With all of this rather excellent gear becoming available in 4.2 the question then becomes how do you break up your set bonuses and when do you do so?
I believe, in a perfect world, the easiest situation to consider is the four piece Tier 12 set bonus situation. More than likely the obvious choice for Off-Set piece is the “Hands” slot given that it has no spirit on it. The two fairly suitable options are: Cindersilk Gloves (Beth’tilac) or Heavenly Gloves of the Moon (Leatherworking).
The trickier question then becomes what to do until then? The two piece set bonus from Tier 12 looks amazing and appears to compete well with the T11 four piece bonus as far as pushing for a changeover. If you’re using 359 Tier 11 I think the raw stats alone coupled with the math I’m going to show below will convince you to drop two pieces for tier 12 but if you’re using 372 it might not be quite as evident.
Not factoring in secondary stats the average jump from T11(372) to T12(378) for two pieces only is roughly 45 intellect (52.7 raid buffed) and 40 spirit
The portion of our regen from spirit is what we’ll be looking at, here are the two scenarios based on a starting raid buffed intellect of 6100 and spirit of 2400
The delta mana regen is: 587.68 or 293.84 mp/5
Edit: Someone brought it to my attention that I had read the set bonus QUITE wrong so additional math is required.
T12 set bonus would grant the following per tick (1%): 186 mana
To get an equivalent mana return from the T11 four piece bonus, the proc rate on the T12 bonus would need to be: 1.6 procs every 5 seconds
Right now at our raiding haste level you will average a tick of lifebloom every .83 seconds outside of nature’s grace ( in theory 75% of the time) and every .714 seconds during nature’s grace (~25% of the time). This averages out to roughly .8 seconds between ticks of lifebloom. Assuming, given the very low return value, that this set bonus has zero ICD, the following is what it should come out to. In a 5 second window you will average 6.25 ticks of lifebloom. Should 40% of those ticks proc the mana return you should see roughly 2.5 procs per 5 seconds or approximately 465 mp/5. Should there be a 1 second ICD your return should be at the least 1.5 procs per 5 seconds or 279 mp/5. I’d love to get some feedback from people who have picked up the set bonus or possibly some logs showing its return.
I’m pretty confidant that you can go ahead and pick up two of your T12 items and put them on. I wouldn’t suggest breaking the set for only one piece at this time. My thought is jump up to the two piece set bonus and then start filling in your other slots with off-spec or set pieces as they come. I made this mistake last night by passing on a pair of undertow shoulders that I had NO business passing on and I’m in the middle of trying to get them back but I don’t know if that’ll happen. Currently my shoulder slot is offspec though I plan for it not to be eventually. Don’t make the same mistake I did and turn down an offspec piece even if it will be replaced.