11 March 2010 § Leave a comment
Every tier of raiding, I find myself trying to decide how much of the tier set I want to have. This is a much more complicated decision that it may sound, influenced by many factors. The main constraint, of course, is the scarcity of Emblems of Frost. A full clear of ICC10 (with no Lich King) gives 23 badges + 5 from the ICC raid weekly (which luckily I can count on). Then there’s 5 more for the raid weekly, 4 more from Vault (10 and 25) . There’s also potentially 14 emblems from daily Heroics in a week – although that requires some dedication, I’ve actually been pretty good about that. So, that brings us to 51 badges per week – when the full set needs 405 emblems, which can easily be reduced to 310 if I want to just stick to four pieces for the set bonus.
Next come the actual evaluation of the set pieces. Gloves and legs have haste, which is right now the stat I need the least (haste cap for Disc Priests is easy to reach, as we all know). The other pieces are pretty standard, although why on earth we have THREE blue sockets on our set escapes me.
Are the set bonuses worth it? If they aren’t, then I can forego the whole set idea completely and be free to go for other pieces which may be better itemised (and often are). The 2-piece bonus is supposedly kinda nice. The 4-piece is changing from this to:
This bonus now increases the effectiveness of the caster’s Power Word: Shield and Renew spells by 5%. (Source)
The change is causing a lot of discussion (Divine Aegis, World of Matticus 1 and 2, are the probably the best summaries) – but going into that is not the goal of this post, and would sidetrack us considerably. So let’s assume this change goes live. Looking at my latest WoL report, Shield covers about 30% of my healing, with Renew accounting for another 3.5%. So that particular set bonus is likely to be an increase of about 1.5% of my healing – which is not huge, but not too bad either.
What about possible alternatives for the set piece slots? I don’t raid ICC25, so the set I’m going for is likely to be the 251 version for a little while. If I had to wage a bet, I would think we’d be killing the Lich King in 10 either this week or the next, so I’m not far from getting the marks to upgrade to the 264 version – but I have no illusion that those will come fast. Even though several of our raiders already have their 264 sets from their 25-man, that still leaves plenty of competition: given our raid composition, I will have a warlock, one more priest and a paladin on the same token as me. I can find three easy replacement that are ilvl264: robes, pants and gloves. We already determined that pants and gloves are the least desirable pieces of the set for me, so I’m likely to switch at least one of those out for the 264 emblem of frost alternative. Because pants are a much more important piece than gloves, I guess I will go for the Leggings of Woven Death.
As for drop alternatives, gloves either have haste-only (uninteresting) or hit rating (and for once, there’s nothing in 25-man either). For shoulders, eliminating the hit ones, there’s a decent crit pair – and another interesting crit one from 25, which are BoE. Moving to robes, there’s a good one, which are in fact better than the Emblem ones in Heroic version (mostly, they have better gem slots, which means I would get the socket bonus). There’s a really good helm, although it would certainly not help the warlock look of the current set of gear… Finally, for legs, we have a similar situation to robes: there’s a pair that actually becomes better than the crafted one in the Heroic version (less haste, more crit), but is, on average, pretty close.
(One general consideration is that there’s much better itemisation in 10 than in 25 this time around, for the set slots. I guess that makes up a bit for the lack of offhands, but all in all I think it reinforces my idea that you change the way itemisation works for the future).
So, if I was completely uninterested in the set bonuses, this would be my choice:
- Cowl of Malefic Response from Blood Queen Lanathel
- Stiffened Corpse Shoulderpads from Icecrown Citadel 25
- Robes of Azure Downfall from Sindragosa
- Gloves of False Gestures from Emblems of Frost
- Kilt of Untreated Wounds from Festergut
The real question is what pieces to switch in to gain the set bonuses. If I decided to play with the 4 pieces, I would keep the Kilt of Untreated Wounds of the previous list, and keep set pieces for the other four slots: we already established that gloves and legs were the weakest items in the set, and given that legs are more important than gloves in terms of stats, I would rather reinforce them and keep weaker gloves than vice versa. For the 2 piece, I would keep the set shoulders, given that the alternative is not that much stronger, and probably the helm: the Cowl of Malefic Repose, while nice, is the piece with the highest haste and the lowest crit, so all in all the least desirable of those.