Tarazet

Guardian tanking, Rage build vs. Defensive build

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First, I'll link my toon. I'm usually the off-tank for our raid, ilvl is 508 and I run with the Rage build as outlined by Ask Mr. Robot.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/ghostlands/Tarazet/simple

They offer two different builds, and I've seen both of them used to good effect:

Rage: Agi > Crit > Exp=Hit > Stam > Mastery > Dodge > Haste

Mitigation: Agi > Mastery > Dodge > Stam > Crit > Hit=Exp > Haste

My main question is which of these two builds will actually result in taking less damage against the typical raid boss. I already know that the Rage build is best for threat/DPS, but I would still have no problem holding threat with the Mitigation build, so I'm not so concerned about that. I do love the rapid Rage generation, which allows for maximum uptime on both Savage Defense and Tooth and Claw along with some glyphed FR uses.

In my current build, my critical strike chance is 50% and hit/exp is in a sweet spot to maximize rage gen. Using the high-Mastery build, the crit chance is closer to 30%, and the priority puts me way below hit/exp cap as well. But, I get an extra 16k armor and 2% dodge as a tradeoff. So these are my questions:

1) Can the Mitigation build be as good as the Rage build in its core mission, which is soaking and mitigating incoming damage?

2) If so, how do you play a Mitigation build Guardian differently, compared to a Rage build?

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I haven't looked at guardian extensively since MSV first came out. Though it was to my understanding that the mitigation build only stops physical damage (i.e. most melee attacks).

It was also my understanding that you are not supposed to glyph FR (except for some rare circumstances), but instead use all the rage you generate to heal yourself with FR (while also using SD for the melee hits).

So theoretically, with the way I see it, the Rage build will cause you to take more damage, but you will heal it pretty instantly, while the mitigation build you can reduce the amount of damage physical attacks do to you (note: physical, not magical).

The outcome becomes that you are more spikey with a rage build, but can heal yourself to compensate, while you are "smoother" with a mitigation build, but not against magic.

IMHO: go for a rage build but emphasize stamina. the only defense guardians have against magic attacks with with more stam. Have enough stam to survive the magic attacks and then go for that crit and heal yourself with FR with high vengeance.

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I would like to point you to a good read. http://theetova.blogspot.ca/2012/10/guardian-stat-weights.html

That being said I would prioritize: Crit > Stam > Agi > Hit=Exp > Haste > Dodge > Mastery

The exception is you might move Stam ahead of Crit (just comes down to preference).

As to your question "Can the Mitigation build be as good as the Rage build in its core mission, which is soaking and mitigating incoming damage?" The simple answer is No. The reason is (same with Paly Tanks) active mitigation with Savage Defense and Frenzied Regeneration helps more with damage spikes and survivability than Dodge or Mastery.

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Thanks for the comments. Regarding getting Stam, how do you recommend getting more? I could use some Solid River's Hearts in my blue sockets and put on some more Jagged Wild Jades in yellow sockets, but other than that, it seems the only other way to increase Stam is by getting better gear and somehow winning the right trinkets.

Edited by Tarazet
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Gems, trinkets flasks. Once you feel you have enough stamina for the content you are doing, then you can change them for more crit.

If you feel you have enough crit, go more stam. Find a number to cap, either stam or crit, and adjust the other accordingly. If you feel you need more of one than the other adjust the caps and change your gems/reforges etc.

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Theck over at www.sacredduty.net has some amazing info and theorycrafting for tanks (It's Prot Paly but the theories translate to bear tanking somewhat). It is however a long and very technical read and not for everyone Posted Image

One simple thing on deciding when to shift from Stamina is just ask your healers. If your healers are oom often, then more Stamina may not be the thing for you. However, if your healers are fine on mana, then Stamina is not a bad direction to go. As Krazyito said above, gems, trinkets, and flasks. If you have Smooth, Crafty & Jagged gems currently, I would not go to the expense of switching till you got a new piece of gear. As long as you are using some form of crit or stamina gem you will be fine.

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Theck over at www.sacredduty.net has some amazing info and theorycrafting for tanks (It's Prot Paly but the theories translate to bear tanking somewhat). It is however a long and very technical read and not for everyone Posted Image

One simple thing on deciding when to shift from Stamina is just ask your healers. If your healers are oom often, then more Stamina may not be the thing for you. However, if your healers are fine on mana, then Stamina is not a bad direction to go. As Krazyito said above, gems, trinkets, and flasks. If you have Smooth, Crafty & Jagged gems currently, I would not go to the expense of switching till you got a new piece of gear. As long as you are using some form of crit or stamina gem you will be fine.

Typically I've found I'm the last one alive in any given encounter, and the wipe happens well before the healers run OOM. Our real problem is just training our DPS to run the encounter correctly. I have been having trouble with adds latching onto Horridon's tank and being impossible to pull off, but that's a separate matter..

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Personaly I have found the thing about rage build is, if done right you can come out at the same numbers as the DPS does, while being able to maintain your savage defense, heal for more, and hit just about every tooth and claw proc. it also makes it easier to spend a GCD on Cenarion ward, smoothing your damage. The trap I have found is trying to focus almost TOO much on DPS, going with the Agility/Crit % meta vs. the stam/armor comes to mind. I have been going back and forth with going complete dps and then scaling back and adding stam when needed on new encounters, and then switching back when you know when every spike of damage is incoming.

I like the ability to dictate what happens to me as a tank rather then relying on RNG. So the more rage the better imo.

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I like the ability to dictate what happens to me as a tank rather then relying on RNG. So the more rage the better imo.

RNG is actually the reason why I'm thinking about alternate builds or tweaking. Even within the Rage build, you can reduce the RNG by going as close to the Hit/Exp hard cap as possible instead of leaving a few points for more Crit. Even with 50% chance to crit, that's also 50% chance to not crit, and something like 3% chance for the attack to be dodged/parried. If you take the dodge/parry chance off the table, you are guaranteed Rage from every melee hit, so at least you won't be affected by those temporary dips in Rage intake.

I do have to say the Rage intake is reliable most of the time now, and it's probably not possible to make it completely predictable without affecting the total intake.

Edited by Tarazet

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My druid: http://eu.battle.net...Maxdru/advanced

tl;dr CRIT!!! :)

Originally using a loose avoidance/stam build I was strongly advised into a rage build.

I use approx 7% hit and 14% exp (giving me <1% chance to miss and parry bosses).

Everything else is crit, crit and MORE crit with what I would consider a 'soft cap' at around 6700 (which increases to 10,000 in bear form). This calculates into roughly 40% crit chance. Only at my gear level I am reaching that cap now and will be starting to forge into haste.

Do not bother stacking mastery or dodge. Again at my gear level I'm bordering on 100,000 armour in bear form which is more than most plate wearers! My 'natural' dodge chance with a value of 0 is 17% and gets stacked with Savage Defence to (I assume) 17+45=62%?

The rotation is easy - Lacerate, Mangle, Thrash whichever is not on CD. Swipe for AOE.

Using ToES (Lei Shi and Sha) as an example my mitigation is as follow:

Lei Shi I use FR and Maul w/ Tooth&Claw as she never melees she cannot be dodged.

So healing and damage reduction.

Sha I use SD on cooldown as often as possible, which dodges his melee attacks and I 'save' Maul w/ T&C for his 'triple hit' Thrash to reduce it's damage accordingly.

-

I don't have WoL yet but I'm in discussion with our GM to start logging them. On our recent Horridon kill at the end he's taking 200% increase damage and enraged to hitting very hard (Vengence stack FTW!) - I'm very sure I saw pretty frequent crit hits exceeding 300K Posted Image And hilariously I ended up being 2nd on DPS on that fight!

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A quick point on Maul w/ T&C. This wonderful mechanic can reduce damage from the bosses similar to Shield Barrier on a Warrior. This ability DOES STACK so say you were using the SD/Maul combo and hit Maul but continued to dodge. Then it proc'd again so you hit it before the boss ability you could effectivly reduce the damage to 0!

-

A final point depending on the class of off-tank. If you sucessfully complete a rage build it's best to let the other tank pull. These poor mitigation builds with their lack of hit % will mean you might just steal aggro... a lot ;)

Edited by Martyx
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My druid: http://eu.battle.net...Maxdru/advanced

tl;dr CRIT!!! Posted Image

Originally using a loose avoidance/stam build I was strongly advised into a rage build.

I use approx 7% hit and 14% exp (giving me <1% chance to miss and parry bosses).

Everything else is crit, crit and MORE crit with what I would consider a 'soft cap' at around 6700 (which increases to 10,000 in bear form). This calculates into roughly 40% crit chance. Only at my gear level I am reaching that cap now and will be starting to forge into haste.

Just curious why you would consider that a "soft cap." I would think more Crit is always better for a Rage build due to Leader of the Pack and Primal Fury.

-

A quick point on Maul w/ T&C. This wonderful mechanic can reduce damage from the bosses similar to Shield Barrier on a Warrior. This ability DOES STACK so say you were using the SD/Maul combo and hit Maul but continued to dodge. Then it proc'd again so you hit it before the boss ability you could effectivly reduce the damage to 0!

-

This is news to me. The guides all say not to overwrite T&C if the debuff is still on your target. So it works just like Blood Shield?

A final point depending on the class of off-tank. If you sucessfully complete a rage build it's best to let the other tank pull. These poor mitigation builds with their lack of hit % will mean you might just steal aggro... a lot Posted Image

Don't I know it. My trinkets tend to go off instantly as soon as I do anything, so even if I let the other tank pull, I have to wait so that I don't tear the boss away or use Cat Form to avoid topping on aggro. Speaking of which, I've taken to shifting into Cat Form for tank swaps briefly to drop my Vengeance stacks (and apply a quick Rake/Rip before switching back to bank Rage). In cases where that might be dangerous, I could ask our Resto Druid to cast Soothe on me and dispel the Vengeance.

Edited by Tarazet

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I have been going back and forth with leg enchant, wrist, and rings(im a LW/Enchanter). I think i have decided that if the enchant is a crit one ill go with it... but if its just straight agility I go with the stam. The reason for this is the increased value of stam in bear form and not really agility. not sure if the numbers support this or not...

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I've taken to shifting into Cat Form for tank swaps briefly to drop my Vengeance stacks (and apply a quick Rake/Rip before switching back to bank Rage).

I had the same problem, the only thing that made this better was the other tank switching to a haste build(he is a paladin) and now things work just fine... so maybe the agro problem isnt really a problem with you....

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I had the same problem, the only thing that made this better was the other tank switching to a haste build(he is a paladin) and now things work just fine... so maybe the agro problem isnt really a problem with you....

It's really just a matter of having too much Vengeance at the swap. I suspect that our higher critical chance has something to do with why we keep pulling aggro, but I also think the nature of the way the class mitigates damage makes it inherent to a certain extent. Vengeance is applied when an attack is dodged, but not to damage that is parried or blocked. So a Paladin or a Warrior will gain Vengeance more slowly than a Guardian, which cannot block or parry but has a high dodge chance with SD up.

Edited by Tarazet

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This is news to me. The guides all say not to overwrite T&C if the debuff is still on your target. So it works just like Blood Shield?

"These procs from Tooth and Claw over-write each other, meaning that if you do not use the proc up before it procs again, the first proc is effectively wasted. On the target, however, the debuffed applied by these procs stacks. For example, applying one empowered Maul to the boss will reduce the damage of his next attack by 3,000. If you then manage to land another empowered Maul on him before he has had a chance to successfully attack, the damage reduction of his next attack will go up to 6,000, and so on." - From the Icy-Veins Guardian Druid Guide

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