Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maintenance Day Musings... What to Wear?

** Before I begin, I want to note that ZERO of this is based on my own math. I don't do math and I like to go by experience, and what works for me. What is good for me, might not work for others!**

I've been thinking for a while that I would make myself a BiS gear list. I just didn't know where to start. After doing some reading at Elitist Jerks, PlusHeal, Tales of a Priest and the WoW Priest forums I figured I'd set down some gear I'm looking for for MY role in raids. This'll give me a direction in where I want to go in terms of gear and stats, and it will also ensure I know which bosses I can swap out for and which ones I'd like to stay in for, if possible.

My role in raids so far this expansion is tank healing. I'm comfortable doing it and it's a nice challenge. It's a new thing for me, I used to raid heal via bubble spam but those days are (thankfully) long gone. I don't want to be limited in the roles I can perform in raids, either. If I'm needed to raid heal, then I want to be able to do it too. My gear needs to be versatile, and this is why I'll be trying to find a good balance between Haste, Mastery and Crit.

Critical heals will proc Divine Aegis, and those absorb damage. Our Mastery is Shield Discipline and more absorbs on your targets is always good. What's left? Haste. Right now, everything feels too slow, so haste is a priority for me. Our three main "secondary stats" are extremely synergistic with each one boosting the effect of the other. More crit means more absorbs, more mastery means more absorbed and more haste is more casts to get more absorbs!

I am not talking about gems, and I am not going into enchants (in this post!).  

Ok, so what to remember?
Intellect: Always important.
Spirit: Not a usual stat for me, but it's definitely important now. Each piece of gear listed below will have spirit on it OR a good reason why it doesn't.

Haste: Faster Smites for Atonement. Faster casts in general helps with tank and raid healing.
Crit: More procs of Divine Aegis is lovely. Yes, please!
Mastery: Extra absorbs on Power Word: Shield, and Divine Aegis. Want.
Haste edges out Crit and Mastery, but not by a huge amount given that I use Borrowed Time. These stats are about even in importance.

Tier Eleven:

Our 2set bonus is this: Increases the critical strike chance of your Heal spell by 5%.

I checked my last WoL and I don't use Heal very often. Smite has almost overtaken my use of this spell. Unless this bonus gets changed to include Smite, it's not a priority for my needs.

The 4set bonus is: Each time your Penance spell heals a target with Weakened Soul you gain 540 Spirit for 10 sec, and being in a Chakra state grants you 540 Spirit for the duration of the Chakra.

A Discipline priest would have to watch their Penance cooldown AND make sure that the target has Weakened Soul to keep this up. Whereas a Holy priest enters a Chakra and they get a constant spirit buff. That's pretty incredible.

The way I see the 4set bonus working is this. Shield your target, Penance. Smite until Penance is off CD (works best if you have Train of Thought) and Penance again. Re-shield. Repeat. I'm not ecstatic about this. I can see it working, but eh.
I'm not actively searching for Tier pieces, but if the stats are what I need then I'm not opposed to picking them up. Tier is not BAD to snag, but it's not a glaring priority for me.

With that said, let's get to it!

The Gear:

- Our T11 gloves and legs can drop from Pit Lord Argaloth in Baradin Hold OR can be purchased via Valor Points (2200 for legs, 1650 for gloves)
- Our T11 chest can be purchased via Valor Points (2200) (Kurn's Corner, 2011)
*Stamina and Intellect are the same values on comparable pieces unless otherwise stated*Choices are from most preferred to least*I left out loot from Throne of the Four Winds*

Well, we have three very different helms. Since Nef is a ways away for my guild, I'll be picking up the first bullet here if I can.

There's no spirit on the second option, but it's still a solid option for pre-raiding and if you can't get the amulet right away - don't forget about reforging!. I'll be nabbing that as soon as my rep's there.

I see these causing me some grief. No, no, lots of grief. There's been some talk about priests choosing gear that doesn't have spirit on it and it seems to be frowned upon by the other cloth casters in the guild. In terms of gear accessibility, none of these are available yet but Roaring Flames would be the first one. In terms of practicality I want the Mercurial Mantle. Just means I'd have to wait a little longer or wait for my chance to nab the Roaring Flames. We'll see what happens!

Same general stats, but a difference in haste and mastery. I don't see myself spending 1250 points on a mastery cloak when I can reforge for mastery on some other things. I'll be gunning for the Drape!

Right now I'm wearing the first option, but eventually there'll be an influx of valor points and I might pick up the tier chest.

  • Cord of Raven Queen (Guardians of Hyjal) 169 spirit, a blue socket with +10 intellect bonus and 149 mastery.
  •  X-Tron Duct Tape (Omnotron Council) 169 spirit, a yellow socket with +10 intellect bonus and 149 crit.

Since I'm wearing Cord of the Raven Queen, I'll be set for some time.

I need two more pieces of Dreamcloth and I'll have the Breeches, yus!

  • Brackish Gloves (Chimaeron) Red socket, +10 haste bonus with 149 spirit and 169 haste.
  • Mercurial Handwraps (Valor Points, 1650) Blue socket, +10 intellect bonus with 169 spirit and 149 mastery.
  • Flamebloom Gloves (Earthen Ring, Exalted) No spirit, blue socket with +10 intellect bonus with 149 haste and 169 mastery.
For the time being, I think I'll pick up the third option so I can save some priority for bigger and better things.

Not really any other options.

Band of Secret Names has no spirit, but it has 127 crit and 127 haste compared to the Twined Band's 127 spirit and 127 mastery.

The only option.

As much as I'd like to think I'm an archaeology buff, I don't think I'm good with farming for very obscure items. Even though they are really good... First choice here would be Chelley's staff, even over a main hand/off hand combination.

Main Hand:
In terms of practicality and not ruffling feathers... I'd use the first option. In terms of what I would like to have... Twilight's Hammer all the way! But then, Cho'gall isn't too close yet so... Incineratus!

Off Hand:
Nearly the same stats, but the scepter might be a little easier to get my mitts on, if I need it. With the upcoming nerf to the 100 intellect enchant (changing to 40 intellect) this'll even out the difference between staves and a main hand/off hand combination.

Makes my head hurt thinking about these.
The easiest options for me to obtain are in order from easiest to hardest.
The Tsunami card would be my ideal trinket to pick up, but unfortunately I'm not a scribe, nor do I have one (on my current server) so this would be a LOT of gold to spend.
This next one is great too, but again, it's time spent that I don't really have during the school term. If I happen to chance across the doll then great! But if not, it's all good.

Whew! Was that a long one or what? I meant for this to be done on maintenance day, but classes caught me up and then I got tired of looking at gear.
To reiterate, this is gear that I think will work for me and what my role is in raids. It's not hard to hit up some websites and check out what the community is saying about pieces of gear, and it helps to hear a bunch of different points of view too!

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