I know it’s not Friday. I had planned initially to write this post on Friday, but then I went out and got drunk with some co-workers. Then I planned to write this yesterday, but I spent the whole day watching MLG Dallas. Now it’s Sunday night.

That’s what I get for being such a big e-sports fan I guess.

In any case what I wanted to do was take a look at how Guardians stack up against other tanks in terms of DPS in 10m normal MSV. Tank DPS is incredibly important in 10 mans on fights with DPS checks, so making sure Guardians are competitive with other classes in this regard is very important. Unfortunately there a number of things that can affect tank DPS which aren’t really under the player’s control:

  • Vengeance: Since Vengeance is gained via unmitigated damage, the encounter itself will overwhelmingly dictate how much damage you do.
  • Encounter Strategy: Things like deciding who gets Shroud of Reversal greatly influence the damage done.
  • Encounter RNG: Randomness in the encounter.
  • Gear: The better your gear gets, the more you can ignore your AM buttons in favour of extra damage.

However all of these things should in theory be negated by the sample size. It’s highly unlikely that no Guardians would be given Shroud of Reversal on Feng for example. So how does one achieve this comparison? By using a site called Raidbots. Raidbots is a tool that was written to aggregate World of Logs data into something that could be used for trend analysis. Like with any tool, you need to make sure you use it correctly in order to get accurate data. For reference these are the settings I used:

  • Data Set: All Parses
  • Timespan: 1 Month (I would have like to make it smaller, but this is the shortest it goes)
  • Sample Period: 1 Week (This is important)
  • Measure: Median

With regards to the sample period, I only looked a data that did not include any parses from before October 20th. If you follow patch notes at all, you’ll remember that Vengeance was hotfixed to prevent abuse of spike damage from boss abilities on October 19th. Since this was artificially inflating Tank DPS, it’s important to completely ignore any parses from that period.

But enough of the tehcnical nonsense.

The Stone Guards

Raidbots – 10m Normal Stone Guard

This may look bad at first glance, but the difference isn’t that significant. That being said, Guardians don’t have great cleave damage. The only ability that’s in a 2-target rotation that actually hits more than one target is Thrash. While Thrash actually does some pretty decent damage, it doesn’t compare with what Brewmasters or Death Knights can do. It is interesting that Warriors are so low though.

Feng the Accursed

Raidbots – 10m Normal Feng

We can clearly see here that Guardians are much closer to the top two (Brewmasters and Blood DKs again). So it’s clear Guardian’s single target DPS is pretty much in the right ballpark – or at least within an acceptable variance given the variables at hand.

Gara’jal the Spiritbinder

Raidbots – 10m Normal Gara’Jal

Again Guardians turn out to be pretty much smack in the middle, vithin variance. Monks are really high for some reason that completely escapes me. Then again I don’t follow Monks so it’s entirely possible there’s a completely valid reason for this.

Spirit Kings

Raidbots – 10m Normal Spirit Kings

We’re beginning to see a trend here. Guardians are definitely very much competitive with the other tank classes, although for some reason Monks are still way high.


Raidbots – 10m Normal Elegon

Blood DKs move up a bit compared to Guardians on Elegon. This could be of their superior ability to handle the incoming damage as their debuff increases (ergo they stay in for longer). In any case, the margin is still not big enough to make or break the encounter assuming correct play. The trend of shield tanks being on the bottom also appears to continue.

Will of the Emperor

Raidbots – 10m Normal Will

Will is easily the best encounter to evaluate tank DPS. Both tanks have essentially identical mobs attacking them for identical amounts of time. This means that assuming proper execution all DPS should be extremely close. And, it is. Monks again are significantly higher.


After looking at the data after the Vengeance hotfixes it’s pretty clear that most tanks are mostly within an acceptable variance for DPS. Shield Tanks seem to be a bit low on swap or 1 tank fights, but on encounters where both tanks are exactly equal everyone within a very small range.

Throughout the analysis above I was noting that Brewmaster’s are consistently trending higher than other tanks – and then I realized a possible cause. World of Logs treats Stagger damage (Brewmaster’s primary mitigation mechanic), as damage the Monk actually deals and therefore counts it towards their DPS. I emailed the author of Raidbots, and they only receive the total damage done so it isn’t possible to strip out Stagger damage. If WoL eventually removes it then the numbers will make more sense.

Our only real problem is when we have to damage two targets at the same time. However that’s such a rare encounter mechanic that I’m not going to raise a fuss about it unless it becomes a major issue in the future.

What about you? Are you seeing different things? Let me know!


  • Perrin says:

    Regarding the Will of the Emperor, I’d have to disagree about ‘checking raid DPS’, at least in Normal from compiled stats, as I’ve found that my DPS is very significantly affected by my ability to dodge the bosses and get the 500k strike every Devastating Combo. On a good night, I’m competing for top 3 with the other tank and our Shadow Priest, and on a bad night (missing strikes, or getting lag), I’m dropping to #5 or #6.

    In order to evaluate the DPS, you really have to make sure take that factor out, and look at the rest of the damage. Given the “dodging” time, DoT damage tanking will factor in more for our DPS values.

    • Arielle Arielle says:

      It’s not like you can’t melee them while dancing. I do it all the time.

      Remember that I used a median instead of an average. So those people that are truly terrible at dodging will already be mostly factored out – as will those who are perfect every time (unless there are a lot of them, in which case it doesn’t matter).

  • Buraan says:

    The stagger damage problem has been mentioned to the guys that do WoL, raidbots really wouldn’t have any input on that. In future, just check out the bug forms at

    • Arielle Arielle says:

      Yeah, I didn’t remember it until I was almost done the post. Wasn’t really expecting a response from Raidbots that fast tbh.

  • Arisolo says:

    I’m not very far into progression due to some guild conflicts, but here are a couple things i’ve noticed based on my 4 downs of guardians on normal.
    1) We use a strategy where I have to guardians at all times due to the fact that we’ve been rotating through bad OTs.
    2) I pull 70,000 DPS and 24,000 HPS for the encounter, most likely due to the vengeance stacks I get from having two at all times.

    On Feng, we’ve gotten within 1% of downing him multiple times and, whichever tank has shroud does massive damage. The DOT applied through flame spear and arcane shock is unreal. When I was the shroud tank, I pulled 58k. I don’t know if things change on heroic, but i’ve been loving the damage done by guardians. It’s equal to just about everything except equally geared monks. I’m okay with that though since monks are rather squishy.

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