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Prepare for Pandaria: Transmogrify your way into Hellscream's Vanguard

Anne Stickney

It's almost time to hit the seas and head to Pandaria, so why spend these last few weeks pulling together a set to look the part? Last time, we covered the unique look of the Ravenholdt elite, a black and blue leather number with a snazzy sword to boot. This isn't just a Ravenholdt uniform. It's also used by the Blacktalon Watchers that work as the eyes and ears of Wrathion the Black Prince in Mists of Pandaria.

Speaking of Pandaria, in order to head to Pandaria's shores, players must complete quests in their respective capital cities. From there, you hop aboard an airship and make your way to the mysterious, mist-cloaked isle. For the Horde, this means a trip with General Nazgrim and a select force of Hellscream's Vanguard, whose black, brown and gold set makes a pretty distinctive look.

If you're going to head to Pandaria as part of Garrosh's forces, you may as well find a uniform that fits -- if you're a plate wearer, that is. Thankfully, most of this set is quite easy to obtain, with one glaring exception that can be substituted with something similiar, with a little creativity.

This striking black and gold plate set is perfect for warriors, death knights and paladins of all races. Of course the look will come across most clearly on an orc, but hey -- even a goblin in this set is likely to turn some heads. For added fun, try dressing an Alliance character in the uniform and see how many people notice your decidedly Horde-themed look!

  • Head The horned helm shown here is the Sunscale Helmet. If you happen to know a blacksmith with the pattern, the Lionheart Helm is identical to this model. However, the recipePrepare for Pandaria Transmogrifying your way into Hellscream's Vanguard THUR for the Lionheart Helm is an extremely rare find, so you may have better luck just going for the Sunscale instead.
  • Shoulders There is exactly one match to the shoulders of this set, and it's the Noble Plate Pauldrons, which are a quest reward from Terokkarantula. If you have already completed this quest, you'll have to find a substitute. The Exalted Epaulets are a fairly close match that should do in this case.
  • Chest The chestpiece for Hellscream's Vanguard is the Exalted Harness. This is one of those rare plate belly shirts that look the same on both male and female models.
  • Wrists Bracers don't need to be transmogrified for this look. The gloves will cover them entirely.
  • Hands You'll want to find a blacksmith to whip you up a pair of Felsteel Gloves for this set. The recipe for the gloves only drops from Auchenai Monks in the Auchenai Crypts.
  • Waist The exact match for the belt for this Horde uniform is, oddly enough, the Girdle of Uther. This blue BoE belt can be farmed from high-level vanilla mobs, but it has a pretty high drop percentage from both Nefarian and Ragnaros (the vanilla versions, not the Cataclysm versions).
  • Legs The stylish black and copper legplates for this set are the Exalted Legplates.
  • Feet This is where we run into the only stumbling block with what is otherwise a perfect replica of the Hellscream's Vanguard model. Unfortunately, the boots for this set do not exist anywhere in game -- or at least not where players can access them. Instead, I've gone with the Glorious Sabatons. While the model isn't identical, the golds in the boots, belt and gloves go very well together, so it looks like it's meant to be part of the set.
  • Weapons The two-handed axe for this set is the Monstrous War Axe, and it's the same model used by the Orgrimmar guards. While simple, the axe is iconic for anyone wanting to achieve that perfect Horde look.
Although many players may not agree with Hellscream's methods or reasons for heading to Pandaria, it is wisest by far not to cross the warchief's demands. After all, he's known for kicking dissenters off of high cliffs, and that doesn't sound like a particularly pleasant experience. If you're going to head to Pandaria as one of Hellscream's forces, you may as well suck it up and dress the part.

Once you've arrived on Pandaria's shores, you'll find a variety of new gear suitable for creating amazing and stylish sets. Don't worry, you'll be far enough away from Orgrimmar that Hellscream's eyes shouldn't reach that far ... if you're lucky.

Patch 4.3 lets you transmogrify your gear to look like any other gear your class can wear -- but you have to collect it first. Check out our coverage of transmogrification and start running those old dungeons!

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