Tanking Paths: Stamina Vs. Avoidance

This is the ultimate fight in all tanking discussions all over the world…in and out of World of Warcraft. Everyone pitch’s in and sadly few are experienced tank’s to really know what the hell they’re talking about. Nothing pisses off more a tank then another player non-tank-player to give him advises about anything especially when it’s something obvious.
“Hello! Welcome to the group? Is that your hp? Are you in your tanking gear? How much is your defense stat?” – Can you possibly piss me off anymore????
I very rarely join LFG channel for instances and especially raids (never to be most exact). The other day most of my guild mates were busy so I decided to take a stroll into the LFG channel to make it into a daily dungeon instance. I saw an announcement for last spot for a party looking for a tank. I whisper asking for an invitation and at the time I was using my Arms Spec and was geared properly for that. It didn’t take 10 second’s to get in the party channel messages like: “is that you HP? It’s too low mate! You can’t tank a rat!”. I took a deep breath trying to keep my cool and answered politely: “Currently with my secondary spec and gear mates. Hold on a second.”. And I changed back to Protection switching into my Heavy Gear. The message tones changed quite a bit off course but there was one that was the motivator for this post: “Above 30k of hp…nice mate. Not great but good!”….needless to say I could not kept my cool under such a stupid and naïve comment. But now I’m cool, well rested and my brain is at ease enough to share the knowledge and with hopes to bring some of that knowledge to a small brain resident of a “fracking” Warlock. (Thanks Galactica for bringing such a nice word where the meaning of it is no secret to anyone and still you can use it widely without being called cheap mouth).
Prior BC and still a bit in BC, Stamina was the how-good-of-a-tank-are-you measurable stat to compare. If you had tones of it you’re able to meet take a couple of Gruul punches without much effort. This WAS and still is for many uninformed people (I’m such a nice guy for not using the word NOOB), the measure from which a tank is evaluated. Needless to say this is a brainless evaluation. Skill, Threat, Avoidance, Mitigation is in the eye of a real professional player and knows what to look for to make a clean and knowledgably evaluation when checking a tank out.
The Wrath of the Lich King Expansion changed the tank rulebook a bit. For much better, in my opinion. Made tanking a smoother job and reflected the need for the tank to work is avoidance and mitigation as much as his hp pool. Make no mistake, it is very important to have out of the ordinary Hp pool. The more the merrier, yet you can compensate sometimes having less hp with something, that for me…is pure gold. Avoidance!… ladies and gentlemen. What’s better than being it and survive? Not getting hit and survive. This is a logic that you simply cannot beat. Every time a boss or mob fails the attacks to you its less strain to your gear, to your healer and a nice big-ass open window for you to land a ground-breaking shield slam or a swift swing of Devastate to upgrade your threat numbers. Nothing pisses off more a boss then missing the tiny orc that keep’s poking him. Trust me.

Don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at the math of it … ‘cause the numbers never lie!
In my previous post I explained the equation behind the avoidance numbers, so if you miss that be sure to check it out pronto! In this example I’m going to set, to make things a little easier to follow I’m going to ignore the Chance to be missed stat and the overall 5% base miss rate from all NPC's. Using the parry and dodge stats alone. Now let’s assume this situation:

We’re on RAID X. We have the standard 2 tank’s composition for a 10 man situation. But in this case we have a Stamina Tank (A) and an Avoidance Tank (B).

Tank A - 33k Stamina – 20% Dodge + 15% parry = 35% Avoidance
Tank B - 30k Stamina – 25% Dodge – 17% Parry = 43% Avoidance

Let’s take an example of Boss that hits on Plate for 10K per attack at least 50 times in a certain amount of time or even during the whole fight (specials aside) that is equal to 500K of pure damage that is going to rain over some poor schmuck.

Tank A – Avoids 17 of those attacks which means he manages to pass on 170K of damage but receives 330K of it.
Tank B - Avoids 21 of those attacks which means he manages to pass on 210K of damage but receives 290K of it.

Bottom-line: The extra 3K of HP proves to be meaningless when compared to the extra 40K the avoidance tank manages avoid. By the end of the fight the Avoidance Tank needed about 37k less of heal then the Stamina tank.
This pure math and cannot be contradicted. Of course there aren’t two equal fights with the same needs, and varies from tank to tank they way things are going to work out. Skill’s, talents and mitigation can determine the end results too, but looking at plain number’s in simplistic manner it’s safe to assume that the Tank that can combine intelligently his stamina number’s without neglecting stats like Parry and Dodge, has clearly the upper edge.

It’s very important that a tank can deal with two blows without requiring any heals and still stand’s to tell the tale. That should be your kick-off pointer. But it’s my firm opinion, that once after reaching the 30K HP unbuffed, the really good tank should aim to improve his avoidance and not his HP pool. There are other opinions running around the web, and most of them with firm logic's and strong arguments, so don’t take my word for it and shop-around. If you wish another completely different perspective be sure to visit Rihns Blogspot where he makes a strong case with a very well written composition making me look bad and amateur (besides the fact he is ...blarghh...alliance). Fact is there is no right answer; it's up to the tank to choose his own patch.


The Return of the Tank

Greetings fellow warrior's

Though i've been absent for the last couple of months due to some wild activitys in my professional life, i've been slowly returning to the tank leads ready to ravage some new content and achieve some new tactics about tanking.
Theres a lot of stuff going on at the moment and the hype about the new Cataclysm is gonna bring a big load of rumours not also about the game itself but also about the class mechanics. Im sure we're pretty safe since the Warrior Class is pretty well established and has given proofs of how bloody hell good it works in the Lich King expansion. What can i say? We rule! 'Nuff said...

So keep posted 'cause ill be bringing a lot of discussion to our plate on the ongoing effort to establish this great class as in ... THE BEST TANKING CLASS. (PERIOD)


Clarification about Avoidance

Avoidance is such a mouthfull! Everyone's worried about the avoidance stat shooting questions all over the place like "What is the avoidance number i should reach to tank this or that?". Yet, before worrying about that, people should ask the right question, wich is: "How do i calculate my avoidance numbers?". I say this because i clearly been seeing some confusion about that special equation. It's my intention to bring some clarification about that math procedure.

First of all: "What is AVOIDANCE?"

Avoidance is the tank ability to avoid damage from incoming atacks. Do not confuse avoidance with mitigation wich its base calculation includes all forms of damage absorbing. Avoidance relys 100% to the fact you avoid geting hit at all! Dodge and Parry are the only base stats that can allow you such achievement.

On a quick side-topic, all proper tanks should have installed a "must-have" addon if you want to be anything worth in this business, Tankpoints. It's your guide and pal since early levels to forever and ever. Tankpoints will guide you in the right direction in case of any doubt toward a item switching or gem aplication. Use it, breath it, sleep with it.
" TankPoints can be seen as how much damage you can take before damage reduction, it considers your max health, armor, defense, dodge, parry, block, block value, resilience, crushing blow chance, miss, crit reduction, talants, buffs, stance/forms, and more. " - Needless to say anything else. Download it and use it like it was your right arm.

Let's say your not looking at your computer screen, drinking a nice beer with a couple of friends and someone asks your avoidance. Or even someone asks you how he/she calculates his avoidance. It's pretty simple and i'll use myself has a example.

# Defense: 552
# Dodge: 22.67%
# Parry: 20%
# Block: 22.18%

Add Dodge, Parry and Chance to be Missed together. If you hover over your defense stat you will get the Chance to be Missed number and to that, add 5% wich is the base miss rate from all NPC's.

ex: 22.67% + 20% + 6,08% (My chance to be missed) + 5% = 53,75% Avoidance

Hope this comes handy.


The Holy Grail for Tank Loot - Gz fellas!

Everyone from every class has that special item we consider the ultimate "must have". More important then having it, is the sense of achievement that fill's us with pride each time we wield that unique piece of loot. Its a statement of our work and determination towards the high-end content conquering as a unit.

In my personal perspective, a Warrior tank daydreams about these two items:

Wall of Terror - The best stats combined with one of the most intimidating design ever, remembering people that the shield on a Warrior hands is no longer a simple Barrier but also a great Weapon!

and my personal favourite...

Last Laugh - Im out of words... this is simply the most stunning and impressive tank weapon EVER. Especially for a Orc Warrior that always have a special thing for Axe's. The name...the design...the stats... its simply impressive.

I'm lucky enough to be part of one of the best and most solid Guild's in Runetotem: Droods.
Every guild is only as strong and good as it's members and in the tank department we are rich with skillfull people composed by Warriors, Druids, Paladins and Death Knights.
This is the part where i use my blog to honor these people in wich im lucky as hell to join them every night ravaging the raid's Northrend has to offer.

Congratulations Rogg! I bow to you and may the Last Laugh be always your's in combat!!

Congratulations Bale! I salute you my friend and hope your Wall of Terror will always be ready to block us out of danger!

Feel free to visit our webforum, and if you think you have what it takes to be a Drood, apply to this great guild.

Tank&Stab - Go Deep on your DPS while Tanking

As many tanks should know these days, one of the best form to translate your actions into fast and solid TPS (Threat per Second) is by deploying a nice ammount of damage onto your target. If it works for the slackers that wont take the time to check they're threat meter and make your life more difficult, why not use it in our own favour?
Recently i began studying the Talent Tree once again, trying to find a way to boost my damage output without endangering my avoidance base stats (talent-dependant). The words DEEP WOUNDS kept jumping into my eyes stabing me like little needles. I've came up with this pretty solid Protection Spec with Deep Wounds, that boosted my dps with a plus 600 unbuffed and almost 900 with raid buffs. My TPS has never been faster.

Some pointers to maximize your damage output while tanking or even on pve quests without having to change gear:

Revenge - I've seen a lot of tanks leaving the talent Improved Revenge behind saying something like "I dont need more stuns". If you look closely 2 points on Improved Revenge will boost your damage output on that ability in 20%. That's a LOT. Especially when Revenge has a threat tool is fundamental and there is no tank in the world that doesnt deploy it immediatly when available. If the target get's stunned by it... even better! Who will complain???

Now link this to the fact that with the Sword and Board talent, everytime you deal damage with Revenge you automaticly have 30% chance to refresh the cooldown on your Shield Slam....wich is your NUMBER 1 THREAT TOOL on your action bar with a fantastic damage output.

Now link that to the fact that if you happen to have Gag Order talent points spent, if you deploy a Shield Bashin the quick second before Shield Slam you wil have a 5 or 10% increase damage on it. Since TBC Shield Bash was abandoned has a massive threat tool and these days its only used as a caster silence ability. With the right rotation on your ability cycle you will be able to revive it. And i do loooooove to Bash!

With this Protection Spec with Deep Wounds, DEEP WOUNDS will always be present on your target dealing 48% of your weapon average damage. Do the math... with high crit chance on your main abilities as a tank, DEEP WOUNDS will be a constant presence boosting your damage and by relation enhancing your threat per second.

Give it a try and lemme know how it worked out!