If you're like me, you've been spending way too much time in the Dungeon Finder queue lately. With a plethora of new loot available in patch 4.2, we need to earn valor points as fast as possible. Patch 4.2 introduced several new gear options, including new valor point vendors, a new reputation vendor, new leatherworking recipes, and even unlockable vendors. Rather than idling around a capital city, I prefer to work on my daily quests as I wait. I want to minimize the amount of time it takes me to upgrade my gear, and multitasking is the best way to accomplish that.
The most important determining factor in the gear available to you will be whether or not you are raiding in Firelands. A large subset of the new rogue gear is only available to raiders, whether that's due to requiring a certain reputation that you can only obtain by raiding or the fact that the items only drop from bosses in Firelands. Patch 4.2 brings gear for rogues at every level, including those who aren't raiding for one reason or another. Your goal should be to identify the gear that is available to you, and then to prioritize that gear and start working towards acquiring it.
Breaking down what's available
If you're a raider who's exploring Firelands, then you have tons of ilvl 378 gear available to you. Non-raiding rogues are usually stuck with ilvl 365 gear, although there are a few exceptions. Most of the crafted gear that's available requires a few Living Embers, which are still either incredibly expensive or impossible to acquire on your server. As guilds get deeper and deeper into Firelands, the cost for Living Embers will drop, but don't plan on crafting any gear for the next couple of weeks unless your guild is feeding the Living Embers to you.
- Matrix Restabilizer Firelands, Ragnaros. I figured I'd open with the item everyone wants to talk about. Not only is this trinket ilvl 384 since it drops from Ragnaros, it's also amazing. With a base bonus of 406 agility, it's better than any other trinket available. On top of that, its proc always chooses our highest secondary stat (similar to our four-piece tier bonus), ensuring that it is the best trinket for any of the three rogue specs. Expect to compete against all your guild's hunters, enhancement shaman, and feral druids for this one.
- The Hungerer Firelands, Majordomo Staghelm. The second-best trinket drops from Majordomo, meaning that we won't see any great trinkets until we've almost cleared Firelands. The base agility is awesome, and the haste proc is valuable for all three rogue specs. Combat rogues might not enjoy the possibility of capping their energy if this procs during Bloodlust or Adrenaline Rush, but that's another issue.
- Ancient Petrified Seed Avengers of Hyjal, revered reputation. Assassination rogues might enjoy this trinket, as the base mastery bonus helps them the most. Combat and subtlety are likely to pass on this trinket altogether. It's not awful, but I don't think it competes well with good trinkets from tier 11 like Fluid Death.
- Ricket's Magnetic Fireball Molten Front dailies, Damek Bloombeard. If you're a rogue who can't raid, then you'll probably want to buy one of these from the Molten Front vendor after you unlock him. The critical strike rating use effect is weak, but the base agility is enough to make it passable.
- Dark Phoenix Helmet (Helm of the Fiery Vanquisher), Firelands, Ragnaros. Assassination rogues will want to use this helmet as part of their four-piece ensemble.
- Hood of Rampant Disdain Firelands, Lord Rhyolith. Combat and subtlety rogues will likely use this hood as their one off-set piece. Expertise is typically the deciding factor on whether a piece is assassin-oriented or combat/subtlety-oriented.
- Necklace of Smoke Signals 1,250 valor points. I can see this being a very popular necklace, even though it's not ideally itemized. The only other agility necklace of this tier drops from Ragnaros, which will be out of reach for many rogues.
- Choker of the Vanquished Lord Firelands, Ragnaros. Not only is this choker a half-tier above everything else at ilvl 384, it's also ideally itemized for assassination rogues. Unfortunately, we still have to down Ragnaros to get access to it.
- Dark Phoenix Spaulders (Shoulders of the Fiery Vanquisher), Firelands, Majordomo Staghelm. These spaulders are ideally itemized for assassination and not awful for combat, I suspect all three specs will be using these as part of their tier set.
- Shoulderpads of the Forgotten Gate Firelands, Baleroc. Hit and crit don't make an attractive combo, so only use these if you can't get your hands on the tier shoulders just yet.
- Mantle of Doubt Hyjal, quest reward. You can grab this cloak in about 20 minutes if you want to; just burn through the Thrall lore quest chain in Hyjal. It's easy to solo and nets you an awesome cloak.
- Sleek Flamewrath Cloak Avengers of Hyjal, friendly reputation. While the Avengers of Hyjal are considered to be a raid reputation, you can still gain reputation with them by simply killing trash. Most servers have several trash runs going on at any given time, and they're always looking for warm bodies. A couple of hours of trash will net you enough reputation to pick up this cloak.
- Dreadfire Drape Firelands, Lord Rhyolith. Wow. This cloak sports not one but two red sockets, with a 20 agility bonus when a matched. In addition, it's itemized with hit/mastery, which is great for assassination. I expect this to be on everyone's wish list.
- Dark Phoenix Tunic 2,200 valor points. Our tier chest isn't so hot for assassination, as it's stacked with expertise. Combat and subtlety, on the other hand, will be using this as part of their tier set.
- Breastplate of the Incendiary Soul Firelands, Baleroc. This chest will be the off-set piece of choice for assassination rogues, as its stat mix of haste/mastery is much better than our tier chest.
Flamebinder Bracers 1,250 valor points. I guess
we only have one optionfor bracers in tier 12, and they're available from the valor point vendor. The expertise will be reforged to another stat for assassination rogues, but combat and subtlety won't mind the assistance in getting to the expertise cap.
- Flickering Wristbands, Firelands, Alysrazor. Our second pair of available bracers are randomly itemized, meaning the stats aren't fixed. Rogues will want the Windflurry or Zephyr versions, depending on your spec. Thanks to Xlo for this tip.
- Dark Phoenix Gloves 1,650 valor points. If you're shooting for your four-piece tier bonus, which involves killing either Majordomo Staghelm or Ragnaros, then you're going to want these gloves. While there are several other glove options available, our tier gloves aren't awful, and we need them to get the bonus. If you don't have a chance of ever killing the final two bosses of Firelands, then you can actually skip these and buy the other two pieces of our tier set available from the valor point vendors.
- Clutches of Evil leatherworking, Living Embers. These gloves are actually ideally itemized for assassination, but since we're planning to use our tier gloves anyway, it's probably a waste of very expensive Living Embers to make these. If you know you're never going to have a shot at the four-piece tier bonus, you could craft these and buy the tier chest and pants instead.
- Aviana's Grips Molten Front dailies, Varlan Highbough. After you've done a ton of daily quests for the Molten Front, you'll be able to unlock Varlan Highbough and all of his epic loot. He sells Aviana's Grips, which are actually great gloves. If you don't want to sink a ton of valor points or Living Embers into gloves right away, you can just buy these from the vendor. They're only ilvl 365, but that's still better than the ilvl 359 normal gear from the last tier.
- Gloves of Dissolving Smoke Firelands, Shannox. These are awful gloves. Don't both gemming or enchanting them, just save up and buy your tier gloves instead.
- Flamebinding Girdle Avengers of Hyjal, honored reputation. Once you're honored with the Avengers, you can just buy this sweet belt. It's pretty good for all three specs, and you don't have to roll against anyone else for it.
- Riplimb's Lost Collar Firelands, BOE drop. This belt can drop randomly off the trash in Firelands, and you could even buy it from the auction house. Unfortunately, the itemization is only really valuable for subtlety (and combat, to some extent), and so it's not that valuable. If you are a subtlety rogue, try to grab one of these from a trash run rather than buying it, at least for a few weeks as the price of BOEs drops.
- Dark Phoenix Legguards 2,200 valor points. While hit/crit isn't the most attractive stat mix, our tier legs aren't awful. Most rogues will still be using these to obtain their four-piece bonus, especially since these can also drop from the new boss in Baradin Hold. Remember that a 20 agility set bonus is worth using a purple gem to obtain, so toss a Glinting-type gem in for some extra hit rating.
- Cinderweb Leggings Firelands, Beth'tilac. Why couldn't our tier legs be this awesome? If I'm lucky enough to get a pair of these pants, I'll probably use them until I have to drop them for my four-piece set bonus. They're well-itemized and have gear sockets and socket bonuses.
- Treads of the Craft leatherworking, Living Embers. Make these as soon as you can. They're the best boots available to us, and there's no reason not to make a pair.
- Sandals of Leaping Coals Firelands, Majordomo Staghelm. Avoid these boots. I hear that feral druids love them, so we'll let them have them as a token of goodwill. The crafted boots are better in every way, so don't waste your time or gold on these.
- Viridian Signet of the Avengers Avengers of Hyjal, exalted reputation. This ring is amazing. It's ilvl 391, putting it far ahead of any other options, as well as being perfectly itemized and sporting a red socket. While it will take some hard work in Firelands to get to exalted, you can be sure that you'll get there eventually. Until then, feel free to drool all over this ring.
- Splintered Brimstone Seal 1,250 valor points. If waiting until your AoH reputation is at exalted will take too long, feel free to buy this ring from the valor point vendors. There's nothing wrong with it, and it's one of only two ilvl 378 rings available. Buy this ring when you have valor points to spare, then replace it with the Viridian Signet later.
- Widow's Kiss Firelands, Beth'tilac. This ring beats the valor point ring badly in terms of itemization, but since we can wear two rings at once, it becomes a moot point. It's the only other ilvl 378 ring available, so the Widow's Kiss / Splintered Brimstone Seal combo will be popular for a long time.
- Band of Ghoulish Glee Hallow's End, Headless Horseman. Another year, another ring from the Headless Horseman. Considering that you can pick it up with only about 10 minutes of work invested, I imagine that all non-raiding rogues will be picking this up quickly. If you have a rogue alt, this is a great way to update a few pieces of gear in the least amount of time. Unfortunately, this boss won't be available until Hallow's End starts in a few months.
- Band of Glittering Lights Molten Front dailies, Ayla Shadowstorm. If you need a good ring, just buy one from Ayla after you've unlocked her wares. It's only ilvl 365 (as is all Molten Front gear) but that's just fine for the non-raiding rogue.
- Matoclaw's Band Molten Front dailies, Zen'Vorka. This ring isn't awful, but you're better off just burning 1,250 justice points on a Hornet-Sting Band instead.
Check back every Wednesday for the latest rogue strategies, from rogue basics and kicking your interrupts into high gear to how to handle your dual-spec rogue and how to pickpocket top tips from top-performing rogues.