The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Plunder from the Siege Part 1

The Care and Feeding of Warriors The Plunder from the Siege

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.

Loot lists. Let me tell you a little secret about them - they're a lot more work than you'd expect. They involve going over each boss to see which plate and strength items he drops, checking them out, looking at their stats and then writing up a brief summary of the items here. There are fourteen bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar. That's a lot of items. And in order for the lists to be useful, I have to prioritize gear that's good for warriors and explain why. So it's not as easy as flipping open the Dungeon Journal and then linking a few items. Which is why I resist doing loot lists every single time a new tier opens, but in the end, we all know I have to do it.

So then, let's get started. I'll probably cover the first six or seven bosses this week and move on to the rest of the raid next - there's a lot of gear in Siege of Orgrimmar. I'm not going to link all the LFR, Flex, Warforged, Heroic and Heroic Warforged items, just the normal mode ones - assume any piece I link scales up and down properly depending on the version of the raid you're running.

Immerseus - Besides having a name that I am probably destined to misspell until the end of time, he has a few items for us warrior folks.

Pauldrons of Violent Eruption - if you're deliberately building a high dodge/parry set to work with Riposte, these shoulders will be interesting to you. The two blue sockets are pretty flexible for tanks - you could socket mixed stam gems or pure stam, whatever suited you. I personally like to see a more mixed stat outlay (like Hit or Exp and Dodge or Parry, or Hit/Mastery) but these are more of a pure avoidance piece.

Bracers of Sordid Sleep - speaking of pure avoidance, these bracers exist and again, if you're working on a Riposte based set or just want a boost to those stats they'll serve you well. I'm annoyed that they lack a socket, but that's why I'm a blacksmith I guess. If you're not, well, them's the breaks.

Bubble-Burst Bracers - Hit, which we need up to a point, and haste, which is tolerable for arms and pretty bad for fury. If they're a big upgrade pick them up, but if you have better itemized pieces from ToT, you can wait to upgrade your bracers in my opinion.

Chestplate of Congealed Corruption - This is a solid DPS chest. The haste isn't ideal, but it's not bad for arms and fury can just reforge it to mastery or hit/exp if for some reason it's low on either, and it's got a nice bit of crit and three sockets. With us switching between tier sets, it comes down to whether or not you'll lose a set bonus prematurely by switching to this - since my BP was my offset piece last tier, upgrading to this wasn't a hard decision for me.

Corruption-Rotted Gauntlets - Haste and mastery. Without a stat like crit on them, they're not good for DPS and since haste does absolutely nothing useful for protection, they're just not worth our time. Unless they're just a major upgrade (say, you're replacing a MSV drop) I'd hold off.

Treads of Unchained Hate - really nicely itemized tank boots. I'm fond of an active mitigation stat (hit) and an avoidance stat (parry) being paired up on gear, rather than just pure avoidance. Both parry and dodge got a boost for warrior tanks this patch, but I still prefer this mixed itemization strategy. Not sure why the one red socket, though.

Encapsulated Essence of Immerseus - seeing pure tanking 1h weapons make their return in Throne of Thunder, I wasn't sure if we'd see more of them or not going forward. Well, clearly, we're seeing more of them in SoO. Unlike the ToT tank 1h, this one is at a standard 2.6 speed, which is nice, but a pure avoidance tanking weapon looks strange to me after not seeing them much in Mists. On the up side, you'll only get this weapon on a coin roll or in LFR/Flex if your loot specialization is Protection. If you're building that Riposte set, this could be useful.

The Fallen Protectors - No longer will you curse me with daily quests I wish to avoid, yet need for the reputation! No longer! Now you die and I loot magical items from your twice dead bodies! Sorry, I have a bit of anger to work out here.

Darkfallen Shoulderplates - DK/Pally gear. Only bother with these if you're wearing a much inferior item, as their haste/mastery itemization and two blue sockets seem to point vaguely in a tankish direction and prot warriors get even less from haste than DPS warriors. These are marginal for arms, bad for fury, and terrible for prot.

Gloomwrap Greatcloak - yes, a lot of us will have our legendary capes, but not all of us will, and for those tanks who don't or DPS warriors with a tanking offset who can't or don't want to blow another 7g on a legendary cape (or just aren't that far along) this is actually a solidly itemized little number.

Poisonbinder Girth - okay, the name is suggestive. As a hit/haste belt, it's not ideal unless you're super-low on hit for some reason, but it's got two sockets (for a total of three with a belt buckle) and so it's worth considering. Better for DPS than tanking thanks to the haste, which at least does something for DPS. The crafted Avenger's Trillium Waistplate is better (as is the Protector's Trillium Waistguard for tanks), but with all that Balanced Trillium needed to craft it, this is a lot easier to get.

Rook's Unlucky Talisman - I'll be honest. I don't like this trinket. Stamina is nice (it's still one of our best tanking stats when talking about the overall picture) but that on use is baffling. Yes, there are a lot of boss abilities that count as AoE (like Malkorok's Blood Rage? I hope?) but it still seems weird to me. It's got a short cooldown, though, so considering there seems to be a lot of AoE in SoO, it's probably better than I think it is, I just really don't get why they made it AoE only.

Shockstriker Gauntlets - Dodge/parry gloves, so good for folks going full Riposte crazy. They also have two sockets, which I like for ease of customization. Since we're probably only going to really care about the 2 piece tank set bonus, we'll see more offspec pieces in warrior tank sets, so keep an eye out for drops like this.

Sorrowpath Signet - A crit/hit DPS ring. Pick one up. Hell, if you're a tank, it's worth picking one up and just reforging some of the crit to dodge or something for a Riposte threat set. Don't take it over a DPS, though. You won't use it for serious tanking.

Norushen - for a dude I just met in a scenario in 5.3, this dude sure is pushy. "Purge your corruption" this and "You are infected with the disease of Pride" that. Anyway, there's loot.

Braces of Blind Hatred - now these are your DPS warrior bracers. Pick these up.

Fusion-Fire Core - this is an interesting trinket. It's not great for single target (the cleave proc cannot hit the target you're currently attacking, it can only cleave to up to five other targets) even with the strength proc, because of the long ICD on the strength compared to other trinkets. Now, it's a lot of strength, mind you. So it's not awful. On AoE fights like Galakras or for clearing trash, it's phenomenal. Once there's three or more things to hit, this trinket goes from decent to astonishing, and considering warriors are already a much more AoE focused class, it's worth picking up for those situations. Just make sure to have another trinket handy for single target if possible.

Drape of the Despairing Pit - a haste/mastery DPS cloak. It's not great even if you don't have your legendary (or its epic counterpart) yet. Skip it unless you're desperate for a cape.

Rage-Blind Greathelm - A solid pure avoidance hat. And remember, you can use the legendary meta gem from the earlier stage of the legendary quest in your helmets, so get one for this hat. (You cannot use the prismatic socket on any SoO weapons, though. Keep that in mind.)

Xifeng, Longblade of the Titanic Guardian - with hit and mastery, it's a solid SMF and tanking weapon. I'm not getting into the whole 'who should get it first' argument, cause usually guilds have systems for that and if you're running LFR or flex you'll get it or you won't.

The Sha of Pride - who made the mists? He did. Who dies so we can get some loot? He does.

Our little Sha friend drops the protector chest token. What else does he drop?

Greatsword of Pride's Fall - the best 2h weapon for a warrior in this raid before Garrosh Hellscream. It's debatable whether this weapon or Xal'atoh is actually better for arms. (I'd still put Xal'atoh ahead, but again, that's several bosses down the line from the Sha of Pride.) If this drops you should get it.

Greaves of Sublime Superiority - these are the best DPS boots for a warrior.

Choker of the Final Word - a nice mix of active mitigation and avoidance stats on this tanking neck.

Shield of Mockery - Unless you're rocking a Heroic Thunderforged shield from ToT, and even then, this is probably better. Tanks, you should get this. There's another tanking shield later in the instance with different itemization, but I don't see any reason to pass on this one.

Galakras - AoE everything. That Fusion-Fire Core you picked up? This is the fight it was made for.

Evil Eye of Galakras - do you want to be able to hit Bladestorm or Dragon Roar every 43 seconds? Yes. Yes you do. Get this trinket. Get it now. It would be worth it just for the proc, but the equip makes it so much better, you don't even know.

Thranok's Shattering Helm - sadly, Thranok got haste and mastery all over his hat.

Arcsmasher Bracers - Dodge/Hit tank bracers. Pretty solid overall.

Galakrond Control Band - a pure avoidance tank ring, but with a blue socket it's pretty flexible for any tank itemization strategy you're pursuing.

Krugruk's Rigid Shoulderplates - hit/mastery with two yellow sockets, these are the textbook definition of 'almost any use' for warriors. You could aim them at tanking or DPS depending on gems, reforging and shoulder enchant you choose. They're better for prot warriors than DPS, but they'll certainly work for a DPS player (esp. since two yellow sockets can be stuffed with two crit gems).

Iron Juggernaut - Somebody's a fan of old Transformer's cartoons. What does this ferrous arachnid drop when you squash him?

Earthbreaker's Steaming Chestplate - I do not like that name, and I'm sure the jokes you'll hear in raid will explain exactly why. The itemization is pure avoidance, with three sockets (red, blue and yellow) so it's a solid piece especially for a Riposte favoring build, but that name. Eeeugh. Do not like that name at all.

Tar-Coated Gauntlets - a nice big dose of crit on these, and the haste is easily reforged to whatever stat you need (hit or exp if cap needed, mastery otherwise). Worth considering for your offset piece, or as a piece until you get all four pieces of T16.

Demolisher's Reinforced Belt - Well, it's slightly better than the Poisonbinder if you're good on hit, but again it suffers in comparison to the Avenger's Trillium.

Wall-Borer Bracers - Almost on par with the Norushen bracers for a warrior, especially if you're low on expertise. A solid DPS choice for the wrist slot.

Juggernaut's Ignition Keys - I'd prefer crit over one of these two stats (hit/mastery) for a DPS, but they're itemized to work for tanking or DPS and they will work for either.

Kor'kron Dark Shaman - I hate this fight as melee DPS. It's basically "run away" constantly and you really only get to open up at the beginning when the two shaman and their wolves are all together. I suggest you wear a Fusion-Fire Core and just go to town with all your available AoE, since that's the only time you're going to get to do anything substantial in-between this Pentathalon of Things That Will Kill You If You Stand In Them.

Bloodclaw Band - a hit/mastery ring with a yellow socket. Like all hit/mastery gear, it'll work for any warrior spec, but I slightly favor it for DPS thanks to that yellow socket - between that and a judicious reforge it can add reasonable crit. The Ring of the Iron Tomb is your clear winner for tanking itemization with dodge, hit and a yellow socket. Since both drop here, a tank could technically get both.

Breastplate of Shamanic Mirrors - probably the best non-tier chest, and a solid contender for offset DPS piece with two yellow and one red socket and a crit/mastery itemization. Certainly best for fury.

Ashen Wall Girdle - another hit/mastery piece suitable for all three warrior specs. Pretty solid for a tank. Decent for fury and arms (at least it isn't haste).

Haromm's Frozen Crescent - our second tanking weapon of the raid. A solid mix of stats (parry and expertise) and a red socket. If only SMF fury was viable for tanking. Ah well, I can dream.

Wolf-Rider Spurs - even with the haste, that crit and yellow socket make these compelling DPS boots. If you're doing fine on hit they may even trump the Greaves.

General Nazgrim - Goodbye, comrade. We served in the Grizzly Hills, Vashj'ir and Pandaria together. You weren't always the best commander but no one can assail your loyalty to your warchief. I hope you don't mind that I rifled through your corpse's pockets for some loot.

General Nazgrim drops the Gauntlets of the Cursed Protector. Thanks, old friend. I'll think of you when I wear my tier.

Gar'tok, Strength of the Faithful - This 2h mace is still a pretty solid drop for an Arms warrior or TG fury. Granted, the Greatsword from Sha of Pride is better, but with a yellow socket and expertise/mastery, this isn't a bad option if the Greatsword won't drop. Unless you're rocking a Heroic Thunderforged Uroe, this is an upgrade over any ToT weapon. (It's actually an upgrade over that, even, but a marginal one and you can wait for the Greatsword in that case.) If you'd used this mace instead of that Ravager from Scarlet Monastery, maybe you would have survived. So I guess I should thank you for not using it.

Bulwark of the Fallen General - if you didn't get the Shield of Mockery, or want mastery on your shield, then this is a good alternative. It's also an interesting looking shield.

Okay, that's eight bosses down, six to go. Expect to finish out this tour of the Siege of Orgrimmar's shinies next week.

At the center of the fury of battle stand the warriors: protection, arms and fury. Check out more strategies and tips especially for warriors, from hot issues for today's warriors to Cataclysm 101 for DPS warriors and our guide to reputation gear for warriors.