Gear Eye Banner

Welcome, to the 10th edition of our column here at called Gear Eye for the WoW Guy. In it Byron "Messiah" Mudry takes a look at a character that needs some help in the game, and gives them a run down on what what they need to do to improve their character. Essentially providing a complete gear makeover in an attempt to get them moving on to new content in the game.

Sometimes that advise is slight upgrades, sometimes a full scale redo for those that are completely lost. Tune in each week to learn the tuning tips that will help you stand out from the average player.

Visit PlayerScore to find your score.

Of course there are two big tools that are needed to be able to check out a player and make useful recommendations. The first of those tools is an in depth knowledge of the game, specifically the classes, mechanics, best stats, best gear, enchants, gems, and more. This isn't something that everyone has for the first little while that they play the game or even for the first while after they hit the level cap.

The second major tool is PlayerScore, which luckily is available and usable by anyone and hosted right here on our network. You can find search for your own character and see how you stack up by visiting the PlayerScore site.

Our Victim

This week I take a look at a character that is an alternate but one that the player had fun with in the past and shelved for a while. They are now looking at bringing them back into the game and wondering what they should look at for gear when they start really pushing with the character again.

Hybornate's Playerscore

Hybornate has taken some time off but is ready to dig into some new content.

The character in question is a lowly Gnome Rogue called Hybornate from the Lightbringer server. He has played this character a lot in the past and has some very good gear based on early Cataclysm but hasn’t played much or upgraded much since then.

A look at Hybornate on the WoW Armory.

One place he really struggles at though is the almost complete lack of enchants. So item enhancement will be a key area in this Gear Eye makeover.

The first place I personally think this player should go is to the race change utility that Blizzard offers, since Gnomes are a horrible race. They are short, ugly, rude, smelly, well you get the picture, I don’t like Gnomes. Why not change to a Worgen, they are all furry, kind of like a puppy, and everyone loves puppies. Plus they give you more crit and a speed boost.

You can find Hybornate's PlayerScore information here: Hybornate's PlayerScore, remember however that it will change over time compared to what is listed here. This is due to PlayerScore constantly being updated to reflect any new gear, achievements and anything else that happens as he plays and upgrades or changes gear.

Combat Rogue Stat Priorities

Before looking at gear I want to make sure that everyone understands the stat priorities for a Combat Rogue.

Combat Rogue Stat Priorities

Agility > Main Hand Hit (8%) > Expertise Soft Cap (26) > Haste > Spell Hit (17%) > Mastery > Crit > Offhand Hit (27%)

As you can see there is a big list that you need to work through to maximize your damage output, and hit shows up three separate times unlike most classes having it once.

Hit for a rogue is very important, and luckily you get a good portion of it from abilities, such as Precision granting 6% right off the bat.

Main hand hit is so that your special attacks do not miss, and is super easy to get since you will only need an additional 2% from items, meaning a lowly 240 hit rating.

Spell Hit requires a bit more work at about 1130 rating to get the extra 11% above your base 6% from Precision. You might wonder why rogues need spell hit? Good question, it is because their poisons count as spells and you don’t want them to miss.

Lastly off-hand hit is so that none of your attacks, including your off-hand weapon, ever miss. While this used to be critically important, it isn’t that important any more. You can still cap it, but it will take a whopping 2525 hit rating to reach it. Points much better spent elsewhere.

Good Item Choices

Hybornate has a lot of good gear to work with, and at one point it was all near best in slot outside of raiding. However at this point much of it is out dated. Some of the items are still pretty solid like the Mask of Vines still being an excellent choice. However there is better there no as well.

Other good choices include the neck with Acorn of the Daughter Tree, the Knotted Handwraps, and the Quickfinger Rind. However all of these can also be replaced now.

Worse yet, even the good gear he has in not upgraded with enchants and reforging. This we will discuss in more detail later.

Combat Rogue Gear Upgrades

Since pretty much all of Hybornates gear could be upgraded, I am not going to do images for all of it, instead I will focus on the most critical pieces and compare them, while just listing some solid upgrades for the other slots.

One piece that does stand out as not needing an upgrade is the Leggings of the Burrowing Mole. They could be upgraded to the tier 11 Wind Dancer’s Legguards, but the upgrade is so minor that it wouldn’t be worth it to me until you have nothing else to spend justice points on.

Combat Rogue Weapon Upgrades

Let’s start with weapons, after all, what’s a rogue without his weapons. Looking here there really only is one choice for a new main hand and that is the amazing Pyrium Spellward dagger that Blacksmiths can craft. It can be purchased for relatively low cost, and is a huge upgrade, over 500 DPS in a single piece easily.

weapon Upgrade

On this main hand weapon upgrade you gain 26 agility, 103 hit, and 17 mastery. In addition the base dps jumps by almost 20% from 409 to 489 which is quite significant. You will lose haste which is a better stat than mastery, but the other stats more than make up for that.

For an offhand weapon there isn’t really any huge upgrades out there, but I would strongly suggest trying to get the Twinblade of the Hakkari from Jin’do in Zul’Gurub. It is an offhand that provides more damage and has two of your biggest stats on it, hit and expertise, making it the best upgrade option out there.

If you don’t mind paying a lot on the auction house you can find either the Entrail Disgorger or Scaleslice that are BOE drops from the Firelands and Blackwing Descent. Both are excellent upgrades for an offhand, but cost more than your main hand upgrade and do less than half as much for your DPS.

In the ranged slot, there really is only one long term option, and that is the Morningstar Shard. It is available for 700 valor points and is the best in slot ranged weapon for rogues out there. Shorter term you could get the Zulian Throwing Axe by completing the Warlord of the Amani quest, but long term you still will want the Morningstar shard.

thrown Upgrade

This is a huge upgrade in a slot that doesn’t offer much stat wise. It doubles the agility from 64 to 128, adds 50 hit, and trades 46 crit to 81 expertise. All massive improvements and not the normal incremental ones.

Combat Rogue Armor Upgrades

The helm that Hybornate has, the Mask of Vines, holds up surprisingly well. The only real upgrades outside of raiding is the Savager’s Mask from Halazzi in Zul’Aman or Tsanga’s Helm which is a raid drop, but a BOE one that can be purchased on the auction house.

In the back slot, there is a very easy upgrade to get called the Mantle of Doubt that provides a solid DPS increase at no cost whatsoever. It can be received by completing the Saving Thrall quest chain that was put into the game in patch 4.2 that culminates in the quest The Vow.

Cloak Upgrade

This new cloak is really easy to get and actually a lot of fun since the quest chain is very well done. It grants 32 more agility, 22 more hit, but does downgrade haste to mastery.

The neck piece equipped is another piece that holds up surprisingly well. Here the only upgrade that would really be worth it to me would be the Necklace of Smoke Signals. This is second best in slot, only loosing out the a drop from Ragnaros in the Firelands. At only 1250 valor points it is a bargain. It gains about 60 agility and has a lot of hit on it, making it a great piece.

Onto the chest piece and here the equipped Sly Fox Jerkin is really sub par. There are many upgrades that you could find that provide a lot more damage output. In normal heroics you could get the Vest of Misshapen Hides from Grim Batol, the Hieroglyphic Vest from Halls of Origination, or the Defias Brotherhood Vest from the Deadmines.

Since this is a key slot I would aim a bit higher though, going for the Shadowtooth Troolskin Breastplate from Zul’Aman of the Assassin’s Chestplate that Leatherworkers can create. Or best of all, and my choice, the Wind Dancer’s Tunic for 2200 Justice Points which is the tier 11 chest piece.

Chest Upgrade

With this upgrade you gain 73 agility, trade the poor stats of crit and mastery for more haste and expertise, and gain a better socket bonus. You also gain 1 piece towards the 2 piece set bonus for the tier 11 set.

The wrists that you have already are really sub-par because they do not have spirit. You can get much better from Zul’Aman in the form of the Wristwraps of Departed Spirits which have spirit and mastery. Or the absolute best in slot are the Firesoul Wristguards from the vendors for 1250 valor points, which are best in slot in the game. I would really save for the Firesoul Wristguards as they would remain best in slot for a long while.

Wrists Upgrade

This is a massive upgrade as it is from an item level 346 to 378 that gains 69 intellect, trades 112 mastery for 158 spirit, and 112 crit for 140 haste. All three of those are awesome upgrades. Now if only it was trading teh crit for spirit instead of mastery to spirit.

Next up a hard piece for most classes to get, and rogues don’t have it any easier than the others. The thieving Spaulders are a solid piece despite being only blue quality. The only upgrades outside of a raid is the Embrace of the Night for 1650 justice points, which is a very minor upgrade, or the Tusked Shoulderpads from Zul’Aman. The second option is a bigger upgrade but still not much of one.

For the glove slot Hybornate already has decent gloves in the form of the BOE drop Knottend Handwraps. There are some other slight upgrades out there like the Stormbolt Gloves from the Wildhammer Clan or the Aviana’s Grips from completing enough Fireland Daily Quests. However having spent a fair amount on these I doubt it is worth replacing right away. Hole out until you have the 1650 justice points required to purchase the tier 11 Wind Dancer’s Gloves so get a 2 piece set bonus.

Glove Upgrade

Initially these look like an agility decrease however keep in mind that with a red socket in them you can add 40 agility right there, meaning that these are a 37 agility increase. In addition you only lose 3 haste due to the socket bonus, and trade 121 expertise for 149 hit which is a better stat.

The wrists that you have are actually pretty good and while there are some minor upgrades out there, the big upgrade can wait a little while. The biggest upgrade is to the 1250 valor point Flamebinder Bracers. They will provide a big boost in DPS but cost a lot of points for it. They can wait a while. If you happen to get the Amani’shi Bracers from Zul’Aman they are a decent upgrade as well, but not huge.

The belt slot is a little poor as well, with the Red Beam Cord not providing key stats having one secondary stat slot filled with crit. There are several options out there like the Quicksand Belt from the Ramkahen faction, or the Belt of Slithering Serpents from Zul’Gurub. What I would aim for though is the Belt of Nefarious Whispers that is a crafted piece that should be easy to get. Even better would be Riplimb’s Lost Collar which is a Firelands BOE drop, but it tends to go for a lot more on the auction house.

Last for armor upgrades is Hybornate’s boots. The equipped Craty’s Gaiters are fairly food, however there are some easy upgrades out there. Fasc’s Preserverd Boots from Zul’Gurub are a good upgrade, or better yet the Treads of Fleeting Joy for 1650 justice points.

boot Upgrade

Here you gain 28 agility and 39 haste. You do however lose on the conversion of mastery to crit, but overall the new boots are more DPS.

Ring and Trinket Upgrades

Starting with rings, there is the hornet-Sting Band for justice points available that is a slight upgrade, or the Splintered Brimstone Seal which is a much larger upgrade available for valor points. I would suggest however the middle upgrades for now, finishing enough daily Fireland quests to complete the Through the Gates of Hell and Filling the Moonwell stages for get both Matoclaw’s Band and Band of Glittering Lights.

Ring Upgrade

Combined these rings provide a significant upgrade granting over 400 agility between the pair. They also have hit and haste which are great stats, and the crit on each can be reforged to better stats.

For trinkets you are in a bit better shape, as I would keep the Left Eye of Rajh as it provides a lot of expertise in one slot, and a great passive DPS boost from it’s proc. I would however replace the Key to the Endless Chamber for Fluid Death which is available for justice points and grants more hit.

trinket Upgrade

Here you gain almost 40 hit, and a buff that will stack and stay up rather than one that procs for short term burst damage.

Item Modifications

Here is where every really starts falling apart for Hybornate, almost nothing is enchanted or reforged at all. At least his items are all gemmed, but that is about all I can say that is good about item modification.

Therefore let’s start with reforging. It’s almost like he never read our handy dandy guide to Reforging. You have read Reforge This, right? If not go read it right now. Make sure you bookmark page 3 that clearly shows the reforge priority for each class - Class / Spec Priorities for Reforging.

In this case it means that a Combat Rogue reforging priority is like this:

Combat Rogue Reforging Priority
Hit cap (8%) > Expertise soft-cap (26) > Haste > Mastery > Crit

Now that you’re done reading it, let’s start adjusting. Keep in mind also that there is a bit more to it than this due to all the different hit caps talked about above. The 17% hit falls in just above mastery. It is pretty easy to get it though.

Since currently Hybornate is at 11% hit then his 6% from Precision he has hit covered, he also has expertise covered, which is awesome. However, past that he has done nothing.

What should be done is any piece without haste that has crit or mastery should get that reforged to haste. Any piece that has haste and crit should have crit reforged to mastery. This means crit to haste on the chest, wrists, and thrown weapon. It also means crit to mastery on the helm, shoulders, and belt. This will increase DPS a bit.

All of the reforging would also need to be looked at again as gear is upgraded, as you really need to keep the 8% hit cap as a priority and then reforge to reach it, while still managing the other hit numbers and stats.

Looking at gems, it looks like Hybornate understands gemming as pretty much everything is a Delicate Inferno Ruby for 40 agility. Remember always that you should only use hybrid gems to meet meta gem requirements or when a socket bonus is worth at least 20 agility.

Lastly, let’s look at enchants because there is a lot of work to be done here. I am going to skip the expensive enchants that use crystals but talk about all the other ones that you could get.

Two simple to get enchants are the head and shoulder enchants since they are from rep, and there really isn’t any excuse to not grind these two reps to exalted. The head enchant from the Ramkahen grants 60 agility and 35 haste, while the shoulder enchant from Therazane grants 50 Agility and 25 mastery.

Next up on your legs it is easy to buy and armor kit from a leatherworker that adds +190 Attack power and +55 crit to legs which is a huge amount and a big DPS upgrade.

For the rest of the items, keeping with cheaper enchants until you get better items you should get:

  • +22 agility to back
  • +15 all stats to chest
  • +50 haste to wrists
  • +35 Agility to feet

Lastly and probably most importantly weapon enchants. Here Hurricane is ideal on both granting a chance to increase haste by 450 with each attack. When you have better weapons you may want to save up for Landslide, but it goes for a lot on most servers.

You can find full details and a list here: Enchanting for DPS Classes.

As you can see, just by proper enchanting you would gain 192 Agility, 190 attack power, 85 haste, 55 crit, and 25 mastery. That is a lot more than almost any single item has on it, meaning by not enchanting you are essentially taking a full piece of gear off and playing without it.

Overall Review of Hybornate

While it may appear at first glance that I am hard on Hybornate, he actually has done pretty good gear wise, if not item enhancement wise. A lot of his gear issues are simply because he has shelved this character for a while.

Now that patch 4.1 and 4.2 have come and past a lot of the early Cataclysm gear is really showing it’s age. On the other hand a lot isn’t as you can see by some of the recommendations above. Knowing which pieces to keep and which to ditch really makes a difference though.

What made patch 4.2 really nice for a lot of casual players is that many near best in slot items became available through the Fireland dailies and the patterns that Blacksmiths can get for weapons. My strong recommendation for all players is to work through those quests to gain access to the easy items.

Also now that you can get Tier 11 items for justice points all players should be farming the Troll heroics for justice points to get some quick upgrades.

Hybornates real issue however was the almost complete lack of enchantments or reforging. I am not sure he really understands how important they are. Maybe after looking at the numbers laid out above, he will understand and start enchanting.

How to Request your Makeover by the Messiah

Response has been really good for this column and while I have a few characters in the queue to be looked at, I am always looking for more! I would especially like to find those that I can make fun of (while still offering some real help), so if you have a character that you want reviewed, or know of one that badly needs help but is just too lost to even know they need it, feel free to sent me a link to their PlayerScore page. One lucky player, will be selected for a gear makeover in this column each week.

Visit PlayerScore to find your score.

Right now I would really like to find some characters to review that I have not looked at their spec or class in the past. This means for right now I would like to find some Druids, Mages, or Death Knights that require some assisstance. So if you have one or know of one that needs some help please send them my way.

To submit a character for a review make sure you lookup the character's PlayerScore and send me a link to that character. Also if you want to provide any basic information on you're goals, how far advanced you want to plan for, how much time you invest in the game, or just a bit about your self, please include it all in a comment below or a note to the Messiah.

Thanks for actually making it to the bottom of this edition of Gear Eye for the WoW Guy everyone, hope you enjoyed.

World of Warcraft - Related Content
Reforge This | Rogue Guide | Patch 4.2 Portal

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.