Hunterology – Chestgear, a.k.a Straight Through The Heart

February 16, 2008 at 4:14 pm (Dee Pee Ess, Hunterology, Marksmanship, Survival)

In respect to the lengthy title, my zealotry for 80’s metal knows few bounds.

You remember my last article on headgear, yes?

You remember how one helmet, the Gladiator’s Pursuit, emerged as the clear winner, yes?

Well, those days are over, my friend. Welcome to what Survival is really about.

An ongoing battle of wits.

(My only advice, as a Survival Hunter, is to avoid land wars in Kalimdor, and never bet with Goblins when death is on the line.)

So, let’s look at the possibilities for pre-Kara gearing, shall we?

Gladiator’s Chain Armor

27 Agility, 3 sockets, a little Intellect, a TON of Stamina, and + Crit. A solid choice. You benefit from everything that goes with picking PVP gear, but the Crit also adds a nice boost for your damage in lieu of having a gratuitous amount of Agility.

Breastplate of Rapid Striking.

40 Agility, 20 Intellect, twice the AP of the Gladiator’s Chain Armor, and 20 hit. Usually goes for around 150 on the AH. No sockets, though, which earns a demerit. Otherwise, it’s an amazing piece of gear, especially if you need +hit and AP. However, it’s not the BEST choice.

Laughing Skull Battle Harness.

28 Agility, 29 Stamina, 20 Intellect, 40 AP, 3 sockets. Overall, if you get it, be happy. It’s a cool piece of gear, looks fine, and will serve you well. You can max out at 52 Agility, but you’ll give up the possible +2 MP/5 bonus.

Warden’s Hauberk.

WHAT THE?!? 39 Agility and 30 Stamina!? Yes, it’s clearly feral and rogue gear, but you can get this by being Honored with Cenarion Expedition, starting at Level 62, and with 3 +8 Agility gems in there, you’re looking at around 63 agility from one piece of armor alone.

It’s not quite the balance of stats you get from Level 70 gear, but it’ll hold you over with a solid amount of Agility on the cheap until you get some of the truly amazing Survival gear later in the game.

You also get +4 hit from socketing it with Agility gems. 😛

Felstalker Breastplate.

26 Agility, not too bad. 3 sockets, also not bad. 26 intellect, great deal. 52 AP, awesome. 20 hit with the other two pieces? GREAT.

The options for bracers pre-Kara are sparse; The Felstalker Bracers are probably the best gear you’ll get, easily, outside of the PVP bracers, which is why I’m not bothering to touch Bracers in terms of Survival Gearing. It’s either Felstalker, getting some Badges, or PVP Bracers; no choices.

The belt also kicks ass, and comes highly recommended, so don’t feel like you’re missing out on gear options because you pursue a set bonus.

Ebon Netherscale.

Yes, you could go for this. The bonuses are amazing. But it has NO STARTING AGILITY.

I don’t ever want to see a Survival Hunter wearing anything Ebon Netherscale. It’s Marksmanship armor. If you’re Survival and wearing it, you’ve betrayed your family, and thus broken my heart.

(On a side note, you don’t want the Kiss of Death from a Tauren.)

So, here’s the ranking, with labels :

1, Overall King of the HillGladiator’s Chain Armor

In terms of overall stat spread and + Crit, PVP gear’s still king. BUT, if you need +hit, or could spring for a little more Agility, you might want to sacrifice the + crit and go for some of the other choices.

1, 2 – Kings of Plus Hit. Felstalker Breastplate, Breastplate of Rapid Striking.

If you pick up all three pieces of Felstalker gear, and you’re a Leatherworker, you get a +20 hit bonus and some fairly solid +Agi and AP gear.

This is the path I’m going, as I also need points to get to 375 leatherworking. The BORS (in honor of the brave knight who got pwned by the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog) is an excellent choice if you’re going with PVP gear and need a little +hit in your life with more space to spare. You don’t get 3 sockets, but hey, who cares? You can hit stuff good.

1 – Pure Agility Awesomeness. Warden’s Hauberk.

Honestly, if you want to get balls-to-the-wall agility pre-Kara, you need this baby. Even with +6 agility gems, that’s still 57 agility. For more agility than you can shake a very large stick at, grab this, drop some +8’s in those sockets, and procure yourself a Major Agility-enchanted Terokk’s Quill. That’s 147 agility before you get a +6 to all stats enchantment to the chest.


Last – Hooray Creepy Lookin’ Mail Armor!. Laughing Skull Battle Harness.

Really, the only advantage it has over any of these others is that… well, it costs less. It has a better spread of stats than some of the other contenders, but if you already have Arena gear, you aren’t terribly concerned with Stamina, and as a Survival hunter, Intellect is important, but of secondary importance to damage-dealing stats. Hell, you can get 17 Intellect from the Gladiator’s Chain Armor, and way more +crit, which, in this case, makes the choice a no-brainer.


Also, you’ll have to gem carefully to get a +2 mp5 bonus. That’s good, but you want the chestpiece to be the piece de resistance in your arsenal, and if you wanted mp5, just shell out for this lovely piece of Shaman gear and leave your Survival Hunters Anonymous Membership Card at the door.

(sorry, dues are non-refundable, but feel free to grab a donut on your way out)

That’s all for now.

Happy Hunting!




  1. Pike said,

    So if I wear one of these chest pieces and get shot through the heart, will you be to blame? 😉

  2. survivalhuntersanonymous said,

    What can I say? I give Hunting a bad name.

  3. Vixenytli & Chuck said,


    “you keep using dat word, I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Btw- reading your site has inspired me to try SV as my offspec. (it would take a lot to make me drop BM as my main. I love Chuck too much.) but it’s is A W E some. I went into Black Morass last night to finish getting Kara-keyed and my traps lasted forever and never got resisted. and Disengage (i think?) is awesome! 25% more dodge for 10 seconds saves my life with rogues or warriors in PVP. I’m like it. thanks!

    oh- and Chuck wants me to say hi to Joan for him.
    /blow kiss

  4. Nomakk said,

    Nice blog, informative and a nice Survival haven 🙂

    I wore my Laughing SKull Battle Harness for a loooooooong time. Likely because of how well I gemmed it, but man, that thing was on my much longer than it should have been 🙂 I do enjoy the felstalker set (though I never used it) especially for non-survival hunters in need of the +hit.

    Good stuff, it’ll be interesting to see the higher level item comparisons on day! Vengeful vs. BT item X 🙂 Happy travels!

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