Tanking for Dummies

A Simple Reminder
February 1, 2010, 11:23 am
Filed under: Gear, Raiding | Tags: , ,

How do you measure the value of an upgrade?  The stats on the item? Gearscore rating? Perhaps a list made by a blogger?

Quantum Fluid Theory?

No matter what system you use for determining your list of desired upgrades, before you do boot up your armory profile and consider this little bit of advice:

An upgrade is only as good as the piece it is replacing.

Take, if you will, the case of Tarsus’ gloves. They’re Tier 8 (Ulduar) set gear.  I’m not still wearing them because they’re some sort of super itemized awesome piece – I’m wearing them because my Tier 9 options were downright underwhelming.  Given the sparsity of hit on Tier 9 gear, that 49 hit rating was quite valuable – and they didn’t exactly have another option available.  In terms of my list of priority – gloves were then at the bottom.

Now looking at what is available in Tier 10, I have other options.  Specifically I have an attraction to the Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Handguards, now that (come Tuesday) they have bonus armor on them.  Having that clear of an upgrade over my existing gloves moves them substantially up the priority list (now at priority one, since that is my last piece of Non-Heroic Tier 8 gear).

Sometimes this is easier than others, as described in the example above.  It is, however, more difficult when you have to weigh the impact on your entire gear set.  For example, you could pick up Last Word – but it has no defense, no hit, no expertise – hell it doesn’t have anything on it by stamina and that proc.  That is a pretty hefty hit when you compare it to my Sorthalis – I need to find some of those stats elsewhere before I can equip it.  Down on the priority list it goes (despite replacing gear of lower Tier).  I still need a weapon upgrade, but maybe I can stand to find some new boots first.

So, when weighing spending your DKP or just making up your list – remember that your tank is the sum of their parts and give some thought to your upgrades and prioritize.  You never know, there might be another tank in your raid that needs that piece more than you and you need to know how generous you can be.


11 Comments so far
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Last word is….junk. But taking T8 over T9 for the hit is not an optimal choice. You don’t need hit. Threat should never be an issue if you hit your rotation correctly.

But what about Taunt?

There’s a glyph for that.

It’s the same deal with expertise as well, sure it’s nice to be dodge capped or even better to be closer to hard capped, but do you really have issues with threat that requires not upgrading a 226 to a 245? Especially in Icecrown, you need to think about your effective health and making sure you have plenty of survivability before giving any thought to threat stats, which, given what I perceive as your status in your guild, you probably don’t have issues with threat at all. I have a decent amount of hit/expertise in my kit right now but I’d gladly drop it all for 5000 HP in a heartbeat.

Comment by Dread

I think you’re missing the point. It’s not that I would choose not to upgrade to take the Tier 9 gloves because of the lack of hit – It’s more that I had higher priorities for what to do with my badges.

Running with a DKP or other point based loot system can be similar, though in some you can run a deficit (Zero Sum DKP, for example). Axiom’s Loot List system forces you to make priority decisions at the beginning of each month (hence my thoughts being on this topic).

Believe me, if I had the spare badges/trophy I would upgrade today. I may yet do so as a stop gap until I get Tier 10.

Comment by Tarsus

Ah well I guess I am missing the point, but…does that mean you are still using T8 now? Just looking for clarification/what you’re spending triumphs on that won’t allow you to drop a few for it. At this point the argument for t9 is moot, as t10 is better and so is the Frost gear anyway, but from a minmaxing pov it would be beneficial to pick them up if you haven’t gotten either of the other two. Even if you only do 1 random a day for frosties you will still trip and fall into a toilet full of triumphs after a week or two.

Comment by Dread

I’m down to my last piece of normal Tier 8 (that being the gloves). I don’t really count Sorthalis because it’s pretty awesome. I would love to get the 10 man mace off of Marrowgar to replace it though.

I don’t actually have enough Triumph badges to get the T9 Gloves at the moment – though that might change before next week. It depends on if we end up running ToC this week (which we do most weeks, though not last because we were wiping on Blood Princes). If we do, I’ll have it before next Monday.

Comment by Tarsus

To be honest, if you are running ToC, why not do 10 ICC instead? Even if you can only do the lower spire, it would take the same amount of time, and that’s more frost badges and a chance at the weapon you want and some very nice bracers on gunship.

Comment by Kobeathris

@Kobeathris – Sorry, I should have been more specific. We generally run ToC 25 when we have people running late to do ICC 25. Since it takes us less than 30 minutes, it’s pretty much ideal – and tends to be more useful to people than Onyxia because of the number of badges.

Comment by Tarsus

I’m kind of curious how many frost emblems you are sitting on. Are you saving up for the tier gear and waiting for marks to drop, or have you just not been able to get your hands on that many yet? If nothing else the belt and the back are excellent pieces that you likely won’t be replacing for a long while.

Comment by Kobeathris

Frost Emblems are a major issue with my upgrades now, I have to choose carefully. This is a function of my being only able to raid on Thursdays and Mondays, progression content. I love being on the edge, but I don’t get the farmed content of the lower spire for emblems.

This means, for the most part, I can do the Heroic Daily (which I’m bad about, I admit) or run 10 man ICC (don’t have time). It’s a pickle which will hopefully resolve itself once we move more content from progression to farm.

As you can imagine, my loot list this month is mostly boss drops, I only have one Tier Emblem listed because I don’t really have the badges to spare.

Comment by Tarsus

To be honest, unless you are going for 2 pieces, I don’t see the point of bothering with Tier 10, I would leave the tokens for the healers and the DPS who will really want them. The offset pieces are very good, so you are probably better off just going for drops and saving for them.

Comment by Kobeathris

I had a somewhat heated Twitter discussion about my choice of buying the ilevel 264 frost emblem belt instead of a piece of T10. As a ‘raids ICC-10 every 2nd weekend’ raider, I have to pick frost emblem choices very carefully. Replacing my 226 belt with a 264 one was a much better upgrade for me than picking up the 251 T10. I will never have the option to upgrade T10, so at this point I won’t pick up any, as awesome as that 4pc bonus sounds.

Not sure I can follow your reasoning for liking hit so much. Misses are not really a problem for me, and for absolutely taunt sensitive encounters, I always have a Glyph on me. :)

Comment by Kadomi

It’s not so much that I “like hit” – more that I try to make sure that I like to keep a certain amount (about 164, enough not to miss on a level 80). As to why, it is mostly a matter that up until Tier 9 it wasn’t exactly hard to get enough hit and expertise to effectively always land your specials. Perhaps this habit has become a bit of a burden in terms of making all the numbers meet.

Somewhat related, I did end up getting the Tier 9 gloves last night as expected. Need to get them enchanted and gemmed, but that should happen before raid on Thursday.

Comment by Tarsus

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