Great end-game gear without raiding: Cat (Sustained DPS)
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In a previous post, I laid out my guidelines for this series of three posts: gear that approaches Tier 4 and 5, but without the effort. The information in these posts is gleaned from a list of BC Feral Gear put together by a European druid player named Emmerald. While I’m sure we all dream about wearing a full set of Tier 5 equipment, the reality for me at least is I’m not that hard core of a player to know whether that dream will ever become a reality. So I’m putting together this series to give you a list of great gear that can be had with considerably less effort.
Emmerald’s list breaks cat form down into two sub-categories: “sustained dps” and “burst dps”. Sustained appears to be about attack power and burst appears to be about crit potential. Having not used cat form in groups extensively, I’m not sure I have an in-depth opinion on the differences and why I might choose one over the other. If you do, then please educate me through a comment. For the time being, I am going to look at the sustained dps flavor of cat as that feels like a more general purpose orientation.
Be sure to also check out Tanuviel’s list of cat gear for other opinions. Tanuviel has also included recommended enchantments by slot, which I didn’t, and that’s a great help.
For the head slot, we start out with a crafted item at number five on the list. It’s going to cost you, but many of the mats can be farmed. It does require one Primal Nether, so if you have one laying around even better. If not, buy one off the auction house or up your price to your leatherworker. The piece is the Cobrascale Hood, offering 271 armor +37 agility and +42 stamina. Equip bonuses are +18 to hit rating and +74 to attack power.
Right below the Cobrascale Hood is Helm of the Claw, a quest reward from The Warlord’s Hideout. The quest requires you to kill the final boss in The Steamvaults. This is a great helm with 237 armor, +25 agility and +21 stamina. It’s equip bonuses are +14 to hit rating and +66 to attack power. You get a yellow and a Meta socket, with a socket bonus of +4 to resilience.
Just below the Helm is another great head piece, the Stealther’s Helmet of Second Sight, a quest reward from another long quest chain in Shadowmoon Valley (check the comments here). The helmet has 226 armor, +26 agility, and +18 stamina. Equipping it, you get +13 hit rating, +60 attack power, and you can see ghosts! (You mean I can finally get rid of those stupid Spectracles??!!??) 3 gem sockets round out this piece, a red, a yellow and a blue. The socket bonus is another +8 to attack power.
The number one neck piece on the list is available to you. Haramad’s Bargain, when equipped, will give you +25 strength and +24 agility. Not bad for a neckpiece. The catch – you need exalted rep with The Consortium.
So what’s our alternative if you don’t have that rep or aren’t willing to farm for it? The nearest quest reward is number nine on the list: Natasha’s Pack Collar. This piece gives you +25 strength and +15 agility and stamina.
A couple other pieces to be on the lookout for include Mithril Chain of Heroismfrom that infamous dust-covered chest in Karazhan, Necklace of Trophies, which appears to drop all over Outland, Choker of Vile Intent which is yours for 25 Badges of Justice, and lastly Bone Chain Necklace which is around a 11% drop off The Black Stalker in Underbog. These alternatives are in descending order of ranking, so the Mithril Chain is the best of this list and the Bone Chain is last on the list. All of them however, rank higher than the Pack Collar.
Number four on the list is Expedition Scout’s Epaulets. The Epaulets give you 217 armor and +25 agility along with two equip bonuses: +24 to hit rating and +50 to attack power. This gear is a quest reward from the Fel Embers quest obtainable in Honor Hold once you hit 70. Completing the quest requires a trip into Hellfire Citadel.
These are great shoulderpads, very comparable to the Wastewalker Shoulderpadsat position two. All you lose is two gem sockets and the socket bonus, but the Wastewalker gear requires heroic Auchenai Crypt runs.
Well, I did say that I was willing to pay money for good gear and number one on the list for this slot is a crafted item, Vengence Cloak. Looking at the mats and comments, it seems like this is going to be a pretty expensive cloak to outright but. The stats are great at 89 armor, +23 to critical strike and +52 to attack power. Heck, the thing even has a red socket and a socket bonus of +2 hit rating. If you can find this and afford it, buy it.
You do have options though.
Number five on the list is the Blood Knight War Cloak. If you’re at end game and you’re starting to collect Badges of Justice, this cloak can be yours for 25 badges. The cloak has 85 armor, +25 agility and +21 stamina. The equip bonus is +46 to attack power.
Just below the Blood Knight cloak is Capacitus’ Cloak of Calibration– a mob drop in heroic mode Mechanar. However, is is also a 20% chance drop in the Cache of the Legionwithin Mechanar (non-heroic I believe). From looking at wowhead, it appears there are 5 blues in the chest, all with roughly equal chances of being in the chest. I haven’t been to Mechanar yet, so what I don’t know is how many items are in the chest. If there are more than one, then your odds obviously go up.
Tenth on the list here is the Tunic of Assassination. This tunic is off the last boss in Mechanar, a higher level instance, but not a raid so I’m including it. The tunic has 292 armor along with +28 agility and +21 stamina. You get 2 red sockets and a blue socket with a socket bonus of +4 to dodge. So why is it on the list? An equip bonus of +54 to attack power.
From reading comments on thotbott and wowhead, if you are going on farming runs in instances looking for any of the Assassination set – you may want to make sure rogues in your group know you are planning on rolling on this gear. Although it is good gear for us, it is obviously rogue gear based on the set bonuses and rogues in your group may be assuming they would automatically get the drop based on class. It’s always good to get those conversations out of the way before the run.
Number three on the list for this slot is Nightfall Wristguards, a drop off Epoch Hunter in the Old Hillsbrad Foothills instance. These wristguards offer 139 armor, +23 agility, +21 stamina and an equip bonus of +42 to attack power. Wowhead lists them as an 12% drop.
Okay, I told you that I was willing to spend gold or farm mats for great gear, and you’ll definitely be doing one of them for this piece of gear. Number one on the list in this slot is Windslayer Wraps, requiring 12 Wind Scales, 18 Primal Earth, 8 Primal Air and a Primal Nether. What do you get for that amount of mat farming? 208 armor, +36 strength, +18 agility, +25 stamina and an equip bonus of +17 to hit rating.
Want gloves from a drop instead of mat farming? Three positions down the list in position four are the Gloves of the Unbound, a drop in Arcatraz. These gloves have 183 armor, +27 agility and +20 stamina with an equip bonus of +38 to attack power. You get a red and a blue socket with a socket bonus of +3 to your resilience rating.
Number seven on the list is Socrethar’s Girdle. With 156 armor, +23 agility, +21 stamina and equip bonuses of +20 to hit rating and +48 to attack power, this is a nice piece of gear. It’s a reward at the end of one of those long quest chains, this time in Netherstorm, and it does require a group to finish. Here’s the link to the end quest bestowing the gear. Follow the link to wowhead to get more information on the chain. This is the Scryer version of the quest – if you’re Aldor, be sure to look at the comments for how you should get started.
In this slot, we get number three on the list: Clefthoof Hide Leggings. Be sure to click the link to get info on this gear piece as there are actually two pieces of gear with the same name. One is a drop and one is a quest reward. The one we are looking for is a quest reward for Showdown in Blade’s Edge. (I’ve just linked to the Alliance version – sorry Hordies).
Anyway, with these leggings you get 243 armor, +30 strength, +30 agility, and +24 stamina. Equip bonuses are +17 to hit rating and +18 to feral combat skill rating. This is yet another payoff for a long quest chain and a group is suggested for this final quest (although the listed group is only 3).
Fourth on the list here is a crafted item, Fel Leather Boots. From looking at the mats, it doesn’t appear they will be too epensive, with the main cost in eight Primal Shadows. The boots give you 196 and a yellow and red socket. The socket bonus is +6 attack power. Equip bonuses are +25 hit rating, +17 critical strike rating and +36 to attack power.
Getting the fourth item on the list is pretty good gear, but 2 of the 3 items ahead of these boots are found within Karazhan. If you’re headed there, keep your eyes out for the number one item, Edgewalker Longboots, dropped by Moroes, or the number two item, Zierhut’s Lost Treads, a trash mob drop. Both are excellent pieces of gear for your kitty.
Number two on the list is Overseer’s Signet, and its ours for Shutting down Manaforge Ara. Sounds like we should be doing this anyway, so getting a ring out of it is just icing on the cake, no? The payoff quest of a long quest chain in Netherstorm (theme developing?), this quest has a suggested party size of 3 so it shouldn’t be too hard to complete. The ring gives you +25 strength and +15 agility, along with an equip bonus of +10 to hit rating.
UPDATE: The Overseer’s Signet is an Aldor questline. No comparable questline that I can see on the Scryer’s side. Boo.
If you’re exalted with Sha’tar, then you would fill your second slot with A’Dal’s Command, giving you an impressive +28 to strength, +15 to agility and +16 to stamina.
If you’re not exalted yet, head to Shadowmoon Valley for the Acrobat’s Mark of the Sha’tar and get +29 strength and +12 agility. This is the payoff for a small 2 quest chain which starts with a dropped journal off Val’zareq the Conqueror. Follow the links for more information.
At number three on the list is Hourglass of the Unraveller, a drop in The Black Morass. If you’re attuning for Karazhan, you will be going there, and it’s just an instance – no raid required. The Hourglass will give you +32 to your critical strike rating along with a chance every time you hit to increase your attack power by 300 for 10 seconds.
Next on the list is something called Essence of the Pure Flame. Emmerald lists it as giving +91 attack power, but searching for it on both thottbot and wowhead only yields a Molten Core trinket that inflicted a small amount of fire damage when you were struck in combat. Not sure what’s up with that.
Moving down just two items we find Drake Fang Talisman. With it’s +56 to attack power, +20 to hit rating and +12 to dodge, this is a very nice, well rounded kitty trinket. Guess where you’re headed for it? BWL – remember that acronym? This may or may not be a good thing for you. I know a lot of guilds are heading back into some of the old raids and instances – both just for fun, and because with their new gear they can now run them where before they couldn’t. If your guild isn’t running BWL, then you might be able to get on a PUG for this trinket – it’s up to you.
If you don’t want to bother with BWL, then the next trinket on the list is a Nightseye Panther, a jewelcrafted figurine. This figurine increases your effective stealth by 1, but more importantly adds +54 to your attack power. It can also be used for a 12 second increase to your attack power of 320.
Wow, there are some nice weapons out there for kitties. Lots of PvP will get you the Gladiator’s Maul,the number one rated weapon, Karazhan contains Terestian’s Stranglestaff, and heroic Botanica yields the Feral Staff of Lashing.
Number four on the list though is our first choice: Wildfury Greatstaff. This gem has 630 armor and +42 stamina along with almost 68 dps. What puts it on the list though is it’s +654 to attack power. Very nice. It also drops off trash in Serpentshrine, so no boss fights needed. The downside? Wowhead is listing it as only around a 1% drop. This could be due to not enough data, or it could be a true drop rate – I’m not sure.
If you’re looking for something with a better drop rate then just two positions down is the Dreamer’s Dragonstaff. There’s no armor on this staff, and the attack power buff is only +423, but you get some nice stats: +46 strength, +27 agility and +28 stamina. Where do you get this? Wowhead says it’s around a 15% drop off Thorngrin the Tenderin Botanica.
If you’re looking to conserve bag space, then Earthwarden is a viable option. Earthwarden is our top choice for bear tanking and isn’t all that far down on the list for dps. It’s rated at 546 “kitty points”, the Wildfury staff is at 654.
For items in the list with sockets, Emmerald lists two rankings for the item: a base ranking and a ranking with gems equipped. I haven’t researched his approach, but I’m assuming he computes the final ranking with the best gem listed for the slot. With that in mind, here are the gems you should be trolling for:
Blue: Shifting Tanzanite (+5 strength and +4 agility)
Yellow: Inscribed Fire Opal (+5 strength and +4 critical hit rating)
Red: Shifting Tanzanite, as above
Meta: Swift Skyfire Diamond (+24 attack power and minor run speed)
Whew! That took a while, but I’m glad I did it. Just knowing what’s out there helps me put some priorities on what I’m doing and the quests I go on.
Just for grins I totalled up just the attack power of my first pick for each slot. You end up with around a +1,000 bonus to attack power (that’s +72 to dps kiddies; and that doesn’t even factor in agility and strength bonuses). Now we know it’s not just all about attack power, but that’s some pretty darn good stats for just questing and trolling the auction house.
I hope you enjoy this writeup and find it helpful. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.