Sunday, February 1, 2009, posted by WoW Fan at 10:07 PM
I've scoured the wowhead databases to come up with the best compilation of preraid available DK gear that I can. First, let me explain my rationale in making these comparisons, because while I'm quite confident in my knowledge of the DK class mechanics, it never hurts to put anything up for peer review.

Let me start by saying that this is NOT a definitive list of raiding requirements. That will be up to guild leadership. What this is is an attempt to share the benefit of my research and experiences with other Death Knights who have raiding and tanking aspirations. Hopefully this will encourage a discussion, because it's really discussions where the best ideas come from.

This list is not intended to list the ultimate gear choices for all slots. It is intended instead to highlight some of the best items available before raid zones. The items on this list are intended to get a Death Knight tank ready for the entry level raids like Naxxramas. Thus the only criteria for inclusion in this list is that the item be obtainable without raiding; heroics, emblems of heroism, tradeskills (that don't require raid zone mats/recipes), and factions are all valid sources for the purpose of this guide. There's also a list of specific enchants to help get where you need to be.

The things you need to be thinking about are--

Uncritablity (540 Defense Skill == 689 Defense Rating): The Defense Rating is what you'll be sacrificing most other important stats for early on, but it's necessary. A tank taking a critical strike is a quick way to wipe a raid. Fortunately, crushing blows are no longer a concern, as a mob has to be 4 levels higher than the player to deliver one.

HP Pool: This is of obvious importance to any tank, but again, as you'll be focusing on obtaining uncritable, it's important to consider how best to maximize Sta/HP without sacrificing defense.

Strength: In addition to being your primary threat generation stat (EVERYTHING scales with AP) strength doubles as an avoidance stat for DKs thanks to the passive ability Forceful Deflection, which adds an amount equal to 25% of total strength to your parry rating.

To sum it up before I get into the actual list, the heirarchy weight I'm using to determine the list looks something like this:

Defense (Until Uncritable) > Sta/Str > Dodge Rating > Parry Rating

Strength is our biggest threat generation stat, but others to consider in making gear choices are Expertise, Haste, and Hit Rating.


Head:

Ground Tremor Helm
Binds when picked up
Head Plate
1760 Armor
+48 Strength
+93 Stamina
Meta Socket
Red Socket
Socket Bonus: +12 Stamina
Equip: Increases defense rating by 61 (12.4 @ L80).
Equip: Improves hit rating by 37 (1.13% @ L80).

Drops from Moorabi in (H)Gundrak

Enchant: Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector
Requires Argent Crusade - Revered
Use: Permanently adds 37 stamina and 20 defense rating to a head slot item. Does not stack with other enchantments for the selected equipment slot.

Neck:

Chained Military Gorget
Binds when picked up
Neck
+41 Strength
+75 Stamina
Equip: Increases defense rating by 33 (6.71 @ L80).
Equip: Increases your dodge rating by 32 (0.81% @ L80).
Equip: Improves hit rating by 21 (0.64% @ L80).

Costs 25 Emblems in Dalaran

Shoulder:

Iron Dwarf Smith Pauldrons
Binds when picked up
Shoulder Plate
1625 Armor
+58 Strength
+87 Stamina
Equip: Increases defense rating by 36 (7.32 @ L80).
Equip: Increases your parry rating by 40 (0.81% @ L80).

Drops from General Bjarngrim (H)Halls of Lightning

Enchant: Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle
Requires The Sons of Hodir - Exalted (Lesser Inscription will also suffice until you can get Exalted)
Use: Permanently adds 20 dodge rating and 15 defense rating to shoulder armor. Does not stack with other enchantments for the selected equipment slot.

Back:

Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions
Binds when picked up
Back
140 Armor
+31 Strength
+64 Stamina
Requires Level 78
Requires The Wyrmrest Accord - Honored
Equip: Increases defense rating by 43 (10.12 @ L78).
Equip: Improves hit rating by 25 (0.88% @ L78).

Purchased for approx. 20g from Wyrmrest Accord at Honored

Enchant: Enchant Cloak - Titanweave
Permanently enchant a cloak to increase defense rating by 16.


Chest:

Breastplate of the Solemn Council
Binds when picked up
Chest Plate
2166 Armor
+49 Strength
+117 Stamina
Requires The Wyrmrest Accord - Revered
Equip: Increases defense rating by 76 (15.45 @ L80).
Equip: Increases your expertise rating by 56 (6.83 @ L80).

Purchased for approx. 52g from Wyrmrest Accord at Revered

Enchant: Enchant Chest - Greater Defense
Permanently enchant chest armor to increase defense rating by 22.



Wrist:

Bindings of Dark Will
Binds when picked up
Wrist Plate
948 Armor
+42 Strength
+66 Stamina
Equip: Increases defense rating by 27 (5.49 @ L80).
Equip: Increases your parry rating by 30 (0.61% @ L80).

Drops from Salramm the Fleshcrafter in (H)CoT: Stratholme

Enchant: Enchant Bracer - Fortitude
Permanently enchant bracers to increase Stamina by 12.

Hands:

Gauntlets of Vigilance
Binds when picked up
Hands Plate
1308 Armor
+51 Strength
+34 Agility
+76 Stamina
Equip: Increases defense rating by 34 (8 @ L78).

Reward from The Reckoning in Storm Peaks

Enchant: Enchant Gloves - Armsman
Permanently enchant gloves to increase threat caused by 2% and increase parry rating by 10.

Waist:

Waistguard of the Risen Knight
Binds when equipped
Waist Plate
1218 Armor
+58 Strength
+87 Stamina
Equip: Increases defense rating by 42 (8.54 @ L80).
Equip: Increases your dodge rating by 33 (0.84% @ L80).

BoE drop in Drak'Tharon Keep

Legs:

Daunting Legplates
Binds when equipped
Legs Plate
1831 Armor
+54 Strength
+93 Stamina
Equip: Increases defense rating by 88 (20.71 @ L78).

Created by Blacksmithing

Enchant: Frosthide Leg Armor
Use: Permanently attach frosthide armor onto pants to increase Stamina by 55 and Agility by 22.

Feet:

Sabatons of Draconic Vigor
Binds when picked up
Feet Plate
1489 Armor
+44 Strength
+85 Stamina
Requires The Wyrmrest Accord - Revered
Equip: Increases defense rating by 58 (11.79 @ L80).
Equip: Improves hit rating by 29 (0.88% @ L80).

Purchased for approx. 37g from Wyrmrest Accord at Revered

Enchant: Enchant Boots - Greater Fortitude
Permanently enchant boots to increase Stamina by 22.

Ring Slot 1:

Gal'darah's Signet
Binds when picked up
Unique-Equipped
Finger
+26 Strength
+54 Stamina
Equip: Increases defense rating by 36 (9.81 @ L76).
Equip: Increases your expertise rating by 20 (3.27 @ L76).

Drops from Gal'darah in (N)Gundrak

Ring Slot 2:

Dragonflight Great-Ring
Binds when picked up
Unique-Equipped
Finger
+26 Strength
+58 Stamina
Requires Level 78
Equip: Increases defense rating by 38 (8.94 @ L78).
Equip: Improves hit rating by 24 (0.85% @ L78).

Drops from Cache of Eregos (N)The Oculus

Trinket Slot 1:

Essence of Gossamer
Binds when picked up
Unique-Equipped
Trinket
+111 Stamina
Equip: When struck in combat has a chance of shielding you in a protective barrier which will reduces damage from each attack by 140, up to a total of 4000 damage absorbed. Lasts 10 secs.

Drops from Hadronox in (H)Azjol-Nerub

Trinket Slot 2:

Seal of the Pantheon
Binds when picked up
Unique-Equipped
Trinket
Equip: Increases defense rating by 65 (15.3 @ L78).
Use: Increases armor by 3570 for 20 sec. (2 Min Cooldown)

Drops from Loken in (N)Halls of Lightning

Weapon:

Titansteel Destroyer
Binds when equipped
Unique-Equipped
Two-Hand Mace
507 - 761 Damage Speed 3.40
(186.5 damage per second)
+124 Strength
+105 Stamina
Equip: Improves hit rating by 54 (1.65% @ L80).

Crafted by Blacksmithing

Relic:

Sigil of Haunted Dreams
Binds when picked up
Unique
Relic Sigil
Classes: Death Knight
Equip: Your Blood Strike and Heart Strikes have a chance to grant 173 haste rating for 10 sec.

Costs 15 Emblems in Dalaran

Summary: This set will get you to 705 total Defense Rating including enchants, or a total of 543 defense skill. 540 is the magic number for uncritable, so this gives a little leeway in terms of upgrading your gear as you progress through raid content.

As I start to build this set myself, and gain more experience, I'll update this guide in accordance with any new practical knowledge I pick up. I also reiterate my hope that other DKs will participate in this discussion.



Addenda

The sigil selection has been questioned by a few other DKs, and while the consensus seems to be that there isn't a "great" sigil available to DK tanks at this time, the Sigil of the Dark Rider (starter quest sigil) may well provide superior returns on threat for most tanking rotations.

Some suggested alternatives to the above items, superior in HP/Avoidance and also obtainable via pre-raid means. (Thanks Nyxia, Alysara, and Morocius for these suggestions)

Head
Tempered Titansteel Helm
http://www.wowhead.com/?item=41387
Armored Titanium Goggles (requires Engineering)
http://www.wowhead.com/?item=42549

Neck
Titanium Earthguard Chain
http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=56500

Hands
Fireproven Gauntlets
http://www.wowhead.com/?item=44183

Rings
Titanium Earthguard Ring
http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=56497

Another gear list
A general tank gear list posted on wowhead with links. It might be slightly less cumbersome than creating a weight scale and searching each slot individually.
http://www.wowhead.com/?forums&topic=55579&p=554981

Wowhead comparison tool set
This set nets significant defense through use of gems and enchants, but is obtainable via crafted items and rep items--no instance grinding required!(Thanks Lichna)
http://www.wowhead.com/?compare=4066...45:43248:44188


Written by Ragnarök - Source

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1 Comments:


At March 16, 2009 at 5:29 AM, Blogger Malista

Great resource for DK tanks! I personally run as a pally tank but our MT is a DK and does a great job.