Patch 4.2 is still here. And we're all rolling through the Firelands, some of us already on heroic modes, some of us still clearing some bosses, others working on the dailies. Something for everyone. Today, we're going to talk about the loot you can get out of the Firelands without actually getting a single drop from a boss. Some of these rewards require you to kill trash for rep (or even bosses, in the case of Avengers of Hyjal rewards past honored), but others you can get through Marks of the World Tree or even from the Thrall quest line added in patch 4.2.
Before we talk about all that, though, I have to say that if you're able to raid Firelands, even on a limited schedule, you really should. These are some of the best-designed, most well thought-out boss encounters I've seen in years of playing the game. Trash runs are absolutely puggable (and the trash drops are worth pugging for, as last week covered); a coordinated group in 359 epics from tier 11 raids absolutely can do the first four bosses and can probably learn to do Baleroc in a week or two. There's no reason to avoid this raid. It's fun, well-designed, and within your grasp. Of the five bosses I've now seen, none of them is so easy as to be boring nor so hard as to be daunting.
Now, let's talk about gear you can get before or just after setting foot in here.
The Avengers of Hyjal
The Avengers of Hyjal faction is admittedly very difficult to progress past a certain point without actually downing some bosses in the Firelands, but I know a few people who have at least progressed to honored simply by killing trash in here. As a result, I think it's worth highlighting the gear available to warriors via the faction.
The first purchasable item from AoH reputation is for the cloak slot, at friendly reputation. The two cloaks warriors will be interested in are the Durable Flamewrath Greatcloak for tanks (with parry and dodge, a nice pure avoidance cape) and the Bladed Flamewrath Cover for strength DPS. While it's a haste/expertise cloak, the pure strength on it makes me feel it's worth picking up and reforging. Considering you can get these at friendly, I don't see how you can complain about their itemization (especially the Durable, which is very well-itemized).
Once you get to honored, you can pick up belts. The Cinch of the Flaming Ember is a really solid DPS belt. If you need the hit, you can leave it alone and even possibly socket for it, and if you're hit-capped, you can reforge away the hit for something else and do what you like with the socket. With so much crit (both arms and fury like crit) and high strength, it's a very solid belt. Meanwhile, the Girdle of the Indomitable Flame is a pure avoidance tanking belt. If you felt like you needed the threat stats, you could reforge it or make use of the socket.
Revered with the Avengers gives you a shot at two trinkets. The Stay of Execution is a tanking trinket with a healthy dose of dodge up front and an interesting on-use that transforms a big spike of damage into damage over time, making it easier to heal (in theory, at least). The Stay's on-use would definitely be attractive when you know a huge burst of damage is coming (perhaps when tanking Baleroc, for example) and you'd rather take 40% of that over 10 seconds instead of all of it at once. Meanwhile, the Essence of the Eternal Flame is useful for stacking mastery (more atractive for arms or TG fury at the moment than SMF), but 1,277 strength (2,554 AP) every minute for 15 seconds is pretty attractive.
If you clear Firelands enough times to get exalted with the AoH, there are two attractive ring options for you. The Adamantine Signet of the Avengers is an ilevel 391 tanking ring with high base stats, a red socket, and dodge and hit for both avoidance and threat. Just for the high base stats and the socket, it's well worth it, and if you feel like that hit is wasted, reforge it. Meanwhile, the Obsidian Signet of the Avengers is a very solid strength DPS ring. With high base strength and a red socket that has a strength socket bonus, you could get a lot of strength out of this one ring.
The following rewards actually come from unlocking the various Firelands daily quests and not specifically as quest rewards. As a result, it will take longer to gain these rewards, but you can do so without setting foot inside the raid. For those of us who are alts or simply don't have the time to raid, these are obtainable on your own schedule. As you progress through the daily quests, new vendors are unlocked with new rewards available for you to purchase.
Ayla Shadowstorm becomes available after you have completed both the Druids of the Talon and Shadow Warden quests, meaning that you've earned 300 Marks of the World Tree. Ayla sells the Moon Blessed Band, a strength DPS ring with crit and hit, and the Moonwell Phial, a stamina tanking trinket with a dodge on-use effect. Zen'Vorka becomes available as soon as you've unlocked the Molten Front, and the items he has for warriors include the Fireheart Necklace, a mastery/expertise neck you could use for either tanking or DPS (it has higher strength than the trash neck from Firelands), and the Pyrelord Greaves, pure avoidance tanking boots.
Like Ayla, Damek Bloombeard requires you to have unlocked both the Druids of the Talon and the Shadow Wardens. Damek offers the Meteorite Ring, a strength/crit/haste ring, the Rickety Belt (a haste/expertise belt with critical strike as a socket bonus for a red socket, making me assume it's intended for DPS), and Ricket's Gun Show, parry/mastery tank wrists.
Finally, Varlan Highbough will not only require you to unlock both the Druids of the Talon and the Shadow Wardens, he'll also ask that you gather another 125 Marks for the quest Calling the Ancients. Once you do all that, he offers two tanking rings, the Nemesis Shell Band with dodge and expertise and the Lylagar Horn Ring with parry and mastery. He also sells Dwyer's Caber, which is a strength trinket with a chance to gain 1,020 critical strike rating for 20 seconds when you deal damage, plus an apparently cosmetic on-use to throw a tree trunk at people. That's kinda cool, actually. Apparently, the tree trunk doesn't do all that much damage; it's just a neat effect. There are better trinkets, but I still like the idea of tossing trees at people. It's very orc smash.
Finally, we should mention the Thrall quest line Elemental Bonds. It's not, strictly speaking, a part of the daily quests but rather a self-contained quest line of its own. Still, it does end up with a chance at a nice ilevel 365 cloak for an hour's work. The Mantle of Patience is a nice dodge/mastery tanking cape, while the Mantle of Fury has critical strike and haste. Go ahead and just reforge the haste off now. You can only get one of these, so choose wisely.
That covers pretty much everything from rep or quests in the Firelands/Molten Front. Next week, we'll talk about valor point options and maybe even heroic gear. I'd also like to talk about the encounters in the raid itself, with a couple of weeks gone and some kills in, which may or may not happen next week. If not, definitely the week after.
At the center of the dury of battle stand the warriors: protection, arms and fury. Check out more strategies and tips especially for warriors, including Cataclysm 101 for DPS warriors, a guide to new reputation gear for warriors, and a look back at six years of warrior trends.