Saturday, February 5
The Shoulder Look
Best: Pauldrons of the High Requiem - 1650 Justice Point is a little steep, but probably the first of the JP set you'll want to go after. Its got a massive amount of much needed Hit and Expertise. Red socket lets you pop in more Strength, or socket purple to help get that Meta Gem activated. These are such a good investment for Arms warriors, also, because it can reduce the amount of gemming you need to reach Hit cap (or a close proximity, see below).
2nd Choice: Bloodied Pyrium Shoulders - A PvP set of shoulders?!? Yup. Besides the massive Strength it's also loaded with Expertise. A lot of Arms Warrior worthy gear is loaded with Haste, so grabbing Expertise when possible is a good idea and it puts these shoulders on top. Visit your local blacksmith to get 'em.
Runner Up: Redsteel Shoulders - Nice for leveling (available at 82) and your initial Level 85 Dungeon forays, these are cheap from the AH and the Haste can be Reforged. You can even slap the shoulder enchant on them because you'll be getting the rep required for the lesser inscription pretty quick while questing through Deepholm.
Enchant: Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone from Therazane rep at Exalted. There's also a Lesser version that will tide you over until you finish the rep grind.
In the cloak department we have a toss up, but here's how I puzzle it out.
Drape of Inimitable Fate - Yah, it's a Haste peice but a rug with Strength and Stam on it? Yes! Reforge the crap out of the Haste and take it! Unfortunately it's a random world BoE drop. It's going for as much as 10K gold on my realm. So a better option is probably . . .
Cloak of the Red Flight - The is a reward from the quest Battle of Life and Death in the Twilight Highlands. Another Strength and Stam cloak! And it's a quest item with Hit and Expertise. And the quest chain is so freakin' epic you're going to be doing it anyway. Epic quest or 10K gold? hmmmm.
Geordan's Cloak - This one drops off Siamat in the Lost City of the Tol'vir. So, this one has less Hit, but more Crit than the Cloak of the Red Flight. I wear it because my Hit is fine for now, but my Crit is horrible. But are you really picking up enough Crit to make it worth running LCT over and over to get it to drop?
Unless you have money to burn (or just get lucky) I'd rule out the Drape of Inimitable Fate. Between the two cloaks, I imagine most people will just take the Cloak of the Red Flight and be done with it. It's awesome, it does the job, no need to switch. If you get lucky enough to score Geordan's Cloak, though, take a look at your Hit.
Okay, you're not at cap, let's say, but that cap is set against raid bosses. At this point, is the only thing you're swishing on gonna be raid level bosses? If yes, are you going to be wearing this stuff to a raid? No. So, take the crit. See what I mean?
Enchant: Greater Critical Strike, or the cheaper Critical Strike. The massive difference in price makes Critical Strike look so much better. We're talking thousands of gold here, in many cases, for a meager 15 crit points? No thank you.
Next we'll look at bewb covers.
Sunday, January 16
These are the Arms Warrior worthy Head and neck items I'm lusting after at the moment.
Keep in mind that some of this stuff you probably won't actually be able to afford until you're already in heroics. But we'll all join hands and jump off that bridge when we get there. Even one JP piece is going to be nice, and the current set is quite lovely.
For the Noggin
Color is no longer important. A blue iLevel 333 helmet has the same stat budget as a green iLevel 333 helmet. Ignore the item's color. iLevel is important but even then some higher iLevel pieces aren't going to be optimal. So we buck the trend in pre-heroic gear by starting with... a green!?! Yes.
Redsteel Helm - Honestly, this Blacksmith crafted helm is the best noggin protector you can get pre-heroic. You can buy it at the AH at Level 83 and you're set all the way through per-heroic stuff. Meta-socket? Check. Red socket? Check. Piles of Strength and Stamina? Check. Crit and Expertise? Bonus! This was custom made for an Arms Warrior. Get it.
Helm of Easeful Death - You can get this one with 2200 Justice Points. Honestly, I'd keep the Redsteel Helm, get the JP shoulders first, and save this for later. It's got a heaping does of Expertise on it, but it's also loaded with Haste. And that just doesn't do us Arms Warriors a lot of good. Great for our Fury brothers and sisters... but they're kinda smelly. Save this for later and Reforge it when you get it.
Gem: Choatic Shadow Spirit Diamond and Bold Inferno Ruby
Enchant: Arcanum of the Wildhammer requires Revered with the Wildhammer Clan
Around the Neck
Gift of Nadun - A very nice neck piece that you can get when you're Exalted with Ramkahen. Reforge the Haste and this one will last quite awhile. My problem is that rep with Ramkahen is, like, third on my list. If I'm close to getting the better JP neck, will I get this? We'll see.
Pendant of Quiet Breath - A Strength and Stamina neck with Crit and Expertise? Yum! This is available for 1250 Justice points and I'm thinking it's a great investment. I'd still get the shoulders first, but this would be second on my list.
Seedling Pod - This is a drop in Halls of Origination from Ammunae. A solid iLevel 333 neck that will more than hold you over until you can get the JP neck. (There's a heroic version, as well.) Reforge the Haste and you're good to go.
Thinking It Over
Carefully consider the timing and if dropping gold or points on a piece is actually worth it. For example, if the Seedling Pod dropped for me in HO, I would even bother with the Gift of Nadun, and I might bump Pendant of Quiet Breath down my list a little for the JP stuff. On the other hand, if I hit Exalted with Ramkahen, I'd pass on the Seedling Pod, reforge the Gift of Nadun, and again bump the Pendant down in my JP priorities for a little while.
Really just depends on where you're at when the opportunity to get something crops up. Choose wisely. :)
NEXT: Shoulders & Capes
Keep in mind that these posts are from a "casual" player's point of view.
Actually, let's take a quick aside...
I'm not using the term "casual" anymore. I refuse. I play as much, if not more, than most people that like to raid or arena. I know my class better than most of them, as well. I just don't have 4-6 hours at a stretch to sit in front of my computer. So, sorry Blizzard, but this emphasis on raiding and arena players "deserving" the best rewards is, quite frankly, a load of horse shit.
No more "casual." I'm calling these players the regular players. The ones that play WoW and enjoy it for the experience, the social aspect, and the beautiful world Blizzard has created. The people that actually appreciate WoW as more than just a video game to beat.
Okay, end soapbox. You're probably looking at this for Gear tips. So here we go...
Strength, Hit Rating (cap = 8%), Expertise (cap = 26), Crit and Mastery (both are great, as much as you can get of both). Not recommending Haste or Agility for Arms Warriors at this point, but remember that can change. The next patch is going to mix things up a bit. A lot of Arms related gear has both stats, so if you get those that's fine.
Don't forget you can Reforge those Haste pieces to make them more better. :) Reforging Haste gear is also a hedge against changes coming in the next patch. If Haste becomes important, you can, um, unforge (?) them and you're set.
Right now I'm thinking ignore the socket bonus on Gems. You'll want to load up with Bold Inferno Rubies 'cause Strength for Arms Warriors is still our #1 priority. If you need Hit, the Etched Demonseye is a good bet for Blue sockets. It can also help get that Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond activated. (I think I read somewheres that that the gem requirements for that one are being reversed in the next patch, but can't remember where I read it. Maybe it was a dream. Can anyone confirm?)
Unfortunately, Crit and Mastery are hard to get on Plate gear at the moment, so if you must gem for them you can use the Inscribed Ember Topaz, or the Skillful Ember Topaz in your Yellow sockets.
My personal plan, based on the enchants and gear available: Therazan and then Wildhammer. The former has the shoulder enchant, and the latter has the hat enchant. After that, I say "For the Camel!" but your mileage may vary.
Don't forget that quite possibly the only decent weapon you'll get pre or post heroic comes from Baradin's Wardens. So, that's probably one you'll want to grind daily in tandum with whatever else you're working on. (There's one from Archaeology and a crafted mace, as well.)
Honestly, pre-heroics, the only real reasons to run the regular version of Cataclysm dungeons is for the Justice Points once a day and the practice. Both are good reasons, of course! But you won't be running them much for gear. There's a few peices that are awesomesauce, but mostly grab it if it's an upgrade to your quest qear. Otherwise, you'll be looking at crafting, reputation and JP vendor gear.
What's worth working toward? Do you absolutely have to have the full JP set just for completeness? Is it fun to get the gear you want or is the slight boost not worth the effort? Are you really going to drop an extra 2000g on an enchant that gives you a tiny little benefit?
It's up to you. Just have fun getting it. For the regular WoW player, getting there is the most important part. Looking good is an awesome bonus. :)
NEXT: Head & Neck