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 week brings us to the end of our patch 5.4 raid gear guide as we take on Garrosh and the bosses guarding him. In addition, we'll take a quick look at what the world bosses of this patch have to offer a death knight. The disclaimers from previous weeks still apply, so keep those in mind. Read on for the breakdown.
- Asgorathian Blood Seal has haste and expertise, which, for this patch, means it won't show up on any DPS best in slot lists. Consider it a stopgap or a fallback if you need more expertise.
- Siegecrafter's Forge Hammer has haste and mastery. The haste means there's better options for dual wielding frost death knights.
- Pauldrons of Cyclopean Dread have mastery and expertise, making them solid for dual wielders, but only middling for two-handed DPS. Whether you use these or not as a two-handed death knight probably depends on if you need the set bonus or not.
- Shoulderguards of Cyclopean Dread have expertise and mastery, meaning they're relatively solid for blood death knights. While the expertise can be a drag if you're capped or prefer to prioritize avoidance, they'll still get you closer to set bonuses.
- Blackfuse's Blasting Cord has parry and expertise, meaning it's not necessarily great for blood tanks. It's certainly not horrible either. What's going to tip the balance here is whether you need the expertise or not.
- Calixian Bladebreakers have parry and mastery, meaning they're well statted for blood death knights. The downside, of course, is that you still need your 4-piece set bonus, so these may not fit in anyway.
- Kil'ruk's Furious Blade has critical strike and expertise, meaning it's another weapon that's nothing more than a fallback for dual wielding death knights. Let the fury warriors have this one.
- Skeer's Bloodsoaked Talisman tries to recapture the glory of the feather from Throne of Thunder, but it falls a bit short. There's better DPS trinkets this tier for all DPS death knights.
- Greaves of Cyclopean Dread have haste and critical strike, meaning they aren't amazing for any DPS spec, per se. They also have one less gem socket than other options this tier. You'll probably only be using these if you need your set bonuses.
- Legguards of Cyclopean Dread have dodge and mastery, meaning they're pretty solid for tank death knights, especially if you need more dodge to balance your avoidance stats. These will are a pretty good way to get to your 4 piece set bonus.
- Hellscream's Decapitator and Hellscream's Doomblade are not something you'll be using as soon as they drop unless you have been incredibly unlucky with weapon drops. They're heirlooms that scale up to level 100. Keep them in your bank until the next expansion comes out, or mail them to your non-raiding warrior or paladin alt.
- Essence of the Cursed Vanquisher can be turned in for any tier piece you've missed off previous bosses.
- Legplates of Unthinking Strife have haste and critical strike rating, meaning they're not great for death knight DPS. There's better to be had.
- Spaulders of the Fallen Warchief have mastery and critical strike, which would make them a solid DPS choice, except that a better pair of shoulders drops from the same boss.
- Tusks of Mannoroth have mastery and critical strike and 3 gem slots, making them arguably the best shoulder slot DPS gearing choice this tier. The major exception, of course, is if you need your tier pauldrons for the set bonus.
- Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl is the best two-handed DPS weapon for death knights this tier, with critical strike and mastery helping it to edge out other choices.
- Curse of Hubris is technically listed as a tank trinket, but the critical strike means you should leave this one for the guardians and brewmasters.
- Greathelm of the Warchief has parry and expertise, meaning it's not too amazing for a tank death knight. You should likely stick with your tier helm in most cases.
Ordos has two big things to remember. First, at least one of your characters will need a legendary cloak for you to fight him. Second, everything he drops is warforged. This means they'll be incredibly good upgrades if you're in Raid Finder or Flex raiding. If you're a normal or heroic raider, you'll eventually get better from the raid in most cases. You'll also have to factor in whether the warforged stats beat out any tier bonuses you'd have to give up. Ordos drops gear for almost every slot for both DPS and tanks. I'll highlight some of the more tempting options here:
- Anafielle's Spiked Choker has hit and mastery, meaning it's going to be great for dual wielding and even passable for tanking as long as you need the hit rating.
- Greatbelt of the Crendor also has hit and mastery, meaning it pulls double duty as a solid option for both blood and dual wield DPS death knights.
- Hoodrych's Bloodied Chestplate has critical strike, mastery, and 3 gem slots, meaning it's very solid for two-handed DPS death knights.
- Magmaplates of Jian Wu Xi Feng also has critical strike and mastery, making it a solid choice for the leg slot. It does, however, only have 2 gem slots, which makes it inferior to some raid drops.
- Magdalena's Murderous Crown has haste, meaning it's not actually incredible for death knights. However, since it's named after one of our own, I wanted to include it anyway.
All four celestials drop the same loot, and you can only get loot from one of them (plus one bonus roll) every week. As with most basic world bosses for the past few expansions, they drop tier gloves and legs. Said tier drops are normal, meaning they'll be a good upgrade chance for Raid Finder and Flex raiders. They also drop epic PvP gear, which may end up being an upgrade for you if you're still using Raid Finder drops from last tier, so check them out even if you don't PvP.
Both Ordos and the celestials will drop the usual consolation prize box if you don't get loot off of them. This box, however, can have epic loot in it. Celestial Treasure Boxes from the celestials will have raid finder versions, while Ordos' Flame-Scarred Cache of Offerings will drop Flexible versions. In addition, normal versions of these drops can drop off of mobs in Siege of Orgrimmar, and the caches off the raid bosses in Raid Finder and Flex modes can contain these as well.
- Aeth's Swiftcinder Cloak has critical strike rating and expertise, making it a decent choice for two-handed DPS death knights until you get your legendary cloak.
- Turtleshell Greatcloak has hit and mastery, which makes it relatively solid for death knight tanks or dual wielding DPS.
- Zoid's Molten Gauntlets have critical strike, mastery, and 2 gem slots, meaning they're a very solid choice for any DPS death knight until you get tier gloves.
- Gauntlets of Discarded Time have parry and expertise, meaning they're only fair to middling for blood tanks.
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.