Estarriol

5.4 Protection Gearing Suggestions

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Please do not assume that this is a BiS list. It is merely an idea of what a decent set may look like. I'm only including normal, non-WF items as heroic and WF items are merely a linear scale and are thus still valid in the set. Just because an item is in a set does not mean that there are not more options. This is not a be-all, end-all set.

 

Avoidance: The avoidance set excels in generating rage. Using this set gives crit through Riposte and therefore additional damage and rage generation. It suffers from the fact that there is very little mastery, making SBlk not as powerful. However, due to the sheer amount of rage generated, having a very high uptime on Sbar will be very easy. Indeed, having SBlk and SBar up simultaneously may very well be viable at very high gear levels. It will be a great build for fights with high magic damage or semi-frequent hard-hitting mechanics, assuming those hits aren't hard enough to require a stam build.

Head: Faceguard of the Prehistoric Marauder

Boss: Thok the Bloodthirsty

 

Neck: Blackfuse's Blasting Cord

Boss: Siegecrafter Blackfuse

 

Shoulder: Pauldrons of Violent Eruption

Boss: Immerseus

 

Chest: Earthbreaker's Steaming Chestplate

Boss: Iron Juggernaut

 

Wrist: Bracers of Sordid Sleep

Boss:  Immerseus

 

Hands: Shockstriker Gauntlets

Boss: The Fallen Protectors

 

Waist: Untarnishable Greatbelt

Boss: Spoils of Pandaria

Note: There's a rather nice crafted belt with parry/hit, but I chose not to include it in this list because it cannot be heroic or WF. Feel free to use it though.

 

Legs: Legguards of the Prehistoric Marauder

Boss: Paragons of the Klaxxi

 

Feet: Treads of Unchained Hate

Boss: Immerseus

Note: I chose these boots because of the higher parry than the Mogu Greatboots have dodge. The other boots have expertise, though. Make the choice between the two based on your own exp/hit needs.

 

Ring 1: Galakrond Control Band

Boss: Galakras

 

Ring 2: Ring of the Iron Tomb

Boss: Kor'kron Dark Shaman

 

Weapon: Haromm's Frozen Crescent

Boss: Kork'kron Dark Shaman

 

Shield: Shield of Mockery

Boss: Sha of Pride

 

Wait, no 4p!? As stated, it is up to your discretion. However, the 4p is pretty terrible this tier. It gives more rage when taking damage after Demo Shout expires. It is utterly lackluster and doesn't make up for the overall loss of parry/dodge by putting mastery pieces in two slots.

 

Mastery: This build is the classic from 5.2-5.3. It meshes very well with the 2p. The goal of this build is to maximize crit block, hopefully reaching 100%. With that done, every melee hit will give 10 rage and with the 2p, every crit block will essentially mitigate 80% of the damage going out. It would be very good against frequent melee attacks and would be a very, very smooth build. However, it looks as though the avoidance build will simply outperform this build if played well. I wanted to have the build set up in case a fight arises where this build excels and as an option.

Head: Faceguard of the Prehistoric Marauder

Boss: Thok the Bloodthirsty

 

Neck: Juggernaut's Ignition Keys

Boss: Iron Juggernaut

 

Shoulder: Shoulderguards of the Prehistoric Marauder

Boss: Siegecrafter Blackfuse

 

Chest: Chestguard of the Prehistoric Marauder

Boss: Sha of Pride

 

Wrist: Arcsmasher Bracers

Boss: Galakras

 

Hands: Handguards of the Prehistoric Marauder

Boss: General Nazgrim

 

Waist: Ashen Wall Girdle

Boss: Kor'kron Dark Shaman

 

Legs:  Legplates of Willful Doom

Boss: Malkorok

Note: The crafted Protector's Trillium Legplates would actually be best for this set in normal gear, but since they do not have WF or heroic options, I included the crit/mast legs.

 

Feet: Malkorok's Giant Stompers

Boss: Malkorok

 

Ring 1: Devilfang Band

Boss: Kor'kron Dark Shaman

 

Ring 2: Bloodclaw Band

Boss: Thok the Bloodthirsty

 

Weapon: Xifeng, Longblade of the Titanic Guardian

Boss: Norushen

Note: The BoA one handed sword from Garrosh is very good as long as you do not have a WF version of this one.

 

Shield: Ancient Mogu Tower Shield

Boss: Spoils of Pandaria

Note: The BoA shield from Garrosh is very good as long as you don't have a WF version of this one.

 

Stamina: This set is only for use when you do not have enough stamina to survive the regular damage of a fight. An example of this is Ra-den. Even in full heroic gear, stam-stacking was a must to survive the nearly 1mil melees he did near the end of the fight. This set will suffer from lack of rage. It will not have enough mastery to justify prioritizing mastery pieces and most of the time that a stam set is requires, SBar is better anyway. Thus, it is a modified form of the avoidance build, but with the 4p to try to compensate for its innate lack of rage generation. Stam slot bonuses and blue sockets are preferred for a stam build in general.

Head: Faceguard of the Prehistoric Marauder

Boss: Thok the Bloodthirsty

 

Neck: Choker of the Final Word

Boss: Sha of Pride

 

Shoulder: Pauldrons of Violent Eruption

Boss: Immerseus

 

Chest: Chestguard of the Prehistoric Marauder

Boss: Sha of Pride

 

Wrist:  Bracers of Sordid Sleep

Boss: Immerseus

 

Hands: Handguards of the Prehistoric Marauder

Boss: General Nazgrim

 

Waist: Untarnishable Greatbelt

Boss: Spoils of Pandaria

 

Legs: Legguards of the Prehistoric Marauder

Boss: Paragons of the Klaxxi

 

Feet: Ominous Mogu Greatboots

Boss: Spoils of Pandaria

 

Ring 1:  Galakrond Control Band

Boss: Galakras

 

Ring 2: Ring of the Iron Tomb

Boss: Kor'kron Dark Shaman

 

Weapon: Haromm's Frozen Crescent

Boss: Kor'kron Dark Shaman

 

Shield: Shield of Mockery

Boss: Sha of Pride

 

Trinkets:

 

This is getting its own big, shiny bold section because trinkets are so situational that choosing two trinkets for each set would be impossible or at least highly impractical.

 

Vial of Living Corruption

This trinket drops from Malkorok. It's is jaw-droppingly excellent. On top of reducing the CD of your survivability CDs, it also reduces the CD of Heroic Leap., which along with Death From Above, will be a huge boost in AoE-centered fights. Nomnomnom.

 

Rook's Unlucky Talisman

This trinket drops from The Fallen Protectors. At first it seems too situational to see much use, yet nearly every fight has some sort of highly-damaging AoE ability, such as cleaves, cones, breaths, and the like. I think it will see much use.

 

Juggernaut's Focusing Crystal

This trinket drops from Iron Juggernaut. This trinket is carried by its static dodge, but that's not to say the self-heals are bad. I could see this being used in AoE fights especially.

 

Curse of Hubris

This trinket drops from Garrosh Hellscream. It seems more like a bear or monk trinket, but it could be very useful in fights with very high damage or high magic damage in general as the crit would increase the amount of rage available via Enrage procs.

 

Weapon Choice, Racials, and You:

If you're wondering why I went for the Kor'kron axe instead of the dodge/parry mace from Immerseus, it is due to my orc racial. I noticed a distinct lack of expertise on my gear in my avoidance set and opted in favor of the axe for the expertise on it as well as the free expertise from my racial. If you're not an orc or you don't feel that you need the expertise, the mace from Immerseus is absolutely excellent.

 

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I see you expect Parry/Dodge to outperform the Mastery builds based on crit, but you don't seem to account for a mastery/crit build, in which critical block chance is 100% and one would stack crit at every chance in order to maximize active mitigation. Do you expect Parry/dodge to outperform Mastery/crit builds, and if so, do you have any evidence to back this expectation. I'm very interested since, of course, this is the best time to solidify what stats I gear for in light of heroic SoO.

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I would not advise a mastery/crit build. If going for mastery, one should get to 100% crit block, then take dodge/parry. Hit and expertise should be capped either way. The issue with crit is that it benefits your survivability only through Enrage procs. Parry/dodge give native avoidance and also improve survivability through Enrage procs. However, if there is a point at which you're not getting hit (no Riposte procs), then crit will start to pull ahead of avoidance. As yet, I'm seen to Lei Shi part 2, so that really isn't much of a concern. I suppose it does come down to what you want, but for myself and my own recommendations I will always pick something that gives me as many benefits as possible in an effort to be a powerhouse of survivability while also keeping in mind that tank damage does matter.

 

I actually spent a bit of time talking to Reniat today about the benefits of the parry/dodge build vs the mastery build. Ultimately, they are different sets for different purposes. The avoidance set is good for "every day" sort of tanking, but also for magic damage, semi-frequent heavy damage spikes, AoE, and heavy mixed damage (melee+DoTs or magic damage). The mastery build is a very smooth build and is a good choice for heavy melee bruisers (think Ra-den). Ultimately, I need to put the avoidance set through some more testing on my own to fully have an opinion of it, but at this point I'm really liking it. It's rage generation allows for smoothing damage with SBlk and layering in SBar for impressive mitigation. It's also a very fun build. I would recommend that you aim for dodge/parry pieces, but that you also pick up mastery items when you can and hold them in your bank in case you end up needing them. It's a strategy that I use myself and it is very beneficial.

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Parry/Dodge > Mastery is definitely the way to go for a default set. If SimCraft is correct, it is actually better for a heavy melee style encounter like Ra-den as well. Survivability is about the same, but you still do more damage and take less damage overall compared to Mastery > Parry/Dodge. This is likely due to the increased amount of rage, which allows you to smooth out the dangerous spots with good Shield Barrier usage.

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Naturally you'll take less damage with SBar. That's what SBar's all about. However, during last tier, warriors weren't stacking avoidance or prioritizing SBar for Ra-den. He hit so hard that smoothing was far more important that overall damage reduction due to the fact that one melee would strip even the massive SBars away whereas SBlk would ensure that you were protected from multiple hits, making your damage intake large, but smooth and therefore manageable. The mastery build this tier will be good for those fights where melee damage is so high that spikyness is simply unsurvivable.

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Not using SBlock wasn't even an option for Ra-den because of Fatal Strike.

Like i said, in 5.4 gearing avoidance > mastery now seems to be as good for survivability as mastery > avoidance is against a heavy melee boss similar to Ra-den, provided no encounter mechanic force you to keep Shield Block up. It won't get too spiky.

Come to think of it, the legendary cloak is probably also part of the reason for that.

Edited by Dots

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The legendary cloak isn't part of the reason. Your cloak should, ideally, never proc and it is not compensation for spikiness. Additionally, I have no clue what you mean by saying that assuming no encounter mechanic forces you to use SBlk, you won't get spiky. Sblk is the ultimate in anti-spiky. With the avoidance build, SBlk and SBar pair extremely well. One would use Sblk as one's baseline mitigation for it's smoothing ability and layer SBar between and on top of SBlk for some extremely powerful mitigation.

 

That said, you seem to think the first part of the Ra-den encounter matters. It doesn't. It is trivial. The damage is almost unnoticeable and is certainly nothing to worry about. The latter part of the encounter is what DOES matter. He does not use Fatal Strike in phase 2 and he continues to melee harder and harder as the fight progresses. Near the end, he melees for roughly 1 mil damage. That's 1 million every hit on top of the raid-wide damage going out. THAT is the reason that avoidance/SBar would not be as useful. SBlk has to be kept up and crit blocks are essential to smoothing the damage to the point that it is manageable as well as having the stam to survive. It doesn't matter how much rage you have when you're taking 1mil damage every hit and 700k is not that far off from 1 mil. Going pure avoidance and consistently taking those 700k hits would be near suicide. Yes, some would be only 400k, but not enough for effective smoothness. Take it from my experience, if I started to have to use SBar because my health was too low to float even SBlk with crit block, I was as good as dead. A tank got about 500k vengeance from that fight, giving roughly 900k absorbs. If it were possible to generate 40-60 rage per second, then the avoidance build would excel there, but it doesn't. Therefore the mastery build is still better for fights like that. Yes, you can layer your SBlk and your SBars, but that only means your SBar would be stripped away in two boss melees. That's not long enough.

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You keep talking about past 5.3 experience.

In 5.4, gearing avoidance appears to be as good for survivability as mastery would be, even against a heavy hitter like Ra-den. I never said that Shield Barrier should be prioritized, though the previous post might have left that impression. You can use both when gearing avoidance over mastery. If some encounter mechanic enforces specific Shield Block usage though, then gearing mastery may still be better, depending on that mechanic and how it interacts with mastery.

Also, saying that the cloak is not part of the reason because it should ideally never proc does not make sense. Having the proc available increases your odds of surviving. That does not mean you are somehow relying on it or anything like that.

Edited by Dots

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