It’s been a while since I posted versions I and II of the shopping list (pre-heroic and heroic gear). Ulduar is live, and then there’s the good ol’ Naxx gear, so it’s time to look at the three top pieces of gear for all slots, for the 10-man raider. Before you ask, I won’t make a 25-man list, but Wowraid has comprehensive prot warrior lists that include the 25-mans and their Ulduar hard mode drops. There’s plenty of tanking blogs out there that will run T8.5 content, so I reach out my welcoming arms to those who will remain in T8 content, like me.
To help out beginning raiders in finding upgrades, I will include a minimum of one Naxxramas-10 drop in each category. Also included is badge-gear that can be purchased with Emblems of Valor.
- Valorous Siegebreaker Greathelm – Mimiron, Ulduar. I am not fully sold on the itemization of this helmet, block rating, huh. Still, a strong piece, as one should expect from the T8 headpiece.
- Ironbark Faceguard – Freya, Ulduar – Now that’s a sweet piece, with plenty of expertise. My gut feeling prefers this hat to the T8 one.
- Thane’s Tainted Greathelm – Four Horsemen, Naxxramas – Easily beats the T7 hat for avoidance, and is your best bet for avoidance fights. Would prefer having it for starting Ulduar.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Greathelm – Kel’thuzad, Naxxramas – For me the weakest piece of the T7 set and the part I swap out for bosses. Very heavy on threat stats, so it gets its time to shine when tanking trash or farm content.
- Mark of the Unyielding – Kologarn, Ulduar – a beautiful avoidance piece which is a direct upgrade from the Naxxramas necklace listed below.
- Fervor of the Protectorate – Ulduar trash drop – Not really the best itemization for warriors, but if you’re heavily loaded with defense, you might use it as a threat piece. If not, I would pass it to a DK who is interested in tanking.
- Amulet of Autopsy – Heigan, Naxxramas – The smaller version of the Kologarn neck. Armor, str and sta, def and dodge. Not bad.
- Medallion of the Disgraced – Naxxramas Trash – Here’s your warrior threat piece, with some lovely SBV value. Would not recommend for avoidance fights, but it’s lovely for sets heavy on SBV.
- Valorous Siegebreaker Pauldrons – Thorim, Ulduar – Another hybrid piece, with avoidance and threat stats both, but certainly nothing to sneeze at.
- Valorous Dreadnaught Pauldrons – 60 Emblems of Valor – Still a great piece of gear, with sockets, high dodge and some block rating.
- Shoulderguards of the Solemn Watch – Kologarn, Ulduar – More hybrid shoulders, and definitely weaker than the T8 shoulders, as they are itemized for parry and block rating. They also have no sockets at all. Maybe as a buffer piece until you get the T7.5 or T8 shoulders
- Abomination Shoulderblades – Patchwerk, Naxxramas – The best avoidance shoulders you will get in Naxxramas.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Pauldrons – Loatheb, Naxxramas – Last but not least, the T7 shoulders are also decent, the set bonus is great, so hold on to them for the bonus alone.
- Saronite Animus Cloak – General Vezax, Ulduar – I would consider it a sidegrade to the badge cloak, as it uses parry instead of dodge for avoidance.
- Platinum Mesh Cloak – 25 Emblems of Valor – a very nice cloak that doesn’t cost too much in badges.
- Gale-Proof Cloak Sartharion +1 – The only cloak with a socket, adding some flexibility to the cloak.
- Durable Nerubhide Cape – Leatherworking – Still a fabulous avoidance cloak to head into Ulduar and Naxxramas with, if you have the defense to afford wearing it.
- Cloak of Armed Strife – Maexxna, Naxxramas – This is definitely a threat piece, so is quite nice in a threat set. Would not wear it for progression.
- Valorous Siegebreaker Breastplate – Yogg-Saron, Ulduar – The next-to-last boss in Ulduar is hoarding chest tokens, so depending on your progression it might be a while until you see it. Definitely the case for me. Another parry heavy piece, Blizzard expects us to be very high on dodge at this point, I believe. This so far seems to be the only chestpiece that drops in Ulduar-10, which I find very disappointing.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Breastplate – 80 Emblems of Heroism/Four Horsemen, Naxxramas – Sockets, dodge, this is definitely a piece to buy with badges unless you get lucky with drops right from the start.
- Massive Skeletal Ribcage – Sapphiron, Naxxramas – Not a bad piece, but I prefer the T7 chest. Also, do not want to look like a DK.
- Flamewatch Armguards – Flame Leviathan, Ulduar – So the loot pinata of Ulduar drops these bracers. Bracers are a tricky piece for protection warriors, so there’s much love for getting shiny new bracers so early in Ulduar.
- Bracers of Dalaran’s Parapets – 60 Emblems of Valor – If you’re having no luck with the above, you can always buy those badge bracers. However, that also depends on your progress in Ulduar as slow progression means slow rate of getting badges.
- Minion Bracers – Naxxramas trash – The only bracers that drop in Naxxramas. I was lucky to get them early on, so cross your fingers every Naxx raid.
- Valorous Siegebreaker Handguards – Freya, Ulduar – On top of the avoidance, you get some hit, which is not as good as expertise, but not bad per se.
- Gauntlets of the Iron Furnace – Ignis the Furnace-Master, Ulduar – Armor penetration, wtf? A very strange stat to find on tank gloves, but probably part of the Blizzard drive to make armor penetration attractive. I don’t quite see it. Still, they score higher for avoidance than other gloves, so they might be worth a shot.
- Adamant Handguards – Ulduar trash – The same as the above can be said for these gloves. Higher on survivability, and yet they come with stuff like block rating.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Handguards – 60 Emblems of Heroism or Sartharion – One of the first badge purchases of every prot warrior, I would say.
- Indestructible Plate Girdle – Blacksmithing – I was on the fence if I should post the blacksmithing gear from Ulduar. The plans drop in Ulduar-25 after all, and this is a 10 man list. However, if you are rich and can find a crafter on your server, that’s the best you can shoot for.
- Stormtempered Girdle – Razorscale, Ulduar
- Waistguard of Living Iron – 40 Emblems of Heroism – A very solid choice, and not significantly worse than the above belts.
- Waistguard of the Tutor – Instructor Razuvious, Naxxramas – Merely listed for completion’s sake, this belt would do well in any SBV set, but is definitely inferior for avoidance.
- Gilded-Steel Legplates – Flame Leviathan, Hard Mode, Ulduar – Very heavy on defense, parry and expertise at the cost of 25 strength and a socket compared to T8. If you are ready to tackle hard modes, you’re probably justified with preferring parry because of dodge diminishing returns. I really need to check when DR make dodge less interesting.
- Valorous Siegebreaker Legguards – Hodir, Ulduar – Why we get stuff like SBV on our tier sets, I really do not understand.
- Archaedas’ Lost Legplates – Auriaya, Ulduar – This is for the discerning tank with no defense problems. Tanking pants with no defense at all in their budget, amazing stuff! :O If you can make them work using the yellow socket for extra defense, make it so, because they are pretty amazing, all things considered.
- Valorous Dreadnaught Legguards – 75 Emblems of Valor – T7.5 are still an option, if you cannot get a hold of any of the above before accumulating so many emblems.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Legguards – Thaddius, Naxxramas – If you are still in the Naxxramas bracket of raiding, Thaddius drops the token for the T7 legs, which aren’t bad at all.
- Legplates of Inescapable Death – Loatheb or Gluth, Naxxramas – The other pair of pants coming from Naxxramas are heavy on SBV and again best suited for a trash/heroics/farm set.
- Spiked Deathdealers – Blacksmithing – Another of the Ulduar-25 blacksmithing plans, so prepare to spend a lot of gold if you wish to get those made.
- Kyzoc’s Ground Stompers – 40 Emblems of Valor – Considering there are so few options when it comes to boots, this is likely going to be my first EoV purchase. Especially as Noth just isn’t coughing up my boots.
- Plague-Impervious Boots – Noth the Plaguebringer, Naxxramas – The only option for boots that actually drop in a 10-man raid.
- Shiver – Hodir, Hard Mode, Ulduar – This weapon was recently buffed, so is even nicer now. Disappointing for me that maces are what it’s at in Ulduar, but time for dwarves and humans to rejoice for extra expertise.
- Legacy of Thunder – Thorim, Ulduar – Holy moly, that’s a big mace to the face. No socket like Shiver, but beautiful stats otherwise. Do want.
- Slayer of the Lifeless – Gothik the Harvester, Naxxramas – Our tanking weapon drop from Naxxramas is a sword. Nice stats, and yet, why couldn’t it be an axe?
- Axe of the Sen’jin Protector – 25 Champions’ Seals – Technically speaking, this is not a raid drop, but it’s only a recent addition to the game not covered by my previous list. This is the axe for every discerning orc tank and all those tanks who are not having any luck in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. Easily obtainable if you can suffer through the monotony of the Argent Tournament dailies.
- The Boreal Guard – Hodir, Hard Mode, Ulduar – Hodir’s hard mode will probably be the dream to crack for any aspiring tank. Both the shield and the main hand are obtained that way.
- Shieldwall of the Breaker – Auriaya, Ulduar – Not a crazy huge upgrade from Malygos’ shield, but if you are already at the dodge cap for expertise, definitely worth replacing, for extra armor and stamina options. However, the stats are changed in 3.1.2, with extra expertise, so I don’t know which shield would be the winner anymore.
- Barricade of Eternity – Malygos – Ever felt like lugging around a Greek pillar? Here’s your shot. Pretty design, awesome stats.
- The Skull of Ruin – Grobbulus, Naxxramas – The only shield offering in Naxxramas is itemized for threat, and belongs into an SBV set. For avoidance fights, I would revert back to either the H CoS shield or the crafted one.
- Signet of Winter – Hodir, Ulduar – This BoE ring drops off Hodir and has no defense at all. If it didn’t have parry, it would scream druid ring. If you can afford wearing it, it’s certainly a strong offer.
- Signet of the Impregnable Fortress – 25 Emblems of Valor – What kind of name is that?? Packs huge defense, so it’s a very nice, early badge purchase. Lesigh, I should PUG Archavon some, shouldn’t I?
- Deflection Band – Anub’rekhan, Naxxramas – The tanking ring from Naxxramas drops very early in, has solid stats, not a bad option.
- Signet of the Accord – Sartharion – This BoE ring should be available on the AH, considering how easy a kill Sartharion with no drakes is.
- Furnace Stone – Ignis the Furnace Master, Ulduar – Prepare to fight feral druids for this trinket. Tons of avoidance, and a big armor boost on the on-use effect.
- Royal Seal of King Llane – Yogg-Saron, Ulduar – Massive amounts of stamina. The on-use might not be as useful as some, but it’s still good. Effective health + avoidance, always cool in my book.
- Repelling Charge – Thaddius, Naxxramas – Otherwise known as ‘the trinket that drops when I am on my healer’. This should fill any defense gaps, and the on-use is -nice-.
- Valor Medal of the First War – 40 Emblems of Heroism – one of the mandatory badge purchases, IMHO. In a time where you don’t easily have access to a lot of avoidance trinkets, this should do the trick on progression content.
Hope you enjoyed. Wish me the best of luck, we’re heading into Ulduar with an expeditionary force on Saturday, to see how we will fare there.