Before we jump into our completely serious, no-nonsense discussion this week, I suppose we better touch on the one piece of retribution-related news coming from the 5.3 PTR:
Naturally I, like many of you, got a warm fuzzy feeling reading that particular sentence. Higher overall damage from weapon-based attacks? Sign me up!
While I don't mean to bite the hand that feeds, I am concerned that this is merely a bandage meant to keep ret from lagging too far behind until 6.0 and, as such, ultimately fails to address the cause of the problem.
I'm just spitballing here, but there was talk at the tail end of Cataclysm and the very beginning of Mists that in our calculated stat weights for T14H BiS, strength was already somewhat devalued in comparison to secondary stats, especially haste, and that this could lead to ret scaling much less efficiently than other melee using similar gear.
Regardless, the buff is appreciated, but I'm more looking forward to what the next expansion has in store for our spec.
Paladin transmog is best transmog
Initially I resisted the very idea of transmogging my gear. To me, my gear was a point of pride, even if my belt was enormous or my weapon was disproportionately tiny. It took a lot of time and effort to get heroic raid gear, and I wasn't weighed down by nostalgia of tiers gone by, so why would I ever want to cover up my trophies?
Well, with the advent of LFR and increasingly accessible raiding, those trophies came to mean less and less to me. As petty as it was, seeing every other paladin wearing the same thing cheapened the emblematic sentiment it once had. It was then that I slowly began to realize that my character was not the sum total of his achievements.
Finding exactly what to turn my gear into wasn't an easy decision. Lots of sites compiled lists of BoE green sets or non-tier, offset loot that didn't quite seem to have the same color scheme. A great many paladins readily snatched up the ever-popular Judgement and Lightbringer sets. I wasn't sold on any of this, so I started to look around at some of the lesser-used tier sets from days gone by. Allow me to share some of my favorites.
Justicar Armor I played on a poorly equipped rogue during TBC, meaning I unfortunately didn't get to don this set even though I saw plenty of its tokens drop in Karazhan, one of the only raid instances I frequented that expansion. You can see Justicar Armor in action just below, but if you're looking for the pieces here's where you'll find them:
- Justicar Crown: Token drops from Prince Malchezaar in Karazhan.
- Justicar Shoulderplates: Token drops from High King Maulgar in Gruul's Lair.
- Justicar Breastplate: Token drops from Magtheridon in Magtheridon's Lair.
- Justicar Gauntlets: Token drops from The Curator in Karazhan.
- Justicar Greaves: Token drops from Gruul the Dragonkiller in Gruul's Lair.
- Girdle of Truth: Drops from Netherspite in Karazhan.
- Boots of Valiance: Drops from Moroes in Karazhan.
- Hammer of the Naaru: Drops from High King Maulgar in Gruul's Lair.
Also, the Boots of Valiance ride pretty high on human females, so if you have some spare JP and don't like the thigh-high look, grab Silver Sabatons of Fury from your Justice Point Quartermaster.
Turalyon's Battlegear Ah Trial of the Crusader, how woefully we look upon you now. My fledgling paladin was Horde throughout Wrath of the Lich King, save for one brief period of time at the beginning of tier 9. When I faction transferred I got to see what the hideous Liadrin's set became when you switched allegiances. I was floored by Turalyon's Battlegear.
The tier is available for purchase from Aspirant Forudir at the Argent Tournament for a total of 2,729 Justice Points, though you will have to grab the non-tier pieces elsewhere.
- Turalyon's Helm of Conquest: Purchasable for 591 JP.
- Turalyon's Shoulderplates of Conquest: Purchasable for 478 JP.
- Turalyon's Battleplate of Conquest: Purchasable for 591 JP.
- Turalyon's Gauntlets of Conquest: Purchasable for 478 JP.
- Turalyon's Legplates of Conquest: Purchasable for 591 JP.
- Girdle of the Nether Champion: Drops from Lord Jaraxxus in 10-man Trial of the Crusader.
- Boots of the Courageous: Drops from Icehowl in 25-man Trial of the Crusader.
- Reckoning: Drops from Twin Val'kyr in 10-man Trial of the Crusader.
Engineers can substitute Justicebringer 3000 Specs in place of the tier helm to look as snazzy as Knight-Lieutenant T'Maire Sydes.
Additionally, Blizzard seems to have reused a lot of T9 models in their Jade Forest quest rewards like Greatsword of Kofinna Kottr and Landfall Burnished Greaves, so if you're unlucky with raid drops and either saved those quest rewards or never did the quests in the first place, look no further!
(My apologies to Horde players, but Liadrin's is truly awful. I'm sure you understand.)
Sadly, since the release of patch 5.2 the legs are now actually legplates, no longer a kilt or dress, though I hear it's a bug that Blizzard hopes to fix soon™.
- Valorous Aegis Helm: Token drops from Mimiron in 10-man Ulduar.
- Valorous Aegis Shoulderplates: Token drops from Thorim in 10-man Ulduar.
- Valorous Aegis Battleplate: Token drops from Yogg-Saron in 10-man Ulduar.
- Valorous Aegis Gauntlets: Token drops from Freya in 10-man Ulduar.
- Valorous Aegis Legplates: Token drops from Hodir in 10-man Ulduar.
- Girdle of Valorous Deeds: Drops from Aeonus in The Black Morass on heroic difficulty.
- Silver Sabatons of Fury: Purchasable for 1,650 JP from your Justice Point Quartermaster.
- Abaddon: Drops from Yogg-Saron in 10-man Ulduar.
Quest item substitutes for the boots and belt that I've found match T8 quite well are Jade Tiger Warboots and Jade Tiger Girdle.
Avenger's Battlegear This set took me a bit by surprise. One evening I decided to run through a number of old raids, partially for possible transmog fodder, mainly out of sheer boredom. I jumped into Temple of Ahn'Qiraj, the 40-man raid instance from Vanilla, and set the goal of getting lucky enough to get the Red Qiraji Resonating Crystal to drop for the feat of strength. Instead, I ran into three quest givers after the first boss. For the mere price of some scarabs and idols (which you can get off of the copious amounts of trash in the instance) and epic drops from various bosses, they will fork over our old tier 2.5, Avenger's Battlegear.
I'm still working on assembling this transmog – I have everything except for a good pair of gloves. I'll tell you how to get the set if you promise to let me delude myself into thinking I'm the only one wearing it.
- Avenger's Crown: Requires 5 Stone Scarabs, 5 Crystal Scarabs, 2 Idols of Rebirth, 1 Vek'lor's Diadem, and friendly reputation with Brood of Nozdormu
- Avenger's Pauldrons: Requires 5 Gold Scarabs, 5 Crystal Scarabs, 2 Idols of Life, 1 Qiraji Bindings of Dominance, and neutral reputation with Brood of Nozdormu.
- Avenger's Breastplate: Requires 5 Silver Scarabs, 5 Bone Scarabs, 2 Idols of the Sage, 1 Carapace of the Old God, and honored reputation with Brood of Nozdormu.
- Avenger's Legguards: Requires 5 Bronze Scarabs, 5 Ivory Scarabs, 2 Idols of Strife, 1 Skin of the Great Sandworm, and friendly reputation with Brood of Nozdormu.
- Avenger's Greaves: Requires 5 Bronze Scarabs, 5 Clay Scarabs, 2 Idols of the Sage, 1 Qiraji Bindings of Dominance, and neutral reputation with Brood of Nozdormu.
- Belt of the Fallen Emperor: Drops from Twin Emperors in Temple of Ahn'Qiraj.
- Gauntlets of the Righteous Champion: Drops from Viscidus in Temple of Ahn'Qiraj.
- Kalimdor's Revenge: Drops from Twin Emperors in Temple of Ahn'Qiraj.
I have it on good authority that Flameguard Gauntlets from Molten Core or the green BoE Hyperion Gauntlets match T2.5 well. I'll have to track some down to finish off my collection.
And if you really, really can't get the sword to drop, Felsteel Reaper seems to be an alright replacement.
I think what sells me on a particular set is how well the weapon fits with the armor -- it's pretty much all or nothing as far as I'm concerned, which is why the T8 and T9 sets, while gorgeous and memorable, haven't last nearly as long as my T4 transmog has.
The Light and How to Swing It teaches you the ins and outs of retribution paladins, from Ret 101 and how to gem, enchant and reforge your retadin, to essential ret pally addons.