Are druids really that hard up for Defense/Resilience that this is really an issue? I mean seriously, people keep talking like the Clefthoof Set is the only place to get Defense, when in reality it's not even needed/wanted. There's a reason I dislike the set, and it ain't lack of agility, it's the 86 (next to-)useless defense rating.
Head: Glyph of the Defender: +16 Defense Rating
Neck: Necklace of the Juggernaut: +21 Defense Rating
Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Knight: +15 Defense Rating (+10 for Aldor)
Cloak: Gilded Thorium Cloak: +21 Defense Rating (Resolute Cape +21 Resilience)
Finger: Violet Signet of the Great Protector: +16 Defense Rating
Finger: Ring of Unyielding Force: +21 Defense Rating
Trinket: Timelapse Shard: +23 Resilience
Weapon: Earthwarden: +24 Defense Rating
That's +134 Defense (129 for Aldor) and +23 Resilience, Bam, crit immune.
This isn't even "lol@Boevis and his agility", every time I see druids complaining about defense I'm longing to ask Why the hell aren't you using those items listed above? I know I sound like an ass, but if you're not at the level of progression where you have access to those items, then I honestly don't think the presence of Defense/Resilience on SSC/TE/BT/Hyjal loot is any of your concern.
Do I really think I'm going to be using those things when I enter BT/Hyjal? Most of them, yes. After all, I was using Jin'do's Evil Eye, MoUL, Cauterizing Band, and Cenarion Gloves (don't ask) not to mention the ZG enchants and DM Trinket to heal in Naxx. I'm honestly shocked that right off the bat we basically get uncritable status and amazing health/armor handed to us.
Sorry to bring up an old post but this has actually been a significant issue for me when it comes to gear choice. I feel like I'm stuck with Heavy Clefthoof Pants right now, much as I want to upgrade to T4 or T5 (I have the following or a close equivalent):
Check - Head: Glyph of the Defender: +16 Defense Rating
Check - Neck: Necklace of the Juggernaut: +21 Defense Rating
Check - Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Knight: +15 Defense Rating (+10 for Aldor)
Check - Cloak: Gilded Thorium Cloak: +21 Defense Rating (Resolute Cape +21 Resilience)
Check - Finger: Violet Signet of the Great Protector: +16 Defense Rating
Check - Finger: Ring of Unyielding Force: +21 Defense Rating
Not - Trinket: Timelapse Shard: +23 Resilience (I suppose I could get one but it won't fix the problem itself)
Not - Weapon: Earthwarden: +24 Defense Rating (Wildfury Greatstaff dropped on our 3rd week in SSC and it outshines Earthwarden across the board)
So, by forgoing Earthwarden and the shard, it leaves me in a bad position. With a +12 defense enchant on my bracers instead of agility or stamina and Heavy Clefthoof Leggings I can make up the difference but it is far from an ideal combination.
Interestingly, if I look Hugehoss up on Armory, I see he's in a similar position and seems to have given up on being uncrittable (398 defense) by adopting T4 legs. He's gone for the PVP bracers which was one thing I'd thought of trying as well but, again, it doesn't quite bridget he gap.
The solution? Shadowmoon Insignia of course (except it is a BT drop which will be at least a few months out if you aren't in Nihilum or Curse or the equivalent). It still seems like there is a significant +defense gap when you get out of that entry-level gear.
Yeah it's pretty sad that the recent itemisation of weapons seems pretty sub standard. I'd far prefer to see an upgraded earthwarden and stranglestaff than what the the greatstaff / pillar look like at present.
I'm using Gladiator Gloves (hoping to replace with t5/6 at some point soon, and swap in timelapse shard) with the PvP belt and bracers, along with Neck of Juggernaught and the Violet/Heroic rings, plus the shoulder enchant (exalted aldor). That brings me to 1.2% reduced crit from defence, and 1.42% reduced crit from resillience. The rest of my gear is 4 t4, zierhuts boots, Thoriumweave or Razor Scale cloaks (depends on fight), and whatever trinkets I decide on, along with Wildfury Staff. It's pretty easy to get the crit cap as long as you mix and match resillience with defence. With this set of gear, the only "wasted" items in an offtank role are the rings, as I can swap the staff and everything else is at least partially DPS based (although quite often I end up wearing tanking trinkets).
I'm using Gladiator Gloves (hoping to replace with t5/6 at some point soon, and swap in timelapse shard) with the PvP belt and bracers...
The problem with this approach and most of the other ones that I've seen is that we have to pass on some of the best damage mitigation items in the game in order to stay at the crit cap. The Belt of Natural Power is leaps and bounds ahead of the PVP belt in terms of overall mitigation but falls short in terms of defense or resilience. I hadn't thought of the Ironskin potion alternative; looks expensive but viable. Or I suppose I could end up going for the PVP bracers because there aren't any 'outstanding' alternatives in that slot, and mix that with more Enduring Talasite gems or something (even though they are inferior to agility/stamina ones). I don't know, maybe this is an issue Warriors face as well but it always seems that defense came in copious amounts on top end Warrior tanking gear.
I don't know, maybe this is an issue Warriors face as well but it always seems that defense came in copious amounts on top end Warrior tanking gear.
Not that a few leather items with +def wouldnt be useful, but to be fair, Warriors need a lot more def items to reach their cap. Bears can reach theirs with the 2 trinket slots, 2 rings and cloak/enchants/gems.
Scarab of Displacement (Hydross) - 35 static defence, trinket. Bonus of on use effect for more defence.
Timelapse Shard - 24 static Resillience, Trinket. Bonus of 27 stamina.
Adamantite Figurine - 32 defence static, Trinket. Bonus of on use effect for more armour.
Brooch of the Immortal King - 32 defence static, Trinket. Bonus on use effect for 1250 more health.
Resillience on Chest - 15 static resillience, Chest Enchant.
Resolute Cape - 21 static resillience, Cloak. Also has decent armour and stamina (almost of the order of Thoriumweave).
Pendant of Triumph - 17 resillience static AND gem slot (yellow).
There are numerous Epic gems with resillience on that you could try getting too - theres a couple of really nice ones like the Steady Chrysophrase (6 stam/5 resillience), Beaming Fire Opal (5 dodge rating and 4 resillience), and Mystic Lionseye/Sublime Mystic Dawnstone (10 resillience). Combine these with items like the Necklace of the Deep/Pendant of Triumph, and you can get some pretty hefty crit-reducing items. According to Wowhead theres also an 8 resillience gem (Dawnstone) but I can't confirm anything about whether it's actually in the game or not (never seen it before).
I'm planning on ditching the PvP belt for the Belt of Natural Power as soon as I can (i.e. it drops in one of our raids when I'm there) and swapping the Timelapse shard back in to my gear. Obviously this means I've got a bit of a problem as then if I switch out the gloves for T5/6 I'm a bit screwed on crit immunity. Might go for a Resolute cape (if I'm not bankrupt after the belt, I would be after that.) or one of the trinkets (probably the Brooch as I think I sold my adamantite figurine). I might even just give up on crit immunity against bosses - the number of times I actually tank a skull level mob is maybe once a week at most, and then it's for a very minimal amount of time. Might even end up grabbing a Soulpriests Ring of Resolve and getting rid of my Heroic Badges ring.
Anyway, I think there's plenty of options for crit immunity, you just have to give up other things to get them, which is a good design mechanic. Providing exact upgrades that you will always go to regardless, without losing anything by going to them reduces the number of choices and is a pretty boring way to have to gear your character.
I see the combo of pvp hat+shoulders isn't popular anymore, however, with the updated stats next week it's very likely that getting those 2 items in your tanking set would be a good move.
The problem with 2 pieces of Gladiator is that it breaks 4 piece of any other set. Malornex4 is a very nice bonus, Nordrassil is pretty gimp for bears assuming it's on the bleed and not the initial part (due to the way threat gen on lacerate works, although it isn't bad for Cats) and the 4 piece t6 isn't great for Bears (but again, not bad for Cats). The armour values on Gladiator pieces really doesn't match up to the tier sets either, and since 2.1 the DPS stats aren't as good (apart from gladiator gloves over t4).
I generally reference this site when I'm looking at what pieces of gear I should be shooting for. It's seems to stay fairly up to date as new items are released and old items are revamped.
With this site you can easily find what items are better than your current piece, where they come from, etc. I like it because it allows me to plot out realistic short term goals in regards to what upgrades I'm getting for what slot, what upgrades I can skip, and so on.
Ememrald now has 2 sets of pages for bear mititgation. One for entry level gear + stats and one for high end stats + raid buffs. The 1st favors STA while the second favors mitigation and avoidance. While you should never take any tanking gear page at face value, both of these pages together give a good idea of where gear stands. At least they are hosted off of the same site.