This week, I was unable to attend our guild's heroic Naxxramas run, and as (inevitably) such, my highly coveted Broken Promise dropped for our other warrior tank. Congratulations to him, but seeing him equip it without changing any of his current gear or spec got me thinking: apart from the obvious item level upgrade, what good is this sword actually going to be for him?
Said sword is, as most people can see, obviously intended as a Death Knight main hand for dual-wielding. The slow speed makes it a difficult warrior item to use properly - it is by all means a very good weapon, but to use it properly, it's one of those items you "don't just equip", you build around it. It has offensive stats and an INSANE top end, but rage generation will be flaky due to the slow speed. As such, you're dependent on white attacks hitting fairly often, making Expertise and Hit Rating even more important than they already are. To fully allow this sword to shine, you need to build your set around the idea that you will hit slow, hit hard, and make it count - every single time.
Items such as Signet of the Impregnable Fortress and Grim Toll are obvious pieces to consider for such a set, but you still want to build even towards an even higher extreme - the idea should be to squeeze every last little DPS out of your overall gear while at the same time balancing a fine line around the mandatory 540 defence. As such, items such as Undiminished Battleplate with a +22 defence enchant is suddenly viable, as is using an armour enchant over a defence enchant on your cloak to pump up your Armoured To The Teeth base total. Gemming agility over dodge in red sockets wil boost your crit (allowing a higher Deep Wounds uptime total) at the cost of some dodge, but let's be honest - this set really is about hitting back almost as hard as you're being hit already.
So what's the point of all this? To illustrate the full diversity of warrior tanking in the current World of Warcraft meta, of course. Looking at the top tanks in the top guilds both sides of the Atlantic might give you the impression that high end raiding is set in stone (both gear choices, enchants and specs have taken a disgusting and uniform monotony of late), but I aim to disagree. The current content isn't so hard its demanding role-stacking or pure stamina builds. There is no Brutallus-like DPS races demanding leatherworking mages with an arsenal of drums in Wrath of the Lich King. Playing the tank is, in my opinion, more open to diversity and experimentation now than it ever was. There is always the option of being the "best" - gaining the highest possible avoidance while at the same time keeping your maximum unbuffed HP aove 30K - but really, guys: wouldn't you rather beat the shit out of monsters with a dildo-shaped sword and a huge fucking shield instead if you had the chance?
I know I would.