There’s a lot of debate at the moment about whether PVE gear should be used instead of PVP gear in arenas/battlegrounds. I’ve spent some time going over the stats (thanks to all the people on Stormscale who sent me their PVE stats in PVP zones) and am quite happy that, for once, PVE gear is not going to start beating PVP gear mid-expansion.
All gear with an item level higher than 496 is reduced in ilvl when you enter a PVP zone (including your Tyrannical weapons for some reason) and this has a knock-on effect on the stats the item has. For example, the Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault drops from +1467 hit to +1152 hit. All equipment of the same type and level have the same stat allocations, though PVP items get free PVP power. A level 496 belt will always have the same amount of agility on it, regardless of whether it’s from PVE or PVP.
So, when should you swap Tyrannical PVP gear for PVE epics? The free PVP power on set pieces, weapons and accessories make the tyrannical pieces better than the PVE alterantives (even ones with high mastery), but the trinkets are worth looking at in detail. There are several which some rogues are using in high-level arenas, but I am not convinced they are better than the PVP alternatives (well, with one exception).
This trinket was completely overpowered during 5.2, but it has been hit by several nerfs. The tooltip of both the trinket and buff have not been updated since the nerfs, which might lead players to think it performs better than it really does. Once you’ve dropped the trinket down to 496ilvl and reforged it for PVP, it gives the following stats; 692 hit, 460 mastery and a proc of 3807 agility. The proc lasts for 40seconds, with an average of 60seconds in between procs. This gives it an uptime of 40% so it’s a net gain of 1523 agility. In comparison, take a look at the Insignia of Conquest. It gives an extra 3.79% damage via PVP power and has a 4065 agility proc with 33% uptime (therefore 1342 agility). By taking the PVE trinket you gain an average of 181 agility and 1.3% hit for your autoattacks, but you lose 1.49% overall damage (I don’t want this to turn into an EJ style page of formulas and calculations, but I can happily show how I calculated these figures in the comments below!). The stats gained (especially +hit) do not compensate for the drop in overall damage.
This is another trinket that gives worse stats than the tooltips suggest. Once you convert it down to 496 ilvl, the trinket gives 1152 mastery and a proc of 2878 agility for 40seconds. The proc rate is the same as the Shado-Pan trinket, so the average increase in agility is just 1151. The strength of this trinket lies in the passive +1152 mastery it gives to Assassination rogues – assuming that poisons make up 50% of your damage, you’re looking at a 3.36% damage increase from this. Working out if that’s better than the 3.78% increase to your damage from the PVP power on Insignia of Conquest is a bit of a nightmare but in my mind the harder burst and greater overall damage done by the insignia is better than the extra poison damage from Bad Juju. The only time I’d take this trinket would be if I played a Human Assassination rogue with engineering. Since the glove enchant doesn’t stack with the Badge of Conquest, I’d prefer to have two on-use trinkets. I’ve just tested running with two Insignias, but they share the ICD so the second one is a waste.
When this BoE Darkmoon trinket is fully upgraded (with 500 valor points) it gives 1029 agility and a proc of 3261 agility. If you average out the increase in agility (25% uptime) it gives a bonus of 1844 agility. In comparison with the Insignia of Conquest, this works out as being +502 agility vs +1515 pvp power. The testing I’ve done shows 1pt of agility to be worth around 2.4pts of pvp power – this is very similar to the PVP theorycrafting on
Shadowcraft so I’m happy with the numbers. Using either of these as a basis of comparison, the Relic of Xuen does not look stronger than the Insignia.
However, if you’re not fully geared and can spare the gold, the Relic is a great trinket to use whilst you’re gearing up. If you have the PVP trinkets already you’d be better off spending the gold on a second Dancing Steel enchant to use on a third dagger you could equip vs teams without a disarm.
Don’t bother using PVE gear unless you are missing some pieces of Tyrannical (or have Bad Juju plus engineering on your human rogue). It’s really not advantageous to do so and if you don’t have them already, you’re better off spending the time in duels or developing teamwork with your arena partners.
Working out the PVP ilvl of PVP Gear
I’ve been trying to reverse engineer the stats/ilvls so I could create an app to automatically work out the 496ilvl version of high level PVE gear. I failed, miserably. The formulas involved are far from straight forward, I’d love to hear from anyone who has managed this! If you’re trying to work out what stats your raiding gear will have in PVE, you don’t really need to work out the formulas to find out what the nerfed stats will be. It’s slow and awkward, but you can compare it to 496ilvl items with similar distributions of the same stats. The chests with three sockets are a little more complicated however…
Ahh crap, just heard that my favorite author has died at 59. Was to be expected, but still a great loss. If anyone is into mind-blowing sci-fi/space opera and hasn’t come across this guy already, try the books of Iain M. Banks (the Culture series, starting with ‘Consider Phlebas’). I haven’t found an author that even comes close. Meh.