3.3 will go live today, which means I have to work on my shopping list for plate tanks very soon. To tide you over in the mean time, let’s look at what tanking goodness expects us in the 3 wings of the new 5-man in Icecrown. Running the wings on normal gets you ilevel 219 loot, on par with Ulduar-10, and running it on heroic gets you ilevel 232 loot, on par with Trial of the Crusader-10.
The Forge of Souls
The first wing offers 2 bosses, Bronjahm, who will clearly be a sex machine, and Devourer of Souls.
- Lucky Old Sun (Bronjahm, normal) – almost identical to Legacy of Thunder from Ulduar-10, with subtle differences (more strength, no expertise, less def and dodge, but parry), same baby rattle model. Not a true upgrade if you already have the Ulduar mace or Peacekeeper Blade, but not bad.
- Sollerets of Suffering (Devourer of Souls, normal) – interesting name, for sure. These boots are for threat, with shield block value on them, so I personally prefer the itemization of Boots of Heartfelt Repentance. Nevertheless, that’s a good amount of stamina and strength on them. Spiked Deathdealers are still the best deal compared to those other two available outside of a raid.
- Legplates of Frozen Granite (Devourer of Souls, normal) – these are pretty strong pants. Socket, oodles of stamina. Very high def and hit which has become a little bit more important for tanks in recent times. Do you know how much a missed taunt sucks? A lot.
- Black Spire Sabatons (Devourer of Souls, heroic) – Now that’s what I am talking about. Those boots are a lot stronger. Still not as good as the Spiked Deathdealers as they have no sockets, but definitely very solid all around aside from that.
Pit of Saron
The second wing has three boss encounters, Forgemaster Garfrost, Krick and Ick and finally Scourgelord Tyrannus.
- Shoulderplates of Frozen Blood (Forgemaster, heroic) – very nicely itemized shoulders, because I love expertise. I keep hovering around the dodge cap, so seeing more expertise on gear makes me happy.
- Ick’s Rotting Thumb (Krick and Ick, heroic) – that’s a disgusting name and with Chill of the Throne in Icecrown, I don’t know that anyone would use this instead of one of the high stamina trinkets. Still, that’s a lot of dodge, and a Last Stand effect for Oh Shit! moments.
- Scourgelord’s Frigid Chestplate (Scourgelord Tyrannus, normal) – another solidly itemized piece of gear. Not as strong as the T9 chest, but a great filler piece until you have enough Emblems of Triumph.
- Rimefang’s Claw (Scourgelord Tyrannus, heroic) – very nice tank sword. Yay for catering to the Alliance masses. QQ for us poor axe-starved orcs, again.
- Icebound Bronze Cuirass (Scourgelord Tyrannus, heroic) – another chestpiece, and probably nice for a hit set. I’ll still go with T9 chest instead, because of the sockets.
Halls of Reflection
The last wing is supposed to be amazing lore-wise. Let’s see how amazing the drops are along with that!
- Splintered Door of the Citadel (Falric and Marwyn, normal) – funny how the doors of the Citadel look exactly like shields from Ulduar. I call mine Harry, btw. But aside from another example of laziness with models, let’s look at the numbers, compared to the Shieldwall of the Breaker. Good news: the first shield available outside of a raid since Culling of Stratholme. Bad news: definitely not as solidly itemized as the Ulduar shield, but good armor, high stamina and defense. For anyone who’s still lugging around the Royal Crest, this shield is fab.
- Eerie Runeblade Polisher (Falric and Marwyn, normal) – Cloaks for tanks are rare as well, so this is a very nice drop. It’s about on par with the Platinum Mesh Cloak, which I still think has a slight edge thanks to the expertise on it, but only a slight edge.
- Falric’s Wrist-Chopper (Falric and Marwyn, heroic) – Well, hello thar. What a mighty fine tanking axe you are. Screw the block rating, I want you. I am an orc, shiny big axes belong in my strong hands. You’re no Ardent Guard, but I love you anyway, because of the expertise. Rar!
- Crystalline Citadel Gauntlets (The Lich King, normal) – That’s a lot of SBV on those gloves, so nice for a threat set. Other than that, not convincing, Mercy’s Hold from ToC or the Conquest badge gloves are stronger.
- Second Helm of the Executioner (The Lich King, heroic) – This is a very fugly model, ew. Blue socket, meta socket, oodles of stamina and high expertise are fabulous. The shield block rating we get dumped on our helmets not so much. But not bad.
- Fossilized Ammonite Choker (The Lich King, heroic) – very strong necklace. No complaints from me.
And that’s it. As summary, there are a lot of great pieces to gear up people and bring them up to speed with current content. Nothing I found is quite as good as any of the Emblem of Triumph gear nor better than any drops in Trial of the Crusader-10. I willl definitely try to get the axe, and maybe pick up some of the SBV stuff for a threat set (that I mostly use in heroics anyway), but I already have pretty decent gear. For everyone else playing catchup, or who never had much luck in Ulduar-10 or ToC-10, there’s some fantastic gear upgrades to get in there.
Good luck with patching, and have fun with the new 5-man! The upgraded shopping list for 3.3 will be published next week, so stay tuned.