Scattered Shots Hunter 52 trinkets THURSDAY

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Last week we went over the patch 5.2 hunter gear -- everything, that is, except for the most complicated slot. And as always, the roughest gear and most debated gear decisions revolve around trinkets.

The question of which of the hunter trinkets are best is further complicated by the fact that current trinkets can be upgraded (a feature that will not be available to us once patch 5.2 hits). So will the upgraded Relic of Xuen be a contender with the new trinkets? Or should you spend those valor points elsewhere in your remaining weeks?

So let's roll up our sleeves and do some trinket math! We're going to take a look at all the new hunter trinkets datamined in patch 5.2, and compare that against the upgraded forms of some of the top other trinkets.

Real PPM and you

It's worth taking a moment to note that most of our new trinkets use Blizzard's new Real PPM system. This is a new way of calculating proc chance that helps keeps procs random while also ensuring that everyone will see approximately the same average number of procs regardless of how fast you're attacking. Thus a MM hunter hardcasting Aimed Shot will see about the same number of procs as a SV hunter going crazy with Thrill of the Hunt (which, by the way, don't).

Where Real PPM starts to matter to us is that it scales with haste. Not in the sense that straight % proc scales with haste, but the actual formula for calculating proc chance scales with haste. This benefits us more than the old system, due to the huge number of instant shots we fire (which don't fire any faster regardless of haste). Thus hunters with high haste will see improved benefit from these trinkets -- even if that hunter is a MM Aimed Shot hardcasting hunter. All that matters is your haste, not how many shots you fire.

It's worth noting that a couple trinkets is not reason enough to start stacking haste -- you will want to stack crit as your preferred secondary stat after hitting the expertise and hit caps.

For the sake of mathing out the trinkets, I assumed a raid buffed hunter in normal-mode t15 gear. If you're just doing 5-mans, then those Real PPM trinkets will be worth a bit less for you, and the others worth a bit more.

The new hunter trinkets

Before we get into the rankings, let's take a look at the new trinkets coming to hunters in patch 5.2. For the sake of simplicity (because there are more possible permutations in this comparison than ever before) we're just going to look at the normal mode version of these trinkets. Obviously the heroic versions are better, and the Raid Finder versions are worse.
  • Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault: It's worth stressing that this trinket is Shado-Pan faction based and as such does not have a heroic (or raid finder) version. Thus on the very Best in Slot gear lists, this won't make the cut. But at normal mode it's very good indeed, provided you can handle the huge hit boost it gives you (getting rid of hit at the 5.2 gear level can be an issue).
  • Renataki's Soul Charm: This trinket uses the Real PPM system, and comes with a hefty chunk of expertise in addition to the interesting scaling agility proc.
  • Talisman of Bloodlust: Another Real PPM trinket, the Talisman of Bloodlust procs a potentially stacking haste effect. Of course with a Real PPM of 3 and a 10 sec duration, the haste effect will usually fall off before reaching its max stacks.
  • Bad Juju: a super fun Real PPM trinket that summons voodoo gnomes! Blizzard has told us that the voodoo gnomes are there mostly for flavor and don't really contribute any meaningful damage -- but this trinket nevertheless has a wee bit worse Real PPM than Renataki's Soul Charm, despite having what appears to be identical itemization.
  • Rune of Re-Origination: Yet another Real PPM trinket, this one has an absolutely fascinating and very cool mechanic that is unfortunately not useful for hunters. Update: after the writing of this post Blizzard massively improved this trinket, doubling its value. It is now worth using.
The old trinkets to consider

In addition to the new 5.2 hunter trinkets, I wanted to take a look at some of the older trinkets and see how they stand up. This is particularly complex since we can upgrade our older trinkets up to twice, creating a heck of a lot of permutations. Here is the short list of condenders that we'll put in the spreadshee-shaped arena with the newer trinkets:
  • Terror in the Mists (heroic): to have a chance against the new guys, we gotta look at the heroic version of this guy. In fact, we're going to have to upgrade him as well. Also, I have apparently determined the gender of this trinket.
  • Bottle of Infinite Stars (heroic): this totally awesome trinket can be upgraded for more awesomeness to let it compete for a while.
  • Relic of Xuen: The hunter Darkmoon card still has fight left in it! With two upgrades this trinket continues to be worth looking at.
The best hunter trinket ranking

Here are the rankings, from best to worst, of the hunter trinkets. I'm including all of the 5.2 trinkets plus the contenders listed above. As always, stats are valued differently depending on your spec and your other gear, so you may see a slight difference in value from these trinkets. I'm also listed these assuming that you can handle the extra hit or expertise rating -- meaning that you're able to reforge the excess away into crit, or whatever lesser secondary stat that tickles your fancy (as long as it's crit).

I'm going to include some brief notes next to some of the trinkets that could affect your longterm decisions.
  1. Renataki's Soul Charm - doesn't proc often, but procs big as long as you can deal with the big stack of expertise rating.
  2. Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assult - be aware that there is no heroic version of this, and we're comparing normal-modes. If you have access to heroics, trinkets lower on the list will take this trinket's place. Also, watch out for the hit rating stacked on this puppy.
  3. Bad Juju - I don't get the lower proc chance on this guy, but with no hit or expertise it can make your reforging life a bit easier.
  4. Rune of Re-Origination - The ranking of this trinket is highly dependent on the amount of secondary stats you have -- specifically how much haste and mastery (since you should have the most crit). Pay attention to tools like SimC and FemaleDwarf to see how this trinket ranks against the others with your specific gear.
  5. Relic of Xuen (2 upgrades) - yup, that's right, the Relic of Xuen is still kicking. Nothing like taking some agility and proccing yet more agility! Not a best in slot, but a surprisingly good choice that is not at all far behind the top three.
  6. Bottle of Infinite Stars (heroic, 2 upgrades)
  7. Talisman of Bloodlust
  8. Terror in the Mists (heroic, 2 upgrades)
UPDATE: Ghostcrawler has posted an update to the Rune of Re-Origination that radically improved its value, and the rankings have been adjusted for that.

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This article was originally published on WoW Insider.