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New 80 Tank? June 1, 2010

Posted by Bezurk in Death Knight, General, Guide, Paladin, Warrior.
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Now, it is possible to tank as a new level 80 (although if you go PuGging don’t expect the DPS / healer to help you out/ not rofl that you don’t have 50k hp unbuffed / haven’t got Kingslayer even though they only dinged last week) contrary to what you may have heard. With heroic farming being incredibly easy now thanks to the LFD tool, and the shortage of tanks, it’s possible to be ICC ready inside a week.

But –

Before then, you are going to have a challenge on your hands. As a new 80 tank you will need perseverance if you want to tank endgame content. It’s going to hurt initially. Battlegroup dependent, you will encounter lots of elitist  pricks (or just a few), or even just general pricks. It’s a hard life as a new 80. Give it a week and you’ll be laughing.

Anyway… in this post we will be looking at the stats for tanks, and the  gear for plate tanks (sorry Druids 😦 ) so they are ready to heroic when they hit 80. A little note: as a tank it’s worth doing some research about your class since you need to know what you are doing as a tank – it’s obvious if you screw up, so go check out something like Tankspot.

Quite simply, tanks look for various stats, to improve health, threat generation and mitigation (or avoidance). There are primary stats and secondary stats:

Primary Stats

Stamina – More Stamina = more hit points. A high priority for a tank, but don’t make the mistake of purely looking for stamina.

Dodge Rating / Parry Rating – This increases your chance to dodge or parry a melee attack respectively – this increases your ‘Effective health’ – a good way to explain this is take 2 tanks. One has 50,000 HP and no avoidance, the other has 30,000 and 20% of each avoidance. Both are hit for 100 melee swings doing 10,000 damage each. Tank 1 must be healed for 1,000,000 as all attacks hit them – Tank 2 takes 600,000 as 20% of the attacks are dodged, and 20% are parried. Thus, Tank 2 has more Effective Health.

Shield Block Rating (Warriors/ Paladins only) – This increases your chance to block a melee attack. Note Shield Block Value is different (see below).

Shield Block Value (Warriors/ Paladins only) – This increases the amount of damage you block when you block a melee attack.

That covers the stats you need for mitigation and health. Onto

Secondary Stats

Strength – This increases your damage – more damage = more threat. For Warriors/Paladins it also increases their Shield Block Value (1 block value for every 2 Strength).

Hit Rating – This increases your chance to hit an enemy creature (or more accurately, reduces your chance to miss). More hits = more threat, if you miss an attack it equals no threat.

Expertise Rating – this reduces the chance your attacks will be dodged or parried – same idea as hit, as dodged or parried attacks cause no threat.

That basically covers the stats you want as a tank. Very rarely will you look for other stats (apart from Death Knights, with their non-Defense weapons, who may look for Armor Pen or Haste to maximise threat). On a side note, it’s worth remembering Agility – while not a recommended stat, it does grant Armor and Dodge (alongside a small amount of Crit) – for this reason Mongoose can be chosen as a valid tank enchant. But that’s going on a tangent.

Anyway, here’s a list of good pre-80 gear to aim for, assuming you can’t get crafted items or runs in ToC / ICC normal 5-mans, along with their respective enchants.

If you want links, copy the name of the item / quest / enchant into Thottbot or Wowhead or a similar site. Yes, I’m lazy sometimes. A note: This is assuming Best-in-Slot avoiding BoE items, purely from quest rewards / dungeon drops / reputation rewards. Also, I’m only recommending easily available and cheap enchants, as you will most likely replace gear quickly when you start heroics.

 There are BoE items available that are superior, and by all means utilise them (i.e. go and find a Blacksmith with 425+ skill, take some Eternal Earth and a lot of Saronite Bars to them and /y Make Stuff!!!)

Head: The Crusader’s Resolution – From: The Crusaders’ Pinnacle, quest reward (Icecrown) – Enchant: Heavy Borean Armor Kit OR Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector

Neck: Amulet of Deflected Blows – From: Skadi the Ruthless, Utgarde Pinnacle

Shoulders: Pauldrons of Reconnaissance From: Halls of Stone, quest reward (Halls of Stone) – Enchant: Heavy Borean Armor Kit OR Lesser Inscription of the Pinnacle

Back: Flowing Cloak of Command – From: Salramm the Fleshcrafter, The Culling of Stratholme – Enchant: Titanweave

Chest: Silver-Plated Battlechest – From: Junk in My Trunk, quest reward (Utgarde Pinnacle) Enchant: Greater Defense OR Mighty Health

Wrist: Svala’s Bloodied Shackles – From: Svala Sorrowgrave, Utgarde Pinnacle – Enchant: Major Stamina

Hands: Gauntlets of Vigilance – From: The Reckoning, quest reward (Storm Peaks) – Enchant: Armsman (Note: Daunting Handguards are better if you can get a Blacksmith to craft them).

Waist: Girdle of Obscuring – From: Mage-Lord Urom, The Oculus – Enchant: Eternal Belt Buckle (+ Cobalt Frag Bomb tinker for Engineers)

Legs: Special Issue Legplates – From: Argent Crusade, Honored – Enchant: Jormungar Leg Armor

Feet: Slaughterhouse Sabatons – From: Salramm the Fleshcrafter, The Culling of Stratholme – Enchant: Greater Fortitude (Note: Toxin-Tempered Sabatons from Honored reputation with  Knights of the Ebon Blade are identical – sorry DKs, only Shield Block Value here. Ho hum.)

Ring 1: Dragonflight Great-Ring – From: Ley-Guardian Eregos, The Oculus

Ring 2: Gal’darah’s Signet – From: Gal’darah, Gundrak

Trinket 1: Seal of the Pantheon – From: Loken, Halls of Lightning

Trinket 2: Variable (Jewelcrafting / Alchemy trinkets are viable, failing that then Crusader’s Locket, from Defending the Vanguard, quest reward (Icecrown) unless you have another old tanking trinket).

Weapons (Warrior / Paladin)

Weapon: Eternally Folded Blade – From: Volkhan, Halls of Lightning – Enchant: Titanium Weapon Chain (it’s cheap and offers some easy hit rating)

Shield: Leeka’s Shield – From: Mal’Ganis, The Culling of Stratholme – Enchant: Defense

Weapons (Death Knight)

Dual Wield:

Weapon 1: Crescent of Brooding Fury – From: WANTED: Ragemane’s Flipper, quest reward (Zul’Drak) – Enchant: Rune of the Nerubian Carapace

Weapon 2: Crimson Cranium Crusher – From: The Champion of Zul’Drak, quest reward (Zul’Drak) – Enchant: Rune of the Nerubian Carapace

Two-handed: Dreadlord’s Blade – From: Mal’ganis, The Culling of Stratholme – Enchant: Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle

Ranged / Relic:

Ranged: Weighted Throwing Axe – From: Changing the Wind’s Course (Horde) / Sirana Iceshriek (Alliance), quest reward (The Storm Peaks)

Libram: Venture Co. Libram of Protection – From: Vendors, Grizzly Hills (30 Venture Bay coins)

Sigil: Not much, but Sigil of the Frozen Conscience is probably best, failing using the original Sigil of the Dark Rider – From: Vendors, Grizzly Hills (30 Venture Bay coins)

That more or less covers it. With these items, you’ll be the best you can be (mostly), without BoE items, expensive enchants, and running ToC 5 normal / ICC 5 normal (which, if you random and don’t want to do dungeons the old fashioned way of walking in and out, only become available at 80 anyway).

Hope this guide helped you out 🙂

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Warriors and You: Levelling as Prot – Part 1 May 19, 2010

Posted by Bezurk in General, Warrior.
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A short note: This turned out to be way longer than expected, so I am seperating this into 2 parts. This first part looks at racial abilities and the benefits of levelling Prot. Also, Linedan at Atchung Panzercow has been doing a similar guide – SYWTBAPW. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here and Part 3 here.

So you rolled a Warrior. Good choice. Now get him a sword and shield and you’ll —

Hold it a second! Did you just say a shield??!!!11!!!!!1!

Yes, you can level Protection. It may not kill enemies the fastest, but if you want to grind dungeons as a tank, and you want to take 3+ mobs and survive, then Prot is the way forward. With recent buffs to abilities like Revenge, and the general love given to Prot Warriors throughout WotLK, they have become a lot more viable. Personally I prefer the Warrior as a tank – they may not be the kings of AoE chain pulling and tanking 40 mobs at once (and holding them) – but they’re damn good fun and look cool. Of course you could argue that being a troll warrior is noobish, lmaowtf their racials suck roll tauren lulz, but having that feature sets my warrior apart. He’s now the best geared Troll Prot Warrior on server, and it’s just cool.

Anyway, enough about me. Let’s start by evaluating each race in terms of tanking:

Orc – Racially these are decent tanks, and offer some good benefits. Blood Fury gives you that little threat and DPS boost when you need it. Hardiness is highly useful – a 15% reduction on stun times is just cool. Command isn’t much use, but the real trump card (if you can find one) is Axe Specialisation. 5 free expertise tanking with an axe. Woohoo!

Troll – Ok, racially, these aren’t the best, so mini-maxers won’t pick them for tanking – even so, we’ll look at the benefits. Berserking offers a small TPS and rage generation boost – through a few more melee hits and more Heroic Strikes. Regeneration is nice for soloing – but the regeneration is minimal for raid tanking. Beast Slaying is excellent against Beasts – 5% damage is not too be sneezed at. Da Voodoo Shuffle is nice for movement-heavy encounters.

Tauren – these are probably the best tanks, with high Strength and Stamina. War Stomp offers a little more control with a multi-target stun, Endurance gives ~400 health at level 80. Cultivation is only useful as a Herbalist, although Lifeblood is useful in certain situations as a tank, and Nature Resistance offers a little more help in mitigating spell damage.

Forsaken – These would appear to be the weakest tanks, but are quite good within PvP and certain situations. Underwater Breathing offers the oppurtunity to fight for an extended period underwater (~10 minutes). Cannibalize makes for useful downtime reduction and fast PvP recovery. Will of the Forsaken is a very powerful ability when used in the right situation, and Shadow Resistance is useful to help mitigate spell damage of this type.

So, for you hordies, a Tauren is the way to go as a tank, with an Orc in second place. However – this is only trying to max out capabilities – if you like aesthetics, pick the race you like most as it’s not game changing to play a Tauren over a Forsaken, but you may enjoy a Forsaken more (which is what it’s all about really, enjoyment ^^).

Onto the Alliance:

Human – These don’t make bad tanks, Every Man for Himself makes breaking that annoying stun much easier. Perception is situationally useful against stealthers, but the most useful ability is +3 expertise with Swords and Maces. The Human Spirit and Diplomacy don’t help a great deal tanking.

Dwarf – Probably the best Alliance tanks. Stoneform offers an additional CD to mitigate more damage and removing a variety of DoTs (also useful in PvP). Frost Resistance helps to mitigate some incoming damage from this spell type – Mace Specialisation makes hitting that expertise cap easier. Gun specialisation is little use for tanking, as is Find Treasure.

Gnome – the weakest tanks statwise (and damn annoying imo), these can be surpisingly effective: Arcane Resistance helps a little on such spell users, while Escape Artist increases your mobility – very useful in certain situations. You may see some benefit from +15 Engineering, but 5% Intellect does the Warrior few favours.

Night Elf – this class makes for surprisingly good tanks. Shadowmeld is like a mini-Vanish, but won’t save you in a raid. However, Quickness is amazing – a -2% chance to be hit! Nature Resistance helps a little against such spellcasters, Wisp Spirit helps with wipe recovery, and Elusiveness buffs Shadowmeld slightly.

Draenei – These tanks have their benefits – Gift of the Naaru is an attack power scaling HoT increasing with level, helping to take the edge off healers when the going gets tough. Gemcutting helps the JC Warriors out there, Shadow Resistance helps mitigate such damage, and Heroic Presence makes that issue of hit (for you and your group / raid) easier to deal with.

Of the Alliance, Dwarfs and Night Elves compete for the top spot – Dwarfs have the most appropriate stats and a tanking CD, while Night Elves get a reduced chance to be hit (and have high Agility for more dodge 😉 ). Again, it comes down to the looks – what do you prefer?