Tank like a girl
Dec 21 2010

Shopping List: Cataclysm pre-raid gear for prot warriors

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It is time for the first edition of my shopping list for this expansion, tried and true since TBC days. :) As always, I will list at least 3 items per slot, in order of desirability. For those who do not have loot luck I will include at least one item per slot that you can obtain without relying on pure RNG. If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment. I <3 comments. :)

I would like to note that pretty much all ilevel 346 items are VERY similar, with slight tweaks of the stats. It's hard to pinpoint which piece comes out as superior in general. Use your own stats as guideline, fill in your weaknesses, and remember you can always reforge. I generally favor parry and mastery in this expansion, for Critical Block and Hold the Line!

Head:

  • Helm of the Proud – 2,200 Justice Points. A steep price for a nice helm, offering pure avoidance stats, plus the obligatory meta and normal gem socket.
  • Helm of Setesh – Setesh, H Halls of Origination. Very similar to the helm below, but with more strength. If you want more oomph, nice, but it’s pretty much a sidegrade from the rep helm.
  • Grinning Fang Helm/Crown of Wings – Revered with Dragonmaw/Wildhammer Clan. Nothing to sneeze at. I find the rep is easy to come by if you do the dailies, and I was just into Honored after finishing Highland quests, so it won’t be a long grind at all.

Neck:

  • Elementium Guardian – Jewelcrafting BoE. This has a socket, so it will end up being the highest stamina necklace outside of raids for a while. Unfortunately, it’s not on my server’s horde AH yet, so I will have to coerce my guild’s JCers to buy this, or maybe level the jewelcrafting of my DK.
  • Carrier Wave Pendant – Ascendant Lord Obsidius, H Blackrock Caverns. Parry and Mastery, my current favorite combo.
  • The Lustrous Eye – 1,250 Justice Points. Mastery, want.
  • Mountain’s Mouth – Honored with Guardians of Hyjal. The cheapest, nicest tanking necklace you’ll ever get. Available at level 83. If you have quested in Hyjal, you will actually end up all the way to Revered with those guys, so pick this necklace up at 83 and wear it until you replace it in heroics.

Shoulders:

  • Pauldrons of Edward the Odd – BoE World Drop. These will very likely cost a pretty penny if you see them up in the AH. But they are quite sweet indeed. If you are very rich or very lucky, the way to go.
  • Earthshape Pauldrons – Drahga Shadowburner, H Grim Batol. Solid stats and a precious blue gem socket.
  • Sunburnt Pauldrons – 1,650 Justice Points. Not a fan of the hit, not while I am still struggling to get expertise capped, for example. But that’s what reforging is for!
  • Earthshape Pauldrons – Drahga Shadowburner, Grim Batol. No gem socket, and less stat budget, but definitely the best choice before you venture into heroics.
  • Pharaoh’s Burial Spaulders – Quest reward for Harrison Jones and the Temple of Uldum. For all you unlucky fellas, just complete the lengthy Uldum quest chain and choose the shoulders as reward.

Back:

  • Wrap of the Great Turtle – Exalted with Guardians of Hyjal. I loved that turtle, I really did. Beautiful cloak too.
  • Zom’s Electrostatic Cloak – BoE World Drop. Haven’t seen this one around yet, but it’s definitely a shiny cloak. Not quite as shiny as the turtle’s though, so I would probably save my money.
  • Twilight Dragonscale Cloak – Leatherworking BoE. It comes with a socket, so it’s a very attractive gear choice if you can find a crafter for it.
  • Billowing Cape – Asaad, H Vortex Pinnacle. Attractive stats, and supposedly the easiest heroic out there.
  • Cloak of War – Leatherworking BoE. Some leatherworkers seem to craft this to get to 525, so you might get this a lot cheaper than the above cloak. It’s an excellent choice pre-heroic and currently mine, thanks to a donation from a guild crafter. Thanks, Tondo! :)

Chest:

  • Hardened Elementium Bulwark – Blacksmithing BoE. If only you had sockets, oh shiny hauberk. Mat costs are steep, but I shall definitely craft one of those pre-raid, once I can get my hands on Chaos Orbs.
  • Beauty’s Plate – Beauty, H Blackrock Caverns. Very attractive stats plus two sockets. If you don’t want to save up for the crafted piece, a nice choice to farm instead.
  • Chestplate of the Steadfast – 2,200 Justice Points. Not cheap by any means, that’s a few heroics to run.
  • Breastplate of the Witness – Quest reward for Closing a Dark Chapter, Grim Batol. Best pre-heroic choice. Complete Grim Batol on normal and you’ll be the owner of the shiny new chestpiece if you remembered to pick up the quests.

Wrist:

  • Sandguard Bracers – Exalted with Ramkahen. Shiny epic bracers obtainable per rep. Just what the doctor ordered. Too bad there’s only one daily for the camel people.
  • Shackles of Undeath – Lord Godfrey, H Shadowfang Keep. The new final boss of SFK, I am looking forward to going there, though I hear it’s definitely not that easy. Excitement.
  • Armguards of Earthly Light – Isiset, H Halls of Origination. Again, not a fan of the hit this early in content, but I would grab them if they dropped for me.
  • Armguards of Earthly Light – Isiset, Halls of Origination. The non-heroic version are the best choice pre-heroic, so good luck. I love the instance, so it’s all good to me.

Hands:

  • Fingers of Light – Rajh, H Halls of Origination. Excellent stats, my favorite gloves.
  • Numbing Handguards – 1,650 Justice Points. Are they too tight, or why are they numbing? Replacing parry with dodge, they’re almost as good as the above, not a bad purchase at all.
  • Gloves of the Greymane Wall – Baron Ashbury, H Shadowfang Keep. See my comments above. A little bit different stat budget. Weaker for lack of mastery, but not bad by any means.
  • Fingers of Light – Rajh, Halls of Origination. The best pre-heroic choice.

Waist:

  • Hardened Elementium Girdle – Blacksmithing BoE. Definitely crafting this one.
  • Belt of the Ferocious Wolf – Exalted with Guardians of Hyjal. This belt is obviously tailored towards DPS, with crit on it, but reforging the crit to an avoidance stat might make this fairly attractive. Especially as this belt has a gem socket.
  • Girdle of the Mountains – 1,650 Justice Points. All avoidance, all the time.
  • Sand Dune Belt – Augh, H Lost City of the Tol’vir.
  • Belt of Guardianship – World Drop. This would be the best pre-heroic choice, and it shares exactly the same stats as the non-heroic Sand Dune Belt. Which obviously drops off Augh in regular Lost City of the Tol’vir.

Legs:

  • Triton Legplates – Neptulon’s Cache, H Throne of the Tides.
  • Greaves of Splendor – 2,200 Justice Points
  • Stone-Wrapped Greaves – Honored with Earthen Ring. Best pre-heroic pants, and you can get them at level 83. A steal. My biggest hurdle was actually finding their quartermaster, as I hadn’t quested in Vash’jr.

Feet:

Rings:

  • Elementium Moebius Band – Jewelcrafting BoE. Solid ring with a gem socket, so find yourself a Jewelcrafter!
  • Ring of Three Lights – Siamat, H Lost City of the Tol’vir.
  • Felsen’s Ring of Resolve – Revered with Therazane. Felsen means rock in German, and that ring will help you be a rock for your groups. One of the easier rep grinds, so Revered is easy to obtain if you have quested in Deepholm.
  • Red Rock Band – Revered with Ramkahen. A ring that can be used both by DPS and prot warriors, as all can use the stats on them. If you can’t get your hands on one of the above, not a bad choice.
  • Temple Band – Zone Drop BoE, Halls of Origination. I have seen this ring sold on the AH for 500 to 650 gold. Certainly an option if you don’t feel like rep grinding or running regular instances.

Trinkets:

  • Leaden Despair – High Priestess Azil, H Stonecore. Nummy stamina, and an effect that might save your bacon when the going gets tough. Not bad at all!
  • Za’brok’s Lucky Tooth – Quest reward for Four Heads are better than none, Twilight Highlands. The number 2 choice for stamina fans, and it’s a quest reward!
  • Porcelain Crab – Mindbender Ghur’sha, H Throne of the Tides.
  • Impetuous Query – Zone Drop BoE, Lost City of the Tol’vir. Snag it up in the AH if you see it. Not only are the stats quite nice, the on-use will also make it seem that you are Bladestorming all over the place. I love it. :)

Weapons:

  • Elementium Fang – High Priestess Azil, H Stonecore. The most attractive pre-raid weapon is a sword. I am a disappointed orc, I tell ya. Stop catering to humans! *waves her campaigning signs around*
  • Mace of Transformed Bone – Erudax, H Grim Batol.
  • Axe of the Eclipse – Altairus, H Vortex Pinnacle. The lines are blurry between tank and DPS gear these days, and this axe might serve a dual-wielding DK as well as a prot warrior, especially if you reforge the hit for missing expertise or avoidance.
  • Mace of the Gullet/Dragonscorn Mace – Quest reward for Fury Unbound/Narkrall, the Drake Tamer, Twilight Highlands. Best pre-heroic weapon, a very nice quest reward.

Shield:

  • Blockade’s Lost Shield – World Drop BoE. Named after Blockade, a player with a collection of shields. What an honor to have a shield named after you. I think I would pee myself if there was ever a Kadomi item. Not that that’s gonna happen, but a girl can dream! Anyway, extremely excellent stats on this one, so good luck with the drop. It’s gonna be pricey on the AH.
  • Elementium Earthguard – Blacksmithing BoE. That’s a fine looking shield and the mats aren’t too bad at all, requiring only one Chaos Orb.
  • Shield of the Four Grey Towers – 950 Justice Points.
  • Shield of the Iron Maiden – Rom’ogg Bonecrusher, H Blackrock Caverns. The two shields are nearly identical, so I would probably save the Justice Points for something else.
  • Twilight Mirrorshield/Truthbreaker Shield – Quest reward for Traitor’s Bait/A Villain Unmasked, Twilight Highlands (turns in in Orgrimmar/Stormwind). Best pre-heroic option, and of course also easiest to obtain.

Ranged:

  • Thundercall – Asaad, H Vortex Pinnacle. Blizzard has heard our QQ and finally added this weapon to the actual loot tables in-game. It’s been floating around all game databases for a while, and now with 4.0.6 we can finally yank it out of Asaad’s hands. Hopefully. Good luck!
  • Muffled Blunderbuss/Silenced Blunderbuss – Quest reward for Dark Assassins in Twilight Highlands. The best and only option for the ranged slot for prot warriors. Where are the shiny engineering guns or anything else for that slot? :o

And I am done. That’s a long list. Consider this Kadomi’s Christmas present for tanks if you didn’t already sort out gear for yourself. :)

Filed under : Gear | 36 Comments »
Dec 05 2010

Cataclysm faction rewards for prot warriors

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Cataclysm’s almost here now, mere hours away, and a lot of you are probably itching to be on their way to 85. But even if you are not a power leveler and want to take your time, you might like some info about Cataclysm factions, and their rewards. I checked out which factions might be the most interesting ones for us at 85, so that you know what rep to focus on, if you want to get your gear in order quickly.

Some basic information: Cataclysm rep epics have item level 359, and the rare gear has 346. I am assuming that to get into heroics, you will need at least full 346 gear. The rep vendors also have lower item level gear (333, level 83), so I will mention them as well for completion’s sake.

Neutral factions:

Earthen Ring:

Guardians of Hyjal:

Ramkahen:

Cat people in Uldum, whee. Can I just say that I am so freaking excited about Uldum and hope it matches the awesomeness of all other things Titan-related?

  • Sandguard Bracers – Hooray, bracers you can get for rep. Bracers got no love in WotLK, so seeing those makes me happy. :) Available at Exalted.
  • Red Rock Band – not necessarily a tank item, as the stats will also be nice for DPS. If you are pressed for expertise, worth a look! Available at Revered.

Therazane:

As lovely as Princess Theradras in Maraudon, we get to deal with the mother matriarch of Earth in Deepholm. Of course it’s understandable why we all start reputation with that faction at Hated, after all we have killed one of her relatives time and again. Therazane is comparable to Sons of Hodir, you need to unlock the reputation by doing a quest chain, and they reward you with shoulder enchants, and rings.

Faction-specific:

There are two faction-specific groups on each side. They have identical rewards, just renamed, so nothing new here. I will list horde and alliance items both.

Dragonmaw Clan/Wildhammer Clan

Hellscream’s Reach/Baradin’s Wardens

  • Mirror of Broken Images/Mirror of Broken Images – These two Tol Barad factions have five different trinkets at Exalted. Four of them provide you with 321 mastery as equip bonus, and an on-use. The trinket I listed offers resistance against magic schools, which might be necessary for magic-heavy fights.
  • Unsolvable Riddle/Unsolvable Riddle – alternatively we could hype up our agility, along with the 321 mastery. Like Mongoose on crack, I suppose.

So there ya go, your list of gear you can obtain through reputation. My personal order of reputation grinding: Therazane quests as early as possible, Earthen Ring for the head enchant and the legs while leveling, Guardians of Hyjal for the leveling necklace, and then all the others, in the order of what gear I need to replace the most. Your mileage may vary. Hellscream’s Reach probably last. I don’t PvP, and the trinkets don’t knock me off my socks.

Also, I really really badly want a camel mount from the Ramkahen. CAMEL!

Filed under : Gear | 9 Comments »
Dec 22 2009

Pre-raid Shopping list: the 3.3 edition

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The addition of the new 5-mans plus the easy availability of Emblems of Triumph call for an update for the gear list for protection warriors who are just hitting 80. If you follow the list, you should be able to hop into the raiding scene in little time. It’s never been easier. :)

I will list several pieces of gear per slot. The top piece listed is your entry gear into heroics, and the further down on list, the better the piece.

Head:

Neck:

  • Titanium Earthguard Chain – buy in AH or bring mats to a friendly Jewelcrafter
  • Shard of the Crystal Forest – available for 19 Emblems of Conquest, so you will have to downgrade some emblems. Nevertheless, still a very solid piece, if you don’t dare set foot into the Icecrown instances yet.
  • Fossilized Ammonite Choker – Arthas encounter, H HoR. A tough instance and encounter, with a great necklace as reward.

Shoulders:

Back:

  • Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions – Honored with Wyrmrest Accord, your companion for a long time
  • Platinum Mesh Cloak – still a valuable buy at 25 Emblems of Valor
  • Eerie Runeblade Polisher – Falric and Marwyn, reg. Halls of Reflection. I have revised my opinion, it’s better than the Platinum Mesh Cloak, due to stats being a touch higher. If you are having bad drop luck though, and spare badges, the PMC is still great.

Chest:

Wrist:

Gloves:

Waist: nothing has changed for this slot at all

Legs:

Feet:

  • Tempered Titansteel Treads – grab a cheap pair of those crafted boots to start tanking heroics.
  • Boots of Heartfelt Repentance – Eadric the Pure, reg. ToC. These boots will take you a long way.
  • Black Spire Sabatons – Devourer of Souls, H Forge of Souls. Awesome boots, definitely nice to grab.
  • Spiked Deathdealers – crafted by blacksmiths, cost a pretty penny, but are most excellent. Two sockets give you an EH edge, so I place them above the Black Spire Sabatons.

If you already have the Spiked Deathdealers, you’re set, if you don’t, save the gold and get the Black Spire Sabatons.

Rings:

  • Titanium Earthguard Ring – fabulous ring, crafted, save up some gold and profit
  • Signet of the Accord – BoE drop in Obsidian Sanctum-10, should be up in the AH or…
  • Keystone Great-Ring – if you’re still def-capped anyhow, drops in H Drak’tharon Keep
  • Alternatively any of the blue tanking rings from heroics. Eventually replace the above with…
  • Mark of the Relentless – beautifully itemized ring from H ToC, just no defense on it.
  • Clutch of Fortification – 35 Emblems of Triumph. Simply perfect ring. Armor, stamina, avoidance.

Trinkets:

Main Hand:

  • Wanted: Ragemane’s Flipper – start out with any of the quest rewards as per race and personal taste.
  • Axe of the Sen’jin Protector or Teldrassil Protector – if you enjoy the Argent Tournament Dailies, these are available for 25 Champion’s Seals.
  • Peacekeeper Blade – 2nd encounter, H ToC. The turkey knife is nicely itemized and has a socket. As there’s no def on the sword, you might have to gem it for defense.
  • Lucky Old Son – Bronjahm, reg. Forge of Souls. If a baby rattle is more your style and you like inherent def on weapons, this drop might be for you. Not a huge upgrade, but slightly higher DPS.
  • Falric’s Wrist-Chopper – Falric and Marwyn, H Halls of Reflection. This is it for orc tanks. Go figure that Blizzard had to hide it in one of the most difficult dungeon encounters ever. This is best pre-raid for orcs, however if you’re not one of us, you’d rather go for…
  • Rimefang’s Claw – Scourgelord Tyrannus, H Pit of Saron. No wasted item budget on block rating, all around solid stuff. Looks pretty nice too.

Shields:

Ranged:

  • Blades of the Sable Cross – makes no sense to buy the engineer gun anymore. Go straight for the thrown weapon for 25 Emblems of Triumph.

To get all Emblem gear listed here, you’d have to spend 25 Emblems of Valor, 47 Emblems of Conquest and 310 Emblems of Triumph. Remember, tanks get instant gratification when queueing up for random heroics, so you can get those emblems faster than any other role. Happy hunting. :)

Filed under : Gear, guide | 51 Comments »
Dec 08 2009

Icecrown 5-mans for tanks

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3.3 will go live today, which means I have to work on my shopping list for plate tanks very soon. To tide you over in the mean time, let’s look at what tanking goodness expects us in the 3 wings of the new 5-man in Icecrown. Running the wings on normal gets you ilevel 219 loot, on par with Ulduar-10, and running it on heroic gets you ilevel 232 loot, on par with Trial of the Crusader-10.

The Forge of Souls

The first wing offers 2 bosses, Bronjahm, who will clearly be a sex machine, and Devourer of Souls.

  • Lucky Old Sun (Bronjahm, normal) – almost identical to Legacy of Thunder from Ulduar-10, with subtle differences (more strength, no expertise, less def and dodge, but parry), same baby rattle model. Not a true upgrade if you already have the Ulduar mace or Peacekeeper Blade, but not bad.
  • Sollerets of Suffering (Devourer of Souls, normal) – interesting name, for sure. These boots are for threat, with shield block value on them, so I personally prefer the itemization of Boots of Heartfelt Repentance. Nevertheless, that’s a good amount of stamina and strength on them. Spiked Deathdealers are still the best deal compared to those other two available outside of a raid.
  • Legplates of Frozen Granite (Devourer of Souls, normal) – these are pretty strong pants. Socket, oodles of stamina. Very high def and hit which has become a little bit more important for tanks in recent times. Do you know how much a missed taunt sucks? A lot.
  • Black Spire Sabatons (Devourer of Souls, heroic) – Now that’s what I am talking about. Those boots are a lot stronger. Still not as good as the Spiked Deathdealers as they have no sockets, but definitely very solid all around aside from that.

Pit of Saron

The second wing has three boss encounters, Forgemaster Garfrost, Krick and Ick and finally Scourgelord Tyrannus.

  • Shoulderplates of Frozen Blood (Forgemaster, heroic) – very nicely itemized shoulders, because I love expertise. I keep hovering around the dodge cap, so seeing more expertise on gear makes me happy.
  • Ick’s Rotting Thumb (Krick and Ick, heroic) – that’s a disgusting name and with Chill of the Throne in Icecrown, I don’t know that anyone would use this instead of one of the high stamina trinkets. Still, that’s a lot of dodge, and a Last Stand effect for Oh Shit! moments.
  • Scourgelord’s Frigid Chestplate (Scourgelord Tyrannus, normal) – another solidly itemized piece of gear. Not as strong as the T9 chest, but a great filler piece until you have enough Emblems of Triumph.
  • Rimefang’s Claw (Scourgelord Tyrannus, heroic) – very nice tank sword. Yay for catering to the Alliance masses. QQ for us poor axe-starved orcs, again.
  • Icebound Bronze Cuirass (Scourgelord Tyrannus, heroic) – another chestpiece, and probably nice for a hit set. I’ll still go with T9 chest instead, because of the sockets.

Halls of Reflection

The last wing is supposed to be amazing lore-wise. Let’s see how amazing the drops are along with that!

  • Splintered Door of the Citadel (Falric and Marwyn, normal) – funny how the doors of the Citadel look exactly like shields from Ulduar. I call mine Harry, btw. But aside from another example of laziness with models, let’s look at the numbers, compared to the Shieldwall of the Breaker. Good news: the first shield available outside of a raid since Culling of Stratholme. Bad news: definitely not as solidly itemized as the Ulduar shield, but good armor, high stamina and defense. For anyone who’s still lugging around the Royal Crest, this shield is fab.
  • Eerie Runeblade Polisher (Falric and Marwyn, normal) – Cloaks for tanks are rare as well, so this is a very nice drop. It’s about on par with the Platinum Mesh Cloak, which I still think has a slight edge thanks to the expertise on it, but only a slight edge.
  • Falric’s Wrist-Chopper (Falric and Marwyn, heroic) – Well, hello thar. What a mighty fine tanking axe you are. Screw the block rating, I want you. I am an orc, shiny big axes belong in my strong hands. You’re no Ardent Guard, but I love you anyway, because of the expertise. Rar!
  • Crystalline Citadel Gauntlets (The Lich King, normal) – That’s a lot of SBV on those gloves, so nice for a threat set. Other than that, not convincing, Mercy’s Hold from ToC or the Conquest badge gloves are stronger.
  • Second Helm of the Executioner (The Lich King, heroic) – This is a very fugly model, ew. Blue socket, meta socket, oodles of stamina and high expertise are fabulous. The shield block rating we get dumped on our helmets not so much. But not bad. 
  • Fossilized Ammonite Choker (The Lich King, heroic) – very strong necklace. No complaints from me.

And that’s it. As summary, there are a lot of great pieces to gear up people and bring them up to speed with current content. Nothing I found is quite as good as any of the Emblem of Triumph gear nor better than any drops in Trial of the Crusader-10. I willl definitely try to get the axe, and maybe pick up some of the SBV stuff for a threat set (that I mostly use in heroics anyway), but I already have pretty decent gear. For everyone else playing catchup, or who never had much luck in Ulduar-10 or ToC-10, there’s some fantastic gear upgrades to get in there.

Good luck with patching, and have fun with the new 5-man! The upgraded shopping list for 3.3 will be published next week, so stay tuned. :)

Filed under : Gear, instances, patch | 10 Comments »
Sep 15 2009

Shopping List: the 3.2 edition

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I receive a lot of questions from newer tanks via e-mail or I read about struggling tanks who are getting discouraged, in a world where a WoW Heroes score seems more important to PUGs than actual skill. But it’s never been easier than today to get awesome tanking gear in little time. Don’t let the snobs discourage you and stick to your game plan. Consider all my previous gear lists irrelevant after the big gear reset of 3.2. Here’s your ticket to fabulous tanking gear that will find you ready to tackle Ulduar-10.

I will list several pieces of gear per slot. The top piece is your entryway into heroics, the second or third piece your gear progression.

Head:

Neck:

Shoulders:

Cloak:

Chest:

Wrist:

Gloves:

Waist:

Legs:

  • Legguards of Abandoned Fealty – from reg ToC, absolutely fabulous starter pants, and should be more than sufficient for raiding. I raided Ulduar-10 in worse!
  • Wyrmguard Legplates – a lot of item budget is wasted on block rating and SBV, but these are the highest ilevel legs outside of raid instances. I personally would not purchase them if you have the above, and wait for a raid drop.

Feet:

Rings:

  • Titanium Earthguard Ring – fabulous ring, crafted, save up some gold and profit
  • Signet of the Accord – BoE drop in Obsidian Sanctum-10, should be up in the AH or…
  • Keystone Great-Ring – if you’re still def-capped anyhow, drops in H Drak’tharon Keep
  • Alternatively any of the blue tanking rings from heroics. Eventually replace one of the above with…
  • Mark of the Relentless – beautifully itemized ring from H ToC, just no defense on it.

Trinkets:

Main Hand:

Shield:

Ranged:

Before anyone mentions that I did not list any of the Emblem of Triumph upgrades, they’re not the purpose of this post and I greatly recommend the ever fabulous Tankingtips.com to help you spend your hard-earned EoTs.

Filed under : Gear | 25 Comments »
Aug 20 2009

Trial of the Champion

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The latest addition to 5-man instances in WoW is Trial of the Champions. If you look at LFG and /trade on my realm, you could almost think there is no other instance out there. Farmed and farmed and farmed and farmed. However, it’s easy to understand why. Both normal and heroic versions of this instance have pretty amazing drops for 5-mans, item level 200 on normal (on par with Naxx-10 or better) and item level 219 for heroic (on par with Ulduar-10).

What’s expecting you if you haven’t set foot in there? A very fast-paced instance (once you’re past the lengthy intro dialogue), on heroic a surprising amount of damage and hefty DPS as requirement to get shiny loots. Always remember that it’s got a super short corpse run, so if DPS dies, they can always come back, as the instance is not locked!

Encounter 1:
Faction Champions
You can get five possible champions here: a hax warrior, a mage, a rogue, a shaman, a hunter. The jousting part is easy enough. Charge and shield-break kill the three trash mobs in each wave, have the leader mark in what order you want to knock the champions off their mounts, don’t forget to trample them once they’re down and then…either pray that the pickup works, or do what most groups seem to be doing these days and have everyone run out. Due to the nature of the champions getting dismounted sprawled out across the room, it is incredibly difficult to pick the three champions up without one or two party members getting insta-gibbed, unless you manage to dismount them pretty much on top of each other (which we made happen once!) I wish it were different, because I hate the feeling of defeat of running out, but it is definitely easier.

Kill priorities: The shaman heals, so he’s a great target to focus on first. Always number one or two on the list should be the rogue when she is around (female dwarf rogue, wtf?!?). Her poison pools and FoK spam can be lethal and leads to a burden for the healer. Same with the warrior, his Bladestorm and the knockback charge plus Mortal Strike are a PITA. The only problems with mage and hunter are that they are ranged, so it can be difficult to cluster them with the melee mobs. This is more difficult with the hunter, as you can effectively bring the mage into melee range using Heroic Throw or Shield Bash if you are spec’d into Gag Order. Use the normal trick with NPC hunters, slowly move backwards and they will stay in melee range.

Summary: choose a good kill priority, interrupt casts whenever you can, move out of poison pools. Don’t forget to keep the ranged champions clustered with the melee so you won’t lose aggro on them.

Possible loot:

  • Legguards of Abandoned Fealty (normal mode): fantastic pants easily outshining the legs from heroic Violet Hold
  • Mark of the Relentless (heroic mode): fabulous ring very similar to Signet of the Accord, just without defense and increased stats. If you can pull off wearing it despite it not having defense, it’s awesome. I put a +30 stamina gem into it.

Encounter 2:

No matter which of the two bosses you get for the 2nd encounter, you have to deal with three groups of three trash mobs. A priestess, a lightbringer aka paladin and a monk. Unsurprisingly, the priestess heals and on heroic she also MCs, so make sure to interrupt both. The Lightbringer does annoying paladin things. The monk bubbles at the end which slows you down, and that’s just about all it does, annoying each and every person. Pull the priestess with Heroic Throw and tank and spank ‘em.

The two possible bosses have similar loot tables, but they’re not quite identical, so I will list all possible loot for them individually.

Argent Confessor Paletress
The scantily dressed clone of Scarlet Monastery’s Whitemane that listens to confessions on the tournament grounds is the more annoying of the two bosses and on heroic is a serious DPS check. If your DPS does not break 1.5k DPS, you will have a hard time here as some serious damage is flung about that will tax the healer. When she first aggros after the last trash mob is down, she will cast holy spells like Smite and Holy Fire. Smite has a very short cast time but you can time your Shield Bash and force her into melee, which looks funny, and the healer will like it. Once she’s at 25%, she will knock people back, cast a reflective shield on herself and summon a Memory. No matter which Memory you get, be it Heigan or Hogger, they all have the same abilities. The Memory fears for 3 seconds, causes shadow damage and slows down, and puts a bleed on people. Ah, and not to forget the melee damage. The Memory has a big healthpool, 390k to 485k depending on which mode you are in. It’s ideal to have a shaman with a tremor totem, but if that’s not available, use Berserker Rage to break fear. The Memories fear frequently, so BR might be on cooldown still at times.

Once the Memory is out, the encounter turns into a DPS race. The Memory needs to be burned, because while it fears and all the good stuff, Paletress will cast Renew on herself and the Memory and she will smite without any kind of aggro table, which places a strain on the healer. It is only when the Memory is down that her reflective shield drops and you bring her down. Dependent on how long it took you to get the Memory down, she might be at full health again. Dispel all subsequent attempts at Renewing with your friendly Shield Slam and collect some shiny gear at the end of it all.

Summary: burn her, interrupt her holy spells when you can. Burn the Memory, break fear, bring high DPS. Once the Memory is down, it should be no problem to get her down as well.

Possible loot:

  • Mercy’s Hold (normal mode) – lovely gloves, easily beating our T7 gloves
  • Regal Aurous Shoulderplates (heroic mode) – say it isn’t so, but these shoulders are fabulous. I will have to replace my beloved T7 shoulders with these boring looking ones. But the stats are awesome.
  • Helm of the Crestfallen Challenger (heroic mode) – same ol’ look as the Tempered Titansteel, this winged helmet is heavy on parry, stamina, hit. It’s a steal. And a blue socket. This can be turned into a stamina monster.
  • Peacekeeper Blade (heroic mode) – turkey knife, or lovely itemized tanking sword that has no no defense? It has a yellow socket however, so you can gem it for defense without losing the expertise bonus, or whatever you want to stuff in there. WTB more tanking axes.

Eadric the Pure
Compared to Paletress, he’s a harmless loot pinata. As a paladin, he will throw his Hammer of the Righteous at people. This can be dispelled. Or you throw the hammer back at him, as your main action bar will be replaced with a hammer button once the stun wears off. Other than that, you only need to pay attention to his Radiance spell. He loudly announces the cast, you turn your back to him until he’s done, and then you continue. Harmless, easy, tank and spank.

Summary: tank and spank, turn your back on him when he casts Radiance.

Possible loot:

Encounter 3:
The Black Knight
This three phase encounter is the most heal-intensive and challenging of the three encounters. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I myself am at times having problems keeping phase 2 under control.

Phase 1:
The Black Knight is a pretty default DK, who uses diseases and summons the herald he killed as ghoul. As the herald will annoyingly jump around siwtching aggro and will also explode after a while, he should be quickly burned at the start of the fight. I have not been able to interrupt Death’s Respite, which is the knockback he casts on random party members. This is a very easy phase.

Phase 2:
He comes back as a skeleton who immediately starts casting Army of the Dead. It’s easiest here if everyone piles up on the tank because trust me, running around like a headless chicken peeling single ghouls of the 8 ghouls that are summoned is no fun whatsoever. If everyone’s on top of the tank, it is a lot easier to keep this encounter under control. These ghouls need to be killed quickly. If you see them start growing you must run out immediately, as the explosions hurt a lot. It is important to move out of the Desecration that the Black Knight will cast on random targets. If you can get rid of the ghouls quickly, this is not too bad at all.

Phase 3:
This is the ‘Let’s pray enough people survive’ part of the fight. It’s made infinitely easier by having Shadow Protection from a priest or paladin available. The Black Knight will cast a stacking shadow damage attack at people, plus he will cast a non-dispellable debuff on someone increasing damage by 200%. So basically, if you’re unlucky and the healer gets hit, this can get rough. Save cooldowns for this part of the fight, and blow them all, this is the ultimate DPS race.

Possible loot:

  • The Black Heart (normal mode) – this trinket makes the place the place-to-be for any tank. 126 stamina and a frequent proc is amazing. Do it, become a member of the Black Heart club!
  • Girdle of the Pallid Knight (normal mode) – definitely on par with the EoH belt, and a very welcome addition to a weak slot in ilevel 200 gear.
  • The Warlord’s Depravity (heroic mode) – the BK’s only tank drop on heroic is a pretty nice necklace that has dodge and a whopping 104 SBV. I merely use this for threat fights, the very easily obtainable Shard of the Crystal Forest is far superior as far as necklaces go.

Hope this is helpful to some of you. Enjoy running the place, and may the loot gods grant you better tank favor than they’ve granted me lately! *mumbles about spellpower plate*

Filed under : Gear, guide, instances | 13 Comments »
Aug 11 2009

The week after

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The first week after a content patch is always one that’s a) busy as people are trying out the new content and b) ripe with frustration at the numerous bugs that need to be hotfixed. With 3.2, both is the case, as my guild has seen record numbers of people being online, while being plagued with bugs in several instances.

Two of the more common bugs appear to be buggy encounters in the new 5-man, but also bugged raid bosses, e.g. Gothik, Thorim and XT. I’ve run into the Trial of the Champion bugs several times. The champions of the first encounters won’t stay down, e.g., or the trash groups before Paletress/Eadric are clumped together.

Speaking of the new 5-man, it follows the tried and trued Magister’s Terrace model: definite step-up in difficulty compared to the other instances, with the same increase in loot quality. I have had beautiful groups of friends in there where we just tear through the instance, or I have had groups where DPS was so abysmal that we had to call it on Paletress. My advice to anyone who wants to do this on heroic is to really find a group that brings it in all three departments: tank, heals and DPS. Don’t drag your groups down when you just can’t break 1.5k DPS, be sensible. Yes, this also includes my guildies.

The new 5-man does of course offer very tasty tank loot and I was able to grab most pieces the many times I have run this place now. I’d first like to proudly declare myself a member of the Black Heart club, along with such ‘famous’ members as Veneretio and Spinks! It took me about 5-6 consecutive runs on normal mode before I finally got it, which was pretty happy-making.

On heroic, I have scored the Mark of the Relentless and Warlord’s Depravity. The latter is a very strong SBV neck, despite the not updated Wowhead tooltip, and the former is a wonderfully itemized ring that is a stamina dream. It has no defense, but I have gotten a lot of defense heavy upgrades that I can actually wear it now. I also broke a personal milestone, I hit 30k health unbuffed. Finally! I wouldn’t mind getting the other two tank drops in there, preferably the helmet, and I am sure I will eventually.

A common argument of the people who don’t like the badge changes is that it provides gear to casuals who don’t need upgrades, but they are forgetting the big part where upgrading your gear just fills great. It’s a sense of personal accomplishment at any level of play. Gear upgrades make people feel happy, and that’s why everyone’s running Trial of the Champion over and over again, and why people run chain heroics. I managed to snag two emblem purchases, Platinum Mesh Cloak and Gauntlets of the Royal Watch, and along with the drops from ToC, it’s a great feeling. Every emblem naysayer should think about that. Let other people have fun too!

I will admit that this first week after the patch was more filled with frustration than I have experienced in a long while, and those of you who follow me on Twitter will likely have seen screams of outrage that are a bit unlike me, at least to this public extent. Stuff just boiled over for me. A big contributor is that most days my guild is only able to field one group into heroics during my playtimes, and yet, no one ever asked me along on the fun. People are running chain heroics, and yet here I am, the guild officer who has to PUG. That was incredibly frustrating. By now, I know I am not the only one who feels left out, and we’ve been able to do runs on our own. I guess it’s an issue in guilds of our size that can’t be helped. It’s still been a hurtful experience.

I have had more personal issues as well, and the only thing I want to say about that is that it’s not polite or nice to whisper other people in your character’s main spec every single drop you’ve been getting. It doesn’t accomplish anything but breed resentment, especially if that’s the only kind of conversation you ever have. This might seem hypocritical seeing as I at times use this blog to tout all the new gear I have acquired. But I think there’s a difference.

In a later post, I will post about my experiences tanking Trial of the Champion, it certainly has a lot to offer on the challenge plate, and I will of course have to talk about our first visit to Thorim in Ulduar, and pick your collective brains for advice.

How’s the first week of 3.2 been treating you?

Jul 21 2009

Patch 3.2 tanking gear: a closer look

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The Background Downloader has recently started, the PTR changes are thinning out (yay, Devastate buff!), and patch 3.2 is getting closer and closer. It won’t drop today, but it will drop soon. What will we see then? The big heroics rush of 2009! I am looking forward to getting rewarded for running heroics again, aside from Frozen Orbs and Dream Shards. This warrants a closer look at the gear you can buy with Emblems of Conquest, from a viewpoint of being an Ulduar 10 raider. As far as I know, item prices remain the same, so the curious (aka me) want to know how many emblems we all need to blow on yummy new tanking gear. Here goes nothing!

Head:

  • Conqueror’s Siegebreaker Greathelm: again, T8.5 available for 58 emblems. Again, not thrilled by shield block value, as block is still all messed up, but it is a big upgrade for me personally, after lugging around the Tempered Titansteel helmet forever and a day.

Neck:

  • Shard of the Crystal Forest: very sweet necklace. Hit is still the area where I lack most, so that’s nice to see. It’s just about as good as stuff coming from Ulduar 25, barring the Freya Hardmode necklace. A steal at 19 emblems of conquest

Chest:

  • Conqueror’s Siegebreaker Breastplate: the T8.5 chest token is available for 58 emblems of conquest. Given the Devastate change in 3.2 (yay!) the 2pc bonus is looking a lot more attractive to me these days. Still meh about the SBV on it, but I’d take it.

Hands:

  • Gauntlets of the Royal Watch: very nice gloves, again with lots of hit on, which is a very neglected stat in T7 content. 28 emblems of conquest.

Waist:

Legs:

  • Wyrmguard Legplates: These are definitely quite yummy. Again, I personally am not so keen on the SBV though. In comparison to the T8 legs (my personal reference): 12 Sta, 7 Str, 22 Armor, 12 Defense, 60 Block. 39 emblems

This leaves out a couple slots where we’ll have to burn our current Emblems of Valor, or downgrade the Emblems of Conquest for it if you don’t want to use Ulduar drops. Noticeably the following slots:

Grand total of Emblems of Conquest required to be fully clad in level 213+: 380

That’s gonna be a while. Fun times. :)

Filed under : Gear | 11 Comments »
May 20 2009

Shopping List Part III: 10-man raids

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It’s been a while since I posted versions I and II of the shopping list (pre-heroic and heroic gear). Ulduar is live, and then there’s the good ol’ Naxx gear, so it’s time to look at the three top pieces of gear for all slots, for the 10-man raider. Before you ask, I won’t make a 25-man list, but Wowraid has comprehensive prot warrior lists that include the 25-mans and their Ulduar hard mode drops. There’s plenty of tanking blogs out there that will run T8.5 content, so I reach out my welcoming arms to those who will remain in T8 content, like me. :)

To help out beginning raiders in finding upgrades, I will include a minimum of one Naxxramas-10 drop in each category. Also included is badge-gear that can be purchased with Emblems of Valor.

Head:

  • Valorous Siegebreaker GreathelmMimiron, Ulduar. I am not fully sold on the itemization of this helmet, block rating, huh. Still, a strong piece, as one should expect from the T8 headpiece.
  • Ironbark FaceguardFreya, Ulduar – Now that’s a sweet piece, with plenty of expertise. My gut feeling prefers this hat to the T8 one.
  • Thane’s Tainted GreathelmFour Horsemen, Naxxramas – Easily beats the T7 hat for avoidance, and is your best bet for avoidance fights. Would prefer having it for starting Ulduar.
  • Heroes’ Dreadnaught GreathelmKel’thuzad, Naxxramas – For me the weakest piece of the T7 set and the part I swap out for bosses. Very heavy on threat stats, so it gets its time to shine when tanking trash or farm content.

Neck:

  • Mark of the UnyieldingKologarn, Ulduar – a beautiful avoidance piece which is a direct upgrade from the Naxxramas necklace listed below.
  • Fervor of the ProtectorateUlduar trash drop – Not really the best itemization for warriors, but if you’re heavily loaded with defense, you might use it as a threat piece. If not, I would pass it to a DK who is interested in tanking.
  • Amulet of AutopsyHeigan, Naxxramas – The smaller version of the Kologarn neck. Armor, str and sta, def and dodge. Not bad.
  • Medallion of the DisgracedNaxxramas Trash – Here’s your warrior threat piece, with some lovely SBV value. Would not recommend for avoidance fights, but it’s lovely for sets heavy on SBV.

Shoulders:

  • Valorous Siegebreaker Pauldrons – Thorim, Ulduar – Another hybrid piece, with avoidance and threat stats both, but certainly nothing to sneeze at.
  • Valorous Dreadnaught Pauldrons60 Emblems of Valor – Still a great piece of gear, with sockets, high dodge and some block rating.
  • Shoulderguards of the Solemn Watch – Kologarn, Ulduar – More hybrid shoulders, and definitely weaker than the T8 shoulders, as they are itemized for parry and block rating. They also have no sockets at all. Maybe as a buffer piece until you get the T7.5 or T8 shoulders
  • Abomination ShoulderbladesPatchwerk, Naxxramas – The best avoidance shoulders you will get in Naxxramas.
  • Heroes’ Dreadnaught PauldronsLoatheb, Naxxramas – Last but not least, the T7 shoulders are also decent, the set bonus is great, so hold on to them for the bonus alone.

Back:

  • Saronite Animus CloakGeneral Vezax, Ulduar – I would consider it a sidegrade to the badge cloak, as it uses parry instead of dodge for avoidance.
  • Platinum Mesh Cloak25 Emblems of Valor – a very nice cloak that doesn’t cost too much in badges.
  • Gale-Proof Cloak Sartharion +1 – The only cloak with a socket, adding some flexibility to the cloak.
  • Durable Nerubhide CapeLeatherworking – Still a fabulous avoidance cloak to head into Ulduar and Naxxramas with, if you have the defense to afford wearing it.
  • Cloak of Armed Strife – Maexxna, Naxxramas – This is definitely a threat piece, so is quite nice in a threat set. Would not wear it for progression.

Chest:

  • Valorous Siegebreaker BreastplateYogg-Saron, Ulduar – The next-to-last boss in Ulduar is hoarding chest tokens, so depending on your progression it might be a while until you see it. Definitely the case for me. :) Another parry heavy piece, Blizzard expects us to be very high on dodge at this point, I believe. This so far seems to be the only chestpiece that drops in Ulduar-10, which I find very disappointing.
  • Heroes’ Dreadnaught Breastplate80 Emblems of Heroism/Four Horsemen, Naxxramas – Sockets, dodge, this is definitely a piece to buy with badges unless you get lucky with drops right from the start.
  • Massive Skeletal Ribcage – Sapphiron, Naxxramas – Not a bad piece, but I prefer the T7 chest. Also, do not want to look like a DK. ;)

Wrist:

  • Flamewatch ArmguardsFlame Leviathan, Ulduar – So the loot pinata of Ulduar drops these bracers. Bracers are a tricky piece for protection warriors, so there’s much love for getting shiny new bracers so early in Ulduar.
  • Bracers of Dalaran’s Parapets60 Emblems of Valor – If you’re having no luck with the above, you can always buy those badge bracers. However, that also depends on your progress in Ulduar as slow progression means slow rate of getting badges.
  • Minion BracersNaxxramas trash – The only bracers that drop in Naxxramas. I was lucky to get them early on, so cross your fingers every Naxx raid.

Hands:

  • Valorous Siegebreaker HandguardsFreya, Ulduar – On top of the avoidance, you get some hit, which is not as good as expertise, but not bad per se.
  • Gauntlets of the Iron FurnaceIgnis the Furnace-Master, Ulduar – Armor penetration, wtf? A very strange stat to find on tank gloves, but probably part of the Blizzard drive to make armor penetration attractive. I don’t quite see it. Still, they score higher for avoidance than other gloves, so they might be worth a shot.
  • Adamant Handguards – Ulduar trash – The same as the above can be said for these gloves. Higher on survivability, and yet they come with stuff like block rating.
  • Heroes’ Dreadnaught Handguards60 Emblems of Heroism or Sartharion – One of the first badge purchases of every prot warrior, I would say.

Waist:

  • Indestructible Plate GirdleBlacksmithing – I was on the fence if I should post the blacksmithing gear from Ulduar. The plans drop in Ulduar-25 after all, and this is a 10 man list. However, if you are rich and can find a crafter on your server, that’s the best you can shoot for.
  • Stormtempered Girdle – Razorscale, Ulduar
  • Waistguard of Living Iron – 40 Emblems of Heroism – A very solid choice, and not significantly worse than the above belts.
  • Waistguard of the Tutor – Instructor Razuvious, Naxxramas – Merely listed for completion’s sake, this belt would do well in any SBV set, but is definitely inferior for avoidance.

Legs:

  • Gilded-Steel LegplatesFlame Leviathan, Hard Mode, Ulduar – Very heavy on defense, parry and expertise at the cost of 25 strength and a socket compared to T8. If you are ready to tackle hard modes, you’re probably justified with preferring parry because of dodge diminishing returns. I really need to check when DR make dodge less interesting.
  • Valorous Siegebreaker Legguards – Hodir, Ulduar – Why we get stuff like SBV on our tier sets, I really do not understand.
  • Archaedas’ Lost LegplatesAuriaya, Ulduar – This is for the discerning tank with no defense problems. Tanking pants with no defense at all in their budget, amazing stuff! :O If you can make them work using the yellow socket for extra defense, make it so, because they are pretty amazing, all things considered.
  • Valorous Dreadnaught Legguards – 75 Emblems of Valor – T7.5 are still an option, if you cannot get a hold of any of the above before accumulating so many emblems.
  • Heroes’ Dreadnaught Legguards – Thaddius, Naxxramas – If you are still in the Naxxramas bracket of raiding, Thaddius drops the token for the T7 legs, which aren’t bad at all.
  • Legplates of Inescapable Death – Loatheb or Gluth, Naxxramas – The other pair of pants coming from Naxxramas are heavy on SBV and again best suited for a trash/heroics/farm set.

Feet:

  • Spiked DeathdealersBlacksmithing – Another of the Ulduar-25 blacksmithing plans, so prepare to spend a lot of gold if you wish to get those made.
  • Kyzoc’s Ground Stompers – 40 Emblems of Valor – Considering there are so few options when it comes to boots, this is likely going to be my first EoV purchase. Especially as Noth just isn’t coughing up my boots.
  • Plague-Impervious Boots – Noth the Plaguebringer, Naxxramas – The only option for boots that actually drop in a 10-man raid.

Main Hand:

  • ShiverHodir, Hard Mode, Ulduar – This weapon was recently buffed, so is even nicer now. Disappointing for me that maces are what it’s at in Ulduar, but time for dwarves and humans to rejoice for extra expertise.
  • Legacy of Thunder – Thorim, Ulduar – Holy moly, that’s a big mace to the face. No socket like Shiver, but beautiful stats otherwise. Do want.
  • Slayer of the Lifeless – Gothik the Harvester, Naxxramas – Our tanking weapon drop from Naxxramas is a sword. Nice stats, and yet, why couldn’t it be an axe? ;)
  • Axe of the Sen’jin Protector – 25 Champions’ Seals – Technically speaking, this is not a raid drop, but it’s only a recent addition to the game not covered by my previous list. This is the axe for every discerning orc tank and all those tanks who are not having any luck in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. Easily obtainable if you can suffer through the monotony of the Argent Tournament dailies.

Shields:

  • The Boreal Guard – Hodir, Hard Mode, Ulduar – Hodir’s hard mode will probably be the dream to crack for any aspiring tank. Both the shield and the main hand are obtained that way.
  • Shieldwall of the Breaker – Auriaya, Ulduar – Not a crazy huge upgrade from Malygos’ shield, but if you are already at the dodge cap for expertise, definitely worth replacing, for extra armor and stamina options. However, the stats are changed in 3.1.2, with extra expertise, so I don’t know which shield would be the winner anymore.
  • Barricade of Eternity – Malygos – Ever felt like lugging around a Greek pillar? Here’s your shot. Pretty design, awesome stats.
  • The Skull of Ruin – Grobbulus, Naxxramas – The only shield offering in Naxxramas is itemized for threat, and belongs into an SBV set. For avoidance fights, I would revert back to either the H CoS shield or the crafted one.

Rings:

  • Signet of Winter – Hodir, Ulduar – This BoE ring drops off Hodir and has no defense at all. If it didn’t have parry, it would scream druid ring. If you can afford wearing it, it’s certainly a strong offer.
  • Signet of the Impregnable Fortress – 25 Emblems of Valor – What kind of name is that?? Packs huge defense, so it’s a very nice, early badge purchase. Lesigh, I should PUG Archavon some, shouldn’t I?
  • Deflection Band – Anub’rekhan, Naxxramas – The tanking ring from Naxxramas drops very early in, has solid stats, not a bad option.
  • Signet of the Accord – Sartharion – This BoE ring should be available on the AH, considering how easy a kill Sartharion with no drakes is.

Trinkets:

  • Furnace Stone – Ignis the Furnace Master, Ulduar – Prepare to fight feral druids for this trinket. Tons of avoidance, and a big armor boost on the on-use effect.
  • Royal Seal of King LlaneYogg-Saron, Ulduar – Massive amounts of stamina. The on-use might not be as useful as some, but it’s still good. Effective health + avoidance, always cool in my book.
  • Repelling Charge – Thaddius, Naxxramas – Otherwise known as ‘the trinket that drops when I am on my healer’. This should fill any defense gaps, and the on-use is -nice-.
  • Valor Medal of the First War – 40 Emblems of Heroism – one of the mandatory badge purchases, IMHO. In a time where you don’t easily have access to a lot of avoidance trinkets, this should do the trick on progression content.

See also:

Hope you enjoyed. Wish me the best of luck, we’re heading into Ulduar with an expeditionary force on Saturday, to see how we will fare there.

Filed under : Gear, guide | 16 Comments »
May 05 2009

Hold on to your friends

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Hug them close, never let them go, cuddle them at night. Never throw them away. They are your best friends, even if someone fancier comes along. Eventually, you’ll go back to them, as real friendships never end. Because they are true friends, they will laugh it off that you forgot about them for a while. They know that ultimately, you’ll always need them, until you are ready to take a break from them again. Defense trinkets, they just understand.

If you haven’t made any such friends before and have not done all of the Outland content, Professor Dabiri of the friendly if shifty Consortium has an enigma for you. It’s an easy friend, just a quest chain away. The on-use is not spectacular, but definitely something to keep a prot warrior warm at night.

You wish to go a little bit more upscale? In the depths of the Shadow Labyrinth, rumors say an ogre carries a friend around. One that looks like a little old wise man of undefinable race. It is likely an orc, only those would have such lovely long beards. This friend is made of adamantite, shaped like a figurine. He is timeless, our friend.

Feel like visiting mystical places of the Outlands that few people visit today? You might find friends there as well. A corrupted elemental is supposed to hold Scarab of Displacement on him, and in the Black Temple of Shadowmoon Valley, Gurtogg Bloodboil has an insignia that would look good on any tank’s lapel. They are not easy to obtain, but if you are so blessed to have earned one of them, you better darn hold on to them.

If you are looking for friends in Northrend, the selection is equally slim. The corrupted Loken himself is said to carry a seal granted by the Titans, but I say, it’s just a myth. A myth, I say. It leaves the adamantine figurine I carry in the dust, but you have been blessed by the pantheon if you ever saw it. Less of a myth, but still rare is Thaddius’ Repelling Charge. I saw it myself as my greedy mind had to make the tough decision between the charge, and Dreadnaught Legguards. To this day, I do not know if I made the right decision. I hope I did…

All you tanking youngsters out there who are still gearing up, always keep in mind that once you start raiding, your defense values will ultimately drop. Every gear upgrade in Naxxramas comes at the price of losing defense. It’s a mini-game almost, as just about every tanking gear upgrade that drops in Naxxramas itemizes for more avoidance or threat, but cuts off the defense that all pre-Naxx gear has in oodles. While e.g. before Naxxramas I was able to wear the Keystone Great-Ring, I long had to go back to one of the level 200 rings with defense on it. With fully gemmed and enchanted gear and the full T7 set, I am sitting at 537 defense without a defense trinket equipped. I will likely have to replace Essence of Gossamer as trinket in avoidance fights, because I want to be able to wear a Durable Nerubhide Cape. I am switching back from The Skull of Ruin to Titansteel Shield Wall, all as part of the balancing game. It definitely makes receiving gear in Naxxramas less exciting, because at no point have I ever been able to actually equip something right away.

I will shortly post part 3 of my shopping list for prot warriors, looking at 10-man raid gear, including Ulduar. I am most curious to see the defense values on that gear. Should prove interesting.

Filed under : Gear, raiding | 9 Comments »
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