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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: That's a wrap


The Burning Crusade is effectively over.

If there's anything you were intending to do that you haven't done yet for one reason or another... killing Kil'Jaeden, perhaps, or maybe something simple like finally picking up that Shard of Contempt that's been refusing to drop for you... you've got six days before Wrath of the Lich King effectively ends the current expansion's life cycle. The content will all be there, sure... eventually you'll see videos of groups of players blasting through Black Temple in fifteen minutes or what have you, but the zones will cease to matter in the same way that all the original raiding content did: fun for a trip back, but not relevant anymore.

As a result of this impending wave of change coming to wash away all the raids I've gotten so accustomed to, I've gone and respecced my human and tauren warriors to fury for the final week of their TBC lives. I've tanked my way through content up to Sunwell itself, now it's time to sit back and enjoy what I never really got to see before due to my intense focus on where someone's giant crotch is at the moment. Seriously, tanking Illidan is all grunts and his ten foot high crotch hanging threateningly above my head, it's quite disturbing if you think about it too much. So the past few days, I have been dual wielding two hand weapons like I always dreamed I would.

Oh, and it is glorious. Glorious.

I can almost hear the 'so what' coming through the screen, so let's move on to what I promised you last week: the various accessories that help warriors gear for DPS or tanking. As has been the case in previous Wrath gearing columns, this one will focus on items to get you from 70 to 80. We've already talked about faction gear but we may revisit some of those pieces here just for ease of use.

Necks

The first tanking piece you'll see is a quest reward from an Utgarde Keep quest, Disarmament. Called the Woven Steel Necklace, what it lacks in pure defense rating (a measly 13) it makes up in strength, stamina and parry rating. It's pretty obviously intended to help new DK tanks catch up to speed, but we warriors can use all those stats too. The same quest also rewards the Razor-Blade Pendant, or as I like to call it, Pendant of the Perilous 2. Meanwhile, the Horde version (which I don't remember doing) seems to have different rewards, the Hundred Tooth Necklace and the Tiled-Stone Pendant. Frankly, if that's the case I prefer the Horde version. The Horde quest Breaking Through and the Alliance quest Call to Arms! both reward a solid neck for DPS which could also be a good threat piece. The Choker of Forceful Redemption/Chain of the Tolling Bell are clearly weighted towards DPS, but with hit, expertise and stamina you can't exactly say they'd be bad threat necks for a tank either.

Your next real source for upgrades would appear to be the Sholozar Basin and a quest called A Hero's Burden. Tanks will be interested in the Blood-Infused Pendant while DPS will be taking a look at the Spiked Collar of Servitude. DPS can also comb the AH looking for the Draconic Choker of Ferocity at or around this time. If you're running instances, the Slasher's Amulet is also available (and wearable before either of the options listed above it). And jewelcrafters can make this socketed DPS neck.

The quest Betrayal in Zul'Drak offers you more neck options. You can tank with the Betrayer;s Choker or DPS with the Choker of the Betrayer. Despite what the names might have you thinking, Illidan doesn't show up in this quest. I'm sorry, I miss him too.

I have no idea where this comes from. It's BoE, though, so likely it's a random world drop. Search the AH now! Well, then. Not now. It's not out now. Only then. When? I'm confusing myself. I also don't know where this slightly better version comes from, but it's BoP, so we can assume a dungeon in the Violet Hold range.

A trip to Icecrown Glacier to do The Admiral Revealed provides you with the option to choose between a socketed DPS neck with agi and crit rating, which I find interesting, and a socketed tanking neck. With gems having expanded in power significantly in the expansion, that's a stronger tanking piece than it may at first appear.

Wowhead tells me that this neck drops off of the last boss in non-Heroic Gun'drak. While expertise is a good stat for tanks or DPS, the rest of the stats and lack of ones like dodge, defense or stamina puts this squarely in the DPS category. A trip to the Halls of Stone will net you the Amulet of Wills, a solid tank piece (admittedly better for a druid), the Necklace of the Chrono-Lord awaits you in Stratholme of the past, and the Amulet of Deflected Blows drops in Utgarde Pinnacle.

Once you hit the level 80 heroics, we have several options. Tanks will watch for the Burning Skull Pendant (look at that block value), the Pendant of the Nathrezim or the Shadowseeker's Pendant. I'm personally going to get that Burning Skull Pendant if I have to run every heroic in Northrend one hundred times (and since I have no idea where it drops, I may have to) Our DPS warriors will have to settle for the Gold Amulet of Kings of the Necklace of Arcane Spheres.


Rings

What about our poor, naked fingers? What will we adorn them with as we go forth to crush our enemies? Luckily, our enemies have rings we can take for ourselves. Also, there's quests and factions and stuff. But that's less exciting than prying the jewelery off of the corpses of those foolish enough to stand against us.

For starters let us look at three BoE rings that drop in the early zones: Tooga's Lost Toenail, Milan's Mastercraft Band, and Worgen's Ring of Revitalization. Tanking, DPS, and tanking/PvP options available via the AH. The Tooga's ring has less stam than the Signet of the Great Protector but is more well rounded and has identical defense, Milan's has hit, crit and AP on one ring. Definitely worth looking for in the AH.

The Jade Ring of Slaying is craftable by Jewelcrafters. It's BoP, though, so it's only for you if you're a JC.

Now on to quests and instances: Utgarde Keep offers you the quest to gain Executioner's Band, a very solid DPS ring. The Signet of Arachnathid Command is an incredibly nice tanking ring available in Azjol-Nerub off of ol' Anub'arak himself. I'm pretty sure Jedoga's Greatring drops off of Jedoga Shadowseeker in Ahn'kahet. The quest Search and Rescue offers DPS and tanking options as well - Kurzel's Rage for smashy smashy (although with that much stam and hit you might tank in it) and Kurzel's Warband for the defense minded.

Jewelcrafting fills in some gaps at this level with the Windfire Band (a ring that could be used by casters, ranged physical, and melee physical DPS, really), the Savage Titanium Ring (PvP, yes, but PvE DPS like it too!), the Ring of Scarlet Shadows, and the Ring of Earthen Might. These are all BoE so you can make them if you're a JC or buy them if not.

The quest Light Within The Darkness provides you with the Signet of Bridenbrad, socketable ring goodness. Both the Jagged Ice Band and the Iceforged Battle Ring come from quests involving Brann Bronzebeard. Both Horde and Alliance can get the Frog-Toe Band from Icecrown questing. Meanwhile, a trip back to Borean Tundra to aid in the struggle against Malygos in the Oculus yields rings both tanky and smashy. A trip into Gun'drak to document the history of its doom presents you with the choice between the Solid Platinum Band and the Ring of Foul Mojo. While you're in there anyway, try and pick up Gal'darah's Signet. If you get that, you can grab the Foul Mojo for the quest. And if General Bjarngrim in Halls of Lightning can be convinced to part with it, there's the Bjarngrim Family Signet.

A BoE drop from the Halls of Stone, the Palladium Ring is pretty sweet. I have no idea if it's actually an Iron Man reference or not, though. The Cache of Eregos in the Oculus presents you with the Dragonflight Great Ring, which really is a great ring if you're a tank.

At the heroic level we have the Woeful Band, the Unsmashable Heavy Band with delicious block value, the Nerubian Shield Ring and the Band of Torture for tanks. For DPS, we have the Band of Frosted Thorns, the Mobius Band and the Stained-Glass Shard Ring.


Trinkets

There are quite a few trinkets you'll be looking at between 70 and 80, some crafted from engineering or jewelcrafting, others drops. I'm going to deviate from my pattern of going from lower level to higher to show you the standout blue tanking trinket of the expansion: Essence of Gossamer.

Oh yeah. That's what I'm talking about. 111 stamina. If that was all it had, it would be enough. But combine that with the proc, which is a damage shield that will make AoE pulls significantly easier, and I can't stop from thinking about running Heroic Azjol-Nerub until my fingers bleed. Now that we've gone to the absolute best trinket, what else were we going to mention?

Well, there's Fury of the Encroaching Storm from Howling Fjord questing, for you haste lovers. For that matter, if you're in the Fjord and you love haste, there's the First Mate's Pocketwatch. There's the Medallion of Heroism, with its solid critical strike rating and that nice healing on use, available through a quest chain that will be massively loaded with spoilers if you read about it now. There's the Goblin Repetition Reducer, for sale from a vendor in the Grizzly Hills if you like world PvP. Goblin Engineering provides you with the Sonic Booster, with a solid +81 stamina and an AP boost.

Alchemists will have the Mighty and Indestructable Alchemist's Stones to choose from.

If you're dying for more haste, there's Fezzik's Pocketwatch, and the Vestige of Haldor from King Ymiron in regular Utgarde Pinnacle. If you like haste and crit (sure, we all do) there's the Meteroite Whetstone. Fury Warriors may go gaga for the Sphere of Red Dragon's Blood with that sizeable chunk of hit rating, while tanks will look for the Seal of the Pantheon and Offering of Sacrifice. Also keep an eye out for Lavanthor's Talisman in heroic Violet Hold. The Incisor Fragment from heroic Drak'Tharon Keep combines flat AP with on demand armor pen, an interesting choice.

Finally, jewelcrafters can make the Ruby Hare (stamina and gem sockets! Squee!), the Monarch Crab (stamina and gem sockets and dodge rating, even more squee!) and the Emerald Boar.


Okay, so here we are, six days to go and we still haven't covered cloaks or weapons. Well, it's not like you'll be level 80 by next friday, so we'll try and get it all wrapped up then. Until then, I'm going to go out and hit things with two two handed weapons, because that is all I am going to be doing for the next six days. Well, I may cackle madly. I don't want to rule that out.


Check out more strategies, tips and leveling guides for Warriors in Matthew Rossi's weekly class column: The Care and Feeding of Warriors.

Filed under: Warrior, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Expansions, Leveling, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

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