The difference in sustained will be small enough (~2-3 TPS per 10 points of rating or stat) that hit is probably the better choice. – Theck

Expertise Rating

As you can see, This graph is a great example of how hit is one of your best threat stats out there, and even better, a great seg-way into how great expertise is for threat! Expertise has long been established as a threat stat, and all of your melee have been soft capping since day one of Wrath of the Lich King. Why haven’t we really concerned ourselves with it as much though, is because until 3.3 ShoR was not able to be missed, parried, or dodged. And as it is one of our best snap threat generators, it was something we didn’t have to worry about. Now that it can be dodged, parried, and missed, expertise has shot up into the best threat stat out there. As you can see below, expertise is by far the best threat per second stat that we have out there.

…Expertise has risen to top dog status with the change to ShoR. As always, expertise loses effectiveness when you hit the soft and hard caps (82 and 328 rating or 26 and 56 skill after talents, respectively), and damage-increasing stats scale differently above and below those caps (see the different slopes on the STR and BV lines in the three regions).

Past the soft cap, expertise drops back down to be roughly equivalent to AP for threat purposes. That would put it at a “don’t gem” level as far as threat is concerned, though there are also avoidance benefits to consider. – Theck

So as you can see, both of these stats are valuable but the question still remains, which one first?

Hit or Expertise First?

This question has to only be answered after you have asked yourself another question, what am I trying to achieve? What I mean by this is that you have to ask yourself if you want to just increase your threat generation, do you want to ensure that your taunts never miss because you are tanking adds on LK or doing DBS, or is it that you are concerned about the stats from a survival stand point. Because the two stats bring two different benefits to your character, and remove specific things from the attack table, they have a situational purpose, and they are both powerful when employed properly. Hit capping your tank will ensure that you never miss a taunt. This would be something that is essential when taunt swapping is very, very important (such as Deathbring Saurfang), or if you need to pull adds off your main tank (as you would in the OT role of the first phase of the Lich King encounter).

If you are strictly trying to produce more threat because you are threat capping your dps, then it has been proven above by Theck that Expertise is now the number one threat stat for paladins until they reach the soft cap of 26 expertise rating. After that you would want to focus on Hit Rating to the 263 mark. If you take a look at the graph below, you will see that each of these is increasingly important as your strength gets higher.

The amazing news here is that STR has finally been un-seated from the top spot [with respect to TPS increase]. Above 1942 unbuffed character sheet STR, both Expertise (up to the soft-cap at 26) and Hit (up to the a few %, see hit graph) give better TPS per point of rating.
We had already expected this would occur for hit, but the real news is expertise. The ShoR change has drastically changed our reliance on expertise. Soft-capping expertise at 26 becomes highly recommended.- Theck

So, Theck has taught us that Expertise is now the most valuable threat stat up to the 26 rating soft cap. But it is also important to note that the more strength you have the more valuable your hit and expertise are. From a gearing stand point, you should probably try to get to the expertise and hit caps via gear itemization, and gem pure stamina if you want a kick butt threat set.

The third, and for the most part irrelevant (because parry hasting is turned off in most of ICC) option: if you are looking to increase your survival via one of these two stats, then you want to focus on hard capping your Expertise. This is possible in current gear levels, and is quite easy as a matter of fact. However, you will be sacrificing overall mitigation and effective health to reach the plateau of 56 expertise rating. I have two different options of gear sets when it comes to hard capping, however both of them sacrifice a lot of armor and health to get there. If you are looking for plain survival, I would stick to the effective health gearing philosophy of stamina and armor stacking.

Hope this helped!


Increasing threat while maintaining survival

The next tier of instance nerf has arrived!

It was announced Monday that the 15% buff has been activated. While I am sure that most people will be talking at length about this, and what it means to them, I wanted to touch briefly on our gearing strategies as a result of this development. What this means to us, primarily, is that we have gained 5% more health. To some this means that they can finally push over the effective health minimums for some bosses. For other, myself included, this means that we can shed some effective health gear for more threat, or mitigation, or even avoidance. While most people will lean towards the first option, that is not to say that there are instances where more mitigation will benefit a tank. Avoidance has pretty much gone to the graveyard from a gearing perspective.

My personal preference, as some of you have read in the past few blogs, is to lean towards more threat. I was having threat issues as it was because some of our dps are very geared, however with 5% more dps out put, they will be even closer to my threat ceiling. This means that we can take a look at what gear we wear for hard modes and how we can tweak it to help with threat issues. Each tanks situation is different, as you will be at different points on the progression curve. A tank who is pushing Lich King Hard mode will welcome the extra health and keep on going with his effective health gearing. This will help paladins get closer and closer to 70k buffed hp. A tank who is working on hard modes with in ICC 25, will want to gear for what they have issues with. And finally, a tank who is looking to get those normal mode kills will have yet another perspective on the necessary gearing philosophy to attain their goals.

When Survival Doesn’t Matter

I have observed over the past few weeks that my survival is no longer an issue with in 11 of the 12 ICC hard modes. Because of this, and the fact that I have been given 5% more health, I can work on dropping some more stamina for threat. There are many ways we can achieve this, however we have to be mindful of a few things. Your healers have been used to the way you take hits over the past month, and as such you do not want to drastically alter your gear set for maximum threat and then try to tank Festergut at three inhales. What you can do is alter your gear set slightly to ensure that you are not losing any of your health based off of the 10% buff while bolstering your stats at the same time.

My EH gear health pool fully raid buffed was around 62k. This means that with another 5% increase in my health, I can confidently shed a little over 3k hp for threat stats, and maintain the same level of relative health. In order for me to effectively increase my threat, I need to drop some stamina for hit and expertise so that I can do more damage, all while swapping out my weapon for a slow threat weapon. In the end, I swapped a few pieces of gear and bumped up to 240 hit and 32 expertise, while buffing my strength marginally. It made a significant difference in my threat out put and my ability to continue to be well ahead of my dps on threat.

While everyone’s situation is a little bit different, based off of the available gear that you have in your bags, the theory on what you want to do is the same. You want to trade off some effective health for threat stats. The major thing that you want to consider is that you need to be aware of the pieces you are replacing so that you can see if you have dropped both armor and stamina, or if you are using pure dps gear, if you have lost too much defense. In the end, with 15% increase in your health, you can tank most things in the game right now with out effective health gear.


A new issue arises, Threat Deficiencies

Generally Slacking

It only occurred to me today that I have been less that diligent about my blog over the past few months. I have seriously been so swamped with work because of a project which has deadlines looming on the horizon, that I have not had any time between work and Raiding to write down anything. I have a few things I wanted to talk about, and will more than likely rock a double post today because I have a little window of opportunity to do so. The first thing I wanted to talk about was an issue that has cropped up in the past few weeks for me. If you read a lot of MainTankadin, you may have already read about it, but since I can post pretty screen shots and show you my world of logs parses here, it will be a bit more complete.

Issues with Threat

WHAT?!?! I know what you are thinking, I am a prot paladin, I don’t have threat issues, I have a face roll class which produces enough threat to walk away from the computer to get a drink mid trash pack (by the way, I have done this before). Well sadly, I have been running into some major issues with my threat production lately, specifically I am threat capping some of my dps. This frustrates me more than almost anything, because it means I am not doing my job.

At first, I thought it was because of the lack of tricks and misdirects that I was having so many issues, because they are a significant amount of threat when you break it down. But alas, that was not the case. After the second week in a row of threat issues, I went to world of logs and took a look at the parses which highlighted some of the issues which I was having. There were a few things that I wanted to do to solve this problem, before I found out the root cause, and they were pretty spot on when it came to solving the issues.

After examining two boss fight parses, it was clear what the issue was. I needed more chance to land attacks. My expertise is below 26 in my end game progression set, and my hit is extremely low as well. If you take a look at the log, you can see that there was a significant amount of dodges, parries, and misses.

I apologize that we can not line up the abilities with the statistics, but I could not maximize my window enough to get both the abilities and the misses on the screen (side note, WOL should have a freeze panes function). The top picture is a summary of my missed abilities on 25 man hard mode fester gut on the 13th of this month. The bottom picture is a breakdown of my Hammer of the Righteous ability. As you can see, I have some major issues with landing my attacks. While hit alone, or expertise alone can probably mitigate the issue, to solve it, I needed to gain a good deal of both. Part of my issue is I was thinking in the past. My gearing philosophy for almost all of the fights in ICC is stuck in the past.

A change of perspective

One of the things that I had not taken into consideration regarding the solution to my problems was the 10% buff, both from an increase in dps and an increase in health. The fact of the matter is that our dps are pumping out quite a bit more than they were a month ago. We have been showered with 277 dps gear, and painfully short on healing and tank gear. While this has proven to be beneficial to fast clears of the instance, it does not help with our looming progression of heroic Lich King, or the fact that I am out geared by my dps counterparts. In addition to my dps doing more damage, and increasing their throughput, I have been getting more health from the zone wide buff.

I know what you are thinking, “well duh dummy.” With the increase in health, I have been quitely enjoying the massive health pool that I have and thinking about all of the increased effective health I have gained over the past few months. However, at the same time, I have not been taking into consideration the fact that my increases in effective health have not translated into increased threat as well. I am not  gaining any new gear, so I am not gaining marginal increases in strength, hit and expertise on my gear. This has been part of the problem that has blindsided me.

To counter this, I had to convince myself that I was no longer in danger of causing a wipe by tank death. I successfully did that after forgetting to swap out my threat gear, which places me painfully low in terms of effective health gear, during one of the encounters later that week. After tanking a hard mode boss with less than 40k hp unbuffed and 30k armor, I guess I had proven that my healers can handle some small sacrifices in survival for threat purposes on the farmed content.

Changes in gear and changes in threat

After my abysmal showing that week, and my analysis of the parses that came out of it, I decided to modify my gearing philosophy for all but a few bosses. For the bosses in the lower spire, Rotface, Festergut, Blood Princes, and Dreamwalker, I was going to wear a more threat centric gear set. Now, I am not talking about my pure threat set which sacrifices all effective health for pure strength, crit, hit, and expertise, but a set that trades a bit of armor for hit and expertise. To do this, I only switched three pieces of gear. I dropped out the Pillars of Might, My Winter Cloak, and my weapon, to pick up a significant amount of hit and expertise. In place of those three items, I used the heroic version of the  Legguards of Lost Hope, The heroic Version of the hit Cloak  and the Heroic Facelifter from ICC 10. This put me comfortably at 243 hit and a bit over the expertise soft cap.

While this may have not been the ideal decision if I was looking to maximize my effective health, it has become clear that my survival is no longer in question for most bosses in the instance on hard mode. As soon as I made the switch, I noticed a marketable increase in my threat production and my ability to stay ahead of the dps. As you can see below, there was a drastic change in my total miss rate by just swapping out two pieces  of gear. Now while there may have been a bit of luck in this comparison (as there are not enough data points to make this a statistically relevant evaluation), it shows generally that a few pieces of gear will make the difference, and increasing your expertise and hit will help with threat.

Other thoughts on the matter

When I first started to notice that I had issues with threat, my mind immediately thought of all of the threads on MainTankadin where people say they have threat issues. More specifically, it went to the replies that tanks like Meloree and I make to them explaining that it is more than likely an issue with their rotation and that a WoL parse would show us that. I was worried for the first time that I was not as good with my rotation as I had previously thought. I was worried that I was selling something I couldn’t do myself.  That was the first thing that drove me to scrutinize the parses, and I was relived to see that it was not the case. However, for anyone who is having threat issues, I would suggest that you try and find out the root cause of the issues on your own at first. If you can not figure out how to solve said root cause, then there is a wealth of knowledge to help out with that, but nothing can beat you solving your own problems because you learn so much and grow from the experiences.


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…


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!


New thoughts on threat

Who Doesn’t Want More Threat?

I was reading MainTankadin a few days ago and I came across Theck’s newest calculations on the best weapons for threat in 3.3. While I will have to say that we are a long way from having the instance on farm and as a result, letting me crack some heads for 10k sustained tps, it got me to thinking about the gear and when I want to pick it up. As most of you know, I am an avid gear swapper. I probably swap gear as much as anyone else in the game, and I consider it a testament to the knowledge of the encounters that I possess as well as a greater understanding of my role and when and what I should be doing. I love it when I see other tanks swapping out their gear. When we get a new recruit and they all of a sudden have a different gear set on, it makes me smile.

Back to the topic at hand. I wanted to discuss the options we have for threat weapons and I noticed that because of the boss where our best in slot tps weapon drops is already available, it would be important to get that information out there sooner than later. I started a discussion on my guild forums regarding the Bloodvenom Blade, asking our rouges if any of them would want it for their main spec. The responses I got brought out the loot whore in me. The overwhelming response from our guilds rogues is that they would rather stick with mutilate, and not go for combat till it proves to provide more sustained dps. This means that I don’t feel as bad if I take one the next time it drops (as one already has and went to a rogue for offspec). Why all this discussion about a rogue sword and who cares, well I will elaborate. Here is the Bloodvenom Blade:

It has a little bit of everything. It is slow, with nice top end damage, and comes along with all the stats you want for a threat weapon, hit, attack power, and agility.  While it has armor pen, and that is not ideal for us, it is still by far our best option when it comes to threat weapons. Now before you go and post a comment that asks “Where is the defense?” Well you don’t need the defense on this weapon. You will have plenty of defense from your gear alone to keep you over the minimum, and besides that you only use a threat weapon when you have gimmick fights like Hodir Hard mode, or if you have something on farm. I personally will be using one of these bad boys for most of ICC normal once I pick it up, as the fights seem pretty straight forward and I wont need my Progression MT set for a lot of them. Before the second question pops into your head, that one where you wonder well why not any of the other dps weapons? Here is your answer. Theck did his usual great analysis for all of the different weapons that are available to us and posted this graph in the MATLAB TPS thread:

I also posted this in my guild forum thread when someone asked what is 1V, 3C, 3R? While I would think that most of us can interpret the meanings of this legend, there are some people that come here that are not seasoned paladins. For clarity’s sake, 1V refers to placing one point into Conviction, 3C refers to placing three points into Crusade, and 3R refers to placing three points into reckoning. What this graph shows us is that the Bloodvenom Blade is best in slot when it comes to threat producing weapons. The good news for us is that it is not a weapon that is currently used by rogues in their main raiding spec, and it drops off of Deathbringer Saurfang. Since we already have access to the normal version of this weapon, which happens to be second best over all, we have the ability to pick this up.

I would suggest that anyone who builds multiple sets, especially a threat set, should think about getting this if no one else in your guild wants it. I have used a DPS weapon as my threat weapon for quite some time now, and I have always been happy with the results.

Expertise and 3.3

I also wanted to use this post to talk about some new perceptions when it comes to expertise. While we have always stressed that expertise is a good stat when it comes to threat and “avoidance,” there have been some discoveries about Shield of Righteousness in the past few days. With the changes to Shield of Rightousness, expertise has moved into position as the most important threat stat until you are soft capped. For those of you who have not been following the discussion on MainTankadin, there was a stealth change to SoR that made it act like a physical attack which could be dodged or parried, meaning that our biggest snap threat skill is effected by expertise. The graph below shows that expertise has the highest threat per point until you hat 26 expertise (also known as the soft cap).

It is important to know that while it drops off after you hit the soft cap, and it is no longer considered the best threat stat, once again strength becomes the most important threat stat past the soft expertise cap. Although expertise is no longer the best threat stat once you hit 26, it is sit a very powerful stat when it comes to damage intake prevention, so for your main tank set, more expertise is always ok, until you hit the hard cap of 56 (which is very hard if not impossible to do while maintaining tanking stats).


What Gear For What Fight?

Ulduar is NO MORE!

A quick aside to the purpose of this post; I am finally free of Ulduar for good unless I want to level another character. Last night we finally took a group into a partially cleared Ulduar to blow up Yoggy with three keepers to get our next mace. Since we did not want to clear the entire instance, as most of us are beyond burnt out of that instance, we got saved to another guild on the server’s instance. Because we stole that instance, we invited a few players from the guild we borrowed it from to come along for the ride for some achievements. After basically 21 manning the instance, and a few wipes on three keeper because our brain blood lust was a pug, yogg was down, we had another mace, and I was a very happy camper.

Gear sets for each boss of the Trial of the Crusader

In response to Amico’s request, I wanted to highlight the encounters of the trial and what gear sets I prefer to use based on my role. After I start to think about this, I have noticed that even the tanks I know that have gear sets often forget to swap them around for different boss fights, trash, etc. Now thats not to say that I am not guilty of this, as my number one swapping error is usually going from General to Yogg. That A’HAH moment usually came around the first tentacle when I did not see heart of the crusader up on my target. Not a big deal for normal yogg, but when you are pushing the encounter with less keepers, the 3% crit really helps. But in the end, what is the point of having gear sets if you don’t use them to the fullest.

NOTE: for the purpose of this discussion, any time I talk about Hard Mode versions of these fights, you can assume that I mean progression fights. So, if you are working on normal mode, and it is a progression fight for you, you should be wearing what I outline in the HM fights. If you have anub’arak on farm on hard mode (mel…), then you can take these suggestions at face value.

Northrend Beasts

Normal Mode: For this fight the most important things that you have to gear for are the impale/ferocious butt and threat on P3. For me the trumping issue of this fight on normal mode is P3 and the aggro that is generated during the stunned part of the phase. My guilds dps is getting to the point where I am having a hard time keeping up on threat between the Ferocious Butt and being knocked across the room on the charges. The impale on normal mode does not hit hard enough that you should have to worry about stacking effective health.

Gear Set – Threat Set.

Hard Mode: For this fight, the amount of damage that you take from unmittigated hits due to Impale and Ferocious Butt are more than your threat set can handle. Needless to say, any fight where you are getting hit for as much as this fight dishes out should require your effective health set. This fight has a great combination of dps and tanking gear checks, and as a result you want to have as much effective health as possible.

Gear Set – Effective Health Set.

Lord Jaraxxus

Normal Mode: There are two different roles that a tank has to fulfill on this encounter, the role of meat shield for Lord Jaraxxus, and off tank or run around and pick EVERYTHING up. For normal mode, if your mages (and to a lesser degree shamans and priests) are doing their job right, then you should have no survival issues on either normal or hard mode. For tanking Lord Jaraxxus, I always wear my threat set. The way that our guild does the encounter, we have our melee dps riding my threat the enitre fight, with the ranged killing the adds. The biggest issue with this is the dps race on the boss and adds. Jaraxxus hits like a kitten, with the exception of his Nether Power, and as such survival is not much of an issue. As for the role of off tank, threat, quick pickups and landing your taunts is the most important part of your job. Because you are only tanking adds, and the pickups and quick burst of threat are important, being hit capped with a threat set is very helpful in doing your job.

Gear Set – Threat Set

Hard Mode: While the Nether Power creates more of an issue on hard mode, and you have a dps race to the portals where every single dps swaps to the portals, Surviving is more of an issue and priority over bursts of threat. Because of the continuous swaps, you will always have a healthy threat lead on your dps. I like to be conservative when it comes to survival on progression / hard mode fights, as there are many things that can cause you do be killed. For these reasons, I always wear my effective health set for this boss fight, with a bit more focus on avoidance (Here is where I am going to lose a few people). I swap out my Heart of Iron for the Ony trinket to give me a bit more avoidance, as I don’t get hit that hard and I still have over 50k hp raid buffed. I find that the less that the healers have to worry about me, the more they can focus on Incinerate Flesh, Chain Lightenings, and the adds damage.

Gear Set – Effective Health / Avoidance

Faction Champions

Normal Mode: This fight is 100% about control and focused dps. I do not swap from protection, and as a result I find that my best utility comes from cleansing, Divine sacrifice, and BoP’s/Freedoms, and above all, lots of taunts. For normal mode, the dps burst from the npc’s is not unmanageable, and dps is the best way to combat this both from the focused dps of your raid, and the amount of damage you can do to the target  you are assigned to distract the npc healers. I like to be hit capped so that my taunts land every time on the target that I am dragging out of the raid, I also like the 2 piece T9 set bonus to reduce the time on my Hand of Reckoning. Luckily my threat set is two piece T8 and T9 for the set bonuses. As long as you are attacking your taunt target, and you have Divine Plea up, you should have plenty of mana to cleanse your entire raid and taunt every time its off cd.

Gear Set – Threat Set

Hard Mode: As taunting is no longer an option in this fight, my main roles in this fight are cleansing, BoP/Freedom, and above all the use of my Divine Sacrifice on cooldown. Because the fights can last up to 20 minutes, the more times you can get your bubble sac off the better. I like to use a modified effective health set for this fight, as the more health you have, the more you will be absorbing by your Bubble sac. As long as you have your four piece T9 on, stack as much stamina as possible. With this, you can mitigate the initial pull’s burst damage on the raid, as well as every 1.5 minutes give the healers some breathing room. Cleanse liberally, BoP on cool down, and keep your mana up and you will serve your purpose for this fight.

Gear Set – Effective Health (4 Piece T9)

Twin Val’kyrs

Normal Mode: As this fight comes with some interesting dps buffs in the form or the orbs and the Light Essence / Dark Essence benefits, threat will be paramount to this fight. Depending on your strategy and the gear levels of your dps, you can be left with very few stacks from the orbs while your dps could be easily pulling 12k. From a tanking perspective, and a threat perspective, I like to compare this fight to Hodir’s threat gimmicks. As a result, producing the maximum amount of threat will help you. The damage that the twins themselves do is not enough to worry about being in an effective health set as they do not hit hard unless they are under the Power of the Twins buffs, in which cool downs can be used if you feel that you are taking too much damage.

Gear Set: Threat Set

Hard Mode: The fight is exactly the same on hard as it is on normal with the exception of the fact that they (both the bosses and their shields) have considerably more health, and the AoE damage is increased a LOT. The damage from the twins themselves is not something that should concern you enough to put on your effective health set, but when you introduce the AoE damage, and the fact that the tanks don’t switch colors during the vortexes, maximum stamina is the only way to go on this fight. While threat may become an issue, as you will have your dps pushing as hard as possible to prevent a 6th ability, your threat should be sufficient in your effective health set if you position yourself to get a lot of the orbs.

Gear Set: Effective Health


For Anub’arak, instead of breaking it down into normal and hard mode, I am going to split it between tanking the boss and tanking the adds. The unmitigated damage from the freezing slash is enough for me to want to wear the same set on normal and hard mode if you are taking the boss. When you get to the point where you are killing Anub’arak on 25 man Hard Mode you can downgrade to your threat set for normal mode boss tanking, but until then, better safe than sorry.

Tanking the Boss: Freezing Slash is all that needs to be said. Threat is a consideration, but not at the cost of survival. The 2-3 seconds of unmitigated damage plus the constant damage in phase three is enough that you should be wearing as much health and armor as possible. I dont really know if there is anything more that needs to be highlighted about this role or the reasoning behind the gear.

Gear Set: Effective Health

Tanking the Adds: I have explained the mechanics behind the adds and their expose weakness debufs here, so I wont get into too much detail on this one. You have to stack as much block value and block rating as possible to try to get to passively unhittable. Even if you do not have the gear set, the more block value and rating you have the better to mitigate the damage. On 10 man Hard mode, if you have an unhittable set, you will literally tank 0 damage.

Gear Set: Passively Unhittable


  • What is this nonsense? HoPo and a total overhaul. It's going to be a long weekend of playing around.. 6 years ago