More Baby Paladin Adventures!

At this point, the “baby” paladin isn’t all that little. Well. He’s still a dwarf, so he’s little in that sense, but he’s, er, level 70.

I told you. I must have a screw loose!

Of note, at level 64, I soloed Banthar, Bach’lor and Gutripper as ret.

At 65, right after Gutripper’s quest dinged me, I soloed Tusker.

/flex

Bach’lor was actually rough due to the knockbacks, but I kited a bit, stunned a bit, used WoG, Flash of Light, Lay on Hands… Win. Tusker was a bit rough too, but I got through that in three tries rather than the SEVEN Bach’lor required.

If I ever see Mana Tombs or Auchenai Crypts again, I will cry and/or scream. I had never been so happy in my LIFE to see Sethekk Halls after a certain point. Hell, I was even HAPPY to get Escape from Durnholde. The first two times, anyways.

As soon as I hit 68, I started selecting Utgarde Keep specifically in the dungeon finder. There was no WAY I was going back to Auchindoun!

And before you knew it, I was 69.

That is where the suck began.

I had so many awesome tanks in the 60s, in BC content. (Lots of crappy ones, too, but mostly the DPS were crappy versus the tanks.) And as soon as I set foot in Utgarde Keep, I started getting idiots. I’ve run UK about 14 times now. I have had two good tanks from pugs. I’ve run it three times with the pally tank alt of a guild rogue, Tikari, which is great, but the realization slowly dawned on me: if I want a good tank, I’m going to have to do it myself.

Trouble was, my ret gear consisted largely of the heirloom Shadowcraft (leather) stuff. Farm heroics for Justice Points? Me? Hah! Why would I do that when I had a bonus 20% XP anyways and would never, ever inflict my fail retness on others?

I had the heirloom valor helm and the heirloom agi cloak, so if I was going to tank, I needed the tanking cloak ($$$), the tanking heirloom chest and tanking heirloom shoulders. I could deal with the helm, even if it’s mostly geared for DPS. At least it’s stam and strength and it’s plate.

Thus began the grind.

I can’t tell you how many heroics I’ve run in the last two days. Probably about 13 or so. I capped out Madrana’s VP via dungeons and then two more because healers had Call to Arms (3 Golemblood Potions and an Obsidian Hatchling for my troubles) and then did several on Kurn. At least four, since I got three Chaos Orbs and lost out on one.

That is more level 85 heroic dungeons in 48 hours than I’ve done since December.

And along the way, some notable groups:

– An all-guild group consisting of four people who were incredibly racist and vulgar, all of whom I reported after the run. They tried to recruit me, since I was healing on Madrana. Despite their douchebagginess, they were spectacular players and heroic SFK went quickly and smoothly.

– By contrast, a heroic SFK I got today had a “tank” who had less health than I did. Now, I know, I’m in some heroic raid gear, but I should almost never have more health than the tank. Really. After he got me to blow Lay on Hands AND Hand of Sacrifice on him IN THE SAME PULL, I looked at his gear, saw it was almost all the ret PVP gear, none of it gemmed or enchanted and he was using a spellpower sword. Vote-kicking him felt good.

Having said that, I think he might have been better than a fail DK tank I had in UK on the baby pally, though. Imagine, if you will, a level 71 worgen death knight “tank” who is:

* dual wielding
* not using Death and Decay or, apparently, spreading any diseases, meaning that any time I dropped even a HOLY SHOCK on him, the other 3-4 mobs would charge me and kill me
* using Rune of Lichbane on his two weapons and only using Death Strike and Heart Strike
* apparently unable to use Dark Command or Death Grip

Vote-kicking him felt less good than the fail pally “tank” from H SFK because this guy wasn’t even 80 ot 85 yet. 71. He clearly didn’t know his class that well, but my feeling bad for him evaporated the third time we wiped because mobs killed me and he didn’t know how to taunt.

– Oh, and there was that dipstick of a druid tank in heroic Lost City. He berated everyone (except me) in the group repeatedly for being “fucking retarded” and “total fail, epic fail!”. They weren’t that bad, they just weren’t putting out much more than 7-8k damage each.

This caused the tank to yell at the ret pally so much that when the tank DEMANDED the ret pally leave… he did. I feel bad for the ret, even if he only did 5k DPS on the first boss.

We had a trash wipe on our way to the third boss and the tank just LOST it on the DK (who had replaced the paladin) and I’d had enough at that point. I initiated a vote kick and the reason I gave? “Jackass.”

It passed in about 2 seconds.

We got a very nice (albeit less geared and less skilled) DK tank to replace the abusive druid tank and finished up the instance without any issues.

– On Kurn, there was a fail H Deadmines run that actually was finished successfully, but in the middle of the nightmares, my bow broke. That’s how bad the run was and how often I died. I actually tried to rez people with Mass Rez and it was still on cooldown. Squishy tank who didn’t know the instance very well and undergeared healer. Like, my resto shaman who is just barely qualified for heroics has about 15k more mana than the resto shaman who was healing us.

– Also on Kurn, a group where the shaman healer didn’t know he could (and should!) keep Flame Shock up on Ozruk in Stonecore. So he kept getting stunned (and I did, too, at the start). I don’t know WHY, but Serpent Sting doesn’t count as damage or whatever and it’s been that way for quite some time. Luckily, I always keep some Sulfuron Slammers on me, which breaks the paralysis.

So yeah, lots of “interesting” runs.

But mission accomplished! The heirloom Might chest and shoulders are mine!

And I’ve tanked!

I actually tanked with just the chest, the tanking heirloom cloak and the valor helm (and my ring, of course) twice and then once I got the shoulders, I couldn’t resist going again.

This is the first time I’ve tanked on a paladin since 4.0 dropped.

I’m still not great, I’ve never been a GREAT paladin tank. I’ve been at least adequate most of the time, though.

I gotta say, it’s a little horrifying to realize you don’t REALLY know what the hell buttons you’re supposed to be pushing. Apart from anything else, I FORGET to Word of Glory myself to keep Holy Shield up and I keep hitting Shield of the Righteous when I only have one charge of Holy Power. I know, I know… fail!

So the baby pally is almost 71 and is tanking ’till 80ish. At that point, time to race change to human and then we’ll see how the tanking situation is. The Wrath content tanks are awful from just about every run I’ve done and I KNOW that content as a tank (thanks to tanking on Madrana in heroics back in the day and thanks to tanking on my druid, also back in the day), so it’s just easier to adjust to the new pally tanking methods and going to town on Wrath instances.

I just hope no one looks at my trinkets. They’re level 60ish blue healing trinkets…

4.2 News: Holy Paladin Tier 12, Mana Costs

So MMO-Champion has some data-mined information out there for patch 4.2 from the PTR build 14040. Since we don’t care about the legendary staff since it has hit and we can’t equip staves, I’ll just focus on the Tier 12 holy paladin set and the class changes.

Tier 12:

At first glance, and remember that this information can be changed at any time, our tier does  not suck.

Tier 11 had absolutely no haste on any of it. There was mastery and crit, and a lot of it.

Tier 12, on the other hand, looks much more promising.

First of all, despite the fact we have a skirt again, it looks pretty darn awesome.

Second of all, the stats are pretty great.

Immolation Mantle, our Tier 12 shoulders: 282 Intellect, 454 Stamina, 229 Spirit, blue socket (+10 int bonus, which means we’ll just put an intellect gem there anyways) with 134 crit. I know, it’s not fantastic, but it’s not bad.

Immolation Greaves, our Tier 12 legs: 368 Intellect, 611 Stamina, 271 Spirit, a red and a blue socket with a 20 int socket bonus and 233 haste. Yummy! So much nicer than our current tier legs, which are so inferior to the Legguards of the Emerald Brood.

Immolation Headguard, our Tier 12 helm: 348 Intellect, 611 Stamina, 239 Spirit, a meta and a red socket with a 30 intellect socket bonus (tasty!) and 245 haste rating. Yay!

Immolation Breastplate, our Tier 12 chest: 368 Intellect, 611 Stamina, 276 Spirit, two blue sockets with a 20 intellect bonus and 225 critical strike rating. Eh.

Immolation Gloves, our Tier 12 gloves: 282 intellect, 454 Stamina, 0 Spirit, one red socket with a 10 intellect bonus and 176 crit rating and 204 haste rating.

Looking it over, our shoulders and our chestpiece are the likely places where we’ll ditch one of them for an offset piece after we’ve acquired the 4pc bonus, as neither of them have any haste. The shocking thing here? There is absolutely no mastery on any of our tier 12 gear. Instead, we have loads of haste.

I’m actually looking forward to collecting my tier gear, assuming these stats stay the same.

There’s only one other intellect plate piece of loot that’s been datamined so far and it’s a pair of shoulders: 282 Intellect, 454 Stamina and 213 Spirit, with a blue socket (10 int bonus) and 162 mastery.

I might stay with heroic T11 before swapping out to that (assuming I have heroic T11 shoulders. I have the Heroic Burden of Mortality at the moment, but would swap the crit on the tier for the mastery on these), but I guess we’ll see what other changes are in store for us before I make up my mind on that.

Mana Costs

Again, this is just PTR information and is subject to change at any time.

Divine Light will go from 30% base mana cost to 35% base mana cost.
Flash of Light will go from 27% base mana cost to 31% base mana cost.
Holy Light will go from 10% base mana cost to 12% base mana cost.
Holy Shock will go from 8% base mana cost to 9% base mana cost.

Again, this is subject to change, but it seems odd that they dropped the cost of our spells by about 10% with 4.1 and now want to raise them across the board again in 4.2. I guess we’ll see what happens in future builds and launch day. :)

Conclave Falls, Al'Akir Fails

So Apotheosis walked into Throne of the Four Winds last night and got Conclave down on 25m on our second attempt of the night.

Sweet.

And then came time to play with Al’Akir.

Not so sweet.

There are at least a couple of people in my guild who LOVE the Al’Akir fight. There are more than a few people who loathe it. Frankly, and I say this with respect, I don’t care whether they love it or hate it. We WILL be doing Al’Akir at some point. We want to clear the available content on regular and heroic modes in 25-man.

As for myself, I admit that I’m not a fan. I think the whole instance is ridiculous. Why on earth would anyone go get “randomly enchanted” loot (of the Undertow, Feverflare, etc) over the known loot tables in Bastion of Twilight and Blackwing Descent? It’s not about loot for me, but with a 9-hour raid schedule, we have to be very careful about where we go and what we do and how that will benefit the majority of people. Will one belt or ring that is just a shade better than one otherwise available really be The Difference between downing heroic modes and wiping? Eh. If everyone got BiS belts/rings off Conclave, that’d be one thing, but not everyone has BiS gear off Conclave or even off Al’Akir. Add that to no tier tokens and the promise of more randomly enchanted stuff when you do the heroic version of the instance… Meh.

However, since we had extended Bastion and cleared it on Tuesday and then did 5/6 Blackwing Descent, we figured we’d do Conclave and play with Al’Akir on Thursday. You know, knock Conclave out (bringing us to 10/12, by the way) and get an idea of the mechanics on Al’Akir.

Wind Burst pwned me until I started watching the timers.

Squall pwned me whenever I had to worry about it and my Wind Burst positioning.

We got to 60% and made it to P2 several times, but I gotta say, it was not all that much fun. Still, it was better than I expected and we were just playing around and such.

Not my favourite fight. Not my favourite instance. Not my cup of tea.

And yet, I think we’ll probably be in this tier of content until May or so (judging by Wrath’s time frame on tiers).¬† Wrath came out in mid-November and Ulduar came out in mid-April. So if Cataclysm came out in early December, we’ll probably be looking at 4.1 and the associated T12 raid content somewhere in May.

In just about seven resets, we’ve done 10/12 regular. That gives us roughly 11 resets (or ~33 raids, not counting this coming Sunday) to clear through things. That’s about 100 hours of raiding.

That’s a lot of time for Al’Akir, Nefarian and then the heroic modes, particularly since the heroic modes are really based on the regulars, most of which we already know. I feel that the more experience/knowledge/familiarity we have in the regulars, the easier the heroics will be.

I’d like to really make sure we focus on Bastion and BWD heroic modes, including Sinestra, so those are where my personal priorities are. I think we’ll try to fit Conclave in the schedule since we really didn’t have any issues with it and, worst-case scenario, we get more Maelstrom Crystals for the raiders. But I don’t anticipate a lot of time on Al’Akir in the near future.

Gonna be some fun times ahead, let me say!

What to Wear? Kurn's T11/359 Loot List

Well, here we go with another loot list post. Why? Because I find myself in 25-man raids with bosses dying and loot dropping and I have absolutely no idea what I WANT.

So I decided to go researching and write up the results of my research for you fine people. Please bear in mind that this is all my opinion and is skewed towards what I prefer on my gear. This is not a definitive best-in-slot guide!

Secondary stats I want to prioritize, in a rough preference from most-preferred to least:
Spirit: God help me, I never thought I’d want spirit as much as I do now, but, dangit, I need more spirit.
Haste: Things are just so damn slow, it feels like I’m healing through molasses.
Crit: Given very little overheal these days, crit’s a fine stat. I’ll equip it, but I don’t like to seek it out.
Mastery: While World of Logs more or less handles our mastery nowadays, I don’t think we’ll see too much from our mastery until our gear naturally has more on it, so I won’t turn down mastery gear, but I’ll probably reforge it to add spirit or haste, if I can.

Things to keep in mind:
– Our 4pc T11 bonus is pretty awesome. It’s Radiant: Grants 1620 Spirit while Holy Radiance is active.
– 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)
– Our T11 shoulders and helm require tokens that drop from Cho’gall at the end of Bastion of Twilight and Nefarian at the end of Blackwing Descent

Once again, I’ll be relying heavily on Vile Pickle’s Best in Slot guide to help me with my decisions, as their stats are, by default, weighed fairly close to what I’m looking for.

So, the first thing I did was head to Vile Pickle and remove Hard Mode and 10-man from the list, since I’m not doing hard modes and I’m only doing 25-man raids. (Even though the loot’s the same.) This has the unintended consequence of removing heroic 5-man options from the list, but since this is a look at 359 gear, this shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.

Helm: Well, I’m not an engineer, so that leaves me with Glaciated Helm, which has some AWESOME stats. Look at that, 178 haste, 30 spirit socket bonus… really nice. It drops from the Twilight Ascendant Council, the third boss in Bastion of Twilight.

The alternative here is our tier helm, the Reinforced Sapphirium Headguard. But the helm requires that pesky token that drops off Nefarian. Hm. Third boss in Bastion of Twilight or sixth boss in Blackwing Descent… Yeah, I’ll probably aim for the Glaciated Helm and try to pick up the token off Nefarian when we get there, depending on how the rest of my gear looks.

Also, note that the non-set helm has haste versus the tier helm’s crit.

Neck: Wyrmbreaker’s Amulet, from Halfus Wyrmbreaker in Bastion of Twilight, has 127 spirit and crit, vs. Valiona’s Medallion (from Valiona and Theralion in Bastion of Twilight) which has 127 haste and 127 mastery. I think I’ll be aiming for Wyrmbreaker’s because, as I was saying earlier, I need more spirit. But also, think of all the casters who will want the Medallion. Resto and Ele shaman, Balance and Resto druids, mages, warlocks, all kinds of priests… yeah. I’m going to stick to spirit where at least I don’t have to fight with mages and warlocks.

Shoulders: Burden of Mortality from Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent versus our tier shoulders from that token from Cho’gall. Both pieces are roughly equivalent, but the Burden of Mortality won’t add to a really nice 4pc bonus. Since the off-set isn’t absolutely outstanding, I may just wait for the tier shoulders.

Cloak: This is actually what forced me to get on the whole loot list thing, because I found myself with enough Valor Points to buy a cloak.

Heavenly Breeze is the cloak you can buy with 1250 Valor Points. Yay spirit! But… mastery. Blah.

Drape of the Twins, on the other hand, drops from Valiona and Theralion, the second encounter in Bastion of Twilight, and has spirit AND haste. This is definitely my preferred cloak and since we’ve downed Halfus, this is just about accessible to me. So I’m definitely going to save my Valor Points for something else and aim for this. If the weeks go by and this never drops for me or I just never have the priority with our EPGP system, I’ll pick up the Heavenly Breeze.

Chest: Another slot which is prompting me to do my research.

You see, on Magmaw 10, I got the Breastplate of Avenging Flame. It’s perfectly itemized, in my mind. Spirit, haste, two sockets… Beautiful piece.

Compare it with our T11 chest and you’ll see there’s 30 more spirit on the tier, along with 188 more Mastery, whereas the non-set piece has 218 more haste.

The choice, to me, is clear: if I’m going for a four-piece bonus, I’m not going to get the chest. I’m going to keep my Breastplate of Avenging Flame. No way am I giving up 218 haste for 188 mastery and 30 more spirit.

Bracers: Oh God, please let there be decent bracers… And they’re not awesome, but they’re not terrible. And they drop from Cho’gall. Awesome. So I have to clear Bastion of Twilight to get a chance at the Shackles of the End of Days? Peachy.

Whoever was in charge of designing plate bracers REALLY fell down on the job and needs to be fired. And then we need more bracers available. Also, wands, because my poor guildies are suffering through Deadmines over and over again. But I digress.

Gloves: Maloriak, one of the possible third bosses of Blackwing Descent, drops the Flash Freeze Gauntlets which are very pretty and worth picking up unless you already have your tier gloves through Valor Points or from Argaloth. You’ll probably want both of them, to be honest, for different gear sets, with the 4pc T11 bonus on fights where you’re using a ton of Holy Radiance, just to help offset the cost. The Flash Freeze Gauntlets are beautifully itemized and our gloves… well, maybe less so. Again, I think it’ll take some time for data on our mastery to really let us know at what level, if any, our mastery will be important.

The World Keeper’s Gauntlets are a great rep reward from being exalted with the Earthen Ring, but the Flash Freeze are, IMHO, better itemized and the tier gloves add to the tier bonuses, leaving this pair of gloves out.

Belt: Are you exalted with Ramkahen yet? Get to it, if you’re not. The Sun King’s Girdle is the best ilvl 359 belt you can get, IMHO. It’s also the easiest one to acquire, unless you can buy or craft a Light Elementium Belt but the Sun King’s Girdle has better stats than the crafted one and has a socket.

Legs: Man, oh man, the Legguards of the Emerald Brood, which drop off of Halfus Wyrmbreaker, are great! Two sockets, spirit, haste… and they’re not our set legs. I think that you ought to either pick these legs or the chest from Magmaw to be your non-set piece, whichever you end up seeing drop first. Our tier legs cost 2200 Valor Points or can drop off Argaloth. They’re not bad, but I really think the haste over the crit make the non-set pants better.

Ideally, I’d wear the non-set chest, gloves and legs, with just the helm and shoulders equipped for the 5% extra crit on Holy Light and, on fights when I’m running out of mana or need to pop Holy Radiance on cooldown, no question, I’d equip the set legs and gloves. I think, anyways.

Boots: Eh, you know, Life Force Chargers, which drop from the Omnotron Defense System, leave me cold. 169 spirit is great, but 149 mastery? Feh. The Eternal Pathfinders have no spirit, but have haste and crit, and are available from the vendors for 1650 Valor Points. I’m seriously considering picking these up as soon as I can. (Me? Bitter about never getting the non-existant Forehadow Steps from Halion? Never.)

Rings: Eesh, there’s a bunch of choices. Here are my top three.

1) Security Measure Alpha from Omnotron. I got this the other night and am pretty pleased with it.

2) Ring of the Boy Emperor from Archaeology is identical to the Signet of the Fifth Circle from Cho’gall and neither are a bad choice.

3) Band of Secret Names is bought with 1250 Valor Points.

Obviously, your choices may vary. Your rings are a great place to either boost a stat you might be lacking or to even out your stats if you’re going for a “less stacked, more balanced” approach to your gear.

Trinkets: A lot of choices here, too.

Before we get into stuff, it should be noted that the Mandala of Stirring Patterns from exalted Tol Barad rep is changing from 321 Spirit and a proc for mastery to a proc for intellect in 4.0.6, according to the patch notes.

Here are my top three choices:

1) Fall of Mortality off of Cho’gall. This is amazing. 321 intellect and a passive equip chance for 1926 Spirit for 15 seconds, which appears to be on a 45s internal cooldown. This is pretty amazing.

2) Darkmoon Card: Tsunami from the Darkmoon Faire. I’m told that although it’s “a chance” to stack the buff, it’s a very short internal cooldown and so keeping the stacks up is pretty easy. This can be likened to Solace of the Defeated from Jaraxxus in Trial of the Crusader.

3) Core of Ripeness is purchased with 1650 Valor Points and is basically an upgraded version of the Figurine – Dream Owl that’s available to Jewelcrafters.

Why not the Jar of Ancient Remedies? It doesn’t have any stats on it. Sure, it grants up to 515 spirit and has an on-use effect, but there’s no passive stats on it at all. I don’t think I’m quite so hard up for spirit that I need 515 spirit at the cost of 321 intellect in one of my trinket slots. Your mileage may vary depending on your regen and bear in mind this is my preference and only my preference!

Weapon: Our weapon choices are limited until we get to Cho’gall or Nefarian or Al’akir, basically. Unless we want to take on the final boss of an instance, we’re stuck hoping for this: Maldo’s Sword Cane. It drops off Blackwing Descent trash.

Or, we could bite the bullet and get the Vicious Gladiator’s Gavel for 2450 Conquest Points, without any arena or battleground rating required.

I shall pass on the latter, pray for the former and settle in for a good long wait for Twilight’s Hammer off of Cho’gall.

Shields: Another bunch of piss-poor selections, to be honest. The Elementium Stormshield is the best, IMHO, at the 359 level, edging out Kingdom’s Heart due to the haste on it, versus the crit from KH. KH drops off Atramedes in Blackwing Descent, by the way.

Relic: We have two major choices here — haste (Relic of Norgannon) or spirit (Relic of Eonar). Both are available for 700 Valor Points.

So there you go, all the gear I’m looking at getting for a 359 gear set.

An Open Letter Regarding Armor Class

Dear Citizens of Azeroth,

If you can wear leather, mail or plate, you may have noticed that you could train something called Leather Specialization (or Leather Specialization), Mail Specialization (or Mail Specialization) or Plate Specialization (or Plate Specialization or Plate Specialization) at your trainer. The point of this is to strongly encourage people to wear their maximum armor class, so that warriors no longer desire leather or mail, paladins no longer want mail, druids no longer want cloth and other such things.

Similarly, cloth-wearers may have noticed they have something like Wizardry, which exists solely to allow cloth-wearers to not be penalized for only being able to wear cloth.

Obviously, they never had problems with tanks wanting lower armor class gear. But hunters would use rogue leather, moonkins and resto druids would use priest cloth, holy paladins would constantly use resto shammy mail and such like.

So they fixed it. Add the specializations, bam, problem fixed, because there is NO WAY that any amount of lower armor class gear would ever trump 5% bonus strength, stamina, agility or intellect.

Seriously, think about that. 5% bonus to whatever your most-desired stat is.

So why am I, and others, still seeing holy paladins running around wearing CLOTH and LEATHER and MAIL?!

Stop it.

Right now.

I mean it.

You would be better off wearing three pieces of ret or prot gear, so long as they’re plate, than three well-itemized healing pieces that are cloth, leather or mail. That’s how good the bonus is. 5% intellect not only gets buffed by Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild, but also adds to your spellpower and crit. It’s not just adding to your mana pool. Intellect is what we’re made of, people. Take anything you can to add to your intellect. It is your primary stat. And being dressed all in plate? Well, that’s part of what a paladin should be doing.

The same goes for anyone else who isn’t wearing their max armor class in all their slots. Why are you purposely gimping yourself? Why are you losing out on 5% of your best stat?

Sadly, it seems rampant among uneducated holy paladins, though. We can equip all armor classes, so it’s not horribly unusual to see one sporting mail AND plate AND cloth. Which is sad. And tragic.

Like I said before, STOP IT.

Thank you. That is all.

Kurn's Holy Paladin Pre-Tier 11 Gear List (4.0.3)

Welcome one and all to Kurn’s Holy Paladin Pre-T11 Raid Gear List. Before we begin, let me warn you that I hate writing gear posts. I don’t do it often and I don’t know if I’ll do a BiS at T11 or T12 or anything else, but I’ve gotten a lot of people asking me about gear and rep and everything that I really felt this would be useful. The biggest reason I don’t do them is that hey, who’s to say that I’m the person who knows exactly what to wear? And also, it’s a pain to insert all the links to all the pieces. ;)

So. Here’s the caveat: These are my opinions only. Please feel free to comment with pieces you’d use instead. Please, let’s not argue about the relative stat values of crit, haste, mastery and spirit. Feel free to say that you’d want more crit, so you’d want X, Y and Z pieces, but I don’t want to moderate an argument over what secondaries are The Best. The expansion’s been out for less than a week and it’ll take a little longer than that for the community as a whole to figure out what’s “The Best”.

Here’s how I’m planning to gear pre-raid. My ideal gearset is based heavily off Vile Pickle’s BiS guide, but tweaked to my own preferences. I’m prioritizing haste and spirit over mastery and mastery over crit. I’m also ignoring anything that wastes valuable item stat points on resilience.

The first thing I did at BiS was select:

Hard Mode
Normal Mode
Available
5-Man
Other Size

That turned up a variety of items, which I then looked at in turn. Note that I didn’t edit the filters and weights, because I like BiS’s weighting intellect and spirit more than haste, which is more than crit and mastery. Basically, the default filters at BiS reflect my own gearing philosophy very well.

Also, remember, do NOT downgrade to mail! This was viable and useful in Wrath of the Lich King and I’m sure we all remember clothadins from Vanilla and BC, but in Cataclysm, you’ll lose out on your Plate Specialization bonus!

Helm: If you’re not an engineer, you may want to save 2200 Justice points for Crown of the Blazing Sun as it’s one of only two pre-raid helms that has a meta socket. It’s either the Crown (guaranteed purchase) or the Helm of Untold Stories from Lord Godfrey in heroic Shadowfang Keep.

Neck: The Quicksilver Amulet is beefy with the stats I want: spirit and haste. You get it from Steelbender in heroic Blackrock Caverns. Of course, the Celadon Pendant isn’t bad either, although it has mastery as opposed to haste, and is much more easily acquired with 1250 Justice points.

Shoulder:
Harp Shell Pauldrons from Ulthok in heroic Throne of the Tides are the clear winner in this slot. Spirit, haste and a socket! A red socket! I’d dump a Brilliant cut in there anyways, and it gives me an extra 10 haste. Sweet.

I wouldn’t really use the Pauldrons of the Forlorn or the Cinnabar Shoulders. Why? The Pauldrons have spirit, a socket and crit, which is my personal least-prioritized stat at the moment. I wouldn’t use the Cinnabar Shoulders because there’s no spirit.

Cloak: Solar Wind Cloak from Rajh in heroic Halls of Origination is pretty much the be-all and end-all of cloaks at this level. Spirit and haste aplenty. It’s such a good cloak that even the regular version is, IMHO, worth using over other 346 items.

If you’re absolutely desperate for a cloak and cannot find one ANYWHERE, get the Cloak of the Dryads which is a rep reward from Hyjal at Honored. Since you’re a healer, you want to be at least revered with this faction, so this is one you can acquire pretty easily. (A note, as a human who did all of Hyjal, I got 8000 rep into Revered after doing the whole zone. Getting to Honored is not an issue if you do all of Hyjal and wearing their tabard at friendly if you don’t feel like doing the zone is a great way to build up rep.)

Chest: If you’re using the selections I did on the BiS site filter and you’re looking at chests, the third one that pops up is the Light Elementium Chestguard. Looks good, right? Pretty and purple and shiny? Well, not so much. There are no sockets, no spirit… and the crafting requires three Chaos Orbs. Right now, Chaos Orbs are BOP, so your crafter has to be the one to acquire them off the last boss of a heroic dungeon. So either prepare to pay through the nose for this or get to be buddy-buddy with a Blacksmith who’ll run with you.

A much better solution is the Peacemaker’s Breastplate from Revered with the Earthen Ring. TWO sockets, spirit and haste. Sweet deal. Don’t feel like grinding rep with Earthen Ring or doing Vashj’ir? A good alternative is the Omega Breastplate from Anraphet in heroic Halls of Origination.

Wrist: Geez, not a lot of options here. I’m going to try to grab Bracers of Umbral Mending (the regular version is also decent) from Erudax in heroic Grim Batol.

Hands: Since I went Hyjal at the start and don’t particularly want to grind Earthen Ring rep, even as a human, I’m going to forego the World Keeper’s Gauntlets in favour of the Gloves of Curious Conscience which are acquired with 1650 Justice points. Yes, there’s a lot more intellect on the WKGs, but the GoCC also have a socket and have haste. And they’re just so much easier to get.

Belt: And here’s the reason I don’t want to grind Earthen Ring rep for a piece with no haste. The Sun King’s Girdle which is an exalted Ramkahen rep reward is clearly best in slot for us pre-raid. Like, it’s not even a question. If you’re a Blacksmith or have easy access to a crafter, Light Elementium Belt (2 Chaos Orbs!) isn’t a bad choice, but I think you’re much better off grinding Ramkahen rep. If you don’t have time for a rep grind like that, Belt of Barred Clouds for 1650 Justice points is pretty good, just not as good as the SKG.

Legs: Another bunch of pretty poor choices here, which means we’re going to have to go kill Lord Godrey in heroic Shadowfang Keep again for Greaves of the Misguided.

Feet: So bearing in mind that we’re going to hit exalted with Ramkahen, the natural choice in boots for us will be the Drystone Greaves which you get at Honored. 333, yes, but better than anything else out there, honestly, at least from my gearing perspective.

Rings: Lots of choices here! So many that it’s kind of overwhelming. But basically the ones I’d probably say are easiest to get are these:

Ring of the Great Whale – a BOE drop out of heroic Throne of the Tides, meaning it should be on the AH
Diamant’s Ring of Temperance – a revered reputation reward from Therazane, with whom you need to be exalted anyways for your shoulder enchant

Trinkets: Man, I’m just drooling over some of these…

Darkmoon Card: Tsunami – The Solace of the Defeated of Cataclysm. Beauty. Unfortunately, this is a Darkmoon Card, so you have to collect the Ace, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven and Eight of Waves or a Tsunami Deck already assembled. This is NOT going to be cheap.

Tyrande’s Favorite Doll – This comes from Archaeology, so this may actually never be something you can actually craft, considering the randomness of the profession.

Okay, let’s stop dreaming. On to stuff that’s much more realistic.

Mandala of Stirring Patterns – This is an interesting trinket that comes from being exalted with your local Tol Barad faction. I’m kind of eh about it, but it’s definitely interesting.

Witching Hourglass – Ascendent Lord Obsidius in heroic Blackrock Caverns.

Rainsong – BOE zone drop from heroic Vortex Pinnacle. Pretty awesome looking, actually.

Tear of Blood – dropped from High Priestess Azil from heroic Stonecore. THIS is something I really want. But I’ve heard the horror stories about heroic Stonecore… :)

What am I going to use? I’m not sure, but one of them will likely be Figurine – Dream Owl since I’m a Jewelcrafter. You get these odd drops as a JC that push you to “restore” various figurines and this is the healer version. I have this one already and like it very much.

Since I’m an alchemist there’s also the Lifebound Alchemist Stone that I may swap in now and again just for the buff to mana potions taken and for the stam. Since World of Logs STILL hasn’t updated things, I still don’t feel I have a firm grasp on how awesome our mastery is, but I feel it’s a decent stat. Just maybe not in the trinket spot. For now, I’m using this with a 35 mastery gem as part of my ret set. (Seriously, Hand of Light -> Templar’s Verdict -> 3HP TV -> Hand of Light -> TV = win.)

Weapon: Forget the Elementium Hammer if only because of the Chaos Orb issue. Go for the Scepter of Power from Setesh in heroic Halls of Origination.

Shield: Elementium Stormshield is a great pickup. With only one Chaos Orb used to craft it, this probably won’t be too bad to get crafted or even to buy. If you can’t pick that up, 950 Justice points will get you the Shield of the Mists.

Relic: This is kind of a tie between three items:

Book of Dark Prophecies, from High Priestess Azil in heroic Stonecore, has spirit, but no haste.

Book of the Well Sung Song, from Vanessa Van Cleef in heroic Deadmines has haste, but no spirit.

Tattooed Eyeball, crafted by scribes, is likely to be much easier to acquire than the other two.

I’ll probably just go with the Tattooed Eyeball since my guild has a 525 scribe.

Other Gear Guides:

Here’s an interesting post by tuutti of Paragon: Holy Paladin 346 Gear Guide

A lot of the options we’ve picked are pretty much the same, although there are differences (and I don’t include PVP points, nor do I assume you have 4000 JP saved up).

Gortlol also linked his or her list here: Holy Paladin Pre-Raid Gear. Cataclysm.

So what does all this mean?

1) Get to exalted with Ramkahen & Therazane, revered with Hyjal
2) Run Halls of Origination and the Stonecore a lot on heroic
3) Check out the AH for those BOE heroic drops

Also, don’t skimp on gems and enchants for your 333/346 gear. This stuff is going to last you into raids. My guildies need to use blue gems and good quality enchants on this gear, and I recommend the same for everyone else reading.

What to gem and enchant? Well, that’s another post entirely…

If you’ll excuse me, I need to finish up Deepholm and haul ass to Uldum to start my rep with Ramkahen!

Weekend Update

(Sadly, I am not as cool as Tina Fey.)

– I’m one Manalicious quest away from Chef.

– On Saturday, I actually HAD the Blacktip Shark IN MY BAGS and used Aspect of the Cheetah to run to the NPC and while clicking on him, heard the sound when he got the Master Angler of Azeroth achievement precisely two seconds before I would have. SAD PANDA.

– ICC10 on Friday went okay, cleared Lower Spire, did Blood Wing (one-shotted Council with me on orbs, if you can imagine!) and went through some hiccups on BQL, but got her down. Tried Dreamwalker, but it didn’t go very well because we were 9 manning it and I was on my shammy for that part.

– I had an absolutely lovely Vent conversation with a blogger I’ve only known about for a couple of months, Oestrus, from The Stories of O. Previously a RL friend of Codi’s, they reconnected with each other in the WoW blogosphere. How awesome is that? It’s pretty awesome. Even more awesome? Oestrus has stuck her priest in Apotheosis to get a feel for us to see if we’re where she wants to be for Cataclysm. She came to ICC10 Part 2 on Sunday night, too.

– Seriously, I HAD THE BLACKTIP SHARK. <flails>

– Beta guilds were wiped, so if you were in my beta version of Apotheosis on Lost Isles, you may want to hit me up on Twitter at some point to get a re-invite.

– ICC10 Part 2. Went better than expected. O joined us on her priest and we promptly wiped on Plague trash. /facepalm. Nice first impression. ;) I think we made up for it, though, when we one-shot Rot, Fester and the good Professor. Dreamwalker was cake and, for the first time ever, I did that fight without healing in the portals. I kited zombies! It was kind of awesome, although I have never wanted to be able to cleanse my own magical debuffs more than right then. Stupid frostbolt volleys. Anyways, then it was on to Sindragosa. Despite some lapses in attention and despite some miscommunication, the Apotheosis INFAMOUS LAST ATTEMPT rule kicked in and we got her down for the first time. (Well, first time on these toons for many of us, anyways.)

– O will fit in beautifully if she decides to stick with us. She’s already on the “I tease Kurn, therefore I am” bandwagon. Things like “Eh on Hands” instead of “Lay on Hands” and “Hey, I need my I’m on a Boot achievement!”… Naturally, the guildies cracked up. :P

– After the raid, Football and X and I went to MC. Football’s after Sulfuron Ingots and the Eye of Sulfuras for Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. I was hoping I’d get my Eye of Divinity for my priest off Domo, and X was along on his warlock until we got to Domo, at which point he got his 72 hunter, in case the Ancient Petrified Leaf dropped. The Eye of Divinity dropped and, after a couple of embarassing wipes on Ragnaros, off I went to the Eastern Plaguelands!

– And finally, as you were perhaps able to tell from the video above, I’ve managed to find a decent video setting for videos! This has some huge implications, particularly when I get a decent rig either later this month or in November.

ICC 25 heroic Putricide and Sindragosa tonight. Fingers crossed for the swift deaths of these two pains in my ass, if only for the hopes of my current guild’s Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25) drakes.

Q&A Delayed

The Q&A of the week is being pushed back by a week due to lack of Qs. Seriously, only 59 different search terms over the last week. Hello, summer slump. How are you?

In lieu of my typical Q&A, here are a couple of nifty posts I’ve read in the last week or so.

1) Dealing with the Deplorable Drape by Codi at Moar HPS! Great post about all the different options you have before you go wasting 50 Emblems of Frost on the Drape of the Violet Tower.

2) Easy to Acquire Haste Gear by Ophelie at Bossy Pally. Great post, well-researched, about where to find yourself some haste. (I disagree about the Ony cloak vs. the Drape of the Violet tower, but, as Codi says in her post, it’s okay if it’s used responsibly.)

3) A Light Show by Cassandri at HoTs & DoTs. I’ve been that hunter. I’ve been that shaman. This made me laugh. I’d already read it before, but ecclesiasticaldiscipline linked to it today and I laughed my ass off again.

Short post, I know. Kind of rare. Enjoy it. ;)

Kurn's Q&A #26

Tuesday! A day off from raiding, a day to center myself and get caught up on a bunch of things, including weekly search terms that seem interesting.

1) what is raidwalled

“Raidwalled” is when a paladin with the talent Divine Sacrifice and Divine Guardian casts Divine Sacrifice, which activates Divine Guardian. This name comes from the warrior cooldown called Shield Wall, although Divine Guardian will not mitigate anywhere near as much damage as Shield Wall. However, it does affect the entire raid, whereas Shield Wall only affects the warrior.

2) bop remove cleave armor debuff ruby sanctum

That’s an awesome question. Next time I do RS, I’ll BOP an inactive tank for a second before freedoming them to see if that works.

3) do elixir mastery proc on potions

It astounds me that, more than three years since alchemy specializations were introduced, people still don’t get it.

No, Elixir Mastery alchemists proc on elixirs and flasks. Potion Mastery alchemists proc on potions. Transmute Mastery alchemists proc on transmutes.

4) drape of the violet tower holy paladin

DON’T DO IT DON’T DO IT DON’T DO IT BY ALL THAT IS HOLY DO NOT DO IT.

Okay, I may have exaggerated. But you have other options.

Fluttering Sapphiron Drape (10m Ony)
Flowing Sapphiron Drape (25m Ony)

And if you got lucky, Ahune dropped Shroud of Winter’s Chill for you and you didn’t get rid of it.

Honestly, I’d rank the cloaks thusly, from best to worst for a holy paladin:

25m Ony then Ahune then 10m Ony then Drape of the Violet Tower.

Seriously.

5) stormbringer gloves

I admit, I had no idea what the hell these were. The 251 Stormbringer Gloves are nice 251-level gloves. I would recommend the badge gloves over them, though, for a holy paladin. The Gauntlets of Overexposure are better — more int, more haste. They’re also available for 60 Emblems of Frost. Ultimately, I like the Unclean Surgical Gloves and the heroic Unclean Surgical Gloves better.

Here’s a comparison.

6) +casting +”beacon of light” +threat

I’m pretty sure that you do get some measure of threat merely by casting Beacon of Light. The Lich King looked at me last night after I cast Beacon of Light on an OT. It’s likely not much, probably the equivalent of a face pull, and would probably need to be done right when the boss becomes active (in the case of the Lich King, for example) in order to cause any significant threat.

Does the mirrored heal from Beacon of Light cause threat? I honestly don’t know. I’ll see if I can figure that one out.

7) any way to parse halion log

I use World of Logs, but the last I saw, it wasn’t able to parse both the shadow realm and the physical realm, since you’re only logging for your active realm.

I love WoL dearly and have no doubt they’re working on this issue.

8) halion beacon of light

What I like to do is beacon the tank here and raid heal, including myself. However, I never, ever hesitate to directly heal the tank, even if beacon is on them. I do this on most single-tank portions of fights. Will the beacon go through the realms? I do not think so.

9) holy paladin multiple beacon

You can have an unlimited number of beacons on a single target. The only limitation is how many holy paladins you have around.

10) is the weekly on the same lockout as the regular raids

Yes. That means if your weekly is Lord Jaraxxus and you go into TOC10 to kill him, you will be saved to TOC10. Same if it’s XT-002 Deconstructor and you go in to Ulduar 25, you are then saved to Ulduar 25.

Updates and Plans

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another Tuesday here at Kurn’s Corner!

On the schedule for today:

– Q&A post (as per usual)

– More opinions on new holy paladin Cataclysm information (Holy Power, some new cone heal called Light of the Divine or Divinity of the Light or something appropriately paladinesque, the actual name of which escapes me at the moment)

– Responding to comments!

– Possibly going through some parses.

– More running through old-world Azeroth for a future blog post, which, due to technical difficulties this last weekend, may not be up until next week, sadly.

So those are my plans.

My updates are considerably more exciting, at least to me.

Bloodsurge, Kel’Thuzad’s Blade of Agony is mine! Finally, I have a main hand without hit again! I’d been using Rigormortis because it was still an improvement over Misery’s End. More intellect, more spellpower, a wee bit more haste (like, 1). It was nice to have, particularly as the hunter officer in my last guild refused to let me take it for main-spec, since it had hit on it, so even though I was like “but it’s for main-spec!” she was like “you’re paying off-spec for it”.

But finally, a weapon with no hit, that has the exact same stats as Royal Scepter of Terenas II. Hilariously enough, both of those items dropped. Since we do EPGP, I rolled Need on both within the mod to assure myself I’d probably get one of them. The loot master was smart because he recognized that if he awarded the sword first, I’d get it (there was virtually no competition for it) and then the mace would be up for grabs and I could not win it because my EPGP priority wouldn’t be high enough after winning the sword. So the sword went to me (and yes, I DO feel like a bad-ass for being able to heal with a SWORD!!) and the mace went to the elemental shaman.

I also picked up the heroic Frostbinder’s Shredded Cape, which I gemmed and enchanted on the spot, meaning that the stupid Flowing Sapphiron Drape is going to go sit in my bank until it rots away into nothingness.

As such, my chardev profile has been updated:

http://www.chardev.org/?profile=426504

Raid buffed, without the sword, I had 45,424 mana. Granted, the sword is only another 4 intellect, so that’s 60ish mana (not including talents) but good gravy. Forty-five thousand?! That is totally sweet.

I generally don’t get excited about gear. There are exceptions — I love a new weapon, and I love when I replace an OLD piece of gear. I’ve had the Onyxia cloak since early October. Nine months. Very happy to have replaced it. :)

In raid news, there continues to be problems with heroic Sindragosa, but we’re making some progress, at least. I’m not terribly worried, as long as we can get some people (casters!) to freaking stop casting with Unchained Magic.