4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Get help with your character's gear

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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Arianne » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:23 am

In heroics you get 70 JP per boss in the run. I've gotten a full set of Prot gear and am working on Ret gear so far. Heroics are relatively doable with a guild group even when below the level for queueing for the random heroic. We did our first set at ~ilevel 310. All heroics just require a couple of good CC classes, although some require enough DPS at the last boss (for example, Grim Batol has a pretty high DPS requirement).
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Re: Tank Stage 1: New 85

Postby Digren » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:46 am

For the record, here was my stage 1 gear set, an hour after I turned 85. I started on expansion day in Vash'jir, then did Deepholm up to the Harrison Jones breadcrumb. From there I diverted to Uldum, finishing it out. After that I ran Twilight Highlands until I dinged. I did run a few leveling dungeons (Blackrock Caverns twice, Stonecore and Throne of the Tides once each). Oh, and I crept through half of level 82 via archaeology. My starting gear set was mostly iLvl 264, 25-man ICC normal gear.

Head
    [Sanctified Lightsworn Faceguard]

    I just never found a better helm. I had a [False-Face Mask], but honestly given its lack of a meta socket, I just didn't see it as much of an upgrade. I'll get my engineering goggles soon enough.

Neck
    [The Lustrous Eye] : 1250 Justice Points

    If I hadn't had the justice points for this, my backup piece was:
    [Cenotaph Choker] : Req. Lev. 83 : Uldum (Quest) Minions of Al'Akir

Shoulders
    [Pharoah's Burial Spaulders] : Req. Lev. 83 : Ruins of Uldum (Quest)

Back
    [Shroud of the Dead] : Ramkahen (Honored)

Chest
    [Flynn's Favorite Chestplate] : Twilight Highlands (Quest) Doing It Like a Dunwald

    Even with the poor haste rating (partially reforged to dodge rating), this offers more stamina, armor, and avoidance+block than the alternative [Gateshattering Hauberk].

Wrists
    [Dunwald's Finest Bindings] : Twilight Highlands (Quest)

    Though [Ankh-Inscribed Bracers] were a very close second.

Hands
    [Gloves of Gnomebliteration] : Uldum (Quest)

Waist
    [Girdle of the Mountains] : 1650 Justice Points

    If I hadn't had the points for this, my backup piece was:
    [Hevna's Eye Socket] : Req. Lev. 83 : Uldum (Quest) The Root of the Corruption

    I also have a [Stoutwaist Girdle], but I don't think it's as good. Even reforging the hit rating to mastery it has lower overall avoidance+block, with more of it as block. The ~250 hit points and a fraction of armor doesn't make up for that.

Legs
    [Sunwatcher's Legplates] : Req. Lev. 83 : Uldum (Quest) The Scepter of Orsis

    To be fair, I quested through Vash'jir on the first day of Cataclysm. A bug prevented most Earthen Ring quests from yielding faction, so I dinged 85 just friendly with them. Had I made honored I would have been wearing [Stone-Wrapped Greaves].

Feet
    [Femurbreak Stompers] : Req. Lev. 83 : Uldum (Quest) Be Prepared

Fingers
    [Dark-Eye Ring] : Twilight Highlands (Quest) Eye Spy
    [Ashen Band of Endless Courage] : Icecrown Citadel (Quest)

    There just weren't many ring upgrade options. I could not even find an [Elementium Moebius Band] on the auction house when I hit 85.

Trinkets
    [Schnotzz's Medallion of Command] : Uldum (Quest) Firing Squad
    [Elementium Dragonling] : BoE Engineering Only

    I went with the agility trinket from the Uldum quest over the strength trinket because agility is a better survivability stat. I don't have a ret set nor do I expect to need to build a threat set in the short term.

Weapon
    [Barrel Opener] : Twilight Highlands (Quest)

Shield
    [Truthbreaker Shield] : Stormwind City (Quest)

Relic
    [Namkhare's Cabochon Charm] : Req. Lev. 83 : Uldum (Quest) Lieutenants of Darkness
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby oursel » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:25 am

According to your maths, reforging mastery is better than avoidance. Ok, but what about enchanting and stuff consideration? Would you go for a full mastery enchanting and geming?
I've seen few tanks with green gems (stamina + mastery) on blue slot instead of +60 stam, wearing also mastery trinkets even if these are not intended for tanking!
Your maths does not take stam into consideration and i'm wonder how to specialize my equipment.

For example, see this profile:
http://eu.battle.net/wow/fr/character/t ... e/advanced
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby lythac » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:16 am

New Theory of Gemming - Stamina vs. Mastery

^ this thread is a current discussion on what you are asking.

It is likely that tanks who are wearing a DPS mastery trinket are only doing so as they have not had a tanking Mastery one drop yet. The JC Mastery trinket is a prime example.

Also for the armory linked we don't know that for their 11/12 boss kills that they weren't wearing sta trinkets and swap to mastery trinkets for 5 man Heroics (but they probably do wear their mastery trinkets for raids).
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Digren » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:39 am

oursel wrote:According to your maths, reforging mastery is better than avoidance. Ok, but what about enchanting and stuff consideration? Would you go for a full mastery enchanting and geming?
I've seen few tanks with green gems (stamina + mastery) on blue slot instead of +60 stam, wearing also mastery trinkets even if these are not intended for tanking!
Your maths does not take stam into consideration and i'm wonder how to specialize my equipment.

For example, see this profile:
http://eu.battle.net/wow/fr/character/t ... e/advanced

It's frankly too early to tell. These are the key responses about this:
Meloree wrote:I haven't read the whole thread, I'll admit, but it's too early to even have any evidence with which to discuss this. 5-man heroics aren't evidence - they're basically trivial to begin with. They started out easy-but-long with 277 gear, and they're AoE-zerg-fests in 346 gear. Is mitigation/avoidance superior in heroics? Absolutely. It was in Wrath, too, but it didn't matter then, either.

Normal mode raids are unlikely to be EH checks - everyone knew that going in. Nobody has done a heroic on live - we don't know what the EH requirements are going to be, we don't know what the throughput damage is going to be like - we can't make conclusions yet, we can't even make educated guesses.

Patience. The real content is coming, we can talk about it when we have something to talk about.


theckhd wrote:Mel's right, you can't base gemming decisions on heroic 5-mans, unless that is your end-game. Raid bosses can hit for 40-60k unblocked, and healers are having a hell of a time. We're definitely far away from the "stack Stam and nothing else" strategy, but even normal-mode instances should be enough to convince you that we're no closer to "stack nothing but mastery."

You still need a good balance of EH and mitigation/avoidance. My gemming strategy so far has been Stam in blue, parry/stam in red, mastery/stam in yellow. Mastery is such a beastly good stat that once I feel I have enough hit points, those yellow slots may go full mastery. But since there are still bosses that can kill me in 3-4 hits, I'm not there yet.


This is a case where my gem recommendation is based on instinct, because the math just plain doesn't exist yet. As it happens my instinct told me the same thing that Theck's did in the quote above.

If you feel differently in this case, so be it. Do what you wish. This is why I put this line at the top of my item enhancement guide:
Digren wrote:Remember, only you, the experienced tankadin, knows what's best for you given your gear and raid role.


But - when the math or raid experience exists that does indicate one method over another, be prepared to abandon your preconceived "gut" instincts and adopt the new methodology. Sticking to and trying to justify outdated theory despite evidence is really the only bad way to gear.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby rabbitfur » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:37 pm

I had 4k in honor and burned points on chest/gloves since those were my weakest pieces. Thoughts on stop gap pvp honor gear?
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Digren » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:52 am

If you ignore the resilience and the rest of the stats are still an upgrade, and you want to throw away those points on something you'll use for a week, go for it.

I only PVP enough to get pets and mounts, which I consider a better use of points as they don't get thrown away.
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Re: Tank Stage 1: New 85

Postby Digren » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:49 pm

Digren wrote:
    Tank Stage One - Engineer / Enchanter - Survivability Gear

      Digren says, "My goal for this set was to build a realistic target for a new 85 tank. Questing through Vash'jir yields enough Earthen Ring faction to buy the greaves once 85; a lucky run through each of Vortex Pinnacle and the Stonecore provide two drop and one quest pieces. One Justice Points piece is included (1250 points), but there are suitable near replacements if you don't have points banked from level 80 play. Everything else comes from Uldum or Twilight Highlands quests."

      The Model

      "Note that Wowhead still won't let me save a model as level 85, nor does it yet support reforging, nor are the calculations for dodge, parry, or block percent accurate at all. And they are still having problems matching enchant and gem requirements. Overall, though, this is a solid gear set for a new 85 tank."

I've updated this model to reflect what is likely a more realistic example of the gear and enhancements available to a new level 85 tank. Alas, while I can now bump a model up to level 85 on Wowhead, any changes made while level 85 aren't saved. Still, if you hit 85 and have gear about comparable to this set, and you've followed the reforging guide to stack mastery, you should be in good shape to run level 85 normal dungeons.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Tears12 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:03 am

Does anyone know if there is a list like this for holy gear? This guide was a great help to me and I need to start building my holy set.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby jekoh » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:36 pm

Just my two cents, as I did not read it but maybe I missed
For lvl 3 set, I consider the ret head from justice points : Helm of Easeful Death - http://www.wowhead.com/item=58098

a slight better choice than the tank one in term of avoidance with his 182 mastery + 40 mastery gem bonus and a reforging of haste into dodge, parry or expertise or hit rating
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Digren » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:24 am

jekoh wrote:Just my two cents, as I did not read it but maybe I missed
For lvl 3 set, I consider the ret head from justice points : Helm of Easeful Death - http://www.wowhead.com/item=58098

a slight better choice than the tank one in term of avoidance with his 182 mastery + 40 mastery gem bonus and a reforging of haste into dodge, parry or expertise or hit rating

When I made the list I ignored pieces with haste and crit, just to keep the list down to a reasonable size. However I didn't realize how awesome mastery was.

Honestly right now I'd rather take gear with, say, haste and mastery, over a piece with, say, dodge and expertise. That seems really counter-intuitive but that's the way it is.

Going back to add mastery gear regardless of the second stat will take a bit of work. I'll try to do this in the next few days.

Thanks!
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Digren » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:51 pm

I've added a stat consideration section to the top gear guide, explaining the benefits of mastery and recommending gear with mastery over gear without. I still need to go through the individual lists, add mastery/threat gear with haste or crit, and then order the gear based on either total damage reduction or (more likely) combat table coverage.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby yappo » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:55 am

Digren wrote:I've added a stat consideration section to the top gear guide, explaining the benefits of mastery and recommending gear with mastery over gear without. I still need to go through the individual lists, add mastery/threat gear with haste or crit, and then order the gear based on either total damage reduction or (more likely) combat table coverage.


I'm running into problems even with my failsafe list, which should pretty much correspond with your level 3 tank. Items with huge chunks of agility (assorted jewelery) as well as dps-plate with mastery/threat might very well supercede some designed tanking items for survival.

Thus I think even the failsafe tank has to start thinking in terms of three tanking sets.

1) I'm slowly being pummeled to death = avoid and mitigate
2) The damn designer is 'cheating' and zapping me with unavpidable damage = stamina
3) We're hitting enrage timers and/or dps are ripping targets left and right = threat

With a few exepctions this is probably quickly solved by shopping multiple copies of reputation-rewards (remember failsafe, so I can't accept any drops), very carefully selecting what JP gear to double/triple up on and then pay a reforger near you a visit along with your favourite chanter and jewelcrafter.

The exceptions are agility-jewelery (avoidance), 'dps'-jewelery (threat) and a few slots of dps-plate (mitigation, because the sucker is better for handling pummeling than the designated tank-plate).

You, however, are going to have to juggle drops, with some rather awful matching to do. An easy one, just to exemplify the kind of merry hell you have ahead of you, is the crafted tank-plate versus the JP plate. While a few tankadin-members have pointed at the lacking gem-slots resulting in an inconvenient lack of stamina, most seem to have missed out on the combination of lacking gem slots AND the epic plate sitting on a lackluster 228 parry/expertize while the blue chest has a apetizing 182 mastery / 162 dodge. That's a dealbreaker if I ever saw one.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Digren » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:51 am

yappo wrote:1) I'm slowly being pummeled to death = avoid and mitigate
2) The damn designer is 'cheating' and zapping me with unavpidable damage = stamina
3) We're hitting enrage timers and/or dps are ripping targets left and right = threat

I'm still hoping that (2) isn't necessary, or is rare enough that it can be relegated to "gimmick" status and thus not worthy of coverage. Otherwise as you note maintaining recommendations for multiple gear sets is going to be hell.

So far I'm pretty much just focused on (1).
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby yappo » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:28 pm

Digren wrote:
yappo wrote:1) I'm slowly being pummeled to death = avoid and mitigate
2) The damn designer is 'cheating' and zapping me with unavpidable damage = stamina
3) We're hitting enrage timers and/or dps are ripping targets left and right = threat

I'm still hoping that (2) isn't necessary, or is rare enough that it can be relegated to "gimmick" status and thus not worthy of coverage. Otherwise as you note maintaining recommendations for multiple gear sets is going to be hell.

So far I'm pretty much just focused on (1).


Ok, let's have a look at 1.

I have this nagging suspicion that the designed encounters already deviate from reality.

Looking at how the designed tanking sets are itemized I get the feeling that we're supposed to walk around in 30% avoidance, 50% block, 20% in your face and K raidbuffed health.

If I'm correct, then the fights are designed for this setup.

In reality we're starting to head into a 28% avoidance, 57% block, 15% in your face and (K - 15k) health. (actual numbers may vary as I'm mostly inventing them out of thin air)

Remains to calculate actual difference in damage taken per second between designed tank and real tank, correlate against the loss of health and see if it's worth it.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Baelik » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:04 pm

Just wondering if Tia's Grace would find a spot for those gearing up for heroics since some trinkets are hard to come by. Does the mastery and +300 AGI stacked make it worthy? (I'd go with anything at this point since i've gone casual >_>)
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Kyoshkin » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:40 pm

While I defer to the greater minds around here, the 252 or so Mastery is very, very nice. The Agi is more of a gimmick proc, and even if you ignore it, the mastery makes it a very nice trinket until you get something better.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Digren » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:49 am

Here's my own stage two gear set, for the record.

[Headcover of Fog] : Req. Lev. 81 : The Vortex Pinnacle (Normal) Grand Vizier Ertan
[The Lustrous Eye] : Req. Lev. 85 : 1250 Justice Points
[Pharoah's Burial Spaulders] : Req. Lev. 83 : Ruins of Uldum (Quest)
[Shroud of the Dead] : Req. Lev. 83 : Ramkahen (Honored)
[Flynn's Favorite Chestplate] : Req. Lev. 84 : Twilight Highlands (Quest) Doing It Like a Dunwald
[Dunwald's Finest Bindings] : Twilight Highlands (Quest)
[Fingers of Light] : Halls of Origination (Normal) Rajh
[Girdle of the Mountains] : 1650 Justice Points
[Stone-Wrapped Greaves] : The Earthen Ring (Honored)
[Ramkahen Front Boots] : Lost City of the Tol'vir (Quest)
[Red Rock Band] : Ramkahen (Revered)
[Band of the Dead End] : The Vortex Pinnacle (Quest) A Long Way from Home
[Leaden Despair] : The Stonecore (Normal) High Priestess Azil
[Impetuous Query] : Lost City of the Tol'vir (Normal) BoE Random Drop or
[Elementium Dragonling] : BoE Engineering Only
[Dragonscorn Mace] : Twilight Highlands (Quest)
[Truthbreaker Shield] / [Twilight Mirrorshield] : Stormwind City / Orgrimmar (Quest)
[Namkhare's Cabochon Charm] : Req. Lev. 83 : Uldum (Quest) Lieutenants of Darkness

Obviously I had a lot of saved Justice Points so I could skip ahead in a few slots. But otherwise my first heroic was pretty easy in this gear set. Only one wipe - and it was on a boss about four minutes after the healer died nearly instantly (I kept myself alive in the interim).

I was grouped with a friend in a hard-core guild, and all of them had past heroic experience and outgeared me. However I held threat just fine and had a solid lead despite avoiding and reforging away threat stats. We did use CC which let me use ShotR on some occasions instead of just WoG.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby econ21 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:11 pm

Kyoshkin wrote:While I defer to the greater minds around here, the 252 or so Mastery is very, very nice. The Agi is more of a gimmick proc, ...


Whenever I look, the agility is stacked to 10. That equates to about 1% extra dodge, which - together with the mastery - makes it competitive with the best 346 avoidance trinkets.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Axxl » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:01 pm

Digren,

A friend of mine referred me to your guide and I'm quite mindblown by this. I thought I was doing the good thing and I got hit-capped & exp softcapped.

Now it appears that you advice reforging to Mastery alot, which I understand but then I wonder, does it not matter at all that you aren't hitcapped or expertise capped?

My character is the following: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/chromaggus/axxl/advanced

Thanks in advance for answering my question!

Greetings,
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby yappo » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:37 pm

Axxl wrote:
Now it appears that you advice reforging to Mastery alot, which I understand but then I wonder, does it not matter at all that you aren't hitcapped or expertise capped?


Albeit not being Digren:

When was the last fight you lost aggro and it counted?

If it was AoE-spamming more adds than decent for "forgetting" to mark up CC, then it doesn't count :D

Since taunts were removed from 'missable' abilities we (almost) only need to keep a casual eye on Omen. Exception being a 'squishy' co-tank hellbent on doing 200% threat instead of a measly 150% threat on everything between Icecrown and Uldum.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Digren » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:11 pm

Axxl wrote:Now it appears that you advice reforging to Mastery alot, which I understand but then I wonder, does it not matter at all that you aren't hitcapped or expertise capped?


Here's my perspective in a long, winding post. :P

I tanked my first heroic a bit undergeared -
at about 128k health buffed
about 68% avoidance+block
about 2.5% hit
around 15 expertise

with one DPS person I know and two other DPS members of his guild, all hard-core 10 man raiders running their Nth heroic, plus a healer from his guild new to heroics.

What problems might I have seen?
1. Losing threat?

No, I had no threat problem problems at all. Indeed, seconds into each pull I had a 50k threat lead on the top DPS player. On AOE pulls (where more than one mob reached me without CC) a single Hammer would attach the extras onto me.

Yeah I think a few times one of the CC mobs would run after a hunter, but each time I noticed and taunted them off before they arrived. And that's not threat generation at all. That's situation awareness, which is a completely different tanking ability (and one more related to the player than the character).

My DPS isn't great. It's not supposed to be. I really don't worry about my own damage output if I'm holding threat and alive.

2. Dying?

Well, we wiped once, when the healer died a few seconds into the pull. But we didn't wipe for a few minutes after that, while I kept myself alive. (One of the DPS shaman might have been healing me a little, but most of what I saw was my own WoGs.) We did get the boss down to like 30%.

--------

So that's the experience of someone going out of their way to avoid threat stats (by preferring mastery/avoidance gear over any other type). And given that situation, if there's anything I could change, it would be to extend my life further by taking away more threat stats. I would love to replace some of the strength on my gear with agility. I'd love to reforge more than 40% of a threat stat into mastery.

Sure, at some point I could give up so much threat that I can't hold aggro. That's too far. But 2.5% hit and 15 expertise is more than enough, but 128k and 68% is too little.

----------

I note that your gear is a stage and a half better than mine. (Mine is stage two / average iLvl 333 / ready for heroics, while yours is stage three+ / mix if iLvl 346 and iLvl 359 / normal raider.) And yet, my avoidance + block is now higher than yours. (I'm now at about 70% unbuffed, you are at about 68%.)

I take less damage than you do. Sure, your better gear means you have more stamina to absorb blows, so spikes are a smaller percentage of your health and it looks like you take less. That might make your healers feel a little less nervous, so they keep using more mana efficient healers for longer. But I'll get that stamina pretty much for free too when my gear is that good, and my avoidance+block will only go up.

-----------

So, overall:
1. Extra threat is unnecessary. My job is to tank not DPS.
2. Survivability matters. More is better until you just can't die. At that point who cares? But we aren't at that point by definition with progression content.
3. Gearing for mastery over threat reduces your damage taken by a gear stage or more, while only costing extra threat.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Digren » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:18 pm

For the record, that first heroic was Vortex Pinnacle, which is I think one of the easier ones. My second heroic was Tol Barad, run with the same hard core hunter friend but three other members from my guild, all with gear similar to mine, all running their first or second heroics.

Tol Barad was much harder, yes, and we wiped quite a bit more (and eventually abandoned it before the last boss due to a cranky baby + hungry tank + other commitment thing). But all of the issues had to do with me dying due to massive blows to the head, or other people dying due to AOE. My threat was just as good.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby yappo » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm

Short addendum to Axxl:

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/s ... d/advanced

Our gear is about the same quality. I am, in order to put my money where my mouth is, pushing the extreme in covering the combat table. Our in-guild JC has yet to fix those 20 parry/mastery gems, after which I plan to drop another 1500 health.

While healer is far from optional in heroics, healers sure pump out a lot of dps when I'm tanking (with my head screwed on correctly, which isn't always the case) in order to see that blue bar diminish. In-guild runs are rapidly deteriorating into WotLK AoE-insanities in order to ensure I take measurable damage. 87% combat table coverage, with a solid 30% raw avoidance as a foundation removes a LOT of healer stress.
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Re: 4.0.3a Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Digren » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:48 pm

Jesus yappo you're gonna be block capped at T11 without setting foot in a raid.

Considered the old agility enchant to cloak? I think it's worth like 16 dodge rating equivalent.
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