PVE Retribution Paladin Best in Slot (BiS) & Pre-Raid Gear

pve retribution paladin pre raid & best in slot (bis) (wotlk 3.3.5a)

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.

As of Phase 3, the new Heroic Defense Protocol Beta Dungeons will offer 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.

Best-in-Slot

Alternative: Charged Titanium Specs – Engineering BoE

This will be your best option for this slot.

This will be your best option for this slot.

Alternative: Cloak of the Gushing Wound – Erekem Heroic Violet Hold

Alternative: Golden Limb Bands – Krik’thir the Gatewatcher Heroic Azjol-Nerub

Alternative: Sharp-Barbed Leather Belt – Ingvar the Plunderer Heroic Utgarde Keep

This will be your best option for this slot.

Alternative: Rift Striders – Anomalus Heroic Nexus

This will be your best option for this slot.

Alternatives: Incisor Fragment – King Dred Heroic Drak’Theron Keep & Sphere of Red Dragon’s Blood – Keristrasza Heroic Nexus

Alternative: Edge of Oblivion – Jedoga Shadowseeker Heroic Ahn’kehet

This will be your best option for this slot.

This will be the best option for this slot.

Alternative: Fool’s Trial – Various Bosses Naxx 25-Man (This is a good choice if Favor of the Dragon Queen is heavily contested.

Alternative: Pendant of the Dragonsworn – Malygos 10-Man, Sapphiron 10-Man (Again, another good choice if Favor of the Dragon Queen is contested.

This will be the best option for this slot.

This will be the best option for this slot.

This will be the best option for this slot.

This will be the best option for this slot.

This will be the best option for this slot. Use this as your tier off-piece regardless if you are going for 2-set or 4-set.

This will be the best option for this slot.

This will be the best option for this slot.

Alternative: Valorous Redemption Legplates (4-set bonus) – Gluth & Thaddius Naxx 25-Man

This will be the best option for this slot.

Alternative: Sabatons of Sudden Reprisal – Anub’Rekhan Naxx 25-Man

Alternative: Footwraps of Vile Deceit– Loatheb 25-Man. Take these if you need the Expertise.

Those will be your best options for your ring slots.

Alternatives: Strong-Handed Ring – Various Bosses Naxx 25-Man

Alternate: Loatheb’s Shadow – Loatheb Naxx 10-Man

Alternative: Mirror of Truth – 40 Emblem of Heroism

Alternate: Sphere of Red Dragon’s Blood – Keristrasza Heroic Nexus (Take this only if you need the hit).


This will be the best option for this slot.

PvP Alternate: Savage Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude – 4480 Honor & 175 Arena Points (This requires PvP in Arenas or the completion of Battleground Call to Arms. Stick with Libram of Radiance if you don’t want to PvP.

This will be the best option for this slot.

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Those will be your best options for your ring slots.

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Those will be your best options for your ring slots.

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Progressive Best-in Slot

For this progressive list we have ordered each item according to their power and overall damage output. For example, an item that sits at the top of the list will be the most powerful, known as “BiS”, while an item that sits at the bottom of the list will be the weakest alternative.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Halls of Lightning – Loken (Former Naxxramas 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) The Oculus – Drakos the Interrogator (Former Naxxramas 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) The Oculus – Drakos the Interrogator (Former Naxxramas 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) The Culling of Stratholme – Salramm the Fleshcrafter (Former Naxxramas 10)
Halls of Lightning – Loken (Heroic)

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your head slot. You can either directly buy a very powerful BoE item from the Auction House directly after reaching level 80 or you can go through a slow dungeon crawl progression to get powerful upgrades.

Spiked Titansteel Helm is available directly after reaching level 80, granting you very high baseline stats, gem sockets, and high secondary stats such as Hit Rating and Critical Strike Chance. This item is powerful enough to be considered worthy of taking even in the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase.

However, if you wish to take a more traditional path, the most powerful choice will be the Heroes’ Redemption Helm, available in the new Titan Rune Dungeons, granting you access to the T7 item-set bonuses, high baseline stats, and much-needed Hit Rating. While Haste is not a stat that will massively influence our damage, it will still enhance our overall damage output.

The Helm of the Unsubmissive and the Helm of the Vast Legions are very similar in terms of pure damage output while granting you the same type of secondary stats (Hit Rating/Haste Rating). While their damage output is pretty similar, one of them grants you Strength as a baseline stat while the other one grants you Agility. You will preferably want to get the first option.

Titan’s Outlook is yet another interesting choice, offering you high baseline stats, and high amounts of Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration as Secondary stats. However, it has one flaw, forcing you to swap the item quite quickly, it lacks gem sockets. We all know that we always want a Meta Gem in our helmets, right?

Until you can actually manage to get the items mentioned above, you will most likely start with items such as the Planetary Helm which grants you solid baseline stats and much-needed Hit Rating in the beginning.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
The Obsidian Sanctum – Sartharion (25)
The Eye of Eternity – Malygos (25)
Naxxramas – Kel’Thuzad (25)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Halls of Lightning – Loken (Former Naxxramas 10)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

The best possible option for the Pre-Ulduar stage will be the Obsidian Greathelm. This is mainly due to the helmet having the highest baseline stats available from Phase 1, gem sockets, and the high amounts of Critical Strike Chance/Expertise Rating as secondary stats. Since it grants such a high Expertise Rating, this item will massively take care of your Expertise Cap, alongside your Glyph.

Blue Aspect Helm is the second-best option when it comes to this slot, even though it is a Mail item. While the Intellect it grants doesn’t actually help us a lot, the secondary stats it grants (Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating) will amplify your overall damage.

As a viable alternative, you can use the Valorous Redemption Helm. It grants you access to the T7 item-set bonuses, and a very similar damage to both the previous options. However, since we are not trying to reach the 4-set item bonus, we will want to use this only in the case that you severely lack Hit Rating or in the case that none of the better options can be gained. Heroes’ Redemption Helm is the lesser version of Valorous Redemption Helm, granting you the exact same type of stats.

Lastly, another viable alternative in case you do not wish to farm any of the previous items, you can use Spiked Titansteel Helm as its baseline stats are quite high and the item is very easily accessible being a craftable BoE. Ideally, you will want to farm the other items, but you can still use this item and obtain a good damage output.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Thorim (25) HM
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25) HM
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (25)
Ulduar – Mimiron (10) HM
Ulduar – Thorim (25)

The best item for the Head Slot in Phase 2 will be the Warhelm of the Champion. This is due to the very high baseline stats it offers, paired up with essential Hit Rating and Critical Strike Chance. While there are potential builds that can use the T8 set and have a solid damage output, the most optimum build will not employ any T8 pieces.

Boundless Gaze is the closest item in terms of pure DPS output, granting you the necessary Hit Rating and Critical Strike Chance. While one of its baseline stats is Intellect, the only difference in DPS compared to the Warhelm of the Champion is 25-30 DPS. However, keep in mind that this only applies if you already have the rest of the BiS items.

Iron Riveted War Helm is a viable alternative, especially since it grants a solid amount of Hit Rating. However, you will want to attempt to swap this item as fast as possible since Haste Rating won’t be completely optimal in the long run. Mimiron’s Flight Goggles are very similar in terms of pure DPS output, however, if you use them, you will reduce your overall Hit Rating below 8%, forcing you to optimize your Gems and Enchants to make up the missing Hit Rating.

Lastly, Conqueror’s Aegis Helm offers a good choice of stats on its own, but it becomes a lot better if you manage to pair it up with another T8 item, to activate the 2-item set bonus.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Halls of Stone – Sjonnir the Ironshapper (Former The Eye of Eternity Quest)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer (Former Naxxramas 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Halls of Lightning – Ionar (Former Naxxramas 10)
Utgarde Pinnacle – King Ymiron (Heroic)

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your necklace slot. You can either directly buy a BoE item such as the Titanium Impact Choker that will grant you some strong initial stats and use it in a 10-man/25-man raid or you can go through a slow dungeon crawl and gain progressive upgrades.

The best possible choice will be the Pendant of the Dragonsworn due to its very high baseline stats and secondary stats. However, this only applies if you already have your melee Soft Hit Cap and Expertise cap.

Gem of Imprisoned Vassals is the next-best alternative if you find yourself in the situation where you already have both your Hit Rating and Expertise caps. As it grants you quite decent stats, both baseline and secondary stats, you can use this item for quite some time.

The Collar of Dissolution is the best item if you have issues with both your Hit Rating and your Expertise Rating.

All of the previously mentioned items come from the new Titan Rune Dungeons. You should keep in mind that you won’t be able to directly jump into a Titan Rune Dungeon immediately after reaching level 80. This usually means that you will have to start with items such as the Gold Amulet of Kings or the Pendant of the Outcast Hero which grant decent baseline stats and Critical Strike Chance as a secondary stat. Naturally, you will want to upgrade those items as fast as possible.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
The Eye of Eternity – Heroic Judgment at the Eye of Eternity
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Halls of Stone – Sjonnir the Ironshapper (Former The Eye of Eternity Quest)
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (25)
Naxxramas – Sapphiron (25)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer (Former Naxxramas 10)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

For the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase, the best possible necklace will be the Favor of the Dragon Queen. This is mainly due to its high baseline stats and high secondary stats. While Armor Penetration will not scale perfectly with your current build as it can’t be stacked due to how rare Armor Penetration items are, it will still grant you quite a powerful damage output.

The next-best alternative will be the Pendant of the Dragonsworn, as it is the lesser version of the Favor of the Dragon Queen.

Fool’s Trial is a very solid alternative, especially if you lack Hit Rating, as it grants you similar stats. However, it won’t grant you a gem socket, resulting in overall lower stats.

Lastly, both Gem of Imprisoned Vassals and Icy Blast Amulet grant you the same type of stats with minor adjustments to their placement, one offering you higher Agility as a baseline stat while the other grants you higher Critical Strike Chance as a secondary stat. Using either of the items will result in the same damage output, meaning that it does not really matter which one you manage to gain.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – General Vezax (25) HM
Ulduar – Hodir (25) HM
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (10)
Ulduar – Freya (10) HM

The best possible choice for Phase 2 will be the Pendulum of Infinity. This is mainly due to the combination of secondary stats (Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating) and the overall high stats that it grants you.

Your next-best alternative will highly depend on whether you have enough Hit Rating. If you do not have enough Hit Rating, the Frigid Strength of Hodir will be the best choice, as it grants you quite a decent amount of it. However, if you find yourself having the 8% Soft Cap, you will most likely want to use Strength of the Heavens instead, especially since it grants similar stats to the Pendulum of Infinity.

As a last alternative, you can use the Seed of Budding Carnage if you find yourself in a position where the Frigid Strength of Hodir is highly contested. It offers you almost the same type of stats, with the difference being that it grants you Agility and Attack Power instead of Strength.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Instructor Razuvious (25) (BoE)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Different Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom – Elder Nadox (Former Naxxramas 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Drak’Tharon – Novos the Summoner (Former Naxxramas 10)
The Sunwell Plateau – Lady Sacrolash, Grand Warlock Alythess
Gundrak – Slad’ran (Heroic)
Halls of Lightning – Ionar (Heroic)

As a fresh level 80, you have many choices for your shoulder slot, especially with the new Titan Rune Dungeons. Among the many choices, you can directly buy the Spaulders of Egotism which grants you the most powerful stats out of all our displayed choices.

However, if you do not wish to directly buy a BoE, you will have to go through a slow dungeon crawl or use an item from the previous expansion’s raids. Heroes’ Redemption Shoulderplates is the next-best alternative to the Spaulders of Egotism, however, it will grant you Hit Rating instead of Haste Rating while additionally granting you access to the T7 item-bonuses.

Shoulderplates of Bloodshed and the Spaulders of Resumed Battle give the same type of stats with the only difference in them being that one grants you Agility while the other one grants you Strength. They both grant very similar DPS outputs, making them both very good alternatives, especially early on as they have high baseline stats.

The Pauldrons of Berserking gain an honorable mention, especially since they are stronger than both Snake Den Spaulders and Pauldrons of the Lightning Revenant. However, if it is a new classic character, you are better of by simply using one of the previously two mentioned items instead of raiding the Sunwell to get it.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Loatheb, Gluth (25)
Naxxramas – Gluth, Noth the Plaguebringer (25)
The Obsidian Sanctum – Sartharion (25)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Different Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10)
Naxxramas – Instructor Razuvious (25) (BoE)
The Obsidian Sanctum – Sartharion (25)
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (25)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

The most powerful option will remain the Phase 1 BiS, the Valorous Redemption Shoulderplates. This is due to the access to T7 item-set bonus, very high baseline stats, and the much-needed Hit Rating.

The Heroes’ Redemption Shoulderplates are a better choice than the Spaulders of Egotism only if you can activate your T7-item bonuses, if not, they will grant you an overall weaker DPS output.

Shoulderguards of Opportunity, Upstanding Spaulders, Spaulders of Egotism can be categorized as very similar alternatives, each of them granting you a combination of Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating or Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration. The damage output will be very similar if you use any of those items, with only small slight differences between them.

Just like the previously mentioned items, the Concealment Shoulderpads and the Shoulderguards of the Undaunted are also good alternatives for our current build, however, like we mentioned in the beginning of the progressive list, the last alternatives will grant you the lowest DPS output. Luckily, in this case, the damage difference is quite low between all the items.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25) HM
Ulduar – Auriaya (25)
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (10)
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25)

Since we will ignore the tier set bonus, the best possible choice for this slot will be the Shoulderpads of the Intruder. Since most of our other items will have secondary stats such as Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating, this item will grant you a very high amount of Expertise Rating and Hit Rating. Besides the high baseline stats that it grants you, this will help you in reaching your Hit Rating and Expertise Rating caps.

The Shoulderplates of the Eternal are the next-best alternative, even if they do not grant you Expertise Rating, granting you Critical Strike Chance instead.

If you manage to optimize your build with different items or gems to reach your soft caps, the Shoulderplates of the Celestial Watch will be a perfect alternative, especially since they can cover up for any missed Critical Strike Chance or Strength lost by changing your gem sockets.

Lastly, if you choose to pursue the T8 set bonuses, the Conqueror’s Aegis Shoulderplates are a great choice, due to their Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating secondary stats combination. Ofcourse, this only applies if you have your Soft Hit Cap.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Utgarde Pinnacle – Skadi the Ruthless (Former Naxxramas 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) The Oculus – Drakos the Interrogator (Former Naxxramas 10)
Gundrak – Zone Drop (BoE)

You have two main choices when it comes to your Cloak Slot, you can either directly buy a BoE item or you can go through a slow dungeon crawl and gain more potent items.

As far as the BoE items go, you can either use the Ice Striker’s Cloak or the Cloak of Bloodied Waters, with the latter being the better choice for its Strength baseline stat.

For the better options, your best initial choice will be the Cloak of Darkening due to its Haste/Armor Penetration secondary stats while the Cloak of Mastery can be a better choice only if you do not have enough Hit Rating to reach your 8% Soft Cap.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Kel’Thuzad (25)
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (25)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Utgarde Pinnacle – Skadi the Ruthless (Former Naxxramas 10)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

The best choice for Pre-Ulduar will remain the BiS from Phase 1, the Drape of the Deadly Foe. This is mainly due to the very high baseline stats and the Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating stat combination.

The Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak grants you a very similar DPS output to the Drape of the Deadly Foe in our current build, with only a 20 DPS difference. The Aged Winter Cloak grants very similar stats in terms of quantity, offering you a very similar DPS output.

Lastly, you can still use the Cloak of Darkening as it grants you decent stats for Ulduar, however, you will want to upgrade it as soon as possible since the Haste/Armor Penetration combination is not the best for us as Retribution Paladins.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – General Vezax (10) HM
Ulduar – Hodir (25) HM
Ulduar – Heroic: All Is Well That Ends Well

Sadly, there will not be many choices for the cloak slot, however, the BiS choice for Phase 2 will be the Drape of the Faceless General. This is mainly due to the gem sockets it offers, combined with the Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration secondary stats combination. Even though it does not have the highest baseline stats, the gem sockets will cover up that issue.

Both Drape of Icy Intent and the Drape of the Skyborn can be used as valid alternatives, as they both grant you very similar DPS output. The main difference between the items is the Agility vs Strength baseline stats and the fact that one of them grants you Haste Rating while the other grants you Critical Strike Chance.

There are other possible alternatives, however, they do not fit the true role of a “BiS” alternative, rather being lesser versions of the presented items.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
(Titan Rune Dungeon) The Nexus – Anomalus (Former Naxxramas 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) The Culling of Stratholme – Chrono-Lord Epoch (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10)
Drak’Tharon Keep – Novos the Summoner (Heroic)

Since there are no worthwhile BoE items that you will want to buy for this slot, you will want to go through a slow dungeon crawl and gain progressive upgrades, especially with the new options from the Titan Rune Dungeons.

You may choose to spend 80 Emblems of Heroism on the Heroes’ Redemption Chestpiece, however, for all the bonuses it grants you, the item itself is simply way too expensive. Instead, you may want to start with an item such as the Breastplate of Undeath which will grant you solid baseline stats and a high amount of Hit Rating.

The best option you can use is the Tunic of Dislocation, as it grants you a high baseline stats, 2 gem sockets, and a decently high amount of Expertise Rating and Haste Rating. You will want to maintain this item for quite some time until you can manage to get the upgraded T7 chestpiece.

If you can not gain the Tunic of Dislocation, you can use the Blade-Scarred Tunic. However, it is far better suited for sets that lack Hit Rating and have plenty of Expertise Rating, even if you have the Expertise glyph.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Four Horsemen, Gluth (25)
The Eye of Eternity – Malygos (25)
Naxxramas – Grobbulus (25)
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom – Herald Volazj (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10)
Naxxramas – Maexxna (25)
Naxxramas – Grand Widow Faerlina (25)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

For the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase, you have many choices, but the best one will remain the Valorous Redemption Chestpiece. This is especially due to the T7 tier set bonuses and high baseline stats combined with Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating. As a close alternative to this item, you can use the Chestguard of the Recluse.

Tunic of Indulgence and the Chestguard of Flagrant Prowess are both great alternatives that have very similar type of stats providing you with a solid DPS output. They will also help you in reaching your overall Hit Rating soft cap. However, if you truly lack Hit Rating and Expertise Rating, your best bet will be the Undiminished Battleplate, as it grants vast amounts of both stats.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Thorim (25) HM
Ulduar – Hodir (25)
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25)

The best possible piece for the chest slot will be the Embrace of the Gladiator. This is mainly due to two things: First of all, we want to ignore the tier set bonus, since the most optimal results are actually gained from off-set pieces, and secondly, this item has very high baseline stats, 3 gem sockets, and high secondary stats.

As a valid alternative, we can use the T8 Conqueror’s Aegis Battleplate, however, it will be considerably weaker on its own without other T8 set pieces. You should keep this in mind!

Lastly, you can use the Steelbreaker’s Embrace as a solid alternative, especially if you lack Expertise Rating. However, it will result in a massive DPS loss compared to the Embrace of the Gladiator.

Fresh 80

Item
Source

As a fresh level 80, the best choice for this slot will be to acquire a BoE item directly from the Aunction House.

Depending on what you can find, any of the above-mentioned items can be used, as they are all quite similar. However, the best possible item that you can acquire is the Wristbands of the Sentinel Huntress. This is mainly due to the Expertise Rating that it grants combined with Critical Strike Chance.

Wristwraps of the Cutthroat and the Armguard of the Tower Archer grant a very similar DPS output in the current build, however, the latter option is better suited for the beginning of your gearing process due to its Hit Rating.

Lastly, if none of the above options are available on the Auction House, you can use the Vengeance Bindings as they are a decent initial choice, even if they do not grant any Stamina. You will sacrifice a bit of survivability for overall increased Hit Rating.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Gothik the Harvester (25)
Naxxramas – Noth the Plaguebringer (25)
Naxxramas – Grand Widow Faerlina (25)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

Bracers of Unrelenting Attack will be the best choice during the Pre-Ulduar phase, especially since it grants you a considerate amount of Hit Rating, a high amount of baseline stats, and a gem socket.

The closest item in terms of performance will be the Thrusting Bands, however, it will lower your overall Critical Strike Chance while granting you Expertise Rating instead. The Bracers of the Tyrant is a good alternative to the Thrusting Bands, however, its only good if you already have your Hit Rating soft cap.

Lastly, Wristbands of the Sentinel Huntress can be used as an alternative to the previously mentioned items, although it is better for builds that lack Expertise Rating.

It is worth mentioning that all the items are quite close in terms of DPS output, each of them being different from a min-max point of view.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Mimiron (25) HM
Ulduar – Hodir (10) HM
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25)

The best choice for the bracers slot will be the Armbands of Bedlam. This is due to the Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating secondary stat combo and the high baseline stats. As far as I can tell you, the best combination of stats that you can gain in the second phase will be the Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating on the majority of your items.

The Bitter Cold Armguards are a valid alternative as they grant similar type of stats, with the exception being Armor Penetration instead of Haste Rating.

Lastly, you can use the Solar Bindings, especially if you lack Expertise Rating. However, in our current build, this item will grant the lowest DPS out of the 3 choices.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Four Horsemen (25) (BoE)
Naxxramas – Sapphiron (25) (BoE)
(Titan Rune Dungeon) Utgarde Pinnacle – King Ymiron (Former Naxxramas 10)
Violet Hold – Cyanigosa (Heroic)
Utgarde Pinnacle – King Ymiron (Heroic)

As a fresh level 80, you have two main choices for your Gloves Slot. You can either directly buy a BoE item or go through a slow dungeon progression until you can get some powerful items.

The best item that you can use is also a BoE item, namely the Zeliek’s Gauntlets. This is mainly due to the very high baseline stats that it grants and a good amount of Expertise Rating and Haste Rating.

The Rusted-Link Spiked Gauntlets will be a good alternative early on, especially if you struggle with Hit Rating. However, until you can manage to get into a Titan Rune Dungeon, you will want to start with items such as the Gauntlets of Capture or the Gilt-Edged Leather Gauntlets from Heroic Dungeons.

Gilt-Edged Leather Gauntlets will be a great initial choice if you severely lack Hit Rating! You may want to maintain this item until you can manage to get close to your soft Hit Cap before upgrading it.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
The Eye of Eternity – Malygos (25)
Naxxramas – Four Horsemen (25) (BoE)
Naxxramas – Sapphiron (25) (BoE)
Naxxramas – Patchwerk (25)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

The best possible choice will be the Frosted Adroit Handguards, mainly due to the high baseline stats and Hit Rating/Critical Strike Chance combination.

The second next-best choice will be the Zeliek’s Gauntlets, especially if you tweak your build a bit to include more Hit Rating. This item grants you very high baseline stats and a good amount of Expertise Rating and Haste Rating. Since it is a BoE item, you can directly buy this from the Auction House without any type of grinding required.

The Gloves of Fast Reactions will be a great alternative especially if you have your Hit Rating and Expertise Rating soft caps while the Crude Discolored Battlegrips are a great alternative if you have issues with your Hit Rating.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – XT-002 Deconstructor
Ulduar – Mimiron (25)
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (10)
Ulduar – Auriaya (25)

The best possible choice will be the Gloves of the Steady Hand. This is mainly due to the very high baseline stats that it grants alongside with its gem sockets and Hit Rating/Critical Strike Chance. One thing that you should keep in mind is that even if we don’t want to stack Intellect in any shape or form, Retribution Paladins can have mana issues if they consistently spam their abilities. This means that the stat itself will not hurt your overall build and performance.

The Conqueror’s Aegis Gauntlets are the next-best alternative, but only if you manage to trigger the 2-item set bonus! On its own, this item is quite underperforming. A far better choice without using another T8 set piece will be the Gloves of the Endless Dark as it grants you very high baseline stats, gem sockets, and much-needed Hit Rating combined with Haste Rating.

Lastly, you can use the Gloves of the Stonereaper, however, it will grant you lower overall stats, resulting in lower DPS output. Rest assured that the difference is not that high, resulting only in a 50-60 DPS loss. So if you are not trying to completely min-max, they are a perfect item.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Maexxna (25) BoE
Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer (Heroic)
The Culling of Stratholme – Salramm the Fleshcrafter

As a fresh level 80, you have several different choices for your Belt Slot. You can either buy one of the two powerful belts with Embles of Heroism, opt for a BoE belt, or go through a dungeon crawl and gain a decently powerful item.

The best item that you can acquire in this set will be Jorach’s Crocolisk Skin Belt, it will be especially useful since it grants you a very good amount of Expertise Rating. However, its cost coincides with Verdungo’s Barbarian Cord, meaning that if you have no other way of gaining expertise, you may want to ignore Verdungo’s Barbarian Cord completely.

The Torn Web Wrapping is a very strong choice that happens to be a BoE item. It can be especially useful if you choose to sacrifice some Hit Rating from your other items in favor of more Critical Strike Chance or Haste Rating.

You can use the Sharp-Barbed Leather Belt as a means to gain Expertise Rating until you manage to gather enough emblems for Jorach’s Crocolisk Skin Belt. If you do not want to bother with the grind at all, you will want to maintain this item until you can manage to get a 25-man upgrade.

Lastly, an item that you will probably encounter during your leveling journey, the Spiked Metal Cilice can be a great addition to your overall Hit Rating. You may want to keep this item until you can manage to gain more Hit Rating from your other items.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Grobbulus (25)
Naxxramas – Instructor Razuvious (25)
Naxxramas – Gluth, Heigan the Unclean (25)
Naxxramas – Patchwerk, Gluth (25)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

The best item for the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase will remain the Phase 1 BiS, the Girdle of Chivalry. This is mainly due to our need of Hit Rating. In case you chose to alter our build and use different items, in which case you may have sufficient Hit Rating, you will want to use the Girdle of Razuvious as an alternative. The item is especially good if you lack Expertise Rating.

The Stalk-Skin Belt is a great alternative if you already have your Hit Rating and Expertise Rating sorted out, as it grants you high baseline stats and a good combination of Haste Rating/Critical Strike Chance.

Lastly, you can also use the Belt of the Tortured if you miss Hit Rating, however, you will want to attempt to gain an upgrade as fast as possible.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (10) HM
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (10)
Ulduar – Steelbreaker (25)

The best choice for this slot in Phase 2 will be the Soul-Devouring Cinch. Ths is mainly due to the very high baseline stats it offers paired up with a high Expertise Rating and a high Critical Strike Chance.

As the next-best alternative to that item, you will want to use the Starfall Girdle as it grants similar types of stats. The only difference is that the first item grants you Agility as a baseline stat while Starfall Girdle grants you Strength.

If you severely lack Hit Rating, your best bet will be the Belt of Colossal Rage, as it grants you a good amount of Hit Rating paired up with a high Critical Strike Chance and high baseline stats.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Ajzol-Nerub – Anub’Arak (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Drak’Tharon Keep – The Prophet Tharon’ja (Former Naxxramas 10)
Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer (Heroic)
The Oculus – Varos Cloudstrider (Heroic)

Since there are no valuable BoE items that you can directly acquire, you will want to go through a slow dungeon crawl in order to get your necessary items.

The best possible choice, especially early on will be the Belabored Legplates. This is mainly due to the extremely high baseline stats they offer, gem sockets, and the much-needed Hit Rating paired up with a very high Critical Strike Chance.

The Heroes’ Redemption Legplates can be used as a solid alternative, if you manage to get your Hit Rating from another source. You may also want to use them to trigger the 2-item set bonus from T7.

As a valid alternative, especially when in need of Hit Rating, you will want to use the Staggering Legplates. If you are completely unlucky with the drops, you can use the Legplates of the Oculus Guardian as they grant similar stats.

Pre-Raid

Source
The Obsidian Sanctum – Sartharion (25)
Naxxramas – Thaddius, Gluth (25)
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Ajzol-Nerub – Anub’Arak (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10)
Naxxramas – Thaddius (25)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

The best choice for the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase will remain the Leggings of the Honored. This is mainly due to the very high baseline stats they offer paired up with a very solid amount of Hit Rating. As a viable alternative, you may use the Valorous Redemption Legplates, however, you will have to supplement your Hit Rating from a different source.

The Belabored Legplates will remain a very potent choice offering you stats similar to the Leggings of the Honored., however, you will have a DPS output lower by 50 when using them in this current setup. Nonetheless, a great choice, especially if you do not want to completely min-max.

The Riveted Abomination Leggings are a weaker choice by comparison, however, a solid alternative in case you need Hit Rating and you can not procure it from any other source.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (25)
Ulduar – Yogg – Saron (25) HM
Ulduar – Mimiron (10) HM
Ulduar – Freya (25)

The best possible choice for this slot will be the Plated Leggings of Ruination. This will be especially true since we want to avoid getting the T8 set bonuses. Besides its very high stats and 3 gem sockets, this item will grant you a very high amount of Critical Strike Chance and Haste Rating, making it a highly sought-after item.

As a valid alternative that actually comes close in terms of pure raw DPS, you may use the Legguards of Cunning Deception. Keep in mind that this item will be contested as well, so it may take a while before you may lay your hands on it.

If you are completely unlucky with rolls or item drops, you may want to buy the Legplates of the Violet Champion as they grant similar type of stats to our BiS, only considerably lower.

The Fused Alloy Legplates are a great choice if you are struggling with Hit Rating. If you manage to get another T8 item, you will want to use the Conqueror’s Aegis Legplates instead. Just like mentioned previously, keep in mind that all the T8 items are weak if used alone, you must always aim to at least proc the 2-item set bonus!

Fresh 80

Item
Source
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Halls of Lightning – Ionar (Former Naxxramas 10)
Naxxramas – Gluth, Heigan the Unclean (25) BoE
Argent Crusade- Exalted
Violet Hold – Zuramat the Obliterator (Heroic)

You have many choices as a fresh level 80 when it comes to your Boots Slot. You can either directly buy a BoE item or you can go through a slow dungeon crawl to get progressive upgrades. You may also buy certain boots from reputation vendors.

The best possible choice before reaching the Pre-Ulduar phase will be the Ravaging Sabatons, this is due to their very high stats, being close to the stats of your Phase 1 BiS. As a potent BoE item, you can use the Iron-Spring Jumpers and swap them out later. They are particularly useful for the astonishing 73 Hit Rating that they offer, especially on a fresh character.

You also have the option of gaining Bladed Steelboots which grant Hit Rating and Critical Strike Chance, however, their price is a bit too steep if you ask me, especially on a new character.

Either the Boots of the Neverending Path or the Obliterator Greaves will be great initial choices if you choose not to buy the BoE item or if you are unlucky with the Titan Rune Dungeon drops. The Boots of the Neverending Path are a better choice if you severely lack Hit Rating. Keep in mind, we want to hit with our sword, not make our enemies wonder why we are fighting with the air.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
The Eye of Eternity – Malygos (25)
Naxxramas – Anub’Rekhan (25)
Naxxramas – Loatheb (25)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

The best item for Pre-Ulduar will be the Melancholy Sabatons. This is mainly due to the high baseline stats and the high amount of Critical Strike Chance and Armor Penetration.

A very close alternative will be the Sabatons of Sudden Reprisal, its stats are very close to the Melancholy Sabatons, however, it has Haste Rating instead of Armor Penetration. Both items grant a very similar DPS output.

Lastly, you can use the Footwraps of Vile Deceit, especially if you have issues with your Expertise Rating. Your overall DPS will decrease but not by a large amount.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25)
Ulduar – Mimiron (10) HM
Ulduar – General Vezax (25)

The best choice for this slot will be the Sabatons of Lifeless Night. This is mainly due to the combination of Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating paired up with high baseline stats and plenty of gem sockets. While this item may be hard to acquire since it drops from Algalon, you may want to use the Tempered Mercury Greaves or the Battlelord’s Plate Boots as potent alternatives until you gain it.

Tempered Mercury Greaves is a perfectly valid alternative, however, it is quite rare on a Retribution Paladin, being an item much more suited for other classes. Keep in mind that it will still serve you well!

Battlelord’s Plate Boots is what you should aim for as fast as possible, especially since it is a crafted item. Its stats are similar to our BiS, offering us a great mix of baseline stats and Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating as secondary stats.

Lastly, the Boots of the Underdweller will be a great alternative, especially if you struggle with Hit Rating.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Dalaran – Harold Winston
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer (Former The Eye of Eternity 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeons) The Oculus – Varos Cloudstrider (Former Naxxramas 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Halls of Stone – Sjonnir the Ironshaper (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10)
The Culling of Stratholme – Chrono-Lord Epoch (Heroic)

Since there are no valuable BoE rings that you can acquire, with the exception of the Inscribed Band of the Kirin Tor which you can buy from a vendor in Dalaran, you will have to go through a slow dungeon crawl in order to get some powerful rings.

Luckily, besides the powerful Inscribed Band of the Kirin Tor, the new Titan Rune Dungeons will provide you with some very interesting choices, especially the Surge Needle Ring. Surge Needle Ring will grant you very high baseline stats, being strong enough for your Pre-Ulduar gear, providing you with much-need Hit Rating and Critical Strike Chance.

In case you do not have enough expertise from the rest of your items and your glyph, you will want to pair it up with the Circle of Death. The Greatring of Collision can be a great choice as far as offensive items go, granting you quite a high amount of Critical Strike Chance and Armor Penetration beside its gem socket.

However, until you can manage to get into the new Titan Rune Dungeons, you will want to start with items such as the Mobius Band which will contribute to your overall Hit Rating and Critical Strike Chance.

Even if the majority of rings will grant you Agility instead of Strength, you should never underestimate Agility!

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (25)
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (25)
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Halls of Stone – Sjonnir the Ironshaper (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

Ruthlessness and Surge Needle Ring will remain the best possible options for the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase. Both rings grant you high baseline stats while also granting you much-needed Hit Rating and Expertise Rating. Both rings also grant you valuable Critical Strike Chance as a secondary stat improving your overall DPS output.

Strong-Handed Ring is a great alternative to the Surge Needle Ring as it grants you similar stats with the difference being that it grants Haste Rating instead of Critical Strike Chance.

Lastly, either Ring of Invincibility or Greatring of Collision both grant very good secondary stats as offensive stats go, however, you may want to gain Expertise Rating and Hit Rating from other sources if you plan on using any of them. Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating and Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration will be secondary stat combos that you will often want to use, provided that you have your Hit and Expertise caps.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – All Is Well That Ends Well (Heroic)
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25) HM
Ulduar – The Iron Council (10) HM
Ulduar – All Is Well That Ends Well
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (10)

As far as rings go, the best possible combination will be the Seal of the Betrayed King & Brann’s Signet Ring. This is mainly due to the overall high baseline stats that they offer, combined with secondary stats such as Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration and Hit Rating. While those stats may be encountered on other rings, those two will grant you the most optimal stat setup, especially in our build set.

Loop of the Agile is a great alternative to Brann’s Signet Ring, granting you Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating as secondary stats. Both rings come very close in DPS output, being only a 20-30 DPS difference between the two.

Brann’s Sealing Ring is another great alternative if you can not manage to gain either the Loop of the Agile or Brann’s Signet Ring, granting you a very similar DPS output to the Loop of the Agile.

Lastly, you can use the Band of Lights in conjunction with any of the other rings, however, it is best to use it instead of the Seal of the Betrayed King until you can acquire it as it will grant you much-needed Hit Rating.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Darkmoon Faire – Darkmoon Nobles Deck
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Ajzol-Nerub – Krik’thir (Former Naxxramas 10)
Utgarde Pinnacle – King Ymiron (Heroic)
The Nexus – Keristrasza (Heroic)

The most powerful trinket that you can use in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 is the Darkmoon Card: Greatness. This is mainly due to the extremely high Strength proc that it grants you, offering you a massive DPS increase. You will want to maintain this trinket up until the very end of Phase 2 and the beginning of Phase 3.

Mirror of Truth is the next-best trinket that you can acquire, especially early on after reaching level 80. You should prioritize getting this item with all the Emblems that you have been gathering. This is mainly due to the on-equip effect granting you 1000 raw Attack Power. With the release of the new Titan Rune Dungeons, you can acquire a trinket that grants you a similar effect in terms of damage output, however, its on use rather than on-equip, making it less efficient.

As a valid alternative, either Meteorite Whetstone or the Sphere of Red Dragon’s Blood grant you great DPS output, with the Meteorite Whetstone being especially good since Haste Rating aids us in dashing out more attacks which means overall more Holy Damage. It also has a lower overall internal cooldown of only 45 seconds, granting you a consistent effect.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Darkmoon Faire – Darkmoon Nobles Deck
The Obsidian Sanctum – Sartharion (25)
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Ajzol-Nerub – Krik’thir (Former Naxxramas 10)
Utgarde Pinnacle – King Ymiron (Heroic)
The Nexus – Keristrasza (Heroic)
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (25)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

The most powerful trinket will remain the Darkmoon Card: Greatness, simply due to the astonishing 300 Strength effect that it can grant you. Fury of the Five Flights is the best trinket that you can pair Darkmoon Card: Greatness since it can grant you a permanent buff as long as you manage to hit your target.

Mirror of Truth can be compared to the Fury of the Five Flights as both effects grant you similar results, even if one is a permanent buff while you are in combat and the other one is a proc effect.

As mentioned previously, either Loatheb’s Shadow, Meteorite Whetstone or Sphere of Red Dragon’s Blood can be a great choice, as they all are close in terms of pure DPS output.

Lastly, in a funny way, Grim Toll will actually grant you the worst performance, especially since you do not have any other Armor Penetration sources. However, if you completely lack any type of Hit Rating, this trinket will actually increase your performance.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25)
Darkmoon Faire – Darkmoon Nobles Deck
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (10)
Ulduar – Kologarn (25)
Ulduar – Thorim (10)

The strongest pair of trinkets for Phase 2 will be Darkmoon Card: Greatness & Comet’s Trail. The Darkmoon Card: Greatness manages to maintain its overpowered status throughout the entirety of Phase 1 and Phase 2, granting you extreme amounts of Strength, however, the second trinket can be a variation between Comet’s Trail and Dark Matter.

Comet’s Trail simply outputs better DPS when compared to Dark Matter, granting you a mini “Heroism/Bloodlust” effect on its proc. Since it can stack with other Haste effects, this can be quite powerful. However, when compared, the difference between the two trinkets is quite small, being around 50-80 DPS in multiple simulations.

In an interesting manner, you can use the Wrathstone as a valid alternative to Dark Matter, especially since its an “On-Use” effect, granting you the ability to time your burst. Their DPS output is almost identical, with a small 5-10 DPS difference between the two items when paired with the Darkmoon Card: Greatness.

Lastly, you can use Mjolnir Runestone, however, since most of our items lack any form of Armor Penetration and our damage is hybrid, this item will grant a lesser DPS output, around 140-150 DPS lower than all the other options when paired with Darkmoon Card: Greatness . Nonetheless, it is a great choice in case any of the other items are not available.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom – Herald Volazj (Former Naxxramas 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeons) The Oculus – Ley-Guardian Eregos (Former The Eye of Eternity 10)
(Titan Rune Dungeons) Drak’Tharon Keep – Trollgore (Former Naxxramas 10)
Halls of Lightning – Loken (Heroic)
Drak’Tharon Keep – The Prophet Tharon’Ja (Heroic)

For a Fresh level 80 in the second phase of the expansion, it will be considerably easier to acquire a good weapon early on thanks to the new Titan Rune Dungeons.

The best possible item for raw DPS output will be Death’s Bite. This is mainly due to the high baseline stats combined with a high Critical Strike Chance and Hit Rating to aid you in reaching your 8% Hit Soft Cap. The closest item in terms of pure raw DPS output will be Black Ice. Even if their stats are completely different, in the current build that we have displayed, the damage difference is between 10-15 DPS. Keep in mind that the results will change drastically once you start alterting the setup!

Demise is a good alternative that comes with the new Titan Rune Dungeons, however, it grants a damage output that is around100 DPS lower than the two previously mentioned items. On its own, in a different build set, this item can be quite potent, especially since it grants you a moderate amount of Hit Rating that should help you achieve your 8% Hit Soft Cap.

Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver and Titansteel Destroyer are extremely close in terms of damage output, however, Titansteel Destroyer is a far better choice if you have little no to Hit Rating. It can also be directly bought from the Auction House or a Blacksmith, granting you access to a strong weapon early on.

Lastly, if you do not wish to buy a BoE weapon and choose to progress through a slow dungeon crawl, you will most likely find yourself wanting to start with the Mojo Masked Crusher. A weapon that grants quite high baseline stats paired up with a high Haste Rating as a secondary stat.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Kel’thuzad (25)
Naxxramas – Maexxna (25)
Naxxramas – Four Horsemen (25)
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (25)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

For the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase, the best possible choice will remain the Betrayer of Humanity. This is mostly due to both the item’s high Ilvl and high baseline damage combined with its amazing stats. Even if the weapon has Agility instead of Strength as a baseline stat, the combination of Haste Rating and Critical Strike grant it’s user the best possible DPS output.

As valid alternatives, you can use either The Jawbone, Armageddon or the Inevitable Defeat. However, you should keep in mind that each item grants you around 100 less DPS output than the previous item in the list, with The Jawbone being the closest to the Betrayer of Humanity while the Inevitable Defeat is the weakest choice in our current set.

It’s good to keep in mind that if you somehow end up not having enough Expertise Rating, a weapon such as the The Jawbone or the Inevitable Defeat will be a lot better than Armageddon.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – General Vezax (25) HM
Ulduar – XT-002 Deconstructor (10) HM
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25) HM
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (10) HM

The best possible weapon for Phase 2 will be Voldrethar, Dark Blade of Oblivion. With the Ilvl change and the astonishing stats that it offers, the blade will grant you the best possible DPS output. This is mainly due to its high baseline stats and Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration secondary stats combination. However, remember that without your Hit Rating/Expertise caps, your overall damage will be reduced, even with this weapon.

The next-best alternative will be the Aesir’s Edge, granting you the same type of stats as Voldrethar, Dark Blade of Oblivion. You can consider it it’s lesser version since the stats are basically the same, only slightly lower.

Depending on your current Hit Rating, you will have two valid alternatives to the previously mentioned items. You can either use the Dark Edge of Depravity or Hammer of Crushing Whispers to increase your overall Hit Rating while also maintaining a solid damage output. In our current set, the Dark Edge of Depravity has an overall higher DPS output, however, it is only a small amount, meaning it is up to you which of the two items you prefer.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Honor/Arena Vendor
Honor/Arena Vendor
Borean Tundra – Return My Remains

The best possible Libram will not actually come from your PvE environment, but rather from a PvP vendor! The best possible Libram that you will acquire is the Deadly Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude, empowering all of your attacks with a decent amount of Attack Power. However, until you can manage to gain it, you can start using the Libram of Furious Blows that you can get from the Return My Remains quest.

The Savage Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude is another valid alternative, being the precursor of the Deadly Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude. There are other Librams that you can use, however, since their performances are quite low when compared to the ones displayed, I chose not to add them to the list.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Honor/Arena Vendor
Honor/Arena Vendor
Naxxramas – Gluth, Patchwerk (25)

Your Pre-Raid 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.

As far as Pre-Ulduar Librams go, the best Libram will remain the Deadly Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude. As mentioned previously, it will grant the best overall damage output due to increasing your overall Attack Power. The Savage Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude is a direct downgrade of this Libram, generating the same type of effect.

As another valid alternative, you can use the Libram of Radiance, however, it will grant you an overall lower damage output as it only enhances one ability.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Honor Vendor/Arena Vendor
Ulduar – Razorscale (25)
Naxxramas – Gluth, Patchwerk (25)

Ironically, the best possible Libram for Phase 2 will not come from PvE content, but rather from PvP content. While it may take a while to grind for your PvP Libram, the Furious Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude grants you the best possible passive effect, increasing your overall Attack Power. The idea is that this buff can be maintained endlessly, as long as you can use your Crusader Strike. Since it has no special prerequisites, this will be the best option.

Libram of Discord is the next-best alternative as it empowers your Divine Storm, however, it is weaker when compared to the Furious Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude since it only buffs one ability compared to the overall Attack Power gained for all of your damaging abilities.

Lastly, you can use the Libram of Radiance as an alternative, granting you similar effects to the Libram of Discord. However, it should be kept in mind that this item is a lot weaker when compared to the other two, as it only enhances the direct damage of Crusader Strike.

Before you continue, here are some important tips 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 slot. You will either be able to buy Bind-on-Equip 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. If you manage to join a group for Heroic++, you can jumpstart your gearing process.

Your Best-in-Slot items will often vary depending on the rest of your equipment and the situation you find yourself in. As a Retribution Paladin, the phase you find yourself in, and the PvE encounter you currently face, may change your BiS items completely to better adjust your performance depending on the situation. 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.

When you start gearing as a fresh level 80, your main issue will be reaching a comfortable amount of Expertise. As Expertise is a rare find on pre-raid gear, you may have to compensate with Gems, as well as Glyph of Seal of Vengeance.

Retribution Paladins have a handful of BiS variants to aim for, but as you work your way there you may have to tweak your Hit & Expertise Ratings using different pieces, Gems, and Glyph of Seal of Vengeance. For more information on Hit & Expertise caps, visit the Stat Priorities page!

Fresh 80

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

For a Fresh 80 character, the BiS is the Valorous Aegis Helm. This is because of the T8 item-set bonuses which you will want to activate at all costs but also due to its great stat spread and focus on Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating. If you can’t acquire this item, you can now access Mimiron’s Flight Goggles which is a great alternative. This item is considerably stronger than Valorous Aegis Helm if you compare the two of them on their own, however, it produces a weaker damage output if we take the 4-item set bonus into consideration.

Early on, we want to prioritize Hit Rating/Expertise Rating from our other gear slots when we start working on our gear, so will mainly reserve this slot for offense-oriented items. If you really can’t manage to gain Hit Rating from your other gear slots, there are multiple helmets that you can use to do so. The Circlet of True Sight is one such example, granting you a decently high amount of Hit Rating, followed up by items such as the Heroes’ Redemption Helm, the Spiked Titansteel Helm, and the Helm of the Unsubmissive.

All of those choices should be considered temporary until you manage to tweak the rest of your gear! Your main goal should be prioritizing the Valorous Aegis Helm or Mimiron’s Flight Goggles if you really can’t gain the T8 helmet.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Thorim (25) HM
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25) HM
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (25)
Animated Constellation – 25 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Thorim (25)

The best option for the Pre-ToGC gearing phase is the Warhelm of the Champion. This is thanks to the very high baseline stats it offers, paired up with essential Hit Rating and Critical Strike Chance. While there are potential builds that can use the T8 set and have a solid damage output, the most optimum build will not employ any T8 pieces.

Boundless Gaze is the closest item in terms of pure DPS output, granting you the necessary Hit Rating and Critical Strike Chance. While one of its baseline stats is Intellect, the only difference in DPS compared to the Warhelm of the Champion is 25-30 DPS. Keep in mind that this only applies if you already have the rest of the BiS items.

Iron Riveted War Helm is a viable alternative, especially since it grants a solid amount of Hit Rating. However, you will want to attempt to swap this item as fast as possible since the Haste Rating won’t be completely optimal in the long run. Mimiron’s Flight Goggles are very similar in terms of pure DPS output, however, you will reduce your overall Hit Rating below 8% by using them. This is one of the cases where you will have to adjust your gems and enchantments to reach the Soft Hit Cap.

Lastly, Conqueror’s Aegis Helm offers a good choice of stats on its own, but it becomes a lot better if you manage to pair it up with another T8 item, to activate the 2-item set bonus.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Crusade Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (10)
Onyxia’s Lair – Onyxia (25)
Ulduar – Thorim (25) HM
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25) HM
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (25)

The best option in Phase 3 is Turalyon’s Helm of Triumph. This is because of the access to the T9 4-item set bonus but also thanks to its very high overall stats with a focus on Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating. Ideally, you will want to dedicate this slot to the T9 items, however, there are some viable alternatives that you can use. Those alternatives are viable if you choose to gain the T9 4-item set bonus from your other gear slots or if you simply can’t afford the T9 items yet.

The Faceplate of the Silver Champion and the Judgement Hood are prime examples of such alternatives! They both have a focus on Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating along with some very decent baseline stats. Their overall stats perform better than the individual 232 Ilvl T9 Helm, however, you will want to change them for it in case you have the chance to activate the T9 4-item set bonus.

The BiS from the previous phase, Warhelm of the Champion, along with its alternatives remains a valid option if your build severely lacks enough Hit Rating. You should only use those items until you manage to acquire stronger ToC/ToGC Hit Rating items, as any of the previously mentioned items from Phase 3 are considerably stronger.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – Eadric the Pure (Heroic)
Heroic+ Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

The best option as a Fresh 80 depends entirely on which slots you dedicate to increase your Hit Rating. You have multiple options that focus on increasing your Hit Rating, while you also have the option of focusing on items that grant the ideal Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating combination.

Strength of the Heavens is the best option if you prefer other slots for increasing your overall Hit Rating, followed up by the Choker of the Abyss, the Ancient Pendant of Arathor, and the Gem of Imprisoned Vassals. The damage output of the last two options is very similar, so it doesn’t matter which one of them you pick.

If you choose to increase your Hit Rating from this slot, the best option is the Seed of Budding Carnage, followed by the Pendant of a Thousand Maws and the Might of the Leviathan. The Pendant of a Thousand Maws provides a better damage output than the Might of the Leviathan since Critical Strike Chance scales better for us.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – General Vezax (25) HM
Ulduar – Hodir (25) HM
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)

The best option for Pre-ToGC is the Pendulum of Infinity. This is thanks to the combination of secondary stats (Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating) and the overall high stats that it grants you.

Your next-best alternative will highly depend on whether or not you have enough Hit Rating. If you do not have enough Hit Rating, the Frigid Strength of Hodir will be the best choice, as it grants you quite a decent amount of it. However, if you find yourself having the 8% Soft Cap, you will most likely want to use Strength of the Heavens instead, especially since it grants similar stats to the Pendulum of Infinity.

As a last alternative, you can use the Seed of Budding Carnage if you find yourself in a position where the Frigid Strength of Hodir is highly contested. It offers almost the same types of stats, with the difference being that it grants you Agility and Attack Power instead of Strength.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Fjolla Lightbane (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (25) Heroic
Ulduar – General Vezax (25) HM
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (10) Heroic
Ulduar – Hodir (25) HM
Trial of the Crusader – Fjolla Lightbane (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (25)

The best option depends entirely on the rest of your Hit Rating. If you choose The Executioner’s Malice as your BiS, you will find yourself slightly over the 8% Soft Cap, nearing 9%. If you choose the Charge of the Demon Lord, you will be under the 8% Soft Cap, roughly around 7.38%. Both items generate a similar damage output, with only a slight damage difference. This means that it is completely up to you which option you choose and whether or not you are willing to play under the 8% Soft Cap,

Pendulum of Infinity remains a great option if you can’t acquire any of the first two options, outperforming the large majority of ToGCs necklaces. Collar of Ceaseless Torment comes close to it in terms of damage output, even if it brings Armor Penetration. Its damage output is even better than the 245 Ilvl version of Charge of the Demon Lord because of the available gem socket.

Frigid Strength of Hodir and The Executioner’s Malice are the next-best alternatives if you need more Hit Rating and you can’t find the latter’s 258 Ilvl version.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Trial of the Champion – Eadric the Pure (Heroic)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – Argent Confessor Palatress (Heroic)
Heroic+ Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic+ Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

The best option as a Fresh 80 character is the Valorous Aegis Shoulderplates. This is because of the access to the T8 item-set bonuses but also thanks to its great stat spread and focus on Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating. The only item that comes close in terms of damage output is the Shoulderplates of the Celestial Watch, however, it is severely weaker if you don’t have the T8 4-item set bonus active from your other gear slots. If you can’t gain access yet to any of those two items, the Majestic Silversmith Shoulderplates serve a similar purpose.

The rest of the presented items have a focus on Hit Rating and should only be used as temporary additions until you manage to optimize your build! Ideally, you will want to gain Hit Rating from your other gear slots when you start acquiring items. This will be the case until you transition into Hit Rating items from Ulduar 25.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25) HM
Ulduar – Auriaya (25)
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25)

The best choice is the Shoulderpads of the Intruder since we will ignore the tier-set bonuses. While the majority of our other items will have secondary stats such as Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating, this item will grant us a very high amount of Expertise Rating and Hit Rating. Besides the high baseline stats that it grants, this will help us reach our Hit & Expertise Soft Caps.

The Shoulderplates of the Eternal are the next-best alternative, even if they don’t grant any Expertise Rating. They will grant a considerable amount of Critical Strike Chance instead.

If you optimize your build with different items or gems to reach your soft caps, the Shoulderplates of the Celestial Watch will be a perfect alternative, especially since they can cover up for any missed Critical Strike Chance or Strength lost by changing your gems.

Lastly, if you choose to pursue the T8 set bonuses, the Conqueror’s Aegis Shoulderplates are a great choice. This is thanks to their Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating secondary stats combination. Of course, this only applies if you have your Soft Hit Cap.

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
Ulduar – Auriaya (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (10)

Turalyon’s Shoulderplates of Triumph is the BiS option because of its very high overall stats and stat spread, paired up with access to the T9 item-set bonuses. Generally speaking, all the T9 Shoulders are better than any other available item, however, there are some exceptions to this rule.

The Shoulderpads of the Intruder is a great alternative if you lack Expertise Rating from your other gear slots or if you tweaked the rest of your build to specifically reserve this slot for Expertise Rating. You will generally want this item if you opt for the Expertise Rating Weapon or if you simply can’t gain access to the 245 or 258 Ilvl T9 Shoulders.

The Spaulders of the Snow Bandit are another exception to the T9 rule that can only apply if you already have all the other T9 items and the 8% Soft Hit Cap. However, this item should be considered a temporary solution until you manage to optimize the rest of your gear.

Lastly, the Shoulderplates of the Eternal is a great initial choice for increasing your Hit Rating until you manage to acquire enough Emblems of Triumph to buy Turalyon’s Shoulderplates of Conquest.

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 Ulduar 10)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – The Black Knight
Heroic+ Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

The best option for this slot as a Fresh 80 is the Drape of the Faceless General. This is because of the very high overall stats it grants, even if one of its secondary stats is Armor Penetration. While we might not get the best stat value by using Armor Penetration, it will still empower our Physical Damage!

Either of the Drape of Fuming Anger, the Stylish Power Cape, or the Winter’s Frigid Embrace are viable options that can be used as valid next-best alternatives to the Drape of the Faceless General., even if they all grant a different set of stats. Their specific stat combinations result in very similar damage outputs, with all the items displaying a maximum difference of only 2-5 DPS output.

If your build still lacks Hit Rating, you may use the Shawl of the Shattered Giant as a viable alternative instead of any of the previously mentioned items.

Lastly, Drape of the Undefeated and Cloak of Mastery are both great starting items that you may use until you get the chance to gain a potent item. You can consider them both filler items, meaning that it does not matter which one you pick.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – General Vezax (10) HM
Ulduar – Hodir (25) HM
Ulduar – Heroic: All Is Well That Ends Well

The best option is the Drape of the Faceless General if your build has the 8% Soft Hit Cap. This is mainly due to the gem sockets it offers, combined with the Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration secondary stats combination. Even though it does not have the highest baseline stats, the additional gem socket will make up for it.

Both the Drape of Icy Intent and the Drape of the Skyborn can be used as valid alternatives since they both grant you very similar DPS output. The main difference between the items is that you will want to prioritize either one of those if your build lacks Hit Rating.

There are other possible alternatives, however, they do not fit the true role of a “BiS” alternative. They can be considered lesser versions of the presented items.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Tribute Chest (10) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (25) Heroic
Ulduar – Hodir (25) HM
Ulduar – Heroic: All Is Well That Ends Well
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (25)

The best option is Varian’s Furor thanks to both its very high overall baseline stats and its high amount of Hit Rating. Since we want to gain Hit Rating from this slot, we will prioritize items with Hit Rating/Critical Strike Chance. However, if you manage to gain Hit Rating from your other gear slots, Vereesa’s Dexterity is also a huge contender for the BiS spot.

Both Cloak of the Victorious Combatant and Strength of the Nerub are very similar in terms of damage output, meaning that you can use either one of them as a viable next-best alternative for Hit Rating.

Lastly, Ulduar items such as the Drape of Icy Intent and the Drape of the Skyborn outperform any 245 Ilvl ToC/ToGC items. This is strictly due to their overall high stats and their available gem sockets.

Fresh 80

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

As a Fresh 80, the best option is the Valorous Aegis Battleplate since we want to activate the T8 4-item set bonus! The item also provides a large amount of Hit Rating that will aid us in reaching our Soft Cap. Ideally, we will want to use this slot to increase our Hit Rating before we acquire any major Ulduar upgrades. However, you may also choose to use items that have Haste Rating/Critical Strike Chance or Haste Rating/Armor Penetration as viable alternatives until you can reach the most optimum setup.

It doesn’t matter which item you choose to use until you gain the T8 Chest, however, items such as the Chestplate of Titanic Fury and the Tunic of the Limber Stalker can be considered the next-best alternatives. They grant a decently high amount of Hit Rating which is paired up with high overall stats.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Thorim (25) HM
Ulduar – Hodir (25)
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25)

The best option is the Embrace of the Gladiator. This is mainly due to two things: First of all, we want to ignore the tier set bonus, since the most optimal results are gained from off-set pieces. Secondly, this item has very high baseline stats, 3 gem sockets, and high secondary stats.

As a valid alternative, we can use the T8 Conqueror’s Aegis Battleplate, however, it will be considerably weaker on its own without other T8 set pieces. You should keep this in mind!

Lastly, you can use the Steelbreaker’s Embrace as a solid alternative, especially if you lack Expertise Rating. However, it will result in a massive DPS loss compared to the Embrace of the Gladiator.

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

The best option in Phase 3 is Turalyon’s Battleplate of Triumph. This is because of its amazing stat spread, even if it grants Armor Penetration, along with access to the T9 item-set bonuses. The Cuirass of Calamitous Fate can be considered the next-best alternative if you don’t swap any other item from this current set. It performs better than even the 245 Ilvl version of the T9 Chest, keeping in mind that we compare them without having the 4-set item bonus active.

Embrace of the Gladiator is another great example of an alternative that has a better overall stat spread than the 232 Ilvl version T9 Chest, however, unlike the Cuirass of Calamitous Fate, it will perform worse than it if you manage to activate the 4-item set bonus. You may confidently use it as an alternative until you gain access to 4 T9 items!

Lastly, the Chestplate of the Frostborn Hero is a great alternative for builds that severely lack Hit Rating and opt for offense-oriented items instead of Hit Rating items. This item is useful if you tweak a large number of your gear slots, as its secondary stats are quite weak in comparison to the rest of the items. Its main strong point is its baseline stats. The same can be said about its 245 Ilvl version, which should only be used as a temporary item until you can adjust your build.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Trial of the Champion – The Black Knight (Heroic)
Trial of the Champion – Eadric the Pure (Heroic)
60 Emblem of Valor (BoE)
60 Emblem of Valor (BoE)

The best option as a Fresh 80 is the Bitter Cold Armguards. This is thanks to the overall high stats, even if it has Armor Penetration. You will want to use this slot for offense-oriented stats, however, you can also choose to use it to supplement your Hit Rating or Expertise Rating depending on the rest of your items.

The Fluxing Energy Coils is the only viable Hit Rating alternative that is comparable in terms of overall performance. You may also find other viable 219 Ilvl items such as the Armbands of the Wary Lookout that can be a decent source of Hit Rating.

The rest of the items can be considered temporary and should only be used until you gather enough Sidereal Essence to buy either one of the main options. You may also use items such as the Wristbands of the Sentinel Huntress may be used as a viable Expertise Rating source, however, you should utilize the Glyph of Seal of Vengeance if you lack a large amount of Expertise Rating.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Mimiron (25) HM
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25)

The best option is the Armbands of Bedlam. This is due to the Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating secondary stat combo and the high baseline stats. As far as I can tell you, the best combination of stats that you can gain before entering ToGC will be Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating on the majority of your items.

The Bitter Cold Armguards are a valid alternative as they grant similar types of stats, with the exception being Armor Penetration instead of Haste Rating.

Lastly, you can use the Solar Bindings, especially if you lack Expertise Rating. However, in our current build, this item will grant the lowest DPS out of the 3 choices.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (25) Heroic
Ulduar – Mimiron (25) HM
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (10) Heroic
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25)

The best option in Phase 3 is the Bracers of Dark Determination. This is because of the great stat spread that it offers along with its focus on Hit Rating and Critical Strike Chance. We want to gain Hit Rating from our Bracers Slot, however, there are other viable alternatives that can be used in case you replace any other of your items for more Hit Rating.

The Boneshatter Armplates are the next-best alternative in case you swapped either one of your Waist Slot or Boots Slot in favor of a Hit Rating item. We mainly want to keep those slots for Expertise Rating as they grant the best stat values, but we can also use this slot to increase Expertise Rating if we acquire the Boneshatter Armplates.

The rest of the options are either direct downgrades of the items we presented or simply fall under the offense-oriented items category. Those items are viable if you already have plenty of Hit Rating and Expertise Rating, but they don’t grant the best possible damage output. The Armguards of the Nether Lord and the Titanium Spikeguards are perfect examples of this case, with the latter option being more accessible since it can be directly bought from the Auction House or a Blacksmith.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Naxxramas – Four Horsemen (25) (BoE)
Naxxramas – Sapphiron (25) (BoE)
Trial of the Champion – Eadric the Pure

As a Fresh 80, the best option is the Valorous Aegis Gauntlets. This is because of the great amount of Expertise Rating that it offers but mainly due to the access to T8 item-set bonuses. The Gloves of the Endless Dark are the next-best alternative if you choose to use the T8 Legs instead of the Fused Alloy Legplates. You can think of those two items as your main sources of Hit Rating, but you should prioritize the Fused Alloy Legplates over the Gloves of the Endless Dark since they grant a better Hit Rating and a substantial amount of Critical Strike Chance.

The Gauntlets of the Wretched are the only other viable Hit Rating alternative if you choose to use the T8 Legs! The rest of the items grant either a combination of Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating or Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration. It doesn’t matter which one you pick as they are all only gonna serve as temporary upgrades.

Zeliek’s Gauntlets are a noteworthy mention for increasing your overall Expertise Rating if you can’t acquire enough from your other gear slots to reach the Soft Cap. However, just like with any other alternative, your damage output will suffer considerably if you don’t have the T8 4-item set bonus active.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – XT-002 Deconstructor (25) HM
Ulduar – Mimiron (25)
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – Auriaya (25)

The best option is the Gloves of the Steady Hand. This is thanks to its high baseline stats alongside its gem sockets and Hit Rating/Critical Strike Chance. You should keep in mind that even if you don’t want to stack Intellect in any shape or form, Retribution Paladins can have mana issues if they consistently spam their abilities. This means that Intellect will not hurt your overall build and performance.

The Conqueror’s Aegis Gauntlets are the next-best alternative, but only if you manage to trigger the 2-item set bonus! On its own, this item is quite underperforming. A far better choice without using another T8 set piece will be the Gloves of the Endless Dark as it grants you very high baseline stats, gem sockets, and much-needed Hit Rating combined with Haste Rating.

Lastly, you can use the Gloves of the Stonereaper, however, it will grant you lower overall stats which results in lower DPS output. The difference is not that high, resulting only in a 50-60 DPS loss. So if you are not trying to completely min-max your gear, the item is a perfect alternative.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Crusade Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Ulduar – XT-002 Deconstructor (25) HM
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (10) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (10) Heroic

The best option is Turalyon’s Gauntlets of Triumph. This is not only thanks to its massive stats but also due to the fact that we want to activate the T9 4-item set bonus at all costs. We will mostly want to prioritize items with Hit Rating for our Gloves Slot, although there are several items with Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating or Critical Strike Chance/Armor Penetration that can be used as viable alternatives if we activate our T9 4-item set bonus from our other slots.

The Gloves of the Steady Hand along with the Gauntlets of Rising Anger are better options than Turalyon’s Gauntlets of Conquest. Even if you can activate the 4-item set bonus by using the 232 Ilvl version of the item, the raw stats themselves granted by those two items result in a higher damage output. Although the damage itself is not considerably higher, meaning that it is up to you which item you choose.

The Gloves of Bitter Reprisal and the Gloves of the Silver Assassin are another set of great alternatives that you can use which fit the pattern we talked about earlier. Their damage output drops considerably without having the T9 4-item set bonus active.

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)
Naxxramas – Maexxna (25) BoE
Trial of the Champion – The Black Knight
Trial of the Champion – Grand Champions
Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer (Heroic)

The best options as a Fresh 80 are either one of the Soul-Devouring Cinch or the Starfall Girdle thanks to their very high Expertise Rating. The former option has an overall better damage output than the latter while also being available for a lower cost. However, their damage output is very similar, with only a 15-20 DPS difference. The only other viable source of Expertise Rating is the Sharp-Barbed Leather Belt, although, its baseline stats are extremely low which results in a very low damage output.

if you manage to gain Expertise Rating from your other gear slots but you lack Hit Rating, the Nimble Climber’s Belt is the best possible alternative, followed up by the Torn Web Wrapping. Ideally, you will want to gain Hit Rating from your other gear slots!

You may also find other alternatives such as the Girdle of Arrogant Downfall or the Belt of Fierce Competition that are focused on offense-oriented stats. You may be able to use such items optimally if you tweak the rest of your build, however, you will want to prioritize Expertise Rating for this slot above any other stat!

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25) HM

The best option for the Pre-ToGC gearing process is the Soul-Devouring Cinch. This is thanks to the very high baseline stats it offers paired up with a high Expertise Rating and a high Critical Strike Chance.

As the next-best alternative to that item, you will want to use the Starfall Girdle as it grants similar types of stats. The only difference is that the first item grants you Agility as a baseline stat while Starfall Girdle grants you Strength.

If you severely lack Hit Rating, your best bet will be the Belt of Colossal Rage, as it grants you a good amount of Hit Rating paired up with a high Critical Strike Chance and high baseline stats.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (25) Heroic
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Trial of the Crusader – Lord Jaraxxus (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Fjola Lightbane (25)
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25) HM

The best option in Phase 3 is the Bloodbath Belt. This is mainly due to the large amount of Expertise Rating that we gain from this item. You will want to prioritize gaining Expertise Rating from this slot as much as possible in this current phase.

The next-best alternative is either one of the Soul-Devouring Cinch or the Starfall Girdle, as both items grant very similar stats that result in almost the same damage output. The former option is easier to acquire since it requires less Sidereal Essence. The 245 Ilvl version of the Bloodbath Belt is strictly worse due to its single gem socket.

If you manage to gain enough Expertise Rating from your other gear slots but you still lack Hit Rating, the best possible options will be the Belt of the Merciless Killer, followed up by the Belt of Colossal Rage. The former is strong enough to be used as a standalone option, ignoring most of the options mentioned above. However, you won’t desire to go above the 8% Hit Rating Soft Cap or play under the 26 Expertise Cap.

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 – Eadric the Pure (Heroic)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10)
Trial of the Champion – Eadric the Pure
Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer (Heroic)

The best option for a Fresh 80 is the Fused Alloy Legplates. This is thanks to the very high Hit Rating it grants along with great baseline stats. While we don’t want to prioritize this slot for Hit Rating, we will use Hit Rating until we can gain Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating items in our other gear slots. The Valorous Aegis Legplates are also a great option that provides the same type of stats, with the difference being the stat values themselves and the access to the T8 item-set bonuses. You will want to activate the T8 item-set bonuses as a Fresh 80, however, you will want to use an Off-Set Piece in this slot instead.

You also have multiple other lesser Hit Rating options such as the Belabored Legplates and the Leggings of Brazen Trespass which are quite strong, but there are a large variety of alternatives that you can use with a very similar stat spread.

If you already have Hit Rating from your other gear slots, you may use items such as Leggings of Swift Reflexes or the Legplates of Relentless Onslaught which grant a great damage output because of their Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating secondary stats.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (25)
Ulduar – Yogg – Saron (25) HM
Ulduar – Mimiron (10) HM
Ulduar – Freya (25)

The best option is the Plated Leggings of Ruination since we want to use an Off-Set item in this slot. Besides its very high stats and 3 gem sockets, this item will grant you a very high amount of Critical Strike Chance and Haste Rating, making it a highly sought-after item.

As a valid alternative that comes close in terms of pure raw DPS, you may use the Legguards of Cunning Deception. Keep in mind that this item will be contested as well, so it may take a while before you can acquire it.

If you are completely unlucky with rolls or item drops, you may want to buy the Legplates of the Violet Champion as they grant similar types of stats to our BiS. The main difference is that the stat values themselves are considerably lower.

The Fused Alloy Legplates are a great choice if you lack enough Hit Rating. If you manage to get another T8 item, you will want to use the Conqueror’s Aegis Legplates instead. Keep in mind that all the T8 items are weak if used alone, you must always aim to at least proc the 2-item set bonus!

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Fjola Lightbane (25) Heroic
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (25)
Ulduar – Yogg – Saron (25) HM
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Fjola Lightbane (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Argent Crusade Tribute Chest (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (25)
Ulduar – Mimiron (10) HM

You will want to reserve this slot specifically for your Off-Set Piece! There are multiple options that you can use but you may still use the T9 Legs in case you can’t find any of the presented items. The best option for Phase 3 is the Legguards of Ascension thanks to their amazing overall stats and emphasis on Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating.

Unexpectedly, the Plated Leggings of Ruination outperform many of the ToGC options, with its very high baseline stats and secondary stats producing a very similar damage output to the Legguards of Cunning Deception. Both items prove themselves to be a lot better than the majority of ToGC items, even if they are from Ulduar.

The Leggings of the Broken Beast are another viable alternative, being slightly better than the 245 Ilvl version of the Legguards of Ascension. This item also performs better in builds that are under the 8% Soft Hit Cap, as it grants quite a considerable amount of Hit Rating. You may also use the Fused Alloy Legplates if you can’t find any version of the Leggings of the Broken Beast.

The T9 leggings are a good choice over any other alternatives only from two specific points of view. They are good due to their massive stats, but more importantly, they perform well in builds that didn’t manage to acquire the Expertise Rating Belt or Expertise Rating Boots.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – Argent Confessor Palatress (Heroic)
Trial of the Champion – Grand Champions (Heroic)
Trial of the Champion – Grand Champions

As a Fresh 80, there are two choices you can opt for that depend on your current Hit Rating. The Tempered Mercury Greaves is the best option if your build is not close the the 8% Soft Hit Cap while the Battlelord’s Plate Boots are an amazing option if you already have enough Hit Rating.

Tne Greaves of Iron Intensity is a great alternative to the Tempered Mercury Greaves in case you don’t have enough Sidereal Essence to acquire it yet! Apart from those specific options, the rest of the available items can be considered temporary, meaning that it doesn’t matter which one you pick. Their damage output is based entirely on their stat spread, with 225 Ilvl items performing better than the rest.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25)
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25) HM
Ulduar – General Vezax (25)

The best option is the Sabatons of Lifeless Night. This is because of the combination of Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating paired up with high baseline stats and plenty of gem sockets. While this item may be hard to acquire since it drops from Algalon, you may want to use the Tempered Mercury Greaves or the Battlelord’s Plate Boots as potent alternatives until you gain it.

Tempered Mercury Greaves is a perfectly valid alternative, however, it is quite rare on a Retribution Paladin, being an item much more suited for other classes. Keep in mind that it will still be very useful!

Battlelord’s Plate Boots is what you should aim for as fast as possible, especially since it is a crafted item. Its stats are similar to our BiS, offering us a great mix of baseline stats and Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating as secondary stats.

Lastly, the Boots of the Underdweller will be a great alternative, especially if you struggle with Hit Rating.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (25) Heroic
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (25) Heroic
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25) HM
Trial of the Crusader – Anub’arak (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (10) Heroic

The best option in Phase 3 is the Greaves of the 7th Legion. This is because of the large amount of Expertise Rating that we gain from this item. If you plan on using Catastrophe or Glyph of Seal of Vengeance, the BiS option becomes the Sabatons of Lifeless Night thanks to its very high Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating secondary stats.

If your build lacks Hit Rating due to some tweaks you made to the other gear slots, either one of the Treads of the Icewalker, the Tempered Mercury Greaves, or the Greaves of Swift Vengeance are perfect alternatives. Their damage output difference is quite minimal, meaning that you will want to use whichever option you find more accessible.

The Battlelord’s Plate Boots remain a great choice if you have plenty of Hit Rating/Expertise Rating, although their damage output is considerably lower when compared to the Sabatons of Lifeless Night.

Lastly, Acidmaw Boots are a great option if you lack both Expertise Rating and Hit Rating while the Greaves of the 7th Legion are great if you follow the initial build until you can acquire their upgraded version.

Fresh 80

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

The best possible ring combination that you can use is Loop of the Agile & Band of Lights. This is due to the massive stat spread offered by the items, with Band of Lights providing a great damage output even if it grants Hit Rating/Armor Penetration.

If you simply wish to skip those rings in favor of other items that can be acquired with Sidereal Essence, the Kirin Tor rings are the next-best alternative. The best part about the Etched Ring of the Kirin Tor & Etched Band of the Kirin Tor is that they can be wielded at the same time, meaning that you can gain two valuable items for a very decent price!

The other rings are quite decent, however, they pale in comparison to the first 4 rings. You may use Darkstone Ring as a makeshift source of Hit Rating until you can acquire better items while Uruka’s Band of Zeal may serve as a decent initial option for Expertise Rating.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – All Is Well That Ends Well (Heroic)
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25) HM
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Ulduar – All Is Well That Ends Well
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Dalaran – Harold Winston
Dalaran – Harold Winston

Regarding our rings, the best combination is the Seal of the Betrayed King & Brann’s Signet Ring. This is because of the overall high baseline stats that they offer, combined with secondary stats such as Critical Strike Chance, Armor Penetration, and Hit Rating. While those stats may be encountered on other rings, those two rings will grant you the most optimal stat setup.

Loop of the Agile is a great alternative to Brann’s Signet Ring, granting you Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating as secondary stats. Both rings come very close in DPS output, being only a 20-30 DPS difference between the two.

Brann’s Sealing Ring is another great alternative if you can not manage to gain either the Loop of the Agile or Brann’s Signet Ring, granting you a very similar DPS output to the Loop of the Agile.

Lastly, you can use the Band of Lights in conjunction with any of the other rings, however, it is best to use it instead of the Seal of the Betrayed King until you can acquire it as it will grant you a much-needed Hit Rating.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (25) Heroic
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (25) Heroic
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25) HM
Ulduar – All Is Well That Ends Well (Heroic)
Trial of the Crusader – Faction Champions (25)
Trial of the Crusader – Icehowl (25)
Animated Constellation – 15 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
All is Well That Ends Well
Dalaran – Harold Winston
Dalaran – Harold Winston

There are multiple viable rings in Phase 3, however, the majority of them come from Ulduar instead of ToC/ToGc. The best ring combination is the Band of the Violent Temperament & Ring of Callous Aggression. This is because of the Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating secondary stats paired up with the overall very high baseline stats & stat spread. Ideally, we will use those rings if both our Hit Rating and Expertise Rating reach the Soft Cap.

Both Brann’s Signet Ring and the Seal of the Betrayed King retain their spots as two of the most powerful rings that you can acquire, with the latter being useful only if you tweak the rest of your build due to its Hit Rating.

Apart from the 245 Ilvl versions of Ring of Callous Aggression & Band of the Violent Temperament which have a better damage output than the previously available Ulduar items, none of the other available ToC/ToGC rings are viable for us. You will want to use either the Loop of the Agile, Band of Lights, or Brann’s Sealing Ring as viable options if you can’t gain access to the previously mentioned items until you can acquire any of them.

As special mentions, both the Etched Ring of the Kirin Tor and the Etched Band of the Kirin Tor are amazing initial options if you can’t gain access to Ulduar easily or if you don’t have enough Sidereal Essence. The best part of the Kirin Tor rings is that you can equip both variants at the same time!

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Darkmoon Faire – Darkmoon Nobles Deck
Animated Constellation – 24 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 19 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)

The best trinket you can gain very early on is the Darkmoon Card: Greatness. This is due to the large amount of Strength that it grants, paired up with its consistent proc chance. Thanks to the new sidereal essence vendor, we can now pair it up quickly with Dark Matter.

Mjolnir Runestone is a solid alternative in case you can’t find Darkmoon Card: Greatness, even if Armor Penetration is not the greatest stat for us in this phase of the expansion.

If you have major issues with your Hit Rating, Pyrite Infuser is a valid alternative that has a decent damage output. It is clearly weaker than the previous options, but it makes up for it with any offense-oriented stats granted by the slots that should have granted Hit Rating.

Mirror of Truth is a solid initial choice if you can’t gain any of the first options, although its high price can make it an annoyance to acquire.

Pre-ToGC/Onyxia’s Lair

Item
Source
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25)
Darkmoon Faire – Darkmoon Nobles Deck
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (10)
Ulduar – Kologarn (25)
Ulduar – Thorim (10)

The strongest pair of trinkets before ToGC are Darkmoon Card: Greatness & Comet’s Trail. The Darkmoon Card: Greatness manages to maintain its overpowered status, granting you extreme amounts of Strength. However, the second trinket can be a variation between Comet’s Trail and Dark Matter.

Comet’s Trail grants a better DPS output when compared to Dark Matter, offering you a mini “Heroism/Bloodlust” effect on its proc. Since it can stack with other Haste effects, this can be quite powerful. However, when compared, the difference between the two trinkets is quite small, being around 50-80 DPS in multiple simulations.

In an interesting manner, you can use the Wrathstone as a valid alternative to Dark Matter, especially since it has an “On-Use” effect, granting you the ability to time your burst. Their DPS output is almost identical, with a small 5-10 DPS difference between the two items when paired with the Darkmoon Card: Greatness.

Lastly, you can use Mjolnir Runestone, although, since most of our items lack any form of Armor Penetration and our damage is hybrid, this item will grant a lesser DPS output. Its damage output is around 140-150 DPS lower than all the other options when paired with Darkmoon Card: Greatness . Nonetheless, it is a great choice in case any of the other items are not available.

Best-in-Slot

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

The best trinket combination for Phase 3 is Death’s Verdict & Darkmoon Card: Greatness. Death’s Verdict is the best possible trinket you can acquire, whether we talk about its 258 Ilvl version or the 245 Ilvl version. This is mainly due to the massive Strength bonus that it grants which grants a better overall performance than the majority of available trinkets.

Darkmoon Card: Greatness and Comet’s Trail are very similar in terms of damage output, with proc chance being the main difference between the two. Due to Darkmoon Card: Greatness‘ higher proc chance, it tends to perform better, although, you will find several situations where Comet’s Trail outperforms it by a tiny amount. A similar occurrence happens with Dark Matter, which tends to grant a very similar damage output when compared to both trinkets.

The stats granted by the items lose importance in the case of those 3 trinkets since they are granted in such large amounts. With Strength, Haste, and Critical Strike Chance all being beneficial for your overall damage output, the sheer abundance of stats allows u to use either one of them as a viable second choice. Ideally, Strength is the stat that improves our overall damage the most, followed by Critical Strike Chance, and Haste Rating.

Even though Retribution Paladin doesn’t benefit as much from Armor Penetration in this phase, Mjolnir Runestone still grants a decently high damage output when compared to the rest.

If your build still lacks Hit Rating, either Blood of the Old God or the Pyrite Infuser are great alternatives. However, their damage output is considerably lower when compared to any of the previous items.

Lastly, Victor’s Call is a viable alternative if you severely lack Expertise Rating, although its damage output is horrendous when compared to the rest of the trinkets. This is because of its ramping Attack Power effect which takes too long to stack properly.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Animated Constellation – 38 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Animated Constellation – 38 Sidereal Essence ( Sidereal Essence Vendor)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Heroic++ Dungeons (Former Ulduar 10)
Trial of the Champion – Grand Champions (Heroic)
Trial of the Champion – Argent Confessor Palatress
Heroic+ Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)