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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Firelands non-heroic raid gear

Matthew Rossi

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Patch 4.2 is here. As I indicated last week, this week I will be discussing Firelands gear options for warriors. I expect I will have to do at least three weeks to cover all the possible upgrades for both DPSers and tanks, especially with Avengers of Hyjal rep rewards, regular and then heroic Firelands raid gear. If we get it done faster, that'll be nice.

Also, I'm a tauren now. That's right, I'm playing Horde again. I do still love worgen, but for now, I'm a tauren. I got a pretty necklace this week. It's one of the things I would like to tell you about. So let's talk about Firelands.

Trash drops

Firelands trash drops quite a few items warriors will be interested in. The Firebound Gorget is a DPS neck but with mastery that high you could reforge some of the expertise off and use it as a tanking neck. Mastery is better for TG than SMF right now, but I happened to have lost a little expertise recently, and so I snapped it up.

Likewise, the Obsidium Cleaver has hit and mastery, so with the proper reforging, it could serve as a SMF weapon or a tanking weapon. The Apparatus of Khaz'goroth, on the other hand, is a pure DPS trink and keeps reminded me of Kwalish. I'm honestly not at all sure about that complicated on-use, although I'm pretty sure that many DPS warriors are going to have higher crit than either haste or mastery. Arms warriors might have more mastery, but I don't expect so initially.

Finally, there's Theck's Emberseal. Hit. On a tanking ring. Again. Despite there being absolutely no reason for a warrior tank to stack hit anymore, thanks to Blizzard's complete inability to make it a compelling stat. Sigh. I am sad. I want the ring, mind you. You can always reforge the hit to parry. Like I said a few months back, reforging is the biggest change the game has ever had.

Overall, the Apparatus and Obsidium Cleaver are the best drops to be had off the trash, and I am looking forward to both.

Boss Drops: The Gateway Four

So that covers the attractive loot from trash. (I'm not listing the agility polearm. I know some arms warriors will grab it; I don't care. It's an agility polearm.) Now, we have bosses to discuss.

Before I mention a specific boss, we now know that Zoid's Firelit Greatsword has a chance to drop from any boss except (it seems) Raggy himself. It's a solid arms or TG fury weapon, albeit with haste and a blue (blue?) socket.

First up, we'll cover Beth'tilac, 'cause she's one of the first bosses most people go after. What does she drop for us, besides horrible spiders? (She drops lots of those, right on us. It's quite annoying.) Bethy (I call her that) drops two items that will be of interest to warriors, the Arachnaflame Treads (DPS boots; just reforge off the haste to something else... almost anything else) with a lovely red socket, and the Carapace of Imbibed Flame for tanks. Two blue sockets in a Don't gem stamina world is a little odd, but you can find a nice green or purple gem choice and get the socket bonus (more stamina) pretty easily. I'd get mastery, if I were you. And lest we forget (like I did), there's the Mandible of Beth'tilac, which is a mastery/dodge tanking sword, well itemized and rather nice-looking.

Lord Rhyolith drops a few plate pieces of interest, including the Cracked Obsidian Stompers (dodge, expertise and a blue socket proves that Blizzard will try and force via itemization what it fails to make compelling, stat-wise -- but still solid boots). Try the Earthcrack Bracers for DPS, and the Fireskin Gauntlets with hit and mastery, possible to reforge for either direction. The red socket makes them seem more amenable to DPS, it's true.

Now to Shannox. He's possibly my favorite new boss because he drops the Skullstealer Greataxe, which I covet. It's about as good as Zoid's, which could be easily gemmed with a purple of some kind (strength and hit) and have the same strength, but it comes down to crit/haste vs. haste/mastery, and mastery is better for TG (which is what I'd use that axe for). Mastery's still really viable for arms as well. It's a solid axe. He also drops the Uncrushable Belt of Fury, which has a bit more expertise than I like (I'm already reforging it off of my DPS gear as is), the Necklace of Fetishes (better than the trash neck for DPS, I think, although if you're arms you may disagree), and the Legplates of Frenzied Devotion, which are nicely itemized with dodge and parry and two sockets, red and blue. I really, really like those.

Our favorite firebird, Alysrazor (who I killed as Alysra; I feel kind of bad about that) doesn't stint us plate wearers. First up is Alysrazor's Band, which I like for the red socket but seems kind of underwhelming in terms of the haste and expertise. Still, you want to hit around 26 expertise -- and by Zeus, you should be able to, right? Then we have the Greathelm of the Voracious Maw, which I really like both for looks and for pure DPS stats. Crit and mastery together are pretty sexy; you can reforge for SMF if you like, and okay, that blue socket is weird. Gem strength/hit if you're desperate for that socket bonus, I guess. It's 30 strength; that's not terrible. The Lavaworm Legplates aren't bad, either, nice DPS legs with red/yellow sockets and hit/mastery itemization. Lastly, she offers the Spaulders of Recurring Flame, which are dodge/parry tank shoulders. Another nice double avoidance piece.

That gets us through the first four, but what about the big three?

Boss Drops: The Big Three

Here wait Baleroc, Majordomo Staghelm and Raggy himself. What do they have for us warriors? (Hint, if you don't know by now that Ragnaros drops a nice 2-handed hammer, you're not actually awake and reading this.)

First up is Baleroc. I have no idea what Baleroc is supposed to be. He also drops the Flickering Handguards, which are random enchantment loot. They could be good, they could be terrible, they could be healing gear. No way to know until they drop. Oh, who are we kidding? They're going to be healing plate. Still, if you get lucky and they drop with useful stats, there you go.

He also likes tanks, apparently -- at least, shield tanks -- as he drops the Helm of Blazing Glory (parry/mastery is pretty decent, as mastery is pretty awesome for warrior tanks) and the Shard of Torment, a shieldy shield of shielding. The Shard has parry, dodge and two blue sockets, meaning that if you want one piece to really go hog wild on stamina, this is that one piece.

Our old friend Majordomo Staghelm has two drops we'd be interested in, the DPS BP Breastplate of Shifting Visions (haste and mastery are not ideal, but it's got a red socket in addition to that blue, so you can gem strength and then strength/hit if you want the socket bonus) and the Bracers of the Fiery Path for tanks. Parry/mastery isn't terrible for tanks (you may want to reforge some of that parry to dodge, but maybe not), so these offer decent customization overall for tanks.

Finally, there's our boy Ragnaros himself. He drops a hammer I've already mentioned once. It's beautiful. It's perfectly itemized for arms with the crit and mastery, and it will serve a TG warrior just fine. It's 3.8 speed, which is still nice even in this age of normalized attacks. It has two red sockets, which are just screaming Strength gems, please! for any warrior lucky enough to get one. It's lovely. Get one. Heck, get two. I'm okay with it.

In addition to Sulfuras II Pyrotic Boogaloo, Ragnaros also drops a very nice melee trinket, the Vessel of Acceleration, also known as the strength trinket that heard you like crit so it adds crit when you crit so you can crit more when you crit. And just to make sure that tanks don't feel left out, there's the Pauldrons of Roaring Flame -- dodge and mastery, plus a yellow socket for more mastery if you wanted to go that route. Plus, they're a unique model as far as I can tell, which is nice.

That covers the Regular Firelands drops. Next week, we'll cover Avengers of Hyjal and the daily quest items.

At the center of the dury of battle stand the warriors: protection, arms and fury. Check out more strategies and tips especially for warriors, including Cataclysm 101 for DPS warriors, a guide to new reputation gear for warriors, and a look back at six years of warrior trends.

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