I decided to bite the bullet and snag the War Hero Defense relic for situational uses in PvE. Basically, my intention is to swap that relic in for my Campaign proc heal relic on a case-by-case basis. The Campaign proc absorb relic is basically just hanging out, and doesn't get replaced except on pure-F/T bosses (e.g. Soa, Stormcaller, or TFB Phase 2/3).
Interestingly enough, swapping in the War Hero Defense relic actually *lowers* my overall survivability by nearly 0.5%! It raises my mitigation quite a bit, but the loss of survivability contribution from the proc heal relic is more significant than I had expected. Full numbers (all with stim):
With Proc Heal
- HP: 26490
- Defense: 28.77%
- Shield: 65.28%
- Absorb: 58.47%
With War Hero Defense
- Weighted mitigation: 64.4947%
- Survivability: 71.0414%
- Variance: 30.6163%
- eHP: 43926
- HP: 26021
- Defense: 30.68%
- Shield: 65.28%
- Absorb: 57.83%
- Weighted mitigation: 64.9219%
- Survivability: 70.6007%
- Variance: 29.3939%
- eHP: 42819
Note that I have my stats and augments set in such a way that I am at an ideal maxima in both configurations, so stat swapping to emphasize one relic or another would not improve things.
I think the reason for this drop is two-fold. First, the proc heal contributes a lot more in the way of survivability than most people give it credit for. Additionally, swapping to the War Hero relic loses almost 500 HP, which drops the value of my biggest self-heal by a significant margin. Between these two components, the mitigation contribution from the static defense boost is entirely negated.
Conclusion: the War Hero Defense relic is very
over-rated for shadow/assassin tanks. We simply have better options for most fights. The activated defense relic makes for a fantastic cooldown (and this post does nothing to address that), but even just going with the proc heal relic is a very solid choice. I'm still going to swap in the War Hero relic situationally (e.g. when tanking the first phase of TFB), but it's definitely not going to be my primary Relic #2.