Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.
I owe you all the reputation gear guide I promised weeks ago, and so, here it is. Never let it be said that I completely procrastinate on stuff I said I would do for weeks on end. I mean, it's true but you don't have to say it. The various quartermasters for the factions can be found here, if you're trying to figure out where to spend your precious points. They are precious, aren't they? Much like your torso. While there's ilevel 458 justice point gear, I'm going to be focusing on the epics, as those will last you longer overall. By the time you earn enough JP's to buy anything, you often have better gear from the dungeons you're running anyway.
Each faction has different items - some helms, others bracers, etc - and so, ultimately, it's most rewarding to work on Golden Lotus first in order to unlock the August Celestials and Shado-Pan, since that will get you access to the most items. The Klaxxi are a good faction to work alongside the Golden Lotus until you get the Shado-Pan and August Celestials unlocked, since you'll probably unlock revered with them before you finish getting Golden Lotus to revered, and can then focus on Shado-Pan and August Celestials. We'll cover Golden Lotus and Klaxxi rewards first, since you'll have access to them first, and then the other two.
It should be pointed out that if you are raiding 10 or 25 man normal Mogu'shan Vaults, you may already have access to gear on par with these rewards. That's intentional - Blizzard wants raiders to gear up from raiding, with valor points more serving the role of consolation prize if you just can't get that drop you need. But if you primarily run heroic dungeons or LFR, then these reputation rewards will be upgrades.
First up we have the Golden Lotus. Like most reputations, there are now decent epic items at honored reputation (this wasn't the case at launch) which are worth your time. Specifically the Golden Lotus have two rings available for purchase at honored, Alani's Inflexible Ring (a tanking ring with double avoidance itemization) and the Ring of the Golden Stair, a DPS ring with crit and expertise.
At revered, the Golden Lotus has shoulder and chest armor available. The chest armor is interesting because it has the exact same socketing options, a blue and yellow socket, and while the Cuirass of the Twin Monoliths is definitely a tank chest, the Dawnblade's Chestguard could serve as either a DPS or tanking chest depending on if you gear for hit and expertise as a tank or not. (There are currently two schools of thought on that, the Mastery/Dodge and Parry tanks vs. the Hit and Expertise/Mastery tanks. Either can be viable, depending on how you tank.) For shoulders, we have a much more definitive difference between the two.
The Stonetoe Spaulders are DPS shoulders. They have crit and hit and a yellow socket. The Shoulders of Autumnlight are tanking shoulders with dodge and expertise and a yellow socket.
The Klaxxi are the most straightforward faction in terms of gear acquisition - you don't have to unlock them via another faction's quests, you don't have to use them to unlock someone else, and you get a lot of Klaxxi rep from the zone's questing before you even start the dailies. In terms of rep gear, you get everything you need from the Klaxxi by revered, with the Exalted weapons being of the exact same quality and iLevel as heroic dungeon drops (iLevel 463). Still, they exist, and if you don't have better by the time you have exalted you can buy them, so I will mention them here. The Klaxxi also reward blacksmithing patterns, so if you're a smith you'll be interested in getting to honored with them for the various blacksmithing patterns, which can make iLevel 476 breastplates and gloves and iLevel 463 weapons, as well as this expansion's belt buckle. Many of these recipes requiring Living Steel as well as Spirits of Harmony, making them terribly expensive on some servers.
There are two necklaces available at honored for warriors - the Bloodseeker's Solitaire for DPS, and the Paragon's Pale Pendant for tanks. At revered, the Klaxxi offer belts and legs, with warriors being interested in the DPS and tanking options since we still don't have that healing spec. When do I get to yell people back to life, Blizzard? The belts are the Klaxxi Lash of the Consumer (tank all the way) and the DPS oriented Klaxxi Lash of the Rescinder. Considering that the LFR belt Star-Stealer Waistguard has two sockets I'm not knocked out by the Klaxxi tank belt. (The normal mode Star Stealer has the extra socket and equivalent stats to the Klaxxi belt, making it superior.) But like I said, reputation gear isn't meant to be as good as drops from raids.
The leg options are the Kovok's Riven Legguards (dodge/exp tanking legs that I love just for the name, cause Kovok is awesome) and the Legguards of the Unscathed, which sound like tanking legs but which in fact are DPS legs. And as I said before, at exalted you can get weapons, two of which you can even use if you don't have better yet, the Amber Espada of Klaxxi'vess for SMF and prot warriors and the Amber Flammard of Klaxxi'vess for TG fury and arms warriors (and my long dreamed of arms tanking spec that I'm trying to make work.)
The starry heavens and the guardians who never rest
Now that we've covered the revered rewards for these two factions, what about the Shado-Pan and August Celestials? I'm neither glad nor upset that you asked, since either way I'm going to tell you. It's the whole point of the post.
Like all factions, the Shado-Pan award various items at honored. In their case it's capes. I know, who doesn't love a good cape? The Cloak of the Dark Disciple is your DPS option with crit and mastery and it sounds like Doctor Strange would fight the dude wearing it. Or, optionally, like you could credibly tell people that you are the terror that flaps in the night when you wear it. Yi's Cloak of Courage is a tank cape with parry and mastery, but it has no such duck related potency.
The Shado-Pan are unique in that they offer trinkets. At revered, we have access to the Iron Belly Wok for DPS and Lao-Chin's Liquid Courage for tanks. Also available at revered are helms, the Voice-Amplifying Greathelm for DPS and Yi's Least Favorite Helmet for tanks, who should probably feel mildly insulted right about now.
Finally, the August Celestials and their offerings on display. At honored, the Celestials offer a variety of bracers. Warriors will be interested in Braided Black and White Bracer for DPS, itemized for crit and expertise, while the Battle Shadow Bracers are your parry/hit option for tanks. At revered, the Celestials offer boots and gloves. For DPS, the Tankiss Warstompers baffle and confuse me with their name. Why would you put tank in the name of the DPS boots? The tanking boots, the Yu'lon Guardian Boots, should be named the Yu'lon Armsmaster Boots just to confuse people more.
For DPS, the Streetfighter's Iron Knuckles are your crit/haste glove option. I admit I kind of wish these had a cosmetic effect where they yelled hadouken occasionally when you hit people. The Gloves of the Overwhelming Swarm, tanking gloves, sound like we're getting them from the wrong faction, frankly.
That covers the rewards from the various factions. Next week, either TG vs SMF vs Arms in terms of DPS, or the hit and expertise debate for protection.
At the center of the fury of battle stand the warriors: protection, arms and fury. Check out more strategies and tips especially for warriors, from hot issues for today's warriors to Cataclysm 101 for DPS warriors and our guide to reputation gear for warriors.