Tuesday, August 18, 2009

[Druid, 3.2] Coliseum loot for Faction Champions/Valkyr

Because I'm lazy, and because I (ahem) don't remember which comes first, you'll get a two-for-one deal on the loot that drops from the Coliseum this week.

And yes, I'll be lumping this in together in one big guide you'll be able to use.

I get a lot of questions about what you should upgrade, how you should upgrade it, where you should spend your badges first, etc. This...isn't really answerable for everyone, everywhere, but in general I agree with Jacemora in spirit. You should try and spend your emblems wisely on things that you won't quickly upgrade.

That means for bear, buy the tanking ring. For cat, buy the DPS ring. If you get a Trophy of the Crusade, get either the chest or the gloves depending on which will be a bigger upgrade for you, and gem it so you can use it for either set. Then work on the head and shoulder pieces.

The 4-piece bonus isn't worth it for either spec, honestly. It's good for cats, but it's nothing so insane that you must have it. The tier bonuses for bears are trivial. However, thanks to blizzard laziness, all the tier and non-tier gear have almost precisely the same base stats - which make them very interchangeable.

The long and short of that means that it will always - always - be a DPS upgrade to go up a tier regardless of what the piece is. This only applies to the coliseum gear, but it means that if you get an coliseum-10 piece, a coliseum-25 (or heroic 10)piece in the same slot will be an upgrade to it. And a heroic-25 will beat that. Always. That makes it a lot easier to evaluate gear.

The question then becomes - what should you really go for?

The big ticket item is the weapon. That remains the thing that's hardest to get and the biggest overall gain. Now, it's rumored that Onyxia drops an actual tanking polearm; if so, awesome for bears. Otherwise, it's the same as usual - look for the Lupine Longstaff/Twin Pact and grab it.

The other thing that makes recommendations difficult is that it's not clear how hard the hard modes actually are. Will the 10-man be fairly easy for 25-man raiders again? Will the 25-man hard modes be akin to Mimiron and Yogg, or Flame Leviathan? No one knows. My bet is that the hard modes will not be too difficult and most guilds will have all the hard modes done, and a few of them (like beasts and jaraxxus) will be done fairly early. That means lots of tier pieces, lots of high-end loot, and lots of good times. That's just a guess, though; we'll know more in 3 weeks.

Me personally? The biggest bang for the buck is the DPS ring for me, followed by the DPS idol. Then I'll go for the shoulders. Assuming I can do all 25, 10 and every daily heroic, that'll take me 3 more weeks to compile, and should put me in a good position to do hard mode content assuming no other upgrades.

Anyway, on to the gear lists.

25-man Faction Champions:

Satrina's Impending Scarab/Juggernaut's Vitality -drops from 25-man Faction Champions. (awesome for bear). This is a huge chunk of stamina that also adds...more health on emergency. It's a giant stam sandwich with extra stam. Now, keep in mind that you can't use this and the heroic version at the same time. However, also keep in mind that tanks are dirty bastards, and they'll fight you for this tooth and nail. Just get it and be happy, and pray it drops often so anyone who does tank can get it.

Ring of Callous Aggression/Band of Callous Aggression - drops from 25-man Faction Champions. #5 cat. This is a solid ring that isn't quite as good as dexterous brightstone ring, but is still likely an upgrade unless you've been very lucky with Algalon loot. I'd probably pass and get the badge ring first, but note that rings are sparse and competition is high; if you have the option, grabbing it isn't the worst thing you can do.

Treads of the Icewalker/Icewalker Treads - drops from 25-man Faction Champions. (#2 cat, #3 bear). These are about a 5-point upgrade from Runed Ironhide for bears and a 5 point for cats. Shockingly for bears, the thing that beats them? PvP gear. Still quite good, and because they're boots they can happily pull double duty for cat and bear. I'd definitely prioritize these if possible.

10-man Faction Champions:

Gloves of the Silver Assassin/Sunreaver Assassin Gloves
- drops from 10-man Faction Champions. (#3 cat, #10 bear) - thanks to their poor stamina, these are worse than T8 gloves; skip if you're a bear. If you're a cat and you're not dealing with set bonus breaking, this can be a fairly strong choice; despite the item level they're just barely worse than the T9.25 pieces. As above I'd still likely pick the T9.25 piece and plan on using it for bear and cat, but this is a good stopgap, and if you don't already have T8 this is a very solid piece with tons of armor pen.

Victor's Call/Vengeance of the Forsaken - drops from 10-man Faction Champion. (?? cat, bleh bear) - this one is likely a big pass. It gives expertise, which isn't that special for cats, and it gives 1250 AP for a short time, which also isn't that special for cats. I'd ignore it unless your trinkets are atrocious or you're one of those freaks who doesn't like primal precision.

Fervor of the Frostborn/Eitrigg's Oath - drops from 10-man Faction Champions. (Bleh for cat, ?? for bears) - it's an interesting situational trinket that adds armor when you want it to (instead of The Black Heart) as well as adding about 2% dodge. That's okay (and stellar for Algalon) but fairly situational. Definitely grab it if it drops, but don't fight too hard if another tank wants it.

25-man Twin Valkyrs:

Lupine Longstaff/Twin's Pact - drops from 25-man Twin Valkyrs. (#5 bear, #4 cat) A really solid piece with good stamina and agility combined with the best threat stats for bear and the best DPS stats for cats. Only the weapon from Anub'Arak beats it in normal modes for cats, and only barely - we're talking a tenth of a point, if that. The Vezax hardmode staff (along with the pvp weapons) beat it for bears. If it drops, get it. It's really that simple. Don't wait for the slightly better piece. Just get it and be happy, and then get it again on hard mode.

Belt of the Merciless Killer/Belt of the Pitiless Killer - drops from 25-man Twin Valkyrs(#3 bear, #2 cat) This only loses to pvp gear for bears (along with the hard-mode upgrade), and this only loses to the hard mode upgrade for cats. Do keep in mind that for cats, you'll likely start wanting to bleed off hit, in which case something like the Soul-Devouring Cinch or Relic Hunter's Cord will start looking pretty tasty. And if you have the Soul, don't bother on this; it's barely an upgrade and may have more annoying itemization depending on what you have. It's also not a big upgrade no matter how you go; if you can get the Death-Warmed Belt made, do that first and only get this if no one else wants it.

Arbiter's Muse/Legionnaire's Gorget - drops from 25-man Twin Valkyrs (#2 bear, bleh for cats) - the only thing that beats this is the hard mode version. It's absolutely stellar for a bear, and beats the next option by about 10 rating points. I'd definitely try and get this if at all possible.

Death's Verdict/Death's Choice - drops from 25-man Twin Valkyrs (#2 cat, bleh for bears) - the hard mode version of this trinket is better, of course - but that doesn't mean this isn't amazing. It's not as good as a switch hitter trinket like DM:G is for bears, but 450 agility on a proc + 256 AP is a very, very strong trinket. Rawr has this version ranked 40 points higher than Mjolnir, if that tells you anything. It's a trinket, it'll have tons of competition, and you'll never see it again in your lifetime. Try and get it quickly if possible.

10-man Twin Valkyrs:

Armor of Shifting Shadows/Vest of Shifting Shadows - drops from 10-man Twin Valkyrs (#6 for cat, #7 for bears) This is an okay piece. It's only marginally better than the normal 25-man Hodir drop Winter's Icy Embrace for cats, and not as good as Embrace of the Gladiator. If you've been unlucky or want a marginal upgrade, grab it - but likely let others get it first. For bears, it's barely an upgrade over the Conqueror chest. I wouldn't bother at all with it there.

Loop of the Twin Valkyr/Band of the Twin Valkyr - drops from 10-man Twin Valkyrs( #5 bear, bleh for cats) - another high armor ring with good stamina and no parry? Sign me up! It's worse than the hard mode version, the hard mode agility ring mentioned above, and the Clutch of awesome. But that's it. And there's really not a lot of rings for bears, especially ones with armor. I'd definitely try for this if possible.


Mittnacht said...

Thanks for the guide. I have noticed expertise is hard to come by, and if you follow your upgrade path and choose the t9 chest and badge shoulders, where is your expertise going to come from? Do you plan to keep the t7 legs? I know it's not necessary to be at or near the soft cap, but with my gear set the Runehide boots would be the only piece left with expertise.

Kalon said...

Mittnacht, my experience has been that expertise comes from almost everywhere. But I went and looked it up - and expertise is simply no where to be found on gear. It's on the head...but that's it.

That's an interesting point.

I'll have to look into it further, but it may be the case that going for the T9 head is a better option just for that - at least in the long run. IT's really going to depend on what your upgrade path entails and what gear you have.

Mittnacht said...

Yeah, I think the head may be my first t9 piece for that reason. I am cat main spec, bear second, so the iLvL 245 head can be a solid bear piece once I upgrade with the 258 token.

I know expertise is not as valuable as ArPen, Agi, etc., but I would like to keep it in the 18-22 range at least. When I replace mt t9 shoulders with badge shoulders, I will re-gem my Runed Ironhide Boots and use those in my cat outfit to make up some expertise.

So my path for kitty upgrade seems to be:
Save dkp for Lupine Longstaff
Badge Ring (got it)
Badge Idol
Badge Shoulders
T9.25 helm (245 version) if hard modes prove to be that hard. Otherwise, wait for the 258 token.

Oh, and the real weakness in the t9 and badge gear is not the lack of expertise, it is the overabundance of hit, as you noticed in your post about the Belt of the Merciless Killer.

Anonymous said...

Great summary. Appreciate your work and efforts.

I wonder how the clear delienation of gear will effect item budgets in Cataclysm. With a lot of the 'secondary' stats being removed in their own right (AP, MP5, expertise) and the effect coming from the bases stats (str, agi, mastery) I'm thinking that itemisation will be a lot better.

It is possible that the net effect will be the elimination of the gear puzzle whereby I have a piece that is clearly an upgrade from purely a stat persepctive; but I would lose too much expertise/hit (secondary stat) for it to be an immediately usable piece without rejigging other pieces to compensate.

On an earlier point - my primary specc is kitty. Having geared up in all Uld and some of the new ToC gear I now use just cat gear to tank heroics - swapping out only one trinket and taking the mangle=agi idol. Event though I was sceptical in trying this earlier in the piece being concerned that groups will shun me for having low health (pugs seem only concerned with HP and not Avoidance/Mitigation) I am now a complete convert.

Keep up the good work

Frickadelle said...

Hi Kal,
Thanks as always for the great information. I'm just a bit confused about your gear rating. Is the link here the most recently revised gear rating? If so, I wanted to know your thoughts on NC's ratings over at EJ. I notice that the two lists are displaying some subtle differences and wanted to check in to see which might be more accurate for me.

Armory: Frickadelle (one and only)
Raiding: MT for my guild's 10 man runs. We don't do hard modes, but are focusing on clearing ulduar (10/13) and venturing into ToC.

I feel a little more comfortable with your list (mainly because it shows my 8.5 helm as an upgrade to the other helm Guise of the Midgard Serpent.) but wanted to check to be sure.

I was also curious...Rawr is telling me to regem for AGI and basically try to match all my socket bonuses. Is that the way to go?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and all your hardwork on the site.


Anonymous said...

This kind of circles back a bit, but I was wondering where Embrace of the Gladiator ranked? I've seen that Cuirass drop, and the tier looks tasty, but I was able to pick up the Embrace for cheap boy is that a lot of stam


Copey said...

That new stam trinket looks tasty. Very tasty. It got me thinking about trinkets, and I’m wondering if I should pull out my JC crab trinket and put stam gems in it. It’s been in my bag since I got The Black Heart. An extra 123 stam plus another O.S. button would be nice. Not as nice as Heart of Iron, but I don’t have that yet. I wonder if it’s better to have that extra stam and dodge on demand rather then the DM Card.

Kalon said...

Frick, I'll have to look into why the gear lists are odd, but it probably doesn't matter; I'll have a new one here soon. In any case, Rawr is a tool - and it's important to know why it's doing what it's doing. The default settings are often more dodge-centric because they assume a fairly low damage intake. Mess with the options on how much damage you're taking in and the survivability softcap, and you'll see different results.

That being said, if you're doing only 10-mans agility is perfectly reasonable. I would make sure you have a certain threshold of health (45k total would probably suffice) and then be fine with agility.

Anon, Embrace of the Gladiator is very good - it ranks as high as the T9 piece due to the gem slots.

Copey, the thing about trinkets and good tanks is that there are no set in stone trinkets. Some fights it makes more sense to have more ohshit buttons, some you want double stam, some you want more avoidance and armor - and no two fights are going to be the same. So if you don't have HoI yet, you should absolutely gem up that EoG with stam and have it around.

Never, ever get rid of trinkets until you have two that can do the same thing it does.