Remember my first shopping list for prot warriors? Wildly popular! Got everything you needed from that list and are eager to run your first heroics? Then let’s do that and check out where you can get the next best gear upgrades.
I am assuming that you have 535 defense, the value to be uncrittable in heroics. If it’s any less, go back to the older list and gear up some more, do your group a favor.
All gear listed will come from four possible sources: BoE crafted or drop, reputation rewards, heroic instance drops or gear you can buy with Emblems of Heroism. If you enjoy spreadsheets, check out the spreadsheet version of this list.
- Tempered Titansteel Helm crafted by blacksmiths. Easy to get, this is still the top dog for me, because of the changes in 3.0.8. A meta and a blue socket? Yes please!
- Arcane-Shielded Helm – Grand Magus Telestra in H Nexus. Meta and a blue socket, yes please! (Sense a theme here?) Also, very high dodge, this is the avoidance helmet of this list.
- Ground Tremor Helm – Moorabi in H Gundrak. Meta and a red socket, sure! This is the threat helmet, with the red socket just asking for a nice threat gem like e.g. Guardian’s Twilight Opal, and the hit rating on it.
- Chained Military Gorget – 25 Emblems of Heroism. What a sweet piece of necklace. I am looking forward to buying this as the first thing I’ll buy with badges.
- Titanium Earthguard Chain – crafted by Jewelcrafters. Until you can afford the badge necklace, this is still a fabulous piece. Befriend a JCer now.
- Shadowseeker’s Pendant – Jedoga Shadowseeker in H Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. If neither of the epic necklaces are available to you, this is a very solid drop with avoidance on top.
- Durable Nerubhide Cape – crafted by Leatherworkers. As long as you can stay crit-immune, this is an incredible cloak.
- Tattered Castle Drape – BoE drop from H Utgarde Keep. Pretty much a sidegrade to the Wyrmrest Cloak but great for SBV sets, if you’re building one.
- Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions – Honored with Wyrmrest Accord. Still really easy to get, and still a very solid cloak to wear until you can get a better one.
- Wapach’s Spaulders of Solidarity – World Drop. I hate it when world drops are the top of any list, but these are the best pre-raiding shoulders you can get. Wishing you the lucky break!
- Pauldrons of the Colossus – Drakkari Colossus in H Gundrak. Unusually, they have shield block rating as second stat, and they have a socket. Pretty nice piece.
- Iron Dwarf Smith Pauldrons – General Bjarngrim in H Halls of Lightning. Last in line with that item-level, they’re solid, though I prefer the flexibility of a socket. Also, prefer most other stats to parry, but beggers can’t be choosers, so I’d take them if I ever dared set foot into the heroic version of that instance.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Breastplate – 80 Emblems of Heroism. If you don’t want to wait for the lucky day that you get the T7 token into your hands, you can spend 80 emblems on buying it. Interesting approach to tier gear. The 2 piece bonus already sets my heart aflutter.
- Breastplate of the Solemn Council – Revered with Wyrmrest Accord. Do your dailies, grab this incredible chestpiece. It really is that good.
- Sun-Emblazoned Chestplate – Sjonnir the Ironshaper in H Halls of Stone. I prefer the expertise of the Wyrmrest chestpiece, but if for some reason you’re really set on getting your hit up instead, this would be a good chestpiece for you.
- Bracers of the Herald – Herald Volazj in H Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. This is one of those must-haves from heroics, the best bracers you will find. Let’s just hope you can brave the Insanity long enough to be able to loot it.
- Bindings of Dark Will – Salramm the Fleshcrafter in H The Culling of Stratholme. Good bracers are few and far between these days, so if you don’t want to wear the Tempered Saronite bracers forever, these are a good bet.
- Svala’s Bloodied Shackles – Svala Sorrowgrave in Utgarde Pinnacle. The state of the prot warrior bracers is so dire that I am listing this drop from normal UP. They’re still the third best.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Handguards – 60 Emblems of Heroism Got a socket, are very well-balanced, clearly the top of the pack, especially when you’re not raiding yet.
- Horn-Tipped Gauntlets – Gal’darah in H Gundrak. Holy moly, look at all that expertise. Do want.
- Fireproven Gauntlets – Exalted with Kirin Tor. If you’re not having drop luck to get the gloves from Gundrak, or simply do not care to run the instance (I have heard nasty stories), these gloves are almost as good, and just about the only reason for prot warriors to grind KT rep.
- Waistguard of Living Iron – 40 Emblems of Heroism. Very solid stats, so if you have nothing comparable and don’t want to run H Azjol-Nerub much, this is the belt for you.
- Ancient Aligned Girdle – Anub’arak in H Azjol-Nerub. At least you have this ray of sunshine waiting at the end of one of the harder heroics out there.
- Skadi’s Iron Belt – Skadi the Ruthless in H Utgarde Pinnacle. On your way to gaining your Red Sword of Courage you should be able to pick up this lovely belt that makes a great addition for any SBV set.
- Bolstered Legplates – Cyanigosa in H Violet Hold. Not much to say, best until Naxx, very good piece of gear and thanks to coming from H VH probably one of the easiest ones to get.
- Ley-Guardian’s Legguards – Eregos in H Oculus. This instance is probably my least favorite because there are so many annoying factors in there, including vehicle combat. Nevertheless, there’s some fine tanking gear to get.
- Legplates of the Infinite Drakonid – Chrono-Lord Epoch in H The Culling of Stratholme. The lack of socket puts it lowest on my pants totem pole, but they’re still pretty good stuff, until you get the Bolstered Legplates.
- Tempered Titansteel Treads – crafted by blacksmiths. They are easy to obtain, have the highest stamina and the highest armor. This is why I rank them highest. In reality, they’re really tied with the other two pairs of boots I am listing, which really makes this a tie between the crafted boots or the Wyrmrest rep boots, unless you’re a huge avoidance fan.
- Greaves of Ancient Evil – Herald Volazj in H Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. Lots of dodge, for avoidance fans.
- Sabatons of Draconic Vigor – Revered with Wyrmrest Accord. Easy to get, excellent boots.
- Red Sword of Courage – King Ymiron in H Utgarde Pinnacle. The Sun Eater of a new generation, we are all facing running this instance whenever we can (and get past the Skadi gauntlet) just to get our greedy hands on it.
- Infantry Assault Blade – Prince Keleseth in H Utgarde Keep. No luck in UP? Visit the easier instance downstairs and the first boss might have a sword for you. Unfortunately it’s slow, but still quite nice.
- Cloudstrider’s Waraxe – Varos Cloudstrider in H Oculus. As discerning orc, this axe would make a shiny toy for me until I get that sword, but sadly, it just has to drop in Oculus of all places. Boo!
- Crygil’s Discarded Plate Panel – 35 Emblems of Heroism. As badge competition is high, you might wish to pick up one of the other shields first and burn badges on this very nice one later. All the top shields are pretty nice.
- Royal Crest of Lordaeron – Mal’ganis in H The Culling of Stratholme. Such a beautiful model, though there are silly cries that use horde tanks should not use it. Pfft, I say. Stat-wise, ahead of the Titansteel one, so if I get my hands on it, it’s mine!
- Titansteel Shield Wall – crafted by blacksmiths. Easy to get, so still top of the line.
The next two categories, rings and trinkets, are not listed in order of priority, I just picked six very good candidates for those slots. Your own mileage may vary. Rings and trinkets are best for rounding your character, to fill stat gaps and such.
- Titanium Earthguard Ring – crafted by Jewelcrafters. It’s awesome, it has a socket, it can be bought for gold from any jewelcrafter with the design. Win!
- Keystone Great-Ring – The Prophet Tharon’ja in H Drak’tharon Keep. Screams druid, but if you’re above the crit-limit defense-wise, this is very tasty.
- Band of Torture – Drakos the Interrogator in H Oculus. Much armor on this ring, which makes it pretty attractive.
- Nerubian Shield Ring – Elder Nadox in H Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. Lots of armor rings available, looks like. The differences to Band of Torture are minuscule.
- Ring of Earthen Might – crafted by Jewelcrafters. Armor, dodge, str/sta and a socket, and reaaaaally easy mats.
- Woeful Band – Maiden of Grief in H Halls of Stone. I don’t care too much for parry, but that’s what this ring offers aside from the staples of str/sta and defense.
- Essence of Gossamer – Hadronox in H Azjol-Nerub. 111 stamina? Hot diggity damn. A mitigation effect proc? That’s some fine trinket to me.
- Valor Medal of the First War – 40 Emblems of Heroism. My, you look a lot like Moroes’ Lucky Pocketwatch, don’t you?
- Darkmoon Card: Greatness – Darkmoon Nobles’ Deck. So much strength. Of course you can also get the agility trinket, for extra mitigation and crit, but I would go for strength, most likely. The proc would be strength for prot warriors. There’s a reason cards of the nobles deck are insanely expensive atm. Befriend a scribe.
- Seal of the Pantheon – Loken in Halls of Lightning. Wot, a normal instance drop, listed? Yup, because it’s still the only defense trinket, and defense is awesome. The on-use is also nice. Never dropped for me, of course.
- Offering of Sacrifice – Gal’darah in H Gundrak. Your basic armor trinket that offers an extra Last Stand effect. Combine with Enraged Regeneration to save your ass.
- WotLK Shopping List for Protection Warriors, Part I: pre-heroics
- WotLK Shopping List, Part III: 10-man raids