Vallen had a really nice post on Armor Pen everyone should read which touches on the upcoming ArP nerf as well as some good rules of thumb.
My personal opinion on ArP is not to gem for it or drive yourself crazy trying to get it. This includes getting 1 of the 2 big daddy ArP trinkets which requires either Hard Mode Thorim in 10 man (not that it is hard once you get it down) or 25 man Naxx (not hard but not fun either).
Without either of these 2 trinkets there really is little reason to stack ArP. I like that Vallen mentions to think about what is reasonable gear you can obtain. So many DPS models take for granted you are just going to fly through the hardest of content and get every piece your heart desires which couldn’t be further from the truth.
My current plan right now as you can see on my gear page is to obtain 2T9. Shoulders and Gloves for 60 Triumph Emblems is the current route I am taking. In RAWR this is about the same DPS increase as keeping 4T8 and going with the Duskstalker Shoulderpads. Nice thing is I maintain my Hit slightly above the Cap which I like.
I have decided that breaking 4T8 for 2T8/2T9 is probably the best idea so I can start gearing up from better non tier gear in ToC 25 normal. First change will most likely be swapping out either Chest or Legs pushing towards eventually giving up the 2T8 bonus altogether and sticking with 2T9 in the Helm and Hands positions somewhere down the line.
If nothing else making the change from 4T8 to 2T8/2T9 will allow me to make some live testing to see how they compare.
So I ended my last post with concerns that collecting gear for my bear spec was going to be a scary proposition while trying to scrimp and save DKP and Emblems for my main cat spec. After further review I don’t think that is going to be the case. Lets go slot by slot and see how each item ties into our miser cat guide. Keep in mind that I am going for gear that will allow me to OT or even MT 25 man raiding content. For 5 man Heroics I could easily tank it in my current kitty gear if need be.
- WEAPON! – Same as kitty your largest single upgrade will be a new weapon and you will use it for both DPS and Tanking to boot. Gem for agility and chant Mongoose for dual purpose.
- Head – Hood of Lethal Intent – Ok, at 75 Emblems of Triumph this is not a cheap upgrade but it is a necessary one. Due to the nature of the helm slot and use of a meta gem we have to have a different helm for tanking and DPSing so we can use the Austere Earthsiege Diamond and Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector. The plan is to keep T8 helm for DPS and 2T8 bonus.
- Neck – The Arbiter’s Muse / Legionnaire’s Gorget – 25 man Twin Valkyrs Heroic or Normal. Spending DKP here is fine but don’t take it over your MT obviously and don’t break the bank for it especially if you have Mark of the Unyielding which is a pretty decent tanking neck.
- Shoulders – We are going to use the Duskstalker Shoulderpads here and double duty these bad boys giving us more bang for the buck. Although we can’t enchant them for strict tanking duty the DPS shoulder chant will just give us more threat. Gem with agility not Armor Pen since we are going to use them for both specs.
- Back – Pride of the Eredar / Pride of the Demon Lord from 25 man Heroic Jaraxxus is what we want… or the version from Normal mode… whichever, but both are big upgrades coming from Ulduar. I am not going to mention the cloaks for the tribute run which is essentially the new raids version of a hard mode imho nor point out the intermediate cloak upgrade from 10 man Heroic Icehowl… save up and get the Pride.
- Chest – Another dual use item here Cuirass of Calamitous Fate / Vest of Calamitous Fate from either normal or Heroic 25 man Jaraxxus. Chant is unchanged at +10 to stats and gem agility for DPS and tanking. This item was also on our Cat DPS list and is a good place to not have T8/T9 gear. Keep in mind I am still going with the premise that the 2T9 bonus is not a huge deal. I have not done a ton of research on this yet as far as the math goes with rake lasting 3 more seconds but I can’t imagine that bonus doing more than breaking even on the kitty side short of getting the Heroic T9 in 2 slots which from a DKP standpoint is most likely going to be pretty expensive. I am sticking with the opinion that 2T8 and no T9 for kitty DPS is the best way to maximize Emblems and DKP if you don’t play much.
- Wrist – Bracers of Dark Determination / Armbands of Dark Determination from Heroic or Normal 25 man Anubarak and are BiS. I would use DKP here because the alternative is gold for crafted Bracers of Swift Death and probably a lot of it. I am not a big fan of gold farming so spending DKP here would most likey be a better option.
- Hands – If you have Conqueror’s Nightsong Handgrips I would save Emblems and DKP for something else and just use these. If not, save DKP and use 30 Emblems and just get the cheap Malfurion’s Handgrips of Conquest. There are better gloves out there out of tier but they are found in 10 man so I am leaving them out.
- Waist – If you don’t have it already spend some time in WinterGrasp and pick up Titan-Forged Belt of Triumph unless you already have Relic Hunter’s Cord in your kitty set of which you could dual purpose. At only 15 marks it is quite a good deal. Belt of the Merciless Killer from either normal or Heroic 25 man Twin Valkyrs is a sizable upgrade but again don’t spend DKP on a belt if it puts getting something like a weapon in jeopardy.
- Legs – Leggings of the Broken Beast / Legwraps of the Broken Beast come from 25 man normal and Heroic Northrend Beasts (Icehowl). The likely hood is you will be doing this boss many… many…many times so you should be able to snag these for a small opening bid. Picking them up in either mode is the way to go and we don’t want to dual purpose legs for Cat and Bear because we want to use different enchants on each.
- Feet – Treads of the Icewalker / Icewalker Treads from 25 man normal and Heroic Faction Champions are nice but if you have Runed Ironhide Boots in your Cat DPS set double duty the bad boys with an agility gem and enchant and save the DKP.
- Finger – At 35 Emblems pick up Clutch of Fortification when you can, double duty the Dexterous Brightstone Ring and save DKP. If you end up with DKP laying around look at the Ring of Callous Aggression / Band of Callous Aggression from 25 man Heroic Faction Champions to replace the Dexterous ring.
- Trinkets – Unless you have some of the uber sweet trinkets from Ulduar you should run the new 5 man instance and grab the The Black Heart. Replace you Darkmoon card with Death’s Verdict and don’t worry about spending some DKP here since you will be using the trinket for both Cat and Bear.
- Idol – If you have not had Idol of the Corruptor drop in Ulduar go ahead and pick it up on the cheap for 19 Emblems of Conquest. Do not be fooled into picking up Idol of Mutilation for tanking. Agility>Dodge you can read the details HERE
So our Total Emblems cost for bear gear…
- Idol of the Corruptor – 19 Emblems of Conquest
- Hood of Lethal Intent – 75 Emblems of Triumph
- Clutch of Fortification – 35 Emblems of Triumph
- Malfurion’s Handgrips of Conquest – 40 Emblems of Triumph
So a total of 150 Emblems of Triumph and 19 Emblems of Conquest. Add what we need for kitty gear and the Grand Total is a mind blowing 255 Emblems of Triumph.
Make sure to buy your helm first (after getting all your kitty gear of course if that is your main spec) and then the rest of the items later just in case you get lucky with drops and DKP spending.
At 255 Emblems that will take 100ish days of daily Heroics coupled with raiding Emblem drops… that is just a guess, I don’t do much theory math… it will probably end up being a little less than 100 days.
By now I am sure you have seen some gear lists for both Cat and Bear.
As I tweeted the link from the new gear list from Runy I started thinking about what made the most sense for me to do with the limited playtime I get each week.
Bottom line is it is unlikely I am going to do the daily Heroic every single day and frankly I dislike the fact that Blizzard has made that the modus operandi for gearing up with the latest gear. I didn’t mind people having the daily heroics in place for extra Emblems for loot to break into raiding but for it to become the gear replacement to raiding still irks me especially since I feel obligated to use this new method of getting geared to best fill my role as a 25 man raider.
So, I am going to look at upgrades from the view point of someone who wants to spend the least amount of time getting them… both in how long to wait and time invested.
Lets start with the fact that I raid 9 hours per week. That is my time to myself away from the family… daddy time. I don’t hunt, fish, or golf… I relax alone playing video games late at night where it least inconveniences my wife and family and I like it that way. In these 9 hours of raiding it is strictly 25 man so I am not going to mention 10 man gear. Sure, every now and again I get to raid 10 man content but it is an exception to the rule for sure.
I would say after everyone goes to sleep I might play another 6 hours per week when not raiding. So I am not going to farm gold for the latest crafted gear and I most likely am not going to see many extra Emblems from running Heroics or Naxx… etc.
I am only covering gear that would be a sizable upgrade in DPS from Ulduar gear, for example I have Mechanist’s Bindings and the BiS is crafted and probably expensive and the Heroic 25 man bracers that drop are not a huge upgrade either.
With that in mind here is what I am planning in order of importance.
- Weapon! – Yes I have Twisted Visage and it is a great weapon, however it is also the biggest DPS upgrade when moving to something new in 3.2. Here is where I plan on focusing quite a bit of DKP. There are 2 version of each polearm and staff weapon, a normal mode version and a heroic mode version with higher stats with different names depending on if you are horde or alliance. In order of awesomeness…
- Finger – Dexterous Brightstone Ring – This might be one of the biggest bangs for your emblem buck – 35 Emblems… man I need to do the Heroic Daily… ugh.
- Shoulders - Duskstalker Shoulderpads would be a huge upgrade over my Treacherous Shoulderpads and at only 45 Triumph Emblems not a horrible deal. I don’t think the 2T9 bonus is worth getting til Heroic level T9 so I will use these with the dropped chest and have T8.5 helm and hands to maintain the 2T8 bonus.
- Chest – Cuirass of Calamitous Fate / Vest of Calamitous Fate coming from Heroic 25 man Lord Jaraxxus. Another nice place to spend some DKP.
- Legs – Leggings of the Broken Beast / Legwraps of the Broken Beast from 25 man Heroic Icehowl unless of course you have Legguards of Cunning Deception from Yogg 25 man Hard mode.
- Other Finger – Spend some DKP and nab Ring of Callous Aggression / Band of Callous Aggression from Heroic 25 man Faction Champions
- Trinkets – RUN 5 MAN NORMAL TIL YOU GET Banner of Victory to replace the mirror if you are still using it. If you are lucky enough to have a ArP trinket pared with the darkmoon card spend DKP to replace the card with Death’s Choice / Death’s Verdict
- Idols – Try to get them all because depending on your gear situation and fight mechanics you never know which one you might want to use. Fortunately for me I got Idol of the Corruptor from Ulduar so I only need to buy Idol of Mutilation for 25 Emblems but I am not making it a huge priority. Runy had a nice Idol POST you might want to read.
- Belt – Belt of the Merciless Killer / Belt of the Pitiless Killer Heroics versions are just awesome. Drops from Heroic 25 Fjola… even the normal 25 man versions are darn nice.
- Neck – You should end up with the Emblems for Broach of the Wailing Night and then can replace it come 25 man Heroic Jaraxxus with Charge of the Eredar / Charge of the Demon Lord. A decent upgrade if you have DKP for it after all the other priorities.
Now, if you raid with a guild you most likely have some sort of DKP system. You will need to think ahead about spending DKP on Trophy of the Crusade which will buy you the best non heroic T9 gear. I am going to say that this is the absolute worst way to spend DKP if you feel that your guild is capable of getting to Heroic 25 man. Use your DKP for the bigger upgrades I listed above and save your DKP for the Heroic Tokens for T9 which will allow you to buy the highest ILvL of T9 with no Emblems needed. IMHO, if you are sitting on 4T8.5 don’t bother getting the lowest level of T9 for the 2T8 /2T9 bonus. Use DKP to upgrade everywhere else and then save DKP for tokens from Heroic and get the best T9 time can buy.
So, make sure you get the best 2T8 pieces you can for the bonus and then fill in your leather around it until you can get the top T9 items from Heroic 25 man. I would recommend T8 Helm and Hands and going with non tier Chest. Shoulder, and Pant.
For the weekend raider, I think these strategies for using Emblems and DKP makes the most sense for the DPS feral. Have patience and you should be going into Icecrown in a nice DKP position and with the biggest bang for your buck gear. Stockpile Emblems and DKP until you need to use it, consider where you rank week to week on WWS and meters as a guide… maybe sit back and let the pure DPS classes catch up a little bit
Now more than ever I feel in big trouble as I am not sure I am going to have the time to upgrade both my bear and cat sets… let’s just hope I continue to have a place as a DPS kitty and don’t have to return to tanking.
So here is my Emblems shopping list for DPS items…
- Dexterous Brightstone Ring – 35 Emblems of Triumph
- Duskstalker Shoulderpads – 45 Emblems of Triumph
- Idol of Mutilation – 25 Emblems of Triumph
- Broach of the Wailing Night – 19 Emblems of Conquest
That’s a total of 105 Emblems of Triumph and 19 Emblems of Conquest
- iLvl 245 – Hood of Lethal Intent – wow, just wow. Considering we can get our T8 helm with badges already I would have preferred a leather item in a different slot like hands.
- iLvl 245 – Duskstalker Shoulderpads – Better than hard mode Ulduar BiS shoulders… nice.
- iLvl 245 – Idol of Mutilation – Hey, nice to see a Idol both valuable for bears and cats alike.
- iLvl 245 – Clutch of Fortification – A nice tanking ring to wear next to The Leviathan’s Coil. Better than Signet of Winter.
- iLvl 245 – Dexterous Brightstone Ring – Looking good to fill a DPS ring slot.
- iLvl 245 – Tank Trinket yet to be named – Upgrade from Defender’s Code I suppose.
- iLvl 245 – Melee DPS Trinket yet to be named – Need Hit?
So what does this mean to me personally?
Twisted Visage needs to fall for me, and it needs to fall soon. Kill 8 happened last night and it still has not fallen for my guild.
So you are new to WOW and your druid just hit 80 and you have decided to try your hand raiding as a feral druid.
You have rolled a feral druid alt and you just hit 80 and want to spend some time away from your main and want to start raiding 25 man with him/her.
Here is a post for all of you.
Let me start first by saying the best way into Naxx 25 is to be prepared to tank or dps. This means you have 2 options.
- Spend the gold for dual talent specialization.
- Hybrid feral spec for both tanking and dps
That being said here is the gear you want your hands on. I will list both easy to get (quest gear), a little tougher to get (instance drops), and takes time to get (BoE that are expensive on AH, faction gear that takes grinds, gear that costs Heroic badges, or even arena gear).
- Easy – Headguard of Retaliation – reward from Vengeance Be Mine!
- Tougher – Helm of Cheated Fate or Mask of the Watcher both of which drop from Heroic instance bosses.
- Arena – Deadly Gladiator’s Dragonhide Helm which only requires a 1450 rating.
- Easy – Choker of the Betrayer – Quest from a line that starts with killing Withered Troll and finding Unliving Choker.
- Tougher – Necklace of the Chrono-Lord or Necklace of Arcane Spheres both instance drops.
- $$$ – Titanium Impact Choker crafted or Pendant of the Outcast Hero which cost 25 Heroic badges.
- Only 1 option here for any respectable feral to make, Trollwoven Spaulders crafted and great for both tanking and DPS.
- Another just do it item – Ice Striker’s Cloak which is another crafted piece. Sure you might have a good rare level cloak already but people taking you to raids want to see purple. However they also want to see +hit so don’t replace Cloak of the Gushing Wound if you already happen to have it.
- Easy – Exotic Leather Tunic quest reward from Junk in My Trunk.
- Tougher – Darkheart Chestguard which takes Ebon Hold Exalted which takes time but at least you can work on it alone.
- IMPORTANT – Heroes’ Dreamwalker Raiments which costs 80 Heroic badges but you want to get to the 2T7 bonus as quickly as possible.
- Easy, Important, and Kept – Polar Vest – A great starting item especially if you need stamina which you will on some Naxx fights and Frost Resist which is also going to come in handy tanking certain Wrath bosses. Put all +Stamina gems in it. Don’t try to balance the piece with other stats or get the socket bonus.
- Easy – Drake-Champion’s Bracers or King’s Square Bracers which are BoE drop to be found on AH for pretty cheap I bet.
- Tougher – Dragonfriend Bracers from Exalted Wyrmrest Accord
- RNG – Bindings of the Tunneler from Heroic UK
- Easy – Handwraps of Preserved History quest reward from A Royal Escort
- $$$ – Gloves of Fast Reactions from AH
- IMPORTANT – Heroes’ Dreamwalker Handgrips which cost 60 Heroic badges but is need to complete the 2T7 bonus from the chest.
- Another best choice in my opinion – Trollwoven Girdle which is another crafted item.
- Polar Cord – Another stamina item and Frost Resist item you will need situationaly. Add a socket and put all +Stamina gems in it. Don’t try to balance the piece with other stats or get the socket bonus.
- Easy – Chain Gang Legguards which are BoE and should be readily available on the AH.
- Tougher – Mind-Expanding Leggings from Kirin Tor Revered rep grind.
- RNG – Gored Hide Legguards from Heroic Gundrak.
- Easy – The Darkspeaker’s Treads from quest Mind Tricks.
- Tougher – Boots of the Whirling Mist, Slag Footguards, Gorloc Muddy Footwraps all from instance drops.
- Easy, Important, and Kept – Polar Boots – Again, Put all +Stamina gems in it. Don’t try to balance the piece with other stats or get the socket bonus.
- Easy – Signet of Bridenbrad from quest Light Within the Darkness / Frog-Toe Band from quest Basic Chemistry / Jagged Ice Band from quest The Brothers Bronzebeard / Ring of Foul Mojo from quest For Posterity
- $$$ – Titanium Impact Band crafted or Band of the Kirin Tor
- RNG – Hemorrhaging Circle
- Easy – Darkmoon Card: Greatness the agility version or maybe even Darkmoon Card: Death depending on your professions or time to run Heroics.
- Tougher – Shard of Contempt but you might need the help of 1 more person since soloing Heroic Magisters’ Terrace might be a little tough at your gear level or Battlemaster’s Conviction which would take getting some honor from BG’s or depending on your profession Figurine – Emerald Boar, Mighty Alchemist’s Stone, Figurine – Shadowsong Panther, Mirror of Truth is also real nice if you end up with 40 Heroic badges to spare. For tanking the crafted trinkets if you have the profession look like this… Figurine – Monarch Crab, Figurine – Ruby Hare, Indestructible Alchemist’s Stone, Sonic Booster.
- RNG – Incisor Fragment, Meteorite Whetstone, Essence of Gossamer, which are instance drops.
- Easy – Titansteel Destroyer crafted.
- Tougher – Silvery Sylvan Stave which requires Argent Tournament Champions Seals, 25 to be exact. The Horde equivalent is the Staff of Feral Furies.
- RNG – Staff of Trickery from Heroic VH.
- Not many options here for the new Feral Druid…
- Idol of the Wastes from quest My Old Enemy also for tanking Idol of the Plainstalker from Get Me Outa Here!
- Idol of Perspicacious Attacks from 3 PvP quests in grizzly hills for the 30 coin needed to buy it.
- IMPORTANT – Try to find time for 15 Heroic badges and get the Idol of the Ravenous Beast
- OPTIONAL – Once you get decently geared at level 80 consider going back and soloing some heroic BC content for badges to buy Idol of Terror. You only need 20 badges so the grind won’t be horrible and it is the best in slot idol til Ulduar loot. At only 10 more agility on proc though your time might be better served just sticking with the Plainstalker mentioned previously.
Well, good luck in your endeavors of playing a feral druid into endgame raiding. You should find the flexibility of going from really good DPS to strong tank very rewarding.