Gearing for two Feral specs is not as easy as it may first sound. Through most of BC (by which I mean Tier 7) I collected separate gear sets even though I didn't have separate specs to support both until after 3.0 dropped. It made sense, right?
When Wrath dropped, I had one common piece of gear between the two sets. As I progressed through Wrath and started running dungeons and early heroics, I got my sets whittled down to the point where I only had about 3 or 4 unique pieces between them (from the obvious contenders: cloak, amulet, trinkets and rings). This was, of course, at the point in time where I was running around in mostly greens and blues with no gem slots. And I wasn't too concerned about enchanting them, either, because I knew they were all going to get replaced at a fairly quick pace.
Fast forward to now. I'm back to having 3 common pieces of gear between the two sets: Darkmoon Card: Greatness, Idol of the Crying Moon, and the Shaft of Glacial Ice. This last is because I just picked it up this past week and it's a pretty big upgrade to both weapons I used to carry around. I have it gemmed and enchanted for Bear, though.
Now the reason for the huge differences in sets is that even though Bears and Cats pull from the same pool of gear, their stat priorities are very different. I need much more Stam on my Bear than I do on my Cat. Same with Armor. My Cat cares more about AP, ArPen and Crit than my Bear. Agi is important to both, but in different ratios.
My Cat gems for the Hit cap, then the Expertise cap, then straight Agi. My bear gems Stam and Agi (using almost entirely Shifting Dreadstones), then the two caps if I feel I have the room to spare. And, of course, meta gems are very different for the two specs.
Enchants vary on almost every piece of gear if I'm going for the optimal setup. Bear weapons need Mongoose, Cats get Berserking or Massacre. There's different shoulder, different leg, and different head enchants. Same with just about every piece of gear...save two.
As I was doing some calculations this past weekend, I realized one important fact that I'd overlooked for the past two years: the enchants used on my gloves and my chest are the same regardless of set. Gloves and Chest are also pieces that are included in tier sets. So, if done right, those pieces can always be shared.
The premise is this: since Agi is important for both Bears and Cats, fill the gem slots on chest and gloves with Delicate Cardinal Rubies. For every gem slot filled this way, replace one of the Shifting Dreadstones on my Bear set with a Solid Majestic Zircon to keep the Stam/Agi balance constant. Use other pieces of gear on the Cat set to hit the Hit and Expertise caps when necessary.
After this lightbulb went off in my head, I took stock of my current gemming. To make this work for me (once I get my tier gloves) I'll need to cut 10 new gems. Gonna be expensive. I'm already saving up the honor to buy them all. (Thank you WG weeklies!)
But now I know, and in the future I'll be able to plan around this. (Depending on what Cata brings, of course.)
The more you know, right?
The Mythic Roadblock
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