Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog
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Shaman - General

December 15, 2009

T10 Gating – Start Saving Your Emblems of Frost

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Written by: Vixsin
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With a good majority of raiding guilds having cleared the first four bosses in ICC this past week, raiders are once again waiting at the gates for new content. Evidence in game points to the next wing of ICC being released just under a month from now, and speculation is that release will be sped up after that. However, what is most notable about gating in this final instance of WotLK is that progression isn’t the only thing that’s gated—t10 is being gated as well. Whereas in t9, the first level of gear could be skipped by raiders in 25-man content, in ICC raiders will be required to purchase this first tier, whether they will use it or not, so that they can upgrade it to subsequent levels. So what does this mean to you?

First and foremost, it means that you won’t be able to avoid spending a minimum of 310 Emblems of Frost for your next set of awesome (345 emblems for a set including the 3 most costly items, and 405 if you want to go for your 5-piece.) Yes, you heard correct. There are no coupons or discounts this time around; every raider with bad VoA luck will have to shell out at least 310 Emblems for a 4 piece of the lowest rung of t10. That seems slightly daunting even to someone like me who lives to raid.

So how long is it going to take me to amass the 405 emblems I’ll need to have 5 set pieces to play around with? Assuming that gating is proportional to the number of bosses in the wing (1 boss = 1 week), this means that we have 11 more weeks (12 weeks total since the ICC gates opened), before we clash with the Lich. Also assuming that our guild clears ICC25 and ICC10 every week possible, that we do the weekly raid, and that I complete 5 daily dungeons every week—I’ll have a complete set of t10 at the start of February, just two weeks before I go up against the guy who’s been taunting me all xpac. (Oof.)


*Possible* Emblem of Frost Collection Timeline

*Possible* Emblem of Frost Collection Timeline


Resto Shamans Beware!

Like anyone who has a fondness for schmancy set pieces, I personally can’t wait to be draped in Frost Witch garb, complete with talbuk animation. But as I set about planning what my gear list will look like in ICC I stumbled upon something that gave me pause—t10 (ilvl 251) will be a partial downgrade! It’s quite logical really, given that it’s a lower ilvl than current heroic ToGC gear, but it was a startling revelation nonetheless. Even if I diligently work my way towards my new set, it might have to sit unused until I can upgrade to the ilvl264 pieces.

Even more worthy of consideration and planning is that when I do make the switch to t10, some of my stats are going to shift significantly. The chart below shows the comparison of cumulative stat benefits from t9 and t10.


T9 and T10 Set Stat Comparison

T9 and T10 Set Stat Comparison


Of particular note, assuming a move from T9 at ilvl245 or below, upgrading to t10 results in:

  • a nominal amount of stam and int (no surprise here),
  • a hefty amount of spellpower (an indication of things to come?),
  • a massive amount of crit (180 going from t9.25 to t10.0, holy heck),
  • a slight bit of haste (looks like I should stock up on yellow gems cause it looks like haste socketing isn’t going to go away), and
  • a huge decrease in mp5, to the tune of a 50% reduction!

That last point is something that worries me, because like most shamans in ToGC, I switched out a number of mp5 pieces with crit/haste ones to garner some extra stat boosts. And, with fights in ICC looking to be more about endurance (multi-phased encounters seem to be Blizz’s modis operandi this time in) I’m glad that I picked up double Solaces and hung onto my mp5 gear—I think I’m going to need it!

So, in sum, it looks like diligence and a little bit of re-itemization are the name of the game in this final Northrend hurrah. With the sheer amount of badge items that I’m looking to buy (craftables, tier, offset pieces) it appears I’ll be spending a lot of time raiding in the months to come, and truthfully, that sounds just like my slice of heaven.


  1. You really gonna go for a 4 piece resto set bonus?

    It doesn’t seem that great to me; maybe I lack imagination? Add on top of that there are a few pieces in there with no haste, and some really good alternative pieces from emblems of frost or from easy drops in ICC, I was really only planning on picking up the 2 piece set bonus, and then going for the totem and maybe the cloak.
    .-= Zigi´s last blog ..Patch 3.3 after 1 week =-.

  2. I spent some DKP on a T10 token on my first raid. Was surprisingly cheap, I guess people don’t like to spend DKP on stuff they can’t wear instantly. I’m still wearing elemental 232 T9 shoulders, so 264 T10 shoulders will be a decent upgrade. I just want those shoulders.

    Normally I’d do a list to see which Emblem rewards would be the biggest upgrade, not this time. First shoulders. Then math.
    .-= drug´s last blog ..UI Upload – No Support =-.

  3. Elerthea

    I think your comment with regards to needing more emblems to purchase tier gear seems to be directed at folks who were able to clear togc25 and gain access to t9.5 gear. IMO the new method of upgrading tier gear to the rest of us average folks would actually mean less emblems required esp for upgrades from t10 to t10.25 versus in t9 where you had to spend emblems for t9 and if you wanted t9.25 u actually had to spend emblems again together with the trophy. I thought it was more wasteful in that scenario.

  4. I guess you are very pesimistic about the emblem income / spending. The cost of the tier is upped by 15/20 badges per piece, but there is as well more badges flying around in general than it was with TotC – and you forgot VoA badges in the math. I really don’t believe there will be any real issue with badges.

    From my standpoint as 10M strict raider – this system works a lot better than the TotC one. Because, equiping myself in T9, then do TotGC for the tokens AND grinding more badges again with already halved badge income was terrible thing. Now I do the tedious grind with halved income, but then it’s just the token.

    As for the Tier9 vs Tier10 itemization – I am still working my way through items that I can get in strict 10M content and the mp5 missing on Tier seems to be found relatively easy in offset pieces. I feel really bad about my mana pool at the moment, seeing how hard it is to oom for me. So even if that gets “nerfed” a bit, it may just bring some nice challenge (and hopefully not cripple us).

    I wonder how the rest of the gating will be paced, as Blizzard claimed to do it this long with first part only due to Christmas.

  5. I couldn’t agree more with you Drug–no matter the stats, I want those shoulders. ^_^

    Regarding the upcoming purchase for t10, yes, I absolutely come from the perspective of 25-man content (since that’s what I spend the majority of my time doing.) But I do think the concerns above apply to a larger swath of raiders. No matter the tier you’re working with currently, there are a number of badge items, tier and offset, to spend tokens on. With tier being more expensive this time around, this generally will result in slower overall acquisition, so prioritizing becomes more important. Secondly, there is a notable stat shift from t9 to t10, again, no matter the tier you’re coming from. (Although we have cleared ToGC25, I’m personally not wearing any 258 tier, so the first level of t10 still constitutes an upgrade for me.) While I think the shift will be good for single-target healing, I worry over its impact on longevity and CH throughput (given its lack of haste and mp5.) As Zigi points out, there are a number of supplementary pieces to consider, so it’s entirely possible I’m turning into Chicken Little in this situation!

    From the perspective of a 10-man raider like Rahana, I can definitely see how this system improves things. 25-man raiders did get a free bump in ToC, leaping over the first level of t9 to start into 245 pieces, so my take on this likely contains a slight bit of QQ. However I absolutely agree that staging the process so that you only have to expend badges once has a decided benefit and doesn’t penalize those players who don’t have the token flow to rely on.

    As for going for 4-piece, I generally assume for budgeting purposes that I will want to acquire 4 or more pieces of the tier. (In ToC I actually bought 5 tier9 resto pieces + 2 elemental, just to have the stats to play with for various fights.) Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re going to get a final and decisive yay or nay on the viability of the 4piece bonus until we start getting raiders into the tier. We already have a similar heal in Earthliving, which in my last ToC clocked in a whopping 75% overheal, so it remains to be seen if the stats you gain/lose are worth the additional healing. I’ll likely be spending my weekend churning through the stats on gear to see what sort of haste/crit/sp gains can be realized with what configurations.

    I personally love the debate and uncertainty which comes at the release of a new patch, so I’m very much like a kid in a candy store right now!

  6. Just from running the numbers, it was 41 emblems the first week (6 from the 1-time quests in the new 5 mans), 35 emblems per week thereafter until VoA (I make sure to do the daily everyday, even if that’s the only thing I login for).

    The 4pc bonus just doesn’t look that sexy to me, and unless they’re releasing some absolutely gorgeous gear that hasn’t been datamined, it looks like the crafted cloth legs and badge/offset gloves will be better than T10.277. I’ll probably wind up with the gloves to complete the 4pc bonus for fights where the additional HoT is effective, but I don’t see running with them in my standard gearset.
    .-= Jaede´s last blog ..Emblems of Frost =-.

  7. […] druids at Strayegg.  This guy loves flowcharts, browse while you’re there!  Shamans–T10: Spending those emblems, good comments too.  And it has nothing do with gear lists, but mages, stop stacking crit […]

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