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Wrath 101: Darkmoon Cards

Zach Yonzon

Now that that Silas Darkmoon and his merry bunch are in town -- well, if you'd like to call outside of desolate Shattrath your town -- it's a good time to take a look at the four new Darkmoon Cards that have come out in Wrath of the Lich King. The method of acquiring the cards, unlike in the past, is no longer as random as it used to be. The new darkmoon cards can be created through the Inscription spell Darkmoon Card of the North, which is learned from Grand Master Inscription Trainers at skill level 400.

It still isn't easy to get the right cards, of course, as each Darkmoon Card of the North can produce one of eight cards from four different decks. With a little patience and a lot of resources, it's possible to get the right cards or trade for them. Failing that, there's always the Auction House, which is still the most common way to complete a deck. You will also sometimes see entire decks for sale. Realm economies notwithstanding, the most expensive deck will be the infamous Nobles Deck. What is the this deck and what Darkmoon Card does it give? A look at all the new Darkmoon Cards in Wrath after the jump.

Darkmoon Card: Greatness
Perhaps the most expensive and sought after Darkmoon Card ever, Darkmoon Card: Greatness is a reward from the Nobles Deck and comes in four different flavors. Each version adds +90 of a particular stat such as Intellect, Spirit, Agility, and Strength, while the proc raises your highest stat -- ideally the one on the card -- by 300. The card is the highest single stat trinket in the game, which alone makes it extremely valuable. The proc, however, which can be triggered by healing (even using bandages) or dealing damage, grants massive returns in different ways.

Because it is a direct stat bonus, it scales well with many abilities. This, like most proc trinkets, has a 45 second internal cooldown, but is almost guaranteed to proc each time. This gives the card proc a 33% uptime (active for 15 seconds every 45 seconds), which is extremely good. I don't think we'll need to go through the possibilities of the card, as the benefits of gaining +390 of a single stat over 15 seconds should be fairly obvious. Depending on your realm, you should expect to shell out anywhere from 12k to 15k Gold when completing the deck. It's worth every copper, however, as it is far and away the best Darkmoon Card of all and one of the best trinkets in Wrath.

Darkmoon Card: Illusion
The Prisms Deck rewards Darkmoon Card: Illusion, which grants +100 Spell Power, and a triggered effect on a five minute cooldown. As far as spell power trinkets go, this isn't bad at all, specially for mana recovery. The recently-converted-to-BoE Je'Tze's Bell is roughly equivalent, with slightly more spell power and recovers roughly 2,000 mana over the same 5-minute period. The 400 damage absorption is extremely small by Level 80 standards, although players can opt to remove the buff themselves to regain a quick 1,200 mana.

With the new one potion per fight limit, Darkmoon Card: Illusion works as a quick way to regain mana and even has a use in PvP where the Illusionary Barrier will grant its benefit whether it absorbs damage or is dispelled. Because of the number of (arguably superior) spell power trinkets available from emblems and raid drops, this Darkmoon Card doesn't see much demand. Players can expect to pay anywhere upwards of 600 to 900 Gold for a Prisms Deck.

Darkmoon Card: Death
In Patch 3.0.8, this card was changed to confer a bonus to Crit instead of Haste, making it equally valuable to melee classes as well as casters. The trinket is a reward from the Undeath Deck. Although Darkmoon Card: Death has a decent proc, its reported 45 second internal cooldown currently prevents it from being competitive with other crit or even haste trinkets with procs. It is arguably the weakest of all the new Darkmoon Cards and less desirable than other trinkets available through emblems or raids.

Although the crit bonus is pretty good, there are better crit trinkets, such as the Sundial of the Exiled, which increases spell power on proc, or the Mirror of Truth, which increases attack power by 1,000. Both procs will scale with character abilities whereas the damage proc of Darkmoon Card: Death does not. Despite this, an Undeath Deck usually commands a higher price than a Prisms Deck and is usually available for about 1,000 to 1,200 Gold.

Darkmoon Card: Berserker!
Out of all the Darkmoon Cards, the Darkmoon Card: Berserker! is the only one specifically designed for PvP. Obtained through the Chaos Deck, this card has no on-equip bonuses but procs frequently when striking or struck in combat. This translates to a 105 Resilience and Crit rating that's up almost all the time. 105 Resilience is the highest bonus for a trinket, and should be useful in stacking towards the incredibly high Resilience cap.

This card was improved in Patch 3.0.8 to proc off attacks as well as from getting hit, making it a fairly competitive PvP trinket with an almost guaranteed uptime. It is a good alternative to the trinkets from Wintergrasp and because of its niched usefulness, it is the most affordable new Darkmoon Card. Depending on your realm economy, a Chaos Deck usually sells for less than 600 Gold.

Darkmoon Card of the North

Inscribers with skill of 400 or higher can learn how to make a Darkmoon Card of the North, which can produce anything from an Ace to an eight of Chaos, Prisms, Nobles, or Undeath. It is fairly expensive to produce just one card, as it requiress three Eternal Life, three Ink of the Sea, some Resilient Parchment, and six Snowfall Ink.

In the past it was the Snowfall Ink that kept prices prohibitive. Snowfall Ink is made from Icy Pigment, which is a very rare pigment obtained through milling Northrend herbs. However, Patch 3.0.8 made Snowfall Ink available in exhange for 10 Ink of the Sea, making it easier to compile a deck. This has helped to bring prices down somewhat although demand should see to it that the decks should still cost a pretty penny.

Arthas awaits and so do your questions. Find the answers you've been looking for that will help you with your journey into Northrend and to level 80 with Wrath 101.

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