I’ll do another list in a few days for Bears, because I know a lot of people appreciated my prior bear lists… but seeing as my druid is on the shelf right now, i’ll have to do a bit more research into their stat priorities to make sure nothing’s changed (which, i’m pretty sure it hasn’t).
So… i’ve been spending the last hour trying to make wowhead tooltips work on this site, and apparently I can’t do that without paying wordpress for something, so just… straight out to hell with that. Normal links it is… sorry folks. Anyway, with the 379 gear coming out in droves, I figure it’s time to look into what is coming, and see what DK tanks will want that’s all shiny come 4.2. Keep in mind that this is based off of the PTR database wowhead currently has listed. While they’re usually good about keeping it up to date, there’s no guarantee that it’s not incomplete, and I will update this page when the finalized list pre-patch is published.
I also want to clarify that even though i’ve listed a few mainly-DPS items in this set list, I am by no fucking means advocating that you take a DPS piece over a DPSer in your raid. The ones I list are only there because they have a good amount of mastery, which makes them acceptable substitutes for tank pieces, if you have shitty luck with drops. But the DPS should have first grab at them, not you.
More additions: A bunch of 365 ilvl items were datamined recently, so I decided to add them in for the slots i’ve already got here.
Elementium Deathplate Chestguard - Good ol’ tier 12. Although, i’m a bit disappointed by the lack of mastery here, the avoidance is very good. The Red/yellow socket combination is also a bit strange, but a Parry/stam (purple), and Mastery/stam (green) will take care of it just like everything else.
Flamescarred Carapace – Dodge with mastery, and 2 blue sockets? Yummy. You can throw mastery/stam gems in, or parry/stam gems, and come out with that nice socket bonus.
Carapace of Shifting Visions – Obviously a DPS piece, with the +20 Str socket bonus, but this has more mastery than the offset tanking chest, and haste, while crummy for tanks, can be reforged off for a good bit of avoidance. As far as non-tank pieces go, you could definitely do worse than this one.
Cracked Obsidian Stompers – A pretty solid choice. Expertise seems to be all over plate gear, and DKs need that less than hit, almost, since Rune Strike can’t be dodged, blocked, or parried. Even still, a solid amount of avoidance, and a respectable socket bonus from one blue gem slot. Can plug in a mastery/stam gem, or a parry/stam gem, depending on your specific tanking style.
Mirrored Boots – I’m not entirely sure these numbers won’t be tweaked at some point… but these have a LOT more strength (which translates into more parry), to make up for the lack of socket. Also, it has a large amount of mastery already on them… more than the other boots, even if you put 2 +40 mastery gems, and reforged dodge into mastery. Downside here, is that they are crafted boots, and will probably be expensive for quite some time come patch day.
The DPS boots really aren’t that viable as options. They have terrible green-stats for tanking, that even reforging would only slightly fix. Focus on the two I listed.
Pyrelord Greaves - These have lower stats than the raid drops, but they’re still a pretty solid set of tanking boots if you’re looking to upgrade from a 359. The socket bonus is kinda crappy though (10 parry? blugh)
Elementium Deathplate Handguards - This tier piece is *damn* tasty. Really couldn’t have asked for better itemization, glove-wise. And the 4p bonus is just so damn nice, this is definitely one of the ones you’ll want to include in the set.
Eternal Elementium Handguards - Crafted gloves, that are also damn nicely itemized. Parry instead of dodge, depending on how the rest of your gear makes the numbers fall. No socket makes it fall JUST barely short of the tier ones (as they made up the difference in strength instead of stam), but if you’re having bad luck with drops, these are a perfectly acceptable alternative.
Flickering Handguards - Itemization is good, but the socket bonus of only 10 mastery just underwhelms me. Not *bad* gloves, by any means, but not as good as the first two I listed.
Fireskin Gauntlests - Technically DPS gloves, but these aren’t half bad for tanks either. They have mastery, which is a plus, and a bit of hit rating, which is SEVERELY lacking on our gear in t11. Granted we don’t want to prioritize hit very highly, but my tank currently has 1% hit, and THAT only comes from the draenei passive. Take these only as a kind of last resort, and if no ret pallies/warriors/dps dks want them.
Elementium Deathplate Faceguard - Our tier slot. Not a half bad one, but again the lack of mastery disappoints me. A surprisingly large amount of parry make these a worthwhile investment anyway.
Helm of Blazing Glory - Parry and Mastery, a winning combination as always. The yellow socket is… curious, but it’s a great place for you JCs to throw a mastery Chimera’s eye into, for the fat 45 socket bonus.
Nestheart Greathelm - The crit is garbage, as this is obviously a DPS helm, but the ENORMOUS heap of mastery make up for it. Sadly, the socket bonus is also pretty crappy for us. Not a bad alternative, simply because OMNOMMASTERY, but not a great one either. Try to focus on the first two.
Elementium Deathplate Legguards - Parry and Mastery seem to be the big guns for this tier so far. Mastery is good, but if your parry rating gets too high, you’ll probably start pushing the envelope on diminishing returns. That said, these are still probably one you’d want to include in your 4-piece.
Legplates of Frenzied Devotion - The lack of mastery make these a bit less desirable than the legs, but with Parry being seen on almost every piece thus far, they’re a good candidate to reforge off into mastery. I’d pick still go with the tier legs, if I had my choice, but these are just fine.
Flightflame Legplates - Again, mastery makes these a passable substitute for tanking pants, but they’re still geared more for DPS. Let those dps warriors, dps dks, and retadins roll on them first.
Elementium Deathplate Shoulderguards - Hit and mastery are kind of an odd combination on a tanking tier piece, but these may be worth adding to your 4p list, simply for the fact that NOTHING ELSE HAS HIT FOR US. /flail
Spaulders of Recurring Flame - Dodge/Parry combo strikes again. This is really a tossup, and more determined by your tanking style. Are you more of a mitigation tank (mastery), or more avoidance-based (dodge/parry)?
Girdle of the Indomitable Flame - Non-set pieces (boots, belts, bracers) are generally not looked at as carefully as the “big 5″ are, but that hardly makes them less important. The dodge/parry combo strikes again, and in a surprising amount for an off-set piece. Plus, these are earned by rep with the new Avengers of Hyjal faction. Should be modestly easy to pick up.
Uncrushable Belt of Fury - Debatable as a “dps belt”, but the socket bonus (15 stam) gives it away as more of a tanking item imo. Huge amount of mastery on this make it damn near equal to the rep belt.
Bracers of Regal Force - Dodge and Parry again. Do you see a recurring theme here? I wonder if our stat priorities won’t shift any come 4.2. The base-yellow socket is another good place for JC’s to throw a big mastery chimera eye in.
Bracers of the Firey Path - I have a feeling that, with this set of gear, we’re going to be doing a LOT of reforging parry off of items into either dodge or mastery. Again, between these two belts, your choice is made by the other gear choices you’ve been making.
Gigantiform Bracers - Strangely enough, these don’t come with a socket. Hit and Mastery can really make them viable for either DPSing or tanking. Use your judgement though, and again, don’t steal shit from DPS’ers. You should probably let them have this over the other two I listed.
Ricket’s Gun Show - Okay, corny name aside, these bracers aren’t half bad. 365 ilvl puts them statistically below the raid drops above, and they don’t have any base gem slot, but they’re definitely tank-itemized. A good midway point between t11 and t12 content drops.
Gift of the Greatfather - The passive mastery is pretty nice, but the absorption amount is pretty underwhelming, even if it’s on a relatively short (1 minute) cooldown.
Scales of Life - The stamina is the main selling point for this trinket. The on-use ability, again, is a bit underwhelming. (17k is about the amount of a small, non-crit heal. Better than nothing, I suppose, but doesn’t seem like it’ll scale very well as our gear gets better)
Stay of Execution - Much like the Gift of the Greatfather, this trinket’s passive avoidance is really nice, but the on-use ability is bizarre. Also, i’m assuming the tooltip is incorrect (up to 170950 damage seems like an AWFUL lot to absorb). Also, you end up taking that damage anyway, just more slowly (ever 2s over 20s), but add that into the other damage you’d be taking at that point, i’m unsure if this trinket is really worth it. I guess it could have it’s situational uses.
As of right now, there’s literally only one cloak, relic, and two rings that are good for tanking, so i’m gonna bypass those for the time being. If they add more in future PTR patches, i’ll add these categories to this post. Let me reiterate that some of the items I put up there ARE dps specific items. You should really let them go to the main spec, DPSers before rolling on them for your tank set. I do plan to update this post as the gear becomes more finalized (because some of the stat numbers look REALLY wrong), and final lists become available.
Here’s what I can gather as far as the t12 goes. To me, the 4p bonus is worth getting, but generally the rule is to get 4 pieces, and have the 5th set slot go to an offset piece, so let’s look at them:
Chest – Dodge/Parry (30 stam socket bonus)
Hands – Dodge/Mastery (15 stam socket bonus)
Helm – Parry/Expertise (45 stam socket bonus)
Legs – Parry/Mastery (30 stam socket bonus)
Shoulders – Hit/Mastery (15 stam socket bonus).
If we go with the generally “preferred” way of DK tanking, you’d want to take all 3 pieces with mastery, so that gives you Hands, Legs, and Shoulders. Between the chest and helmet for the 4th piece, you would *probably* want to take the chestpiece. Almost all of the other gear choices are loaded down with parry, so you’ll want to take the dodge where you find it. Of course, this is also dependant on what the gear gives you at the time. The general rule is to keep the dodge rating and parry rating (RATINGS… not percentages) close to the same number, to minimize your diminishing returns penalty. Of course, come patch 4.2, our stat priorities might start changing as we get into t12 gear and above, so of course any of this is just early speculation and subject to change.
I haven’t rambled on this much in a post for quite some time, but this miniature theorycrafting is kinda fun. I don’t really have the brainpower to deal with the deep math-intensive shit like Elitist Jerks or anything like that. Hope this is helpful to some of you out there.
Edit after the fact: Snack, in the comments, made me realize I didn’t even think to put weapons in for this tier, so let’s go over that now. I’m going to include heroic t11 weapons as well, because some of them may be better statistically than the t12 weapons, but your guild may or may not have heroic cho’gall or heroic nef on farm, so take it as you will. You’ll notice that i’m NOT including any gladiator weapons, because resilience is absolute garbage, and can’t even be reforged away.. Stay away from the pvp weapons.
Masterwork Elementium Deathblade - At an ilvl 365, this crafted sword will probably end up better than any of the 359 weapons, but not as good as anything you can get from t12 (or heroic t11). This is an acceptable upgrade, even though haste is a crap stat for us, there’s a lot of it so you can get a good amount of avoidance when you reforge it.
(Heroic) Akirus - Statistically, this is probably the best of the heroic t11 weapons we can get our hands on. Plus, it doesn’t require you going to the end of the world and back to get it (as I would assume heroic Magmaw is WAY easier than heroic Cho’gall or heroic Nef). Expertise seems to be all over our gear, so reforge it off for avoidance. A decent upgrade over the Elementium Deathblade, too.
(Heroic) Reclaimed Ashkandi - While the hit rating on this is nice, it requires a heroic Nefarian kill to even have a chance of getting. If you’re a heavily progressed through t11 heroics, than you might have this, but Akirus is technically better for us, with it’s big mastery number.
(Heroic) Shalug’doom - This should really go to all the 2h dps’ers in your raid before you even consider taking it. While still technically an upgrade over 359s, and the crafted 365, the green stats are just kinda crappy for us. Crit and Expertise? Meh. Keep farming for Akirus, if you’re already to this point.
Skullstealer Greataxe - The first of the t12 raid drops, it’s not half bad for us tanky DKs. A (slightly) bigger amount of mastery sets it (slightly) above Heroic Akirus, but the haste kinda makes in place of expertise makes it a little less desirable. If you have heroic Akirus, you could probably let this go to a DPS’er instead. It’s really a coin-flip between the two.
Sulfuras, The Extinguished Hand - Making only 2 weapons we can use in t12 content seems a bit mean. Making one of them ONLY drop off of the last boss is even meaner. That said, Sulfuras is definitely a weapon you’ll want to fight for. Even though it has less base mastery than the Skullstealer Greataxe, it has two sockets that you can use to make up the difference, and a LOT of crit rating to be reforged into avoidance. The socket bonus (20 str) points to it being more dps oriented, so you might have to fight with your loot council (or whatever you use) over your rights to roll on it. If you already have the Skullstealer or Heroic Akirus, you could probably afford to let a DPS grab it on the first drop. If you’re still running with a 359, or the crafted 365, it’d be worth your DKP.