First, let me say that the set does look better with a kilt than with pants, but I’m still pretty sad about the way this armor set turned out (compared with the awesomeness of the concept art, especially). This is one helm I won’t be showing, for fear of feeling like Thomas the Tank Engine.
Secondly, I’m disappointed: the Helm and Chest of the 25-man set are available on the Emblems of Conquest quartermaster, for 48 Emblems of Conquest each. However, logically the Emblems of Valor vendor should have two pieces of the 10-man set for Emblems of Valor, and they… don’t. Which makes it tough for people in 10-man teams who have poor luck with the RNG, or who pug and don’t get to rely on getting an equal shot at loot. I hope Blizzard will put the items on there.
That said, now let’s look at the stats.
For comparison’s sake:
- 10-man Tier 7: 299 Stam, 309 Int, 35 mp5, 9105 Armor, 184 Crit, 181 Haste, 391 Spellpower, 1 meta socket, 3 red sockets, 2 yellow sockets, 2 blue sockets. (Socket bonuses total: 5 mp5, 12 Haste, 4 Crit)
- 10-man Tier 8: 353 Stam, 363 Int, 74 mp5, 9432 Armor, 153 Crit, 214 Haste, 481 Spellpower, 1 meta socket, 2 red sockets, 1 yellow socket, 4 blue sockets. (Socket bonuses total: 28 Spellpower, 4 Haste)
- Net effect of upgrading all 5 pieces: +54 Stam, +54 Int, +39 mp5, +327 Armor, -31 Crit, +23 Haste, +90 Spellpower, plus a change in gemming (if you socket for color).
- 25-man Tier 7: 335 Stam, 345 Int, 40 mp5, 9335, 212 Crit, 203 Haste, 453 Spellpower, 1 meta socket, 3 red sockets, 2 yellow sockets, 2 blue sockets. (Socket bonuses total: 5 mp5, 12 Haste, 4 Crit)
- 25-man Tier 8: 381 Stam, 386 Int, 79 mp5, 9538 Armor, 167 Crit, 249 Haste, 525 Spellpower, 1 meta socket, 2 red sockets, 1 yellow socket, 4 blue sockets. (Socket bonuses total: 28 Spellpower, 4 Haste)
- Net effect of upgrading all 5 pieces: +46 Stam, +41 Int, +39 mp5, +203 Armor, -45 Crit, +46 Haste, +72 Spellpower, plus a change in gemming (if you socket for color).
It’s interesting to note that both armor sets nearly double their mp5 at the expense of Crit, and that the socket colors are an attempt to push people to socket more mp5 gems. I’ve never been more thankful to be a jewelcrafter, with my prismatic gems.
And the set bonus:
- Paladin T8 Holy 2P Bonus — Your Holy Shock critical heals now also place a periodic healing effect on the target, healing for 15% of the Holy Shock’s heal amount over 9 sec.
- Paladin T8 Holy 4P Bonus — Increases the damage absorbed by your Sacred Shield by 10%.
The 2P bonus sounds nice, but at 2k spellpower a crit Holy Shock lands for an average of ~6200, which means the HoT component only does 930 healing over a further 9 seconds, which is virtually insignificant.
The 4P bonus again sounds nice; at 2k spellpower your Sacred Shield will absorb 2200 damage instead of 2000 damage. (Sacred Shield absorbs 500 + 0.75*Spellpower.) Given that each Sacred Shield iteration will absorb that much, and it’ll trigger up to five times for one cast of the spell, this means you’re potentially gaining about 1000 damage absorption.
However, to be honest, both of these feel pretty underwhelming next to the Tier 7 set bonuses: 2pT7 is +10% crit to Holy Shock, 4pT7 is -5% cost to Holy Light. Unless I’m missing something, the T8 bonuses just aren’t in the same league.
And there’s a relic:
- Paladin T8 Holy Relic — Increases spell power of Holy Light by 160.
This is available for 25 Emblems of Valor, on the EoV quartermaster in Dalaran. However, I don’t think it’s superior to the Libram of Renewalfor 40 Emblems of Heroism – especially not given that Ulduar is meant to be a more mana-stringent raid. Still, if you’ve got spare EoVs lying around, it could well be useful for fast-furious-spam-frenzy fights where mana conservation isn’t an issue.