As promised, today I will be discussing 25-man Icecrown Citadel loot in a special edition of Spiritual Guidance. Additionally, I will be giving my assessments on tier 10 set bonuses for those of you who are still deciding how to spend your badges. Finally, I'll be offering up the counter arguments that readers left for the 'who to gear first' debate from Sunday's column.
We have a lot of things to discuss, so let's jump right into it!
- Greatcloak of the Turned Champion -- 25-man Deathbringer Saurfang -- There are two, level 264 badge vendor cloaks (Volde's Cloak of the Night Sky and Drape of the Violet Tower) that this cloak off Saurfang is comparable to. Since the drop has spirit on it, this is a better catch for holy. Disc priests will find better itemization off the Drape of the Violet Tower, however if you find yourself frequently switching between holy, or even shadow, this drop (or the other badge cloak) are good multi-purpose cloaks.
- Frostbinder's Shredded Cape -- 25-man Valithria Dreamwalker -- [Disclaimer: This item can't be confirmed as a drop until the fight goes live!] This is the throughput cloak that all the DPS are going to want. If you are good on mana regen, this will be your best in slot until hard modes. This is really one of those cases where you should try to be courteous to your fellow raiders though, as healers have 3 other great options.
- Sanguine Silk Robes -- 25-man Blood Prince Council -- First of all, the socket bonus not listed on the tool tip is 9 spellpower. There are two badge options (Ermine Coronation Robes and Meteor Chaser's Raiment) as well as tier (Sanctified Crimson Acolyte Robe) to compare these robes from Blood Prince Council to. The Sanguine Silk Robes are a good option for a holy priest who wants nothing to do with tier 10, and they are better than the level 264 badge robes (Ermine Coronation Robes). I say they're better than the badge robes because regardless of how you value crit and haste, the looted Sanguine Silk Robes have a lot more spirit. If you want spirit, then this drop is what you want, especially when you consider the high badge costs of the Ermine Coronation Robes. If you don't want spirit though, I would save up for the Meteor Chaser's Raiment. They are the non-tier robe of choice for disc priests pre-heroic ICC. If you are considering tier 10, I would say the Sanguine robes are equal once set bonuses are weighed in.
- Plague Scientist's Boots -- 25-man Festergut -- These are the boots both disc and holy priests are going to want to hold out for if you prioritize throughput. The only other non-hit option currently available for priests are the crafted Sandals of Consecration. Both are equally hard to come by, due to the cost of Primordial Saronite, and disc priests will find the itemization on the Sandals of Consecration less than favorable if they are trying to min/max one gear set.
- Ring of Maddening Whispers -- 25-man Lady Deathwhisper -- This is a nice ring for holy priests, or disc priests just looking for an upgrade.
- Incarnadine Band of Mending -- 25-man Blood Prince Council -- This is essentially the Ring of Maddening Whispers, with mp5 instead of spirit.
- Ring of Rapid Ascent -- 25-man Gunship -- This is not only the throughput ring option for priests, it appears to be the best of the available rings, due to the slightly higher crit. If you can get this one, congratulations!
- Memory of Malygos -- 25-man Sindragosa -- [Disclaimer: This item can't be confirmed as a drop until the fight goes live!] This is basically just the Ring of Maddening Whispers, with haste instead of crit. If you're a holy priest, you might like this. Unfortunately, there is no way to currently confirm the socket bonus, since the fight isn't live. Oh, by the way, this ring is a nice tribute to lore, if you're into that sort of thing. I assume if you're playing an MMORPG you are!
- San'layn Ritualist Gloves -- 25-man Blood Prince Council -- The socket bonus not on the tool tip is 7 spellpower. These gloves are comparable to both badge loot options (Gloves of Ambivalence and Gloves of False Gestures) and the tier gloves(Sanctified Crimson Acolyte Gloves). The San'layn Ritualist Gloves are worse than the Gloves of Ambivalence, so if you wanted the latter, stick with it unless no one else wants the San'layn Ritualist Gloves. The Gloves of False Gestures are the best option for disc priests and holy priests who want throughput over tier. Just take in mind that if you want a level 277 glove upgrade later, there will be no equivalent badge options.
- Corp'rethar Ceremonial Crown -- 25-man Gunship -- If, for whatever reason, you're considering only getting the 2-piece tier bonus, the tier helm (Sanctified Crimson Acolyte Cowl) may be the piece you consider skipping. The Corp'rethar Ceremonial Crown has the same spellpower, slightly less crit, and more spirit than the tier helm. When most of the other tier pieces have more spellpower than their counterparts, this drop makes level 264 tier helm a bit oddly itemized. If you don't want tier, however, the toss up between the two items is 8 spirit or 8 critical strike rating.
Guess what? There are no legs that drop in 25-man ICC! If you want level 264 legs you will have to choose between tier or crafted gear. Crafted option #1 is Lightweave Leggings. With the spirit, disc priests will want to avoid these. Arguably, since so much goes into crafted gear, holy priests may also prefer to skip on the Lightweave Leggings, for crafted option #2 Leggings of Woven Death. This is because over time most healers will want throughput over regen. Finally, the tier option (Sanctified Crimson Acolyte Leggings) offers comparable but ultimately inferior stats if the set-bonuses aren't valued. However, since there are no leg drops in 25-man ICC that we know of, there might not be 277 leg drops either. This means that if you plan on raiding hard modes, you should probably get tier over crafted gear.
- Frozen Bonespike -- 25-man Lord Marrowgar -- Nice choice for either disc or holy, and since it drops off the first boss in ICC, it shouldn't be hard to come by over time.
- Trauma -- 25-man Rotface -- Various sources report that the proc rate on this mace is not good. Players who have tested it report it healing for an average of 1-2%. One person told me his guild referred to it as "DE fodder," but if it's an upgrade, take it. The spellpower alone is decent, but in general the raw stats just aren't as good as the Frozen Bonespike. I would consider the proc a 'perk' as opposed to something you weigh into the mace's stats.
- Bone Sentinel's Amulet -- 25-man Lord Marrowgar -- A good choice for holy priests, but you may want to hold out for Blood Queen's Crimson Choker if you don't need more spirit.
- Holiday's Grace -- 25-man Festergut -- Good disc priest itemization, but again, if you're good on regen you'll get more from the neck off Queen Lana'thel. The mp5 will lower the competition for this piece though, making it easier to get, so holy priests can still look to it as an option.
- Blood Queen's Crimson Choker -- 25-man Blood-Queen Lana'thel -- This is the neck you want if you're going for throughput. Everyone else is going to want it too though.
- Shadow Silk Spindle -- 25-man Blood Prince Council -- This is the only non-hit level 264 caster off-hand available until the last wing opens next week. This particular off-hand is good for disc and holy.
- Sundial of Eternal Dusk -- 25-man Sindragosa -- [Disclaimer: This item can't be confirmed as a drop until the fight goes live!] This alternative to the Shadow Silk Spindle has spirit, and is thus better for holy priests.
- Stiffened Corpse Shoulderpads -- Zone drop -- These shoulders drop off of ICC trash. Just like I said in my 10-man gear list, there are currently no shoulder options without spirit, so if you're looking for throughput and don't want tier, this is as good as it's going to get. The exception is if there ends up being shoulders on the Lich King's loot table. Since we can't know for sure though, I would suggest saving your tier shoulder purchase for last. If there are shoulders that drop off Arthas then you can expect a heroic version, if there aren't you can skip these dropped shoulders and go for tier so you can upgrade later.
- Althor's Abacus -- 25-man Gunship -- Depending on your preferences, this may be an amazing trinket or just a good trinket. The spellpower bonus is absolutely fantastic to what else is available, but the proc effect will vary in its effectiveness. On heavy raid damage fights this trinket will shine, but in an alternative situation the proc effect will probably just overheal a lot. On average the proc effect is not going to do much more effective healing than the mace we mentioned earlier, but because the spellpower outshines other trinkets it's a nice choice for healers who like the concept. I personally find the effect too random, but if there is ever an extra one around I would surely take it to swap out for certain fights. This trinket is solely throughput, by the way, so if you need regen be sure to check out Purified Lunar Dust at the badge vendors.
- Bauble of True Blood -- 25-man Blood-Queen Lana'thel -- This is hailed as a PvP trinket, but if you're wanting more mana regen, and didn't get a Solace, this is an okay choice. Cooldown on the use effect is 2 minutes.
- Dying Light -- 25-man Blood-Queen Lana'thel -- If you're like me, and always choose a staff, this is going to be a first choice. Lots of haste means it will be sought after by everyone who can use it though. I suspect there might be a better staff for throughput on the Lich King's loot table, but time will tell.
- Crushing Coldwraith Belt -- 25-man Lord Marrowgar -- This is the throughput belt option, and thankfully since it drops off Marrowgar, everyone should be able to have a shot at it. For this reason I don't recommend spending your badges on the vendor belt, the Circle of Ossus.
- Lingering Illness -- 25-man Festergut -- This belt is an acceptable option for holy priests who didn't nab the Crushing Coldwraith Belt. Disc priests will still find less benefits from spirit in combat.
- Corpse-Impaling Spike -- 25-man Rotface -- This is the throughput wand in 25-man ICC, so if you're disc or holy and don't need mana, grab this.
- Nightmare Ender -- 25-man Valithria Dreamwalker -- [Disclaimer: This item can't be confirmed as a drop until the fight goes live!] A wand with spirit: holy priests have at it. The tooltip says it is BoE but it may be an error. Until the fight is live, we can't confirm anything.
- Death Surgeon's Sleeves -- 25-man Rotface -- Remember how the Unsullied Cuffs were in a league of their own for a while? Same thing here. There are no crafted or badge options currently available for bracers.
Looking at all of it, I'm actually pretty impressed with the itemization available on the level 264 gear. Between the drops, badge gear, and tier, I think there is something for everyone. I'm very curious what will drop off Arthas and how it will affect our wish lists. When we start seeing some of the Lich King's loot next week, I'll be sure to post a third follow-up story.