Again, a list of relevant (ilvl 397/403) gear for the current tier, sorted by itemization. Comments below.
- Deep Earth Helm (headpiece, resto tier 13, drops from Blackhorn – 1 x red socket/+30 int);
- Deep Earth Robes (chest, resto tier 13, drops from Ultraxion – 2 x red, 1 x yellow sockets/+30 int);
- Petrified Fungal Heart (neck, drops from Morchok);
- Signet of Suturing (ring, has a chance to drop from all DS bosses except Deathwing – 1 x red socket/+10 int);
- Scalpel of Unrelenting Agony (main hand, drops from Yor’sahj the Unsleeping);
- Ledger of Revolting Rituals (off-hand, drops from Ultraxion – 1 x red socket/+10 int);
- Woundlicker Cover (cloak, 1250 VPs – 1 x red socket/+10 int);
- Fungus-born Gloves (gloves, 1650 VPs – 1 x red socket/+10 int);
- Belt of Universal Curing (waist, 1650 VPs – 1 x red socket, 1 x blue socket/+20 int);
- Boots of Fungoid Growth (boots, 1650 VPs, BOE – 1 x red socket, 1 x yellow socket/+20 int);
- Leggings of Nature’s Champion (legs, crafted BOE – 1 x red socket, 2 x yellow sockets/+30 int);
- Bracers of Flowing Serenity (wrist, crafted BOE – 2 x red sockets/+20 int);
- Treads of Sordid Screams (boots, drops from Ultraxion – 2 x red sockets/+20 int);
- Threadlinked Chain (neck, 1250 VPs);
- Decaying Herbalist Robes (chest, 2200 VPs – 2 x red sockets/+20 int);
- Luminescent Bracers (wrist, 1250 VPs, BOE);
- Deep Hearth Handwraps (gloves, resto tier 13, drops from Zon’ozz – 1 x blue socket/+10 int);
- Deep Earth Legwraps (leggings, resto tier 13, drops from Yor’sahj the Unsleeping – 3 x red sockets/+30 int);
- Deep Earth Mantle (shoulders, resto tier 13, drops from Hagara the Stormbinder – 2 x red sockets/+20 int);
- Mycosynth Wristguards (wrist, drops from Morchok – 1 x red socket/+10 int);
- Girdle of the Grotesque (waist, drops from Hagara the Stormbinder – 2 x red sockets/+20 int);
- Visage of the Destroyer (staff, drops from Blackhorn – 1 x red socket/+10 int);
- Helm of Perpetual Rebirth (headpiece, 2200 VPs – 1 x red socket/+30 int);
- Band of Reconstruction (ring, 1250 VPs – 1 x yellow socket/+10 mastery);
- Lightning Spirit in a Bottle (relic, 700 VPs – 1 x prismatic socket);
- Ring of the Riven (ring, drops from Hagara the Stormbinder – 1 x red socket/+10 int);
- Vagaries of Time (main hand, drops from Morchok – 1 x red socket/+10 int);
- Mindbender Lens (relic, 700 VPs – 1 x prismatic socket);
Wow. There seems to be plenty of spirit/x stuff, that’s for sure. Putting LW BOEs aside, which many won’t be able to afford for quite a while, spirit/crit and spirit/mastery items seem to be equal in availability, with everything else trailing far behind. Also, sockets on gear are mostly red with int bonuses, which is NICE – there is a lone ring with a + mastery bonus.
The resto tier 13 is made of either spirit/haste or spirit/mastery stuff. The headpiece is spirit/haste and drops from Gunship 2.0, while the VP headpiece is spirit/mastery; Blackhorn is a bit far into Dragon Soul and you might not want haste anymore, so the VP helm might be one of your early purchases. The alternative to the spirit/haste chest is the VP spirit/crit one, so I’ll guess I’ll stick with the chest (which drops from Ultraxion, supposedly a hard boss, more on that below). Gloves, leggings and shoulders are spirit/mastery; even though the set bonuses are not that great for this tier, mastery is in my opinion our strongest secondary stats making those three pieces at least decent.
Funny thought, what makes gear “good” or “BiS” to the eyes of a resto druid nowadays? I guess the answer is “anything with mastery and lots of red sockets on it”. I’ll have to think about it.
Non-tier gear you can buy with VP isn’t really attractive – guess I’ll save my valor for the first few weeks and see how lucky I get with drops. The VP sp/haste cape seems to be the only healer cloak in the whole tier, though, so I guess I know how I’m going to spend my first 1250 points.
Also, remember that the VPs boots and bracers are BOE – that means you can buy them from the AH/trade chat (although you might want to wait until prices are reasonable) or with your alts’ valor.
The verdict? Thumbs in the middle, but it doesn’t really matter as the first four bosses are so easy, making the gearing process much simpler than usual. Depending on your guild, you might have boss #5 and number #6 on farm pretty soon as well. We killed the “gear check” of this tier (Ultraxion) on our first week of raiding… well it was SUPPOSED to be a gear check, I am not sure how it can be considered as such when average guilds kill him/her/it on the first week of 4.3 raiding (bear in mind we had almost no HC Firelands gear).
TWINKETS… PWETTY TWINKETS
Sorry for the brief, elitist rant there… back to evaluating gear. As usual we don’t have a whole lot of choices for trinkets. Bottled Wishes and Reflection of the Light, both purchasable for 1650 VPs, have two things in common: both give a spellpower bonus on use, and neither has passive intellect. Spellpower is still a very good stat, but the lack of passive int puts them low on the shopping list. I have never liked on-use trinkets anyway. Bottled Wishes has the ability to easily solve your haste issues for the rest of the expansion, though.
Windward Heart has a chance to drop from any DS boss except Deathwing. It does have passive intellect, which makes it ok by itself, but I don’t have any number on the proc. Seal of the Seven Signs (from Zon’ozz) along with int has a + haste proc. In order to determine how good this actually is, you’ll have to check your haste rating and see where the procs puts you in terms of haste thresholds. Heart of Unliving (Spine of DW) used to be very meh until they added +323 intellect to it, making it effectively a Tsunami card on steroids. Remember that other ilvl 397 trinkets have +458 passive intellect when making comparisons.
Honorable mention? Foul Gift of the Demon Lord. It drops from the last boss in Well of the Eternity – the 2nd one among the new 5-mans – and yes, it’s a ilvl 378 trinket. Passive intellect and roughly 40% uptime on the mastery proc (at least according to my combat logs, sometimes a bit less) make it a very solid trinket, especially if you had no luck with trinkets in Firelands – does Jaws of Defeat actually exist? Oh wait, I know it does, one of my alts got it… sigh.
AREN’T YOU… UH… FORGETTING SOMETHING?
Nope. Deathwing doesn’t drop anything useful. Apart from a couple of weapons with special procs. I will admit I have gathered little info about them so far, but neither is very appealing as the procs would have to be pretty powerful to make up for the loss of secondary stats. The +haste one seems better suited in the hands of a dps anyway. Of course the spellpower gain (they are ilvl 403 after all) is nice; maybe it’s just that Deathwing still seems to be too far away to worry about theorycrafting… or is he?