3.3 Gem and Enchant Guide

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3.3 Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby Digren » Fri May 22, 2009 10:09 am

Introduction to 3.3 Item Enhancement

The valiant heroes of Northrend have broken through the gates of the Icecrown Citadel, and the wrath of the Lich King will soon be put to its end. As with the earlier stages of content, this final step provides an opportunity to revisit and reverify tankadin item enhancement. Read on for an introduction to and philosophy for gem and enchant planning, or skip down for the list of recommendations.

Remember, only you, the experienced tankadin, knows what's best for you given your gear and raid role.

The 3.2 guide has been relegated to page seven of this thread, for archival purposes.

Gearing Strategy

No discussion of gems and enchants can be complete without a discussion of overall gear, as the two are intrinsically linked. Unlike gear - where many tanks are forced to take what they can get - players with all ranges of skill, time, and luck can acquire their choice of enhancements. Gems and enchants can be used to complete gear in one of two possible ways:
    1. to overcome a deficit in the gear's stats, such as when using gems and enchants for defense rating when wearing iLvl 213 Naxxramas items, or
    2. to maximize and specialize gear, such as when stacking effective health enhancements on the best effective health equipment.
In general, it is better to maximize and specialize gear to be the best it can in one role. Then, maximize and specialize an alternate piece for a second role, and so forth. This way, by swapping gear, a tank can be best suited for the needs of the encounter.

    Image Keep all your old gear until they raise the level cap. You don't have anything else to put in your bank, right?
Overall strategy is simple: gearing for effective health is a great way, or the best way, to gear at all player levels. There are no encounters in game that require an alternate strategy for progression gear, and there's little need to discuss this (yet again) until such encounters exist.

    Image What about fights like Abub'arak, where a passive block set works best?
    Image Yes, some encounters benefit from trick gear sets, but that's not progression gear. No one would wear that gear for the average boss fight.
    Image What about Chill of the Throne a.k.a. Icecrown Radiance? Doesn't that change everything and mean we should all gear for avoidance?
    Image Chill of the Throne changes nothing. Go read the discussion about Chill of the Throne.
    Image What about Strength of Wrynn / Hellscream Warsong? Doesn't the ICC buff change everything?
    Image The consensus is that the the large stamina buff could allow level three Icecrown tanks to switch some stamina back to avoidance. Be careful, though; Ruby Sanctum will likely be tuned differently. You could drop your stamina stacking ratio slightly, like from 2.0+ to 1.3, or, so you are ready for both zones, you could switch out some progression gear for avoidance or threat. Read the discussion about the ICC buff for thoughts about this change.
Tank Levels

For a more refined look at gearing strategy, consider the concept of player levels. As of this writing, level 80 tankadins can be roughly divided into four levels based on their gear and content. (This may change somewhat once the progression from new tank to ICC raider is determined for 3.3.)

    Image

    Image New 80. A new level 80 tank is wearing or buys a new set of crafted Tempered Saronite armor or equivalent. He or she has lots of defense, but lacks in health (at least according to most PuG leaders) and is 15-25% away from the block cap. Total avoidance is relatively low. Whether this person is being geared up by a guild or working solo, he or she wants to run heroic instances for emblems and run dailies for cash, using that cash to buy iLvl 226 BoE epics (and a few iLvl 200 epics for slots like shield). Yappo's Failsafe Gearing Guide details the steps a level one tank should take to reach level two. For the most part, these tanks should gem for stamina, dodge, and defense. Block gear and block enchants are useful for the available content.

    Image Average iLvl 227. The availability of higher-iLvl gear from instance-acquired emblems means that iLvl-213 / Naxx / T7 gear just isn't necessary when gearing up. With the exception of perhaps a shield or weapon, equivalent or better gear can be found via emblems or the auction house. Thus, a level two player with gear around average iLvl 227 actually has pieces that range from iLvl 200 (for shield and weapon) for 245 (for shoulders). A player at this level can replace a few defense enchants (such as cloak, for agility) and gems (where the socket is non-blue and the bonus is a small amount of non-stamina), and should swap all dodge gems for agility. Most other socket bonuses are still useful. The tank may drop below the block cap (even when raid buffed), but this is not a concern.

    Image Progressing Ulduar / ToC Normal. A level three paladin starts with Naxx-or-better gear (iLvl 213-219) and is raiding with a guild that wants to progress through T8.5 and T9 normal mode content. He or she should continue to shift gems and enchants from avoidance to stamina as gear improves, following the steps later in this guide to maximize the conversion. The tank will probably stay at the block cap but will never again care except for trick encounters.

    Image ToC Hard / Icecrown Citadel? / End Game. The end-game progression raider is trying to maximize health. All gems and enchants are pure stamina except those required to activate a meta or perhaps where the socket bonus is +12 stamina. For some, threat may seem to be an issue, but this can usually be solved with Tricks of the Trade or Misdirect rather than a change to tank gearing. These tanks maintains multiple gear sets (effective health, maximum health, threat, block) drawn from all their best T7, T8, and T9 pieces, tailoring the set worn to each encounter as required. The alternate sets may use different gems and enchants, such as strength/stamina gems and hit rating enchants for threat gear.

    Image By knowing your tank level, you know how to read and use the recommendations in the rest of this guide.

Stat Considerations

To evaluate the relative value of enhancements, it is first necessary to understand the benefits behind each player stat. The list below includes most stats a tank might consider when looking at item enhancements or gear in general. Links are provided to the latest discussions on the value of each stat.

Stamina

Stamina is the most important tank stat once uncrittable. It provides all-around survivability and stacks indefinitely, though eventually a point is reached with each encounter where additional stamina only increases time-to-live in corner cases like a healer wipe. This point is almost never reached with progression content, and once content is on farm it rarely matters to bother switching out for other stats. Thus, stacking stamina is the way to go for most item enhancement.

How to Stack Stamina

To ensure the lowest opportunity cost when replacing avoidance, Theck and Meloree derived an ordered list. The latest version of that list is below. Caution, never drop below 540 defense! Sometimes you may have to skip a low-cost stamina option to stay uncrittable.

To use this list, assume that you start out using all avoidance/defense enchants and gems. Then,
    1. Swap the the lowest ratio item on this list to stamina, giving you the largest stamina gain for the smallest avoidance loss.
    2. Make sure you are still uncrittable, and make sure you have the amount of avoidance you want for the content you use.
    3. Repeat with the next-lowest ratio item on this list.
    4. Keep repeating until you reach a ratio that makes you happy.
    5. Revisit this list each time you get an upgrade, to see if you can stack more stamina.
    Image I recommend the following ratios based on tank level:
    Image Use stamina enhancements with a ratio of 0.69 or lower, i.e. use the armor webbing and skip socket bonuses that yield non-tanking stats. Block rating bonuses may be okay.
    Image Use stamina enhancements with a ratio up to 0.95 to 1.0, depending on your defense.
    Image Use stamina enhancements with a ratio up to 1.1 to 1.2.
    Image Use stamina enhancements with a ratio up to 2.0. Ratios above that yield little benefit.

    0.21 : Replace [Enchant Gloves - Major Agility] with [Reticulated Armor Webbing] (20*1.1*0.83)/((885-40)/10)=0.21
    0.67 : Replace [Enduring Eye of Zul] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a yellow socket, if the socket bonus is valueless (i.e. not a tanking stat, or block rating) 10/15=0.67
    0.69 : Replace [Shifting Dreadstone] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a red socket, if the socket bonus is valueless (i.e. not a tanking stat, or block rating) (10*1.1*0.83)/(30-15-20/11)=0.69
    0.71 : Replace [Enchant Cloak - Titanweave] with [Enchant Cloak - Mighty Armor] (but switching instead to the agility enchant may be smarter; see the enchant section for details) 16/(225/11)=0.71
    0.91 : Replace [Enduring Eye of Zul] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a yellow socket, if the socket bonus is +4 stamina 10/(15-4)=0.91
    0.93 : Replace [Enduring Eye of Zul] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a yellow socket, if the socket bonus is +4 avoidance rating (10+4)/15=0.93
    0.97 : Replace [Enchant Chest - Greater Defense] with [Enchant Chest - Super Health] 22/(275/(10x1.1x1.04x1.06))=0.97
    1.01 : Replace [Shifting Dreadstone] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a red socket, if the socket bonus is +4 avoidance rating (10*1.1*0.83+4)/(30-15-20/10)=1.01
    1.02 : Replace [Shifting Dreadstone] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a red socket, if the socket bonus is +4 stamina (10*1.1*0.83)/(30-15-4-20/10)=1.02
    1.07 : Replace [Enduring Eye of Zul] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a yellow socket, if the socket bonus is +6 avoidance rating (10+6)/15=1.07
    1.11 : Replace [Enduring Eye of Zul] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a yellow socket, if the socket bonus is +6 stamina 10/(15-6)=1.11
    1.11 : Replace [Enchant Shield - Defense] with [Enchant Shield - Major Stamina] 20/18=1.11
    1.11 : Replace [Enchant Cloak - Major Agility] with [Enchant Cloak - Mighty Armor] 22*1.1*0.83/((225-22*2)/10)=1.11
    1.14 : Replace [Enchant Gloves - Major Agility] with [Heavy Borean Armor Kit] (20*1.1*0.83)/(18-20/10)=1.14
    1.16 : Replace [Shifting Dreadstone] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a red socket, if the socket bonus is +6 avoidance rating (10*1.1*0.83+6)/(30-15-20/10)=1.16
    1.17 : Replace [Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle] with [Greater Inscription of the Gladiator] 35/30=1.17
    1.17 : Replace [Flexweave Underlay] with [Enchant Cloak - Mighty Armor] 23*1.1*0.83/((225-23*2)/11)=1.17
    1.20 : Replace [Enduring Eye of Zul] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a yellow socket, if the socket bonus is +8 avoidance rating (10+8)/15=1.27
    1.31 : Replace [Shifting Dreadstone] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a red socket, if the socket bonus is +6 stamina (10*1.1*0.83)/(30-15-6-20/10)=1.31
    1.32 : Replace [Shifting Dreadstone] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a red socket, if the socket bonus is +8 avoidance rating (10*1.1*0.83+8)/(30-15-20/10)=1.32
    1.67 : Replace [Enduring Eye of Zul] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a yellow socket, if the socket bonus is +9 stamina 10/(15-9)=1.67
    2.29 : Replace [Shifting Dreadstone] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a red socket, if the socket bonus is +9 stamina (10*1.1*0.83)/(30-15-9-20/10)=2.29
    2.50 : Replace [Master's Inscription of the Pinnacle] with [Greater Inscription of the Gladiator] 75/30=2.5
    2.50 : Replace [Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector] with [Mind Amplification Dish] 20/(45-37)=2.5
    3.33 : Replace [Enduring Eye of Zul] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a yellow socket, if the socket bonus is +12 stamina 10/(15-12)=3.33
    9.14 : Replace [Shifting Dreadstone] with [Solid Majestic Zircon] in a red socket, if the socket bonus is +12 stamina (10*1.1*0.83)/(30-15-12-20/10)=9.14
This list assumes that 10 armor = 1 stamina. This is somewhat arbitrary as the actual ratio depends on the percentage of mitigatable physical damage in each encounter. Also note that each point of agility provides the equivalent of 1.1x0.831245934 dodge rating, including the effect of kings, though the small text has rounded it to 0.83; each point of agility also provides 2 armor.

Strength

Strength is generally considered a threat stat. Sure, each point of strength provides half a point of block value, but block value from items was doubled in 3.2, making the relative block value from strength that much less good. Each point of strength also provides two points of attack power, and that is where the stat shines. Tankadins get more than enough strength for their progression sets from gear itself, but enhancing with strength is okay for both block and threat gimmick sets.

Agility

Agility's contribution to avoidance suffers from the same diminishing returns as dodge rating, but it is set to be point-for-point 83% as good for avoidance at any level. Meanwhile, each point of agility also provides two points of armor and the equivalent of 1.8 points of crit rating, neither of which are subject to diminishing returns at all. The overall effect puts agility at 97-99% as good as dodge for reducing damage intake, while providing some of that as reliable armor. Thus, whenever possible, tanks of level two or higher should choose agility over an equivalent amount of dodge rating.

Armor

Too many tanks undervalue armor. It's a great stat, because damage mitigated is damage never taken, increasing both effective health and effective healing. Unfortunately it only works for physical damage, and Blizzard has repeatedly chosen to include large bursts of armor-bypassing damage in the hardest tank-check progression fights. For physical damage only, taking into account the healing bonus, 10 points of armor is approximately the equivalent of one stamina. Derate the value of armor linearly with the percentage of physical (non bleed) damage. Theck has derived the armor-to-stamina ratio for fights with a spectrum of physical percentages.

Defense Rating

Until Blizzard gets crafty with 4.0, the most basic requirement to survive as a tank - to not take critical hits - remains unchanged. Defense of at least 540 - defense rating 689 - remains a minimum requirement, and all item decisions must consider this. Even if the best choice for your gear strategy and raid role is to stack stamina or armor, you must defer to defense rating to maintain the minimum.

Dodge Rating

Dodge rating is subject to diminishing returns and provides only avoidance. While it's a decent stat when found on gear (compared to, say, block or parry rating), tanks of level three or higher should never seek to increase it through item enhancement outside of gimmick-fight avoidance sets.

Parry Rating

Don't be fooled by the buff to parry in 3.2; it still isn't as good as dodge. But the changes made it acceptable to intelligently gem for parry. Theck generated a rule of thumb that maximizes avoidance:
  1. Stack up to 689 defense rating (for defense minimum a.k.a. uncrittable)
  2. At low gear levels (defense rating + dodge rating + parry rating < 1150 or so), just ignore additional defense and stack dodge and parry rating in a 1.88:1 ratio. (Agility can be substituted for dodge rating by multiplying the agility by 0.83.)
  3. At higher gear levels (defense + dodge + parry ratings > 1150), gear so that the post-diminishing returns dodge and parry percentages (the ones from the character sheet) come out as close to a 1.88:1 ratio as possible, using the formula:
    Image
Be sure to perform this check while raid buffed, including nearly-always-up buffs like the dodge rating from Libram of Defiance.

    Image Most tankadins acquire more than enough parry rating from gear, and thus few ever exceed the 1.88:1 ratio. If in doubt, or if you just don't want to bother with the formula, stack agility.
Block Rating and Block Value

Block capping - that is, maintaining avoidance + block of 102.4% buffed - was critical through the Burning Crusade and remained valid for Naxxramas in 3.0. Since then, as the size of the average boss hit scaled but block did not, sacrificing anything to remain block capped became less and less important. Blizzard doubled block value from items in 3.2, but block is still woefully inadequate as a survival stat and will remain so until Blizzard tackles this in 4.0. For the most part, block stats are not affected by gems and enchants, but this guide assumes you avoid spending any item points on block except when building gimmick-fight block or threat sets.

Hit Rating

Hit rating provides two benefits to a paladin tank:
  1. Increase to threat, less so than from strength up to 2000 character-sheet strength, but slightly more so above that point.
  2. Decrease or remove the chance of a missed taunt.
The second reason to stack hit rating may sound like a good idea, but keep in mind that paladin tanks have three taunts:
  1. Hand of Reckoning
  2. Righteous Defense
  3. Hand of Protection
It is a rare case that the first two fail sequentially, and the third is a guaranteed success provided the tank is second on the aggro list, so in general stacking hit rating for taunts is neither necessary or desired. That said, some amount of hit rating helps increase initial threat, because a few missed hits early in a fight can lead to a sudden threat shortage. Thus, in general, tankadins should welcome hit rating when found on gear (up to the cap), but not seek it through item enhancement - about the same as with strength or any other threat stat.

Expertise Rating

Expertise rating, like hit rating, is primarily a threat stat, though it provides no benefit for taunts. Expertise reduces the chance for a monster to dodge or parry an incoming blow. Unlike hit rating, this also provides a small amount of damage avoidance, as it reduces the chance of a parry gib. (When a character or monster parries, the defender's next attack is accelerated. When a heavy-hitting monster parries a player, that monster's next regular melee attack comes ahead of "schedule" and can cause an unexpected drop in health.)

Like hit rating, tankadins should welcome expertise rating when found on gear, but not seek it through item enhancement. (There are few opportunities to do so.)

All content for this guide, including the following three posts, by Digren licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0, except the following:
  1. Best for EH, Best for Block, and Best for Threat icons, as well as names of enhancements may be the property of Blizzard. I make no claims on them and use them in good faith as a third-party fan site.
  2. Tip icon by YasmineMrabet licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0. Thanks!
  3. Quotes and comments from others used in good faith. Let me know if you want them removed.
Last edited by Digren on Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:45 am, edited 36 times in total.
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3.3 Gem Guide

Postby Digren » Fri May 22, 2009 10:10 am

3.3 Gem Guide

With the release of epic gems in 3.2, gemming for socket bonuses became less important. If a an item's bonus provides a useless stat (e.g. block rating) or too little of a useful stat (e.g. +2 dodge rating), consider the item's sockets colorless and stack stamina. High level tanks should match sockets only for the best high-stamina bonuses (at least +9 stamina, if not +12). However, many tanks will need some yellow or red gems for those top socket bonuses, to maintain the defense minimum, and to activate meta gems. Thus, gem options are provided for each gem slot color, with consideration given to gems that fit in any slot and slots that accept any gem.

How to Understand This Guide

The available options have been ordered and marked for recommendation. Icons indicate the best options for level 1-4 tanks, plus the best pieces for effective health, block, and threat. The "best of the best" are highlighted in bold. Finally, tips are provided to help explain the selections and provide links to relevant theory.

    Image Best for level one.
    Image Best for level two.
    Image Best for level three.
    Image Best for level four.
    Image Best for effective health.
    Image Best for block (when building a block set).
    Image Best for threat (when building a threat set).
When to Match Socket Colors

The stat considerations guide above provides raw numbers to calculate when and how to forgo socket bonuses and stack stamina. The list that follows simplifies the process for tanks that want general recommendations. If a socket color is not matched, assume that socket is colorless (use the colorless guide below).

    Image This list uses my assumptions for how much stamina you should stack. If you want to make your own choices, read the stat considerations guide above.
    Image New 80. Skip the socket bonus if it is not a tanking stat (i.e. attack power, armor penetration, etc). Match all colors for all other bonuses.

    Image Average iLvl 227. Match all socket colors, except
    1. skip the bonus if it is not a tanking stat (i.e. attack power, armor penetration, etc)
    2. skip the bonus if it is block rating of any amount
    3. skip the bonus if it is less than +6 of stamina or avoidance
    Image Progressing Ulduar / ToC Normal. Match socket colors when the socket is yellow and the bonus is +6 stamina, or when the bonus is +9 avoidance or +9/+12 stamina.

    Image ToC Hard / Icecrown Citadel? / End Game. Match socket colors only when the bonus is +12 stamina.
    Image Always match blue sockets, no matter how good or bad the bonus may be. The whole point is to stack stamina, right? Bonuses attached to blue sockets are freebies.

    Image What if the gear has multiple sockets? How should I evaluate the socket bonus?
    Image You should divide the socket bonus among the non-blue sockets. For example, if a piece has a red, a yellow, and a blue socket, and the bonus is +9 stamina, then the bonus associated with the blue socket is nothing (since a stamina gem goes there regardless) and the bonus for the yellow and red sockets is just +4.5 stamina each. If you are a level three or four tank, you should skip such a poor bonus and stack stamina.
The Guide

Blue Gem Slot or Colorless Gem Slot (including all slots where the socket bonus is poor)
  1. ImageImageImageImageImage [Solid Dragon's Eye] : +51 Stamina : BoP Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  2. ImageImageImageImageImage [Solid Majestic Zircon]: +30 Stamina : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  3. ImageImageImageImageImage [Solid Stormjewel]: +30 Stamina : Fished (Dalaran Daily) Unique (Stormjewel)
  4. [Solid Sky Sapphire] : +24 Stamina : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)

    Digren says, "Jewelcrafters, use your custom gems to maximize stamina. It really doesn't matter if they go in a blue or colorless socket; just be consistent with the slots you use (i.e. waist, chest, wrist, for example) so that you can switch around gear without exceeding the gem limit. For the rest of us, put a Solid Majestic Zircon or equivalent in every blue gem socket."
Red Gem Slot (with a good socket bonus)
  1. ImageImageImageImage [Shifting Dreadstone] : +10 Agility and +15 Stamina : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  2. [Defender's Dreadstone] : +10 Parry Rating and +15 Stamina : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  3. Image [Regal Dreadstone] : +10 Dodge Rating and +15 Stamina : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  4. Image [Sovereign Dreadstone] : +10 Strength and +15 Stamina : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  5. [Shifting Twilight Opal] : +8 Agility and +12 Stamina : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  6. [Regal Twilight Opal] : +8 Dodge Rating and +12 Stamina : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)

    Digren says, "Red offers gems for strength, agility, dodge, and parry. When matching color, an agility/stamina gem is the best choice for effective health."
Yellow Gem Slot (with a good socket bonus)
  1. ImageImageImageImage [Enduring Eye of Zul] : +10 Defense Rating and +15 Stamina : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  2. Image [Thick King's Amber] : +20 Defense Rating : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  3. [Enduring Forest Emerald] : +8 Defense Rating and +12 Stamina : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  4. [Thick Autumn's Glow] : +16 Defense Rating : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)

    Digren says, "Unless a Thick King's Amber is required to maintain 540 defense, choose the combo stamina gem for a refined balance of defense and effective health."
Meta Gem Slot
  1. ImageImageImageImageImage [Austere Earthsiege Diamond] : +32 Stamina and +2% Increased Armor Value from Items : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  2. ImageImage [Eternal Earthsiege Diamond] : +21 Defense Rating and +5% Shield Block Value : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)
  3. [Effulgent Skyflare Diamond] : +32 Stamina and Reduce Spell Damage Taken by 2% : Crafted (Jewelcrafting)

    Digren says, "There isn't a great avoidance option for meta slots, so pick the best effective health option, the Austere Earthsiege Diamond. Only block/trash sets should use the Eternal Earthsiege Diamond since block just doesn't scale.

    "The stamina and spell-damage-reduction gem has been fixed for 3.1, but most tankadins will defer to another class for spell-intensive fights. This guide doesn't cover the design of a magic-tanking gear set."
Last edited by Digren on Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:49 pm, edited 21 times in total.
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Ulduar Enchant Guide

Postby Digren » Fri May 22, 2009 10:10 am

3.3 Enchant Guide

Whether attained through the enchanting profession, some other trade skill, or via purchased kits, the options for enchanting are much more varied than with gems. Unfortunately the strategy is less flexible, as many slots have a hands-down best enchant. Slots without a strong contender for top enchant have greater flexiblity, such as the marginal options for the hand slot, or the trade off for mobility on boots.

How to Understand This Guide

The available options have been ordered and marked for recommendation. Icons indicate the best options for level 1-4 tanks, plus the best pieces for effective health, block, and threat. The "best of the best" are highlighted in bold. Finally, tips are provided to help explain the selections and provide links to relevant theory.

    Image Best for level one.
    Image Best for level two.
    Image Best for level three.
    Image Best for level four.
    Image Best for effective health.
    Image Best for block (when building a block set).
    Image Best for threat (when building a threat set).
The Guide

Head Enchant
  1. ImageImageImageImageImage [Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector] : +37 Stamina and +20 Defense Rating : Purchased (The Argent Crusade at Revered)
  2. Image [Mind Amplification Dish] : +45 Stamina and Mind Control and New Helm Graphic : BoP Crafted (Engineering)

    Digren says, "Extreme stamina stackers who are inexplicably still engineers can benefit slightly from their profession, but for most the Argent Crusade supplies the one and only choice."
Shoulders Enchant
  1. ImageImageImageImage [Master's Inscription of the Pinnacle] : +60 Dodge Rating and +15 Defense Rating : BoP Crafted (Inscription)
  2. ImageImageImage [Greater Inscription of the Gladiator] : +30 Stamina and +15 Resilience Rating : Purchased (10000 Honor)
  3. ImageImage[Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle] : +20 Dodge Rating and +15 Defense Rating : Purchased (The Sons of Hodir at Exalted)
  4. [Lesser Inscription of the Pinnacle] : +15 Dodge Rating and +10 Defense Rating : Purchased (The Sons of Hodir at Honored)

    Digren says, "Inscribers, get your self-only benefit here. Otherwise, the PVP enchant is the best option for higher-level tanks."
Back Enchant
  1. ImageImageImage [Flexweave Underlay] : +23 Agility and Slow Fall : BoP Crafted (Engineering)
  2. ImageImageImage [Enchant Cloak - Greater Agility] : +22 Agility : Crafted (Enchanting)
  3. ImageImage [Enchant Cloak - Mighty Armor] : +225 Armor : Crafted (Enchanting)
  4. Image [Enchant Cloak - Titanweave] : +16 Defense Rating : Crafted (Enchanting)

    Digren says, "Greater Agility offers slightly more pure avoidance than Titanweave, plus armor for effective health and crit rating for threat. It or the engineering version is the best choice for almost every gear set. End-game tanks facing physical, mitigatable damage may choose to use Mighty Armor for improved effective health."
Chest Enchant
  1. ImageImageImage [Enchant Chest - Super Health] : +275 Health : Crafted (Enchanting)
  2. ImageImage [Enchant Chest - Greater Defense] : +22 Defense Rating : Crafted (Enchanting)
  3. ImageImage [Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats] : +10 All Stats : Crafted (Enchanting)

    Digren says, "As soon as the defense is unnecessary to maintain crit immunity, health becomes the best enchant. Powerful Stats should be considered only for block or threat gimmick sets, as paladins need not enchant for threat in progression gear."
Wrists Enchant
  1. ImageImageImageImageImage [Fur Lining - Stamina] : +102 Stamina : BoP Crafted (Leatherworking)
  2. ImageImageImageImageImage [Enchant Bracer - Major Stamina] : +40 Stamina : Crafted (Enchanting)
  3. ImageImageImageImageImage [Socket Bracer] : Prismatic Socket : BoP Crafted (Blacksmithing) Stacks with Other Enchants

    Digren says, "Unless you're a leatherworker, +40 stamina is king."
Hands Enchant
  1. ImageImageImageImageImage [Reticulated Armor Webbing] : +885 Armor : BoP Crafted (Engineering)
  2. ImageImageImageImageImage [Socket Gloves] : Prismatic Socket : BoP Crafted (Blacksmithing) Stacks with Other Enchants
  3. ImageImage[Heavy Borean Armor Kit] : +18 Stamina : Crafted (Leatherworking)
  4. Image [Glove Reinforcements] : +240 Armor : Crafted (Leatherworking)
  5. ImageImage [Enchant Gloves - Major Agility] : +20 Agility : Crafted (Enchanting)
  6. Image [Enchant Gloves - Armsman] : +2% Threat and +10 Parry Rating : Crafted (Enchanting)

    Digren says, "Those of us that remain engineers will enjoy our armor bonus. For the rest of you, extensive glove enchant discussion has led to the following conclusions:
    1. Of course the overvalued engineering enchant is the best option for effective health and a boss-tanking gear set, at least when a fight's death scenarios include at least 25% physical mitigatable damage.
    2. The normal armor enchant is the equivalent of about 21.8 stamina for a fight with 100% physical, mitigatable damage. Because the value of armor scales linearly with the percentage of physical, mitigatable damage in a given death scenario, that means for any fight where death occurs due to > 85.5% physical mitigatable damage, the armor enchant is best for effective health. For any fight where death occurs due to < 85.5% physical mitigatable damage, the stamina enchant is best. Better have a spare pair of gloves!
    3. DPS players surpassing paladins on threat just hasn't happened outside gimmick fights. Threat enchants are generally a waste.
    4. The agility enchant is a good all-around option for younger tanks, providing avoidance, armor, and even a little threat."
Waist Enchant
  1. [Personal Electromagnetic Pulse Generator] : Confuse Mechanicals : BoP Crafted (Engineering)
  2. ImageImageImageImageImage[Eternal Belt Buckle] : Prismatic Socket : Crafted (Blacksmithing) Stacks with Other Enchants

    Digren says, "This prismatic socket stacks with the engineering-only waist enchants. Of those, the pulse generator has use as an add tank in some encounters (i.e. XT, Mimiron). Please note that you can put any gem in a prismatic socket, not just a prismatic gem! And of course, the gem counts toward any meta activation requirement."
Legs Enchant
  1. ImageImageImageImageImage[Jormungar Leg Reinforcements] : +22 Agility and +55 Stamina : BoP Crafted (Leatherworking)
  2. ImageImageImageImageImage[Frosthide Leg Armor] : +22 Agility and +55 Stamina : Crafted (Leatherworking)
  3. [Jormungar Leg Armor] : +15 Agility and +45 Stamina : Crafted (Leatherworking)

    Digren says, "Leatherworkers get a leg up with their BoP pattern, but everyone else gets the same benefit with Frosthide as the best, if expensive, leg enchant. If your legs are at least iLvl 213, you should be ashamed to still use the low-quality leg enchant."
Feet Enchant
  1. ImageImageImageImageImageEnchant Boots - Greater Fortitude : +22 Stamina : Crafted (Enchanting)
  2. [Enchant Boots - Tuskarr's Vitality] : +15 Stamina and +8% Run Speed : Crafted (Enchanting)

    Digren says, "Recent talent optimizations have made it possible for more tanks to go deeper into a second tree. Even I, a long-time opponent of deep ret, have talented down to Pursuit of Justice. If you've chosen to spend your extra talent points in holy, you don't have to sacrifice much to put a little speed on your boots."
Fingers Enchant
  1. ImageImageImageImageImage[Enchant Ring - Stamina] : +30 Stamina : BoP Crafted (Enchanting)

    Digren says, "Enchanters get their self-only benefit here."
Melee Weapon Enchant
  1. Image[Enchant Weapon - Blood Draining] : Sometimes Grant Blood Reserve When Striking an Enemy, then Regain Health from Blood Reserve Stack When Below 35% Health, and Red Sparkling Flame Glow : Crafted (Enchanting)
  2. Image[Enchant Weapon - Accuracy] : +25 Hit Rating and Critical Strike Rating and Blue Glow : Crafted (Enchanting)
  3. Image[Enchant Weapon - Exceptional Agility] : +26 Agility and Green Glow : Crafted (Enchanting)
  4. [Enchant Weapon - Mongoose] : Occasionally +120 Agility and 2% Attack Speed and Electrical Glow : Crafted (Enchanting)
  5. [Enchant Weapon - Potency] : +20 Strength and Green Glow : Crafted (Enchanting)
  6. [Titanium Weapon Chain] : +28 Hit Rating, Reduce the Duration of Disarm Effects by 50%, and White Glow : Crafted (Blacksmithing)
  7. [Enchant Weapon - Blade Ward] : Sometimes +200 Parry Rating for 10 sec and Inflict 600 to 800 Damage on Next Parry, and Red Glow : Crafted (Enchanting)

    Digren says, "New options have caused controversy to erupt again regarding weapon enchants. There has been extensive ongoing discussion. My conclusions are as follows:
    1. Blood Draining is the best peudo-effective-health option. When it works, it's is just like having an extra HoT tick when you need it most. See the Blood Draining TTL discussion and note the rule-of-thumb for when Blood Draining helps you survive.
    2. Accuracy is best if you don't have sufficient hit rating on other items and are specifically concerned about taunts failing. For any tank not hit capped, it's probably the best enchant for threat. For your secondary threat/block value set for trash or LolPVP, Potency is probably better. The weapon chain is only for cheap people who haven't spent 30 minutes to run their Argent Tournament dailies once, then used the cash to buy Accuracy. The weapon chain's disarm effect is useless and, while the hit rating is marginally better than Accuracy, Accuracy also provides the crit rating which is, on average, better than useless.
    3. Exceptional Agility is great for avoidance gears sets and to work towards the block cap in a passive block set. It provides a bit of armor and crit rating as well, so it is an all around general-purpose reliable stat. Mongoose would be similar, except scratch out the "reliable" bit. As of 3.3, Mongoose's uptime is as low as 25%, making it average no better than Exceptional Agility while not being there when you need it. Dodge is already a roll of the dice. Mongoose sometimes adds a die but sometimes takes one away, when compared to Exceptional Agility.
    4. Blade Ward is like Mongoose, except it procs even less often, provides less threat than Potency and no benefit to taunts, and is consumed by regular parries (i.e. those caused by other parry rating) and thus gets worse as your gear gets better. Read all the way through the Blade Ward test results before considering this for your weapon."

    Shield Enchant
    1. ImageImageImage[Enchant Shield - Major Stamina] : +18 Stamina : Crafted (Enchanting)
    2. ImageImage[Enchant Shield - Defense] : +20 Defense Rating : Crafted (Enchanting)
    3. [Titanium Plating] : +81 Block Value : Crafted (Blacksmithing)

      Digren says, "The Burning Crusade-era stamina enchant is the best effective health option for your shield, and the trade-off with defense is no different than skipping a +6 stamina socket bonus by stacking stamina in a yellow socket. Use the block value enchant for a trash or threat set only."
Last edited by Digren on Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:53 am, edited 19 times in total.
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Re: Ulduar Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby Digren » Fri May 22, 2009 10:10 am

Change list

3.1
5/22/09 12:56 PM: Initial posting complete.
5/22/09 12:59 PM: Corrected fishing daily gems. They are tradable.
5/22/09 3:57 PM: Corrected a typo in the jewelcrafter-only gem discussion and a formatting mistake in the weapon enchant discussion.
5/27/09 9:47 AM: Added link to Theck's analysis of the relative benefits of agi/sta gems to dodge/sta gems.
7/8/09 12:15 PM: Added the Greater Inscription of the Gladiator to the shoulder enchant list, with commentary to note that it is the best effective health option (but inferior overall).
7/26/09 3:53 PM: Added the Solid Stormjewel as a recommended gem for blue slots, and updated the commentary. (Thanks Rhiannon for pointing out the omission.)

3.2
8/4/09 10:22 AM: Rewrote the introduction and guide post for 3.2.
8/4/09 10:57 AM: Rewrote the introductory text in the gem guide to include the new rule-of-thumb for maximizing avoidance. The post isn't complete; I need to incorporate epic gems.
8/5/09 10:30 AM: Added a clarification that for "high-stamina socket bonus" I meant something that offers +6 stamina or more. This may edge up to +9 stamina based on the opinions of people actually picking gems.
8/5/09 11:03 AM: Updated the gem guide for 3.2.
8/5/09 12:32 PM: Correct typo in the gem section that incorrectly listed the stamina of the JC gem as 41. With the release of 3.2 the stamina bonus was increased to 51.
8/5/09 5:20 PM: Updated the enchant guide for 3.2. Many of the updated crafter-only enchants still carry outdated information on Wowhead, so the numbers I list might not match those of the links.
8/6/09 10:51 AM: Corrected bug where the leatherworking BoP leg reinforcements weren't marked as BoP (aka self only).
8/27/09 10:18 AM: Added a reminder that the 1.88 dodge:parry ratio should be checked when fully raid buffed. (Thanks Marrus.)
9/4/09 10:17 AM: Rewrote the stamina discussion in the general theory section to better explain the opportunity cost associated with each gem or enchant swap to stack stamina. (Thanks Theck.)
9/4/09 12:40 PM: Corrected a grammar mistake in the updated stamina section.
10/12/09 10:42 PM: Elevate Mongoose to the recommended enchant list based on new testing of its increased up time. (Thanks Theck.)

3.3
12/13/09 2:32 PM: Roughed in the new introduction and strategy 3.3.
12/19/09 12:24 AM: Updated the strategy guide with images and links. Removed the referral to the 3.2 guide as the 3.3 version should be acceptable to use.
12/19/09 1:04 AM: Insert a graph for the avoidance ratio equation to improve the formatting.
12/19/09 1:56 AM: Update the gem guide for 3.3, using level marks and an updated introduction.
12/28/09 2:25 PM: Added Q&A for matching socket bonuses on gear with multiple gem sockets. (Thanks Macktruck.)
12/30/09 7:00 PM: Corrected a typo in the hit rating guide and added a link to relevant theory. (Thanks Drowden.)
12/30/09 7:12 PM: Added a line to the stamina conversion table for the Master's Inscription of the Pinnacle. (Thanks Alixander.)
1/3/10 4:29 PM: Added Wowhead links to the gem swaps in the stamina replacement tables.
1/6/10 6:08 PM: Update the link to Yappo's guide to the 3.0 version, and increase the average iLvl of a level two tank from 219 to 227 reflecting his updated guide.
1/6/10 9:27 PM: Add icons to the gem guide for effective health, block, and threat.
1/6/10 9:42 PM: Add the Mind Amplification Dish option to the stamina replacement tables, showing the relative value of switching to the enchant. (Thanks Njall.)
1/6/10 10:45 PM: Updated half the enchant guide to 3.3 standards, including level and EH, block, and threat icons, new recommendations, and new commentary.
2/17/10 8:30 PM: Figured out how to fix the indentation issue, and started apply changes. Also reworded the stamina stacking section to make it easier to use, since it gets a lot of linkage.
2/17/10 9:06 PM: Added Enchant Shield - Major Stamina to the shield enchant list, since it's the best effective health option. (Thanks Theck.)
2/17/10 9:17 PM: Corrected mistaken reference to [Enchant Chest - Superior Health] when I meant [Enchant Chest - Super Health]. (Thanks bentglasstube.)
2/17/10 10:46 PM: Updated the How to Stack Stamina guide for the latest math, including the effect of the Sacred Duty nerf.
3/5/10 4:04 PM: Add license information for the guide to help those wishing to translate/borrow content.
4/3/10 5:28 PM: Corrected chest enchant text from "Superior Health" to "Super Health". When I fixed the link two months ago I failed to fix the text.
4/14/10 9:45 AM: Added Q&A regarding the ICC buffs (Strength of Wrynn / Hellscream Warsong).
4/20/10 10:45 AM: Adjusted the stamina stacking table to use +8 avoidance socket bonuses instead of nonexistent +9 bonuses. (Thanks Marblehead.) Also changed armor/stamina ratio from 11-to-1 to 10-to-1.
4/26/10 10:31 AM: Adjusted the recommendation text on shield enchants to match the latest effective health strategy. (Thanks econ21.)
4/28/10 9:55 AM: Adjust the weapon enchant list order and comments to lower the relative value of Mongoose due to its reduced uptime in 3.3.
Last edited by Digren on Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:56 am, edited 36 times in total.
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Re: Ulduar Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby anthony » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:40 am

thanks for the guide, really helpful :) also to the poster above me wtf? :?

Moderated above post and deleted due to the non gearing nature of the fishing industry in correlation with the World.....of Warcraft - Bara
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Re: Ulduar Enchant Guide

Postby Robbert » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:29 am

Awesome writeup! I'll be sure to send my tankadin friends to this post whenever they come to me with gem/enchant questions!

Digren wrote:If you're old school, go potency.


Old school ftw! I was planning on going with the agi weapon enchant on my next upgrade tho...as much as it pains the old schooler in me.
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Re: Ulduar Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby Rhiannon » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:55 am

You mentioned the fishing daily gems for strength and agility, but not stamina, which is a curious omission.
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Re: Ulduar Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby Digren » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:49 pm

Rhiannon wrote:You mentioned the fishing daily gems for strength and agility, but not stamina, which is a curious omission.

I think it didn't exist in Wowhead at the time. It's there now so I'll put it in.
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Re: Ulduar Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby I-IunteR » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:29 am

I think http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=34009 is best shield enchant for maximizing EH.
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Re: Ulduar Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby amh » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:30 am

I-IunteR wrote:I think http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=34009 is best shield enchant for maximizing EH.


Only if you don´t have a single defense-gem in your gear.
I used to play a paladin.
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Re: Ulduar Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby Robbert » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:41 am

I-IunteR wrote:I think http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=34009 is best shield enchant for maximizing EH.


Depends on how hard the mob/boss hits. Slower/larger hits = stam, faster/smaller hits = block value.

In either case, the defense enchant is by far the best investment on your MT set shield.
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Re: Ulduar Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby Digren » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:11 am

Robbert wrote:
I-IunteR wrote:I think http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=34009 is best shield enchant for maximizing EH.


In either case, the defense enchant is by far the best investment on your MT set shield.


This. If you're going to drop a higher-value defense enchant for a lower-value stamina enchant, do it first on your chest (replacing 22 def with 275 health). That's usually not a good idea, either, but it's a better loss ratio than on your shield.

I-IunteR, I do note that you are aiming for an absolutely maximized EH set, not taking any socket bonus that isn't stamina and already putting 18 sta on your gloves instead of the higher-value agility. (So yeah, I acknowledge that you're gear choices are logical and in-line with your suggestion.) You're already under 540 defense and using the resilience shoulder enchant to make up the gap. If you can drop more defense and stay uncrittable, the chest enchant is the next thing to replace. Personally, though, I think that too too much stamina stacking for EH can be just as bad as too too much avoidance stacking.

Actually, I take that back. Your next replacement should be changing the defense enchant on your back into armor. You should have done that before replacing your glove enchant, since the defense enchant to back is undervalued even for avoidance. Only after replacing your back enchant should you replace your chest enchant, and only after that should you replace your shield enchant.

-------

That said, I do a brisk business selling 18 sta to shield enchants on the AH. It's the easiest way to unload large quantities of arcane dust. =p
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Re: 3.2 Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby Digren » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:28 am

I'm starting the rewrite as a 3.2 guide. The first post is complete, but the rest are still Ulduar-centric. I welcome suggestions.

Things to consider for this round:
- Start to minimize gemming for socket bonuses. (gems are better now)
- The new dodge/parry avoidance ratio, and the viability of parry gems.
- Yet more changes to the weapon enchants (sigh).
- Epic gems.
- Engineering. (head and belt enchants that have use as a tank)
Last edited by Digren on Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3.2 Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby theothersteve7 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:50 am

I'm curious about the viability of Blade Ward with the new Parry changes.

Also, I'm starting to reconsider matching socket bonuses, with the changes to JC gems and introduction of epic gems. I figure 8 dodge is more valuable than 6 stamina, but 10 stamina? I'm not as certain.
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Re: 3.2 Gem and Enchant Guide

Postby dunnark » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:19 am

Since the Mind Amplification Dish has 45 stam on it it, you probably want to mention it as an engineering only option for head enchant. And I am sure one of our fellow tankadins will find a situation to use it while tanking. :D
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