Is there a percentage my block will be at that lets me know I have enough mastery? Does the actual mastery rating stat let me know this?

2 Answers 2


In general you should stack mastery until you hit the avoidance cap. Bosses get a bonus to hit, so total avoidance need to be 102.4%. Then the boss has a straight 5% miss chance so you want dodge+parry+block to get as close to 97.4% as possible. Once you reach that combined value, start switching from mastery to dodge and parry fairly equally (they suffer from diminishing returns so stacking one or the other is less valuable that spreading equally). The reason to try to cap avoidance with block initially is that even though it doesn't fully avoid the hit, it helps smooth damage spikes significantly, which is a big help to your healers.


The avoidance cap for bosses is 97.4% combined avoidance (+5% chance for the boss to miss), so up mastery, dodge and parry until you hit that. Typically, dodge and parry are preferable to block, but you'll get more chance to block per point of Mastery than chance to dodge or parry per point of those, so stacking mastery is easier early on. Once you can get to the cap with stats left over, you should start to reforge the surplus mastery into dodge or parry instead.

Mitigation is nice, but pointless unless you can keep aggro. If you have threat problems, you may want to temper your focus on mastery/block/dodge/parry in lieu of more expertise and hit (which should be capped in the first place).

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    The cap is 102.4% combined avoidance. That is, the sum of your block, dodge, and parry chances, as well the bosses chance to miss (a flat 5%). Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 17:13
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    @NickT There's really no reason to cap expertise and hit. Especially with the huge threat buff prior to patch 4.2, holding threat shouldn't be a problem for any tank geared appropriately for the content they are running. The exception to this rule is Death Knights, who need expertise and hit to land Death Strikes. There is also word that come Mists of Pandaria, the other tanks will switch to a more "active mitigation" playstyle where expertise and hit will be valuable again.
    – dpatchery
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 18:10
  • I meant that hit should be capped, expertise is not as important.
    – Nick T
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 18:30
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    To clarify, I meant there's no reason to cap expertise or hit. In fact you are almost always better off reforging it away if you do get any tank items with those stats. If a tank can't hold threat (and they aren't severely undergeared) there's probably a deeper problem than stat allocation.
    – dpatchery
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 19:15
  • correct. There's no need for paladins to cap hit, nor to cap expertise. I've mine at about 5% and have no trouble keeping threat in heroic dungeons (haven't tried cata raids yet with my paladin), where hit rate for dps should be something like 7%. I'd rather reforge into haste when hitting avoidance caps, in order to generate more chances to hit and increased mana generation (thus more threat generating blows).
    – jwenting
    Commented Dec 19, 2011 at 12:23

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