While Cataclysm heroic dungeons aren’t as frightening as they were when the expansion first came out, Cataclysm heroic dungeon bosses are still far less forgiving than their Wrath of the Lich King counterparts. The experience you gain from tanking regular Cataclysm dungeons will help prepare you for the heroic versions, but you’ll also need a solid set of tanking gear. Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you gear up your tank for heroic Cataclysm dungeons.
Start With A Solid Talent Spec & Glyphs
Once you’ve reached level 85, it’s a good idea to retool your talents and see if there’s anything that needs improvement. If you’re not familiar with which tanking talents are the best for your class, find a good tank of your class and take a look at their spec. Ask yourself why they chose specific talents, and try to understand their mode of thinking. WoWPopular.com is a great website to check out all the most popular talent & glyph selections that people are using.
Don’t Fudge the Item Level
You can’t queue up for Cataclysm heroic dungeons until your item level is 329 (346 for Zandalari heroics). While it may be tempting to buy a piece of PvP or off-spec gear to get you to the required item level faster, this will end up hurting you a lot as you are newly geared. You need PvE tank stats that PvP gear and DPS gear don’t have. If healer in the group is also using PvP gear to fudge his item level, you will be in for a very rough run! When putting together a set of tanking gear, make sure the stats on every item are correct for your class and role.
Stack Avoidance When Possible
While the best specific avoidance stats (Dodge, Parry, Mastery) may vary from class to class, using them to your advantage may be what keeps you alive during a difficult boss fight. Reforging, gems, enchants, and other item enhancements will play an important role in ensuring your (and your group’s) survivability in Cataclysm heroics. While it may have been commonplace to stack lots of stamina in previous expansions, avoidance is the way to go in Cataclysm.
Where to Get Gear Upgrades
There are many ways to get Cataclysm gear. Completing the quests for each Cataclysm dungeons will give you a few pieces of starting gear to work with, as will the Cataclysm reputation factions you encounter while questing. Wearing a Cataclysm faction tabard in regular mode level 85 dungeons will raise your reputation with that faction. If you’ve done all the quests, ran all the dungeons, and still are missing tank pieces – pay a visit the Justice Quartermaster in Stormwind or Orgrimmar. Lastly, you can always hire a crafter or go shopping at the auction house, depending on the size of your budget!