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Posts with tag defense-rating

Cataclysm: Reaching uncrittable

For those of you who don't know much about tanking, we're going to talk quickly about a stat that won't exist in Cataclysm. This lowly stat is called defense rating, and it's something that tanks need quite a bit of. The nice thing is that it's on just about everything that tanks wear, which means at higher gear levels, we've got it coming out of our ears. The primary point of this stat is to reduce the critical strike ability for incoming melee hits from the standard of 6% to 0%. Druids currently don't need this stat, as they've got a talent called Survival of the Fittest, which means that bosses don't need to drop defense leather.

All in all, the stat is kinda boring, as while it does still do nice things after you reach the defense cap of 690 rating (or 540 skill), most people don't bother with it and stack stamina or other avoidance. So Blizzard decided that they're going to get rid of it.

Around BlizzCon 2009, we were told that the crit reduction we formerly got from defense rating was going to be tied into things that were available to all members of each tanking class. Examples used were baking it into Bear Form for druids, Righteous Fury for paladins, Defensive Stance for warriors and Frost Presence (or rather, Blood Presence in Cataclysm) for death knights. That means that if a retribution paladin or arms warrior wanted to tank, all he'd need to do was swap to vaguely appropriate gear (or just over to a sword and shield), pop his respective abilities, and away he'd go. That's not how it appears things went down, though.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight

The Light and How to Swing It: Tanking stat changes in Cataclysm

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown.

Since paladins are last on the list for the upcoming Cataclysm class previews due to how Blizzard ended up doing the development schedule, we've got another week and a half to wait for our details. I'm not picky as long as it gets done, so there's no reason to really grumble other than having to wait an extra week. However, I thought I'd go over some of the things we do know about Cataclysm for tanking.

Blizzard has mentioned that they're going to rethink tanking cooldowns and has previously asked for feedback on some of the abilities we currently have -- but to what end, we're unsure at this time. What they have told us about thus far is how some of the avoidance stats will be working in the coming expansion. Essentially, the only avoidance stat that isn't changing is dodge, with the others either being overhauled or removed. Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

Lichborne: Gearing up to tank Naxxramas

Best Raid Group Ever.
Welcome to Lichborne, The weekly Death Knight column, where your host is recruiting only the most pro critters for his raiding team.

So by now, I'm sure many of you Death Knights have managed to follow our last tanking gear guide and have put together a pretty decent tank set that's gotten them through a few heroics, but now it's time for the next step: Getting ready to tank Naxxramas. You'll find that while a lot of your gear is probably "good enough," you'll still want to look for a few important upgrades to kick you up another notch so you can be at your best coming into Naxxramas to tank. Let's look at a few heroic upgrades that you can grab to be the best tank you can be heading into 10 man Naxxramas content.

Before we start, there's two things you should remember: One, I'm pretty much following the logic I laid down in the Death Knight statistics primer a few weeks back, so if you want to know why I picked a certain item, the answer is probably there, and two, whatever you do, remember to hit 540 defense skill. You'll need that to survive against the bosses.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Phat Loot Phriday: Titansteel Shield Wall


This is one of the more legendary shields in the game at this point, even if it isn't actually Legendary. But it is for all you Blacksmiths out there looking for something to do.

Name: Titansteel Shield Wall (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowdigger)
Type: Epic Shield
Armor: 7350
Abilities:
  • 211 Block, +36 Strength, +69 Stamina
  • Increases defense rating by 64, and at this level, while I'm not a tank expert (I leave that to the pros), Defense is what you want.

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Filed under: Blacksmithing, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Phat Loot Phriday, Leveling

Lichborne: Basic defense gearing for the Death Knight tank

Tank Itemization: Yeah, this guy is definitely doing it wrong.
Welcome to another edition of Lichborne, which this week is so epic, so mind-blowing, that we just couldn't release on a lazy day like Sunday, which is why it is a day late. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

So you're level 80 and you want to respec to a tank build and head straight into tanking 5-mans. In order to be the best tank you can be, there's a very definite first step you should take, which we have discussed before, but which bears repeating: Get 540 Defense. This will make you immune to critical strikes from level 83 mobs, making it much easier to heal you in pretty much every situation, and it's really a prerequisite for serious tanking before any other stat.

Unfortunately, Death Knights are at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to getting maximum defense. We don't get to wear shields, block rating gear is right out useless for us, and two-handed weapons aren't itemized for defense. Still, it's possible to hit that magic number, even without dual wielding tanking weapons.

This week's Lichborne is meant to showcase a variety of defensive options for Death Knights that require a minimum of dungeon grinding to get. By picking and choosing from this list, you should be able to get that 540 defense skill cap, and hopefully then be able to tank a few of the more difficult normals and beginning heroic dungeons on your own.

As a reminder, defense skill is not the same as defense rating. Rather, you need defense rating to get defense skill. Specifically, you will need approximately 690 defense rating to gain the 540 defense skill you need to gain critical strike immunity against level 83 mobs.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: A Death Knight statistics primer

Death Knight Itemization: This guy is doing it wrong.
Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column by professor Daniel Whitcomb, who totally has a PhD in Death-Knightology from Ebon Hold University. It's the truth, I swear.

I've seen a lot of people asking these questions as we've been getting into the expansion: Now that I am trying to gear by Death Knights, what stats should I get? What's good for a Death Knight? Which armor should I take. We've started getting in that somewhat in the last few columns, with advice on reputation gear and starting zone gear, but I figured today we should delve a little bit more into the why of Death Knight stats.

Today's column will double as a little bit of primer on how Death Knights get their power, and what stats you should be looking for on armor in general to make your Death Knight the best it can be. It's not completely in depth, but it should get you well on the road to understanding just how Death Knights get all that awesome power and sexiness.

We'll have 3 sections today. The Good are stats that are excellent choices for DPS, Tanks, or both. The So-So are stats which still do us some good, but are pretty situational or conditional in their usefulness. The Outcasts are those stats that you should avoid -- Well, I'd say avoid like the plague, but we're Death Knights. We like the plague around here. So I'll just say you should avoid them.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Checking your caps: Defense, Block, Hit, Expertise

Honor's Code has a great post up about the secondary gear stats that often get overlooked in favor of the main attributes. Everyone knows that Hunters need Agility and Warriors need Strength, but after that, things tend to get a little fuzzy -- just what does Expertise or Hit do for you? HC breaks it down from a Pally perspective, but what they say about these stats is helpful for any class that has to deal with attacking the bad guys.

Defense comes first -- defense rating, for tanks, allows you to make sure that bosses can't crit you. Each class has its own defense cap, and the cap has changed from 70 to 80, so you'll have to keep an eye out for your own cap when you get that far. Block is next -- a high Block rating means you're pushing other attack options off the table when you're hit, so that when something does hit you, you block the damage on it. Both of those stats are mainly for tanks -- other classes, who aren't getting hit, won't have to worry about them at all.

But Hit and Expertise you will have to worry about if you're DPS -- Hit will make sure that you don't miss your target (the fewer misses you have, the higher your DPS), and Expertise makes sure that those hits don't become dodges or parries. This is tough stuff, and it shows up much earlier in Wrath, it seems, than it did in Burning Crusade, But the good news is that there's a lot of help around -- Honor's Code offers a great overview for what everything means, and from there, you can search our site or others for what you need to know about each stat and how it works with your class.

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Midsummer Fun: The Midsummer Merchant

So by now, you've done some of the Midsummer quests, desecrated a few flames, and you have a bunch of Burning Blossoms burning a hole in your pocket. The question now is: What are you going to do with all of those? Sure, you can throw them in the nearest Festival Bonfire for the sweet buffs, but you can also spend them at the Midsummer Merchants and Midsummer Suppliers located next to every Capital City's fire.

After the break, we'll look at exactly what you can buy and what they do.

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Filed under: Items, How-tos, Events, Guides

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