Sunday, February 23, 2014

Proving Grounds DPS Boomkin Best-in-slot gear

This is a list of the best-in-slot gear for boomkin in the Proving Grounds. With most of this list of gear, I was recently able to complete my Endless Wave 30 achievement. Given the poor state of boomkin at scaled-down 463 iLevel, I was surprised at how easy it was with the proper gear. I didn't do it all in one-go, I practiced while I was getting this gear, but I'd say had I started fresh with this gear it would have taken my two afternoons. Below the list are the principles I used in choosing this gear:

Head: Thok Cover of the Shattered Vale
Neck: Suen Passionfire Choker
Should: Blackfuse Shoulderwraps of the Shattered Vale
Back: Quest Xing-Ho, Breath
Chest: Paragons Amber Parasite Wraps (spirit)
Dark Animus Robes of the Haunted Forest (blue gem)
Bracer: Timeless Fire-chanter Bindings (haste/crit)
Malkorok Bracers of Averted Fatality
Hands: Celestials Gloves of the Shattered Vale
Belt: Crafted Pennyroyal Belt
Legs: Crafted Pennyroyal Leggings (gem upgrade)
Ji-Kun Leggings of the Haunted Forest
Feet: Crafted Spirit Keeper Footguards
Ring: Iron Jug Laser Slice Signet (spirit)
Durumu Durumu's Captive Eyeball (spirit)
Weapon: Garrosh Hellscream's Warmace
Lei Shen Torall
off-ha: Iron Jug Juggernaut's Power Core
Lei Shen Lei Shen's Orb of Command
Trink: Vendor Shock Charger Medallion
Vendor Blossom of Pure Snow

1) In terms of talents, I went Dream of Cenarius and Force of Nature. Being able to use Dream of Cenarius on every round makes it hands-down the best of the level 90 talent choices. I found Force of Nature irreplacable both for controlling the Banana-Tossers and for giving a small, but reliable dps boost wherever I needed it in almost every round. I even tied my trinkets into FoN so that I had a one-stop button for a damage boost.

2) I went for just over 12% hit. That's enough to be hit-capped for all the mobs except the two sha and the large guardians. I was willing to take a bit of RNG especially on Wave 5 and 10 in return for more dps everywhere else, figuring I'd need a bit of luck to be getting 30 Endless anyway.

3) I valued Haste over Crit and went for the 6637 breakpoint (that's right, not 5283) which gave me nine ticks of my dots when NOT under the effects of Nature's Grace. This is a really important point. My general strategy was to stay in a single eclipse for every wave except 5, 6, and 10 (and of course in 10 the first eclipse is practically useless). That meant in most rounds I would have somewhere around 15 seconds in Nature's Grace and 40 seconds outside it if my eclipses started exactly at the beginning of a round. It didn't make sense for me to aim for a haste breakpoint that would only apply about 30% of the time.

4) It is highly desirable that spirit not come from gem slots or gem bonuses. The math and logic on this gets hairy, but essentially it's a consequence of the fact that stats on gems don't scale, but stats on gear do scale, except for spirit/hit. Because Blizzard wanted there to be a single number you need for the hit cap inside AND outside of challenge modes, spirit/hit doesn't scale no matter the source. That means that you only want stats that normally scale in your gem slots, which means no spirit in gem slots, which means no blue gem slots. Each blue gem slot costs you ~0.5% in damage from my primitive calculations.

5) REALLY IMPORTANT. Because of the oddities with how spirit/hit are handled, it is mandatory that you reforge out of them whenever they occur on gear and never reforge into them. Failure to do this decreases damage by about 0.5% per piece.

6) In my modeling, haste and crit were much more desirable than mastery for a multi-dot fight like this. I chose to avoid mastery as much as possible.

7) I chose on-use trinkets with cooldowns of one minute so I could control when I used them and I could use them virtually every round.

8) Because of the way stats don't scale on gems, the number of gem slots was really important in picking the best gear. It isn't always the deciding factor, but it usually is.

9) There are many pieces of gear that are almost as good as the ones listed, especially if you'd rather have, say, a couple blue gem slots, then spend week after week farming for that last perfect piece. This is especially true of the bracers where there really is just one crit/haste bracer that is really, really hard to find but a whole bunch that have either crit or haste (but not both) on them. I've occasionally listed two pieces where the two are either equivalent or the first is slightly superior but difficult/expensive to obtain. I myself didn't have all the items on this list (in particular I gave up on Hellscream's Warmace due to the low drop rate) when I got my Endless 30. This was just a list I kept around of pieces I needed and where they came from so I knew what bosses to do and when to spend bonus rolls. It is a guide, not an ironclad list of requirements.

10) Have fun!