Shiny new purples, powerful trinkets, cool set bonuses and one more step towards the final legendary weapon of the expansion. That's what we really want to see.
It's not reasonable to cover everything in one post since we now have three seperate difficulty levels, each with their own idiosyncrisies and limitations. Best-in-slot for a 10M raider may now be different than the best-in-slot for a 25M raider due to the addition of higher item level Thunderforged gear and someone who primarily runs LFR won't have access to anything off of Ra-den. C'est la vie.
As such, I'll be taking a look at your gear options for each slot and how they all compare. Today, it's everything available outside of normal or heroic mode raiding, including crafted items, rep gear, world boss drops and Raid Finder items. The idea here is to look at what you'll be wearing if you're a casual, non-raiding or alt Warlock that will not be seeing the inside of a typical raid. A first glance analysis of trinkets will come in a later post since it's going to be a similar lineup regardless of which difficulty you raid in.
- All comparisons and recommendations are based on Heroic T14 stat weights since this is the item level you'll be at or near once you start collecting more gear.
- I'm assuming that your raid situation for Tier 14 is similar and aren't looking to replace Normal mode or Heroic raid drops.
- More tuning and numbers adjustments are happening on the PTR lately, but so far the only change to warlocks (as of this writing) is the Grimoire of Sacrifice adjustment discussed in my 5.2 post a few days ago. I fully expect to see Affliction nerfed to within an inch of its life (for reasons also previously discussed), but stat priorities should stay mostly the same.
- All sockets have been matched for their bonuses when comparing these items because I generally find it to be worthwhile. There may be some anomalies where one item will drop out of its best-in-slot position due to a shift in gemming strategies, but with secondary stats being stronger and socket bonuses being more appealing in Mists of Pandaria than they were in Cataclysm, it's unlikely that you'll be making a significant mistake by matching a socket. This means that all blue sockets have recieved an Intellect/Hit gem, yellow sockets have recieved an Intellect/Mastery gem (Mastery over Crit or Haste because it's a universally strong stat for all three specs) and red sockets have recieved standard Intellect gems.
- I'm not accounting for racial Expertise bonuses because our only weapons this tier are daggers, wands and staves. Gnomes will recieve an extra 1% Hit rating while wielding a dagger, but Gnomes are creepy and don't count.
- I'm including Normal Mode tier for the leg and glove slots because I expect them to be available from an easily pugged world boss like the Sha of Anger, as they've been since Tier 7.
One general piece of advice: As you're gearing up and replacing your 476/483 gear from Tier 14, the 502 gear from Tier 15 is going to be a pretty massive increase in stats, even if they're not ideal. Don't shrug off an upgrade just because it's not your absolute best-in-slot.
Lastly, there is an epic truckload of Hit rating on gear this tier. Be prepared to reforge away from it at every opportunity.
- Imperial Cowl
- Flamecaster's Burning Crown
- Hood of the Crimson Wake
- Hood of the Thousandfold Hells
Purely from a numbers standpoint, the crafted Imperial Cowl is a significant upgrade over LFR items for Affliction and Destro (it barely edges out LFR tier for Demo), but the lack of a Meta slot makes it a harder pill to swallow. Considering the (likely) high price of admission, it’s probably not worth it unless you’re bleeding money and are replacing a much lower ilvl item.