Thoughts: Important Stats For Pet Tanking

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Thoughts: Important Stats For Pet Tanking

Post  Kurasu on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:10 am

Now before people get hopeful, this isn't going to have a lot of heavy numbers theorycrafting in it. I'm allergic to numbers, and clinically mathematically retarded. Due to this, my thoughts are from the point of view of 'This is what I see', and I welcome (in fact, practically beg) people who can either correct the views or add in real and heavy numbers.

With 3.3 coming up fast, and the net buffs we are going to be getting for tanking, I figured I'd put down the usual measure of what I look for when I pick tanking armor.

For me, the important stats are as follows:

Resilience (to cap) <-> Hit (to cap) <- Stamina <- Armor <- Agility <- AP <- Crit

Breaking down why I consider these the important stats to look at:

RESILIENCE
If you are looking to tank raid content, you are going to need to be crit immune. Not just want, but *need*. One crit will kill your pet in a single hit, and that's not exactly conducive to convincing your guild that pets are a viable tank. Therefore, make sure that your pet is resilience-capped for crit immunity first and foremost.
If, however, you are only tanking heroics, you can scrimp a bit on this. A crit likely won't one-hit you, so you can afford to focus more on getting hit before crit immunity. Still, the less crit, the less spiky damage will be and the easier on healers it will be.

HIT
Pet threat generation is a very spiky thing. Thunderstomp, Growl, Intimidation, and Misdirects are going to be the big generators, while the auto-attacks and focus dump will be a steady, smallish threat maintainance... maintenan.... manten.... keeping it there rather than adding it.
Because of this, one missed Growl can be the death of a party if they are 'riding the aggro wave' on your pet. As Growl bases off physical, this means your pet will need to be hit capped to make as many of those all-important attacks hit.
In addition, hit cap means that your pet is also Expertise-capped. Fewer parries, dodges, and blocks means more of your attacks get through, and even if the auto-attacks aren't a big boost in threat, the more you miss, the faster that thread lead will go down.
If you are raid tanking, I suggest focusing on crit immunity before hit cap. However, you'll wane to be capped for both.

STAMINA
D'uh. The more stamina, the more hit points, and therefore the more damage you will be able to take and keep going.
Now, a lot of people will tell you that once you're hit capped and resil capped, focus on stamina and nothing but. This is where I have to disagree with the thought. There are other important stats in your repertoire and these should be considered as well. Stamina may be your *most* important stat in a lot of ways, but other stats weigh in as well.
Even saying this, though, I find that other than what's needed to activate your meta-gem, stamina is probably about all that should be gemmed for in pet tanking armor. Although I'm willing to take some differing views on that one. Wink

ARMOR
Your armor carries over to the pet (to the tune of 45%). Pet armor, like tank armor, becomes important for mitigation. Therefore, while I wouldn't consider the armor gained to be the #1 important stat, comparing armor from one piece to another is a good idea. If the boost is large, you may find that it comes in on top of a piece with more stamina, as higher armor helps keep damage from being as spiky. When main tanking, this is particularly important since you will be getting the constant melee from your opponent as well as melee specials. Cutting the incoming damage down is very important, and as we can't increase our pet's avoidance through our own personal stats (yet), armor needs to be a high consideration.
Remember that agility adds to armor as well: 1 agility = 2 armor for the hunter; you will want to compare pieces with the agility added in if you are comparing armor.

AGILITY
Agility's big advantage is that, while it doesn't carry directly down to the pet as Stamina does, it adds three important pet-boosting stats to you: AP (1 agi = 1AP), Armor (1 agi = 2 AR), and Crit (uncertain of exact numbers here). Due to this, I consider comparing the agility on armor to be even more important than comparing the straight AP. AP is important to your TPS, definitely, but the extra armor from agility, for me, easily outweighs a small amount of straight AP.

AP
While your big threat boosts are Growl, Thunderstomp, and Intimidation (as mentioned above), your pet's auto-attacks still have a noticeable effect. I particularly noticed a drop in my TPS when I experimented with tanking using only frost res armor. Don't be fooled: while your survivability is definitely an important part of tanking, you *will* need some TPS, especially if you are trying for 'bleeding edge' pet tanking content. So don't totally forget to compare AP!

CRIT
This is a stat that doesn't carry down to your pet, but still is very important as far as I'm concerned. Critical hits activate several pet-boosting abilities in the Beast Master tree, and due to this you'll want to keep your crit at around 25%+ to make sure there's a constant flow of it. The higher it is, the more these will be active. Cobra Strikes, in particular, is a valuable ability: a Thunderstomp done on Cobra Strikes is an automatic critical hit on *everything* your pet is presently facing. In AOE situations, this is a very large threat boost, and even in one on one with a boss, double damage on a 1.5x threat ability makes for a very noticeable spike.
Secondly, if you are like most (but not all, definitely) BM tank builds, you have at least one point in Go For The throat (GFTT). This ability gives your pet a boost of focus, something that it will need if you are regularly using its focus dump as well as Growl and Thunderstomp. Keeping the focus high is very important, obviously, as you can't afford to miss any of these important abilities to focus-starvation!

Any other stats that armor holds (ArP, Haste, Intellect) are essentially 'wasted points' in the view of pet tanking. Not to say they should be rejected, but if I am making a pet tanking suit, I mentally totally discard those stats and add up the stats remaining. Once I have decided which the better piece is in the 'important areas', I compare them in the area of how they're boosting me, the hunter. After all, doing a good damage MD will be a big spike as well!

Keep in mind that when it comes to pet tanking, it is the reverse of what most huntes are used to considering their pets. Rather than your pet being a valuable DOT and buff, now *you* become the valuable DOT and buff. Thinking about it in that way may make it easier to decide just what stats you need to focus on, by what your pet is in need of at that time.


Last edited by Kurasu on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:16 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : A few actual numbers added in.)
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Kurasu

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Re: Thoughts: Important Stats For Pet Tanking

Post  Doug on Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:50 am

I agree with most of what you have there, except that I tend to prioritize RAP over Agi by a fair margin since the crit and armor contributions are relatively small and the threat contribution from RAP is quite large.
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Re: Thoughts: Important Stats For Pet Tanking

Post  alicewei on Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:24 pm

I have been running heroics somewhat more regularly of late and one thing I have noticed is that group composition with buffs makes a huge difference. This is fairly obvious of course, but what I have been noticing is that shammies do something that makes threat go through the roof.

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Re: Thoughts: Important Stats For Pet Tanking

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