Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Weapons between 70 and 80

Matthew Rossi

Unfortunately we ran out of time in our Care and Feeding of Warriors series on gear for Wrath of the Lich King ;ast week, just as we were about to cover the weapons to be looking to acquire. This week, post launch, here's a concise list of blues to be had in the 70 to 80 Northrend instances. We've already covered rep rewards, but we may go over some of the same ground here for convenience.

We'll be covering tanking and DPS weapons of both the one and two handed variety. Not all warriors will be taking Titan's Grip, after all. Oh, stop looking at me like that, you know it's true. I stated a fact, I didn't kick a puppy, you can turn off the big sad eyes now.

Yes, of course I specced fury for leveling. Oh, I'll go back to prot once we're all 80 and raiding again, but there was no way I wasn't going fury. I've written ballads about this talent, you think I'm passing up the chance to use it? Oh my word no.

What follows is all pre-raid gear. 5 mans, quests, heroics and badges, but no raids. It's light on PvP gear, because I figure you know how to get that stuff. (Hint: you PvP for it.) Sometimes I mention it if it feels like a category of weapon will be very empty without it, though. Axes, I'm looking right at you here.

One-Handed Axes

The bad news is, if you like axes for tanking weapons or don't plan to go TG, the pickings are mighty slim. The good news is, the axes we have are pretty solid. From the quest Ragemane's Flipper comes the weapon Crescent of Brooding Fury, which has strength, stam, defense and expertise for all your tanking needs. It's definitely not designed aorund the old 'heroic strike spam' paradigm with that 2.6 speed, but the Devastates will hit harder.

Next up are the faction reward Stalactite Chopper and its lookalike The Key. While both could serve as tanking weapons (especially The Key with that hit rating) both are clearly intended for DPS.

Finally, in Heroic Oculus the Cloudstrider's Waraxe is your pre-raiding tanking axe option. It's basically a faster, better Crescent of Brooding Fury.

If you're into PvP, there are three, yes three, options. Technically there's four but one's hunter only. I keep hearing noises that resilience will only work in PvP in Wrath but I have yet to see a blue post on the issue, if anyone reading this can shed more light I'd appreciate it. Untill then, the resilience on this can reduce incoming critical hits, making them reasonable tanking alternatives as well as DPS.

One-Handed Maces

Unlike axes, maces tend to be caster weapons fairly frequently as priests, druids, shamans and paladins can equip them and those classes often heal. Still, there are quite a few weapons for warriors among the blunt objects. One of the things you'll notice is that weapon damage seems to be all over the place for these weapons: the Hammer of Quiet Mourning and Crimson Cranium Crusher have significantly more damage and better stats than, say, the Dragonjaw Mauler, Warsong Punisher or Hammer of the Alliance Vanguard. Based on pure iLevel, that makes sense, but you can get either of the higher DPS options before you can even equip the BoE mace or the rep rewards. Even the Furious Saronite Beatstick can be equipped before those others. The prize of the DPS maces is of course the Stormstrike Mace from heroic Violet Hold.

If you're a blacksmith or know one, there's also the Titansteel Bonecrusher to consider. It's a BoE epic and is roughly equivalent to Naxx 10 drops.

One-Handed Swords

Swords. A staple of heroic fantasy since a kid named Wart pulled one out of a rock. There's a good assortment of swords waiting for us in Northrend.

You can search the AH but it will probably be a while before Lydia's Sharpened Swordbreaker makes it there. Still, it's a decent BoE sword to start off with. It requires level 74 which seems odd to me, as the damage is somewhat low compared to the Savage Cobalt Slicer, also BoE, also requiring level 74 (but this one craftable).

Several quests in Northrend reward swords, including the Sword of Heartwrenching Slaughter, the Blade of the Empty Void, and the Quickblade of Cold Return. Weaponsmiths will be able to craft the Corroded Saronite Edge and the Corroded Saronite Woundbringer. Wyrmrest Accord rep will garner the Fang of Truth at honored, while the Knights of the Ebon Blade offer the Reaper of Dark Souls at revered.

Instance drops? Sure, we have quite a few. Regular Utgarde Pinnacle offers up Ymiron's Blade (off of King Ymiron, surprisingly) while Meathook in CoT:The Culling of Stratholme drops Meathook's Slicer. The naming convention is somewhat unimaginative, I'll grant you. Normal Halls of Lightning is where to go to get the Eternally Folded Blade, a solid tanking choice.

What about heroics? The Interrogator drops in heroic Oculus, the Infantry Assault Blade is a heroic Utgarde Keep drop, and the Crypt Lord's Deft Blade drops off of that heroic Anub'arak. The king of heroic drops is the Red Sword of Courage, from heroic Utgarde Pinnacle, on par with Naxx 10 drops. There's also the BoE Krol Cleaver (yes, that's the Krol Blade model) and Avool's Sword of Jin. And if you run heroics a lot you can burn 50 Emblems of Heroism to pick up Grasscutter.

Fist Weapons

It's no secret that fist weapons are among my favorite weapons in the game. While they're generally itemized for shamans or rogues, they can certainly be put to use by a warrior (I've actually tanked with the Claw of Molten Fury a few times when I didn't think rage would be an issue) - in general, all the main hand fists listed here tend to have a 2.6 weapon speed, making them slow and unsuitable for HS spam or smooth rage generation, but some tanking strategies make use of their heftier Devastates by switching one in once there's a burst of rage to be spent, since Devastate is an instant.

And in general fist weapons look awesome, so anyway, here's a list. DPS with them, tank with them, whatever.

The Shocking Claws are a fast offhand BoE fist you can pull out of the AH on par with Karazhan drops like Fool's Bane. The Borean Smasher comes from a fairly compelling questline for both Horde and Alliance (the Alliance version was bugged out on Norgannon last night so I just moved on.) The Arm-Blade of Augelmir and Drakonid Arm Blade drop in Utgarde Keep and the Nexus, respectively. As a matched set they look intensely badass. Unholy Persuader is a rep reward from the Knights of the Ebon Blade, who as far as I know can't use fist weapons. I break out in giggles every time I imagine Darion Mograine saying in a sepulcherual voice "Ah, crap, another box of fist weapons. Put them on the pile with those shield block value boots we got." At least they pass the unholy savings on to you, right? And finally, have you ever wanted to do a Zul'Jin impression but you couldn't because you have two arms and don't have one of those fancy tonfa-style arm blade weapons? Well, now you can at least have one of the weapons. Good luck cutting off your character's arm.

Finally, if you're of a mind to hit people with what appears to be the severed heads of hellhounds, you can get Greed from heroic Old Strath and Pride from badges.

Two-Handed Axes

I love two handed axes. It's a shame I won't be playing my orc warrior in Wrath, but my tauren assures me that no axes will be wasted. Our first candidate is the Axe of Frozen Death, or as I like to call it, Gorehowl's brother, accidentally lost in the hospital. Very slightly less DPS and raw AP from strength, but loaded with hit rating and crit rating. A solid Titan's Grip contender when you first go to Northrend, available from the same questlines as the Borean Smasher.

Next up is Captain Carver's Persuader, which is a BoE that drops inside a level 74 instance. Sadly, this may take a while to trickle down. If you're looking for an offhand for TG, Ingvar's Monolithic Cleaver is a very solid contender. Good DPS, fast for better rage gen at the cost of less powerfull offhand damage on whirlwind, and 70 hit rating (this weapon can almost make up the TG penalty by itself at 70) and available off of the end boss in the first dungeon you'll see in Northrend. Blacksmith's can make the Honed Cobalt Cleaver, which trades solid enough damage for an incredibly ugly graphic.

At level 75, you're going to get the De-Raged Waraxe. Let's not pretend, okay? It cheapens us both. Win a Ring of Blood style quest that involves stealing a guy's mammoth and stomping on him with it, and it's yours. Then you'll run the Oculus and pick up the Wyrmclaw Battleaxe, one of the first 'better than Sunwell' drops you'll see. And heroic Ahn'katet will see you picking up the Axe of Frozen Death's older brother, the Edge of Oblivion, a solid contender for arms or fury.

Finally a non-raid epic from a heroic, the Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver. It looks exactly like the name would suggest. I want two just to walk around with two sheathed on my back. I would spend 50 gold daily for that privilege. Yes, it would be a vanity respec, and you know full well it would be worth it. It's an axe with three axe blade and two huge bone scythe blades!

Two-Handed Maces

You want to crush people with an enormous club or iron-shot ball of metal. I'm not here to judge you, merely to point you at the various implements for that purpose.

For starters, there's the Petrified Ironwood Smasher, findable on the AH from various mobs in Grizzly Hills. Weaponsmiths can make the Saronite Mindcrusher, which could work well with the De-Raged Waraxe as a set when they hit level 78. Then there's Dirkee's Superstructure, itemized at about the same iLevel as the Wyrmclaw Battleaxe and with the Finkle's Lava Dredger model. The heroic Prophet Tharon'ja drops the Mojo Masked Crusher, the heroic Maiden of Grief drops the Hammer of Grief, and while you're grinding Argent Dawn rep you can pick up the Argent Skeleton Crusher, which is huge.

Finally, last and most definitely not least, the BS craftable, bind on equip, going to sell on the AH for a whole heap of gold (people need mammoths, you know) Titansteel Destroyer. Mayhem on a very pretty stick.

Two-Handed Swords

Northrend is somewhat slim on the sword pickings front in the two-handed weapon category. The first solid rare quality 2h sword you'll see is the Troll Butcherer. Apparently it butchers trolls. I have no trouble believing this, as it dropped for me back in the beta and I proceeded to do exactly that with it. Then there's the Dreadlord's Blade, which you may end up fighting with DK's over as it's got stamina and hit rating for tanking. (I know you also like these statistics, I'm just saying.) Heroic Halls of Stone nets you the Tuning Fork of Annihilation, or as Blizzard calls it, the Sword of Justice. Just imagine dual wielding those. You'd laugh yourself sick. The stats are nice, however. Finally, there's my candidate for best name ever, the Runeblade of Demonstratable Power, available from the Knights of the Ebon Blade (and hey, DK's can actually make use of it! I wonder how they made that error.)

"What do you mean we got in a shipment of perfectly useful two handed swords? You're sure they don't have block rating on them?'


Hey, some of you like polearms. Maybe you hate hunters. I make no judgments, I merely present the alternatives.

Banner Slicer! It looks really hot, and if you see it going cheap on the AH and need a decent arms weapon... you would probably not take this one, as it is a 3.00 speed polearm. But hey, maybe you're desperate. Look, I didn't even want to do this category, but I know if I skip polearms and daggers I'll never hear the end of it, and I'm sure as heck not doing daggers. No. Every time I do daggers you guys freak out on me about how much they suck.

The Icier Barbed Spear. If it wasn't a reward from the same quest chain that gives you the De-Raged Waraxe and Crimson Cranium Crusher, maybe. But it is, and those are better for us. The Whale-Stick Harpoon. Rep reward, decent speed for MS, painfully, blindingly obvious hunter stat stick. Really now.

The Saliva Corroded Pike. Drops in heroic Violet Hold and... huh. Wait a second. 3.6 speed, 86 strength, crit strike by 71... huh. Shave my head and call me Mortimer P. Thacklewait, but I think we've got ourselves an arms weapon here. I did not see that coming.

Stick a fork in me, I'm done! No, I'm not doing daggers. You want to look at pre-raid daggers? Have fun, but I'm not making that mistake again. This post is already long enough to kill a hippo and every time I mention a dagger y'all start breaking into hardware stores for torches and pitchforks. I'm tired of getting bills from Home Depot labeled "Unruly Mob Invoice". Next week, we'll talk about the new instances. Unless we don't.

Check out more strategies, tips and leveling guides for Warriors in Matthew Rossi's weekly class column: The Care and Feeding of Warriors.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr