New Two-Handers That Will Make Your Pussy Go Wild

Posted in Feral, Guide, Technical on Jan 23, 2009

A recent comment preempted this post by reminding me that my old list of “gear with Hit Rating” is dated. With the arrival of 3.0.8, we can now take advantage of two-handed maces and polearms—to great effect. For DPS purposes, two-handed maces and polearms nearly eclipse staves of similar item level for DPS purposes and often have Hit and Expertise Rating on them as an added bonus. Let’s take a look at some high-end weapons you’ll want to consider. As a reminder, all numbers are calculated assuming you’ve maxed out Heart of the Wild and Survival of the Fittest. 

Two-Handed Maces

Inevitable Defeat (Naxxramas): provides 120 STA, ~2,407 total AP, ~1.01% Crit, 169.6 AC, 2.03% Dodge, and 2.34% reduction in Dodge & Parry chance. 

The Jawbone (Naxxramas): provides 108 STA, ~2315 total AP, 2.97% Haste, and 1.77% reduction in Dodge & Parry chance. 

Demise (Naxxramas): provides 103 STA, ~2,051 total AP, 1.35% Hit, and 2.67% Haste. 

Titansteel Destroyer (BS crafted): provides 103 STA, ~2,129 total AP, and 1.62% Hit. 

Obviously if you can get your paws on Inevitable Defeat, do it. I’d roll against my mother for that shit. If, however, you’re a fresh 80, you’re looking for an entry-level weapon and you don’t want to rely on the RNG for something shiny, do yourself a favor and get the Titansteel Destroyer crafted. It’s pretty sweet. 

Polearms

Black Ice (Eye of Eternity): provides 88 STA, ~2,341 total AP, 1.37% Crit, 2.74% Dodge, 228.96 AC, 2.16% Hit, and 1.74% Haste. 

Cryptfiend’s Bite (Naxxramas): provides 108 STA, ~2,339 total AP, ~1.90% Crit, ~1.29% Dodge, 108.12 AC, and 2.35% Haste.

Wraith Spear (Naxxramas): provides 79 STA, ~2,072 total AP, ~2.62% Crit, ~2.28% Dodge, 190.8 AC, and 1.37% Haste. 

Saliva Corroded Pike (Heroic VH): provides 135 STA, ~1,799 total AP and 2.13% Crit.

Staves

Journey’s End (Naxxramas): provides 114 STA, ~2,679 total AP, ~2.81% Crit, ~2.21% Dodge, 184.44 AC, and 2.25% Haste. 

Origin of Nightmares (Naxxramas): provides 150 STA, ~2,353 total AP, ~1.27% Crit, ~2.54% Dodge, and 926 AC. 

Staff of the Plaguehound (Naxxramas): provides 150 STA, ~2,366 total AP, ~0.91% crit, ~1.83% Dodge, 1.77% reduction in Dodge & Parry chance, and 152.64 AC. 

The Undeath Carrier (Naxxramas): provides 151 STA, ~2,352 total AP, ~2.80% Crit, ~2.54% Dodge, and 212 AC. 

Staff of the Plague Beast (Naxxramas): provides 135 STA, ~2,080 total AP, ~1.13% Crit, ~2.26% Dodge, and 818.68 AC. 

Staff of Trickery (Heroic VH): provides 133 STA, ~2,124 total AP, ~1.13% Crit, ~2.26% Dodge, and 188.68 AC. 

I’ve charted out the “highest” and “lowest” options for ease of comparison. Note that the cells highlighted in purple denote the “best value” for each category.

A list of numbers is difficult to look at, nevermind make sense of. It’s easy to say hey, this piece has more Crit and AP than this other piece, but you also need to consider secondary factors. Like what? Many of these weapons have Hit and Expertise Rating. As frequent readers know, I’m a big fan of maxing out Hit and Expertise percentages for optimizing sustainable damage. You severely handicap your DPS potential if you’re not capped appropriately against the mob in question (usually, level 83 raid bosses). Thus, you stand to gain the largest DPS increases if you max Hit and Expertise (until the cap) over AP, Crit, and all those other fun things. 

What happens if you’re faced with choosing between one weapon with more Critical Strike and another with more AP? To determine which stat will ultimately be more useful to you (assuming, of course, that the two weapons aren’t wildly dissimilar otherwise), we need to refer back to a post I made about Cat consumables. In that particular article, I briefly discuss Tossk’s DPS methodology:

You can stack AP and STR forever, but you’ll want a corresponding amount of Critical Strike (via Critical Strike Rating and AGI) to gain the largest DPS benefits. I could draw my own pictures for you, but why do the work when Tossk of Kael’thas has been doing it forever? He’s got a fantastic graph that illustrates approximately when +1 AGI is > +1 STR, and vice versa. The giant red line that marches steadily upwards represents the place where 1 AGI approximates 1 STR—your theoretical happy place you want to find eventually. 

If you find yourself lacking in terms of critical strike (where +1 AGI > +1 STR), you may want to opt for the Elixir of Deadly Strikes rather than a flat out AP boost (since you’ll get nearly 1% Critical Strike out of it). If you’ve somehow managed to acquire an absurd amount of Critical Strike already, focus on improving your AP (via Elixir of Major Strength of Flask of Endless Rage). 

Your goal, then, is to find a balance between the two stats. Let’s consider the dilemma using our low-end weapons. The Staff of Trickery and the Titansteel Destroyer rank similarly: whereas the Destroyer has more overall AP and Hit%, the Staff of Trickery has more Crit%. Essentially, if you’re hurting for Crit, go with the Staff of Trickery at the expense of a few AP. If, however, you’re in good shape with Critical Strike and could also use a boost to your Hit Rating, the Titansteel Destroyer will give you over an entire percentage point. That alone might allow you to rid yourself of some high Hit pieces of gear that are otherwise dated. The Titansteel Destroyer is also crafted, which means that you’ll never have to play the RNG to get it (though Violet Hold is arguably the easiest Heroic out there). 

The clear winner from a purely damage based perspective is Journey’s End, one of our original dr00d staves. It’s got more AP and Critical Strike than both Black Ice and Inevitable Defeat, even if the Haste is a little extraneous. I’d rank Black Ice second (for the sexy balance between AP and Crit with the addition of Hit Rating) and Inevitable Defeat third. Just remember: if you’re in need of Hit or Expertise, the Black Ice or Inevitable Defeat will ultimately be your best option. Regardless of all the number crunching here, these three weapons are pretty exceptional, and you’d be lucky to steal any of them. Have all three? Even better! Optimize your armor sets for Expertise and Hit so that you can make the most of any given situation (or gear acquisition), or put together a Threat set (as if we needed more) for tanking.  

Want to know how I got those numbers? Using data from EJ, I made my own little spreadsheet that lets you plug in base weapon values and receive the interpreted data. You can download it here. 

20 Comments

  • At 2009.01.23 15:24, Copey said:

    Nice. Me thinks I’ll be buying a Titansteel Destroyer soon for some extra hit. My cat gear (which is mostly made up of my bear gear) is pretty low in hit right now and I’m working towards that end. From the looks of it I can safely replace my Staff of Trickery. I’ll probably stick with the Staff of the Plague Beast for tanking until something better rolls around.

    I did see Journey’s End drop the other day, but my guild was running naxx 25 with another guild, and the other guild had loot master. So myself and another feral druid weren’t even given the chance to roll on it since “we decided it’s a tanking weapon so it’s going to our Druid MT since you guys are DPS”. I’m not convinced that was fair, especially after looking at these numbers.

    • At 2009.01.24 06:37, Runycat said:

      The nice thing about hit gear is that you can essentially pick up the Titansteel Destroyer and a lot of the rep leather and boost yourself up by like 3-4%. Although I hadn’t been playing Runyarusco lately (instead, I’ve been playing my Horde Druid on Mal’ganis), I logged on last night and did a lot of gear rearranging. Because I was super over budget for Hit (because last time I really played her competitively, everyone thought the hit cap was still 9%), I dropped my Hit chanted gloves (the Gilt-Edged Leather Gauntlets from Heroic Pinnacle), lost 2.58% Hit from those alone, and slotted the Destroyer instead. That allowed me to successfully drop my Hit to a more manageable level (although I could still lose another .7%) and equip a pair of gloves that were a lot better than my old ones (and socket critical strike, which I was losing off my staff). Cool shit.

      Journey’s End is a pretty sick weapon, but I’d argue that it’s DEFINITELY a better DPS weapon than a tanking weapon; in fact, I’d say you get much more mileage for tanking out of the Origin of Nightmares (more STA, more Dodge, more AC, etc.). Bummer, dude. Link them here, next time.

      • At 2009.01.26 11:25, Fujiiro said:

        I’m a Druid MT and I can safely say that you guys got shafted. Heck Staff of the Plaguehound, the normal Naxx DPS staff, is better for tanking than Journey’s End, simply because it has Expertise.

        I use Staff of the Plague Beast myself, since I haven’t run Naxx 25 very often, and I would never take anything other than Origin of Nightmares as an upgrade. Frankly, unless their Druid tank was using something like the Enraged Feral Staff, he just downgraded his gear.

      • At 2009.01.23 16:10, Kal said:

        Don’t forget the incredible mastercraft kaluak fishing pole. Sure, it has no stats whatsoever, but it has the same FAP as the staff of trickery and you can get it at, like, level 70 if you have the rep.

        I long to get it enchanted with goose, but the bastards won’t let me.

        Great piece and research. :) I’m kicking myself now that I let the hunters get the Journey’s End, and hoping that Black Ice or Journey’s end drop again. Okay, no. I’m hoping that the FUCKING LAG DIES IN A FIRE.

        Then raiding would be swell. :)

        • At 2009.01.24 06:40, Runycat said:

          You know, I was just joking about that stupid pole the other day and the fact that I had tried to get it chanted with Beastslayer for kicks (and sadly, as you know, you cannot). Great for all those times you get jumped by mobs while fishing…because…it happens a lot.

          Doing out all the numbers was actually super helpful, especially when you consider that many of the weapons look similar on paper. It cleared up a few longstanding questions for me and solidified the direction I want to be tanking–er, taking.

          I’m in such a quandary in terms of raiding right now. The lag is so bad on Mal’ganis that I haven’t even been able to QUEST to 80 (I’m stuck at nearly 77), and thus for now, I’m back on Doomhammer rocking it out with the other Runy. It’s tiresome, and I wish Blizzard would get their shit together and buy some new servers.

        • At 2009.01.23 19:05, Aelus said:

          I tried to read this post, but I couldn’t stop laughing at the title.

          /blush

          • At 2009.01.24 06:41, Runycat said:

            I know. It’s pretty bad, even for me.

          • At 2009.01.26 10:09, Bruennor said:

            I love the title. I don’t play my feral anymore but I love reading your writing. Keep the great work coming!
            Brewnnor of Gorgonnash ( Boomkin )

            • At 2009.01.27 12:29, Runycat said:

              Boomkin, eh? I’ve gone the route of the laser chicken on my Horde Druid, but I’m still planning on respeccing Feral at 80. Still, it’s pretty fun.

              • At 2009.01.28 08:17, Bruennor said:

                Ya, I felt the need to experience a different side of the druid. I actually have 2 druids. 1 resto, and the other was feral. I decided when I leveled that I would go Boonkin on my resto druid. Hate to say it, there is nothing more satisifying when you see 10k starfire crits. Of course, I still miss the tanking side but being responsible only for yourself is more relaxing.

            • [...] Raiding polearms and 2-handed mace options analyzed [...]

              • [...] HoT also gets in on the action, listing polearms and 2-handed maces. But this article goes much deeper with a list of the top weapons from each category and an [...]

                • [...] A Comparison of Two-Handers from Unbearably HoT Runy takes a look at the best DPS-oriented 2-handers available to Cats. Let it be known that I take no responsibility for the ridiculousness of her double entendres. [...]

                  • At 2009.02.11 12:44, Ik said:

                    I was just considering another crazy possibility. What about using the Titansteel Bonecrusher and Shanker together? The way I understand it from Wowhead, in comparison to my current Staff of Trickery, you lose .75% crit, but pick up 700 FAP and a little expertise. Am I being dumb and missing something major?

                    • At 2009.02.11 14:12, Kal said:

                      You’re missing that druids can’t use offhand weapons.

                      • At 2009.02.11 14:14, Runycat said:

                        I love when you respond to my comments at the same time I respond to my comments.

                        • At 2009.02.11 17:17, Kal said:

                          Simultaneous…commenting is the best.

                          Sorry. I really should take off the feed for comments.

                      • At 2009.02.11 14:12, Runycat said:

                        That’d be a totally sweet idea if we could dual-wield.

                        • At 2009.02.11 15:22, Ik said:

                          Like, not being able to equip 2 weps. :]

                        • At 2009.02.14 09:07, | The Night Council said:

                          [...] A Comparison of Two-Handers from Unbearably HoT Runy takes a look at the best DPS-oriented 2-handers available to Cats. Let it be known that I take no responsibility for the ridiculousness of her double entendres. [...]

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