Given the large amount of different stats you need to juggle once you hit 85, it’s not all that unheard of for a new tank to be a little confused as to which stats are more important than others. This isn’t something that you should really be muddled about though, not if you want to be an effective tank.
Tanking is more than just executing the mechanics of holding threat and surviving. Like all the other classes, picking and choosing between your various upgrades for the greatest benefit to what you need at the time is also important and for that, you will need a solid understanding of which stats to shoot for and which you can afford to let slide.
We’ll take our first look at the host of survivability stats and rank them in order of effectiveness. First and foremost is stamina. Stamina is king and despite that it’s on every piece of gear, you should be doing what you can to tack on more of it through the use of gems and enchantments. Remember that if you’re ever in doubt about what sort of gem or enchantment to go for, you can never really go too wrong with stamina. At later gear levels, another stat like mastery might take to the front but for a general purpose answer, stamina is king. You need to have enough of it to live through the periods of unavoidable burst damage that will come through that cannot be mitigated by your other defensive stats.
Following stamina, mastery is what you should go for next as it will provide a direct increase to how much less damage you’ll take from physical sources and seeing as how there’s yet to be a boss that’s built entirely on magical damage, you’re pretty safe to pile on the mastery once you’ve reached a comfortable health pool.
Following quite a ways behind stamina and mastery are parry and dodge. Between the two of them, you’re going to want to make sure that your parry rating stays ahead of your dodge due to it’s synergy with the Hold the Line talent. Remember that while you should rate parry over dodge, you shouldn’t let parry get too far ahead due to diminishing returns. So try to keep them roughly even and keep parry a few percent above dodge to maximize your survivability.
Following these survival stats, the threat stats are what you should consider next.
While these are important, keep in mind that in 90% of the cases, your ability to hold threat is secondary to your survival so gear for these stats accordingly.
The cap on these stats are fairly easy to follow. You can only get up to 26 expertise skill before it becomes near useless and your hit rating will cap at 8% (961 rating).
If past experience is any clear example, it’s important to note that as a tank, you’ll likely not come anywhere near both of these caps until we near the end of this expansion.
When you’re choosing your upgrades, remember that while your threat stats are important, in almost all cases, they’re completely secondary to your survival so if you need to completely ignore expertise and hit just to be able to pull together enough survival stats to live through various phases of the encounters, that is exactly what you should be doing.