ICC 5-man Heroic Loot vs. Tier 8.5

As Vesserion is currently well equipped, and acquiring 251/264 gear and Ashen Verdict rep through the new ICC raid, I have been doing most of my experimenting with the new ICC 5-man dungeons on Bhender

For those not familiar with Bhender, he was my Shadow Priest alt from before the days of dual specs.  He was also my 2nd level 80 toon.  His offspec is currently Disc, so I can leverage the awesome healing skills I have developed while playing Vesserion, but he also dabbles in Shadow PVP from time to time.

Since I don’t have time to raid on both Vesserion and Bhender, and since Shadow Priest dps was the suck for the last two patches, he has been relegated to doing farming and dailies for the past 6 months.  (I think Bhender has downed the Northrend Beasts in ToC 10, and like 4 bosses in Ulduar to date, which is pretty sad.)

But with the Patch 3.3 upgrades to Shadow Priest dps, and Vess outgearing all the drops in ICC 5-mans, I decided that I would run the new heroic dungeons on Bhender. 

I ran all three ICC 5-mans on heroic last week, and was very very fortunate on the cloth drops.  I picked up:

Arcane Loop of Anger (FoS);

Mord’rethar Robes (FoS);

Ancient Polar Bear Hide (PoS);

Engraved Gargoyle Femur (PoS);

Strip of Remorse (HoR); and

Sightless Crown of Ulmass (HoR).

The majority of the items I have picked up are upgrades to either Bhender’s dps or healing kit, but I elected to forgoe two of the upgrades despite the fact that the ilevels are higher than his current gear. 

Specifically, the Ancient Polar Bear Hide and the Sightless Crown of Ulmass are collecting dust in my bank.  Both are ilevel 232 pure dps items that would replace ilevel 226 tier pieces.  And therein lies the rub.

Here are the stats changes if I switch from the tier 8.5 set peices to the tier 9.0 non-set pieces:

Intellect (160 => 176)  +16*

Stamina (174 => 172)  -2

Spellpower (314 => 286)  -28*

Haste (124 => 170)  +46

Crit (70 => 0)  -70

Hit (74 => 123)  +49

Gemslots (Meta, 3 Reds => Meta, 1 Red)  -2 Reds

Set Bonus (+15% damage on Devouring Plague => none)  -15% on DP 

* Numbers take into account socket bonuses, or the lack thereof, from socketing all Runed Cardinal Rubies.  Numbers also ignore enchantments, which would be identical.

So I would gain 16 int, 46 haste and 49 hit, at the cost of 2 stam, 28 spellpower, 70 crit and 15% extra damage on one of my dots. 

Bhender is currently way over hit cap, and the 16 int doesn’t provide much benefit other than additional mana.  So really, the only effective gain from the upgrades is the 46 haste rating.  When you compare that benefit to the cost, it just doesn’t make any sense to forgoe the 2 peices of tier 8.5 gear in favor of the ICC 5-man heroic loot. 

So Bhender will continue to wear his tier 8.5 chest and helm, until he can get slightly bigger upgrades to justify breaking up the set bonus.  Which ultimately means that as cool as the new 5-man dungeons are, Bhender will benefit more from simply grinding heroics for Emblems of Triumph than from running ICC heroic dungeons for loot.

/sigh

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