- Signet of High Arcanist Savor If you've got gold to burn and you're going to spend on something, you might as well spend it on this. Considering it's a remarkably good pre-raid purple, don't expect it to go cheap at the auction house at all. Although the crit is alright, it's the hit on this BoE item that makes it absolutely desirable.
- Band of Secret Names Bought with valor tokens. Nice, but don't spend your tokens on this unless you've got lots to spare.
- Ring of the Boy Emperor As an Egyptophile, I absolutely love all the Ancient Egypt references in this expansion. In particular, this item which references Tutankhamun (complete with turquoise scarab icon) makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. If you're up to leveling your archaeology -- a guildmate obsessively got realm first max archaeology within hours of the expansion's launch -- you can get this bind-to-account ring. Haste and mastery are great stats for warlocks, so this is definitely something to consider.
- Honorable mentions: Band of Lamentation or Band of Singing Grass, Lavishly Jeweled Ring, Anthia's Ring, and Band of Rays Barring all the fancy epics, there are great options for hit rings, making the ring slots great places to load up on hit when you would rather have other stats on other gear. The Bands of Lamentation and Singing Grass are reputation rewards from the factions in Twilight Highlands, and you can probably purchase them as soon as you finish up all the quests in the zone. The Lavishly Jeweled Ring drops of Admiral Ripsnarl in heroic Deadmines, Anthia's Ring drops from Mindbender Ghur'sha in heroic Throne of the Tides, and Band of Rays comes from Rajh in heroic Halls of Origination. There are other, non-hit rings that confer intellect and other stats, so you won't have a problem picking up an iLevel 346 ring along the way.
Weapon, off-hand, and wand
- Yellow Smoke Pendant and Lightning Flash Pendant Two good reasons to chummy up with the factions in the Twilight Highlands (in addition to the rings above). The items don't have hit, but crit and mastery aren't bad at all.
- Dorian's Lost Necklace More for you to spend on, this item actually is a little better for you than the amulets mentioned above because of haste and mastery. On the other hand, you'll probably get to exalted with your respective factions before having enough gold to spend on this item, which is sure to fetch an exorbitant price at the auction house. You know how expensive amulets can get.
- Honorable mentions: Charm of the Muse and String of Beaded Bubbles If you're lucky, there's a cheaper BoE option available in Charm of the Muse. It has hit, which is excellent, but it happens to be a zone drop in an instance, which means that there's a good chance folks running it will use it instead. The String of Beaded Bubbles is available for justice points and, really, what else are you going to spend those things on? There are other blue options for the neck but we'll skip on those because you'll know them when you see them but you'll want the items listed here, anyway.
Unfortunately, epic weapons are going to be hard to come by outside of raids. The best option you'll find outside of raiding is probably the Staff of Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan
from archaeology. Even then, it seems like only an "okay" weapon to have, rather than a best-in-slot item. Instead, we'll take a look at excellent rares that should serve you well as you get into those raids.
- Elementium Spellblade It's blue, it's expensive to make, but it has the all-important hit and a heaping of spellpower.
- The Beak of Julak-Doom I wouldn't exactly say it's farmable, but it's a guaranteed drop off a rare elite in the Twilight Highlands. That means you can luck out and find the mob -- it won't be as easy as it seems because there seems to be some phasing requirement to find it -- this is a free iLevel 346 weapon with hit.
- Modgud's Blade Drops off General Umbriss in heroic Grim Batol. There are other blue weapons you'll come across, but I won't list them down as they'll be fairly easy to recognize once you come across them. I also skipped on staves because, really, you're a warlock. What are you doing with a lame staff? That's right, you should be holding a dagger or a sword and cutting things up for demonic sacrifices.
- Corla's Baton This is your only preraid hit rating wand and it drops off Corla, Herald of Twilight in heroic Blackrock Caverns. Another option is Cookie's Stirring Rod from "Captain" Cookie in heroic Deadmines -- probably something to pick up for a little nostalgia.
- Beauty's Favorite Bone, Dungeoneering Guide, and Hermit's Lamp The great thing about these three items, aside from being nearly identical and having hit, is that they come from three different sources. Beauty's Favorite Bone drops off Beauty in heroic Blackrock Caverns and grants crit; the Dungeoneering Guide (a nice nod to Dungeons & Dragons there, along with the Manual of the Planes) is an inscription item that also grants mastery; and the Hermit's Lamp grants haste and can be bought with justice tokens.
The idea behind gearing up in Cataclysm
is to ready yourself for the bigger challenge of raiding. Blizzard has made it easy to raid now, with so much infrastructure in place to ease entry of raiding for all player types. The important thing is to be able to perform once in that raid, which means it's absolutely important to hit that 17 percent hit cap first. Everything else will follow. Hopefully this handy guide should give you an idea of where to pick up that next piece, allowing you to plan out your dungeon trips and reputation grinds.
Next week, we'll welcome back real
warlock columnist Adam Panshin
, who has returned from the nether (you should rejoice, since most warlock columnists never make it out!), and he'll pick up where we left off.
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DoTs, demons and all the dastardly deeds done by warlocks. We'll steer you toward tip-top trinkets and Soulburning your way through