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Posts with tag season-4

[1.Local]: WoW Insider's local chat comments this week

[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

It was a chatty week at WoW Insider this week. More than a few posts bristled with multiple pages of comments. [1.Local] looks back at not only the popular posts, but others that may have slipped beneath your radar: the need for a global chat channel, a popular list of common in-game annoyances, and a good, old-fashioned, rough-and-tumble debate over whether or not the Mage class needs buffing.

The week continued with discussion on the new ratings balance in Season 4 PvP , WoW Insider's new weekly crossword puzzle and whether or not leveling is more enjoyable than end-game activities. Readers with an intellectual bent got a kick out of our discussion of WoW's digital culture, and readers with an phlegmatic bent got down and dirty in a lengthy debate on sexism in WoW.

Join us after the break for this week's meatiest reader comments here at WoW Insider. Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Interviews, [1.Local]

The inevitable loss

Around every 4th of July I reread Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels, which is a book about the battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. There's an early passage about the Southern general James Longstreet's unease over the Confederate push north to Pennsylvania: He had never believed in this invasion...He did not believe in offensive warfare when the enemy outnumbered you and outgunned you and would come looking for you anyway if you waited somewhere on your own ground. Longstreet, one of the finest military minds of the age, spends much of the subsequent bloody fight knowing that Union forces had a terrain advantage impossible to overcome.

There's been a lot written about battleground strategy (particularly Alterac Valley) but I think all of us have known the sinking feeling you get when you realize that your side isn't going to win. Some causes of failure are relatively easy to pinpoint; starting a battleground with a heavy numbers or healing disadvantage often seals the fate of a match. And of course the collective quality of a team's gear will always play a role; people in Season 4 are unlikely to lose to those in Season 1.

All other things being equal, what I find most fascinating are the matches -- PuG versus PuG, or premade versus premade -- where the battle can swing either way depending entirely on each team's degree of foresight and strategy. Rarely, single players can sometimes decide the outcome; I once saw a protection paladin in a 2-cap versus 2-cap Eye of the Storm prevent the opposing side from taking any flags by parking himself in the middle and simply taking forever to die, and one of my own favorite techniques is to suicide/harass heavily-defended nodes in Arathi Basin and EOTS while Horde quietly caps elsewhere (you'd be amazed at the number of players who prefer an easy kill over responding to "Inc!" calls elsewhere). But failure and success are usually collective and hard to pin down. How do you convince people to do the less-glamorous jobs -- defense, distraction, crowd-control -- more likely to result in a victory? How do you know when the battleground is lost for sure?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

2000 means nothing in Season 4


"2k rated <insert class here> looking for Arena team."

For once, that statement doesn't hold quite as much weight anymore. In Season 4, where new personal ratings requirements are in place, a 2000 rating doesn't amount to anything but bragging rights. Sometimes not even that. After two weeks of the new season, more than a few players are running around with their helm graphic on, proudly displaying the fact that they've hit the first benchmark of 1700 personal and team rating. An even more select few are standing around the major cities brandishing Brutal Gladiator armaments. This is where the new distinction lies.

With 2000 personal rating qualifying a player for nothing in Season 4, the more accurate statement for any sort of Arena self-validation is now "<insert class here> with S4 weapon looking for Arena team." Because the requirements are so strict -- necessitating both team and player ratings to be at the minimum upon purchase -- Arena gear has never been more indicative of skill. I know many of you will protest at this generalization, and you'd have a point. But now more than ever, the system has proven effective at weeding out the chaff from the grain.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

Hybrid Theory: PvP viability

Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

A pretty substantial point of debate when it comes to Hybrids is their place in PvP. The thought that only one spec is viable per class is most problematic in the context of Hybrids for a couple of different reasons. Some argue against every spec being arena viable, some argue in favor of it.

The argument in favor of each spec being viable that I feel is the strongest is the fact that each Hybrid spec is vastly different from all of the others. In the arena, an Enhancement Shaman isn't doing the same thing as an Elemental Shaman. They are doing similar things like dropping totems and casting Shocks, but the role they play is different. Enhancement is in your face, Elemental throws lightning at your face, and Restoration is healing your face. This is not like Rogues in which all three specs are about hitting you until you fall down, just in different ways.

Why is it a problem that all three of them aren't viable? It essentially feels like a forced block on your chances at success. "Just spec Resto" isn't really a valid answer, because it means you are not able to play your preferred role. Someone who rolled a Shaman to Stormstrike people's faces off are told to go get some Elemental gear, and that isn't very fun. To be successful in the arena, they are more or less forced out of how they want to play the game.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Hybrid Theory

Armory updated with Season 4 gear

The World of Warcraft Armory has just been updated with Season 4 Brutal Gladiator and Guardian -- or Honor-bought -- gear. This update comes hot on the heels of the new Arena season, which began last June 24. This probably isn't what Robin had in mind when she asked if the Armory needs more information, but it's a timely addition to Blizzard's extensive database and may help players plan out their gear.

For a more extensive overview of all the class armor sets, however, you can go check out WoW Insider's Season 4 gear guide.

Filed under: Items, News items, PvP, Arena

Breakfast Topic: How's Season 4 going for you?

The first day of Season 4 has come and gone, and with it, I'm sure a lot of players spent a lot of time recovering from the switchover and beginning the climb to Gladiator rank for the end of Season 4. Arena players rushed out to buy new Season 4 gear -- at least the stuff that didn't need a high rating -- while many battleground regulars probably went to get their hands on the Season 2 gear for Honor points. I'm sure a lot of teams started play today if only to try to push up their rating and get more gear earlier.

If you're a little overwhelmed by all the Season 4 hubbub whipping around, let WoW Insider get you squared a way a bit better. You can check out our Season 4 Information roundup, chock full of useful articles that will help you get the most out of this season, or you can check our Season 4 brutal gladiator gear roundup for information on all the new stuff you can spend your Arena and Honor points on.

If you plunged right into the thick of things, how did you do? Did you fight enough Arena battles to get a set of bracers, or are you waiting for the teams to settle into proper brackets before you dive in? Did you just stick with buying some season 2 gear or a new belt with some saved up Honor points? Or, did you just sell armor patches and gem cuts to everyone looking to kit out their new gear? Let us know how the new season's treating you!

Filed under: PvP, Breakfast Topics, Arena

MLG Orlando tickets on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the next step of the Major League Gaming 2008 PC Circuit, which will be in sunny Orlando. The event runs from July 11 until July 13, and will once again be covered by GotFrag. We'll see more of the best Arena players going head to head in a 3v3 Arena tournament, with over $31,500 available in prizes. You can visit the official site for registration details. There are 32 team slots available in MLG Orlando.

Of course, you can still view the videos from MLG San Diego on GotFrag. There's a lot of interesting gameplay available there, and everyone who's wondering about how to handle Season 4 can pick up some tricks. As news develops and we start seeing who registers, we'll get a better idea of what compositions we might expect at MLG Orlando.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Contests, Arena

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 Regalia


The Brutal Gladiator's Regalia is the armor set for Mages. It is a dreadweave, or cloth armor usable only by Mages and is usually matched with Guardian's Silk 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 Silk Handguards
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. The bonus is essential to crowd control in PvP, giving a bonus against spell interruption when casting Polymorph. The handguards have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
306 Armor (+13)
+56 Stamina (+6)
+23 Intellect (+5)
+26 Spell Critical (+4)
+23 Resilience (+0)
+44 Spell Damage / Healing (+4)
Gives 50% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting Polymorph.
Classes: Mage
WoW Insider says: These gloves are low-cost and have no rating requirements, making it a good purchase specially for starting Arena players. It is identical in every way with the exception of the special bonus to the Warlock's Felweave Handguards.


Brutal Gladiator's Silk Trousers
The leg armor possesses a personal rating requirement of 1550, which isn't too difficult to obtain, specially for the popular Mage (usually Frost). 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 trousers have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
442 Armor (+18)
+66 Stamina (+7)
+40 Intellect (+6)
+39 Spell Critical (+6)
+30 Resilience (+0)
+60 Spell Damage / Healing (+7)
Classes: Mage
WoW Insider says: The lack of sockets mean that the only customization that can be done will be through Tailoring or Leatherworking enchants. A 39 Spell Critical Rating and 40 Intellect translates to 2.27% for a Level 70 Mage, which should make the trousers a good buy for Season 4.


Brutal Gladiator's Silk Raiment

With three sockets, the chestpiece is the most customizable Arena armor piece, and is the next best purchase after the gloves. For Mages, 1600 is a modest target considering the reward. 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 raiment has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
476 Armor (+22)
+68 Stamina (+7)
+21 Intellect (+6)
+39 Spell Critical (+6)
+26 Resilience (+0)
+46 Spell Damage / Healing (+7)

Socket Bonus: +4 Spell Critical
Classes: Mage
WoW Insider says: Two Yellow Sockets mean more spell crit, including the offense-oriented socket bonus. It is identical in all stats to the Warlock's Felweave Raiment. Like most Arena chest pieces, the Silk Raiment is the one of the best pieces for its cost and ratings 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 Silk Cowl
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. Mages should find a 1700 personal rating a manageable goal to get this cowl, 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 cowl has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
426 Armor (+17)
+66 Stamina (+7)
+29 Intellect (+6)
+30 Spell Critical (+6)
+33 Resilience (+0)
+54 Spell Damage / Healing (+7)

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Mage
WoW Insider says: The Silk Cowl is a moderate upgrade from Season 3, but is definitely worth the price of admission. Unfortunately, like most Mage gear, Stamina is still considerably low in comparison to other cloth classes' gear.


Brutal Gladiator's Silk Amice

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 amice has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
339 Armor (+16)
+56 Stamina (+6)
+18 Intellect (+5)
+21 Spell Critical (+4)
+23 Resilience (+0)
+44 Spell Damage / Healing (+4)

Socket Bonus: +3 Resilience Rating
Classes: Mage
WoW Insider says: Brutal Gladiator Shoulders are peacock gear. The Mage's shoulders are identical in all stats to the Warlock's Felweave Amice. Blue sockets are uncommon for PvP gear, but is useful for casters and helps activate the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond.



Guardian's Silk Belt
Because it is a visual match for the Brutal Gladiator's Regalia, 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):
219 Armor (+11)
+49 Stamina (+6)
+35 Intellect (+5)
+32 Spell Critical (+4)
+26 Resilience (+0)
+40 Spell Damage / Healing (+5)
Classes: Priest, Mage, Warlock
WoW Insider says: Usable by all cloth-wearing classes, the Guardian's Silk Belt is also the only option for spell crit and might be one of the most popular Season 4 pieces. It has no personal ratings requirement, making it a great PvP starter purchase.


Guardian's Silk Cuffs
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 or robes, there's little urgency to get them. A 1575 personal ratings requirement also requires decent performance in Arenas. The cuffs have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
183 (+10)
+33 Stamina (+4)
+25 Intellect (+3)
+18 Spell Critical (+3)
+13 Resilience (+0)
+30 Spell Damage / Healing (+3)

Socket Bonus: +2 Spell Damage
Classes: Priest, Mage, Warlock
WoW Insider says: The Silk Cuffs are the only spell crit cloth bracers for Season 4, and the Yellow Socket allows for more crit or haste. The 1575 personal ratings requirement isn't too high, so most Mages (or Shadow Priests and Destruction Warlocks)


Guardian's Silk Footguards
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):
253 Armor (+15)
+49 Stamina (+6)
+35 Intellect (+5)
+32 Spell Critical (+5)
+26 Resilience (+0)
+40 Spell Damage / Healing (+5)
Classes: Priest, Mage, Warlock
WoW Insider says: Although the visual impact of these boots is irrelevant considering most cloth classes wear robes that cover it, it is the only choice for spell crit boots this season. It has slightly lower survivability than the spell damage equivalent due to lower Stamina and Resilience.



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

Filed under: Mage, Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds, Arena

Brutal Gladiator's Earthshaker


The Brutal Gladiator's Earthshaker is the armor set for Enhancement Shamans. It is a linked, or mail armor usable only by Shamans and is usually matched with Guardian's Linked 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 Linked 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. Its bonus is the same as all other Shaman armor, an increase to the range of Shock spells. The gauntlets have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
694 Armor (+55)
+38 Strength (+5)
+58 Stamina (+7)
+37 Critical Strike (+5)
+22 Resilience (+0)
Improves the range of all Shock spells by 5 yards.
Classes: Shaman
WoW Insider says: These gloves are low-cost and have no rating requirements, which is good. The gloves are a good purchase if only because of the accessibility and modest improvement over the previous season's gloves. The Shock range bonus helps Shamans who wants to get up close and personal with a well-placed Frost Shock.


Brutal Gladiator's Linked Leggings
The leg armor possesses a personal rating requirement of 1550, which isn't too difficult to obtain, even for the underrepresented Enhancement Shaman. 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 leggings have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
971 Armor (+77)
+43 Strength (+5)
+74 Stamina (+7)
+38 Intellect (+5)
+17 Hit (+5)
+41 Critical Strike (+5)
+31 Resilience (+0)
84 Armor Penetration (+0)
Classes: Shaman
WoW Insider says: This armor piece is the one of the best for its spec, being the only Linked armor piece with +Intellect. The lack of sockets mean that the only customization that can be done will be through Tailoring or Leatherworking enchants, but it more than makes up for it with +Hit and Armor Penetration. At 1550 personal rating, Enhancement Shamans shouldn't have too much trouble obtaining it.


Brutal Gladiator's Linked Armor

With three sockets, the chestpiece is the most customizable Arena armor piece. In the case of Enhancement Shamans, it is the third best piece to get after the gloves and leggings, despite the 1600 personal rating requirement. 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 armor has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1110 Armor (+88)
+32 Strength (+5)
+71 Stamina (+7)
+17 Hit (+5)
+35 Critical Strike (+5)
+31 Resilience (+0)
84 Armor Penetration (+0)
12 Mana / 5 Secs (+2 / 5)

Socket Bonus: +4 Critical Strike
Classes: Shaman
WoW Insider says: Although a little harder to obtain because of the 1600 personal rating, the Linked Armor has everything an Enhancement Shaman needs. The +Hit and Armor Penetration all contribute to one of the best Brutal Gladiator purchases an Enhancement Shaman can buy in Season 4. 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 Linked 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. The 1700 personal rating should be an achievable target for Enhancement Shamans. 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):
902 Armor (+72)
+40 Strength (+6)
+74 Stamina (+7)
+18 Hit (+6)
+39 Critical Strike (+6)
+33 Resilience (+0)
84 Armor Penetration

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Shaman
WoW Insider says: The helm is a decent improvement over Season 3's equivalent, if much less attractive. Players unable to obtain a 1700 rating need not fuss over it, as the old helm gives the same Armor Penetration bonus as well as a Meta Socket and a Red Socket.


Brutal Gladiator's Linked Spaulders

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, particularly on the shoulders of an Enhancement Shaman. 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):
832 Armor (+66)
+30 Strength (+5)
+58 Stamina (+6)
+31 Critical Strike (+4)
+21 Resilience (+0)
8 Mana / 5 Secs (+1 / 5)

Socket Bonus: +3 Resilience Rating
Classes: Shaman
WoW Insider says: Brutal Gladiator shoulders are purely for show, although the Linked Spaulders in particular have an extra bonus that some other Linked pieces do not have -- mp5. It is one of the few Season 4 shoulder pieces with a little extra, like Druid shoulders, but still of marginal improvement over its predecessor.

Guardian's Linked Girdle
Because it is a visual match for the Brutal Gladiator's Earthshaker, 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 girdle has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
624 Armor (+49)
+38 Strength (+4)
+55 Stamina (+6)
+28 Intellect (+5)
+37 Critical Strike (+4)
+21 Resilience (+0)
Classes: Hunter, Shaman
WoW Insider says: The Linked Guardian items have +Intellect, among the few sources Enhancement Shamans have to marginally enlarge their mana pool. At low Honor cost and no ratings requirements, the Linked Girdle is one of the best purchases in Season 4 among all the Enhancement gear available.


Guardian's Linked 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):
471 (+39)
+28 Strength (+3)
+37 Stamina (+4)
+17 Intellect (+3)
+24 Critical Strike (+3)
+12 Resilience (+0)

Socket Bonus: +2 Resilience Rating
Classes: Hunter, Shaman
WoW Insider says: Although more difficult to obtain that the leggings, It's not much better than its Season 3 counterpart, but if you have the Honor to burn and reach the 1575 personal rating requirement, it's worth the upgrade.


Guardian's Linked Sabatons

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 sabatons have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
763 Armor (+61)
+38 Strength (+5)
+55 Stamina (+6)
+27 Intellect (+4)
+38 Critical Strike (+4)
+21 Resilience (+0)
Classes: Hunter, Shaman
WoW Insider says: Is a +4 Intellect improvement worth the grind to 1700? According to our readers more experienced with Enhancement Shamans, no. It looks good with the rest of the gear, though. Too bad it's covered up in a kilt. Still, the other primary stats make the boots a decent purchase.



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

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

Brutal Gladiator's Vestments


The Brutal Gladiator's Vestments is the armor set for Rogues. It is a leather armor usable only by Rogues and is usually matched with Guardian's Leather 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 Leather 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. The glove bonus to Deadly Throw is one of the best of all PvP gloves. The gloves have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
368 Armor (+25)
+37 Agility (+4)
+55 Stamina (+6)
+24 Critical Strike (+5)
+22 Resilience (+0)
+48 Attack Power (+8)
Causes Deadly Throw to interrupt spellcasting and prevent any spell from that school from being cast for 3 secs.
Classes: Rogue
WoW Insider says: One of the simplest choices a Rogue should make in Season 4. It has the lowest Arena point cost and have no personal ratings requirement, making it sure to be one of the most popular items though the season.


Brutal Gladiator's Leather Legguards
The leg armor possesses a personal rating requirement of 1550, which isn't too difficult to obtain, specially for the Arena-popular Rogue. 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):
506 Armor (+35)
+40 Agility (+5)
+74 Stamina (+7)
+17 Hit (+5)
+30 Critical Strike (+5)
+40 Resilience (+0)
+60 Attack Power (+10)
84 Armor Penetration (+0)
Classes: Rogue
WoW Insider says: The highest armor for a leather leg piece, massive Stamina, high critical strike rating and a modest 1550 personal rating make this one of the best buys in Season 4, despite the 1875 Arena point cost.


Brutal Gladiator's Leather Tunic

With three sockets, the chestpiece is the most customizable Arena armor piece, and is the next best purchase after the gloves. Rogues should also have little trouble getting to 1600. 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 tunic has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
569 Armor (+40)
+36 Agility (+5)
+71 Stamina (+7)
+17 Hit (+5)
+22 Critical Strike (+5)
+25 Resilience (+0)
+58 Attack Power (+10)
84 Armor Penetration (+0)

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Rogue
WoW Insider says: As always, the Arena chest piece is always the best armor piece to get because of its customizability and traditionally high stats. The Brutal Gladiator Leather Tunic is no different. 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 Leather 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. Many Rogues will be able to reach 1700 with ease for 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):
475 Armor (+32)
+36 Agility (+5)
+72 Stamina (+7)
+17 Hit (+5)
+26 Critical Strike (+5)
+25 Resilience (+0)
+62 Attack Power (+10)
84 Armor Penetration (+0)

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Rogue
WoW Insider says: Ironically, many Druids will drool over this helm for its massive armor and stamina. Rogues can take pride in keeping this helm graphic on, as a 1700 personal rating is a small price to pay for one of the best Rogue helms in the game.


Brutal Gladiator's Leather Spaulders

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. Rogues in 2v2 and 3v3 brackets have been known to hit these ratings. It is the cheapest item after the gloves, but 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):
430 Armor (+30)
+39 Agility (+4)
+55 Stamina (+4)
+31 Critical Strike (+4)
+25 Resilience (+0)
+38 Attack Power

Socket Bonus: +3 Resilience Rating
Classes: Rogue
WoW Insider says: Brutal Gladiator Shoulders are peacock gear. These shoulders are good, decent upgrades from the previous season, but not quite worth the massive 250 rating point differential.
Guardian's Leather Belt
Because it is a visual match for the Brutal Gladiator's Vestments, 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):
280 Armor (+22)
+37 Agility (+5)
+55 Stamina (+6)
+24 Critical Strike (+5)
+30 Resilience (+0)
+48 Attack Power (+8)
Classes: Rogue, Druid
WoW Insider says: With the low Honor cost and no personal ratings restriction, this belt should be among the most widespread Rogue belts come Season 4. If you have the Honor, go buy it.


Guardian's Leather 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 or robes, most players feel that there's little urgency to get them. A 1575 personal ratings requirement also requires decent performance in Arenas. The bracers have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
211 (+17)
+28 Agility (+3)
+37 Stamina (+4)
+15 Critical Strike (+3)
+15 Resilience (+0)
+32 Attack Power (+6)

Socket Bonus: +2 Resilience Rating
Classes: Rogue, Druid
WoW Insider says: Although these are targeted towards Rogues, it's highly likely that many Rogues will be purchasing the "Druid" version Guardian's Dragonhide Bracers. The Red Socket, higher armor and crit all contribute to a conceivably better purchase.


Guardian's Leather Boots

The most visually important match of all Guardian items, specially since almost all Rogues save for Orcs and Trolls have their feet covered up. It's a big jump from a 1575 personal ratings requirement and is as demanding to get as the head piece at 1700 personal ratings, but Rogues have historically gotten to those levels with ease. It is also as expensive to purchase as the belt, which has no ratings requirement. The slippers have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
343 Armor (+28)
+33 Agility (+4)
+55 Stamina (+6)
+24 Critical Strike (+5)
+26 Resilience (+0)
+48 Attack Power (+8)
Classes: Rogue, Druid
WoW Insider says: Among the few PvP pieces with "normal" armor levels, there's nothing particularly remarkable about these boots but are the best, if only, choice for Rogues in Season 4.



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

Filed under: Rogue, Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds, Arena

Brutal Gladiator's Investiture


The Brutal Gladiator's Investiture is the armor set for Holy and Discipline, or healing Priests. It is a mooncloth, or cloth armor usable only by Priests and is usually matched with Guardian's Mooncloth 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 Mooncloth 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. The bonus is the same for both Priest-specific sets, reducing the cooldown to Psychic Scream. The gloves have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
306 Armor (+13)
+56 Stamina (+7)
+28 Intellect (+5)
+25 Resilience (+0)
+77 Healing / +26 Spell Damage (+11 / +4)
Reduces the cooldown of Psychic Scream by 3 secs.
Classes: Priest
WoW Insider says: These gloves are low-cost and have no rating requirements, and the high Stamina and good +Healing make it making it one of the best Season 4 purchases, specially for starting Arena players.


Brutal Gladiator's Mooncloth Leggings
The leg armor possesses a personal rating requirement of 1550, which isn't too difficult to obtain, particularly for healing Priests. 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 leggings have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
442 Armor (+18)
+77 Stamina (+7)
+34 Intellect (+6)
+31 Resilience (+0)
+95 Healing / +32 Spell Damage (+14 / +5)
16 Mana / 5 Secs (+2 / 5)
Classes: Priest
WoW Insider says: The lack of sockets mean that the only customization that can be done will be through Tailoring or Leatherworkingenchants. The leggings are an excellent Brutal Gladiator piece, with a massive mp5 as an added bonus.


Brutal Gladiator's Mooncloth Robe

With three sockets, the chestpiece is the most customizable Arena armor piece, and is the next best purchase after the gloves. Furthermore, 1600 should be an easy goal for many experienced healers. 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 robe has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
476 Armor (+22)
+68 Stamina (+7)
+33 Intellect (+6)
+28 Resilience (+0)
+73 Healing / +25 Spell Damage (+14 / +5)
11 Mana / 5 Secs (+2 / 5)

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Priest
WoW Insider says: The Mooncloth Robe has the lowest stamina compared to other cloth pieces, similar to the Mage's Silk Raiment. It has very good mp5 that comes in handy during long (or drain) matches. 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 Mooncloth Hood
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. Discipline Priests, popular in Arenas, should have an easier time getting a 1700 personal rating to get this hood, 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 hood has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
426 Armor (+17)
+82 Stamina (+9)
+30 Intellect (+7)
+33 Resilience (+0)
+86 Healing / +29 Spell Damage

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Priest
WoW Insider says: One of the higher stamina Brutal Gladiator pieces for healing priests, the hood is worth the purchase. It is far superior to the other Priest Season 4 head piece, the Satin Hood, as well.


Brutal Gladiator's Mooncloth Mantle

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. It is quite likely that more than a few Discipline Priests will be sporting these through the season, though. It is the cheapest item after the gloves, but 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 mantle has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
339 Armor (+16)
+56 Stamina (+7)
+26 Intellect (+5)
+25 Resilience (+0)
+68 Healing / +23 Spell Damage (+11 / +4)

Socket Bonus: +3 Resilience Rating
Classes: Priest
WoW Insider says: Brutal Gladiator Shoulders are peacock gear. There's nothing particularly special about the Season 4 shoulders, and is not such a big upgrade from Season 3. Players not able to reach 2200 personal rating -- and there should be plenty -- will do just fine with last season's gear, even if it does require 1950 personal rating.

Guardian's Mooncloth Belt
Because it is a visual match for the Brutal Gladiator's Investiture, 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):
219 Armor (+11)
+56 Stamina (+7)
+36 Intellect (+5)
+31 Resilience (+0)
+88 Healing / +30 Spell Damage (+11 / +4)
Classes: Priest, Mage, Warlock
WoW Insider says: Hands down the best purchase for a healing Priest in Season 4, the low Honor cost and ratings-free belt is a no-brainer. Even outside of PvP, this belt trumps most PvE healing belts outside of Sunwell Plateau, with a higher +Healing and overall stats than even drops from the Illidari Council or Kaz'rogal.


Guardian's Mooncloth Cuffs
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 or robes, most players feel that there's little urgency to get them. A 1575 personal ratings requirement also requires decent performance in Arenas. The cuffs have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
183 (+10)
+38 Stamina (+4)
+24 Intellect (+4)
+17 Resilience (+0)
+64 Healing / +22 Spell Damage (+9 / +3)

Socket Bonus: +2 Stamina
Classes: Priest, Mage, Warlock
WoW Insider says: Despite the 1575 personal ratings requirement, the cuffs are a worthy purchase for healers as they are the best healing wrist armor outside of Sunwell Plateau. They are roughly as powerful as the Bracers of Martyrdom from Rage Winterchill in Mount Hyjal.


Guardian's Mooncloth Slippers

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 slippers have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
253 Armor (+15)
+56 Stamina (+7)
+36 Intellect (+5)
+31 Resilience (+0)
+88 Healing / +30 Spell Damage
Classes: Priest, Mage, Warlock
WoW Insider says: Although 1700 is the highest personal ratings requirement outside of the weapons and shoulders, even PvE healing Priests would do well to strive for it as the slippers are the best healing boots before Sunwell Plateau gear. It is better point-for-point than Archbishop's Slippers from Anatheron in Hyjal Summit.



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

Filed under: Priest, Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds, Arena

Brutal Gladiator's Wartide


The Brutal Gladiator's Wartide is the armor set for Restoration Shamans. It is a ringmail, or mail armor usable only by Shamans and is usually matched with Guardian's Ringmail 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 Ringmail 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. Its bonus is the same as all other Shaman armor, an increase to the range of Shock spells. The gauntlets have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
694 Armor (+55)
+53 Stamina (+6)
+28 Intellect (+5)
+29 Spell Critical (+4)
+22 Resilience (+0)
+86 Healing / +29 Spell Damage (+9 / +3)
Improves the range of all Shock spells by 5 yards.
Classes: Shaman
WoW Insider says: Because it's so easily attainable, with no personal ratings requirements, it's easy to see why the gauntlets are a good purchase. It is identical to the Mail Gauntlets with the exception of +Healing. The only drawback is that the Shock spell range bonus isn't particularly useful to Restoration Shamans.


Brutal Gladiator's Ringmail Leggings
The leg armor possesses a personal rating requirement of 1550, a feasible target for Restoration Shamans. 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 leggings have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
971 Armor (+77)
+71 Stamina (+7)
+38 Intellect (+5)
+34 Spell Critical (+5)
+33 Resilience (+0)
+110 Healing / +37 Spell Damage / Healing (+11 / +4)
11 Mana / 5 Secs (+2 / 5)
Classes: Shaman
WoW Insider says: The lack of sockets on this armor piece mean that the only customization that can be done will be through Tailoring or Leatherworking enchants. Overall, the improvements from its last season equivalent are moderate, with a lower +Heal upgrade than other healing sets, making the chest piece a better purchase for the same point cost.


Brutal Gladiator's Ringmail Armor

With three sockets, the chestpiece is the most customizable Arena armor piece. 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 armor has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1110 Armor (+88)
+61 Stamina (+7)
+36 Intellect (+6)
+36 Spell Critical (+6)
+26 Resilience (+0)
+92 Healing / +31 Spell Damage (+13 / +4)
11 Mana / 5 Secs (+2 / 5)

Socket Bonus: +4 Spell Critical
Classes: Shaman
WoW Insider says: Restoration Shamans should have no trouble attaining a modest 1600 personal rating to get this piece. The only drawback is two Yellow Sockets, which might have been better if they were Red. Yellow opens up possibilities for +Haste, however, and that's always a good thing. 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 Ringmail 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. 1700 is a fairly achievable goal for Restoration Shamans. 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):
902 Armor (+72)
+74 Stamina (+7)
+34 Intellect (+6)
+31 Spell Critical (+6)
+33 Resilience (+0)
+97 Healing / +33 Spell Damage (+13 / +5)

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Shaman
WoW Insider says: The +13 Healing upgrade and overall improvement from the previous season's helm is a very good reason to try and achieve 1700 personal ratings. Healers can also use the Red Socket for more healing oomph.


Brutal Gladiator's Ringmail Spaulders
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 spaulders have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
832 Armor (+66)
+47 Stamina (+4)
+27 Intellect (+4)
+24 Spell Critical (+4)
+21 Resilience (+0)
+64 Healing / +22 Spell Damage (+9 / +3)
8 Mana / 5 Secs (+1 / 5)

Socket Bonus: +3 Resilience Rating
Classes: Shaman
WoW Insider says: Brutal Gladiator shoulders are purely for show. The minimal improvement over the previous season's spaulders make it less compelling. The Vengeful Gladiator spaulders also look so much cooler.

Guardian's Ringmail Girdle
Because it is a visual match for the Brutal Gladiator's Wartide, 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 girdle has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
624 Armor (+49)
+49 Stamina (+6)
+34 Intellect (+4)
+34 Spell Critical (+5)
+27 Resilience (+0)
+75 Healing / +25 Spell Damage (+9 / +3)
Classes: Hunter, Shaman
WoW Insider says: Like most belt pieces in Season 4, the Guardian's Ringmail Girdle is one of the best purchases players can make. The low Honor cost and no personal ratings requirement make the piece a no-brainer. It is identical to the Mail Girdle except for the higher +Healing.


Guardian's Ringmail Bracers
The only other Guardian piece with a socket is the amulet, which doesn't have a personal rating requirement. Bracers are also not visually impacting, hidden away underneath gloves or robes, making them non-essential to a set. They also have a modest 1575 personal rating requirement, necessitating some success in Arenas. The bracers have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
471 (+39)
+33 Stamina (+4)
+20 Intellect (+3)
+24 Spell Critical (+3)
+15 Resilience (+0)
+57 Healing / +19 Spell Damage (+6 / +2)

Socket Bonus: +2 Resilience Rating
Classes: Hunter, Shaman
WoW Insider says: A 1575 personal rating seems like a reasonable challenge to obtain another Yellow Socket, despite the minimal improvements from last season's gear. Although healers might prefer a Red Socket, the option to pursue Haste makes these bracers a good upgrade.


Guardian's Ringmail Sabatons
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 sabatons have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
763 Armor (+61)
+49 Stamina (+6)
+34 Intellect (+4)
+34 Spell Critical (+5)
+27 Resilience (+0)
+75 Healing / +25 Spell Damage (+9 / +3)
Classes: Hunter, Shaman
WoW Insider says: Even with a 1700 personal ratings requirement, the boots are a good purchase as its a good improvement overall from the last season. It is also, like the helm, the most attainable Season 4 item outside of the weapons and shoulders.



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

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

Brutal Gladiator's Raiment


The Brutal Gladiator's Raiment is the armor set for Shadow Priests. It is a satin, or cloth armor usable only by Priests and is usually matched with Guardian's Silk or Dreadweave 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 Satin 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. The bonus is the same for both Priest-specific sets, reducing the cooldown to Psychic Scream. The gloves have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
306 Armor (+13)
+55 Stamina (+7)
+27 Intellect (+5)
+25 Resilience (+0)
+41 Spell Damage / Healing (+6)
Reduces the cooldown of Psychic Scream by 3 secs.
Classes: Priest
WoW Insider says: These gloves are low-cost and have no rating requirements, making it the ideal purchase specially for starting Arena players. Shadow Priests, in particular, need the best gear possible in order to stay competitive in an Arena environment that tends to be harsh to their spec.


Brutal Gladiator's Satin Leggings
The leg armor possesses a personal rating requirement of 1550, which isn't too difficult to obtain, even for underrepresented Shadow Priests. 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 leggings have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
442 Armor (+18)
+82 Stamina (+9)
+39 Intellect (+7)
+34 Resilience (+0)
+66 Spell Damage / Healing (+9)
Classes: Priest
WoW Insider says: The lack of sockets mean that the only customization that can be done will be through Tailoring or Leatherworkingenchants. The Satin Leggings are loaded with Stamina and spell damage, which a Shadow Priest needs in abundance. The low barrier of entry makes it a perfect purchase for Season 4.


Brutal Gladiator's Satin Robe

With three sockets, the chestpiece is the most customizable Arena armor piece, and is the next best purchase after the gloves. 1600 might be a more prohibitive target for beginning Shadow Priests, who have had a tough time in Arenas in the past. 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 robe has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
476 Armor (+22)
+72 Stamina (+9)
+34 Intellect (+7)
+31 Resilience (+0)
+49 Spell Damage / Healing (+7)

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Priest
WoW Insider says: If only for the sockets, the Satin Robe is the best Brutal Gladiator armor purchase outside of the gloves. The 1600 personal rating isn't extremely difficult to attain, and gives a sense of achievement specially to Shadow Priests, who need to be more populous in Arenas. 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 Satin Hood
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. Starting Shadow Priests might find 1700 a more lofty target for the head piece, which costs the same Arena points 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 hood has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
426 Armor (+17)
+79 Stamina (+6)
+28 Intellect (+7)
+32 Resilience (+0)
+50 Spell Damage / Healing (+8)

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Priest
WoW Insider says: Unfortunately, the Satin Hood is inferior in every way to the equivalent Warlock's Dreadweave Hood. Considering the same Arena point cost and personal Arena ratings, Shadow Priests get the short end of the stick for an equivalent item.


Brutal Gladiator's Satin Mantle

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. It will be much more rare to see it on a Shadow Priest. 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 mantle has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
339 Armor (+16)
+56 Stamina (+7)
+27 Intellect (+5)
+23 Resilience (+0)
+37 Spell Damage / Healing (+5)

Socket Bonus: +3 Resilience Rating
Classes: Priest
WoW Insider says: Brutal Gladiator Shoulders are peacock gear. This holds true even for the Shadow Priest's shoulders which aren't a marked improvement over the previous season's shoulders.


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

Filed under: Priest, Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds, Arena

Brutal Gladiator's Aegis


The Brutal Gladiator's Aegis is the armor set for Shockadins, or spell damage-based Paladins. It is a lamellar, or plate armor usable only by Paladins and is usually matched with Guardian's Lamellar 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 Lamellar 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. Arena gloves are also the only item with the exception of relics to have spec-specific bonuses, although Flash of Light isn't incredibly useful to the offensive-minded Shockadin. It is the same bonus as the Ornamented Gloves. The gauntlets have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1239 Armor (+98)
+50 Stamina (+6)
+34 Intellect (+4)
+34 Spell Critical (+5)
+19 Resilience (+0)
+40 Spell Damage / Healing (+5)
Increases critical effect chance of Flash of Light by 2%
Classes: Paladin
WoW Insider says: The gauntlets are a marked improvement from its Season 3 predecessor, with the exception of Resilience (Season 3 and 4 armor pieces have exactly the same Resilience ratings). If you have the Arena points for it, it's a good buy, but the on-equip bonus could have been better applied to Holy Shock.


Brutal Gladiator's Lamellar Legguards
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 legguards have the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1735 Armor (+138)
+77 Stamina (+7)
+35 Intellect (+6)
+45 Spell Critical (+6)
+35 Resilience (+0)
+54 Spell Damage / Healing (+7)
Classes: Paladin
WoW Insider says: Although an improvement over its Season 3 equivalent, 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 manage it.


Brutal Gladiator's Lamellar Chestpiece

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 chestpiece has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1983 Armor (+158)
+73 Stamina (+7)
+36 Intellect (+5)
+44 Spell Critical (+6)
+31 Resilience (+0)
+37 Spell Damage / Healing (+6)

Socket Bonus: +4 Spell Critical
Classes: Paladin
WoW Insider says: A team and personal rating of 1600 isn't an impossible goal, although more difficult for Shockadins, who are sparse in Arenas. If you can manage it, however, 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 Lamellar 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. 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 helm has the following stats (number in parentheses are the improvements over its Season 3 equivalent):
1611 Armor (+128)
+77 Stamina (+7)
+34 Intellect (+6)
+34 Spell Critical (+6)
+33 Resilience (+0)
+50 Spell Damage / Healing (+7)

Socket Bonus: +4 Resilience Rating
Classes: Paladin
WoW Insider says: If you've managed to obtain the chest piece, there's little reason not to try and go for the helm, which has a Meta Socket. Although it is an improvement over its Season 3 equivalent, the disparity is not so great that players unable to obtain the helm can easily make do with the ratings requirement-free Vengeful Gladiator version.


Brutal Gladiator's Lamellar 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)
+50 Stamina (+6)
+28 Intellect (+5)
+32 Spell Critical (+4)
+22 Resilience (+0)
+33 Spell Damage / Healing (+5)

Socket Bonus: +3 Resilience Rating
Classes: Paladin
WoW Insider says: Brutal Gladiator shoulders are purely for show. Aside from the gloves, the shoulders have the lowest point-for-point improvement over its Season 3 equivalent among all the Brutal Gladiator armor pieces. The shoulders are an item players only pick up if they reach 2200 rating levels, but not compelling enough to climb ratings for.

Guardian's Lamellar Belt
Because it is a visual match for the Brutal Gladiator's Aegis, 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)
+40 Spell Damage / Healing (+5)
Classes: Warrior, Paladin
WoW Insider says: The belt is identical in every way to the Guardian's Ornamented Belt with the exception of +healing. Shockadins with a mind to stack more Healing for versatility would do well to explore the option of mixing and matching. That said, the accessibility and affordability of the Season 4 belt makes it an extremely good purchase.


Guardian's Lamellar 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 or robes, 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)
+33 Stamina (+4)
+20 Intellect (+3)
+23 Spell Critical (+3)
+15 Resilience (+0)
+30 Spell Damage / Healing (+3)

Socket Bonus: +2 Resilience Rating
Classes: Warrior, Paladin
WoW Insider says: As with the belt, the bracers are virtually identical to Guardian's Ornamented Bracers, and players may want to try and forego +11 Spell Damage for a +27 Healing. There are much better purchases among the Season 4 items despite the mere 11,794 Honor cost. A minimal upgrade from its predecessor makes it a less compelling sale.


Guardian's Lamellar 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 bracers 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)
+40 Spell Damage / Healing (+5)
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, PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds, Arena

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