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Lichborne: Heart of Fear gear for death knights


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.
Heart of Fear, which will open up this week, is the next step up from Mogu'shan Vaults. As a result, the ilevels are a bit higher and the gear just a bit more desirable. We'll be checking out the loot on a boss by boss basis, in order to give you a better idea about which bosses to spend your Elder Charms of Good Fortune on. As with last week, our analysis will be based primarily on normal gear drops. If you are raiding LFR or heroic tiers, your gear choices may vary a bit based on item levels.

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok

  • Hisek's Crysanthemum Cape features hit and haste rating, making it incredibly good for any death knight DPSer. This is one you'll definitely want.
  • Warbelt of Sealed Pods is a strength DPS belt with critical strike and expertise. It has 2 gem slots, though, which help shore up that weakness. Reforge expertise or critical strike depending on which stat you need less, and you're good to go.
  • Vizer's Ruby Signet has parry and expertise, making it fair to middling for death knight tanks. Take it, reforge the expertise to mastery, and you should be good to go.
  • Articulated Legplates have parry and hit rating, but again, those 2 gem slots help make up for that. Still, this is a case where you make want to hold out for better options unless these are otherwise going to be disenchanted.
Blade Lord Ta'yak
  • Ring of the Bladed Tempest has haste and expertise, once again making it a very solid choice for any death knight DPS.
  • Waistplate of Overwhelming Assault has haste and mastery, making it another pretty solid DPS choice. Two-hand frost may want to consider reforging the mastery, but otherwise it's perfect, especially with gem slots factored in.
  • Pauldrons of the Broken Blade have parry and hit rating, once again making them a middling option for tanks. Reforge the hit to mastery if you get these.
  • Windblade Talons have parry and dodge, which does make them a pretty decent death knight tank gearing option. Be sure to reforge the dodge to mastery.
  • Necklace of Congealed Weaknesses has mastery and critical strike rating, giving it once again the worst possible selection of secondary stats for a death knight DPS. You should probably still take it if it's an ilevel upgrade and won't cost you much. Otherwise, hold out for better.
  • Garalon's Graven Carapace is a DPS chest piece with hit and critical strike rating, making it strictly a stop-gap measure until you get your tier armor. You'll want to reforge the critical strike rating to haste (or possibly mastery if you dual wield). The 2 gem slots help dull the pain, too.
  • Ring of the Shattered Shell has dodge and mastery, which makes it a very solid tanking ring. Just reforge the dodge to parry if needed, and you're good to go.
  • Garalon's Hollow Skull is a similar story as the ring above. Reforge the dodge to mastery and it's a solid tanking piece. Of course, this one you'll eventually be replacing with your tier helm, hopefully.
Wind Lord Mel'jarak
  • Impaling Treads come with hit and haste rating, making them hard to beat for death knight DPS. You can reforge the hit if you have too much.
  • Like most tier 14 gauntlets, Gauntlets of the Lost Catacomb suffer from having no gem slot. It also uses critical strike and expertise as secondary stats, meaning it's not optimal except maybe for the two-handed frost. Once again, though, the expection is the tier set bonuses. These bonuses are fantastic, so if you need to use these to get them, do so. They also have more base strength than average, so that offsets some of the weakness.
  • Cloak of Raining Blades provides dodge and mastery, making it a certainly passable cloak for tanks. Reforge the dodge to parry if needed.
  • Handguards of the Lost Catacomb could technically be called worse than the Windblade Talons for tanking, since they use hit rating and don't have a gem slot. On the other hand, they waste less item level on strength, so you get a stronger dose of secondary stats. That said, the tier 14 tier bonuses are very solid, so if you need to grab these to keep those tier bonuses, do so.
Amber-Shaper Un'sok
  • Scimitar of the Seven Stars is a very solid drop for dual wielding frost death knights. even the mastery and hit rating is a great secondary stat combo. If you're a dual wielder, this is second only to Kilrak.
  • Shoulderpads of Misshapen Life are cursed with the bad secondary stat combo of critical strike and mastery, but the red gem slot helps make up for it. You may want to hold out for tier shoulders, though.
  • Greaves of the Lost Catacombs suffer from having only one gem slot, though expertise and mastery isn't the worst secondary stat combination. Jang-xi's Devastating Legplates may actually be a better choice here thanks to the superior secondary stats and extra gem slot, though. Only use these legs if you need them for the tier set bonuses.
  • Legguards of the Lost Catacombs have dodge and mastery, which is a decent combination which can be made better by reforging dodge to parry as needed. They suffer from a lack of a second gem slot, but have so much mastery they work out anyway. If nothing else, you'll want them for the tier bonuses.
Grand Empress Shek'zeer
  • Breastplate of the Lost Catacombs is the no-brainer choice for a death knight DPS. 2 gem slots solidify it, and haste and critical strike is a solid set of secondary stats. Dual wield frost death knights will want to reforge the critical strike, but even for them, this is the number 1 chest choice.
  • Chestguard of the Lost Catacomb has the disadvantage of having hit and parry as secondary stats, but with the tier bonuses and 2 yellow gem slots just waiting for mastery gems, it's still probably going to be your best bet. Reforge the hit to mastery and you're golden.
  • Legguards of Regal Reinforcement give tier legs a run for thier money thanks in part to having 2 gem slots. If you can stick two mastery gems in there and reforge the dodge to mastery, you'll have a very solid set of legs. Still, tier legs will probably edge it out due to the set bonuses.

Learn the ropes of endgame play with WoW Insider's DK 101 guide. Make yourself invaluable to your raid group with Mind Freeze and other interrupts, gear up with pre-heroic DPS gear or pre-heroic tank gear, and plot your path to tier 11/valor point DPS gear.

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