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Patch 4.0.6 – Hunter Gemming, Glyphs, Enchants and Consumables

Posted on: Mar 18, 2011 | Author: Shambels

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No one likes a player who comes to a raid unprepared or more specifically unenchanted, ungemmed, unglyphed and without consumables. More often than not such a player will be booted from a raid. So to be competitive in raids and pump out dps to your full potential you will need to know which gems, enchants, glyphs and consumables to use.

With the release of Cataclysm we have seen a new bunch of gems, glyphs, enchants and consumables. Below is a concise guide on what best to equip/use in 4.0.6.

 

 

Gems

Red sockets:   Delicate Inferno Ruby (or Delicate Chimera’s Eye if you’re a JC)

Yellow sockets: Deadly Ember Topaz

Blue sockets:  Delicate Inferno Ruby (or Glinting Demonseye if socket bonus is at least 20 agility)

Meta Gem: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond

Firstly make sure you satisify your meta gem requirement by equiping 3 red gems (which is your main gem anyway so this is no problem). Also because agility is our best stat we will be ignoring all blue sockets and equiping +40 agility gems if the socket bonus is less than 20 agility. For yellow sockets however if the socket bonus provides at least 10 agility or 20 of another stat then it is worth using the Deadly Ember Topaz orange gem (as specified by Frostheim from Hunters Union).

 

 

Glyphs

BM Prime Glyphs 

  1. Glyph of Arcane Shot (Arcane Shot is used by BM hunters regularly and a 12% boost makes this glyph a must)
  2. Glyph of Kill Command (solid glyph that provides a nice dps gain)
  3. Glyph of Kill Shot (two kills shots in a row is awesome. This glyph provides more dps than Glyph of Serpent Sting if your hunter is geared, however the dps gain will vary depending on the fight duration)
  4. Glyph of Serpent Sting (viable option, provides a constant dps benefit)

BM Major Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Disengage (can be handy in raids)
  2. Glyph of Bestial Wrath (nice dps gain, rivals some prime glyphs!)

 

Marksman Prime Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Steady Shot (10% boost is nice to a shot that is already a large contribution to your dps)
  2. Glyph of Arcane Shot 
  3. Glyph of Kill Shot 
  4. Glyph of Chimera Shot (very viable glyph, however you need to be precise and comfortable with your rotation to utilise the benefits of this glyph.)

Marksman Major Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Disengage
  2. Glyph of Silencing Shot

 

Survival Prime Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Explosive Shot (a 6% boost to your main shot makes this glyph a no brainer)
  2. Glyph of Serpent Sting (good for SV as its gets more benefit from Serpent Sting through mastery and Toxicology)
  3. Glyph of Kill Shot
  4. Glyph of Arcane Shot (grabbing this glyph instead of Kill Shot depends on your gear and haste, which in turn affects your rotation. If you find yourself firing more and more Arcane Shots grab this glyph instead)

Survival Major Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Disengage 

 

Minor Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Feign Death (can be handy in raids)
  2. Glyph of Mend Pet (pretty much means you don’t have to carry food for your pet anymore)

 

 

Enchants

Head: Arcanum of the Ramkahen (obtained from the Ramkahen Quartermaster and requires a reputation of revered)

Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal (obtained from the Therazane Quartermaster and requires a reputation of exalted. If you’re only honored with Therazane you can get Lesser Inscription of Shattered Crystal while working your way to exalted.)

Chest: Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats (if you cannot get hold of the required Maelstrom CrystalsEnchant Chest – Mighty Stats is your best option.) 

Waist: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle

Back: Enchant Cloak – Major Agility

Wrists:  Enchant Bracer – Agility

Legs: Dragonscale Leg Armor

Feet: Enchant Boots – Major Agility ( or Enchant Boots – Assassin’s Step if you prefer the slight speed increase instead of the extra agility)

Gloves: Enchant Gloves – Major Agility

Weapon (2-hand): Enchant 2H Weapon – Mighty Agility

Rings: Enchant Ring – Agilty (if you are an enchanter)

 

 

Consumables

Flasks: Flask of the Winds (expensive but provides amazing stats and persists through death. A must for any raid.)

Food: Skewered Eel (or Seafood Magnifique Feast when your guild is able to make them)

Potions: Potion of the Tol’vir (recommended to use during boss burn phases to maximise dps. Best used together with Heroism/Bloodlust/Timewarp)

Drums:  Drums of Forgotten Kings (recommended to use if you have no pally or druid in your raid)

 

Following this guide and preparing yours for raids (and even heroics) in the correct way will show fellow raiders and party members that you are serious about raiding and are prepared to contribute to your full potential. You will also have more fun raiding when you see the dps increase a little preparation can do.


Rogue Level 85 PVP Builds – 4.0.6

Posted on: Mar 02, 2011 | Author: Skorne

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With patch 4.0.6 out I would like to delve into some viable Subtlety and Assassination pvp builds and highlight the differences in play style between the two trees, primarily focusing on rotations, stat priorities, glyphs, pros and cons of each build, and the impact the patch has had.   

Prior to Cata coming out we saw Assassination as pretty much the only viable choice for pvp. Now in Cata with major talent tree changes we see Subtlety rise as a pvp contender. In the latest patch (4.0.6) Subtlety received a much needed damage boost and a slight utility nerf, while Assassination remained untouched (see Rogue Patch 4.0.6 Changes post). This change has made Subtlety competitive as a sustained damage dealer (but still substantially lower than Assassination) closing the gap between Assassination and Subtlety dps.   

Personally I prefer to play Subtlety as I believe its mobility and utility far outweighs Assassination’s sustained damage advantage. The current mobility state of Assassination is terrible. Assassination rogues are very exposed to kiting from classes such as hunters and mages and really only have sprint as a gap closer. Until mobility is addressed I will be sticking to Subtlety.

   

Pros
–> Large sustained damage
–> Spell damage debuff on opponents
–> Quick combo point regen
Cons
–> Little utility
–> Poor mobility
–> Dependency on poisons

Subtlety

Subtlety is an opener build that relies heavily on burst damage through abilities like Find Weakness and Shadow Dance and also cooldown usage to keep opponents controlled. It is regarded as the most challenging build to master due to its positional dependency (must be behind target to Backstab, Ambush, Garrote), its reliance on going in and out of stealth and its rotationless playstyle. But once mastered, it should be the preferred choice as it is really the only build of any sort of utility and mobility. Things such as  Gouge not breaking on your bleeds; using Shadowstep to easily stick to opponents and secure CC, and Shadow Dance effectively locking down opponents, not to mention having Preparation readily available is what makes Subtlety so attractive. There are two variations of Subtlety pvp builds that I have played around with.   

 

Subtlety Build 1 - 8/2/31   

    

   

Essential talents   

Secondary talents (handy talents to have)   

This build is regarded as the current cookie-cutter Subtlety level 85 pvp build. It skips Serrated Blades and Enveloping Shadows which are very lackluster in pvp.  Initiative  and Waylay are also rarely choosen by most rogues as other talents are more preferable and most rogues consider Waylay to be overkill when confident with their Crippling poison application.   

1 point is usually placed in HaT for the 5% crit buff and combo point generation (be wary when switching targets however). Sanguinary Vein is also recommended mainly for allowing Gouge not to break during bleeds. Cheat Death can regularly mean the difference between victory and death and has saved me countless times.   

The speed and healing buff from Quickening is the target in the Assassination tree. 3/3 Lethality and 2/3 Coup de Grace is your best option (dps wise) to get to Quickening and then put the remaining point into Puncturing Wounds for an increase in crit chance on your Backstab.   

    

Subtlety build 2 – 0/10/31   

    

  

Essential talents 
Secondary talents (handy talents to have)

This is the build I am currently playing and one which focuses on secondary talents from the Combat tree. The aim is to get to Improved Sprint in the Combat tree to enhance your mobility even further, making you virtually unkiteable. Once again Improved Recuperate  is taken and is pretty much a must have pvp talent for all pvp builds. A single point here is equivalent to over 300 resilience and the heal over time it grants is awesome, healing you for around 6K per tick with buffs! I find Precision coupled with the Glyph of Crippling Poison a handy talent in maintaining Crippling poison on my target. Aggression provides a nice dps increase on your Backstab and Eviscerate making it a good alternative to Lethality in the Assassination tree.

  

Pros
–> Good mobility
–> Lots of utility
–> 5% crit chance to party
–> High burst damage
Cons
–> Low sustained damage
–> Positional dependency
–> Challenging build to master

Assassination

Assassination is a build that has potent sustained damage. It is all about offensive pressure, utilizing your stuns, bleeds and poisons to chip away at an opponent until they’re dead. While being able to hit like a truck, the build has a big problem with mobility. Assassination rogues are therefore very susceptible to kiting and you will often find it hard to reach and stay on your target.

 

 

Assassination build – 31/2/8

 

 

As stated above this build is all about offensive pressure on your target. Realistically you could allocate points anywhere within this tree except Deadly Momentum and Murderous Intent. Skipping Cut to the Chase and Improved Exposed Armor is also recommended as they are weak talents when compared  to awesome Subtlety talents like Relentless Strikes and Opportunity. One modification to this build is to sacrifice the dps gain from Opportunity for the survivability that Elusiveness provides, but this is personal preference (also remember that Elusiveness received a nerf in 4.0.6). 

 

Subtlety stat priority, rotation, poisons and glyphs

Priority: 5% hit cap > Agility >Haste > Mastery > Crit

  

As with all rogue builds, agility is your priority stat. Haste is great for your energy regen and you should reforge crit or mastery to haste where possible. Mastery is a weak stat for Subtlety but make sure its at 10 for the Slice n Dice buff (2% faster attack speed vs 4.0.3 if you have 10 mastery) if you do make regular use of Slice n Dice in your rotation (but most Sub rogues rarely use it).

  

Rotation: 

 

As far as rotations go, there is no standard Subtlety rotation. Another reason why a Subtlety pvp build can be challenging to master. Depending on the target and their current level of hp I more often than not open with Garrote (which i have macroed with Premeditation), then always Shiv (unless I am going to use Kidney Shot), then hit Hemo, followed by Rupture. I rarely open with Cheap shot or Ambush because bleeds is what Subtlety rogues excel in so having Garotte and Rupture up is key. Furthermore opening with Garrote ignores armor and silences your target, an effect which can be extended with the Glyph of Garrote. I tend to leave Ambush for when I hit Shadow Dance or when my opponent is very low on hp.  

If I intend to use Shadow Dance on a target, I will usually use Kidney Shot instead of Shiv, and follow with up to 3 Ambushes and either Evicerate if they are almost dead else hit Rupture. 

 

After a 4-5 point Rupture, you can either apply a Backstab, get Recuperate up, then continue backstabbing until u need to refresh Recuperate, Hemo or Rupture. Or u can Vanish, Recuperate and Backstab.

  

After your initial attack on your opponent ensure that you keep Recuperate up at all times. Slice n Dice I rarely use and only really get up when I have a spare combo point handy.

  

Poisons to use: 

 

Wound Poison main hand, Crippling Poison off hand. Crippling Poison thrown. You can also try and use Wound Poison or Mind Numbing Poison on your off hand if you have specced in Waylay and are confident in its use.

  

Glyphs:

  

The Prime Glyphs I currently use include:

  

Glyph of Slice n Dice may also prove to be an option with the buff to Slice n Dice in 4.0.6.

  

There are a lot of options when it comes to major glyphs. The ones I currently use include:

  

Glyph of Preparation is considered as mandatory for Subtlety PVP builds and I will probably end up swapping it back in for one of my current glyphs after some more testing. Glyph of Cloak of Shadows is also a viable option if u can afford to replace an existing one. 

 

   

Assassination stat priority, rotation, poisons and glyphs

Priority: 5% hit cap > Agility > Mastery >= Spell Penetration > Haste > Crit 

Mastery is actually an awesome stat for Assassination. The increase in poison damage that it provides outweighs the benefits of other stats like Haste and Crit.

 

Why Spell Pen you may ask? Well if you are an Assassination rogue you rely on poisons for a large portion of your damage. You will therefore want around 120 Spell Pen to cut through resistances which reduce your poison damage.

 

Rotation: Assassination is much easier to play than Subtlety. Your standard rotation includes either Garrote or Cheap shot (usually Garrote for the bleed and 5 second silence if glyphed), Mutilate and then either Kidney Shot or Rupture at 4-5 combo points (Rupture is usually used for Venomous Wounds energy procs). Then Mutilate, get Slice n Dice up, Envenom at 4-5 combo points if Rupture and SnD is still up. Only use Recuperate when you really need it as it has no regen benefits like the ones provided in a Subtlety build. 

Poisons to use: 

Instant Poison main hand, Deadly Poison off hand. Wound Poison or Mind Numbing Poison thrown.

    

Glyphs:

 

The Prime Glyphs I used for Assassination:

 

Glyph of Slice n Dice is also a great option and should be used if you took Cut to the Chase. 

Major Glyphs include:

 

  • Glyph of Blind (Mandatory for Assassination)

Glyph of Garrote, Glyph of Gouge, and Glyph of Cloak of Shadows are other popular Assassination Major Glyphs. 

 

Final note

As we can see Assassination and Subtlety are two rogue builds that have very different playstyles. Some players like the easier playstyle of Assassination where you stun and wear down your opponent with superior sustained damage. Others prefer the more challenging Subtlety playstyle with its high mobility and vast array of tricks. If you are mostly running battlegrounds I recommend using Subtlety as you won’t have a dedicated cleanser and you will get very frustrated from being kited constantly. For arenas you may want to use Assassination in 2v2 if paired with a healer for the heavy pressure that will be needed to down your opponent. However in 3v3 Subtlety will be your best bet due to its superior utility. At the end of the day pick the build that suits you most, and the build that you enjoy playing.


Healing as a Restoration Shaman Level 85 – 4.0.6

Posted on: Feb 19, 2011 | Author: Savoire

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 Cataclysm has brought many changes to healing, especially to restoration shamans.  Gone are the days of mana regenerating as fast as we could Chain Heal.  Just as tanks have had to learn (or re-learn) how to use crowd control, resto shamans have had to learn (or re-learn) how to manage mana pools while keeping the team alive.  We’ve already had our first patch, 4.0.6, and a week to get used to it. 

 

Main healing spells are: 

  • Healing Surge- best single target heal per second, uses a lot of mana per heal.
  • Healing Wave- a medium level heal per second for single targets, uses the least amount of mana per spell but is a low heal per mana used.
  • Greater Healing Wave- takes more time than the Healing Wave but gives a larger heal on the single target so it’s a low heal per second with a high amount of heal per mana used.  This has been buffed in the patch and is a lot more useful for raid healing.
  • Riptide- low mana investment, a little heal over time.
  • Earth Shield – usually best on the tank, always keep this up.  This heal often counts for 10-25% of my heals depending on the damage the group is taking.
  • Earthliving Weapon – should always be on your weapon, increasing healing done.
  • Unleash Elements - when Earthliving Weapon is on your weapon, cast this for a nice heal, a healing boost, AND a cool swishy move.  Best used with Riptide before Unleash Elements.
  • Healing Rain – an awesome spell best used in certain situations, such as battlegrounds, raids, and heroics in which the party is grouped close together.  This has been increased from 30 yards to 40 yards, which is in-line with the distance of our other healing spells, making it a little easier to use. When used, everyone standing in the circle of blue healing happiness gets a chance to gain Ancestral Fortitude.
  • Healing Stream Totem – keep this totem out for nice heals all the while.
  • Chain Heal- I almost never used it prior to 4.0.6 due to the low hps and high mana cost.  It seemed to suck the mana out of my tank and leave people needing more heals.  Now it’s looking improved a bit with the patch and I am encouraged to start using it during raids once again.

Heal priorities

When dungeons, whether normal or heroic, keep your totems up, your Earth Shield on the tank, Earthliving Weapon on your weapon, then Riptide and Unleash Elements on the Riptide target.  For big, slower heals, use Greater Healing Wave.  For quick emergency heals, use Healing Surge.  If mana isn’t an issue, keep people topped off with Healing Wave.  By “topping off,” I mean if any member of the group is under 100% health but over 80%, a Healing Wave should do the trick.  If something happens, such as a lag spike, or any surprise which could lower someone’s health dramatically and unexpectedly, they have full health to help them survive.

If you’re not as confident with the timing of your healing, use Healing Wave until you feel comfortable with when to use Greater Healing Wave.  GHW takes significantly longer to cast than a HW.  It’s not a good heal for a tank taking a lot of damage with already low health.  I would use it in a situation such as the tank is at 60% health and being hit.  It is also nice to use as a pre-emptive heal.  If you expect your tank is going to be taking a big hit, but his health is at full or high, start your GHW and it will hit just after the tank takes the damage.  If he doesn’t take the damage, do a little strafe or hop or cancel the spell somehow. 

Greater Healing Wave had its effective increased in patch 4.0.6.  The cost for the mana of GHW was increased by 10% while the effectiveness of GHW was increased by 20%.

Totems and mana regen

 Because mana generally is an issue, using your Water Shield (WS) and your Mana Tide Totem (MTT) wisely is important.  Most dungeon boss fights will last less than 10 minutes so you’ll only be able to use the MTT once.  If I go below 50% mana and the boss is on more than 50% health, I will use MTT.

If I haven’t used the MTT and I’m out of mana, I use it and hope I didn’t wait too long.  MTT not only affects your party now, so if you’re in a raid, it will affect your whole raid. The WS should always be up and it’s easy to lose track of it.  If WS gets to 1, pop it up again, just to be sure.

The totems I use as my standard for most dungeons are: Stoneskin, Flametongue, Healing Stream, and Wrath of Air.  I will switch these around based on the group and situational needs.  For example, the Resistance Totem (instead of Healing Stream) is useful with its ice, flame, or nature damage prevention.

Another trick I use for getting mana is Telluric Currents.  There are many fights in which everyone is looking healthy and I am at less than full mana.  Throwing a few Lightning Bolts at a mob gives a small amount of dps and a little kickback of mana.  I’ve gotten huge amounts of mana on certain bosses, such as Magmaw when he’s slumped in the Blackwing Descent raid.

Glyphs

Glyphs will help increase your healing output as well.  The most popular prime glyphs for restoration shamans are:

I would recommend using the first three, unless mana is an issue, in which case, place Glyph of Water Shield in place of either Glyph of Riptide or Glyph of Earthiving Weapon.

Major glyphs to use include:

Final note

 Even though restoration shamans no longer have access to low-mana-cost spells and a seemingly infinite mana pools, we can still heal extremely well.  Keep practicing in normals and heroics until you feel you are capable in your ability to manage healing, movement, and your mana pool.  Soon you will be ready for raiding!

 In many cases, healing a heroic dungeon is harder than healing a raid with your guild, so don’t lose hope if you have a bad pug run.  Some tanks will not wait for the healer to get mana.  If you notice they are running from group of mob to group of mob and you aren’t able to keep your mana up, ask nicely for a mana break.  Since they don’t always listen, I try to manage my mana tank filled by practicing mana-saving techniques throughout the dungeon.

Try to run as many heroics with guild members as possible as you build your confidence and increase your aptitude for healing in a variety of situations.


Druid Tanking in Cataclysm 4.0.6

Posted on: Feb 16, 2011 | Author: Garona

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This guide will take you through the information you will need to know to get your druid tank ready for raiding in Cataclysm patch 4.0.6. It also provides notes for dungeon only tanks and those that need to switch out to feral cat dps sometimes during a raid.

Talent Builds

The talent build for a feral druid tank is pretty straight forward. There are some minor variations to consider but for the most part as a basic tanking talent build you need to make sure you have the Elitist Jerks approved 0/31/6 build.

The spare points in the restoration tree are pretty straight forward as these are the only real beneficial talent points when looking at the Restoration or Balance tree. You may wish to consider [Perseverance] but it is highly likely that you’re going to want the extra threat from [Master Shapeshifter] especially as you first start out as a tank.

The four points found in [Brutal Impact] and [Feral Aggression] can be removed if you require to form the following 0/31/6 or similar build for tanks that need to swap out to feral cat on occasion during a raid.

Prime Glyphs

There are only three glyphs that can affect you in bear form so there is no room for different selections for your primary glyphs. Each of these glyphs affects your threat/damage only.

[Glyph of Berserk]
[Glyph of Lacerate]
[Glyph of Mangle]

Major Glyphs

There are a few Major Glyphs to choose from for a druid tank, there are two glyphs that I recommend as essential for raiding tanks from the list below. The first is [Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration] which converts your Frenzied Regeneration ability into one that no longer turns your rage into a HoT but increases the effectiveness of healing on you by 30%. The chances are your tank healers are going to be getting much more powerful heals out on you than your HoT could ever give you so this is a good survivability glyph despite the HoT sacrifice.

For dungeon runs however, you may wish to give this glyph a miss as your HoT may be more useful in a tricky situation when you can’t depend on your healer all the time.

The second glyph is [Glyph of Rebirth] which is useful for unique raid situations. In many cases you may find that you can actually get a Rebirth off on a target while not tanking periodically especially if you are in cat form instead for a particular boss fight anyway. This is particularly useful if you have no warlocks in your raid to Soul Stone a raid member but if you can complete a Rebirth, being able to select who you want to resurrect and bringing them back at 100% health is more much convenient for any raid.

[Glyph of Faerie Fire]
[Glyph of Feral Charge]
[Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration]
[Glyph of Maul]
[Glyph of Rebirth]

For a dungeon only tank you may prefer to ensure you have [Glyph of Feral Charge] and [Glyph of Maul] in your selection so that you have better AoE tanking abilities and can always charge into every mob group to open combat.

Minor Glyphs

The following minor glyphs are the only three selections that can possibly affect you in combat. They are not essential but they are recommended for raiding bears as opposed to other vanity glyphs.

[Glyph of Challenging Roar]
[Glyph of Dash]
[Glyph of Mark of the Wild]

Statistics for a Bear

One of the most important stats for a bear is Agility which is unique to this tanking class. Agility provides Dodge, Attack Power and Crit so helps to stack your tanks avoidance and threat at the same time. Unfortunately it no longer provides armor so does not contribute to mitigation any longer.

As a druid tank you will be unable to stack parry and therefore dodge is invaluable for a druid tank. Although no gear comes with dodge attached to it, you can reforge haste on gear to dodge and Agility also provides dodge for your tank so you will stack up quite a bit in general.

You will need both crit and mastery to fully benefit from and improve your Savage Defense procs. These two stats work a little complicated with each other so it’s always best to consult a spreadsheet before doing anything drastic with these stats. You should find you gain crit quite naturally through gear upgrades due to the amount of Agility on your gear. As a general rule of thumb you shouldn’t need to reforge for crit.

The following is a general rule of thumb for stats as a bear but the order is somewhat debatable:

Armor > Agility > Dodge > Mastery > Stamina > Crit > Haste > Hit

The only immovable stats are the fact that avoidance (agility and dodge) and Mitigation (Mastery) will always be better than Stamina since we need to rebuild these stats from scratch again. No tank in cataclysm should be stacking for pure stamina!

It’s important to note that mobs no longer suffer parry hasting, so Expertise is less viable as a mitigation stat in Cataclysm and generally not needed unless your threat is very poor. You may wish to gain 8% hit however particularly if you are often on interrupt duty in your raid.

Gemming

With the above advice on stats in mind we can deduce the following gemming guidelines for a druid bear:

Red Sockets: [Delicate Inferno Ruby]
Yellow Sockets: [Adept Ember Topaz] or [Polished Ember Topaz]
Blue Sockets: [Shifting Demonseye]

Meta Socket: [Austere Shadowspirit Diamond]

Enchants

Some of these enchants have alternatives which can be used on a case by case basis. You will need to examine your dodge (avoidance), threat and mitigation levels in order to properly decide upon the right selection. As a rule of thumb, for a starter tank you will always prefer agility or dodge over stamina where possible and you may prefer armor above all unless your threat is too low.

For tanks that need to switch out to Feral Cat sometimes during raid encounters, you may wish to prefer Agility enchants across the board which will improve threat, avoidance and mitigation for your tank as well as damage for your feral cat.

Head: [Arcanum of the Earthen Ring]
Shoulder: [Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz]
Back: [Major Agility] or [Protection]
Chest: [Greater Stamina] or [Peerless Stats]
Wrists: [Dodge] or [Major Stamina]
Hands: [Glove Reinforcements] or [Heavy Savage Armor Kit]) or [Greater Mastery]
Legs: [Charscale Leg Armor]
Feet: [Heavy Savage Armor Kit] or [Assassin's Step] or [Major Agility] or [Earthen Vitality]


Cataclysm Holy Priest Basics – 4.0.3a

Posted on: Jan 27, 2011 | Author: Aura

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Cata Holy Priest Basics

Along with the sweeping changes to many other classes Blizzard have made in Cataclysm, the priest class has seen a particularly heavy dose of overhaul. Consolidating many different healing spells, bringing back Lightwell to the forefront of raid healing and many diverse talent build changes being but a few of the aspects that are now different for healing priests, much of what we knew before must simply be thrown away and the learning curve must begin anew. Fear not, however; in many ways healing as a priest is actually simpler now than it has ever been, and this guide is intended to give new, returning or continuing Holy priests in Cataclysm a leg up and a quick start.

The Holy Talent Build(s)

The recommended talent build for a raiding Holy priest at the moment is the 6/32/3 build mentioned on the Elitist Jerks forums. However, many of the talents here are somewhat flexible depending on your playstyle and personal preferences in addition to your gear level. For example, the haste offered by Darkness is quite cool and you will likely need it, but what good is haste without mana? Many people choose to go for a single point or even no points in Darkness and put two into Veiled Shadows for regen instead, it’s up to you.

The other option from EJ’s forums is the 5/34/2 intended for 5-man heroic dungeons. This build drops Darkness entirely, puts two points in Veiled Shadows and pulls one point from Twin Disciplines and another from Test of Faith in order to take Desperate Prayer and Surge of Light.

Glyph Choices

For prime glyphs, the Holy priest should not be without Glyph of Renew and Glyph of Prayer of Healing. The final prime slot should be filled with Glyph of Lightwell assuming you can get the raid to click it (which they should be, see below).

Major glyphs are not as important but there are still some choices that are better than others. For example, the Glyph of Circle of Healing is pretty much essential for raid healing. For the other options, Glyph of Mass Dispel is nice if you find yourself using it a lot (very handy in certain situations at least) and Glyph of Psychic Scream can be useful sometimes in 5-mans.

As always, minor glyphs are basically ignorable from a raiding standpoint, just take whatever you like the look of.

Raid Healing Rotation

Raid healing is what Holy priests do best, it always has been and probably always will be. In Cataclysm, however, mana is much more an issue again than it was at the end of Wrath content, and raid healing burns mana like there’s no tomorrow. Careful use of cooldowns and keeping a vigilant eye on your overhealing is the first step toward mana efficient healing and it is vital you nail this ASAP to avoid going OOM when it matters most.

The first rule of raid healing is to keep Prayer of Mending on cooldown constantly. This has always been the case with the priest class, and Circle of Healing should probably be used on cooldown too along with HW:Sanctuary if possible. Stay in Chakra: Prayer of Healing throughout, using filler Flash Heals where needed to haste PoH through Serendipity. Lightwell has made a return in Cataclysm as it has been fixed to make it useful once again. The whole raid should be using your Lightwell regularly to limit the amount of direct healing you need to do as it is the most mana efficient heal in the whole game. Make sure the raid are using it!

Tank Healing Rotation

Although not the best job for a Holy priest, you may occasionally be asked to tank heal. For this your bread and butter spells will simply be Heal and Renew most of the time. However, you will need to keep up stacks of Serendipity and use Flash Heal or Greater Heal to keep up with tank damage as Heal and Renew alone probably won’t cut it. An initial couple of Flash Heals followed by Chakra: Heal should be the opening sequence of choice. If the tank takes crazy spike damage you can use HW: Serenity with a GHeal and a couple Flash Heals to top him back up.

Final Thoughts

Playing a Holy priest can be a very rewarding choice. It is also a difficult role to fill and you must make sure you understand it well to be of use to your raiding team. Learning how to efficiently manage your mana while pushing enough heals through can be a challenge but keep at it and you will get there in the end. And remember, Lightwell is your friend, use it!


Cataclysm Shadow Priest Basics – 4.0.3a

Posted on: Jan 14, 2011 | Author: Aura

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Cataclysm Shadow Priest Basics

Playing a shadow priest is a little different in Cataclysm to what people may be used to. While playing with shadow remains largely DoT focused we have a couple of new mechanics that all players should be aware of, both for reasons of damage output and mana conservation. In this post we’re going to take a look at the new level 85 Shadow Priest talent build, optimal glyphs for raiding and some guidelines to follow in order to maximise the DPS from your rotation. Shadow priests are at this point in time great single target DPS; although the AoE of Mind Sear seems to have been nerfed somewhat, it should be possible for most players to reach 10-12k DPS in a mixture of 333-346 blue gear (starter raiding level).

Level 85 Shadow Priest Talent Build

The recommended talent build for a raiding shadow priest begins with 8/0/31 and leaves two talent points to be assigned where you want them. Most of the talents that have already been placed are not optional if you want the best DPS, although two of the points in Improved Mind Blast could arguably be moved elsewhere if you really need them.

Aside from the obvious damage increasing talents there are a few other key talents in this build that have slightly changed the way shadow is played. As an example, before Cataclysm the ability Shadow Word: Death was used almost exclusively in situations where the priest had to move in order to maintain some damage output during movement, and only then if the priest had enough health that the incoming damage wouldn’t kill him/her. However, with talents such as Pain and Suffering and the new Masochism, Shadow Word: Death has become an important part of the overall mana conservation strategy, giving the priest a whopping 10% mana back when they injure themselves with the spell. Another interesting new talent-based mechanic is Dark Evangelism /Dark Archangel. What this does in simple terms is make Mind Flay stack a buff on the priest which increases the damage of periodic shadow spells by 2% per stack and goes up to five stacks. This buff affects Mind Flay itself which is also now treated as a DoT on the target while channeled. This buff can optionally be consumed by using Dark Archangel, which will increase the damage of Mind Flay, Mind Spike, Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death by 4% per stack for 18 seconds, enough time to fire off some nicely buffed damage. Dark Archangel will also return 5% of the priest’s total mana, making it another great tool in the mana management arsenal of the priest.

Of the optional talents in the tree, there is much debate on the best place to put them (and the 2 points which aren’t strictly needed in Improved Mind Blast). Some would argue that extra raid utility could be gained from taking Improved Psychic Scream and Silence, which along with the Glyph of Psychic Scream can be useful for a little extra CC and an extra interrupt. Other options include Phantasm which adds a “get out of jail free” mechanic to Fade, and Psychic Horror which is a sometimes useful disarm.

Best Glyphs for a Shadow Priest

In terms of Prime Glyphs, most shadow priests are currently running with Glyph of Mind Flay, Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain and Glyph of Shadow Word: Death for obvious reasons. None of these are really optional as there are no other choices which improve the priest’s DPS.

Major glyphs include Glyph of Psychic Scream, Glyph of Psychic Horror and Glyph of Scourge Imprisonment for raid utility, Glyph of Spirit Tap for a little extra help with mana on trash mobs, Glyph of Fade for extra threat management, and Glyph of Dispel Magic or Glyph of Mass Dispel if you find yourself dispelling a lot. As mentioned briefly above, Glyph of Psychic Scream is recommended as without it Psychic Scream is unusable in a dungeon/raid environment and it can be really useful to help with CC. Glyph of Fade is also extremely useful if you find aggro problems are frequent.

Minor glyphs are not really as important, but Glyph of Fading, Glyph of Shackle Undead and Glyph of Levitate are probably the most used.

The Shadow Priest Rotation

The top priority for a Shadow Priest remains largely the same in Cataclysm: DoT uptime. Keeping Vampiric Touch, Devouring Plague and Shadow Word: Pain up at all times on the mob/boss is vital. DoT clipping is no longer an issue, however, and so DoTs should be refreshed whenever possible in the moment just before they fall off. Mind Flay is also now treated as a DoT, meaning any buffs or procs that affect “periodic shadow damage spell” will also affect Mind Flay. There is an important new mechanic we have to watch for however: Shadow Orbs. Basically, whilst our DoTs are ticking or we are using Mind Flay we have a chance to create Shadow Orbs. These orbs are consumed with Mind Blast which turns them into a buff called Empowered Shadow which improves our DPS by a base amount of 10% plus whatever we add to that with the Mastery stat.

Maximising DPS as a Shadow Priest largely revolves around keeping DoTs active at all times, watching and managing Shadow Orbs and Empowered Shadow, and using Dark Evangelism stacks and Dark Archangel appropriately. It is also important to use Shadow Word: Death at appropriate times both for the extra damage and for the mana. The Shadowfiend is also non-trivial DPS which, if you can manage without it’s mana return you should use almost immediately in a raid boss fight with the hope of using it again during the same fight. This should be helped somewhat by the talents Veiled Shadows and Sin and Punishment. One other thing that not many people think about is the talent Shadowy Apparition; although often treated as a passive proc, it is important to realise that if you are moving, the chance to create apparitions increases by five times to 60% rather than 12% when SW:P ticks. Carefully timed movement can help to ensure you always have 3-4 apparitions moving toward the boss at any one time, maximising the small but still important DPS gain you get from them.

Twisted Faith and the Importance of Spirit

Just a quick note should probably be made here with regards to Spirit. Due to the new talent Twisted Faith, shadow priests no longer depend on pure hit rating to reach the spell hit cap and can use Spirit instead. This effectively means that while you can and still should roll on hit gear, if reforging or gemming to meet the hit cap choose Spirit and not Hit as it provides you with mana regen in addition to spell hit. Of course, you should also always remember that Intellect is your number one stat, regardless of how much hit you have. This means that even if you are below the hit cap after reforging for hit, you should never gem for pure spirit, and if you must gem it at all, do it only for the socket bonus and only with a split Intellect-Spirit gem.


Subtlety Rogue Guide 4.0.3+

Posted on: Nov 28, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Subtlety Rogue Guide 4.0.3

The Subtlety rogue has not always been considered in the past as a viable PVE talent build for rogues and usually only used in PVP situations where it is exceptionally strong. However, since patch 4.0.1 more and more rogues have been testing out Subtlety builds in PV situations and reporting great success. Since the 4.0.1 combat scare many combat rogues switched builds to subtlety too, so this guide should help you on your feet in this relatively new world of PVE DPS for rogues.

Talent Build

First of all you will need a talent build to get you started. At level 80 your talent build should look like this:

Subtlety Talent Build Level 80

If you are looking for level 85 talent builds these have not yet been decided upon but many rogues are leaning towards a Sub/Combat mix for level 85. A good place to start for a level 85 talent build is this:

Subtlety Talent Build Level 85

Rotation

The rotation for Subtlety is often seen by many rogues are the most complex rotation of all three builds. However, once mastered it is very powerful in PVE and particularly excels at single target “tank and spank” fights (i.e. Saurfang ICC).

1. premed/shadow step/ambush =  5 CP
2. SnD
3. hemo/backstab to 5 CP
5. rupture
6. shadow dance/premed/shadowstep/ambush
7. recuperate
8. ambush/backstab to 5 CP
9. eviscerate

It is thought you may want to leave Hemo out entirely except when target switching if you prefer. This is entirely up to you at the moment with the Subtlety rotation.

As you can see from the basic structure of this rotation the idea is to use your ShS/ShD/Ambush where ever possible and fill the remaining time with backstabs to generate combo points. In terms of finishers Subtlety rogues need to keep three main finishers up at all times:

  • Slice and Dice
  • Rupture
  • Recuperate

You may find the inclusion of Recuperate odd as a non damage dealing buff, however coupled with the talent [Energetic Recovery] every time your recuperate ticks you will gain extra energy making recuperate highly valuable. It may seem like a lot to keep up at first but Subtlety rogues also have the talent point [Serrated Blades] which refreshes your rupture every time you use eviscerate.

Therefore once you have all three finishers active you can keep them going by rotating Slice and Dice, Eviscerate and Recuperate finishers. This can be tricky at first so it’s recommended you get as much practice in as possible on a target dummy and in dungeons beforehand.

Glyphs

Glyphs for a subtlety rogue can be tricky to decide upon especially with the major glyphs. Make sure you have a good stock of all the glyphs your sub rogue could use as you may find them very situationally handy.

Major Glyphs

[Glyph of Backstab]

[Glyph of Slice and Dice]

Then one of the following:

[Glyph of Hemorrhage] – Remember that Hemo is worthless without this glyph.
[Glyph of Rupture] – If not using Hemo this will help keep your rotation smooth.

Major Glyphs

[Glyph of Sprint] (Improves Damage Uptime).

Then any other two major glyphs. Good examples are:
[Glyph of Premeditation]
[Glyph of Ambush]

Minor Glyphs

[Glyph of Poisons] (Optional)

[Glyph of Safe Fall] (Highly Recommended)

Then any one other minor glyph.

Weapons

Subtlety Weapon choices are at the moment the same as Mutilate rogues. Sub rogues need to use daggers in order to use Backstab in their rotation and the preferred weapon speed type is 1.8 in the main hand and 1.4 in the off hand.

Stats Priorities

This is the order of priority you should place your stats in when considering reforging and gemming. It is essentially the same as a Combat rogue which mean reforging crit for mastery when poison hit capped is not a good idea in general.

Agility >> Expertise > Spell Hit = Haste > Crit >> White Hit > Mastery > AP.

This means when considering other aspects of Subtlety rogues such as Consumables, Enchants and Reforging looking at combat rogue choices is a good place to start. You can find more information on these here:

Gemming for Rogues

Reforging for Rogues

Enchants and Consumables


Concise Resto Druid Guide in Patch 4.0.1

Posted on: Nov 13, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Resto Druid Guide 4.0.1As some of you may know I usually talk about rogues, but I do have a resto and tanking druid I am very fond of and today I want to share with you all the basics you need to know to get your resto druid up to date with patch 4.0.1 as a healer.

Talent Build

As a healer, talent trees can be subject to opinion on a variety of specific talents so do not be alarmed if you see variations of this talent build in WoW. If the idea of healing in patch 4.0.1 seems a little daunting, this talent build is good place to start, the build is recommended by Elitist Jerks and provides a good basic starting ground for any healer.

Resto Druid Build 2/0/34

Remember that this build is not set in stone and you can play with some of the talent points to tailor the build to your own druid needs. If you are looking for some level 85 talent builds to aim for a brief look at the RestoDude’s Druid Guide can help to offer you some insight into the strengths and weaknesses of various homemade talent build varieties.

Healers have alot more freedom with thier build than DPS classes, so slight tweaks to your build can help you to improve mana regeneration, strengthen group healing, tank healing or much more. Start with the above recommended build and see how it feels for you.

Glyphs

Prime Glyphs:
[Glyph of Rejuvination]
[Glyph of Lifebloom]
[Glyph of Swiftmend]

These glyphs are quite obvious, there isn’t much choice for healer druids in terms of healing glyphs. The only other option is [Glyph of Regrowth] which so far has shown to be quite weak overall however it could be considered as a situational tool.

Major Glyphs:
[Glyph of Wild Growth]
[Glyph of Innervate]
[Glyph of Rebirth]

Again there isn’t that much to choose from with healing glyphs for the Major slot either. Other options include [Glyph of Thorns], [Glyph of Barksin] or [Glyph of Healing Touch] but these are very situational dependant. Thanks to the new glyphs system however you’ll be able to switch out glyphs on a per fight basis so make sure you learn these for later use when needed. Ideally you do not want to replace your [Glyph of Wild Growth] with these options so swap out either your Innervate glyph if you are comfortable with mana or your Rebirth glyph.

Minor Glyphs:
[Glyph of the Wild] – To reduce mana spent when casting re-buffs mid battle on ressed targets.
[Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth] – So you are never caught without when your BR is needed and saves you a few pennies and bag slots too.
[Glyph of Dash] – When you need to be somewhere in a hurry.

The only real glyph you must have here is [Glyph of the Wild] for healing purposes as it reduces mana spent when getting someone back up into the fray as quickly as possible. The others can be considered optional but since there isn’t much else to choose from with the minor glyphs it’s a good selection to go for. You may wish to store [Glyph of Aquatic Form] for those times when you need to get around water faster but at the moment that’s not necessary or helpful for raiding.

Gems

Gemming as a resto druid in patch 4.0.1 remains quite simple. First of all the gemming rule of thumb is:

Red Sockets[Brilliant Cardinal Ruby] (Red Gem)
Yellow Sockets[Reckless Ametrine] until haste capped (Orange Gem)
Blue Sockets – 1 x [Nightmare Tear] (Prismatic) if your meta gem requires it otherwise use [Brilliant Cardinal Ruby] (Red Gem)

For meta gems use either [Insightful Earthsiege Diamond] if you have mana issues or [Revitalising Skyflare Diamond] for more throughput if your mana is fine. If you are using the [Insightful Earthsiege Diamond] and you need to use a [Nightmare Tear] to activate the blue socket bonus, make sure it is in the highest blue socket bonuses you have available.

Haste Cap and Reforging

The haste cap for druids is now 1016 haste rating. You will need to make sure you continue to gem [Reckless Ametrine] in yellow sockets until you reach this value. You may also need to reforge your gear to add some extra haste to reach this value. You will likely not have many mana issues anymore so reforging spirit is probably your best bet. You can also reforge spirit to Mastery depending on your rotation play style. If you continue with a rejuv heavy method you should consider giving Mastery a miss overall for now.

Consumables

Continue using [Flask of the Frost Wyrm] for flasks, [Runic Mana Potions] during mana intensive encounters and spellpower buff food such as [Firecracker Salmon] or your raid fish feasts.

Enchants

The current accepted best enchants for a druid healer are:

Tier 11

One final note to leave you with is the new Tier 11 set design that has recently been introduced to us. The Male Druid and Female Druid tier 11 sets have been revealed to us and yes, they have wings! Finally a druid set I can love. Also it seems we will be reverting back to class based tier sets so no more sharing our tier with rogues. So something to look forward to there (as if Cataclysm wasn’t enough!). These sneak previews originate from the wonderful folks over at MMO Champion.

Next Week: Rotations and Healing Calculators!


Protection Paladins in 4.0.1

Posted on: Nov 03, 2010 | Author: Recrypt

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This article outlines changes to Paladin tanks in patch 4.0.1.  It covers headline changes, example talent specs, gems and glyphs.

Headline changes to tanking paladins in 4.0.1

Changes that directly affect play

  • [ Consecration ] now lasts 10s  and has a 30s CD.  This is therefore no longer spammable and therefore cannot form the basis of an aoe tanking build. [ Hammer of the Righteous ] (HoR) has been given an aoe effect and a 4.5s CD so aoe tanking is still possible with a rotation based around HoR (basically rotating HoR with any other multiple attack such as an un-glpyhed [ Avenger's Shield ] or Consecration or [ Holy Wrath ] etc).
  • [ Holy Power ] has been added and linked into specific spells.  This is a type of combo point like ability (similar to rogues combo points/DK runes/the changed warlock soul shard concept etc) whereby the paladin can charge a Holy Power battery in steps of 1 to a max charge of 3 and release this charge all at once.
    • For a tanking paladin Holy Power can be gained through [ Crusader Strike ] or Hammer of the Righteous (which share a 3s CD).
    • For a tanking paladin Holy Power can be released through [ Shield of the Righteous ] (does damage based on the number of charges consumed) or [ Word of Glory ] (WoG, instant heal, based on number of charges, on friendly target for zero mana)
  • [ Argent Defender ] must now be manually activated (10s Duration).  It reduces damage by 20% and heals for 15% HP if paladin would have died.  Its is important to emphasize that this ability (including the 15% heal on death) only lasts for its 10s duration, it has a CD greater than 10s.
  • [ Hand of Reckoning ], this taunt now has no damage component so is basically only a taunt rather than something that can also be used to effectively pull.

Changes that indirectly affect play

  • [ Divine Protection ] has had its CD and damage reduction halved.
  • Specializations – choosing protection gives the paladin
  • Blessings have been changed.  [ Sanctuary ] has been removed (both mana regen and hp boost are part of the prot specialization).   Wisdom has been removed, ([ Might ] now also increases mp5)
  • Holy shield has been removed, this has effectively been made part of Shield of the Righteous (SOR) as you now get a bonus to block for a limited time when you activate SOR.
  • Block is now provided by mastery (not strength as before).
  • [ Forbearance ] is still present but only for targets of [ Divine Shield ], [ Lay on Hands ] and [ Hand of Protection ].
  • Defence rating no longer exists, reduction in crit chance is now talented.  Only defensive stats are Dodge and Parry though Agility appears to still provide some dodge (~0.01% per Agi) and Strength will provide some parry (as it has always done for DK’s).
  • Divine Intervention has been removed in 4.0.1, so no more cheap repair bills :/

Example builds

Solid tanking build 0/33/3

This build takes all key tanking talents as well as [ Divine Guardian ].

Basic rotation on multiple targets mobs is HoR interleaved with Avenger’s Shield, Consecration and Holy Wrath when available.  When HoR, AS and Consecration are all on CD Judge or burn Holy Power with SoR.

For single target mobs replace HoR with Crusader Strike.

Fun 5-man Word of Glory build 3/31/2

This build maximises self healing, even more healing could be obtained by using Seal of Light instead of [ Seal of Insight ] but at the expense of dps/threat.

For this build maximum self healing is obtained by using a rotation based around Word of Glory (e.g. rotate Crusader Strike with Word of Glory for single target or HoR with WoG for multiple targets).  It is important to note that if you have a good healer you will want to use a high threat rotation as your healing will be effectively wasted – same rotation as above for the solid build.  Only if your healer is in trouble should you switch to WoG spam.

For each build the panic skills remain as Argent Defender, Divine Protection and Lay on Hands.  At lvl 85 a new skill [ Guardian of Ancient Kings ] with a 5 min CD that reduces damage by 60% comes into play and gives the paladin tank the same CD based mitigation as other tank classes.

Agro

Given the number of changes to the class it is worth mentioning something true prior to 4.0.1 but equally true after with respect to agro, hit and dodge.  You won’t generate agro from an attack that misses or is dodged.  In short this means you want,

at least 26 Expertise (rating of 200@80, 781@85) up to a max of 55 Expertise (rating of 422@80, 1652@85). 8% hit (rating of 246@80, 961@85).

Gems – General

It seems that the main point of giving everyone more HP and removing things like Defence was to allow people to gem/enchant for a balanced character, instead of having no choice but to stack specific things like stamina (though this isn’t a crazy plan).   It would probably be a waste of money to re-gem/re-enchant for the hell of it unless agro is a problem (in which case make sure you have enough expertise/hit, and haven’t forgotten to activate [ Righteous Fury ]).

  • Stamina is still important (indirectly it gives some threat through the AP generated by the specialization Vengeance) however don’t just assume that stacking stamina is the way to go for upgrades you acquire, it depends on the situation (see below discussion on the method behind gems/enchants).
  • Dodge/Parry, these two now provide the same avoidance so one is not vastly superior to the other, both are useful.
  • Strength provides threat through AP but not block anymore though it does now appear to increase parry (~0.002 per str) as it has always done for DK’s.
  • Agility no longer provides Armour rating but still gives dodge (~0.01% per agi).

Gems – Method

As with many classes the logic behind choosing gems tends to be simple for most people.  In the case of paladin tanks the Meta gem choice at 80 is basically

Most people would then gem to maximise stamina with [ Solid Majestic Zircons ] while getting the required gems to activate the meta.  This means gems like stam/dodge/parry/strength assuming you have enough expertise/hit.

The key to the question “stam or avoidance” is usually to ask the question “why did the tank die?”  If a tank dies because he takes too much average damage (the healers simply can’t keep up or run out of mana) then avoidance is better than stamina as it will reduce the load on the healers, however, if the tank dies from spike damage (the healers have plenty of mana and could have landed more heals given time) then stamina is better as it gives the healers more time to heal before death. This means that the right gear/gems/enchants for the tank depend not only on the tank but on the group i.e. including healers and dps.  The dps are important as they determine the length of the fight, low dps means a long fight and average damage could become an issue for the healers.

Glyphs in 4.0.1

There are now 9 active at once (up from 6), three each of prime, major and minor.  Your character now learns glyphs permanently and can switch with a regent (bought from a vendor for a nominal amount).

Glyphs can be expensive relative to pre 4.0.1 prices as demand is up (every character can learn all rather than just 6, so many people want a full set).

Recommended tanking glyphs

Prime

Major

Minor

Glyph tweaks

Macro’s

I used to use the following macro for Righteous Defence however having tested it for this guide I find it isn’t necessary (and probably never was), I list it only to show that one should regularly test macro’s to make sure they are doing something useful!

#showtooltip Righteous Defence

/cast [button:1, target=target-target] Righteous Defence

This macro would allow Righteous Defence to be used as a taunt, i.e. you cast it on the enemy mob rather than your ally.  Blizzard must have realised it was going to be used on a mob rather than an ally as the spell already has this functionality built in.

The following macro allows the use of Divine Shield to quickly clear negative buffs, agro is of course reset when used so a taunt will be needed.

#showtooltip

/cast Divine Shield

/cancelaura Divine Shield

I have found this needs to be pressed twice in 4.0.1, it allows the paladin to remove all debuffs and minimises the agro down time (agro is reset so you will have to taunt after this but it actually allows you to use Divine Shield on yourself in certain circumstances).  Doing this without causing a wipe makes you look pro, using it and causing a wipe makes you look poo ;)


Patch 4.0.1 – Hunter Gemming, Glyphs, Stats and Reforging

Posted on: Oct 30, 2010 | Author: Shambels

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Hunter Gemming, Glyphs and Reforging - Patch 4.0.1

Today I’m going to discuss gemming options, glyphs, stat priority and reforging as a hunter. There has been some very interesting changes for the hunter class with the introduction of 4.0.1 and unfortunately it appears that these changes have significantly affected our dps in a negative way.  So it is important that we make the appropriate changes to ensure we make the most of our already depleted dps. 

Gemming

Agility is out best stat after we reach the Hit Cap, so gemming agility currently is the way to go. It is still unclear what the socket bonus threshold is, so for the time being it may be a good idea to pick up a high agility socket bonus by using either [ Deadly Ametrine ] or [ Deft Ametrine ]. You will also need to use one [ Rigid King’s Amber ] or [ Glinting Dreadstone ] (if not hit capped) for your meta socket requirement. For all other sockets use [ Delicate Cardinal Ruby ] even if you are below the hit cap. This is the preferred option because you can always get your hit rating by reforging and it is better off sacrificing either haste or crit rating via reforging rather than agility via gemming. 

Please also note that it is still unclear whether Deadly Ametrine or Deft Ametrine is preferable for yellow sockets but it is likely dependent on your current crit and haste levels. Especially haste which has been found to improve the flow of your shots and keep your focus in balance at certain levels. 

It is also worth mentioning that [ Nightmare Tears ] are no longer worth using since there is no longer a stat dps bonus from [ Hunter vs. Wild ] and [ Careful Aim ]

The gems we want to use are: 

  

Glyphs

Currently at level 80 our prime glyphs are very similar across all builds primarily due to the fact that Beast Mastery and Survival don’t have access to [ Cobra Shot ] yet. At level 85 we should see a substantially different makeup between the hunter builds. It should be noted that the new [ Glyph of Serpent Sting ] may yet prove to be a viable glyph to use combined with [ Improved Serpent Sting ], but further testing still needs to be done in this area. Similarly [ Glyph of Chimera Shot ] needs further testing to establish if its a better alternative for Marksman. 

Our major and minor glyphs provide very little benefit to our dps, so it is really up to you what you choose here, but for major glyphs I recommend the [ Glyph of Disengage ] if you utilize this ability and [ Glyph of Silencing Shot ] if specced in [ Silencing Shot ] for the 10 focus regeneration on a successful interrupt. 

BM and Marksman Prime Glyphs 

  1. [ Glyph of Steady Shot ]
  2. [ Glyph of Arcane Shot ]
  3. [ Glyph of Kill Shot ]

Survival Prime Glyphs 

  1. [ Glyph of Steady Shot ]
  2. [ Glyph of Explosive Shot ]
  3. [ Glyph of Kill Shot ]

Major Glyphs 

  1. [ Glyph of Disengage ]
  2. [ Glyph of Silencing Shot ] (if Marksman)

Minor Glyphs 

  1. [ Glyph of Feign Death ]
  2. [ Glyph of Mend Pet ]
  3. [ Glyph of Revive Pet ]

  

Stat Priority and Reforging

Early testing has shown agility to be our best stat, crit rating and mastery rating to be neck and neck for a close second, with haste coming in as a close third. 

However stat weights and priority for hunters is still a topic under investigation and currently there is no decision made on exact stat weights. The complexity of stat weights stems from first working out our shot equations and then testing out a number of different configurations based on a mathematical model. Right now no such model exists and there is some confusion among hunters how our stats stack against each other, especially since it looks like stat weights are specific to not only your talents but also the gear that you have. So it is probably not wise at this stage to reforge all your crit and haste to mastery. However it is definitely a good idea to experiment with different configurations to see the differences in your dps. 

Our main stat priority is currently as follows: 

Hit: Hit Rating post 4.0.1 seems to have changed slightly and it looks like 246 hit rating (8%) will now get you hit capped. If you’re a Draenei, [ Heroic Presence ] will lower this further by 1%. Note that Heroic Presence is no longer a group/raid buff. 

Agility: Agility looks to be the best stat to gem for hunters (once you reach the Hit Cap). Agility now gives us two AP per point instead of one and also increases our crit. 

Mastery: In the early stages of patch 4.0.1 mastery rating is looking like a really viable stat. For a Marksman Hunter, mastery rating increases the chance for every shot to fire an additional shot for 115% weapon damage. Currently the only way to get points in this stat is through Reforging

Crit: Prior to patch 4.0.1 crit was a very solid stat for hunters and continues to be so post 4.0.1. Frostheim from warcrafthuntersunion has deduced from his initial testing that there is very little difference in value between crit rating and mastery rating. In most cases you do not have to gem crit as high end icc gear has plenty of crit already. The Crit Cap for hunters is still 104.8%

Haste: As mentioned above haste has become a more valuable stat in 4.0.1. Haste will be used to improve focus regeneration and affect the casting speed of both [ Auto Shot ] and [ Steady Shot ]

Reforging 

Going off the testing done by Frostheim from warcrafthuntersunion, 1 mastery is better than 1 crit so reforging crit into mastery should in theory improve your dps. Haste is a much more complex stat to weigh because there are a very large number of variables contributing to our margin of error. Initial tests have shown 1 mastery rating to be better than 1 haste rating. Thus reforging haste into mastery should in theory improve your dps. However haste throws another spanner in the works, causing yet more headaches 

“Haste is a bit complex in another way, because there are certain haste plateaus where you hit a “magic” spot in your rotation, and dropping just a couple percent suddenly removes an entire shot from your rotation. Still, the general rule seems to apply in most situations.”      Frostheim 

At the end of the day, I don’t think we will ever work out exactly what is best for level 80, as level 85 is the focus of most theorycrafters. So as mentioned above, have a play around with reforging, and see what you come up with. I have talked to hunters that have reforged haste/crit into mastery and gained dps, and similarly talked to others hunters who have  lost dps by doing so. My small piece of advice is to keep an eye on how much haste you reforge and make sure you do not gimp your focus regeneration too much as this will disrupt the smoothness of your rotation. 

Enchanting

Enchants for patch 4.0.1 are as follow: