With patch 2.3 came Weapon Expertise to add yet another confusing stat to the mix for tanks. Don’t get me wrong, I like a chance at deeper gameplay in any fashion and am very happy with the addition.
So let’s first take a look at exactly what Weapon Expertise is.
One point of Expertise decreases the chance that melee attacks made by the player will be dodged or parried by 0.25%.
Items do not add Expertise directly, but add to Expertise Rating. At level 70, every 3.9 points of expertise rating grants one point of expertise.
For a tank, the importance of Weapon Expertise is two fold. One, it will directly increase your threat through more melee attacks that land, and two, it will directly increase your survivability due to Parry Mechanics.
When a boss parries your attack, it reduces the default swing timer of the bosses next main hand attack. Based on the time during the bosses swing timer that the parry occurs, it can cause a boss to appear to attack in rapid succession, dealing burst damage to the tank, and is often the cause of those ‘OMG WHAT HAPPENED?’ type of insta gibs.
So how much Weapon Expertise is needed? It is commonly accepted that a bosses dodge rate against attacks is 5.6%. Parry rates are not precisely known, but believed to be around 11% (perhaps 5.6 x 2). In order to lower a bosses dodge and parry by the initial 5.6%, you will need 22.4 Weapon Expertise. However, since ratings are rounded down, you actually need 23 Weapon Expertise, or 91 Weapon Expertise Rating to prevent all dodges. In order to prevent all parries, you will need in the neighborhood of 44 weapon expertise, or 172 expertise rating.
So where is one to get all of the Weapon Expertise? Unfortunately there is not a ton of Weapon Expertise rating gear floating around.
[item]Shapeshifter’s Signet[/item] (20) – Exalted with Lower City
[item]Bracers of the Ancient Phalanx[/item] (22) – 35 x [item]Badge of Justice[/item]
[item]Brooch of Deftness[/item] (21) – 35 x [item]Badge of Justice[/item]
[item]Gauntlets of Enforcement[/item] (21) – Teron Gorefiend – Black Temple
[item]Mallet of the Tides[/item] (14) – The Lurker Below – Serpentshrine Cavern
[item]Fang of Vashj[/item] (21) – Lady Vashj – Serpentshrine Cavern
[item]The Brutalizer[/item] (21) – Supremus – Black Temple
There are several other items, particularly leather and other weapons that have Weapon Expertise Rating, so take a look at this filtered list from WoWHead.
In addition, Orcs and Humans also gain Weapon Expertise Rating racial bonuses, axes for Orcs and swords and maces for Humans, which adds 5 Weapon Expertise Rating in each case