Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Retribution Paladin's Guide to Gearing for Raids

In the spirit of the last post, I decided to throw together a list of gear for the fledging retribution paladin that has his or her sights set on raiding. So come, padawan learners, let’s go on a journey together. It’ll be magical, I promise.


If you are willing to spend some gold or spend some time farming the mats, you can’t go wrong with Spiked Titansteel Helm. However, if you can’t afford this, go with Faceguard of Punishment, a quest reward from regular UP. The Spiked Titansteel Helm is the clear winner here, though, as you’re unlikely to see a better upgrade until you start running 25 man raids.


Again, a number of options here for a number of different playstyles. Enjoy grinding honor? Get either Deadly Gladiator's Pendant of Triumph or Deadly Gladiator's Pendant of Victory, depending on where your hit rating is at. Rather throw gold at it? Get Titanium Impact Choker. Have a lot of Emblems of Heroism for some strange reason? Buy Pendant of the Outcast Hero.

Out of these choices, my recommendation is the PvP neck, with either crit or hit. The craftable neck is slightly less desirable because ArP isn’t our greatest stat choice. And in my ever-so-humble opinion, the badge necklace is a waste of Emblems that could be spent elsewhere (cough T7 cough).


You’ll have to wait till you get enough Emblems of Valor or for a lucky drop in a 25 man Naxx run to look like a Power Ranger. Until then, a few choices abound. Hateful Gladiator's Scaled Shoulders, if you don’t mind PvPing, are a solid choice. If not, Pauldrons of the Lightning Revenant from regular Halls of Lightning are competitors if you throw in a Bold gem of some kind (+12 or +16 Strength). The HoL shoulders have Hit too, so take that into consideration as well.


As the pattern might suggest so far, I will give you two options: PvP and PvE. In my defense, I am not just falling back on Hateful gear out of laziness; it is actually pretty good gear and is relatively easy to get if you are willing to spend some time in BGs. That being said, Hateful Gladiator's Scaled Chestpiece is a solid choice if gemmed properly (either both +Str gems or +Str and +Hit, if you’re lacking in Hit, the socket bonus is worthless for raiding). Otherwise, Breastplate of Undeath from heroic Drak’tharon Keep is a good choice as well.

If you get the Breastplate of Undeath, save it in your bank when you end up replacing it, if only to look at it and chortle (real word, look it up) to yourself every once in a while; it is the highest iLevel plate chestpieces that has Agility on it.


I have to leave some decisions up to you. I’d go with Martin Fury to be honest, just be hush hush about it.


Really? You want me to… really? No, you pick. Although I will say that if you're doing a guild run of Naxxramas, there's nothing that you can do more to represent your guild than by donning your Guild Tabard whilst galavanting around, smiting your foes... or being smiten (smote? smited?) by them. Hey, whether your pink kitty tabard is the last thing they see before they die or only thing they see when your lifeless body lies before them, your guild will get noticed.


For the love of all that is holy and sacred, get Wristbands of the Sentinel Huntress. If you can shell out the coin, these are great. Usually raiders going through Ulduar who have no use for Emblems of Valor will bank them and then sell these BoE bracers. I’ve seen them go for as low as 600g, so keep an eye out.

If gold farming ain’t your thing, there are always Deadly Gladiator's Bracers of Triumph from PvP, Vengeance Bindings from blacksmithing (that mats are pretty damn cheap, don’t wuss out), or if you DO wuss out, Golden Limb Bands from heroic Azjol-Nerub.


Again with the BoE gear. Zeliek's Gauntlets are excellent, if expensive. After that, I would recommend either Hateful Gladiator's Scaled Gauntlets or Fists of Loken, that latter of which drops in normal Halls of Lightning.


Oddly enough, it has taken this long to throw an epic drop from a heroic in here. I recommend Flame-Bathed Steel Girdle over any other belt short of raid drops. If you are extremely unlucky, you could shoot for either Deadly Gladiator's Girdle of Triumph from none other than Player vs. Player combat, or The General's Steel Girdle from heroic Halls of Lightning.


If you refuse to farm heroics for Emblems of Heroism for your Tier 7 gear, I am COMMANDING you to at least run heroic Utgarde Keep to get these bad boys: Staggering Legplates. The 80 Hit rating is incredibly sexy, and the two sockets are quite attractive as well. As a matter of fact, I’m not even going to give you an alternative. If you’re thinking, “Hey Antigen, if I get exalted with the Wyrmrest Accord I can get these: Legplates of Bloody Reprisal,” then we’re no longer friends. You’d rather have 90 ArP than 80 Hit? You poor, misguided fool. Just make Daddy proud and get the Utgarde Keep leggings and let your Tabard of the Wyrmrest Accord rot in the bank.


Maximum coinage awards you with maximum epic lootz. Battlelord's Plate Boots and Iron-Spring Jumpers are both BoE, the former being made by blacksmithing and the latter a drop out of Naxx. If you can’t afford these (and I wouldn’t blame you), grind some HKs for Deadly Gladiator's Greaves of Triumph or run heroic Nexus to get Rift Striders.


For this section, and probably with the next as well, I’ll just place a few rings in a best-to-worst order, and you can decide which you can get and which you can’t:

  1. Inscribed Ring of the Kirin Tor
  2. Surge Needle Ring
  3. Deadly Gladiator's Band of Victory
  4. Titanium Impact Band
  5. Hemorrhaging Circle
  6. Mobius Band


We’re almost there, guys and gals. I think for this section, since trinkets have many different on-use or equip effects, I’ll just list a bunch and you can pick and choose which stats you need and whatnot:

Those last three are not the greatest, so tread carefully. If you come across a trinket that I didn’t list and you think it’d be a good fit with the rest of your gear, go right ahead and try it out.


Easy. Libram of Reciprocation is quite possibly the biggest waste of 15 Emblems of Heroism. I mean, seriously, you’re not going to use it. You won’t be using Seal of Command when you’re raiding , I hope (ok, with the advent of patch 3.2, the removal of Seal of Blood/Martyr and the emergence of Seal of Vengeance as “the new PvE seal,” you COULD use Seal of Command for some trash pulls, but for single target DPS it’s Seal of Vengeance or GTFO).

Get either Venture Co. Libram of Retribution or Libram of Furious Blows, the first available by doing about 20 minutes of Venture Co. dailies in Grizzly Hills, and the second available from a quest in Borean Tundra. I’ve read some sources that say one provides more DPS than the other, and then that the other provides more DPS than the first. The difference is minimal, go with whatever if more convenient.


Finally, probably the most important piece of gear you can lug around with you. I’m going to go with only one of each type:

Polearm: Saliva Corroded Pike from heroic Violet Hold

Two-handed axe: Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver from heroic Halls of Lightning

Two-handed mace: Titansteel Destroyer from blacksmithing (BoE)

Two-handed sword: Greatsword of the Sin'dorei from the Argent Tournament

Yes, you SHOULD work for your weapon, although even the word “work” is exaggerating the effort required for these weapons. Heroics are cake these days, Titansteel Destroyers usually go for 1000g or so, less if you farm the mats yourself, and the Argent Tournament just takes time (9 days, I believe). Suck it up and get your hands dirty.

I will probably get to work on what enchants you should put on your shiny new gear tomorrow, with the uncertainty implied in the word “probably” being the operative sentiment here. Since this took me a few days to write because of a lack of free time, expect another post after a few more days too.

P.S. Sorry to anyone with OCD that noticed the font used in this post is different from the others, copy-and-paste FTL.

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