Instance Tanking Gear Guide (Levels 75-80)

Continuing my last article which featured all the pieces to keep your eyes out for from the moment you step off the zeppelin/boat, we pick up the Northrend Pre-Heroic Instancing Gear Guide with a look at Drak’tharon Keep, The Violet Hold, and Gundrak. Rochelle has already written up a great guide for those heading into Naxxramas and what you’ll need from the Ulduar instances as well as Heroics. This guide will bridge the gap between the first sets of instances of Northrend and everything you’ll need to watch for before you begin raiding. Let’s get it on!

    Drak’Tharon Keep

Trollgore – Nothing tanky
Novos the SummonerSummoner’s Stone Gavel is debatably useful for a tank. The hit rating is, of course, rather nice. However with no other stats (Stamina in particular) and a slow 2.3 speed, you might be better served letting this fall to someone else who can make better use of it.
King Dred – Can’t WAIT for this boss fight. Gotta love Devilsaurs. Bear types, keep a sharp eye out for Scabrous-Hide Helm, a very nice Head piece for those of the Feral persuasion.
The Prophet Tharon’ja – All lore associated with them aside (for those who don’t know, Muradin Bronzebeard was a main character in the Alliance campaign of WCIII, and is part of the infamous Bronzebeard clan of Dwarves, currently ruling Ironforge, but I digress…) Muradin’s Lost Greaves are definitely on my wish list.

    The Violet Hold

(There are only ever three bosses in this instance on any given run. The first 2 are randomly selected from the 6 listed below. The last is always Cyanigosa)
ErekemScreeching Cape should fit nicely on any tank’s back, regardless of class.
MoraggShoulderplates of the Beholder will doubtlessly cause Moragg to be a hopeful spawn for any party tanked by a Warrior, Death Knight or Paladin.
Ichiron – In addition to being kinda creepy lookin, this Revenant boss also drops Handguards of Rapid Pursuit, a very nice Hands piece for Ferals.
Xevozz – Has Riot Shield and hopefully the same death animation as all the BC Space Mummies as well! Do yourself a favor and actually check the link so you can see a screenie of this shield. Prior to appearing in WotLK, the Riot Shield seperated East and West Berlin for a few years.
Lavanthor – Nothing of tanking interest here on normal mode. Great trinket on heroic though.
Zuramat the Obliterator – Man, if Moragg and Zuramat spawned on the same run, I’d be one happy dude. Hooray for Void Sentry Legplates.
CyanigosaPlate Claws of the Dragon COULD be yours if you complete the entire run. This sounds like a very fun instance and certainly has the most tank drops out of any of the instances I’ve looked at so far. And, with the random boss generator, I’m sure it will get run OFTEN. There’s an achievement for downing all 6 of the random bosses too, for all you Obsessive Completionist achievement fiends out there.


Slad’ran – No tank drops… fight sounds entertaining though!
MoorabiForlorn Breastplate of War isn’t bad.. looks a little more Fury than Prot, but if it’s going to be DE’ed or Vendored, better off in your hands.
Drakkari ColossusShoulderguards of the Ice Troll look pretty awesome, Bears.
Gal’darahGal’darah’s Signet is good Finger-slot news for all tanks.
There is also a Heroic-Mode only boss in this dungeon named Eck the Ferocious.. looks like a big, angry Murloc. Enjoy that.

SO there you have it, gang. We’ve held hands through all the instances up to Ulduar’s Halls of Stone & Halls of Lightning (79-80) at which point you should be looking for drops to get you over the Heroic Hump and into Naxxramas itself. Good luck up there, and may blue tanking drops fall plentifully for you


  1. Is there a reason that you list a lot of DPS-plate gear in your guide? Around all the plate drops listed so far there’s hardly anything with +def on it.

  2. Mostly because there are no drops w/ +DEF on them. At least not at this level. There may be quest reward stuff w/ +DEF, but by and large it just isn’t available in the normal mode 70-78 instances. There’s plenty to be found in the 80 instances and heroics (see Rochelle’s guide). Not to mention, the extra DPS from this plate will help a ton with levelling, which is probably a primary goal for most people running these instances.

  3. There’s some easy heroics that you can do once you hit 80 to get some nice upgrades. I’m still making the list. I’ll try to post to help out tanks who are still leveling.

  4. I picked up last night.

  5. Good lookin’ ring. I’ve already informed my guildies that we WILL be running Heroic UP until I’m wielding

  6. Haha, yeah Urago, that sword is pretty damn sweet. It looks awesome, too. I did my third Pinnacle run yesterday, and it wasn’t among the loot (again). I do however plan on using the incredible tank shortage on our server (seems like it went from a healer shortage to a tank shortage) to run that instance every day.

    Be sure to practice it on non heroic though. Especially the third boss.

  7. what is the min. +defense rateing a warrior should have before trying any Heroic?

  8. When I started doing heroics I wore a little bit of resilience gear and I was still wearing a bunch of level 70 gear so I was around 0.75% away from the crit cap.
    To be uncrittable by heroic bosses you need 535, but if you are feeling lucky and/or have a lot of faith in your healers, you can go in with less than that. If you have less than 500 defense, you can get lucky and kill a few bosses without getting crit, but you might get unlucky and get your face smahed repeatedly so I wouldn’t recommend it.

  9. Ãurelius says:

    i have a 80 pally tank, i started tanking heroics then i was at 505 def rating
    my bro was a pimp priest tho,
    tolk me 6 runs to get the sword in UP
    it tolk me 1 run of GD to get all the gear in there, it tolk me 1 run for shield in H strat.
    if you know a good healer you can run most heroics i would start with GD you will need a good healer and 3 vary strong dps, after you get the gear from there try going H strat, for the shield(you can also buy the titan shild thats ok to start with)
    next i would start runing H UP for sword.
    there is also alot of gear you can buy from ah to get to 520 def rating.

  10. i got Void Sentry Legplates, Plate claws of the dragon, and Shoulderplates of the beholder in one round of Violet Hold :)