Trax got Legguards of Lost Hope last night off of Marrowgar-25. These replaced the Deathforged Legplates she got off of Saurfang-10 about a month ago. Combined with the upgrade of her Ashen Verdict ring to the final Ashen Band of Endless Courage, this brings her WoW-Heroes score to a ridiculous 3175. She’s now the seventh best geared tank alliance side on our little server. The more I think about it, the crazier it sounds. Not bad for a former bank alt.
I looked at her gear a little bit yesterday before the run, and realized that I really don’t have all that much left to go. In her frost spec she has 17 pieces of gear. 12 of them are item level 264 or above, which corresponds to ICC-25 level gear. Since our guild is currently a ways away from getting into heroic 25s mode (indeed, our entire server hasn’t yet gotten that), that represents the best gear I could reasonably expect to get. I thought now would be an appropriate time to run down, for the other pieces, what gear I have and what would be an upgrade.
Current Gear: Fossilized Ammonite Choker
Upgrade 1: Bile-Encrusted Medallion (Rotface-25)
Upgrade 2: Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker (Marrowgar-10)
This is the last of my heroic gear and obviously the biggest need I have right now. The first upgrade drops off of Rotface 25, which is a boss we usually but not always down in any given week. The chances of me getting that item are lowered by a recent shift in focus from the plagueworks wing over to the frost wing. Nevertheless, it’s a reasonable upgrade to plan for. One problem with it is that unlike other tank items, I may have competition from the druid tanks for this necklace. I expect it will cost a fair amount of DKP when all is said and done, which is a contrast from most of my gear — without exception, I’ve been able to get all my ICC-25 gear by bidding one dkp, because no one else can use it for their main set.
The second upgrade remains a feasible option, although it too is likely to be hampered by our recent plan to extend our raid lead’s 10 id until we down Lich King. There’s a significant likelihood that I will not see Marrowgar in ICC-10 for quite some time. That being said, if it does drop, I will likely have no competition from the druid tank for it, because parry is useless for them.
In theory there is an upgrade in ToC-25 for this item as well, but since I don’t run that anymore I don’t think it’s worth listing.
Current: Scourge Fanged Stompers
Upgrade 1: Grinning Skull Greatboots (Dreamwalker-25)
Upgrade 2: Boots of Kingly Upheaval (Crafted)
I feel very fortunate to have gotten these boots right now, as they drop off of Sindragosa in ICC-10, a boss I think my guild has downed exactly once. It’s a good thing I feel that way because I don’t think I’m going to get them upgraded anytime soon. The Dreamwalker fight is not one that I’ve managed to see beaten yet in 25-man mode. I suppose I could go for the crafted boots, but I really don’t like them, even though they are ilvl-264; they have no defense at all, are focused on avoidance rather than effective health, have hit rating which I won’t likely need any of, and cost a heck of a lot of saronite (at recent prices, 9500g worth). I also don’t know anyone who can make them. I might get them crafted but I’m in no hurry.
Weapons (Frost Spec)
Current Main-hand: Quel’delar, Cunning of the Shadows
Current Off-hand: Gutbuster
Upgrade: Bloodvenom Blade (Saurfang-25)
I love my main-hand weapon. I spent over 10k gold getting it, so I really think I should. It is very well itemized for dual-wield tanking, so it plays a bit above its item level. That being said, the Bloodvenom Blade is still better. I suspect I will have competition for this item (if it ever drops) from some dps, so this is one I’m prepared to spend a bit of dkp for. It’s a fight that we get every week so in theory I should have a good shot at it, but I’ve never seen it drop. Maybe that’s just bad luck.
There are also some weapons dropped by the Lich King which would be upgrades but I don’t feel comfortable listing them here until we actually face him on a regular basis.
There are also some “tanking” weapons which drop in ICC-25 that I would likely take. Their value is rather situational, though, and most of the time I will be equipping the slow dps weapons to maintain my threat.
Weapon (2H Blood spec)
Current: Ramaladni’s Blade of Culling
Upgrade 1: Bryntroll, the Bone Arbiter (Marrowgar-25)
Upgrade 2: Cryptmaker (Blood Princes-25)
Like Quel’delar, Ramaladni is an excellent tanking weapon. I did just get it so I’m quite happy with it and not really looking to upgrade.
Of the two upgrades, Bryntroll is clearly the superior one. The life-stealing ability of it favors tanks over the dps classes. I would definitely spend some dkp to get it. Cryptmaker is technically an upgrade, but I doubt I will ever get it. The competition from dps is likely to be too much and I don’t want to spend a significant amount of dps on an ilvl-264 weapon when I know there’s a superior one that drops off a boss we down every week.
There’s always Shadow’s Edge, of course, but that’s light years away for me. I don’t picture myself ever getting it.
Current: Sigil of Insolence
Possible Upgrade: Sigil of the Bone Gryphon (30 Emblems of Frost)
This is the one upgrade that I hem and haw about. It’s one that I could get right now and if I were only concerned about my gear score, I certainly would. The problem is that I’m not at all certain the ilvl-264 sigil is really better than the ilvl-245 sigil. From what I know, the proc on Insolence has an 80% chance and a 10s internal cooldown, which means that for all practical purposes it has a near 100% uptime. Bone Gryphon has no procs at all, but the buff has to gain stacks. Once it is fully stacked, it will offer a slight 20 dodge advantage.
There are situations where Insolence is a much better bet. Consider Saurfang, where tanks trade off the boss every thirty seconds or so. Insolence will be up the whole time, but Bone Gryphon will probably just reach its fifth stack for a time when it won’t do any good at all. Any fight with this mechanic is likely to favor Insolence, and there are a lot of them (Deathwhisper, Gunship, Saurfang, Stinky, Precious, etc.). The times when Bone Gryphon is better are limited, and even then the advantage is only slight. More and more I’m thinking that it would be a waste of 30 frost emblems.
So that’s the current state of Trax’s gear. There’s really not much left for her to get! At some point I will probably work toward getting her the T10.25 gear, but with the tokens going for more dkp than Trax has currently, I don’t see any real need to press on that. Other than that, the big thing to get would be to open up heroic modes. That would open up some new possibilities for her.