With gear upgrades these days being so easy to come by, I'm not so sure 'welfare epics' is such an accurate term for PvP gear anymore. That said, Arena Season 5 started the other day without so much as a whimper. It kind of crept in quietly, without even a patch to go along with it. I'm sure it's taken a few players by surprise to see so many new PvP gear available from different sources that it can get confusing. I know I wrote about it in an old post, but quite a bit has changed since Beta, and some things don't quite apply. Don't worry, we're here to help you make sense of it all.
First of all, in the new PvP rewards system there are three tiers of PvP gear. The Savage Gladiator, Hateful Gladiator, and Deadly Gladiator are equivalent to Level 80 dungeon blues, 10-man raid epics, and 25-man raid epics respectively, with a lot of item points thrown in the way of Resilience and sometimes Stamina. These items aren't the best for PvE, so gear accordingly. You'll be wasting a lot of item points by way of Resilience, so keep in mind that all this new gear is best for your Battleground and Arena pursuits.
I mention this because the first tier of PvP gear, the Savage Gladiator items, can possibly be acquired through pure PvE. The items are available through Emblems of Heroism as well as Honor points. The Emblems of Heroism Quartermasters in Dalaran sell the entire five-piece set between 30 and 45 Emblems apiece. The shoulders and gloves cost 30 Emblems while the head, legs, and chest cost 45. If you've been doing Heroics for weeks, it's quite possible that you'll have some Emblems left over considering that most classes will only pick up a few pieces. If you want to wade into PvP after grinding those Heroic runs, you might want to consider gearing up for it. If you want something better than the crafted PvP gear, then the Savage Gladiator items are a pretty good deal.
Savage Gladiator gear is also available for purchase with Honor points, and the cost is substantially equivalent to grinding thirty or forty-five Emblems. The gloves and shoulder pieces, for example, cost 50,000 Honor points while the head, legs, and chest pieces cost 60,000. Although you can't buy them with a combination of both Honor and Emblems of Heroism, you can buy them with a low combination of Honor and Arena points. The most expensive pieces are the chest, legs, and head pieces, which go for 12,000 Honor and 350 Arena points. Savage Gladiator items don't require any personal or team ratings.
Blood Guard Zar'shi in the Hall of Legends, sells for Honor (Horde)
Knight-Lieutenant Moonstrike in the Champion's Hall, sells for Honor (Alliance)
Magistrix Lambriesse in Sunreaver Sanctuary in Dalaran, sells for Emblems of Heroism (Horde)
Arcanist Ivrenne in the Silver Enclave in Dalarn, sells for Emblems of Heroism (Alliance)
Zom Bocom in Dalaran's Underbelly, sells for Honor and Arena Points (Neutral)