Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tier 10 and the Tree

I'm going to try to mirror my post on Emblems and Bears with one about Emblems and Trees! The same restrictions apply, and if you need it there's an abbreviation glossary of sorts at the bottom.  Here's the restrictions disclaimer, quoted from the other post:

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.


Tier 9: Malfurion's Headpiece of Conquest
Stats: 485 a, 92 Sta, 92 Int, 64 Sp, M/B sockets, 72 crit, 113 SP
Cost: 50 Emblem of Triumph

Triumph Emblems: Helm of Abundant Growth
Stats: 506 a, 103 Sta, 103 Int, 82 Sp, M/Y sockets, 74 haste, 131 SP
Cost: 75 Emblem of Triumph

Tier 10: Lasherweave Helmet
Stats: 517 a, 109 Sta, 109 Int, 88 Sp, M/R sockets, 80 crit, 140 SP
Cost: 95 Emblem of Frost

Frost Emblems: None available

Here we go again!  Similar to what I pointed out for Bears, items available via Emblems of Triumph, at least, tend to be better than the lowest-level Tier items (the ones being considered here!) without considering the set bonus.  I tend to think the Restoration set bonuses are in general fairly strong *but* I tend to focus more on primary stats in my analysis.  Keep that in mind!

So, for the things that we care most about here, you're looking at a difference of 9-16 Int, 18-24 Spirit, 18-27 spell power, plus your choice of socket and haste vs. crit.  (Or if you look at it a little differently and use the T10 as the target if you will, with the other two items as starting points, 7 to 16 Int, 6 to 24 Spirit, and 9 to 27 spell power... depends on how you look at it!)  With what I've been reading lately about the benefits of haste, I might try to stay with the Helm of Abundant Growth for awhile and make this one of my later upgrades, but we'll have to see how the other stats pan out versus later upgrades; 95 Frost Emblems is a LOT.  For the record I prefer red sockets over any other - spell power being king of all things spellish - but I don't have much of a preference for blue or yellow over each other.  Then again, if what I've read about haste is to be believed, maybe I should be looking to yellow gems...


Tier 9: Malfurion's Spaulders of Conquest
Stats: 447 a, 68 Sta, 68 Int, 52 Sp, B socket, 60 haste, 96 SP
Cost: 30 Emblem of Triumph

Triumph Emblems: Shoulders of the Fateful Accord
Stats: 467 a, 77 Sta, 77 Int, 67 Sp, Y socket, 59 crit, 109 SP
Cost: 45 Emblem of Triumph

Tier 10: Lasherweave Pauldrons
Stats: 477 a, 81 Sta, 81 Int, 71 Sp, R socket, 63 crit, 116 SP
Cost: 60 Emblem of Frost

Frost Emblems: None available

We have a fairly similar stat progression on our shoulders, including choice of socket, but instead of having the choice of haste or crit, it's a straight move from haste to crit or stay at crit.  9-13 (4-13?) Int and 15-19 (4-19?) Spirit isn't incredibly compelling, although 13-20 (7-20?) spell power is a better deal at 60 Frost Emblems than the previous item at 95.  I think for now, I put this item *slightly* ahead of the head, especially if you already have the Shoulders of the Fateful Accord, as you're not losing haste coming from that item (unless of course you've gemmed for it.)


Tier 9: Malfurion's Robe of Conquest
Stats: 596 a, 92 Sta, 92 Int, 72 Sp, R/Y sockets, 72 Crit, 122 SP
Cost: 50 Emblem of Triumph

Triumph Emblems: None available

Tier 10: Lasherweave Robes
Stats: 636 a, 109 Sta, 109 Int, 96 Sp, R/Y sockets, 80 crit, 149 SP
Cost: 95 Emblem of Frost

Frost Emblems: Vestments of Spruce and Fir
Stats: 665 a, 123 Sta, 123 Int, 84 Sp, B/Y/R sockets, 108 haste, 162 SP
Cost: 95 Emblem of Frost

Having done the research that I have, I'm struck by the eerie similarity between my thoughts on Tier gear for bears and trees.  Perhaps it was Blizzard's itemization decisions this time around, but just the same as for my bear set, I want to get the four piece bonus for my tree gear, and the chest is *probably* the piece I'm going to leave out.

For the same cost, you get 14 more Sta and Int, and if you count +20 Spirit for the blue socket (leaving the same remaining sockets), you also get +8 Spirit, not to mention the 13 spell power.  Considering that the lesser of these upgrades was already a 17 point, 24 point, and 27 point upgrade (looking at Int, Spirit, and SP), that's huge.  In addition, it gets you haste, which I think you want over crit.  Sound familiar?  This takes the cake, I think, over either other piece for my first tree target.


There is a wrist item available for Emblems of Valor, or the PvP Titan-Forged Armwraps of Salvation from Wintergrasp... but nothing for the Emblems we're covering, and those PvP wraps aren't all that helpful.


Tier 9: Malfurion's Handguards of Conquest
Stats: 373 a, 68 Sta, 68 Int, 60 Sp, R socket, 52 crit, 96 SP
Cost: 30 Emblem of Triumph

Triumph Emblems: None available

Tier 10: Lasherweave Gauntlets
Stats: 398 a, 81 Sta, 81 Int, 71 Sp, R socket, 63 haste, 116 SP
Cost: 60 Emblem of Frost

Frost Emblems: Gloves of the Great Horned Owl
Stats: 416 a, 92 Sta, 92 Int, B socket, 80 crit, 72 haste, 132 SP
Cost: 60 Emblem of Frost

The Gloves are indeed a straight upgrade from the Lasherweave Gauntlets for the same cost, but I want that 4-piece Tier bonus and unlike the chest upgrade, this one doesn't offer you something you want more for the cost of moving away from the Tier pieces.  Instead, it takes a red socket and replaces it with a blue one.  Unless by some chance I end up with the chest piece (VoA new boss drop?), I'm going to stick with the Lasherweave Gauntlets and leave the Great Horned Owl on the shelf.

As for the order in which to purchase... 13 Int, 11 Spirit, and 20 SP place it firmly in the middle of the Shoulder and Head class.  Much like the shoulders, depending on what has happened with the head I'll probably take this ahead of it, to keep the haste bonus longer, because the difference in stats to Emblem cost just isn't all that different.


There's not much available here.  Belt of Petrified Ivy doesn't really look all that great to me due to its lack of Spirit, but otherwise it does have a significant amount of haste and spell power, which is good.  Belt of the Living Thicket for Conquest Emblems or Furious Gladiator's Belt of Salvation from PvP might be better (or at least not worse) options.  Personally, I'm probably going to be holding out for a boss drop as none of these really strike me as must-have... unless I really have emblems to spend, then I might give the Ivy a shot.  That'll be quite awhile, though, as I have a lot of gear ahead of it.


Tier 9: Malfurion's Leggings of Conquest
Stats: 522 a, 92 Sta, 92 Int, 72 Sp, R/B sockets, 72 haste, 122 SP
Cost: 50 Emblem of Triumph

Triumph Emblems: None available.

Tier 10: Lasherweave Legplates
Stats: 577 a, 109 Sta, 109 Int, 96 Sp, R/Y sockets 78 haste, 149 SP
Cost: 95 Emblem of Frost

Frost Emblems: None available.

I like this upgrade, it's solid, but it just doesn't offer the same level of bonuses as the chest piece does for the same cost, so it doesn't get placed ahead of it in line.  17 Int, 24 Spirit, and 27 SP do make it a little more attractive than the head, shoulders, or hands, although not by much.  It probably gets put second in line.


There are no items available for Emblems for feet.  There's the crafted Blessed Cenarion Boots, but that's about it other than boss loot.

I did it!  I did it!

*looks up*

... and the sky didn't fall after all.  Imagine that!

As I finish up this part of my venture, there's something I'd like to mention.  I've seen a couple of other blogs post lists for whom the priorities on items differ vastly from mine...  And wonderful Meka commented to such an effect on the bear gear post.

They're not wrong. The key is always that the "best" upgrade is not necessarily the one with the best stats, it's the one for which you gain the most benefit.  I'm examining primarily what gets you the most base stats per Emblem spent and the most base stats per single upgrade, because this is how I want to spend my Emblems and is what I think is the best way to go about things.  If you think it's more important to stay haste or expertise capped, then it drastically changes the priority in which you purchase items!  I really hope you've enjoyed my comments and I hope you found some value to my (less than scientific) analysis, but I encourage you to take it into consideration and make your own decisions!  I'm just somebody who rambled on those newfangled blog-thingies!

Abbreviation Glossary:

a: Armor
SP: Spell Power

Stat Abbreviations:
Sta: Stamina
Int: Intellect
Sp: Spirit

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


  1. Due to time zone differences it's actually wednesday here, your disclamer didn't explicitly cover this circumstance, so am i allowed to tar & feather you and call you a boomkin now?

    also i very much appriciate you mentioning me, but don't think that'll let you of the hook! :)

  2. nnoooooooo!! *runs away screaming*

    I had it done yesterday! I just set it to go up this morning in case I needed to change something!

    Will it appease you if I allow you to take bets on how long it will take to finish the accessories part?

  3. I'll consider it :)
    Do know however that I keep a special barrel of tar specifically for those bloggers who recommend you to buy a Corroded Skeleton Key with your emblems :)

  4. Grumble grumble.

    The deceptive thing about stamina is that everybody says you need it (and you do.) But you don't need it more than you need the other stats. I stand by what I said - it's a strong item from the perspective of stats per Emblem spent. But if you're just looking for more stamina you're doing it wrong.

    I need to go write a disclaimer into that post.