Today is the last day we'll pit armor based on how well they represent their faction, their class, and how generally badass they look. Badass must be criteria why the Horde are edging out the Alliance armor sets, which look more goodass than badass. Anyway, hit the jump to see how each faction's Warlock and Warrior sets stack up against each other!
Round 1 - Class
Considering we've gone through two iterations of the cloth sets in the past week, you'd think this would end up the same way. Not quite this time. Looking at the Alliance set, it's pretty simple - if nobody told you that was a Warlock hiding underneath that 'ooh, I'm shady' hood, you wouldn't have guessed it was Warlock tier armor. I used a gnome to help you visualize. Are you getting that infernal, Warlock-y vibe now? No? I thought so. That's because there's nothing vaguely demonic about this armor. Even the obsidian patches are a weak nod to the class.
The Horde, on the other hand, get something that screams sinister. Spikes? Sure. Red glows? We've got that. Blizzard tops it off by coloring the set mostly violet or purple - the freaking class color. Sure, I put it on an orc to remind you of Gul'dan, but it'd have the same effect if I draped it over a bunny.
Verdict: The Horde banishes the Alliance to hell on this count
Round 2 - Faction
With three sets, you'd think the Alliance would've tried to vary out of the blue and gold shades, but no, it looks like blue and gold are mandatory in the Alliance army. It's not even the correct shade of blue or gold, it's more like some sort of persian blue and tarnished copper. There are no Alliance symbols, either. Overall, the armor set only vaguely hints at an allegiance to the Alliance and never really establishes it.
We've got a little bit of red, some sort of sangria for that dried blood effect, but what makes this set evoke the Horde feel are the fur, the spikes, and four freaking, correctly-colored Horde symbols on the shoulders and gloves! The only thing that can represent this set better were if it had a banner flying out the back that says 'For the Horde!'... which, actually, you can have if you've become champion of one of your home cities in the Argent Tournament.
Verdict: Horde keep the Alliance banished (that's a pretty long duration spell)
Round 3 - Overall Look
I like the Alliance set, it's a pretty cool assemblage that some have criticized for looking like plate. It's really just the sculpted shoulders, which is pretty acceptable since shoulder pieces can have some sort of reinforcement, anyway. But the Alliance set fails on two counts... it doesn't look like a Warlock suit and it doesn't evoke an Alliance feel strongly enough. As cool as it looks, it pales in comparison to the more... badass look of the Horde Warlock set. The Horde just have it much cooler for Warlocks this round.
Verdict: The banish spell crits and never expires
Winner: Horde 3-0
Round 1 - Class
On its own, the Alliance Tier 9 Warrior set stands up rather well. It's pretty soldierly, even knightly, and the similarities with the Paladin or Death Knight armor sets aren't so bad considering one of the best class sets back in the day were the Level 60 PvP Field Marshal sets, which were identical. But at this point, the whole design schematic gets tiring, specially when the coloration is so close to one another. Aside from the sword icon on the chest (which is a lion for Paladins and a skull for Death Knights), there's little here that truly separates the armor set as distinctively Warrior.
For the Horde set, what can I say? It's spiky. For a Horde Warrior, it really doesn't need much else. The faceplate is a revisitation of the Onslaught tier set helms, while the spiky shoulders actually evoke the spiky Battlegear of Might that High Overlord Saurfang himself wore. While there's little else about the set beyond that, it looks like plate, has spikes, and isn't colored anything like you would expect a Death Knight or Paladin's armor to be.
Verdict: The Horde slam the Alliance on this round
Round 2 - Faction
Because the Alliance blacksmiths are lazy bums, they decided once again to use the old blue, gold, and white color combination, which always works. One look at this set, and you can tell it's an Alliance character, even from a great distance. Heck, anyone wearing this set can stand on the walls of Stormwind and look like they were statues there. Sure, as some of you pointed out, there's more to the Alliance than the humans, but if a set were colored draenic pinks and purples, would you think Alliance? Hrm. See?
No Horde symbols and the wrong shade of red make this a totally generic armor set that could be worn by just about anyone. This set would actually look rather fine on dwarves, who also use red and happen to like spikes. There's nothing distinctively Horde about this set at all, not even the fur lining which really is kind of useful in butt-freezing Northrend.
Verdict: The Alliance overpower their way here
Round 3 - Overall Look
The only thing really detrimental about the Alliance armor set is the fact that there are two other armor sets out there with very nearly the same colors. Otherwise, it looks pretty amazing, actually. It feels noble, stoic, and has an underlying strength about the design. The drapery works well with it, too, and is the kind of armor you wouldn't be surprised to find heroes like Tirion Fordring wear.
On the other side, we have a plate set with... spikes. There really isn't much going for this set other than some pretty badass spikes. If we were to be completely honest here, the shoulder pieces aren't particularly striking in the way the Alliance shoulders are - never mind the fact that they look like fist weapons, they are pretty distinctive. The Horde shoulders without the accompanying glow could very well be greens that drop while leveling in Northrend. In a word, the Horde set looks a bit too generic for my tastes.
Verdict: Alliance heroically strike out the competition
Winner: Alliance 2-1
FINAL FRIDAY BATTLE TALLY: 6 Horde vs. 6 Alliance
Whoops. Would you look at that, a tie. As much as I tried to be impartial during this exercise (I play Horde exclusively), I didn't plan on everything to end up all even. But going through my own criteria, I honestly put the Alliance ahead on several counts - I'm sure it didn't help that I was actually amused by the uniqueness of the leather corsetry. That said, in the very first Mighty Battle I mentioned a way to break the tie, which was through scoring through armor class wins. Looking through the past few days, we've got...
CLOTH: Horde wins - Mage (tie), Priest (tie), Warlock (Horde)
LEATHER: Alliance wins - Druid (Alliance), Rogue (Alliance)
MAIL: Horde wins - Hunter (Horde), Shaman (Horde)
PLATE: Alliance wins - Death Knight (Horde), Paladin (Alliance), Warrior (Alliance)
Ouch. So much for that tie-breaker. Blame Blizzard for having an even number of armor types! Since it seems like I can't break this stalemate myself, it rests upon your shoulders, dear readers, to swing this battle one way (or the other). We'll recap your votes in a few days to see who is truly victorious in your eyes! Battle it now!
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