Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moonkin Gearing Decisions - A Case Study

Being a pharmacist, I loved it in school when they would give us a case study, or a question wrapped up in a situation and we had to determine the best answer.  I actually had a great one happen to myself last night while we were raiding.  Hopefully, you will enjoy this.

Situation:  We just downed Valethria Dreamwalker on 25 man ICC HM and Frostbinder's Shredded Cape drops.  Here are the major important stats for this cloak.

Intellect: + 78
A Yellow Gem Slot (With +5 SP bonus)
Critical Strike Rating Improved by 68
Haste Rating Improved by 60
Spellpower Increased by 100

A few weeks ago in 25 man Ruby Sanctum regular, I got the Cloak of Burning Dusk.  Here are the important stats for this cloak:

Intellect: +73
A Red Gem Slot (With +5 SP bonus)
Critical Strike Rating Improved by 56
Haste Rating Improved by 64
Spellpower Increased by 104

Here are my current stats:

Intellect:  1498
Critical Strike Rating: 968
Haste Rating: 1035
Hit Capped
264 Idol

Quiz Time  

Question 1: My guild runs a loot council where you can specify if you want a drop for your main spec and it is a major upgrade (Main), whether it is a side grade but you are still interested (Pass), or whether it is an offspec item (Off).  You can also say nothing and just pass on this item.  What would be the correct action in this case for my moonkin spec (My offspec is tank so he would never use it)?

Question 2: Knowing the new info about Cataclysm, it is unlikely that we will actually complete hardmode Ruby Sanctum.  Does this change your answer?

Pencils Down.  You get to grade  your own paper so you will make a 100% anyway, but lets go through what my decision was in the moment.

Question 1:  I said nothing although I would have accepted Pass as an answer.  Saying nothing is the ideal answer though.  Looking at my stats, I am hit capped, soft haste capped above 408, lunar crit capped at 968 plus the 264 idol.  Although the 277 cloak is a higher iLevel, trading it out would mean an increase in my critical strike rating, which is not really needed, and a decrease in my haste, which is really not needed.  In addition, the 271 cloak from Ruby Sanctum is better itemized with the red gem slot because regardless of the cape, since it is only +5 spellpower.

Question 2:  I would argue that this cape is still better even if we never do hardmode Ruby Sanctum.  I mean, the hardmode version of this cape is best in slot for pretty much any caster, but I'm thinking in my circumstance that the regular version is better than the ICC HM cape.  This means that this cape is likely the one I use until I replace it at level 83.

Going back to several blog post I have made in the past, I have talked about gemming within the caps.  When you are upgrading your gear, it is important to look at your caps as well.  When you are above the Lunar Crit Cap, haste becomes slightly more important than critical strike rating.  This is the reason for gemming with spellpower  plus haste gems versus spellpower plus critical strike gems when you are above the Lunar Crit Cap.  If I was not above the Lunar Crit Cap, my decision would be to go with the 277 iLevel cloak to get more critical strike rating.  However, since I am, I know it is more of a sidegrade and is arguably a downgrade.

Looking at the gear list I get from Gray Matter, whose blog is listed on the side, she mentioned the HM Dreamwalker cape is higher than the 271 RS cape.  However, that is for a specific situation.  In my situation, where I value haste over critical strike rating, I chose the 271 cape.  This is why gear list are guides.  You still need to know your caps and what you are going towards when choosing your best gear.


Ophelie said...

You forgot another point.

If you had tried to trade in the RS cloak for the DW cloak, I would have had a nervous breakdown and cussed you out something serious. (Like I almost did when you got that RS cloak in the first place ;D)

Just sayin'

Redhawks said...


I was actually surprised I got the cloak the first time in RS. I was expecting another caster to get it. That is my thought though, if you have a 271 item in a slot, you should not get a 277 item until everybody else has gotten the 277 item and even then it is questionable.

Ophelie said...

ilevel isn't everything. The cloak I had was 264, but was terribly itemized. Just to give you an idea- there was an upgrade for me in OS!

I was just kidding about getting pissy part, when you got the RS cloak, you deserved it :).

Redhawks said...



That is what I'm finding out is iLevel means very little unless you think Gear Score is everything. That is probably why I will never pick up heroic Neiblung from HM DW. It is higher iLevel than the 271 Arthas staff, but it is definitely not better.