As promised, I wanted to cover some of the basics of Feral PVP, starting with gear selections. I know a lot of people prefer to get a suitable set of gear before they even step into Arenas so this seems like the logical place to start.
There are several things that you need to keep in mind when gearing your toon for PVP. However unlike PVE there is no set in stone method to approach PVP gear selection. In Cata (as discussed previously) you almost have no choice in the matter with many slots only having one possible option. PVP however is different in that there is choice on gear slots but also choice as to whether you wish to wear PVP or PVE gear in some slots (more on this later).
If we break it down, we can probably summarize into a few basic principles:
- How much Resilience should one wear?
- Carrying enough Spell Penetration
- Carrying enough Hit
This is very much a personal choice. There is no right or wrong answer. (Hold on this is really vague Rarren) Well ya sorry, I can’t answer this for you. There are so many variables that directly impact how much you may want to use. Just to list a few:
- 2’s vs 3’s vs 5’s arena
- double dps vs healer/dps (in 2’s)
- what comps you’re facing
- how you deal with pressure
- whether you get focused more than your partner(s)
All these things contribute to how much you may need to wear. Bottom line is the more you wear the more survivability you will have but at the same time, the less output you can produce. Essentially wearing less resilience can be rephrased as “how much can you cheat without getting burned regularly”.
Spell pen is the statistic that reduces your target’s resistance to your spells and is purely a PVP stat. It will only work on targets that have resistance (natural or via buffs) and has no effect if your target has no resistance. A good example of how this affects druids is nature resistance to Cyclone. If your target has mark or has other resistance buffs, it will lessen the chance that your Cyclone will land. The new cap for Spell Penetration in Cataclysm is now 195 and can be attained via enchants & gems.
Completely the opposite of PVE, hit is an important statistic that must be capped in PVP. You don’t have the luxury of missing as every hit counts and missing an interrupt could mean and win or loss. The hit cap for PVP would be the amount of hit required to hit a normal level 85 target which is 5%. Hit can be obtained from gear as well as enchants/gems & reforging so there is plenty of choice in terms of where your hit is obtained from.
For the purpose of gear discussion, I will use the epic (365) version of PVP gear, however it the suffix is the same on blue (346) PVP gear. Below is a listing of the available PVP items to feral kitties:
Helm: Vicious Gladiator’s Dragonhide Helm
Neck: Vicious Gladiator’s Necklace of Proficiency/Vicious Gladiator’s Necklace of Prowess (Exp or Mastery)
Shoulders: Vicious Gladiator’s Dragonhide Spaulders
Cloak: Vicious Gladiator’s Cape of Cruelty/Vicious Gladiator’s Cape of Prowess (Crit or Mastery)
Chest: Vicious Gladiator’s Dragonhide Robes
Bracers: Vicious Gladiator’s Armwarps of Accuracy/Vicious Gladiator’s Armwraps of Alacrity (Hit or Haste)
Gloves: Vicious Gladiator’s Dragonhide Gloves
Waist: Vicious Gladiator’s Waistband of Accruacy/Vicious Gladiator’s Waistband of Cruelty (Hit or Crit)
Leggings: Vicious Gladiator’s Dragonhide Legguards
Boots: Vicious Gladiator’s Boots of Alacrity/Vicious Gladiator’s Boots of Cruelty (Haste or Crit)
Rings: Vicious Gladiator’s Ring of Accuracy/Vicious Gladiator’s Ring of Cruelty (Hit or Crit)
Trinkets: More on this below
Weapon: Vicious Gladiator’s Pike/Vicious Gladiator’s Staff
Relic: Vicious Gladiator’s Relic of Triumph
Merging a bit of the basic discussion we had earlier with some basic feral stat priorities (discussed in previous posts), we can come to the following conclusions.
Hit > Mastery/Crit > Haste > Expertise
Why you may ask? Well as mentioned above, Hit is absolutely critical in PVP as you cant afford to miss and wait for dots to be applied later. Mastery/Crit as like in PVE are very desirable. Personally I prefer Mastery over Crit as once dots are applied they will hit harder, you don’t necessary know how long you will be able to hit a target before you are CC’ed off so the harder your dots hit the better. Haste/Expertise need little explanation as their value in PVE is minimal. So, with the prioritization scheme we can now decide that the suffix priority should be Accuracy > Prowess > Cruelty
Finally, and most importantly weapon choice. In short, yes the items are exactly the same, its just a matter of whether you prefer the look of the Staff or Pike. Personally? Pike Wins.
Like PVE, there are a lot of choices for trinkets and it is very much a playstyle choice. More DPS or More Survivability? All together you have the option of mixing and matching 11 different trinkets together. Naturally you must get at least one of the trinkets that removes all impairing abilities (or “trinket” as we all call it). That means you will have to take at least PVP #1 (Medallion of Tenactiy) or PVP #3 (Medallion of Cruelty). The 2nd trinket however is up to you. Personally, I’ve been using Essence of Cyclone but thats because I have the ilv 372 version, however I have been contemplating picking up PVP #6 for more survivability but keeping the up front burst.
Keep in mind that the below listing is not listed in any specific order.
- Vicious Gladiator’s Medallion of Tenacity (+340 Resil / Trinket)
- Vicious Gladiator’s Insignia of Conquest (+340 Resil / +963 Agil 20s)
- Vicious Gladiator’s Medallion of Cruelty (+340 Crit / Trinket)
- Vicious Gladiator’s Emblem of Tenacity (+340 Resil / +16169 HP 15s)
- Vicious Gladiator’s Emblem of Cruelty (+340 Crit / +16169 HP 15s)
- Vicious Gladiators Badge of Conquest (+340 Resil / +1605 Agil 20s)
- Fluid Death (+321 Hit / Agility Proc)
- Essence of Cyclone (+321 Agility / Crit Proc)
- Prestor’s Talisman of Machination (+321 Agility / Haste Proc)
- Unsolvable Riddle (+321 Mastery / Agility Proc)
- Unheeded Warning (+321 Agility / White Dmg Proc)
You may have noticed that I don’t carry any PVE gear in my current PVP setup. If you’re very astute you may have noticed in Season 8 I wore quite a bit of PVE gear (Pants/Ring & Val’anyr). That was because I knew what my survivability was like as a resto druid and I knew I could cheat and get away with having more healing while keeping myself (and my partners) alive. As feral its a very different ballgame especially since I’m playing double dps in 2’s only currently. Survivability is king and the most important when you have nobody to heal you. This is what I mean by its really up to you how much resil you wear. If I were playing healer/dps in 2’s I would probably put more PVE gear on knowing that I would be healed. Or once I start playing 3’s that will probably change as well. Most importantly, your set of gear should never stay the same no matter what comp. If you run into a comp that counters (gives you difficulty) then maybe you should put more resilience on to deal with it. That’s the really intersting thing about PVP as there really is never a set of gear you are finalized on its always changing depending on what you play and encounter.
Up Next: PVP Gemming, Enchanting & Reforging