Tuesday, September 22, 2009

[Druid] Vendorstrike==bear strike

Onyxia's back, and this time she's pissed. Okay, she's probably fairly upset, what with her head being mounted in cities for years now, her kids being killed, and her plot to usurp the crown of Stormwind kinda blowing up in her face. But hyperbole aside, she's back.

How hard is she? Reports are that if you're familiar with the old encounter she's not too bad, and only spawns an extra add during Deep Breaths phases. Her loot level is on par with ToC 25, so I'd bet that she's not much harder than anything in normal ToC. Especially since Blizzard wants her to be experienced by a lot of people as part of their anniversary.

In terms of the patch, the biggest affecting thing is the nerf to armor pen, which has been discussed to death here and elsewhere. That's really it; ferals aren't changing significantly otherwise, and things like the infected wounds change and the predatory instincts change are both more geared towards PvP and quality of life. Otherwise, ferals are likely going to remain pretty similar to what they were before, though all ferals will take a slight hit to their dps.

Now, the loot list for her: I have no idea. Blizzard has remained somewhat tight-lipped about the gear. A lot of it was gear that had simply been given a higher ilvl but had exactly the same values as before, and that's clearly not going to work now.


But, if what we've seen holds, bears get a gift. And that gift is Reinforced Thunderstrike:

Binds when picked up
Speed 3.10
634 - 951 Damage
(255.6 damage per second)
+89 Agility
+180 Stamina
Durability 120 / 120
Requires Level 80
Item Level 245
Equip: Increases your expertise rating by 71.
Equip: Increases attack power by 190.
Equip: Improves haste rating by 63.

This ranks just barely below Twin's Pact (normal) in Rawr, and will be a superb threat weapon due to all that expertise - expertise that is lacking almost everywhere else in ToC land. It will also have some of the highest stamina possible outside of PvP gear and hard mode gear. And the best part? Almost no one will want it. The only other class that might - might - have any interest is a DK, and they'd almost certainly rather have a strength-based weapon.

Now, how do you get it? By getting Reinforced Shadowstrike, I believe. Which happens to also be a decent choice as a weapon, especially for cats:

Binds when picked up
Speed 3.10
634 - 951 Damage
(255.6 damage per second)
+120 Agility
+126 Stamina
Durability 120 / 120
Requires Level 80
Item Level 245
Equip: Increases attack power by 157.
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 73.
Equip: Increases your armor penetration rating by 89.

I don't know if they're still going to do that mechanic. My hope is not; while it would be awesome to have both a cat and bear weapon that you can swap back and forth with - or even have two weapons from one, essentially - I'm not sure double the enchanting mats are awesome. If you're curious, this ranks slightly below Twin's Pact and Hellion Glaive for cats (from normal mode) and will be a good choice if you can get it.

So keep a look out for those, and for any other wacky items from Ony. As people start trying it and we get an idea of what the 245 table is like, I'll update the cat and bear loot lists too, as well as the LIKE A BOSS list. In the meantime, if you don't already have an awesome weapon - consider rolling on this one.

Incoming comments about how the best itemization for ferals comes from vendor trash in 3, 2, 1...


Doppler said...

According to on use / proc effects only the Shadowstrike has the changing function. Hopefully this isn't the case otherwise I see GM tickets going everywhere.

A Druid Anathema//Benediction... yes please.

Ryan said...

I picked up the 10 man version today. Basically the on use effect of the first can be used to create a 2nd, separate weapon. The 2nd weapon isn't unique, so you can actually make a new copy once every 60 seconds if you so desire. This means that while the 2 weapons will have to take up an extra bag slot, but you can have separate enchants on them, which I believe was not possible for benediction or the original shadowstrike

By the way, I wonder how many people actually got the vendorstrike reference.

Thessaly said...

Yeah, I just got the 25 man version and was pleasantly surprised. As a side note, even after creating Thunderstrike, Shadowstrike is tradeable. So you could probably convince a dps class that wins it (bad hunters?) to let you split out Thunderstrike.

Nathanael said...

As for DKs wanting it - perhaps, depending on spec.

The agility isn't really the barrier for DKs, especially if they are blood dps or a two-handed tank.

Remember agility weapons get an extra stats (just like leather) vs strength weapons. Blood does a lot of physical damage so the agi is good crit, and tanks still get a bit of dodge (if not as much as druids) and and armor from agi. Unholy tends to prefer strength to boost its ghoul but even then some agi weapons win out over strength ones.

For instance, I was getting better dps in my blood tanking spec with Marrowstrike than with Edge of Ruin, both of which drop in heroic TOC5. Arms warriors actually get better dps from Marrowstrike as well. We've been rolling on agility-based weapons for a while now, starting with Betrayer of Humanity. In fact, the only two DK weapons that drop in normal TOC10 have agility on them (Reckoning and Fordragon Blades).

Eh, it's taking me a while to get to the real issue - the fast speed on the weapon. If it was 3.5, I'd lap it up instantly. With 3.1, it requires more thought.

The survivability is great, and the proc is good for a bit of extra AOE aggro (which isn't blood's strong suit). Not to mention it's kind of fun - not a lot of nonlegendary weapons get cool procs anymore. Looking at the damage spread, each version is only slightly weaker than the 3.5 weapons an ilvl below, so I'd basically rate them subpar for dps. The strength two-handed swords that Ony drops would be far superior.

Tanking though . . . right now I use 232 Reckoning, so the 245 Thunderstrike would be an upgrade by virtue of stats and the damage/threat differential would be negligible.

If I had a chance at the 232 Thunderstrike, I'd probably at least try it to see if it wasn't too much of a threat loss. But again, the strength two-handed swords are superior - they have only one less stam than the corresponding Thunderstrikes, and 3.5 speed.

What would really make or break that decision would be if either of them had hit instead of expertise - DKs are having the opposite problem of bears.

BTW, I'm the guy that was arguing for calling these feral weapons rather than hunter weapons . . . used to tauren bear tank all the time until 3.1 hit, then real life friends got back into the game all as alliance so now most of my time is for my gnome DK.

Copey said...

So is it confirmed that if a DPS wins this item, he could trade it to me, I could make the thunderstrike version, and then trade it back?

Becuase I'll be hitting up any dps that wins it over me, but I don't want to ninja the shadowstrike by accident.

Kalon said...

Doppler - yes, the Shadowstrike is the only one that's tradeable/usable. That's still okay, and it's still a good weapon.

Ryan, one possibility is to make as many tanking weapons as you like for your guild. Give it to your first tank, who makes one, then gives it to another tank, who makes one...etc. While it's not the best DPS weapon, you could in theory give everyone who was there Thunderstrike. Note that I strongly believe that this is an exploit waiting to be hotfixed, and would not recommend relying on it.

Thessaly, yep. And yes, comments appear to indicate that this is entirely feasible.

Nathaniel - I do recognize that some DKs will definitely want this, especially since it has such high stam. However, it's not going to be quite as high on their list as it is for most feral bears - and unlike DKs, they don't care a bit about the speed of the weapon. I will say that no matter what - this isn't a hunter weapon. :)

Copey, I've seen it mentioned here and on several other sources. It appears to be legit. Whether or not it actually remains so is another matter, and I'm guessing that Blizzard will either give this one charge that binds the item on use and makes it untradeable, or simply disables the ability altogether. I doubt very seriously they're going to allow one drop to give everyone in the raid a 245-level weapon, even if the weapon isn't ideal.

Thessaly said...

The drop is Reinforced Shadowstrike. It has a Use: Create Reinforced Thunderstrike with one charge. I got traded the Shadowstrike, made the Thunderstrike, and the Shadowstrike still had the "You can trade this..." text on it. I ended up using both, so the Shadowstrike still has the Use: text on it, but says No charges as well.

Julia said...

I was so excited when Shadowstrike dropped because it was awesome and I expected no one to want it. But 7 others did want it: hunters, DKs, trees who said their main set was feral, and even a warrior! The loot master discounted the rolls of those who weren't listed as primary classes on wow-loot, but just a heads up that ferals might have to compete more than they expected.

Jheusse said...

Wish me luck on having this drop for me tonight, my first lockout the stormrage helm dropped, which simply had to be worn to get that head graphic once again.

With Ony and ToC both being T9 in terms of loot ilevel, any likelihood of updating your gear rankings?

And re: Pawn, I fiddled with it for quite a while and scrapped it, the values shift too much based on your current gear, so now I just keep ratings and your articles up on the other monitor alongside Rawr.

Thanks for the 74th time for your excellent articles. You may think you're not providing new info, but that's not the case.