Don’t you love it when you zone into Quel’danas and the NPCs all shout that stuff? Yes, my Druid finally hit Exalted with the Shattered Sun Offensive, and oh my, new toys galore! I wanted Shinano to get Exalted after Calli specifically for the Redeemer’s Alchemist Stone. I hadn’t actually paid a lot of attention to the Necklaces, but once you ding that final reputation level you just want to see what the Quartermaster can offer you, and I was more than pleasantly surprised.
So I got three of them. Druids, don’t you just love their itemisation? Ok, let’s see what you get.
First was the Shattered Sun Pendant of Restoration. She was already using the Shining Chain of the Afterworld from Karazahn, and while the two items are the same item level, the Shattered Sun pendant has almost twice the healing! You lose spirit and intellect, but you also gain mana per 5, so I think it’s a fair trade off. Shinano already replenishes a full mana bar with innervate, so the in-combat regen from mana per 5 might be more useful. We shall see.
Next up was the Shattered Sun Pendant of Might for Kitty dps. Again, she was already using a Karazahn item – The Mithril Chain of Heroism from the Chess Event. This is a good, solid Cat necklace and I wasn’t sure if the Shattered Sun pendant was going to be worth it. I guess it’s all going to depend on the proc. Shinano’s Scryer by the way. Anyone know if she’s going to be disappointed?
Finally, I decided to get a new Bear tanking necklace. Now this may strike you as a strange choice, but I replaced my badge reward Necklace of the Juggernaut with the Pendant of Resolve. Now the Juggernaut is a very good Bear neck. Tons of stamina, defence and agility, it has served me well for a long old time. What more could a Bear want? Well, some hit rating and expertise actually. Shinano’s long past the time when she needed basic Bear tanking gear loaded with defence just to remain uncrittable. She’s now at the point where she finds she’s got too much defence and is trying to lose some so she can stack more desireable stats that help generate threat. Stats like hit rating and expertise.
Saying goodbye to the faithful Heavy Clefthoof set is hard to do, and I’m certainly not even close to being the first Bear in this situation, but Shinano’s finally reached that point where simply stacking defence and stamina is becoming counterproductive. She only has one piece of Heavy Clefthoof left, and that’s going as soon as I get 100 badges. Regemming all of her gear for +hit and agility still left her with excess defence and resilience. The Pendant of Resolve was an ideal solution to help her ditch some unneeded defence stat without gimping her surviveability. And the good thing is, it’s got MORE stamina, as well as that all-important +hit and expertise rating.
Expertise is one of those stats that’s very difficult for a Bear to get. The Cenarion Expedition (bless them!) give us the amazing Earthwarden at Exalted and that’s usually the first time a Bear gets any gear with this stat. There’s also the Shapeshifter’s Signet from Lower City, but it’s not really much of a Bear tank item (or it can be if you can make up needed stats elsewhere). Almost all the items in the game with Expertise are Swords or Daggers that no sane Bear druid would even think of using to tank with. So the fact that you can get some with this pendant comes as a very great relief.
Why is hit rating and expertise so important? Well it’s not, depending on the level of encounter you’re tanking. For Kara you can get away with precisely 0 of each and manage just fine. But as the difficulty of the instances ramp up, the consequences of missing, or being dodged or parried get more and more severe. When you’re starting Serpentshrine Cavern, you really don’t want Morogrim Tidewalker to parry you any more than you can possibly help it, because bosses gain a “thrash” ability that increases the speed of their next three attacks after a parry. And Morogrim hits really, really hard. Expertise reduces the chance that your attacks will be blocked, dodged or parried, and hit rating speaks for itself.
But the most ironic part of it all is that now she’s Exalted with the Shattered Sun, she’s going to respec back to Resto. That Alchemist’s Stone was all she was really after. Still, shiny new toys never hurt anyone.