We all know this one's going to take a while.
Every expansion brings with it the gear reset - without it, we'd just keep wearing our previous gear, and there'd be little point to running dungeons. Whether you're decked out in Heroic Dragon Soul gear or haven't quite hit level 85 yet, there's going to be a whole new gearing cycle, repeated with every patch. We remember it from the original game, from The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm and we'll soon get to know it again in Mists of Pandaria.
There have been a few changes this time around - the reputation gear has been changed so that there's justice and valor point gear on each faction vendor, for instance. There are no level 90 dungeons, instead going straight to heroics as soon as you hit level 90. Therefore, there's gear you'll collect as you run dungeons, and gear you'll collect when you hit level 90 and start collecting the heroic dungeon versions of that gear. There's also a few epic pieces sprinkled through the dungeons.
This week, we're going to talk about gearing up through dungeon running. Going from 85 through 90, dungeons remain a viable way to get gear to make leveling easier, even though I suspect attempting to level purely through dungeons will be extremely onerous. I wouldn't recommend it. We'll list each dungeon's drops both on normal (for when you're getting to 90) and heroic (once you're there).
Surveying the leveling dungeons
The Temple of the Jade Serpent is one of the first dungeons you'll be able to run. In it, you confront the results of the return of the Sha, and while dealing with that mess a few nice drops are yours to collect. The Dubious Handaxe (Heroic version) drops from the Sha of Doubt, serving as both a reasonable tanking and DPS weapon. On heroic, the Sha of Doubt also drops the Binding of Broken Dreams (DPS bracers) and the DPS cape Cloak of Failing Will, which have no normal version. Meanwhile, the Stonestep Boots (Heroic version) drop from Lorewalker Stonestep for your tanking needs. If you're looking for shoulders, there's the Serpentstrike Shoulders (Heroic version) itemized for DPS from Liu Flameheart.
The Stormstout Brewery only has one drop for warriors on normal, the Bubble-Breaker Bracers (Heroic version) for tanks, dropped from Hoptallus. There's more on heroic, however. For whatever reason, on heroic Yan-Zhu the Uncasked drops three items warriors will be interested in. The Carbonic Carbuncle is a DPS trinket, the Lime-Rimmed Signet is a tanking ring, and Inelava, Spirit of Inebriation is suitable for tanking or DPS.
Next up is Shado-Pan Monastery. You'll first be able to equip the gear from here at level 87 (90 for the heroic versions, of course). Shado-Pan actually has a decent variety of drops for warriors. The Sparkbreath Girdle (Heroic version) tanking belt is available for defeating Gu Cloudstrike. On heroic he also drops the Cloudstrike Pendant, a DPS neckpiece. You can collect the tanking gloves Gauntlets of Resolute Fury (Heroic version) as well as the heroic only tanking trinket Heart of Fury from Master Snowdrift. DPS boots the Spike-Soled Stompers (Heroic version) drop from the Sha of Violence, while Taran Zhu drops his Warmace of Taran Zhu (Heroic version) and the Shield of Blind Hate (Heroic version) as well as the Hateshatter Breastplate, a heroic only expertise/mastery chest that could serve as either tank or DPS.
Mogu'shan Palace is the next leveling dungeon, with gear usable at level 88. I originally typed 99 there, and almost left it in just to see how many of you freaked out. The Trial of the King encounter offers us a nice DPS hat, the Meteoric Greathelm (Heroic version) and the Whirling Dervish Choker, (Heroic version) a DPS neck. Gekkan drops a tanking trinket, the Iron Protector Talisman (Heroic version), and finally Xin the Weaponmaster drops Axebreaker Gauntlets (Heroic version) tanking gloves and the Blade Trap Signet (Heroic version) DPS ring. He also has a very small chance of dropping Mogu'Dar, Blade of The Thousand Slaves, according to the comments on the weapon entry, although it's not listed on my dungeon journal. It's possible the sword has been removed.
Gear from the heroics
The remaining dungeons have no 'normal' mode, all being level 90 dungeons and thus heroics. Three of them, Scarlet Monastery and Scarlet Halls and Scholomance, have lower level versions that offer no new gear for the 85-90 experience.
Gate of the Setting Sun has three drops for warriors, the Acid-Scarred Pauldrons DPS shoulders from Striker Ga'dok, the DPS oriented Grenadier's Belt from Saboteur Kip'tilak, and the tanking bracers Ri'mok's Shattered Scale from Commander Ri'mok.
Siege of Niuzao Temple also has three decent warrior drops. The Sap-Encrusted Legplates are tanking legs (and winners of the most unfortunately name of the expansion award in my book) that drop from Vizier Jin'bak. The Anchoring Sabatons are DPS oriented boots that drop from Wind Leader Ner'onok. And the Spaulders of Immovable Stone are tanking shoulders (with a name like that they'd better be) also from the Wind Leader.
With all the Pandaria-themed dungeons out of the way, that leaves us the revamped Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance dungeons to discuss. Scholomance itself has several drops of interest. Rattlegore drops the Goresoaked Headreaper, a 2h axe with a classic WoW aesthetic. Instructor Chillheart drops the Breastplate of Wracking Souls (tanking BP) and the Gravetouch Greatsword DPS 2h sword (and candidate for transmog in the worst way). Lillian Voss rewards you with the DPS oriented Dark Blaze Gauntlets and the tanking Necklace of the Dark Blaze. Jandice Barov drops the Wraithplate Treads and Phantasmal Drape for tanks. Finally Darkmaster Gandling drops the Vigorsteel Spaulders for tanks, and Lessons of the Darkmaster for DPS (but it could be serviceable for tanks who were significantly low on their active mitigation stats).
Scarlet Halls, the first half of the revamped Scarlet Monastery instances, has three bosses but several drops of interest for warriors. Armsmaster Harlan, the replacement for Herod who needs two shoulders, drops the Armsmaster's Sealed Locket for tanks and the Gleaming Ravager, a DPS 2h axe. (They kept the classic Ravager model, yay.) Houndmaster Braun, abuser of puppies, needs to die and when he does he drops loots including the Canine Commander's Breastplate for tanks and the Commanding Bracers for DPS. Meanwhile, with typical Scarlet Crusade logic they've put a pyromaniac in charge of the library and so Flameweaver Koegler needs to go. When you break him open like a pinata he drops Mograine's Immaculate Might (DPS 2h mace, classic model) and the DPS oriented Pyretic Legguards.
With all that out of the way, only the Scarlet Monastery proper remains. Thalnos awaits, and if you can finally impart some rest to this particular angry dead he drops the DPS Bracers of the Fallen Crusader and the tanking Soulrender Greatcloak. Once you get past Thalnos, Brother Korloff monks it up just outside the Cathedral - give him a good kicking in return and you get a shot at the DPS Firefinger Ring (Haste is useless for tank warriors, so this is a very marginal use for them) and the tanky Helm of Rising Flame. Once Brother Korloff is down, you can turn your attention to the Cathedral itself. Awaiting you are the pair of Commander Durand and High Inquisitor Whitemane. Defeating this duo gives you a chance at the Waistplate of Imminent Resurrection (tanking waist), the Triune Signet (DPS ring), the Lightbreaker Greatsword (DPS 2h sword), and a small chance at Helios, Durand's Soul of Purity, am epic tanking necklace.
And that takes us through dungeon drops in Mists of Pandaria. Next week, reputation rewards.
At the center of the fury of battle stand the warriors: protection, arms and fury. Check out more strategies and tips especially for warriors, from hot issues for today's warriors to Cataclysm 101 for DPS warriors and our guide to reputation gear for warriors.