Archive for the 'Tank Gearing' Category

Divine Sacrifice, my new BFF

I am shocked by how long I tanked with talent points in this skill without ever using it.

Not the current, redesigned Divine Sac. I’m talking about the old Divine Sac. Think back to patch 3.0, 3.1, even 3.2 – the “Push this button for a good time” version of Divine Sac with a big red chance of death sign attached.

It kind of reminded me of the way Engineering items are taglined in the game. “Absorbs X percent of damage taken by raid members. Occasionally results in death, so don’t forget your bring your bubble!”

I realized soon after I started raiding that there was literally never a situation where I felt comfortable popping a skill as scary as DS. Oh, I’m sure it used to have its uses, but I guess I was too noob to know them. If I was tanking something, the extra damage was way too worrisome to contemplate. If I wasn’t tanking something, I still worried about killing myself. What if the healers didn’t compensate?

So Divine Sac sat on my bar, completely ignored, until 3.3 came along and changed things forever.

Patch 3.3 and the Divine Sacrifice/Guardian redesign.

Oh, how things change. First of all, the damage redirection became party-only and much, much safer. More importantly, those extra 2 points in Divine Guardian added a raid-wide damage prevention aura that lasts the entire 6 seconds regardless of when the spell gets cancels.

Enter the Cancel Macro. You are probably familiar with this if you have your bubble on a macro to clear debuffs. The Divine Sac macro is precisely the same:

/cancelaura Divine Sacrifice
/cast Divine Sacrifice

Spam that button twice. You cancel the party redirect part, so no extra damage to you. Your whole raid takes 20% decreased damage for 6 seconds.

Wow. Holy shit. Read that again. A 20% raid wall. On a two minute cooldown. And it can be triggered at no personal risk to the tank. There is absolutely no reason not to use this all the freaking time.

It took me a long time to figure this out. Maybe I’m a slow tank. That’s why I’m posting about it now. I just started using Divine Sac a while lot about a month ago, and I can’t believe it took me so long to understand how amazing this spell has become.

Once Ignored, Now Beloved

Divine Sac was a completely neglected part of my tanking arsenal pre-3.3. Now its one of my absolute favorite abilities.

I pop it at least once on every raid boss. Even in farm content, I pop it because just it’s there and I can. No, seriously, that’s my reasoning. It’s there, and I can push it. Why not? Yeah, that’s right, this might be 10 man Marrogar and we could down this in our sleep, but I’m going to Divine Sac this bone storm just because I can. I do more than roll my face across the keyboard – sometimes I push interesting buttons, too!

I usually try to use it twice per boss fight. Its two minute cooldown happens to lines up flawlessly with several heavy raid damage times in ICC like BQL’s Air phase and Festergut’s Exhale Blight. I pop it early in a fight if I know I want it available later. Hell, if heals are light and I’m in sketchy tank gear, I use that thing in Pit of Saron when tanking those BK-phase-3-like mobs just before the final boss!

Divine Sacrifice and I are now BFF. I put it in a special place on my action bar.

Some Places where I use Divine Sac in ICC:

Marrogar: Bone Storm. Or, if tons of healers get spiked!
Deathwhisper: Phase 3, when the spirits start spawning.
Saurfang: After he hits Frenzy, when he gets high on BP.
Stinky & Precious: Don’t forget DS on these minibosses! Shortly after a Decimate.
Festergut: Pungent Blight. DS is back up for each one.
Rotface: Late in the fight when the slimes are spawning really fast.
Princes: On a Valanyr activation. I like popping it here better than on a Keleseth activation because theoretically the only person who should take damage when Keleseth is active is the ranged tank, and he’s getting other sorts of cooldowns.
BQL: Bloodbolt Whirl. DS is back up for each air phase. I usually bubble out of the first fear.
Valithra: on a Blazing Skeleton.
Sindragosa: Blistering Cold. Especially Phase 3, just before a tank (and hopefully no one else) eats a Blistering Cold.

When do you use Divine Sac? When should I be using it?


Disappointing Proc Rate on the Ashen Verdict Tank Ring

My beloved ring … and no, I’m not exalted yet, I haven’t farmed that much rep!

I guess I expected too much out of my Ashen Band of Unmatched Courage ring proc. Now that I’ve got the revered version, the proc rate seems to be a lot lower than I expected.

After seeing @Protadin talk about his ring on twitter, I took a look at my own combat logs to see how often mine (and my MT’s) was proccing. Appeared to be much lower than I expected; every 1-3 minutes depending on how much I was being hit by things. Hmm.

Luckily there are people at Maintankadin and Tankspot who have looked into this before and done more extensive testing than my unofficial “search my combat logs and make assumptions based on encounters” approach. The ring appears to have a 2 or 3% proc rate with a 60 second ICD.

From a Maintankadin thread:

Definitely a 60-second ICD with an average time to proc of 0.08 minutes or 4.55 seconds when I had an average of 6.6 hits incoming per second. (21,705 hits over 55 minutes) … at a glance, it looks to me like the 3% proc rate listed on Wowhead is accurate.

Bonus links to a Tankspot thread where it is discussed, and another Tankspot thread.

I guess I set my expectations too high. I remember taking a look at the ring and drooling over the armor proc, imagining having a mini version of The Black Heart in a ring slot. Remember how often that baby used to proc? Back in the day? I loved that trinket.

But honestly, thinking about the ring as a whole, there’s really no reason to be disappointed. The ring has great stats (hit!! HIT!!!!), and with my raid’s less than speedy ICC 25 progression, my gear is not getting upgraded as quickly as I’d like. It was really fantastic to have fairly quick access to a nice ring like this from rep. The proc is really just the icing on the cake; even without it, I’d be happily wearing it. I don’t have access to enough gear to be really picky.

It’s just useful to be aware of how low the proc rate is so I know what to expect.

Paladin T10 puts me back in a dress


MMO Champion has posted pictures of the Paladin T10 and goddamnit, it’s another dress.

I’m a girl, so I don’t mind too much that my female character will be rocking a skirt again come T10. But our MT / my cotank is also a pally. He’s the kind of guy who calls the Violet Protodrake “your pink ride” and complained bitterly about tanking in a dress throughout T8 – he will be less pleased.

And it’s purple. Oh boy, I cannot WAIT to show him this! The teasing will commence :) “Does that skirt come with an apron?” “Get in the kitchen and make me a sandwitch!”

I really wish it was pants myself. Come on! My chick is a badass! She’s wearing the toughest plate armor in the game and stacks stamina until her fat ass laughs at spike damage! She stands between the boss & our deeps and healers, bravely getting her ass kicked over and over as much as possible to ensure their safety! What is she doing in a dress?

I want some pants instead, TYVM. It’s a little hard to dodge in a skirt.

Maybe this is why ICC is going to nerf avoidance. We were just too mobile in pants.

T9 upgrade troubles

I don’t know what to do about my T9 upgrades. And I’m sitting on 110 triumph emblems right now so I better decide fast! The first thing I’m going to upgrade is certainly going to be the gloves as my gloves are currently my worst item of the four. The next upgrade however is problematic due to what I am wearing:

Gloves: emblem gloves -> need upgrading!
Chest: 245 Chest of the Towering Monstrosity
Shoulders: 245 badge shoulders
Head: 226 T8.5 head
Legs: 226 T8.5 legs

After I upgrade the gloves, I’m in a bit of a pickle. Either I replace a perfectly good 245 item with a very slight upgrade (chest or shoulders), or I break my T8 set bonus (10% increased damage to Seal of Vengence). I don’t really have threat problems, but that’s a big threat loss. I love the T9 2pc set bonus so much – decreased cooldown on taunt is just so clutch – but I would rather have both bonuses, thank you very much :)

My cotank and I both sort of made the mistake of blowing emblems on offset shoulders. Of course, I wasn’t running near as high content back then. Now however I am clearing 25 man TOC (mostly) every week with my guild, and I have access to those trophies. And the DKP for them now.

Well, I will probably break my T8 bonus first. Or get the set shoulders. Ugh. I still can’t decide.

Easy Heroics and Hard Heroics

Not all Heroics are created equal. Some of them are easier than others. Your experiences may vary, but I farmed the following heroics for badges beginning in seriously shitty gear. (Very low stamina, def capped with tons of yellow gems).

“Easy” – Regular ToC (yes, this counts), H Violet Hold, H Nexus, H UK, H UP.
Obviously, any one of these is hard when you don’t know the bosses. But these are pretty easy to get through, and I farmed them so much when I was new.

“Medium” – H Gundrak, H DTK, H AN.
Gundrak is a popular choice for heroic farming, since it has 5 bosses with only 2 or 3 trash pulls between them. I could tank this place in my sleep, I farmed it so much. But I think it’s a little harder than the above listed ones, thanks to 2 bosses who drop aggro multiple times through their fights.
DTK – Another popular farming choice, but King Dred hits the tank very, very hard. Requires OP heals if you are undergeared.
AN – Very fast 3 badges. I am told that this place is a mess if you aren’t with a group that knows it.

“Hard” – H TOC, H HOL, H HOS (duh, the ulduar and coliseum heroics)
H HOS – Two of these bosses are very, very simple. Three, if you count the last boss and you just control the adds he summons. But I put this on the “hard” list because the Brann encounter is just a bitch and a half.
H HOL – For a heroic, this is pretty nasty trash. I was not a fan of this place until I had run it at least 10 times. (now I like it… it’s interesting!) Also, Loken’s AOE damage spell is much, much easier if everyone stacks up and eats the damage. Hard to run before you are geared.
H TOC – A good rule of thumb is, don’t tank H TOC until you have 30k HP unbuffed. I’m sure it can be done, but this is not an easy heroic. I honestly think it’s most difficult for the healer – and if it’s tough for the healer, you should not depend on them to heal your undergeared ass. Once you know it though, very easy to farm. And there is a ton of nice stuff in here

Nastier Heroics
H AN (very short, but can be messy)
H OK (long and painful, avoid when possible)
H Occulus (blegh)

Apparently I am crazy for preferring Gundrak to DTK. /shrug…. I like Gundrak! Very little trash! :)

Enchanting a New Set of Tank Gear

Enchant all your gear. It’s pretty easy. Here’s the list, just as my tank mentor gave it to me. (There are obviously other options for some of these… but it’s easiest to just put one)

Helm – Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector
30 Stam, 20 Defense Rating
** Revered with the Argent Crusade.

Shoulder – Lesser Inscription of the Pinnacle
+15 Dodge Rating, 10 Defense Rating
** Honored with Sons of Hodir. (Exalted takes a while, but Honored is easy.)

Cloak – Enchant Cloak – Titanweave
+16 Defense Rating

Chest – Enchant Chest – Greater Defense
+22 Defense Rating

Bracer – Enchant Bracers – Greater Stamina
+40 Stamina

Gloves – Enchant Gloves – Armsman
+ 2% increased threat and +10 Parry
(there are other options, but this is my favorite)

Belt – Eternal Belt Buckle
Adds a socket!

Pants – Frosthide Leg Armor
+55 Stam, +22 Agi

Boots – Enchant Boots – Greater Fortitude
+22 Stam

Weapon (you have choices!!)
** Start with Mongoose. Wonderful for avoidance.
** I like Blade Ward for raiding.
** Other options include Blood Draining…

Shield – Enchant Shield – Defense
+20 Defense Rating

Defense and Defense Rating

Are you a new tank wondering how to gear? Let me help you.

2) Gem for Stam. (once you have CAPPED DEF.)
3) No, seriously, you did cap your def, right?

“What is defense rating?”Wowwiki

Your Defense skill determines whether a boss can critically hit you. Heroic bosses are level 82, and you need 535 defense to make yourself uncrittable. Raid bosses are level 83, so you need 540 defense to be uncrittable in raids.

Gear has “defense rating” on it, and 4.92 defense rating = 1 point of “defense skill”. So the math works like this:
— You need +665 Defense Rating to tank heroics (that’s 535 def)
— You need +689 Defense Rating to tank raids (that’s 540 def)

“That is so much defense!!! How do I get there?”

Get crafted defense gear from a blacksmith – the cheap blue Saronite stuff will do. Gem exclusively +16 Defense gems until you’ve reached the cap. (Then, you may gem stam.)

“So I am almost capped. I have like 525 def. Can’t I tank a heroic?!”

No. Get more crafted gear. Gem more Def. I know, it hurts. Your HP pool will look low. But your #1 priority is to cap def.

This is something that was tough for me to understand when I first hit 80, because I wanted to tank and my HP pool looked so low, and it was so frustrating to spend all my gem slots on def gems…. but def is not an optional priority.

It’s not like melee capping hit – if you are a DPS class without hit capped, you’ll miss some and your DPS won’t be great. If you tank without being def capped, the boss can crit you and your healer will have a heart attack and you will probably die and everyone will wipe.

“Whatever, I can’t cap it yet. Screw you, I’m going to go tank H Nexus!”

Yeah, I was guilty of doing this. I tanked some heroics before I was capped, and I never wiped any runs due to being crittable. It’s bad, but you can do it.

“I am overcapped. What a waste!”

No way! More Def than the cap isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s a great avoidance stat and increases your chance to block, parry, and dodge across the board. Once you have reached the cap, don’t be afraid of going a few points over it.

About The Author

Tankadin Errant is a blog written by Anafielle, a paladin tank on Drenden - US Alliance side. (Armory)

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