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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 5.2 and warrior gear part 2

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Patch 52 and warrior gear part 2
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

The Throne of Thunder has twelve bosses (thirteen on heroic) and that's a fair bit. For comparison, Ulduar had 13 with a special 14th heroic boss, Naxxramas had 15 and ICC had 12, so Throne of Thunder is tied for third place as largest raid instance in WoW history, and wins the third slot if you count Ra-Den. Throne of Thunder is the largest raid instance we've had in years, and as a result, there's a lot of gear in here for us to comb through.

That's kind of why I chickened out and covered faction items and Oondasta last time. Covering the loot drops off of twelve bosses is pretty daunting. I guess there's no way to get through it except to get started. All of these items will be examined from a warrior mindset, so a belt with haste and mastery will not be a first choice for a prot warrior since haste is useless for protection.

Also, keep in mind that many thunderforged items drop, many of which have the same name and basic stat spread, but a six item level increase. I won't be talking about them specifically, but if one drops, it's better than the regular version. I'm also not covering LFR itemization, but just remember that LFR drops are iLevel 502, making them as good as heroic MSV drops. If you've been running normal modes, LFR Throne of Thunder items are clear upgrades in most cases.
The Care and Feeding of Warriors Patch 52 and warrior gear part 2

Jin'rokh the Breaker


A fair amount of gear drops from our old friend Jin'rokh. Man, I feel bad about killing this guy, we go way back. But he drops loot now, so it's time to die.

The Bracers of Constant Implosion are random enchant bracers. According to Wowhead, they're the only bracers with a socket this tier, and a lot of players are reporting that they're only seeing one stat on them. My take on it is, reforging exists for a reason, so if you see them drop with useful DPS or tanking stats on them, that socket makes them pretty attractive. However, if the rumor that you can spend a coin and get ones that have tanking stats as a DPS is true, that would make me sad. The Chestplate of Violent Detonation, on the other hand, is basically itemized for either tanking or DPS with hit and mastery on it. A red and a blue socket means it can be gemmed for either role fairly easily as well. Similarly, the Worldbreaker Stormscythe is a SMF fury/tanking axe with solid itemization for either role.

Jin'rokh's Soulcrystal, on the other hand, is purely a tanking ring with dodge and expertise, making it mixed between avoidance and active mitigation. Similarly the Cloudbreaker's Greatbelt is a DPS only belt, and one with interesting gem sockets (one red, one yellow, and a sizeable crit bonus for gemming it properly). Right now, haste is a decent stat for arms, and the overall combination of stats makes it reasonable for SMF and TG as well.

Horridon

The Reconstructed Bloody Shoulderplates are a pair of seriously ugly tanking shoulders. They have parry and expertise and a blue socket, making them fairly well customizable for either a pure avoidance or active mitigation setup. The Bloodlord's Bloodsoaked Legplates on the other hand are purely for DPS, and are itemized with haste and mastery and a red and blue socket. I'll admit I'm kind of sad at all this haste/mastery gear. Where's the crit?

The Horn-Rimmed Doomcloak, meanwhile, is another hit/mastery item usable by either tanks or DPS. Sometimes I wonder if Blizzard is just getting rid of tanking gear via subtle, less than obvious ways like making a ton of hit/mastery or expertise/mastery items. If everything is functionally usable by both tanks and DPS, is anything actually tanking gear anymore? Just something I think about. Especially when tanking items like the Puncture-Proof Greathelm, with dodge and parry, are less attractive to most tanks due to active mitigation's existence. I personally still like pure avoidance items, but I'm not ignorant of what the current math says, and its that a pure avoidance item isn't as good as one with some active mitigation stats on it.

The Spark of Zandalar is an interesting trinket for us. Even with haste having been buffed by 50% for warriors in patch 5.2, it's still not as good as crit. But here's the thing. The proc on this trinket is very, very good, and as such, you probably want to consider this trinket to replace any stray Darkmist Vortex or Lei Shen's Final Orders you might have equipped. Are you eventually going to want to replace this with the crit trinkets in the raid? Perhaps. If they drop. And you're not an arms warrior (at certain gear levels haste gets even better for arms). Ultimately, however, this trinket is pretty damn strong for warriors, and you shouldn't ignore it just because of that big whack of haste on it.

Finally we have the Frozen Warlord's Bracers, which are haste and expertise with no socket. What is this I don't even. I feel like these bracers are mocking me.

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Patch 52 and warrior gear part 2

Council of Elders


Next up, the Council of Elders. They drop a variety of items, including Fortitude of the Zandalari, a straightforward tanking trinket. A solid chunk of mastery and a big health boost mini cooldown. Could be well combined with Last Stand and a big Shield Block/Shield Barrier if you could bank rage for a big damage spike. If you want a chestplate that mixes avoidance with active mitigation, the Overloaded Bladebreaker Cuirass has that for you. I find the sockets interesting on that one.

Finally, a DPS item with some crit on it, the Talisman of Angry Spirits. And speaking of DPS items with crit on them, as an arms warrior I absolutely covet Zerat, Malakk's Soulburning Greatsword. With crit and hit it's not bad for TG fury, either. Council also drops the Protector token, so keep that in mind.

Tortos

So, what about Tortos? He's got a fairly decent array of drops for warriors. First off, he's got the Amulet of the Primal Turtle, a hit/crit DPS neck with a blue socket that has a crit bonus. If you're looking for the most crit in your neck slot, this is probably it right there. It comes down to what you can get, ultimately, but I would put this neck above the Talisman of Angry Spirits. It is lower on strength, though. The Shellsplitter Greataxe is pretty ideal for a SMF warrior, and still serviceable for a prot warrior looking for a tank item. The Shoulderguards of Centripedal Destruction are ALSO ugly, but are decently itemized with a solid dose of crit on them, so I'll allow it. Besides, that's what transmog is for. I'm relieved to start seeing some crit plate up in here.

For tanks, we have the Backbreaker Greatcloak, with Dodge and Mastery (so a block cape for us) and the Shell-Coated Wristplates with Dodge and Parry. Not ideal, but a sizeable chunk of yoru dodge and parry needs, especially if you're using a pure hit/expertise piece somewhere else and need to balance your stats.

Megaera

Megs has four drops of interst. As befitting a boss named after one of the three Furies, she drops the Spinescale Seal, a well itemized ring for a fury warrior (and pretty solid for arms as well). While a crit/hit ring is certainly welcome, it's also the last drop on her for DPS warriors, as the next three are all tank oriented.

The Hydraskull Choker is a Dodge/Parry tanking neck, while the Plated Tootbreaker Girdle is similarly itemized (but also has two sockets, a red and a yellow one). I find it interesting that this more traditional tanking itemization is being seen on the later bosses. Finally, the Rot-Proof Greatplate is a tanking chest with dodge, mastery and a yellow and blue socket, making it a decent middle of the road tanking BP in terms of its itemization.

Ji-Kun

Our final boss for this column and the half-way point of the raid, Ji-Kun is a bird. As a result, several of the drops here have a feather or talon theme, and two of them (the trinkets) I find pretty interesting. Ji-Kun's Rising Winds is a fascinating drop. I'm not sure if it's good - I think this is a case where the internal cooldown makes an item that could be good into one that's sort of not good - but making an attenuated form of Second Wind into a trinket is interesting. But if you really want this trinket's effect, you're much better off speccing into Second Wind, frankly, which has no 30 second cooldown between heals and which works the entire time you're below 35%, not just against one attack that puts you below it. Still, it's got a solid chunk of expertise on it. It could also serve a DPS who wanted a little extra survivability, I suppose, but it's definitely a tank drop first and foremost.

Similarly, the Fabled Feathers of Ji-Kun is a trinket that interests me. Hit's a compelling stat for DPS warriors until they hit 7.5% of it (whether they be fury or arms) so I find myself wondering if this is worth it just for allowing DPS to take non-hit pieces elsewhere. Still, that ramping strength proc is pretty sweet. However, I also find myself wondering if this trinket would be worth it for active mitigation tanks, who love hit, and if the proc's ramping effect would produce decent enough parry. I'd almost rather wear this trinket than the Rising Winds, as a tanking warrior.

The Talonrender Chestplate is a crit/hit chest with a yellow and blue socket, decently itemized. The Egg-Shard Grips are tanking gloves with Parry and Expertise. Finally, Ji-Kun also drops the Protector token legs.

We're halfway through the raid. Next week, either we'll continue, or we'll discuss SMF fury and its potential and actual DPS in Throne.


At the center of the fury of battle stand the warriors: protection, arms and fury. Check out more strategies and tips especially for warriors, from hot issues for today's warriors to Cataclysm 101 for DPS warriors and our guide to reputation gear for warriors.

Filed under: Warrior, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

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