I would also like to throw out a spec which goes against the "Norm"
When you think of a Tank you think of the tried and true sword and board.
However, I do not think right now that it is optimum for a cleric pre raid tanking.. I say pre raid because i Have not tried.
shield provides 1-2% at max in total reduction of damage from armour bonus
The Main Benefit of the shield is of course the Block..which is different from parry. As example: Cleric would have a block chance of 35% and would absorb roughly 20% of incoming damage.. with talent mebbe around a 40% chacne to absorb 15-20% damage. You Add in some talents you get a few points of mana back.
The biggest drawback to a cleric shield; there is no spell power on them.
If you would use a 2hand staff to tank... Yes yes stick with me here..
You would have Far superior Parry rating which as I mentioned above is different from block wherein the Parry will deflect any physical attacks.. not a chance to absorb a percentage of attacks.. but deflect 100% of the damage.
Decent gear you can top 1000 spell rating.. with the talent your parry is 195% of that so we are talking roughly 1950 parry rating which is roughly 40% parry chance to totally negate physical attacks.
sure sword and board users will have Some parry.. but no where near that if you used a two hander.
also the ability Doctrine of valiance would become useful as it normally does pathetic damage to heal ration with a one hander as opposed to much better with a two...
Here is the build I am using in Dungeons... http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00nrG.Ved00M.yuMooeczko.Vg0m
Edit* As you can see from the Flame Ward.. you can more than make up for the lack of shield.. you gain more points to spend more wisely i feel than trying to make the sword and board work...
With Commitment you have a (%T) Chance to gain 5% mana back when you block.. where as t is the % of your block.. seems lack luster if you put points farther down the Shaman tree to gain Ageless Ice Whereby picking up a better chance to heal (overwhelming) and when you crit you gain 4% mana back (Endless Winter).. Seems no brainer to me.
Just have to keep a watch on your heals and pop one every so often which shouldn't be hard to include in your rotation.
Edit** You could also drop From the Purifier tree Enflamed Rejuvination and Endless winter from the Shaman tree and waste a point in Justicar from a shield spec to gain Just defense for the 1min Absorb to help with mitigation but so far I have not needed it. here is link for that http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00nrG.Ved.EuMooeskRR.Vg Edited, Jun 3rd 2011 4:18pm by Zamian