PvE Affliction Warlock Best in Slot (BiS) & Pre-Raid Gear

pve lich king afflicition warlock pre raid and bis gear

Equipment will be the main source of your character’s power, contributing the biggest bulk of your stats. It is therefore very important that you choose the correct equipment for each slot — commonly referred to as “best in slot” equipment – in order to maximize your power.

This guide will help you choose the best equipment possible for each phase, but also the best equipment you can find outside of raids, known as “pre-raid” gear or “pre-BiS”.

Open accordions to see alternative options that are listed in order of upgrade!

Item
Source
The Sunwell
Culling of Stratholme – Heroic
The Sunwell
The Oculus – Heroic
The Sunwell
Tailoring – BoE

Visage Liquification Goggles are technically the second best thing you can get before raiding in Wrath of the Lich King, however seeing as how quickly you will replace them it doesn’t seem worth the cost.

There are also plenty of helms that dropped in The Sunwell (including converted healer ones) that are still worthwhile options, namely Cowl of Light’s Purity, Helm of Arcane Purity, and Dark Conjuror’s Collar.

Hat of Wintry Doom is most likely the easiest to get of the bunch because of the fact that it is a Bind on Equip tailor craft. Forgotten Shadow Hood and Crown of Unbridled Magic both are available options from Heroic drops.

Item
Source
Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom – Heroic
Jewelcrafting – BoE
The Admiral Revealed – Quest
The Sunwell

Titanium Spellshock Necklace is the strongest necklace if we do not require any additional hit rating followed by Hateful Glad Subjugation. It should be noted however that Titanium Spellshock Necklace doesn’t come cheap.

Chain of Latent Energie is a BoE drop inside 10-man Naxxramas. So whilst this is technically pre-bis it is not included in the list above, but mentioned here for completionism.

Item
Source
The Sunwell
Halls of Stone
The Sunwell
Utgarde Keep
The Sunwell
Black Temple
Halls of Stone

How controversial as it might sound (or good for those that already have it) Amice of the Convoker from Sunwell is the best available shoulder before we participate in raid content at level 80. Other Burning Crusade shoulder pieces like Shoulderpads of Knowledge, Shawl of Wonderment and Mantle of the Malefic also are able to keep standing their ground.

If you don’t have any of those Dark Runic Mantle and Runecasters are great close options come Wrath.

Item
Source
Tailoring – BoE
The Sunwell
Halls of Lightning
Ebon Blade – Honored
Drak’Tharon Keep – BoE
The Oculus – Heroic

Deathchill Cloak is another bind-on-equipped crafted piece. It is significantly stronger than most other available cloaks. Hateful Glad Ascendancy is not too far off in value if you can make use of the hit rating. After this the closest cloak is already a level 70 one again, being Tattered Cape of Antonidas.

Item
Source
Tailoring – BoE
Tailoring – BoE
Violet Hold- Heroic
Tailoring – BoP
The Sunwell
Tailoring – BoE
The Sunwell
The Sunwell
Azjol-Nerub – Heroic
The Oculus – Heroic

Heroes Plagueheart Robe costs us a lot of emblems but moves us already a step closer to our two and four-piece tier bonus.

Following this is Spellweave Robe or Ebonweave Robe if you need a significant amount of hit rating. Both of these are tailoring crafted pieces.

Item
Source
The Oculus – Heroic
Violet Hold – Heroic
Drak’Tharon Keep – Heroic
Wyrmrest Accord – Revered
Killing Two Scourge With One Skeleton – Quest
The Oculus

Cuffs of Winged Levitation and Azure Cloth Bindings are two really good and close wrists that drop from heroics.

Black Duskweave is slightly worse on its own than any of the above-listed braces, but combined with Black Duskweave for the two-piece bonus of +18 spell power is another solid option.

Item
Source
Tailoring – BoE
Tailoring – BoE
The Sunwell
The Nexus – Heroic
The Sunwell
The Sunwell
Drak’Tharon Keep – Heroic

Spellweave Gloves and Ebonweave Gloves are incredibly close in value depending on if are in need of the hit rating on Ebonweave Gloves. Handguards of Defiled Worlds is really close to these as well, if you already have this it is most likely not worth it to spend the extra gold on getting the crafted gloves.

Item
Source
Utgarde Pinnacle – Heroic
Halls of Lightning – Heroic
The Culling of Stratholme – Heroic
Ebon Blade – Exalted
The Sunwell
Tailoring – BoE

Plush Sash of Guzbah and Girdle of Bane is for all intents and purposes nearly equal in value, assuming you can fully make use of the hit rating. All other belts are significantly further behind in value, especially if you need a belt without hit rating.

Item
Source
The Sunwell
The Sunwell
The Sunwell
Mountain Hyjall
Halls of Lightning – Heroic
Utgarde Keep – Heroic
Violet Hold – Heroic
The Nexus – Heroic

All four of the Burning Crusade pants listed above are really close to each other in value. The first Wrath of the Lich King pants that comes close in value is Woven Bracae Leggings.

Black Duskweave is also worth mentioning, this can be combined with Black Duskweave bracers for the two-piece bonus.

Item
Source
Wyrmrest – Exalted
The Sunwell
The Nexus – Heroic
The Air Stands Still – Quest
Violet Hold – Heroic

Sandals of Crimson Fury, Titan-Forged Slippers of Dom, and Boots of the Malefic are really close in value. But fear not if u aren’t exalted with the Wyrmrest Accord, not into Wintergrasp, or didn’t get your tier 6 feet; Cleric’s Linen Shoes doesn’t fall too far behind.

Item
Source
Jewelcrafting – BoE
Lost Ring of the Necromancer
Random Suffix – BoE
8500 gold
The Culling of Stratholme – Heroic
Utgarde Keep – Heroic
Jewelcrafting – BoE
Halls of Stone – Heroic

There are a lot of options when it comes to our rings. Most of them can be bought, but one might already be more expansive than the other, looking at you Signet of the Kirin Tor. Ring of Northern Tears, Lost Ring of the Necromancer, and Titanium Spellshock Ring can also be bought for gold.

Band of Guile and Annhylde’s Ring are for all intents and purposes the same ring that drops from another Heroic.

Item
Source
Violet Hold – Heroic
Brewfest
Halls of Stone – Heroic

The Egg of Mortal Essence is not listed above, but if it works with either Siphon Life or Fel Synergie it would be our pre-BiS.

Sundial of the Exiled and Mithril Pocketwatch are the same trinket for all intents and purposes, one easier to get than the other.

Item
Source
Blacksmithing – BoE
Drak’Tharon Keep – Heroic
Kirin Tor – Revered
Utgarde Pinnacle – Heroic
BoE – Random Suffix
Utgarde Pinnacle
The Sunwell


If Titansteel Spellblade is out from release one-hand plus offhand will be the play. If it is not Cursed Lich Blade or any of the other listed one hands will work as well but Staff of Draconic Combat will be a closer option.

Item
Source
The Nexus – Heroic
Inscription – BoE
Inscription – BoE
Drak’Tharon Keep – Heroic

Ward of the Violet Citadel really is the best option and at only a cost of 25 Emblem not too hard to get your hands on. That being said any of the others listed will last you until you get it.

Item
Source
The Oculus – Heroic
Utgarde Pinnacle – Heroic
Ahn’kahet: The old Kingdom – Heroic
The Sunwell
The Sunwell


Staff of Draconic Combat drops from the last boss in The Oculus Heroic. If Titansteel Spellblade is out from release that combined with Ward of the Violet Citadel will be a tad bit better.

Item
Source
Utgarde Keep – Heroic
The Sunwell
The Cleansing of Jintha’kalar – Quest
Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom – Heroic
The Sunwell
Halls of Lightning
Azjol-Nerub – Heroic

Wand of the San’layn and Wand of Cleansing Light are really close in value, the biggest pro of Wand of Cleansing Light being that it doesn’t have any hit rating if you don’t need any extra hit. Wand of Blinding Light which is rewarded from a quest is not to far off either.

T4 4P Information

The bonus from our four pieces of tier four provides us with an extra 300 Spirit whenever we use life tap for 10 seconds. This translates to an extra 150 amount of spell power through Fel Armor and glyph of life tap. This raises the question if you should be using Life Tap more often to increase our total amount of Spell Power. The answer to this is relatively simple, Life Tap incurs a global cooldown, this means we lose roughly 1.5s of cast time every 10 seconds or approximately 15% (depending on our cast speed) of our DPS, there is no way that the additional 150 spell power results in an overall DPS increase that is bigger than this. What can be worthwhile is using life tap earlier if you can make the buff align with other cooldowns, this doesn’t increase the total amount of global cooldowns spent on Life Tap, but instead shifts when we use it.

In short whilst the four-piece bonus of Plagueheart Garb provides us with extra spell power we should not be seeking 100% uptime on the buff, rather we should keep on using life tap as we normally would during our rotation for mana and upkeeping glyph of life tap.

Item
Source
The Obsidian Sanctum
Naxxramas
Crafted
Emblem of Valor
Naxxramas
Item
Source
Naxxramas
Naxxramas
Naxxramas
Naxxramas
Deadly Gladiator
Item
Source
Naxxramas
Naxxramas
Naxxramas
Emblem of Heroism
Crafted
Item
Source
The Eye of Eternity
Naxxramas
The Obsidian Sanctum
Naxxramas
Deadly Gladiator

Pre-Raid

Before ever setting foot inside a raid we can already start collecting a bunch of great items to get us going. This includes raid drops from the previous 10-man raids in the form of Heroic+ Dungeons, Items brought through Heroism Emblems (quests and normal heroics), Valor Badges (Heroic+), and even a couple of items through Emblems of Conquest thanks to the daily Heroic Dungeon quest (provides 2 emblems every day). Those with heavy purses can even buy their way up the meters by getting the various raid drop Bind on Equipe items and the latest crafted pieces. On top of that those who do not shun player-versus-player interaction can get a bunch of great items for honor too. As you can see the list of sources for catch-up gear is incredibly long, here we will go in-depth about each and every worthwhile piece and who/ why you should consider it.

Best in Slot

When it comes to our best in slot gear, most of the items will be coming from 25-man Hard Mode bosses. The issue with this is that according to the following blue post, most Hard Mode bosses will only drop 1 additional top item. In other words, it will take a good while until all items drop, and 252 item-level items are highly sought after. As such it is important to keep this in mind when considering gearing options and loot distribution, do not hold out for an item that might take months to even see drop (if you can clear the Hard Modes to begin with). Each slot has a detailed description of the best items to consider and the reasons behind them. For more personal details you will have to simulate your gear setups using wowsims.

Information

Ideally, we want to make use of 2-pieces of Tier 8 for the set bonus that it provides. We can also make use of four pieces until we get our hands on the 25-man Hard Mode items. The best slot to use Tier 8 and loss out the least amount of stats is the chest slot. It is nearly as strong as the best possible alternatives. The next item(s) will depend on the Hard-Mode items you can get. You will be wanting to trade the following items:

So you will likely use 1 or more of these items to get your set bonus or use the tier item until you get the Hard-Mode pieces. The easiest Hard Mode item to get from this list likely is Amice of Inconceivable Horror, as this drops in 10-man content while the rest drops in 25-man content.

Pre-Raid

Enamored Cowl as a whole is the best helm we can use. Alternatively, Heroes’ Plagueheart Circlet isn’t far behind and can help us achieve our tier 7 four-piece bonus. Additionally, we can swap in Heroes’ Plagueheart Circlet if, for example we get upgrades for other slots that are better compared to the tier 7 alternative, the same holds true for all tier 7 pieces (Do not throw them away until you got enough upgrades above tier 7 that you do not need the tier bonus). Note that non of the helms listed have any hit rating on them, making it something you do not need to actively manage when upgrading items.

Various Bosses (H+)
Engineering

Best-In-Slot

It is clear that as far as helmets go, Crown of Luminescence is the best there is, but it will also be highly sought after and rare to get your hands on. This is due to the fact that it only drops from 25-man Hard Mode Mimiron. So what are the most likely alternatives? If we can get other Hard-Mode loot for our Shoulders or Legs we can use Conqueror’s Deathbringer Hood here to complete our two-piece set bonus. If we don’t use our helm slot to complete our two-set bonus we can instead make use of Collar of the Wyrmhunter if we need additional hit rating, and Cowl of Dark Whispers if we do not. All of these drops are from 25-man Ulduar, from 10-mans we can get our hands on Lifespark Visage.


Mimiron (HM) – Ulduar (25)
ThorimUlduar (25)
HodirUlduar (10)
MimironUlduar (10)

Pre-Raid

Evokers Charm is a highly recommended option for the neck slot. This item can be obtained for 19 Emblems of Conques (rewarded for the daily heroic dungeon quest). If hit rating is not a priority, players may also consider the Veiled Amulet of Life, which can be obtained through Heroic+ Utgarde Keep (Prince Keleseth) or Naxxramas (Gluth and Gothik).

For those who are looking to increase hit rating, the Chain of Latent Energies is a valuable option that can be obtained through the auction house. Alternatively, the Encircling Burnished Gold Chains, which can be obtained through 25 Emblems of Heroism, and Circle of Arcana Streams, which drops from Heroic+ Stratholme (Epoch) are also viable options.

BOE World Drop

Best-In-Slot

Wyrmrest Necklace of Power stands its ground, it does get trumped but only by Hard Mode specific items. When it comes to upgrading away from Wyrmrest Necklace of Power, the Pendant of Fiery Havoc on paper is the strongest however, be aware that you will need to work around the additional hit rating and shuffle gear. Sapphire Amulet of Renewal, Watchful Eye of Fate, and Pendant of the Shallow Grave are direct upgrades over Wyrmrest Necklace of Power that doesn’t require additional item switching when it comes to hit rating. Note that all of these upgrades drop from Hard Modes, so don’t hold out till you get either, it might take a while to see one drop.

Flame Leviathan (HM) – Ulduar (25)
Steelbreaker (HM) – Ulduar (25)
Steelbreaker (HM) – Ulduar (10)
Thorim (HM) – Ulduar (10)
KologarnUlduar (10)

Pre-Raid

The Heroes Plaguehear Shoulderpads are an excellent choice for the shoulder slot, as they provide a solid amount of hit rating and contribute to achieving the Tier 7 set-bonus for us. Other options, such as the Miasma Mantle and Mantle of the Extensive Mind, which can be obtained from Heroic+ or Naxxramas, do not offer hit rating, but are still worth considering. The Mantle of the Tribunal from Halls of Stone or the Dark Runic Mantle also from Halls of Stone, which is a BOE item, are likewise feasible options.

Various Bosses (H+)
Heroic+ ?

Best-In-Slot

The two most apparent choices regarding our shoulder slot are Amice of Inconceivable Horror and Conqueror’s Deathbringer Shoulderpads. On the other hand, Mantle of Wavering Calm and  Underworld Mantle are both excellent alternatives to consider depending on your needs around tier 8 and what content you clear with your raider buddies.

Yogg-Saron (HM) – Ulduar (10)
ThorimUlduar (10)

Pre-Raid

For the back slot, the Deathchill Cloak is a highly recommended option for players with spare gold. This item can be purchased from the auction house or crafted by a tailor using the required materials. The Disguise of the Kuminho, which can be obtained through 25 Emblems of Valor, is also a great option to consider. Additionally, the Dark Shroud of the Scourge, if available, is a great option for players in need of hit rating.

BOE Tailoring

Best-In-Slot

All upgrades over Pennant Cloak from Sartharion in the previous phase are related to Hard Modes in one form or another. In plain words, it might take you a good while until you can wrap yourself in a new cloak blanket.  Sunglimmer Cloak and  Sunglimmer Drape are rewarded for defeating Algalon (the extra boss unlocked by completing various Hard Mode encounters) through a quest item called  Reply-Code Alpha. Algalon also drops Drape of the Messenger in its 10-man version.  Drape of Mortal Downfall drops from 25-man Hard Mode Steelbreaker.

As you can see Pennant Cloak will last us a long while, for those who do not have it yet you can consider picking up an item such as Asimov’s Drape or Shawl of Haunted Memories.

Steelbreaker (HM) – Ulduar (25)
MimironUlduar (25)
Ulduar Trash
Crafted

Pre-Raid

To continue expanding the warlock’s set bonus, Heroes’ Plagueheart Robe is a great option for the chest slot. This item can be obtained through 80 Emblems of Heroism, or from Heroic+ or Naxxramas drops. For players with a heavier purse, the Spellweave Robe or Ebonweave Robe are also great options to consider, depending on what is available at the auction house.

Other options include the Gown of the Spell-weaver and the Gown of Blaumeux from Heroic+ dungeons, both gowns provide a solid amount of hit rating.

BOE Tailoring
Heroic+ ?
BOE Tailoring

Best-In-Slot

This is one of the few slots where there are no 251-item-level Hard Mode items that blow normal 25-man mode gear out of the water. Most notable is our tier 8 chest Conqueror’s Deathbringer Robe, it is one of the must-have slot for completing our two or four-piece set bonus. On top of that we can buy our chest for 58 Emblems of Conquest making it one of the more sure items we can get.

On the other hand, say you already got your tier 8 set bonus, and not yet your tier chest. In this case you could consider getting either Robes of the Umbral Brute or Raiments of the Iron Council, both are minor upgrades over Conqueror’s Deathbringer Robe if you only look at attributes (and ignore your two (or four) piece set bonus of tier 8.

KologarnUlduar (25)
HodirUlduar (25)
AuriayaUlduar (10)
Tailoring

Pre-Raid

For the wrist slot, the Wraps of the Astral Traveler and Preceptor’s Bindig are good options that provide hit rating. Wraps of the Astral Traveler are bought for 60 emblems of valor whilst the other drops from Heroic+. Other options include Resurgent Phantom Bindings from Heroic+ and Cuffs of Winged Levitation from Heroic Oculus.

The Oculus Heroic

Best-In-Slot

Unsullied Cuffs remains one of the best bracers out there, only Grasps of Reason beats it. Note that these bracers will be an upgrade for every caster in the raid.

Those missing Unsullied Cuffs can also opt for Shackles of the Odalisque, Bracers of Unleashed Magic, or Grips of Chaos (BoE), note that all of these drop in 25-man Ulduar. The last two of these are also great options for additional hit rating.

KologarnUlduar (25)
Trash – Ulduar (25)

Pre-Raid

For the “cheap” price of 28 emblems of conquest you can get your hands on (pun intended) Touch of the Occult. Note that it might take a while to get enough emblems since you are limited to 2 to 3 emblems per day. (unless you are heading out into Ulduar). Another great option in the context of Tier 8 is Heroes.

Other options include the Spellweave Gloves or Ebonweave Gloves if you have the spare gold, and Gloves of Dark Gestures from Heroic+ Halls of Lightning (Bjarngrim).

BOE Tailoring
BOE Tailoring

Best-In-Slot

Both of the best gloves come from Alagon; Pharos Gloves and Pulsar Gloves. Next runner-ups are Handwraps of the Vigilant from Hard Mode Vezax, note that these are the best option out there for Demonology Warlocks and you should pass on them in favor of them. All of these gloves are hard to get and will be rare.

The best non-Hard Mode gloves are Handwraps of Plentiful Recovery and Touch of the Occult. Considering tier 8 we can also make use of Conqueror’s Deathbringer Gloves especially if it will enable your next set bonus.

General Vezax (HM) – Ulduar (25)
KologarnUlduar (25)
MimironUlduar (25)
ThorimUlduar (10)

Pre-Raid

Sash of Ancient Power is a particularly desirable item, as it is considered the best option available before setting foot in a raid. This item is particularly expensive, as it is crafted using materials and a recipe that drop in Ulduar. However, for those who are looking for a more budget-friendly option, Sash of Potent Incanctations, available for 28 emblems of conquest, might be a more realistic choice. Other options include the Girdle of Bane, which drops in Utgarde Pinnacle on Heroic mode, or the Plush Sash of Guzbah, which also provides hit rating, another option is Agonal Sash from Heroic+.

BOE Tailoring
BOE Tailoring

Best-In-Slot

For those with heavy purses it will be relatively easy (though expensive) to get a good belt. Sash of Ancient Power is crafted with the new crafting ingredient namely runed orb. Starwatcher’s Binding is slightly stronger but will be significantly harder to get due to being an Algalon drop.

For those looking for a normal raid drop you should consider Embrace of the Leviathan from 25-man Flame Leviathan.

BOE Taloring
BOE Taloring

Pre-Raid

Moving on to legs, the best option is likely to be the Heroes Plageuheart Leggings, as it is part of the tier 7 set-bonus. Other options include Leggings of Sapphiron and Leggings of the Instructor, both of which drop in Heroic+ dungeons. For those on a budget, Woven Bracae Leggings, which drop in the “normal” heroic version of the Halls of Lightning, will be a more affordable option.

Various Heroic+

Best-In-Slot

When it comes to our pants, the choice is fairly obvious. You use Conqueror’s Deathbringer Leggings, if your lucky you will eventually replace them with Leggings of the Enslaved Idol from 25-man Hard Mode Freya. You can also make use of Leggings of Profound Darkness, note that this is also a Hard Mode drop, and you lose out on the benefit from tier pants enabling your set-bonuses. Note that there are also plenty of alternatives until you get either of the pants.

Freya (HM) – Ulduar (25)
General Vezax (HM) – Ulduar (10)
FreyaUlduar (25)
ThorimUlduar (25)
HodirUlduar (10)

Pre-Raid

Spellslinger’s Slippers, another item crafted in Ulduar, are a step up compared to the alternatives. However, for those on a budget, Xintor Expeditionary Boots (or Slipper of the Holy Light if you do not need additional hit rating), both available for 40 emblems of valor, can be more feasible options. Additionally, the Saltarello Shoes, which drop in heroic+ dungeons, provide yet another option.

BOE Tailoring
Tailoring BOE
Heroic+?

Best-In-Slot

The best available boots not locked behind Hard Modes are Boots of the Servant from 25-man Freya. Followed closely by Spellslinger’s Slippers which might be easier to get depending on how willing you are willing to part with your hard-earned gold.

Surprise, surprise both best feet come from 25-man Hard Modes. Namely Boots of Fiery Resolution from the Flame Leviathan and Treads of the False Oracle from Yogg-Saron, best of luck getting either. The added benefit though is that both don’t have any hit rating on them making it easy to gear around once you get them.

Flame Leviathan (HM) – Ulduar (25)
Yogg-Saron (HM) – Ulduar (25)
FreyaUlduar (25)
Ulduar – Tailoring
Ulduar – Tailoring
AuriayaUlduar (25)

Pre-Raid

Inscribed Signet of the Kirin Tor is an upgraded version of Signet of the Kirin Tor. It will set you back a few thousand gold, but is a great option when it comes to pre-bis, this ring also has been affected by the item level increase.

Signet of the Malevolent drops from Heroic+ and is a great source of hit rating, as well as all-around great stats. Band of Channeled Magic is a great non-hit option for 25 emblems of valor. Other alternatives are The Horseman’s Seal from Halloween, although that event is a long whilst to go at the time of writing this guide. Other options are Ring of Holy Cleansing from Heroic+, Band of Guile from Stratholme Heroic, or Annhyldes Ring from Utgarde Keep Heroic.

Halloween – Headless Horseman

Best-In-Slot

Pyrelight Circle and Inscribed Signet of the Kirin Tor upgraded version of Phase 1 Kirin Tor Ring for an extra 1000g on top of the 8000g cost) are very similar compared to the best ring of the previous phase namely Signet of Manifested Pain. Frozen Loop is another great ring if you are in any need of hit rating.

Conductive Seal, Nebula Band, and in case you are in need of hit rating Shimmering Seal all are superb rings. However they all drop from Hard Mode encounters making them rather rare. Fire Orchid Signet also drops from a Hard Mode encounter namely Freya 10-man but doesn’t outperforms Signet of Manifested Pain.

Mimiron (HM) – Ulduar (25)
Flame Leviathan (HM) – Ulduar (10)
HodirUlduar (25)
Freya (HM) – Ulduar (10)

Pre-Raid

The two best trinket options by a long shot are Embrace of the Spider from Heroic+ and Sundial of the Exiled for 40 emblems of heroism.

Best-In-Slot

There is nothing that Affliction Warlocks adore more than haste rating, especially if it comes in the form of a strong on-use cooldown that can be lined up with other buffs, procs, or the execution phase. This should make it no surprise how good Scale of Fates is, on top of that it isn’t locked behind a Hard Mode encounter and as such should make it more realistic to get.

Illustration of the Dragon Soul fully stacked up to 200 spell power performs similarly enough to Flare of the Heavens which drops from General Vezax 25-man Hard Mode. It should also be easier to get now that Phase 1 25-man loot drops in the 10-man versions of raids.

Flare of the Heavens has the benefit of being proc based which if it lines up well enough can have tremendous results, plus you don’t have to worry about keeping Illustration of the Dragon Soul stacks up do note that it will be hard to get your hands on due to being locked behind a Hard Mode encounter.

ThorimUlduar (25)
General Vezax (HM) – Ulduar (25)
MimironUlduar (25)
AuriayaUlduar (10)

Pre-Raid

Greatstaff of the Nexus is an incredibly strong staff option that drops from Heroic+, do not forget to get the stronger staff-only enchant variant for the additional spell power that it provides.

BOE Blacksmithing
Heroic+ ?
Kirin Tor Revered
BOE Inscription

Best-In-Slot

It is always a little debate about whether one should use two-handers or mainhand + offhand combinations. This phase staffs can present a lot of opportunities in general, they are still a bit weaker compared to the best MH+ OH combination but it should have less loot competition making it easier to get your weapon upgrades. If you can get your hands on a 252 or 245 item level weapon it shouldn’t matter which slot it fits in (as long as you keep being hit capped).

Algalon the Observer (HM), Mimiron (HM) – Ulduar (25)
Mimiron (HM) – Ulduar (10)
AuriayaUlduar (25)
KologarnUlduar (25)
Crafted
Hodir (HM) – Ulduar (25)
Hodir (HM) – Ulduar (10)
FreyaUlduar (25)
The Slave Pens Event
FreyaUlduar (10)
Trash – Ulduar (10)

Pre-Raid

When it comes to wands, we got a lot of options. If you are in need of hit rating Wand of the San’layn from Utgarde Keep Heroic or even Wand of Blinding Light a simple quest reward are great options. Otherwise, Wand of the Archlich will be the go-to option if you can get it to drop in Heroic+.

Dragonblight Quest

Best-In-Slot

If you are in need of hit rating then Quartz Crystal Wand from 25-man XT-002 Deconstrucor will be a great choice. Otherwise Scepter of Lost Souls will be preferred, closely followed b Scepter of Creation.

Note that if you get lucky, Petrified Ivy Sprig is the best overall wand available. As with all good things it drops in Hard Modes only (though 10-man Freya so there might be less loot competition when it does inevitably drops).

Freya (HM) – Ulduar (10)
AuriayaUlduar (10)
Trash – Sunwell Plateau
Trash – Sunwell Plateau

In conclusion, when it comes to outfitting your character, there are many options available. It’s important to consider both cost and performance to make the best decision for your character.

Pre-Raid

Before ever setting foot inside a raid we can already start collecting a bunch of great items to get us going. This includes raid drops from the previous 10-man raids in the form of Heroic++ Dungeons, Items brought through Heroism Emblems (quests and normal heroics), Valor Badges (Heroic+), Emblems of Conquest (Heroic++) and even a couple of items through Emblems of Triumph thanks to the daily Heroic Dungeon quest (provides 2 emblems every day). You can also get Ulduar 10-man Hardmode loot from the Animated Constellation. This vendor will exchange items from Ulduar 10-player Hard Mode for the new Sidereal Essence currency. Those with heavy purses can even buy their way up the meters by getting the various raid drop Bind on Equipe items and the latest crafted pieces. On top of that those who do not shun player-versus-player interaction can get a bunch of great items for honor too. As you can see the list of sources for catch-up gear is incredibly long, here we will go in-depth about each and every worthwhile piece and who/ why you should consider it.

Best in Slot

When it comes to our best in slot gear, most of the items will be coming from 25-man Heroic and Hard Mode bosses. Expect most of these high item-level items to be highly sought after. As such it is important to keep this in mind when considering gearing options and loot distribution, do not hold out for an item that might take months to even see drop (if you can clear the Hard Modes and Heroics to begin with). Each slot has a detailed description of the best items to consider and the reasons behind them. For more personal details you will have to simulate your gear setups using Wowsims.

Information

Ideally, we want to make use of 4-pieces of Tier 9 for the set bonus that it provides. We can also make use of of only the two-piece bonus combined with stronger off-pieces until we eventually can get the full bonus of the four-piece set. Ideally we want to make use of the head, the alternatives are the biggest set back compared to tier 9. On the otherhand the best possible alternative is Skyweaver Vestments for the chest slot. The following are each slot best alternatives (context dependent on your hit rating, etc). As you can see plenty of the Ulduar Hard mode items keep being top performers for the slots (ignoring set bonus), expect this to be a theme throughout the guide.

Helm
Shoulder
Chest
Gloves
Legs

Pre-Raid

Ulduar (10)
Mimiron (33%)

Best-In-Slot

This phase we can choose which pieces of tier gear we get first, we can buy them with either of the Grand Conqueror or Trophy of the Crusade combined with Emblem of Triumph. Depending on the gear that you already have coming into Trail of the Crusader and the first drops that you see, we are most likely to first replace your helm or legs for the tier equivalent instead of any other slot. Reason for this being that these on their own benefit from providing the best stats for these slots as well.

Those already heading out with Crown of Luminescence from phase 2 can expect to hold on to them for a little longer. You can first replace other slots and postpone updating this one until you need to meet your four-piece bonus. As always this will highly be dependent on the rest of your gear and the drops that you see in raid, ideally you simulate your situation to come to a more personalized answer.

Mimiron (Hard)
Ulduar (25)

Pre-Raid

Ulduar (10)
Yogg-Saron (Hard) (20%)
Ulduar (10)
Thorim (33%)
Ulduar (10)
Auriaya (10%)
Ulduar (10)
Zone Drop (0.5%)

Best-in-Slot

There are not a lot of exciting choices when it comes to choosing shoulders. Similar too those rocking the best helm in phase 2, those that have Amice of Inconceivable Horror can postpone upgrading their shoulders but will eventually have too in order to achieve the four-piece bonus. Whilst there are also other shoulders available for Emblem of Triumph, they cost well… Emblem of Triumph. Ideally, we want to spend these on our tier gear instead of on non-tier shoulder pieces. Especially considering that we eventually want to upgrade to a version of tier 9.

Pre-Raid

Ulduar (10)
Zone Drop (0.5%)
Ulduar (25)
Zone Drop (0.5%)

Best-In-Slot

Completing Heroic Trail of the Crusader rewards you with additional items based on the number of attempts that it took you to clear the content. The more attempts left the bigger the number of items and the better. If you complete the challenge with zero wipes (in other words 50 out of 50 attempts left) extra cloaks drop along with other goodies. It should come as no surprise that these cloaks in turn end up being the best available there are for the back slot. These include Aethas’ Intensity and Lady Liadrin’s Conviction and their Alliance equivalents for the 25-man version of Trail of the Crusader. The 10-man versions namely. Drape of the Sunreavers and Shawl of Fervent Crusader closely follow these in terms of overall value.

Faction Champions
Trial of the Crusader (25) (Heroic)

Pre-Raid

Ulduar (10)
Auriaya (10%)
Ulduar (10)
Yogg-Saron (33%)
Naxxramas (10)
Gluth (4%)

Best-In-Slot

The chest slot is another place where we got to choose between going for tier 9, our set bonus or using an alternative off piece which ideally is high in terms of attributes that it provides. Affliction Warlocks want ideally to make use of the four-piece set bonus, increasing the damage from two of our main abilities is an easy decision, and gives us a lot of value in return. This means that out of the five slots that we can use tier 9 we already have to make use of four, leaving us only with one alternative slot to equipe something else. Whilst we can choose any slot for this as most actually have alternative items which outperform tier 9 when we only look at the stats that it provides (or at least are awfully close) the chest slot is one of the better options. This thanks too Skyweaver Vestments, this piece is the best alternative we can use out of all the slots (if you can get your hands on it of course). Note that other slots also have good alternative options or you could also make use of Flowing Robes of Ascent as an alternative item. If you make use of an alternative item in another slot it should go without saying that you want to make use of Gul’dan’s Robe of Triumph to reach your four-piece bonus.

Pre-Raid

Ulduar (25)
Zone Drop (0.5%)
60 Emblems of Valor

Best-In-Slot

As is the case with most 25-man Hard mode items from Ulduar Grasps of Reason stays being a relative top performer. It is only beaten by the new Bindings of the Ashen Saint which in turn comes from Heroic 25 man Trail of the Crusader. Alternatively if you don’t have Grasps of Reason and aren’t going to be able to your hands on a raid drop anytime soon but have a  heavy purse you could consider getting Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers. It performs equal, does not depend on RNG for you getting it (aside from someone seeing the recipe drop on your server) though it will cost a fair penny as it requires Crusader Orb, the new raid related material to craft.

Pre-Raid

Ulduar (10)
Mimiron (20%)
Ulduar (10)
Freya (33%)
28 Emblems of Conquest
Ulduar (10)
Thorim (20%)

Best-In-Slot

This is one of the slots where we got to choose whether we go for tier 9 or if we favor an off-piece item. The Heroic version of tier 9 will provide us with he most bang for our Trophy of the Crusade buck. This frees up another slot to make use of an alternative item (for example the chest slot to make use of Skyweaver Vestments). Alternatively Pharos Gloves also keeps performing well similar to the new Handwraps of the Lifeless Touch. Do note that this is assuming you meet your four-piece tier 9 set bonus.

Pre-Raid

Ulduar (10)
General Vezax (Hard) (20%)
Ulduar (10)
Thorim (20%)
Ulduar (10)
Hodir (33%)
39 Emblems of Conquest

Best-In-Slot

Our tier 9 legs are really strong, making it somewhat a no brainer to opt to spend our Trophy of the Crusade on it. On the other hand if you don’t want to make use of tier 9 legs (for example due to loot competition or preferences etc.) you could opt for either Pants of the Soothing or Pants of the Deepening Void depending on your hit rating requirements. Note that in an ideal world you opt to make use of tier 9 for your legs to activate your four-set bonus.

Freya (Hard)
Ulduar (25)

Pre-Raid

40 Emblems of Valor
Ulduar (10)
Yogg-Saron (10%)

Best-In-Slot

I am here once again to talk about how good the previous phase 25-man Hard mode non-tier items are. This time Boots of Fiery Resolution from Flame Leviathan are up for debate. We will be running around in these until we can eventually replace them with either of the Heroic 25-man Trail of the Crusader boots, namely Sandals of the Mourning Widow or Boots of the Icy Floe depending on your hit rating requirements and what you see drop.

Champions’ Cache
Trial of the Crusader (25) (Heroic)
Yogg-Saron (Hard)
Ulduar (25)
Champions’ Cache
Trial of the Crusader (25)
Champions’ Cache
Trial of the Crusader (10) (Heroic)

Pre-Raid

Ulduar (10)
Flame Leviathan (Hard) (20%)
Ulduar (10)
Kologarn (10%)

Best-In-Slot

Conductive Seal stays the best available ring and should be slightly easier to obtain as it now also drops from 10-man Ulduar instead of only dropping from 10-man. Another phase 2 ring that holds up great and is easier to obtain is Nebula Band, seeing as it now can also be bought for 19 Sidereal Essence rewarded from the new Heroic++ modes.

From all the new rings Lurid Manifestation from Heroic Anub’arak is the best of the bunch. With the second being Circle of the Darkmender though ideally you leave these up for healers, seeing as how the easier to get Ulduar rings listed before perform better.

Bought from Harold Winston
Discount with Kirin Tor Reputation

Pre-Raid

Best-In-Slot

Haste rating is the stat when it comes to Affliction Warlocks now that our Corruption scales with it due to Glyph of Quick Decay, and our Drain Soul being such an important finisher. So it should be no surprise that Flare of the Heavens and Scale of Fates from phase 2 keep being the top performers for Affliction Warlocks. Note that whilst you will still need to clear the Hard mode 25-man version for Flare, Scale of Fate should be slightly more common to get thanks to now also dropping in the 10-man version of Ulduar.

When it comes to the new trinkets dropping from Trail of the Crusader, they are not too powerful compared to what is already previously available. The best of the bunch is Heroic Reign of the Dead however, this trinket sees greater use and utility for Destruction or other classes and should ideally be skipped in favor for them.

Pre-Raid

Ulduar (10)
Mimiron (Hard) (20%)
25 Emblems of Heroism
Ulduar (10)
Freya (20%)
Ulduar (10)
Hodir (Hard) (20%)

Best-In-Slot

The staves here are listed for completionism and especially for Kralnor, but sadly overall they underperform in comparison to mainhand and off hand combinations.

Argent Crusade Tribute Chest
Trial of the Crusader (25) (Heroic)
4250 Arena Points
2200 rating
Hodir (Hard)
Ulduar (25)

Where Hard modes from Ulduar are top performers for a lot of the slots such as for our wand and trinkets, the Starshard Edge does get beaten out. Both Barb of Tarasque and Mortalis are superb choices. If you can get your hands on either you should, you can play around enough in other slots with hit rating to make either work. Both perform equal if you match for the hit rating.

Starshard Edge from  Hard mode Algalon in Ulduar will outperform any of the normal 25-man Trail of the Crusader items and the 10-man heroic versions, such as Spellharvest and Barb of Tarasque.

Argent Crusade Tribute Chest
Trial of the Crusader (25) (Heroic)
3585 Arena Points
2200 rating
3585 Arena Points
2200 rating
Argent Crusade Tribute Chest
Trial of the Crusader (10) (Heroic)
Champions’ Cache
Trial of the Crusader (10) (Heroic)

Most of the new off hands perform really well and even outperform Cosmos though it also holds its own. The best two options are Lightbane Focus and Talisman of Heedless Sins. Depending on how much hit rating you already have in other slots Mystifying Charm is also a good option to keep in mind to use.

Pre-Raid

Before ever setting foot inside a raid we can already start collecting a bunch of great items to get us going. This includes raid drops from the previous raids in the form of Heroic++ Dungeons, Items brought through Heroism Emblems (quests and normal heroics), Valor Badges (Heroic+), Emblems of Conquest (Heroic++), and even a couple of items through Emblems of Triumph thanks to the daily Heroic Dungeon quest. You also receive Sidereal Essence and Scourge Stone from Heroic++ which can be used to buy various strong items. Those with heavy purses can even buy their way up the meters by getting the various raid drop Bind on Equipe items and the latest crafted pieces. On top of that those who do not shun player-versus-player interaction can get a bunch of great items for honor too. As you can see the list of sources for catch-up gear is incredibly long, here we will go in-depth about every worthwhile piece and who/ why you should consider it.

Best in Slot

When it comes to our best in slot gear, most of the items will be coming from 25-man Heroic and Hard Mode bosses. Expect most of these high-item-level items to be highly sought after. As such it is important to keep this in mind when considering gearing options and loot distribution, do not hold out for an item that might take months to even see drop (if you can clear the Hard Modes and Heroics to begin with). Each slot has a detailed description of the best items to consider and the reasons behind them. For more personal details you will have to simulate your gear setups using Wowsims.

Information

Ideally, we want to make use of 4-pieces of Tier 10 for the set bonus that it provides. We can also make use of only the two-piece bonus combined with stronger off-pieces until we eventually can get the full bonus of the four-piece set. Ideally, we want to make use of the head, the alternatives are the biggest setback compared to Tier 10. On the other hand, the best possible alternatives are Sanguine Silk Robes for the chest, Plaguebringer’s Stained Pants for the legs, and Gunship Captain’s Mittens for the gloves. You can get a lot more information about the relative performance of setups compared to the absolute Best in Slot setup over at the Warlock Simulation Competition.

Due to how Tier 10 works you need to buy it first with Emblem of Frost (which is locked behind Heroics, Raid and Weekly quests) after which they are upgraded with Conqueror’s Mark of Sanctification (and the Heroic version) which drops in raids you will be limited in how fast you can get the full four-piece.

Pre-Raid

Pit of Saron (H)
Ick (17%)

Best-In-Slot

The chest slot is another place where we got to choose between going for Tier 10, our set bonus, or using an alternative off piece which ideally is high in terms of attributes that it provides. If you opt to use Sanctified Dark Coven Robe you will be able to make use of an off-piece for your pants, namely Plaguebringer’s Stained Pants. The other option is to make use of Sanguine Silk Robes and go for Sanctified Dark Coven Leggings for pants. What you want to do will depend on loot availability in your raid and the overall upgrade path, I recommend using Wowsims to make your decision.

Pre-Raid

Best-In-Slot

There are three great Wrist options in this phase. The Lady’s Brittle Bracers is the best from a pure raw stat perspective if you do not need hit rating, on the other end we have Death Surgeon’s Sleeves and Ether-Soaked Bracers for those that do need hit rating. Ether-Soaked Bracers has a tad bit less hit rating but most likely will be easier to get around your wrist seeing as it drop from 10-man Heroic Rotface instead of the 25-man version.