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Gearing up for Challenge Mode

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A couple guildies and I are talking about going for Gold in Challenge Mode dungeons soon and I'd like some feedback as to how I should be gearing and speccing.

 

Now, I've never tried a challenge mode, but I'm a pretty decent Destro Lock and understand the concept.  (I plan on running Destro for everything because, frankly, I don't really play the other specs)  But talent wise, is there any switches to be made to talents I don't use normally?  I know Shadowfury will come in handy, but is it really a good idea to roll with Dark Regeneration, Dark Bargain, and GoServ like I've seen in some guides?

 

As far as gear goes, I've been running the earlier tier LFRs to grab gear with a) as many sockets as possible while having cool.png no hit on it whatsoever.  I've heard you don't get punished as badly by the gear scaling if you obtain all of your hit through gems and reforging.  Am I on the right track here?

 

Lastly, trinkets.  I was told RPPM trinkets aren't recommended.  So I acquired Light of the Cosmos and Relic of Yu'lon (both of which have %chance to proc and an internal cooldown).  I don't understand how those would be better than, say, Wush which has an RPPM>1.  Since gear gets scaled down so much does it affect those procs to where they happen less than those on a set cooldown?

 

Any other advice or nuggets of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance my beloved IV Warlock community!

 

edit: fixed a typo

Edited by jensent07

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RPPM sucks because of the down level, the lower the ilvl the lower the RPPM. 

 

Talents are mostly the same, personally I like GoSac over GoServ because of the lack of a pet. A pet running down the wrong way can wipe you really easy. Screw the pet AI, kill the damn thing.

 

Shadow Fury is amazing, Dark Regen is nice also. Rest of them are the same as raiding, all situational. 

 

Outside of your trinkets, use what has the most gem slots. If you have a 522 with 1 gem slot and a 498 with 3 gem slots, use the 498 (these numbers and totally made up).

 

Lot of the guides are made BEFORE the destro 5.4 changes, keep that in mind and plan accordingly. 

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I ran Challenge Modes back last December as Affliction and I did fine.  When I ran them again for my girl, I went Destruction, and the speed of the runs was just mind boggling.  Fire and Brimstone, Shadowburn, and Havoc destroy just about anything in your path.  With the 5.4 buffs to Destruction, it's THE spec to blast CMs.

 

Use GoSac and Shadowfury.  The rest are optional and situational.  I prefer KJC because of moving and casting Fire and Brimstone Incinerate. 

 

You have the two best trinkets in Relic and Light of the Cosmos.  Both of those have ridiculously high uptimes on Intellect procs.  Your Wush at 463 ilvl would have an RPPM of about .5, not 1.  And to reiterate what Locky said, higher item level gear is typically better, given it is properly itemized, because of the extra gem slots.  Gems aren't nerfed.

 

Also, +500 Int gem does not work.  Tier bonuses don't work.  Legendary Meta Gem doesn't work.  Just so you have that info.

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How about gems? With the lower ilvl is it better to go for the big intellect reds over the vermillions?

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Normal gemming logic works fine, I've had zero problems with it in the 4 full 9/9gold runs I've done on my lock.

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At that level Int may be better DPS, but Mastery will not only provide DPS but also ability to Ember Tap yourself for more in pinch situations.

Edited by Kazistrasz

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If you have to Ember Tap in challenge modes, you, your tank, or your healer is doing something wrong.  Need those Embers for DPS to beat timers. 

 

As for gemming, just get gear with more sockets.  Namely: T16 chest (LFR, Flex, Normal, or Heroic all have 3 sockets).  Get Shoulders from this tier (2 sockets), use legendary cloak for its socket (proc doesn't work), use the ring from this tier with a socket, etc.  The BoA weapons from Garrosh are BiS for challenge modes because they have two sockets.  However, there is a bug I've noticed...if you reforge to Hit from your BoA, the Hit will downscale when you go into challenge modes.  It SHOULDN'T do this, but it does, so avoid using your weapon to get to hit cap.

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AFAIK, the extra gem socket on weapons from the legendary quest DO count even though all the other legendary stuff doesn't, so they're as good as garrosh heirlooms (maybe better because of scaling? I know the garrosh heirlooms have slightly lower secondary stats than the equivalent ilvl weapons in soo to account for the extra socket)

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The secondary stats are irrelevant since they scale to 463 anyways.  The allotment doesn't get penalized at 463, just at 522/535.  It's just far more costly to go back and buy one of those Eyes than it is to acquire a two socket weapon otherwise.  IMO, the extra gem slot isn't worth the gold spent unless you're pushing for realm best times.

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If with both items at 561 the garrosh heirloom has slightly less int / H/C/M than a lever or gaze, I'd have assumed both scaled to 463 would still result in the garrosh heirloom being slightly lower. Or, for instance, drop it to 522 and compare it to horridon or twins staff, it'd still be slightly less than those, therefore making one of them (or a ToT 1h) a little better with the bonus of the eye socket.

Edited by Oldtrout

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The difference, I think, would be irrelevant.  Typically, a socket removes 80 of a primary stat giving you the opportunity to gain 160 back, or you can customize it, as we do now, with secondary stats.  I think it reduces secondary stats by a very small amount, like 30-40, so the gain back is huge when gemming secondaries.  I think when normalized to 463, the difference would be almost unaccountable.

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I just started gearing last night for CMs hah, I went and got one of those expensive ToT sockets for my LFR Sanguine Dagger instead of using my Garrosh Staff. Funny thing is, I was this close to posting on this very thread last night asking about gear/gems/stat priority. Oh well! 

 

I'm planning on being destro for the majority of the CMs, I'm assuming stat priority doesnt really matter as long as I pick with one and stick with it. I was just going to go with Mastery -> crit -> haste, but is there enough AoE trash to deal with that maybe haste would pull ahead a bit over crit? I know how much you guys love answering stat priority questions. tongue.png

 

And what do you suggest for 2nd trinket, I've got light of cosmos and pretty much every ToT/SoO trinket. I could pick up the Darkmoon trinket for relatively cheap (4k) but I'm not really trying for realm best times, just want to get gold. I noticed UVLS proc doesnt get scaled down at 463 (still at .33 for 100%) would that be worth it? Or what about PBoI? FCoR?

Edited by Vipples

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You don't have enough secondary stats at 463 ilvl to worry about reforging.  Gem Mastery and consider it done.  Challenge Modes are an exceptional place that validates my statement of 'it's not your stats doing your DPS, it's your playstyle.'  Mastery is going to win out because of the massive amount of Shadowburning you'll be doing.  Use GoSup and use the Imp with Soul Link and use your Imps AoE dispel often to assist the healer.  You'd be surprised how much mana you can save your healer doing this. 

 

You do not want to use any current trinkets.  UVLS's proc doesn't get pushed down, but the RPPM will be so that you see it once every 5 minutes.  PBI performs a paltry 2% amplification on your already shit stats.  You'll want Relic of Yu'lon and Light of the Cosmos.  If you're an alchemist, the alchemist trinket is a very excellent replacement.  If you want burst damage on specific parts, I recommend the heroic version of the Globule that drops from the first boss in Siege of Nizuao Temple.  That trinket is nasty for on demand burst.

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Not everyone has a Garrosh heirloom (screw you, former Warchief). If you use the sword from ToES Protectors and the off-hand from Garrosh, you can have 3 sockets for weapons.

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Just a quick question. I was wondering since Zagam your saying just go pure mastery since it stacks quicker, and is your main stat. But I have a lot of red gems, should I care about socket bonuses like go int/mastery or just pure mastery don't worry about socket bonuses ?

 

Thank you for you time.

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