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Scattered Shots: Patch 4.3 hunter trinket roundup

Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of Dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.

It's trinkets day here on Scattered Shots, back by popular demand. The number of emails I've been getting about hunter trinkets lately has made me suddenly realize that I have not posted my usual new tier trinket round-up and reevaluation -- and with the new tier of Raid Finder trinkets out, there the decision of when to upgrade is yet more complex.

Trinkets are a lot like the nine support classes in WoW: You know they're useful, but it can be hard to figure out exactly which one is worth using without doing some math. Only unlike the support class players, you always want to have two of them with you. And they don't smell funny, or refuse to heal your pet, or screw up your lovely execution of executions.

Maybe trinkets aren't much like the support classes after all. They're better.

Join me after the cut as we run down the new 4.3 trinkets, compare them to the best of the previous tier's trinkets, and give some thought to the new Raid Finder versions of the trinkets as well.

The trinket short list

The first step in trinket analysis is to give 'em the 'ol sniff test and decide which ones are worth mathing out. For the short list creation, we're going to look at all of the new trinkets that drop from normal raids and add on the best of last tier's trinkets (the Matrix Restabilizer and The Hungerer).

Then we'll run some numbers, take the best of the 4.3 trinkets, and see how the Raid Finder versions compare to the heroic versions of last tier's trinkets.

In the past, we've often seen a lower-tier trinket hold its place across several tiers -- Darkmoon Card: Greatness and Fluid Death -- but they just don't hold up against the itemization available in the last tiers of loot. If you're still wondering if you should use your Fluid Death, the answer is no, if you have access to the newer trinkets. You also don't want to be using Greatness anymore.

The new trinkets

We're at the final tier of content and loot with patch 4.3, and that means that we're getting some of best itemization in the expansion. We have some sweet trinkets available to us, and all of them will be at least equivalent to your heroic 4.2 trinkets at normal level. Here's what we got:
  • Kiroptyric Sigil This trinket is giving us 458 haste and procs 2,290 agility for 15 seconds. This looks to be one of the weaker of the 4.3 trinkets.
  • Starcatcher Compass This trinket gives us a flat 458 agility at normal level and procs 2,904 haste rating. This should be about equivalent to heroic Matrix Restabilizer; the two are darned close in DPS.
  • Vial of Shadows This trinket gives us the flat 458 agility again and procs an extra physical attack. This physical attack scales with your attack power and can crit like a truck. However, it's been fairly widely reported that bosses can indeed dodge this proc even when it comes from a hunter (our ranged attacks normally cannot be dodged). Since we don't use expertise, we have no dodge reduction, so we want to keep in mind that most hunters will lose some of their procs to dodges.Ignoring the dodge, this trinket rocks and the normal version instantly replaces 4.2 trinkets. In practice, it's still better, but I wouldn't replace heroic Matrix Restabilizer with the Raid Finder version of this trinket. With any luck, we'll hear about a hotfix for hunters soon.
  • Wrath of Unchaining This trinket procs for 88 agility, stacking up to 10 times to quickly bring us to a bonus 880 agility for the rest of the fight. This trinket is awesome. It's phenomenal and is the hunter BiS trinket. In fact, the Raid Finder version of this trinket is clearly better than the heroic Matrix Restabilizer or heroic The Hungerer. You want this trinket, and you'll have to kill Deathwing to get it.
Ranking the trinkets

Here is a general ranking of the trinkets. Keep in mind all the usual disclaimers: Gear is different not just for every spec but for every character, depending on the rest of your gear and your stat weights. That said, with the much greater impact of agility across all specs, gear in Cataclysm is far less wildly different from spec to spec as it was in Wrath. This ranking should apply pretty well to most hunters. If your particular gear setup and spec is different, it shouldn't be too far off. Trinkets are normal raid drops unless otherwise mentioned.
  1. Wrath of Unchaining (normal)
  2. Vial of Shadows (assuming no dodges)
  3. Wrath of Unchaining (Raid Finder)
  4. Starcatcher Compass (nearly identical to Matrix Restabilizer heroic)
  5. Matrix Restabilizer (heroic)
  6. Kiroptyric Sigil
  7. The Hungerer (heroic)

Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. From leveling your hunter and choosing the best patch 4.2 gear to learning the DPS value of skill, we've got you covered. If you're stuck in one of the nine support classes, why not move up to the big league and play a hunter?

Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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