Thursday, November 1, 2007

New healing gear in 2.3

I gave a general overview of the new gear for shaman in my last post, but I wanted to delve a little further into what's available for restoration shaman in particular. The new items are roughly equivalent to Tier 5, so high-end raiders won't be particularly interested in the new loot. For characters just starting 10- and 25-man content, however, there're many solid upgrades coming up.

Note: If I don't mention a piece of Arena or PvP gear for a particular slot, it is a poor upgrade for PvE use.

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Back
There are two new cloaks of note:
  • [Kharmaa's Shroud of Hope] (114 Armor, 34 Stamina, 15 Intellect, 51 Healing, 6 mana/5, 23 Resilience), which is available for 60 Badges, and
  • [Cloak of Ancient Rituals] (108 Armor, 22 Stamina, 20 Intellect, 25 Spell Haste, 51 Healing), which drops from Hex Lord Malacrass.
[Kharmaa's Shroud of Hope] is obviously a choice piece of gear for PvP/Arena players, but both cloaks are inferior to the two Karazhan cloaks ([Red Riding Hood's Cloak] from the Opera event and [Stainless Cloak of the Pure Hearted] from Prince Malchezaar) or the [Bishop's Cloak], which costs only 25 Badges.

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Chest
There are two good options for chest pieces in 2.3:
  • [Hauberk of the Empire's Champion] (934 Armor, 30 Stamina, 40 Intellect, 40 Spell Haste, 106 Healing, 12 mana/5), dropped by Zul'Jin, and
  • [Vengeful Gladiator's Ringmail Armor] (1022 Armor, 54 Stamina, 30 Intellect, 3 Sockets [1 Red, 2 Yellow, +4 Spell Crit socket bonus], 30 Spell Crit, 26 Resilience, 79 Healing, 8 mana/5), available for 1,875 arena points.
Both of these items are significant upgrades over Netherspite's [Earthblood Chestguard] or Magtheridon's [Cyclone Hauberk], assuming the Arena gear is socketted with three [Royal Nightseye] (or one [Royal Nightseye] and two [Dazzling Talasite] for the socket bonus). The [Hauberk of the Empire's Champion] is as good as (and arguably better than) the Tier 5 [Cataclysm Chestguard].

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Feet
Boots are not a well-itemized slot for us (the best two prior to Mount Hyjal are [Wavefury Boots] from Rokmar in heroic Slave Pens and then a long gap until [Tempest-Strider Boots] drop from Lurker Below in Serpentshrine Cavern). Fortunately, there are two solid upgrades coming soon:
  • [Treads of the Life Path] (619 Armor, 21 Stamina, 33 Intellect, 2 Sockets [1 Blue, 1 Yellow, +7 Healing socket bonus], 75 Healing, 6 mana/5) for 60 Badges, and
  • [Vindicator's Kodohide Boots] (357 Armor, 43 Stamina, 30 Intellect, 26 Resilience, 75 Healing, 9 mana/5) for 17,850 honor and 40 Eye of the Storm badges.
The [Vindicator's Kodohide Boots] are restricted to druids and cannot be used by shaman. Bummer! [Treads of the Life Path] are roughly on par (more healing, less mana/5) with the [Tempest-Strider Boots], one of the best set of boots in the game.

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Finger
There's only one new ring drop in 2.3, but since it's almost as good as the rings that drop in Black Temple, it's a no-brainer. The new PvP ring is equivalent to the [Band of Halos] Badge reward, so also makes a nice upgrade for early-Karazhan raiders.
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Hands
There are two new pair of gloves, both of which are small upgrades from [Gloves of Centering] (which are themselves better than the Tier 4 [Cyclone Gloves]). I'd suggest they be one of the last Badge of Justice/Arena purchases you make as the Maiden of Virtue is one of the easiest bosses in Karazhan and the upgrades are so minor.
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Head
The new helm available in 2.3 is of questionable improvement, largely because it lacks a meta socket. It's better than BoE crafted items such as [Living Dragonscale Helm], but you're probably better off with the [Cyclone Headdress] from Prince Malchezaar or the BoP engineering helm, [Living Replicator Specs].
  • [Mojo-mender's Mask] (731 Armor, 34 Stamina, 38 Intellect, 3 Sockets [1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Blue, +2 mana/5 socket bonus], 99 Healing, 9 mana/5), which is dropped by Akil'zon.
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Legs
There are three new pairs of pants to choose from, two Badge rewards (both cost 75) and a Season Three item (costing 1,875 arena points):
  • [Natural Life Leggings] (787 Armor, 45 Stamina, 38 Intellect, 3 Sockets [1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Blue, +2 mana/5 socket bonus], 17 Spell Crit, 88 Healing, 7 mana/5)
  • [Pants of Splendid Recovery] (Leather, 353 Armor, 30 Stamina, 40 Intellect, 31 Spirit, 3 Sockets [1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Blue, +2 mana/5 socket bonus], 86 Healing, 12 mana/5)
  • [Vengeful Gladiator's Ringmail Leggings] (894 Armor, 64 Stamina, 33 Intellect, 33 Resilience, 29 Spell Crit, 99 Healing, 9 mana/5)
The Arena pants are modest upgrades from the [Heart-Flame Leggings] from the Chess event or Gruul's [Cyclone Kilt], whereas the two Badge rewards are equal to, or perhaps better than, the Tier 6 [Cataclysm Legguards]. The leather version is slightly better than the mail as pure healing gear, but not enough for me to recommend them if you prefer mail items had its mana/5 changed to Spirit and is now an inferior item for shaman.

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Neck
The necklace upgrades are pretty significant: The [Brooch of Nature's Mercy] is quite possibly the best necklace in the game right now, with the only possible contender in Black Temple. The PvP necklace is also very good and is on par with both [Emberspur Talisman] from Nightbane and [Teeth of Gruul] from Gruul.

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Shield
Only one shield is a worthwhile upgrade, but it's a very solid improvement over the Chess event [Triptych Shield of the Ancients] or Magtheridon's [Aegis of the Vindicator].
  • [Enamelled Disc of Mojo] (5400 Armor, 24 Stamina, 17 Intellect, 1 Socket [Yellow, +1 mana/5 socket bonus], 55 Healing, 7 mana/5), which is dropped by Jan'ali.
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Shoulder
There are three new sets of shoulders that represent varying upgrades:
  • [Hex Lord's Voodoo Pauldrons] (700 Armor, 17 Stamina, 30 Intellect, 30 Spell Haste, 66 Healing, 9 mana/5), which is dropped by Hex Lord Malacras,
  • [Gnarled Ironwood Pauldrons] (Leather, 303 Armor, 21 Stamina, 23 Intellect, 26 Spirit 2 Sockets [1 Red, 1 Yellow, +7 Healing socket bonus], 73 Healing, 10 mana/5), which costs 60 Badges, and
  • [Vengeful Gladiator's Ringmail Spaulders] (766 Armor, 43 Stamina, 23 Intellect, 2 Sockets [1 Red, 1 Yellow, +3 Resilience socket bonus], 55 Healing, 7 mana/5), which will cost 1,500 arena points.
The [Gnarled Ironwood Pauldrons] had their mana/5 changed to Spirit, making them much less useful to shaman. The Arena shoulders (if socketed with [Royal Nightseye] and [Dazzling Talasite]) are upgrades over the [Dragon-Quake Shoulderguards] from Curator, but are slightly inferior to the [Cyclone Shoulderpads] from High King Maulgar. The [Hex Lord's Voodoo Pauldrons] are roughly equivalent to the [Coral-Barbed Shoulderpads] from Leotheras in Serpentshrine, but should be replaced by the Void Reaver's [Cataclysm Shoulderguards].

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Totem
Patch 2.3 has only one new totem. It's worth picking up if you don't have the Maiden of Virtue's [Totem of Healing Rains] (which is superior):
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Trinket
There is one relevant healing trinket: If you consistently remember to use the trinket whenever the cooldown is up, this is one of the best trinkets in the game. If you don't, it's still very solid and better than anything found through Karazhan.

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Waist
Two excellent belts will be available for 60 Badges:
  • [Life-step Belt] (Leather, 227 Armor, 20 Stamina, 23 Intellect, 22 Spirit, 2 Sockets [1 Red, 1 Blue, +7 Healing socket bonus], 75 Healing, 6 mana/5) and
  • [Man'kin'do's Belt] (506 Armor, 21 Stamina, 26 Intellect, 30 Spell Haste, 64 Healing, 8 mana/5).
Both are significant upgrades from Moroes' [Belt of Gale Force]. The [Life-step Belt] compares very favorably to the [Girdle of Fallen Stars] from the Eye. Where [Man'kin'do's Belt] falls depends on how highly you rate haste (I currently rate it as about half the upgrade as the [Life-step Belt]).

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Wrist
There are two Badge rewards available for your wrist slot, which will cost 35 Badges: The socket makes the leather version a better choice. The leather version had its mana/5 changed to Spirit, which is much less useful to a shaman. The [Gleaming Earthen Bracers] is a significant upgrade from Attumen's [Whirlwind Bracers] and even a modest upgrade from Hydross's [Blackfathom Bracers].

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Weapon
Both of the new weapons are significant upgrades over the two Karazhan weapons ([Shard of the Virtuous] from Maiden of Virtue and [Light's Justice] from Prince Malchezaar) or the current arena weapon ([Merciless Gladiator's Salvation]):
  • [Dark Blessing] (19 Intellect, 30 Spell Haste, 431 Healing), which Zul'jin drops, and
  • [Vengeful Gladiator's Salvation] (35 Stamina, 23 Intellect, 464 Healing, 21 Resilience), which will cost 3,150 arena points and require a personal arena rating of 1850 to purchase.
How you rank these two is dependent upon how you value spell haste (I personally would choose the Arena weapon). Neither would be replaced until Vashj's [Lightfathom Scepter].

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1 comment:

Sergey said...

Nice blog, but haven't updated for so long time.
Btw if u have pvp expirience feel free to post it :)
thnx for blog anyway