Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Old Darkmoon Cards

The other day as I was randomly scanning AH in lack of better things to do, I noticed that someone had put up Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon for 250g. Definitely not worth the money, of course, but it got me interested in the old Darkmoon Cards. What do they do and are any of them still worth getting? Let's have a look.

Level 60
The simple but odd trinkets.
Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon - Caster
Equip: 2% chance on successful spellcast to allow 100% of your Mana regeneration to continue while casting for 15 sec.

This is a remnant from the Vanilla days when casters didn't have mana regeneration at all during combat. Trinkets like these were the only way, and I can only imagine that this was one of the best healing trinkets in the game, especially considering that getting any trinkets at all was pretty tricky. They didn't exactly hang from trees back then, as they do today. But how good is this today?

It seems to not have any inner cooldown, which means it benefits you more the more casts you can fit in to any given time frame. Casters like resto druids, shadow priests and affliction locks might see the most use of this item. Paladins and disc priests might see the least. Generally dpsers tend to have a lot less spirit than healers in endgame, but they usually use the same gear at lower levels. "Spellcast" also seems to mean basically any skill that isn't physical, much like how Clearcast can proc from just about anything, like herbing, switching specs or crafting. It does not however, proc from each tick of a hot or dot.

100% of your mana regeneration is a lot, but 2% is very little. How much you can gain from this trinket varies greatly with your class and gear so it's difficult to say some numbers, it's probably better to look at uptimes. You'll need 50 casts in average to get a proc. If you're dpsing you might have higher uptimes since you normally do more casts when dpsing than when healing. If we estimate one cast every two seconds while dpsing (average over all caster classes) you could hope to have one proc every 100 seconds or roughly every one and a half minute giving it an uptime of 15%.

At level 60 this actually is a decent trinket, and if you find it anywhere below 100g and don't happen to have any other trinkets that rock your world, I'd definitely recommend this one. In fact, some people are even arguing that this is a great starter trinket for healers in Cata (!), because it's usually rather cheap and it has relatively high mp5. Healers also stack a lot more spirit now than they did in Wrath.

Darkmoon Card: Heroism - Melee
Equip: Sometimes heals bearer of 120 to 180 damage when damaging an enemy in melee.

This trinket wasn't even that good back in Vanilla. Some loved it, some hated it. On the bright side, the procs do stack, don't seem to have an inner cooldown and they can crit. On the downside, 120-180 damage is a fixed number and for most people it's just not much enough to make a difference. This is even more true now that many classes that didn't have any way of healing themselves back in Vanilla, have become heals since then, like Recuperate and Victory Rush. The less hp you have and the more strikes you can get off in a time frame the better it will be. Druids with swipe can have it procs tens of times per minute, other see it proc a couple of times per fight.

It's not awful, but it's usefulness depends a lot on your situation. If you find it cheap and feel like surviving while questing is your biggest issue, it might be worth a shot (in which case you might also want Crusader enchants).

Darkmoon Card: Maelstrom - Melee
Equip: Chance to strike your melee target with lightning for 200 to 300 Nature damage.

As with the other trinkets, it doesn't seem to have an inner cooldown, so yet again this is heavily dependant on how often you strike something. It does work in shapeshift (as I assume Heroism does too, but haven't found confirmation). The proc rate seems to be around 2%, which is true of Blue Dragon and probably true of Heroism as well (Blizzard liked to make things even that way back then). just as with Heroism it can crit, it is affected by modifiers such as Stormstrike, but doesn't seem to be affected by spellpower.

On a level 60 character, this is actually a rather nice dps upgrade apparently. If you find it at AH at a reasonable price, you should get it as it could serve you well for many levels to come.

Darkmoon Card: Twisting Nether - Any (Pvp)
Equip: Gives the wearer a 10% chance of being able to resurrect with 20% health and mana.

This has always been considered mainly a pvp trinket, unless you're one of those who die a lot while questing and instancing. It is more of a fun trinket than a useful one, but it does actually work in Bgs and Arenas! I'd like to see the faces of the opposing team when the disc priest they just struggled to kill gets back. 20% mana and health isn't all that of course, and the stat loss is probably not outweighed by the few times you'll have use of this. Remember that eventhough it will resurrect you every tenth death (on average), that are nine deaths where it is absolutely useless. I'd only get it if found dead cheap on AH and your character lacks a trinket. On the other hand, as kingbread, commenter on Wowhead puts it;

"the only item like it. its always funny to pop back up and fireblast that cannibalizing UD rogue. and laugh in its face, cause the shock on a dead rogue's face is simply priceless"


Level 70
No healing trinkets here unfortunately.

Darkmoon Card: Crusade - Any dps
Equip: Each time you deal melee or ranged damage to an opponent, you gain 6 attack power for the next 10 sec., stacking up to 20 times.  Each time you land a harmful spell on an opponent, you gain 8 spell power for the next 10 sec., stacking up to 10 times.

It's fun to see how Blizzard started thinking about hunters when they designed the level 70 trinkets, as compared to the level 60 ones. Overall, level 70 (and Burning Crusade) is marked by the realization from Blizzard that they have to design their gear with less specific targets in mind. If they do gear that only works for one class, they have to put in the effort to design a completely nother gear for another class. If they make it so that some items work for anyone, they only have to design one item!

  • Crusade gives either 120 AP or 80 spellpower for 10 seconds. First of all, it's not really balanced across the classes. 80 spell power is way more than 120 AP.
  • On the other hand, this is basically a permanent buff as long as you're in combat and you keep on swinging/casting, since each new swing/spell will refresh the buff.
  • Any spell cast works apparently as long as it's harmful, ie no healing.
  • It's based of off landings rather than casts, which means channeled spells (like Arcane Missiles and Penance) will give multiple stacks.
  • Wanding will give the AP buff.
  • Aoe attacks will give multiple stacks, one for each target, which means you could get a full stack with a well timed aoe attack.
  • Some classes (paladins and shamans for example) that have attacks that count as both spells and melee will get both buffs, depending on what skills they use. This makes it especially valuable if you happen to use different dps specs, since the trinket works for both ele/enhancement or balance/feral.
  • Passive effects (such as armors doing damage) do not give procs.

Although players have way more spellpower when leveling through those levels nowadays than they did before Cataclysm, this is still a really good trinket for those levels.

Darkmoon Card: Madness - Any dps or quester
+51 Stamina
Equip: Each time you land a killing blow on an enemy that yields experience or honor, you gain the Power of Madness.

Along with Vengeance this is the first Darkmoon trinket to actually give some sort of stat bonus, a plain stamina so that it works for any class. It doesn't actually mean that it's mainly aimed at tanks, but just a buff for the equip. So what does the equip do? A whole lot of things actually, depending on what class you are;

  •     Delusional: +70 attack power (Rogue, Hunter, Paladin, Warrior, Druid, Shaman)
  •     Dementia: "Down the rabbit hole..." Every 5 seconds either gives you +5% or -5% damage/healing. (Druid, Shaman, Priest, Warlock, Mage, Paladin)
  •     Kleptomania: +35 agility ( Warrior, Rogue, Paladin, Hunter, Druid)
  •     Manic: +35 haste (spell, melee and ranged) (All classes except Hunter)
  •     Martyr Complex: +35 stamina (All classes)
  •     Megalomania: +41 damage/healing (Druid, Shaman, Priest, Warlock, Mage, Paladin)
  •     Narcissism: +35 intellect (Druid, Shaman, Priest, Warlock, Mage, Paladin, Hunter)
  •     Paranoia: +35 spell/melee/ranged crit strike rating (All classes except Hunter)
  •     Sociopath: +35 strength (Paladin, Rogue, Druid, Warrior)
  •     Extra: The player will occasionally exclaim "This is madness!" This is similar to the things said by NPCs in combat. It is not controllable.

Eventhough you'd have to look at which class you are to fully evaluate this trinkets usefulness, the buffs are actually all pretty well balanced among the classes, which means that the trinket is about equally good regardless of which class you are. We have to take into consideration that the buff is granted when you land a killing blow, which makes this best for grinding/questing, maybe also pvping if you happen to be one of those classes that get a lot of killing blows. As such it is also unfortunately rather useless for anyone aiming to be an instance healer, but so is pretty much everything else around this level. Unless you plan to level your way through a killing spree, I wouldn't recommend this trinket. If you find it cheaply you could get it just for the funs of having a trinket that procs random buffs, and to get your char to yell randomly.

Darkmoon Card: Vengeance - Tank/pvp
+51 Stamina
Equip: You have a 10% chance when hit by an attack or harmful spell to deal 95 to 115 holy damage to your attacker.

Now this would actually be considered a tank trinket if anything. I know back in BC you had some paladins get the shield from Sporeggar, a shield spike and this trinket and be able to kill off huge amount of mobs just by doing loads of mini-damage. As such this trinket (and that complete combo) probably works really well for any paladin or warrior who plans on leveling that way. For the rest of you this might be a decent pvp or questing trinket, and if you don't have anything else, why not?

Darkmoon Card: Wrath - Any dps
Equip: Each time one of your direct damage attacks does not critically strike, you gain 17 critical strike rating and 17 spell critical strike rating for the next 10 sec.  This effect is consumed when you deal a critical strike.

This trinket works rather differently for melee and casters. Melee will probably stack up faster since they usually get off more skills within a time frame. Also, this trinket is of course better the less crit you already have. Aranarth over at Wowhead.com has kindly provided us with some information;

"Base crit --> Average trinket gain

5% crit --> 5% (110 crit rate)
9% crit --> 4% (88 crit rate)
15% crit --> 3% (66 crit rate)
24% crit --> 2% (44 crit rate)
41% crit --> 1% (22 crit rate)

Based on 100 000 000 tries simulations, assuming you attack or cast a direct damage spell at least once every 10 sec."

This conversion list is rather rigid of course, but in short it means that this trinket becomes better the more you need crit and the less you have of it. At level 70 you might actually be rather badly geared out on crit, and this trinket could probably provide with a lot of extra needed dps. I definitely recommend it, especially if you're a class that relies heavily on certain crit procs. As another commenter, Phinar, points out, this is also a great tool to combat increasing resilience on your enemies if you happen to pvp around these levels, since the more resilience they have the less you crit and the more crit buff you will get.

Level 80
The double equip trinkets!

Darkmoon Card: Berserker - Pvp (or possibly a moon lighting tank)
Equip: Increases your resilience rating by 100 (3.83% @ L80).
Equip: You have a chance to gain Berserker when you deal or take damage in combat, increasing your critical strike rating by 35 for 12 sec.  Effect stacks up to 3 times.

Resilience at low levels either points towards pvp, or towards a tank. As a pvp trinket, any class interested in some extra crit could have use of it, as a tank trinket it's actually a lot less good since tanks don't need crit for anything (unless you happen to be a Deep Wounds Warrior). Also, at level 80 tanks won't need the extra resilience anylonger since they'll all have the anti crit talent since long, which means only someone who doesn't have that talent could be interested (and I'm not even sure resilience works anti crit anymore, think they changed that in cata). Long ramble short, ignore what I said about tanks - it's for pvp.

It's important to note that it procs both of off taking and dealing damage, which makes it not all worthless for a healer (especially since I have been hearing that healers are targeted like never before). Since most healers don't value crit very much, this trinket is probably best for the pvping crit-lover, and there aint that many out there.

Darkmoon Card: Death - Any dps
Equip: Increases your critical strike rating by 85 (1.85% @ L80).
Equip: Each time you deal damage, you have a chance to do an additional 1750 to 2250 Shadow damage.

This is like the prequal to DMC: Volcano in that it deals extra damage as a proc (35% chance in this case). As with Volcano you should probably see the extra damage as a bonus rather than the big whoop of this trinket. It has an icd of 45 seconds, which was very common in Wrath. It can proc of off dots, the damage can crit and seems to be affected by various talents and buffs and crit chance, but not spellpower. Nonetheless, the proc isn't worth much dps and should either be seen as a tool (to interrupt bandaging in pvp perhaps) or as mentioned, a small bonus. 85 crit rating is 1,85% crit at level 80 which makes this trinket an overall rather weak trinket for its level.

Darkmoon Card: Greatness
+90 Spirit/Agility/Intellect/Strength
Equip: When you heal or deal damage you have a chance to gain Greatness, increasing your Strength, Agility, Intellect, or Spirit by 300 for 15 sec.  Your highest stat is always chosen.

This is probably the best of the level 80 DMC trinkets, and that was the case already back in Wrath. +90 in a primary stat of your choice with the possibility to get another 300 as a proc is still really nice. The only reason not to get this trinket at level 80 is if you know you'll go through level 80-85 and replace this trinket too fast for it to be worth whatever money you put into it. Only you can make that decision.

Now go out there and find yourself a nice trinket for your lowbie alt.
Thanks to wowhead.com for the pictures and specifics.


  1. I was very happy with the madness trinket for my lowbie tank warrior who also quested. In wrath content the tank tends to a lot of the killing anyway.

  2. Funny that you decided that it wasn't worth 250g. I've been making a bunch of these for Darkmoon Rep (yes, there are more efficient ways to do it, but this way isn't a big money pit since I have a variety of common inks to make glyphs with) and I've been able to unload the older cards for 300-500g, with the lower level cards going for more. I think it's harder to find trinkets at the low levels (especially if you don't go out of your way, or if you're leveling in LFD), so some folks find it easy just to pick up a trinket on the AH.

  3. I loved the old pvp/resurrect DMC, it saved us from a run back every now and then. Great old cards all of them, and yeah - mostly just flavour now that the heirloom trinkets are available.

  4. I love the darkmoon cards in Cata, because making them essentially funds my character's penchant for pet collecting. They're definitely more useful as trinkets these days than they used to be, it seems. Very cool, thanks for sharing this.

  5. Since Cataclysm, resilience has done absolutely nothing in PVE. Doesn't reduce damage, doesn't reduce crit. All it does is take up stat allocations from more useful stats (notably, PVP gear does not have block, parry, or dodge on it - so a tank in PVP gear is a mana sponge with the staying power of a sponge).

  6. @Ngita
    Quite true, tanks basically are the group until level 80 ;P

    I should note that I am extremely cheap ;) But considering that money is easier than ever to come by and that most people want to gear up their alts as much as possible to quicken the leveling process, it doesn't surprise me that people still buy these. On the other hand, as TyphoonAndrew says, there are the heirloom trinkets.

    I actually wish they'd implement more fun trinkets like that one, but maybe no one would use them as people seem to prefer being efficient over gimmicky :/

    Maybe players like you explain why Maceandstaff can sell to many trinkets! ;)

    Haha, well said ^^