BFA Tank Trinket Guide
Contributions by Emallson, Sinzhu, Zoukon, Kanka, and more
Welcome to PeakofSerenity's BFA Tank Trinket Guide. This guide will cover dungeon, raid, and select world trinkets. It will not discuss trinkets with strictly dps effects. While this guide includes some monk-specific notes, the intent is to provide guidance for selecting trinkets in an informed way, on a situational basis. The basic principles outlined here for choosing trinkets are common to all tanks.
This guide has been updated for Patch 8.1.0 and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information.
In terms of gearing, only you can know what the correct trinket setup is for you, with your level of skill, in your role in your raid group, on the fights you are progressing. Some tanks are comfortable running full offensive setups, and others may need or want to play in a more defensively-oriented manner.
The purpose of this guide is to help you approach your gearing decisions in an informed way. We will touch briefly on how to evaluate offensive trinkets, but these are fairly straightforward to analyze. Therefore, the bulk of this content will be to discuss the survivability benefits of trinkets.
Trinkets often come in a variety different shapes and sizes. However, for the purposes of discussion, they can mostly be broken down into a few common categories. These categories can and do overlap, and any one trinket may fall into multiple categories.
In this guide, we’ll be discussing active or on-use effects versus passive effects, stat effects, and absorb and healing effects. Active or on-use trinkets refer to those with effects you can activate on demand; passive trinkets are those with static bonuses or proc effects. Stat effects may be passive or active, but their main or only benefit is to grant some amount of stats. Similarly, absorb or healing effects may be passive or active, but they will grant absorbs or healing as either a proc or on-use effect.
Defensively, passive stat gains are typically lackluster. However, depending on the type of effect, some can still be of decent value.
While this guide is hosted on Peak of Serenity and includes some monk-specific notes, this guide is intended to be useful for all tank specs. The methods of analysis and gearing strategies are applicable to tanks in general. Refer to class-specific resources to determine the relative value of different stat-based trinkets.
While resources such as WarcraftLogs, Bloodmallet and HeroDamage are useful for determining which trinkets are generally high-value, it’s unlikely you’ll be comparing each trinket at the same ilvl, or that you’ll be able to get some of them at a competitive ilvl at all — in particular, notice the world quest trinkets, which are rated very highly but very difficult to get at a good ilvl.
Furthermore, stat weights fluctuate from character to character, and a trinket that may rank highly for one player may be outperformed by a different trinket for another player. To determine which trinkets are best for you, the best option is to sim.
However, remember that sims are not perfectly accurate, and that the results are most accurate for a fight that matches the parameters of the sim as closely as possible.
To evaluate trinkets defensively, we first have to understand what the trinkets will do for our survivability. It’s typical to evaluate survivability in two steps: first, by looking at a fight’s damage profile and determining if there are any particularly dangerous periods; second, by looking at the amount of raw damage taken and healing required.
This fits relatively neatly into active vs passive trinkets. If there’s a particularly dangerous period in a fight, you’ll want an active trinket that helps to mitigate that damage. It may be a flat stat boost, it may be an absorb shield, etc. You may use it to cover a gap in your CD rotation or to supplement a minor CD or external. Consider these trinkets to be tools to help shore up vulnerabilities in your class’s kit, and pick the one that fits the job. The best trinket will have the right type of defensive combined with a cooldown that’s short enough to fit your needs.
Passive trinkets are usually either flat bonuses or procs. Flat bonuses are appropriate when you’ve identified and handled all dangerous periods during the fight and are simply looking to reduce the amount of healer attention and mana you need. At this point your next step is to identify the type of damage and the best way for your class to handle that damage. Passive bonuses come in many forms but commonly appear as stats (primary stat, armor, stamina, secondary stats), on-hit damage reduction, or healing. Refer to your class resources for details on situational stat priorities.
There is a special category of passive trinkets that activate when a certain set of conditions are met. These trinkets typically have effects such as absorbs or armor when you fall below a certain percentage of health, or a cheat-death. The major shortcoming of this type of trinket is that you can’t necessarily control when they activate, and often they’ll proc after the danger has passed (not before, when the effect would be most useful). Depending on your class and the encounter, it is sometimes possible to play around these effects and proc them on demand; however, this is less reliable than a standard active trinket with a similar effect. If you have the choice between a passive and an active trinket with similar (defensive) effects, it’s generally worthwhile to take the active trinket simply because you have better control over it—even if the active trinket has worse numbers.
Damage Reduction versus Self-Healing
Sometimes you might end up in a position of comparing a trinket that provides healing against a trinket that provides an equivalent amount of damage reduction. In these situations, you should generally prefer the damage reduction.
There are several reasons to prefer damage reduction over healing. First, raw healing doesn’t always translate into useful healing. Especially for trinkets, where the healing output is often in the form of a slow trickle or an infrequent proc, some of the healing you expect may turn out to overheal and be wasted instead. Infrequent procs have the additional downside of creating unpredictability for healers, because they (and you!) don’t necessarily know when you’re about to get a nice big heal proc, and they may end up over- or underestimating the amount of danger you’re actually in.
In contrast, damage reduction can reduce unpredictability rather than create it; even when you do get lucky procs and find yourself mitigating more than you expected, your health bar simply moves less than you expected it to, and the healer has more time to heal others or do dps. Damage reduction naturally helps to reduce the spikiness of your damage intake, and works multiplicatively with stamina to increase your effective health (more on this later), and while the effects of increased effective health are hard to measure definitively, we know they’re impactful.
Healing can certainly be competitive with damage reduction — Blood DKs exist and are viable despite focusing more on healing than mitigation. However, they have the benefit of having a great deal of control over their self-healing, as well as having access to a powerful safety net in the form of Purgatory, should they need it.
The value of stamina is hard to weigh objectively. As tanks, we know we need a certain amount of it. However, stamina doesn’t do anything to mitigate damage or increase healing (with the exception of spells that heal for a percentage of max HP). Instead, it increases our health pool, and by extension our effective health (EHP).
Having high effective health is important for two general reasons: 1) it’s necessary for surviving effective health checks, and 2) it improves a tank’s overall margin of safety.
Effective health checks are a fairly common type of tank mechanic, and as the name implies they’re simply mechanics that require a certain amount of effective health to survive. Damage reduction and stamina work together to increase EHP; high damage reduction can compensate for a small health pool, and a large health pool can compensate for lower damage reduction. If you are struggling to meet an EHP check, additional stamina is an easy way to increase your EHP.
Margin of safety is less straightforward. Your effective health is essentially the amount of damage you can take before you die, or before you require healing. Healers have a little more time to react to you taking damage, you have a little more time to escape and kite, you can handle the melee before or after an EHP check, etc. It allows a little extra room for error as you learn encounters, or to account for bad parry/block/dodge RNG.
So, that leads us to the bottom line with stamina: it’s extremely valuable when it decreases the chance of your death, until the point where you have “enough” EHP. Beyond that, it’s less valuable than other stats which would reduce the amount of healing you require or increase your DPS.
When do you have “enough” EHP? Well, tank deaths to insufficient EHP are generally very quick — you either get one-shot, or you die over a period of just a few seconds. In both situations you are taking too much damage in too short a time to allow for the healer(s) to swap to you and pick you up. As noted earlier, for EHP checks “enough” is generally enough to survive the base damage of the check, plus a little extra to account for any melees or raid damage that occur shortly before or after the check. To evaluate margin of safety, pay attention to both tank and party damage patterns. If you find yourself consistently dangerously low before or after tank mechanics, consider extra stamina to improve your margin of safety.
STR base with a haste proc. At 415 ilvl this trinket averages 205.75 haste gained.
AGI base with a random secondary proc. 1 PPM. The passive on this trinket has “large” and “small” buffs for each of the possible secondary stats. When the trinket procs, you will get one buff for each stat, which can be either the large or small buff. You are not guaranteed to get a certain total amount of stats for each proc — you might get three large buffs, three small buffs, or some combination of large and small buffs.
At 415 ilvl, expect an average of 199.5 combined stat points gained.
STR/AGI base with absorb shield on-use effect. 6s duration with 1:30 CD.
At 415 ilvl the absorb is 78801*(1+versatility), which averages to ~875*(1+versatility) HPS.
Note for Monks: Absorb shields are increased by Celestial Fortune.
This trinket shares a general niche with Xalzaix’s Veiled Eye (below), but they do have some differences worth highlighting. While both provide fairly large absorb shields, the type of shield, trigger method, and duration are all different. Mchimba is has a 6s duration, absorbs all incoming damage, and is an active, on-use ability; Xalzaix lasts 20s, absorbs 50% of incoming damage, and is triggered by falling below 40% HP.
These differences turn out to have significant impact on the use cases for each trinket. Mchimba, with its short duration and ability to consume all incoming damage, is well-suited for mitigating short bursts of high incoming damage. However, it must be used proactively, as using it after the high damage period is over means it’s highly likely that some or all of the absorb will go to waste. It can be difficult to fully consume the absorb if you trigger it during a period of low or moderate damage. Since its effect is on-use, it’s best used to help mitigate a tankbuster or cover a planned gap in a defensive CD rotation.
In contrast, Xalzaix cannot be relied upon to trigger at a certain time. In raids, it will mostly proc after you’ve taken a large hit, which is also usually when tank swaps will occur. This means you’ll have a large defensive active during a time when you’re not taking any additional damage, causing it to be wasted. Instead, where this trinket shines is in situations where you anticipate a long period of high damage, especially if it’s likely you’ll drop to low HP.
The key to using Xalzaix effectively is to identify situations in which you expect to take enough damage to first proc the trinket, and then continue to take enough dangerous damage in order to fully consume the absorb. For tank specs with gaps in active mitigation uptime, this trinket can see use in raids as a safety net against melee attacks during AM gaps during your active tanking time. Most tank specs will see the best use of this trinket in M+, where there is little tanking downtime to be concerned with and where trash can be dangerous enough to both proc and consume the absorb.
AGI base with versatility on-use effect. Lasts 20s, 2 minute CD. Potent, short CD defensive cooldown.
At 415 ilvl, the on-use effect gives 991 vers, which results in the following damage reductions:
AGI base with an on-use ground effect that grants haste and speed. You must be standing in the ground effect to receive the stat bonuses. When considering this trinket, be sure to consider how much you may need to move during combat and how much you can realistically expect to be able to take full advantage of the on-use effect. The value of this trinket varies highly depending on your ability to stand in the ground effect for maximum duration.
At 415 ilvl, expect to gain an average of 247 haste, assuming maximum uptime.
AGI base with crit proc. At 415 ilvl, expect 145 crit on average.
Note that you may not need to directly attack the target as long as you have AOE effects (such as Rushing Jade Wind) that hit the target. This trinket also has the potential to be wasted if it happens to proc on a low-health target and you don’t have time to reach full stacks before the target dies.
Mastery base with an AGI proc. 1 PPM. At 415 ilvl, expect an average gain of 432 AGI.
STR/AGI base with heal proc 20138 hp, 1.69 ppm. Expect an average of 567 HPS, assuming no overhealing.
Note that this heal is a proc, and that the proc has a delay. As a result, the healing from this trinket is entirely unreliable. When choosing it, remember that it’s likely to proc in situations where it ends up overhealing, and that you should never rely on it to heal you when you most need healing.
Mastery base with STR on-use effect. 18s duration, 1.5 min CD. The effect from this trinket decays in 3 steps over 18s; you will maintain the initial value for 6s before it begins to decay. Over the duration of the effect, you will see an average of 1092 STR. Overall, expect an average of 218.
STR base with versatility on-use effect. Lasts 12s, 2 minute CD. This trinket is a potent, moderate CD defensive cooldown, and additionally benefits several of your nearby allies.
|Allies||Vers||DR – Active (%)||DR – Overall (%)|
Note that the range on the effect is 20 yards.
STR base with crit proc. 1 PPM. At 415 ilvl this trinket grants 823 crit, which averages to 205.75.
STR base with damage and stat proc. This trinket’s stat budget is low due to its damage proc; at 385 ilvl, expect an average gain of 85 crit.
AGI/STR base with an absorb shield proc. 20s duration with 2 minute CD. At 385 ilvl, the absorb is 79566*(1+versatility).
This trinket shares a niche with Mchimba’s Ritual Bandages. See above for a discussion on the different use cases.
AGI base with a haste proc. 8 PPM. This effect stacks and procs refresh buff duration, so with good RNG it’s possible to maintain high stacks for a long period of time. With poor RNG you may not get high stacks at all. As such, be aware that the stat gain of this trinket can vary wildly depending on your luck.
At 385 ilvl, you should see a minimum of ~81 haste.
Battle of Dazar’alor
STR/AGI base with a cheat death proc. At 415 ilvl, it absorbs up to 150k of an attack that would otherwise kill you, heals you for 60k, and applies a healing absorb equal to 60% of the absorbed damage.
On the surface, this trinket looks potentially valuable — it can protect you from an accidental death and thereby prevent an unnecessary wipe for your raid, so what’s not to like? The downsides become apparent when you begin to think about the situations in which the effect might proc. For example, if you’re at 145k hp, and the boss hits you for 150k, all of the attack will be absorbed, you will be left at 205k hp (145k+60k), with a 90k absorb on you. Not bad — the trinket did its job, and while healers do have to heal off that 90k absorb, you’re at a reasonably comfortable amount of hp and will live. Now imagine the same 150k hit, but this time you’re at 50k hp (or perhaps even lower). The trinket absorbs the same 150k, gives you the same 90k absorb, but this time you’re left at 110k hp. Healers have to heal off that 90k absorb before the next melee attack hits you (because 110k is probably not enough to survive) and if you’re actively tanking, that melee is probably less than two seconds away. You haven’t escaped death at all, you’ve only prolonged your life for two seconds and likely given yourself a death sentence. To top it all off, the healing absorption has a 5 minute duration, so you can’t even call for a quick tank swap and let it expire — the absorb must be healed off.
That’s the big difference between this trinket and similar effects such as Purgatory or Last Resort. Both of these effects save you from the attack that would have killed you, but most importantly, they grant you a safety net afterwards. Bwonsamdi’s Bargain doesn’t have the safety net. When you proc Purgatory, you have 3s to dig yourself out of negative HP, and an additional melee attack or tick of raid damage simply adds to the amount of healing you need, rather than killing you outright; similarly, Last Resort both heals you and gives you Metamorphosis, which increases your maximum health and armor.
Even worse, the trinket effect has quite a long cooldown relative to other trinkets and comes at the cost of one of your trinket slots. It’s quite possible that another trinket with a more consistent benefit or an on-use effect might have been equally able to prevent your death, or prevent the situation that caused your death from having happened in the first place.
All of that said, it can prevent your death, and since it’s a proc rather than an on-use ability (which you’d need to use in advance to save yourself) it can help while you’re still learning the damage patterns of an encounter and may not be prepared for a nasty overlap or spike of damage.
Monks, note that the heal from the proc can trigger Celestial Fortune, but do not rely on this to improve your chances of surviving a proc.
STR/AGI base with an absorb shield proc. At 415 ilvl, the absorb is 9380*(1+versatility) up to a maximum of 46900*(1+versatility). If fully consumed, this averages to 930 HPS. The refresh rate on the effect additionally scales with haste.
This trinket provides a non-negligible amount of effective healing, which can be impactful when tank healing is limited. However, note that this trinket has a very similar effect to the Resounding Protection azerite trait, which provides ~566*(1+versatility) absorb, and is comparable to Impassive Visage in terms of effective healing (~974 HPS). Depending on the azerite pieces and other trinkets you have available, you may want to consider the opportunity cost of taking up a trinket slot with this trinket.
Monks: Absorb shields are additionally increased by Celestial Fortune.
AGI base with a crit cycle and on-use effect. This trinket has a 32 second cycle: every two seconds you will gain a stacking crit buff, up to a cap. The cycle will hold at the cap for 6s, then decrease turn off for a final 6s before restarting. The on-use effect pauses the cycle for 6s, maintaining the amount of crit that was active when the effect was triggered.
At 415 ilvl, the stacking buff is 117, to a cap of 702. If the on-use effect is used at the cap, the average stat gain is 224.3 crit.
STR base with ramping haste on-use effect. Lasts 18s, 1:30 minute CD. At 415 ilvl, this averages to 821 haste over the duration of the effect, capping at 1320. If used on CD, expect an average of 164 haste.
STR/AGI base with a random amount of stamina and healing. This trinket is capped at 355, and while the effect is noteworthy as one of few stamina trinkets (and purely defensive trinkets), it may be outscaled by other trinkets at a higher ilvl.
Expect an average of 328 stamina and ~403 HPS.
AGI base with crit proc. 1.5 PPM. At 385, this averages to 188 crit. This effect does not stack; procs refresh the duration.
STR base with crit on-use effect. 12s duration, 1 min CD. At 385, this averages to 140 crit.
STR base with crit on-use effect. 18s duration, 1:45 min CD. At 370 ilvl, expect an average of 138 crit.
Mastery base with AGI on-use effect. 16s duration, 2 min CD. At 370 ilvl, this trinket caps at 1895 AGI; on average, expect a gain of 189.5 AGI.
- January 21st, 2019 – Created