Monday, August 31, 2009
Gearing through heroics; of emblems, drops, and reputation
Originally submitted to WoW.com to apply for the Blood Pact Columnist position. After nearly 3 weeks with no word, I can assume I didn't get the job and it's alright to submit this here without them griping at me.
So you've just dinged 80 in the midst of 3.2, my young and eager warlock. You are relieved that it's all over: the trepidation of leveling through Azeroth, Outlands, and finally, the dreaded frozen wastes of Northrend. You've conquered great things and have killed many and collected those trophies in the name of experience, money, and the exaltation of your respective faction. Your quests are all but finished and you have reach the highest and attainable echelon of greatness...or so you think.
Level 80 is but a cornerstone, the bread to the butter, and with enough time spent around those of your standing, you seem to still be a bit rough around the edges rather than bathed in a glow. What could it be that keeps you from brushing shoulders with the warrior over yonder with the really long title next to his name? Why does the priest just pass you by, offering no healing or fortitude, but instead, giving just a wince and a scoff? Surely you are just like them! Why must they be so short with you? Why don't they give you their attention, of which you so rightly deserve?
Because you're looking kind of poor, kid. Screw the blue staff, Jimmy, It's all about the Professor Plums! You make look awesome in your crafted blues and perhaps an Ebonweave piece or two, even with some of those rare items you happened upon in the faceplant-of-snow that Arthas calls home, but really, you need teh epix.
Below I have outlined every possible drop, purchase, and redemption you could get much in the same way holypaladin.net has for, well, holy paladins, without having to set foot in a raid at all. I'm not saying raiding is bad; by all means, snatch up that DPS spot when and if the opportunity should arise. But unless your guild has a schedule or you've got the patience of mind to deal with a PuG raid, heroics are the best way to gear out and look your best.
I'm just going to safely assume that you've got all four of the reputation tabards handy and a good amount of blue items from questing or crafting. You're ready for those heroics. Put the voidwalker away. We're starting with heroic drops.
Heroic Boss Drops
Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom - Wand of Ahn'kahet
Azjol-Nerub - Sash of the Servant and Rod of the Fallen Monarch
Culling of Stratholme - Band of Guile
Drak'Tharon Keep - Overlook Handguards
Halls of Lightning - Woven Bracae Leggings
The Nexus - Gloves of Glistening Runes
The Oculus - Cuffs of Winged Levitation
Utgarde Keep - Annhylde's Ring
Utgarde Pinnacle - Girdle of Bane
The Violet Hold - Azure Cloth Bindings
I left out Skirt of the Old Kingdom from Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom because, as a warlock, you don't need MP5, but if you can't get Woven Bracae Leggings from Loken but the skirt drops for you and no one else wants them, by all means, take them. Just another step to bigger things.
Let's say you've done a number of heroics now, gotten reputation by wearing tabards and have now reached exalted with some of the Northrend factions. Here are some reputation rewards a warlock should consider in the road to greatness.
Exalted with Argent Crusade - Signet of Hopeful Light
Exalted with Kirin Tor - Robes of Crackling Flame
Exalted with Ebon Blade - Belt of Dark Mending
Exalted with Wyrmrest Accord - Sandals of Crimson Fury
Each costs a fair bit of gold, nothing too steep though, so acquiring these shouldn't be a problem if you focus on certain reputations.
You've now gathered quite a number of the Emblems of Conquest in running heroics, an emblem, which, in my humble opinion and thanks to the recent patch, makes gearing up all the more satisfying. How you spend them – whether you trade them all in for Emblems of Valor or Emblems of Heroism, or even go straight for those Conquest pieces – is rightly up to you. Below I've listed, from Heroism to Conquest, any and all items you might be interested in. Once again, I'm ignoring anything that has MP5 on it. Life Tap FTW.
Emblems of Heroism Gear
Plush Sash of Guzbah, 40 Emblems
Ward of the Violet Citadel, 25 Emblems
Handbook of Obscure Remedies, 25 Emblems
Encircling Burnished Gold Chains, 25 Emblems
Sundial of the Exiled, 40 Emblems
Chestguard of the Lost Conqueror for Heroes' Plagueheart Robe, 80 Emblems
Gloves of the Lost Conqueror for Heroes' Plagueheart Gloves, 60 Emblems
Emblems of Valor Gear
Wraps of the Astral Traveler, 60 Emblems
Xintor's Expeditionary Boots, 40 Emblems
Slippers of the Holy Light, 40 Emblems
Band of Channeled Magic, 25 Emblems
Disguise of the Kumiho, 25 Emblems
Legplates of the Lost Conqueror for Valorous Plagueheart Leggings, 75 Emblems
Mantle of the Lost Conqueror for Valorous Plagueheart Shoulderpads, 60 Emblems
Emblems of Conquest Gear
Evoker's Charm, 19 Emblems
Sash of Potent Incantations, 28 Emblems
Touch of the Occult, 28 Emblems
Legwraps of the Master Conjurer, 39 Emblems
Breastplate of the Wayward Conqueror for Conqueror's Deathbringer Robe, 58 Emblems
Crown of the Wayward Conqueror for Conqueror's Deathbringer Hood, 58 Emblems
Running heroics is one thing, but knowing you could potentially get epic quality items from a regular instance, ergo, a resettable 5-man, is another. Trial of the Champion, both on regular and heroic, drop purples like a piñata drops Smarties. Work this instance and own it. Leave the money on the dresser.
Trial of the Champion
Belt of the Churning Blaze
Bindings of the Wicked
Handwraps of Surrendered Hope
Mantle of Inconsolable Fear
Leggings of the Haggard Apprentice
The Confessor's Binding
Signet of Purity
Brilliant Hailstone Amulet
Boots of the Crackling Flame
Gaze of the Unknown
Embrace of Madness
Now let's say you're hard at work at those heroics. You're so tenacious, you do every single heroic each day, amassing 53 emblems a day. You're such a good heroic-running warlock you do both the regular and heroic daily as well. Doing the heroic daily now rewards two of those lovely Emblems of Triumph, the highest emblem currently in the game. Hypothetically, if you ran the heroic daily each day, it would take you 200 days to collect enough Emblems of Triumph to get each of the following items, though you probably wouldn't want all of them, depending on how you play the class. Spirit has become quite useful to warlocks since 3.0.2, both in fel armor as well as contributing with a tier bonus/glyph bonus, which is why most of these items are viable.
Emblems of Triumph Gear
Brimstone Igniter, 25 Emblems
Hood of Smoldering Aftermath, 75 Emblems
Hood of Clouded Sight, 75 Emblems
Pauldrons of Catastrophic Emanation, 45 Emblems
Mantle of Revered Mortality, 45 Emblems
Band of the Invoker, 35 Emblems
Shard of the Crystal Heart, 50 Emblems
Talisman of Resurgence, 50 Emblems
And finally, with the introduction of the new emblem system, raids, and instances, tier 9 has become available. Before the recent patch there was two tier sets with two types of quality within each tier. For tier 9, there are three types of quality: Conquest, Triumph, and Heroic Triumph. The latter two can only be attained through raiding, but the former, that of Conquest, can be redeems for Emblems of Triumph. Doing the heroic daily everyday would take 105 days to grab the entire set. If you were to forgo the above list of Triumph Gear to obtain the list of items below, I wouldn't blame you.
Tier 9 Conquest Gear
Gul'dan's Hood of Conquest, 50 Emblems
Gul'dan's Gloves of Conquest, 30 Emblems
Gul'dan's Robe Conquest, 50 Emblems
Gul'dan's Leggings of Conquest, 50 Emblems
Gul'dan's Shoulderpads of Conquest, 30 Emblems
Kel'Thuzad's Hood of Conquest, 50 Emblems
Kel'Thuzad's Gloves of Conquest, 30 Emblems
Kel'Thuzad's Robe of Conquest, 50 Emblems
Kel'Thuzad's Leggings of Conquest, 50 Emblems
Kel'Thuzad's Shoulderpads of Conquest, 30 Emblems
There you have it. Every possible item of epic quality you may want as a warlock fresh to 80, save for the PvP items and raiding. Hope all of your heroics go well and you top those DPS charts! Gear out and experience what you can, it's not often we can see the Cataclysm on the horizon.
I'll be posting later in the week on my reactions to the new upcoming expansion, been busy all week with school and work and IRL stuff. I'm such a slacker, I know.