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Shifting Perspectives: Ruby Sanctum loot for druids

Allison Robert

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. Today, we check the loot tables, smack a dragon around until he barfs up epics and all-powerful thingamabobs -- and it's another Tuesday night in Sunnydale.

I'm still in a World Cup kind of mood, hence the above video. Oh, Iker. Never change!

Yes, I know about the Cataclysm druid forms. I haven't written anything about them yet because:
  • I wasn't really keen on the new tauren druid forms I saw around this time last year, then wound up loving them once I saw them in motion.
  • I don't want to make the same mistake with the Cataclysm druid forms, which is all the more likely because ...
  • The Day-Glo coloration of the troll forms sent me into fits of despair over the implausibility of their stealthing past anything that wasn't a Palm Beach divorcée in a Lilly Pulitzer dress (to borrow a phrase from P.J. O'Rourke).
Bah. Anyway, Ruby Sanctum ilevels are pretty straightforward -- the 10-man coughs up ilevel 258 gear (the same you'd get from ToGC-25), the 25-man coughs up 271 (between ICC-25 and ICC-25 heroic quality), and their heroic versions offer 271 and 284 respectively. In other words, you'll find some quality stuff here. Beyond the cut are the pieces that feral and restoration druids might want.

10-man gear

Changeling Gloves A decent glove option and somewhat interesting in that it packs both haste and crit. Make no mistake -- that and the lack of spirit make it a lot more suited to our boomkin brethren, but it's a fine piece if you're still saving badges toward the tier gloves. They're slightly better for restoration druids than the frost badge option, Gloves of the Great Horned Owl, but not as good as the ilevel 251 tier gloves (which is really what you ultimately want, as you should be planning on buying the badge chest).

Abduction's Cover Another non-spirit piece, but eh -- you can't really complain with the nice bit of haste on it. The heroic version is third-best in slot as a result (behind the Halion-25 heroic Cloak of Burning Dusk and the now-old standby Greatcloak of the Turned Champion off Deathbringer Saurfang-25 heroic). The normal Abduction's isn't more than a sneeze away from the normal Greatcloak, so if you're having trouble convincing Saurfang to drop his cloak, be on the lookout for Abduction's instead.

Gloaming Sark Quite a nice chestpiece for the bears and kitties out there, although the stats on it are definitely oriented more toward a cat. Even then, Ikfirus' Sack of Wonder might be the better pick if you're having problems staying at or around the hit cap (which many ferals do after gearing up in Icecrown Citadel). For bears, the normal Sark falls below the heroic and normal Ikfirus, the badge piece Shadow Seeker's Tunic, and below the ilevel 264 tier chest. It is, however, better than the 251 tier chest.

For cats, it's a comparatively better option. The normal Sark outclasses both the ilevel 251 tier chest and the normal Ikfirus (more so if you're already at the hit cap). Interestingly, the heroic Sark is second-best in slot (best is the 277 tier chest), although I do question whether the lack of hit in ICC will still shove more players in the direction of the heroic Ikfirus.

Baltharus' Gift
There are better options available in ICC if you're restricted to the normal version, but this is still a nice cat neck with a meaty chunk of agility and a lovely red socket. The heroic version is third-best in slot (falling behind Sindragosa's Cruel Claw and Rimetooth Pendant). If you're not in a raiding guild but the Ruby Sanctum is puggable on your realm, try for this instead of shelling out/fighting over Wodin's Lucky Necklace; Baltharus' edges out Wodin's slightly DPS-wise unless you're really hard up for hit.

25-man gear

Sharpened Twilight Scale
What I've said previously concerning trinkets in our gear guides is still true here; they're pretty difficult to rank. That said, this is easily among the best cat trinkets in the game. Unfortunately for you, that also means you're going to be rolling for it against almost every physical DPSer in the raid. If you do manage to snag it, make sure you're not over the armor penetration hard cap (1,399) and, if you are, just drop some ArP gems in favor of agility.

How does it compare to existing trinkets? Tough to say given that its contribution to DPS will vary depending on the passive ArP of the wearer, but most theorycrafters think it's second only to the heroic version of Deathbringer's Will. And what happens when the Cataclysm content patch hits and ArP goes bye-bye? Right now, armor penetration in the beta is being converted to haste, and I feel like it's too early to say how that's going to wind up.

Glowing Twilight Scale An interesting healer trinket with a /use effect not dissimilar from Trauma. The problem for druids is that, unlike Trauma, the effect can only be triggered by direct heals. That's not so good for us, and unless you're a dedicated tank healer, you may only want to pick this up if other healers in the raid don't want it. It's not that it's a bad trinket per se, but it's not well suited to our style of healing. I would expect to see its value rise as the Cataclysm content patch approaches and direct heals become a stronger option.

Petrified Twilight Scale It feels and plays like a tweaked version of the old Commendation of Kael'thas, swapping armor in place of stamina. How useful is it? That'll depend on what you're tanking. It's more useful on most ICC fights than the Corpse Tongue Coin, although I don't think it outranks Sindragosa's Flawless Fang. The Unidentifiable Organ is a tougher call. I'm tempted to say that fights like Lich King and Sindragosa (more so if they're heroic) would put this trinket to very good use, given the huge healing demands and terrifying likelihood of hitting 35% on both encounters.

Signet of Twilight A good cat ring, albeit more so if you're under the hit cap. Otherwise, this is pretty standard fare for an ilevel 264.

Umbrage Armbands This is a good alternative to Toskk's Maximized Wristguards if you're having problems convincing Saurfang to drop those. While the two pieces are fairly close to each other, Toskk's gets the edge for cats with ArP and a bit more attack power, and Umbrage gets the edge for bears with a bit more stamina and armor. Either way, both pieces are very good.

Cloak of Burning Dusk Trees are unlikely to have priority on this cloak due to the absence of spirit and the presence of crit, but it's a great option if nobody else wants it. As stated previously, the heroic version has overtaken heroic Greatcloak as best in slot, but it's got more to do with ilevel than anything else. It's a fine piece if it comes your way, but the stats are definitely more suited to caster DPS or another healer.

Phaseshifter's Bracers Hurrah! Leather wrists with haste on them that you don't have to slog through ToC-25 to get! That alone vaults these babies above their ICC counterparts, although you could technically also pick up Bracers of Fiery Night off Halion-25 too, and they're slightly better. Either way, I was immensely cheered to see an alternative to the ToC/ToGC Bindings/Bracers of the Autumn Willow, which are still ridiculously good but a bit on the stale side.

Every week, Shifting Perspectives treks across Azeroth in pursuit of truth, beauty and insight concerning the druid class. Sometimes it finds the latter, or something good enough for government work. Whether you're a bear, cat, moonkin, tree or stuck in caster form, we've got the skinny on druid changes in patch 3.3, a look at the disappearance of the bear tank and thoughts on why you should be playing the class (or why not).

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