In keeping with tradition (I did it pre Cata, and when Firelands came out), I am setting up a shopping list for you Guardian types out there. This will consist of Heroic 5-man gear, and crafted epics only. I’m not including Raid Finder gear because well… it’s still raiding, isn’t it? ;D Blue heroic gear is 463, raid finder non-tier gear appears to be 476, where as LFR tier sits at 483, and normal tier sits at 496. This list is as inclusive as I can make it, but there’s a good chance I will miss something, or get something wrong, because I have very little information on some items.
In case you’re wondering why i’m doing it in such an odd order, it’s the order wowhead has their filters set up. This way I don’t get myself mixed up (cause it’ll happen). When possible, I will also include where the item can be acquired.
Nimbletoe Chestguard – Crit/Haste, blue socket (60 agi). Drops from Ook-Ook in H-Stormstout Brewery.
Korloff’s Raiment – Hit/Crit, yellow socket (60 agi). Drops from Brother Korloff in H-Scarlet Monastery.
Delicate Chestguard of the Golden Lotus - Crit/Mastery, no socket. Unknown drop location at this time. (A dungeon quest maybe?)
Greyshadow Chestguard – 476 Epic. Crit/Mastery, 2 yellow sockets (120 agi). Leatherworking.
Chestguard of Nemeses – 496 Epic. Crit/Mastery, Red & Blue socket (120 mast). Leatherworking.
The obvious winner is going to be the Chestguard of Nemeses just for sheer ilvl/stats, but it will probably be scary expensive to craft for some time. The Greyshadow Chestguard is a much more reasonable (and STILL quite good) alternative, even if you’re losing out on quite a bit of stats. As far as the 463s go, I would pick “Korloff’s Raiment” above the others for the time being. Crit is turning out to be one of our most desired stats for rage generation, to keep Savage Defense uptime high, and Hit is… well… Hit. I can’t imagine we’ll be drowning in it through our first tier of raiding (we NEVER are), so that’s the option I would go with, dropping an agi/crit or agi/dodge gem into the socket. If you DO pick up the 496, then go with one straight agi red gem, and one agi/stam, agi/hit, or agi/exp for the blue socket.
Boots of Plummeting Death - Haste/Expertise, yellow socket (60 agi). Drops from Xin the Weaponmaster in H-Mogu’shan Palace.
Dashing Strike Treads – Crit/Mastery, yellow socket (60 agi). Drops from High Inquisitor Whitemane in H-Scarlet Monastery.
Haste is still a stat we don’t have much need for, although the expertise is nice. I would still shoot for the boots from Whitemane.
Hound Trainer’s Gloves – Expertise/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Houndmaster Braun in H-Scarlet Halls.
Tombstone Gauntlets – Hit/Haste, no sockets. Drops from Darkmaster Gandling(?) in H-Scholomance.
Greyshadow Gloves – 476 epic. Crit/Mastery, red socket (60 crit). Leatherworking.
Murderer’s Gloves – 496 epic. Crit/Mastery, blue socket (60 agi). Leatherworking.
Mastery > Haste, so go for the gloves in Scarlet Monastary if you’re shopping for blues. Otherwise, naturally, the 496 > 476 > blues.
Windblast Helm – Haste/Mastery, meta/red socket (180 agi). Drops from Wing Leader Ner’onok in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.
Soulburner Crown – Hit/Crit, meta/yellow socket (180 agi). Drops from Lillian Voss in H-Scholomance.
Agile Retinal Armor – 476 epic. Meta/2 cogwheels (180 agi). Engineering *only*.
If you’re an engineer, the choice is clear (hey that rhymes). If you’re NOT an engineer… well the choice is still pretty clear. Soulburner Crown wins out this battle of the blues.
Wall-Breaker Legguards – Expertise/Mastery, red socket (60 mastery). Drops from Raigonn in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.
Ghostwoven Legguards – Crit/Haste, yellow socket (60 haste). Drops from Jandice Barov(?) in H-Scholomance.
As usual, leave all that haste to the rogues, kitties, and maybe monks. Go for the Wall-breakers.
Fizzy Spaulders – Crit/Haste, red socket (60 haste). Drops from Yan-Zhu the Uncasked in H-Stormstout Brewery.
Doubtridden Shoulderguards – Hit/Expertise, red socket (60 expertise). Drops from Sha of Doubt in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.
Seeing an item with expertise as a socket bonus is… weird to me. Nevertheless, those are the ones you want to pick up. Pure threat stats, with a threat socket bonus… weird.
Belt of Brazen Inebriation – Hit/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Hoptallus in H-Stormstout Brewery.
Icewrath Belt – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Instructor Chillheart in H-Scholomance.
There’s really no wrong answer with these belts. If you want the pure threat stats, or if you want the mitigation stats… just flip a coin.
Saboteur’s Stabilizing Bracers – Haste/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Saboteur Kip’talak in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.
Lightblade Bracer – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Armsmaster Harlan in H-Scarlet Halls.
I think by now you can probably figure it out. Haste is bad, mmkay? ;D
Wind-Soaked Drape – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Wise Mari in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.
Aerial Bombardment Cloak – Hit/Crit, no socket. Drops from General Pa’valak in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.
This is pretty well a tossup, depending more on how comfortable you are with your hit rating than anything else.
Engraved Amber Pendant – Crit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Vizier Jin’bak in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.
Scorched Scarlet Key – Hit/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Flameweaver Koegler in H-Scarlet Monastery.
Another winning piece with only hit/expertise on it. No complaints here, because the lower tiers always seemed to be lacking hit and expertise in general anyway.
Signet of Dancing Jade – Crit/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Liu Flameheart in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.
Seal of Hateful Meditation – Hit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Taran Zhu in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.
Pulled Grenade Pin – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Saboteur Kip’tilak in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.
Seal of Ghoulish Glee – 470 epic. Hit/Crit, no socket. Drops from the Headless Horseman (Halloween event ONLY)
Perculia’s Peculiar Signet – 476 epic. Hit/Haste, no socket. World drop, i’m assuming? BoE so you’ll see it on the AH at some point.
Even though haste is “bad”, the extra agi/stam outweighs it, so if you can pick up the two epics without too much trouble (financial or otherwise) then by all means, use them. Otherwise, Dancing Jade, or Grenade Pin are the blue rings of choice here.
Trinkets – (It’s worth noting that these may be a little harder to quantify, and will most likely rely more on your personal tastes as a tank as to which ones you want)
Windswept Pages – 847 Agi. 20 second haste proc.
Searing Words – 847 Crit rating. 25 second agi proc. Drops from Darkmaster Gandling in H-Scholomance.
Flashing Steel Talisman – 847 Hit rating. 15 second agi use. Drops from High Inquisitor Whitemane in H-Scarlet Monastery.
Heart of Fire – 847 Mastery rating. 20 second dodge use. Drops from Master Snowdrift in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.
Iron Protector Talisman – 1270 Stamina. Dodge proc. Drops from Gekkan in H-Mogu’shan Palace.
Brawler’s Statue – 470 epic. 904 Dodge rating. 20 second dodge use. Drops from Coren Direbrew (Brewfest event ONLY)
Relic of Xuen – 476 epic. 956 Agi. 15 second agility proc. Darkmoon Tiger deck.
Relic of Nuzao - 476 epic. 12 second dodge use. Darkmoon Ox deck.
As I mentioned, a lot of these are going to vary based on personal preference, experience, or your group’s needs. That having been said, I would stay away from Relic of Nuzao unless you can get it EXCEEDINGLY cheap. For the 2nd expansion in a row, the tank-specific DMC is flat out disappointing (WotLK didn’t even *have* one)… and THIS one doesn’t even have anything to reforge out of that you could find useful. Save your money. Xuen, on the other hand, could be VERY good for agility-heavy bears. I tend to favor one stam, one avoidance/mitigation trinket. So for me, something like Iron-Protector Talisman and Heart of Fire would be the perfect combination. Mix and match to your tastes.
Ghostheart – Crit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Xin the Weaponmaster in H-Mogu’shan Palace.
Amber Spear of Klaxxi’vess – Hit/Haste, no socket. Requires The Klaxxi – Exalted.
Spear of Xuen – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Archaeology.
Snowdrift’s Bladed Staff – Expertise/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Master Snowdrift in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.
Firestorm Greatstaff – Crit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Brother Korloff in H-Scarlet Monastery.
Inscribed Tiger Staff – 476 epic. Crit/Mastery, no socket. Inscription (bind to bnet account)
If you have a scribe, for sure, go for the Inscribed Tiger Staff. If you don’t, then the Spear of Xuen or Snowdrift’s Bladed Staff are probably your best bet. As it is, you have plenty of options between staves and polearms, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding a solid weapon… just those are the BEST ones for bears.
As a side note, this entire list could, more than likely, be applied to Brewmaster Monks just as easily, but I didn’t specify them because I’m not anywhere near as familiar with their stat priorities. Do they like haste? Do they prefer more mastery and less crit? I honestly don’t know… I haven’t much kept up.
One other thing to note is that NONE of these items are bought by JP. When I first wrote this gear list, I didn’t see any JP items for sale in the list, and only recently did I discover why. JP items are actually lower level than heroic 5-man drops. They are ilvl 450, and they ALSO all require rep. I won’t include the list here (because this post is long enough), but you can find the complete listing of JP/Rep 450 gear here. Also, as of the last beta build (it may have changed, but I don’t know for sure) the requirement for level 90 heroics was ilvl 440, and LFR requires 463.