Wednesday, June 17, 2009

[Druid]Cat gear list for Ulduar LIKE A BOSS


As requested, here's a gear listing for Ulduar for cats. This one is a bit different. The listing that it's derived from is using FeralByNight's loot rankings, which I've found to be very good. They favor armor penetration over agility for normal cases, though both are much higher than anything else, and they both do not particularly favor hit or expertise capping.

Some things to note about them. First off, do not get armor penetration unless you can get at least 200 ArPen. The way armor penetration ends up working is that it helps more the more of it you have. Which means at lower levels...it's very unimpressive.

Furthermore, it really hopes that you have either Grim Toll (from Naxxramas) or Mjolnir Runestone (from normal mode Thorim) . The point at which you get 100% reduction of armor is at 1220 armor penetration. If you have Mjolnir, the 'soft cap' for armor penetration is 566. If you have Grim Toll, it's 609. This combined with the proc from the trinkets will give 100% armor pen, which is as high as it goes. This means that if you have those trinkets, you should reach those values (566 for Mjolnir, 609 for Grim) and then switch to gemming and gearing for agility. (thanks, Avathar!)

If you do not have these trinkets, armor pen is still as valuable, and there will be no soft cap.

Also, this list (like all static lists) does not take into account the value of set bonuses. Here's the skinny on that:

  • 2pT7 is very, very good. By Rawr, it's ranked at around 400 DPS by itself. That's probably a bit high, but it's very strong. If you can, the best pieces to use as your T7 bonus are the legs and gloves. This is not because they're the strongest; it's because they're less bad of a difference compared to the absolute best pieces out there. If you don't have those pieces and have other pieces that are better, this is going to differ for you personally. For me for example, it's better to have legs and shoulders. Ideally you will not break this until you get 4pT8 or equivalent hard-mode Ulduar gear.
  • 2pT8 is also very, very good. Rawr ranks this as about a 100 DPS upgrade, but in my experience this is higher. More clearcasting procs on bleeds is excellent, and has essentially doubled the amount of clearcasting procs I get in a fight. The best (again, assuming you have everything you possibly could) two pieces are the head and the shoulders. And this will differ for you as well, though practically the head is best in slot for cats.
  • 4pT8 is not that special of a bonus for DPS. It helps with more ferocious bites, and potentially your uptime, but it's not amazing. However, having 4pT8 helps simply because the itemization on the T8 gear is quite good. I would not break 2pT7+2pT8 until you have 4pT8, and only if you have 8.25 gear.

Now, onto the listing. The important thing to understand is that I have listed the gear not by overall ranking (which you can see from the above link) but by the boss that drops it. The reasoning is because I find myself constantly looking at any given boss for the gear that they drop and wondering where that piece specifically ranks. The rankings per slot are listed, so you don't have to wonder, as well as the difference between it and the best overall piece. This way you should be able to instantly look up a boss and figure out whether or not you care about a piece of loot for your situation and your gearing choices. Normal and Heroic listings are both here, as are whether the gear is hard mode or not.

Trash:

Normal Mode:
  • None
Heroic Mode:
The Relic Hunter's Cord is second only to the normal, hardmode Yogg Saron drop. It's very strong, and you should hope to do more trash to get it.

Flame Leviathan:
Normal Mode:
Heroic Mode:

Mechanist's Bindings are actually #3 - Wowhead hasn't gotten information from Algalon 25, and hasn't seen Solar Bindings yet. They're also not that good compared to Wristwraps of the Cutthroat or Thrusting Bands; they should be a fairly low priority. Pyrite Infuser is stellar if and only if you're not remotely close to being hit capped. If you are, it's much weaker than some of the trinkets, but it's a good option if you aren't.

Razorscale:
Normal Mode:

Heroic Mode:
The Band of Draconic Guile is very strong, and the only thing that beat is are hard mode fights of Normal Iron Council, two Algalon quest rewards, a 10-man Algalon drop and Ignis. Definitely prioritize getting this if you can. The Proto-hide leggings are BoE and are a very good upgrade from Naxx directly, though Leggings of the Honored are better if you have that.

Ignis the Furnace Master:
Normal Mode:

Heroic Mode:
As stated in the Razorscale blurb, Cindershard ring is the other exceptionally strong piece. The only things better drop either directly from Algalon or as part of the Algalon questline. Flamestalker boots are also very good, and are a good substitute if you can't get Iron Council to drop Runed Ironhide or can't afford Footpads of Silence. Relentless edge is okay but there are far better options to be found. The gloves are a slight upgrade from some Naxx-25 gear.

XT-002
:
Normal Mode:
Heroic Mode:
XT's normal mode is quite decent. The shoulderpads are great until if you need a good offset piece to complement your 2pT7+2pT8, the ring isn't too bad, and on hard mode he drops the best wrists until Algalon-25. By comparison, heroic has only one thing to offer, but it's quite nice. The only other better weapons in the game are either from hard modes or from General Vezax, and it is a decent upgrade from anything in T7. It's especially good if you go bear as well.

Kologarn:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
Spire of Withering Dreams is similar to Relentless edge but just a bit better - and it has the armor pen. Shawl of the Shattered Giant, despite its large difference in value, is actually quite strong - only a couple of hard mode and the Iron Council cloak below beat it. Wrathstone is pretty good and should be an upgrade from most Naxx items, though of course Grim Toll doesn't beat it by itself.

Iron Council:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
The legs from IC Normal aren't special, but the ring is pretty decent and just barely below the top heroic normal one. From Heroic, the best boots drop on an easy mode kill (at least in theory) and the best shoulders by a long, long margin drop on the hard mode. They're about 4 points higher than the next best option and have more sockets than any other choice, making them a high value. And the cloak is the best non-hardmode cloak as well. Really, Iron Council is a great source of gear, at least on heroic.

Auriaya:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
By comparison, Auriaya is stingy. The Nimble Climber's Belt is still better than anything from T7 - but just barely, and the Gloves while good aren't significantly a large upgrade over the T8.25 gloves to justify using them unless you don't have either T7 or T8 gloves.

Hodir:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
The normal legs are really only a stopgap; do replace these if possible. The back is not at all bad. The Winter's Icy Embrace is very strong, and if you can is a good place to not have any tier gear; the only upgrade is a hard mode piece that's even better. Frigid Strength is okay, but it is only just barely better than the conquest piece from Dalaran (Broach of the Wailing Night); I'd recommend passing it to those who like strength more. Finally, Drape of Icy intent is not quite as good as the cloak from Vezax but is much, much better than anything before it, and should be a strong upgrade.

Thorim:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
Thorim doesn't drop much, but what he does drop is a doozy. The Embrace of the Gladiator is likely the best piece of any gear you can get short of a weapon. Mjolnir Runestone is the best trinket assuming you don't have Grim Toll. The Conqueror Head is one of the better T8 pieces to get, given that the only upgrade is minor and the 2 piece bonus is so strong. Guise of the Midgard Serpent is also a good piece, and if you don't have an upgrade yet this is great. And while the Valorous Shoulders aren't the best, they're only a couple points away from anything that isn't from a hard mode, so definitely consider them if they'll give you a set bonus and you won't break your T7.

Freya:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
In case you're curious, Dreambinder also drops from Algalon. The gloves are another good spot to get a T8 piece, as there is no hardmode gear that's really a large upgrade, and they're only a minor difference from the best in slots. Even at T8.10 ,you may not replace them for a while. Seed of Budding Carnage is the best in slot, but don't kill yourself getting it - it's only 1.5 points higher than the badge equivalent in Dalaran. For heroic, the conqueror legs are a decent choice to get 4pT8 but because there are hard mode pieces that are better AND there are normal modes that are better, it isn't the best option. Nymph-heart charm is worse than the Dalaran neck. And yes, Dreambinder is amazing.

Mimiron:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
On normal, the head is another strong option. The hard mode head by comparison really isn't; it's almost certainly not worth breaking your set bonus if you have either T7 or T8 for this. Still, it's an option - and they're goggles! The cape is horrible for you by comparison. For heroic, the gloves are a very strong piece for both cat and bear, and the only reason you'd not want to use them is that the difference between T7 and T8 at the glove level isn't as big as it is on other slots like legs or shoulders. The belt is another decent choice (and very good for bears) but there is definitely better.

General Vezax:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
Weapon city! In particular, Lotrafen is the best non-hardmode weapon that is obtainable, and Tortured Earth isn't far behind. Idol of the Corrupter appears to be affecting mangles on every cat mangle, which means that is may be the best idol for cat DPS if you mangle at all. The rings and necks aren't anything special - even Metallic Loop of the Sufferer isn't all that great, though it beats most Naxx level gear. Finally, the Pendulum is essentially best in slot, though it still is likely not going to be a significant upgrade from the Dalaran badge gear.

Yogg-Saron:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
Not a lot of special stuff from the normal mode; the chest piece is decent but not phenomenal, and the neck is horrible. But from Heroic - the shoulders are good, the trinket is the best one next to Grim Toll/Mjolnir, Earthshaper isn't stellar but is an upgrade from Journey's End. Hard mode he drops the second best weapon in the game and the best legs by a longshot - fully 7 points higher than the next option, 3 sockets and loads of agility and armor pen.

Algalon The Observer:
Normal mode:

Heroic mode:

15 comments:

Felkan said...

Where I get the most confused is reading FBN's explanation of when to use the Shred vs Rip idols. And the impact ArmPen has on that decision. Can you explain it?

Sanctuari said...

It basically says to get 250+ armor penetration before using the shred idol.

Kalon said...

Felkan, thanks for writing. Here's how I interpret it.

If you have the shred idol and not the rip idol, armor pen is better than agility at around 200 armor pen. (before that, you should stack agility). If you have the rip idol and not the shred idol, armor pen is better than agility at around 350 armor pen. (before that, you should stack agility)

And if you have both, you need 230 armor pen before the shred idol is better than the rip idol. Before that, the rip idol is better for overall dps than the shred idol.

Hope that helps some.

Darksend said...

so 4pc t8+ the yogg hard mode legs?

I knew double 2pc wouldnt hold up that long.

Kalon said...

Darksend - the yogg hard mode legs are definitely the best hardmode piece out there. It's debatable whether 4pT8 is worth as much as the chest + shoulders though; it's hard to quantify exactly how good 4pT8 is. But that's what this guide would at least indicate.

4pT8 is definitely better than 2pT7 + 2pT8 once you're in armor pen happiness, simply because rip isn't as important as raw damage at that point. It's still good, mind you - just not as crucial that you have 26-second rips.

Felkan said...

@Sanctuari, Kalon: That helps. I still need to buy the Rip idol (I only run 10-mans) with Ulduar/10 emblems, but once I do, at least now I know when to use it.

Thanks

Jheusse said...

Thanks for the list Kalon.

What would you make your priorities on spending badges of conquest (which will soon rain from the skies a la 3.2 badge changes)?

I'm often low on dkp when tier gear or jewelry drops, so will likely end up getting tier head and chest with badges, as well as the badge neck and belt.

Could currently get the neck an dbelt, but holding out for the tier helm I think.

Kalon said...

Jheusse, thanks for stopping by and the kind words. :)

I'm in a similar boat where I don't have a lot of options to get tier gear, so I'm very much focused on getting the head and chest. The neck is very good - but it is also not a huge upgrade over much from Naxx, so unless your Naxx gear is not all that great I'd skip it. The belt is a very good belt, though, on par with the crafted belt and the Relic Hunter's.

My personal strategy would be to get to 2pT8 as fast as you can, then get the belt - either the crafted one or the one from badges or the relic hunter's if that dropped for you.

Most everything else, vendor wise, isn't worth it.

Darksend said...

http://www.wowhead.com/?item=45517

need to add that to the list

Pendulum of Infinity
Binds when picked up
Neck
+64 Agility
+70 Stamina
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +4 Agility
Requires Level 80
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 48 (1.05% @ L80).
Equip: Improves haste rating by 41 (1.25% @ L80).
Equip: Increases attack power by 86.

Darksend said...

also,

the ArP for rip vs shred idol

if you are the mangle bot/do not have a mangle bot, what would those numbers be for the change from rip to shred idol seeing as how you lose almost 1/3 of your shreds

hell if you are the mangle bot should you EVER switch to the shred idol even if you have ArP cap?

Sanctuari said...

No problem Felkan, my druid is in a similar situation of 10mans only. My valor badges are only slowly creeping up past 60, and probably gonna get used on t7.5 or something.

Guess the conquest badges in heroics/naxx are gonna make getting equal to this list fairly easier.

Thankfully on shredless fights, I have the old Idol of the White Stag from Bt.

Im currently using shred idol, and usually still 3-4k for most 10mans, so not a complete loss not using the rip.

Avathar said...

Hey Kal, I've enjoyed reading your blog - lots of good information here.
I might note that the mjolnir runestone proc is actually 665 arpen rating despite it saying 612 - http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=65019, also noted by Landsoul from EJ in his warrior dps spreadsheet.
I'm not sure if this is an inflated proc or if they simply need to update the tooltip.

At any rate, with the 665 arpen your cap from normal gear will be lower if you're aiming for exactly 100 % armor reduction with a trinket proc as opposed to Grim Toll's 612.

Kalon said...

Darksend - if you have no mangle bot, you're probably better off dropping the shred glyph for the mangle one too. I keep a stack of each, just in case. And yeah, the rip idol will be better than the shred most of the time if you have to keep mangle up yourself.

Sanctuari - Idol of the White Stag is not that great any more. If you're going to go that route, the Idol of Terror is better, as is the Furious Gladiator Idol of Resolve.

Avathar - thanks for coming by, and glad you're enjoying things. :) On the Armor Pen cap, I should've clarified - 566 is the cap with the Mjolnir Runestone for the reason you specified. I didn't get into all the mechanics in depth this time. If you've got Grim Toll, it's actually higher than that. Thanks for pointing it out - I'll add that to the post.

Sanctuari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sanctuari said...

Completely true about the Idol of Terror, just had the Stag from a pug BT, and was using it for giggles.

The terror is of course 100x times better. I just wish I can obtain the other mangle one for Uld25, but my chances on that are naught.

Can never get enough crit after all. :P