A few months have passed since the controversial key changes and the new dungeon chest rewards that came with it. So it’s time to look at the viability of the introduced items. Do they fill a purpose? Which are viable, which are useless? Let’s weight in!
Unfortunately some items are crap and should be donated to the salvage anvil immediately unless you really do not have any epic replacement on one of your characters.
- Draconic Guises: I do not like them at all. Aimed at true min-maxers, their viability is limited and your random alt will feel the lack of Hit Points on the gear.
- Bloodstained Shirt: The Bloodstained Shirt is nice if you need an infusion of Life Steal, but the power buff is inexistent in an environment where players mostly operate at full health. Most current Shirts should serve players better.
- Brynnyr’s Demise: The buff of Brynnyr’s Demise is weird. Builds that aim for max power normally will get Defense from the item and vice versa. I fail to see a niche unless you’re really looking to get more Defense on an otherwise offensive build.
There are quite some items that are viable for alternate characters and even mains that do not have access to (Vivified) Relic gear yet.
- Bloodlord’s Visage: The combination of Critical Strike, Life Steal and Power makes this a very viable item for DPS classes. If you need Power as main stat on your head, you need need to weight the utility buff against a constant increase. 11-12 stacks should outperform other gear.
- Dragon Loyalist’s Visage: There are limited reports of what the bonus companion effect actually is and it mostly seems to be a little bonus Hit Points. Conclusion: If you happen to own an Draconic type companion, great, but do not switch to one for this armor. Same applies to the Zulkir’s Dreadnought. Both items however have alt viability and the Dreadnought is one of limited endgame items with Life Steal on it.
- Lifesilk Spinneret: The Lifesilk is not flashy by any means, but a very solid armor for those that still wear item level 130-135 gear from Underdark. Plus it’s very easy to get as all you need are epic dungeons chests from Temple of the Spider.
- Picaroon’s Tricorne: Same applies to the Tricorne, which might also be able to offset the damage done by the Cambist’s Gauntlets a bit. Farming ECC is not as easy as ETOS though and you might have more trouble finding a group.
These items are not must-haves, but have useful situational use for some builds.
- Black Ice Treads: The speed increase from the Black Ice Treads can come in handy when farming Voninblod and Masterwork nodes. If used correctly you also do not need to farm Icewind Dale continuously, because you should not actually be in combat while doing the activities. The Treads however might still to be bugged.
- Huntmaster’s Cloak: Not much to complain here. The main benefit is the XP bonus for your 61-70 grind. Not sure the time you spent in the skirmish really offsets what you save leveling up, but if you happen to own one it can’t hurt to pass it to a character you want to bring up.
Looking to max a specific stat? These items might help you!
- Jarl’s Gaze: Jarl’s Gaze has the best, or most unique, visual from all the items and additionally adds considerably more power than comparable item levels. AC Clerics that are looking for most buffs should take a look here, especially in Storm Kings Thunder content.
- Survivor’s Wraps: As mentioned in relation to Draconic Guises I don’t really like armor without Hit Points. The Wraps however offer more than twice as much Power than comparable item levels, which makes it a great item for buff Clerics for example. The bleed is annoying, but not major.
- Deepknight’s Brigandine: The Deepknight’s Brigandine and DPS counterpart Psion’s Shroud is a great item. The only two defensive stats that pretty much matter are Defense and Hit Points. And since you can reach the cap with Bonding Runestones on endgame characters, this is the perfect complement! Defensive tanks and builds should take a very close look here! Also a few PVPers are looking into the item and seem to favor it over the extra Tenacity.
- Historian’s Regalia: At item level 160, this is a great item you can supply to DPS alts. It also makes the Voninblod grind even more convenient. With the Regalia, one piece of Frostborn gear and the Black Ice Treads for the speed bonus, you should be able to get your weekly Voninbod needs in no time. The one drawback is that it drops from normal Svardborg, which really offers little other benefits. I personally farm the normal version with Arcane Brotherhood keys from alts. These fill up quite naturally while doing dailies.
- Energon: The pet adds 5% Hit Points as active bonus and is a great addition for tanks and other defensive builds.
To be tested…
The last word on the following items is not out yet and depends on further testing.
- Cambist’s Gauntlets: I do not own these and couldn’t dig up information how much damage they actually add. But players report they lose up to two gold per skirmish, which has the potential to empty your stash over time. Do they still proc even without the player actually having Gold? Lots of questions to be answered, but if you need Crit and Armor Penetration, these are probably worth looking into.
- The Blackthorn: It’s a nice item for tanks or tanky builds that do not have access to Vivified Relic gear yet. Additionally the reflect damage is uncapped, which is already causing some issues in PVP. In PVE, it would be an interesting experiment to run five GFs with Knight’s Valor that all wear this head piece. Not sure the game’s engine would survive this, and I’m also not sure whether it really would result in a massive damage reflection loop. But it’s something for the theorycrafters to test.
Overall the fold of added items with the key changes is nice. Not over-the-top great, you earn very viable gear for alternate characters, and even some stuff four your mains. There are limited items however that truly warrant farming for them. I hope this list helped you to determine what’s worth gunning for!
What’s your opinion on the gear? Do you just take what you get along the way or go for specific stuff? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.
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