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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Weapons from Ulduar

Matthew Rossi

Ulduar has brought over 800 items within our grasp. While toying with specs (I'm actually raiding switching between arms and fury depending on the fight, although last night I actually tanked clearing up to Vezax) to try and squeeze the most DPS out I find myself wearing the half-and-hald set you always get when content is progressing. Naxxramas gear tends towards a screaming skulls motif while Ulduar gear has a more construct simulating appearance. As you can see in the screen shot, I've ended up looking somewhat like the gothiest Power Ranger ever. I don't mind the look myself, although I know some people really do. Then again, as I've said many, many times, I'd wear the Conqueror's Clownshoe Raiment if the stats were right.

This week we're going to discuss the weapon drops for warriors in Ulduar - 10 and 25. This basically means tanking 1handers and 2 hand weapons. While I personally love fist weapons myself, The Masticator is not a tanking weapon, although it's certainly true that you could tank with a 2.7 speed weapon with no defensive stats. Heck, I tanked with a 3.4 speed weapon last night. I'm going to try and keep focused on the drops with the most utility first.

Of course, more loot is being discovered even as I write this. So please keep that in mind.

Ulduar - 10

Legacy of Thunder - For a protection warrior, this is pretty close to Broken Promise from Naxx - 25, with higher damage, faster speed for rage gen and HS spam, less defense and no hit but dodge and more expertise. It's certainly a serviceable tanking weapon, especially for a human. If you have Last Laugh you'll probably keep it, but for people exclusively in 10 man content this is a contender for best possible tanking weapon. Drops from Thorim.

Stoneguard - Obviously intended for tanking, this is a dodge/hit piece which makes the dodge/expertise on Legacy of Thunder somewhat baffling. I'd prefer the mace, but this could fill a hole if you're somehow starved for hit while tanking at the Ulduar - 10 level. No, I don't know how you would manage that either. The fact that you have to kill Kologarn to get this makes it even more baffling to me. This is the first tanking option for warriors you're likely to see (you have to get past Kologarn to even see Thorim) and it's somewhat meh.

Hoperender - Hey, arms warriors, do you like polearms? Sure, you all do! And if you do, this is a nice one. 3.5 speed which gets that top end and average damage up, hit rating, a socket, ArP, a chunk of agi for crit, of the two polearm choices from 10 man Ulduar, this is the one you want. And it drops from General Vezax, of course, next to last boss in the instance. Of course it does.

Ironsoul - However, fear not, because Flame Leviathan has taken pity on us, arms and fury alike, and on his loot table we find this chunk of goodness.Exact same top end as Hoperender, ArP (which goes well with mace spec for Arms), gobs of Str and Crit (which will make your friendly neighborhood fury warrior sit up and take notice) this is a very nice "Welcome to Ulduar, good job riding around on a motorcycle for a while, here's some loot" present.

Relentless Edge - Let the hunters and druids have it. 3.2 speed, even with that crit and AP and haste, don't roll or bid on it unless no one else wants it. If you're a prot warrior with a Titansteel Destroyer for offspec fun, sure, play around with it, but I wouldn't worry too much.

Stormedge - I prefer the crit on Ironsoul, but this is certainly a worthy alternative, especially if you're low on hit for some reason. Although again, if you're raiding Ulduar - 10 I don't see how you can be low on hit at this point. Still, while you don't want to go out of your way to stack hit past the soft cap, more hit = more rage which is very good in these post nerf times. The DPS, strength and ArP are all lovely, and it's an axe for the orcs out there. Hodir can give you this weapon after you slap the taste of stupid out of his mouth and yell "Wake up, you're taking orders from somebody with teeth for eyes."

Abbadon - The aforementioned dude with slavering maws where his eyeballs should be drops this sword. It's about the same as Stormedge, less hit, more stam, meaning that if a DK tank really has his heart set on it for some reason (maybe he's human) you probably shouldn't sweat it too much. It's certainly a decent contender for fury offhand as well, though. Once you get around to killing Yogg in 10 man hard mode, you'll get a chance at this astonishingly good mace. That mace, the Hammer of Crushing Whispers, is a solid candidate for BiS for both arms and fury warriors in Ulduar - 10, although I'd give the edge to the next contender.

Aesir's Edge - The stats on Aesir's Edge (from 10 man XT - 002 Hard Mode) are roughly equivalent with the Hammer of Crushing Whispers, but at this level of gear hit rating seems less important to me than ArP. An Arms Warrior migh prefer the hammer for Mace Spec, but for a fury warrior who is probably already rocking 400+ hit rating without even half trying (If I wore all of my hit gear I'd easily be at nearly 500 hit myself, but I tend to sit at around 400, switching in crit or strength as possible) I'd give the edge to Aesir's. Wow, did I just make that pun twice? I'm very sorry.

You could always dual wield one of each.

Magnetized Projectile Emitter - The red socket on this makes it a reasonable fury stat gun. Slap a strength gem in and you're good to go. The stamina's kind of low to really consider it a tanking gun when this exists, even with hit and agi on it. For a drop from XT - 002 it's kind of underwhelming, I'd definitely not feel bad about letting a hunter have it first.

Rifle of the Platinum Guard
- This is a much better choice for a tanking gun than the MPE, although if you have the Armor Plated Combat Shotgun, it comes down to threat weapon vs. mitigation/avoidance weapon. This gun drops from Ignis 10.

Avalanche - This bow has a very solid spread of stats, making it decent for tanking and good for DPS, and it's also a drop from Hodir - 10.
Mimiron's Repeater - This, however, just screams 'Warrior Gun'. It's got strength on it! This is the one gun that you can take over a hunter and not even feel bad about it. It may not actually be better for DPS, but you shouldn't have much competition for it. It's actually a trash drop despite the name. I guess Mimiron drops his gun a lot.

Ulduar - 25

Titanguard - Flame Leviathan 25 has a present for all the tanks, a rather nice weapon that's at least equivalent to if not an upgrade to Last Laugh. For anyone but an orc, and especially for a human, it flat out is an upgrade. For an orc the racial expertise means you really don't have to switch, but it's fair to say that the first boss in Ulduar - 25 drops an upgrade for any tank from Naxx - 25. I like seeing tanking gear on the first boss, since better gear for tanks often makes further content easier.

Sorthalis, Hammer of the Watchers - Now, Titanguard's good, but once you're killing XT - 002 on hard mode, you have a shot at this mace. Tanks, you want this mace.There's really nothing else to be said. At present, this is the best tanking weapon in the game. Quite frankly, I hope a tanking axe pops up soon because I'm starting to suspect Alliance favoritism in tanking weapons here.

Rune Edge - This is one of the best fury offhands in Ulduar, despite the poor itemization for a fury warrior. It's also functionally identical to Lotrafen, one of the best arms weapons available. Poleaxe spec is probably better than sword right now, but to a certain degree it always comes down to whatever drops first, and you'll probably kill Iron Council 25 before you kill Vexaz 25. With 232 DPS, a lot of agi and crit rating, AP and ArP this weapon is one any warrior should think heavily about. You won't get a better one until Yogg-Saron dies or you start doing hard modes.

Earthshaper -Speaking of Yogg-Saron, you kill him for this extraordinarily well itemized mace. Excellent speed at 3.6 with a top end of 1005 damage (meaning that the weapon's average damage range is very nice for Deep Wounds) and solid hit and crit, this mace is the best drop possible for fury main-hand before you start killing bosses in hard mode, and is a solid contendor for arms as well with mace spec's armor penetration.

Lotrafen, Spear of the Damned - Faster than Earthshaper, but still a very solid, well itemized weapon for Arms warriors. At present, arms has no reason to stack strength over AP (well, Strength of Arms, but 4% vs 20%? It's much less important for arms to stack strength) so Lotrafen has everything an arms warrior could want, a very high amount of crit from the combined Agi and crit rating, AP and ArP. It's faster than Earthshaper, and it only drops one boss earlier, but that still probably means you'll have killed Vezax a few times before Yoggy, and again the mantra is as always whatever drops first.

Worldcarver - While this is a very nice weapon (especially if you're low on expertise for some reason) it's one of the best tanking weapons for DK tanks, so either be prepared to outbid/outroll them or pass it and look like a nice guy. It drops from Ignis 25. With weapons like Earthshaper, Rune Edge and Lotrafen waiting for you, I'd suggest passing till the DK's all have it unless you're an orc with a huge expertise hole in your itemization.

Voldrethar, Dark Blade of Oblivion
- I don't care if you have to invent a globe spanning conspiracy that will infiltrate all the governments of Earth to get this weapon, do it. You are looking at BiS for arms and fury warriors. Slightly lower top end than Earthshaper but 2 sockets, high strength, high crit and ArP, kill General Vezax on hard mode and then reveal to your guild that you have compiled dossiers on each and every one of them and you won't have to release the details to Interpol, the CIA, and/or their moms if they simply make the right loot choice and give you this sword. Twice. You want it twice. Yes you do son don't argue with me.

Rising Sun - Yay, stat star! We all love a good throwing weapon. Another present from Loot Leviathan.

Giant's Bane
- And if you prefer stat guns here you go. It's got ArP instead of hit, so it's probably the arms choice, and it comes out of the knicknack box you get after you smash Kologarn's face in.

Look at him. He totally didn't want to give up that gun, but I proved him. (Imagine that in your best Philip J. Fry voice.)

Veranus' Bane - Tanky gun! It's got threat stats (str, hit) and it's got avoidance/mitigation stats (defense, dodge), this gun has it all. Nice stam on it too. It drops from Veranus, in her Razorscale form. I'm kind of sad that I had to kill Thorim's mount to get it. I bet he's probably sad about it too. It's as if I killed a gigantic Titan's huge, monstrous fire breathing puppy.

Okay. That's a lot of weapons. Next week we'll probably talk about armor. There's a lot of it in Ulduar, hoo boy.

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