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Blood Pact: Trinkets for warlocks in patch 5.4

Blood Pact Trinkets for warlocks in patch 54 MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill spends 50k coins on a trinket for fun because, whatever, she'll be killing things all day on the Timeless Isle anyway.

Last week, I couldn't fit trinkets into the article. I couldn't even fit in enough disclaimer and caveat into the article to address the article's problems. Since trinkets aren't as cut and dry as regular passively statted gear, there are more caveats and situational criteria to collect before passing a final judgment.

It's not enough to code trinkets into Simulation Craft and press simulate. Simulation Craft is great at simulating a single type of fight mechanic, but modern encounters are comprised of several movement, add priority, and cleave/spread types of mechanics.

By simulating trinkets on a Patchwerk-style fight in the best gear available, we can get an idea of the relative straight throughput power of a trinket. When you're focusing DPS on a priority target, you don't much care about extra procs like cleaving; you want the best burst DPS you've got for that target only. But this means that SimC is going to value cleave-style or special proc trinkets less.

Some trinkets also work better together than with others. For example, Breath of the Hydra is a great trinket for reliably steady damage. The passive haste helps affliction DoTs and affliction activates the intellect proc fairly well. But the haste also helps demo and destro have better control over their secondary resources by letting them cast a generator spell on a tighter demand (read: oh snap, I need X fury NOW). (Yes, destruction soft caps haste very quickly because of how Incinerate works under Backdraft, but haste also allows a Chaos Bolt to get off a smidgen earlier.) So while Unerring Vision of Lei Shen (UVLS) was the theoretical best trinket of them all in tier 15, Breath was a good trinket to have for those with crappy RNG luck or latency to take advantage of the BiS proc.

I'll try to approach these new trinkets similarly: the intent is to represent the trinket's worth fairly, not to split hairs over which trinket is bester-in-slot for which simulated gearset. It's fairly common practice to own more than two trinkets and swap out trinkets depending on the fight. Also, some trinkets that are best for raiding aren't necessarily still great for other activities like Challenge Modes or Proving Grounds. I feel that evaluating the trinket as a whole rather than as a single metric under one style of simulation is the better idea.

Simulation Craft results

Sparkuggz posted the simulation results of all the trinkets ever for each spec. While you can read the various iterations of each trinket in DPS order, I find the long list not very helpful in the end because it's hard to see the relative trinket order in all the names. Obviously, a heroic piece beats a normal Warforged piece simply because of item level, and if you really want to split hairs over which iteration of one trinket beats which iteration of another trinket, you are free to look that up. But what is the general order of things?

Blood Pact Trinkets for warlocks in patch 54 MON
I rewrote Sparkuggz's simulation list in colored bars (bigger version here) where each color represents a different patch 5.4 trinket. Purple is the color I used for any older patch trinket, and I wrote the name of the specific trinket beside the purple bar. Some of the old tier 15 trinkets are still good, though most of the ones listed there are heroic or heroic Thunderforged. I only went halfway down the list because after a while it starts to look all purple as we head into the rest of the expansion's trinkets.

The biggest problem with each of the four raid trinkets is that they all proc off "attacks," which are casts for us. This works out fine with a nuke-style spec like destruction, but it doesn't fair as well with DoT-style specs like affliction, since attack-based procs ignore DoT ticks. (DoT ticks will proc things when the phrase "periodic damage" crops up in the trinket proc wording.) Pets also tend to not proc attack-based trinket wordings; it's only your own casts that do it.

Purified Bindings of Immerseus
  • Drops off: Immerseus, first boss of first wing
  • Passive stat: amplifies critical strike damage, haste, and mastery by 6-9%
  • Proc: attacks grant intellect; 15% proc chance with 115 sec ICD
  • Proc buff name: Expanded Mind
"Bindings" is the amplification trinket. The better the rest of your gear gets, the better this trinket gets. The only snag when it comes to this trinket is how it affects the haste thresholds for DoTs as your gear changes. Zagam did some wonderful math posting regarding the haste thresholds with this trinket, which you can read for more information should you need it.

The tooltip appears to move a full percent up when fully upgraded in item level, but the tooltip appears to round up misleadingly. A full 2/2 upgrade goes about 0.4-0.6% in reality.

General advice seems to be that the trinket is awesome in heroic gear, but decent if not amazing in normal gear. All three specs will want it, however, especially demonology and destruction.

Kardris' Toxic Totem
  • Drops off: Kor'kron Dark Shaman, third boss of second wing
  • Proc 1: 11-18% chance for attacks to Multistrike, aka instant 33% damage copy of an attack
  • Proc 2: attacks grant intellect for 10 sec; 0.92 PPM
  • Proc (#2) buff name: Toxic Power
This is the "Multistrike" trinket and the general advice is that this is the 3rd best trinket overall. Since Black Blood isn't available until a Garrosh kill and Bindings may not be great with lesser gear, the Totem makes for a good option to pair with something else in the meantime.

There isn't much to say about the trinket: it does extra damage for you and provides a short intellect buff that you ought to track so you can take advantage of it. Pretty standard trinket instructions.
Blood Pact Trinkets for warlocks in patch 54 MON
Frenzied Crystal of Rage
  • Drops off: Malkorok, first boss of third wing
  • Proc 1: attacks can Cleave, aka same damage done up to 5 nearby targets
  • Proc 2: attacks grant intellect for 15 sec; 15% chance with 85 sec ICD
  • Proc (#2) buff name: Extravagant Visions
FCR is the "Cleave" trinket, which makes it great for fights with multiple targets close to together, but it doesn't rank well on simulations or theory with one target.

Due to loot competition in my raid as well as loot RNG, this is the only trinket I've personally acquired so far of the tier 16 trinkets. I tried it out on Spoils of Pandaria as destruction, which is a fight so rich in multiple targets that you can spend a good majority of it with Fire and Brimstone turned on. However, the Cleave part of the trinket only did about 5% of my total damage, which settles a little lower than halfway down my damage sources on World of Logs.

On the other hand, I love this trinket when I go out to farm reputation or coins on the Timeless Isle. If you can, click the shrines for a Celestial's buff -- while Yu'lon's or Xuen's buff makes sense for damage dealers (Niuzao's is good for undergeared alts), I've found Chi-Ji's buff is actually the most fun to have. Pair this with the Cleave trinket and go to town rounding up reputation on the Isle.

Black Blood of Y'Shaarj
  • Drops off: Garrosh Hellscream, final boss
  • Passive stat: haste
  • Proc: attacks grant stacking intellect buff; 0.92 PPM
  • Proc buff name: "Wrath of the Darkspear" for duration portion of the buff; "Wrath" for stacking portion
Here it is: Wushoolay's 2.0. This trinket is better than before as it doesn't stick you with just enough hit than you can't swap out other trinkets without wrecking your hit under or over for your offspec. Sure, the passive stat isn't mastery, so it's not the best trinket ever, but even destruction can handle 2k of haste.

Yu'lon's Bite
  • Acquired from: Mistweaver Ai sells this for 50k coins on the Timeless Isle
  • Passive stat: intellect
  • Proc: spells dealing damage grants critical strike; 15% chance, 115 sec ICD
  • Proc buff name: Yu'lon's Bite
This trinket escapes many guides as vendor trinkets typically aren't the best ever. It ranks up under UVLS heroic for demonology, but otherwise hangs with the old tier 15 heroic trinkets (it's the same item level as them) for affliction and destruction.

Despite the rankings not liking the trinket, the crit buff's ICD roughly lines up with Dark Soul's cooldown, which can result in a good burst of crit for destruction. Affliction may not like it at all except as a backup trinket for really bad loot luck. On the flip side, this may be a good trinket for an alt trying to boost item level or otherwise gear up outside of raiding.

Tier 15 and older

UVLS has been nerfed into the ground for warlocks, and although it's still showing up in SimC as good for demonology, it's heavily RNG dependent. Wushoolay's and Cha-Ye still have their purpose for all three specs, though Wushoolay's tends to rank higher on single-target burst than Cha-Ye's. Breath of the Hydra as previously mentioned is a good choice to help a steady rotation, particularly if your spec loves a good amount of haste.

But generally speaking, having a tier 16 trinket will outdo any of the tier 15 or older trinkets unless you have a heroic Thunderforged version.
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DOTs, demons and all the dastardly deeds done by warlocks. We'll coach you in the fine art of staying alive, help pick the best target for Dark Intent, and steer you through tier 13 set bonuses.

Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

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