Lichborne: Things to do until Warlords of Draenor drops

Proving Grounds in WoW

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.

While some of us are still trying to kill Garrosh or grinding rep on Timeless Isle, it's probably safe to say that the expansion is winding down. With that in mind, how do you spend that time, especially if you're already tired of the latest raid? You can always dig into all those games you bought during the last Steam Sale, of course, but if you're planning to stick to WoW, this week we'll cover some stuff you can do to bide your time until you get that Warlords of Draenor beta invite.

Gather ye transmog gear while ye may

I have no hesitation and no shame in declaring that transmogrification is the best thing Blizzard added to WoW in the last few years. If I play a character seriously, they have at least 2-3 transmog outfits banked, along with dozens of weapons. Still, there's always the desire for one or two more, and the end of an expansion is a great time to get some of that stuff farmed. Luckily, as a death knight, you're uniquely suited to solo raids. While a lot of the older raids are low level enough that you can do them even as DPS, for those handful of boss fights that are still kind of tricky, the blood death knight has the tools to get through them. Of course, you'll want to

When it comes to weapons, I pretty much always default to Blackwing Lair. While red isn't always the go-to death knight color, the elaborate, dragon-themed weaponry is generally too awesome to pass up. Maladath and Ash'kandi are two weapons that are great go-tos for almost anytime. You can solo Razorgore, though it's usually easier to get someone to help. if you want to try soloing, it's a good idea to have Razorgore sleep any dragons who appear, and run over to you to try to shed aggro when he has too many orcs on him. Blood Presence should be enough to outlast the adds beating on you, it's just a matter of keeping Razorgore free of aggro. The other 7 bosses are a cakewalk after that. I find that the weapons you get here often go well with the Dark Iron Plate set, most of which can be purchased with justice points or crafted with blacksmithing.

As far as armor goes, this is the perfect opportunity to farm a tier set you never got around to getting (or destroyed before transmog became a thing). If you're Alliance, I'd recommend trying Trial of the Crusader and get yourself a tier 9 set. Thassarian's gear does a good job at combining both Alliance and Death Knight themes, and it's one of the sets in my death knight's appearance rotation for sure. You can buy most of it with spare valor or justice points, but for the off-set pieces, you'll need the raid.

Alterac Valley

I know not everyone loves Alterac Valley. Me, it's my favorite battleground. I loved it more when it went on for days on end, but even now, it's pretty fun to hop in there and roam around harrying the other faction and completing objectives. Death knights are actually pretty solid here, especially in tank mode. You can lead the charge against the other sides' boss NPCs, or defend a bunker or tower by being near-impossible to kill and having a ghoul pet that can harass people trying to stealth capture a flag. With the Honor Points you win, you can grab a beginner set of PvP gear and try some other battlegrounds, or even finally buy those PvP mounts. Black's a pretty solid death knight color, so any of the honor mounts has a good chance of looking awesome for your death knight.

Prove yourself at the proving grounds

The Proving Grounds are a relatively new WoW feature, but they are actually pretty handy. By reducing your item level to 463, they'll force you to focus on your skills rather than trusting your gear to carry you, and both the DPS and tank proving grounds provide unique challenges. I've spoken a bit about them in a past column, and that advice still holds true: Use Death Grip, especially as the tank to keep the mobs off your AoE healer. Use Chains of Ice to slow fleeing mobs. And don't let your DPS drop, the waves are time. Proving Grounds are not only a great way to test your skills on your own time, you'll be rewarded with cool new titles and bragging rights if you're good enough.

An alternate gearing strategy

Not everyone has time for alts, but if you do, chances are now is a good time to play them. Your death knight can get them geared up. Heirlooms and other account bound items are even better now that cross-realm mail is in. If you decide to start a new alt on a new realm to play with a friend or just because your character list on your main realm is full up, now you can send over some help. In addition to heirloom gear, You have a few other options. Archaeology offers a few great options, including a one-handed sword and polearm, which are great for a newly-85 alt monk, or even your 2nd death knight. If you've always wanted to start a hunter, there's an archaeology gun for that too. This also gives you a great excuse to join a Flex raid to take down Garrosh. Since Flex versions of Garrosh's heirlooms drop, going Flex to grab those relatively easier heirlooms can mean great weapons will be waiting for you when Warlords of Draenor rolls around and you've maxed out your Garrison and killed Grom Hellscream a few hundred times and decide its time to go back to your alts. Then of course, if all else fails, there's grabbing a complete Timeless set for your alt. It's pretty easy to wander around the isle, or even just do the Mistwalker daily. You'll eventually find drops in the armor class your alt needs, and if you focus on killing Yaungol, you can even get yourself a new mount and pet from the reputation.

These, of course, are just a few ideas, and with no release date for Warlords of Draenor, or even a beta test yet, we'll have a lot of time to kill. How are you passing time until the next expansion?

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.