Tanking for Dummies

The Plan for Looting Icecrown Citadel (Thus far)
December 11, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Gear, Raiding | Tags: , , , , ,

First off, I’m not going to go into the 5-man lootables.  In case you missed it, Kadomi did a super job covering that stuff already.

What I am going to do is talk about Raid and Emblem loot (or at least what we know about it thus far).  I’m not going to worry about “Heroic” versions of these items either. You’re not going to see them until, well, I guess February or March anyway.


The only weapons we know about thus far is is from the 10-man, and one only know about the Heroic Version.  That said, it’s hard to argue with those stats that Troggbane (love the name!) is a great looking axe that every orc will want to get their mitts on.  Probably more than a few tanks at large will want it for an avoidance set too.  It drops off the Lich King though, so get ready for Last Laugh 2.0 with this one.

The Bonebreaker Scepter off Marrowgar, however, will more than last until then.  Humans will rejoice of course (I’m happy it’s just not a sword personally), and I feel confident that the hit rating will be a welcome addition to those of us feeling rather…. under hit capped.


Neverending Winter, is not a the door shield that we all lusted after when we saw a peek of it at Blizzcon.  That may be left to whatever treat resides in the 25-man.  That said, it’s hard to argue that the shield isn’t itemized quite well.  No “wasted” point in dodge on this item.  And, as a reward for the Gunship Battle, it’s likely that this is an upgrade you can access relatively quickly.


The guns have it in Icecrown, perhaps not surprisingly. The Dreamhunter’s Carbine off of Valithria Dreamweaver – 10 may be a bit ahead of itself, but Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets, which drops off Trash Mobs in 25-man is the first ranged slot weapon that is probably better off stat-wise than the Armor Plated Combat Shotgun, at least in terms of stamina.  Buyer beware, however, Rowan’s rifle may transmute your bullets to silver, but it doesn’t have any defense on it.


The Broken Ram Skull Helm off of Lady Deathwhisper-25 sure gives the the Ymirjar Lord’s Greathelm (25 Man Version) a run for it’s money.  It’s a real choice between Avoidance and Threat (and those very very sexy set bonuses).  Getting the former is a lot easier though, so if you’re looking at a priority system, keep that one in mind.


So, let me get this straight.  You get Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker off of the first boss in the 10 man.  You get Sepsis off of a boss in the 25-man we can’t even do yet.  The former dodge, parry, and has a blue socket with a stamina socket bonus.  The latter is dodge only.  I’ll let you figure this one out.


You’ve got your Boneguard Commander’s Pauldrons from Gunship 25 and your Teir Set Pieces.  As you can see, the two are very similarly itemized.  With two gem slots, the former are hard to argue against, save for those pesky set bonuses.  Chances are that you will get them first anyway, but loot tables are fickle fickle creatures.  If opportunity knocks, take it no matter which one you can grab.


In all likelyhood, we’ll have access to the Sentinel’s Winter Cloak well before we see the Cloak of Many Skins off Festergut-25.  It is available for the low-low cost of 50 Emblems of Frost.  That said, there are a lot nicer Emblem pieces available than the cloak, and the latter is so much better itemized it’s not even funny.  Oh Blizzard, when you whacked us all with the Sunwell Raidiance 2.0, did you even consider hitting Dodge and Parry even remotely equally?  You make my job almost too easy sometimes.


Choices! Choices! Choices!  We’ve got the Cataclysmic Chestguard for 95 Emblems, the Ghoul Commander’s Curiass off Lady Deathwhisper 10, the Blightborne Warplate off of Rotface 25, AND The Teir Pieces.  I mean, seriously.  How many chest pieces could a body want?  I’m not going to beat around the bush here though.  If you want avoidance, the Tier Pieces are definitely what you want.  For threat, the Cataclysmic Chestguard is the way to go.  That said, if you’re running 10 mans and you’re hurting for hit from doing too much ToC 25, Swapping out and becoming a Ghoul Commander for a few weeks is probably a better bet than having to give up a glyph slot for Taunt.


Bracers of Dark Reckoning are an easy pick up off of Lord Marrowgar-25, and slightly harder (but still accessible now) are the Gargoyle Spit Bracers off of Deathbringer Saurfang-10.  There’s no challenge about which one is better itemized though.  Seriously 10-man raiders, try to get into a PuG and get those bracers.  Lord Marrogar seems pretty easy as far as raid bosses go.


It will be quite a while before any of us see those Taldaram’s Plated Fists off the Blood Princes-25, so there’s some serious added value for Gauntlets of the Kraken.  Despite the fact that Taldaram’s are superior-ly itemized in every way, 60 Emblems might be the right amount for the job, especially if (like me) you’re still rocking the gloves from Ulduar.  Sadly, the set pieces are among the worst itemized of the entire 5-piece set, though that’s mostly about the choice of dodge.


All I have to say is, wow.  The only thing bad I can say about the Ironrope Belt of Ymirjar off of Valithria-10 is that it’s item level is lower.  The Belt of Broken Bones off Festergut-25 and the Verdigris Chain Belt for 60 Emblems look like slackers by comparison.  It’s a pity it will be so long before it’s available.  Let no one say that 10-man raiding gets no love.


So, yeah, I was thinking that maybe I should be picking up my Tier 9 legs to help with the hit rating problem.  After seeing the easy to acquire Legguards of Lost Hope off Marrowgar-25, I’ve repented of that idea.  Plenty of hit (and gem slots!) on those bad boys.  Not to say that the Deathforged Legplates off of Saurfang-10 are anything to snark at.  I imagine there’s many a 10-man tank that would want a set of those.  Yet, I must say that the Tier Set legs are probably the strongest of the 4 available pieces, put side by side.  That they’ll help you get your hands on those snack-y set bonuses is gravy on an already impressive cake.


Boots are somewhat akin to the red-headed step child of the Tanking gear list.  I mean, these Grinning Skull Greatboots off of Valithria-25 are great and all, but… choice?  Anyone?  Hopefully we’ll at least see some 10-man potential in there somewhere.


On the subject of choice, my, I must say that we got a pretty good bunch of rings this time.  With the Juggernaut Band off Lady Deathwhisper-25, the Harbinger’s Bone Band off of Trash in the 25-man, and the Abomination’s Bloody Ring off of Gunship-10, there’s a ring for every occasion.  The Harbinger’s Bone Band is even BoE.  Not too shabby!  And, of course, it’s worth mentioning the very Karazhan-esque Ashen Band of Courage you can pick up when you ding Friendly with the Ashen Verdict.  I assume we’ll all pick that one up right quickly.


Gunship Battles are apparently good for tanking trinkets.  Who knew?  But damn, I might just have to run 10-man to get my hands on that Unidentifiable Organ.  That proc will probably have you rocking an extra 2400 health pretty quick, the armor is quick nice, and by comparison it knocks the socks off of the Corpse Tongue Coin‘s somewhat lousy choice of dodge as the base state for the trinket.  That said, I know you all want to rush out and get your grubby fingers on the Corroded Skeleton Key, probably the first choice for most tanks to blow their Emblems of Frost on.  Stamina and absorbing shield?  Can we say, yes please?

A special side note on Blacksmithing craft-ables from the Ashen Verdict

Dear Blizzard.  Your tanking pieces for blacksmithing are nice and all, but really – put some defense on it.  Really.  REALLY.  Defense is the best stat for getting that avoidance up.  We’ve known this for a while.  Maybe then someone will go through the ludicrous effort it takes to craft this stuff.  Otherwise, we’re just going to give it to the DPS and holy paladins, since they actually get well itemized piece.


12 Comments so far
Leave a comment

My thoughts on the Organ: Not great for boss fights – stacks up slow, and would fall off if not hit frequently (i.e., some phases) or even a good avoidance string. Very nice, however, for offtanking/trash/mob roundup.

Comment by Figworth

@Figworth- Disagree about bad on boss fights. You get shittons of armor static, and with 20% less dodge the stacks should mount up fast in the first 20-30 seconds. I know you’d love 240 stam off the bat, this is close to just as good, and will probably last through the crucial parts of the fights, usually the last half.

Comment by Dreador

I have to agree with Dreador here, armor is a pretty good stat to get on a trinket. My general sense is that you’ll have the extra stamina “when it matters”, but to know for sure I’ll have to experience more of ICC.

Comment by Tarsus

Why are you so down on dodge? Yes, Chill of the throne only affects dodge, but from a DR standpoint, that doesn’t matter, it might as well just say “Reduces avoidance by 20%”. Unless you are already at the point of the DR curve where 1 point of dodge gains you less avoidance than 1 point of parry, nothing changes with regards to which stat you use.

Comment by Kobeathris

As long as you aren’t wasting gem slots with it, should be fine finding it on the pieces you choose.

Comment by Dreador

Effectively I’m down on dodge because essentially the first 900 points of dodge rating are worthless in ICC. So a piece of gear that effectively splits the avoidance allocation on it half to dodge/half to parry is going to be a better use of those points than if it were all in Dodge.

I’m not advocating stacking parry or whatever (certainly not gem-ing for it), but if you have two pieces of gear that are otherwise equivalent and you need to pick which one you want to spend your DKP (or whichever) on, take the one that has parry (or parry and dodge) over the one that has only dodge.

Comment by Tarsus

But getting more dodge isn’t useless, unless you still the full DR from the 20% you’re losing do to Chill. It still comes before parry on the hit table and having some isn’t bad. If you’re getting the same DR as you would if Chill was a non issue, I’d say parry first and foremost if you had to pick one. Stamina is your best friend in this environment, and should be the main priority when selecting new pieces, alongside armor.

Comment by Dreador

You are correct in saying it isn’t useless (and, of course, you get some dodge from defense, so the 900 number is a bit misleading). Looking at the numbers on my Tier 9 gear, and the Tier 10 gear, I seriously doubt I could dip below the 20% mark on Dodge, even if I tried. So, in that way, you are correct that I probably won’t loose much either way.

I suppose from my perspective, I just never want to be in a position where I have to not equip a piece of gear I paid for because of Chill. Parry is safe from that.

And yes, Stamina is probably a good friend. Just don’t ignore your threat stats. My experience in ICC so far is that anything you can do to help push the DPS harder is good. Raising the threat ceiling (especially for hunters) is essential to progress.

Comment by Tarsus

Agreed again. Threat is important, but that also goes hand in hand with how well you are at pressing your buttons. Full TOGC gear gives you about softcap for expertise and like 1 piece of hit gear, you have to know how to push your buttons just right and do it fast to put out threat. Having the boost with more attacks landing is a plus but without the skill to back it up they are useless. That said I’ll be going for the badge chest asap as my new guild is only going to be doing 10s this patch.

Comment by Dreador

Looking at your armory, you have about 25% dodge, and 20% parry, which means, point for point, dodge is better than parry. In icecrown, you have 5% dodge, and 20% parry, but with the way DR works, point for point, dodge is still better for you than parry, since Chill doesn’t affect the DR curve at all, and since Parry’s dr curve still sucks.

I know it sticks in your craw that dodge specifically got nerfed, but, if you want avoidance, then the only question you should worry about is “Which piece of gear gives me more total avoidance?” Inside of Icecrown or outside of Icecrown doesn’t matter, the relative balance between dodge and parry is the same.

That said, I use shifting dreadstones in any socket that gives me +stam, cause I can’t gem for armor any other way.

Comment by Kobeathris

Ok thanks for clearing that up with the DR. That’s the main reason I advocate not worrying about what avoidance to stack and just worry about armor and stamina/threat for progression. Personally, I wouldn’t use agi/stam gems, but that’s your preference and I won’t knock it. Personally would use the Indom Glyph for armor and stick with straight stamina gems in that case. I do see where you’re coming from with the dodge you’d gain from it and the minimal amount of crit afforded you as well. You can also look at the famous Kungen and see he’s got 45k unbuffed with def/stam and dodge/stam in every socket….bastard.

Comment by Dreador

In my standard setup, I do use the glyph and Juggy, I swap things around depending on if I want max health, avoidance, etc.

Comment by Kobeathris

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