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11-19-2009 @ 11:44AM
Your effective health is the number of unmitigated points of damage it would take to drop you from full health to death. At the simplest level that is just based on your health pool and the percentage damage reduction you get from your armor. See this article for some specifics on how that works: http://www.wow.com/2009/09/13/1-local-in-which-he-man-and-eddie-get-pwned/Effective health is not a constant for a given tank, though. If you pop a cooldown that reduces all incoming damage by 50%, that temporarily doubles your effective health. If you count guaranteed shield blocks from a paladin, your effective health becomes variable based on the number of blocks you would get in (usually 1-3) before dying from full health. The big debate is how to compare effective health between tanks with different kinds of cooldowns. Some people prefer not to count cooldowns at all unless they can be sustained 100% of the time.
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