New Two-Handers That Will Make Your Pussy Go Wild

Posted by in Feral, Guide, Technical

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.