Tank Gearing 102: Gearing for Raids

In yesterday’s Tank Gearing 101 post, I talked about how to gear for Heroics.   If you look at the gear from that post, you’ll see that the Stamina and Avoidance are still rather lacking.  Today, I will talk about how to use Heroics to get those stats up and prepare for raids.

The general strategy is run run run run run Heroics until your eyes bleed.  Each boss in a Heroic will drop an Emblem of Conquest, which can be used to buy pieces of gear.  In this day of Conquest Emblems, you will be expected to have much better gear just to go into Naxxramas than we had to have when it first came out.

As an aside, you should do the Daily Heroic quest every day you can find the time.  This will reward you with two Emblems of Triumph, which can be used to buy even better gear than Emblems of Conquest.

The Gear

Weapons

Unless you are using the Teldrassil Protector, which you can get by doing the Argent Tournament Dailies, a new weapon will get you far.  There are no Conquest Emblem weapons, so you will be relying on Heroic drops for this slot.

The options in order of best to worst are:

Short of 25-man raiding, the Peacekeeper Blade is one of the best tanking weapons in the game.  Unfortunately, it’s also in a fairly difficult instance to tank, so you might want to work yourself up to that one.

For Death Knights, the Titansteel Destroyer remains a very strong tanking weapon due to the sheer amount of Stamina on it.  If you’ve got that, you don’t really need an upgrade at this point.

Shield

The Titansteel Shield Wall (ilevel 200) is still one of your top options at this level of gearing, however the Royal Crest of Lordaeron (ilevel 200) drops from Heroic Culling of Stratholme.  The Crest has more Stamina and some Hit, but has less Defense than the Shield Wall.

Trinkets

The trinkets you can get from running Heroics will be a huge upgrade over the trinkets I mentioned in my last post.  Again, the options in order from best to worst are:

Notice two of those trinkets are drops in regular instances, so they are easily farmable.  The Seal of the Pantheon has a nice on-use effect, but loses some of it’s luster when you don’t need it to keep 540 Defense anymore.  If you don’t need that Defense, I’d go with a Black Heart/Essence of Gossamer combination.

Rings

The Keystone Great Ring lacks defense, so if you are flirting with 540 defense the Nerubian Shield Ring might be a better option.  I hate to downrank Emblems of Conquest into Valor to get the Ring of the Impregnable Fortress, but 25 isn’t too steep if you have made the other purchases you need.

Shoulders

Technically, you can downrank your Emblems of Conquest into Emblems of Valor to purchase the Tier 8.5 Shoulders, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  It’ll cost you 60 Emblems of Conquest, which is a little high.

Other options include:

Back

Backs are a little lacking at this level of gearing.  The only really solid options are:

The Platinum Mesh Cloak is another downranked item, so you are not really getting your money’s worth from your Emblems of Conquest, but at only 25 Emblems it’s not as bad as the shoulders mentioned above.  The Durable Nerubhide Cape is a nice option, but it’s lack of Defense can create issues.

Head

The Tier piece is very slightly better than the ToC Helm, but 58 Emblems is a lot for someone that doesn’t farm Heroics a lot.  In my opinion, the upgrade isn’t really worth the expense if you’ve managed to get the ToC helm to drop unless you are looking at a 4-piece set bonus.

Neck

The Warlord’s Depravity has Block on it, so be aware DKs.  The Shard of the Crystal Forest is very nice for the relatively low cost of 19 Emblems.  If you’ve already got the JC piece though, it won’t be the biggest upgrade you can make.

Chest

The chestpieces at this level of gearing are few and far between.  The ones of note are as follows:

The Tier piece is the best bet you can make.  It should probably be your first Emblem purchase.  Save for it, it’s really that good.  You won’t replace it until 10-man Trial of the Crusader.

Wrists

There are two epic options and one rare option for wrists.

The Valor bracers are the best, but that’s a whopping 60 Emblems you are downranking.  My advice is to hope the Old Kingdom bracers drop before you have to downrank all those Emblems.  The Valor bracers aren’t that much better than the OK ones, so if you get the Bracers of the Herald, forget about the Valor ones.

Hands

There are actually many hands that are upgrades over the 101 hands I listed, but only 2 matter.

Mercy’s Hold are very good and very farmable.  If you can get them I’d put the Conquest bracers on the back burner until you have any other Conquest gear you need.

Waist

Belts are in almost the exact same boat that gloves are in, a farmable belt to be replaced by a Conquest one.

Unlike the hands above, the farmable Girdle of the Pallid Knight is a couple steps below the Shieldwarder Girdle, so you’ll want to work on getting the Conquest belt before you would the Conquest hands above.

Legs

The Conquest legs are very good, but they have block on them, which is not optimal for either Warriors or DKs.  The Leggaurds of Abandoned Fealty are farmable and only very slightly below the Wyrmguard Legplates, so for a Warrior or DK, go with farmable legs.  Paladins put more emphasis on block, so a pally would probably go for the Conquest legs here.

Feet

Once again, the farmable Regular Trial of the Champion shines.  The Boots of Heartfelt Repentance are only slightly below Kyzoc’s Ground Stompers, so I’d farm them and keep them.  40 Emblems is a lot to downgrade, imho.

Ranged/Relic/Libram

For Warriors, keep your Armor Plated Combat Shotgun, it’s the best you are going to see until 25-man Ulduar or Triumph Emblems.

For DKs, go with the Sigil of Deflection purchased with 19 Emblems of Conquest.

For Paladins, I’m going to apologize because I have no idea.

Conclusion

There you have it folks, with the gear suggestions made here, you’ll be well on your way to tanking Ulduar.  (We are skipping Naxx, who cares?)  With the proper enchants and gemming, you’ll be nearly 30k Hit Points with a solid start on your avoidance as well.

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2 Responses to “Tank Gearing 102: Gearing for Raids”

  1. I really like your list and its nice to see someone taking the time to put this info out there in a concise manner. I would definitely suggest the Leggards of Abbandoned Fealty as an awesome piece for all tanks and that the conquest ones are barely an upgrade at all because the expertise on those is amazing. Also the libram for pallys is http://www.wowhead.com/?item=45145
    a quick 19 conquest emblems and a very nice boost

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