Tuesday, October 6, 2009

[Druid, General]Trinkets, tanking and you


I just like turtles.

One of the more common questions I get for bears is about trinkets. Here are some of the examples:
What are the two best trinkets in the game?

Is it worth grinding for x?

Should I spend the money on y?

Should I wear x and y, or y and z? Or is x & z actually good?

The thing is, none of these questions make any sense to me. I read them and am often really confused. Why am I confused?

Because they're incomplete sentences. They don't contain nearly enough information to validate most of the time.

For example, someone could ask me whether it's worth running Naxx 25 over and over to get Defender's Code. And you'd think that'd be an easy one - Glyph of Indomitability is better in every way, so you should just get that, right?

Except you can use them both. And you might want to.


Before I start on this, I should also mention a quick and dirty macro that is awesome:
#showtooltip
/use 13
/use 14

What this does is it shows the tooltip of the trinket in your first slot and when activated, uses both trinkets at once regardless of what they are. This is important to the rest of the concepts here; you don't want to normally have a macro that uses one specific trinket; you want a macro that uses a trinket slot. Now, there are plenty of times that you want to have a macro to only use trinket 1 or 2 - but again, don't do something like '/use juggernaut's vitality'. Just /use 13 and /use 14.

Anyway question about what trinkets to use always - always - comes down to situation. Good tanks swap gear out all the time, and by far the easiest pieces to swap are the trinkets. They tend to have only one giant stat, one on-use ability, and otherwise aren't the lynchpin that you base your entire set around.

An aside: this concept was a very big reason why resilience was so strong back in BC days. With resilience you didn't have to wear defense trinkets if you didn't want to; you could have both trinket slots have whatever you wanted whenever you likd. Double avoidance use trinkets to give yourself bearvasion? Sure. Double stam? Awesome. Armor and stam? Great. This alone made resilience a great stat for bears.

Anyway, the first and most important rule about trinkets is this: always keep trinkets. Always get more.

an example of my bags at any time


The only time to throw out a trinket is when you have two that are direct upgrades in all ways.

Another example: recently on our 10-man the Eitrigg's Oath (heroic) dropped. It's not a great trinket. It might not really even be that good of a trinket. But at the same time, I took it simply because at some point, there might be a boss where it's the best choice.

I still have Living Root of the Wildheart, for crying out loud. (haven't tested recently if it works still, but I bet it still does - and I bet it's awesome).

Anyway, this applies to all tanks. All good tanks I've ever known covet trinkets. They keep them around, whip them out here and there, and use them situationally. They may have two that they use in their vanilla set, but they're not wedded to them.

And aside from the weapons, what do tanks look for most when new loot lists come out? Trinkets.

Okay, that's the first rule. The second rule is to understand the encounter. This is really important. Every boss fight you should ask yourself, what do you need the most? This is sort of my checklist; yours will differ depending on your gear and your party.

1. Do I need an extra cooldown - and if so, what will work the best?
2. Do I need more health, mitigation or avoidance?
3. Are there tank swaps?
4. Do I need a fear/stun break?
5. Will I need to DPS at some point?

That's basically it. I'll run through each one.

Do I need an extra cooldown? This one's the most important in my mind. Sadly gone are the days where double avoidance trinkets could push your dodge past 100% and make you go bearvasion, but having two trinkets with on-use dodge abilities (such as Heart of Iron or Defender's Code) is still very good for making another mini-cooldown with the shit hits the fan. Dodge is my favorite version of cooldown normally, but again - depends on the encounter. There are health cooldowns and armor cooldowns too. Follow #2 and use what makes the most sense, or at least try.

Do I need more health, mitigation, avoidance or threat? This seems like a duh question, but it really seems to be avoided by people. On a fight, what is more important? Do you personally need more health? If you know you're going to need more health for whatever reason (big hits, magic soaking), you should use a stam trinket or two. Do you need more mitigation? Passive armor trinkets are great for this. Is avoidance more important on a fight? (don't laugh, there are some fights that this makes a difference) Then go for passive dodge. Note that this means the passive on equip effect; you don't want procs here as much as you want reliable stats. And if you really need threat, this is a place to put on that hit/expertise trinket and go to town.

Are there tank swaps? This seems like an odd question at first, but the reason I bring it up is that it makes some trinkets much more powerful - namely, the proc trinkets like The Black Heart. Normally these trinkets aren't quite as good as on use trinkets because they go off every so often - but you can't control when. Typically they go off as soon as they can and then go on cooldown for a while; the Black Heart goes off for 10 seconds and has a 45 second CD. For a fight where you're just constantly tanking, this means you get the proc about 20% of the time - which is good, but not great.

But on a fight like Thorim, you're only tanking for 26 seconds at a time normally. That means it's up 10/26 seconds, or 40%. Now it's looking much better, no? And it's up almost immediately at the swap, which is usually where there is a lot of risk as healers swap over - and the proc nicely overlaps with the tank swapping time. The same is true on Gormok as well.

Do I need a fear/stun break? This isn't as important as it used to be, but there are still a few fights where fears are annoying and or wanted to be broken. The best example I can think of currently is Faction Champs - the second might be Onyxia if she was at all hard.

Will I need to DPS at some point? There aren't many trinkets that can pull double duty for a bear, but the best is Darkmoon Card: Greatness. If you know that you're going to go cat at some point (and more importantly that your dps actually matters) you should try and use at least one trinket that will aid you here. There aren't many fights that none of the above matter but this does, but it's always something to keep in mind. I use this on Jaraxxus when tanking adds, for instance; I'm not in bear all the time, and I don't need to have maximum mitigation on the adds.

Those are the rules on how to pick trinkets. Now here's the rules on how to prioritize what trinkets to get.

1. Equip effect. This is almost always the most important part of a trinket. What do you get all the time out of it? Stamina is sort of the standard for most tanks now, but there are plenty of dodge trinkets, an agility one, and quite a few armor trinkets. All have their purpose at some point. In general, the most valuable trinkets are the ones with the best on equip effect. This is one of the reasons that I don't like Eitrigg's Oath that much - while its on use is good (essentially it's a black heart on use), the equip effect is avoidance, which is at an all-time low in terms of value.

2. On use effect. There are a ton of trinkets that I love just for the on-use effect. Heart of Iron is still one of my favorite trinkets (over Juggernaut's Vitality) because I tend to value 10% more dodge much more than 3k health when the chips are down. But both are stellar. The best part of on-use effects is that they are user-controllable; you get a small ohshit button out of each one. This is very good for a druid because their ohshit buttons aren't so great, but they're good for any tank, honestly.

3. Chance when hit/chance on hit: There are a lot of proc trinkets out there, and in general I don't like them nearly as much. Black Heart's proc is stellar, but it's not nearly as useful as cooldowns most of the time. Darkmoon Card Greatness's proc is also great, but again - not up when you want it most. In general on procs tend to be stronger than on use (I'd rather have 300 agility on use than 400 dodge, wouldn't you?) and they happen more often, but the lack of control hurts them.

My hovercraft is literally full of eels.

With all of that verbiage, what are some of my favorite trinkets? And what are some that I'm meh about? That's what you dirty bastards actually want, isn't it? Fine, fine. Let's go down my list of trinkets from the loot rank and talk about some of them.

The Black Heart has a decent equip effect - it's not as good as some of the later trinkets - but the on-proc armor is simply crazy. It's about a 5% reduction in incoming damage for most tanks, and the uptime is about 20%. For a tank& spank fight there's no better combination of health and mitigation; this will reduce your overall damage on average more than any other trinket. However, it is a proc effect, which makes it not great for everything. Plus they got rid of the most awesome part - the BoP effect. Sigh.

Glyph of Indomitability is just a good overall trinket. 1792 armor is the equivalent of 3 tiers of leather gear, all in one, and by itself is close to a 2% reduction in incoming physical damage. The on use is very strong too. This is about the ideal trinket for me; the only thing that would be better in my mind would be an on-use that gave resistances or an on-use that gave more armor.

Satrina's Impending Scarab/Juggernaut's Vitality is health, health, and more health. For a bear this is (I believe) 3500 health by itself after raid buffs. There aren't many fights that you won't be happy for this. The on-use is decent but not amazing for bears, given that it doesn't scale with all that health - but do note that it does get multiplied by survival instincts when that goes off. So if you really want to have 120k health for some wacky screenshots, that's how you do it.

Darkmoon Card: Greatness still rocks. It's still one of the better trinkets for both cats and bears. It is still the only trinket that provides avoidance, mitigation and threat. The biggest knock against it is that it isn't stamina, and the second biggest is that it has an on-proc effect based on hitting. It's a very versatile trinket and one of my standards when I don't need something particularly special.

Heart of Iron
is right up there with Glyph in terms of awesomeness. Huge amount of health + a great use effect make it just all around good. Note that it doesn't share a cooldown with Juggernaut's Vitality, so it is likely better more often than not to use Heart of Iron instead and lose 300 health in exchange for 5-6% more dodge on demand if you have both the normal and the heroic versions.

Royal Seal of King Llane/Bitter Balebrew Charm/Bubbling Brightbrew Charm are all raw stam sticks. I don't like these nearly as much as other trinkets, but they do have their roles to play - especially in magic-heavy fights where on-use trinkets aren't as important. Or they're good for walking around with 40k health in caster form. Definitely would've loved these on Sarth3D at the beginning of the year.

Defender's Code is not nearly as hawt as it once was, but when you need maximum armor and are fine on stam, it's hard to go wrong. It also has a nice on-use effect that goes well with other trinkets. Keep it around for a while.

Eitrigg's Oath/Fervor of the Frostborn is still sorta meh. There are places where it could be useful; for example, if you definitely wanted to deal with a big hit at one point no matter what and weren't swapping tanks, this would be better than other options. But the avoidance on equip just isn't that interesting.




Seriously, who would possibly own this?

Okay, it's time for quiz time here. Which two trinkets would you use?

I'll give my answers in the next post I do, but let's see how much y'all have learned. I'll throw out 5 bosses from Naxx, ToC, and Ulduar along with what your role is on the fight and what your average level of gear is. Here are the 5 trinkets that you have to use:
Juggernaut's Vitality
Glyph of Indomitability
The Black Heart
Darkmoon Card: Greatness
Bitter Balebrew Charm


Here's an example:

Sarth3D 25-man (at T7 levels of gear), tanking Sartharion. For this, it was really important to get as much stamina as humanly possible, as the dangerous part of the encounter was entirely large single hits of lots of magic damage. I actually used Essence of Gossamer and Commendation of Kael'thas, but if I were doing it again, I'd use Satrina's Impending Scarab/Juggernaut's Vitality and a Direbrew trinket.

Boss 1: Kel'Thuzad (25-man) tanking the adds (at T7 levels of gear)
Boss 2: Hodir (25-man) tanking the boss at just starting T8 levels of gear. (bonus: does this change if you're trying for the hard mode?)
Boss 3: Heroic Northrend Beasts (25-man) tanking Gormok with one other tank, then tanking the stationary worm, then DPSing on Icehowl (at barely T9-levels of gear).
Boss 4: Heroic Anub'arak (10-man) tanking Anub'arak (at T8-levels of gear)
Boss 5: Mimiron (10-man) tanking phase 1, then tanking adds in phase 3, then tanking all parts in phase 4. (bonus: does this change in hard mode at all?)

I look forward to seeing what your answers are. :)

16 comments:

Bob said...

Boss 1: Kel'Thuzad (25-man) tanking the adds (at T7 levels of gear)

DMC:G and Glyph. Keeping stam down is nice in cace you get tombed and the more mitigation the better. Also DMC:G is nice for dpsing at first

Boss 2: Hodir (25-man) tanking the boss at just starting T8 levels of gear. (bonus: does this change if you're trying for the hard mode?)

Pure stam at first. The scary part is frozen blows, so armor won't help you. Once you are trying for hard mode, go for threat trinkets.

Boss 3: Heroic Northrend Beasts (25-man) tanking Gormok with one other tank, then tanking the stationary worm, then DPSing on Icehowl (at barely T9-levels of gear).

At barely T9 levels I would probably go double stam, especially if you are only using two tanks. When Gormok gets all 4 stacks of his buff, you have a three stack of impale ticking, and he does a melee and an impale within a second of each other, it's pretty rough even with using CDs. I want as much of a stam buffer as I can get. With a little more gear for you and your healers, you could swap out a stam trinket for a DMC:G for the extra threat on the worms and damage in P3.

Boss 4: Heroic Anub'arak (10-man) tanking Anub'arak (at T8-levels of gear)

Glyph and Black Heart. I like to give my healers a bit of stam cushion, but mostly you want armor

Boss 5: Mimiron (10-man) tanking phase 1, then tanking adds in phase 3, then tanking all parts in phase 4. (bonus: does this change in hard mode at all?)

Probably a stam trinket and DMC:G, but I never felt this fight was really about the tank (at least not gear wise). Anything would probably work, but that is what I used.

Copey said...

Typing this out before going to comments section so I don’t cheat

KT’s Adds: Not too sure, I’d probably go with my standard two of Black Heart and Darkmoon Card: Greatness

Hodir: Depends if the tanks are swapping or not. Have not done Hodir in 25 man. For 10 man where I single tank it I’m thinking I’m going to go for Juggs Vitality and Glyph to absorb some big hits and have cool downs incase a healer was moving when he should have been casting. If it’s hard mode, I’m thinking replace Juggs, and go with DMC:G for more threat and hope I don’t need that extra health and cool down.

Northrend Beasts: Due to the fact I always cat on the 2nd worm and on Icehowl, I go with DMC: G for one trinket, and now I’m thinking the Black Heart would go great for the tank swapping on the first guy.

Anub’arak: I’m putting all my stam trinkets away and going with Glyph and DMC:G (or I might sneak in my defender’s code if you weren’t looking)

Mimiron: Since my guild just started working on him, I’m not sure if his attacks are considered magic based or not. But due to the large hits on the tank in phase one, I’m going with Juggs and Black Heart.

I guess I have a hard time taking a trinket seriously if it’s on use summons a wench to throw beer bottles at my enemy. I’d rather have the armor proc for the other phases I think.

Anonymous said...

you just got me thinking about the hydross trinket :o
a 3% change of 4k armor, not too shabby since now we aren't at armor cap like we was when moving from t4 to t5, lol.
iirc it doesn't have an internal cooldown.
... might be worth using

nah, just halfjoking, but i will test it out if it sitll work, might give a go at it plus indomitability IF it doesn't have an internal cooldown, since the proc is almost as good as the black heart one

Silentsnow said...

My answer as below:

KT: I will use DMC:G and Black Heart.

Hodir: Using Brew trinket and Juggernaut

Heroic Northrend Beast: Using Juggernaut and Glyph since I will be tanking 2/3 of the time and DPSing for the final round. Need the health, CD and mitigation first and foremost.

Heroic Anub'arak: Putting aside the stam trinkets for the armor ones in Glyph and Black Heart.

Mimiron: The blast is a pain so will go for stam boost in Juggernaut and Black Heart.

Anonymous said...

Boss 1: Kel'Thuzad (25-man) tanking the adds (at T7 levels of gear)
Glyph of Indomitability + Darkmoon Card: Greatness

Boss 2: Hodir (25-man) tanking the boss at just starting T8 levels of gear. (bonus: does this change if you're trying for the hard mode?)
Juggernaut's Vitality + Bitter Balebrew Charm (Hardmode ~ Darkmoon Card: Greatness + Juggernaut's Vitality)

Boss 3: Heroic Northrend Beasts (25-man) tanking Gormok with one other tank, then tanking the stationary worm, then DPSing on Icehowl (at barely T9-levels of gear).
Juggernaut's Vitality + Darkmoon Card: Greatness

Boss 4: Heroic Anub'arak (10-man) tanking Anub'arak (at T8-levels of gear)
Glyph of Indomitability + The Black Heart

Boss 5: Mimiron (10-man) tanking phase 1, then tanking adds in phase 3, then tanking all parts in phase 4. (bonus: does this change in hard mode at all?)
Juggernaut's Vitality + The Black Heart (Hardmode ~ Juggernaut's Vitality + Darkmoon Card: Greatness)

Frédéric said...

Because of my raid, I have had to use another unlisted trinket (which is normal, it's a kitty trinket!) which is Blood of the old god. It's an awesome trinket for threat and the proc make a little 321 mitigation by savage defense which represente about 1% mitigation for boss hitting slower than you at 25K and you are having 50% crit.
I use to tank with the Black Heart and this one, when there is no special need.

But, to stay in your term, I would do the following :

Boss 1: Kel'Thuzad (25-man) tanking the adds (at T7 levels of gear)

Juggernaut's Vitality and Black Heart : It makes the fight easier for healers and let them time to do other healing

Boss 2: Hodir (25-man) tanking the boss at just starting T8 levels of gear.
Juggernaut's Vitality and DMC:G

(bonus: does this change if you're trying for the hard mode?) :
The same (with changing Juggernaut's Vitality by Blood of the old god to generate more threat)


Boss 3: Heroic Northrend Beasts (25-man) tanking Gormok with one other tank, then tanking the stationary worm, then DPSing on Icehowl (at barely T9-levels of gear).
Juggernaut's Vitality + DMC:G (Blood of the old god!) : since armor doesn't reduce the bleeding DoT on Gormok, and the poison/fire DoT on worms, I prefer to max my stam and keep a bear/kitty trinket for next phases

Boss 4: Heroic Anub'arak (10-man) tanking Anub'arak (at T8-levels of gear)
Glyph + DMC:G I don't use stam trinket to reduce the Anub's healing in P3

Boss 5: Mimiron (10-man) tanking phase 1, then tanking adds in phase 3, then tanking all parts in phase 4.
(bonus: does this change in hard mode at all?) Juggernaut's Vitality + the Black Heart in both mode

Frédéric said...

For the picture question "Seriously, who would possibly own this?" I would answer Edward Nigma's wife :P

bearmount said...

Adds on KT is just dmg physical I think? So I'd just pop on Glyph and Juggernaut's and go to town. With enough stam I'd go DMC:G instead of Juggernaut and just avoid some dmg.

Hodir's only scary in frozen blows phase, so straight stam stack here. Juggernaut and Heart of Iron.
If I was just starting hard mode with a low TPS staff I'd put on Mark of Norgannon or the expertise trinket from TOC 10 man. I just like Mark of Norgannon for Hodir because its funny seeing 1.2 bear attack speed with the haste on use and a spotlight :)

Northrend beasts I'd definitely use Juggernaut and then either DMC:G or Heart of Iron depending on how concerned I was about Icehowl DPS vs. surviving Dreadscale's 20Ks. I've changed my spec up for this fight to make DPSing a little easier, but for now I'm still stam stacking.

Anubarak you've said is 100% about armor, but with that freezing slash hitting with frost dmg I like having a little extra stam. Glyph + Black Heart is what I've been using here.

Mimiron hits like a girl last I remembered. However plasma blast is scary and there's lots of fire. Juggernaut + Heart of Iron.

dtc said...

Why not put Heart of Iron in the quiz? Without it it throws everything off :P. But here is what I think.

1. Darkmoon + Juggernaught (counter intuitive I know.)

2. Juggernaught + Bitterbrew (Living through frozen blows is the trick, I used to even use some FR gear and fight to keep agro)

2EXT. If agro is needed use Juggernaught + Darkmoon (2 ranged crits can pull agro at times)

3. Jugger + Black Heart (do you guys 2 tank heroic beasts 25? We use three... 2 is a shit ton of damage.

4. Glyph + Darkmoon (phase 3 is the only part that can get you in trouble so the above trinks will help healers keep up)

5. Jugger + Blackheart (to help with plasmas the rest is easy)

5EXT. No change.

It has got to the point that Kalon is giving us homework :p.

Liz said...

KT: Pretty sure I used Gossamer and Defender's code at the time.

Hodir: We are pushing for hardmode so I use DM:G for threat and HoI for an extra ohshit button. With a divsac rotation and using barkskin sensibly, Frozen Blows isn't that scary.

Heroic Beasts: We just did this last night for the first time, and I went HoI/Brewfest. Even so I got gibbed for 47k damage in 0.8 seconds when I was hit by an impale, then a melee swing, then an impale tick. I have about 53.5k raid buffed so I don't even know if trinkets could have saved me vs. that RNG.

Heroic Anub: Glyph/BH for sure.

Mimi: My "standard" trinkets are BH/HoI, which is what I use here as well. We use a tank swapping method to alternate tank CDs versus Plasma Blast, so BH works well. I used those in our 10m Firefigher first kill as well. Now that I have it I might consider swapping out BH for a Brewfest trinket, considering my life is usually in great danger during plasma blast (got gibbed a LOT during progression on Firefighter).

Zombiee said...

Kel'Thuzad adds - Glyph of Indomitability and Black Heart

Saving the Use effect and SI/FR for the last 30 seconds is wonderful. Though at T7 levels of gear for the raid, I'd probably like Defender's Code instead of Black Heart. The controlled use could buy me that extra 10 secs for the dps to finish him.

Hodir - Mirror of Truth, Grim Toll

I single tank this fight and our dps has some scary people and a handful that hug the ice the whole fight, so I wear these for threat to offset my pure frost gear. (I take significantly less dmg during frozen blows) Given the choices though - DarkmoonCard and Glyph of Indomitability

Chasing hardmode, I'd stick with Mirror and Grim Toll and ditch some frost resist for more threat gear. (I do this in 10man)

Northrend Beasts - Juggernaut's Vitality and The Black Heart

A paladin removes the bleed from me once on Gormok so some of the danger is avoided. I still prefer taking Heart of Iron over Black Heart though.

Anub'arak - Glyph of Indomitability and DarkmoonCard.

No question here for me.

Mimiron - DarkmoonCard and The Black Heart.

More often than not, I'll wear Mirror of Truth over BlackHeart here. Keeping me alive has never been the hard part of this for our guild, the last time I wore my BloodDraining weapon I never had it proc at all. So I'm a greedy bear and lean on the healers trading survival for threat.

Hardmode - No comment, not familiar with it.

Red Queen said...

Boss 1: Kel'Thuzad (25-man) tanking the adds (at T7 levels of gear)
Black Heart and Heart of Iron (I know it's not listed) otherwise juggs or glyph.

Boss 2: Hodir (25-man) tanking the boss at just starting T8 levels of gear. (bonus: does this change if you're trying for the hard mode?)
Heart (or Brew even) and Juggs again. Frozen blows are pain - I don't have a FR set nor care to get one just for him. Hard mode just means faster burning, fewer healers, so even more stam. I'd almost say Juggs and brew in that case; threat is never an issue for me

Boss 3: Heroic Northrend Beasts (25-man) tanking Gormok with one other tank, then tanking the stationary worm, then DPSing on Icehowl (at barely T9-levels of gear).
DMC and Juggs, though TBH I'd ignore the DPS part and use Heart and Juggs because Gormok hits f'n hard, and more often than not people fail on Icehowl and the spare tanks have to take over after the MT gets oneshotted.

Boss 4: Heroic Anub'arak (10-man) tanking Anub'arak (at T8-levels of gear)

Glyph and DMC (if I had them /sigh)

Boss 5: Mimiron (10-man) tanking phase 1, then tanking adds in phase 3, then tanking all parts in phase 4. (bonus: does this change in hard mode at all?)

Heart and Juggs, not sure about hardmode never did it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kalon,

I'd like to know what you think of the Furnace Stone.

Thanks,

Artymus

Kevin Krumwiede said...

Trinkets, yessss.... power in trinkets! Raaaawk!

Kalon said...

Kevin, that made me laugh out loud at the bus stop. That would've been a far better title for this post. Kudos!

Anon - Furnace stone is...okay. It's very similar to Eitrigg's Oath, save that the on-use is a bit more user-controllable. I like it better than The General's heart, and it might have some use on Anub'arak if you otherwise have a ton of stamina elsewhere (it's good to trigger right before a freezing slash, for example) but it's otherwise fairly poor.

Anonymous said...

Was curious about this.
If you have 2 avoidance trinkets, say...

Royal Seal of King Llane & Heart of Iron

Is it best to stagger the use of both of these trinkets on Bosses Gormok [ToC] for 40sec uptime - or pop them at the same time for higher double the avoidance but for 20sec uptime?