Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about the new gear (mostly weapons) available in patch 3.2.2 and Brewfest.
Much to everyone's surprise, Blizzard released patch 3.2.2 this week. I've talked extensively about what this patch means for Assassination Rogues via the Deadly Poison and Envenom changes, and how hard the loss of Throwing Specialization and a 30% damage cut will be hitting Fan of Knives. With the recently stealth buffs to Volley that snuck their way into the 3.2.2 patch, I am already wondering where Rogues and Hunters will land in PvE after the dust settles. The FoK nerf will hurt some of our AoE-centric PvP builds and compositions, but I don't feel that these strategies had much going for them in the first place besides an obviously overpowered talent.
Patch 3.2.2 also brings us Onyxia reborn, completely re-tuned for all of her level 80 glory. This means that she's not only been buffed to challenge level 80 raiders, but her gear has been taken up a notch as well. With ilvl 232 rewards from her 10 man version, and ilvl 245 gear from slaying her with 24 friends, there will be many Rogues foraying into her lair. There are also a few new items available from the Brewfest holiday, one of which surprised even me. Read on for the full details.
Bloodfang Hood / Bloodfang Mask:
Here is one of the most ubiquitous icons of the Rogue. A dark, bloody mask that covers our face while allowing us to stalk our prey in the shadows. Any old-timer will certainly remember with fear the first time they saw this mask on a Rogue making their way towards them. The original helm is now but a relic, complete with a variety of resistances and even a spot of Strength. The newly redone helmets are very-well itemized, right down to their Red socket and Armor Penetration set bonus. For those Rogues still attempting to use the Armor Penetration soft/hard caps, this will help propel you towards that goal.
Sparkling Onyxia Tooth Pendant:
In the case that you manage to defeat Onyxia, you'll be able to score this great quest reward necklace. While it doesn't have a socket and wastes a few budget points on Fire Resistance, it's still a great option for those Rogues who aren't hard-pressed to squeeze every bit of Armor Penetration out of their gear. If you are relying on your necklace to supply some of that delicious ArP, you'll have to look elsewhere!
Singed / Tempered Vis'kag the Bloodletter:
A slow (2.6 speed) main hand sword, it sounded so good once I heard about it. However, then I got around to reading the stats. With no stats to support it, all of its secondary benefits lie in one simple proc. While admittedly powerful (and possibly overpowered in PvP), I was surprised to see a lack of any other stats. This will be a great starter weapon for up-and-coming Combat Rogues, but I don't see this getting much use by anyone with weapons from the current tier of content. Depending on its reliability, a Vis'kag proc, combined with Darkmoon Card: Death and Bandit's Insignia could spell quick death for any opponent.
While no 245 versions of the following weapons have been found, their 232 versions are drool-worthy already. Another weapon with just a powerful proc to grace its item description, this axe has one more thing going for it: a 2.70 speed. One of the slowest Rogues weapons in this expansion, its slow speed makes it an ideal candidate for any Rogue with points in Hack and Slash. The slow speed gives it an incredibly high chance to proc poisons, and makes it ideal for Sinister Striking. I can see PvP Subtlety Rogues using this and a Shadowstep build as well. The slow speed will make it work picking up by itself, though it won't trump any of the current weapons from Trial of the Crusader.
Rusted Gutgore Ripper:
I guess I should've titled this post "weapons with procs and nothing else." It's still a very shiny 1.8 speed weapon, great for Rogues trying to flesh out their PvP gear or working on their Mutilate gear after the Envenom and Deadly Poison changes. The proc's stat reduction is also fairly powerful, draining our opponents of 1200 life, 1800 mana, and a decent chunk of attack power. With its non-unique status, I expect to see quite a few Rogues wielding these in Battlegrounds and Arenas very soon.
Black Knight's Rondel:
Speaking of daggers, here's one with some actual stats on it! The Heroic version of the Black Knight encounter in Trial of the Champion (5 man) was recently modified to drop a pretty sweet dagger for us, also a 1.8 speed. For those of you looking to find a main hand Mutilate weapon: your search is over. It's got decent stats all around (no Haste), and should be easily acquirable for any Rogue. Heroic ToC is a great place to pick up some new gear for those Rogues who are behind the curve in terms of equipment, and now Mutilate Rogues have a weapon they can lust after!
Direbrew's Shanker 2.0:
A redo of a redo of the original, the infamous Shanker from the Grim Guzzler has long been known for it's super-slow 2.00 speed and status as the ultimate ganking weapon. While this version is only ilvl 200, it's still plenty potent for those of you who didn't get a chance to taste either of the other versions. There's not much to say here: there's several better daggers available, so unless you're after it for the memories of ganking in Blackrock Mountains, let this one go to a vendor. Coren Direbrew, the current owner, won't mind at all.
Coren's Chromium Coaster:
A perfect replica of the Heroism badge reward from months ago, I can only see a Rogue using this if they recently hit 80 and never bought the Mirror of Truth, or they pick this up for a second trinket. Coren Direbrew drops one of each of the Emblem trinkets, but this is the only one suitable for a Rogue. It's not a bad item if you don't already have one, but I assume that most Rogues will have picked up a Mirror of Truth.
Tankard O' Terror:
While leveling my very first Rogue, nearly 5 years ago, I decided that I wanted to be a Mace Rogue. I enjoyed smashing in people's faces, I really enjoyed the RNG stun that allowed me to pull off quite a few stunts (Mace Stun -> Bandage!), and a guildmate had given me a free Viking Warhammer. For weeks I searched for a suitable offhand, and I checked the AH every day for the rumored Mug O' Hurt. When I finally got one a few weeks later, I was ecstatic.
When I saw the Tankard drop, I nearly shot through the roof. Here is a true swashbuckler's weapon: a huge mug of hurt and beer! This incredibly detailed chalice drops from Coren Direbrew, the seasonal Brewfest boss. I'd suggest stealthing your way down there ASAP to score one for yourself, or try to pick one up on the AH. This is an insanely good weapon to drop in the hands of a newly 80 Rogue, so if you're working on a new Rogue or you've been out of the game for a few months, pick one of these up and you'll be doing respectable in no time!
Patch 3.2.2 has really deluged us with new weapons, although many of them may not be ideally itemized, they're guaranteed to have you reminiscing of the old days (or wishing you could). I will be picking up all of the Onyxia weapons for nostalgia alone, and a Tankard O' Terror so I can relive the days of yore, when Maces smashed faces. If you're still holding onto Naxxramas-level weapons, find your spec's ideal weapons on this list and go out and get them ASAP. There's no excuse for using an ilvl 200 weapon any more, and don't expect to fight Arthas using one!