Anub’Arak, a fight where blocking actually *gasp* helps

You know how it is, you wait all expansion for that shield block set that you had like a big clunking lump in your bags to actually be useful and then, for a shining moment, it actually happens. Well, maybe in my dreams.

Apparently warriors with top of the line block value sets are trivialising the heroic version of Anub’Arak, who is currently the end boss of the hardest version of the new raid instance.The trick is that they actually don’t hit very hard, it’s their debuff that magnifies the damage, so if you can reliably block all of the direct hit … you can take no damage at all.

If you want to try this at home, you will need enough block rating on your gear so that the total of your miss+parry+dodge+block as a percentage is at least 100%.  Because there isn’t a lot of gear in Wrath with block rating, that means an epic gear hunt.

Putting together a blocking set

If you would like to put a blocking set together, here’s a few key points to remember:

  1. Block value is not the same as block rating. But generally both are desirable in a blocking set, it may depend on your specific goals.
  2. You still need to hit the defence cap, the expertise cap, and the hit cap. You may need to switch gems, enchants, and trinkets around. This will inevitably mean that you will have much less stamina in a blocking set — you don’t get something for nothing.
  3. You can actually apply a filter to wowhead to search for gear with a specific stat. Here’s a list of level 78-80 gear with block value on it.
  4. IT’S NOT VERY USEFUL. A blocking set is a gimmick set — so do it for fun, do it to see what happens, do it because you’re bored, but don’t do it because you feel you must. Unless of course you’d like to play hardcore and copy Premonition‘s amazing shield tank who inspired the thread linked to above.
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10 thoughts on “Anub’Arak, a fight where blocking actually *gasp* helps

  1. Hmm. If I get burrower duty tonight (doubtful, since we have four tanks in rotation and I’m in the “loldps” slot this week) I’ll wear my 2400 SBV set instead of my full-on tank set and see what happens. We did sort of find out about this last week when we had a very well-geared DK tanking two burrowers on 25 normal and he died. A lot.

  2. My general experience is that stacking debuff really sucks, and goes up particularly fast once you have two spawn. My recollection is that you still get the debuff even if you block.

  3. How on earth would you interrupt the shadow step thing that they are supposed to do in heroic? That would put it at like a 1 second cast time.

    • I suspect this was probably based on using rogues with FoK spam before that got fixed. It is discussed in the thread. I just thought it was amusing to see they used a blocking set really.

  4. You are such a cunning tank! :) Awww, I would so like to ressurrect you and bring you back to the lush forests of Elwynn and a prosperous human life! :)

    I always like it when people find out smart strategies for raid encounters. Though Blizzard goes a “not special gear, but the strategy” route nowadays, this exception is rather special indeed in this regard.

  5. Eh, I’m sure it’ll be nerfed at some point. Remember back in Vanilla when Tanks with … 4(?) piece tier 2 could off tank Patchwerk and never get hit because of the way the parry bonus worked? Awesomesauce.

  6. Pingback: Four whole seconds to spare « Achtung Panzercow

  7. The issue isn’t that you don’t get the debuff applied, you still do, but the bug is when the debuff multiplier is applied. Normally with debuffs like this is that the damage is multiplied, then you block. For example, the boss swings for 2k, with ten stacks, it’s multiplied to 6k, and then you block for 2.4k, and take 3.6k. However, with this debuff, it’s multiplied after you block, so the burrower swings for 2k, you block for 1.8k, the damage is multiplied to 600, which you then take.

    If you build a passively unhittable block set, you can tank as many mobs as you want, and take minimal damage.

  8. The key is to have a passively Unhittable block set as The Renaissance Man stated. It is very difficult to obtain and requires quite a bit of novelty pieces to get you there. Also it does work just as well on pallys.

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