Hmm... I feel it is time to throw myself to the mob and subject myself to humiliation in hopes of bettering myself as a result. The question is this: Looking at my current setup, what would be the most logical steps to self-improvement to make?
Now, since my pride as a warrior is on the line, I will mention that I am aware of the following changes which can be made:
1. Still a lot of blue gems to be swapped over to epic gems, raising my stamina value by a considerable amount.
2. For survivability, I could swap over to a 5/10/56 (or whatever) survivability build, or at the very least spec into Improved Disciplines in my current Deep Wounds spec.
3. Several pieces to upgrade, most notably my bracers (slowly gathering mats for the Saronite Swordbreakers whilst secretly hoping the Dreadscale Bracers will drop so I won't have to), my neckpiece (come on Marrowgar!), and my belt (#1 Emblem of Frost purchase, but I've been slacking so still about 5 or 6 to go).
4. For weapons, I usually use either the Bone Warden's Splitter - Item - World of Warcraft or Rimefang's Claw - Item - World of Warcraft (which has Lifeward on it right now, because I wanted to test it out for myself. As most other testers, I found it severely lacking). The survivability difference between the two is actually not as high as you might think, although the Bone Scepter from Marrowgar will replace those if it drops (with a Blood Draining enchant, ideally).
Now, I know it seems like I'm answering my own question, but I'm looking for any obvious steps that I may have missed. ToGC-25 is currently out of the question, as we have enough trouble drumming up interest for regular 25-man ToC, but 10-man ToGC may be doable, so that affects what gear choices are available to me. Chestplate of the Towering Monstrosity is an obvious upgrade, but if it doesn't drop I may just buy the 9.5 chestpiece and pick up the four-set bonus for the fun of it.
Anyway, any critiques, comments, etc. are welcome. I'm considering this my warriors annual check-up.
I'd certainly replace your weapon with Rimefang's Claw if you have it and upgrade your bracers as soon as you can.
The things of note that I see, that I might suggest is:
1. Lose the +STR & +STA gems. If you want the socket bonus, go with +EXP & +STA. I know your at 26, but going over does not hurt you.
2. Make sure you put some kind of enchant on the gloves. And as you mentioned, put the +30 STA gems in all your gear when you can.
3. Upgrade you belt, the Frost belt is very tasty if you have the emblems. I think there is also a belt that drops from one of the 5mans that would also be better till you can get that one.
Overall your looking pretty good, I run with the same spec and have cleared both 10 & 25man ICC with little issues, although I'm better geared. If you find you are having issues, then by all means go with a survivability build.
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I normally use Rimefang for raids and Bone Splitter for Heroics, the Vis'kag was just on from some dailies I was doing. As for the gloves, I'm glad you pointed that out, I forgot I hadn't enchanted them yet... was waiting for a different set, but decided to pick those up not long ago since Triumphs are so plentiful now.
As for the Sovereign gems... I'm not even sure why I have those... one for the meta, but I only need one red for that... probably put them in forever ago because they were in the guild vault and never upgraded them... :-P
Thanks for the advice, I'll probably fiddle around with some gems tonight and enchants tonight, while hoping for the Chestplate of the Towering Monstrosity and the Dreadscale Bracers to drop in ToC. ;-)