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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Raiding Gear Pt. II

Matthew Rossi

We got half-way through our available raid content last time we talked about raiding gear. Since the next big topic I intend to cover is stances and their current implementation, and since this column is a day late, I decided to finish up the topic before moving into one as controversial as stance penalties. This week we'll talk about armor, rings, trinkets and necklaces for both tanks and DPS in Naxxramas (or Naxxaramas, as my subconscious insists on misspelling it) and then we'll discuss Malygos and what booty he has in store for warriors if there's room.

Before we get going, I wanted to point out that in the most recent PTR patch notes, the change to Sudden Death (where no more than 30 rage is used on a Sudden Death execute) has been implemented, but there is as yet no change to Deep Wounds. This doesn't mean there won't be one, but for now it's not part of the notes, so it's possible any such change won't take place in time for 3.0.8 depending on when that happens. (Basically, if the patch happens this week we're probably clear until 3.1.)

To be honest, I don't like the reasoning for the change, that Deep Wounds damage is too high because it is damage unmitigated by armor, especially since (as many prot warriors reminded me in the column where I first mentioned it) it's used as a source of constant threat by a lot of tanking warriors. Since Deep Wounds puts a DoT on anyone the warrior crits, and tanks have a high crit chance with abilities like Incite, it's not hard for a warrior tank to get Deep Wounds up on a lot of mobs at once and thus keep ticking threat on them even when focusing on other mobs. Any change to Deep Wounds needs to keep this use of the talent in mind. (I went and specced prot for a heroic Utgarde run the other day just to try it out, and it's fantastic threat. It even seems to work when Thunder Clap crits.) We'll definitely be watching how this all plays out.

On to gear!

Naxxramas continued

We covered weapon drops in Naxx last time, so now we'll talk about everything else. There's a lot of everything else in Naxx, as it is where the majority of your gear is coming from in raids at the moment. I mean, there's one boss in Obsidian Sanctum (which can be made to drop slightly more gear if you do it the hard way) and one boss in the Eye of Eternity, and fifteen boss encounters in Naxx. It stands to reason the majority of your gear is here.

There's quite a bit of plate in Naxx, even after we discount all that awful stuff with *yeuch* spell power on it. Since Gluth has a chance to drop anything except gear from Kel or Sapph, he's kind of a 'one-stop shop' post for characters looking to gear up in Naxx. In Naxxramas 10 the tanking plate of interest includes the Abomination Shoulderblades off of Gluth and Patchwerk, the Gauntlets of the Master off of Gluth and Faerlina, the Legplates of Inescapable Death off of Gluth and Loatheb, the Minion Bracers off of darn near every mob in the instance (you know, the minions), the Plague-Impervious Boots off of, you guessed it, Noth the Plaguebringer and yes, Gluth again. The Thane's Tainted Greathelm (a very sweet hat with a meta socket) is available from the Four Horsemen chest and yes, Gluth also drops one. And Instructor Razuvious (and here comes Gluth again, I swear that dog eill eat anything) drops the Waistguard of the Tutor, a very hot tanking belt. Finally, Sapphiron (and not Gluth, just in case I've trained you too well) drops the Massive Skeletal Ribcage.

As for DPS gear in normal Naxx, Gluth vomits up a fair share of that too. Bad dog! I'm just going to mention when he doesn't drop a piece from now on and save us all some time. The Bracers of Lost Sentiments from Faerlina lack in crit, but provide solid hit, expertise and strength for your DPS warrior. The Chestplate of the Risen Soldier has crit, haste, and of course strength, it comes from Noth. The Gauntlets of Combined Strength from Patchwerk are, frankly, a little underwhelming. Gothik, however, drops a heck of a sweet belt for DPS. Sapphiron (and only Sapph, remember) drops the Helm of the Unsubmissive, with a meta socket, a blue socket, hit and haste rating. Finally, Grobbulus drops the Leggings of Innumerable Barbs, which have too many barbs to count apparently. I'm kind of lazy so I just take their word for it.

There are two DPS and one tanking ring of interest in 10 man Naxx - the Deflection Band is a solid tanking piece, the Circle of Death is ideal for DPS warriors, and the Sealing Ring of Grobbulus will serve a DPS warrior. (Strength is generally better than AP for a warrior, due to buffs that scale stats.) Our necklace options are the Amulet of Autopsy from Heigan and the Medallion of the Disgraced from just about everyone for tanks, and the Collar of Dissolution from Anub'Rekhan and Gem of Imprisoned Vassals from head dead man Kel'Thuzad himself. Finally, our DPS will be looking to acquire Loatheb's Shadow if they feel low on crit, while tanks will be giving the Repelling Charge from Thaddius their attention.

In addition to all this, four of the five tokens warriors (and hunters and shamans, of course) can use to purchase their set pieces drop in Naxxramas. Gluth has a chance to drop any piece save for the one Kel'Thuzad drops, the Helm of the Lost Protector. The Chestguard of the Lost Protector is found in the Four Horsemen's chest, Thaddius drops the legs, and Loatheb the spaulders. These can be turned in for either DPS or Tanking options.

This covers 10 man Naxx drops, but what about heroic, you may ask? Well, even if you didn't that's what we're covering next. As before, if it doesn't drop from KT or Sapph, it can also drop from Gluth.

For tanks, we have an assortment of options from heroic Naxx. There's quite a selection here, in fact: the Ablative Chitin Girdle and Bindings of the Hapless Prey from Maexxna, the Fleshless Girdle from Patchwerk, the Bracers of the Unholy Knight from Razuvious, the Breastplate of Tormented Rage from Heigan the Unclean, the Burdened Shoulderplates and Helm of Vital Protection from Gothik (that's a very well rounded hat, too), the Inexorable Sabatons (more strength than stamina on a tanking piece, interesting - with the str and SBV these are clearly threat boots) and Pauldrons of Unnatural Death off of Anub'Rekhan, the Callous-Hearted Gauntlets off of Faerlina, the Chestguard of the Exhausted off of Grobbulus, the Gauntelts of the Disobedient from Noth, the Greaves of Turbulence from Loatheb, the Sabatons of Endurance from Thaddius, and finally the Platehelm of the Great Wyrm from Sapphiron and only Sapphiron. As you can see, the potential for several sets optimized for threat or survival exists in the gear available to tanks in Naxx 25.

DPS need not fear a paucity of gear for their interests, however. It's there, hoo boy is it there. If you're low on expertise Faerlina has the Bracers of the Tyrant for you, while if you'd rather have crit then Gothik has the Bracers of Unrelenting Attack. Maexxna drops the Undiminished Battleplate, a solid hit/expertise chest. while Sapphiron drops the astonishing Breastplate of Frozen Pain. Faerlina drops the Fire-Scorched Greathelm (which you've sene in several screenshots of my warrior, I love this hat) while the Shoulderguards of the Undaunted drop off of trash (in my experience they drop a lot in the Military Quarter). Instructor Razuvious drops the Girdle of Razuvious, as well as the Legplates of Double Strikes. Patchwerk is the source for the Crude Discolored Battlegrips with solid hit and crit. Grobbulus drops the Girdle of Chivalry, Heigan the Iron-Spring Jumpers, and Thaddius the Riveted Abomination Leggings. Anub'Rekhan drops some of the best DPS boots I've yet seen, while Noth drops Armor Pen Shoulders and there's a BoE set of gloves from the Four Horsemen.

There's a variety of rings for warriors in Naxx. First I'm going to mention is the BoE Signet of Edward the Odd. The proc makes it interesting to me, as I'd like to try and build a dedicated haste set and see how valuable I think it is now. Still, this ring is hardly a must have for warriors compared to Ruthlessness or even the Strong-Handed Ring. The Sand-Worn Band is of definite interest to a tanking warrior, but if you're doing fine on defense and the druid tanks have it already Gatekeeper merits your attention as well. That is some solid dodge and hit right there.

Heritage, a solid tanking neck, is apparently dropped by up to five bosses in Naxx. The other tanking option in Naxx 25, Boundless Ambition, only drops from Kel'Thuzad. And the DPS option, Fool's Trial, drops off of the same bosses as Heritage, while Sapphiron drops the Icy Blast Amulet.

Trinkets from Naxx 25 for tanks are the Defender's Code (more of a druid trinket but still usable for a warrior) from a variety of bosses and the Rune of Repulsion (repeat that previous sentence but with Death Knight instead of Druid) from Sapphiron. DPS trinkets are the Bandit's Insignia from Sapphiron and Grim Toll, also from a variety of bosses. I really like that Grim Toll myself. Even with the change to armor pen to a rating that's a lot of armor ignored and the hit is solid.

Finally, the same four tokens for the Valorous tier set drop as did the Heroes tokens in 10 man Naxx. Same bosses and everything, for both DPS and Tanking options.

Okay, that's pretty much Naxx in as small a nutshell as I could manage. Next week we'll either finish this with a look at Malygos and Emblem gear or we'll talk stances and pick this up the week after.

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