Tanking for Dummies

Icecrown Cidadel is Comming
October 23, 2009, 7:35 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, News, Raiding | Tags: , , , , ,

This is no great surprise if you have been paying attention.  But for those of you who haven’t, let me point you at some linkage:

No loot yet to parse and list for you, but you know it’s coming.


Beer-maidens are for Tanks
September 23, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear | Tags: , , ,


I believe all of us tanks are familiar now with why Effective Health is important.  But just to re-iterate, provided you are not neglecting other important stats (notably defense), you can never have “too much” health.  This is especially true for raid tanks.

This is why I feel the need to bring your attention to this one time, once a year opportunity.  Through October 4th, you can kill Coren Direbrew in the Grim Guzzler (that is the pub in Blackrock Depths) and get, not one, but two massive stamina trinkets.  What is better, is that you can kill him multiple times in a row, once a day for each person in your party (which means you can kill him as many times in a day as you can find people who haven’t killed him yet).   I should also mention he is a real pushover.

Let me say this again, you can get both the Bitter Balebrew Charm and the Bubbling Brightbrew Charm, for a whopping +340 Stamina.  If you are like me and have terrible luck getting your hands on trinkets, this is your chance.  And, if for any reason you happen to possess (or happen to know someone that possesses) a Direbrew’s Remote, you have absolutely no excuse  not to get both of these before the holiday event ends.  Well any excuse perhaps save that you have the Heart of Iron and Juggernaut’s Vitality already.

But really, then  you would miss out on having your own Dwarvish Beer-maidens to give you beer anywhere in the world.  Either way you shake it infinite beer on 10 minute cooldown or lots more health, it boils down to the obvious question:

“Do ye want to live forever?”

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!

Trial of the Champion
August 10, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Gear, Strategy | Tags: , , , ,

First off, let me ask your forbearance dear readers.  I’ve only been managing two posts a week or so for the past few weeks.  Not exactly the finest record.

I will say though that at least this week, part of the contributing factor has been my pushing with two things.  The first of these is the new Trial of the Champion 5-man, and I’m going to tackle that today.  The second is my new offspec, Arms, which I will get to later this week.

There is a lot of comparison between Trial of the Champion and Magister’s Terrace.  Both present a good jumping forward place for people hoping to tackle more difficult content, something that newcomers and old hands with alts are sure to appreciate.  If you haven’t had a chance to get a look at it though, let me give you the highlights.

Continue reading

Parsed for your Pleasure
April 8, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Gear, Lists, Raiding | Tags: , , , , , ,

The following data spam comes courtesy of the Ulduar-25 Loot List on MMO Champion. I’ve parsed it for my fellow warrior tank homeys . Don’t say I haven’t saved you some time today.

Weapon Sorthalis, Hammer of the Watchers XT-002-25-Hard
Weapon Titanguard Leviathan-25
Ranged Veranus’ Bane Razorscale-25
Shield Northern Barrier Hodir-25
Chest Unbreakable Chestguard Auriaya-25
Feet Greaves of the Stonewarder Trash Mobs-25
Feet Charred Saronite Greaves Razorscale-25
Feet Plans: Spiked Deathdealers Multiple-25
Hands Handguards of Revitalization Freya-25-Hard
Hands Handguards of the Enclave Iron Council-25
Head Helm of the Faceless Vezax-25
Legs Saronite Plated Legguards Kologarn-25
Legs Legplates of the Endless Void ?-25-Hard
Shoulder Shoulderplates of the Deconstructor XT-002-25
Waist Dragonslayer’s Brace Razorscale-25
Waist Plans: Indestructible Plate Girdle Multiple-25
Wrist Mimiron’s Inferno Couplings Leviathan-25
Cloak Titanskin Cloak Freya-25-Hard
Cloak Cloak of the Makers Auriaya-25
Ring Platinum Band of the Aesir Auriaya-25
Ring Signet of the Earthshaker XT-002-25
Ring The Leviathan’s Coil Leviathan-25
Neck Titanstone Pendant Trash Mobs-25
Neck Bronze Pendant of the Vanir Freya-25-Hard
Neck Necklace of Unerring Mettle Kologarn-25
Trinket The General’s Heart Vezax-25
Trinket Heart of Iron Ignis-25

Some thoughts on this after the break.

Continue reading

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.