Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
WoW Warrior questions

My apologies to those of you not interested in the subject, but as I mentioned before a good part of this blog is just me writing about the things that preoccupy me in whatever game I'm currently playing. And as you might have noticed, my current preoccupation is about my warrior in World of Warcraft. That doesn't mean I'm not playing my priest or mage any more, I pretty much play all three evenly. It is just that priest and mage are both playing more or less "on rails", on a well determined path, the priest in the raiding circuit and the mage leveling up. You don't want me telling you how my guild killed Hydross or the Lurker, because surprise, surprise, we killed them exactly like everyone else does and blogs about. And my mage, now 65 will level to 70 doing the same quests everyone else did. It is only the path forward for my warrior that I don't have a clear vision of yet, and so it is him I tend to think about most, and thus write about most.

The recurring question for my warrior is what I should do with him in the level 70 end-game, given that I don't want to raid with him. I already did an endless amount of daily quests with him, leading to me having 3 epic flying mounts now, the normal one, the Netherray, and the Netherdrake. Of course I didn't do the quests for the mounts, as three of them aren't any more useful than having only one. I did it because every quest gave around 10 gold, thus hundreds of quests give thousands of gold. I will most likely continue to do that after patch 2.4 doing the Sunwell daily quests, unless that turns out to be impossible because every single player on the server is camping the same spawn for the same quest. :)

Unfortunately that gold didn't improve my warrior; most of it was spent on my second epic flying mount, for my priest, the rest is mostly used to finance my priest's expensive raiding habit: repair costs, potions, and large sums for gems and enchants for the epics he finds. Even if I had more gold, I wouldn't want to buy epics for thousands of gold from the AH for my warrior, at least to me it appears as if grinding gold and buying epics for it is the least efficient way to get epics. So I'm looking for other ways to improve my warriors gear. And that is where most of the questions arise, because I'm not really good at theorycrafting, and don't really know what I'm shooting for.

For example my warrior has 480 defense, and I know that I should be shooting for 494 defense to be immune to critical hits. What I don't know is how important the last 14 points are, with 480 am I significantly too low in defense? Or are the last 14 points just bringing me from 99% uncritable to 100% uncritable?

I am even less sure about the relative importance between health, armor, and defense. For example I could improve my armor by over 1000 points if I exchanged my Ogri'la Aegis by the PvP season 1 reward shield if I gathered the honor for it, but would lose 23 defense and gain some resilience instead. So I'd be even further away from the 494 target. Same consideration with the rest of the honor-bought season 1 plate armor: I could gain lots of strength, some stamina, and a good amount of armor, but I'd lose a lot of defense. I'd hate to spend many hours doing PvP for epic gear, only to find that I'm shooting myself in the foot with it lacking defense. And everyone I ask tells me a different story. Some people swear you can tank in PvP armor, others say you need 494 defense first, and everything else is secondary. How many points of health or armor is 1 point of defense "worth"? (If I understood it correctly 1 point of armor is more or less worth 1 point of health, the two are nearly equivalent). And in how far can I replace defense with resilience?

Anyone know of a tank calculator where you can enter your stats and it calculates a single "survivability" score out of it? As long as I don't know what gear I'm looking for, it is very hard to know what I should be doing to find it. Right now I'm just randomly doing a bit of everything, but that isn't neither efficient nor fun. I much rather have a clear goal and path towards that goal in front of me.
I know I's seen a site where you can do the mathifications, but I can't remembers where right now. Howevers, resilience do lower the magic number to be crit immune. This be from Berg's Tank Gear Rankings:

"Resilience will count as 0 tankpoints in all items that have it in this guide since the baseline is always over the 490 defense mark, but it does have a useful benefit. If you are trading off some tanking gear for aggro generating gear, you usually try to remain crit-immune. If some of your gear has resilience, the defense cap is actually lowered. For example, if you have the Gladiator's Shield Wall, then your defense cap is actually 472."
It's 490. Not 494.

I believe with the S1 shield you can lower your defense to 471 and the reslience will make up the rest.
There's also some enchants/gems/etc that can up you defense rating.

If you really want an indepth study into the mechanics of tanking I suggest you check out
Or see Ciderhelms sticky in the warrior forum.

If you're not going to raid with you're warrior, you might want to consier arms pvp to change up your experience a bit as you raid with your priest. Up to you in the end.
Arena can be fun.

Goal #1 Run heroic mech till your fingers bleed to get the DPS legs, Shatar rep for the crest of the shatar shield and possibly get the sun eater.

You want to make your self completely uncritable warriors are great tanks because they can elminate crushing blows as well as crits. In addition becoming uncritable, defense rating also boosts your other avoidances (block chance, dodge, parry).

After reaching the defense you need you need to shoot for a 25% block chance (which, with shield block is increased to 100% thereby always avoiding crushing blows).

Next move will be to stack stamina the way everyone one wants to stack money, the more the better.

That should give you the direction you need for gearing.
OK, I'm a druid Main Tank but alot of this stuff is similar, so I'll try to help you out as much as I can. (Note, most numbers stolen from Prot Tanking thread on Elitist Jerks, which is very very well done...

First off, in regard to the defense question, alot of it depends on what you want to tank with your warrior. You definitely do not want to be crit by what you are tanking, but the threshold for what you need to achieve that varies depending on what you are doing. Keep in mind, most heroic bosses and mobs are no higher than level 72, as are many adds on Raid boss encounters, while main raid bosses are level 73. If you are only tanking heroics or offtanking adds, you probably do not need to have maxed your uncrittability.

You want some combination of defense/resilience to get you to uncrittable. (BTW, w/ no resilience, you need 490 defense to get to uncrittable, not 494) Here is what they each get you:

2.4 defense rating = 1 defense skill.
1 defense skill = .04 % less chance to be crit.
So, 1 defense rating = .016 % less chance to be crit.

39.4231 resilience rating = 1% less chance to be crit.
So, 1 resilience rating = .025 % less chance to be crit.

So, if you are solely looking at being uncrittable, 1 Resilience rating gets you .008% more uncrittabiliy than 1 Defense rating. However, each point of defense SKILL (not rating, remember 2.4 rating = 1 point of skill) also gets you .04 Chance to block/dodge/parry/be missed. Resilience gets you nothing else in a PvE setting. Strictly speaking, you always want to use defense to get uncrittable, cause you get avoidance w/ it. But you can use resilience if an item is clearly better.

In your specific question, Gladiator's Shield wall gives 29 resilience, or .725 % less chance to be crit.

Ogri'la Aegis gives you 23 defense rating, or .368 % less chance to be crit.

So getting the Gladiator one is actually a big step towards hitting the uncrittable mark.

Cut to the chase, cause this is long and rambling, if you are tanking heroics you are fine where you are at now, no need to go for further uncritability. If you aspire to tank raid bosses (including Kara/ZA), get yourself uncrittable first and then work on stam/armor. In very general terms though, armor will take care of itself, as better loot will have more armor, warriors don't get enough from armor that they should use items that give an armor bonus for that reason alone (unlike druids who do).

Sorry if this is long and rambling and unhelpful lol. is great for theorycrafting as it lays out all of your avoidance and mitigation stats. You can swap in gear (enchants and gems) and even buffs to see its effect on your character. is also nice. it's probably more of what you're looking for in terms of a gear check.
Hello Tobold,

your scores are quite nice to Tank Heroics IMHO.

With your 480 defense as you can see in this spreadsheet ( Mobs of Level 73 have 0.4% chance to score a critical hit upon you. Mobs of Level 72 have 0.2% chance to score a crit. If you don't want to raid with your Warrior you should aim for 485 defense because AFAIK all heroic Boss-Mobs are only Level 72. So you will be crit immun against them and this is an important thing because only this way you can lower spike damage and often this spike damage cause a tank to die because the healer can't react fast enough or he gains healing aggro if the crit was scored early in an encounter and he tries to bring the tank to full life to fast. Even if 0.2% crit chance against a mob ov level 72 (hero boss mobs) seem very low it is still a very dangerous because of a unlucky hit series, maybe the paladin from your last SH run would have been able to heal you through these encounters if there wasn't some rare but huge crits on your tank maybe combined with the mortal strike debuff some opponents in SH are capeable to apply.

You have already made the right conclusions about the danger of swapping to much of your Tankgear against Season1 rewards. But it is very safe to say that at least one of those pieces is at least very suited for tanking => the shoulders. They have a much stamina on them two sockets for two +12 stam socket stones some resilence which helps in PvE to some degree and a really high armor rating. IMHO it is better suited for tanking than the Paladin and warrior Dungeon 3 Set pieces (which drop in Bota and Shadowlab) and at least on par IMHO even a bit ahead of the epic tanking shoulders dropping from Netherspite. The first real upgrade to the Season1 shoulders for tanking are the T4 that drop from Maulgar. I would recommend to get the weapons you want for your farming etc. and go for the shoulders if you want to upgarde your tanking gear.

Some other advices:

1) get revered with the keepers of time to get the headslot enchant and the trousers you can buy from the faction vendor it's the best tanking item for this slot pre-Kara.

2) if you are Aldor - get the Tanking Chestpiece from teh Faction vendor

3) Try to get the tanking ring that drops from the endboss in the Arcatraz

4) even if you don't want to raid maybe you should at least once visit Kara to get the tanking ring from the violet eye.

5) Shadowmoon Valley contains many good quests were you can get tanking gear. You can get an exellent tanking Axe with fast speed for quick rage dumps that as really nice tanking stats. The shield you get from IIRC Zuluhed Quest is really nice but if you have reached your 485 def (for heroics without your shield) you can also take the PvP-Shield
I successfully tank everything except Tier 5 bosses in Season 2 pvp gear on my Warrior. If we are short on healers I might switch in some Karazhan tank gear for higher evasion stats (getting missed more often is nice but rarely important).

I believe the Season 1 gear is good enough for you to tank everything including Karazhan bosses. Its really a lot harder and less predictable to farm for equivalent gear through any 5 man content. There are a few ordinary quest lines which give a functional tank items like rings and necklaces but they are few enough to be easily found through some website searching.

I have basically pvped all my characters up to a point where they are doing well in Tier 5 raids without needing to farm any instance for anything except some quest rewards. Going for an 11% drop on the last boss in any instance is silly unless you are there for a better reason, and you'll soon run out of reasons other than that stupid item that refuse to drop.

I even ended up multi-boxing 2v2 arena with my girlfriends account just to get the arena points a few weeks. Funnily enough my warlock was good enough to defeat the enemy team on his own once my rating got low enough. :P

Anyhow. Resilience and AC is well beyond what you need to tank heroics if your group has gear of season 1 pvp or better quality.

The relevance of defence and evasion stats is questionable until you start Main Tanking Gruul or tougher bosses.
With your 480 defense as you can see in this spreadsheet ( Mobs of Level 73 have 0.4% chance to score a critical hit upon you. Mobs of Level 72 have 0.2% chance to score a crit.

I accidentally created a rather funny display that shows why I get confused about that sort of questions: This is a "warrior thread", and your data here show me that with 480 defense against heroic trash mobs my chance to get critted is insignificant. But my first post of the day was a "paladin thread", where I wondered why a pally couldn't heal me in a heroic, and some pallys responding there tell me its all my fault for having only 480 defense. :)
My 2cents on this.

It's much more important to become absolutely 100% uncrittable than getting some extra armor or stamina.

In a instance you're far more likely to die due to a sudden spike of damage than you're to die from a steady source of damage that is easily predictable. So taking into account that crits are 200% damage strikes, removing those altogether should be your first priority.

If you get two shotted by a boss there's not much your healer can do to make up for that.
490 Defense, is a bit of a misnomer. You simply have to be "uncrittable" to a level 73 mob.

Remember also the "Anticipation" talent can add up to 20 defense points, so if you have 480 defense in tanking gear, but with no Protection talents, you really have 500 defense with those talent points used.

My guildmates had the exact same question as you, so I made the following chart to show how to remain uncrittable at different points of Resilience.


Defense needed to be uncrittable / Resilience
490 / 0
458 / 50
451 / 60
445 / 70
439 / 80
432 / 90
426 / 100
420 / 110
413 / 120
407 / 130
394 / 140
388 / 150
382 / 160


39.4 resilience = -1% to be crit
-1% to be crit = 60 defense rating = 25 defense (as shown on character sheet)

Therefore. 39.4 resilience = 25 defense.

Here come the maths.

1 resilience = .6 defense
Everytime I think about coming back to this game I read one of these posts and remember why I quit. Thank you Tobold!
490 is uncrittable and anything above that is better spent on avoidance. HOWEVER-- +defense past 490 still does contribute to avoidance, so it’s also a misnomer to say that anything above 490 is useless. That being said, most tanks like to go with +block type gear after 490. It’s not avoidance, but it does contribute to making you uncrushable and procs Revenge. Since you still take some damage, you are still able to generate rage from getting hit. Parry is also superior to dodge in that a successful parry makes your next white attack 40% faster.
Heroic Blood Furance is always going to be a pain since it's one of the hardest Heroics. I would put off Blood Furnace and Mana Tombs until your gear improves.

Asking what kind of stats you should be going for, I would answer that it depends on what you want to do with your Warrior.

If you want to tank 5 mans, you want to be at 490 Defense, with a good amount of Health, decent mitigation stats and a healthy amount of Shield Block Value, Hit and Expertise. As your tanking gear improves, it will become more difficult to generate threat, and SBV, Hit and Expertise will help combat that.

For tanking 5 mans, all the mitigation stats you gain on items will be enough for what you're doing. I'd roll your enchants and gems towards Stamina or Hit.

But until you get 490 Defense, you can't really call yourself a tank =p
this is a joke right ? i know this is a private blog but asking for help repeatedly is kinda blah blog post.

stop being obsessed with warrior and start writing again.

just go to WOW guide / hint site and read the max-min guide for warrior there.. using your blog to ask for advice is very very lame. dont be lazy and start working those fat butt.
The recurring question for my warrior is what I should do with him in the level 70 end-game, given that I don't want to raid with him.

then why are you worried about defense at all? PvP requires zero defense. For 5 mans and heroics? 490 def is the magical number, and if you're lacking there are a few pieces of gear that can up that number.

I don't read your blog regularly enough to know your warrior's name or realm, or i'd armory you, but certain loots go a long way toward being the standard (non-raiding) fare for beginning tanks. Adamantite Figurine ( is a start, with the Azure Shield of Coldarra (33 badges / being another that come straight to mind. Armor is good, but come naturally from plate. After hitting 490 DEF, start to stack raw stamina.

eventually my tank surpassed the def cap to where i could use the 5 points in the prot talent Anticipation towards more useful things, but more def is always better. DEF adds ot many overall abilities, including block, dodge, and parry, so don't you shouldn't ever feel like you have too much, assuming you aren't saccing gobs of STA to get there.
To the guy that posted that you need 25% block chance to become immune to crushing blows, you just need 25% in all your avoidance stats, not just block chance.
Ciderhelm's Fortifications is the tanking bible.

If you really want to be a good tank, that's the first thing you should read.
this is a joke right ? i know this is a private blog but asking for help repeatedly is kinda blah blog post.

stop being obsessed with warrior and start writing again.


Actually it is people like you who make me want to stop blogging. If you don't like my posts, don't read them, is that so hard to understand? Who do you think I am, some uber-being that knows everything about every MMORPG and never needs to ask a question? Get off my blog, man, you are no longer welcome.
Formulae Calculator

And if you want to have a measure of how good your tanking gear is, check out the Effective Health Calculator

For a description of Effective Health see the Effective Health Article on
Hi tobold
let me suggest something:

1) get revered with keepers of time. you're very close, do it. thats the rep #1 for a tank. From there you get the leggins (put 12stamina on it and max enchant them, they will never be replaced untill the curator or the T4). and get the head enchant. Is a huge defense/avoidance upgrade for only 90g.

2) change ALL your gems into 12 stamina ones. Ignore the set bonuses. most of all change the felsteel helm gems as soon as you can. start from there (I know, being tank is expensive)

3) get the back from NORMAL (or heroic) steamvault. Thats the best mantle you can have before the badge one (35 badges well spent).

4)you should have gone Aldor (thats the best rep for tanks). In any case try to get the chest from NORMAL (or heroic) mechanar. is a very good one and will last long.

5) dabiri's enigma is your trinket. is a quest reward in netherstorm, so should be easy to get. check wowhead or whatever, it worth the small time it requires. and throw insigna of the horde from the window.

6) try to get better rings, with some defence on them, the world (of warcraft ofc) is full of them.

7) last but not least get the PVP shield. with 31 resilience you only need 471 defense to became uncrittable. dont be afraid by the lack of defense. just get that shield: armor is way more important once you are immune (and you actually are right now)

8) you can have a better use of some talent point.
improved shield bash isnt really that worth, even in heroic go for shield mastery instead. the single point in tactical mastery can be beter switched with one point in improved bloodrage.

after that I think you can tank every heroic of the game ^^

8) you can have a better use of some talent point.
improved shield bash isnt really that worth, even in heroic go for shield mastery instead.

Thanks for the detailed advice. The improved shield bash is actually there for PvP, not for heroics.
Ahh.. I'm very late to the party, but since I personally find the whole '490 defense or die' argument so absurd, I think I'll chip in :)

My experience is bear tank that (off)tanked Kara/Gruul/ZA/Hydross.

Before even talking about defense, it needs to be understood what is the goal. The goal (holy grail for some) is being uncrittable by raid bosses (technically lvl 73 mobs as bosses are always '3 levels higher than player').

As described at -- by default boss mob has 5.6% crit chance versus level 70 player. So to be crit immune you have to have combination of defense and resilience rating that gives you 5.6% crit chance reduction. With 0 resilience it indeed equates to 490 defense (for warrior).

Now the real question is whether you *need* to be crit-immune. My personal opinion (and supported by some of the better tanking guides I've seen) is that *for the most part* you don't need to be crit immune.

After all the 'only' thing that crit does -- it makes you take twice more damage than you normally would. If you look into Crushing Blows ( ) it appears that your chances to be crushed twice in the row are approximatelly 2.5% (compared to e.g. 0.4% chance to be crit with your 480 defense). Furthermore a lot of mobs have special attacks such as cleaves, mortal strikes, etc. that can result in spike damage far in excess of a critical hit (and which could have been possibly avoided / handled better should you've focused on more avoidance / armor / hit points vs. defense).

So basically while being uncrittable is undeniably nice, it's often is not "all that". Often it's much more important to try and have shield block up as much as possible to avoid as many crushing blows as possible or have more armor class / avoidance / hit points to survive special attack combos (and to take less damage in the long term thus draining all healer's mana and surviving to the end).

Now with that said, as some nice tanking guide put it -- "you need to be able to become crit immune" (generally it means by swapping gear) -- as there ARE some places where being crit-immune is essential. I'm not sure if there are such places outside of raiding, but for a raiding example -- Gruul. His secondary ability (Hurtful Strike or whatever it's called) hits second target in aggro list every so often. On later growths it can cause more than 10k damage on a bear off-tank with near 75% mitigation. If that crits (through off-tank not being crit-immune), the off-tank dies and wipe is likely to ensue. Note that I'm actually not sure if that ability can really crit, but I think the point of the example should be clear :)
A really late comment.

You can never be crit immune. Above 490, though, you are darned close to crit immue. But the odds are still there--I would say its less than 1 in 10,000 at 490. But I have seen a raid wipe because a boss got a crit on the MT with 525+ def.

Uncrushable is the other big on to have--but I think you would have to work at being crushable with shield block up (actively uncrushable). It is possible to become passively uncrushable--with T5/T6 gear, but the consensus is that those are low threat gear sets.
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