The Warrior’s Charge: Gear in Hellfire Citadel and Tanaan
As of right now, we’re in a pretty solid place for Warrior DPS, with Arms seeing some improvements in Normal Hellfire. In fact, Simcraft has all warrior DPS specs (even Gladiator) fairly close together in normal HFC gear. Heck, even in heroic HFC with 720 gear, all four warrior DPS specs are still very close on Simcraft. Now, keep in mind these are sims in the best gear available for that ilevel, you can’t just assume you’ll do that well. There are things like set bonuses you might lack, your proficiency with the spec in question, etc etc. Simcraft goes as far as having both Patchwerk style and streaming add style sims, just to show you how actual DPS situations might be less favorable than simulations end up being, but it’s encouraging for DPS warriors to see that for once, you can pretty much raid with whatever DPS style you prefer — Arms, Fury (either) or even Gladiator’s sword and board style — and be fairly competitive.
I personally found that my DPS contribution varied wildly based on trash, which is why I’m going to try raiding tonight as Arms. For Arms, crit and mastery are still your best stats, but for Fury it gets harder. Welcome to the world of haste breakpoints.
One of the annoying things about haste not being utter garbage for Warriors right now is that we have to deal with haste breakpoints. I’ve managed to go eleven years before worrying about Haste breakpoints. I should have seen this coming when they put haste on my shoulders, really. Arms still loathes haste, at least, but now for Fury you have to balance haste’s value – you want to be at or around 11% when raid buffed, while still shooting for at least 30% Crit and then Mastery. Unless you have Worldbreaker’s Resolve, then haste drops way down. It’s confusing and I hate you, haste. But at least now when you get a crit/haste item, you can be moderately happy instead of enraged.
Gearing in Tanaan
If you already have raid gear from Blackrock Foundry, especially heroic or mythic, then you can skip this entirely. The gear from heroic (685) or mythic (700) is on par with or superior to even the fully upgraded Tanaan gear (ilevel 695, with a chance of 675 epics from the Baleful tokens) and you can start right in on normal. Remember, Hellfire Citadel gear increases in ilevel as you progress deeper into the raid, so by the time you get to normal Archimonde you’re looking at 705 gear. But if you’re on a catch up toon, or don’t plan to do much raiding, the gear available via Tanaan is superior to LFR gear, meaning that you can utterly bypass LFR if you choose and still be ready to raid normal and gear up for heroic.
If you are using Tanaan to gear, my advice is to spend your Apexis on weapons first if they don’t drop for you, and upgrade them first as well. Weapons are often the hardest things to come by and they contribute the most to your damage. The Empowered epic versions of the weapons trump even the first few bosses in normal HFC, they’re very worth getting. The problem is of course the randomized stats on them.
Gearing in Hellfire
Once you’re in Hellfire proper, whether or not you want a piece of gear really depends on spec. For Arms, haste is middlingly terrible. For Fury, there’s that breakpoint issue we mentioned before. For Protection, haste is also not terribly compelling due to how Prot generates rage.
Part of the difficulty is that there are gear items that change what talents you want or what itemization is good for you. I won’t lie, I find this very irritating. I’m used to set bonuses having that sort of effect to a degree. I can tolerate the 4 piece Arms set bonus making Taste for Blood the best choice on its talent tier. But having a trinket that changes how you itemize to the degree that the Worldbreaker’s Resolve does for fury is simply baffling to me. You spend your time collecting Haste up to that 11% breakpoint because it’s what you’re supposed to do. You pass mastery gear to other classes in your raid. And then you get this one trinket and all that haste is worthless, and you are essentially punished for gearing the way you were supposed to. Worldbreaker’s Resolve makes mastery your best secondary stat, better than crit, and it devalues haste entirely.
Essentially, if you are Fury and have any hope of getting that trinket, you should pick up and hold on to a ton of crit/mastery gear, because as soon as you get it any haste you have goes right back to being bad. Luckily, for every other warrior spec, the trinket’s just good and you don’t have to sweat it.
Next time we’re going to do a complete gear post, discussing what bosses you’d most want to spend your fate rolls on.
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