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Posts with tag pre-raid

The Light and How to Swing It: Pre-raid gearing for tankadins

The Light and How to Swing Preraid gearing for tankadins
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 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

It was a fairly painless five levels that brought you to the top of the food chain in Pandaria, and, as the expression goes, now you can play the game. If you're officially leaping on the gear treadmill and getting ready for raiding, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Thankfully there is a lot to do, and easily available sources of gearing, so the task isn't particularly onerous. Before you know it, you'll be geared and ready to tank anything the sha toss at you.

Briefly, what kind of gear do you want?

I don't want to delve too deeply into this, because it's a whole 'nother column's worth of exposition, but when it comes to gearing I strongly recommend grabbing pieces that will emphasize a control style of tanking. That is, anything that boosts our active mitigation by making our holy power generator abilities hit, hit more often, and our active mitigation more powerful.

Specifically we're talking about first gearing to cap hit and hard cap expertise (yes, hard cap). Then go for haste and mastery in equal amounts. Reforge out of any avoidance you have to achieve these goals. As such, you'll want to go for gear which has hit, expertise, haste, and mastery -- and if you're lucky, avoid anything with dodge or parry (or worse, dodge and parry).

For the gritty details behind the "control" strategy, I strongly recommend this blog post by Theck. Now, that said, let's get down to brass tacks!

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

Spiritual Guidance: Healing priests in patch 4.3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Like a sperm whale (or a bowl of petunias), patch 4.3 might be hitting live servers this week. Whichever it is, it's going to be a big one, so I figured I'd piece together a small guide for holy and discipline priests that recaps, follows up, and aggregates tons of stuff you might have forgotten or completely missed about the patch.

I'll also be addressing that little talent calculator that popped in for a visit in the middle of last week and wiped its feet all over my clean carpet.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Patch 4.3 raid gear for holy and discipline priests

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

I've always hated patch day, and not for the reasons you'd think. The servers' being down doesn't bother me, and neither do broken addons or occasional lag. What bothers me is that after spending a few straight months piecing together a good-looking outfit, I'm suddenly forced into a situation where all my gear will inevitably start to mismatch as I acquire upgrades.

That's why this upcoming patch is so amazing ... Transmogrification means I can transmogrify my new gear to match what I'm wearing until I have enough pieces to swap over to a new outfit. I know that's not as exciting as transmogrifying all my gear into a cool RP outfit, but after thinking about it for a while, I think I'd prefer to keep all my RP gear in my bags for special occasions. That way they're always special, since people will only see them once in a while.

Anyway, a new patch is right around the corner, which means shiny new priest gear is on its way too! In preparation for this, I've made a gear list for priests to reference as we progress into the newest content in the coming months.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Raid and pre-raid gear in patch 4.2 for holy and discipline priests

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests and babysits Fox Van Allen on weekends while his warlock parents go to the cinema. Dawn also writes for and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

"Oh, no! There's no spirit cloth in Firelands! What do we do?!"

Calm down.

I don't know why, but there has been some serious fear-mongering in the priest community this past week regarding the lack of spirit cloth gear in the Firelands. All over the internet, priests are screaming for their lives, running in circles, drinking Kool-Aid from the Twilight Council, and sending me really weird emails. (Apparently, they even sent Fox some emails too. Go figure.) Though I have no idea how this all started, I'm going to lay this out so it's easy to understand: You do not need to freak out about the lack of spirit cloth gear in the Firelands.

If you'll give me your undivided attention for the next few paragraphs, I'll not only explain why, I'll walk you through all the pretty gear you can get from the Firelands, daily quests, and then some.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Lichborne: Death knight tank pre-raid gear guide

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 a few editions of Lichborne ago, we talked a bit about stat priorities for death knight tanks. Because of that, I probably won't go over it much more before we head into this week's gear guide, but I did want to give you a quick refresher course. Let's run it down one more time:
  • Stamina is still king, but not as much as it was in previous expansions. You may find that there comes a time when more avoidance or absorption is better than a higher health pool, as the extremely high health pools and new boss design philosophies of Cataclysm mean, for now, that you'll rarely die from a couple hits.
  • In the mastery vs. avoidance struggle, you'll essentially need to experiment to find your best balance. Which stat is best for which tank will depend on personal playstyle and competency, healer and raid competency and composition, and other factors. You should take a balance of each, but where that balancing point is will vary. Recall that Death Strike is getting a slight nerf in patch 4.0.6, which will in turn nudge the balance more toward avoidance for most people.
  • When gearing for avoidance, try to keep dodge and parry percentages as close to each as possible, as they have the same diminishing returns. This means you'll always want to raise the one that's lower for optimal effect. You can do this by regemming and reforging instead of regearing in many cases, especially now that solid gems in every slot isn't 100% mandatory.
  • Hit and expertise are not as mandatory as they are for most DPS, but you may find they help you with threat. That said, you should never go beyond 8% hit rating and 26 expertise. If you're mastery-heavy, you'll want to focus a bit more on these stats, as missing a Death Strike could prove catastrophic.
With all this in mind, let's take a look at some of the stuff you should be rooting up as you prepare to tank the first tier of Cataclysm raiding. Note that while some ilevel 333 items may be decent stopgap options for a raider with an experienced raid group that doesn't mind a bit of undergearing, I've left them off this list, and you really should just try for the higher-level options. Finally, don't feel too guilty if you can't afford some of the crafted or world drop BoEs on this guide. Most raid groups probably won't hold it against you, and in some cases, they're arguably inferior to or only marginally better than BoP drops anyway.

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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

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Balance Druid at 80

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we start to wonder where the hell all the +hit from "Burning Crusade" went.

Greetings, fellow Druids, and welcome to another installment on Wrath gear at 80, and this week it's the boomkins' turn. Next week I'm going to tackle Bear gear at 80; Dan O'Halloran will take care of our Cat colleagues.

As a number of people have observed, it's tougher to get +hit-capped pre-raid in leather as opposed to cloth, so you're going to find an awful lot of cloth on the list. I realize this represents a new and exciting development in the history of moonkin itemization. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. That's French for "We're screwed."

Supplementary reading:
As with our previous entry on pre-raid Restoration gear at 80, these guides assume that you do not presently have access to either 10-man or 25-man raids.

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Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Guides, Enchants, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing your Mage up for Naxx

Each week, Arcane Brilliance commandeers a cannon atop one of the towers in Wintergrasp and launches flaming balls of explosive Mage content down upon the unsuspecting masses below. Deadly, deadly Mage content. You may not know this, but Arcane Brilliance gets a tenacity buff whether it's outnumbered or not. Suck on that, Warlocks!

Patch 3.0.8, and all of its unabashed Arcane Mage love, is just around the proverbial corner. If you missed Arcane Brilliance's coverage of the changes, you can find it here, still preserved in its original state. We have other business to attend to this week, though. Last week, we finally rounded out our series of leveling guides by going from level 70 all the way to 80. Now comes the age-old problem: what to do once you've hit the cap?

As it has ever been, hitting the current level cap--much like graduating from high school or college--only serves to show us how far behind the curve we really are. We go from the top of one ladder to the very bottom of another. No self-respecting raid-leader is going to invite a Mage to Naxxramas who is still sporting the mismatched greens and blue quest-rewards he had on when he dinged 80 somewhere in the middle of Zul'Drak. The good news in Wrath of the Lich King, however, is that the power gap now isn't as difficult to bridge as it has been in previous incarnations of the end-game.

After the break, we'll go over some of the changes and list a selection of pre-Naxx gear and where to find it.

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Filed under: Mage, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Restoration Druid at 80

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at how to gear a PvE Restoration Druid at level 80, in the hopes of preventing other trees from suffering our fate during our first 10-man Naxx run, which -- no, no, it's too painful even to think about. Pass the schnapps.

EDIT: This guide has been updated for patch 3.3 and Icecrown content. Please click here for a guide on gearing a new restoration druid as of May 2010

Greetings readers, and welcome to Wrath Gear-A-Palooza 2009. We'll be running one of these for each Druid spec.

I'm not going to "rank" gear numerically, because I think that's a fairly unhelpful means of organizing items when your access to all of them as a fresh 80 may be very limited. Generally you're going to have access to quest rewards and faction gear before you get access to badge pieces or oft-uncooperative heroic drops, so I've organized the list by where you can get particular drops. It's generally safe to assume that a heroic drop is better than a blue you're using from an Icecrown quest, but not always. If you're starting to move into higher levels of gear, I found the following links to be incredibly helpful, and I hope you do too:
Otherwise, assuming a proper spec, gems, and enchants, you can successfully heal any of the game's 5-man or raid content (10-man or 25-man) with a healing set derived from the following list. That's a promise. This list assumes that you do not have access to 10- or 25-man raids for the time being and are gearing up primarily through questing, 5-mans, and heroics.

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Filed under: Druid, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Enchants, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Totem Talk: Let's Raid

Totem Talk is the column for Shamans. Matthew Rossi has played two shamans to 70 and is working on a third, his main problem being he can't decide whether to level another Horde or Alliance shaman. Yes, he's technically working on two elemental shamans at once. Once again, we at Totem Talk hasten to point out that no one has ever said that he was very bright.

Okay. You've hit 70. Now what?

Now you begin working towards what they call endgame. How does one go about doing that? Well, hopefully you're in a guild that can run at least the five man instances. If not, you'll have to PuG them, but while doing that look towards getting into a good guild. By good, I don't just mean sharding Bulwarks of Azzinoth here... a fully progressed guild may not actually need you all that much, and even if they're looking for a shaman with your spec, sometimes it's more fun to find a guild with which you can progress rather than one that's already done everything. Look for a guild you can get along with first and foremost, because you're going to be spending a lot of time with these folks inside unpleasant places packed with horrible things you'll be trying to kill to crack them open for their nice shiny loot.

Either way, you first need to run instances. In a perfect world, you'd go from instances to heroic instances, then 10 man raids, then up to the 25 man raids if your guild has the numbers. This may or may not be the case: some of the best players I know are in smaller guilds and run just the 10 mans. But you will have to dedicate some of your time to getting gear, it's the nature of the beast, so to speak. You can't step into Karazhan in greens and expect to do well unless you're being carried, or you really are Chuck Norris. If that's the case, thank you for reading my column, sir.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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