Hitting the Defense Cap
As every tanks know now, the defense cap is 540. It's really really hard to get defense cap w/o some major work, time, and sometimes even gold.
Let's get some facts out right now before we go deep into this.
You can't effectively aoe tank 4+ mobs. Three mobs? Maybe depending on your gear. If you are just starting heroics chances are you fall in this category.
Geez guys I saw some tanks yesterday charging in like a wild man. That's ok if you are geared. But if your health is around 20% after the pull and stays there ... yeah rethink that charge pull strat.
CC in heroics is key again.
If you are not a sunwell geared tank expect to replace your items before naxx and some 5man heroics. So expect to do a TON of 5mans and get ready to craft some blue items.
If you are BT/Sunwell geared tank. You'll notice you only had to change couple pieces like I mentioned months ago they will last thru naxx. Problem is your still not defense cap you'll prolly be around 500ish not bad but not realy recommended for Heroics.
So what's a tank going to do?
Base on my limited experience
Socket for defense
If you are using BT/Sunwell and can't find any blue gear that is an upgrade ... socket all defense. Chances are you already did =P if you were raiding naxx past few days.
That's right you heard me. Socket +defense not stam, there are some cheap ones out there that gives +12-15 defense. Sacrificing 450 HP to get closer to that magic number is worth it.
Nothing is more frustating than getting crited for 7-9k over and over again. Effective health/effective stamina works if you're def capped or close ...
This is what our MT did. He socketed all defense on his t6 chest and other items. Granted he's decked out in Sunwell you can still see the changes he had to do.
That is the key for us right now. Don't worry you'll be stacking Stamina soon enough but for now socket for DEFENSE.
Craft Blue tanking gear!
Crafting titansteel mats is out of the question. They are too expensive but hey if youve got the money more power to you.
You will do better crafting the blue tanking gear and get experience and emblems in 5mans. Because by the time you get all the titansteel bars you'll have better items or enough badges to buy new gear.
At least run the easy heroics once a day ... Utgarde, nexus and Azjol Nerub, comes to mind. Get some easy Emblems and upgrades =).
A good compromise for 540 defense cap is 520ish. You will still get crit but not so much that your healer will go OOM the first 30 second of a fight because you decided to pull everything anyway ...
If you have been running heroics lately chances are you got some nice upgrades along the way =). Keep it up and you'll be tanking Patchwerk soon!
Next I will try to cover what Reputations do you need to get started tanking in Heroics or 10man naxx.
If you found this helpful or disturbing please please feel free to comment.
EDIT: I might go ahead and list some tanking gear that I am aiming for heroic runs next post.