Druid tanks: the case for PvP gear in cataclysm

I’ve spent some time looking at the pre-raid gear that is available in cataclysm, and the crafted PvP gear has a lot going for it. While PvP gear is never ideal for PvE purposes the positives are:

  • Availablilty – any leatherworker will be making this to level
  • Value – the materials for this gear look easy to acquire
  • Power – crafted PvP gear is roughly equivalent to gear from heroic instances, at ilvl 339.
  • High stamina – in many cases the PvP gear has higher stamina than equivalent gear from heroics

This post has been updated to remove reforging – resilience cannot be reforged.

Let’s look at some gloves as an example. They cover; PvP rewards, heroic instance drops, Justice point rewards, crafted and quest rewards.

While gearing up for heroics the options are quest rewards and crafted gear, with a couple of Justice Point rewards if you can afford them. The decision to spend Justice Points on a particular gear slot is a significant one, since it costs 1-2 thousand points for each item. There are occasions when normal and heroic instance drops are hard to obtain (whether through bad luck or time limitations) and then the crafted PvP gear starts to look like a really good option.

From the list of gear above, the Bloodied Leather Gloves are the crafted PvP item. They require 10 Heavy Savage Leather (50 Savage Leather) and 10 Volatile Fire to craft, which isn’t very hard to get. The gloves would look like this:

Bloodied Leather Gloves
967 Armor
+210 Agility
+316 Stamina
Equip: Increases your critical strike rating by 107
Equip: Increases your resilience rating by 160

Comparing these to the ilvl 325 quest rewards results in:

  • +29 armor, +25 Agility, +39 Stamina, -16 critical strike rating, -123 mastery rating
  • This evaluates into: +29 armor, +50 Attack power, -3 critical strike rating (from the Agility, -16 from the green stats), +18 dodge rating, +390 health, -123 mastery rating

Which is not bad for spending a few gold on some gloves that only require a 510 Leatherworking skill to make.

Comparing them to the heroic instance drop gives:

  • -15 armor, +5 Agility, -21 Stamina, -43 critical strike rating, -130 mastery rating, -1 blue socket
  • Lets assume that the blue socket will have a Perfect Shifting Nightstone (23 Stamina 18 Agility) in it since this is not top level gear.
  • This evaluates into: -15 armor, -26 attack power, -50 critical strike rating, -9 dodge rating, -440 health, -130 mastery rating

Conclusions

Clearly the heroic instance drops are much better than the crafted PvP gear.

However, if you are gearing up for heroics this PvP gear looks very attractive. The resilience takes up itemization points that could be better used elsewhere, but that is not a huge problem when compared to obtaining better gear. In the example chosen it is Mastery rating that is affected. In some cases the gear that you could otherwise obtain will have less valuable stats on it (like Haste) and the tradeoff is much more palatable.

I recommend using this for the gear slots that have less itemization points. Gloves, shoulders, bracers and boots would all be good candidates. Helms, chestpieces and leggings will sacrifice a lot more itemization points to resilience and the overall value of the piece of gear for PvE will be lowered.

I’ll be getting my hands on these items to wear once my druids hits level 85, and replacing them in heroics:

  1. Bloodied Leather Gloves
  2. Bloodied Leather Shoulders
  3. Bloodied Leather Boots
  4. Bloodied Leather Belt

The following items fall into the category of poorly itemized stats for a druid tank or match up badly to the PvE alternatives.

  1. Bloodied Leather Bracers has haste on it, which is not a particularly desirable stat. There is probably a better blue quality quest reward.
  2. Bloodied Leather Chest looks good a first glance, but the equivalent gear available from reputation rewards (Sly Fox Jerkin) has 2 sockets and good itemization.
  3. Bloodied Leather Legs looks good too, but Leggings of the Impenitent are a reputation reward that are better.
  4. Bloodied Leather Helm lacks a meta socket, which is a huge drawback. It might be ok to use until you can get Helm of Secret Knowledge from a quest inside the Grim Batol instance.

Final words

This article can just as easily be applied to other classes, particularly dps and healing classes. Tanks may have slightly more trouble since their gear will ideally have Parry or Dodge rating on it, and this is rare on PvP gear.

There could be quite a market in creating level 85 entry level PvP gear, both for PvE and PvP purposes. Leatherworkers, it could pay off to level this profession quickly!

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3 Responses to Druid tanks: the case for PvP gear in cataclysm

  1. Aerimus says:

    I thought that you could not reforge resillience on gear? Is this not the case?

    • Antony says:

      I haven’t tried it actually – I’ve only reforged other gear at the moment and made an assumption here. I’ll check that on live realms very soon and get back to you. If that’s the case I’ll be updating my other post as well. Thanks for the pickup!

      • Antony says:

        Thanks for the pickup Aerimus, it is indeed true that you cannot reforge resilience. I’ll be updating this post and my other gearing post accordingly tonight.
        I’ll be much more careful about checking reforging in the future! I’m glad you picked me up on this one 🙂

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