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PvP vs. PvE Gear – Understanding Resilience

Updated Thu, Mar 03, 2011 by Cyrak

The eternal debate about PvP and PvE gear has existed since the first set of PvP gear was released. Some players want to be able to PvP for the best gear in the game, others want to be able to use their raiding gear to PvP. The balance has swung back and forth for 5 years, but in this expansion and this season the verdict is in: use PvP gear to PvP.

Blizzard implemented a few new things this season that have made it extremely beneficial to actually PvP in the gear intended. The first was to make the entire epic PvP set item level 365. In Wrath of the Lich King the ‘off-set’ gear was purchasable with honor and was a half tier below the rest of the ‘main set’ PvP gear. That gear in turn was a half tier below heroic PvE gear leading to situations in which players with access to heroic PvE gear would choose it over their PvP gear due to the overwhelmingly better stats. Now they’re all item level 365 and heroic PvE gear is 372. That’s not a huge difference and certainly not one that’s worth sacrificing crucial PvP stats like resilience for.

Resilience Scaling

Why stack resilience? Resilience is the PvP-only stat that reduces all incoming player damage by a static amount. There’s no feasibly reachable cap on resilience so you can stack it and gem for it as much as you want. When looking at resilience the first thing to remember is that in Cataclysm most healers actually have limited mana pools. This means that your damage reduction is directly related to the longevity of your team. It’s way more important to live than it is to do a couple hundred more damage with your strikes or spells, and if your opponents are stacking PvE gear then your damage to them will be much higher than theirs would be to you anyway. There’s just no reason not to use your resilience gear over PvE gear.

32% damage reduction from 3,000 rating. What other stat offers that much raw effectiveness?

Resilience is also a stat that increases in potency the more you have. To illustrate this think about it in these terms: if you go from 0% damage reduction to 1% damage reduction you will take 1% less damage from incoming attacks, but if you go from 50% damage reduction to 51% you will reduce incoming damage by 2%. This may seem like sophistry but when you get enough resilience you begin to become a very unappealing target.

Living Through Burst

The value of resilience isn’t just that it reduces the strain on your healers, it also gives you the ability to survive through key moments in a fight where your opponents are trying with all their might to kill you. Typically in a fight, particularly in Arenas,  players will try to set up kill windows at certain points. These points are dictated by who has what cooldowns up, whether the enemy team has trinkets available and a variety of other factors. During this period teams try to CC the healer and do as much damage as possible to the kill target, having high enough resilience paired with your class’ abilities will often allow you to live through well-planned attacks  where your opponents use everything they have. The value of living through these points can’t be overstated – these moments are the difference  between a win and a loss and if you’re trying to kill a target with 4,000 resilience in less than 15-20 seconds good luck.

Why not use it? It’s free!

There’s no excuse this season to avoid using PvP gear due to the ease of acquiring it. Five arena wins a week is hardly a time commitment. Neither is getting 3 wins in Rated BGs, that’s all it takes to max out your points for the week. There are no rating requirements on anything other than the 2200 weapons which, let’s be honest, you don’t need to compete.

Even with sub 1500 arena & RBG ratings you can still net nearly a piece of gear every week.

Rated BG ratings are also absurdly inflated, pretty much anyone who plays enough will get to incredibly high ratings. Trade chat pugging groups have players at 2400+ Rated BG rating so this isn’t out of the reach of anyone. Collect your points every week and gradually build up your gear, it’ll take less time than you think and it’s completely worth it. Resilience is so utterly potent that there isn’t really even a need for PvE trinkets (a slot that has historically been  home to hyper-powered PvE trinkets in Arenas).

If you haven’t got the general theme yet then let me re-iterate. Resilience is king in Season 9, use it and prosper!


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