An Ex-Gnome Tank's World

Tier 8 Bonus? Overrated

June 17th, 2009 Posted in General, Theorycrafting

The protection warrior tier 8 set bonuses have cause some consternation; the 2-piece bonus which boosts the critical strike chance of Devastate by 10%. A small threat boost, but nothing huge. And then there’s the 4-piece bonus:

“Shield Block also grants you 20% reduction to magical damage taken”

On the face of it this sounds absolutely fantastic. However, having looked closer, I’m not so sure. Just taking the tier 8┬ácontent into account that I’ve seen so far (ie, everything up to General Vezax), exactly how useful is it?

  • Flame Leviathan. You’re in a vehicle. Nothing to see here, move along
  • Ignis the Furnace Master – well, there’s Scorch, so it might be useful if you’re an offtank standing in the fire for a long time, but that’s about it
  • Razorscale – Useless in phase 1, nice to have in phase 2, but Flame Breath comes too quickly to negate it all the time. So kind of useful, but by the time you have 4 pieces of tier 8, you probably have good enough gear to survive the breaths anyway.
  • XT-002 – Pretty much all physical damage, except for bombs, and if you’re getting hit by those you have bigger problems
  • Kologarn. Again, all physical damage. Move along, nothing to see
  • Assembly of Iron – Fusion Punch was made for the bonus. A nice reduction on an ability which can be reacted to. A decent use for it at last.
  • Auriaya – well, if your raid’s doing it right, Sonic Screech will hit for so little as to be trivial. No really good uses here either.
  • Hodir – Well, Frozen Blows might count, but odds are that if you’re wearing full frost resistance gear, you don’t have the 4-piece bonus. And if you don’t have full frost gear, you’re likely to be wearing SBV gear (Frozen blows that are completely blocked do no frost damage).
  • Thorim – Steadily increasing physical damage. Not really much help
  • Freya – Nothing hits very hard, really. I guess it might be useful for holding Exploding Lashers in place, but really, why dice with death when you don’t have to?
  • Mimiron – Leviathan Mk2′s Plasma Blast was made for the set bonus. But after that? Maybe to relieve your healers a little in phase 2.
  • General Vezax – again, if the tank’s taking magical damage, someone’s doing something wrong.

So, not great, really. In a fit of curiosity I looked over some old Sartharion + 3 drakes log parses to see if it might have been useful there. It definitely wouldn’t help enoughwith main tanking Sarth himself – the breaths come too often for that. For Shadron, Tenebron and Vesperon, maybe, but not a huge amount.

So, yeah, there you go. I wouldn’t say to knock yourself out trying to get the 4-piece warrior tier 8 set bonus, at least not yet anyway. There just aren’t enough practical applications to make it the killer upgrade it might appear to be on first sight.

EDIT: Veneretio points out that the set bonus comes into its own a lot more once you start to attempt some of the hard modes. I can see how that might be the case, but as I’m not yet running hard modes, I’ll wait to see them before completely reversing my opinion. On top of that, not everyone cares too much about hard modes.

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