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Posts with tag gear-guide

Lichborne: Buy your death knight some patch 4.2 valor gear

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Now that patch 4.2 has been out a few weeks, if you've been faithfully raiding or queuing up for your random dungeons, you should have a pretty good chunk of valor points ready for use. That means it's time to start thinking seriously about what you should buy. This week, we'll be taking a look at the new valor point gear from patch 4.2 and figuring out what each brings to the table for you.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Firelands reputation rewards

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.

Patch 4.2 is still here. And we're all rolling through the Firelands, some of us already on heroic modes, some of us still clearing some bosses, others working on the dailies. Something for everyone. Today, we're going to talk about the loot you can get out of the Firelands without actually getting a single drop from a boss. Some of these rewards require you to kill trash for rep (or even bosses, in the case of Avengers of Hyjal rewards past honored), but others you can get through Marks of the World Tree or even from the Thrall quest line added in patch 4.2.

Before we talk about all that, though, I have to say that if you're able to raid Firelands, even on a limited schedule, you really should. These are some of the best-designed, most well thought-out boss encounters I've seen in years of playing the game. Trash runs are absolutely puggable (and the trash drops are worth pugging for, as last week covered); a coordinated group in 359 epics from tier 11 raids absolutely can do the first four bosses and can probably learn to do Baleroc in a week or two. There's no reason to avoid this raid. It's fun, well-designed, and within your grasp. Of the five bosses I've now seen, none of them is so easy as to be boring nor so hard as to be daunting.

Now, let's talk about gear you can get before or just after setting foot in here.

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

Spiritual Guidance: Gearing up a shadow priest in Patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Every Wednesday, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen rains sheer purple destruction down on all who oppose him (and even those who don't, provided they drop shiny purple epics on the way down).

To some, patch 4.2 represented a great new opportunity to explore new content, including an "interesting" new quest chain involving "World-Shaman" Thrall and a new daily questing hub/zone, the Molten Front. To others, it was a chance to make money hand over fist on the auction house. To us shadow priests hoping to be the best we can be in the new Firelands raid, however, patch 4.2 means grinding.

Hyjal dailies. Firelands trash. ZA/ZG runs. Sweet, familiar, awful grinding.

For the most intrepid of grinders, your pain-inducing effort has finally borne fruit -- some of us already have the valor points saved up to buy an item at our faction's vendor in Stormwind or Orgrimmar. But what exactly should we be buying? Is the Molten Front grind worth it? And where exactly do you find the best pieces of equipment for your patch 4.2 shadow priest?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: Healing loot from Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub in patch 4.1

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading on the Matticast.

Looking to bridge the gap between heroic dungeons and raids? The new item drops from the updated Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub ought to help with that! Obviously, these items aren't meant to be the best items in this tier, but if you want to reach for the gear ceiling in preparation for patch 4.2, you'd best have an idea of what the trolls are keeping away from you. For me, the big ticket items are things like rings, wands, off hands, bracers and select weapons.

I know the places look the same, but other than looks, the encounters have been updated. I'm psyched to tackle trolls again. It has been a while since we had trolls to sink our weapons in.

After the jump, we'll examine all the items available.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Lichborne: New death knight gear coming in patch 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Patch 4.1 looks likely to drop any week now, so now's a good time to find out what the patch can do for you, gear-wise. The two new dungeons, Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub, appear to have been completely itemized, so we can probably feel relatively safe in looking at the gear that drops from them. The gear is all ilevel 353, which puts it below raid and valor point gear but above most current heroic dungeon drops. Therefore, casual raiders, non-raiders, and new level 85 death knights will probably find a lot to like in the stuff coming out of this dungeon. Let's take a look at the gear.

For the most part, these will be clear upgrades over your ilevel 346 heroic options, but in cases where there's a better or competitive old heroic option, I will mention it. Note that this information is from the patch 4.1 PTR and may therefore change when the dungeons go live.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing your tankadin for raids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Last week, we talked about gearing for heroics: what stats to focus on, which ones to avoid, and what sources you can exploit to gear yourself quickly for that first step into the endgame. Well, here we are just a week later (wow, you geared fast! ... er, right?), and now it's time to take that next great leap forward smack dab into your first raid.

There's a whole new set of priorities that you should carry into Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, or any of the other tier 11 raids. Dig into the wealth of tanking gear available in the heroic 5-mans, and then we'll explore the deal with threat and how best to boost your survivability. And in no time, you'll be standing before the dripping mandibles of Magmaw, shield in hand, prepared to survive a good chompin' while lesser tanks are munched into something resembling a squeezed can of spoiled Spam.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Lichborne: Tier 11 raid and valor point tank gear for death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With no sign of patch 4.1 going live so far and all the tier 12 raids not coming until patch 4.2, the best place to get gear is still in raid dungeons. Last week, we covered all the DPS gear you could pull from raids -- so this week, we'll cover tank gear.

Note that with tank gear, there is still a pretty healthy debate going on in the DK community over whether mastery or avoidance is the best secondary stat set to get. We've covered this extensively in past columns, so I won't go too much over it again, but suffice it to say that you'll have to examine the boss fights you're doing, your raid makeup, and your own playstyle to see what works for you, although you should strive to fit in four pieces of tier gear in order to get your set bonus. This list will cover primarily raid gear and valor point gear, but reputation rewards and crafted items will be mentioned where they are a viable possibility for the slot.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Tier 11 raid and valor point gear for death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

With 4.1 on the PTR, I've been hearing the usual grumbling. Why should we raid anymore? We'll just wait for the next tier of raiding and get all new good stuff. This argument always sort of strikes me as a little bit off, but it definitely doesn't apply to this patch. Not only is patch 4.1 heroic gear only going to be item level 353, but we won't get a new raiding tier until patch 4.2. That means you probably have multiple months left in which the best gear still comes from raiding tier 11 content.

With that in mind, this week we'll look at all the item level 359 gear available in game and figure out what's best for the up-and-coming DPS death knight. This guide will primarily cover raid gear and valor point purchases, with BoE world drops and crafting and reputation purchases where they seem to fit well into the hierarchy of what to wear.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Cataclysm pre-raid gear for death knight DPS


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

Now that you've had a couple weeks to run heroic dungeons and grind reputations, chances are you're raring to start tackling raids. Whether you already have a raid group or whether you're trying to find one, one of the easiest things you can do to give yourself an edge is to make sure your gear is up to snuff. This week, we'll be looking at the best DPS gear options for death knights looking to break into Cataclysm raiding.

Since gearing requirements for most raids are a bit more stringent, this list is going to be a bit shorter and more focused than the pre-heroic gear list. I've tried to make it clear what gear is best for what spec in the list, but we should probably go over it in general here, just to be clear.
  • Unholy death knights' main focus should always be strength. They'll want to go for 8% hit, of course, but even that's not quite as potent to as stacking more strength. After strength and hit rating, haste and critical strike rating are their main secondary stats.
  • 2H frost death knights are going to want to hit the 8% hit requirement and the 26 expertise dodge soft cap. Their main focus should then be strength, with haste and mastery as their main secondary stats
  • Dual wield frost death knights also want to hit the hit and expertise soft caps, and strength is supreme for them as well. However, their main secondary stats are mastery and critical strike rating.
As you can tell, each spec's gearing requirements are just different enough to make things complicated. I've tried to simplify it as much as possible with this list, but in some cases, you may want to take the "secondary" choice for your spec in order to hit the hit and expertise soft caps. Remember that you can also regem and reforge to hit those caps if needed, or to shed extra hit or expertise rating above those caps. Also, be aware if your race provides extra expertise for wielding a certain type of weapon, as it can often inform your exact gearing choices.

Finally, keep in mind that this gear list may not be completely comprehensive. I have focused primarily on gear of item level 346 and above. Some gear that feels sub-optimal (such as gear with low strength) or seems like too much of a hassle or expense to get for what it offers (mostly blue crafted gear) has been left out deliberately. This is the raid game, so you should be making an extra effort to get properly geared. With that said, let's dive in!

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Pre-heroic gear for death knight tanks


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

So here it is. You're itching to get geared up, but you're looking at long dungeon queues and difficult dungeons that are much less forgiving to the type of zerging playstyle that marked the last few patches of the Wrath era. How do you get ahead and get geared? The temptation of tanking is strong. Your queue time drops to almost zero, and you have at least some amount of innate control over what happens in a dungeon, as most people expect the tank to give orders and set the pace when dungeon diving.

That said, it also has its trials. There will be DPSers who don't listen, refuse to cast crowd control, and refuse to attack your target, instead constantly pulling aggro. There will be healers who space out while you die or who just plain can't heal you in the first place. That said, if you feel like the benefits outweigh the prospective heartburn, you'll want to read today's Lichborne. This week, we're helping you get the gear you'll need to give yourself a leg up as you lead the way into the heroic dungeons of the Cataclysm era.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Light and How to Swing It: Pre-raid gear for holy paladins

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. On Sundays, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why I'm wielding a stick in my off hand.

Has your holy paladin reached level 85 yet? I was able to dedicate enough time to finish up the job, and I've been hard at work ever since. While Holy Shocking and Exorcising my way to the level cap was a blast, we have to get back to reality. Shockadins aren't really viable at any competitive level once 85, and so we're going to revert to our healing ways. I changed my spec into a more traditional holy build and got to work running dungeons and heroics. I even got an opportunity to knock out a couple of raid bosses, which was eye-opening.

With Blizzard's new in-game version of GearScore controlling your ability to enter dungeons or heroic groups, it's important that your holy paladin is geared properly and quickly. We don't have the same infinite mana pool to lean on, and Holy Light's throughput is maybe a quarter of what it was at level 80. When we first reach the level cap, we're feeble and frail. Our old epics are meaningless, and we're left scrambling for any gear we can find. If we take a bit of time to plan out our gearing strategy, we can apply a method to this madness.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Totem Talk: Restoration shaman guide to Cataclysm reputation gear

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and host of the BDTU: Lore edition podcast

Last week, we consolidated the expansion's changes for restoration shaman in a Cataclysm 101 post -- just the basics there, nothing too fancy quite yet. This week, I fully intended to begin writing restoration guides for the various 5-man dungeons and heroics, but instead, I'd like to take some time and talk about gearing up before you even set foot in dungeons at level 85.

Over the last week, I've received a massive influx of email asking about what gear is available through questing and through the various factions. While it is very true that you can receive quite a bit of gear from questing, the reputation rewards are quite stellar. You will gain a sizeable chunk of reputation simply from leveling to 85, so let's see what gear you can pick up along the way. For today, we'll keep Mail Specialization in mind and stick with the mail gear, rings and trinkets available from the various factions.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: The myth of the well-itemized elemental shaman shield

Guest hosting is serious business. Not everyone can live up to the challenge the way Alf did. Still, as part of a mission of mercy, shadow-priest-turned-elemental-shaman Fox Van Allen is rolling the dice and taking the helm of Totem Talk this week. How does mercy fit in, exactly? Well, have you seen what happens when rabid elementals invade the comment sections of Joe's resto version and Rich's enhancement version? Not pretty.

To get our children through their early days of life, we tell them little fictions to make things more magical and more fun.

Hurry up and get to sleep so Santa will bring you lots of presents!

You should take that tooth and put it under your pillow; the Tooth Fairy pays big money for those!

There are plenty of well-itemized spellpower shields out there for elemental shaman!
As you grow up, you learn the sad truth behind it all. That obese man coming sneaking into your house on Christmas Eve is actually trying to perpetrate a home invasion. Those who collect the teeth of others are most likely in need of serious psychiatric help. And for the longest time, we elemental shaman used to suffer the quiet indignation of carrying around gobs of useless MP5 on our shields, just because Blizzard didn't see it necessary to design shields around our specific needs.

Well, my totem-flinging friends, I have some good news -- not regarding Santa or the Tooth Fairy (sorry), but regarding that spellpower shield. You do have options. And there's more good news: With Cataclysm coming right around the corner, we're about to become proverbial kids in a candy store.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancing your gear in only four dungeons

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance, and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 12 now out!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Holy Stormstrikes! I'm going to refrain from using the term casual in a post ever again. Wait, I just used it there. Ah well, rack that promise up with "I'll never drink again" and "I'll never die to cutters again." Lies, all of them, lies.

We all have different definitions of the term and judging by the comments in the last post, others' definition of casual is more severe than mine. I'll get into casual vs. hardcore and the ridiculousness of those classifications in another post. For now, I hear you loud and clear, so let's refrain from diving into that now.

I digress. As I was writing last week's article I had this sneaking suspicion that I already wrote several articles on gearing your non-end game enhancement shaman. In fact I had written articles many moons ago, and they are all on my neglected blog, Big Hit Box. Time for a revisit.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhance me

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury, and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 8 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Two weeks ago a fellow enhancement shaman contacted me on Twitter asking how to improve his damage output. He was kind enough to let me use his email as the topic for the weekly enhancement shaman column here on WoW.com. Because he was brave (crazy?) enough to face the public scrutiny that comes from being in the spotlight here, show him the high level of respect our fellow enhancement brother deserves. Here's his email:

I just switched to enhance for raiding a couple of weeks ago and I still feel like my DPS is lower than what it could be. I'm using Shock and Awe and still depending more or less on the priority frame, which I hope to ween off of soon. I'm still not 100% sure if I have the priorities set up correctly at this point. They are set at:
  • SR
  • MT
  • LS
  • MW5 LB
  • SS
  • ES if SS
  • FS
  • LL
  • FN
I also use Wolves every time they are up and also Fire Elemental when off CD. With just my buffs at the heroic dummy I seem to be maxing out around 6-6.5k. Again, seems a little low to me. If you would like to look at my armory, the name is Alyssian on Durotan. We use WoL, too, and my guild is Chi Cerca Trova.

PS - Any tips for helping me get off of the SAA priority window? I'm mainly concerned with keeping the shock rotation going, I think I can handle the rest.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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