Stacking Avoidance instead of Stamina
… Or how to actually make your Healers wake up a bit and smell the Cataclysm.
Right now the common theory is to stack Stamina and let the Healers sort it out. That kind of thinking is going out of the window in favor of a more complex system of mana management. Taking loads of damage and expecting the Healer to just handle it all just won’t cut it. I am going to ask you for a minute to follow me with this. Warning any and all math involved is going to be brief and simple.
Currently we Gem for Stamina, the only thing with higher priority is Hit and Expertise to their respective caps. At the moment I have a total of 18 Gem slots. Now considering approximately 3 slots worth of those is spent adjusting Hit and Expertise that leaves us 15 to put straight Stam in. Doing so (without any Jewelcrafting or Blacksmithing bonus) would be worth 450 Stamina or basically 4500 HP. Assuming your average Boss swings for about 10k thats two swings worth.
I recently Reforged my gear (using mostly Dodge and Parry) to Mastery netting me a total Block Chance of 40.45%, my Parry and Dodge dropping from about 22.5% each. I then switched my gems to favor Parry, Dodge, and Agility (using some half Stamina Gems in places) which has reduced my Stamina bonus from that 450 to about 180, a loss of 2700 HP. My Parry is currently 20.23 and my Dodge is 20.07 (Parry being more favorable due to the Talent Hold the Line). So Basically in exchange for 4.7% avoidance I Picked up 10% Block all of this is without any buffs. Which is an increase overall. That 5.3% more reductions when spread over an encounter really starts to add up, but basically each boss’ physical swing is reduced by about 1.6% which on that 10k swing means about 160 damage which is more than the difference in a full 30 Stamina Gem and a +15 Stamina + something else gem. Factor in longer fights and Critical Blocks and those numbers start to add up.
The reason all this is important is come Cataclysm our Shield Block will only give us 25% chance to Block increase for 10 Seconds, but will convert the overages of using it that push us above the 100% mark of Block, Dodge, & Parry from Block percentage to Critical Block percentage. We want to be as close to the line as possible. Right now however, what we gain is survivability. I haven’t checked my fully buffed Dodge & Parry ratings, but in the last run in ICC I had a full 40% less damage taken than the off tank. We favor Block a bit because we no longer gain Rage from Dodges and Parries.
With the Healers focusing on keeping Mana managed we need to focus more on keeping down on incoming damage, not how we can just take more of it. Maybe spending the Gold to swap out now isn’t entirely worth it, especially if your guild is on break, but it is definitely something to keep in mind for the future when making Gear choices at 81 and beyond.