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.


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.

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Icecrown Raid Loot Lists Updated
November 20, 2009, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Gear, Lists | Tags: , ,

I will never cease being amazed by the guys over at MMO Champion with this data.  This effectively overwrites the listing I did last Friday, save for the 5 man loot.

I would like to note the distinct LACK of tanking swords.  This can only be a good thing.  Seriously.


Chest Cataclysmic Chestguard

Hands Gauntlets of the Kraken

Waist Verdigris Chain Belt

Back Sentinel’s Winter Cloak

Trinket Corroded Skeleton Key

25 Man Hard

Trinket Corpse Tongue Coin

25 Man Normal

Ranged Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets

Chest Blightborne Warplate

Hands Taldaram’s Plated Fists

Legs Legguards of Lost Hope

ShoulderBoneguard Commander’s Pauldrons

Waist Belt of Broken Bones

Wrist Bracers of Dark Reckoning

Finger Harbinger’s Bone Band

Neck Sepsis

Trinket Corpse Tongue Coin

10 Man Heroic

Axe(!!!!) Troggbane, Axe of the Frostborne King

Mace Bonebreaker Scepter

Shield Neverending Winter

Wrist Gargoyle Spit Bracers

Finger Abomination’s Bloody Ring

Trinket Unidentifiable Organ

10 Man Normal

Mace Bonebreaker Scepter

Shield Neverending Winter

Legs Deathforged Legplates

Wrist Gargoyle Spit Bracers

Back Cloak of Many Skins

Finger Abomination’s Bloody Ring

Neck Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker

Trinket Unidentifiable Organ

Icecrown Citadel: Patch 3.3 PTR Tanking Loot
November 13, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, News | Tags: , , ,

Patch day is getting close, and that means its time again for me to parse the loot lists of MMO Champion for you, dear reader, to peruse!

Without further ado, on to the lists!

25 Man Normal Loot

Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets

Legguards of Lost Hope

Belt of Broken Bones

Bracers of Dark Reckoning

Harbinger’s Bone Band

10 Man Normal Loot

The Brokenhammer

Cloak of Many Skins

Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker

5 Man Heroic Loot

Falric’s Wrist-Chopper

Rimefang’s Claw

Black Spire Sabatons

Second Helm of the Executioner

Shoulderplates of Frozen Blood

Fossilized Ammonite Choker

Ick’s Rotting Thumb

5 Man Normal Loot

Splintered Door of the Citadel

Scourgelord’s Frigid Chestplate

Sollerets of Suffering

Crystalline Citadel Gauntlets

Legplates of Frozen Granite

Titanium Links of Lore

Eerie Runeblade Polisher

Emblem of Frost

Cataclysmic Chestguard

Gauntlets of the Kraken

Verdigris Chain Belt

Sentinel’s Winter Cloak

Corroded Skeleton Key

Sigil of the Bone Gryphon

We still don’t know the stats on Tier 10, however, even if we do know the set bonuses.

Among other news, there does not appear to be any form of Quel’Delar designed for tanks (boo!).  On the plus side, most of this gear is the best itemized we’ve seen to date in WoTLK, so there will be plenty of opportunities for tanking, very soon.  Remember though folks, this is PTR loot so it could change very soon (not to mention this is only the loot that we’ve managed to see thus far!.

Onyxia’s Goodie Bag
September 25, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, Raiding | Tags: , ,

No, I am not talking about the Enlarged Onyxia Hide Backpack, as snacky as that is.  No, I’m talking about the must get, items from the Dragon Queen’s horde.  She’s got a few choice pieces for everyone’s wanted list.

Burnished Quel’Serar/Gleaming Quel’Serar – Once, Quel’Serar was the must have tanking sword for serious raid tanks.  It was incredibly hard to get – a quest reward from a rare drop item in Dire Maul (one of the most awesome, yet neglected instances in Classic WoW).  You no longer need to forge it in Onyxia’s fire and quench it in her blood.  She just coughs it up.  Now, in many ways this is an upgrade from Titanguard, but I should point out before everyone gets all excited that it has no defense on it, which means that you better hope you have enough defense to make up for the loss that you’re about to endure.  Fortunately, Onxyia is also providing a little help there with…

Purified Onyxia Blood Talisman – A defense trinket!  Let’s make no mistake here about the Health Regen or Parry Rating.  You want this for the precious precious defense.  If you’ve already got your Seal of the Pantheon and the Repelling Charge, this is likely not much of an upgrade, but given how much easier it is to get (a quest reward from a guaranteed drop) I think my enthusiasm is very forgivable.

Helm of Wrath/Faceguard of Wrath – The hideousness of the infamous “Land Shark” hat aside, it is hard to argue that this isn’t an amazingly itemized avoidance piece.  Compare this to the Hellscream’s Greathelm of Triumph to see what I mean.  The latter is much more difficult to get (requiring defeating Heroic ToC bosses, a challenge for perhaps everyone but the top tier of  raid guilds), and the stats are, shall we say, startlingly close.  Definitely a quality addition to any avoidance set.  Just keep your helm graphic turned off.

Eskhandar’s Links/Eskhandar’s Choker – This great threat neck is superior even to the Titanstone Pendant, from 10 man or 25 man.  To get better than this even for avoidance, you would have to beat another Heroic ToC boss, either Twin Valkyr’s on 25 or Jarraxas on 10.  And at 50 defense, you could think of it as yet another step on the path to getting your hands on Quel’Serar.

So that’s your tank specific summary for Onyxia.  Pretty nice!  These pieces are a great way to help get yourself that much more ready for Icecrown – especially if your raid doesn’t get around to killing Heroic ToC bosses.  Good luck with the Dragon, my fellow tanks, and remember – she doesn’t deep breath more often, it’s just you.

It’s MINE.
August 17, 2009, 7:19 am
Filed under: Gear | Tags: , , ,

The Black Heart

At last!  It only took me ten attempts to finally get my hands on it.  Between that and my Essence of  Gossamer I’m not really missing that Heart of Iron.  Much.

This does bring me, however, back to an interesting topic – namely that I have a lot of difficulty with drops for certain slots – namely trinkets and weapons.  I realize this is something of a perception issue but it almost invariably comes back to those three slots for me.  I’m sure my continuing rant about Loken and his Seal of the Pantheon must be growing stale at this point (I’ll get you one day, you overcharged bastard), but it represents a certain amount of truth concerning my luck with drops.  God forbid that I need an epic trinket from a raid.  I’ll be the very last tank in the raid to get it, and it will get sharded 4 times when it drops on nights that I am not there.

Ah well, I know you guys have had similar problems.  The same day that I got my hands on The Black Heart I saw my first drop of the Red Sword of Courage.  I am sure that many of us remember that item with not too few groans.  With that in mind, here’s hoping my fellow tanks the best of luck with loot drops in the near future, may the random number generator favor you this week!

The Gear List
June 1, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, Raiding | Tags: , , ,

Sometimes I am simply amazed by the sheer amount of pleasure I can get from grabbing a new piece of gear.  It’s downright Pavlovian.  Perhaps this is why I think about it all the time, planning acquisitions like some kind of tanking Rupert Murdoch.

I thought it possibly couldn’t get any worse, until I joined Axiom.  They use a delightful method of distributing loot known as the gear list, whereby you select a certain number of pieces of gear that you want (the exact number you get is determined by your guild rank) and rank them according to your preferences.  This sort of prioritizing and critical thinking about gear makes me much more conscious of advances I have made, or failed to make, in perfecting my gear sets.  Needless to say, this is a practice I would like to encourage for all raid tanks, no matter what loot system your group uses.

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