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Totem Talk: Utgarde Pinnacle, the Oculus, and heroic Utgarde Keep/The Nexus

Matthew Rossi

And we come at last to the conclusion of our big loot rounup for the five mans and heroic five man instances that debuted with Wrath of the Lich King. How appropriate that this shopping list should conclude on Christmas Day. Loot luck bless us, every one!

Since it is the holidays, I hope you'll forgive me if I dispense with my usual verbosity and move right into the instances and their loot tables. I will be mentioning leather or even cloth drops if they seem really superior to mail for a specific talent spec, so you'll just have to bear with it. (Believe me, I'd rather focus on mail.)

Let's go bust open some piñatas.

Utgarde Pinnacle
If you originally ran through Howling Fjord you got the chance to fight King Ymiron's wife Angerboda, and you probably killed her. As you might expect, he's not thrilled about it. As a result, you have to go kill him too, and as a result you can collect various knick knacks from his servants and lieutenants (and in one case from a stuffed trophy he has that comes to life and attacks you). What might you sift from the ruins of this fine edifice?

Well, on normal, there's not a terrible plethora of mail here. Leather that might interest enhancement shamans includes the Ceremonian Pyre Mantle and the Drake Rider's Tunic. Neither really knocks me out, but both are serviceable if you're not wearing better and no one else wants them. Honestly, I would just wear a rep piece like the Cuttlefish Scale Breastplate but I know it's a bit of a Catch-22: if I mention leather people get annoyed, and if I don't people get annoyed. Since that's the case, I might as well annoy by commission rather than omission. The Tear-Linked Gauntlets, at least, are honest to goodness enhancement shammy mail. Yes, hunters will like them too, but we have like three hunter columnists here already, let them worry about what hunters like.

If you're a DPSing shaman of any spec looking for some haste, look no further than the Vestige of Haldor. It combines a sizeable static haste boost with an interesting DPS proc. I don't have one and know no one who does, so if it's worth it I really can't say. If the proc is the 15% some folks claim, even with a hidden 45 second cooldown, this could be a very nice trinket indeed.

Tor's Crest is a caster shield, nominally more suited to elemental than resto due to its total lack of MP5. The Signet of Ranulf is a spell power ring with some haste, making it usable by either elemental or resto. (My current resto spec/gear selection makes a lot of use of crit and haste, but not every resto shaman likes them as much as I do.) The Shroud of Resurrection is very appealing to resto with the MP5.

What about heroic drops, you may ask? There are actually quite a few worth mentioning. The Staff of Wayward Principles is less good for shamans than other casters due to the spirit (why, in all the recent back and forth about elemental shaman DPS, has no one tried to make spirit not suck for us? If you're going to normalize gear, you kind of should make it so not so much of that gear is meh at best for a class) but it's still got pretty hefty haste and spell power. And if you like haste and spell power, the Ring of the Frenzied Wolvar may appeal to you. The Netherbreath Spellblade has spirit as well, but the crit, spell power and the fact that it's a dagger (I know it looks like a sword, but it's a dagger) means elemental shamans are going to give it a look.

The Meteorite Whetstone will most likely be sought after by your average enhancement shaman. I haven't heard of casters going for it that much, although I can't say the proc sounds bad as a caster. I know you'd make a lot of melee cry if you took this. The Massive Spaulders of the Jormungar are definitely a reason for an enhancement shaman to run UP, although let's face it, they're ugly. Terribly, terribly ugly. The Mantle of Discarded Ways are your caster shoulder option from the Pinnacle. Elemental shamans are also going to be very interested in the Crenelation Leggings, as well as possibly being interested in the Girdle of Bane even though it has spirit and is cloth. Stats don't lie, and it has hit and spell power galore. Enhancement, meanwhile, will be looking for the Sovereign's Belt to drop.

Heroic Utgarde Keep

Since I didn't mention heroic UK drops when I covered the place before, let's get those down while we're in the general area. UK is a fast heroic and some even say it's easier at 80 than UK was at 70. Honestly, I didn't think UK was hard at 70, so your mileage may as always vary.

Casters (especially Elemental, I'd judge) will be looking at Annhylde's Band off of Ingvar. Enhancement feeling a desperate need for expertise may give the Sharp-Barbed Leather Belt and the Bindings of the Tunneler a look even though they're plate. (I kid, I kid, they are of course cloth. They're not cloth? The Sharp-Barbed Leather Belt? Are you sure? Oh, well, I trust you.) While I'm joking about leather, check out the Battlemap Hide Helm. It's going to be heavily nerfed, so if you do get it, enjoy it while it lasts. If you were starting to think there was no mail in this instance (I wouldn't blame you) there's a restoration friendly chestplate and a fairly solid enhancement helm with a meta socket.

The Oculus

Blue dragons! Riding dragon mounts into battle! Several truly annoying boss fights followed by a fight where you desperately try to heal with a weird mechanic and everybody dies over and over again! Welcome to the Oculus. The worst part is, I've run this place into the freaking ground because there's some nice drops in here.

On Normal, you'll be looking at the Spaulders of Skillful Maneuvers. Enhancement shoulders that sound like they'll help you on a date. (So far as I know, they don't.) Elemental shamans will probably be first in line for the Runic Cage Chestpiece and while Malygos' Favor has no crit or hit or MP5, the raw stats and spell power might sway some shamans. The Horned Helm of Varos is pretty elemental friendly, so yes, it's leather. Enhancement, meanwhile, will be interested in the Headguard of Westrift and the Centrifuge Core Cloak.

On heroic, both elemental and resto may well rejoice at an honest to Murgatroyd piece of caster mail, the Scaled Armor of Drakos. As is usually the case for mail with crit and no MP5 I'd say elemental would prefer it to resto. The Pendulum of Telluric Currents is a caster DPS trinket. The Band of Enchanted Growth is tailor made for resto shamans. The Ancient Dragon Spirit Cape is pretty friendly to either elemental or resto. The Staff of Draconic Combat has spirit, but it also has haste and a whopping 408 spell power, plus loads of stats, so it's far far more attractive than the normal staff Malygos' Favor to shamans. Finally, the Azure Ringmail Leggings are some solid pants for our enhancement bretheren.

Heroic The Nexus

I neglected to cover the heroic drops in the Nexus, which is a crying shame, as there's some fine booty of the non-posterior variety in here. Enhancement shamans will want to pick up the Interwoven Scale Bracers, the Dragon Slayer's Sabatons, the Hauberk of the Arcane Wraith and the Sphere of Red Dragon's Blood. Resto shamans will requite the love of the War Mace of Unrequited Love, making the name a total lie. In addition to that mace, the Amulet of Dazzling Light, the Bands of Channeled Energy, and the Frozen Forest Kilt all look smashing for resto. Elemental shamans get very little love. At least the kilt has sockets.

And thus we conclude our look at 5 man and heroic drops for shamans. Next week, most likely we'll look back at 2008. Until then, Happy Holidays and try not to get so festive that you wake up with the taste of egg nog, naked except for a goat skin tied across your waist in a city you've never been to before. Trust me, it's not as fun as it sounds.

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