PvE Assassination Rogue Best in Slot (BiS) & Pre-Raid Gear

wotlk pve assa bestinslot

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 is divided into two sections. The first section is basic lists, providing you full sets for a fresh level 80 pre-raid, a level 80 preparing for their first foray into Trial of the Crusader, and an example of ideal gear to aspire to from Trial of the Crusader. The second section provides more alternatives for each slot, giving an example of gear progression between these three areas of gearing.

Heroic++, otherwise known as Defense Protocol Beta drops gear from 10-man Ulduar and Naxxramas. Heroic+, otherwise known as Defense Protocol Alpha, drops gear from 10-man Naxxramas, as well as regular Heroic gear. Future Phases are likely to add further Heroic difficulties.

As an assassination rogue, you should be Engineering regardless, so these are essentially free for you!
If you chose not to pick Engineering, there are of course alternatives:

Alternatives:

Note: There is a big difference between the epic necks and the blue ones, so try going for those.

Alternative: Advanced Tooled-Leather Bands (Halls of Lightning HC)

However, I cannot stress enough how important the Tier 6 2 set is for Assassination rogue.

Alternative: Slayer’s Leg guards Tier 6 item from Black Temple to match with the bracers — in case you cannot obtain the boots. It should be noted that the boots + bracer combo is superior.

While these boots are not useful as a standalone item, they are BiS together with Slayer’s Bracers.

Alternative: Boots of Nevermelting Path requires Argent Crusade Exalted, which is very easy to achieve — see here for details.

There are currently debates going on if a slower main-hand weapon may prove to be more DPS, while some are skeptical if this holds true, especially for higher item-level weapons. So I will just put this one here with that warning in notice! The difference between Flesh x2 Paper cutters won’t be large however, as I have tested on the beta it swings both sides

There are no solid alternatives, paper cutterss are extremely easy to get and a far better option than the rest!

Alternative: Drake Mounted Xbow

Alternatives:

Alternative: Aged Winter Cloak (significant downgrade)

This is by far the most powerful item available in this slot.

Thrusting Bands exists as an alternative, but it is significantly weaker.

Alternative: Belt of the Tortured

Alternatives (note that these alternatives are vastly inferior to the two BiS trinkets):

Webbed Death x2 is considered the strongest option for the weapon slot conventionally, but there are tests on the beta that have shown Sinister’s Revenge x2 to be slightly stronger, though by less than 10 DPS.

We will be recommending Webbed Death for the time being / until more testing is done, but bear in mind that Sinister’s Revenge is an excellent option regardless.

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Alternatives ~ Off-Hand:

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Progressive BIS

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

Upon hitting level 80, the quickest option would be to level Engineering and create Truesight Ice Blinders. Since Engineering is the best profession for Rogues, this is likely your best bet.

While farming Heroic+ dungeons, stay on the lookout for Heroes’ Bonescythe Helmet. Your Tier 7 4-piece bonus is quite valuable, so collect tier if at all possible.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

Valorous Bonescythe Helmet is necessary to complete your 4-piece set bonus, which is quite valuable.

Until you acquire tier, use Truesight Ice Blinders if you are an Engineer.

Alternatively, Hood of the Exodus is a solid option for non-engineers and is easily obtainable from multiple bosses in Naxxramas 10 and 25 man.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Mimiron (10)
Mimiron (10 HM)
Thorim (10)

Conqueror’s Terrorblade Helmet or Valorous Terrorblade Helmet are necessary to complete your T8 2-piece set bonus. Given the strength of other options, your helmet and glove slots are the best candidates to use tier. Luckily Conqueror’s Terrorblade Helmet is purchasable with 58 Emblem of Conquest, which should be relatively easy to obtain with a couple of Ulduar clears and some daily Heroic+.

Mimiron’s Flight Goggles are a fantastic alternative if you are still working toward acquiring tier. This requires you to kill Mimiron on hardmode, which is one of the more difficult hardmodes.

Guise of the Midgard Serpent is easily obtainable from Thorim 10 man, who is quite easy. It pales in comparison to the other helmets on this list, but is better than anything in Tier 7.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

Upon hitting level 80, start farming Heroic+ dungeons in search for Gem of Imprisoned Vassals or Pendant of the Dragonsworn.

If you aren’t fortunate enough to find those two necks, consider converting your emblems to Emblem of Heroism and purchase Pendant of the Outcast Hero.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

Favor of the Dragon Queen is by far the best option for this slot outside of Ulduar. This item is a quest reward for Heroic Judgment at the Eye of Eternity. The quest item drops from Sapphiron 10 & 25 man and is completed by killing Malygos 10 or 25 man.

Fools trial is a common drop from Naxxramas as it drops from multiple bosses, and is the second best neck in the game before Ulduar.

A distant 3rd option is Icy Blast, which similar to Favor of the Dragon Queen, also comes from Sapphiron. Be sure to at least run a Naxxramas skip run every week if you don’t have any of the pieces in this list.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Freya (10 HM)
Freya (25)

Pendulum of Infinity is the best necklace in the game, but it is highly contested.

Seed of Budding Carnage and Nymph Heart Charm are decent alternatives and are less contested and easier to acquire.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Naxxramas – BoE
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

Upon hitting level 80, you have two BoE options: Spaulders of Egotism & Trollwoven Spaulders. Both should be relatively cheap in phase 2, so they are solid temporary pieces to purchase.

Farming Heroic+ dungeons both for Emblem of Valor and your tier shoulders, Heroes Bonescythe Pauldrons should be your next step. Especially if you are able to complete your 4 piece T7 set-bonus.

Spaulders of Resumed Battle is a decent temporary piece if you’re lucky enough to obtain it, but I wouldn’t recommend farming it.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Naxxramas – BoE

Heroes Bonescythe Pauldrons farm Heroic+ dungeons for 60 Emblem of Valor or Heroes Bonescythe Pauldrons. You’ll want to try and complete your T7 4 piece set-bonus before stepping into Ulduar.

Spaulders of Egotism are a decent starter BoE and should be quite cheap now in phase 2.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Iron Council (25 HM)

Shoulderpads of the Intruder are the best shoulders in the game and drop off of hardmode Iron Council. This is a difficult encounter with a high DPS check, so if your guild is unable to kill this yet, you’ll want to aim for one of the more achieveable alternatives below.

Conqueror’s Terrorblade Pauldrons are somewhat easy to acquire, and protector tokens are typically not very contested.

Shoulderpads of the Monolith are a competitive option and drop off one of the easiest bosses in Ulduar, Kologarn.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

For a quick and cheap upgrade upon hitting 80, Ice Striker’s Cloak is your best bet.

After that, your next best bet is to farm Heroic+ dungeons both for 25 Emblem of Valor to purchase Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak and a chance at Cloak of Darkening.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

Drape of the Deadly Foe is vastly superior to the other options on this list, but is a somewhat rare and heavily contested drop off of 10 and 25 man Kel’Thuzad .

Aged Winter Cloak is a decent alternative and much more accessible, as it drops from multiple bosses in Naxxramas 10 & 25.

Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak is a distant 3rd option, but it only costs 25 Emblem of Valor.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Hodir (25 HM)

Drape of Icy Intent is the best cloak in the game for us by far. It is somewhat contested, but not as much as one might think, as Drape of the Faceless General from 10 man hardmode General Vezax is actually bis for most physical classes.

Consider passing on Drape of the Faceless General to a class that it is BIS for, but if you manage to get this uncontested, it is a decent second option.

Drape of the Lithe is an easily acquirable, but distant alternative to the cloaks listed above.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
World Drop – BoE

If you are seeking a quick and cheap upgrade upon hitting level 80, Bulge-Concealing Breastplate is pretty good. Bear in mind that you should attempt to replace it quickly with one of the other chests on this list.

Next, start farming Heroic+ dungeons for a chance at Tunic of Dislocation. If you aren’t fortunate enough to see this drop, don’t fret. You can purchase your T7 chest for 80 Emblem of Heroism, which you should passively accumulate on your dungeon farming journey.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

Chestguard of the Recluse is by far the best chest piece outside of Ulduar. It is a somewhat rare drop from Malygos in 10 & 25 man The Eye of Eternity.

Outside of this, you have several options from Naxxramas. Tunic of Enduldge and Tunic of Masked Suffering are common drops from multiple bosses, and should be relatively uncontested.

Your tier chest, Valorous Bonescythe Breastplate, is also a viable option, especially if you’re gaining a set bonus.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Thorim (25 HM)

Embrace of the Gladiator is far and away the best chest piece in the game for Assassination rogues. It may be a hardmode piece, but Thorim is by far the easiest hardmode in Ulduar.

If you have been unlucky on Thorim, Conqueror’s Terrorblade Breastplate is easily acquirable with 58 Emblem of Conquest.

If you’re short on badges, you can also try your luck at 10 man Yogg-Saron for a chance at your T8.0 tier chest, Valorous Terrorblade Breastplate.

Fresh 80

Item
Source

Wristwraps of the Cutthroat are the clear Fresh 80 item of choice for this slot. They cost 60 emblems of valor, but you should spend your valor elsewhere and buy them off the auction house.

If you cannot afford them, you can try your luck in Heroic+ dungeons for Cuffs of Dark Shadows.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

Sinner’s Bindings and Thrusting Bands are the best bracers outside of Ulduar. They are both common and drop from multiple bosses from Naxxramas 10 and 25 man.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
XT (10 HM)

Solar Bindings are far and away the best option for Assassination rogues. Unfortunately they drop off of 25 man Algalon The Observer, who is quite difficult.

There are easy alternatives, however they are far worse than Solar Bindings.

Fluxing Energy Coils are solid and drops off of XT 10 hardmode.

Mechanist’s Bindings drop off of normal mode Flame Leviathan 25 man, which is extremely easy.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

For gloves, your options are somewhat limited. You’re going to want to head into Heroic+ dungeons for a shot at Rapid Attack Gloves, while simultaneously farming 60 Emblem of Heroism for Heroes’ Bonescythe Gauntlets.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

Frosted Adroit Handguards are by far the best glove option before Ulduar and drop from both 10 & 25 man Malygos.

Alternatively, Dislocating Handguards are fairly easy to get, dropping from multiple bosses in Naxxramas.

Valorous Bonescythe Gauntlets are a solid backup, and great if it’s needed to complete your 4-piece T7 set bonus.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Mimiron (25)
Freya (10)

Conqueror’s Terrorblade Gauntlets or Valorous Terrorblade Gauntlets are needed, along with tier helmet, to complete your 2 piece set bonus.

If you aren’t able to rock the optimal setup yet, Gloves of the Endless Dark are phenomenal gloves that drop from 10 man Algalon The Observer.

Gloves of the Blind Stalker are also solid, and are easily acquirable from Emblem of Conquest.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

If you have gold to spend, Death-warmed Belt is a massive item for any fresh level 80. This pattern drops from Ulduar, but since it’s BoE, you are able to acquire this item without ever stepping into a raid. Even compared to belts that drop in Ulduar, this belt is still one of the best belts in the game, making it a worthwhile splurge for any Rogue that can afford it.

If you’re short on gold, you can farm Heroic+ dungeons for Blistered Belt of Decay or spend 40 Emblem of Heroism on Jorach’s Crocolisk Skin Belt, but bear in mind that these are options are far worse than Death-warmed Belt.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

Death-warmed Belt remains the best belt available outside of the Ulduar. It is highly recommended that you purchase this piece, as nothing else in T7 compares.

If you cannot afford the belt mentioned above, Stalk-Skin Belt and Belt of the Tortured are your next best options. They both drop from multiple bosses in Naxxramas 10 & 25 man, making them very easy to acquire.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Yogg-Saron (10 HM)

Soul-Devouring Cinch is a phenomenal belt and the best one in the game for Assassination rogues. It drops off of Yogg-Saron hardmode in 10 man, which is a relatively easy boss compared to other bosses that drop BIS pieces. Unfortunately it is highly contested by other melee classes like warriors and feral druids. Even hunters want this OP belt, despite the expertise.

Until you are able to acquire the belt mentioned above, Belt of the Twilight Assassin is your next best bet. For the low cost of 28 Emblem of Conquest, can you afford to buy this after a single week of Ulduar 10 and 25 man.

Death-warmed Belt remains the 3rd best belt in the game for us, so if you bought this belt based on this guides recommendation, hopefully you got a fair amount of mileage out of it.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Razorscale – BoE

For an immediate upgrade upon hitting level 80, search for Proto-hide Leggings on the auction house. It drops from the Ulduar boss Razorscale, but since it is BOE, you don’t need to step into Ulduar to acquire it.

Consider holding out on this purchase, however, as a better option would be to get Valorous Bonescythe Legplates or Heroes’ Bonescythe Legplates from Heroic+ dungeons and Emblem of Valor. Particularly if these get you a 2 piece or 4 piece set-bonus.

Gored Hide Legguards are a decent filler piece, but pale in comparison to the rest of the items on this list.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Razorscale (25) – BoE
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

If it gives you a set bonus, Valorous Bonescythe Legplates will remain your best bet.

Proto-hide Leggings remain the best option stat wise, so you should use these if T7 set bonuses are not a factor.

Leggings of the Honored are the next best option outside of Ulduar, and drop from Sartharion in The Obsidian Sanctum 10 and 25 player.

Infectious Skitterer Leggings are weaker than the other options, but are far more common, as they drop from multiple bosses in Naxxramas 10 and 25 man.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Yogg-Saron (25 HM)
Freya (25)
Razorscale (25) – BoE

Legguards of Cunning Deception are very powerful legs relative to every other item in Ulduar. They are so strong in fact, that they remain some of the best legs in the game next phase. They are highly contested and equally, if not even more beneficial, to a feral druid and fury warrior.

Conqueror’s Terrorblade Legplates are viable alternatives, especially if it gives you a set bonus. They drop off of normal mode Freya 25 which is relatively easy.

Proto-hide Leggings remain a very strong option even compared to Ulduar legs.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Argent Crusade – Exalted

If you can afford them, Footpads of Silence are not only the best option for a Fresh 80, but the best boots in the entire game. Buy these! If you cannot afford them, you should farm gold until you get them.

Until then, there are several easily obainable alternatives, although they pale in comparison. Boots of Captain Ellis is a prime example, costing only 40 Emblem of Valor.

Boots of the Worshiper drop in Heroic+ dungeons, so throughout Dungeon grind stay on the lookout for these.

Boots of the Neverending Path are itemized well and purchasable when Exalted with the Argent Crusade. If you happen to be Exalted scoop these up, but I would not recommend farming rep specifically for these boots.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

Footpads of Silence are the absolute best boots in the game, so if you can afford them, don’t hesitate to make this purchase.

If you are still saving up gold for them, there are a couple other options that will get you ready for Ulduar. Dawnwalkers and Footwraps of Vile Deceit both drop from multiple bosses in Naxxramas, so they should be fairly easy to obtain.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source

Footpads of Silence are the best boots in the game, so it’s quite convenient that they’re purchasable for a relatively small amount of gold.

If you cannot afford them yet, look out for Flamestalker Boots and Runed Ironhide Boots from normal modes Ignis the Furnace Master and Iron Council.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Eye of Eternity 10 Drop) – BoE

You have three incredible, and easily obtainable options for this slot. Two of these options are purchasable with gold. The BoE Surge Needle Ring is relatively cheap these days, and the Inscribed Band of the Kirin Tor is purchasable from Harold Winston in Dalaran for 7800 gold.

Similar in value to both of these rings is the Ring of Invincibility, which is available for the low price of only 25 Emblem of Valor.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Eye of Eternity 10 Drop) – BoE

Strong-Handed Ring is the strongest ring in the game outside of Ulduar. It is relatively easy to acquire, as it drops from multiple bosses in Naxxramas 10 and 25 man.

The BoE Surge Needle Ring is a close second and is relatively cheap on the auction house. It also drops from Heroic+ dungeons if you are fortunate enough to find one.

A close 3rd is the Ring of Invincibility from Emblem of Valor; a viable alternative if you don’t wish to spend the gold on Surge Needle Ring.

Last but not least is the Inscribed Band of the Kirin Tor. Slightly weaker than the above options, but comes with the added bonus of allowing you to teleport to Dalaran once every 30 minutes, essentially giving you a second hearthstone.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Iron Council (10 HM)

Brann’s Signet Ring is the best ring in the game and is a quest reward from All Is Well That Ends Well. To get this quest, you must be the recipient of Reply-Code Alpha, which drops off of Algalon The Observer 25 man and can only be looted by one player. The quest rewards from this are BIS for everyone, making it the most contested item in the game.

The second best ring in the game is Band of Lights, which drops off of Algalon The Observer 10 man. This is heavily contested, although far less so than Brann’s Signet Ring.

Loop of the Agile is a distant 3rd option, and drops from 10 man hardmode Iron Council, which is quite easy.

Godbane Signet is similar in effectiveness to the Loop of the Agile, and drops off of normal mode Yogg-Saron 25 player.

Last but not least is Brann’s Sealing Ring, the 10 man version of the Brann’s Signet Ring.

Fresh 80

Item
Source

Mirror of Truth is an exceptionally high value trinket, and should be one of the first things you buy with Emblem of Heroism.

Similarly, Darkmoon Card: Greatness is fantastic and relatively cheap these days. I would highly consider spending some gold on DMC:G, if you can afford it.

Sphere of Red Dragon’s Blood is deceptively powerful despite its low item level, and is a suitable alternative to the two trinkets listed above.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

Mirror of Truth and Darkmoon Card: Greatness remain the best trinkets you can acquire before Ulduar.

Mark of Norgannon is decent as well, and can be convenient to have if you’re short on expertise.

Fury of the Five Flights is suitable as well, but it is far better for other classes, so consider passing on this trinket if alternatives are available to you.

Loatheb’s Shadow is not great compared to the rest of the trinkets on this list, but it is easily obtainable as it drops from multiple bosses in Naxxramas 10 and 25 man.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Inscription – BoE

The best two trinkets in the game by a large margin both drop from 10 and 25 man Algalon The Observer respectively.

Comet’s Trail and Dark Matter sim several hundred DPS above the next best option, Blood of the Old God, which drops off of normal mode 25 man Yogg-Saron.

Wrathstone and Pyrite Infuser are suitable options, and are both easily acquireable as they drop from normal mode Ulduar bosses.

Darkmoon Card: Greatness still holds up well and will get your foot in the door to Ulduar.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Halls of Lightning (H) – BoE

For a quick surge of power the moment you hit 80, look no further than the Librarian’s Paper Cutter. This overpowered starter weapon is as inexpensive as it is fast. Pick this up at the auction house for next to nothing!

Anarchy is also an exceptional starter weapon, so be sure to be on the lookout for this during your Heroic+ grind.

The Fleshshaper is a great weapon as well, and has a relatively high drop chance in heroic Halls of Stone.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses (25)

Webbed Death from multiple Naxxramas bosses and Sinister’s Revenge from Kel’Thuzad is the best weapon combination before Ulduar by far. No other combination compares.

Best-in-Slot

Mainhand
Source
Freya (25 HM)
Thorim (10 HM)
Offhand
Source
Freya (25 HM)
Iron Council (10 HM)
XT (25)

For the mainhand slot, there are two viable weapons. Bladetwister is the best possible option for this slot and drops off of 25 man hardmode Freya.

Combatant’s Bootblade is not incredibly far off of Bladetwister, and drops from the underwhelming Thorim 10 man hardmode.

As for offhands, Fang of Oblivion is far and away the best. This drops from both hardmode 25 man Iron Council as well as Algalon The Observer.

Perilous Bite and Golem-Shard Sticker are good alternatives if you’ve been unlucky, or your guild is struggling to kill those two very challenging bosses above.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Engineering – BoE

Your ranged slot should not be very difficult to check off. There are two viable options from Heroic+, the Accursed Bow of the Elite and Nerubian Conquerer.

If you’re struggling to find drops in Heroic+, Nesingwary 4000 is fairly cheap on the auction house.

Pre-Ulduar

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Naxxramas – Multiple Bosses

Envoy of Mortality is far and away the best choice for this slot before Ulduar. Unfortunately, it is also very good for hunters, and should be prioritized to them.

Nerubian Conquerer is a good alternative which can be farmed in Heroic+ dungeons.

Arrowsong is very accessible, as it drops from multiple bosses in 10 and 25 man Naxxramas.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
XT (10 HM)
Auriaya (25)

Skyforge Crossbow is the best ranged weapon in the game for rogues, but is unfortunately contested by hunters and warriors. Luckily, if you are full clearing Ulduar each week, you will have two chances to get this weapon as it drops from both Thorim & Algalon The Observer.

Twirling Blades is very close alternative, and drops from 10 man Flame Leviathan hardmode. This is also contested by warriors, and is their BIS, so consider passing to them.

Magnetized Projectile Emitter and Siren’s Cry are distant options in comparison to the ranged weapons above, but they’re relatively uncontested and easy to obtain.

Before proceeding to the in-depth part of our guide, we will grant you some very important tips that you will have to keep in mind, especially as you progress through your journey and come across many different items.

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for each separate slot. You will either be able to directly buy BoE items from the Auction House and other players, or, you will go through a progressive item hunt from Normal Dungeons, Heroic Dungeons, and the brand-new Heroic ++ Dungeons. Depending on your group, you may be able to directly join a Heroic ++ Dungeon, effectively skipping a harsh gearing process.

With the release of Phase 3 of the expansion, the new Heroic Defense Protocol Beta Dungeons will grant you both T7 and T8 items, per Boss Kill, with a guaranteed former Ulduar 10 (225) Ilvl drop. Heroic++, otherwise known as Defense Protocol Beta drops gear from 10-man Ulduar and Naxxramas. Heroic+, otherwise known as Defense Protocol Alpha, drops gear from 10-man Naxxramas, as well as regular Heroic gear. Future Phases are likely to add further Heroic difficulties.

However, those dungeons no longer provide any blue gear, meaning that if you seek a particular rare (Blue) item, you will have to venture through the Heroic version of the Dungeon.

Your Pre-ToC options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

Your Best-in-Slot items will often vary depending on the rest of your equipment and the situation you find yourself in. Depending on the class itself, the specialization, the phase you find yourself in, and the PvE encounter you currently face, your BiS items can completely change to better adjust to whichever situation you may find yourself in. In some cases, you will find a single BiS set that can be 100% functional in any situation, while in other cases, you will need to adjust your item sets from one PvE encounter to another.

The Fresh 80 set has an overall balanced stat spread with only one issue that you will have to manage by tweaking your Gem Sockets! The main issue of the Fresh 80 set is a major lack of Expertise Rating due to a lack of Expertise Rating items that can be acquired by a Fresh 80 Character without entering any actual raid!

As an Assassination Rogue in this phase of the expansion, you will have a unique interaction with items that grant you Hit Rating/Critical Strike Chance and items that grant Hit Rating/Haste Rating. You will find that the majority of your Best-in-Slot options will grant you a combination of Hit Rating/Critical Strike Chance and Hit Rating/Haste Rating, resulting in a large quantity of Hit Rating. Unlike the Combat Rogue Specialization, you will also focus on items that grant you Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating and Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration. This means that while the Combat Specialization will hover around ~22-23% Hit Rating while fully buffed, the Assassination Specialization will hover around ~18% Hit Rating in this phase of the expansion.

This special interaction with Hit Rating is closely related to the way your Poisons proc and the damage resulting from your Basic Attacks

Assassination Rogue also has a special gimmick that none of the other Rogue Specializations utilize! Instead of the typical slow Main-Hand & Fast Off-Hand weapon combination, Assassination Rogue utilizes a fast weapon in both Weapon Slots with a focus on a fast Main-Hand Weapon! Apart from the moments in which you will use double fast weapons, you will also find yourself in the position in which you will use a fast Main-Hand & slow Off-Hand!

For this phase of the expansion, the T9 item-set bonuses can be quite strong for Assassination Rogue, with the 4-item set bonus being a lot stronger than the 2-item set bonus. In theory, the 2-item set bonus is extremely strong, however, the main issue with it is that it only has a 2% proc chance with an internal cooldown of 15 seconds. This means that the bonus generated through the T9 2-item set bonus will heavily depend on RNG, and may even never proc during an encounter!

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 25 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – The Black Knight (Heroic)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

With the arrival of the third phase of the expansion and its Heroic ++ Dungeons, we now have access to a plethora of options that can suit our needs. For this slot, the gear options will be split into three main categories as a fresh level 80, with choices that range between Hit Rating, Expertise Rating, and overall damage increase through Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating.

For increasing your overall damage output, the best possible options will be either one of Mimiron’s Flight Goggles or the Valorous Terrorblade Helmet. Both options are great, however, if you manage to gain other T8 items in order to activate the T8 item-set bonuses, you should prioritize the Valorous Terrorblade Helmet.

For increasing your overall Expertise Rating, you can choose between the Guise of the Midgard Serpent and the Heroes’ Bonescythe Helmet, with the former option being stronger. This is due to the sheer amount of stats that the item grants, with the main difference between the two items being access to the T7 item-set bonuses.

As for Hit Rating options, you may choose between the Mask of Distant Memory and the Helm of the Vast Legions. The former option is stronger due to higher overall stats and the Critical Strike Chance it grants. By comparison, the Helm of the Vast Legions grants Haste Rating and lower stats, which results in an overall lower damage output.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Thorim (25) HM
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Animated Constellation – 25 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)

For increasing your overall damage output, the best possible options will be either one of Mimiron’s Flight Goggles or the Valorous Terrorblade Helmet. Both options are great, however, if you manage to gain other T8 items in order to activate the T8 item-set bonuses, you should prioritize the Valorous Terrorblade Helmet.

For increasing your overall Expertise Rating, you can choose between the Guise of the Midgard Serpent and the Heroes’ Bonescythe Helmet, with the former option being stronger. This is due to the sheer amount of stats that the item grants, with the main difference between the two items being access to the T7 item-set bonuses.

As for Hit Rating options, you may choose between the Mask of Distant Memory and the Helm of the Vast Legions. The former option is stronger due to higher overall stats and the Critical Strike Chance it grants. By comparison, the Helm of the Vast Legions grants Haste Rating and lower stats, which results in an overall lower damage output.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Crusade Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Onyxia’s Lair – Onyxia (25)
Animated Constellation – 25 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Thorim (25) HM

The best possible option for this slot in the third phase of the expansion will be VanCleef’s Helmet of Triumph/Garona’s Helmet of Triumph. This is not only due to the amazing baseline and secondary stats, with a focus on Expertise Rating, that the item has but also due to the access to the T9 item-set bonuses. Naturally, you will want to use the 245 Ilvl version of the item, VanCleef’s Helmet of Triumph/Garona’s Helmet of Triumph as the next-best alternative.

However, there is an option that will be better in terms of damage output than the 232 Ilvl version of the T9 Helmet, provided you at least have the 2-item set bonus activated from the T9 set. The Bloodfang Hood is a powerful alternative that can be even used as a better option than the 245 Ilvl of the T9 Helmet! It grants a great amount of stats with a focus on providing Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration. It is a far better option for builds that already have plenty of Expertise Rating, as you will lose a considerable amount of Expertise Rating from not using the T9 Helmet.

Both the Mimiron’s Flight Goggles and the Conqueror’s Terrorblade Helmet remain great options from the previous phase of the expansion that can still be used efficiently! This is all true, of course, if you have enough Hit Rating and Expertise Rating. However, even if their stats are completely offense-oriented, if you don’t have access to the T9 2-item set bonus, you should definitely use VanCleef’s Helmet of Conquest/Garona’s Helmet of Conquest. This is especially true even in the case in which you already have plenty of Expertise Rating, as the 2-item set bonus is simply overpowered.

On the same note, the Hood of Lethal Intent/Mask of Lethal Intent is a great alternative if you lack Hit Rating and you already have the T9 2-item set bonus activated. However, realistically, almost all your other gear slots grant you Hit Rating, meaning that you will most likely want to avoid this item.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – Eadric the Pure (Heroic)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Eye of Eternity 10)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

For this slot, you will have multiple viable options, depending entirely on whether you already have plenty of Hit Rating or not. The majority of options available for this slot will have a combination of either Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating or Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration as secondary stats, with only a few options deviating from this pattern.

The only available option for increasing your Hit Rating while also gaining a large amount of Armor Penetration will be the Seed of Budding Carnage. If you have issues with your Hit Rating, there is no other Necklace you can acquire as a Fresh 80 that can increase your overall Hit Rating!

Considering that all other options are specifically designed to increase your damage output, the best option you can gain is the Choker of the Abyss. The rest of the options provide a progressively lower damage output, with the Ancient Pendant of Arathor serving as the next-best alternative. The difference between the two items is only 14 DPS.

You can expect the same type of performance from the rest of the items with the Titanium Impact Choker providing the lowest damage output when compared to the Choker of the Abyss. However, the Titanium Impact Choker is the only BoE-crafted item from the list, meaning that it will be easily accessible, even if it provides a lower damage output.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – General Vezax (25)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Freya (25)

For the Pre-Toc gearing phase, there are two powerful options that you can seek from the previous phase of the expansion, with one of them being very close to the Phase 3 BiS. Due to the changes done to Ulduar’s items, the Pendulum of Infinity becomes the most powerful item that you can acquire for the neck slot, even if it does not grant Armor Penetration. Its high raw stats, high Critical Strike Chance, and Haste Rating provide the best DPS output.

The next viable alternatives are either Seed of Budding Carnage or Nymph Heart Charm, with Seed of Budding Carnage being the clear superior choice for its Armor Penetration and its high stats. Nymph Heart Charm is a better choice if you severely lack Hit Rating.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (25) Heroic
Ulduar – General Vezax (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (10) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (10)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Freya (25)

The best possible option for this slot will be the Charge of the Demon Lord/Charge of the Eredar! This is because the item grants the highest possible baseline and secondary stats when compared to any other ToC option. The item also has the same types of stats as the former BiS from phase 2, offering an increase in Critical Strike Chance, Haste, and Attack Power. While it doesn’t grant any Armor Penetration, the combination of Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating actually grants a far better bonus in this current phase of the expansion.

The next-best alternative is the former BiS, namely the Pendulum of Infinity. The reason why this item maintains its position while also providing better bonuses than other ToC items is due to the overall sheer amount of stats that it grants. Since its stats are objectively higher than the other available items, you will gain a better damage output. However, you can expect only a slight damage increase of around 30-50 DPS according to the simulations when compared to an item such as the Collar of Ceaseless Torment/Collar of Unending Torment which grants Armor Penetration.

If you can’t gain access to any of the previously mentioned items, you may use either one of the Charge of the Demon Lord/Charge of the Eredar or the Collar of Ceaseless Torment/Collar of Unending Torment as a valid alternative. The former option is a stronger option than the latter due to the motives expressed earlier. The main difference between the items in terms of pure raw damage output is about 50 DPS, meaning that you can use either one of the options confidently.

Apart from items that grant full offense-oriented stats, you also have the option of increasing your overall Hit Rating through 3 different items. While Hit Rating will not be an issue for an Assassination Rogue in the third phase of the expansion, those options will prove useful if you chose fully offense-oriented items for your other gear slots.

The Sparkling Onyxia Tooth Pendant will be the best option for increasing your overall Hit Rating while also granting a decently high amount of Critical Strike Chance. It is followed up closely by the Seed of Budding Carnage which offers nearly the same amount of bonuses, even with a different set of stats. While it might seem that the Seed of Budding Carnage would be the better option, the actual DPS difference between the two items is 10 DPS.

The Nymph Heart Charm is another valid alternative for increasing your overall Hit Rating that has almost the same damage output as the Seed of Budding Carnage. The difference between the two items in terms of pure damage output is roughly ~2-5 DPS. This means that you can use whichever is more accessible to you!

Lastly, you can use the Sparkling Onyxia Tooth Pendant as a better option than the Seed of Budding Carnage due to the higher Hit Rating that it offers.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – The Black Knight
Naxxramas – Instructor Razuvious BoE
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

With the release of the new phase, you will gain multiple options for this particular slot. Objectively, the most powerful item that you can acquire is the Valorous Terrorblade Pauldrons. This is not only due to the massive amount of Hit Rating it provides but also thanks to the access to the T8 item-set bonuses. Since you will find yourself using other T8 items, you will most probably manage to activate the 4-item set bonus of the T8.

The next-best alternative will be the Treacherous Shoulderpads, thanks to the high Hit Rating it provides. While it doesn’t grant access to the T8 item-set bonuses, it will provide a similar damage output thanks to the Armor Penetration that it grants. On the same note, if you can’t find any of those two items, you may use the Shoulderpads of the Infamous Knave as it grants precisely the same types of stats as the Treacherous Shoulderpads, only in lower overall amounts.

The Spaulders of Resumed Battle is yet another Hit Rating alternative that you may use, yet, it is considerably weaker than any of the other presented items. This means that if you encounter this item, you can safely use it as a “Buffer Item” until can gain an upgrade.

If you already have plenty of Hit Rating from tweaking your other gear slots, you can use either one of the Spaulders of Egotism or the Heroes’ Bonescythe Pauldrons as viable alternatives for increasing your overall damage output. While they might not bring the best possible stats, you can consider them “Buffer Items” until you can actually create a set that synergizes better. While the Heroes’ Bonescythe Pauldrons will force you to go through a dungeon crawl in order to obtain it, you may directly buy the Spaulders of Egotism from the Auction House or from another player. This means that you can use the Spaulders of Egotism as a temporary option which should allow you to enter the new Heroic ++ Dungeons in order to acquire better gear.

Lastly, you can acquire the Trollwoven Spaulders if you can’t find the Spaulders of Egotism as a temporary option that should fulfill the same role of granting passage into the new Heroic ++ Dungeons. Of course, you could also enter the new dungeons while wearing full “Blue Armor”, without acquiring any of those options, as long as you find a strong enough group to carry you.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25) HM
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25)
Ulduar – Kologarn (25)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)

The BiS option for the Pre-Toc gearing phase will be the Shoulderpads of the Intruder due to the massive amount of Expertise Rating that they grant! In this particular set, we won’t use the T8 4-item set bonus, which means that the Conqueror’s Terrorblade Pauldrons will only be an alternative instead of the actual BiS!

Besides the access to the T8 item-set bonuses, the Conqueror’s Terrorblade Pauldrons is also the next-best alternative for builds that lack enough Hit Rating. On a similar note, the Treacherous Shoulderpads act as a valid alternative to the T8 Shoulders due to the Hit Rating they provide!

If you already have plenty of Expertise Rating and Hit Rating from your other gear slots and gem sockets, the next-best alternative if you can’t find any of the first two options will be the Shoulderpads of the Monolith. If you manage to tweak the rest of your gear slots, it will provide a similar damage output to the Shoulderpads of the Intruder.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Crusade Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25) HM
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (10) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (10)

The best possible option for this slot will be VanCleef’s Pauldrons of Triumph/Garona’s Pauldrons of Triumph! This is due to several factors, with the primary reasons being the very high amounts of Expertise Rating and Armor Penetration that it grants besides the access to the T9 item-set bonuses. When looking at the rest of your gear slots, you will quickly realize that the T9 Shoulders will be one of your primary sources for acquiring Expertise Rating.

Since we want to increase our Expertise Rating as much as possible from this slot, the Shoulderpads of the Intruder from the previous phase of the expansion will actually be the next viable alternative after the 258 Ilvl version of the T9 piece. The only issue with this item is that we lose access to the T9 4-item set bonus if we don’t replace our Legs Slot with the T9 piece!

The next-best alternative will be VanCleef’s Pauldrons of Triumph/Garona’s Pauldrons of Triumph, since it grants the precise same types of stats as the 258 Ilvl version of the T9 Shoulders in slightly lower amounts. It is important to keep in mind that the T9 item-set bonus will remain the same, no matter what Ilvl version of the item you are currently using.

However, there is one item that performs better than the 232 Ilvl version of the T9 piece if you manage to get all the other BiS options, namely the Spaulders of the Snow Bandit/Shoulderpads of the Snow Bandit. This is due to the massive amounts of Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating that it offers, which make up for the loss of Expertise Rating. Of course, as mentioned previously, this is only true if you have all the other BiS options!

The Duskstalker Shoulderpads/Duskstalker Pauldrons is another possible alternative, however, it has two major issues. The first issue is that it performs slightly worse than VanCleef’s Pauldrons of Conquest/Garona’s Pauldrons of Conquest. The second issue is that it actually costs more Emblems of Triumph than the 232 Ilvl version of the T9 shoulders. This means that the item is by far suboptimal and should actually be ignored!

Lastly, if you don’t have enough Emblems of Triumph to acquire the 232 Ilvl version of the T9 Shoulders, you can use the Spaulders of the Snow Bandit/Shoulderpads of the Snow Bandit as a valid alternative for a brief amount of time. You may also choose to use this item if you filled your other main slots with T9 items!

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

With the release of the third phase, we will now have easy access to one of the strongest possible items that you can acquire for this slot. We are talking about the Drape of the Faceless General, an item that previously held the position of BiS in the previous phase of the expansion. This is mainly due to the Gem Sockets that it grants paired up with great amounts of Critical Strike Chance and Armor Penetration.

The next-best alternative will be Winter’s Frigid Embrace as it grants the closest damage output. This is due to the high baseline stats combined with the Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating secondary stats. Even if the item has no Gem Sockets, it still performs quite well thanks to its stat spread.

On the same note, yet considerably weaker than the Winter’s Frigid Embrace, you can use the Cloak of Darkening to gain a considerable damage output. However, even if the item grants Armor Penetration, the lower amount of stats will result in reduced damage output, meaning that you will only want to use this option in case you can’t access any of the previously mentioned items yet.

If you struggle early on with your Hit Rating, the best possible option will be the Shawl of the Shattered Giant, followed up closely by the Cloak of Mastery. In terms of providing pure Hit Rating, you will most definitely want to acquire the Ulduar cloak, however, the Cloak of Mastery will be just fine in case you can’t afford to specifically hunt for the Shawl of the Shattered Giant.

Lastly, in case you can’t gain any of the previously mentioned items, you may use the Ice Striker’s Cloak before entering any Heroic ++ Dungeons! While its stats are terrible when compared to the rest of the items, it should grant you access to the new Heroic ++ Dungeons and allow you to gain potent upgrades.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
 Ulduar – Hodir (25 HM)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
 Ulduar – Iron Council (25)

The best possible option for the Pre-Toc gearing phase will be the former BiS from phase 2, namely the Drape of Icy Intent. This is due to the combination of Hit Rating/Haste Rating that it offers as secondary stats which complement the rest of the BiS items from this set perfectly.

The next-best alternative in terms of pure damage output will be the Drape of the Faceless General! Since you will lose a portion of your Hit Rating by using this item, you will want to supplement it with some Hit Rating gems in order to remain at a favorable Hit Rating amount.

If you can’t acquire any of the previously mentioned items, the Drape of the Lithe serves as a great alternative for increasing your overall Hit Rating! It is, however, considerably weaker than the other two options, meaning that you will want to replace it as fast as possible. Since the Drape of the Faceless General can now be acquired with Sidereal Essence, you will want to maintain the Drape of the Lithe until you manage to gather enough Sidereal Essence.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (25) HC
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Tribute Chest (10) Heroic
Ulduar – Hodir (25) HM
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (25)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)

The best possible option will be Vereesa’s Dexterity/Sylvanas’ Cunning. This is mostly due to the item having the highest amount of stats when compared to any other choice in the third phase of the expansion, paired up with the secondary stats that it grants. While Assassination Rogue doesn’t benefit the most from Armor Penetration, the sheer amount of stats will still provide the best damage output.

As for the next-best alternative, you have two main options to pick from, with both items displaying an extremely close damage output. The main difference between them is roughly 1-5 DPS, meaning that you can safely use any of them efficiently. The items are the Cloak of the Silver Covenant/Cloak of Serrated Blades and the Drape of the Untamed Predator/Cloak of the Untamed Predator.

In a less surprising manner, the Drape of Icy Intent retains its position as one of the strongest items, providing even better damage output than the Drape of the Untamed Predator/Cloak of the Untamed Predator. However, the difference in terms of damage output is quite low, with only a 50 DPS difference on multiple simulations. The main difference between the two items is the way you can acquire them, with one of them being available as a drop from Ulduar while the other one is available for purchase as a BoE once a player posts the item on the Auction House.

Lastly, you may still use the Drape of the Faceless General as a viable alternative that can be compared to the Drape of the Untamed Predator/Cloak of the Untamed Predator in terms of pure damage output in our current setup. If you already have all the other BiS options, the difference between the two items is 1-2 DPS, meaning that you can use either of them depending on which one you can acquire easier.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
80 Emblem of Heroism
Vault of Archavon (Archavon the Stone Watcher)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

The best possible option for this slot will be the Valorous Terrorblade Breastplate. Besides its overall high stats, the main reason why you will want to use this item is the access to the T8 item-set bonuses. Since you will want to use other T8 items as well, you should prioritize this option to reach the 4-item set bonus. Apart from the item-set bonuses, you will also gain a considerable amount of Expertise Rating which will help you reach your Soft Expertise Cap without focusing on too many items that grant Expertise Rating.

If you still require Expertise Rating and you can’t find the T8, the Tunic of Dislocation will be the best possible alternative. However, if you already have plenty of Expertise Rating, this option will actually be the weakest in comparison to the other available options.

If your build lacks enough Hit Rating, the best possible option will be the Tunic of the Limber Stalker due to the sheer amount of stats that it grants. The only other viable Hit Rating alternative that you can easily gain as a fresh level 80 will be the Blade-Scarred Tunic which actually grants nearly the same amount of Hit Rating as the Ulduar item. The main difference between the two items is the rest of the stats, as the Blade-Scarred Tunic is overall weaker if you compare its other stats to the Tunic of the Limber Stalker. Nonetheless, you can use it until you manage to find the Ulduar item!

The Heroes’ Bonescythe Breastplate is an exception when compared to the other items due to how hard it is to acquire. It grants a better overall damage output than the Blade-Scarred Tunic or the Tunic of Dislocation, however, its steep cost makes it an unrealistic goal. Unless you somehow manage to get into a VoA and gain the item, you should ignore it entirely since it costs 80 Emblems of Heroism.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Thorim (25 HM)
Ulduar – Hodir (25)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)

The best possible option for the Pre-Toc gearing phase will be the Embrace of the Gladiator! This is due to two main factors: The first being that this item grants the highest possible stat yield for this slot. The second is that as an Assassination Rogue, we can benefit from the T8 4-item set bonus, however, we will choose to not activate it and use off-pieces instead! By using off-pieces, we will actually generate a higher damage output than by using 4 T8 items according to multiple simulations.

If you can’t gain the Embrace of the Gladiator, the next-best alternative will be the Conqueror’s Terrorblade Breastplate as it will grant you access to the T8 item-set bonuses. It is better to use the Conqueror’s Terrorblade Breastplate in conjunction with the T8 Shoulder since the T8 chest grants Expertise Rating. By doing so, you will replace the Expertise Rating lost by not using the Shoulderpads of the Intruder!

Lastly, you can use the Valorous Terrorblade Breastplate as the next-best alternative to the Conqueror’s Terrorblade Breastplate since it grants the same types of bonuses, only in lower amounts.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Crusade Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (25) Heroic
Ulduar – Thorim (25) HM
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Fjola Lightbane (10) HC
Trial of the Crusader – Fjola Lightbane (10)

Compared to the other gear slots, the Chest Slot will offer you a multitude of options! The best possible option will be VanCleef’s Breastplate of Triumph/Garona’s Breastplate of Triumph. This is not only due to the access it grants to the T9 item-set bonuses but also due to the overall high baseline and secondary stats. While there might be other options that grant an almost equal amount of stats or even better stats, Assassination Rogue benefits a great deal from items with Hit Rating/Critical Strike Chance in this phase of the expansion. According to various simulations, the damage output is quite similar, and even better in some cases, than simulations in which you use items with Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating or Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration.

The next-best alternative will be the Cuirass of Calamitous Fate/Vest of Calamitous Fate due to the reasons mentioned above. It grants a similar amount of stats to the 258 Ilvl T9 Chest, which results in a slightly lower damage output due to how strong the Hit Rating/Critical Strike Chance stat combination is in this current phase of the expansion. The difference between the two items is roughly around 70 DPS, according to multiple simulations.

In a similar fashion, the VanCleef’s Breastplate of Triumph/Garona’s Breastplate of Triumph will provide a slightly lower damage output than the Cuirass of Calamitous Fate/Vest of Calamitous Fate, however, the results are very close. The difference between the two items is only 30 DPS, meaning that you can use the 245 Ilvl version of the T9 Chest as a potent alternative while completely ignoring the other option.

The next options will simply offer you a progressively lower damage output, with the Embrace of the Gladiator offering the best output. It is closely followed up by the Cuirass of Calamitous Fate/Vest of Calamitous Fate and the Armor of Shifting Shadows , with both items offering very similar damage outputs. The Knightbane Carapace/Knightbane Carapace is a special exception since it is a BoE item that also grants Hit Rating. You can use it as a powerful alternative if you can’t gain the T9 chest as long as you have the 2-item set bonus active.

Lastly, the Armor of Shifting Shadows/Vest of Shifting Shadows is the weakest possible option and should only be used if you already have the T9 2-item set bonus active or until you manage to gather enough Emblems of Triumph in order to buy the VanCleef’s Breastplate of Conquest/Garona’s Breastplate of Conquest.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Trial of the Champion – Eadric the Pure (Heroic)
60 Emblem of Valor (BoE)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
The Wyrmrest Temple- Exalted

The best possible option that you can acquire fairly easily as a Fresh 80 with the release of the new Sidereal Vendor is the Fluxing Energy Coils. This option will be especially useful throughout the entirety of your progression, as it grants a large amount of Hit Rating. It also grants a large amount of Armor Penetration, providing a great damage output. While Armor Penetration is not the most powerful stat for an Assassination Rogue, it will still increase your overall damage output when you have an overall balanced stat spread!

The next-best alternative for increasing your overall Hit Rating will be the Armbands of the Wary Lookout. It grants precisely the same types of stats as the Fluxing Energy Coils with a slightly lower stat spread.

The rest of the options are tailored toward increasing your overall damage output, however, they will be weaker than the previously mentioned items. You can consider them as placeholder options that will aid you in your gearing journey until you can get the Fluxing Energy Coils.

Either one of the Wristwraps of the Cutthroat, the Cuffs of Dark Shadows, or the Dragonfriend Bracers will prove themselves to be great initial options. Each of them grants a progressive damage output, with the Dragonfriend Bracers being the weakest, while the Wristwraps of the Cutthroat provide the best output out of the three options.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Algalon The Observer (25)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (25)

For the Pre-Toc gearing phase, the best option for this slot depends entirely on your current Expertise Rating and your current Hit Rating. For increasing your overall Expertise Rating, the Solar Bindings will be the best choice, especially since our build does not grant enough Expertise Rating.

The Fluxing Energy Coils will be the best Hit Rating option while also granting a great quantity of Armor Penetration. However, the overall DPS output of the Solar Bindings will be higher in this item set since you will struggle with your Expertise Rating prior to ToC or Onyxia’s Lair. You also have to keep in mind that in the majority of situations, Assassination Rogues benefit more from Haste Rating than Armor Penetration. However, there will be some specific cases, depending on the rest of your gear slots, in which Armor Penetration grants an almost equal amount of offensive prowess.

A viable alternative before acquiring any of the previously mentioned items will be the Mechanist’s Bindings. however, their overall DPS output will be lower.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (25)
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)

Just like with the majority of your gear slots, the best possible option for this slot will grant you Hit Rating! The BiS option for the Bracers Slot in the third phase of the expansion is the Bracers of Dark Determination/Armbands of Dark Determination. This is thanks to the overall high stats that the item provides, providing an interesting damage output even after you pass the Soft Hit Cap. While it doesn’t grant Haste Rating, the Critical Strike Chance provided by the item will enhance your overall damage output.

The next-best alternative will actually be its 245 Ilvl version, the Bracers of Dark Determination/Armbands of Dark Determination as it grants the precise same types of stats, only in slightly lower amounts. While you might expect the Bracers of Swift Death/Bracers of Swift Death to be the best alternative, it actually grants a lower damage output, even if it grants Haste Rating/Armor Penetration. The reason for this is that Hit Rating will actually empower us in this current phase of the expansion, especially when paired up with Critical Strike Chance. Based on a large number of simulations, in every simulation, the Bracers of Dark Determination/Armbands of Dark Determination produce a better damage output than the Bracers of Swift Death/Bracers of Swift Death.

The Solar Bindings is another strong alternative that can be used instead of the Bracers of Dark Determination/Armbands of Dark Determination that provide a very close damage output. The difference between the two items is only ~25-27 DPS, meaning that you can use either option as long as you have the rest of the BiS items in your other gear slots!

Lastly, the Fluxing Energy Coils is a great alternative for increasing your overall Hit Rating if you can’t yet access any of the previously mentioned items or if your build still lacks Hit Rating from your other Gear Slots. You can consider this item as a temporary solution until you gain an upgrade!

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – Eadric the Pure
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
60 Emblem of Heroism/Vault of Archavon ( Archavon the Stone Watcher)

The new phase of the expansion brings quite a lot of interesting options for a Fresh 80 character, with the best possible option being the Gloves of the Endless Dark. During the early phase of your gearing journey, you will find yourself struggling with Hit Rating, and the Gloves of the Endless Dark provide the best possible amount of Hit Rating if we consider all the pre-raid options.

The next-best alternative will be the Valorous Terrorblade Gauntlets. The reason for this is that it grants a decently high amount of Hit Rating while it also grants access to the T8 item-set bonuses. This item becomes considerably stronger if you manage to gain other T8 items in order to activate the T8 item-set bonuses. If you can’t find gain access to any of those two items, you may also use the Heroes’ Bonescythe Gauntlets as a viable alternative for gaining more Hit Rating. However, you should consider the T7 item the worst possible choice, as it is quite difficult to acquire.

In terms of pure damage output, either one of the Gloves of Smoldering Touch or the Gloves of the Argent Fanatic will be a great alternative if you can’t access any of the previously mentioned items or if you already have plenty of Hit Rating. The former option is stronger than the latter due to the sheer amount of stats it grants, even if the secondary stats themselves are not the same.

Lastly, you may use the Rapid Attack Gloves as an alternative until you can gain enough Expertise Rating from your other gear slots. However, you should keep in mind that this item is among the weaker options that you can access, meaning that you will only want to keep it for a brief period of time.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Mimiron (25)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)

For the Pre-Toc gearing phase, the best possible option for this slot will be the Conqueror’s Terrorblade Gauntlets. This is mainly due to the Hit Rating that the item grants, paired up with access to the T8 item-set bonuses. While we will not want to necessarily activate the 4-item set bonus, we will surely want to activate the 2-item set bonus. Naturally, the next-best alternative will be the Valorous Terrorblade Gauntlets as it fulfills the exact same purpose, albeit with its lower stat spread.

If you already activated your 2-item set bonus from your other slots, the next-best alternative will be the Gloves of the Endless Dark! The item grants a large amount of Hit Rating while it also grants a substantial amount of Haste Rating that is very beneficial to Assassination Rogues.

If you already have plenty of Hit Rating from your other gear slots and if you can’t access any of the previously mentioned items, you may use the Gloves of the Blind Stalker as a valid alternative thanks to its Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating secondary stat combination. While it is not as strong as the other options, you can consider it a temporary item until you manage to gain an upgrade.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Crusade Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (10) Heroic
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (10)

The best possible option for this slot will be VanCleef’s Gauntlets of Triumph/Garona’s Gauntlets of Triumph. This is mostly due to the abundant stats that it grants paired up with access to the T9 item-set bonuses. In terms of secondary stats, the Hit Rating granted by the item will be crucial as the Assassination Rogue Specialization has a special interaction with Hit Rating in the third phase of the expansion.

Naturally, the next-best alternative will be its 245 Ilvl version, VanCleef’s Gauntlets of Triumph/Garona’s Gauntlets of Triumph, as it grants the exact same types of bonuses. The only difference is the sheer stat values granted by the item, with the T9-item set bonuses remaining the same.

On a different note, there is another interesting alternative that grants a similar damage output, namely the Gloves of the Silver Assassin/Sunreaver Assassin’s Gloves. This item will grant you a large amount of Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration which will result in a very similar damage output to the T9 245 Ilvl gloves. The main thing you got to keep in mind is that this item will be worse than the 232 Ilvl version of the T9 gloves in the case in which you don’t have the T9 2-item set bonus active.

The curious thing about this item is that while Assassination Rogue doesn’t benefit as much from Armor Penetration as the Combat Rogue does, the item itself still grants a very high damage output!

The VanCleef’s Gauntlets of Conquest/Garona’s Gauntlets of Conquest will be mandatory if you don’t have other T9 items, as you will want to activate the T9 2-item set bonus as fast as possible! Since their cost is also the lowest among the other T9 items, you may want to prioritize this item.

The Gloves of the Endless Dark are a great alternative to the 232 Ilvl T9 gloves, however, the same concept related to the T9 2-item set bonus applies to them. They can be a great alternative as long as you manage to activate the T9 2-item set bonus from your other slots!

Even if the T9 2-item set bonus has a low chance to proc and has an internal cooldown of 15 seconds as we mentioned in the “General Explanations Tab”, you will still want to activate it at all costs. The reason for this is that you will want to gain every possible advantage, even if it has an extremely low proc chance of only 2%!

The Gloves of the Silver Assassin/Sunreaver Assassin’s Gloves are inferior to all the previously mentioned items and should be treated as a placeholder until you can acquire them! This is mostly due to the sheer amount of stats that they grant, being considerably lower than all other possible alternatives.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – Grand Champions
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Utgarde Pinnacle – Ingvar the Plunderer (Heroic)

As a Fresh Level 80, you have multiple choices for this slot, with two of them particularly strong. Among the best possible options will be the Soul-Devouring Cinch and the Death-warmed Belt. The former option is specifically tailored for builds that lack Expertise Rating while the latter is made for builds that require additional Hit Rating. As a general rule of thumb, the Soul-Devouring Cinch will be the stronger option until you come across items from ToC.

If you can’t access any of those options, the next-best alternative in terms of increasing your overall Hit Rating will be the Nimble Climber’s Belt while the most accessible alternative for increasing your overall Expertise Rating will be the Sharp-Barbed Leather Belt.

In the case in which you already have plenty of Expertise Rating and Hit Rating, you may use either one of the Belt of Fierce Competition or the Blistered Belt of Decay. While they are certainly not as strong as the other options, they should provide a great buffer until you can actually acquire any of the previously mentioned items. With the way we tailored our builds, you will still want to consider those two items as simple “placeholder” items and try to gain either one of the first two mentioned items.

The Sharp-Barbed Leather Belt can be considered an initial item for the beginning of your gearing journey! It is considerably weaker than all the other options and will only be useful for granting you passage into the new Heroic ++ Dungeons in order to gain better items.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Mimiron (25) HM

The best possible choice for this slot in the Pre-Toc gearing phase will depend entirely on your current Expertise Rating. If you are currently lacking enough Expertise Rating, the best option will be Soul-Devouring Cinch. It grants overall high stats, a high Critical Strike Chance, and an Expertise Rating, generating the best possible DPS output. The Belt of the Twilight Assassin is the next-best alternative for gaining Expertise Rating, even if it provides overall lower stats than the Soul-Devouring Cinch!

If you already have plenty of Expertise Rating after tweaking the rest of your gear slots, the next-best alternative will be the Death-warmed Belt. This option is considerably better for builds that lack Hit Rating or simply wish to boost their overall Hit Rating above the Soft Hit Cap.

Other than items that increase your overall Expertise Rating or Hit Rating, you can use the Waistguard of the Creator as a damage-oriented alternative due to its Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating secondary stats. However, this option is viable only if you tweaked the rest of your gear to cover up for any missing Hit Rating or Expertise Rating!

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Fjolla Lightbane (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Fjolla Lightbane (25)
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)

Compared to other slots, this slot offers far fewer possible options from ToC. The best possible option will be the Belt of the Merciless Killer/Belt of the Pitiless Killer. This is due to a large amount of Hit Rating granted by the item, combined with 2 Gem Sockets and a large amount of Haste Rating. Naturally, the next-best alternative will be its 245 Ilvl version, the Belt of the Merciless Killer/Belt of the Pitiless Killer.

Since there are no other possible alternatives from ToC, you will want to use two options from the previous phase of the expansion as valid alternatives. 

The Soul-Devouring Cinch remains a powerhouse item with its incredible stat spread, however, it won’t provide the most optimum setup since our build already grants us a large amount of Expertise Rating. This item can be fairly strong if you haven’t acquired all the best items for Expertise Rating from your other gear slots yet.

The Death-warmed Belt is very close to the Soul-Devouring Cinch with both items having a very close damage output when used with the rest of the BiS options from the other gear slots. The main difference between the two items is that the former is better if you haven’t acquired enough Hit Rating yet, acting as an effective placeholder until you acquire stronger Hit Rating items.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – Eadric the Pure
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Gundrak – Gal’Darah (Heroic)

The best possible option for this slot will be either one of the Valorous Terrorblade Legplates or the Leggings of Swift Reflexes. Both items share the precise same types of stats, however, you will want to prioritize the T8 Legs due to the T8 item-set bonuses. Since you will want to use other T8 items as your best options, activating the item-set bonuses will be one of your first priorities at the beginning of your gearing journey.

Other than the Ulduar items, you can split the rest of the options into two main categories. Options that provide Hit Rating and options that provide Expertise Rating.

For increasing your Hit Rating, the best possible option will be the Leggings of Brazen Trespass that become available with the new Trial of the Champion dungeon. You will also be able to use the Heroes’ Bonescythe Legplates from the first phase of the expansion as a valid alternative, albeit a weaker one since you won’t have much use for the T7 item-set bonuses. Lastly, you can use the Gored Hide Legguards as an option that provides better Hit Rating than the T7 Legs. The main issue with the item is the fact that apart from its Hit Rating, its other stats are considerably lower.

As for Expertise Rating options, the best and only viable alternative that you can acquire quickly as a fresh level 80 will be the Leggings of Discord. They do grant a decently high amount of Expertise Rating, however, you will ultimately want to acquire Expertise Rating from other gear slots, meaning that this option will merely be temporary.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25) HM
Ulduar – Freya (25)
Razorscale (25) – BoE

The best possible choice for the Pre-Toc gearing phase will be the Legguards of Cunning Deception. They offer extraordinarily high base stats, 3 sockets, and a high Critical Strike Chance and Armor Penetration Rating to reach the best DPS output. This option will remain one of the best possible options, even among the ToC options, as it grants an incredible amount of stats after the Ulduar update.

As a viable alternative, you can use Conqueror’s Terrorblade Legplates which offer a solid DPS output as it grants fairly high baseline stats and Critical Strike Chance paired up with a high Haste Rating.

Another very viable alternative will be the Proto-hide Leggings, especially since you can acquire it fairly easily as a BoE! This item is better suited for builds that lack Expertise Rating! For example, you may choose to use this item if you haven’t managed to acquire the Shoulderpads of the Intruder for your Shoulders Gear Slot!

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Crusade Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25) HM
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (25)
Ulduar – Freya (25)

The best possible option for this slot will be the Leggings of the Broken Beast/Legwraps of the Broken Beast. This will be the only offset piece that you will use in this current set. It has very similar stats to the T9 Legs, however, it is stronger due to the additional Gem Socket that it offers. The Haste Rating it offers is the best possible Stat for an Assassination Rogue when compared to the Armor Penetration granted by the T9 Legs! While Assassination Rogue benefits the most from Haste Rating as a standalone stat, you will need the rest of the BiS items in order to maximize the damage output granted by the Leggings of the Broken Beast/Legwraps of the Broken Beast.

The next-best alternative will be the VanCleef’s Legplates of Triumph/Garona’s Legplates of Triumph as it grants very similar stats to the Leggings of the Broken Beast/Legwraps of the Broken Beast while also providing access to the T9 item-set bonuses. As explained earlier, the Armor Penetration stat will grant a very similar damage output to the actual BiS, however, the sheer amount of stats will result in a slightly lower output than the Leggings of the Broken Beast/Legwraps of the Broken Beast.

The Legguards of Cunning Deception will remain one of the best options, just as it was in the previous phase of the expansion. Just as mentioned previously, the high baseline and secondary stats combined with the Gem Sockets will generate a stronger damage output than the majority of the ToC items.

The rest of the three options will provide a nearly identical damage output when compared to each other, with the VanCleef’s Legplates of Conquest/Garona’s Legplates of Conquest being the weakest option. Depending on your access to Ulduar, you may want to begin with VanCleef’s Legplates of Conquest/Garona’s Legplates of Conquest or simply gain the Legguards of Cunning Deception and use them until you can manage to gain the actual BiS.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – Grand Champions (Heroic)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

For this slot, you will have access to a special item that you will be able to use throughout the entirety of your gearing journey and even as one of the most potent alternatives while you are raiding ToC! The Footpads of Silence will be the best possible option, granting you high amounts of both Critical Strike Chance and Hit Rating while also providing 2 Gem Sockets. It is fair to say that any other alternative that you may possess simply pales in comparison to this item until you can gain access to the ToGC items.

The next-best alternative will be the Treads of the Invader due to the high baseline and secondary stats that it grants. While it might not grant Hit Rating, the Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating combination will provide a decently high damage output. However, if you severely lack Hit Rating and you can’t acquire it from another gear slot, this option will be extremely weak in comparison to the Footpads of Silence.

You may use the Boots of the Worshiper as a valid alternative to the Treads of the Invader since they grant precisely the same types of starts. The only difference between the two items is the sheer amount of stats granted, with the latter being the clear superior option.

If you struggle with increasing your overall Expertise Rating from your other slots, you may use the Treads of Dismal Fortune as a valid alternative until you can manage to gain enough Expertise Rating from your other gear slots. Ideally, you will want to reserve this slot specifically for the Footpads of Silence!

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Ignis the Furnace Master (25)
Ulduar – Iron Council (25)

The best possible choice for this slot in the Pre-Toc gearing phase, just as previously mentioned, will be the Footpads of Silence. They grant you a high Critical Strike Chance, 2 sockets, and a much-needed Hit Rating.

Alternatively, you can use either Flamestalker Boots or Runed Ironhide Boots as the next best option. The Flamestalker Boots will be a better option, once you manage to gain enough Expertise Rating.

As a starting viable option, if you can not get your hands on the Footpads of Silence, you can use the Treads of the Invader until you gain an upgrade.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (10) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (10)

The best possible option for this slot will be the Treads of the Icewalker/Icewalker Treads. Just like with the other Gear Slots, this BiS retains the same characteristics of granting a large quantity of Hit Rating, paired up with an offensive stat. While you will not be able to amass a large quantity of Armor Penetration from the entirety of your set, the small amount of Armor Penetration that will be available at your disposal will make a clear difference in terms of pure damage output.

Naturally, the next-best alternative will be its 245 Ilvl version, the Treads of the Icewalker/Icewalker Treads as it grants precisely the same types of stats. Just as mentioned previously, the Footpads of Silence remain one of the strongest items since their release in the second phase of the expansion. Their damage output is fairly similar to the 245 Ilvl version of the Treads of the Icewalker/Icewalker Treads, even if they grant Critical Strike Chance instead of Armor Penetration.

However, if you find yourself missing some of your Expertise Rating items, you may use the Acidmaw Boots/Acidmaw Treads as a valid alternative to supplement your Expertise Rating. Naturally, the next-best alternative for increasing your Expertise Rating will be its 232 Ilvl version, the Acidmaw Boots/Acidmaw Treads. While you generally do not want Expertise Rating from this slot, you have to keep in mind that certain adjustments must be made until you can reach the true BiS set that you require!

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Dalaran- Harold Winston
Trial of the Champion – The Black Knight
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

With the release of the new phase of the expansion and its Heroic ++ Dungeons and Sidereal Essence Vendor, we will be able to gain access to some of the most powerful rings from the previous phase of the expansion without having to endlessly grind for them.

The most powerful ring combination that you can acquire as a fresh level 80 will be the Loop of the Agile & Band of Lights. Both items combined will grant you a great stat spread, providing Hit Rating/Armor Penetration/Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating in nearly equal amounts.

If you don’t have enough Sidereal Essence to gain those two rings yet, you may use the Kirin Tor ring, Inscribed Band of the Kirin Tor, paired up with the Band of Draconic Guile to achieve a similar stat spread! The Sealing Ring of Grobbulus is a very similar choice to both items and can be used as a viable alternative, however, it will bring considerably weaker stats.

Lastly, you may use Uruka’s Band of Zeal as a viable alternative for increasing your overall Expertise Rating if you haven’t reached your Soft Expertise Cap yet. While this option might provide a good amount of Expertise Rating, you should keep in mind that you will ideally want to gain Expertise Rating from your other gear slots.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25)
Ulduar – General Vezax (25)

The Pre-Toc gearing phase will see some changes when compared to the BiS list from the last phase of the expansion as we now have access to a convenient Sidereal Essence Vendor which allows us to easily acquire some of the most powerful rings from Ulduar.

Ideally, the Band of Lights and Brann’s Signet Ring will be the best possible choices as they grant overall great baseline and secondary stats. They both provide ample offensive stats and high base stats, granting us the best DPS output. However, a more realistic choice without having to grind Ulduar endlessly will be the Loop of the Agile & Band of Lights. Just as mentioned in the Fresh 80 category of this slot, those two rings can pack quite the punch when considering all the great stats that they can offer you and the easy way you can acquire them.

As viable alternatives, we have several choices which grant us potent DPS output, each of them being defined by a progressive “upgrade” system, meaning that items such as Godbane Signet and Metallic Loop of the Sufferer will be your initial choices with items such as Brann’s Sealing Ring and Band of Lights being the middle tier choice.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (25) Heroic
Heroic: All is Well That Ends Well
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (10) Heroic
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (25)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
All is Well That Ends Well
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (10)

The best possible Ring combination will be the Ring of Callous Aggression/Band of Callous Aggression & Brann’s Signet Ring. This is due to the overall very high stats gained while using those two items paired up with the overall great stat spread that you gain. The Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating/Armor Penetration gained by using those two rings together will boost your overall damage output by a considerable amount.

Ideally, you will want to keep the Ring of Callous Aggression/Band of Callous Aggression as your main ring while alternating between the other options for your secondary ring. However, in case you can’t find the Ring of Callous Aggression/Band of Callous Aggression, you can create various combinations by alternating between the other available items until you manage to find it.

Planestalker Signet/Planestalker Band will prove itself to be a great alternative to Brann’s Signet Ring. This option is better when you haven’t reached the BiS items for your other gear slots, as you will already have a large amount of Hit Rating with the full BiS set. However, if you can’t find it, you may use the Band of Lights which grants a similar damage output through the Hit Rating/Armor Penetration stat combination that it offers.

Since you can no longer combine two items that have the same name, even if they have a different Ilvl version, the Ring of Callous Aggression/Band of Callous Aggression can be considered a standalone alternative that should be used until you can gain its 258 Ilvl version.

The Loop of the Agile will still prove itself to be a valuable alternative even during the ToC gearing process as its stats are overall high. It also grants a great amount of Critical Strike Chance combined with Haste Rating which will generate a decent damage output.

Lastly, both the Brann’s Sealing Ring and the Planestalker Signet/Planestalker Band should be considered temporary options that you will want to replace as soon as possible. Since you now have access to some of the stronger Ulduar items through the new Sidereal Essence Vendor, you should maintain those two items until you gather the necessary Sidereal Essence in order to gain upgrades.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Darkmoon Faire – Darkmoon Nobles Deck
Trial of the Champion – Argent Confessor Paletress

With the release of the new phase of the expansion and its Heroic ++ Dungeons and Sidereal Essence Vendor, we will be able to gain access to some of the most powerful trinkets from the previous phase of the expansion without much effort! The best possible trinkets that you can acquire as a fresh level 80 will be the Mjolnir Runestone and the Dark Matter. Both trinkets are extremely strong that provide overpowered bonuses which will be useful for you throughout the entirety of the third phase of the expansion.

The Pyrite Infuser will provide a great damage output due to its On-Equip effect! In terms of pure damage output, it is similar to the Darkmoon Card: Greatness, being an especially useful option for builds that still don’t have enough Hit Rating.

The Darkmoon Card: Greatness remains one of the strongest possible options, even in the third phase of the expansion due to the massive Agility bonus that it provides. You may find it useful even while progressing through ToGC.

If you somehow manage to gather a large amount of Emblems of Heroism, you may consider the Mirror of Truth as a viable alternative since its On-Equip effect can be particularly strong. Yet, just like with the Banner of Victory, this option should be considered as a temporary placeholder.

The new phase also comes with the new Trial of the Champion Dungeon that grants access to the Banner of Victory. However, this option is quite underwhelming when compared to the previously mentioned items. It provides the worst damage output when compared to the rest of the available options, being even weaker than the  Mirror of Truth.

Pre-Toc/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Algalon The Observer (25)
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25)
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Inscription – BoE
Ulduar – Kologarn (25)

The Pre-Toc gearing options for your trinket slots have become a lot easier to acquire, especially with the new Sidereal Essence Vendor. Ideally, you will want to gain the Comet’s Trail and Dark Matter as your best possible options, however, you may find it easier to gain the Mjolnir Runestone & Dark Matter instead.

In case you can’t gain any of those previously mentioned items, the Blood of the Old God will represent a great option that can actually provide a better damage output than the Mjolnir Runestone, especially if your build still lacks Hit Rating.

If you are currently using the Comet’s Trail as your primary trinket while also having the rest of the best possible options, you can use either one of the Mjolnir Runestone or the Pyrite Infuser as an alternative since they both provide precisely the same damage output. Even if they grant different type of stats, the stat spread itself from the rest of your gear slots will ensure that both trinkets provide the same damage output.

The Pyrite Infuser works in the precise same fashion as the Blood of the Old God, offering both Hit Rating and an On-Use effect that can increase your overall Attack Power. It has the same condition as the Blood of the Old God for builds that lack enough Hit Rating, resulting in a better damage output than the Darkmoon Card: Greatness.

As a viable alternative to either one of the previously mentioned items, Darkmoon Card: Greatness still represents an extremely strong option.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Fjola Lightbane (25) Heroic
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Fjola Lightbane (25)
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25)
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Darkmoon Faire – Darkmoon Nobles Deck
Heroic ++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – Argent Confessor Paletress
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (10) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (10)

The best trinket combination for this phase of the expansion will be the Death’s Verdict/Death’s Choice & Comet’s Trail! This is due to the massive amount of Agility that the Death’s Verdict/Death’s Choice grants, combined with the massive amount of Haste Rating granted by the Comet’s Trail which acts just like Bloodlust/Heroism.

Since you can no longer combine the same trinket of two different item levels (Example: Death’s Verdict/Death’s Choice & Death’s Verdict/Death’s Choice), the best possible option will be Death’s Verdict/Death’s Choice. You will absolutely want to gain this trinket and combine it with multiple possible options from the previous phase of the expansion.

The Death’s Verdict/Death’s Choice should only be kept until you can manage to gain its 258 Ilvl version!

Both Dark Matter and the Blood of the Old God work as viable alternatives that provide an almost identical amount of damage output in our current set. This means that it doesn’t specifically matter which one of them you choose to use, as the DPS difference between the two items is only 40 DPS. One thing to keep in mind is that Mark of Supremacy is considerably weaker than the Blood of the Old God, however, since it provides Hit Rating it will prove itself to be stronger than the Darkmoon Card: Greatness. The reason for this is the special interacti