Friday, June 29, 2007

Example of Prot Gear Problem

Here's an example of the problem I have with paladin tanking gear, and what actually prompted me to make my last post.

I have two tanking boots: [Flesh Beast's Metal Greaves], from Mana Tombs; and [Boots of Righteous Fortitude], from Heroic Sethekk Halls.

[Boots of Righteous Fortitude] are gorgeous tanking boots, and above all they are paladin tanking boots. Yet if I was going to tank Karazhan, I'd wear [Flesh Beast's Metal Greaves] because they bring me much closer to uncrushability.

This seems wrong to me. Game mechanics should not make me choose an almost total downgrade. If the mechanics do so, the mechanics are flawed.

You can see the same problem with Righteous Armor. It's actually a really good tanking set, except that it fails the uncrushability test. If paladins didn't need to become uncrushable, there's a decent argument that Righteous Armor would be the paladin tanking set of choice for a raider just starting Karazhan.

(Well, there might be better pieces overall, but people wouldn't laugh at you for trying to tank in it. Unless you're in the Raid and Dungeons Forums. Then you'd get laughed at for not having epics.)


  1. Actually, I would offer an alternative view -- I am impressed that Outland gear and TBC trees force (or at least encourage) choices & customization. I guess I'd soften the language from "problem" to "challenge".

    I don't run a pally, but here are some personal examples...

    I re-specced to protection with my warrior at level 70, and went looking for recommendations. I couldn't find a consensus; I even used the Armory to look over the specs of top guild raid tanks -- and they differed on several points. Kinless on his blog has agonized over the same thing. I think that the lack of cookie-cutter tanks is refreshing!

    Gear-wise, my shadow priest carries gear for healing. But going entirely +healing obviously pulls off of damage potential, and if there are casters (and especially Warlocks) in a group, I want to DOT mobs (especially bosses) with at least SW:P to apply Misery and Shadow Weaving debuffs, and and Vampiric Touch for mana regeneration (my last group had a pally tank, a mage, a 'lock, and a hunter -- all mana-hungry). And since I'm planning on hitting with a debuff, then Vampiric Embrace just follows naturally, easing the need for healing. But if I change out my +damage-and-healing gear for pure +healing, I gimp my damage which also gimps my vampiric healing and mana regen. My choice -- and I like having flexibility and challenges.

  2. You're absolutely correct, Coriel. Gearing for uncrushability puts the prot paladin behind on the gear curve, using inferior items. I myself have been holding on to those very Flesh Beast boots as well as a blue ring and a blue necklace for block rating, just to cover the gaps, even though I have access to several epic pieces that are higher item level and more stamina. Very frustrating - especially since I'm silly and tank Karazhan with a hybrid spec (20/41/0) so I need an extra 5% avoidance above and beyond that of the regular prot paladin to maintain uncrushability...

    70 paladin, Runetotem server

  3. Our guild MT is a warrior and our OT is a Druid(we are on maiden in kara). The druid does great and in some fights MTs. He really knows his stuff as far as druids goe ie hes up there in damage maters when he dpss in cat and hes an awesome tank in bear.

    He also has a level 60 Tankadin that he is leveling up to become his main in his spare time.

    He was the first 70 in our guild.

    He has stated lately that in blue gear druid tanks are awesome but once you get into epics the warriors and pallys really start becoming a better option for tanking. he says the druid tanks dont scale as well.

    he is not one to QQ about this kind of stuff so hes just lvling the pally in his spare time. he just states this if you ask him why hes lvling the pally. so i tend to take everything he says as true. he is also our raid leader.

    what are your thoughts on this as a tankadin?

  4. Mourne,

    I'd say he's half right. There's a lot more paladin-viable plate to be had in the later raid instances (SSC, TK, Black Temple) than there is bear tanking gear, but that still doesn't solve the fact that bears can generate secondary aggro better than a paladin (paladin aggro comes from getting hit repeatedly, bear aggro is mostly from having rage which comes irregardless of the frequency of the incoming hit). Even though paladins gear scales better, the druids still have less stats to invest in, higher HP, higher armor, and rage instead of mana, allowing them to do some things a paladin can't very well, like tank things that mana burn/drain or silence.

    I'd say his point is valid, druids don't get itemization love in the later instances, but the way paladins function and the way encounters are designed still favor a high armor, high HP, rage-using tank.

  5. My choice -- and I like having flexibility and challenges.

    Exactly. When tanking, you should be able to choose your strategy of gearing up. You could concentrate on stamina, or concentrate on block value to max out the effectiveness of Holy Shield. Another option would be gearing for avoidance, or you could try for lots of spell damage so you are a high threat tank.

    But the truth of the matter is that Avoidance is the only gearing strategy for raids. Crushing blows overwhelm all other considerations.

  6. Blizzard has been dinking around with Paladin gear for a really really long time and still hasnt really figured out what they wanted. Like always, the problem is you CANNOT have good +dmg/+avoidance/+stam gear all in one because you either get mediocre stats or go way over the stat budget (aka OP items).

    Blizzard had the same problem about stat budget on paladin gear pre-BC. Pally gear was pretty mediocre up until Judgement and Avenger, which is when the gear started getting enough iLvL to be true hybrid gear.
    (To this day, i think the avenger armor is the most well designed paladin set to date. It has crit, ap, +dmg, mana regen, int...everything. Its a paladins wet dream."

  7. Un-crushability before you are dripping in epics for Pally tanks depends on the heroic trinket which ups the block rate of holy shield by 5%. Get that and you should be able to drop the flesh beast boots. I don't have the trinket, but i am only about 2% away from uncrushable with no purples.

    My problem is finding people willing to run heroics with a Paladin tank.

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  9. @the misfit toy:
    Yeah, I understand your pain. Back when I was prot, I had to do my share of convincing to get the tanking role in a group.

    Another valid point. I have been reading your blog for a while, and it has since encouraged me to start my own, also about Paladins. Drop by if you can, you'd probably be my first reader. =)