A lot of guides from places like Elitist Jerks and Maintankadin will throw around various “cap” numbers – Expertise Cap, Hit Cap, and others. But what are these “caps”, and what numbers do you need to hit them? No worries – we’ve got a complete guide to Paladin tank caps right here.
Paladin Block Cap
When we refer to being “block capped” or “pushing hits off the table”, we’re talking about having enough Block, Dodge and Parry that the boss cannot hit you without you blocking the blow. Here’s a detailed introduction to the topic of the Attack Table if you want to know a lot more, but the summary is that if our block, dodge and parry percentages plus the straight 5% miss chance equal 102.4%, the boss cannot hit us without some of his hit being blocked.
Thus, we’re block capped at that point. Our Block goes up as a direct result of our Mastery score.
Once we reach 97.4% block+dodge+parry, we can no longer gain any more advantage from stacking Mastery, and should instead stack Parry, Dodge or Stamina.
For most people, that point won’t occur until you’re in full Firelands gear at least, but it can happen.
Paladin Parry and Dodge “caps”
Parry and Dodge don’t actually have a cap, or at least not one that’s reachable right now. However, they fairly rapidly hit a point where it’s more beneficial to have Mastery than Parry or Dodge.
Assuming you’re using Holy Shield reasonably effectively, that point is at 12.76% Dodge or Parry. Most tanks will get to that fairly quickly. At that point, you’re better to reforge Parry and/or Dodge into Mastery.
Both stats get steadily less effective the more you have of them, in addition, so if your Parry is far higher than your Dodge, it’s worth reforging it into Dodge if you can’t reforge to Mastery (or if you’ve hit the Block cap, theoretically).
Paladin Tank Hit Cap
The hit cap is the amount of Hit you need in order to never miss a boss. For raid bosses, this is 8%, or 960 Hit Rating. Draenai get a 1% bonus to hit, meaning that for them, it’s 840.
For Heroics, you only need 6% Hit, or 720.
It’s worth noting that as a tank you probably won’t need to be Hit-Capped for raids – it’s better to put stats into mitigation (Dodge, Parry, Mastery) unless you’re having major threat problems. However, in Heroic dungeons with incautious DPS, additional Hit Rating can be very useful up to the cap.
Paladin Tank Expertise Cap
Expertise prevents a mob from parrying or dodging. At 26 Expertise, a level 88 raid boss will no longer be able to dodge. Theoretically, if you get to 56 Expertise a boss will also no longer be able to parry – however, most people would advise simply getting to the so-called “soft cap” at 26.
As a Paladin, the Glyph of Seal of Truth grants us 10 base Expertise, meaning we only need 16 Expertise to cap. Expertise Rating turns into Expertise at a rate of 30 per point, so we need 480 Expertise total to hit the Expertise Cap.
Again, unless you’re having threat problems, Expertise isn’t a real issue in raids. In dungeons, you only need 22 Expertise, 360 Expertise Rating, to cap, but it’s likely to be very useful.
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