Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tier 10 and the Bear

I'd like to take an in-depth look at the stat bonuses on Tier 10 gear and the other items available with Emblems of Frost for bear tanks.  If you've read this blog at all, you probably know already that fairly soon I'll follow up with a look at the gear with respect to trees.

Bear with me, these are going to be long.  Perhaps not quite Bearwalls, but long.

I'll be comparing this gear to the Tier 9 level gear as well as trying to decide what's the best value - the most bang for your Emblem buck, if you will.  Of course, this will depend on the gear you're currently wearing.  If I say a particular piece is the best upgrade, but you're wearing an item from ToGC in that slot and still using blues elsewhere, replace the blues first.

The Tier 9 level I'll be using is the base level - for those of us that did some 25-man ToC (or heroic ToC at all) and may have picked up trophies or heroic versions of gear, remember that your mileage will vary, because your Tier 9 gear is a little better than what I'm putting forth here.  Also note that I'm not examining accessories (back, neck, rings, and trinkets) yet.  If I can work up the courage I might tackle that later.

If you are confused as to any abbreviations, please see the end for a glossary.

Without further ado, let me begin.


Tier 9: Malfurion's Headguard of Conquest
Stats: 485 a, 104 Agi, 120 Sta, M/Y sockets, 80 crit, 64 exp., 129 AP
Cost: 50 Emblem of Triumph

Triumph Emblems: Hood of Lethal Intent
Stats: 506 a, 120 Agi, 136 Sta, M/Y sockets, 82 hit, 165 AP, 64 ArP
Cost: 75 Emblem of Triumph

Tier 10: Lasherweave Headguard
Stats: 517 a, 144 Agi, 144 Sta, M/R sockets, 88 crit, 143 AP, 80 ArP
Cost: 95 Emblem of Frost

Frost Emblems: None available.

I'm going to go ahead and mention something here at the top that I've noticed across the board.  Take a look at the Tier 9 vs. Hood of Lethal Intent.  I didn't put the iLevel of the items in my summary.  Hood is an iLevel 245, while the Tier 9 is a 232.  Something they did with the purchasable gear is that the individual items are generally better than the tier pieces in-slot if you don't raid enough to get the Trophies (or Marks of Sanctification for Tier 10).  The 2nd level non-heroic tier gear is approximately on par with the pieces you can buy without having to raid.  I'm not sure how I feel about it, but that's what you see here.  The only reason to stay with the T9 gear is if you desperately need the expertise...

It is also good to note that the Hood is a bit more DPS-centric, with hit vs. crit and ArP vs. expertise.  The major stats win out though, and you should take the Hood unless you feel that the Tier bonus is worth the stat drop and you can't afford to lose another piece.

You lose expertise for ArP in the step up to Tier 10 from Tier 9, or hit for crit coming from the Hood.  I'm not excited by the loss either way, but the nice step up in base stats - +40 or 24 Agi, +24 or 8 Sta - far outweighs the loss.  If this pulls you off your hit or expertise caps, try to shift your gems or enchants to compensate.  The downside is that it costs you 95 Frost Emblems to do this step - that's a fairly huge cost.  Let's see how that pans out as we go forward.


Tier 9: Malfurion's Shoulderpads of Conquest
Stats: 447 a, 81 Agi, 89 Sta, Y socket, 60 haste, 119 AP, 52 ArP
Cost: 30 Emblem of Triumph

Triumph Emblems: Duskstalker Shoulderpads
Stats: 467 a, 93 Agi, 101 Sta, Y socket, 67 crit, 135 AP, 59 ArP
Cost: 45 Emblem of Triumph

Tier 10: Lasherweave Shoulderpads
Stats: 477 a, 107 Agi, 107 Sta, R socket, 71 crit, 126 AP, 63 ArP
Cost: 60 Emblem of Frost

Frost Emblems: None available.

Here we see again the disparity in items available with Triumph Emblems...  And again, unless you want the set bonus, take the Duskstalker piece instead of the Tier-9.

The step up to Tier 10 nets you +26 or +14 Agi, and +18 or +6 Sta.  It has the same secondary stat set as the Duskstalker piece, which loses haste for crit, an acceptable change as a bear.  It also has a red socket instead of yellow, which I consider a plus for a bear - yellow gives us crit or hit, red gives us Agi or dodge.

To compare spending 95 Frost for the head vs. 60 Frost for the shoulders...  Comparatively, 35 badges gets you 10 to 14 Agi and 2 to 6 Sta (depending on which piece you're coming from for each choice.)  That doesn't seem like a lot, but it's more stats per Emblem used to spend the 95 Frost, provided you're making the same jump (T9 to T10 or Emblem piece to T10).  Not by much, and I'd probably go ahead and spend the badges early anyway to get the boost while I rebuild to the bigger number.


Tier 9: Malfurion's Raiments of Conquest
Stats: 596 a, 104 Agi, 120 Sta, R/Y sockets, 74 crit, 70 haste, 161 AP
Cost: 50 Emblem of Triumph

Triumph Emblems: None available.

Tier 10: Lasherweave Raiment
Stats: 636 a, 144 Agi, 144 Sta, R/Y sockets, 96 crit, 159 AP, 80 ArP
Cost: 95 Emblem of Frost

Frost Emblems: Shadow Seeker's Tunic
Stats: 665 a, 162 Agi, 162 Sta, R/Y/B sockets, 108 crit, 92 exp, 184 AP
Cost: 95 Emblem of Frost

There's a solid upgrade here no matter which way you go, but the Shadow Seeker's Tunic is clearly a MUCH better upgrade than the T10 piece.  +40 or +58 Agi, +24 or +42 Sta, AND an additional blue socket (which equals +30 Sta).

Continuing to examine against the previous most-efficient use of Emblems... I'm taking this over the head item or the shoulders.  It's definitely more efficient than the head, and enough of a boost over the shoulders that it is worth it to me to wait for 95 badges.

I'd also like to point out that I think the secondary stats are better for bears on the Tunic rather than the T10 Raiment.  I want the 4-piece T10 set bonus.  This very well might be the only piece I don't pick up.


None.  Oddly enough, the highest wrist purchasable with Emblems require only Emblems of Valor.  I'm moving on...


Tier 9: Malfurion's Handgrips of Conquest
Stats:  373 a, 81 Agi, 89 Sta, Y socket, 52 hit, 60 crit, 119 AP
Cost:  30 Emblem of Triumph

Triumph Emblems:  None Available

Tier 10: Lasherweave Handgrips
Stats: 398 a, 107 Agi, 107 Sta, R socket, 63 haste, 126 AP, 71 ArP
Cost: 60 Emblem of Frost

Frost Emblems: Cat Burglar's Grips
Stats: 416 a, 120 Agi, 120 Sta, Y/Y sockets, 80 crit, 129 AP, 64 ArP
Cost: 60 Emblem of Frost

I see an interesting dilemma here.  Multiple sockets and 13 better each Agi and Sta, as well as crit vs. haste in secondary stats.  I like the red socket better - I'll use it for an Agi or Agi + Sta gem - but multiple sockets may outweigh it.  It won't outweigh the set bonus in my mind, though, and this isn't enough of an upgrade to make me choose the Cat Burglar's Grips over the T10 piece.

It's also not enough of a bonus to make me spend my hard-won, precious Emblems of Frost here before spending them on the Tunic either, though.  Still going for the chest.


There are no Tier pieces here, and nothing is available from Triumph Emblems either.  There is a Frost Emblem item, and for comparisons of Emblem spending here it is...

Frost Emblems: Vengeful Noose
Stats: 374 a, 120 Agi, 120 Sta, R/Y sockets, 64 haste, 129 AP, 80 ArP
Cost: 60 Emblem of Frost

For me, and the item I'm coming from, this provides a boost of nearly 50 Agi and 25 Sta, as well as another socket.  That's about the same boost as I'd get out of my chest item with 35 less badges.  We have a new front-runner.


Tier 9: Malfurion's Legguards of Conquest
Stats: 522 a, 102 Agi, 120 Sta, R/B sockets, 64 hit, 80 crit, 129 AP
Cost: 50 Emblem of Triumph

Triumph Emblems: None available.

Tier 10: Lasherweave Legguards
Stats: 577 a, 144 Agi, 144 Sta, R/Y sockets, 80 exp, 159 AP, 96 ArP
Cost: 95 Emblem of Frost

Frost Emblems: None available.

Here we get it easy, a straight Tier 9 to Tier 10 comparison.  Solid statistical upgrade in Agi and Sta.  I like the expertise on the T10 item, but I like the blue socket on the T9.  38 Agi and 24 Sta for 95 Emblems is not as strong as either the Tunic or the Vengeful Noose.  This might be the 3rd or 4th upgrade I target from among this group of items.


There are no Tier items for feet, and nothing is available for Emblems of Triumph or Frost.

So, among these items, I'll be targeting the Vengeful Noose first, followed by the Shadow Seeker's Tunic next.  I'll have to examine my secondary stat layout at the time to determine the next upgrade from among the hands, legs, head, and shoulder items.  At that point, I will likely buy them from the cheapest to the most expensive, because there isn't particularly a huge difference in cost to benefit ratio.

Look back soon for the Tree version... or perhaps the Accessories!  Thanks for reading!

Abbreviations Glossary:

a: armor
AP: Attack Power
ArP: Armor Penetration
exp: expertise

Stat Abbreviations:
Agi: Agility
Sta: Stamina
Str: Strength

Socket Abbreviations:
B: Blue
M: Meta
R: Red
Y: Yellow


  1. Actually, I would put the belt as my lowest priority.

    Belt of the Twilight Assassin (28 conquest) is far too valuable with it's hit and expertise, it's definitly worth the loss in stamina to keep those. The set bonus on Tier10 is fantastic so I will be putting my frost emblems there.
    Astrylian's Sutured Cinch is available from 25man Putricide and is compareable to the Noose if you are Expertise capped

  2. I happen to disagree, but you make a valid point with the Belt of the Twilight Assassin. If it's important to you to cap hit and expertise, stay with that one, and the set bonus is STRONG for T10, especially the 4-piece. For myself, the boost to Agi and Sta for fewer badges is more important, at least right now.

    I'm not convinced that it's incredibly important to cap hit or expertise *as a tank*. If you can get there, awesome, but if you're missing the cap by 10-30 rating or so it's not a huge deal, IMHO. Expertise I don't even worry about hitting the parry cap - 400+ expertise rating is a pain to get to - but I try to at least get close to the dodge cap.

    I was not considering items available via boss drops - there is a lot of gear that would have to be included on this list if I was!

  3. Might also want to put the Runed Orb and Crusader Orbs Leatherworking items in here.

    You can get both with cash and/or orbs that you buy with emblems plus a few other materials.