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The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing a new level 80 ret paladin, part 2

Gregg Reece

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon, an entire flight of black dragons.

I want to thank everyone who has sent in screenshots. I've gotten a lot of good shots thus far and am always looking for more. They can be any level between 1 and 80 and in dungeons, raids, questing, or wandering around town. I'll be using these for header graphics like the one above. Please send those as well as any other comments to my email at

We're into article two of our three part guide on how to gear your new 80 retadin. Last week we looked at the profession and reputation rewards that could get you started. We're going to be looking into dungeon drops this week and finish up with badge gear next week. Let's get onto the loot.

A couple of quick notes before we get started. Everything is a drop off of heroic mode, unless otherwise marked. The only normal modes that were included were the level 80 dungeons and not the leveling ones. Anything with an asterisk (*) beside it is epic quality, and everything else is rare quality.

Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom While not epic, the Edge of Oblivion is an okay starter weapon if you can get it. Also, the chest piece from Taldram isn't a bad thing due to its two gems slots if you can get your hands on it.

Azjol-Nerub The helm off of Anub'arak will likely be one of the first you get with a meta gem slot so, it's worth a look.

Caverns of Time: The Culling of Stratholme While the Mobius Band isn't a strength item it is still pretty good until you get into badge gear or higher end heroics. While the legs from Meathook are decent, Ingvar out of Utgarde Keep has better.

Drak'Tharon Keep King Dred has one of the only few trinkets you'll see in the starter dungeons. Also, Tharon-ja has a two-handed mace, but it uses some of its itemization for Agility which while helpful isn't as useful as Strength you'd get on some other weapons. Still, it's better than quest greens.

Gundrak With gems, the chest piece is a good start as you can boost the stats considerably. Gal'darah has an epic ring, but it's another agility item. It's good, but the attack power doesn't scale as well as strength would.

The Nexus Ormorok's ring is a strength based one and is worth a look. Also, there's a hit trinket from Keristransza in addition to an epic belt.

The Oculus Eregos provides a set of epic gauntlets that you can pick up (providing your party doesn't bail on you).

The Violet Hold The pike from Moragg as it is one of the very few strength based polearms in the game. You probably don't have your polearm skill worked up, but now's a great opportunity before weapon skills go away in Cataclysm.

Ulduar: Halls of Lightning If you kill Loken, you've got the opportunity to grab a nice, big, epic, two-handed axe. This is actually the best you'll get until you hit ToC and the higher dungeons or get a Titansteel Destroyer crafted.

Ulduar: Halls of Stone Two different two-handers to choose from (although the Maiden's isn't that great) in addition to some epic wrists. The sword from helping Brann is actually one of the best rare quality ones, but the epic ones still kick its pommel.

Utgarde Keep Very good set of legs off of Ingvar at the very end of the instance. Otherwise, Keleseth has a haste belt with a red gem socket on it.
Utgarde Pinnacle I like both items off of Ymiron (mainly because the amulet looks like the Thunder Cats symbol), but the trinket is handy. The boots from Svala I'm not all that fond of.

Crusaders' Coliseum: Trial of the Champion As this is one of the more higher end dungeons, the normal mode stuff is all epic quality and the heroic mode gear is equivalent to Ulduar 10. Edge of Ruin on heroic mode is essentially an upgrade of what Loken dropped in Halls of Lightning. Otherwise, treat this as Winter's Veil and dance around and open your gifts. I included Marrowstrike in the list as it is a two-hander and if it is an upgrade, feel free to take it, but you'll likely upgrade out of it to the Edge of Ruin.

Icecrown Citadel: The Forge of Souls All of the 5-man dungeons in Icecrown Citadel hand out higher quality gear than the other heroics. The normal mode gear is equivalent to Ulduar 10 and the heroic mode is the same as the Trial of the Crusader 10-man raid. There is a quest item called the Battered Hilt that drops in heroic mode of all of the ICC dungeons which starts a quest to get an extremely good DPS weapon. To be honest, all of the items are good and if they're upgrades go for it as they're better than just about anything else you've grabbed from dungeons thus far.

Icecrown Citadel: Pit of Saron Tyrannus as luck would have drops a two-hander on heroic, but Garfrost has one on normal mode as well if the drops aren't going your way in heroic. Otherwise, the helmet on normal mode from Tyrannus also has a meta-gem slot in it and the ring he drops on normal is strength based. So, you don't necessarily need to run this on heroic to get good gear out of it.

Icecrown Citadel: Halls of Reflection Much like on earlier lists of gear, I added the polearm on here as an option even though it isn't ideal. There is a two-hander on Lich King normal mode that is pretty good and on heroic he has a really nice strength ring. As always there's a chance that any of the trash can drop the hilt quest item on heroic mode, so it's always worth running it until you've got a similar quality weapon.

The Light and How to Swing It tries to help paladins cope with the dark times coming in Cataclysm. See the upcoming paladin changes the expansion will bring. Wrath is coming to a close and the final showdown with the Lich King is here. With Cataclysm soon heating things up, will you be ready?

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