Hit the jump to see the battle!
Round 1: Class
Wow. It doesn't get any more regal than this. The Alliance Tier 9 for Paladins is a brightly burnished gold and pearl with cool blue drapery. As opposed to the Death Knight's armor, whose spikes are textured to mimic bone, the Paladin set looks knightly and noble. The chest icon is a lionine head and the helmet has shades of wings. The bright glowing parts complement this set rather well.
In contrast, the Blood Elf version is in the right color for a Blood Knight but just doesn't have the right profile. Sanguine red and gold is perfect for a champion of Silvermoon, but the black spikes seem out of place in a Paladin's armor. Despite the Sin'dorei's darker demeanor, they're still proponents of The Light. This armor set doesn't quite convey that.
Verdict: With one look, you know which set is the Paladin, right? The Alliance shine bright here.
Round 2: Faction
White, blue, and gold? Unquestionably, the Alliance Paladin Tier 9 set hearkens to Stormwind in all its glory. It's virtually impossible to imagine a Horde character in this armor. Meanwhile, the Horde Paladin Tier 9 set scores major points for a proper Sin'dorei color scheme. It also has enough black to evoke the Horde, so it's a pretty decent representation. However, there are no Horde symbols, which really would've helped push this set a bit further.
Verdict: While the Horde Paladin set has red and black, there's an over-abundance of gold that takes away from the whole effect. Gold simply doesn't feel like a Horde color. That's why I said some Horde symbols would've helped. The Alliance reap great justice in this round.
Round 3: Overall Look
While it's not spectacular, there's just no questioning the fact that the Alliance set looks perfect for Paladins. I've used pretty much all the proper words for it - regal, knightly, noble. In short, it looks great and it's hard to imagine Alliance Paladins shunning away from this armor set. In comparison, it takes a bit of stomaching to wear the Horde set with pride. Sure, the colors are right, as well as the swirly details on the shoulders, but the spikes are just too detrimental to the Paladin vibe. Something about the set just doesn't click, particularly the helm, which doesn't look good on Blood Elves.
Verdict: I've heard a lot of negative reactions to the Horde Paladin set, and it's because it just doesn't hold a candle to the brighter, shinier Alliance version.
Winner: Alliance 3-0
Round 1: Class
Let's be honest here... neither of these armor sets actually look like they were intended for Priests, do they? Although the Alliance set gets some bonus points for actually using a traditionally priestly color scheme, which incorporates a lot of white, it doesn't have some usual elements like a halo or angel wings. This doesn't mean it doesn't look like a Priest set, it just doesn't deliver the same punch as, say, the Avatar Raiment.
The Horde set could very well be a Warlock's set (which it actually is, with different texture...), right? On the other hand, there's something going for this set that no other Priest set has before it save for the Level 60 Horde PvP sets - it looks phenomenal for Shadow Priests. More than any other armor aside from that one, this set is something that reminds people of the darker side of Priests.
Verdict: Considering neither has specific elements that promote the idea that they're Priest sets, I'm going to have to call this a tie.
Round 2: Faction
Once again, the Alliance set pulls the old blue, white, and gold combination although this set doesn't have any of the icons or symbols, just the colors. Conversely, even though the Horde Priest Tier 9 has Horde symbols in the usual places - shoulder, gloves - they're in the wrong color and disappears pretty much into the whole scheme of things. There's also an absence of red, the Horde traditional color. Both sets have something going for them, but also lack that special something that establishes the set as unmistakably belonging to one faction. The Horde set's symbols are discernible only through close scrutiny, but at least they're there.
Verdict: The Horde steal this one by the tiniest fraction.
Round 3: Overall Look
If I had a Discipline or Holy Priest, I'd certainly appreciate the stylings of the Alliance Tier 9 set. If I were a Shadow Priest, I'd welcome the grimmer tones of the Horde set. Both sets look great, just as the Mage set we checked out yesterday. And just like the Mage set, the designs seem to cater to a particular spec. On the other hand, the Alliance set actually lends itself to all specs better than the Horde set, which doesn't quite resonate as a Holy outfit. You'd be healing while you actually look like you should be melting faces.
Verdict: The Alliance version pulls slightly ahead because of its general versatility. The Horde version is a badass Shadow Priest set but sort of doesn't fit the whole Guardian Spirit thing. At any rate, both look great.
Winner: Draw 1-1-1
THE BATTLE THUS FAR: 4 Horde vs. 4 Alliance
Both sides have now won two match-ups apiece, with the Horde having better Death Knight and Hunter sets, and the Alliance having better Druid and Paladin sets. They've also tied on two sets, Mage and Priest, both cloth sets sharing the same model. In tomorrow's penultimate Mighty Battle, we'll see the armor sets of the Alliance Rogue and Shaman square off with their Horde nemeses. Empty suits of armor duking it out! Mayhem! Madness!
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!