How to Read PvP Gear for PvE

Con­tin­ued from yes­ter­day’s Intro to Using PvP Gear for PvE.

(I apol­o­gize in advance for the for­mat­ting, I don’t have the patience for prop­er html cod­ing.)

PvP gear is typ­i­cal­ly heavy on the fol­low­ing stats. I’ll explain how each mat­ters in PvE.

  • Resilience … helps you sur­vive crit­i­cal hits. The raid boss is going to one shot you any­way, whether it crits or not.
  • Spell Pen­e­tra­tion … over­come resis­tances. PvE mobs don’t have resis­tances. Spell pen­e­tra­tion does noth­ing in PvE.
  • Armor … makes melee dam­age hit less hard. See Resilience for how this helps in raids.
  • Crit Rating/Spell Crit Rat­ing … is nice, but usu­al­ly there’s some­thing more impor­tant you could be work­ing on, like hit rating/haste/healing/stats/spell damage/mana regen/whatever. But, we won’t com­plete­ly ignore it. (Again, this changes by class and build; some make use of these bet­ter than oth­ers)
  • Sta­mi­na … is spe­cial. You do need a cer­tain lev­el of sta­mi­na to instance and raid. How­ev­er, PvE gear will get you to that lev­el. All that extra sta­mi­na you get on PvP gear… I’m not going to say that it goes to waste, but when the raid is try­ing to knock over a boss as quick­ly as pos­si­ble, your non-tank­ing health usu­al­ly isn’t the lim­it­ing reagent in that alche­my. Whether you’re try­ing to heal the tank right after a crush­ing blow hits the tank, or try­ing to do as much dam­age in as lit­tle time as pos­si­ble, sta­mi­na does­n’t help. Most of the time in PvE, you stay alive by know­ing the event and hav­ing each mem­ber of your team play cor­rect­ly.

So, to sum up: When look­ing at PvP gear for PvE, men­tal­ly black out any line that has Sta­mi­na, Resilience, Armor, and Spell Pen­e­tra­tion. When gear­ing for PvE, there should be no time where you ever say, “Well, this piece does have more Resilience than the oth­er one.”

I’m going to use the exam­ple of a new L70 mage. Yay, you’re L70! Let’s get you geared up and hit­ting hard. You point at your green gloves and say, “Well, I need to improve there.”

Right off the bat, just by being Hon­ored with Sha’­tar (which you like­ly got from quest­ing), you can buy these:

[Evok­er’s Silk Hand­guards] (Sha’­tar, Hon­ored)
97 Armor
+33 Stamina
+12 Intellect
Equip: Improves spell critical strike rating by 17 (0.77% @ L70).
Equip: Improves your resilience rating by 17 (0.43% @ L70).
Equip: Improves the range of your Fire Blast spell by 5 yards.
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 19.

Okay, so let’s men­tal­ly block out accord­ing to the guide above, and just use the parts that mat­ter when you’re try­ing to do dam­age:

[Evok­er’s Silk Hand­guards]
+12 Intellect
Equip: Improves spell critical strike rating by 17 (0.77% @ L70).
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 19.

Com­pare with the Dun­geon Set 3 piece, which drops in nor­mal-mode Steam­vaults, sim­i­lar­ly cleaned:

[Incan­ter’s Gloves] (nor­mal Steam­vaults, 1st boss)
+24 Intellect
+12 Spirit
Equip: Improves spell critical strike rating by 14 (0.63% @ L70).
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 29.

Dif­fer­ence going from Evok­er to Incan­ter:
+12 intellect
+12 spirit
-3 crit strike rating
+10 damage

You might be think­ing, “Big deal! So it’s a lit­tle worse.”

Yes, that’s exact­ly what I’m say­ing.

The prob­lem is that if all your gear is a lit­tle worse, all those lit­tles add up to a great big mediocre, and you end up under­per­form­ing in raids. You’re basi­cal­ly try­ing to raid in gear that works about as well as Nagrand quest gear. Don’t be fooled by the item col­or or the item lev­el, that PvP gear just isn’t designed for instancing/raiding.

You’re also telling the raid lead that you can’t be both­ered to run instances to get bet­ter gear but you want to raid any­way, you just want to pick it up with oth­er guild­mates who did both­er to do that. Final­ly, you’re say­ing that you prob­a­bly haven’t run instances on this toon, so you’re going to be con­fused as to how to play on a team.

Gear says a lot.

Let’s move up a lev­el in rewards. Here are the cur­rent epic PvP gloves you can buy for grind­ing hon­or in bat­tle­grounds:

[Mer­ci­less Glad­i­a­tor’s Silk Hand­guards] (S2 gloves, hon­or)
+46 Stamina
+20 Intellect
Equip: Improves spell critical strike rating by 19 (0.86% @ L70).
Equip: Improves your resilience rating by 23 (0.58% @ L70).
Equip: Improves the range of your Fire Blast spell by 5 yards.
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 36.

…which we clean up for pure PvE dam­age role:

[Mer­ci­less Glad­i­a­tor’s Silk Hand­guards] (S2 gloves, hon­or)
+20 Intellect
Equip: Improves spell critical strike rating by 19 (0.86% @ L70).
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 36.

Here’s what you win going from Incan­ter to Mer­ci­less Glad­i­a­tor:
-4 intellect
-12 spirit
+5 spell crit rating
+7 damage

They’re a good, if small, upgrade.

Now let’s look at the T4 gloves you can get in Karazhan:

[Gloves of the Aldor] (T4 gloves, Cura­tor)
+22 Intellect
+19 Spirit
Equip: Improves spell hit rating by 17 (1.35% @ L70).
Equip: Improves spell critical strike rating by 19 (0.86% @ L70).
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 35.

Dif­fer­ence from Mer­ci­less Glad­i­a­tor to Aldor:
+2 intellect
+19 spirit
+17 spell hit rating
-1 spell damage

This is a no-brain­er. The T4 gloves destroy the S2 gloves for PvE. Yes, mages large­ly don’t care about spir­it, but look at that spell hit rat­ing.

So even though the Mer­ci­less Glad­i­a­tor gloves are an upgrade over the Incan­ter gloves, the Aldor gloves destroy all of the above at PvE.

One last exam­ple:

[Hand­wraps of Flow­ing Thought] (Karazhan, Attumen the Hunts­man)
+22 Intellect
Yellow Socket
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +3 Spell Hit Rating
Equip: Improves spell hit rating by 14 (1.11% @ L70).
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 35.

Mer­ci­less Glad­i­a­tor to Hand­wraps of Flow­ing Thought:
+2 intellect
+14 spell hit rating
-17 spell crit rating
-1 spell damage
+1 yellow socket
+1 blue socket

Even the gloves that drop from Attumen, the very first boss from the very first raid, are an over­all upgrade because of the sock­ets.

This is true of just about all pvp gear, so choose wise­ly. If you just nev­er see any gloves drop (for exam­ple), then go ahead and grab the PvP ones. Strings of nonex­is­tant drops hap­pen. My tank war­rior is exalt­ed three times over with Vio­let Eye and has nev­er seen [King’s Defend­er] drop. Some well-cho­sen PvP pieces can help out a lot.

How­ev­er, as I said above, if you gear up for PvE entire­ly in PvP gear, raid lead­ers are going to look at you fun­ny and won­der why you aren’t run­ning instances before you sign up for raids, or why you aren’t sign­ing up for ear­ly raids (Kara, Gru­ul) before you try to get into an advanced one (ZA, SSC). Even if you go, every­one’s going to notice when you’re bare­ly ahead of the main tank in dam­age, and you won’t be invit­ed back.

Use PvP to patch weak­ness­es, not gear up over­all.

More Words!

6 thoughts on “How to Read PvP Gear for PvE”

  1. “Use PvP to patch weak­ness­es, not gear up over­all” is def­i­nite­ly the way to go, I agree.

    Two fol­lowup com­ments.

    1: War­locks val­ue STA more than oth­er DPS class­es because they can turn it into mana. In those cas­es, item bud­get spent on STA is not wast­ed. That said, War­lock gear already is STA-heavy, and my War­lock has nev­er worn a PvP piece. My Heal­adin has, how­ev­er, due to my sec­ond point.

    2: Some raid (and even instance) fights require all raid mem­bers to be able to han­dle X dam­age, and hav­ing PvP (or oth­er STA-heavy) gear avail­able to swap into for those fights will be ben­e­fi­cial. Eve 500 extra health on a heal­er can be the dif­fer­ence between a wipe and a recov­ery in those fights.

  2. It seems like I run into too many peo­ple these days that are gear­ing in Bat­tle­grounds for PvE. I just recent­ly tanked for a PUG where the rogue (full S1) could­n’t fol­low tar­gets or sap effec­tive­ly (ignor­ing the fact that he could­n’t locate Mecha­nar on a map and had to be guid­ed in).

    One big caveat is, though, for a Pal­adin tank­ing weapon. Aside from the Mer­ci­less Glad. Gav­el (which all around has pret­ty darn nice stats for a Pal­ly tank), the only options beyond the “Con­tin­u­um” lev­el come from T5+ con­tent.

    Too bad PvP as a tank is just plain painful.

  3. @Dave:
    Agreed entire­ly. Sta­mi­na is a core war­lock stat, spell crit is a core pal­adin heal­ing stat, and so on. The amount which stamina/crit helps in PvE depends on the class and build.

    I agree also that some sta­mi­na gear can help in some PvE encoun­ters, but this arti­cle was intend­ed more for the per­son who’s wear­ing pvp gear to every encounter of every raid. Once you start talk­ing gear swap­ping for par­tic­u­lar encoun­ters, you already demon­strate under­stand­ing of what I’m try­ing to get across. :)

    @Feltia:
    Expe­ri­ences like your Mechanar/S1 rogue are why I wrote the arti­cle. :)

    I not­ed the tank exclu­sion in the pre­vi­ous arti­cle, which I’ve linked to more clear­ly, thanks for the heads up. You’re absolute­ly right that a num­ber of class­es ben­e­fit strong­ly from going for pvp weapons. I’ll post a fol­lowup.

  4. I know you said for tanks to look away… but I felt the need to point out that for bear tanks … PvP is huge­ly ben­e­fi­cial for gear­ing up. (You can thank you OCD ten­den­cies. I can’t leave some­thing unsaid!)

    Not only does the sta­mi­na help us, but we don’t ben­e­fit from par­ry, block, etc, the way oth­er tanks do. So going for uncrit­table and high health is the only way for us to go (and dodge rat­ing. Num­my num­my dodge rat­ing).

    Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Karazhan seems to believe that all leather armor drops are for kit­ties or heal­ers or boomkin, but bear tanks are s.o.l. I’ve been tank­ing in my Heavy Cleft­hoof armor for a while now. There are upgrades you can buy through badges and a few you can find in hero­ics and I defi­nate­ly agree that as a bear tank, even if you’re PvPing for some gear pieces, you NEED to run hero­ics as a tank to fig­ure out how to tank.

    (Also because PvPing as a resto/balance druid with the rep pur­chasable gear is much more fun and hon­or effi­cient than try­ing to PvP as a bear tank. I tried it once with my bear tank as a bear… and while I could­n’t kill any­thing, dear lord … they could­n’t kill me, either. O.o Well, they could, but it took them a while.)

    Also, unless I’m miss­ing some­thing, the Mer­ci­less Glad­i­a­tor Drag­onhide Shoul­ders (the sea­son 2? what­ev­er sea­son just became avail­able for BG honor/tokens) is the only upgrade that you can real­ly find, out­side of try­ing to see if Hero­ic Kel­i­dan the Break­er will drop a set of shoul­ders that just isn’t near­ly as good.

    … okay, I’ll stop hijack­ing your com­ments page and let you con­tin­ue to dis­cuss the very valid point that except for this ONE instance (got­ta love excep­tions to rules!) … yeah, PvP does not make a PvE raider.

  5. @Kiki:
    My wife’s alt druid tank project has been an eye open­er, and a huge reminder of how Bliz­zard is still work­ing some details out of their endgame… like, for exam­ple, all of druid tank­ing gear pro­gres­sion. On the one hand, it’s nice to be able to get imme­di­ate­ly viable fresh at L70 via craft­ed pieces, but it stinks that there’s no rea­son­able way to upgrade them out­side of battlegrounds/arena and badge pur­chas­es.

  6. great (series of) posts.

    Nice method for quick­ly cut­ting through the num­bers when the raid is wait­ing for your roll. Of course it helps if you have put in some pre-thought as well.

    Love it… will keep read­ing it!

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