Tag Archives: items

Vial of the Sunwell

As I just mentioned, I picked up the [Vial of the Sunwell] last night in Heroic Magister’s Terrace, and I’ve been trying to assess its value.

A brief attack of theorycrafting (hello, Excel spreadsheets) later, and here’s what we’ve got:


  • Healer is a paladin
  • Healer uses approximately 75% Flash of Lights and 25% Holy Lights
  • Healer is chain-casting
  • Trinket is used every time the cooldown is up


  • On raw numbers, given the assumptions above, Vial of the Sunwell is worth 15 mp5 and approximately 55 +heal.
  • Apart from raw numbers, this trinket has some particular strengths:
    • Triggering the “Use:” effect doesn’t activate the global cooldown, meaning it stacks nicely on top of your regular healing rotation, and can either be macroed into your regular healing macro, or be used when you need burst healing to supplement your heals without eating a GCD.
    • Unlike many trinket effects you can ‘charge it up’ ahead of time; the Holy Energy buff (which represents the collected energy, and stacks to 20) has no duration. This means that you can charge it up with 20 rank 1 heals before a fight starts.
    • Edit: As Matticus just pointed out to me in chat, the effect of the trinket isn’t suppressed by silences, so it’s great for use on fights with silence effects and big damage, like Gruul and Nalorakk.
    • Note that the effect can crit, for 3000 healing.


  • The figures aren’t wildly different for paladins with different casting rotations. Chaincasting 100% Holy Light lands somewhere around 47 +heal; chaincasting 100% Flash of Light equates to around 58 +heal.
  • Keeping the same casting rotation, and instead assuming you’re only casting 75% of the time instead of chain-casting, the value of the trinket rises to an equivalent of around 72 +heal.
  • It is important to note that this trinket doesn’t magically do more for you just because you’re casting less often. These numbers are equivalents to give you an idea of the end effect of the trinket, compared with other alternatives you might equip.

An embarrassment of trinkety riches.

Thanks to Magister’s Terrace and the new Shattered Sun faction rewards, I’ve picked up the following in the last week:

Very shiny, very epic. Given that they’re leaps and bounds better than my existing trinkets (which hadn’t been upgraded for a looooong time), I’m pretty much replacing everything at once – which means I have to work out a whole new set of mental guidelines about what I use when.

The [Vial of the Sunwell] is the one I’m really thinking about. The 15 mp5 equip bonus is very nice; I’m trying to work out how useful the rest of its abilities are. Theorycrafting post due shortly.

A new tabard!

As some of you may have worked out already, I’m something of a tabardaholic.

Cue the latest addition to my collection!

Keepers of Time Tabard

The Keepers of Time Tabard has existed in the game files for a while; in an undocumented patch addition, it was implemented in patch 2.4. It’s available from Alurmi, the KoT Quartermaster, at Exalted reputation for 80 silver.

It’s probably a sign that I play too much: I could remember Alurmi’s name without having to refer to WoWhead.

(Still quiet around these parts, because I’m busy working my ass off for Shattered Sun Exalted rep – my server just hit phase 3 (with a world first) and is making steady progress, so I want to be sure I have the rep to get the title when Phase 4 starts.)

It’s only for a night…

I’ve never been one of those hybrids who changes spec at the drop of a hat to meet the needs of a group; I change specs once every few months at most, agonising over the placement of every talent point. Regardless of my championing of the “hybrids should be able to perform all their roles”, that doesn’t mean I want to respec twice a week and go holy for raids, prot for 5-mans and ret for soloing.

But. After a fruitless day of searching for Magister’s Terrace PuGs, wherein it seemed I was competing with every healer on the server for a group spot, and there were about 3 tanks compared with the 789237852 DPSers and 11872735 healers looking for groups… I snapped.

And here I am, one Magister’s Terrace group later – still Prot-specced, with my new best friend Bernie, and a good chunk of Shattered Sun rep up my sleeve. I’m just happy my group was patient and understanding about my utter nubbyness.

Time to go back to Holy… although perhaps not before I see what the PuG scene looks like tomorrow.

The Alchemist’s Stone

Healing trinkets can often be difficult to analyse, because they offer stats and effects that you don’t typically find on other items. MK of A Dwarf Priest said it best: “you should carry multiple trinkets and select based on your needs for the given encounter.”. That’s an excellent post analysing healing trinkets, incidentally, and I recommend it for all healers. Of course, if you’re a pally or shaman, a lot of the numerical rankings won’t apply as we get zero benefit out of Spirit, but the overall listing and analysis is excellent.

So, let’s take a look at the numbers on one much-misunderstood trinket: the Alchemist’s Stone.

Alchemist’s Stone
Binds when picked up
+15 Strength
+15 Agility
+15 Stamina
+15 Intellect
+15 Spirit
Requires Alchemy (350)
Equip: Increases the effect that healing and mana potions have on the wearer by 40%. This effect does not stack.

This is very much an all-rounder trinket. From a healadin perspective, though:

  • +15 Str and +15 Agi are irrelevant.
  • +15 Stam is nice for survivability but doesn’t affect our efficacy.
  • +15 Spi is only relevant if you’re getting innervated, which is pretty unlikely.
  • +15 Int is useful. It provides +150 mana, and equates to 0.21% spell crit (or the equivalent of 4-5 Spell Crit Rating) and +5.8 spelldamage and healing.
  • +40% output on healing and mana potions.
    • As far as I know, this works on any health/mana potion that shares a cooldown with healing and mana potions – so it works on Healing and Mana potions of all strengths, Bottled Nethergon Energy, Mad Alchemist’s Potions, and all those other lovely potions. (See this post for a summary.)
    • Looking at a Super Mana Potion (or instance-specific equivalent), their range of mana return increases, with this trinket, to 2520 – 4200 mana. This is an average return of 3360 mana per potion, or an equivalent of 140 mp5 if you’re chain-potting (compared to equivalent 100 mp5 for chain-potting without this trinket).
  • Therefore: this trinket is worth: 15 Int (approx 4.5 Spell Crit rating, 5.8 Healing, and 150 mana), and up to 40 mp5 if you’re chain-potting.

Note that the mana return from trinkets like this scales down sharply on fights where you’re not taking a potion on every cooldown. Also note that, like mana return on spell crit, it’s not true mp5 – true mp5 mana regen is passive, and valuable because it returns mana without you having to cast or drink a potion. I tend to work things out in terms of mp5 because it provides an easy mechanic for comparing two items – but if you do that, you must remember that an mp5 equivalent is only equivalent as long as you’re meeting the conditions – chain-potioning for this trinket, chain-casting for spell crit, etc.

Upshot: Minor benefits to healing, spell crit and mana pool. Up to 40 mp5 depending on frequency of potion use.
Use: Fights where you’ll want to chain-chug mana potions.

And now let’s take a look at the upgraded version! The recipe for this trinket will be available in patch 2.4, from the Shattered Sun Offensive quartermaster at Exalted reputation.

Redeemer’s Alchemist’s Stone
Binds when picked up
Requires Alchemy (350)
Equip: Increases healing done by up to 119 and damage done by up to 40 for all magical spells and effects.
Equip: Increases the effect that healing and mana potions have on the wearer by 40%. This effect does not stack.

So, this variant loseWeight Exercises the +15 to all stats, in exchange for a big +heal boost that makes this trinket worth it regardless of your potion use – this is on par with Tier 6 trinkets. As a bonus, it retains the same potion boost as the previous version.

Upshot: +119 healing, up to +40 mp5 depending on potion use.
Use: Anywhere, particularly healing-intensive situations where you’ll be throwing big heals and relying on mana potions rather than mp5. Great for progression fights.

What do you pack for a raid?

I apologise for the lack of tasty content over the last few days; I’ve been extremely tired, and doing the bare minimum.

This is something I’d been talking about with a friend lately anyway, so when I saw Anna of Too Many Annas blogging about what she packs for a raid, I thought I’d join in!

Here’s what I take for a raid – for reference, I’m a holy paladin with a main healer/off tank spec. (As you doubtless already know, if you’re reading this!)



  • Healing set 1: focused on spell crit & +heal
  • Healing set 2: balanced between +heal and mp5
  • A metric bajillion extra trinkets and librams, for situational use
  • Offtanking/AoE tanking set
  • Spelldamage set – not that I usually need it for raiding, but there’s no way I have room for it in my bank!

And this is why I have full 20-slot bags, both in my bank and equipped, and I still only ever have 6-10 empty bag slots.

The 2.4 Shopping List

There’s a lot of new stuff coming in 2.4, some of which is so good I’m going to want to acquire it on patch day, or as soon as it becomes available (in the case of stuff requiring Shattered Sun faction, or access to the new badge vendor). So, here’s my shopping list:

  1. Jewelcrafting: [Figurine – Seaspray Albatross]. Requires 8 Eternium Bar, 2 Seaspray Emerald, 8 Primal Mana. (Got ’em all except the Emeralds.)
  2. Alchemy: [Redeemer’s Alchemist’s Stone]. Requires Alchemist’s Stone, 6 Primal Life, 2 Nether Vortex. (Got ’em all except 1 Vortex.)
  3. [Waistguard of Reparation]. Requires 75 Badges of Justice. (Got them.)
  4. [Greaves of Pacification]. Requires 100 Badges of Justice. (Got 53 of them.)
  5. [Ecclesiastical Cuirass]. Requires 100 Badges of Justice.
  6. [Anveena’s Touch]. Requires 60 Badges of Justice. (This is an awesome item, actually, and I should probably move it higher up the wishlist.)
  7. [Gavel of Naaru Blessings]. Requires 150 Badges of Justice. (A solid upgrade, but so expensive, so it can wait. Also, the S2 [Merciless Gladiator’s Salvation] just looks so much better!)

I’d really like to make myself an [Amulet of Flowing Life] and [Ring of Flowing Life] as well, but the patterns drop in Sunwell Plateau, so they’re going to cost a bomb.

So, that’s what I’m prepping for on patch day. What’s your shopping list?

Epic Gems For Everyone!

MMO-Champion has just reported that one of the Shattered Sun NPCs on the Isle of Quel’Danas (Shaani, the Jewelcrafting Supplies vendor in the Sun’s Reach Harbor) will now sell all the raw epic gems for 15 badges.

Know your leylines!
Image from MMO-Champion.

Very interesting.

These gems are currently only available in Mount Hyjal (mined from gem nodes after the first or second boss) or Black Temple (from trash mobs). They sell for hundreds of gold on a typical Auction House. 2.4 was already going to reduce their value, by virtue of giving away a bagful of them with a number of pre-MH boss kills – Magtheridon will drop a bag of 3 of them, for instance.

However, selling them for badges means that almost everyone, except the truly solo player, can expect to get their hands on them – although not necessarily straight away, when you consider the fact that most people will want to lay out hundreds of badges on the new Tier 6-equivalent gear as well.

Furthermore, most of the recipes to cut them currently require Mount Hyjal faction, and the remaining recipes are BoP drops in Black Temple. All the existing epic gem cuts will now be accessible via Shattered Sun faction from Friendly to Exalted.

I’m very happy with these two changes. Anyone who knows me has heard me rant about how unreasonable it was of Blizzard to put the entire epic tier of a crafting profession in the hands of endgame raiders alone – I’m glad Blizzard’s doing something about that.

Now I can only hope that 25-man bosses will drop a reasonable number of badges, come 2.4, or we’re all going to be so starved for badges we’ll still be running Karazhan in 2009.

Holy Paladins: Choosing Your Faction Goals

There are a number of very good rep rewards available for paladins, particularly Protection and Holy paladins. I thought I’d do a bit of a rundown for those who are levelling a pally and haven’t identified their faction goals yet. If you’re a holy paladin in pre-raid gear, you might want to aim for:

Honor Hold/Thrallmar – Revered.
For Ring of Convalescence/Ancestral Band and Glyph of Renewal at Revered. (Sage’s Band/Farseer’s Band at Honored is a nice addition to your DPS set, too.)

Cenarion Expedition
You can actually skip CE faction if you’re purely Holy, unless you want Windcaller’s Orb (at Exalted) until you get a good healing shield. I wouldn’t recommend it personally – but hey, some pallies wear cloth, too.

Nothing for you here.

Aldor/Scryers – Exalted.
For Greater Inscription of Faith (for Aldor) or Greater Inscription of the Oracle (for Scryers) at Exalted. (You can use Inscription of Faith/Inscription of the Oracle (Honored) until you hit Exalted.) Aldor also offers Vindicator’s Hauberk (the best pre-raid tanking chest) at Revered, and Medallion of the Lightbearer at Exalted (although there are better-balanced pre-raid neckpieces out there, this one does have good base stats). Scryer-aligned paladins can get Seer’s Signet at Exalted, which is very good for a shockadin set.

Lower City – Revered.
For Lower City Prayerbook, an excellent trinket for paladins that many prefer over epic alternatives. Gavel of Unearthed Secrets at Exalted is a good shockadin mace, too, and if you’re building a tanking set it’s the best tankadin mace you’ll find until raid or arena gear.

You can pretty much skip Kurenai/Mag’har faction altogether, from a paladin point of view.

The Consortium
You can skip this one, too.

Keepers of Time
For a pure Holy pally, you can skip KoT faction too. If you’re going to be doing some tanking, I’d recommend aiming for Revered for Timewarden’s Leggings and Glyph of the Defender (and Continuum Blade until you get to Exalted with Lower City for the Gavel).

The Sha’tar – Exalted
For Gavel of Pure Light, an excellent healadin mace (I got a Hand of Eternity crafted before I got to Exalted Sha’tar, but the Gavel of Pure Light isn’t far behind it). You might also want Crest of the Sha’tar (Exalted) for a tanking set, and Xi’ri’s Gift (Revered) for a shockadin set.

Ogri’la – Revered
For Apexis Cloak. Ogri’la Aegis (Revered) is a good tanking shield before you hit Exalted Sha’tar, too.

Sha’tari Skyguard
You can skip this as a healadin. Airman’s Ribbon of Gallantry (Exalted) is a decent shockadin trinket, though, when you consider the fact that you’re likely to be playing as a shockadin for solo content only – grinding and questing.

You can skip this too. Commander’s Badge (Revered) is a nice tanking trinket, though.

Shattered Sun Offensive – Exalted (New in 2.4!)
For Shattered Sun Pendant of Restoration, which is an amazingly good pre-raid healing neck. Shattered Sun Pendant of Acumen (Exalted) is also good for a shockadin set, and Sunward Crest (Exalted) may suit tanking pallies for threat generation.