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.
Seven bosses down, six to go. Let's talk about the loot we're going to, well, loot from the Siege of Orgrimmar. As an aside, this is the most I've ever felt like I was actually looting a place.
Winner of the prestigious "Name that I keep sticking extra A's in for no reason" award, and this raid's Hulk impersonator. What does the big M drop? Besides pain. He drops some pain. But also loot. Let's look at it, shall we?
Malkorok's Skullcleaver - solid for either tanking or SMF fury, with hit and critical strike rating and a red socket. It also appears to have a set of tauren horns mounted on the side of it, which is somewhat disturbing.
Vial of Living Corruption - tanking trinket, the stam on it is useful (stam is still a solid tanking option, even if it lacks the appeal of hit or mastery or an avoidance stat) but the cooldown reduction is the real draw here. It actually works on both Last Stand and Shield Wall for protection as well as Recklessness, meaning you can get more crit and thus put out more damage/threat (as well as guaranteeing a Shield Slam critical hit to Enrage you).
Malkorok's Giant Stompers - tank/DPS boots with expertise, mastery, a blue socket and a crit bonus on that socket. I'd definitely use them for tanking over DPS unless expertise is a significant problem for you, there's better DPS options for boots in the raid as a whole.
Malkorok's Tainted Dog Tags - See, this is why it feels like we're really actually looting a place - we're practically rummaging through Malkorok's entire kit of worldly possessions. This necklace is a very solid melee DPS neck for warriors, with critical strike and mastery.
Legplates of Willful Doom - On the one hand, very nicely itemized DPS legs with crit, mastery and three sockets. On the other hand, with legs and gloves dropping not just in this raid but from the Celestials on the Timeless Isle (not the Timless Isle, although I have not seen Tim out there yet) it's likely you'll have your 2 piece by the time you fight Malkorok, and thus, these legs won't be of much use to you.
Blood Rage Bracers - Parry/Expertise tank bracers, solidly itemized. Good for a warrior tank.
Spoils of Pandaria
This fight is interesting - I recommend you get your best AoE DPS spec ready to roll for this one. It takes a little learning, depending on which side you're on, but it's not hard as such. And as you might expect from a fight where you're basically fighting Garrosh's security system so you can jack his goodies, there is loot to be had.
Ancient Mogu Tower Shield - If you didn't pick up the shield from Sha of Pride, or just like parry/mastery better, this is a solid (and to my mind, much better looking) shield. It really comes down to how much expertise you have otherwise.
Helm of the Night Watchman - Since Thok drops your protector token, you may end up wearing this for a while until you get that if you're a DPS warrior - the crit and overall stats make it a solid choice, although the haste is underwhelming. The haste means you wouldn't even sneeze on it for protection. Remember, your legendary meta gem will work in this helm.
Ominous Mogu Greatboots - I'm not sure why these boots are ominious. The mogu mostly just walk around barefoot - do they find the very idea of boots ominous? These are dodge/expertise boots, solid for tanking complete with a blue socket and a dodge socket bonus. If you're not already swimming in expertise these may be your best option - if you're already capped they're less attractive.
Seal of the Forgotten Kings - Well, this ring is frustrating as a DPS warrior. It's got crit, which we love, but not only is the secondary stat haste (which we're indifferent to) but the red socket has a haste bonus. Which does mean we can slap another crit gem in it without worrying about that bonus, I suppose. Moderately better for arms than fury.
Untarnishable Greatbelt - Parry/Mastery tanking belt with two sockets (three with belt buckle). I'm a sucker for a belt that is basically a great big glowing "Hit me here" button. Tanks must have crotches of iron. Anyway, nice stats, good tank belt, looks like it's an glowing arrow pointing at your junk.
Thok the Bloodthirsty
Whoo boy, he's not kidding about it, either. What loot awaits those fortunate enough to get past this dino's tendency to make people explode? Well, Thok drops the Helm of the Cursed Protector, always attractive for both tank and DPS wars, but what else?
Icy Blood Chestplate - parry/mastery tank chest with two red and one yellow socket. If you're expertise capped it's a very attractive possibility.
Devilfang Band - An expertise/mastery ring with a red socket with more expertise as a bonus - useable if you're short exp as a DPS but probably better for a tank looking to cap out that stat. Not my first choice for either.
Thok's Tail Tip - An interesting trinket, better for pallies and DK's than us since it only increased critical strike damage not crit strike rating, but still probably the best single target DPS option in the raid for us after the Evil Eye of Galakras. Mastery is a solid secondary DPS stat, and while haste isn't ideal, it does add something. Combine that with the strength proc and the added critical strike damage, and it becomes a solid choice for us.
Britomart's Jagged Pike - Get it if you're rocking a Throne of Thunder normal weapon or below, since it's got much higher damage and a yellow socket, but haste and mastery are simply not an ideal itemization for us and its better for ret pallies. I happen to not raid with any ret pallies (yes, I raid in heaven) so this is a solid upgrade for me as an arms warrior - I would definitely avoid it as fury unless I was desperate. (I happen to be desperate, since that stupid Sha of Pride won't give me a sword already.)
This is a goblin's goblin - a goblin so utterly motivated by profit that he will work for anybody who meets his price. Too bad he never learned Goblin Rule of Acquisition #147 - "You can't spend the money if adventurers kill you and loot your corpse." What shinies does this fellow drop upon said death? Well, for starters, the Shoulders of the Cursed Protector, but what else?
Blackfuse's Blasting Cord - based on the principle that no one wants to hit you if you're wearing clearly marked explosives, I guess. A parry/expertise tanking neck.
Asgorathian Blood Seal - a Haste/Expertise DPS ring with more haste as a red socket bonus. Are you using a 476 epic? Then get this. Otherwise, there's better in the raid, let the pallies and DK's have this.
Calixian Bladebreakers - Parry/Mastery, so a very solid option for expertise capped tanks. You're likely to have your gloves and legs for your two piece tank set bonus, though, so perhaps not so useful.
Siegecrafter's Forge Hammer - Terrible for tanking warriors thanks to the absolutely useless haste. Moderately okay for SMF fury warriors, since while haste isn't great the mastery and red socket are nice. If you're feeling ridiculously over hit cap this is an option for you.
Paragons of the Klaxxi
These guys don't love warriors. Three drops, one of which is the Leggings of the Cursed Protector that you probably already got running the Celestials on L'isle sans Tim (you just can't get Timbits anywhere on that island) so let's look at the other two.
Kil'ruk's Furious Blade - well itemized for SMF warriors, good for protection since crit will at least help with getting Enraged.
Skeer's Bloodsoaked Talisman - See, this trinket seems more aimed at a DPS warrior than Thok's Tail Tip, with that strength up front and that Cruelty proc. I'd definitely consider this to be superior than Thok's for a fury warrior. For arms, I'm more on the fence - the Haste, Mastery and crit strike damage plus strength proc vs. static strength and a crit proc. I'd still probably prefer this, but not by as large a margin.
And that's the whole raid, right? Anyway, see you next week.
I'm just joshing. I know what you guys want.
What, pray tell, does the big dog of the Siege drop for us warrior types? Quite a bit more than the Klaxxi, that's for sure. Before we even talk about gear, there's the Essence of the Cursed Protector. This is an item that can be turned in at the tier vendor in the Shrine of your faction for any one of the five protector tokens - in essence, this means Garrosh gives you an extra shot at tier every time you kill him. He also drops an amazing set of heirlooms which will last your character from level 90 to level 100, and three of those heirlooms are as good for us as current raid drops - Hellscream's Doomblade (1h strength sword), Hellscream's Shield Wall (dodge/mastery tanking shield) and Hellscream's Decapitator (2h Crit/Haste axe) - note that these heirlooms begin at iLevel 561, making tnem equivalent to a normal drop that's been upgraded twice. There are Heroic and Flex versions as well, but no LFR versions of these heirlooms. As of right now, I would use the Decapitator over Xal'atoh with its two sockets for arms. For fury, I'd probably stick with Xal'atoh, but honestly it comes down to which one drops first, and you'd also get the benefit of a weapon that would last you until level 100. These are amazing items.
There's more, of course. Garrosh being a warrior himself, his drops are appropriate for us, his spiritual kindred. Sure, we have to kick his butt for them, but that's okay, that's like a hug for other classes. Warrior hugs always involve smashing people with axes, swords, maces or polearms. It's why our parties are the best parties.
Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl - This is the best possible warrior DPS option for TG fury - I believe it even beats Hellscream's Decapitator. For arms, it comes down to "Did I get the sword from Sha of Pride yet?" - although I'd put the Decapitator slightly ahead of either, it really comes down to what drops first, as all three are excellent arms weapons. That being said, if I ever get this, I'm mogging it to look like regular Gorehowl.
Greathelm of the Warchief - Apparently Garrosh had a tanking hat ready to go for that five man group Thrall kept promising they'd start up. Maybe that's why he went bad, Thrall couldn't be arsed to get their challenge modes started. Anyway, parry/expertise tanking hat. Maybe Thrall was being a jerk and wouldn't heal? "I'm elemental now, dude." I can see that happening.
Legplates of Unthinking Strife - Haste/Mastery pants. No wonder he chose to wear those stitched together dungarees instead. Haste/mastery on a warrior item? Ewww. (Maybe there's some huge change waiting in the wings where haste will suddenly be good and we'll all be scrambling for it.) For now, pass.
Spaulders of the Fallen Warchief and Tusks of Mannoroth - These are both plate DPS shoulders with crit strike and mastery. The Spaulders have two yellow sockets, the Tusks have three red sockets. The Spaulders have a 120 strength socket bonus, the Tusks have a 180 strength socket bonus. I'd give the Spaulders a slight edge for fury and the Tusks the nod for arms, but one thing to keep in mind - the Spaulders match your warrior tier set. The Tusks look like the shoulders Garrosh is wearing - they literally are the Tusks of Mannoroth. Also, the Tusks do not seem to drop in LFR or Flex, only in Normal/Heroic raiding. So, yeah - all in all, on pure coolness factor, if you can get the Tusks, you really should. But the Spaulders are a solid option for your offspec piece if you can't get the Tusks, or just want to slap two crit gems in and be done with it.
Curse of Hubris - another piece of proof that Garrosh wanted to go tank. This stamina trinket with an on-use crit boost makes me think that for fights with a lot of AoE damage, you might want to pick one of these up as a non tank (slap your loot specialization to prot once you've got everything you want from Garry H, use a coin, bid offspec once your tanks that want it have it) and use it in place of a usual DPS trinket. As for tanking warriors, the boosted crit will help you get enraged, so more rage for Shield Block and Barrier use. I'm still not sure it's really worth it for most tanking situations, but it could be nice for fights where threat's an issue as well.
And now, seriously, we're done. Next week I may cover Ordos, crafted gear and discuss tier set bonuses, like the protection 2 piece (so good).
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.