This article was written during the beta. For more up-to-date information, please check out this more recent gear guide: Tier 11 Hunter Gear.
The other day when MMO-Champion posted their latest listings of datamined raid drops I got thinking that it might be fun to compare some of these items with eachother. And when I say “some of these items” I mean the fun items; ranged weapons, two-handers and trinkets!
Note: Keep in mind that this is all very much subject to change since it’s still beta and because we just don’t have complete loot tables for raid bosses and dungeons yet.
Ranged weapons (Source)
- Themios the Darkbringer – ilvl 359 – Raid drop
- Dragonheart Piercer – ilvl 359 – Raid drop
- Overpowered Chicken Splitter – ilvl 346 – Crafted by Engineers
- Kickback 5000 – ilvl 346 – Crafted by Engineers
- Amber Messenger – ilvl 346 – Heroic dungeon drop
- Lightning Flash – ilvl 346 – Heroic dungeon drop
- Sky Piercer – ilvl 346 – Reputation reward
One thing we can see right away is that the dps and main stats (agility, stamina) are normalized per item level (Kickback 5000 has less agility but has a gem slot instead to make up for it). All of the weapons have slightly different min/max damage, which could end up affecting our priority choices but for now we’ve been told that those stats aren’t supposed to be an interesting variable for us and just to take a look at the dps number.
This means that the only stat variations you’ll see for two different ranged weapons of the same item level will be on the secondary stats, such as crit, haste and mastery.
So out of the raid drops, it looks like a choice between haste or mastery. Our current stat weights would suggest that the mastery one would be slightly better, this might be different once we actually get to lvl 85 and if you’re near any haste threshold then haste might be better. So which one is the best will most likely be individual.
And what about the pre-raid weapons? Again, it basically comes down to what stats you want. You have the choice between haste, hit or mastery (all of the blue items comes with crit). If I were to guess I’d say that the Kickback 5000 would be the most desirable in general since it trades away some secondary stats for extra Agility with a gem-socket bonus.
I compared the ilvl 359 weapons to the current ilvl 264 weapons that most hunters would have on live realms today. Here are some stats: Dps has increased by more than double the amount (294.8 to 623.3). Same for agility (43 to 107) and same for all other stats to be honest, everything is just more than double the awesome.
- Malevolence – ilvl 359 – Raid drop
- Berto’s Staff – ilvl 346 – Heroic dungeon drop (?)
- Darkling Staff – ilvl 346 – Heroic dungeon drop
- Elementium Poleaxe – ilvl 346 – Crafted by Blacksmiths
- Mobus’s Vile Halberd – ilvl 346 – Crafted by Blacksmiths
- Rockslicker – ilvl 346 – Heroic dungeon drop
- Seliza’s Spear – ilvl 346 – Heroic dungeon drop
- Spear of the Trailing Shadows – ilvl 346 – Reputation reward
Only one agility two-hander has been discovered in raids so far, I imagine we’ll see at least one more in the future. But for now we can’t compare it to any other. The dps and main stat rule is consistent here so we see the same dps (which we don’t care about though) and agility and stamina on all items across the same item level. So again it comes down to comparing secondary stats.
There’s a big range of blue items here and they offer all possible secondary stats; hit, haste, crit and mastery. Go for hit first if that’s what you’re missing and then if you’re hit-capped you will most likely want something with mastery.
There’s also a large array of one-handers available that I didn’t list because, sadly, it seems that dual wielding one-handers still isn’t viable. You end up with about 15% less in stat budget (about 15% less agility and about 15% less of the secondary stats).
- Darkmoon Card: Hurricane – ilvl 359 – Quest reward (Darkmoon Faire)
- Essence of the Cyclone – ilvl 359 – Raid drop
- Fluid Death – ilvl 359 – Valour Point reward
- Prestor’s Talisman of Machination – ilvl 359 – Unknown source (I’m guessing; Raid drop)
- Unheeded Warning – ilvl 359 – Raid drop
- Unsolvable Riddle – ilvl 359 – Reputation reward
- Figurine – Demon Panther – ilvl 346 – Crafted by Jewelcrafters (Jewelcrafters only)
- Grace of the Herald – ilvl 346 – Heroic dungeon drop
- Key to the Endless Chamber – ilvl 346 – Heroic dungeon drop
- Skardyn’s Grace – ilvl 346 – Unknown source (I’m guessing; Heroic dungeon drop)
- Tia’s Grace – ilvl 346 – Heroic dungeon drop
Wow, what a range of fun and cool trinkets we get to choose from at the start of Cataclysm huh? Most of these are just made of awesome. All of the epic trinkets bring +321 static stats (agility, hit or mastery), for the most part you will most likely wanna aim for the ones with agility.
First off I’m gonna venture a guess and say that this expansion’s darkmoon card equivalent to Darkmoon Card: Greatness won’t be looking like one of the best trinkets available for several tiers of raiding content. The procc is cool but won’t be scaling upwards with your gear acquisition like Greatness did.
Fluid Death is the expected hit-trinket which will be fantastic if you can actually use all of the hit rating on it, but if you’re going over cap with those stats then you should shy away from it.
Unheeded Warning currently states that it’s melee-only in the tooltip, this might just be a mistake since they’ve missed out on similar tooltips many times before. If it’s not a mistake and it is indeed melee-only then it’ll be a terrible choice for hunters obviously since the procc will be meaningless. But on the other hand if it is a mistake and it is indeed intended for ranged auto attacks as well, it will be very good and scale well.
Essence of the Cyclone and Prestor’s Talisman of Machination are very similar, one brings crit and the other brings haste. Using both of these will be a nice combo.
The last epic trinket is the reputation reward Unsolvable Riddle and it is also the only trinket with an on-use ability. Comparing it to the blue trinkets makes me think it might not be the best choice, I would rather go for one of the blue items.
Out of the blue trinkets Key of the Endless Chamber looks really, really good, that is, if you can use the hit rating on it. I would balance my hit rating on gear around it, because that procc is just super sexy. It looks better than some of the epic proccs even… Let’s hope it doesn’t get nerfed shall we?