There have been a few people interested in this information of late, so I thought I’d write up a post :)
Meta – Austere Shadowspirit Diamond [81 stam/2% armor]
Yellow – Fractured Amberjewel [40 mastery]
Red – Fine Ember Topaz [20 parry/20 mastery]
Blue – Puissant Dream Emerald [20 mastery/30 stam]
Helm – Arcanum of the Earthen Ring – purchased from the Earthen Ring quartermaster in Vashjir
Shoulders – Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz – purchased from the Therazane Vendor in Deepholm [or the Inscription from the inscription profession if you have that]
Cloak – Protection [250 armor] – materials are Hypnotic dust x8 and Greater Celestial Essence x3
Chest – Greater Stamina [Hypnotic Dust x10, Heavenly Shard x4, Maelstrom Crystal x2] OR Peerless Stats [Heavenly Shard x3, Maelstrom Crystal x3] Cheap alternates: Mighty Stats [Lesser Celestial Essence x2] or Stamina [Hypnotic Dust x5, Lesser Celestial Essence x1]
Bracers – Superior Dodge [Greater Celestial Essence x5, Volatile Air x1]
Gloves – Greater Mastery [Hypnotic Dust x10, Greater Celestial Essence x5, Maelstrom Crystal x2]. Cheap alternate: Mastery [Hypnotic Dust x1, Lesser Celestial Essence x1]
Pants – Drakehide Leg Armor. Cheap Alternate: Twilight Leg Armor [still has agility, but this is an alternative if you’re just gearing – just remember that agility does nothing for you].
Boots – Mastery [Hypnotic Dust x10, Greater Celestial Essence x3]. Cheap Alternate: Earthen Vitality [Hypnotic Dust x2]
Weapon – Rune of Swordshattering. This provides 4% parry as opposed to the 2% stamina of Stoneskin Gargoyle. Both are options though I typically see the Swordshattering on more geared tanks and the Stoneskin Gargoyle on newer to 85 tanks. Personally, I’d recommend starting with the Swordshattering.
While the debate still rages in some circles on what death knights should stack, I recommend, as I always have, a balanced approach. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket with reference to the important stats. And the amount you have of each will go up as you gear up. The stats to focus on [in no particular order] are Mastery, Dodge, Parry. Hit and Expertise are nice where you can get them but are something you won’t need to touch with gemming or enchanting.
I’m NOT a number cruncher in terms of theorycrafting. I read ideas and try out what makes sense and approach things with a balanced eye. I’m a casual raider, not hardcore and I’ve been told by the healers I’ve worked with that I’m solid and not squishy [I chat with my healers occasionally to make sure I’m not making their job difficult]. In terms of what I run in defense stats, I like to keep at least 13% dodge and 20% parry. I also like what mastery I can get without sacrificing other stats and that goes up probably most markedly in terms of the three as you attain gear.
Please do gem and enchant your gear [even if you use cheap alternatives]! That can actually make a marked difference.
Thanks for reading :)