Transmogrification Journal 2: Paladin Tier-2 Judgment Armor
The second transmogrification set I’d like to talk about is my Paladin Tier 2 set, the Judgment Armor. This armor drops from bosses in the Lv60 Blackwing Lair raid, with the exception of the legs which drop from Ragnaros in the Lv60 Molten Core raid. Molten Core should be solo’able as a Paladin but it may take you some time depending on your gear. Blackwing Lair can technically be solo’d but the first boss is very difficult to do by yourself, it’s much easier with 2 or 3 people. This set is Paladin-only so only Blood Elves, Tauren, Humans, Dwarves, and Draenai can wear it. This is one of the most intricate and iconic set designs ever created in the World of Warcraft and is sure to be a popular choice for transmogrification. Fortunately, there are a wealth of items that match up very well with this set, so if you find yourself asking, “what shield matches the Tier 2 Judgement Set” or, “what weapon matches pally tier 2,” well, I’m here to tell you about my favorites.
If this is a set you’re interested in collecting, you can check out WoW Roleplay Gear which has a nice page detailing which bosses in BWL drop which pieces so you don’t need to search them individually on WoWhead. Each boss drops three pieces of loot with the exception of Nefarian. It is also possible to get a Tier-2 look-alike helm from the lv80 Onyxia raid (10 or 25). These items are identical to their Tier 2 lv60 versions except they have lv80 stats on them, visually they look the same, so it may help you farm this piece more quickly (plus, Onyxia drops a mount too).
Now, to accessorize! Once you’ve picked up your set, you still have a weapon, and possibly a shield depending on your spec. There is also your cape, your tabard, and even the mounts you ride around on to consider when completing your vanity uniform. I’m going to list several items for each of these categories for your consideration and then give you my recommendations and explain why I’ll be using certain items to round-out my transmogrification experience relating to this specific set. I’ll start with the one-handed weapons for tanks, since that’s what I am… As with my T2 Recolor suggestions, this is not an exhaustive, comprehensive list and it’s not intended to be. I am only providing suggestions that I would personally consider using. There will undoubtedly be items in the game I don’t have, don’t know about, or don’t believe fit the bill aesthetically, but others may disagree. If you have any suggestions regarding possible matches that I don’t cover, don’t hesitate to let me know, I’d love to hear about them, whether I end up agreeing or not.
If you are using a One-Hand Mace
There are a few decent one-hand mace choices, though two of the best ones will be impossible for many people to use because they are crafted items whose recipes have been removed from the game.
|Fool’s Bane drops from Terestian Illhoof in Karazhan. He is a hidden, optional boss in the instance so if you’re not familiar with him be sure to look up how to find him to farm this. The mace is a good, noticeable size with some orange highlights which tie it into the set well. It has a draconic-looking aesthetic as well which meshes with the “lore” of the set, dropping in a dragon-based instance.|
|Dragonstrike is a crafted mace from the Burning Crusade that is going to be extremely rare. In Cataclysm, Blizzard removed the profession specializations from the game. If you were a Grandmaster Hammersmith before Cata, you will be able to make this weapon for yourself. It is BIND ON PICKUP so you cannot craft this for others. It is an expensive and complicated crafted item, but if you have the pattern already, you’ll be able to get it for yourself. If you don’t have the pattern, there is currently no way to get it anymore, so this weapon will be extremely rare and distinctive. It is nice and large with a good color scheme and a very stylish aesthetic, both color and design-wise, a great choice to match this set.|
|The Lavaforged WarHammer is another weapon that requires a pre-Cataclysm Hammersmith specialization in blacksmithing. If you aren’t one now, you won’t be able to get this item. Quite a bit smaller than the Dragonstrike, and much less elaborately designed, this item nonetheless matches quite well to the set if you prefer less extravagant weapons than the Dragonstrike. The Bloodskull Destroyer drops from Lieutenant Drake, the first boss in Caverns of Time: Escape from Durnhold (aka Old Hillsbrad). While its red is much brighter than that of the set and it has a more geode-themed aesthetic, it still works reasonably well with the set, is easy to farm, and is one of the few decent options for this set if you didn’t have a blacksmithing specialization.|
If you are using a One-Hand Axe
There are some fantastic axes in this game, several of which that really work well with the Judgement Armor.
|Warbringer is purchased from the Thrallmar Quartermaster in Hellfire Peninsula at Exalted reputation. The Thrallmar rep grind is fairly quick, just run the 3 Hellfire Citadel dungeons on normal difficulty until they stop giving you reputation then run Ramparts, Blood Furnace, and Shattered Halls on heroic once a day. If you haven’t killed Magtheredon and completed the quest started by his dropped head, that also gives Thrallmar rep. This axe is a strong, noticeable size with great color tie-ins to the set. Grinding Thrallmar rep is fairly easy at 80+ so this should only be a matter of a week or so to pick up, depending on how diligently you farm. It is also a reasonably distinctive design which should help it stand out from the set while not taking anything away from it.|
|High Warlord’s Cleaver is a purchase from PvP vendor in Orgrimmar. This will likely be a popular choice as it is relatively easy to pick up and very distinctive in design. A large, strong-looking weapon with great menace that will likely be used by people with many other sets. The strong, prominent silver may take a little away from the set, but overall it matches up fairly well.|
|The Elementium-Edged Scalper is crafted by blacksmiths and should be fairly easy to get a hold of, if a bit pricy potentially. The weapon is giant and deadly-looking, very distinctive and fits the color scheme of the set well. Touch of Madness drops from Yogg-Saron in Ulduar 10man. This is a smaller-sized weapon, but it has a great fluid aesthetic and strong color similarities. Doom Edge’s is a trash drop in Blackwing Lair, which will probably make it one of the more unique weapons because it’s not a guaranteed drop. It’s another of the distinctive weapons from BWL with a good color and aesthetic similarity to the set.|
If you are using a One-Hand Sword
If you’re like me, a one-handed sword is what you’re going to be using when 4.3 goes live, so it’s my top priority item to farm to transmogrify. Fortunately there are two amazing options available to people using this set, and some that are pretty good alternatives while you farm one of these two.
|Broken Promise drops from the Four Horsemen in Nax25. This is the definitive sword for this set. The colors are perfectly suited to it, the design is striking, though not 100% unique, and it is an incredibly ornate and detailed weapon aesthetically. This is the sword I’m currently planning to use with this set, no doubt about it.|
|The Sun Eater drops from Pathaleon the Calculator in heroic Mechanar. This a very large-bladed weapon that is incredibly eye-catching because of its size and distinctive model. The colors suit the set very well as does the general aesthetic of the weapon. It is relatively easy to farm by anyone 80+ and hopefully won’t keep you waiting too long for it if it’s your weapon of choice|
|There are a few weapons from Ulduar that suit this set nicely as well. Serilas, Blood Blade of Invar One-Arm drops from Freya Hard-Mode in Ulduar 10man. Titanguard drops from Flame Leviathan in Ulduar 25. Some people have been able to solo this boss, but he is easily done with a few friends. The sword is the largest of the Ulduar choices but the hilt may turn some people off. Remorse drops from Razorscale in Ulduar 25man, another very easy boss to take out with a few friends. All these weapons have a more prominent red than is really present in the set, but overall they suit it well all things considered and it’s fairly easy to pick up at least one of these three options if my top two recommendations don’t work for you or haven’t dropped. Blade of Infamy drops from Anatheron, the 2nd boss of the lv70 Battle for Mount Hyjal raid. This weapon is a little out of character, aesthetically, compared to the set, but the colors match up well enough and is another option for people to consider.|
If you are using a Shield
There are some fantastic shields in the game, but not many that are orange. Fortunately there are two that match the set very well, and a few more that will work in a pinch that suit both tanks and healers.
|Royal Crest of Lordaeron drops from Mal’Ganis in Culling of Stratholme heroic. This instance is likely solo’able for a reasonably-geared lv85 paladin since you don’t need to meet the timer to be able to kill Mal’Ganis. Picking this shield up is really just an inevitability, but could take awhile if you have bad luck with drops. I’ve always liked this shield, and while the blue border inside the crest is a little jarring in contrast to the set, the aesthetic of the shield is just amazing with this set. The shield is large and dignified making it a strong choice for tanks wearing this.|
|Drillborer Disk drops from Garr in Molten Core. A lv85 Paladin (and even a lv80 one too probably) has the potential to solo this boss, and you don’t have to kill any other Molten Core bosses in order to get to him either so you can be quickly in and out. He also drops one half of Thunderfury so you might get lucky too. This shield matches up perfectly color-wise, but it’s just too small on a blood elf for me to consider it suited for tanking. It’s a little bit better on a Tauren, but still comes across as too small is probably much better suited to holy paladins, or, if you really like that “I’m blocking a skyscraper with a dinner plate” aesthetic.|
|The Fel Barrier drops from Nexus-Prince Shaffar in heroic Mana Tombs. This shares a model with the absurdly-priced-on-the-AH Skullflame Shield. Heroic Mana-Tombs is a one-day lockout so if you like this model, save yourself some money and farm it. Aesthetically the shield is a little mismatched, but the colors work out well enough and it’s a very distinctive design. The Dawnforged Defender can be purchased from the Shattered Sun quartermaster on the Isle of Quel’Danas at Exalted reputation. The shield is a shade of orange that just barely suits the color of the set though the jewel in the head of the shield makes it a little out of place. The shield is nice and large so would work well for tanks and may be racially pleasing to blood elves because of the design iconography. Not a bad choice overall. Outland Shield is a world BoE drop in, you guessed it, Outlands. It’s on the small side and the colors don’t match up quite perfectly, but it’s a serviceable shield with a decent design. It’s a little small so tanks may not be interested, but it’s worth a look if you don’t like any of my other suggestions.|
If you are using a Two-Handed Sword
Two-handed swords have a great opportunity to show off their matching colors and aesthetics because of their size, and these do not disappoint in those categories.
|Cataclysm’s Edge drops from Archimonde in Battle for Mount Hyjal. This is a huge sword, especially on a Tauren, and its colors are right out there in your face. It has a solid, respectable aesthetic design that makes it look like an effective weapon and something cool to look at.|
|Voldrethar, Dark Blade drops from Hard-Mode General Vezax in Ulduar 25man. This is a fantastic looking sword. While it’s not a unique design, this version of it has a color scheme ideally suited to the Judgement armor. Aesthetically it is a very polished and sleek weapon which is sure to gather attention, especially because this version drops from a later-boss hard mode in the instance and will be less common.|
|Twinblade of the Phoenix drops from Kael’Thas Sunstrider in Tempest Keep. The hilt is where the color is on this unique weapon. Both dignified and distinctive, this sword suits the sets aesthetics and colors very well, and, while you’re farming KT for it, you may see the Ashes of Alar mount too. The Untamed Blade drops from Razorgore in Blackwing Lair. This is a boss you’re going to have to kill anyway if you’re farming this set, so it only makes sense that he’d drop a weapon to match it. It’s a large weapon with a distinctive hilt and strong color compliments to the gear. Blade of the Titans is a world BoE drop from lv45-52 monsters, if you’re in the mood for something REALLY orange. Not a great match for the set, but it might appeal to some people, especially considering the unique design and very distinctive coloring.|
If you are using a Two-Handed Mace
There are two very distinctive maces that drop from the same instance as the armor and it’s not surprise they match up well with it. Some of these are a little hard to come by, but may be well worth the effort.
|Draconic Maul drops from Death Talon trash mobs in Blackwing Lair. A hard item to farm because it’s a trash drop, this weapon has a similar silhouette to other vanilla maces, but it’s the textures and detailing and the colors that really set it apart from other weapons and suit it to the Judgement set very well. It’s a strong size with a great draconic aesthetic that many people will probably really enjoy. It’s also likely to be relatively unique because of the difficulty in acquiring it.|
|Herald of Woe drops from Flamegor in Blackwing Lair. Not as difficult to farm as the maul because it drops from a boss, this is something you may come across on your travels while farming this instance for your set or any of the other fantastic items that drop within. It’s not as distinctive as the maul but it’s still a fantastic design with great colors that really suit the set and bring the whole outfit together. The head is a little small and may disappoint people, but overall it’s a great match.|
|Sulfuras, the Extinguished Hand drops from Ragneros in Firelands. Since you can’t transmogrify the old legendary version of this which brilliantly suits the set, this is the next best thing. The colors don’t match up quite perfectly, but this is a fantastic looking weapon that is still relatively prestigious to wear and very distinctive.|
If you are using a Two-Handed Axe
If you’re horde, one of the greatest axes in the game is available to you, if you’re Alliance, you’re going to have a slightly more difficult time finding something to truly suit this set
|Dual-Blade Butcher is a Horde-only drop from Faction Champions in Trial of the Crusader 25man. Sorry, Alliance, you’re out of luck on this one. This is an incredibly distinctive weapon with a great color scheme for this set. It is going to be irritating to farm since no one ever seems to want to run this instance, but it could be well worth it just for the unique aesthetic alone. This weapon will go well with so many sets not just the Judgement, and many people will likely want to seek this one out, but how unique it is on your server will depend how many people can get people to go with them to farm it, or who saved it from the time of ToC.|
|Draconic Avenger drops from Death-Talon Wyrmguard trash in Blackwing Lair. A trash drop, like the Draconic Maul, this weapon may be difficult to acquire but could be quite worth it. The color scheme is not 100% identical but it’s a massive weapon with a unique and eye-catchingly distinctive blade with ornate texturing and details. Like the Dual-Blade Butcher, this weapon will go with many different armor sets and will likely be the envy of many if you happen to pick one up.|
|Drake Talon Cleaver drops from several dragon bosses in Blackwing Lair, but is ultimately still saddled with the “trash drop chance” curse of other awesome BWL weapons. Very distinctive, very well suited to a dragon slayer in some epic armor. Nightfall is a crafted Vanilla weapon requiring mats from Molten Core. It should be relatively easy to pick up the mats for this, but may be difficult to find a blacksmith with the pattern. The colors of the weapon match up very well which makes this an excellent placeholder until you get one of the spiffier weapons. But it also stands on its own as an impressive weapon with a good, eye-catching size, if not entirely unique model.|
If you are using a Main-Hand Weapon
For those holy paladins out there, these weapons are for you. Fortunately you are likely using a main hand mace so you have access to one of the most well-matching items for this set in the game.
|Lok’amir il Romathis drops from Nefarian in Blackwing Lair. This is to main-hand maces what Broken Promise is to one-handed swords, a weapon that looks like it was made to go with this set. Well, probably because it was, dropping in the same instance as the gear and matching the color scheme perfectly. A nearly-unique model, very impressive and regal looking, it is a spot-on aesthetic match for the set and would do any Paladin proud to wield it.|
|Firesoul drops from Flame Leviathan in Ulduar 10man. He is easily killed by two people if you find you can’t do it by yourself; relatively painless (if time consuming) to farm. If you’ve got a sword instead of a mace for whatever reason, Firesoul is a good choice. The colors match up well enough and the sleek and stylish design of the sword suits the set very well. It’s a little on the small side for me, but it’s still a great piece to consider. Bleeding Hollow Warhammer drops from Quagmirran, the last boss of Slave Pens, on heroic difficulty. A relatively easy farm at 80+, this is a strong matching weapon to hold you over until you can track down Romantis. It has a more sinister and pointy look than many weapons and will likely be distinctive among transmogrifies. heroic Eye of Purification is a shared boss drop in Firelands on heroic difficulty. If you’re one of the people in a position to pick this up, it’s worth a look if no one needs it for main spec.|
I mentioned in my discussion of the Tier-2 recolor that I’m not fond of using cloaks with this particular armor design, however, unlike the recolor, which only had very plain, single-color cloaks at its disposal, the Judgement set has 2 amazing cloaks that really cry out to be used they looks so good and match so well. Cloak of the Unflinching Guardian is a cloak with a wonderfully intricate design and perfectly matched colors. It shares a model with all other cloaks that dropped from the 50-attempts remaining Tribute Chests in Trial of the Grand Crusader and none of those are available in the game anymore, but for those who have one of those cloaks, they are fantastic to use with this set. The Alliance versions of these cloaks are Blue and don’t match the set unfortunately; ironic Horde favoritism from ToGC in matching to an armor set previously Alliance-only. Guess that’s payback for ya. Another strong match is the Sunglimmer Drape a quest reward from the item Algalon drops in Ulduar 10 and 25. If you’ve already done this quest and selected a different item or trashed it, you’re out of luck. There are a few other cloaks in the game that are decent substitutes and match the color scheme well, but don’t quite have the detail and pizazz of these two. Even with these two great options, I’m still not sure if I’ll show my cloak or not.
Like with cloaks I’m also against using tabards with this set, but for those interested, here are a few suggestions. If you’re Horde: Sunreaver works best but Dragonmaw is ok. If you’re Alliance: Tabard of Conquest, Ironforge, and Stormpike all work reasonably well. Both Factions can get Tabard of the Achiever and Wyrmrest.
Flying Mounts, the best kind in the game, because they can fly, are likely to be people’s primary mode of transportation, so you want to be sure it’s as spiffy as your gear. The absolute best choice of course is Reins of the Pureblood Firehawk from Ragnaros in Firelands. Other good mounts include Black Drake from Sartharion +3 Drakes 10man (a very easy mount to get these days if you don’t have it already), and the Red Proto Drake which requires completion of “Glory of the Hero” achievements from Wrath of the Lich King dungeons. Most of these are very easy to complete with one or two people, but a few will need full groups. Failing everything else, there is always the Swift Red Wind Rider.
As for ground mounts, Blood Elf Paladins get 2 great options just for existing in the Thalassian Charger and Thalassian Warhorse, their racial class mounts. As far as mounts anyone can potentially have, there is the Great Brewfest Kodo which matches surprisingly well; or the Ice Mammoth from Sons of Hodir. The Swift Warstrider bought with Honor Points is a pretty good choice as well.
Well, that covers my Paladin Tier-2 Judgement discussion. Personally I’m going to display my helm, not display my cloak, use the Broken Promise as my weapon and the Royal Crest of Lardaeron as my shield. Here is what it looks like in its unified entirety… (since I don’t have the Broken Promise yet, the Romanthis has been subbed in.)
I’ve also taken some in-game footage as well. I don’t have every item listed here so I just saved some time by only showing the combinations I’m considering using.. It is available up to 480p. There is no sound.