The next tier of raid gear will be released in the upcoming patch 5.4. The new tier is the 16th tier of raiding gear and brings with it a whole new batch of set bonuses to enhance your characters.
As ussually some of the abilities look really great while others have players scratching their heads wondering what use they are. Here is a rundown of all the set bonus as they currently stand on the PTR servers (as of August 24th). Please note that these may change before actual release, however since the patch release is within 2 weeks of this date, major changes are highly unlikely.
Where to Find Tier 16 Gear
As with previous raid tier sets the items are not dropped by bosses directly. Instead specific bosses drop tokens that represent an item, for example a chest piece, which can then be turned in to a vendor for item for your class and spec of choice.
The tokens are all found in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid and are drop from the following bosses:
- Chest - Shaw of Pride (Boss #4 in the 1st wing)
- Gloves - General Nazgrim (Boss #2 in the 2nd wing)
- Helm - Thok the Bloodthirsty (Boss #3 in the 3rd wing)
- Shoulders - Siegecrafter Blackfuse (Boss #1 in the 4th wing)
- Legs - Klaxxi Paragons (Boss #2 in the 4th wing)
Each raid type (LFR, Flex, Normal, and Heroic) each has a specific token that can be turned in for an tier piece of that item level. The item levels are as follows:
- Looking for Raid - iLevel 528
- Flex - iLevel 536
- Normal - iLevel 553
- Heroic - iLevel 566
Tier 16 Set Bonuses by Class
Death Knight Bonuses
- 2-piece Bonus: Every 10 Heart Strikes, Rune Strikes, Death Coils, Soul Reapers, or Blood Boils will add one charge to your next Bone Shield.
- 4-piece Bonus: Dancing Rune Weapon will reactivate all Frost and Unholy runes as Death Runes.
DPS (Frost + Unholy):
- 2-piece bonus - Killing Machine and Sudden Doom grant 500 Haste or Mastery, whichever is highest, for X sec, stacking up to 10 times.
- 4-piece bonus - Death Coil increases the duration of Dark Transformation by 2 sec per cast. Special attacks while Pillar of Frost is active will impale your target with an icy spike.
The set bonuses seem to be good for each of the Death Knight sets. With the DPS 2 piece bonus standing out to me, as 500 of any stat, stacked 10 times is a huge amount. Thats up to 5000 haste or mastery on top of what you already have, assuming you can keep the stacks active.
Caster DPS (Balance)
- 2-piece bonus - Arcane spells cast while in Lunar Eclipse will shoot a single Lunar bolt at the target. Nature spells cast while in a Solar Eclipse will shoot a single Solar bolt at the target.
- 4-piece bonus - Your chance to get Shooting Stars from a critical strike from Moonfire of Sunfire is increased by 8%.
Melee DPS (Feral):
- 2-piece bonus - Omen of Clarity increases damage of Shred, Mangle, and Ravage by 50% for 6 sec.
- 4-piece bonus - Tiger's Fury generates 3 combo points.
- 2-piece bonus - When Barkskin fades, Savage Defense is automatically activated, and a 20 Rage Frenzied Regeneration is automatically cast.
- 4-piece bonus - Activating Frenzied Regeneration and Savage Defense will cause a heal over time on yourself for 10% of your maximum health over 8 sec.
- 2-piece bonus - Rejuvenation ticks have a 12% chance to grant a Sage Mender buff, reducing the mana cost and cast time of your next Healing Touch by 20%, stacking up to 5 times.
- 4-piece bonus - Targets of you Wild Growth spell are instantly healed for 25% of your spell power.
With so many different specs, the druid class gets a whole ton of new set bonuses. Since I play a healer, those are of the most interest to me and the bonuses look solid so far. Assuming you have rejuv up alot (and why wouldn't you) it means you will lower the cost and casting time of your big heal to 0 over time. This is in addition to your free cast from procs so will do two great things for a druid healer, bring down overall mana usage and increase amount healed since Healing Touch will be cast a lot faster more often.
The 4 piece bonus is equally good as it turns an otherwise kind of useless ability in many fights into an awesome boost to healing. Even though the extra healing is fairly small, it is added to our common AOE heal and is healing for free across the board. I am pretty excited about these new set bonues.
- 2-piece bonus - Arcane Shot and Multi-shot reduce the cooldown of Rapid Fire by 8 seconds per cast.
- 4-piece bonus - Explosive Shot casts have a 40% chance to not consume a charge of Lock and Load. Instant Aimed shots reduce the cast time of your next Aimed Shot by 50%. Offensive abilities used during Bestial Wrath increase all damage you deal by 4% and all damage your dealt by your pet by 2%, stacking up to 5 times.
The hunter 2-piece set bonus is a good boost as it allows you to rapid fire far more often. Even though the bonus started out in PTR as a 12 second reduction to the cooldown and is now only 8 seconds, it is still a big boost to overall DPS. The 4-piece bonus is an even bigger DPS increase across the board with potentially the Beast Master winning out on the % increase due to the stacking nature of the effect they earn with it.
- 2-piece bonus - Arcane Missiles causes your next Arcane Blast within 10 sec to cost 25% less mana, stacking up to 4 times. Consuming Brain Freeze increases the damage of your next Ice Lance, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, or Cone of Cold by 20%. Consuming Pyroblast! increases your haste by 750 for 5 sec, stacking up to 5 times.
- 4-piece bonus - Arcane Missiles has a 15% chance to not consume Arcane Missiles!. Consuming Brain Freeze has a 30% chance to drop an icy boulder on your target. Inferno Blast also causes your next Pyroblast to be a critical strike.
All of the mage abilities appear great as they offer either faster or cheaper spells or extra stats. All of which are great for a caster. The issue here is, are the perks enough? Not playing a mage in a while, the numbers seem low, but I could be wrong.
- 2-piece bonus -When your Black Ox statue Guards another player, you also get a Guard for 8% of that amount.
- 4-piece bonus - Purifying Brew also heals you for 15% of the amount of staggered damage cleared.
- 2-piece bonus - When Gift of the Serpent spheres heal a player, they gain an absorb for 45% of the amount healed.
- 4-piece bonus - When your Renewing Mist heals a target, you have a 4% chance to cast a Mist Wave healing bolt at a nearby low health friendly target.
- 2-piece bonus - Combo Breaker: Tiger Palm increases the damage of Tiger Palm by 40%. Combo Breaker: Blackout Kick increases the damage of Blackout Kick by 40%.
- 4-piece bonus - Every 10 stacks of Tigereye Brew consumed cause your next Rising Sun Kick, Blackout Kick, or Fists of Fury to consume 1 less Chi.
Not playing a Monk seriously yet, makes it hard to quantify these bonuses. While I understand the mechanics of the monk class and some of these look really good at first glance, I am not sure how good they are.
The tank 4 piece set bonus looks really good as healing for a % of stagger could be huge, as the stagger numbers can get way up there in a fight. How that works in reality though, I am not sure.
The healer 2-piece bonus looks good as well as a 45% absorb added to free is pretty good on anything as is the 4 piece bonus that provides a chance at a free heal when you use a heal. Even though it is only on one type of heal, again any free heal is a great boost.
- 2-piece bonus - Infusion of Light also increases the healing done by Holy Light, Divine Light, and Holy Radiance by 10%.
- 4-piece bonus - Reduces the cooldown of Divine Favor by 45 sec. While Divine Favor is active, Mastery is increased by 1500.
- 2-piece bonus - While Guardian of Ancient Kings is active, 75% of the damage taken is converted into a heal over time that activates when Guardian of Ancient Kings fades.
- 4-piece bonus - While at 3 or more stacks of Bastion of Glory, your next Word of Glory will consume no Holy Power and count as if 3 holy Power were consumed.
- 2-piece bonus - When Art of War activates, all damage is increased by 5% for 6 sec.
- 4-piece bonus - Holy Power consumers have a 25% chance to make your next Divine Storm free and deals 50% more damage.
As a tank the protection bonuses most interest me here, and both are pretty amazing. The heal for 75% of damage taken while under the Guardian of Ancient Kings buff once it expires is amazing. It means you can trigger it when you know you are going to get slammed, take a big hit and suffer a lot of damage, and then have it help out your healers when it comes off. Your healers will love this ability almost as much as you do. The 4 piece bonus is great too as it will grant a lot of extra holy power for free. It means you can use your Holy Power for free heals and then immediately hit with your shield since you will have the holy power left and create more bastion of glory charges which will generate more Bastion of Glory charges, which.... well you get the picture.
Healer (Discipline + Holy):
- 2-piece bonus - Serendipity also increases the healing of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing by 50% per stack. While Archangel is active, your critical chance is increased by 10%.
- 4-piece bonus - Circle of Healing and Prayer of Mending casts increase the effect of your next Holy Word: Serenity by 33% and your Holy Word: Chastise and Sanctuary spell by 75%, stacking up to 3 times. While Spirit Shell is active, you gain 10% haste and 3500 mastery.
- 2-piece bonus - Shadowy Recall effects have their critical damage bonus increased by 40%.
- 4-piece bonus - Each Shadow Orb consumed for Devouring Plague increases the damage of your next Mind Blast, Shadow Word: Death, or Mind Spike cast within 12 sec by 20%.
The priest set bonuses all appear pretty solid as they focus on healing or damage as approptiate. The stacking nature of the healer set bonuses seem really good, and as a result were already nerfed a little in PTR. The above numbers seen reasonable but still pretty darn good. We will have to wait and see what the final version ends up being.
- 2-piece bonus - When you generate a combo point from Revealing Strike, Honor Amongst Thieves, or Seal Fate, your next combo point generating ability has its energy cost reduced by 15. Stacks up to 5 times.
- 4-piece bonus - Killing Spree deals 10% more damage every time it strikes a target. Abilities against a target with Vendetta on it increase your mastery by 250 for 5 sec, stacking up to 20 times. You have a 4% chance to replace your Backstab with Ambush that can be used regardless of Stealth.
Rogues are looking good with this tier as they end up saving energy from on combo point generating moves, which allows them to have enough envery to generate even more or to progress to finishers faster. The 4 piece bonuses look to work well and are specialized per spec, but could be uneven as they currently stand.
Caster DPS (Elemental):
- 2-piece bonus - Fulmination increases all Fire and Nature damage dealt to that target from the Shaman by 10% for 2 sec per Lightning Shield charge consumed.
- 4-piece bonus - Your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning spells have a chance to summon a Lightning Elemental to fight by your side for 20 sec.
Melee DPS (Enhancement):
- 2-piece bonus - For 10 sec after using Unleash Elements, your attacks have a chance to unleash a random weapon imbue.
- 4-piece bonus - When Flame Shock deals periodic damage, you have a 5% chance to gain 5 stacks of Searing Flames and reset the cooldown of Lava Lash.
- 2-piece bonus - When Earth Shield heals a target, the target will gain 100% of the amount healed as an absorb.
- 4-piece bonus - Spiritwalker's Grace will also summon a spiritual version of yourself that will mimic all cast time targeted spells for 15 sec.
The bonuses I like here is the Elemental 4 piece set bonus as it summons a free lightning based pet to fight by your side. It is very thematic with the set and the spec, and provides somethign unique and usefull as it will be a DPS increase. How much remains to be seen, but I am all in for cool little flavour touches.
The same can be said about the restoration 4 piece bonus, as having a spirit version of yourself as a shaman spiritwalker is pure win. The fact that it is only for 15 seconds every 2 minutes dampens it a bit, but that is still 12.5% uptime, which means an extra 12.5% healing since it will duplicate all of your healing during that time.
- 2-piece bonus - Conflagrate critical hits have a 20% chance to increase the critical strike chance of Immolate and Incinerate by 10%. Unstable Affliction critical hits have a 50% chance to increase all damaging effects of Malefic Grasp and Drain Soul by 15% for 10 sec. Soul Fire has a 20% chance to increase you and your pet's damage dealt by 20%.
- 4-piece bonus - When a Burning Ember fills up, your critical strike chance is increased by 15% for 5 sec. Haunt has a 10% chance to refund its shard when expiring. Shadow Bolt and Touch of Chaos have a 8% chance to also cast Hand of Gul'dan at the target.
There seems to be a trend lately with Warlock tier gear, and not a good one. As with tier 15 the warlock tier bonuses seem to be pretty plain. Tehre is not much that is cool and different for them.. However as with tier 15, the bonuses are straight DPS boosts and since Warlocks are all about DPS that means that they are ok. Boring, but OK.
DPS (Arms + Fury):
- 2-piece bonus - Attacks against a target with your Colossus Smash debuff generate 5 Rage.
- 4-piece bonus - Your Mortal Strike and Bloodthirst have a chance to activate Death Sentence, allowing Execute to be used above 20% target health. Below 20% target health, Death Sentence makes Execute free.
- 2-piece bonus - You heal for 30% of all damage blocked with a shield and 30% of all damage absorbed by Shield Barrier.
- 4-piece bonus - For 10 sec after Demoralizing Shout fades onff your targets, you gain Rage from taking damage.
The biggest bonus for warriors to me is the tank 2-piece set bonus. Healing for a % of the damage you block of absorb as a tank is something that any of the tanking classes would be glad to have. The fact that it is 30% is even bigger, as that will certainly add up quickly.
There are so many different bonuses available that it is hard to comment on all of them, therefore I looked at the most interesting to me. Do you agree with the best ones listed? Do you see a great bonus that I missed? Feel free to share your thoughts on these Tier 16 set bonuses in the comment section below.