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The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing a new level 80 ret paladin, part 3

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.

We're at the end of our three part series of how to gear a brand new ret pally. Our first part was craftables and reputation gear which took us primarily through blacksmithing and Knights of the Ebon Blade. The second part was the upgrades you could grab from dungeon gear when you start hitting heroic dungeons. However, this week we're going to run through the badge gear from Emblems of Frost all the way down to Emblems of Heroism. See you after the break.

Emblem of Frost -These are the top items you can buy with badges. However, the problem you run into is that as a new level 80, you've got so few of them to start out with. You're likely not running any content that grants them other than your daily heroic and possibly the weekly raid kill. However, these are all swank items and you'll do well grabbing a few. Also, as I pointed out in the new tankadin article, the normal frost badge items are higher quality than the actual tier 10 set. So whenever you've got overlap, choose the badge gear over the tier gear to get the most bang for your buck.

Frost Tier 10 Set (405 in total) - While you don't have to get the whole set, it's always nice to grab a couple pieces for the set bonuses that tier gear grants. With just two pieces, you get the ability for every melee swing to reset Divine Storm so you can use it again. That brings another ability back to bear if you've got a spare GCD to use it in. The four piece bonus is a little boring in comparison, but extra damage is always welcome with its 10% boost to judgement and seal damage.
Relentless Gladiator's Vindication Set (405 Frost badges or 58,150 Honor and 3,350 Arena Points in total) - I'm tossing in the higher tiers of PvP sets as you might have leveled in the battlegrounds or plan on doing PvP instead of PvE now that you've hit 80. Please note that these need frost badges only or honor and arena points only. You don't need frost badges and honor to buy something. There is also no arena rating required for purchase.
Emblem of Triumph - These are the bread and butter items of the random dungeon runner. If you've been primarily gearing through dungeons, you've got a bunch of these sitting around and that's a good thing as there is a lot of good gear to choose from. The badge gear is going to be better than the tier 9 gear that you can purchase with badges, so choose accordingly when they overlap on helm and shoulders.
Furious Gladiator's Vindication (325 Triumph badges or 221,700 Honor in total) - Much like the Emblems of Triumph for PvE, Honor is the bread and butter of the casual PvP player and you'll need a bit to get this gear set. However, running your daily battleground, holiday battleground, as well as hitting Wintergrasp on a regular basis should make fairly short work of it all.
Triumph Tier 9 Set -These items are going to be equivalent to what you'll find the the Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons. However, these are a little lower quality than you'll find in the other Triumph items. For this tier, though, you'll get the ability to crit on the Righteous Vengeance DoTs at 2 pieces and extra crit on on your judgements at 4 pieces. Emblem of Conquest - You'll be able to nab a neck piece from here as there isn't one available from badges in the higher badge levels. Also, you'll be able to nab a belt if you can't afford the frost badges to grab a better one at this point.

Emblem of Valor - There are a ring and cloak in the frost level of gear, but if you're looking for bargain basement equipment that you can trade down triumph for valor. These are going to be better than your basic heroics.

Emblem of Heroism - Loot of raid tiers past. There really isn't much to grab from here other than the trinket ... oh ... and epic gems. Yeah, pure gems are twice as much the hybrid gems, but you can also get them via honor or the auction house.
Thanks for all of the great screenshots everyone. Keep them coming. Send screenshots as well as any comments to my email
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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