Jan 092010

For Part 2 of the guide, we’re going full casual. This gear build has absolutely zero raidng pieces, and is comprised solely of equipment from 5-man heroics and craftables. Even with this limitation, a very powerful gear set can be built that will easily be able to complete all current non-hardmode content. You’ll need about ~250 Emblems to build this set; it sounds like a lot, but you’ll accumulate them quickly as you run the instances for drops. If you’ve just hit 80, I’d recommend repeated runs in the normal versions of the new Frozen Halls instances (Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, Halls of Reflection), as there are several excellent upgrades in there to get you started.

Note: Most of these calculations were derived using Rawr, so go download it and follow along if you haven’t already.

Gear List

Head: Malfurion’s Headguard of Conquest, 50 EoT’s.
Alternatives: Frayed Scoundrel’s Cap, H FoS; Mask of Distant Memory, H ToC.
Notes: While the 4PT9 set bonus isn’t that great, there’s not many non-raid alternatives. Skip the off-set 245 here and go for the shoulders instead, as the +82 hit on the off-set head will probably be mostly wasted. 2pT8 is also a VERY good set bonus, and is very good to start with if you have enough Conquest emblems laying around to buy both pieces.

Neck: Barbed Ymirheim Choker, H PoS.
Alternatives: Broach of the Wailing Night, 19 EoC’s; Painfully Sharp Choker, N PoS.
Notes: Not much choice here. The broach is only slightly worse than the heroic option, and it’s cheap emblem wise, so get that when you can.

Shoulders: Duskstalker Shoulderpads, 45 EoT’s.
Alternatives: Spaulders of Black Betrayal, H HoR; Bewildering Shoulderpads, N HoR.
Notes: This is the off-set piece you should be shooting for with your EoT’s. The T9 and the alternatives are much worse.

Back: Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak, 25 EoV’s.
Alternatives: Accursed Crawling Cape, N FoS.
Notes: There’s very few non-raid options for cloaks, unfortunately. Both cloaks are about equal, so pick one up when you can…it’s a low priority.

Chest: Malfurion’s Raiments of Conquest, 50 EoT’s.
Alternatives: Knightbane Carapace, crafted; Choking Hauberk, H HoR, Blackened Geist Ribs, N HoR.
Notes: The Knightbane Carapace is a great tanking piece, but the big chunk of +hit makes it hard to work with for DPS. If you plan to tank, you can use this and pick up the T9 shoulders instead of the Duskstalker offset ones. The T8 piece is very good as well.

Waist: Death-warmed Belt, crafted.
Alternatives: Flayer’s Black Belt, N PoS; Belt of the Twilight Assassin, 28 EoC’s.
Notes: Shell out the cash for this; it’s much better than your alternatives, and it shouldn’t be overly expensive.

Legs: Malfurion’s Legguards of Conquest, 50 EoT’s.
Alternatives: Fleshwerk Leggings, H PoS; Shaggy Wyrmleather Leggings, N PoS.
Notes: The Fleshwerk legs are a bit better than the T9 legs, but I wouldn’t recommend using them as your off-set piece unless you don’t have one of the 245 pieces recommended above.

Feet: Blighted Leather Footpads, H HoR.
Alternatives: Footpads of Silence, crafted; Treads of Dismal Fortune, H ToC.
Notes: The Blighted Footpads are very good, but seeing as they’re after the toughest 5-man instance in the game, you may not see them for a while. Get the Footpads of Silence crafted.

Wrist: Bracers of Swift Death, crafted.
Alternatives: Chewed Leather Wristguards, H PoS; Armbands of the Wary Lookout, H ToC.
Notes: Save up for the crafted bracers…they were BiS for a long time, and will last you deep into Icecrown.

Hands: Malfurion’s Handgrips of Conquest, 30 EoT’s.
Alternatives: Carpal Tunnelers, N HoR; Gloves of Fast Reactions, BoE (look on AH).
Options are pretty sparse here, so get the T9 and keep moving.

RingsDexterous Brightstone Ring, 35 EoT’s, Band of Stained Souls, H PoS.
Alternatives: Bloodshed Band, 35 EoT’s, Runed Band of the Kirin Tor, ~12000g, Ring of Carnelian and Bone, N PoS, Ring of Invincibility, 25 EoV’s.
Notes: The Dexterous Ring is very very good. (This was actually my first EoT purchase.) The Kirin Tor band is great, if you have the cash. (I don’t, so I’m not recommending it.) The Bloodshed Band isn’t designed for ferals; it’s okay, but I wouldn’t waste EoT’s on it unless you have nothing else to spend them on.

Trinkets: Needle-Encrusted Scorpion, H FoS, Darkmoon Card: Greatness (+agi), crafted.
Next-best: Banner of Victory, N ToCMirror of Truth, 40 EoH’s.
Trinkets are also tough to come by without raiding, so you may be stuck with a blue from H UP/DTK/Nex for a while. I’ve left off the EoT trinkets (Mark of Supremacy/Shard of the Crystal Heart) because they are LOADED with +hit, typically making them useless (but stay tuned for T10, which has no +hit at all). The Needle is great, if you can get it; most melee classes will want it as well.

WeaponOrca-Hunter’s Harpoon, H HoR.
Alternatives: Marrowstrike, H ToC; Tower of the Mouldering Corpse, N FoS; Garfrost’s Two-Ton Hammer, N PoS.
Notes: Obviously, if you score a Battered Hilt from the new heroics, the Lightborn Spire blows all these away. The Harpoon is a big upgrade from anything preceding it; if you can’t get into H HoR, the other three are roughly equal, with Marrowstrike being slightly on top.

IdolIdol of Mutilation, 25 EoT’s.
Alternatives: Idol of the Corruptor, 19 EoC’s.
Notes: One of these idols should be one of your first emblem purchases, simply because there’s no good idol alternatives to this. (After these, the next option is a green ilvl 138 quest reward from Borean Tundra.) The corruptor idol is better for tanking and decent for DPS, so pick that one up first if you plan to tank at all.

Stats, Damage Table, and Relative Stat Values

As I did before in my ArPen theory post, I’ll be analyzing this gear set from three different buff perspectives. Why? Well, several stats can vary wildly in their valuation.

  • Hit and Expertise are mediocre stats but become very strong when you reach the white crit cap, as hit+exp now turns misses into crits, instead of hits. Once they’re capped, more is worthless.
  • Crit and Agility are great, but they become less valuable once you reach the white crit cap, as they can now only affect special attack crit rates.
  • Haste, Strength, and AP aren’t affected by any caps themselves, but they make other stats more or less valuable.
  • ArPen scales with gear, buffs, and itself. When you only have a little bit of it, it’s a horrible stat, when you have a moderate amount, it’s great, when you have a lot, it’s wonderful, until you cap it, then you start over again. At this gear level, you really only have to worry about the softcap (the point where you are ArPen capped with the Scorpion trinket proc), which is 678 722.

First, we’ll look at the numbers when selfbuffed, with only Imp. MOTW. Next, we’ll look at the set from a 10-man buff perspective, with my arbitrary list of buffs including Horn of Winter, Blessing of Might/Kings, Trueshot Aura, Sunder Armor, and an Endless Rage Flask. Finally, we’ll look at a  25-man buff perspective, adding in Imp. BOM, Ret buffs (Sanc. Ret, Swift. Ret, HotC), Savage Combat, Imp. Windfury, Heroism, Trauma from an arms war, and a speed pot. These numbers are assuming full enchants (see part 1 for enchant list), but ungemmed with no socket bonii, to not skew stat values if gemming capped stats. (Note: Rawr’s stats are slightly higher than paperdoll since they add in averaged-out procs over the fight length. I’ve used the default 5min duration.)


Character: Self-Buff 10M-Buff 25M-Buff
Race: NightElf NightElf NightElf
DPS Points: 4760 6170 7589
Attack Power: 8006 10616 10804
Agility: 1468 1799 1799
Strength: 158 359 359
Crit Rating: 820 820 820
Hit Rating: 240 240 240
Expertise Rating: 64 64 64
Haste Rating: 250 250 275
Armor Penetration Rating: 250 250 250
Avoided Attacks: 2.73% 2.73% 2.73%
Crit Chance: 57.08% 61.45% 64.45%
Attack Speed: 0.909s 0.909s 0.701s

Pretty much what you would expect. 10M bumps up DPS considerably by boosting AP and +Agi; 25M bumps it again by increasing attack speed and a bit of crit. These numbers will mean more in context: let’s look at the calculated relative stat values.

Relative Stat Values:

Character: Self-Buff 10M-Buff 25M-Buff
Agi: 0.86 1.16 1.42
Str: 0.87 1.13 1.41
ArPen: 0.69 0.96 1.27
Crit: 0.69 0.88 1.07
Haste: 0.54 0.77 1.09
Exp: 0.51 0.69 0.96
Hit: 0.51 0.69 0.96
AP: 0.4 0.49 0.59

This table shows what +1 of a certain stat is worth in terms of DPS. As you can see, this gear set is far enough away from the various caps that the traditional gemming advice still applies- that is, agi gems in red slots, agi/crit in yellow slots on pieces with good socket bonuses, and one tear then agi in blue slots. (FWIW, I did build a set with ArPen gems in all slots/ArPen flask/food, and ArPen’s RSV came close to but never passed Agility. We simply don’t have enough ArPen at this gear level for stacking to be effective.) This table will get much more interesting in T10 gear.

Damage Table:

Character: Self-Buff 10M-Buff 25M-Buff
Melee: 330x (22.8%) 330x (25.5%) 428x (30.0%)
Mangle: 106.2 DPE (6.5%) 143.0 DPE (6.8%) 158.5 DPE (0.0%)
Shred: 127.5 DPE (20.0%) 171.3 DPE (20.6%) 189.8 DPE (27.6%)
Rake: 245.4 DPE (14.7%) 289.9 DPE (13.4%) 314.6 DPE (11.9%)
Rip: 1090.7 DPE (30.5%) 1286.1 DPE (27.8%) 1418.0 DPE (24.9%)
Bite (5cp): 250.2 DPE (5.4%) 336.4 DPE (5.9%) 371.7 DPE (5.6%)

I’ve included this as a reference so you can see approximately what abilities to prioritize in your rotation.DPE stands for Damage-Per-Energy; ideally, you want to use higher-DPE abilities when possible. The percentages represent what proportion of your damage comes from what ability; on a non-movement fight, it should be fairly close to this, though Rip will probably be lower. (100% Rip uptime is possible in theory but difficult to achieve in practice.)  This means you want to keep Roar up; keep Rip up; keep Mangle up, if you have to; keep Rake up; otherwise Shred, mixing in Bites under very specific conditions.

That’s it for this section; in part 3, I’ll be analyzing the same numbers using a 10M ICC BiS gearset. I’m a bit busy, however, so it may take a little while. Enjoy!