It is time for the first edition of my shopping list for this expansion, tried and true since TBC days. As always, I will list at least 3 items per slot, in order of desirability. For those who do not have loot luck I will include at least one item per slot that you can obtain without relying on pure RNG. If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment. I <3 comments.
I would like to note that pretty much all ilevel 346 items are VERY similar, with slight tweaks of the stats. It's hard to pinpoint which piece comes out as superior in general. Use your own stats as guideline, fill in your weaknesses, and remember you can always reforge. I generally favor parry and mastery in this expansion, for Critical Block and Hold the Line!
- Helm of the Proud – 2,200 Justice Points. A steep price for a nice helm, offering pure avoidance stats, plus the obligatory meta and normal gem socket.
- Helm of Setesh – Setesh, H Halls of Origination. Very similar to the helm below, but with more strength. If you want more oomph, nice, but it’s pretty much a sidegrade from the rep helm.
- Grinning Fang Helm/Crown of Wings – Revered with Dragonmaw/Wildhammer Clan. Nothing to sneeze at. I find the rep is easy to come by if you do the dailies, and I was just into Honored after finishing Highland quests, so it won’t be a long grind at all.
- Elementium Guardian – Jewelcrafting BoE. This has a socket, so it will end up being the highest stamina necklace outside of raids for a while. Unfortunately, it’s not on my server’s horde AH yet, so I will have to coerce my guild’s JCers to buy this, or maybe level the jewelcrafting of my DK.
- Carrier Wave Pendant – Ascendant Lord Obsidius, H Blackrock Caverns. Parry and Mastery, my current favorite combo.
- The Lustrous Eye – 1,250 Justice Points. Mastery, want.
- Mountain’s Mouth – Honored with Guardians of Hyjal. The cheapest, nicest tanking necklace you’ll ever get. Available at level 83. If you have quested in Hyjal, you will actually end up all the way to Revered with those guys, so pick this necklace up at 83 and wear it until you replace it in heroics.
- Pauldrons of Edward the Odd – BoE World Drop. These will very likely cost a pretty penny if you see them up in the AH. But they are quite sweet indeed. If you are very rich or very lucky, the way to go.
- Earthshape Pauldrons – Drahga Shadowburner, H Grim Batol. Solid stats and a precious blue gem socket.
- Sunburnt Pauldrons – 1,650 Justice Points. Not a fan of the hit, not while I am still struggling to get expertise capped, for example. But that’s what reforging is for!
- Earthshape Pauldrons – Drahga Shadowburner, Grim Batol. No gem socket, and less stat budget, but definitely the best choice before you venture into heroics.
- Pharaoh’s Burial Spaulders – Quest reward for Harrison Jones and the Temple of Uldum. For all you unlucky fellas, just complete the lengthy Uldum quest chain and choose the shoulders as reward.
- Wrap of the Great Turtle – Exalted with Guardians of Hyjal. I loved that turtle, I really did. Beautiful cloak too.
- Zom’s Electrostatic Cloak – BoE World Drop. Haven’t seen this one around yet, but it’s definitely a shiny cloak. Not quite as shiny as the turtle’s though, so I would probably save my money.
- Twilight Dragonscale Cloak – Leatherworking BoE. It comes with a socket, so it’s a very attractive gear choice if you can find a crafter for it.
- Billowing Cape – Asaad, H Vortex Pinnacle. Attractive stats, and supposedly the easiest heroic out there.
- Cloak of War – Leatherworking BoE. Some leatherworkers seem to craft this to get to 525, so you might get this a lot cheaper than the above cloak. It’s an excellent choice pre-heroic and currently mine, thanks to a donation from a guild crafter. Thanks, Tondo!
- Hardened Elementium Bulwark – Blacksmithing BoE. If only you had sockets, oh shiny hauberk. Mat costs are steep, but I shall definitely craft one of those pre-raid, once I can get my hands on Chaos Orbs.
- Beauty’s Plate – Beauty, H Blackrock Caverns. Very attractive stats plus two sockets. If you don’t want to save up for the crafted piece, a nice choice to farm instead.
- Chestplate of the Steadfast – 2,200 Justice Points. Not cheap by any means, that’s a few heroics to run.
- Breastplate of the Witness – Quest reward for Closing a Dark Chapter, Grim Batol. Best pre-heroic choice. Complete Grim Batol on normal and you’ll be the owner of the shiny new chestpiece if you remembered to pick up the quests.
- Sandguard Bracers – Exalted with Ramkahen. Shiny epic bracers obtainable per rep. Just what the doctor ordered. Too bad there’s only one daily for the camel people.
- Shackles of Undeath – Lord Godfrey, H Shadowfang Keep. The new final boss of SFK, I am looking forward to going there, though I hear it’s definitely not that easy. Excitement.
- Armguards of Earthly Light – Isiset, H Halls of Origination. Again, not a fan of the hit this early in content, but I would grab them if they dropped for me.
- Armguards of Earthly Light – Isiset, Halls of Origination. The non-heroic version are the best choice pre-heroic, so good luck. I love the instance, so it’s all good to me.
- Fingers of Light – Rajh, H Halls of Origination. Excellent stats, my favorite gloves.
- Numbing Handguards – 1,650 Justice Points. Are they too tight, or why are they numbing? Replacing parry with dodge, they’re almost as good as the above, not a bad purchase at all.
- Gloves of the Greymane Wall – Baron Ashbury, H Shadowfang Keep. See my comments above. A little bit different stat budget. Weaker for lack of mastery, but not bad by any means.
- Fingers of Light – Rajh, Halls of Origination. The best pre-heroic choice.
- Hardened Elementium Girdle – Blacksmithing BoE. Definitely crafting this one.
- Belt of the Ferocious Wolf – Exalted with Guardians of Hyjal. This belt is obviously tailored towards DPS, with crit on it, but reforging the crit to an avoidance stat might make this fairly attractive. Especially as this belt has a gem socket.
- Girdle of the Mountains – 1,650 Justice Points. All avoidance, all the time.
- Sand Dune Belt – Augh, H Lost City of the Tol’vir.
- Belt of Guardianship – World Drop. This would be the best pre-heroic choice, and it shares exactly the same stats as the non-heroic Sand Dune Belt. Which obviously drops off Augh in regular Lost City of the Tol’vir.
- Triton Legplates – Neptulon’s Cache, H Throne of the Tides.
- Greaves of Splendor – 2,200 Justice Points
- Stone-Wrapped Greaves – Honored with Earthen Ring. Best pre-heroic pants, and you can get them at level 83. A steal. My biggest hurdle was actually finding their quartermaster, as I hadn’t quested in Vash’jr.
- Boots of Sullen Rock/Gryphon Rider’s Boots – Exalted with Dragonmaw/Wildhammer Clan. Very strong boots, well worth the rep grind!
- Baron Silverlaine’s Greaves – Baron Silverlaine, H Shadowfang Keep
- Ramkahen Front Boots – Quest Reward for completing Lost City of the Tol’vir. Certainly the most easy to obtain, though I personally find Lost City the most challenging of the level 85 instances.
- Elementium Moebius Band – Jewelcrafting BoE. Solid ring with a gem socket, so find yourself a Jewelcrafter!
- Ring of Three Lights – Siamat, H Lost City of the Tol’vir.
- Felsen’s Ring of Resolve – Revered with Therazane. Felsen means rock in German, and that ring will help you be a rock for your groups. One of the easier rep grinds, so Revered is easy to obtain if you have quested in Deepholm.
- Red Rock Band – Revered with Ramkahen. A ring that can be used both by DPS and prot warriors, as all can use the stats on them. If you can’t get your hands on one of the above, not a bad choice.
- Temple Band – Zone Drop BoE, Halls of Origination. I have seen this ring sold on the AH for 500 to 650 gold. Certainly an option if you don’t feel like rep grinding or running regular instances.
- Leaden Despair – High Priestess Azil, H Stonecore. Nummy stamina, and an effect that might save your bacon when the going gets tough. Not bad at all!
- Za’brok’s Lucky Tooth – Quest reward for Four Heads are better than none, Twilight Highlands. The number 2 choice for stamina fans, and it’s a quest reward!
- Porcelain Crab – Mindbender Ghur’sha, H Throne of the Tides.
- Impetuous Query – Zone Drop BoE, Lost City of the Tol’vir. Snag it up in the AH if you see it. Not only are the stats quite nice, the on-use will also make it seem that you are Bladestorming all over the place. I love it.
- Elementium Fang – High Priestess Azil, H Stonecore. The most attractive pre-raid weapon is a sword. I am a disappointed orc, I tell ya. Stop catering to humans! *waves her campaigning signs around*
- Mace of Transformed Bone – Erudax, H Grim Batol.
- Axe of the Eclipse – Altairus, H Vortex Pinnacle. The lines are blurry between tank and DPS gear these days, and this axe might serve a dual-wielding DK as well as a prot warrior, especially if you reforge the hit for missing expertise or avoidance.
- Mace of the Gullet/Dragonscorn Mace – Quest reward for Fury Unbound/Narkrall, the Drake Tamer, Twilight Highlands. Best pre-heroic weapon, a very nice quest reward.
- Blockade’s Lost Shield – World Drop BoE. Named after Blockade, a player with a collection of shields. What an honor to have a shield named after you. I think I would pee myself if there was ever a Kadomi item. Not that that’s gonna happen, but a girl can dream! Anyway, extremely excellent stats on this one, so good luck with the drop. It’s gonna be pricey on the AH.
- Elementium Earthguard – Blacksmithing BoE. That’s a fine looking shield and the mats aren’t too bad at all, requiring only one Chaos Orb.
- Shield of the Four Grey Towers – 950 Justice Points.
- Shield of the Iron Maiden – Rom’ogg Bonecrusher, H Blackrock Caverns. The two shields are nearly identical, so I would probably save the Justice Points for something else.
- Twilight Mirrorshield/Truthbreaker Shield – Quest reward for Traitor’s Bait/A Villain Unmasked, Twilight Highlands (turns in in Orgrimmar/Stormwind). Best pre-heroic option, and of course also easiest to obtain.
- Thundercall – Asaad, H Vortex Pinnacle. Blizzard has heard our QQ and finally added this weapon to the actual loot tables in-game. It’s been floating around all game databases for a while, and now with 4.0.6 we can finally yank it out of Asaad’s hands. Hopefully. Good luck!
- Muffled Blunderbuss/Silenced Blunderbuss – Quest reward for Dark Assassins in Twilight Highlands.
The best and only option for the ranged slot for prot warriors. Where are the shiny engineering guns or anything else for that slot?
And I am done. That’s a long list. Consider this Kadomi’s Christmas present for tanks if you didn’t already sort out gear for yourself.