Patch 4.3 and Tier 13 Raid Gear Set Bonuses

Blizzard has released both a preview of the look of the brand new tier 13 raid gear that will be released with patch 4.3 and a look at the proposed set bonuses. For those that have not read the complete list of set bonuses, have no fear they will all be shown in this article as we take a quick look at all the Tier 13 Raid Gear Bonuses.

Overview of Patch 4.3: Tier 13 Raid Gear Set Bonuses

Without going into all the exact details up front, I have to say that these are almost all pretty good upgrades from the current tier 12 raid gear set bonuses. There are a few exceptions like the Elemental Shaman where the tier 12 set has a pretty killer two piece bonus, but then again tier 13’s isn’t shabby either. Some are also pretty weak right now, like the Warrior DPS set being pretty poor, but for the most part the bonuses add up pretty quick to be big bonuses.

The only real issue is that for the most part players that don’t raid won’t have access to all these cool new abilities and perks. But, heh, they should be raiding, right?

Tier 13 Death Knight Set Bonuses

Death Knight

Blood, 2P -- When an attack drops your health below 35%, one of your Blood Runes will immediately activate and convert into a Death Rune for the next 20 sec. This effect cannot occur more than once every 45 sec.

Blood, 4P -- Your Vampiric Blood ability also affects all party and raid members for 50% of the effect it has on you.

DPS, 2P -- Sudden Doom has a 30% chance and Rime has a 60% chance to grant 2 charges when triggered instead of 1.
DPS, 4P -- Runic Empowerment has a 25% chance and Runic Corruption has a 40% chance to also grant 710 mastery rating for 12 sec when activated.

The set bonuses for Death Knights are a bit strange right now, especially for tanks. While the 2 piece tanking bonus is nice so that you are not rune locked at low health and have more options on what to do, it isn’t that big of an increase. Once you get rotations down, it is not very often that you are short on runes.

The 4 piece tanking bonus is really strange as it really does not provide a benefit to the player themselves, but instead to the whole raid. Since [ps spell=55233]Vampiric Blood[/ps] is essentially a temporary health and healing boost it is of most use to tanks, only in AOE fights would it benefit the raid. Maybe Blizzard is telling us that tier 13 raids will have lots of AOE?

For the tier 13 DPS Death Knight set bonus both the 2 piece and 4 piece bonuses grant extra free abilities which are great since anytime you can use an ability for nothing it helps with your rune usage and ups your DPS.

Overall though the Death Knight bonuses seem weaker than many of the other classes set bonuses.

Tier 13 Druid Set Bonuses


Balance, 2P -- Insect Swarm increases all damage done by your Starfire, Starsurge, and Wrath spells against that target by 3%.

Balance, 4P -- Reduces the cooldown of Starsurge by 5 sec.

Feral, 2P -- Pulverize now also grants your Mangle (Bear) critical strikes a 100% chance to trigger Savage Defense, and your Blood in the Water talent now causes Ferocious Bite to refresh the duration of your Rip on targets with 60% or less health.

Feral, 4P -- Frenzied Regeneration also affects all raid and party members. This effect cannot be triggered if you have been in Bear Form for less than 15 sec. In addition, your Stampede talent now grants two charges after using Feral Charge (Cat).

Restoration, 2P -- After using Innervate, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for 15 sec.

Restoration, 4P -- Your Rejuvenation and Regrowth spells have a 10% chance to Timeslip and have double the normal duration.

The set bonuses for Druids are a bit strange as well simply because of what they do. The Balance bonuses seem very strong, while the others are a bit odd, onto the actual effects though.

The Balance bonuses are very strong, especially the 3% extra damage from many of your main damage abilities from the 2 piece bonus. The 4 piece seems less of an upgrade since starsurge generally isn’t used unless it comes up as an instant.
The feral bonuses are the really odd ones, as Savage Defense bonus is nice but hard to time as a tank, but the DPS 2 piece bonuses seems really strong as your Rip will stay active longer, getting rid of the need to refresh it. For the 4 piece bonus it is like the Death Knight tanking bonus where Frenzied Regeneration will now effect all raid members, which seems strange and will likely be hard to time.

The restoration bonuses are a little odd as well, even though they could be extremely powerful, the timing and abilities is strange. For example the 2 piece bonus seems really strong at first glance, however do you save [ps spell=29166]innervate[/ps] for big damage phases now, or use it early to have it up soon as players do most of the time now. While overall it has the potential to be VERY strong, it makes you make choices. The 4 piece bonus is a mixed bag as well, since timeslip only has a 10% chance to happen anyway, an extra 10% isn’t a huge chance. However since most of the time the extra healing from timeslip isn’t a huge deal anyway, it seems weak unless you are a main tank healer, in which case it could be good, against other healing targets though it is a waste.

Tier 13 Hunter Set Bonuses


2P -- Steady Shot and Cobra Shot generate double the amount of focus.
4P -- Your Arcane Shot ability has a chance to grant 30% haste to you and your pet for 10 sec.

The set bonuses for Hunters at first look seem to be huge. That is a good thing since Hunters have lost a little bit throughout the expansion.

To start off with the 2 piece bonus grants a significant boost to a Hunter's focus regeneration. This means a lot more focus to be able to mix up a rotation instead of being forced to do 3 or 4 focus regeneration shots to fill your focus bar, you will be able to do it with 2 shots. Being able to use other more damaging abilities will dramatically increase a hunter's DPS.

The 4 piece bonus could be even better as a 30% haste boost even for just 10 seconds is very significant, and can grant a lot of extra damage. In fact this could be one of the biggest set bonuses out there depending on the proc frequency.

Tier 13 Mage Set Bonuses


2P -- Your Arcane Blast has a 100% chance, and your Fireball and Frostbolt spells have a 50% chance to grant Stolen Time, increasing your haste rating by 50 for 30 sec and stacking up to 10 times. When Arcane Power, Combustion, or Icy Veins expires, all stacks of Stolen Time are lost.

4P -- Each stack of Stolen Time also reduces the cooldown of Arcane Power by 7 sec, Combustion by 4 sec, and Icy Veins by 6 sec.

Mages have some very good looking set bonuses. The 2 piece set bonus grants a stacking haste buff that adds up to 500 haste until you use a major cooldown and it expires, these are [ps spell=12042]Arcane Power[/ps], [ps spell=11129]Combustion[/ps], or [ps spell=12472]Icy Veins[/ps]. This stacking bonus is significant because 500 haste would take a few pieces to get on its own.

The four piece set bonus is even better as it shortens the cooldown on your major cooldown abilities by a set time per stack. This amounts to 70 seconds for Arcane Power, 60 seconds for Icy Veins, or 40 seconds for Combustion. This means that not only does the 2 piece bonus let you cast faster, the 4 piece bonus lets you get to your big spells even faster. This should add a lot of overall DPS to all Mage specs.

Tier 13 Paladin Set Bonuses


Holy, 2P -- After using Divine Favor, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for 15 sec.

Holy, 4P -- Increases the healing done by your Holy Radiance spell by 20%.

Protection, 2P -- Your Judgement ability now also grants a physical absorb shield equal to 25% of the damage it dealt.

Protection, 4P -- Reduces the cooldown of Divine Guardian by 60 sec and increases the radius of its effect by 70 yards.

Retribution, 2P -- Your Judgement ability now also generates 1 Holy Power.

Retribution, 4P -- While Zealotry is active your abilities deal 12% more damage.

A Paladin as three very different specs and therefore three very different armor sets and different bonuses. Therefore let’s look at each of the sets separately.

First up the most important set bonuses, the tanking set. Here at first glance the 2 piece bonus seems a bit week as it just grants a minor shield when you use a judgement on an enemy. While the shield is in fact fairly small it is important because of two things, first it will scale up as your judgements scale up, secondly any absorption is actually a big deal. Actually getting something that increases our ability to survive is a good thing. For our 4 piece set bonus while it is better than some of the other tanking set bonuses, it just seems too simple of a set bonus.

Next up the holy bonuses. The 2 piece bonus seems really strong as it allows cheaper heals right after using your [ps spell=31842]Divine Favor[/ps]. This allows you to cast faster spells that crit more and cost less all at the same time, what more could you want. Next up the 4 piece bonus is a straight increase to one of our important healing spells, and one that I really like. 20% extra healing on our AOE heal, sign me up.

Last but not least the DPS set bonuses. The 2 piece bonus is simple but extremely useful. Additional Holy Power means more holy power abilities can be used, which means more DPS. The 4 piece bonus also very cool, but probably not as good. It grants more damage while zealotry is active. While good I am not sure how much of an overall boost this is going to turn out to be.

Put all of these abilities together and Paladins end up with some of the best set bonuses out there.

Tier 13 Priest Set Bonuses


Healer, 2P -- After using Power Infusion or Divine Hymn, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for [10|23] sec. (10 sec for Discipline, 23 for non-Discipline.)

Healer, 4P -- Your Power Word: Shield has a 10% chance to absorb 100% additional damage and increase the mana granted by Rapture by 100%, and the duration of your Holy Word abilities is increased by 20%.

Shadow, 2P -- Shadow Word: Death deals an additional 55% damage, and reduces the damage you take from your own Shadow Word: Death when the target fails to die by 95%.

Shadow, 4P -- Your Shadowfiend and Shadowy Apparitions have a 100% chance to grant you 3 Shadow Orbs each time they deal damage.

Priests get two armor sets to look at, one for healing and one for DPS. Both have excellent set bonuses.

The 2 piece healing set bonuses is a pretty good one since it will lower the mana cost of your healing spells. While powerful and useful, I question if it is really needed. Most Priests at this point in the expansion are not having mana issues, so while a good bonus in general, I question its need. As for the 4 piece bonus it is exceptionally strong, but a bit unreliable. The chance to absorb double damage from your shields is huge, but with only a 10% chance it isn’t going to happen a lot. It is a lot of extra free absorption though, so is very strong.

Onto the DPS set and here again priests get some very good set bonuses. The 2 piece bonus adds a lot of extra damage to [ps spell=32379]Shadow Word: Death[/ps], and almost completely eliminates it’s downside. The 4 piece set bonus is also quite good, basically granting you 3 shadow orbs quite often allowing you to up your damage more often. In theory against most bosses you will have 3 orbs up from your apparitions each and every time your 6.5 second cooldown is up for Mindblast. This should improve DPS significantly.

Tier 13 Rogue Set Bonuses


2P -- After triggering Tricks of the Trade, your abilities cost 20% less energy for 6 sec.

4P -- Increases the duration of Shadow Dance by 2 sec, Adrenaline Rush by 3 sec, and Vendetta by 9 sec.

The Rogue set bonuses are a bit underwhelming at first glance. While the 2 piece set bonus seems good and may supply some additional DPS it just as equally might not. This is because many Rogues are already staying at or near energy cap, so getting more energy will do nothing for them, if you are not keeping near the energy cap, then this would be an increase worth getting. The 4 piece bonus is even stranger since the extra time granted to each spec is so different. Not playing a rogue it is hard to say if this is even damage wise or not, but it just doesn’t look like it possibly could be. Hopefully it will get changed.

Tier 13 Shaman Set Bonuses


Elemental, 2P --
Elemental Mastery also grants you 2000 mastery rating 15 sec.

Elemental, 4P -- Each time Elemental Overload triggers, you gain 250 haste rating for 4 sec, stacking up to 3 times.

Enhancement, 2P -- While you have any stacks of Maelstrom Weapon, your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and healing spells deal 20% more healing or damage.

Enhancement, 4P -- Your Feral Spirits have a 45% chance to grant you a charge of Maelstrom Weapon each time they deal damage.

Restoration, 2P -- After using Mana Tide Totem, the cost of your healing spells are reduced by 25% for 15 sec.

Restoration, 4P -- Increases the duration of Spiritwalker's Grace by 5 sec, and you gain 30% haste while Spiritwalker's grace is active.

Shamans have a hard act to follow, especially Elemental since their tier 12 set bonuses were so good. In fact I can’t see many elemental shamans giving up their 2 piece tier 12 bonuses even for the tier 13 4 piece bonus. On to the sets though.

Starting with the elemental set and the 2 piece bonus it is fairly strong granting you 2000 mastery for a short time. This mastery is a significant amount and will up your DPS greatly since it will trigger off many additional [ps spell=77222]Elemental Overloads[/ps]. The 4 piece bonus appears solid, however to keep it up at 3 stacks with full uptime it means requiring a bit over 3500 mastery on a constant basis. If you could keep this stacked all the time it may be worth using over the 2 piece tier 12 and 2 piece tier 13 combined, but it would be very close.

Onto enhancement and the 2 piece bonus seems very strong upping damage from many of your cast abilities. This should add up to a few percentage of extra damage overall. Onto the 4 piece bonus though and it doesn’t seem to do much at all. Sure the extra charges are nice, however that probably won’t add a whole lot overall. Estimates so far are less than a 1% of extra damage overall, and therefore poorer than the 2 piece bonus. This means that enhancement Shamans will likely keep 2 pieces of tier 12 and 2 pieces of tier 13 the same as their elemental brothers.

The restoration bonuses both seem very strong. The 2 piece bonus allows you to regenerate mana with your mana totem as normal, while getting cheaper heals for the next little while. This should greatly increase your mana pool over time. The same question comes into play as with other healer bonuses though, do we really need the mana help at this point? If so it is a great set bonus, however if you already have no issue with mana usage, then it is kind of a waste. The 4 piece set bonus is really cool as well, especially since many players do not use Spiritwalker’s Grace. Now that it will provide a big haste bonus it may get used even if you are just staying stationary. I see this as a huge bonus when you enter big damage phases and need a chance to catch up on heals.

Tier 13 Warlock Set Bonuses


2P -- The duration of your Doomguard and Infernal summons is increased by [20|30] sec and the cooldown of of those spells is reduced by 4 min. (20 for Demonology, 30 for non-Demonology.)

4P -- Soulburn grants a 10% increase to your spell power for 10 sec, and Soul Fire cast with Soulburn active now grants a Soul Shard.

Warlocks get one set for all specs similar to other pure DPS classes. Their 2 piece set bonus is all about your demons and since Demonology is so strong already, this looks to make them even better. Even though non-demonology warlocks will get a longer uptime, demonology will end up with more of a DPS gain. The 4 piece bonus is only so-so turning soul burn into a short term spell power boost, and making soul fire with soul burn essentially free since it will return the soul shard. Overall the 4 piece is pretty poor.

Tier 13 Warrior Set Bonuses


Protection, 2P -- Your Revenge ability now also grants a physical absorption shield equal to 20% of the damage done by Revenge.

Protection, 4P -- Your Shield Wall ability now grants 50% of its effect to all party and raid members.

DPS, 2P -- Heroic Strike costs 10 less rage while Inner Rage is active.

DPS, 4P -- Your Raging Blow and Mortal Strike abilities have a 13% chance to apply the Colossus Smash effect on your target for 6 sec.

Warriors get two sets one for tanking and one for DPS, and while the tanking set has some good bonuses, the DPS ones need some work.

The tanking 2 piece set bonus is very similar to the Paladin set bonus, in that it grants a damage absorption shield on an abilities use. While it may not be all that exciting this is a great ability as it is an increase to your survivability, where many tanking set bonuses only grant extra damage. The 4 piece bonus grants bonuses to the raid and nothing to you. This is the same as the other tanking 4 piece bonuses and rather odd. This just makes it very clear that the tier 13 raid will dish out lots of AOE damage and that the tanks will be expected to help mitigate a lot of that incoming damage.

The DPS set bonuses so far are fairly weak especially for Arms warriors. The 2 piece bonus reduces the cost of [ps spell=77222]Heroic Strike[/ps], however since arms tends not to use Heroic Strike it doesn’t add up to much unless you change your rotation. Since Heroic strike is weak, that’s not a great idea. The 4 piece is even worse not granting much of a DPS increase at all. In fact many warriors are saying that both set bonuses add up to less than a 1% DPS increase, while most set bonuses grant someplace in the way of 3-5%. Hopefully this gets changed before release.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

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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.