Hail, druids, and welcome to the wondrous world of a new patch! This patch didn't hold much for us in the ways of personal meat. We got a wicked-awesome new Hurricane animation and a neat new Wrath one as well, but otherwise, things trudge along as normal with our lot. That's perfectly dandy in my book. We're still going along strong as a solid DPS choice, and things are good.
This week I'm dedicating to gearing ourselves up in all of that lovely new content that has just been released. Whether you're a dungeoneer or a hardcore raider, there's tons of new loot to look at, and that's exactly that we're going to do. As a side note, I do have to say that I am super-excited about having patch 4.3. The content so far has been gloriously fun, and though I'm sure I'll change my mind once I've done enough of these heroics to last a lifetime (as with the troll versions of last patch), I'm content to make do with what we have. Let's get to work, shall we?
The first order of business that I want to bring to everyone's attention is in regards to our latest tier set that has been released. Traditionally, Blizzard follows a very well-crafted pattern when designing the set bonuses for each of our new sets. If a set had a particularly strong four-piece bonus, then the next version would have a solid two-piece bonus and vice-versa. It's all a delicate balancing act that keeps upgrades as upgrades.
Unfortunately, we've run slightly amiss of this perfect level of balance this time around. While tier 13 isn't bad by any mark, the bonuses that you get out of tier 12 are extremely good -- so good, in fact, that there are times when it isn't worth upgrading. The standard rule of not breaking one set bonus until you have the next does apply, but in this case, there is one more nuance to add to the list. Tier 13 is only a solid upgrade if you match levels. This is to say, the Dungeon Finder level of tier is not a good replace for normal mode, and normal-mode gear doesn't quite replace heroic. If you manage to collect all four pieces, then it can be an upgrade, but don't break your old four-piece for the new two-piece unless the set types match.
New raiding loot list
Now that's done with, let's begin!
- Deep Earth Cover Dragon Soul, Warmaster Blackhorn
- Helmet of Perpetual Rebirth 2,200 valor points
- Timeway Headgear ?
- Deep Earth Robes (R) Dragon Soul, Ultraxion
- Deep Earth Vestament (M) Dragon Soul, Ultraxion
- Decaying Herbalist's Robes 2,200 valor points
- Chronicler's Chestguard Well of Eternity, quest
- Deep Earth Gloves Dragon Soul, Zon'ozz
- Fungus-Born Gloves 1,650 valor points
- Waterworn Handguards Well of Eternity, trash
- Deep Earth Leggings Dragon Soul, Yor'sahj
- Leggings of Nature's Champion Dragon Soul, crafted
- Leggings of Blinding Speed Hour of Twilight, Asira Dawnslayer
- Mycosynth Wristguards Dragon Soul, Morchok or Zon'ozz (?)
- Bracers of Flowing Serentiy Dragon Soul, crafted
- Luminescent Bracers 1,250 valor points
- Woundlicker Cover 1,250 valor points
- Nanoprecise Cape 1,250 valor points
- Drapes of the Dragonshrine Hour of Twilight, trash
- Cloak of the Subtle Light Hour of Twilight, Asira Dawnslayer
- Girdle of the Grotesque Dragon Soul, Hagara
- Belt of Universal Curing 1,650 valor points
- Girdle of Fungal Dreams Dragon Soul, trash
- Cord of Lost Hope End Time, any Echo
- Treads of Sordid Screams Dragon Soul, Ultraxion
- Boots of Fungoid Growth 1,650 valor points
- Boots of the Forked Road End Time, Murozond
- Petrified Fungal Heart Dragon Soul, Morchok
- Flowform Choker Firelands, Majordomo Staghelm
- Opal of the Secret Order 1,250 valor points
- Threadlinked Chain 1,250 valor points
- Ring of the Riven Dragon Soul, Hagara
- Signet of Suturing Dragon Soul, Morchok, Zon'ozz, Yor'sahj
- Infinite Loop Dragon Soul, Morchok, Zon'ozz, Yor'sahj
- Seal of the Grand Architect 1,250 valor points
- Band of Reconstruction 1,250 valor points
- Signet of the Twilight Prophet Hour of Twilight, quest reward
- Horned Band Well of Eternity, Peroth'arn
- Ledger of Revolting Rituals Dragon Soul, Ultraxion
- Dragonfire Orb Dragon Soul, trash
- Orb of the First Satyrs Well of Eternity, Peroth'arn
- Rathrak, the Poisonous Mind Dragon Soul, Madness of Deathwing
- Vagaries of Time Dragon Soul, Morchok, Zon'ozz (?)
- Scalpel of Unrelenting Agony Dragon Soul, Yor'sahj
- Fanged Tentacle Hour of Twilight, Benedictus
- Scepter of Azshara Well of Eternity, Azshara
- Ti'tahk, the Steps of Time Dragon Soul, Madness of Deathwing
- Visage of the Destroyer Dragon Soul, Madness of Deathwing
- Lightning Rod Dragon Soul, Hagara
- Stalk of Corruption Hour of Twilight, Benedictus
- Jaina's Staff End Time, Echo of Jaina
- Insignia of the Corrupted Mind Dragon Soul, Yor'sahj
- Will of the Unbinding Dragon Soul, Spine of Deathwing
- Seal of the Seven Signs Dragon Soul, Zon'ozz
- Foul Gift of the Demon Lord Well of Eternity, Mannoroth
A mixed outlook for several drops
Weapons are going to be extremely interesting this time around. Deathwing, of course, drops the best weapons for this raid tier -- but which is the best is situational. In most cases, the staff is the best choice by far. Proccing that much haste -- let alone the fact that it also benefits a few of your other raid members -- is a massive benefit that simply can't be ignored. The dagger, however, really shines in AoE-based encounters, so much that it would blow the staff right out of the water. Which you go with depends on the situation. While this makes for an interesting choice in gearing, I'm on the fence about how effective it is.
Trinkets are much the same way. Seal of the Seven Signs isn't that great of a single-target trinket -- in fact, heroic trinkets from Firelands are better -- but it is an amazing AoE trinket. Again, it's the best that you can get for AoE, same as the dagger. It's odd that we'll have a single-target gear set and a AoE gear set this raid.
You'll notice the restoration chestpiece on the list. There's always going to be a off-set piece somewhere in our set, and this time around, it just happens to be there. You can go for the restoration shoulders instead, but it's a trade-up either way. The shoulders would trade crit for mastery; the chest trades mastery for haste.
Every week, Shifting Perspectives: Balance brings you druidic truth, beauty and insight ... from a moonkin's perspective. We'll help you level your brand new balance druid, tweak your UI and your endgame gear, analyze balance racials and abilities, and even walk you through PVP as a balance druid.