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Raid Rx: The outlook for holy paladins in Mists of Pandaria

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Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

You know, after reading through and playing around with a holy paladin on the Mists of Pandaria beta, it looks like paladins didn't get a ton groundbreaking class changes. In a way, though, that's a good thing! You still get to keep the same style of play, except you have a few new spells and abilities to really augment your healing even further. You don't even have to learn any new playstyles.

If you're an awesome healer now, then you should have no problems moving into the next expansion at all. The additional AoE helpers are a bonus. Even though Holy Radiance is awesome, it'd be nice to have a few other AoE healing spells for a change.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Moviewatch: PLATE

I tend to shy away from featuring too many previews or trailers because you never know if the advertised video will actually ever come to fruition. However, Kidsake has a pretty good reputation, and his previous work is well-loved enough that I thought I'd take a chance. As you can see, the video for PLATE just looks awesome.

Kidsake's work has always been beautiful and haunting. God's Gonna Cut You Down is still one of my favorite mood pieces. I'm eagerly looking forward to PLATE, as I'm excited to see what he'll do with it.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at machinima@wow.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Patch 3.2: Horde Tier 9 plate armor set gallery

After doing some digging in Patch 3.2's latest PTR files, I've assembled a gallery of the new Horde Tier 9 plate sets. The shoulders are slightly unfinished, or at least looked like they were in WoW Model Viewer. The gallery includes Death Knight, Warrior, and Paladin themed sets. In a move that bodes well for Alliance mail armor, the Horde Paladin sets are blood elf themed, so we'll see how that goes for our Draenei Shaman friends (read: me).

I'm not too upset about the looks, myself. They look very Horde, even if the helm screams "Onslaught", and the colors are quite different for each class -- even more so than on the Alliance plate pieces.

Have a gander and enjoy! I'll dig through every new PTR patch that comes out looking for the Horde cloth and Alliance mail and leather sets, so keep your eyes open for updates here.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Patches, Galleries, Death Knight

Naxxramas gear by type


Tobold has a post up with an interesting analysis of all the epic loot that drops in the ten-man version of Naxxramas, broken down by armor type and by broad stat type (tank, melee, caster). At the top of this post is a chart I made from his armor type breakdown ("Other" is anything that's not cloth, leather, mail, or plate, i.e. weapons, off-hands, shields, jewelry, and cloaks). As Tobold mentions, this confirms that there is significantly more plate than anything else, about 50% more, even though there are the same number of plate classes as cloth classes. My guess is that this is because they expected an influx of DKs bumping up the plate numbers.

As far as stat types, leather and mail are both split half-and-half for caster vs melee. This is a little iffy. In both cases, there are two caster specs (Balance and Resto Druid, Elemental and Resto Shaman) out of six total specs (Druids and Rogues, Shamans and Hunters), so it seems a 33/66 split would make more sense, but maybe they just wanted to keep it simple.

The case that really bothers me is plate, which is split evenly between caster, tank, and DPS (see right). The only plate spec that wants caster gear is the Holy Paladin. That's one of three specs from one of three plate-wearing classes, and yet it gets a third of the plate gear. I'm sorry, my plate-clad healing brethren, but that's just not an equitable proportion. Mostly it just means that our prot pallies have full healing sets and we're still disenchanting a good chunk of the plate every week. Here's hoping we see less caster leather, mail, and especially plate in Ulduar.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Time is Money: Selling your quest rewards

Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply).

Today, I'm going to help you make the most out of your questing experience. The most gold, that is! Quests often reward hard-working Azerothians with items that are useless to them.

The items are usually peddled off to a vendor at a price of their choosing.

When given a choice of rewards, how do you decide which item to select? Some players pick at random, or because the item has an interesting name or looks cool. Some think that they have figured out the rules, and always pick plate over mail and weaponry over armor.

What the average citizen doesn't know is that there's a complex, hidden system. It's practically a Goblin-Vendor cover-up, but I'm here to end all that.

Goblin Rules of Acquisition, subsection K4, under the heading, Quest Rewards.

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Filed under: Items, Tips, Tricks, Economy, Quests, Features, Making money, Time Is Money

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing up your Holy Paladin for Haste


At around this time, a good bunch of us should have hit 80 by now. A fortunate few will already be raiding, while others will slowly be gearing up for them. I've put together a quick guide to the gear that Paladins of all specs should be looking forward to. With blue, or rare, gear easily attainable through several sources, it should be extremely easy to gear up in preparation for ten- or even twenty-five man raids.

Of course, before we get all our gear, we have to have a clear idea of what we want from them considering Blizzard has seen fit to load some Plate with Haste and others with Crit. Protection Paladins have no problem because as soon as you see a Defense value, we'll know it's meant for us. Holy and Retribution don't have it as easy, and must often choose between Crit and Haste. Don't worry about Tier 7 and other raid epics -- they're loaded with both. There are benefits to both, so we'll examine those are after the break.

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Filed under: Paladin, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

The Queue: Mystery of the missing goggles


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

It's Friday, the second best day of the week, in stark contrast to Wednesday which was the worst day of the week. What is the number one best day of the week? Well, that's for me to know and you to find out! Or guess, or form your own opinions. You know, whatever.

Oh right, the questions! Canth asked...

As a Holy Paladin I picked up Engineering for the goggles. However, it seems that for level 72, they only have Ret and Prot versions of the epic goggles. Is there a Holy (something with int/SP on it) equivalent anywhere? Did Blizzard forget about us?

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Filed under: Paladin, Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Lichborne: Gear upgrades for Death Knights in the starting zones

Welcome to Lichborne, where Daniel Whitcomb really needs a bigger boat. And maybe a more imposing minion to steer it.

So by now, I assume a good chunk of us are managing to get through Outland again and are hitting the 68-70 level range, ready to jump onto a boat or zeppelin and head to Northrend. Now, up til now, I'm sure a lot of you have been sticking with your Death Knight quest gear, hoping to avoid the clown look of Northrend, or have been leveling so fast through Outland that you haven't had time to replace most of it anyway.

But we're in Northrend now, guys. The difficulty is ramped up a bit, and you're really going to have to start replacing stuff pretty quickly. No worries though, Blizzard's art team has done a pretty decent job of making most of the Northrend quest rewards look like something you'd be willing to be caught dead wearing, so to speak, especially if you're into Norse mythology and imagery like I am.

Today, we'll be discussing some of the best quest upgrades for a Death Knight in the first few zones of Northrend, but before we do that, I'd like to mention one more gear-related thing from our tanking column last week: The Cobalt "set."

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Filed under: Items, Tips, Instances, Quests, Leveling, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Phat Loot Phriday: Heroic Judicator's Chestguard


I'm not sure that we've ever done a plate chest here on the column, and I know for sure that we've never done a Pally chestpiece, so here you go.

Name: Heroic Judicator's Chestguard (Wowhead, WowDB, WowProgress)
Type: Epic Plate Chestpiece
Armor: 1983 Armor (which is as good as it gets on that state for Plate chests)
Abilities:
  • +78 Stamina, +22 Intellect
  • Three sockets, two blue and a yellow, with a socket bonus of +6 Stamina. Throw a Facet of Eternity or a Splendid Fire Opal in there. Whoops -- was gemming with a Warrior tank in mind. What do ya'll recommend for gems on this one?
  • Yup, as you've probably already guessed, this is a chest for a tanking Pally. Not only does it have 29 Defense rating and 44 Dodge rating, but there's a damage and healing bonus on there of 60.
  • As Prot Pally chests go, this is about as good as you'll get going into Wrath. And those sockets are super helpful, too -- you can up any of the various caps you're trying to hit, or just throw a little extra frosting on the cake if you're already maxed out.
How to Get It: Entropius in the Sunwell Plateau drops this one -- he's actually what M'uru comes back as after you kill him (and as we noted very early on, the two have a similar shape, because they're basically two sides of the same being.

So finish off M'uru in his weakened state, take out Entropius before his negative energy, like, really bums you out, man, and hope that this drops at a rate of about 10-15%. And be a Paladin, because seriously, nobody else would want this thing anyway.

Getting Rid of It: Disenchants into a Void Crystal, and sells back to vendors for 10g 56s 13c. If you've got a Sunmote, you can take this to Yrma in Quel'danas, and she'll give you a Noble Judicator's Chestguard for it (a Healing version of the same gear). And you might want to think about doing that, since the Death Knights are going to take all your tanking roles, amirite?!?

Hey, lookit that! Phat Loot Phriday just recently turned the ripe old age of two by my count, and we've discovered, after two years and over one hundred ingame items, that it might be a good idea to put them all (or at least most of them), in gallery format for you to browse through. So click below to check out past Phat Loot and be sure to come back every Friday for more great gear on a Friday afternoon.

Filed under: Paladin, Items, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday

Brutal Gladiator's Battlegear


The Brutal Gladiator's Battlegear is the armor set for Warriors. It is a plate armor usable only by Warriors and is usually matched with Guardian's Plate armor pieces. The armor set can be purchased from Big Zokk Torquewrench in Netherstorm and Ontokk Shatterhorn in Shattrath City. The matching Guardian items may be purchased from Doris Volanthius in the Hall of Legends and Lieutenant Tristia in the Champion's Hall.

Brutal Gladiator's Plate Gauntlets
The Brutal Gladiator armor piece for the hands are the cheapest and easiest Season 4 Arena gear to obtain. With no personal rating requirements, most players will be able to purchase this piece and is the Arena gear likely to be most widespread as soon as the season begins. As with other Arena gloves, the bonus is a significant reduction to the Rage cost of Hamstring. The gauntlets have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1239 Armor (+98)
+42 Strength (+5)
+59 Stamina (+7)
+37 Critical Strike (+5)
+24 Resilience (+0)
Hamstring Rage cost reduced by 3.
Classes: Warrior
WoW Insider says: These gloves are low-cost and have no rating requirements, making it a good purchase no matter how you look at it. The gloves are decent improvements over the previous season, but work very well for starting Arena players, as well.


Brutal Gladiator's Plate Legguards
The leg armor possesses a personal rating requirement of 1550, which isn't too difficult to obtain, specially for Warriors, who are well represented in Arenas. While not as accessible as the gloves, the leg armor is highly visible on a character and is also likely to be a popular purchase, even at 1875 Arena points. The legguards have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1735 Armor (+138)
+57 Strength (+4)
+77 Stamina (+7)
+18 Hit (+6)
+53 Critical Strike (+6)
+22 Resilience (+0)
84 Armor Penetration (+0)
Classes: Warrior
WoW Insider says: The lack of sockets mean that the only customization that can be done will be through Tailoring or Leatherworking enchants. It has improved +hit, which will free up yellow gem slots in other pieces, but it's disappointing that there's no improvement to Armor Penetration. Considering the same point cost, the chestpiece is a better purchase.


Brutal Gladiator's Plate Chestpiece

With three sockets, the chestpiece is the most customizable Arena armor piece, and is the next best purchase after the gloves. A 1600 rating is a realistic target for Warriors, and because it costs the same as the leg armor, players should try to obtain it. In PvE, the chest armor is traditionally a drop from the final boss in a series (Magtheridon drops Tier 4 chest token, Kael'thas drops Tier 5 chest token, Illidan drops Tier 6 chest token, etc.). Arenas are different in this regard, but the item level of the chest is identical to PvE chest pieces. Sunwell Plateau breaks from tradition in that the final boss, Kil'jaeden, does not drop chest tokens or armor. However, the Brutal Gladiator chest armor is equivalent to the drops from Entropius and is the best combination of cost and restriction among all the armor pieces. The chestpiece has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1983 Armor (+158)
+45 Strength (+6)
+76 Stamina (+9)
+18 Hit (+6)
+45 Critical Strike (+6)
+24 Resilience (+0)
84 Armor Penetration (+0)

Socket Bonus: +4 Critical Strike
Classes: Warrior
WoW Insider says: A team and personal rating of 1600 is a modest target for Arena Warriors. The chestpiece is the best Arena purchase for its price and rating requirement. Because of its PvE equivalent, obtaining the Brutal Gladiator chest armor is almost like killing Entropius in Sunwell Plateau. Well, ok not really, but if you don't raid, that's about as close to a raid drop as you're going to get.


Brutal Gladiator's Plate Helm
The helm is very likely the last Brutal Gladiator armor piece that many players will obtain. With the shoulders at an extremely prohibitive 2200, most players will only manage 4/5 of Season 4. Even at 1700 personal rating, Warriors shouldn't have much trouble obtaining this helm, which costs the same as the chest and leg armor pieces. With a personal rating attached to it, the Brutal Gladiator helm might be one helm graphic that players would like to leave on. It is also identical in model to the pieces that drop off Kil'jaeden in Sunwell Plateau. The helm has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1611 Armor (+128)
+45 Strength (+6)
+68 Stamina (+7)
+18 Hit (+6)
+41 Critical Strike (+6)
+25 Resilience (+0)
84 Armor Penetration

Socket Bonus: +4 Critical Strike
Classes: Warrior
WoW Insider says: The helm has a Meta Socket and a Yellow Socket, although some players would prefer Red. 1700 is a relatively easy goal, although the Season 4 helm is only a marginal improvement over its predecessor. If the personal ratings aren't a barrier, then go for it. If it's difficult to achieve, there's no harm in sticking to the Vengeful Gladiator's Plate Helm.


Brutal Gladiator's Plate Shoulders

The 2200 personal ratings requirement for the shoulders are almost Gladiator-level for most Battlegroups, and will likely be a very rare sight in most realms. Although it is the cheapest item after the gloves, it is also the most difficult to get. Blizzard's reasoning for this is that the shoulders are the most "visually impacting" armor piece, confirming Blizzard's opinion that PvP achievements should be on display. The shoulders have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1487 Armor (+118)
+38 Strength (+5)
+64 Stamina (+7)
+35 Critical Strike (+5)
+20 Resilience (+0)

Socket Bonus: +3 Critical Stike
Classes: Warrior
WoW Insider says: Brutal Gladiator shoulders are purely for show. The low improvement over its Season 3 equivalent and have no +Hit nor Armor Penetration. Although quite a few Warriors will likely be sporting these deep into the season, they aren't great improvements its predecessor.

Guardian's Plate Belt
Because it is a visual match for the Brutal Gladiator's Battlegear, and because it comes with no personal ratings requirement, the belt is most likely to be the most widely distributed Season 4 gear. It is purchasable with Honor points, so even players who do not participate in Arena PvP can obtain it. The belt has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1115 Armor (+88)
+40 Strength (+5)
+56 Stamina (+7)
+40 Critical Strike (+5)
+30 Resilience (+0)
Classes: Warrior, Paladin
WoW Insider says: No ratings requirement, purchasable with Honor points, and looks great. The belt is obtainable by any Warrior, and is the best belt for its level of availability.


Guardian's Plate Bracers
The only other Guardian piece with a socket is the amulet, which doesn't have a personal rating requirement. Coupled with the fact that bracers are visually insignificant, being hidden under gloves, the urgency to obtain them is very low. They also have a modest 1575 personal rating requirement, necessitating participation -- and moderate success -- in Arena play. The bracers have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
841 (+69)
+28 Strength (+3)
+40 Stamina (+4)
+24 Critical Strike (+3)
+17 Resilience (+0)

Socket Bonus: +2 Strength
Classes: Warrior, Paladin
WoW Insider says: These bracers are harder to obtain than the Brutal Gladiator's Plate Legguards, but give little improvement over the old version. It has no special bonus and has no visual impact. It's a wonder why Blizzard pegged the personal rating for bracers at 1575, although many Warriors will probably not have a problem getting it.


Guardian's Plate Greaves
The most visually important match of all Guardian items, the boots are a big jump from a 1575 personal ratings requirement and is as demanding to get as the head piece at 1700 personal ratings. It is also as expensive to purchase as the belt, which has no ratings requirement. The greaves have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1363 Armor (+108)
+40 Strength (+5)
+56 Stamina (+7)
+40 Critical Strike (+5)
+30 Resilience (+0)
Classes: Warrior, Paladin
WoW Insider says: Because of the 1700 personal rating, only players who manage to get the helm will be able to purchase the boots. Of all the Honor-bought items in Season 4, the boots are the most visually impacting and players looking to have a matching set should strive to get to the rating.



Looking for more Season 4 info? We've rounded up everything you need to know about the Brutal Gladiator season right here.

Filed under: Warrior, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Battlegrounds, Arena

Brutal Gladiator's Redemption


The Brutal Gladiator's Redemption is the armor set for Holy, or healing Paladins. It is an ornamented, or plate armor usable only by Paladins and is usually matched with Guardian's Ornamented armor pieces. The armor set can be purchased from Big Zokk Torquewrench in Netherstorm and Ontokk Shatterhorn in Shattrath City. The matching Guardian items may be purchased from Doris Volanthius in the Hall of Legends and Lieutenant Tristia in the Champion's Hall.

Brutal Gladiator's Ornamented Gloves
The Brutal Gladiator armor piece for the hands are the cheapest and easiest Season 4 Arena gear to obtain. With no personal rating requirements, most players will be able to purchase this piece and is the Arena gear likely to be most widespread as soon as the season begins. Arena gloves are also the only item with the exception of relics to have spec-specific bonuses, and a +2% crit bonus to Flash of Light is a good one. The gloves have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1239 Armor (+98)
+60 Stamina (+16)
+33 Intellect (+4)
+33 Spell Critical (+5)
+18 Resilience (+0)
+79 Healing / +27 Spell Damage (+9 / +3)
Increases critical effect chance of Flash of Light by 2%
Classes: Paladin
WoW Insider says: The gloves are cheap, have no personal rating requirements, and a whopping +16 Stamina upgrade to the previous season's gear. These gloves are the best purchase for starting Arena players, as well, due to the low barrier of entry.


Brutal Gladiator's Ornamented Legplates
The leg armor possesses a personal rating requirement of 1550, which isn't too difficult to obtain. For many players on median-ratings teams, it might take a few weeks to purchase at a cost of 1875 Arena points. While not as accessible as the gloves, the leg armor is highly visible on a character and is also likely to be a popular purchase. The legplates have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1735 Armor (+138)
+69 Stamina (+7)
+45 Intellect (+6)
+46 Spell Critical (+6)
+35 Resilience (+0)
+103 Healing / +35 Spell Damage (+13 / +5)
Classes: Paladin
WoW Insider says: The legplates have a good +13 healing improvement, but the lack of sockets mean that the only customization that can be done will be through Tailoring or Leatherworking enchants. Although the arena point requirement is relatively low, the chest armor is probably a better purchase if you can attain the required personal rating.


Brutal Gladiator's Ornamented Chestguard

With three sockets, the chestpiece is the most customizable Arena armor piece, and is the next best purchase after the gloves. Although the personal rating requirement of 1600 may be prohibitive to some players, it costs the same as the leg armor and should be sought after. In PvE, the chest armor is traditionally a drop from the final boss in a series (Magtheridon drops Tier 4 chest token, Kael'thas drops Tier 5 chest token, Illidan drops Tier 6 chest token, etc.). Arenas are different in this regard, but the item level of the chest is identical to PvE chest pieces. Sunwell Plateau breaks from tradition in that the final boss, Kil'jaeden, does not drop chest tokens or armor. However, the Brutal Gladiator chest armor is equivalent to the drops from Entropius and is the best combination of cost and restriction among all the armor pieces. The chestguard has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1983 Armor (+158)
+67 Stamina (+9)
+42 Intellect (+5)
+42 Spell Critical (+8)
+28 Resilience (+0)
+68 Healing / +23 Spell Damage (+13 / +4)

Socket Bonus: +4 Spell Critical
Classes: Paladin
WoW Insider says: A team and personal rating of 1600 is a very realistic goal for Holy Paladins, particularly in 5v5 set-ups. The chest piece is the best armor piece you can get for its cost and low barrier of entry. Because of its PvE equivalent, obtaining the Brutal Gladiator chest armor is almost like killing Entropius in Sunwell Plateau. Well, ok not really, but if you don't raid, that's about as close to a raid drop as you're going to get.


Brutal Gladiator's Ornamented Headcover
The helm is very likely the last Brutal Gladiator armor piece that many players will obtain, although Holy Paladins will have a better shot than either a Shockadin or Retadin at completing 5/5 of Season 4 items. At 1700 personal rating, some players will have a more difficult time obtaining this piece, which costs the same as the chest and leg armor pieces. With a personal rating attached to it, the Brutal Gladiator helm might be one helm graphic that players would like to leave on. It is also identical in model to the pieces that drop off Kil'jaeden in Sunwell Plateau. The headcover has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1611 Armor (+128)
+71 Stamina (+7)
+40 Intellect (+6)
+32 Spell Critical (+6)
+32 Resilience (+0)
+88 Healing / +30 Spell Damage (+13 / +5)

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Paladin
WoW Insider says: 1700 should be a fairly easy target for a Holy Paladin in a 5v5 team. The +13 Healing upgrade, as well as the good improvements to +Intellect and +Spell Crit make the helm a good purchase. The Red Socket can add to +Healing, as well.


Brutal Gladiator's Ornamented Spaulders

The 2200 personal ratings requirement for the shoulders are almost Gladiator-level for most Battlegroups, and although rare, it's likely that more than a few Holy Paladins will be sporting them deep into the season. Although it is the cheapest item after the gloves, it is also the most difficult to get. Blizzard's reasoning for this is that the shoulders are the most "visually impacting" armor piece, confirming Blizzard's opinion that PvP achievements should be on display. The spaulders have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1487 Armor (+118)
+46 Stamina (+6)
+32 Intellect (+5)
+32 Spell Critical (+4)
+23 Resilience (+0)
+59 Healing / +20 Spell Damage (+8 / +3)

Socket Bonus: +3 Resilience Rating
Classes: Paladin
WoW Insider says: Brutal Gladiator shoulders are purely for show. The ornamented spaulders also have the lowest improvement from Season 3 compared to other Paladin shoulders. The Brutal Gladiator Spaulders are not worth the grind to 2200, but only something that players pick up for bragging rights.

Guardian's Ornamented Belt
Because it is a visual match for the Brutal Gladiator's Redemption, and because it comes with no personal ratings requirement, the belt is most likely to be the most widely distributed Season 4 gear. It is purchasable with Honor points, so even players who do not participate in Arena PvP can obtain it. The belt has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1115 Armor (+88)
+49 Stamina (+6)
+35 Intellect (+5)
+34 Spell Critical (+4)
+26 Resilience (+0)
+75 Healing / +25 Spell Damage (+5)
Classes: Warrior, Paladin
WoW Insider says: Unless you don't PvP at all, there's very little reason not to get the Guardian's belt. The improvements are a modest upgrade from Vindicator's Ornamented Belt, but the accessibility of this Level 146 item makes it a good and easy purchase. It is also identical in every way to Guardian's Lamellar Belt with the exception of +Healing.


Guardian's Ornamented Bracers
The only other Guardian piece with a socket is the amulet, which doesn't have a personal rating requirement. Bracers are also visually insignificant, being hidden under gloves or robes, so there is no urgency to obtain them for vanity's sake. They also have a modest 1575 personal rating requirement, necessitating moderately successful Arena participation. The bracers have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
841 (+69)
+33 Stamina (+4)
+20 Intellect (+3)
+23 Spell Critical (+3)
+15 Resilience (+0)
+57 Healing / +19 Spell Damage (+6 / +2)

Socket Bonus: +2 Resilience Rating
Classes: Warrior, Paladin
WoW Insider says: Because the improvements of the bracers are so minimal over its Season 3 counterpart, it's not such a compelling purchase. The personal rating requirement of 1575 is also higher than what's required for the leg armor, which is more visual. Players looking to purchase new items can hold off on the bracers unless they have nothing else to buy. On the other hand, Guardian bracers are also the cheapest Honor item available for Season 4 and Shockadins may want to explore purchasing this instead of the Lamellar counterpart.


Guardian's Ornamented Greaves
The most visually important match of all Guardian items, the boots are a big jump from a 1575 personal ratings requirement and is as demanding to get as the head piece at 1700 personal ratings. It is also as expensive to purchase as the belt, which has no ratings requirement. The greaves have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1363 Armor (+108)
+49 Stamina (+6)
+35 Intellect (+5)
+34 Spell Critical (+4)
+26 Resilience (+0)
+75 Healing / +25 Spell Damage (+9 / +3)
Classes: Warrior, Paladin
WoW Insider says: The greaves are the best Season 4 Honor-bought pieces that players can buy. Although players should probably purchase the belt first, achieving a 1700 rating is worth the grind for an armor piece that is a decent upgrade from its predecessor and a visual match for the rest of Brutal Gladiator gear.



Looking for more Season 4 info? We've rounded up everything you need to know about the Brutal Gladiator season right here.

Filed under: Paladin, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Battlegrounds, Arena

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: To Gear A Fury


The Care and Feeding of Warriors takes a look at gear and the fury warrior this week. Matthew Rossi has been playing with fury on his tauren this week, when not forgetting to re-equip his shield on Kael'thas while playing his human. Sure, the Phaseshift Bulwark is nice, but if you leave the instance it goes away, which I really should have paid attention to. On the up side, it's hilarious to go down in two seconds to a trash mob because you forgot which button is your shield macro. Well, hilarious now. With distance. At the time it was less hilarious and more smashing my face into the keyboard.

Before we get rolling, you should take a look at this thread from the Elitist Jerks forums that gathers up a lot of information on warrior DPS specs and what to look for when gearing. One of the things to keep in mind is that it's not as straightforward as just piling on the stats that help you do damage... much like tanking, where you first stack defense until you reach the target (in the case of tanking you want 490 defense) when assembling fury gear you prioritize hit until you reach 9% chance to hit, and then start stacking crit, attack power and armor penetration.

So what's the hit cap? Well, in general a fury warrior with full precision should look to accumulate hit gear until roughly 96 hit rating, which should put you at about 9% actual bonus hit. Up until 9%, it's generally accepted that hit provides the greatest boost to your damage both from the damage that you actually do with your white hits and from the rage you generate by them, as well as reducing the chance of special attacks like Bloodthirst (not Bloodlust, you can tell I play my shammy too much) and Whirlwind to be missed, which is not only annoying but amazingly does not seem to hurt monsters. Not even their feelings.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

HKO to take Paladins away from WoW

In an exclusive interview with HKO lead developer Hey'wod ya' Saiev'mie, it was revealed that because of the extreme ease and uselessness Paladins provide in World of Warcraft, they have been removed from WoW and transfered to HK Online. Those players that have Paladin will no doubt be happy since they'll finally be able to play a useful role in an online game. All accounts with Paladin mains will receive a free copy of HKO, and 3 days of play time.

In response to the outcry of support in the Paladin forums, Blizard CM Csyrd said "We are glad Paladins are finally happy. Our goal has always been to make them stop crying." Newly appointed HKO CM Ahol Isk'y said "Hopefully the Paladin community will appreciate their new opportunity to tank mice and the occasional dog. Of course this is nothing like Illidan, but it's a start, right?"

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Filed under: News items

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Plate



The Care and Feeding of Warriors is being written right now on about 2 hours of sleep because Matthew Rossi has discovered the joy of introducing a new cat into a home that already has one. Oh, it's delightful, let me tell you, to listen to the high pitched shrieks of welcome and to constantly have to take part in the ritual greeting of cats, which apparently is where Blizzard got the idea for the Rogue class' Blade Flurry ability. Seriously, you haven't lived until your arms have been covered in scratches while two cats beat each other up like it's Marvin Hagler weekend and Sugar Ray Leonard just crashed it.

What defines the warrior class?

Is it poorly made PvP videos of big mortal strike crits with loud nu metal playing in the background? You know the ones, that conveniently edit out all the times you spend running away death coiled or the twenty seconds you spent as a sheep while your healer discovered a whole new and very painful definition of 'two for the price of one'. No, any class can make a bad video.

Is it big weapons? Sword and board? Good fury DPS? Let's look at this another way. What's the first thing other people complain about when they think of warriors?

"You shouldn't be able to do that and wear plate."

Even though paladins wear it too, and I'm sure they have to put up with their own version of the lament, since this is the column about warriors I'm going to discuss it from our side. Plate. It's what we get at level 40 that sets us apart from rogues, enhancement shamans, druids, not to mention those guys in dresses. Plate is where our high armor scores come from. Plate is one of the signature elements of the class.

Plate really is good for one thing, ultimately, and that's PvE damage mitigation on melee mobs. Combined with a shield it can allow a warrior to take more of a beating than anyone except a druid or paladin, but in PvP the high armor rating is much less useful against anyone, between armor penetration abilities like Expose Armor or Faerie Fire and the fact that unless you've decided to stack resistance gear, you're more or less naked to a caster. (And if you do PvP in resist gear, I admire your willingness to try and kill a warlock with 800 AP, if not your common sense.) The fact that Season Three of Arena gear seems to be stacking on the armor penetration as well means that any possibility of armor inflation is being kept to a minimum there as well.

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Filed under: Warrior, Items, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Light and How to Swing It: Pre-epic plate healing gear, part 3

Hmm, this list of pre-epic plate healing gear is becoming quite epic in itself. After we covered the upper body and lower body, it's time to discuss things that are not, technically, made of plate: cloaks, trinkets, weapons, shields and librams. Although I would totally like to have a cloak made of plate (or of PLATES!), and sort of wonder why there aren't armor classes on cloaks. It would keep all those pesky clothies away from our +healing and +spell crit cloaks. Mwahahaha!

Anyway, on to the list, and I promise this is the end of the listiness. The column two weeks from now is going to be "A Field Guide To Bad Paladins", so please, save your eggs and tomatoes for that one.

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

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