Tanking for Dummies

I miss my 4-Piece Tier 8 Bonus Already
September 9, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Gear | Tags: , , , ,

Monday night I lost my favorite bonus.


If you’re unfamiliar with the awesomeness that is 20% reduction in Magic Damage let me assure you that it has probably been the most utilized set bonus I’ve ever experienced.  I only had it for a few weeks, but the capacity to live through huge magic hits (or to simply make my healer’s job easier) is pretty awesome.

Needless to say, despite the fact that I replaced my Conqueror’s Siegebreaker Greathelm, I’m still keeping it around for certain encounters.  This is hardly an exhaustive list, but let me run by a few “must haves”:

  • Ignis Trash.
  • Ignis (Rounding up Adds, or Ignis Himself)
  • Assembly of Iron (Particularly if going for Hard-mode)
  • Malygos
  • Sartharion 3D
  • Lord Jarraxus
  • Most of Heroic Nexus
  • Most of Heroic Occulus

I am sure I will find more uses as time goes on.  Of course, this will lead to situations where I will find myself saying “Crap!  I don’ t have my 4-piece bonus anymore!”   As I can’t remember a set bonus in the past having that kind of effect on me, I feel pretty sure that is an indication of something.

That something being this needs to be an innate part of the Shield Block ability.

This isn’t exactly something revolutionary.  Warriors have been clamoring for greater ability to reduce magical damage ever since Death Knights and their Anti-Magic abilities proved how useful they are.  In addition, this seems to me like it should be an easily implementable, as it already exists as an option for Warriors in the first place.

Perhaps this is wishful thinking about a subject I’ve mused upon before.  I don’t exactly have a stellar record of compelling Blizzard to buff my favorite class.  But seriously, is this so much to ask?  I’d give up Spell Reflect for it in a heartbeat.


Some thoughts on Leveling a Warrior Tank
June 8, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Advice for Non Tanks, Gear | Tags: , , , , , ,

In case you haven’t been following it, my long lost Bro-on-another-server Linedan has been put together an awesome and comprehensive Protection Warrior leveling guide for those of you thinking of rolling with the best.  For ease of navigation, let me point you in the right direction (apologies for the pingback spam in advance Lewis):

This series has inspired me to put in a few words on what I consider to be some of the points of leveling a Warrior Tank.  Some of these points echo what the Panzercow  has said because I think they’re extra important.  Others are little extra tips from my own experience.

But first let me say that I am a big advocate for Protection Warriors.  I have two of them.  Even before the massive buff in 3.0, I thought they were the cat’s pajamas.  I may have leveled Tarsus as Fury, but I just couldn’t contain myself and I ended up speccing Prot on him anyway.  This may have been because I was tanking on him anyway, but considering I do this on my Blood Specced Deathknight I think this is more of an addiction that I just make easier when I’m the “tank spec.”

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Ulduar Tanking Crits you for…
June 3, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Humor, Stupid Tanking | Tags: , , ,

…everything.  And I thought I was Defense capped.

I mean, I’m not sure you’ve noticed.  You could be a total bear or something and have sixty bajillion hitpoints so this is not really so bad for you.  But for me, Ulduar has been a lesson in new ways to be gibbed, burned, splattered, diced, or otherwise rendered to ground chuck.  I understand Blood Elves like this sort of thing.  Personally, I hope they choke on a shard of my Slayer of the Lifeless.

Let’s Review, shall we?

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Defense is for Flexibility
March 16, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear | Tags: , , , , ,

It is a well known fact that 540 defense skill (689 defense rating from gear at level 80) is the “defense cap,” the point at which a tank can no longer be critically hit by a mob that is level 83 (the max level in the game currently, used for raid bosses).  Veneretio over at Tanking Tips has even laid out why stacking defense is the new black. What often goes unstated, however, is the need to retain flexibility in regards to your defense rating.  The ability to increase defense as necessary has never been more important, or harder to do than it is at this moment.

Rightly skeptical you are.

The truth I will elucidate.

An all too common scenario…

Presume, for a moment, that you are a fresh level 80 Warrior that wishes to tank.  It would be fair to assume that you would look for gear that you can acquire quickly.  You would naturally gravitate towards things like these delightful pieces made by your local blacksmith:

Daunting Handguards

Daunting Legplates

Or god for bid that you have some cash, then you might be considering:

Tempered Titansteel Helm

Tempered Titansteel Treads

Titansteel Shield Wall

Much as I love running instances over and over again for great drops, let us be frank, the guarantee of delivery is worth a pretty penny.  That is, after all, why we go to such lengths to make the pretty dragons like us.

But I digress.  Continuing with our presumption, you have managed to reach the defense cap and, by the grace of fortune, you are tanking Naxxramas.  You are running down a pipe filled with toxic green goo.  You are falling, FALLING, into the maw of an angry undead Corehound.  You shield slam, and run backwards as fast as you can.  Your co-tank taunts, you taunt, there are shouts over vent about zombie hordes, visions of the monster who must clean up after this thing dance in the back of your mind like the cries for help coming from the door behind you.

And then it is done.  There is rolling involved.  Before you can catch your breath you are the proud owner of a brand new Hero’s Surrender.  You equip it and examine it’s rough forged beauty.  Those zombie scum won’t be laughing at you now that you are toting three hundred pounds of fire breathing saronite.

But wait, your eyes glance over your character tab with trepidation, something is wrong.  That number!  It dropped!  You cannot equip it after all, and an upgrade will lounge in your bags until you can find some way to make up for the lost numbers.

…or why every Warrior needs a Seal of the Pantheon

I am sure I am not the only warrior who has had a similar experience to the above.  If getting to the Defense Cap is insufficiently challenging for you, then surely maintaining that cap is an expensive and painful endeavor that often can cast a pall over potentially massive upgrades in gear.  This is, because of some reason unbeknownst to me, the crew over at Blizzard decided that raid level tanking gear needed to be itemized with less defense than the tier that was immediately below it.  Now, through enchanting, gemming, and the love of euphemistically inclined giants it is entirely possible to get the defense rating you need.  However, unless you are in the habit of cluttering your bags with Scrolls, freshly cut (and non stacking!) thick gems, and other oddities, you are going to be caught in the situation above – unable to equip your new gear until after raid is finished.

Depending on how Saphiron is going for you, that might be a long time.

And that, dear reader, brings me to the subject of trinkets.  Particularly trinkets with defense on them.  It is a discouragingly short list, a list that you might recognize is sparsely populated with guarantees – those elusive gearing options arriving from faction rewards or quests.  In fact, I might venture to mention that a certain key trinket particularly, the highest defense rating outside of a raid, drops only from one of the most difficult non-heroic/raid encounters in the game at the moment.

Yeah.  I’m looking at you Loken, and your damn Seal of the Pantheon .  No I don’t have one yet, dammit, and it isn’t for lack of trying.  I haven’t managed to get a Repelling Charge either.  Let me tell you I’ve missed them both.

The skinny on this is that I haven’t gotten an upgrade from a raid this expansion that I have been able to equip prior to dropping a few hundred gold on item enhancements.  Now, I would have probably done this anyway, but maybe – just maybe, I wanted to enchant something besides defense or put something other than thick gems in yellow sockets.  If I had a defense trinket, this would be possible.  In the meantime – it is not.

That means I not only lack the ability to equip my upgrades, but I also lack flexibility.

And that is the bottom line.