Tag Archives: Bear

MoP Rep Gear – Bears & DKs

25 Aug

So when writing my gear lists last week, I stumbled across something unexpected. It turns out that there are 4 factions who have rep gear, purchasable with VP, that is 489 ilvl epics. Of course, these are probably going to be gear pieces you would be interested in, but which factions have the best pieces for you? Which factions should you focus on, or ignore?

It’s worth noting that each of these factions ALSO have ilvl 450 blue gear, that is purchasable with JP at honored. It’s possible that you may run across honored without even trying, so these may be an early, good way to boost your ilvl getting ready for heroics as well. I will mention each faction, and what they offer to both DKs and bears, much in a similar way that my other lists were formatted, except they will be by faction instead of by gear slot.

Golden Lotus - In addition to some nice gear, the Golden Lotus also have mounts purchasable at exalted. Win!

Guardian Druids – Bears *really* clean up with the Golden Lotus. The 489 shoulders and chestpiece are about as nice as you can find outside of raiding (and would probably only be replaced by tier pieces. I haven’t honestly looked at tier itemization yet). Also, feel free to pick up the ring. Haste may be garbage, but jewelry has always been one of those hard to find, harder to replace pieces.

Surehand Grips – 450 gloves. Crit/Mastery, no socket.

Amulet of Swirling Mists - 450 neck. Haste/Mastery, no socket.

Mogu Rune of Paralysis – 450 trinket. 751 mastery, stun use.

Imperion Spaulders – 489 shoulders. Hit/Crit, yellow socket (60 agi)

Softfoot Silentwrap – 489 chest. Hit/Expertise, blue/yellow socket (120 agi)

Anji’s Keepsake – 489 ring. Hit/Haste, no socket.

Blood DKs – The weird itemization we saw in heroic blues continues on here for DKs. Why they have strength as a socket bonus on a clearly-tank item is beyond me. Perhaps they changed the Str-to-Parry conversion rate to make it far more attractive… I dunno. Anyway, Either 489 chest will work out for you, just depending on which you prefer to have more of. It probably would be worthwhile to pick up both and swap them out according to what feels better to you.

Serrated Forearm Guards – 450 wrist. Expertise/Mastery, no socket.

Gorget of Usurped Kings – 450 neck. Dodge/Hit, no socket.

Mogu Rune of Paralysis - 450 trinket. 751 mastery, stun use.

Cuirass of the Twin Monoliths – 489 chest. Dodge/Expetise, blue/yellow socket (120 str)

Dawnblade’s Chestguard – 489 chest. Hit/Expertise, blue/yellow socket (120 str)

Shoulders of Autumnlight – 489 shoulders. Dodge/Expertise, yellow socket (90 stam)

Alani’s Inflexible Ring – 489 ring. Dodge/Parry, no socket.

Shado-Pan – The Shado-Pan also have some mounts purchasable at exalted. The cloaks alone make these guys worth working on until revered, at the very least… besides, their mounts look effing SWEET.

Guardians – I know the “Hawkmaster’s Talon” has a kind of bunk on-use ability, but that much agi is hard for anybody to pass up, and it would be well worth a pick up on fights where you spend a lot of time DPS-bear’ing instead of actively tanking.

Tough Mushanhide Leggings – 450 legs. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Mark of the Dancing Crane – 450 ring. Crit/Haste, no socket.

Red Smoke Bandana – 489 head. Hit/Mastery, meta/blue socket (180 agi)

Lao-Chin’s Liquid Courage - 489 trinket. 1619 stam, 15s mastery use.

Hawkmaster’s Talon – 489 trinket. 1079 agi, 15s haste use.

Blackguard Cape – 489 cloak. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Blood DKs – Nothing special here really. I’m surprised to see such a big stam socket bonus on the helmet, but I expect that’ll be corrected sooner or later. Again, this is still beta.

Thunderstone Ring – 450 ring. Parry/Hit, no socket.

Yi’s Least Favorite Helmet – 489 head. Dodge/Mastery, mega/blue socket (270 stam)

Lao-Chin’s Liquid Courage - 489 trinket. 1619 stam, 15s mastery use.

Yi’s Cloak of Courage – 489 cloak. Parry/Mastery, no trinket.

The August Celestials - More awesome (flying!) mounts that kinda remind me of Mushu. These guys have your “stepping stone” blue cloaks before picking up the 489′s from the Shado-Pan.

Guardians – Nothing particularly noteworthy here. It would figure that somewhere along the line we would have a VP purchase with haste on it… Arginfriggin boots.

Bladesong Cloak – 450 cloak. Crit/Haste, no socket.

Refurbished Zandalari Vestment – 450 chest. Haste/Expertise, no socket.

Fingers of the Lonliest Monk – 489 gloves. Expertise/Mastery, no socket.

Quilpaw Family Bracers – 489 gloves. Hit/Crit, no socket.

Tukka-Tuk’s Hairy Boots – 489 boots. Hit/Haste, no socket.

Blood DKs – Standard valor point gear here. Nothing spectacular to see.

Cloak of the Silent Mountain – 450 cloak. Parry/Expertise, no socket.

Leggings of Ponderous Advance – 450 legs. Crit/Mastery, no socket.

Battle Shadow Bracers – 489 wrist. Parry/Hit, no socket.

Gloves of Overwhelming Swarm – 489 gloves. Parry/Mastery, no socket.

Yu’lon Guardian Boots – 489 boots. Dodge/Parry, no socket.

The Klaxxi - This appears to be one of the few factions that has level 90 weapons for sale with rep, and the only place that the Alliance can get a scorpion mount. They do have the 489 necklaces for sale as well, so they’re definitely worth sinking time into.

Guardians – The belt is weird, with a crit rating socket bonus, but whatever. Drop whatever kinda gem you like in there.

Cruel Mercy Bracers – 450 wrist. Crit/Mastery

Choker of the Klaxxi’va – 489 neck. Hit/Crit, no socket.

Dreadsworn Slayer Legs – 489 legs. Crit/Mastery, red socket (60 agi)

Klaxxi Lash of the Borrower – 489 belt. Crit/Mastery, blue socket (60 crit)

Blood DKs – The Klaxxi are weird, in the direction of tanks. They have mastery on two pieces of plate that are clearly meant for DPS. Take your pick, I suppose.

Chestplate of the Stone Lion – 450 chest. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Klaxxi Lash of the Consumer – 489 waist. Parry/Hit, blue socket (60 parry).

Kovok’s Riven Legguards – 489 legs. Dodge/Expertise, red socket (60 str).

Paragon’s Pale Pendant – 489 neck. Parry/Hit, no socket.

In general, this is your basic, JP/VP gear list, with the added oddity of needing rep to buy these items as well. In addition  to that, the JP pieces are lower ilvl than what you get from heroic dungeons… VERY weird if you ask me, but whatever I suppose. I’m not sure how it’ll work out, by and large, but I assume either people will buy these items or they won’t. I suppose it doesn’t much matter anyway, because when the second full content patch of MoP comes out, we’ll be largely ignoring these items anyway.

Mists of Pandaria – Pre-raid gear for bears.

18 Aug

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.

Chestpieces -

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 -

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.

Gloves -

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.

Helm -

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.

Legs -

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.

Shoulders -

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 -

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.

Bracers -

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

Cloaks -

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.

Necklace -

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.

Rings -

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)

Bubbliest Brightbrew / Bitterest Balebrew Charms – 1356 Stamina. Pointless use abilities. 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.

Weapons -

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.

The Battle Rages On

30 Jul

Fair warning ahead of time… this post will probably be pretty disjointed, and I think i’m going to end up talking about 3 or 4 different things in here. Consider this making up for not posting for 2 weeks.

I still don’t know what the hell i’m going to play come MoP. Right now, it’s a tossup between my druid and my dk. I decided to dust off my DK a few days ago and work on tanking with her again. It has been… a while since I gave DK tanking an honest shot, and man I had forgotten just how much fun it really was. So I poked Kia and asked if she wanted to run some dungeons with me. (For the record, her response was “/blinkblink…are you feeling alright?”).

So, I ran several dungeons, and absolutely NOTHING dropped for me. Go figure. So, LFR, I thought. “I’ve had no luck in dungeons, that must mean my luck in LFR will be better, right?” Well… I was half right. I picked up two upgrades in the first 4 bosses, and nothing in the last 4, but it still went pretty well overall… and I had a ton of fun. Also, I had a good reminder of just how damn powerful their defensive cooldowns are (HELLO ANTI-MAGIC SHELL!) when used at the right times. I also realized that I was pretty damn rusty at proper rune-gaming for Blood DKs, but thanks to a brief conversation with Rades I have that figured out pretty well also. (It takes work to do it “perfectly”, but it’s definitely much more effective than what I was doing.)

Well, after going and getting my DK some tanking gear, I decided that I wanted to transmog  her tank gear to look like an actual “blood” set (and this is the gear you see in her armory picture). This is a big part of what got me into the “OH MY GOD WHICH CLASS DO I WANT TO PLAY” conundrum I find myself faced with. Both the druid and the DK have some great bonuses, and some drawbacks. (One of the drawbacks of the druid is that I can’t see his mogged gear very much…  Go figure)

Also, over the last few days, i’ve spent a significant amount of time soloing old raid content. Partly, because it’s pretty damn good money (seriously, i made 5k in a day and a half on the DK), and partly to see if I could, and partly because raid bosses are having their gold amounts nerfed into oblivion adjusted to depend on the size of the party. I figured I might as well “get while the gettin’s good”… or something.

Man, it just felt wrong to type that, but I digress.

Soloing old raid content is a lot harder than I had expected. Well… some of it was anyway. I took my DK (who is considerably lesser geared than my Druid) into SSC, TK, and Naxx to see how I would fair. All told, I did alright, but I had to work a *lot* harder at it because of the gear disparity. Also, my druid puts out some *beastly* DPS for a tank, and my DK, who isn’t terrible by ANY means, just doesn’t compare right now. Taking the DK into older raids, however, DID give me the chance to see things that my druid might not have survived, and see things that my druid probably would have excelled at comparatively. It gave me more of a chance to see the variations between bear and blood rotations, and how they handle different problems. Also, it helped me realize that my DK needs a fuck ton more hit/expertise overall… sigh.

Sidebar on that topic: My druid is currently *bleeding* expertise to the point where it’s reforged off from every piece that has it, and i’m STILL over the soft cap. On top of that, he also has a modest amount of hit rating. My DK on the other hand is a draenei, so she has the built in 1% hit, and as a blood DK comes with 6 expertise or something like that, baked into the spec. My druid has 31 expertise, and about 3% hit, whereas the DK has 10 expertise and 1.48% hit. What the shit. Anyway.

Soloing old content is a lot of fun, but the money from bosses (like 130-180 from naxx 10, and 250 from BC 25 man raids) is about to go away, and that is sad. It’ll still be a good moneymaker if you can pull it off, between trash drops and gear being sold, plus you get a lot of practice at learning how to stay alive. All told, that in and of itself is very good exercise for a tank who wants to improve his game. Go solo Naxx or SSC or something. I would be willing to bet that you’ll find SOME way to get better. Hell, even if you don’t? You made a good chunk of change for your efforts. Win-Win situation.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take my druid into the Battle for Mt Hyjal and see how that goes.

Will the REAL Fuzzbutt, please stand up?

10 May

If you’ve been following me on twitter or my blog for a while, you may’ve noticed that I am somewhat impulsive. I tend to make rash decisions based on very little, empirical data… mostly relying on hearsay or VERY minor anecdotal evidence. I’ve spent a lot of talking about monks lately, and a tiny bit of time talking about DKs, but i’ve not spent a lot of time talking about druid-type things, because well… I wasn’t overly impressed with where they were taking the class for MoP previously. Since playing the monk so much, I figured it would be good to have a basis for comparison when it comes to tanking, so I dusted off my copied-over druid and shoved him into a few dungeons.

Keep in mind, first off, that this druid is considerably better geared than my monk is… he is at a 398 ilvl whereas premade toons start with a 378 ilvl, so that’s a relatively significant difference. Even with that in mind, holy shit on a cracker, what a difference there is in how the two tank. Right now, the monk’s rotation is panicky and spastic, and requires on a 100% uptime of one ability to even THINK about surviving (shuffle via BoK). When I took my druid into Temple of the Jade Serpent, it was like slipping on an old glove again. Bears on the beta feel smooth, and powerful and…

Wait, what the fuck is this? Lacerate is on a cooldown? Pulverize is gone? Swipe is (situationally) back in our single-target rotation? Wat the hell?

And what are these two new buttons i have? (Well.. actually only one is a new button, but Frenzied Regen has taken a SIGNIFICANT redesign from what it currently is on live.) Holy shit does that say 45% dodge? HOLY SHIT DID THAT JUST HEAL ME FOR 80K? /drool.

As you may have guessed, i’m starting to feel comfortable with the druid again (as it were). I may have been pretty rash in my earlier write-off of the class for Mists. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not writing off monks either, but right now they have a lot of work to do, and maybe I would do better sticking to what I know and simply adjusting… I mean it is kind of the druid way really. Take what we’re given, and make it work awesome.

So, let me take a brief minute and discuss what’s going on with bears in the beta.

Glyphs are in a decently fun place. There’s lots of actual CHOICE involved here, instead of “OH MY GOD YOU MUST TAKE THESE OTHERWISE YOU’RE BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD”

Except of course the Glyph of Rebirth. Seriously… I don’t care what role you are, you *have* to have this glyph. My other major glyphs are Maul (an old standby, and probably one that most bears WILL take), and Survival Instincts. SI glyph provides an interesting form of choice here. Reduce the cooldown & reduce the duration via glyph? It’s worth testing, at the very least. Of course, there are plenty of other glyphs that are worth considering. I won’t go into each and every one, but feel free to check out the list and decide for yourself what may work for you.

Talents, at the moment, are a bit less ambiguous for bears, in my opinion. The level 90 talents have been under EXTREME amounts of discussion, dissection, and dissertation on the beta forums, and there is probably an entire blog post I could devote to just those talents… but I will leave those discussions to people far more eloquent and well-versed in theorycrafting than myself. With the exception of the level 60 talents, the ones that I picked are pretty much no-brainers for bears. I picked “Incarnation” because it’s basically a second berserk, without the added gigglefits of hitting 3 targets, but that’s neither here nor there. Force of Nature is pretty amusing… it’s basically a bear’s “Army of the Dead”. Drop treants, watch them run around taunting everything in combat, profit. Soul of the Forest is a hard talent to skip over, but it’s also hard for me to give it a place right now, as well, simply because mangle giving me rage in GENERAL is bloody fantastic… I haven’t felt myself overly starved for rage when in any 5-mans, so I don’t predict raids to be much different.

OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GONNA DIENow, I fully expect this is going to change in the future, but hitting Incarnation and then having Kiril proc (making me DOUBLY HUGE) is worthy of mass amounts of giggling. I had to screenshot it while it was still a thing.

NO HE'S NOT OVERCOMPENSATING THANK YOU VERY MUCHIn other news, i’m considering making my druid back into a night elf. You may remember that I race changed him the very day that Cataclysm dropped, and i’ve been modestly happy with that decision. (Oh darkflight, you made Atramedes *POSSIBLE*) But as i’ve gone on through Cataclysm, i’ve noticed that capes and helmets all look like absolute shit on worgen. Night elves, on the other hand, look 84 kinds of awesome with both of them on. If I were to go out with no transmogged gear (except for the weapon, because Kiril is an ugly son of a polearm), this is what I would look like, on the left over here. Damn… that’s kinda hawt. Maybe i’ll race change him back to his original elven self.

MoP-up on Aisle 3

22 Oct

Yeah yeah, i know it’s really “Clean Up on Aisle 3″, but I decided to change it. Why? Because your face, that’s why.

Hmm.. I don’t know why, but i’m feeling feisty this morning.

So… Mists of Pandaria was announced at Blizzcon yesterday. I’m a little surprised that Blizz ACTUALLY went through with it, but there it is. While I could debate the price of tea in China (or Pandaria, as it were) all day long, i’m actually gonna skip right past the black and white fluffers for now and move on to a much more meaty topic. Yesterday, the powers that be released a (VERY) preliminary peak at an extremely large talent overhaul they have planned for the new expansion.

The long and short of it, as I understand it, is this… Talent trees are going to be gone. Permanently. Instead, you pick your spec upon reaching level 10, and they give you abilities that you need along the way. For you druids out there, they FINALLY went ahead and split feral into two specs, so while all the other classes have 3 different specs to choose from, druids have 4. I feel like Bear would play out something like this:

Level 10: Mangle

Level 20: Swipe

Level 30: Lacerate

Level 40: Maul

Again… that’s just speculation. Blizz listed the abilities in 10 level increments in their example, so I did as well. I still feel like we’ll be getting new abilities somewhere in the median for a few levels too, because trying to lowbie tank instances with only one or two buttons? Do *not* fucking want.

The other new (and very cool, imo) idea that Blizzard threw at us from deep left field is that every 15 levels, we get to make a choice. There are 3 different “talents”, for lack of a better term, that we get to choose from, that can augment our abilities or give us new ones altogether. We only get to pick 1 per 15 levels, and we can’t go back at our next choice and pick one we passed up. We can, however, change up these abilities, almost at will. (I believe they said it would be as easy as changing out a glyph). I can’t explain it nearly as eloquently as the panelists did, so instead i’ll dive right into the druid options that were unveiled, and how they relate to bears. Keep in mind that this is extremely preliminary, and is subject to being changed, or removed completely.

(Image courtesy of MMO-Champion)

Level 15: Feline Swiftness – Displacer Beast – Timeless Pursuit

I think this is a pretty simple choice to make if you’re a bear, seeing as the latter two abilities automatically shift you into cat form. That being said, Feline Swiftness giving bear form a base speed increase is damn nice. No more movement speed boot enchants necessary!

Level 30: Nature’s Swiftness – Renewal – Cenarion Ward

I think a fair argument could be made for taking Nature’s Swiftness, especially since it allows those spells to be case in any form, but 3 minutes is a long cooldown for one spell, even with increased healing and duration attached. As far as PvE bearing goes, the obvious choice would be Renewal, with Cenarion Ward coming in a modest second, depending on how well and with what stat the barrier scales. (Place it on your other tank in high damage situations? Random add from a pack got loose? High AoE damage moment before everyone is topped off? Bam)

Level 45: Faerie Swarm – Mass Entanglement – Typhoon

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS I AM SO RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED ABOUT TYPHOON OH HOLY SHIT.

/throat clear. Anyway. All of these could be good situational options. Typhoon may be a bit better for some PvPing, but the idea of a bear casting a typhoon just… I almost squeed when I saw that… seriously. Faerie Swarm apperas to be the same as the current iteration of Faerie Fire, with all 3 stacks landing at once, with the addition of a movement slow. If Faerie Fire remains in the game, then this could easily be overlooked. Mass Entanglement (a la Staghelm before you first pull Alysrazor), while a cool idea, is definitely not for tanking as you have to shift out of form to cast it. BEAR-PHOON HO!

Level 60 – Wild Charge – Incarnation – Force of Nature

Wild charge seems like a pretty fun talent, and could be pretty interesting, especially if Feral Charge will still exist in game. Double bear bomb? Sure why not. Incarnation could also be pretty interesting if they have an option specifically for bears (as it’s not listed atm, I honestly don’t know). Force of Nature could be fun too, but again it’s dependent upon what it would DO for us bearbutts. This will be an interesting level to see how it plays out, and is very dependent on many things.

Level 75 – Demoralizing Roar – Ursol’s Vortex – Bear Hug

Disorienting enemies really doesn’t have a whole lot of pve usage, if you ask me, so this iteration of Demo Roar could easily be overlooked. Ursol’s Vortex, however… Oh dear god give it to me NOW. /want. Bear hug could be an interesting choice, but the fact that it leaves you unable to do anything else, or even move, makes it seem less than useful in PvE content.

Level 90 – Heart of the Wild – Master Shapeshifter – Disentanglement

I’m not entirely sure what it is Blizzard was going for with this tier of options. I could see Disentanglement being situationally useful (in taunt-swap fights or something of that nature), but by and large it seems like Heart of the Wild would be the clear way to go here… 95% additional armor? Yikes. We’re already the far and away reigning kings of armor value, and that just seems like… just… wow. But as it stands, it’s still a pretty meh option for bears.

Overall, I think this new talent system will open up some pretty damn cool options, and it’ll be interesting to see what everyone favors for their preferred class and spec. It’ll also be fun to see this style develop and evolve, as well as the balancing of things, as Mists of Pandaria inches towards us from miles away.

And then there was one…

16 Aug

I’d been mulling this title over in my head for a while, but with the sudden and DRAMATIC change in what my subject matter is going to be, it doesn’t fit so much anymore… But I don’t care. You can sit and wonder just what the fuck I mean by that while I talk about something completely unrelated.

So… Ghostcrawler basically told the world that threat wasn’t going to matter anymore as of a soon-released hotfix. I believe his exact words were “…we’ve gotten over the concept that threat needs to be a major part of PvE gameplay….” I’m still a bit conflicted with what I think about it, so bear with me while I consider some of the finer points of what this means.

Pros:
DKs and Warriors with no threat drops won’t be splattering themselves nearly as often. (Seriously, retaliation/bladestorm on trash packs is just retarded, and our warrior pretty much dies every single time he does it. Of course, he does so giggling like a madman so, whatever I suppose.)
Lower geared tanks won’t have to worry about throttling raid-geared impatient fucks nearly as much. It’ll still happen some, i’m sure, but not to the degree it’s happening right now.

Cons:
Taunt-swaps suck for tanks as it is. “FFS, stop attacking so I can generate a bit of aggro!” is something I hear pretty regularly. I’m not a fan of just auto-attacking any more than DPS is, but I suppose it’s less of a big deal for me than it is for them. Just a kind of minor annoyance. In this same manner, i’m not sure how the proposed vengeance change will affect this. Maybe 1/3 damage-dealt-as-vengeance will be enough for this to be somewhat of a non-issue… It remains to be seen I suppose.
Whether blizz wants it to or not, there will come a point where DPS will outgear up and coming tanks so much that they’re going to have to throttle themselves, or become a blood-stained smear on the floor. That’s just the way it’s going to be. I have a story regarding that when I first started tanking that i’ll give later.*
I’m also unsure of this “more active role for tank’s survivability” stuff GC is talking about. This is less of an actual “con” than it is “cautious uncertainty”, but there’s not really a slot in a pros and cons list for that, so I guess it goes here for now.

Overall, the more I think about it, the more the change really doesn’t bother me. It’ll certainly be much easier for new tanks breaking into the scene, especially as it gets later and later into the expansion. I guess I am more indifferent than anything else about the change, because I play a tank who very rarely has to worry about threat being stolen from me. That’s not to say that i’m the end-all be-all of tanking, but it’s more that I overgear 95% of the pugs I run with, or I run with guildies who know how I tank, and know when they can open up full throttle on a mob safely. Now, as to that story I mentioned earlier.

*I first started tanking, SERIOUSLY tanking, in late Wrath, well after ICC had been implemented. Even after the Arthas fight had been out for a while. One of my first times tanking on my druid (probably in the first 5-10 heroics I queued as a tank for), I zoned into Drak’theron Keep. A quick glance at the pugs I was running with showed 2 “…of the Ashen Verdict”, and 1 “Kingslayer”… Of course, they were the DPSers. My first thoughts? “……..fuck.” Luckily, they were REALLY cool about it. I just told them ahead of time that I was pretty undergeared compared to them, so I hope they didn’t mind going easy on me. I think they *did* try to go easy on me, but they outgeared me by so much that it just really didn’t matter. I did everything I could to keep up with them (and did a pretty good job of it, in my opinion), but I just couldn’t NOT lose threat sometimes… okay, a lot of times. I was usually pretty quick with my taunt button though, and I don’t recall anybody dying, so it turned out well. At the end of the run I thanked them and went along my merry way, palms sweating and knees shaking at the trauma that they had just inflicted upon my green tanky self. BUT, I think this made me a better tank, overall. I had to react quicker, target switch more, and OMFG TAUNT YOU SONOFABITCH AUGH a lot more than I had at that point, and honestly, it was STILL one of the most difficult runs i’ve ever had to keep threat off of everyone.

Fast forward a few months to the time that I found myself in a newly formed SiB. A few guildies were talking about running a heroic, and I was like “sure, i’ll tank it for you guys”. Now… something about my volunteering sent a cold chill down my spine as a few of the guildies instantly started going into plotting how best to make my tanking for them “more fun”. Let me set the stage: Paladin healer, Druid tank (me), Boomkin, Destro warlock, and a rogue of some kind that we pugged in. I don’t remember if we were on vent at the time, but I do remember we were in Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom… and I also remember the boomkin splattering himself against the mobs repeatedly. “DOT EVERYTHING. STARFALL! THUNDERSTORM!!!” I also remember my healer crying “NO! PANZERKIN IS NOT FOR TANK! BAD BOOMIE!”. It was a lot less stressful because I knew these guys, but it was still a pretty difficult run, because I was still relatively new to the tank game.

What’s my point in telling these stories? I dunno. In hindsight they’re pretty damn funny, but they also helped shape what kind of a tank I have become, I think. Anyway, sorry about the nost having posted for a couple weeks. I have been absolutely ADDICTED to my warlock lately. He has been stealing the souls of many hordies, and NPCs alike, and is currently level 73. I gave up the initial quest for him to be levelled solely as pvp after a heartbreaking few hours where we lost something like 20 BGs in a row (half of them I had zoned into with 30 seconds or less left before final defeat). Somewhere around the 45 landmark I said “yeah, that’s enough of that” and blitzed my way into Northrend. He is sitting somewhere around the 8000 honorable kills mark, which is honestly more than any of my other toons… go figure, huh?

Circle of Tanking!

12 Jul

This idea sprung up from a sort of “survey” that’s being spread amongst numerous WoW bloggers called the “Circle of Healing”. so Orvilius, over at D/E the Tank! decided that tanks deserve to have our voices heard as well, and so: The Circle of Tanking was born!

 

1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Vaerron – Druid, 0/32/9

2. What is your primary group tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I’ve been the “main tank” and standing raid leader for Stands in Bad for almost a year.

3. What is your favorite cooldown for your class and why?
Survival Instincts – no doubt. It’s simple. Druids are far more about avoidance than mitigation. Fully raid buffed, my druid is sitting somewhere around 44% dodge, and reducing the damage i DO take by 50% for a long period, on top of my big avoidance, I really take almost no damage for the duration.

4. What tanking CD do you use least for your class and why?
Survival Instincts – Even though it’s my favorite, it’s harder to time this than Frenzied Regeneration (which increases my healing taken, and my max health for a period of time). If I use it when i’m way low on health, I might die anyway, and generally, the “predictable” damage streaks are much better uses for Barkskin. If I hit SI, it’s generally an OMFG SHIT moment, and I don’t like those.

5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
Highest base avoidance, and highest base damage reduction. My DK tank, in full 359 gear had ~30k armor and 27-28% dodge/parry. My Druid in full 359 gear had ~46k armor, and just under 40% dodge/parry.

6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Spell defense. We have the greatest passive spell defense through the resto talent Perseverence (6%), but aside from that, we’re generally gonna get hit harder by spells since we can’t dodge them, and armor doesn’t mitigate them.

7. In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
Since the swipe change, and the formulaic changes to our damaging abilities, our AOE threat is almost unmatched these days. Swipe/maul, Thrash, Swipe/maul in 3 consecutive GCDs put out ABSURD large amounts of threat.

8. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
I don’t really prefer tanking with one class over another, but i’m most comfortable tanking with a pally, because our main OT is a pally, and we’ve become pretty in tune with each other.

9. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
Warriors. I don’t dislike the class, I just have the least experience with them over the other 3 classes, so i’m not as familiar with how they operate.

10. What is your worst habit as a tank?
I have the worst habit of not using my cooldowns as much as I should. There’s almost no reason I shouldn’t be using barkskin on cooldown, but my uptime on it is *horrible* and that irks me.

11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
I’m kind of a control freak (raid leader AND tank? yeah i’m sure you guessed) so picking my biggest pet peeve is pretty hard. I think my biggest one would be DPS who don’t know how to /assist or don’t know how to watch their threat, and just go apeshit right from the start. Generally, this doesn’t happen in my raids, cause my DPSers know better… it’s mostly 5-man pugs that I have this issue with.

12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for tanking?
Absolutely. The highest physical resistance with the lowest magical resistance seems like a fair trade off. The highest avoidance with (arguably) the weakest mastery also seem like a fair trade. I think druids are in a good place overall.

13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
I keep one eye on omen a good portion of the time, cause if i’m not putting enough threat out, then my DPS is being throttled. I look back through World of Logs often to see where i’ve made mistakes, and where I took bigger damage spikes, trying to figure out why.

14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your tanking class?
“Bears are the high health pool tanks.” That may’ve been true in BC, and even in late Wrath, but it just isn’t anymore. Our health pool is pretty equivalent with pallies, DKs and warriors in equal gear. (Truth be told, I think my druid’s health is actually a bit lower than my DK’s health.)

15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
It’s hard for me to say. I learned to bear in Wrath, when bears were basically a 3-button class (swipe, mangle, lacerate. Maul was bound to EVERYTHING FOREVER), so I didn’t LEARN the class from the ground up when 4.0 changed everything, I just had to make a few adaptations to add in pulverize, and throw maul on it’s (very short) cooldown.

16. So, how about that whole vengeance mechanic, eh?
I think it works perfectly. Maybe even a bit too well, because threat (generally) still isn’t all that important more than a minute into a boss fight.

17. Stamina, Combat Table Coverage, or total Damage Reduction?
Damage reduction, without a doubt. My job as a tank is to stay alive, and to do so without having my healers curse my very existance. If I wanted, I could easily have a 200k health pool, but that just seems like a waste. I would make me take WAY more damage by missing out on that dodge, and it would also hurt my threat generation, since agility gives us AP and dodge. What’s the point of a 200k health pool, if my healers are having to refill it from 60k every GCD?

18. What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
Warriors. I’ve levelled a warrior from 85, but she’s pretty much parked and retired since then. I’ve never done any heroics with her, and i’ve only run a raid one time with a warrior tanking with me.

19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
I use ElvUI, which has a great number of things I use for tanking. It comes with it’s own threat plates (so I can easily see when someone’s pulling threat in a group of mobs). On top of that I also have the basics like recount (to show things like interrupts, damage taken, etc), and omen so I can see if someone’s creeping up on threat. Another one I really like is Tauntmaster, which makes taunting mobs out of a group much easier than manually targetting the mob and hitting my taunt button.

20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats (stam, mastery, avoidance), or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Avoidance. Agility is pretty much teh sex for bears right now, and we’re not anywhere near the dodge diminishing returns as far as I know, so the more avoidance, the better as far as I can tell.

So! It’s my turn to tag somebody, so i’m gonna tag @Riftmaker and @Reesify at The Inconspicuous Bear.

Firelands’ Bling – Bear Version

6 Jun

I’m rather surprised to see that there’s actually less agility items than there are strength items. But I guess it kinda makes sense, cause they have to differentiate strength items into tanking and non-tanking items, whereas agility is just… agility. It kinda makes things a bit more competetive if there’s any kitties, rogues, hunters, or enhancement shammies in your raid.

Necklaces:

(Heroic) Necklace of Strife - The *only* necklace in heroic t11. /shrug. Not spectacularly itemized (With the haste), but if you’re doing heroics, you probably already have it. I’m annoyed that in 13 bosses, there’s only one necklace in the whole tier worth using.

Flamesign Necklace - The *only* necklace in t12 content. Yet again, not amazingly itemized (hit and crit), but if it’s the only one… yeah, you’ll probably end up picking it up.

Ring: There’s actually a few more choices here than there are for the other tanks.

Band of Ghoulish Glee - Pretty sure this is going to drop from the Headless Horseman, so it’ll only be available for a limited time. That said, it’s not a half bad ring, for how easily you’d be able to pick it up.

Band of Glittering Lights - Not a very good ring, bearwise. Crit and haste are among our lowest priorities, so this one is probably better off left on the shelf.

Matoclaw’s Band - Another hit/crit ring, but without the downside of only being available for a couple weeks.  Nearly identical to the Horseman’s ring, if you’re coming from 359 rings, this one may not be a bad upgrade until you can pick up one of the raid-drops.

(Heroic) Lightning Conductor’s Band - If you picked this one up Heroic Omnotron, then you’ll probably hang on to it for a while. Hit and Crit rear their respective puzzled heads again, making this one of the only rings you might ever see from heroic t11 content. Conclave’s loot table is WAY too random for me to even think about listing them here, so I won’t (also, because I don’t know all of the enchantments available with them).

Splintered Brimstone Seal - The first of two t12 level rings, this one actually has mastery on it… something severely lacking from everything of a lower item level.  This one is probably BiS for 378′s, as it has slightly more crit, that can be reforged off into dodge, but still a good amount of mastery for those delicious savage defense shields.

Widow’s Kiss - Still a solid choice for bear rings, the haste on this one makes it a little less desirable than the Splintered Brimstone Seal. Also, it has less mastery than it’s counterpart. Not necessarily something you should pass up, per se, but the other one is just better for us.

 

Trinkets, for druids, are still an object of contention. All signs still point to bears wanting to prioritize agility over stamina, so it may work to your benefit to have an agility trinket, as well as a standard “tanking” trinket. The full listing of tank oriented trinkets, you can find here, so I won’t list all of them again… I’ll just put the agility trinkets here specifically for bears.

Aella’s Bottle (has the EXACT same stats/proc/use ability as Ricket’s Magnetic Fireball)- Obviously, the proc makes it look more DPS oriented (and it probably is), but this isn’t a bad trinket for bears by any means. If your bear is an alchemist, however, you can probably hang on to the Quicksilver Alchemist’s Stone over this one, as the agility comes REALLY close to equaling out, if you throw a socket-matching gem in there. Also, the bonus healing from potions can be quite nice, and really a lifesaver in some situations i’m sure. The on-use ability for this trinket could be modestly decent to help force a savage defense proc, but that’s about it. Kind of a tossup, depending on your current trinket situation.

(Heroic) Essence of the Cyclone - Circumstantially, one of the best trinkets from t11 content. High baseline agility, and a (somewhat useful) high proc for crit make this a good trinket to keep around for rotating in and out. I have a feeling tanks are going to be keeping several trinkets stashed in their bags.

(Heroic) Prestor’s Talisman of Machination - Not quite as good as the Essence of the Cyclone, based solely on the proc (haste instead of crit), but the baseline agility still make it a decent grab, if you haven’t picked up the other one, for some reason.

The Hungerer - The only i378 agility trinket available, this one is better off going to your rogues and hunters first. The agility base is high, of course, but the special effect, unique as it is, is completely worthless to us.  You can probably, safely, go without this for a while.

What trinket setup I would go with would be pretty dependant on the fight, obviously… but I would most likely keep (Heroic) Essence of the Cyclone, Moonwell Phial, Brawler’s Trophy, and Mirror of Broken Images in my bags at all times. Of course, your mileage may vary, and what you have access to actually picking up is going to differ with your guild’s progression as well. Hope these gear lists are helpful to you. Again, i’m hardly the be-all, end-all on this stuff. These are just my opinions, and are things to look forward to picking up once 4.2 drops.

 

Bear-Flavored Firelands Gear

31 May

Well, I did say I would put a bear’s list up comparable to my DK list for t12 content, and here it is. As far as I can tell so far, the stats are pretty much the same priority-wise as they were in t11. Agility and Dodge are still gonna be king. After that it looks to be Mastery > Expertise >= Hit > Crit > Haste. Obviously, Dodge doesn’t come standard on any leather gear, so that will be just about the only thing you reforge into. Gem-wise, you’ll be using Agility, Agility/Stam or Dodge/Stam.

Chest:

Demon’s Lord Wings - Haste is always crappy for us. I think Blizz is trying to find some use for it for bears, but yeah. I can’t see them doing much of anything that’ll make it any decent for us, other than getting an extra swing over the course of 10 seconds.

Obsidian Arborweave Raiment - Aside from the fact that both our 2p and 4p bonuses are hot this time around (get it? hot? har har?) this is just better itemized than the offset piece. Crit, being the higher value, is what you’d want to reforge towards dodge.

Feet:

Sandals of the Flaming Scorpion - Crit and mastery, plus the gem socket make this pair of boots the preferable pair. Also, the higher individual stat means you have more to reforge away from this than the others.

Treads of the Craft - Haste again. Blugh. Also, no gem socket…  Even though there’s more base agility (and thus, dodge) on these, the Flaming Scorpions end up with a higher amount of dodge if you throw an agi/stam gem in them, and reforge the higher stat into dodge. The bonus these boots have is that they’re crafted, so they’ll be easier to obtain for a while… but probably quite expensive for a while.

Hands:

Aviana’s Grips - These are lower ilvl than the raid drops, but will probably be easy to obtain, but they’re not very well itemized for us.

Clutches of Evil - Crafted and the same ilvl as the raid drops, but again not quite well itemized. Also, no gem socket. I would generally try to skip anything with haste on it, if I had my choice of things… admittedly, it doesn’t always work that way.

Gloves of Dissolving Smoke - These would probably be the item of choice. They aren’t your tier gloves, but these are a bit better itemized, set-bonuses not withstanding.

Obsidian Arborweave Grips - These aren’t the best itemized for tier pieces, but… it’s still a tier piece. (Here’s a little hint… I haven’t looked at all the tier pieces yet, so I don’t know which one is the piece to skip yet. I am looking these up as I go along. *gasp*)

Head:

Obsidian Arborweave Headpiece - A tier piece with hit rating on it? What is this I don’t even. Do *not* bypass this one if you get a chance to grab it up.

Vision of the Flaming Skull - This one has haste rating, so it’s instantly worse than the tier piece. Plus… y’know… tier lol.

 

Legs:

Cinderweb Leggings - I think you’re getting the idea by now. Haste? Pass it up, especially for a tier slot.

Obsidian Arborweave Legguards - ANOTHER leather piece with hit? YOU’LL TAKE THAT HIT RATING AND YOU’LL LIKE IT. (Seriously, i’m confused). Besides, we’ve already talked about the tier bonuses, right?

 

Shoulders:

Obsidian Arborweave Spaulders - I’m pretty sure the choice is clear by now. Although the choice between the tier shoulders and the off-tier shoulders isn’t nearly as difficult (as neither of them have haste :P), but these still come out on top by way of mastery and crit rating.

Shoulderpads of the Forgotten Gale - If you’re shooting to get more hit rating, then these are a solid choice, but, of course, the tier is better overall because man those set bonuses are nice. And mastery is still pretty good for us as far as survival goes, but dodge is still better in the long run.

 

Belt:

Flamebinding Girdle - With this belt coming from rep with the new Avengers of Hyjal faction, these will probably be easy to come across relatively quickly, but these are “technically” worse than the raid dropped belt… (y’know, that pesky haste rating and everything).

Riplamb’s Lost Collar - Stastitcally better, but probably harder to come across than the other belt. Also, it has expertise, which seems a bit more difficult to come across as well.

 

Bracers:

Flamebinder Bracers - Wow.. the curse of the leather bracers continues. I remember going absolutely berserk while gearing up on my druid, looking for bracers. And then there was only 1 set of 359 bracers, which means there’s only one set of heroic t11 bracers. This is a fucking terrible trend, and really needs to stop.

Now, lets look briefly at the tier pieces, so you can see which 4 pieces to take for your 4p bonus, and which one to leave out.

Hands – Crit/Haste (10 agi socket bonus)

Head – Hit/Crit (30 agi socket bonus)

Legs – Hit/Mastery (20 agi socket bonus)

Chest – Crit/Exp (20 agi socket bonus)

Shoulders – Crit/Mastery (10 agi socket bonus)

Just at a quick glance, I would easily drop the hands for one of the other choices. Fortunatly, the gloves are one slot that have multiple options, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something different to use, and get your 4pt12 in other slots. That being said, I don’t know what bosses are dropping tier tokens (or tier pieces, however they’re doing it this go-round), so if… say Ragnaros holds on to the head slot (which I could very well see happening), and you have 3 other slots, feel free to pick up the gloves and get your 4p bonus. I would rather have that set bonus than sit without it for the sake of a little bit of better itemization.

Weapons: I’m doing these the same way I did the DK weapons, and including heroic t11 versions, just because of the small number of choices.

Witch Hunter’s Harvester - This is the new crafted weapon available for bears to paw at for a little while. Sadly, it’s a lower ilvl than Firelands weapons… and even lower than heroic t11 weapons, but if you’re still using a 359, it may not be a terrible choice. Crit and mastery make it pretty well itemized for us at any rate.

(Heroic) Malevolence - As the heroic version of the *only* 2handed agility weapon from t11 content, you’re probably very familiar with this weapon. You’ve probably also fought with every hunter and kitty in your guild over it as well. Such is life. At least it’s well itemized for us, also with Crit and Mastery, but only having 1 usable item in an entire tier of content, out of 13 bosses? That’s fuckin lame.

Ranseur of Hatred - First of the 378 drops, this is definitely the “worse” between them. If you have to pick between this and Heroic Malevolence, it’s pretty much a tossup between them. As we know, haste is worthless for us, but there’s a good amount of it to reforge off into dodge, and it also has more baseline agility and stam.

Fandral’s Flaming Spire - No doubt the best item available before heroic raiding for the bear types. Crit and mastery are the tasty combo of weapon stats for bears, it seems (on 3 of the 4 items i’m listing here), which works out just fine for us. Sad to see that there’s no sockets on any of these weapons though, like there is for Sulfuras.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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