And we're back to looking at Ulduar's gear drops for shamans. This week, I figured it was long past time to look at the various non-set mail drops from the instance, since we've covered rings, shields, weapons and emblem of conquest purchases already. I'm sure we'll need to take at least a couple of weeks to fit all the mail in the place, so we should get started right away.
Again I remind horde shaman enthusiasts that I'm not raiding Ulduar on my orc, and if you want to see screenshots of an horde shaman up here, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd be happy to use one or even many of them.I'm just simply not going to be able to raid Ulduar more than I already am.
Onward to gear. As always, the usual disclaimers (not all gear has been found yet, things get changed, moved, etc etc) apply. We'll talk about Ulduar - 10 gear first and then Ulduar - 25 either after or in the next post.
Ironaya's Discarded Mantle - while I would not choose these shoulders over the Valorous Worldbreaker ones, they're still a very solid set of enhancement DPS shoulders. They have solid agi and int, high AP and haste, but the loss of the expertise and red socket does seem to make set superior. Still, how can you say no to shoulders that have an Uldaman connection?
Ironscale Leggings - With that much MP5 these are definitely more suited to restoration than elemental unless you're previous pants are really, really lacking. (You are previous pants? You know, I was going to just fix that typo and move on, but I'm charmed by the idea that I just called you a pair of lacking pants. How would that even work? It doesn't sound comfortable.) They have decent stats (I like that haste) and a huge amount of stamina for surviving various area effect damage, I'd certainly consider holding on to them for a resto stam set.
Belt of the Blood Pit - this belt is sadly kind of underwhelming compared to a lower iLevel belt from Naxxramas. The loss of crit and higher agi from the Depraved doesn't really seem balanced out by the ArP for a DPS spec that does so much damage with instant-cast spells and Maelstrom procs. I know ArP has been buffed for shamans (as well as in general) but I still feel like the Belt of the Blood Pit could be better than it is. It's got slightly more stamina for a stam set, though. (That wouldn't be enough to sell me on it.)
Boots of Unsettled Prey - unlike the Belt of the Blood Pit, these compare very favorably to various iLevel 213 options from Naxx and badges.They do have the lowest stam of any option, so if you're worried that you're too easy to kill in melee already you may want to use one of the lower iLevel alternatives, but for pure DPS these are very solidly set up. High AP, crit, good stats, armor pen, Still, they're not outstandingly superior (they're surprisingly similar to the Pack Ice Striders with more crit and less hit) so it comes down to if you want to save emblems or get these before you spend them. And it's always worth mentioning, these are a 10 man drop, all the other candidates are 25 man or bought with emblems of valor.
Chestguard of the Lasher - this is another case of a good comparison to the enhancement set. Higher agi and stamina, higher AP, loses out on crit strike rating, some hit, and two yellow sockets as well as set bonuses. Another candidate for a stamina set and one that really won't sting your DPS too much to use. It does lose expertise compared to the T7 chests.
Circlet of True Sight - A very solid enhancement hat. Okay, so it looks kind of silly. Well, I don't know, you might like a big red circle on your forehead. It has the most stam of any of the options listed, if you're looking for a staying alive, staying alive hat. I'd prefer a red socket to a blue one, but otherwise the meta socket, high stats - it's a pretty good hat all around.
Firestrider Chestguard - with crit, haste and spell power this chest could be either elemental or restoration, since it doesn't have hit or MP5 to point in in one direction or the other. It's possibly a downgrade from Tier 7.5 (if that chest is socketed properly) for elemental but if you only run 10 man content you definitely might want to consider this chest. I like it for the multi-purpose use you can make out of it, and you could always buy the T7.5 if you want to spend the badges for a more directed elemental piece.
Leggings of the Insatiable - These actually compare very well to the Tier 8 10 man legs. They lack the sockets and won't give you set bonuses, but they have very good stats (better overall stats) to make up for it. The higher stamina makes them attractive in many cases (we talked about low stam/health for enhancement last week) - you may want to switch to them on a fight where you might get whirlwinded, or hit with shockwaves, or attacked by adds, or thrown in a slag pot, or... well, let's just say half of Ulduar and leave it at that.
Helm of Veiled Energies - This is a very solid elemental helm, an upgrade over Naxx-25 gear (if slightly) like the Tier 7.5 helm, and a very solid upgrade over anything in Naxx 10, even KT drops. You could certainly use it as restoration as well with the cit for proccing Ancestral Awakening and the haste, which is always nice for healing. And it shares a skin with T8, which I think looks pretty hot.
Greaves of the Earthbinder - Itemized more towards restoration than elemental, but decent boots for either with high SP and crit.
Gloves of Taut Grip - solid high-stat gloves for enhancement, lacking in crit rating and slightly less AP than the Tier 7 gloves, but nicely itemized otherwise and most likely a direct upgrade for any enhancement shaman. I hate to keep harping on the stamina on the non-set gear, but it seems to me that a partial solution to enhancement complaints about low health is to gear for health, as counter-intuitive as it sometimes seems as DPS to gear away from DPS stats. It won't fix the issue but it can keep you alive longer.
Next week, 25 man gear.