Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.
This analysis is made on the basis of the normal 25-man raid drops. If you are running raid finder, many valor point choices may pull ahead because of superior item level. On the other hand, you do have a highly limited number of valor points due to the 1000 per week cap, so in some cases you may want to "settle" for the raid drop so you can use your valor points to buy something else. In addition, DPS will want to maintain 7.5% hit and 7.5% expertise at the raid level. This can usually be accomplished via reforging, but there may be times you take an "inferior" piece of gear to hit one of those caps.
The Stone Guard
- Beads of the Mogu'shi, with dodge and expertise, are a relatively low quality tank neck option for blood death knights. You are probably better off getting the Durable Necklace of the Golden Lotus (from this exalted faction quest) if you can hold out while you grind the reputation to unlock it.
- Star-Stealer Waistguard is the other tank drop here. It's got dodge and mastery, and is probably about the best tank belt you're going to get until some of the newer raids open up.
- Jasper Clawfeet are your DPS drop option here. Unfortunately, critical strike and mastery is probably about the most lackluster secondary stat combination you can get for death knight DPS. That said, the gem slot does push them over Tankiss Warstompers as far as boots go.
- Bracers of Six Oxen are your tank option here. Dodge and parry certainly isn't the worst combination you can get, and you can always reforge the dodge into mastery. Battle Shadow Bracers have more parry, but they also have hit rating and an inferior amount of strength, so there's probably better stuff to spend your VP on.
- Cloak of Peacock Feathers features critical strike and expertise rating, making it fair to middling for unholy and two-handed frost, and a little less tempting to dual wield frost. Of course, the VP option, Cloak of the Dark Disciple, is possibly a little worst, so this is another case where you take what you get or wait for the Heart of Fear drop.
- Nullification Greathelm, with haste and critical strike, is actually a very solid drop for DPS death knights. It's better than your VP option, and probably worth spending a charm to get.
- Sollerets of Spirit Spliting are your tank boots. Mastery is always welcome on tank gear, and the dodge can be reforged as needed.
- Soulgrasp Choker features both hit and haste rating, making it about the best you could hope for for a DPS drop, no matter what your spec. That said, If you're absolutely overloaded on hit rating, you may want to buy Bloodseeker's Solitaire with your VP. Otherwise, stick with the Soulgrasp.
- Bonded Soul Bracers are your DPS bracer option, and with haste and expertise, are pretty hard to beat for the slot.
- Shoulderguards of the Unflanked are the tank shoulder drop here. Parry and hit rating aren't an optimal secondary stat combination, but you can reforge the hit to mastery and still have a solid pair of tanks shoulders. Besides, the VP shoulders, Shoulders of Autumnlight, have dodge and expertise, which is really even worse.
- Breastplate of the King's Guard has haste and mastery, making it a very solid DPS chest piece. If you need hit and expertise, you can pick up the VP option, Dawnblade's Chestguard, instead, but if not, this will do pretty solidly for just about any DPS death knight. Unholy and two-handed frost, of course, will want to reforge the mastery.
- Elegion the Fanged Crescent is an epic one-handed strength weapon. If you're a dual wielder, save a charm for this. It's the best weapon you'll get until Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring open up.
- Starshatter is the epic two-handed drop here. Reforge the critical strike to haste (unless you're overloaded on expertise) and you're good to go. Essentially, Elegon is probably sure bet to spend a coin on if no other boss in this dungeon is, at least until you have your weapons.
- Band of Bursting Novas is a tank ring, but dodge and expertise make it second rate. You may want to hold out for drops from later raids.
- Starcrusher Gauntlets offer hit and haste, making them a very good DPS drop. In addition, the gem slot pushes it firmly over your VP option.
- Vial of Dragon's Blood is a trinket that offers mastery and a chance to proc some dodge rating. The solid amount of mastery is a definite plus, though the value is somewhat diminished by the randomness of the proc, and the fact it uses our weakest defense stat.
- Chestguard of Eternal Vigilance features expertise and parry rating. You can make it work if you reforge the expertise to mastery, of course. It is once again, better than the VP option if nothing else.
- Jang-xi's Devastating Legplates offer haste and hit rating, making them some top tier DPS legs, especially once you take the two sockets into account. You'll want to grab these.
- Lei Shin's Final Orders come with innate haste rating and a proc that grants a burst of strength, making this an amazing trinket for any DPS death knight. It's another one you'll want to get your hands on for sure.
- Jade Warlord Figurine has stamina and mastery on use, making it a solidly good tank trinket.
- Jade Charioteer Figurine offers strength and haste on use, bringing the number of amazing death knight DPS trinkets in the vaults up to two.
Learn the ropes of endgame play with WoW Insider's DK 101 guide. Make yourself invaluable to your raid group with Mind Freeze and other interrupts, gear up with pre-heroic DPS gear or pre-heroic tank gear, and plot your path to tier 11/valor point DPS gear.