Not the same old “sheet:” 3.2 DPS Gear Recommendations

Posted by in Cat, Feral, Guide, Technical

A “filler arc” is a phrase used to describe a short side story in a serial comic book or TV show that diverges from the main storyline. It’s often used as a device to prolong the life of a series, give the producers/creators more time to work on the plot, and ostensibly to give the viewer time to catch up to the main story. Remember when your elementary school teacher would take a day off and leave the substitute with four thousand worksheets to keep you busy? It takes up time. Patch 3.2 essentially functions as Blizzard’s filler arc: a semi nonsensical diversion that appeases the content-mongerers and passes out catch-up loot to everyone else.

I mean really—let’s set up a tournament on Arthas’ doorstep where we can hang out and practice fighting shit. He’ll obviously ignore everyone (after having interfered in such minor affairs as Utgarde Keep, for example) and wait until we’re ready to charge through the Citadel itself. But despite Blizzard’s new round of sweeping class changes, Feral model update, and lackluster boss encounters, it really is an excellent time to round out your gear sets and snag some muchly needed updates.

Just in time for Patch 3.2, I’ve updated the Cat DPS Gear Spreadsheet to include all the new Feral DPS items—except for trinkets, idols (which I’ll cover in another post), and PVP gear. This list will exist in a constant state of flux as numbers change, items are added, and I decide to integrate other useful features, such as gear weights based on the FBN model (which I generally follow). I am, however, trying to stay away from designated “best-in-slot” items. Why? Although I’ve suggested super jawesome high-end items to aim for, it’s exceptionally pertinent to note that you need to build your gear around your stats and playstyle. Blindly following any suggestions and/or lists are a sure fire way to look like a retard at some point down the road.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • Armor Penetration hard cap is 1231.6. Generally, we Druids talk about reaching an ArP “soft cap;” that is, the ArP hard cap minus the ArP proc from a trinket. For example, 1231.6 – 612 (proc on Grim Toll) = 619.6. That 619.6 is your soft cap. Until you hit 619.6 ArP, that’s the best stat to stack for both gems and gear (but don’t take a lame piece of loot JUST for the ArP).
  • Expertise and Hit still exist for a reason. You don’t necessarily need to be at the cap these days, but you’ll want to be close.
  • Keep slots open for tier gear! The two-piece T9 bonus extends the duration of Rake by three seconds. This is pretty cool, especially when you consider that’s three more seconds for you to dick around with other things. Like Shred. The two-piece T8 bonus, if you recall, harkens back to the days of T4 and free energy gains. This time, however, the periodic damage dealt by your Rake, Rip, and Lacerate abilities has a chance to cause you to enter a Clearcasting state. Right now, it looks as though wearing two-piece T8 and two-piece T9 will be optimal. If you’re currently wearing four-piece T8 or two-piece T8 with two-piece T7, I don’t recommend breaking your set bonuses until you have two pieces of T9.

If you were actively raiding Ulduar (especially hard modes), you may not find considerable gear upgrades until you’ve been through the Heroic versions of the Coliseum. If you’re looking for quick and dirty upgrades, however, you’ll likely get the biggest bang for your badge buck by going with items such as:

  • Hood of Lethal Intent (75 Emblems of Triumph). Arguably BiS until Heroic T9.25.
  • Leggings of Wavering Shadow (39 Emblems of Conquest). Definitely not BiS, but very easy to obtain right now.
  • Broach of the Wailing Night (19 Emblems of Conquest). Again, not BiS, but with the changes to Conquest Emblems, you’ll have no trouble picking this up after a night of Heroics. It’s a very well rounded and well-itemized accessory with both ample ArP, AP, and AGI.
  • Dexterous Brightstone Ring (35 Emblems of Triumph). Basically the best ring you can get your paws on until you get one to drop out of the Coliseum.
  • Duskstalker Shoulderpads (45 Emblems of Triumph). Although a shoulder slot generally gives it up for a piece of tier gear, these are essentially better than everything until the Heroic T9.25 spaulders.
  • Death-warmed Belt. Sure, you’ll have to shell out some cashmoneys, but you’ll get an incredibly shiny belt with the capability to sport three sockets. This will tide you over until you can pick up the Belt of the Merciless Killer/Belt of the Pitiless Killer from the Twin Valkyrs.

Still going to run hard modes in Ulduar? Even if you just try and pick up some easy 10-man achievements, you can still score totally sweet gear. Here are a few pieces you shouldn’t overlook:

  • Drape of the Faceless General (Vezax Hard, 10 man). This is only marginally “worse” than the two shiniest cloaks from the Coliseum (that we know of): Drape of the Untamed Predator/Cloak of the Untamed Predator. Why? This cloak sports ArP and two sockets. Awesome. I still haven’t seen this drop.
  • Embrace of the Gladiator (Thorim Hard, 25 man). While you’ll go far with the newest chestguards from the Coliseum, three sockets are nothing to sneeze at.
  • Seed of Budding Carnage (Freya Hard, 10 man). Although this isn’t BiS anymore, it’s still a fantastic necklace with ArP, AGI, Hit Rating, and a socket.
  • Loop of the Agile (Iron Council Hard, 10 man). The socket on this ring really makes it great.
  • Soul-Devouring Cinch (Yogg Hard, 10 man). With the capability to slot another socket here, this belt still remains one of the best. Good thing Yogg is pretty cake right now.

This spreadsheet isn’t the end-all-be-all on what you want or need: think about it as a resource for quickly skimming through gear to aim for. If you notice any mistakes and/or items that are not included, please feel free to drop me a line, either via comments or the Contact page.

Looking for info and gear suggestions for Bomb Owls and Bears? Go see Graylo and Kalon, respectively.