Shield-tanks vs DKs in heroics

Jan 6th: ha ! I knew I was right. See this Blue post.

Original post follows.

I’d like to do some analysis on how a shield-tank feels less squishy in heriocs, because shield block reduces the average incoming hit by such a high proportion. Against a raid boss, the shield block diminishes in value (well argued and established on tankspot).

But in a Heroic, I know shield-tanks can feel less squishy than DKs; I believe it’s shield block. I’d like to work out exactly how much it helps though.

The problem was, looking at the data didn’t really support my hypothesis… details on that at the end.

How much is blocked?

  • An epic, well-geared paladin or warrior is blocking 1500 to 2000.
  • Comments to this post have further data points (thanks guys and gals)
  • A friend of mine (i213 warrior) is blocking for about 1200.

Some WWS data points below. Note I did not check to see if any priest or shaman damage-reduction buffs were up because what I was looking for really was some ranges of trash and boss damage, and some confirmations on block values. Those buffs could influence data.

Just for simplicity, I didn’t pull out data on druid tanks, even though they have a bear block.

Here’s a WWS of a Utgarde Keep speed run with a maintankadin, with a geared team. Here’s a screenshot of that for the WWS expires.

  • On trash, the maximum physical hit taken was 5771.
  • Average hit 1252 (that includes those he partially blocked)
  • His average block was for 1923.
  • 49.8% avoidance + mitigation, 6.4% of that was block
  • On bosses, maximum hit was 10797.
  • Average hit 2122, max 10797
  • Average block 1902 (about the same as trash, as it should be: it’s a linear stat).

[slider title="See more WWS data points"]

Here’s WWS of UK again with an ordinary DK tank. Screenshot.

  • On trash, maximum hit was 6626
  • Average hit 2005
  • Avoidance 53.5%
  • On bosses, maximum hit 7053, average 2548

Another WWS of UK with DK tank. Screenshot.

  • Trash: average 1829
  • max 5236, avoidance 55.2%
  • Bosses: max 9213, average 2259

Warrior tank WWS screenshot.

  • Trash: average 1702, maximum 4414, block value 1985
  • 59.9% avoidance and mitigation, 9.1% of that is block
  • Boss: average 1806, max 6027, block value 2857 (must have used talents/trinkets)
  • 54.8% avoidance and mitigation, 6.8% of that as block [/slider]

So what damage do tanks in heroics take?

From trash: between 1252 and 5771 on the block tanks, and between 1829 and 6626 on the DKs.

The sampled tanks have between 49% and 60% avoidance and/or block.

Block values around 1900, normal tanks would be 1200 or so.

So why do shield tanks feel less squishy?

A DK tends to have higher avoidance by similar percentage to how much the shield-tanks are blocking, so in theory they should get about the same overall incoming damage.

Perhaps it’s just perception, which is that spiky on/off avoidance damage a DK takes makes them appear squishier even if they’re not, because in comparison a block-tank will get a full hit, a blocked hit or avoid altogether. The blocked hits must smooth out the tank’s variation in health such that the healer’s perception is of smoothed-out incoming damage.

I’m not quite sure, open to thoughts on this one.

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21 comments to Shield-tanks vs DKs in heroics

  • Question for Blue; how the heck do you get that many mobs to agro to you? :P
    I can only get 5-7 mobs on me before the first ones start losing interest… only place I’ve done this is regular Black Morass farming where they don’t lose agro in an instance and you can pull all ~40 mobs at once and aoe them down for about ~20-40g per run heh (it just takes forever to loot). :)

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    I updated the OP. Maybe I confused myself, maybe not. I couldn’t find evidence for my proposition that shield-tanks are actually less squishy.


    Damage shield ftw. Also, I farm converted heroes in IC which come in groups of 7 or so. You don’t need to run around much.

    Hmmm – can’t edit my earlier post. Anyway my BV is 1416 in the gear I log out in.

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    Yeah, I had unregistered users with only an hour to edit comments. Registered users get it indefinitely (register link in the footer of the site). I did just change it to 48 hours for edit though; 60 min was a bit short.

  • Actually – just thinking about your data. What boss in UK hits for 10k? Naxx bosses don’t hit that hard!

    I presume that it’s the last boss, and the tank didn’t bother to try to avoid the dark smash (you run through the boss as he casts it and he misses you). Would this have skewed your data at all?
    .-= Everblue´s last blog ..Some rambling nonsense about gearing =-.

  • Damage shield – you cheater! :P
    That was why I liked the old unholy blight. I’d pop that, mount up, and ride around. The damage ticks would keep mobs on me longer and I could collect more. ;) I just did black morass trash on my DK last night for old times, but it wasn’t the same. And looting 40 mobs with worthless grays wasn’t fun. ;)

    Yah, the last boss’ dark smash can hit hard I guess. It doesn’t seem that bad when you have 40k health though… heh
    .-= Hinenuitepo´s last blog ..DKs overpowered? =-.

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    What I had expected in the data was the warrior and paladins’ damage from trash (not bosses) to be noticeably lower, but that didn’t bear out. To take this further, I think I’d need to put two tanks in chardev or Rawr with exactly the same iLevel gear, then compare their avoidance totals and block values, and from that draw conclusions.

    @Hinen: grats on your new blog, hope you fall in love with the job like I have. I still think you should have used wordpress :P

    • Will be interested if anything comes of this… certainly has been a point of discussion re: ‘squishy’ tanks vs ‘steady’ ones….
      Obviously skill has something to do with which tanks survive better, and with the reduced cd on many DK tanking talents, we should be using them on trash in addition to boss fights, leveling that playing field as well.

      Just getting started on the blog, so thanks mate. I can always switch things around, but it’s coming along well so far (I think).
      .-= Hinenuitepo´s last blog ..ONY!!! ONY!!! ONY!!! =-.

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    Honor’s posted his stats, linking here for my own benefit should I look at this again pre-Cataclysm.

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