October 13, 2007

Is Tailoring Dead?

Since the release of the Burning Crusade, tailoring has widely been considered the most overpowered profession, enough so that many hardcore raiding guilds have required their casters to be tailors. Mages, warlocks and spooky priests with 375 tailoring skill can enjoy the benefits of the Spellfire or Shadoweave sets, which for PvE raiding may be wearable from pre-Karazhan up until Tier 5 or Tier 6. Part of this has been due to some poor itemization on Blizzard's part on the tier pieces (a subject familiar to any shadow priest who's ever looked sadly at the spell crit on her T4 gloves), which has helped reinforce the need for an item to be really good in order for it to be worth breaking the tailoring set bonus.

With the advent of Patch 2.3, however, tailoring's pedestal is starting to look a little shaky. Some of the new gear purchasable with badges of justice is on par with loot from the Black Temple, and at least two pieces of dps cloth overlap with Spellfire and Shadoweave. Could tailors just starting Magtheridon or SSC soon be looking at breaking their sets? Let's run some numbers.

The Spellfire set consists of a robe, gloves, and belt, all with arcane and fire damage, while Shadoweave boasts frost and shadow damage in the form of a robe, gloves, and boots. For the sake of this example, let's look at just these four slots: chest, hands, waist, and feet. If we want to compare the two sets, we can pick out some decent drops a dps caster just starting SSC might have by patch 2.3. I've chosen the Boots of Blasting, a BoP crafted item from Serpentshrine trash that my mage happens to be wearing, and the Voodoo-woven Belt, which can be purchased for 60 badges of justice after the patch.

Of course, if we want to look at replacing Spellfire or Shadoweave entirely, we need a chest and a set of gloves, too. I'm going to assume that our hypothetical dps caster has gotten his T4 chestpiece from Magtheridon, and that he's got the badges to pick up the awesome new Studious Wraps. Any of these chest/hands/waist/feet combinations will result in 6 sockets. Since we usually end up ignoring socket bonuses on our raiding gear, I'm going to go ahead and skip those in my math, along with the set bonuses on the tailoring for now, but we'll want to consider those carefully at the end.

What do the stats look like for each combination? The chart below compares all five options, with separate columns players wearing Spellfire + Boots of Blasting, Shadoweave + Voodoo-woven Belt, and (Studious Wraps, Voodoo-woven Belt, Boots of Blasting) + the mage, shadow priest, or warlock Tier 4 chestpiece.


So, is breaking your tailoring set worth it? The average tailor will lose about 50 points of damage by swapping in the pieces I've suggested. On the other hand, you can pick up quite a bit in the way of stats and hit. For a mage, I'd still have a hard time dropping 36 crit and 43 damage if I was already hit-capped, but if you're not quite there or struggling with low HP, 2.3 could be the time to take the plunge. And for those of you soldiering on without, it looks like this patch is going to make the difference between tailors and non-tailors a little less severe.

10 comments:

Michael said...

I'm just glad it's still useful. Since I'm not 70 yet (close to 66) and my guild doesn't raid 3 times a week, it's my ticket to some nice items I normally couldn't get.

Girl Meets WoW said...

Yeah, I don't expect any change to how incredibly overpowered tailoring is when just hitting 70. For mages, there's just nothing better than Spellfire + Spellstrike for quite a while.

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