Right now, my guild has BWL on Farm, and we've downed Razuvious in Naxx. I'm using a Mageblade with Jin'dos Bag of Whammies offhand (I have the AV offhands too). I'm looking to upgrade my weapon, and i'm really trying to decide between these two. Claw of Chromaggus probably gives me more spelldamage (If I combine it with the +40 Fire AV Offhand) and more flexibility, but since I recently respecced PvE Fire, the +2% crit on Staff of the Shadow Flame is really looking nice too. Also, with the notoriously low droprate on BOTH of these items, I was thinking of just picking up the first one that drops.
Do AQ, pick up a Regalia and make a Blessed Qiraji Acolyte Staff. Drop rates on those two weapons are ludicriously low. The Claw I see as a sidegrade from a Mageblade with the +24 damage and lack of a +1% crit from the Mageblade. Staff of the Shadowflame is nice, great damage, +2% crit. But I'd personally go with the AQ staff with the greater stamina and +2% hit (which is a big PvE dps boost), also loads easier to obtain than a SotSF.
You're going to laugh, but our realm is -the- only realm in the entire EU without AQ open. My guild has made incredibly fast progress through BWL and starting with Naxx on our realm, and are trying extremely hard to open AQ as fast as possible, but we're still farming carapaces, and our war efforts aren't finished yet. I'd love the Acolyte staff, but sadly, it isn't an option for me right now. Progressing further into Naxx past Razuvious and Anub (We'll get him soon) Is kinda wishful thinking due to us only having downed Nefarian 5-6 times. My only real choices are these two weapons.
I was also thinking about the loss of the crit on the Claw, and the massive lack of +crit offhands (Outside AQ Of course, otherwise i'd pick up a Talon).
OT but how does the gate work on new relms? Do the NPC's automagically finish your war effort after a certain amount of time? Will they ever ring the gong? Or do the players always have to do that part.
You do the quest line to summon Roman Khan or whatever his name is. Kill him, get your pants, blah blah then you seek out the Bronze Dragonflight, turn in the Broodlord's head and the collection quests begin. Someone has to get up to neutral with Noz and complete the scepter and ring the Gong. The NPCs will only start to do the turn-ins after a month or so(?) of the collection quests being available. You must have a player ring the Gong with the completed scepter to open AQ up.
You're going to need AQ gear to do Naxx, I would suggest giving the head to a Human and spending a guild weekend factioning them up (took us ~50 hours to do the faction grind) and then doing all the associated quests and the special summon bosses.
We have, and we're working on it, just for the sake of the thread, letting people know that AQ gear isn't an option for quite a while, and i'd like to keep the thread on which will serve me better now, and in future, and whether it's worth picking up the first one that drops, based on the low drop rates.
I mostly had the same choice as you have although I could have gone for the Blessed Qiraji Acolyte Staff as well.
For a long time I was a 1H + OH user, but Claw + OH (Trancestone) I had reasonably available (Nef's quest reward OH is ridiculously overpriced dkp-wise for my guild) would have meant a
Claw of Chromaggus
25 int 15 sta 8 spi 4 mp5 +89 dmg
Staff of the Shadow Flame
29 int 24 sta 18 spi +84 dmg +2% crit
Blessed Qiraji Acolyte Staff
33 int 32 sta +76 dmg +2% hit + 1%crit
As a fire mage I thought 2% crit was nice for rolling ignites, and I found lack of mp5 or spi on BQAS to be a minor problem with otherwise an excellent weapon. Given the drop rates though in the end I decided to go with whichever of SotSF or BQAS that dropped first, and that for me was SotSF.
In retrospect, I do miss the +2% hit on BAQS but that's because other items I was expecting to make up the +hit with just haven't dropped for me, but I don't regret my decision.
One thing however to consider is that my guild has gotten far more SotSF drops than Imperial Qiraji Regalia (5 vs. 2) so had I decided to go with BAQS, I might still be waiting, esp. since we haven't gone back into TAQ much since Naxxramas came out.
Personally I prefer the SoSF. Sure it may be missing +hit but in my gear atm ive got 13% hit with talents (elemental precision, 7 on gear) and so 2% more hit wouldnt be very noticable but as a fire mage %crit is such a bonus.
Naxx drops rediculous cloth damage peices that seemed designed for fire, polarity leggings, rime covered mantle and the 36dmg 1% crit ring.
The spirit on SoSF isnt to be sniffed at either but imo BQAS would be more of a warlock weapon, 2% hit (no +hit talents/enchants) and a shed load of stamina (which equates to more mana for a lock).
Never been a big fan of 1H and OH's mainly due to the fact you're sacrificing a fair chunk of stats for a bit more damage.
I would think that as a fire mage ignite is a big chunk of your total damage so crit should be an important stat. Imo it would be worth sacrificing the small amount of damage from 1h + OH for a staff with 2% crit. Otherwise, wait for AQ40 or a wraithblade.
Honestly, Claw of Chromaggus should never even go to DPS casters unless they don't already have an ASM or better. It's pretty clearly intended to be a hybrid item. It's pretty sad that there isn't a clear 1h upgrade until Viscidus(who most people skip :/), but eh what can you do? Casters aren't the only one with that problem.
"They're Dragon Kill Points; not Dragon Feed Points"
If I didn't have claw + nef's offhand, I would go staff of the shadow flame. Until you can get Wraith blade, SotSF is going to match or trump any claw+OH combo (with veklor OH, claw becomes 84 dmg 1 crit 1 hit, more or less a wash).
Good luck getting it to drop and paying a decent price though =)