Transmogrification Journal 3: Paladin PvP Season-8 Wrathful Gladiator
Hey folks, sorry for the huge gap in between these posts but I’ve been extremely busy lately. I meant to have this out 2 days after the Judgement Set, but things just kept snowballing and before I knew it, it’s been almost 2 weeks. I’ll try and get these out faster from now on. So, on to the set…
Wrathful Gladiator is a very popular set on the PTR, but perhaps it’s because Blizzard removed the cost from the items at the vendor making it the only real option for premade characters. This was my first choice for a transmogrification set for awhile because I assumed it’d be far less popular than either the Judgement Set or its recolor, but that might not be the case if the PTR is any indication. Also, I had a very difficult time finding some accessories to fit this very well. On live servers I normally pair it with Thunderfury and Bulwark of Azzinoth but since legendary weapons cannot be used to transmogrify, I had to dig a little deeper to find things I really felt suited the set.
If this is a set you’re interested in collecting, you can check out WoWHead’s item viewer for this set. Each of these items is bought in either your capital city or in Dalaran from the PvP vendors for relatively little honor and no rating requirements thus making it available to all with relatively little effort. Not that it really matters, but you can buy the Strength or Intellect versions of this set and look the same, but the BELT and BOOTS slot will need to be the Holy Paladin version because the strength ones use the models for Warrior and Death Knight set pieces.
First off, somewhat unusally, the belt for this set is identical to the texture of the set so it looks like you’re not wearing a belt. I personally believe this makes the set look odd if you’re wearing a tabard, so if you’re like me and want something else, here are some belt suggestions if you aren’t satisfied with that look: Indestructible Plte Girdle, Waistguard of Reparation, Spiked Cobalt Belt, Vicious Gladiator’s Clasp of Cruelty. No matter what, you’re likely going to want to transmogrify this slot because of the large belt you are undoubtedly wearing
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
Unfortunately there aren’t too many one-handed maces which match this set well, and the ones that do are rather small and simplistic-looking, but hopefully you’ll find one to your liking.
|Ironfoe drops from Emperor Thaurissan, the last boss of Blackrock Depths. Being quite deep in the instance, this will be a time-consuming boss to farm, but potentially well worth it. It is a fantastic color and aesthetic match to the set.|
|Venerable Mass of McGowan is an easy to-acquire heirloom weapon that matches the set fairly well both color-wise and aesthetically. It is also one of the larger options available so its a somewhat more visibly impressive weapon.|
|Heaven’s Light is a BoE world drop item from lv42-48 monsters. Since it’s a world drop it’s likely impossible to farm, so your best bet is likely to keep your eye on the auction house for it, though approprite-level instance farming may work out. The weapon is rather plain-looking, but it does match fairly well to the set. The weapon is also somewhat small which hurts its appeal to me.|
If you are using a One-Hand Axe
I had a very difficult time finding one-hand axes that I liked with this set so I had to make some small concessions to my criteria for accessory selection, but hopefully if you’re in a position where this is the weapon-type you have to transmogrify that one of these selections will work for you.
|Bone Warden’s Splitter drops from Lord Marrowgar in Icecrown Citadel on 10man. While not a unique model, it’s a large weapon with great visibility and this version has a reasonable color compatability. Personally I’m a fan of this model overall, though the shape of the axe, more spikes than curves, makes it a somewhat jarring contrast to the smooth and elegant flow of the Wrathful gear, but it may not bother most people.|
|Stellaris drops from Nethermancer Sepethrea in heroic Mechanar. A very unique weapon, this item loses some points right off the bat for the strong purple elements which make it stand out strongly from the set, but the curvature of the likes and the ornate detail of the blade help keep it consistant with the feel of the set. There aren’t many good models for this weapon type so this is one of my concession items. It’s not a bad choice by any means, it’s sure to be an eye-catching weapon, but the color contrast may put off some.|
|Axe of the Judgment Day is a quest reward from the new quests in Hillsbrad Foothills. If you’re like me and aren’t a quester, you may still have this quest available to do. Stalactite Chopper is sold from the Sons of Hodir quartermaster in Storm Peaks.|
If you are using a One-Hand Sword
There are a few interesting sword models to look into for matching up with this set, some more basic, some are quite eye-catching.
|Quel’Dalar, Cunning of the Shadows is a quest reward from the Battered Hilt item which drops in the Icecrown 5-man instances. I don’t know if this quest can be completed multiple times or not, so if you’ve already done it you might be out of luck (though paladins may have chosen the healing main hand version or the two-handed version which both go with this set so if you’ve saved that, at least there is that possibility for you.)|
|Maladath, Runed Blade of the Black Flight drops from Broodlord Lashlayer, the 3rd boss of Blackwing Lair. This is one of the largest, and perhaps the most unique, one-handed sword in the game, and a reasonably strong match to this set. The yellow is a little too dull, the blade is a little too bright, but the blade is so unique most people won’t care. It’s a fantastic eye-catcher if you can get your hands on it and is sure to be a popular choice for many sets for many classes. Can you imagine Sinlge-Minded Fury Warrior or Frost Death Knight dual-weilding this? I wish I could dual-wield…|
|Renataki’s Soul Slicer drops from Renataki (the Archaeology rogue boss) in heroic Zul’Grub. While this weapon is ostensibly green, its transparent nature allows it to have a hint of yellow in it which sort of suits the set. This is also going to be a relatively unique weapon to plate-wearers because it is an agility weapon. It has an interesting aesthetic look as well which, while somewhat at odds with the rigidity of the armor, creates an interesting visual contrast with it. Wrathful Gladiator’s Slicer is bought from the PvP vendor in your capital city or Dalaran. While its bright blue is in sharp contrast to the set, it somehow suits it for me. The gold trim ties in with the set well and the glow of the blade compliments the glow of the gems on the set. Hailstorm drops from Malygos in Eye of Eternity 10man. Like the Wrathful Gladiator’s Slicer, the weapon is ostentatious and glowy. This is a unique and very eye-catching weapon that, like the slicer, seems to fly in the face of my penchant for color-matching, but somehow the glow of the blade suits the glow of the armor’s gems. 10man Malygos is incredibly easy to farm if you’re familiar with the fight and can be killed with only 2 or 3 people. Talon of Azshara drops from Morogrim Tidewalker in Serpenshrine Cavern. Because of its prominent bright green, this sword doesn’t match the armor set so much as it ties in the armor set in with the Sword Breaker’s Bulwark and I’d really only recommend this weapon if you were going to be using that shield. If you are, this weapon compliments it nicely and gives the whole outfit that sense of unity and completion. Ruthless Gladiator’s Quickblade is an interesting-looking weapon that can be bought with honor once 4.3 comes out.|
If you are using a Shield
There are several interesting and distinctive shields that go with this set and the decision really comes down to what shield suits the individual better than which shield suits the set better since they all can work, but each shield is a very different choice from the others.
|Hero’s Surrender drops from Patchwerk or Gluth in Nax25. This shield is amazing looking with a very unique model, but it’s just too damn small on a Blood Elf for me to ever use it for tanking. Some people may feel differently, but my recommendation is holy-only if you’re an elf. It works fine on Tauren for size-purposes. It matches the set fairly well though its grey is a little too muted compared to the more silvery color of the set. The flames on the shield match up fairly well with the glow of the gems on the suit. On the whole this is probably the closest chromatic match to the set, but not the best aesthetic choice.|
|Swordbreaker Breaker’s Bulwark drops from Felmyst in Sunwell Plateau. Like the Bulwark of Azzinoth, this is one of the largest shields in the game, almost eclipsing the character using it. It’s in-your-face bold and bright colors may turn some people off because it looks too much like a Fruit Loops comercial than a color scheme, but its the contrast of colors that really help it work with this set because it is rather plain. The yellow of the shield ties in with the set and the red and the green create a visual distinctiveness which is eye-catching and actually enhances the set in my opinion, rather than taking away from it. Normally I’m against contrasts and prefer more matching colors, but this shield works very well.|
|Bulwark of Azzinoth drops from Illidan in Black Temple. This is a great shield, very impressive, distinctive, and eye-catching. It’s definitely a shield built for tanks and it is one you’re going to see everywhere in 4.3 because of how easy Black Temple is to farm in small groups. It’s also a shield that goes with alot of different sets and is easy to match to because of it’s very simple colors. Sunward Crest is purchased from the Shattered Sun quartermaster on the Isle of Quel’Danas. Aegis of Damnation drops from Maexxna or Gluth in Nax 10man. The blue is a little distracting from the set, but the yellow meshes very well and the shield has its own glow, which, despite being blue, does help tie it in aesthetically to the set. I’m forced to wonder why a clone of this didn’t drop somewhere in Uldum given the aesthetics of that zone, but there IS an iLvl 300 BoE world drop that shares this model.|
If you are using a Two-Handed Mace
There are a couple of interesting and distinctive choices for two-handed maces, some easier to acquire than others.
|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. The yellow of the mace is prevented from complimenting the yellow of the set because of the orange highlights of the weapon, but, even so, this is chromatically and aesthetically an excellent weapon for this set.|
|Hammer of the Titans is a crafted vanilla weapon. While its model is not unique or distinctive, the weapon does tie in well chromatically and aesthetically to the set and is a reasonable size to look like a worthy two-handed weapon.|
|Titansteel Destroyer is a crafted Wrath item and should be easy to come up with. Taran Icebreaker is a BoE world drop from lv47-52 monsters. Your best bet to pick it up is keeping an eye on the AH.|
If you are using a Two-Handed Axe
Like the one-handed axes, two-handed axes have precious few interesting options here. I guess this set just wasn’t meant to be used with axes.
|Spiked Battle Axe is a BoE world drop. This is a great choice for the set. It’s huge, it’s visually interesting and distinctive, the colors suit the set very will both in the yellow and silver areas, and it suits the aesthetic sensibilities of the set being intricately detailed for an axe blade. It’s unfortunate that the best way to get ahold of this is hoping someone puts it up on the AH because it’s a fantastic-looking weapon that will definitely garner som attention and it would undoubtedly mesh well with many different gear sets.|
|Fras Siabi’s Cigar Cutter is a quest reward from Dire Maul. It’s a unique-model weapon with a fairly good chromatic similarity to the set. The black and red of the blade separate it from the set a little too much for my liking, and it’s a little smaller than I would like in a two-handed weapon, especially an axe, but given the limited options for this slot, it’s not a bad choice overall.|
|Soul Cleaver drops from Teron Gorefiend in Black Temple. This is a very distinctive, very large, weapon that unfortunately just doesn’t match all that well, but given the near-absence of decent choices I felt I had to include it. It’s a unique axe model with one of the largest blades in the game and is sure to get noticed. Ghostly Battle Axe is a BoE world drop. The yellow of the blade is a little too orange to quite match up with the yellow of the armor, but it’s not a bad choice overall. The blade is huge and destructive-looking and will definitely not get lost in a sea of sameness with other weapons. Even though it shares a model with 2 other axes, not many people will be using this model, if anyone. Skullstealer Greataxe drops from Shannox in Firelands. Depending on what things are like on your realm, this may be a very easy boss to pug. The weapon isn’t a spot-on match but it will do in a pinch while you pray for a Spiked Battle Axe to drop. Aesthetically the weapon doesn’t really suit the armor because of all its jagged edges, and the blade is somewhat small and unimpressive for a modern two-handed weapon design, but it’s worth considering because of the shortage of good axes for this set.|
If you are using a Two-Hand Sword
Fortunately there are some very interesting and distinctive weapon choices if you happen to be using a sword and are definitely worth looking into.
|Aesir’s Edge drop from heroic XT in Ulduar 10man. This weapon suits the set very well, though the teal of the blade is a little distracting. Aesthetically this weapon model is spot-on and the golden highlights on the blade tie it in with the armor nicely. XT heroic, especially on 10man, should be effortless to knock out with a few friends and he is early in the instance so it won’t be a huge time investment to farm. My only negative for this weapon, really, is the relatively small size of th blade which makes it a little harder to appreciate its intricacies from a distance. But, it’s very eye-catching and distinctive and is sure to get noticed for its coloring alone.|
|Lionheart Executioner is a bind on pickup crafted weapon from Burning Crusade. This pattern is no longer in the game so if you were not a Master Swordsmith specialization prior to crafting specialization removal in Cataclysm you will not be able to acquire this item. This is sure to be a popular item because it is so distinctive, it’s just a shame that not many people will be able to have one of these. While the bright red does separate it from the set a little, the blade really sells this weapon, and it matches up quite well chromatically. I’m not sue how I feel about the Lion aesthetic since it doesn’t seem to fit with the set, but at the same time it also doesn’t contradict it either.|
|Irontree Greatsword is a BoE world drop. It’s a little plain-looking, but it suits the set chromatically and aesthetically and isn’t a bad stopgap if you happen to find one while looking for something more distinctive. Stormrune Edge drops from Iron Council in Ulduar 25man. Not quite as appealing to me as the Aesir’s Edge for some reason, this weapon matches chromatically a little better because it lacks the teal on the blade in favor of more gold, but it somehow lacks the distinctiveness of its model-sharing brother. Not a bad choice at all, but a little harder to farm, being a 25man drop. Divine Warblade is a BoE world drop. This is a basic-looking weapon that deserves a closer look because of its well-matching hilt and aesthetic sensibility. It may be plain by modern weapon standards, but it’s a solid design with great colors and overall works quite well with the set as a whole. The Untamed Blade drops from Raorgore in Blackwing Lair. While I’m not a fan of the sharply contrasting red with this set, this weapon could be considered sort of the “power tie” accessory weapon. The gold of the hilt and the silver blade match the set well, and the bold red draws a definite attention to the user. It might be just the color needed to bring the set alive for some people. Not really a fan myself, but it might be just what some people are looking for.|
If you are using a Main-Hand Weapon
For you holy Paladins out there, there are some really great mace choices, which is likely what you’re using anyway.
|Royal Scepter of Terenas II drops from the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel 25man on Heroic difficulty. Heroic Lich King can still be a challenge at lv85 if people are unprepared, so depending on your realm, this may be a difficult item to pick up. This weapon is very large and very distinctive and is sure to draw attention to itself since only other Lich King weapons share its model. This particular coloring, coming from the 25-heroic difficulty, will likely make it one of the rarest weapons in the game if you have one.|
|War Mace of Unrequited Love drops from Keristrasza in heroic Nexus. I really like this weapon with this set because of the gold crystaline flame of the mace. It’s somewhat small and not very eye-catchig on its own, but when you get a good look at it, something about it just feels right to me. The brown hilt may be a little dischordant with the armor, but I think the flame more than makes up for it.|
|Hammer of Sanctification drops from Kil’jaeden in Sunwell Plateau. Sunwell is a popular source of transmogrification gear so people likely won’t have trouble finding a group to run this with. The weapon is a large, visible size which helps accentuate the detail on it. The green separates it a little from the set color-wise, but it’s a strong contender overall. Hammer of the Astral Plane drops from Kel’Thuzad in Nax 10man. This weapon, like the Talon of Azshara, doesn’t so much match the set as it does match a shield you may be using with this set. If you’re using the Aegis of Damnation, this weapon really helps tie it into the set and make them set work as a unified whole. Gavel of Unearthed Secrets is purchased from the Lower City Quartermaster in Shattrath City at Exalted reputation. This is the main-hand version of the one-handed mace, Ironfoe, which is a spot-on match for this set and a great item to consider. Quel’Delar, Lense of the Mind is a quest reward from the Battered Hilt item which drops in the Icecrown 5man instances. I don’t know if this quest can be completed multiple times or not, so if you’ve already done it you might be out of luck. This is probably the most perfectly-matched sword available for this set so if you’ve got a mainhand sword this is definitely a weapon to look into. The Icecrown 5man heroics can be solo-farmed (since it’s the trash that drops the item that begins the quest) so hopefully it won’t take people too long. The aesthetics and colors are a perfect match for this set. Runescribed Blade drops from Auriaya in Ulduar 25man. The Blue highlighting of the blade may turn some off, but the silver of the blade is a tone-perfect match for the armor and makes the weapon almost seem as an extension of the Paladin itself and not a separate item which I think is a really cool effect. Stormcaller is purchased from the Thrallmar Quartermaster in Hellfire Peninsual at Exalted reputation. This weapon has its own enchant so if you’ve been dying to get away from Power Torrent, this is the weapon for you. Its silvery blade and glow suit the set fairly well, but aesthetically it’s somewhat small and uninteresting. Rigormortis drops from Professor Putricie in Icecrown Citadel 25man on normal difficulty. The aesthetic design of the weapon is something I’m not to crazy about, but the colors suit the set rather well and make it an item worth considering.|
Finally, a set where I get to talk about tabards and capes! With a set like this, which is a neutral, muted color, I have two types of ways of looking at cloaks; matching, and “power tie.” Matching is fairly obvious, and it follows the same criteria that I use to evaluate all other items, but with Power-Tie accessories, it’s about being eye-catching and appropriately contrasting, so bold colors, intricate designs, and unique models are given extra points of consideration. My “Power Tie” recommendations are as follow: Cloak of the Unflinching Guardian is a cloak with a wonderfully intricate design and strongly enhancing contrast 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 contrast enough with the set to be as strong a choice in my opinion. The Permafrost Capes that drop from Al’Akir look identical to the Alliance version of this design and color, the red ones, you’re out of luck finding a substitute. Mantle of Fury is a quest reward from the Thrall questline in Mount Hyjal. It’s likely that people have already done this quest and possibly even sold whichever version of the reward they chose. But, if you’re a DPS class and didn’t sell it, this is a unique item with a good design and a strong complimenting contrast. If you ditched it, you can pick up the Bladed Flamewrath Cover from Avengers of Hyjal at Friendly, it has the identical texture, but the bottom of the cape is cropped to a point rather than being straight across. It’s an interesting design choice, but I prefer the traditional cape design. Ruthless Gladiator’s Cloak of…, a PvP cape for a PvP set. It’s a very simplistic design, but the bright red is a strong complimenting color and the gold suits the set well. It is also virtually identical to the Wrathful cloak. Very simplistic, yet somehow appropriate, the Crimson Silk Cloak is an easily crafted low-level tailoring item, so if you want a strong red in your set but don’t like the PvP cape and didn’t snag one of the amazing raiding capes back in the day, this is a great option to consider. For those looking for something a little less ostentatious and more in line with the sets colors and aesthetics, I can recommend: Gray Hair Cloak which shares a model with 7 other capes, but this is the easiest of them to pick up, since you can buy it with Justice Points. The golden scale design of the cloak is a nice fit for the ornate armor. The Wrap of the Great Turtle is identical to the Gray Hair Cloak, but doesn’t go as far down the back if you want something shorter, and it’s easy to pick up from the Hyjal quartermaster at exalted. The Cloak of the Iron Council is a BoE that drops from, who else, the Iron Council in Ulduar 10man.
Tabards, like capes have two categories of consideration, complimenting and contrasting, and there are some excellent choices for both styles. The great thing about tabards and capes is that if you chose a contrasting shield (like the Sword Breaker’s Bulwark) or weapon, they can give the set the illusion of having those colors and helping you unify your outfit. Tabard of the Summer Flames / Skies are decent choices. Both colors work, but I prefer the red personally. The Gold trim ties it in well to the armor on its own nicely. Flames is more of a contrast, while Skies is more of a compliment. If you own one, but want the other, you can just delete it from your inventory and visit a tabard vendor in your capital city and they will give you a chat option of which you’d like them to give back to you. If you’re an Alliance who likes the color purple and opted for a purple cape to compliment/contrast instead of the reds I recommended above, the Darnassus and Gnomeregan tabards are an excellent way to extend that color further into the set. Not to mention those tabards have specific matching capes anyway. Similarly, the Scryers tabard and, to a lesser extent, the Tabard of the Shattered Sun are a wonderful way to tie in the absolutely luxurious black cape Cloak of the Black Void. The Stone Guard’s Herald PvP tabard (Horde) works well, as does it’s Alliance counterpart, Kight’s Colors. Argent Crusader’s Tabard is a brilliantly matching Tabard which creates a near-seamless intigration into the set and gives it some great eye-catching detail and highlights. It’s relatively simple to pick up from the Argent Tournament if you’re willing to grind out the questing zone to completion. It should take about a month if you’re starting from scratch. The Tabard of the Argent Crusade (which is bought at Friendly from their quartermaster or a tabard vendor) is not quite as good as its more ornate successor, but is still a decent matching choice.
On to the mounts! Unfortunately there really aren’t any flying mounts that suit this set. The best you’re likely to get is the Drake of the North Wind which is a drop from the dragon boss in Vortex Pinnacle boss. This mount DOES drop in the regular difficulty version so at least you could farm for 12 hours a day until you get sick of it if you really wanted to. The Glory of the Icecrown Raider 25-player mount, Icebound Frostbrood Vanquisher isn’t a bad second choice and most realms probably pug these achievement runs.
There are more choices when it comes to ground mounts at least, some of the best in my opinion being Raven Lord because the blue creates a nice contrast with the set and the gold ties in really well with the set. The White Hawkstrider is another good, but rare and farming-required, choice. The White Riding Talbuk / White War Talbuk are available for both Horde and Alliance in Nagrand for a little reg grinding. Horde has two decent options in the Sunreaver Hawkstrider and the Swift Timber Wolf. And, lastly, you might want to consider the Argent warhorse / Agent charger.
Well, that covers my Paladin Season-8 Wrathful Gladiator set discussion. Personally I’m going to display my helm, rock out with my unattainable Horde-Only red cloak, and my Argent Crusader tabard. I’ll smash faces with Hailstorm and hide behind my enormous Sword Breaker’s Bulwark. Here is what it looks like in its unified entirety…