1. #1
    Mechagnome L Kebess's Avatar
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    Guardian Druid : How do you balance Agi, Mastery and Stamina ?

    Hi.

    I've recently upped a Guardian Druid and find myself with a couple of questions regarding the most effective optimization, against an average boss.

    I understand my main goal is to make my Savage Defense as effective as possible, but how do I do this ?

    How do I balance Agility, Mastery, and Stamina, when they all seem to be just as important in increasing the effectiveness of my Savage Defense ?

    Which optimization are you guys using and why ? Do you focus on one single stat or rather try to get all 3 whenever possible ? Do you perhaps have a guide on this matter ?
    I've read the sticky on the Druid Tank but didn't find any real info as how and why should I be balancing these 3 stats in any given way.

    Thanks for your replies.
    Last edited by L Kebess; 2012-05-08 at 08:38 AM.

  2. #2
    The Lightbringer Elunedra's Avatar
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    is this about the MoP Guardian Druid or the current live feral tank druid?

    if its for MoP Guardian, i have no idea
    if its for feral tank druid, basicly you want to dodge attack as much possaible and secondairy you want to make your SD effective.

    so you manly want to gem agility as it gives you nice dodge (and AP for SD)
    for secondairy stats, you want mastery and the 2nd stat on the item you want to reforge into dodge rating
    idealiyyou use mastery / crit items and then reforge the crit to dodge

    for enchants you can for stamina on helm, legs, proffesion enchant, chest.
    go for agiltiy & mastery on the rest

    idealy you want to have a decant health pool only a few K's lower in hp then warrior tanks doing the same content and for the rest spent as much to on dodge
    TREE DURID IS 4 PEE

  3. #3
    Pretty much what Elunedra said.

    Personally though I stopped reforging to dodge and just have been going for strait mastery, this is because I'm the OT and we have a blood dk so the only fights I don't dps are hmorchok, hultraxion (a large amount of magic damage) and hwarmaster and hspine, still working on heroic spine, so reg madness we one tank.

    And by reforging to mastery I've only lost about 6% dodge which is a decent chunk but with how little I actually tank, the amount of heroic gear we have and the 20% nerf its almost unnoticable.

  4. #4
    Im the MT for my guild (Armory link in sig) I gear straight Agi / Mastery. Once you get enough gear, and get to the point there the value of Dodge deminishes, you no longer /need/ to stack it.

    However, it is very important to point out, Mastery, Dodge, AND Stamina are ALL viable ways to tank. You will see very little survivability change except on certain fights. (Dodge/Mastery are better for Hagara because you can eat Focused Assaults, Dodge is better for Warmaster since you can solo tank the adds, Stamina is better if you are the blood tank on heroic spine, Stamina is the most useful on Madness)

    So try all 3 and see which fits your raids playstyle the best. I personally love the full Agi gemming with Mastery stacking, since i switch to Cat at any time its possible to do lots of dps

    Also, if a piece already has mastery, whatever the other stat is gets turned into dodge with the way I gear.

  5. #5
    I think the OP was asking about the guardian druid in BETA/MoP. At this time it's too early to say what the way to gear will be. It depends on the stat values at lvl90 and even more so on the boss encounters/mechanics and your role in them.

    If you were asking about the live game now, with the 20% nerf to all dmg done in DS the importance of your gearing is very low. If you simply go for the higher ilvl gear, enchant your gear and actually gem agi/stam or even dodge/mastery and same with reforging you will be greatly overgearing the content. If you die at any point - it is not because of your gear.
    When it was current, if you were gemming for anything but stamina in heroic 25mans you were gimping yourself. Bears arent blood tanks on HSpine.

  6. #6
    Mechagnome L Kebess's Avatar
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    Hi again, thanks for these first replies. I was actually talking about the live version, not the Beta.

    So if I read correctly any optimization should work, it more depends on what your raid is used to.

    I personally didn't see how Agi could be better than Stamina, as even though it increases both your AP and Dodge, Stamina also increases your AP (through vengeance) by approximatively the same amount, and gives you a greater HP to survive an extra attack before you die.

    So I saw these two stats to be fairly equal on average, and Stamina would only be better if the attack was magical, and so thought gemming Agi/Stam on nearly everything (with couple of Mastery/Stam to activate interesting socket bonus) was the way to go. Am I right ?
    But with that comes the trinket question. Should I be taking double Stam trinkets, or double Agi, or one of each ? And why ?

    About Mastery VS Dodge on the reforge, I thought Mastery would always win as I thought it was more predictable. Now that I think of it, I guess I'm wrong, I'm still too attached to my main Prot Warrior's Mastery, ; ) as for the druid it's just as RNG as dodge is (perhaps even more), since you still need to crit to activate it. So should I go all in dodge on reforge ? Until DR gets too high then go for mastery ?

    And what about offensive stats ? Expertise and hit, and crit ? Since I need to be able to ''touch'' the target to even be able to have the chance to crit, I guess those stats are also important for my SD... But how important are they ? When compared to the other defensive stats ?

    Guardian Druid TC seems insanely complex, when I compare it to my Warrior's, ; )
    Last edited by L Kebess; 2012-05-08 at 08:28 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by L Kebess View Post
    Guardian Druid TC seems insanely complex, when I compare it to my Warrior's, ; )
    Well, most of the complexity for warrior tanks is lost since almost all of the gearing priority goes to mastery and the passive mitigation factors are mostly out of the warrior's hands. Druid tanks really don't have a hard defensive cap, since the only thing you could cap as a druid is Hit/Exp... and even at that, some do, and some don't.

    However, druid tanking theorycrafting really isn't that different from warriors, besides the obvious block mechanic. There's a bear guide that's a good start in this forum, I'd suggest starting there.

    Mastery is still a strong stat, even if theorycrafted it falls behind Dodge rating. In all reality, whether you full reforge to Mastery or Dodge, you'll likely not notice that much of a difference in practice. Beyond Mastery and Dodge rating, most of the other stats take care of themselves as you gear. If you're using agility-based items, you'll already be boosting your crit/AP levels from the agility alone. Once you reach the gear levels in DS, you're going to find all the gear laden with Hit and Expertise rating to the point where you're well over caps as it is, so you don't need to worry about that. The only thing you would really want to do is reforge out of Haste, since it offers next to nothing for bears. Long story short: you could honestly not reforge your gear and be fine for tanking all content, but at the very least reforge out of Haste to something more useful.

    You did mention trinkets and stam vs agi in this regard... hot topic here, let's hope we don't get into a huge debate! The unanimous answer you'll likely find in this forum is to change your trinkets based upon what you're fighting and your needs. Personally, I change trinkets based upon what has the highest chance of killing me. If you're worried about avoidable melee attacks, go for Agi/Dodge trinkets or trinkets with on-use avoidance. If you're worried about unavoidable/magic damage, go for stam trinkets or trinkets with on-use mitigation. As a bear tank, I have a ridiculous amount of trinkets, but that just gives me more flexibility since I don't have to worry about silly things like Block caps.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about how you gear beyond your own raid, because you should tailor yourself to your raid's needs. You'll find druids that stack full agility, you'll find druids that stack full stamina, you'll find druids that reforge to mastery or dodge or hit/exp caps... the one common thing you'll find is that all those druids are capable of downing all heroic DS content. Find what you and your raid are comfortable with, and adjust your gear accordingly... that's the best advice anyone can give you.
    Last edited by exochaft; 2012-05-08 at 09:17 PM.
    *Since I'm tired of reposting the link:* EH vs TTL and Hybrid Tax

  8. #8
    The Lightbringer Raugnaut's Avatar
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    Agility increase Dodge, Crit, AND attack power. Stamina gives precisely .1 more attack power per point compared to Agility, but it doesnt give any dodge/mastery. Generally, you gem close to full agility, and then switch trinkets/flasks for stam (double stam trinkets+stam flask for fights like Ultraxion, Madness, Solo tanking Yorsajh, ect)

    ---------- Post added 2012-05-08 at 09:33 PM ----------

    Exochaft speaketh deh truth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moounter View Post
    I think your problem is a lack of intellect.

  9. #9
    Pretty much everything I've seen in MOP says agil is still better than stam...and mastery is our worst secondary stat. Reforge to crit. Most of our abilities/aspects of our tanking that are tied directly to agility.

    Unless they completely redo several abilities, I'd guess that agility will become even more valuable (over stam) than it is now (on live) when it goes final (MOP release). Right now, we're still designed as the avoidance tank due to SD.

    And given the nature of SD....having 45% dodge (not affected by DR) plus your base dodge (affected by DR, but likely won't be a factor...at least in the first tier of raiding/gear)...each gain in dodge/agil becomes more valuable as the closer you get to 100% avoidance, the greater the % of damage each point of dodge reduces to your overall damage intake.

    Crits from white hits/mangle are the only way we produce rage (other than using Enrage). I've seen some posts about a Rage cap, but I don't know that we'll get to that problem with the gear in the first tier at 90.

    HoTW now has a passive +6% agility buff, nurturing instincts (passive guardian ability) increases the healing we do (by of 100% agility) if you spec into NS and use an Instant Healing Touch (which right now I prefer over Renewal due to the much shorter cooldown) and can only assume that it will buff our Rejuv heals as well....this may change when we see what level 90 raiding/preraiding hp's are and what FR/Renewal are healing for then...we might need the bigger heal on a longer cooldown then...I dunno.

    But for playing effectively right now on MOP...the smaller, short cooldown heal is definitely preferable to me as inc damage isn't really bad in any situation.

    I haven't seen anything whether NV heals us as well as the person next to us. So no word yet on whether HoTW or NV is going to be the better tanking talent.

    But even ignoring all the other stuff....really it goes back to playing on the strength of SD and stacking dodge.
    Last edited by Generationwhy; 2012-05-08 at 10:39 PM.

  10. #10
    Mechagnome L Kebess's Avatar
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    Agreed. It's all more clear now.
    Agility for Druids looks a lot like Mastery for Warriors, with the difference that Warriors will cap at 102.4% CTC, while druids will be able to stack it indefinitely.
    So as long as you have ''enough'' HP for the fight, I guess you could go all in Agility, and never really ''fail'' (except for some rare encounters where stamina has an extra importance, e.g, Heroic Madness, Yor'sahj, etc...).

    About Mastery vs Dodge, at what point do you start aiming for Mastery rather than Dodge ? You have a dodge %tage in mind at which DR starts being too annoying, or you don't bother that much with that ?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by L Kebess View Post
    Agreed. It's all more clear now.
    Agility for Druids looks a lot like Mastery for Warriors, with the difference that Warriors will cap at 102.4% CTC, while druids will be able to stack it indefinitely.
    So as long as you have ''enough'' HP for the fight, I guess you could go all in Agility, and never really ''fail'' (except for some rare encounters where stamina has an extra importance, e.g, Heroic Madness, Yor'sahj, etc...).

    About Mastery vs Dodge, at what point do you start aiming for Mastery rather than Dodge ? You have a dodge %tage in mind at which DR starts being too annoying, or you don't bother that much with that ?
    Wait til you level if you think you are having problems with DR. Your dodge is going to start falling like a rock. I forget what mine is at 88 but its around 10 or 12%. I don't think they've changed DR formulas so I doubt we'll have to worry about DR on dodge from agility at level 90.

    As for mastery, don't ever aim for mastery, reforge to crit, exp, hit, or haste. Mastery is literally our worst stat in MOP.

    Also as far as stamina goes, from what I've seen from GC, in general it seems bliz is getting away from tanks having to have massive health pools. The faster swing speeds but lower damage (was in a prot pally thread) is what they prefer and it's the reason they took out attack speed debuffs. With lower attack speed Bosses were having to hit harder to put out the same amount of DPS. So 1 shot/2 shot damage abilities seem like something they want to get away from.

    They've also reduced the amount of health from gear/base health/stam bonuses/whatever. I had about 20k-25k less health on beta than I did on live at level 85 in bear in the same gear.

    However, in typical Bliz fashion they turn around and give Brewmasters a 100% hp buff so who knows how boss damage/abilities will be.
    Last edited by Generationwhy; 2012-05-08 at 10:58 PM.

  12. #12
    Mechagnome L Kebess's Avatar
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    So on a typical fight (no any exceptional magical ability to deal with), one could say something like :

    Agi > Dodge > Expertise > Hit = Crit > Stam = Mastery

    and be pretty close to an optimal optimization right ? What would you change in that classification ? Would you bring Stam a bit higher in the list ?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Generationwhy View Post
    Wait til you level if you think you are having problems with DR. Your dodge is going to start falling like a rock. I forget what mine is at 88 but its around 10 or 12%. I don't think they've changed DR formulas so I doubt we'll have to worry about DR on dodge from agility at level 90.

    As for mastery, don't ever aim for mastery, reforge to crit, exp, hit, or haste. Mastery is literally our worst stat in MOP.

    Also as far as stamina goes, from what I've seen from GC, in general it seems bliz is getting away from tanks having to have massive health pools. The faster swing speeds but lower damage (was in a prot pally thread) is what they prefer and it's the reason they took out attack speed debuffs. With lower attack speed Bosses were having to hit harder to put out the same amount of DPS. So 1 shot/2 shot damage abilities seem like something they want to get away from.

    They've also reduced the amount of health from gear/base health/stam bonuses/whatever. I had about 20k-25k less health on beta than I did on live at level 85 in bear in the same gear.

    However, in typical Bliz fashion they turn around and give Brewmasters a 100% hp buff so who knows how boss damage/abilities will be.
    Just FYI, the OP was talking about Live, not beta. Nothing wrong with giving some future beta perspective on bears, though.
    *Since I'm tired of reposting the link:* EH vs TTL and Hybrid Tax

  14. #14
    Mechagnome L Kebess's Avatar
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    And yes, they intend to reduce tanks HP a bit, to not have us at some 1M HP by the end of the expansion...

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by exochaft View Post
    Just FYI, the OP was talking about Live, not beta. Nothing wrong with giving some future beta perspective on bears, though.
    All I read was his post about Guardians....Assumed beta....

    Quote Originally Posted by L Kebess View Post
    So on a typical fight (no any exceptional magical ability to deal with), one could say something like :

    Agi > Dodge > Expertise > Hit = Crit > Stam = Mastery

    and be pretty close to an optimal optimization right ? What would you change in that classification ? Would you bring Stam a bit higher in the list ?

    But um for live. Mastery is good, but just read the 4.3 thread on here or EJ or theincbear.com. Assuming you have lowish ilevel gear if it's one you recently "upped." You probably want stam trinkets as the stuff you're tanking was designed to be tanked in much higher ilevel gear (thus with more stam). Most healers out gear the fights now anyway, so you don't really have to worry about being a manasponge and your biggest danger is just getting gibbed.
    Last edited by Generationwhy; 2012-05-08 at 11:24 PM.

  16. #16
    Mechagnome L Kebess's Avatar
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    Yeah, I guessed that much. Right now 383 Ilvl and I intend to already do some HC DS tomorrow. It should be enough with the crazy 20% nerf.

    There's a link in my sign if you care to check it out. Thanks again for all these info.

    And btw, I still maintain my claim, Bear TC is the most complex one amongst all 4 live tanks, ; ) But no worries, I'm starting to like it.

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