[Gearing] How to gear you brand new Lvl80 Tank

[Gearing] How to gear you brand new Lvl80 Tank

Just hit level 80 and want to quickly gear up for tanking duties in Naxxramas or heroics? Don't want to run 5-man instances over and over hoping for just 1 item to drop? There are several things you can get through quests, reputation or simply buy those BoE (bind on equip) items at AH. If you got all these and still feel in need for some purples, i found lots of tanking stuff that you'll get by doing heroics or that can be purchased for Emblem of Heroism. So this guide may help you to build your tank up from scratch.


About this Guide

First of all: I didn't reinvent the wheel. Polar from tankspot.com wrote a great guide. I found it when I tried to get my own Paladin Naxx-ready. It just didn't cover all my whishes, so I took his guide as a base, changed/added some things and reformatted it to fit into the design of wow-pro. So now it is a list of some of the better L80 pre-Naxxramas plate tank gear that you can get by

By getting just these items you'll be ready to get beaten up (without dying Smiling) by those heroic mode bosses in 5-mans and you should be able to tank 10-man Naxxramas.
If you'll want further gear, yust check out the mayor quality items (these are marked in purple).
These might include some BoP raid drops and Epic World Drops, so expect them to sell for somewhat bigger amounts on gold at AH.
All items are plate, so this guide mainly applies to Warrior, Paladin and Death Knight tanks.

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What this guide is not
This is not the "ultimate" pre-raid tanking guide - it is focused on getting you ready to tank bosses in the 5 man runs. It also dosn't set priority on gear that requires exalted faction rep. You'll get this rep, but maybe you've done lots of heroics and some Naxx-runs before, so you won't need this gear any more. Well, i'll add some of those rewards either, but later on.
Oh, and sorry Droods, this guide excludes leather. I don't have a clue what you need for tanking, but Cloud9 seems to have! Take a look at Cloud9's Pre-Raid Feral Tank Gear Guide. (thx eric)
Another thing that isn't covered in this guide is how to play actually. If you are playing a Paladin and you haven't read Tannyr's Guide to the "96969" Paladin Tanking Rotation you should really do that! It's great! For all you Warriors, DK's and poor Druids who haven't such a great guide and are good tanks too, just write your own guide to play as a tank with your class. I'll link it here! Smiling

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Target Stats
The primary aim of the items listed is to increase stamina, defense, dodge/parry and armor. 540 defense is the target value to minimize crit chance against you. If you plan to tank only heroics, 535 should be enough since there are no boss mobs. Once you hit 540 you should be aiming for a good balance between armor, stamina and avoidance (dodge+parry). DK's are going to have to work a bit harder to hit 540 defense because you don't have a shield but they may enchant their weapon with Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle (tnx Kwaice). The head, chest, legs and shield contribute most to the tanking stats so aim to get these sorted above all else. Unbuffed 21k armor, 21k health and 32% dodge+parry is a good target for entry-level Naxxramas.

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Gem Selection
Recommended green quality jewels are

Remember that you do not have to match the jewel color to the slot color and you only give up the socket bonus if you take this approach. Buy those Perfect ones. They are worth the few gold more you'll pay. Suggested gems are shown as a guide only for each socketable item. Better quality gems are recommended if you can afford them.

All you Jewelcrafters (or those of you who plan to be one) might want to have a look at those:

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Other Comments

If you wonder what professions you should choose, consider taking Mining and Jewelcrafting/Blacksmithing/Engineering. Mining will give you some additional stamina and you'll get the resources for your other job too. As Jewelcrafter you can make some really great BoP gems and some Trinkets, Blacksmithing gives you the Ability to forge some extra sockets to your bracers and gloves and if you choose to be an engineer you could make a helmet and a trinket that could be worn twice.
Of course this is just a proposal. Any other job will be fine too.

The Wyrmrest Accord reputation rewards provide many quality tanking items. You are encouraged to concentrate on getting to 'revered' as quickly as possible. The next reputation to aim for is Argent Crusade (revered) so that you can pick up the best head enchant. The third faction you should get revered with are the Sons of Hodir as you'll get your shoulder enchant there. You have to do a long quest chain to unlock those reputation quests, but you'll be remunerated with some cool gloves (Gauntlets of Vigilance) and lots of XP and gold.

Highly recommended items - generally better than 5-man non-heroic instance boss drops are marked with an *.

If you just hit Lvl70 and want to start playing a tank in WotLK from the scrap, I recommend to buy the whole green cobalt set:

That should be a good base for tanking Utgarde Keep and The Nexus and you should get them for only few goldpieces in the AH.
But thats not the matter of this guide. Lets see what you should have if you've finally finished leveling:

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Head

The Crusader's Resolution*
Source: L79 Quest - Icecrown: The Crusaders' Pinnacle (you must have several other quests completet to get this one. See comments page on wowhead!)

Recommended Enchant: Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector (Argent Crusade - Revered)

Profession note:
Engineers should craft their epic googles Armored Titanium Goggles

Mayor quality item:
Tempered Titansteel Helm
Source: AH - Blacksmithing BoE

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Neck

Burning Skull Pendant*
Source: AH - Requires L80

or
Reinforced Titanium Neckguard
Source: L80 Quest - Icecrown: The Admiral Revealed (end of a quest chain)

or
Betrayer's Choker
Source: L74 Quest - Zul'drak: Betrayal (end of a quest chain)

Major quality item:
Titanium Earthguard Chain
Source: AH - Jewelcrafting BoE

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Shoulder

Crusader's Square Pauldrons*
Source: AH - Requires L78

or
Pauldrons of Reconnaissance
Source: L76 Quest - Halls of Stone: Halls of Stone

Recommended Enchant: Lesser Inscription of the Pinnacle (Sons of Hodir - Honored)

Profession note:
Inscriptioners should enchant with: Master's Inscription of the Pinnacle

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Cloak

Tattered Castle Drape*
Source: AH - Requires L80

or
Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions
Source: Wyrmrest Accord quartermaster (Honored) - Requires L78

Major quality item:
Durable Nerubhide Cape
Source: AH - Leatherworking BoE

Recommended Enchant: +16 defense (Enchant Cloak - Titanweave)

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Chest

Breastplate of the Solemn Council*
Source: Wyrmrest Accord quartermaster (Revered) - Requires L80

or
Silver-Plated Battlechest
Source: L79 Quest - Utgarde Pinnacle: Junk in My Trunk

Recommended Enchant: +22 defense (Enchant Chest - Greater Defense) or +10 all stats (Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats) or +275 HP (Enchant Chest - Super Health)

Major quality item:
Sorry, i didn't find any that is BoE Sad
If someone finds one, let me know!

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Wrists

Bracers of Reverence
Source: L80 Quest - The Oculus: A Wing and a Prayer (this ist the last quest of a chain that requires several quests in The Oculus)

or
Tempered Saronite Bracers
Source: Crafted/AH - Requires L77

Recommended Enchant: +15 expertise (Enchant Bracers - Expertise) or +6 all stats (Enchant Bracers - Greater Stats)

Major quality item:
Bracers of Dalaran's Parapets
Source: sold for 60 Emblem of Valor, but BoE. Well, try to find those in AH if you have too much gold or buy them with your main if your doing 25ers regulary. (Tnx Night_Hawk for the link)

or
Bracers of the Herald
Source: dropped by Herald Volazj in heroic Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom

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Gloves

Gauntlets of Vigilance
Source: L79 Quest - Storm Peaks: The Reckoning (this is a loooooong quest chain, but you should do it anyway. It is needed to get those daily Son's of Hodir quests which are essential to get the faction honored for your shoulder enchant. See the comments on wowhead for details.)

or
Refined Ore Gloves
Source: AH - Requires L80

or
Daunting Handguards
Source: Crafted/AH - Requires L78

Recommended Enchant: +2% threat and +10 parry (Enchant Gloves - Armsman)

Major quality item:
Horn-Tipped Gauntlets
Source: Dropped by Gal'darah in Gundrak heroic

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Waist

Waistguard of the Risen Knight
Source: AH - Requires L80

or
Tempered Saronite Belt
Source: Crafted/AH - Requires L74

Recommended Augment: Eternal Belt Buckle for an extra socket.

Major quality item:
Sorry, i didn't find any that is BoE Sad
If someone finds one, let me know!

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Legs

Daunting Legplates
Source: Crafted/AH - Requires L78

or
Special Issue Legplates
Source: Argent Crusade quartermaster (Honored) - Requires L78

Recommended Enchant: Frosthide Leg Armor (+55 stamina, +22 agility) - Epic but should be inexpensive.

Major quality item:
Bolstered Legplates
Source: Dropped by Cyanigosa in heroic Violet Hold

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Feet

Sabatons of Draconic Vigor
Source: Wyrmrest Accord quartermaster (Revered) - Requires L80

or
Toxin-Tempered Sabatons
Source: Knights of the Ebon Blade quartermaster (Honored) - Requires L78

Major quality item:
Tempered Titansteel Treads

Recommended Enchant: +15 stamina/speed (Enchant Boots - Tuskarr's Vitality) or +22 stamina (Enchant Boots - Greater Fortitude) or Heavy Borean Armor Kit (+18 stamina).

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Rings

Ring of Earthen Might
Source: Crafted/AH - Requires L78

Staunch Signet
Source: L78 Quest - The Oculus: The Struggle Persists

Kurzel's Warband
Source: L73 Quest - Drak'tharon Keep: Search and Rescue (needs a prequest to be done in Grizzly Hills)

Solid Platinum Band[
Source: L76 Quest - Gundrak: For Posterity

Major quality item:
Titanium Earthguard Ring
Source: AH - Jewelcrafting BoE

or
Keystone Great-Ring
Source: dropped by The Prophet Tharon'ja in heroic Drak'Tharon Keep

or
Signet of the Accord
Source: AH - dropped by Sartharion in Obsidian Sanctum (heroic?) - BoE

Profession note:
Enchanters should enchant their rings with Enchant Ring - Stamina

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Trinkets

It seems that there are no dedicated tank-trinket that you can get through quests or buy. If i'm wrong, please correct me. Luckily there are some professions that could make some (BoP)trinkets with cool stats:

Jewelcrafters should craft Figurine - Monarch Crab and Figurine - Ruby Hare
Alchemists should craft Indestructible Alchemist's Stone
Engineers should craft/buy Sonic Booster (can be equiped twice!)

Seal of the Pantheon
Source: dropped by Loken in Halls of Lightning (nh)

or
Offering of Sacrifice
Source: dropped by Gal'darah in heroic Gundrak

or
Lavanthor's Talisman
Source: dropped by Lavabthor in heroic Violet Hold

or (kind of "must have")
Essence of Gossamer
Soucre: dropped by Hadronox in heroic Azjol-Nerub

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Weapons

Blade of the Empty Void
Source: L80 Quest - Icecrown: Tirion's Gambit (once again, the end of a quest chain)

or
Fang of Truth (Warriors choice to maximize threat)
Source: Wyrmrest Accord quartermaster (Honored) - Requires L78

or
Hammer of Quiet Mourning (good for dwarves due to mace racial ability)
Sword of Heartwrenching Slaughter
Crescent of Brooding Fury (Paladins should thake this one due its slow speed and high damage)
Source: all 3 from the same L75 Quest - Zul'Drak: Wanted: Ragemane's Flipper

or
Argent Skeleton Crusher (DK 2-hander)
Source: Argent Crusade quartermaster (Revered) - Requires L80

or
De-Raged Waraxe] (DK 2-hander)
Source: L75 Quest - Zul'Drak: The Champion of Anguish (Zul'Drak Arena Quest)

Recommended Enchant: +26 agil (Enchant Weapon - Exceptional Agility) or +25 hit/crit (Enchant Weapon - Accuracy).

Major quality items:
Red Sword of Courage
Source: dropped by King Ymiron in heroic Utgarde Pinnacle (good for Warriors, Paladins should keep Crescent of Brooding Fury due its higher damage)

Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver
Source: Loken in heroic Halls of Lightning (just for our undead, blueeyed friends)

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Shields

Saronite Bulwark
Source: Crafted/AH - Requires L77

or
Bulwark of the Warchief
Source: Horde Expedition quartermaster (Revered) - Requires L78

or
Shield of the Lion-hearted
Source: Alliance Vanguard quartermaster (Revered) - Requires L78

Recommended Enchant: +20 defense (Enchant Shield - Defense)

Major quality item:
Titansteel Shield Wall
Source: AH - Blachsmithing BoE

or
Royal Crest of Lordaeron
Source: found in the chest in heroic The Culling of Stratholme (CoT4)

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Ranged (warriors)

Weighted Throwing Axe
Source: L80 Quest - The Storm Peaks: Changing the Wind's Course (another long quest chain)

Libram (paladins)

Venture Co. Libram of Protection
Source: Purchased through Venture Coins (Grizzly Hills PvP) Alliance: "Grizzly" D. Adams Horde: Purkom both located at Venture Bay.

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I'll add some items from 5-man heroics soon...