Wednesday, November 12, 2008

...and then everything changed.

A snapshot on the last night of Burning Crusade. So proud of that gear that will be vendored or banked within the next several days.

Goodbye, BC, we hardly knew ye.

Monday, November 10, 2008

An overview of Hunter loot from Wrath leveling dungeons

This will be an ongoing project. I'm starting with Utgarde Keep and making my way through.

The pieces I'm including here are pieces particularly for Hunters - tanking guns, items with expertise, etc, aren't going to make this list.

Please leave comments and suggestions.

Utgarde Keep

The first dungeon for most people, more than likely. Three Hunter pieces drop here: Dragon Stabler's Gauntlets (Prince Keleseth) , the only mail piece, and two leather drops - Vrykul Shackles (trash) and Skarvald's Dragonskin Habergeon (Dalronn/Skarvald)

The gloves are comparable to Tier 4 from Karazhan, and may be an upgrade thanks to their heavy Intellect. The two leather pieces are similarly around Karazhan levels, except that Skarvald's Dragonskin Habergeon has a lot of Agility and may be a good choice for Survival Hunters.

The Nexus

The second dungeon most will run, featuring quite a few quests and bosses. Two pieces of Hunter loot drop here: Drakonid Arm Blade (Ormorok) and Cleated Ice Boots. (Anomalus)

The Drakonid Arm Blade stacks enough Agility to be a worthy replacement for anything up to a Dagger of Bad Mojo. The Cleated Ice Boots have stats almost as solid as Cobra-Lash Boots from Lady Vashj - definitely worth looking at for any Hunter outside Sunwell.


Starting areas will have been left behind by the time most run Azjol-Nerub; it's a 73-75 instance.

Two items drop here that Hunters could use, but they're not strong Hunter-items: Cobweb Machete, a dagger, and Treads of Aspiring Heights, leather boots.

Both items stack enough Agility to be useful to Survival Hunters, but are likely to be lackluster for other specs.


The dungeon-whose-name-cannot-be-pronounced falls in the same 73-75 range as Azjol-Nerub. This dungeon contains some notable Hunter (and physical DPS in general) drops.

Spored Tendrils Spaulders (Trash), Pyramid Embossed Belt (Herald Volazj), Jedoga's Greatring (Jedoga Shadowseeker), and Slasher's Amulet (Prince Talderam) are all reasonably likely to replace BC gear.

Spored Tendrils Spaulders compare well against Shoulders of the Hidden Predator. Pyramid Embossed Belt, again, packs a ton of Agility for the Survivalists. Jedoga's Greatring is on par with Angelista's Revenge, and Slasher's Amulet is close to the Guardian's Pendant of Triumph.

Drak'tharon Keep

Ranging in level from 74-76, this instance is notable mostly for its inclusion of a dinosaur boss.

Three Hunter-friendly pieces drop here - a 2H sword and two helms. Troll Butcherer (Trollgore), Helmet of Living Flesh (The Prophet Tharon'ja), and Scabrous-Hide Helm (King Dred).

Troll Butcherer is a clear upgrade over Vengeful Gladiator's Waraxe, and may be an upgrade from Halberd of Desolation depending on how much Hit one has. Helmet of Living Flesh and the leather Scabrous-Hide Helm are both on par with the T6 Helm, except that they lack a meta gem (or any gem) socket. For Hunters will head pieces of lower quality than the T6 helm, either of these two head pieces are likely to be an upgrade.

The Violet Hold

This instance has been called Black Morass 2.0, but I'd say it's more akin to the final encounter in Arcatraz.

Two pieces of Hunter loot drop here - Prison Warden's Shotgun (Lavanthor) and Xevozz's Belt (Xevoss).

Finally, a ranged weapon! Prison Warden's Shotgun is a solid upgrade from nearly every BC ranged weapon, unless the BC weapon is providing significant stat upgrades. Xevozz's belt is a solid DPS belt, and will upgrade Guardian's Chain Belt or be a small downgrade versus Boneweave Girdle.


Level range 76-78. At this point, most drops are going to be upgrades from even BT gear. This instance shows off the Ice Trolls, who have been kicking Scourge butt. Trolls FTW.

Three major pieces of Hunter loot drop here. Drakkari Hunting Bow (Drakkari Colossus), Cannibal's Legguards (Slad'ran), and Shoulderguards of the Ice Troll (Drakkari Colossus).

Drakkari Hunting Bow is a straight upgrade from Legionkiller. It has a surprisingly high speed, which may make it relatively undesirable for those who want high top-end damage. For BM and Surv Hunters, this is an extremely good weapon. Cannibal's Legguards are an upgrade over Leggings of the Pursuit, and so worth picking up for almost anyone. Shoulderguards of the Ice Troll are heavy on Agility and Hit, and so compare favorably versus Shoulders of the Hidden Predator depending on spec and Hit Rating.

Halls of Lightning

One of the four normal level-80 dungeons.

There's quite a bit of Hunter gear here: Projectile Activator (Loken), Boots of the Terrestrial Guardian (Trash), Tornado Cuffs (Ionar), Leather-Braced Chain Leggings (Loken), Hood of the Furtive Assassin (Loken), and Bjarngrim Family Signet (General Bjarngrim).

Projectile Activator has more conventional stats and a slower speed than Drakkari Hunting Bow, and so may be a better option for MM Hunters. All of the mail gear here is similar to Sunwell gear; worthy of taking. The Bjarngrim Family Signet, in particular, is hard to beat with BC gear - it's similar to the craftable Sunwell physical DPS ring.

The Oculus

This instance is not to be missed - it is uniquely laid out and very fun to explore.

Seven pieces of potential Hunter loot drop here: Wyrmclaw Battleaxe (Ley-Guardian Eregos), Lifeblade of Belgaristrasz (Drakos the Interrogator), Spaulders of Skillful Maneuvers (Mage-Lord Uron), Headguard of Westrift (Ley-Guardian Eregos), Ley-Whelphide Belt (Trash), Sidestepping Handguards (Mage-Lord Uron), and Centrifuge Core Cloak (Varos Cloudstrider).

Wyrmclaw Battleaxe will be the Sonic Spear of Wrath. Every Hunter will want one. Lifeblade of Belgaristrasz is an excellent 1H for lovers of dual-wielding. Both Spaulders of Skillful Maneuvers and Headguard of Westrift rival Sunwell gear. The leather pieces offer excellent DPS stats, as well. Centrifuge Core Cloak is a direct upgrade from Cloak of Fiends - same stats, in greater amounts. Cloak of Unforgivable Sin from Sunwell still edges it, however.

Utgarde Pinnacle

Like Shattered Halls, this level-80 dungeon sits atop Utgarde Keep.

Seven pieces of Hunter loot drop here: Ymiron's Blade (King Ymiron), Ritualistic Athame (Svala Sorrowgrave), Tear-Linked Gauntlets (Svala Sorrowgrave), Trophy Gatherer (Gortok Palehoof), Ceremonial Pyre Mantle (King Ymiron), Drake Rider's Tunic (Skadi the Ruthless), and Vestige of Haldor (King Ymiron).

Ymiron's Blade and Ritualistic Athame are more solid 1H options. Tear-Linked Gauntlets compare favorably with Gronnstalker's Gloves - definitely worth a look. Trophy Gatherer is the MM weapon of choice from normal Wrath dungeons - it's very, very slow at 3.00. The two leather pieces are similar to or better than Sunwell gear, and so worth a roll.

About the Vestige of Haldor. Finally, a trinket, but it has a few problems. First, it provides passive Haste. Hunters are going to be drowning in Haste in Wrath. Second, it has a flat 15% chance-on-hit proc that doesn't scale with anything but Haste. Take it if no one else wants it, but let the Combat Rogue in your group have first crack at it.

Caverns of Time - Culling of Stratholme

Immensely fun, deeply story-driven, and unlike any instance before Wrath.

Four potential Hunter drops come from this instance: Meathook's Slicer (Meathook), Waistband of the Thuzadin (Salramm the Fleshcrafter), King's Square Bracers (Trash), and Necklace of the Chrono-Lord (Chrono-Lord Epoch).

Not much stand-out loot from this instance - Meathook's Slicer is another decent 1H, and King's Square Bracers will be worth taking to upgrade BC gear. Waistband of the Thuzadin is a strong piece thanks to its lack of Haste. Necklace of the Chrono-Lord is a rare neck drop, but suffers from its Haste itemization.


More to come - next up is Heroic Dungeon loot, then I'll start working on an analysis of gear from early raid dungeons.

If you see anything missing, broken, wrong, or extraneous, please let me know.