I've made posts, spreadsheets, Warcrafter profiles, argued on Maintankadin, and basically tried to make sure that I was making the best decision I could make.
In my indecision, I had accumulated over 100 Badges. I knew I was pretty much down to the Belt, Boot and Bracers. It was time to get off the proverbial pot.
I already had the 3 big upgrades I wanted from Badges: the Chest, Legs and Cloak. Nowhere in my gear was there a glaring weakness. I basically had good enough gear to tank anything Mal Katai is going to put me up against in SSC or TK as either the Main Tank or an Offtank. There was an upgrade/sidegrade to each Badge reward very close at my current level of progression.
All this made the decision very difficult. So here's what I bought and why.
First of all I bought the Girdle of the Protector
Numbers are compared to the Crimson Girdle of the Indomitable. Mods used are EQCompare and RatingsBuster.
I trade Block for Dodge (that is a Good Thing) and increase my health, armor and pure avoidance at the cost of some Defense.
So why this belt over the Iron-Tusk Girdle. Largely because the Girdle of the Protector increased everything I want in a tanking item. There are three components that I look at in my tanking gear, Mitigation or EH, Avoidance or EDF, and Threat. While the Iron-Tusk would increase my Mitigation and Avoidance more than the Protector would, it does nothing for threat. The Protector, on the other hand, increases all 3.
So why did I pass on the Sabatons of the Righteous Defender? The biggest reason was I really like the massive amount of Dodge on the Boots of Elusion. Until I can get my unbuffed Dodge over 20% without Elusion, they will stay my primary tanking boots.
Is it true that any day now the plans for the Belt of the Guardian could drop in SSC? Yes, that's true. It's also true that Wyrnn's could have dropped off Curator anytime in the past 4 months I've been killing him, but it hasn't. I can't control what drops. Plus not only do the plans have to drop, the Vortexes have to drop AND I have to get the Blacksmith to use the Vortexes for the Belt and not his leet Blacksmith weapon.
Plus, putting off an upgrade today with the hope of lucky roll tomorrow is not something I subscribe to.
I still had Badges left over, so I decided to pick up the Bracers of the Ancient Phalanx. (cue screenshot!)
What drew me to the Bracers was that it increased my armor, Defense, Uncrushability and Pure Avoidance with no loss of health. The only thing I give up is Block Value. Will I use Vambracers of Courage in a Block Value set. You're darn tootin' I will.
What I gain with Phalanx is Expertise, a truly beautiful double duty stat. Not only does it increase your threat (it's more powerful point for point than Hit) it also helps with mitigation by reducing the chance you will get a parry hasted attack. Parry hasted attacks are not something I can control so I don't worry about them too much, but reducing them with a piece of gear that also increases Armor and Avoidance, hey, I'm not going to turn that down.
The Boots are likely my next purchase, and I'd like to pickup the AutoBlocker at some point. I'm sure I'll get called upon to tank a Kara here and there so the Badges will come. I'll eventually have everything I need from Badges and either stockpile them again or buy Healing or Ret gear.