Updated Sun, Oct 09, 2011 by Messiah
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 Shadow Word: Death, 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.
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.
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 Elemental Overloads. 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.