As I promised before, with the new patch out, I'm going to detail the new BoJ rewards and compare them to the previous ones of the same slot.
First up is the easiest one, IMO: Feet.
New Badge item:
Blue's Greaves of the Righteous Guardian: Plate Feet, 1212 Armor, 58 STA, 34 Shield Block Rating, 23 Spell Hit Rating, 26 Spell Damage, Red Socket, 3 STA Socket Bonus
This is compared to the previous choice of:
Sabatons of the Righteous Defender: Plate Feet, 1105 Armor, 45 STA, 18 Defense Rating, 18 Spell Hit Rating, 30 Shield Block Value, 23 Spell Damage, Red/Blue Sockets, 4 STA Socket Bonus
Opinion: The new Blue's Greaves are almost a total upgrade compared to the Sabatons. They have more armor, base stamina, a socket that can be socketed either for +9 or +12 STA (assuming you only use blue quality gems), more spell hit rating, and a ton of crush avoidance (though only through Shield Block Rating). One of the reasons I hadn't upgraded from my Boots of Elusion to the Sabatons is due to how much crush avoidance I'd lose. But with how much Shield Block Rating the Greaves have (over 4% at 70) this makes this a non-issue and actually gives me more crush avoidance so I can shed some of my other gear elsewhere. Maybe get some more Expertise Rating. The only situation where the Sabatons are better than the Greaves is when you are treading water on Defense Rating and picking up the Greaves would drop you under 490.
Next up is Waist:
New Badge item:
Girdle of the Fearless: Plate Waist, 904 Armor, 58 STA, 34 Defense Rating, 23 Hit Rating, 22 Expertise Rating, Red Socket, 3 STA Socket Bonus
This is compared to the two previous options of:
Girdle of the Protector: Plate Waist, 904 Armor, 40 STA, 11 Defense Rating, 27 Dodge Rating, 18 Spell Hit Rating, 23 Spell Damage Yellow/Blue Sockets, 4 STA Socket Bonus
Iron-Tusk Girdle: Plate Waist, 904 Armor, 45 STA, 21 Defense Rating, 33 Dodge Rating, Yellow/Blue Sockets, 3 Dodge Rating Socket Bonus
Opinion: This one is a no-brainer. While overall you lose out on avoidance, the Girdle of the Fearless has Expertise. Expertise is (IMO) the best of the non-necessary stats. Even with how much I rant and rave about Spell Hit, I would drop every point of Spell Hit I have for more Expertise. Plus the Girdle of the Fearless has some benefits beyond just Expertise. It has more Stamina, even after gemming up, and the regular Hit Rating will allow for less Avenger's Shield and Righteous Defense misses.
As for the Leg slot, we have two options at our disposal:
Inscribed Legplates of the Aldor: Plate Legs, 1406 Armor, 78 STA, 25 Defense Rating, 43 Dodge Rating, 37 Spell Damage, Red/Yellow Sockets, 4 STA Socket Bonus
Sunguard Legplates: Plate Legs, 1406 Armor, 78 STA, 43 Defense Rating, 35 Dodge Rating, 23 Expertise Rating, Red/Blue Sockets, 3 Dodge Rating Socket Bonus
Compared to the old:
Unwavering Legguards: Plate Legs, 1406 Armor, 73 STA, 22 Defense Rating, 30 Shield Block Rating, 59 Shield Block Value, Red/Yellow/Blue Socket, 6 STA Socket Bonus
Opinion: While the Unwavering Leggauards have more crush avoidance than any other single piece of armor, if you've already reached crush avoidance they lose some of their luster (but still have value since you can use their high crush avoidance to replace other slots). But when compared to the Sunguard Legplates, they just pale in comparison, due to the high STA, good avoidance and of course Expertise. In fact, I would say that the Sunguard Legplates are currently the second best tanking legs in the game (including compared to T6). The only ones that top them are the ridiculous awesomeness that are the Felstrength Legplates (drop from Brutalis in Sunwell Plateau).
Finally is the hardest part to decide on... the Chest slot:
Shattrath Protectorate Breastplate: Plate Chest, 1765 Armor, 78 STA, 26 Defense Rating, 34 Spell Hit Rating, 60 Spell Damage, Blue Socket, 2 Dodge Rating Socket Bonus
Chestplate of Stoicism: Plate Chest, 1765 Armor, 78 STA, 51 Defense Rating, 34 Dodge Rating, 39 Shield Block Value, Red Socket, 3 STA Socket Bonus
These are compared to the:
Chestguard of the Stoic Guardian: Plate Chest, 1607 Armor, 60 STA, 22 Defense Rating, 38 Dodge Rating, 35 Spell Damage, Red/Yellow/Blue Sockets, 6 STA Socket bonus
Opinion: This one is a lot more complex than it looks. With only a quick glance it looks like the Shattrath Protectorate Breastplate is much better (it does have a very nice amount of Spell Damage and Spell Hit Rating). It's quite easy to overlook the benefits of the Chestplate of Stoicism. Look at the numbers on the Chestplate: 51 Defense Rating and 34 Dodge Rating. Combined that's over 4.3% straight avoidance. There are few pieces that beat that much avoidance.
So which is better? Honestly, I'd say the Chestplate is since that much avoidance will allow us to aim for other gear more easily. But that doesn't mean that the Shattrath Protectorate Breastplate is worthless. It's tied with the Heroic Judicator's Chestguard (a drop from Sunwell Plateau) for the most spell damage on a single piece of Plate armor. After you pick up all the other pieces, getting the Shattrath Protectorate Breastplate would be a good move for a 5-man/heroic or threat building set.
Though on one final note for the chest pieces, the Chestguard of the Stoic Guardian is a happy balance between the two. If you find yourself needing more spell damage, but don't want to give up a lot of avoidance to get it (like you would with the Shattrath Protectorate Breastplate), the Chestguard is a viable option.
Also all the additional avoidance and Defense Rating that these pieces will give will allow easier access to other slots, such as the Broach of Deftness, and the Shapeshifter's Signet, both of which are nice and tasty sources of Expertise but are sorely lacking in the "normal" tanking stats.
Anyway, enjoy the list.
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