Tier 12 Two Piece Thoughts
I’ve been going back and forth regarding which two pieces of T12 to get first.
From a survivability perspective, the tier gear has two clear best in slot pieces (legs and gloves), a good mastery piece (the shoulders), a decent avoidance piece (the chest), and then a mediocre helm. The Beth’tilac chest and Baleroc helm are both excellent pieces and are better than the corresponding tier gear. For shoulders, Alysrazor drops an offset piece that is notable for having significantly higher Strength than any other options in that slot as well as some juicy large avoidance values that can be reforged for more threat.
So just thinking about survivability, it really comes down to legs/gloves vs. legs/shoulders with the edge IMO going to the legs/gloves. This is especially true since normal mode Rag drops 384 shoulders and H Alysrazor has the 391s, both of which are going to be obtainable before Majordomo Heroic.
Things get tricky when I start considering my endgame e-peen set though. The first impulse would be to wear the PvP gloves, 2pc T12 Prot and 2pc T12 Ret. However the PvP gloves are extremely difficult to evaluate. We know that in a T11 Heroic set, the gloves are essentially worth about 82 Strength, but that assumes Strength is worth ~1.2 DPS per point. I’m pretty sure in a capped Expertise set the value of Strength rises a bit.
A second tricky issue is that the bonus is a scaling one, so it of course becomes worth more and more Strength as you do more DPS. In other words, the more AP you have, the more damage you do with Crusader Strike.
A third question is whether or not the T12 Ret set bonus will double dip the PvP gloves bonus. Will the DoT do 15% of your actual Crusader Strike damage, or will it use base damage before talent buffs (like T11 2pc Prot and PvP gloves do). If it’s the former, then the value of the PvP gloves increases further from the double dipping. I think it’s likely they coded this set bonus the same way as the T11 2pc Prot and PvP gloves, but until it’s tested we won’t know for sure.
Even in a modest threat set now, I did about 18.6k DPS on Shannox. In full 391 gear I expect that number to be more like 22-23k. I think it’s safe to say that the PvP gloves will be worth at least 100 Strength, maybe a bit more if the double dipping I described above happens.
At a worth of about 100 Strength, though, things actually get a bit tricky. Strength is the one stat you can’t reforge into, so pieces that have high Strength coupled with avoidance (like the Alysrazor shoulders) are good candidates for reforging, since your overall threat stats are higher than a tank piece that has Hit or Expertise on it but at the cost of reduced itemization in Strength.
The Prot shoulders suffer from this problem, having only 224 Strength at the 391 ilvl. The Alysrazor shoulders by comparison have 322 Strength and a blue socket. So that’s nearly 100 Strength made up right there, and then the added Stamina from a blue socket bonus confers a further small advantage. Reforge some of the Avoidance into Hit/Expertise, and this piece is looking like a pretty competitive replacement for the PvP gloves.
The chest and helm are the clear best choices for 2pc Ret, since the chest has a tremendous amount of expertise on it, and you always want a different helm from your normal tanking helm so that you can put in a DPS meta. So basically it all boils down to prot shoulders or prot gloves. With prot shoulders you give up ~100 Strength but make that Strength back using the PvP gloves. With prot gloves, you end up not using the PvP gloves, but you gain a bit of Str/Stamina from the gloves being a slightly higher ilvl.
It’s really tough to decide!