Welcome to Lichborne, wow.com's weekly death knight column. This week, we continue our breakneck tour of the fabulous Ice Crown Citadel, premiere vacation getaway of the dead, rich, and infamous.
Our look at ICC death knight loot continues this week with the Crimson Hall. Prepare for corny twilight jokes to go with your raiding (trust me, I know they're coming, and I will be making many of them). There's only 2 boss battles in this wing, but there's still plenty of loot to discuss. As before, I'd suggest you check out the introduction to the Lower Spire loot guide, as it does include some basic stat rundowns and philosophies that you should keep in mind as you read these guides.
There's also a few wrenches in the gears (but good wrenches, since they involve buffs) for your loot selections as of Patch 3.3.2, which I'd expect will be live by the time you read this. We'll be getting an Ashen Verdict strength ring and a slight stat adjustment on tier 10 tank armor, so keep those in mind as you read. In short, you'll probably be keeping the Ashen Verdict strength ring as one of your main rings, and tier 10 tank gear looks a lot sexier now, at least for physical-based fights.
The Blood Princes
The big thing the Battle-Maiden's Legguards have over Scourgelord Legplates is one extra gem slot and haste instead of critical strike rating. However, the 4-piece bonus makes sure the tier 10 edges out anyway. Just stick with tier 10 and let some the tanks grab this for their off set, I'd say.
In other questions, what are the blood princes doing with legs belonging to a Battle Maiden? Have the Val'kyr been making booty calls? Man, girls and their vampires, I swear.
The big problem with the Thrice Fanged Ring is that haste and critical strike rating aren't the most glamorous stats for us for DPSing anymore. There's better than this ring to be found even in 10-mans for Death Knights. It's not horrible, but there's better. This will do in a pinch if you can't find better in a ring though, or if all you can find is +hit or +expertise rings when you're already capped.
The Spaulders of the Blood Princes have a decent chunk of defense rating, a bit of hit rating, and an extra socket over Scourgelord Pauldrons. That said, they also have less parry rating, no dodge rating, and less innate strength and stamina. Tier 10's probably going to be the overall better choice for tanking here unless you really need the small chunk of extra stamina from the gem slot, or the hit to keep threat, especially after you factor in the equip bonuses and upgrade potential of tier 10.
The Cryptmaker isn't quite as good as Bryntroll all told, but if you can't get your hands on said Bryntroll or a Shadowmourne,this is your DPS weapon. Of course, watch your hit rating, since this will give you a big chunk that you'll have to compensate for when you pick up one of the aforementioned upgrades. It's also a very nice tank weapon in that it has tons of stamina and 3 gem slots for extra solid gems.
Landsoul's Horned Greathelm essentially swaps in hit rating for the armor penetration present on the Sanctified Scourgelord's Helmet. If you don't need that hit rating, go with the tier 10. Remember, you'll want that 4 piece set bonus.
The Royal Crimson Cloak actually comes across as a nice upgrade for the Sentinel's Winter Cloak as long as you don't need the armor. It has a gem slot and the same amount of stamina, as well as more defense and dodge rating, and some hit. If you aren't hit capped while tanking or are struggling to stay at 540 defense, it may be worth taking. Otherwise, the Sentinel Cloak is probably better for straight up physical fights, at least at the non-heroic level.
Taladaram's Plated Fists are nice in that they blow away tier 10's avoidance thanks to the Parry rating. You can also get more stamina out of them thanks to the extra gem slot. That said, recall that the tier 10 gloves are getting a substantial armor bonus in Patch 3.3.2, which may edge them back over Taldaram's for physical-based fights. Plus, there are the set bonuses too.
Blood Queen Lana'thel
If you're 10-man exclusive, the Collar of Haughty Disdain is a good replacement for the Infected Choker if you're already expertise capped, despite the somewhat low value of haste for death knights. If you aren't expertise capped, though, stick with the Infected Choker.
Throatrender Handguards shed the critical strike rating of Scourgelord Gauntlets for some haste rating. They also have an extra socket. That said, Scourgelord Gauntlets are probably your better bet here, both because critical strike is a better stat for most death knights and because of the set bonuses.
Veincrusher Gauntlets stack up very nicely against tier 10. They have expertise and an extra gem slot to make up for slightly less dodge and stamina. Of course, tier 10 will be getting some extra armor in patch 3.3.2, remember, so tier 10 will probably stack up better again after that. Stick with those in order to grab the set bonuses unless you need the expertise on the Veincrusher.
Lana'thel's Chain of Flagellation is probably going to be best in slot for any DPS death knight who isn't yet at the expertise cap. It's very solidly built, especially since armor penetration is a valuable stat for blood and unholy dpsers.
The queen also drops another Vanquisher's Mark of Sanctification for upgrading your tier 10. With the armor upgrades in patch 3.3.2, tanks might want this almost as much as DPS again.
It's also worth it to give a mention to Bloodfall here. Yes, it's technically itemized for hunter and feral druid DPS, but it's not a bad tank death knight weapon either. The agility gives it a slight avoidance edge over Cryptmaker, and it has the same potential stamina as said Cryptmaker. If this is dropping for your raid group often enough, it might be worth picking up. Polearms look awesome anyway. The only downside is that it has less threat potential than the Cryptmaker, and will have even less after patch 4.0, when the attack power will go away completely to be replaced by agility.
Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly class column on the newest WoW class, the death knight, where we discuss PuG etiquette and Emblem of Triumph gear for the Death Knight tank, 5-man Crusader's Coliseum gear for tanks andDPS,andbasic Death Knight statistics and mechanics. You might also want to check all the other articles in our Death Knight category.