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Scattered Shots: It's all hunter loot in ICC, part 2

Welcome to Scattered Shots, written by Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the Hunting Party Podcast. Each week Frostheim uses logic and science mixed with a few mugs of Dwarven Stout to look deep into the Hunter class.

Last week we took a look at all the ICC hunter loot that could be purchased or crafted, as well as a bit of discussion about how the ICC itemization impacts hunters and the hunter specs.

This week we're going to dive in headfirst and dig through the piles of boss loot and see what gear comes out on top. I should note right off the bat that we have no idea at all what kind of loot the Lich King himself is hoarding. I wouldn't be surprised to find his loot is a higher iLevel than the rest of ICC, and likely what he has to offer will stomp the equivalent slot gear into a gooey gnome puddle. And no, he will not be dropping Frostmourne, though if he did I think we can all agree that a soul-devouring blade that corrupts and controls you is clearly a hunter weapon.

So join me after the cut as we take a look at Quel'delar, the Ashen Verdict rings, and everything else that drops in ICC worth looking at!

Quel'delar

We dwarves had a saying back in Khaz Modan, "You can batter your beer, but never your pet, and if you batter your hilt you'll have no regrets."

Quel'delar is the product of a quest chain starting with the hard to find Battered Hilt drop. The Battered Hilt can drop from any of the elite mobs in the ICC 5-man heroics. There are several versions of Quel'delar, but what we hunters care about is the 2-handed sword, and it is a lovely bit of craftsmanship for a lowly ilvl 251 item. She's itemized perfectly for hunters: agility, crit, armor penetration, and attack power. The ArP in particular will make this weapon appealing for MM hunters even above many ilvl 264 items.

There are certainly 25-man weapons that stat out equivalent or better than Quel'delar, but I suspect that many hunters will be happy to carry this beauty all the way to the Lich King.

Ashen Band of Vengeance

The Ashen Verdict is the new reputation you can collect in ICC, and they're not just going to send us to assault the stronghold of the Lich King without assistance. Oh no, they're gonna give us a ring to help! Well, at least they will if they like us enough.

You get the Ashen Verdict ring for free once you hit friendly with the Ashen Verdict. You then get a free upgrade with every new reputation level. Here are the different Ashen Verdict rings:
Your Ashen Band is a fantastic ring that gets particularly exciting at revered when the proc appears. The exalted ring is one that every hunter will be sporting eventually. The only possible downside of it is the lack of ArP for ArP stacking MM hunters, but even they will likely be using this. It's safe to assume that this ring will absolutely be one of your ring slots. Note that it does have hit on it, so plan your gear accordingly.

Ranged Weapons Ranged weapons are a bit scarce in ICC and we can only assume the Lich King is hording the really good one, which would logically be a gun. If you're the type that thinks an effective attack is hurling a wee chunk of tree out of a contraption of twig and twine, then you'll be happy with the ascension of the bow in ICC. We have both a 10-man and 25-man bow dropping from Lady Deathwhisper, the second boss in the instance. Zod's Repeating Longbow confused some with the proc, but suffice to say that it is a great weapon, for a bow, and the proc is indeed a good thing. Yes, you want it.

Alas for those that understand and appreciate finely crafted weapons of death, the Stakethrower is currently the only hunter gun in ICC, and in terms of numbers it's substantially below Zod's. However I think we can all agree that the sound of gunfire and clouds of smoke grant a benefit beyond the mere numbers on the weapon. As we also say back in Khaz Modan, "Frostheim will never kneel before Zod!"

Melee Weapons

It looks as though the best melee weapons in ICC are again gonna be the 2-handers. The 1-handers can come close, but in general they seem to be statted more for the melee classes, with excessive amounts of haste. While haste certainly helps us, it doesn't boost our DPS as much as our other stats.

We have several very attractive 2-handers available to us depending on whether you're looking for hit, or ArP, or both.
Hersir's Greatsword wins the ArP competition by far coming in a bit more than Quel'delar and carrying some hit to boost as well as two sockets for more ArP, hit, or agility as needed. It's massive AP will also make it particularly appealing to BM hunters who refuse to raid as anything else. The Shaft of Glacial Ice wins out in hit rating. Interestingly both of these are 10-man drops!

A final word on our melee options: if an actual melee class needs one of these, they should get priority over us. Yes, I know the weapons are great, but for us it's just a stat stick; the melee folks will actually use the stats and the DPS. That said if you're willing to let the melee have Zod's Repeating Longbow before you, then I guess you can try to grab your melee weapon before them.

Head

I suspect most hunters will choose to go with the Ahn'kahar Blood Hunter's Headpiece, but the 10 and 25 man raids each have an alternative.
Taldron's will probably only be preferred by BM hunters for the additional AP. The Snowserpent helm is desirable for the hit rating. I'm sporting the Ahn'kahar head as my 2nd tier 10.

Neck
I think these will be the necks of choice for most endgame hunters; however, if you're looking for hit there are options that have hit at the expense of ArP. Interestingly the difference between these two is very small - the 10-man is darned near as good as the 25-man.

Shoulders

Honestly, just ignore the drops and buy your Ahn'kahar Blood Hunter's Spaulders.

Back

You want the Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape purchasable with Emblems of Frost.

Chest

If you aren't going for the Ahn'kahar Blood Hunter's Tunic (which you probably are) we have some alternative options: The 10-man Hauberk is nice for its hit rating, but is abnormally low on agility and has no ArP. In 25-man the Carapace is your hit rating alternative to the tier 10 set. If you don't need the hit and want ArP, you'll prefer the tier 10 set piece (or more likely the tier 10 set).

Wrists
Slim pickings here, but this is it for the wrist slot so we gotta organize our gear around it.

Hands

Again, your Ahn'kahar Blood Hunter's Handguards are your likely choice if you're pursuing the 4-piece set bonus. But the tier 10 gloves don't have any ArP. If you prefer to stack ArP in this slot, you're best off with the Logsplitters purchasable with Emblems of Frost.

Waist
Let's not forget we have the Band of the Night Raven purchasable with Emblems of Frost, which is our best hit rating option. Nerub'ar Stalker's Cord is the ArP belt of choice.

Legs

This is the tier 10 set slot that we're most likely to use something other than our tier 10 set pieces, due to the lack of any ArP on our set legs.
The 10-man legs here are stacked with hit and in my opinion Leggings of the Northern Lights is your best bet for ArP legs, and you can avoid the expense of crafting the near-equivalent craftable legs.

Also, hunters hanging on to their tier 9 set for the superior 2-piece set bonus will probably want to keep their tier 9.5 legs for this slot, since the Windrunner Legguards of Triumph have ArP.

Feet
Treads of the Wasteland are only a choice if you need the hit on them. Otherwise if you're a 10 or 25-man raider, you'll very likely just want to purchase the Rock-Steady Treads, craftable with Primordial Saronite. Taldron's do have more ArP, but the loss of agility and crit isn't worth it.

Finger

We already know we're using our Ashen Verdict ring for one of our finger slots. Here's what we're looking at for the other one.
On the 10-man front Saurfang's ring will be the MM preference, while Seal of the Twilight Queen will likely be preferred by SV hunters. On the 25 front Frostbrood Sapphire Ring looks to be the ring of choice.

Trinket And last of all we get to the always exciting trinket slot! These are both excellent trinkets that hunters of all specs will appreciate. Whispering Fanged Skull is better than Darkmoon Card: Greatness and depending on your gear, is probably about on par with the non-heroic Death's Verdict. That said, I'd still prefer Death's Verdict as it has better benefit when stacking with other cooldowns, but SV hunters passing 69% unbuffed crit will likely prefer Wispering Fanged Skull. However Death's Verdict and Whispering Fanged Skull are a lovely combo that should both trigger at the same time, giving you the multiplicative advantage (the crit + the AP) without having to think about it.

For Deathbringer's Will, it is certainly worth taking a moment to look at how it works.

From testing done by people with the trinket, it seems to have a 105 second internal cooldown, with a 30% proc chance. Possibly the cooldown is shorter (90 seconds seems like a more logical one) and the proc chance is lower. However we do know that the uptime on the trinket is close to 30%.

Each time it procs you will transform into one of three races: Vyrkul, Taunka, or Iron Dwarf. The transformation will last for 30 seconds and during that time you'll get a buff specific to each race. The possible buffs for hunters are:
  • 600 agility
  • 600 crit rating
  • 1,200 attack power
As you can see those are some fantastic stats, especially combined with the static 155 ArP that MM hunters will drool over. Other classes will get other stats that are good for them, so this trinket is great for just about every physical DPS class there is (and Blizz recently adjusted some of the stats for other classes to make it better) so there will be a lot of competition for this.

But yes, this is absolutely hunter loot and you want it so bad you'd even be willing to spare a gnome's life if that's what it took.

[Fixed Rock-Steady Treads reference -- whoops! Thanks commentors!]



You want to be a Hunter, eh? Well you start with science, then you add some Dwarven Stout, and round it off some elf bashing. The end result is massive DPS. Scattered Shots is the WoW.com column dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a Hunter. Each week Scattered Shots will cover topics to help you Fix Your DPS, Choosing the Right Spec, Gear Selection, Macros and Pet Selection, Pet Specs and Management.


Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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