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# Tanking enchant discussion

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### #1 Kethas

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 08:48 AM

I've recently been trying to decide between Blade Ward, Mongoose, and Blood Draining as a tanking enchant for a progression tank. This question was brought up earlier in the Simple Questions/Simple Answers thread, and someone suggested the poster check out relevant threads on TankSpot. There are several such threads, but none addresses the issue mathematically or conclusively (a lot of "Parry was buffed, so Blade Warding is now a good choice" and "Bosses hit hard, so the Blood Draining heal isn't useful").

Let's do some napkin math (retrospective edit: very-large-napkin math):

General assumptions:
• You have 45k max health.
• Bosses melee for 15k.
• Scenario: you take a hit that reduces you below 35% (we'll call it 15k) and are at risk of being oneshot by the next 15k attack.
• Health distribution before the possibly deadly attack is somewhere between 1 and 15k, uniformly distributed.
• Blocking/block value is ignored. Note that correcting for block would favor Blood Draining (bosses, on average, hit for less compared to the static heal from Blood Draining, and you're less likely to be below 35% over time so Blood Draining will, on average, have a higher stack).
• We'll say you have a 45% chance to be hit (or "block" for 0 damage).

Enchant-specific assumptions:
• Blade Warding (onestack) is up 26% of the time (first source (saying 26%, derived from logs), second source (saying 30.6%, derived from modeling))
• Blade Warding (two or more stacks) is up a negligible portion of the time.
• Blade Warding (one stack, so 200 parry rating) gives 1.64% parry after DR (true for my warrior with 20.94% after DR in a mishmash of gear).
• Mongoose is up 30% of the time (see posts below).
• The 120 agi from Mongoose, when up, gives 1.19% dodge after DR (true for my warrior with 23.76% after DR; source for AGI/dodge conversion).
• The 120 agi from Mongoose, when up, gives 0.53% relative damage mitigation through armor (true at 28k armor before Mongoose).
• I don't avoid death from two consecutive melees because of Mongoose - i.e. the best that Mongoose can do is save me once. If Mongoose saved me twice, that means I didn't get heals for long enough to die twice, so we're probably wiping for another reason (healers dead, etc).
• At the time of the possibly deadly incoming attack, Blood Draining is equally likely to be at 1, 2, ... 5 stacks. In particular:
• I don't go <35% -> full health -> dead before Blood Draining can get up at least one more stack. If I merely go <35% -> dead within ten seconds (without hitting full health), Blood Draining's heal helped me anyway.

All right. With that out of the way, let's figure out how often the three above enchants will save us in the scenario described.

Blade Warding: I have a 45% chance to be hit without it up; with it up (26% of the time), I have a (1.64% / 45%) chance to avoid a hit that would have otherwise landed and killed me. Using the Blade Ward enchant, I therefore have a (0.26)*(0.0164/0.45) = 0.00948 = 0.948% chance to live because of Blade Ward.

Mongoose: I have a 45% chance to be hit without it up; with it up (30% of the time), I have a (1.19% / 45%) chance to avoid a hit that would have otherwise landed and killed me. Even if the hit does land, I can still be saved if the extra armor from Mongoose reduces the damage to a survivable level. A relative reduction of 0.53% will save me 0.53% of the time (if this doesn't seem intuitive, realize that a 50% relative damage reduction would save me 50% of the time, a 100% relative damage reduction would save me 100% of the time, etc.) Using the Mongoose enchant, I therefore have a (0.30)*(0.0119/0.45) = 0.0079 = 0.79% chance to live because of an avoided hit, and a (0.30)*((0.45 - 0.0119)/0.45)*(0.0053) = 0.15% chance to live because of the bonus armor, for a total of 0.94% chance to live because of Mongoose.

Blood Draining: I'm hit and my health goes somewhere below 15k, equally likely to be all values between 1 and 15k. Blood Draining heals me for ~400, ~800, ... or ~2000. We assume each are equally likely. Note that a heal for 800 is twice as likely to save me as a heal for 400; a heal for 1200 is three times as likely, etc. so we can just compute the probability for one of them: a heal for 400 saves me if I was somewhere between 14,601 and 15,000 health, a probability of 400/15,000 = 2.667%

So there you have it. Probability of surviving the otherwise-fatal blow because of the listed enchant, in the scenario and under the assumptions described above:

Mongoose: 0.94% chance
Blood draining: 2.667% chance with one stack, multiplicatively greater with more stacks

Let's try modeling harder content. Say the tank has 50k health raidbuffed and incoming hits are for 20k. Our chance to avoid death thanks to our enchant remains the same for Blade Warding and Mongoose, as those don't depend on tank health. (If you're wondering why Mongoose's armor buff doesn't become more important when taking bigger hits, remember we used the relative damage reduction, not absolute.) The chance for Blood Draining, though, will suffer because a) there's a chance you can get hit from >35% to dead without a heal going off, and Blood Draining's heal is relatively weaker to the incoming hits. Assuming uniform health distribution between 1 and 20k, there's a (1 - (17.5k / 20.0k)) = 12.5% chance that Blood Draining never got the chance to heal us before we died. Otherwise, if a heal does go off, there's a (400/17500) = 2.286% chance that it saves us with one stack. The probability to avoid a death is thus (87.5%)*(2.286%) = 2.00%, still beating out Blade Warding and Mongoose.

Mongoose: 0.94% chance
Blood draining: 2.00% chance with one stack, multiplicatively greater with more stacks

Note that this ignores some aspects of the relevant enchants, including:
• multiple stacks of Blade Warding
• healer mana saved through avoided hits during reactive healing from Blade Warding/Mongoose
• Blade Warding/Mongoose not working on unparryable magic damage
..but the difference above appears to be decently large.

If I had to knock a hole in my own math, I'd say the assumption about health amounts being equally likely between 1 and 15k is probably untrue; I'd guess that tank health over time tends to clump at "full health," "full health minus one boss melee," "full health minus two boss melees," etc. with the second, third, fourth etc. clumps getting fuzzier as small heals + hots + boss RNG factor in. The question then becomes, "How often do bosses kill you with little enough overkill that a Blood Draining heal would have saved you?" (assuming they knock you below 35% first so the heal can go off preemptively; obviously Blood Draining doesn't work retroactively). Another poor assumption is that Blood Draining always has time to get up at least one stack, but I wouldn't know how to model that (you'd have to predict the frequency of otherwise-deadly hits and how frequently healers manage to top you off).

Thoughts? Corrections to my assumptions? Better ways to model the flaws I point out? I keep hearing the tank enchant question being bandied about and would like to settle it (from strictly a tank survival standpoint) once and for all. (I think this is an important question to answer, didn't find much discussion at all on EJ, and didn't find satisfactory discussion on TankSpot, but if a mod feels this issue is old or has been addressed feel free to delete.)

TLDR1: Will Blade Ward, Mongoose, or Blood Draining save you a higher percentage of the time against otherwise deadly hits from progression bosses? Under certain conditions, Blood Draining appears to be significantly favored.

TLDR2: Does anyone have data on the distribution of overkill damage that deadly hits from progression bosses deal?

### #2 Gruntle

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 09:56 AM

Interesting findings.

A Blade ward uptime of 26% seems like a major overestimate though. You usually get something like that if you assume a proc rate of about 3% (i.e. ~1ppm with a 1.6 sec weapon) and assume that the proc stacks are not consumed upon parry (see this discussion in the tank spreadsheet thread). Seems like the paladin results were actually from observed uptimes in logs though. From what I've seen, uptimes for warriors are as low as 5% (but it's not always easy to tell). I don't know why things would be different though. Maybe the proc is not on ppm and paladins get off more proc-awarding attacks?

It's certainly not easy to model Blade ward, I made a try in the thread linked above, but I'm getting too high uptimes compared to simulations. Simulations seem to work, and give >0-stack uptimes of about 15-20%, depending on initial parry and boss attack speed. But the simulations have large variances, even for a 1M sec simulation (with 0.1s time steps) you get a resulting average parry rating that varies with 2-3%.

So from what I can tell, your value for Blade ward is an upper limit to its worth.

### #3 JamesVZ

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 02:49 PM

You're also discounting the armor and crit gained from the Mongoose proc, which is basically why I use it over the other options. It's still the all in one tanking enchant, despite its lowered uptime at 80 (I'm showing roughly 30% uptime for myself on Jaraxxus hard).

Not sure either of the other enchants have as much as an impact as Mongoose does over the course of a fight, either, and both can see their value drop depending on the situation. While it might be nice to get up to a 5 stack of Blade Warding while you're waiting to taunt Gormok back, its value is severely diminished on something like say Algalon where your uptime and stacks will be rather pitiful.
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### #4 Zegai

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 03:05 PM

Just to throw a bone here:

I currently tank with mongoose using a buff uptime tracker. It varies a bit, but never reaches 40%. It's somewhere between 20 and 36% (lowest and highest).
It possibly is closer to 30% than 20%, however, since the only possibility for error in the addon tracking is not leaving combat (ie using a total time higher than it should).

You can, of course, test it with a combat dummy, but I'd use full DPS gear to have enough rage to devastate all the way (most attacks/min). I might try that later, as well.

### #5 Gustu

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 07:33 PM

Currently using bladeward as a warrior i almost always have 1 stack up and have gotten up to 5, the proc chance for warriors seems to be a great deal higher then any other tanking class considering the spamming of melee abilities and using a fast 1 hander. Also blood draining is a static amount of health which losses more and more value the bigger your HP pool gets.

### #6 Fellwraith

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 08:30 PM

Currently using bladeward as a warrior i almost always have 1 stack up and have gotten up to 5, the proc chance for warriors seems to be a great deal higher then any other tanking class considering the spamming of melee abilities and using a fast 1 hander. Also blood draining is a static amount of health which losses more and more value the bigger your HP pool gets.

I'd really like to see a parse that backs this up. My own experiences with bladewarding early in 3.1 had it with an uptime of less than 15-20%, even on fights where I was using every GCD (that's just for one stack, not multiple stacks).

Mongoose suffers from DR on avoidance and armor values, but it doesn't have the added disadvantage of "clearing" every time you dodge (like bladewarding does every time you parry). As you get better gear bladewarding also gets progressively worse. Most of the good tanking pieces from ToC and Ulduar are def/dodge/parry, so odds are good you're over 20% parry, which harms the uptime of this enchant and causes it to suffer from DR on the actual avoidance gains.

### #7 Corouthers

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 05:04 AM

Here's a parse of me tanking Loatheb - a pretty good boss to test uptime on. I'm at around 19% base parry I believe.
World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

Shows an 18% uptime on Blade Warding. Yeah, I pretty much feel like I wasted a few hundred gold on the enchant.

### #8 Gustu

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 05:58 AM

I'd really like to see a parse that backs this up. My own experiences with bladewarding early in 3.1 had it with an uptime of less than 15-20%, even on fights where I was using every GCD (that's just for one stack, not multiple stacks).

Mongoose suffers from DR on avoidance and armor values, but it doesn't have the added disadvantage of "clearing" every time you dodge (like bladewarding does every time you parry). As you get better gear bladewarding also gets progressively worse. Most of the good tanking pieces from ToC and Ulduar are def/dodge/parry, so odds are good you're over 20% parry, which harms the uptime of this enchant and causes it to suffer from DR on the actual avoidance gains.

I'll try to get some parses up next time i'm tanking, maybe i'm just lucky or maybe i just don't notice it, but almost every time i look i see bladeward up, though parry does seem a great deal more common along with the parry buff do negatively affect this enchant. Though currently our tanks have around 60k hp so blood draining doesn't look much better =/.

### #9 Healranktwo

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 07:37 AM

I think it's not fair to just look at blood draining and say, "oh ok, it only heals me for X amount of damage when I get below X amount, so it sucks since bosses hit for a bazillion". There is also the fact that blood draining might come along with some other sort of heal at a crucial time, resulting in just enough health to survive. I have definitely seen several instances where I get into a 'next hit kills you' scenario and blood draining happens to heal me just enough with the next heal to turn that situation into two hits instead. Of course, there are also plenty of times that doesn't happen.

The same can really be said for all the enchants. Most people only look at what happens to them AFTER they die, which serves no purpose at all and usually makes all of the enchants look bad. If you live the entire fight, do you go back and look to see if that blade ward/mongoose proc gave you that avoidance you needed to save you? How do you even know for a fact that the avoidance you got from those procs are the reason you avoided said attack?

I think it's more ideal to classify the enchants into categories rather than trying to find the actual merit of said enchant. There's far too many variables to consider, and using simple laid out situations and scenarios to justify them just doesn't seem like a good idea imo.

### #10 Kethas

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 01:02 PM

Jamesvz, thank you for the prodding on factoring in Mongoose armor. I originally left it alone because I was worried it'd be hard to model but it ended up being a snap. It has the interesting result of making Mongoose perform almost identically to Blade Warding from a tank survival standpoint (see revamped OP; I also updated Mongoose's uptime). I wonder if that's just chance or some very careful balancing on the part of Blizzard. I'm deliberately not including Mongoose crit/Blade Warding proc damage/etc. as I'm strictly trying to determine the best survival tanking enchant.

Another interesting conclusion I've reached (and one that is, for now, selling me on Blood Draining) is that, in the long run, Mongoose and Blade Warding will mitigate roughly as much damage per second as Blood Draining will heal (assuming you use the stacks and don't let a fivestack heal sit idle). More math:

Blade Warding is 1.64% absolute parry chance after DR, with 26% uptime, for 0.43% time-averaged absolute avoidance.
Mongoose is 1.19% absolute dodge chance after DR, with 30% uptime, for 0.36% time-averaged absolute avoidance. It's also 0.53% relative mitigation, again with 30% uptime, for 0.16% time-averaged relative mitigation.

Assume 40% of attacks land (probably overestimating the tank's avoidance; note that increasing the proportion of hits that land weakens the relative value of Blade Warding's and Mongoose's absolute avoidance). If the boss swings once every two seconds and hits for 20k, in ten seconds he'll connect twice for 40k.

On average, over ten seconds:
• Blade Warding will help us avoid (0.43% / 40%) * 40k = 430 of that.
• Mongoose will help us avoid (0.36% / 40%) * 40k = 360 of that, and will mitigate (40k - 360) * (0.16%) = 63 of the rest, for 423 damage avoided/mitigated.
• Blood Draining will tick a buff stack worth a 400 heal.

I'd always assumed that, given the "smart" nature of Blood Draining's heal, Blizzard would never let it heal as much per second on average as Mongoose/Blade Ward mitigate (which suffer from mitigating damage in a very unpredictable manner - they're procs, and even when they proc they're subject to the random nature of avoidance). This assumption led to my chief objection to the scenario described in the OP - it doesn't "credit" avoidance enchants for avoidance that occurs before this do-or-die scenario crops up. For example, if Mongoose helps me avoid the 20k hit that would have taken me from 50k to 30k, I might never even get to the point where I'm oneshottable, but the test in the OP didn't account for this and thus (in my mind) undervalued avoidance enchants. I spent a good hour working on a post that would try to quantify the comparison between Blood Draining's value (in my mind) in do-or-die scenarios vs. Mongoose/Blade Ward's value (in my mind) over longer stretches. I then stumbled upon the above comparison of damage healed/avoided per second.

So, not only is Blood Draining better in do-or-die scenarios, but it performs equivalently to Mongoose/Blade Warding over longer windows. Until someone presents convincing evidence to the contrary I'm now firmly in the Blood Draining camp (under the scenarios described in the OP, strictly as a tank survivability enchant, higher damage will make avoidance buffs more valuable, disclaimer disclaimer etc etc).

### #11 Focus

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 08:22 AM

The reason why I stopped using Blood Draining was because of how often I was beeing brought down below 35%, and on hard modes it's just too often, for example while tanking Anub'Arak on hard mode (25), the ammount of times you drop below 35% is just too high and the time between those sub-35% HP situations is just too small, so you're basically constantly consuming the proc when it's stacked to 1/2/3/4 which makes it in my PoV and without mathematical support, not worth it.

If someone could create a tool where we'd insert the value of our raid buffed HP, and then, with the information from a WoL parse create a graphic of the tank HP during a boss fight, with the time beeing on "X" and the HP value on "Y" axis we would be able to see in a more friendly way the impact of blood draining.

A decent way to check its behaviour is to go to any WoL parse that contains a tank using Blood Draining, select the whole parse, then go to the log browser, add a query to the spell "Blood Reserve", run it and take your own conclusions.

### #12 Guest_Aggronautt_*

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 07:30 PM

I personally use Mongoose on my tanking weapon. It has a decent uptime.
I don't think anyone can honestly say that Blade Warding is a good enchant. The best tank on our server doesn't use it. The uptime is just not enough to make it effective, in my opinion.

### #13 silversword

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 07:34 PM

There is also one thing you didn't take into account : blood draining only work under 35%. Moongoose / bladeward are avoidance. If you don't take the blow that bring you to 35%, the next one cannot kill you. So BW/Moongoose value is higher than what the calculations show in term of survival - saying nothing about threat generation.

edit : There's something else : blood draining has a larger chance to save you from that final blow, but will leave you with 1 to 2,000 HP. That means that, for a 15k blow, your healer will have to throw 13001-15000 HP before the next strike in order to ensure your survival. Moongoose/blade ward will save you less often from that killing blow, but if they do you will not take any damage at all, so the various HoTs you recieve/minor heals may be enough to get your HP above 15k and thus saving you from the next strike.

### #14 Feitur

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:20 AM

There is also one thing you didn't take into account : blood draining only work under 35%. Moongoose / bladeward are avoidance. If you don't take the blow that bring you to 35%, the next one cannot kill you. So BW/Moongoose value is higher than what the calculations show in term of survival - saying nothing about threat generation.

ThatÂ´s not all. If we say blade warding gives us 2% migation and if we also say that 2% migation reduce damage taken all over the fight by 2% in general we will see the following effects:

- taking 2% less damage doesnÂ´t save one healer so our healer will do 2% more overheal

- 2% evasion only helps on migatable damage (casts or impale wonÂ´t be affected)

-2% migation occur through the whole fight. So - even if we got 100% health - we will migate allthough it is not "important"

- mongoose will give us a armor bonus that helps us reducing taken damage all over the time <- good job

So we may come to the solution (without having done extremly maths) that blood draining occurs not always BUT only if needed. If we take the given numbers above and if we believe that they are coorect (i do) there is no reason 4 taking mongoose or blade warding

so iÂ´d prefer 400 heal if needed over having 430 damage avoid while beeing at 50k life

### #15 mjball

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 03:21 PM

Last night I ran some target dummy tests, using Procodile to measure uptime of a couple of procs. I was using ; note it is not a 1.6 speed weapon. Standing behind a level 60 target dummy (to completely avoid misses, etc), I used only autoattacks.

After 2600 melee swings, Procodile measured an uptime on Blade Ward of 17.03%, a cooldown of 10 seconds, at 0.89 PPM.

Can I expect to see similiar uptime and PPM while tanking a real boss, given that I was not using any special abilities? I'm not sure if I might see higher uptime/PPM due to abilities like devastate, which increase the frequency of "attacks."

### #16 kahalm

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 04:50 PM

The number of proccs will be higher (more haste/more attacks) uptime depends on your parrychance.

### #17 Gruntle

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 08:24 AM

Last night I ran some target dummy tests, using Procodile to measure uptime of a couple of procs. I was using ; note it is not a 1.6 speed weapon. Standing behind a level 60 target dummy (to completely avoid misses, etc), I used only autoattacks.

After 2600 melee swings, Procodile measured an uptime on Blade Ward of 17.03%, a cooldown of 10 seconds, at 0.89 PPM.

Can I expect to see similiar uptime and PPM while tanking a real boss, given that I was not using any special abilities? I'm not sure if I might see higher uptime/PPM due to abilities like devastate, which increase the frequency of "attacks."

Thanks for testing it, 0.89 measured PPM probably means that it is on a 1PPM mechanic like everything else. Instants will of course get the uptime up a fair bit (you're basically doubling your number of attacks over a given time period). With a 1.6 sec weapon your proc chance per hit will be ~1/60*1.6=0.0267. The total number of hits (white+yellows) in 60 sec is 60/1.5+60/1.6=77.5 (should of course be modified by miss/dodge/parry chances) which means that you will get 1.29 procs per minute with the specials included.

In a real boss fight the uptime will go up a bit due to the instants but the fact that the buff is consumed on parry will make the uptime go down considerably (hence why I think assuming a 26% uptime is way too high).

### #18 frmorrison

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 05:05 PM

I know this is a Warrior thread, but just to show the other side Paladins have about a 50% uptime on Mongoose. It has to do with Judgement of the Just (the melee slow) and SoV stack refresh counting as hidden melee attacks, so Pallies have more attacks per second than a Warrior.

### #19 tenshender

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:26 AM

Enjoyed raiding with you in the past kethas, i think you overlooked the 26 agi to weapon enchant, or dismissed it as inferior. I realize that it gives less avoidance/survivability in the short term, but it is guaranteed avoidance, 100% uptime. On my tank it gives about .25% dodge, and about .35% crit. While you might say that this is less than the average avoidance gained by mongoose or bladeward, it is consistent avoidance, there is no waiting for that chance proc and getting owned by the boss because the uptime on the enchant is bad. Blood draining is a great enchant and u can argue it gives better survivability that .25% avoidance but u can't measure the amount of times the .25% would avoid a crucial hit to keep you ABOVE 35% health or save you from a killing blow below 30% because its just not a measurable quantity. Personally ill bet on the sure thing, a solid small amount of avoidance over a proc, and the little extra threat doesn't hurt.

### #20 Executation

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 08:00 AM

Tenshender,

I think the important term you used was "guaranteed avoidance," and, of course, we know that no avoidance is guaranteed. Like you said with your statement on average avoidance, I think we can build a formula using chance to proc, along with internal cd, and then the buff's added avoidance chance. Then compare.

I think the premiere weapon enchant for warriors pre-ICC is blood draining, simply because when the full 5 stacks is used it's a huge % of our current overall health.

THIS IS BLOOD DRAININGS AVERAGE HEAL, assuming always 5 stacks
(360+440)/2 = 400*5 = 2000

Assume 45000 health 25 man raid buffed (not the best gear yet)

2000/45000 = 4.4%

Let's assume that about 1/5 of the times you are reduced below 35% health you have full 5 stacks.

20% * 4.4% = .88%

Now let's compare to 26 agil to weap. You said it gives you an extra .25% to dodge:

Anub'arak hits for 27500 on average in 25 man.

.25% * 27500 = 68.75

68.75/45000 = .15%

In order for 26 agil to weap to be even equal to blood draining, you would have to see full 5 stacks less than 1 time out of every 25 times you are reduced to below 35%.

It's a function of how hard the boss is going to hit you and how much stamina you have. (And how often you'll be at full stacks when reduced to below 35%) The more stamina you have or the harder the boss is going to hit you, the less Blood Draining is worth compared to other enchants.

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