View Full Forums : Tanking gear - armor vs sockets

03-15-2007, 01:49 PM
So its time for a gear comparison. The issue at hand here is Defense (through equip bonuses and sockets) vs. raw stats and high ac. A few pieces I'm on the fence about, so to speak:

Jerkin of the Untamed Spirit
Binds when picked up
Chest Leather
425 Armor
+23 Strength
+22 Agility
+22 Stamina


Heavy Clefthoof Vest
Binds when equipped
Chest Leather
290 Armor
+52 Stamina
Yellow Socket
Yellow Socket
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +4 Dodge Rating
Durability 100 / 100
Requires Level 70
Equip: Increases defense rating by +28 (11.8@70)

I think the Clefthoof chest is a good upgrade as well, though losing the armor, (~600 in DireBear) 23str and 22agi will be noticible.

Heavy Clefthoof Boots
Binds when equipped
Feet Leather
198 Armor
+37 Stamina
Yellow Socket
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +3 Dodge Rating
Durability 50 / 50
Requires Level 69
Equip: Increases defense rating by +24 (10.1@70)


Supple Leather Boots
Binds when picked up
Feet Leather
352 Armor
+19 Strength
+11 Agility
+24 Stamina
Durability 45 / 45
Equip: Increases attack power by 30.

I just got the Clefthoof boots for 20g off the AH, and socketed them with +3def +4sta gems and put a +12sta enchant on them.... good upgrade from the other boots statwise I think, swapping the agi, ap and str for more stamina and defense. Lose a good chunk of armor though (~750 in DireBear), as well as AP and stats

Heavy Clefthoof Leggings
Binds when equipped
Legs Leather
251 Armor
+42 Stamina
Blue Socket
Yellow Socket
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +4 Dodge Rating
Durability 75 / 75
Requires Level 70
Equip: Increases defense rating by +34 (14.4@70)


Ash Tempered Legguards
Binds when picked up
Legs Leather
475 Armor
+26 Strength
+16 Agility
+31 Stamina

I think the Clefthoof pants are a good upgrade. Been lookin for them on the AH. Though I'm losing roughtly 200 armor (~1k in DireBear), 26str and 16agi...

Right now I have the Jerkin of Untamed Spirit, Ash Tempered Legs, and Supple Leather Boots. Also picked up a Stylin Purple Hat on the AH last night to replace the shadowmoon helm. Kinda expensive (70g, thoguh the cobra scales were selling 2 for 50g, so 70g for everything seems pretty cheap now that I think about it), but worth it IMO.

I'm Trying to figure out which, (all or some) I should switch out for the Clefthoof stuff. I'm at 391 defense with the Clefthoof boots. If I got the chest and pants, that'd put me right at the magic 415. Seems like a no-brainer. Though I hate losing the ~2300ac and other stats...

Overall the Clefthoof stuff has tons more sta and defense, at the expense of armor str and agi. What do you guys think - which should I get / switch.

Also, for tanking shoulders, I can't decide between:

Mantle of Perenolde
Binds when picked up
Shoulder Leather
197 Armor
+24 Stamina
Red Socket
Red Socket
Socket Bonus: +3 Dodge Rating
Durability 60 / 60
Requires Level 66
Equip: Improves hit rating by 23 (1.5%@70).
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 23 (1.0%@70).
Equip: Increases attack power by 20.


Sun-Gilded Shouldercaps
Binds when picked up
Shoulder Leather
214 Armor
+25 Agility
+26 Stamina
Durability 60 / 60
Requires Level 68
Equip: Improves hit rating by 15 (1.0%@70).
Equip: Increases attack power by 48.

03-15-2007, 02:22 PM
I have been building my set with less focus on defense and more on Agi, Sta and AC. Here's why: with my talents and the modest 390 defense i have a LV 72 mob has a 1.1% chance to get a crit...vs the benefits on all hits of the increased dodge, armor and health from the other stats. Looks like your giving up WAY too much of any of those for just a high def numbers. Also search the auction house for the Chestguard of the Talon..that would be a nice upgrade to the Jerkin you have.

03-15-2007, 09:11 PM

Wardens Hauberk is good too. That is a lot of agility.

03-16-2007, 12:14 AM
I think Heavy Cleft pants are the best tanking legs in the game for us right now. You do lose a fair amount of ac over the Ash legs but after loading stam gems on the other, theres nothing even close in stam. I feel the same way about the BP, but there is more room for argument. You're losing north of 1% in mitigation from ac and 1% dodge when you switch from the Jerkin to the Cleft bp, but after considering the Cleft bp with gems is almost 70 more stam before our 58% bonus (25 bear + 23 talent + 10 kings), I'll take the extra 1.1kish hp. The only comparable BP to the Cleft one imo is the arena bp which is what I'm currently using.

On a side note, I consider Strength an empty stat on our tanking gear atm. Its great for bear pvp, but after the threat changes to Lacerate/Mangle, I'm generating 800-1000tps which is basically the equivalent of a Rogue with 2 80dps weapons getting a Heroism rotation lol.

03-16-2007, 12:18 AM
Keep in mind that our defense itemization isn't the best in the world, so its ok to lean on a little resilience where you can find it to curve out your need for 2.6% crit reduction. I try to do that over using defense on gems as the stam on the gems in the item formula is tilted way in our favor by the aforementioned 58% bonus we receive. 1 defense is the same as 1.5 stam in the bliz item formula, but after bonuses, we get more benefit per 1.5 stam than 1 defense.

03-16-2007, 07:23 AM
A good place to find items (or compare items) is

1 defense is the same as 1.5 stam in the bliz item formula, but after bonuses, we get more benefit per 1.5 stam than 1 defense.
True. But still if you want to tank anything beyond normal 5-mans you need 415 defense. If you get hit with a crit you are dead in kara. It is that simple. With 20k AC I get normal hits in the 3k-4k range. Getting a crit is no option in such an environment.
But the necessary 65 defense you can get very easily, and after that going for sta (or agi/ac/dodge) is way better. Going for resilience is useless in my opinion. Defense gives us more useful stuff (dodge, reduction in crit and hit chance) especially when you reach the stage where you don't get crits, because than the damage reduction is of no use anymore. Resilience is a PvP-stat as far as I am concerned.

03-16-2007, 02:08 PM
I thought it was pretty obvious that crit reduction is the number one priority, sorry for not making that clear. My point about resilience was not that it is better than defense, but that it is an acceptable alternative when it allows you to better improve your hp/dodge/ac.

03-16-2007, 05:29 PM
Abies... Thanks for that link to the druid tank / sustained dps / burst dps gear rating page. Very helpful.

03-16-2007, 06:14 PM
Awesome link, thank you!

03-16-2007, 07:18 PM
I would like to point out that you lose a great deal of damage based aggro by switching to the clefthoof set. While the stats and the stam are nice, will you be able to hold sway over a warlock with over 1k spell damage? I have a warlock in my guild with 1.4k and a mage not far behind. Not to mention some of the melee classes who are upgrading their gear and dps.

There's more to tanking than just being able to take a hit. After all, mitigating all the damage in the world doesn't do you any good if the damage isn't aimed at you.

03-16-2007, 07:41 PM
Yeah, Relevart, thats exactly my dilemma.

I'm pretty well trained in holding aggro from all the tanking I've done, but there is a point where all the technique won't matter if you don't have the raw numbers behind it.

Last time I tanked Kara we wiped on the maiden during a repentance cause I got crit for either 4 or 5k (cant remember) and died. If I woulda been crit immune, we woulda lived through that. So I'm thinking thats the #1 priority.

On trash mobs I wear parts my dps set, though on the hard hitting ones, I'll ask for an extra second or two to generate aggro, and put on all my 'heavy' set. I can get pretty good aggro by ff, demo roar, slamming a maul and mangle at the same exact time, followed by three or so lacerates. But if a warlock / mage crits for 3k back to back, thats gonna be tough to hold if im hitting like a pillow. Esp on taunt immune bosses.

I think I'm gonna get my def up to 415, then substitute out gems / armor pieces as available when I can to keep my str / agi up.

03-16-2007, 10:44 PM
I would like to point out that you lose a great deal of damage based aggro by switching to the clefthoof set. While the stats and the stam are nice, will you be able to hold sway over a warlock with over 1k spell damage? I have a warlock in my guild with 1.4k and a mage not far behind. Not to mention some of the melee classes who are upgrading their gear and dps.

There's more to tanking than just being able to take a hit. After all, mitigating all the damage in the world doesn't do you any good if the damage isn't aimed at you.

I've held aggro on 25 man Gruuls with every body in our raid flasked and potted to the max and 4 Heroisms. According to KTM, I was 40% ahead in threat to the second person (not that threat meters are entirely accurate lol). I did have 4 Hunters putting Misdirection on me every cooldown, however, but I really didn't feel at a loss in any way. Remember that the call to switch out Clefthoof for mixed-stat pieces basically gives you something like 20str + 20agi in trade for 60ish stam before our talents; considering that I can get 80str and agi each from Shaman totems, proportionally its just not worth it to me. Remember that the side-benefit of pushing dodge high is that you should have alot of agi, hence alot of crit- a very good aggro generator, especially now that they added a high threat front-end component to Lacerate which can crit.

03-16-2007, 10:49 PM
Ps, take those item lists for a grain of salt guys. Its actually relatively accurate for bear tanking gear, but its way off on optimal cat gear and essentially impossible for healing given the huge variety of healing specs. Ask your friends at TDG first :p

03-17-2007, 07:33 AM
Yeah the cat lists overvalue +hit.

But if you read how this lists are generated it makes sense.
The starting values used for the model are:
Level : 70
Health : 6500
Base DPS : 200
Attack Power : 2000
Crit% : 25
+Hit% : 0
Haste Rating 0 (ok, so this had no effect anyways)

In order to use this list appropriately, take the following issues into consideration!
- The model calculates a mathematical average based on the given initial attributes. If your attributes differ greatly from those given, it is possible that the valuation of various stats is higher or lower than used in this list.
- This list only calculates sustained damage. Burst damage has highly different attribute valuations! So consider your playstyle.
- The list does not take anything else but DPS into account. You might value non-melee stats or survivability, which might affect your preferred armor or weapon choice.
- There is always the possibility of errors in the calculation model. While I'm fairly confident that the model provides reliable values, I will not make absolute guarantees on anything.
- The item list has been drawn off Thottbot's beta information and there are no guarantees that the list of items is comprehensive. I will make irregular updates to this list as time goes on and new items are found.
- The model uses the lvl 70 calculation values and maths. This distorts the data slightly for character below 70 (and more so for chars below 60), but I didn't see any other reasonable alternative for making general comparisons between the items. The previous lvl 60 item list is still valid for comparing items for characters between levels 50-60

So actually, if your stats vary a great deal from the stats this list is generated from, the list will not be ideal for you. I have 98 +hit and therefore have no need for items with additional +hit. I just ignore those and look for others that I like.

That is what this lists are very useful for. Getting some idea of what items are out there and what stats they have.

03-27-2007, 11:30 AM
It seems that Claritondeus and I
havepretty much the same gear and are facing the same decisions. I don't raid. So, generally speaking,I will never be fully buffed. The set of armor I need to put together is one good enough to run 5 man instances.

Having said that, what are some ideal numbers as far as AC, HP. Def. rating and doge rating that would allow me to do that effectively? I think this is a different "level" of the game than end game and may require emphasis on different stats somewhat.

I won;t be getting hit for 18k, which leads me to believe that I can substitute having extremely high hp for ac and dodge. I think max def. rating is good because not getting crit is a good thing lol.

The above reasons are why I'm havign a hard time choosing between the Clefthoof set and other items Claritondeus mentioned. Any thoughts on the subject are appreciated.

03-28-2007, 05:38 PM
Tilwiel: I'm just starting to tank 5 mans (L69 here, recently respecced back to feral.) From what I gather, many druids have a set of high def armor for tanking bosses and a set of lower def, higher ac/sta armor for trash mobs (because a boss crit is much bigger than a trash crit). You simple swap out armor for the big fights, much like having resist gear.

Do any druid tanks here do that? Is that the right reasoning?

03-28-2007, 08:28 PM
Yeah I do that, I actually have 4 tanking gear sets with me (not counting resist sets), Def, Armor, Dodge, Sta. The Def one has my 415 def plus a healthy mix of sta, dodge, and armor, and I wear it for heroics, Kara, and on some level 70 bosses. I haven't actually found much of a use for the pure armor one (it only has 23k armor anyways, not much more than my def set), but I might one of these days. The dodge one is the one I use most often for normal instances, it still has 20k armor and enough sta, but I have more dodge stuff than def stuff in that set, I like the dodge for a lot of fights when I don't need the huge def. The dodge set is also the highest DPS tank set (unless I mix in cat gear, which I sometimes do as well). Aaand I have a sta set for magical fights, I use a green staff with like 75 sta in that set. >.>

Dodge/def are what I use most often, but I like having my stuff organized like that, makes choosing gear for fights easy. :D

03-29-2007, 01:04 AM
Makes me wish Blizzard would implement 'Gear Set Bags' to reduce bagspace needed for tanks and many hybrids.

03-29-2007, 12:49 PM
Yeah Rudah I do that too. I have very close to 415 defense in my def set (I'll have it when I get my earthwarden, hopefully not too many more runs =/ ) along with a TON of stamina and a reasonable amount of ac (~21.5k). I have a set that max's out ac, but I don't ever really wear all of that as I lose a bunch of ap, crit and dodge.

I really only throw all that on when I'm tanking a boss, or in Kara. I find that I mitigate so much damage in my defense ac stam gear that I don't generate that much rage, and actually lose aggro sometimes. I throw on a mix of my dps gear, and I drop like 2 - 3k armor, but have endless rage, and my dps goes up significantly. Also depends on how good the healer is whether I try to mitigage as much as possible, or if I can swap out a few pieces for more crit / dodge stuff.

03-29-2007, 01:39 PM
Ruadh you ideally want to have a single bear tanking set that contains the hp/ac/dodge/defense that you need. That being said, don't significantly gimp yourself just to get to the defense cap. Recall that before we had SotF, bears dealt with criticals through raw armor mitigation as there was no way we could cap our defense anyway; I believe that strategy is still preferable than losing a significant amount of hp/armor for defense. The only exception I could think of are raid bosses which would crit you for 14k+, but if you are sacrificing other stats because you don't have sufficient def, you probably wouldn't want to be tanking those fights anyway :p