On Friday, one of the tanks in my guild hinted rather strongly that he would like for my “baby paladin” (that is, the newly-dinged 85) to heal him and his friend through a Zul’Aman.
My first reaction was not only “no”, but “hell no”.
Then I realized I might as well. Apart from anything, there are epic bracers in that there jungle!
After completing the instance, I knew I had to write about the loot in the troll dungeons for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of Fetish Greaves. Let’s look at Zul’Aman, then Zul’Gurub.
Zul’Aman Holy Paladin Gear (4.1)
Before we look at the drops, there are two notable quest rewards. The first is a reward from Warlord of the Amani and it’s a pair of shoulders that are actually pretty sweet: Pauldrons of Ambition have spirit and crit and a red socket (10 crit bonus). The crit can be reforged to 59 haste.
I hate these pants.
Yes, they are 353. Yes, they have two sockets. Yes, they have more intellect than any 346 legs.
They are still terrible.
Why, precisely, are they so terrible?
They have no spirit and no haste. As if that weren’t bad enough, they have a stupid amount of crit and mastery.
The person who created this item needs to be flogged. Its very existence insults me.
My top choice consists of the Greaves of the Misguided from Lord Godfrey in Heroic Shadowfang Keep. Spirit! Haste! Two sockets!
The Fetish Greaves have 21 intellect more than the Greaves of the Misguided, 209 crit, 171 mastery, 30 stamina and 60 more armor.
The Greaves of the Misguided, on the other hand, have 202 haste and 162 spirit.
But Kurn, you say, we can just reforge that nasty, nasty mastery off the Fetish Greaves, right?
Wrong. Assuming you want to reforge to spirit, you want as much of it as you can when you reforge. So because reforging is 40% of the stat, you want to reforge the larger stat to get more bang for your reforging buck.
40% of 171 mastery is 68.4, which the game will round down to 68.
40% of 209 crit is 83.6, which the game will round up to 84.
Thus, to optimize the pants by reforging towards a better secondary stat, like spirit, you would want to reforge the crit instead of the mastery, giving you an extra 16 spirit (or haste).
That leaves you with a massive 171 mastery. It makes me feel dirty not to reforge mastery, but reforging the crit here is the right call.
It’s also why those pants are complete garbage when compared with the Greaves of the Misguided. I would even choose the very lackluster Legguards of the Gentle from Justice Points over the Fetish Greaves. Like the Fetish Greaves and the Greaves of the Misguided, the Legguards of the Gentle have two sockets. Unlike the Fetish Greaves, they have 192 spirit and 172 mastery. That mastery can be safely reforged to haste, because we like spirit, so we don’t want to touch the 192 spirit at all. The mastery will end up being about 69 haste, which is still better than the Fetish Greaves, both in terms of spirit and haste.
So avoid the Fetish Greaves unless you are absolutely desperate and then keep running Heroic SFK anyways!
Okay, on to the drops!
Jan’alai drops Boots of Bad Mojo. Surprisingly, these are an outstanding option, what with the spirit, the haste and the gem socket. If you’re poor or don’t have the Valor Points (soon to be Justice Points in 4.2) to afford the Eternal Pathfinders, these are great. Even if you CAN afford the Eternal Pathfinders, these are still great boots.
I personally prefer the Eternal Pathfinders. It’s just a bit more intellect and you won’t find a better pair of boots in regular-mode Tier 11 raid content. Unlike the Eternal Pathfinders, the Fetish Greaves, which have more intellect than the Greaves of the Misguided, will be replaced in T11 raid content. The Eternal Pathfinders will not be, not until you get Heroic Omnotron Defense System down and you feel dirty and guilty for taking the heroic Life Force Chargers.
The spirit that exists on the Boots of Bad Mojo is lovely, but after reforging the crit on the Valor Point boots, the ~92 spirit should not be terribly missed when using the Eternal Pathfinders, particularly once you’re gearing up in a raid.
The Boots of Bad Mojo are definitely a great piece, but only if you don’t have access to the Eternal Pathfinders or spirit is a serious issue for you.
Up next… Bracers of Hidden Purpose drop from Akil’zon. While gearing up Madrana, I had terrible luck in Grim Batol (both regular and heroic) and the Deadmines when trying to find bracers. Erudax was a stingy bastard for me on Madrana and I only ever saw the Gearbreaker bracers once. As if that weren’t bad enough, it took me nine kills to get the Shackles of the End of Days from Cho’gall. Surprisingly, also a stingy bastard.
Thus, I went from 316 bracers to 359 bracers on Madrana. No joke. (The baby pally was fortunate enough to get the bracers from Erudax on her first heroic Grim Batol after having run it on regular once.) That means that these would be GREAT, even if they sucked. Which they don’t, by the way. Bracers of Hidden Purpose can (and should) get the crit reforged to 48 spirit.
So definitely pick up the Bracers of Hidden Purpose until Cho’gall releases his grip on some sweet bracers for you.
How about rings? Do you need a ring? The Soul Drain Signet is perfect! It drops from Hex Lord Malacrass and is a fantastic ring to take with you into raid content.
Finally, what about a weapon? Daakara drops the Amani Scepter of Rites. A solid piece, despite the mastery. Grab it unless you have something of a higher ilvl.
And that’s about it of interest for us in Zul’Aman.
Zul’Gurub Holy Paladin Gear (4.1)
Ah, Zul’Gurub. My first raid instance outside of Upper Blackrock Spire! How I miss those bijous and coins and hilariously bad loot tables…
Ahem. Sorry. Right, on to holy paladin stuff in ZG!
While it’s not ideal, the Signet of Venoxis is a decent choice. The mastery can, and should be, reforged to 48 spirit. Rings are all over the place, to be honest — there are a lot of choices. This is a fairly cheap one in terms of in-game gold or Justice/Valor Points spent, so if it drops, from Venoxis, of course, snag it.
How about a shield? The Zulian Ward from Jin’do is okay, but it’s strictly okay. Why? No spirit. No gem socket. The Elementium Stormshield blows it away. If there’s no way you can get an Elementium Stormshield, this is a good runner up, but aim for the crafted shield.
Zanzil will drop a helm. The Plumed Medicine Helm is … well, it’s full of mastery is what it is. Sad panda. It’s still not awful, mostly due to the spirit and the fact that it has a meta socket. It’s only one of three pre-raid helms that have a meta socket. I still prefer Crown of the Blazing Sun from the Justice Point vendor, but if you’re short on points or this drops, grab it if you don’t have a 346 or higher helm with a meta socket.
If someone in your run has at least 225 Archaeology, you can summon an Edge of Madness boss. If you get Wushoolay, you have a chance at Troll Skull Chestplate. Given the plethora of choices at the 346 level, plus the fact that the Breastplate of Avenging Flame drops off of Magmaw in Blackwing Descent, the Troll Skull Chestplate is strictly “if you really can’t get lucky on a drop and can’t get to Revered with Earthen Ring” material.
Lastly, if you do ZG, you may come across the Spiritcaller Cloak as a trash drop. This is BOE (Bind on Equip) so even if you’re not in there as your healer, you can try to win it. No haste, but it’s a nice spirit option. Bear in mind that when 4.2 drops and you “need” a BOE, it will become soulbound to you, so watch out for that!
Don’t forget to read up on my pre-T11 loot list and my T11 loot list as well! (Bear in mind both are slightly out of date.) If you want to see what Madrana’s sporting these days, check it out here: http://www.chardev.org/?profile=5305