Thursday, August 13, 2009

Solo Blood Death Knight Gear

See also:
Solo Blood Death Knight Spec
Solo Blood Death Knight Rotation
Solo Blood Death Knight Glyphs

For my final article relating to Blood Death Knights I will present the gear that I am currently wearing at level 80, along with enchants, gems and recommendations for alternative gear. Bear in mind that this is suggested gear for the solo player who doesn't have access to PvP, raids or even regular instances. Hence, your sources for gear are from the following: crafted, vendor bought (reputation or otherwise), BOE drops from instances/mobs and quest rewards. Also, I'm sure I will miss some good pieces for my recommendations as it happened in the past but people have corrected me in the comments section and I thank them for that.

Remember, this is generally level 80 gear, meaning that you should actively start gearing up only once you get very close max level. While leveling it's pointless to do so because quest rewards give you everything you need, and in some cases you will be using some of these items even at max level.

As a solo player, at level 80 I will typically try to fill all my slots with at least blue quality gear of at least level 78. Why 78? Because there are plenty good crafted pieces that can be equipped at 78. In effect this will allow you to equip some very decent stuff earlier than 80 and you can even go ahead and enchant it then and there.

2H Weapon - Titansteel Destroyer. This is the only one you need. Hits like a ton of bricks. It's not too expensive to craft, especially if you bring your own mats. This, in fact, is the starter weapon for many beginner raiders.
Weapon Enchant - Luckily, as a Death Knight we have access to our own awesome and free enchants. The obvious choice here is Rune of the Fallen Crusader.

Sigil - Sigil of the Dark Rider. That's what I'm wearing ATM and you will recognize it as the same Sigil I started with. Unfortunately as a solo player there's no way to get your hands on better Sigils. There is an alternative though: Sigil of the Wild Buck. Though I haven't got this one yet, I think I will because you might remember that I favor a build with heavy Death Coil damage (You might recall I've chosen to talent and glyph my Death Coil). On the other hand, I'm still on the fence regarding this. Will the end result be a drop in DPS compared to my current Sigil? I will have to test this.
The Sigil of the Wild Buck can be obtained easily from Grizzly Hills by doing a few easy dailies at the Venture Logging Co. grounds.

Head - Spiked Titansteel Helm. This is your one and only choice and it's a fine one at that. It is crafted for peanuts compared to the stats it offers.
Head Enchant - Another easy choice. Arcanum of Torment can be obtained from the Knights of the Ebon Blade in Icecrown at Revered. It's fairly easy to get to Revered, especially as a Death Knight. Just complete all their quests and you should be there. Besides, as a DK you should make it a point of honor to be Exalted. These guys are your brothers after all.
Gems - This helm can take a Meta and a Blue gem. My choices are:
Chaotic Skyflare Diamond for the Meta. This is really the only one you should consider. I would suggest you provide the uncut gem + a tip to a Jewelcrafter. To activate this Meta you will need 2 more Blue gems on your gear. The requirements are very lenient.
Sovereign Twilight Opal is what I would go for in the Blue socket. I don't really see better options.

Neck - The Severed Noose of Westwind. This is the neck piece that I am currently wearing. It is a reward from a quest chain in Icecrown and unfortunately you will need a group for this but this reward is pretty good for minimal effort. Some good alternatives to this amulet are:
The Executioner's Malice looks to be a very powerful amulet barely introduced in patch 3.2. It is listed as BoE but I'm sure it will cost a pretty penny on the AH if it is indeed BoE.
Titanium Impact Choker is a much cheaper option for DPS but doesn't have any Str on it. It will give you plenty of AP though, a bit of crit and even some Armor Penetration. You can choose to gem it with a Bold Scarlet Ruby in the Red socket for some Str. You should supply a Jewelcrafter your own mats for this.
Pendant of Azure Dreams (Alliance) or Razor's Edge Pendant (Horde) is a very cheap amulet that can be obtained quickly from the Argent Tournament vendors for a measly 10 Champion's Seals.
Forgotten Necklace of the Bandit drops from a certain lockbox and offers a decent amount of AP but it doesn't have any sockets.
Choker of the Betrayer is a decent intermediary piece that is a quest reward from the long Drakuru chain in Zul'Drak.
Gem - There are many choices here. Some of them depend on whether you've already filled the requirements for the Meta gem elsewhere. In my case, I would use an Etched Monarch Topaz or Inscribed Monarch Topaz in the Yellow socket if I don't care about the Meta requirement or the Sovereign Twilight Opal again if I do.

Shoulders - Savage Saronite Pauldrons. Unfortunately this is the only option that I see here. This piece is in fact geared towards PvP but it has good stats for solo-ing too. It can be crafted by a Blacksmith very cheaply or even bought from the AH.
Shoulder Enchant - There are only 2 options here.
For Scribes: Master's Inscription of the Axe - adds 120 AP + 15 crit rating.
For Non-Scribes: Greater Inscription of the Axe - adds 40 AP + 15 crit rating, obtained from Sons of Hodir at Exalted. OR, Lesser Inscription of the Axe - adds 30 AP + 10 crit rating, obtained from the same guys at Honored.

Back - Cloak of Bloodied Waters. I picked this one up from the AH for cheap. I think it's the best balance between stats and price. You can also choose between:
Shawl of the Shattered Giant, which gives you better stats but you will have to pay a lot for it and it might not be worth it, especially as a solo player. If you have gold to spare, go for it!
Ice Striker's Cloak can be crafted but I will highly advise against it. My first choice is much better than this one. Heh, I shouldn't even list it here.
Back Enchant - Here are the options in decreasing order of effectiveness:
For Tailors: (though what Death Knight in their right mind picks Tailoring???) Swordguard Embroidery.
For Engineers: Flexweave Underlay. Very cheap enchant so definitely wear this one if you are an Engineer.
For neither of the above: Major Agility (the more expensive option) or Superior Agility (the lesser option). Here I would suggest you go with the more expensive enchant, especially if you've settled on a permanent cloak.

Chest - Whalebone Carapace. You can pick this up easily and cheaply from the Kalu'Ak at Honored and only level 76. Unfortunately, for a solo player this is about the only chest piece you can obtain easily but it's got very good stats. As an option at level 78 you can craft or buy the Savage Saronite Hauberk. I would stick with the first option.
Chest Enchant - Only 2 options here really. The very expensive one is Powerful Stats and the very affordable one is Super Stats. Go with the second option. Best bang for your buck.

Wrist - Vengeance Bindings. Very cheap, good stats and readily available at 78.
If you've got the dough and can find a Blacksmith to craft them, these Titanium Spikeguards were just introduced in patch 3.2. I wouldn't recommend them for now though. The mats will cost a few thousand gold easily. Other options for you are:
Wristbands of the Sentinel Huntress which can be occasionally found on the AH. I wouldn't pay more than 2000 gold for them though.
Cast Iron Shackles are a BoE drop and can be found rather cheaply in the AH.
Wrist Enchant
For Leatherworkers: Fur Lining - Attack Power gives a massive 130 AP.
For Non-Leatherworkers: Greater Assault - expensive but perhaps worth it if you've got a good pair of bracers to put it on. Striking - very affordable so you should get at least this one as soon as you can.
For Blacksmiths: Blacksmiths can apply a gem socket to a bracer, in addition to the regular enchant. Fit a gem according to the loose guidelines that I've given throughout this article.

Hand - Grips of Flawed Temper. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm still wearing the green gloves I got in a quest. Truth is, I haven't tried really hard to replace them once I hit 80. Frankly, the only gloves that I think are worth it (and I'm gonna grab them as soon as I get back in the game) are Savage Saronite Gauntlets which are crafted cheaply.
Hand Enchant
For Engineers: Hand-Mounted Pyro Rocket acts like an instant damage trinket on a very short cooldown.
For Non-Engineers: There are several options here, from most to least expensive. Different stats too, so pick those that you lack. For example, if you lack Hit, pick that one.
Greater Blasting for 16 crit rating.
Crusher for 44 AP.
Precision for 20 Hit.
Greater Assault for 35 AP.
Personally I would go for the last 2 which are the most cost-effective.
For Blacksmiths: Blacksmiths can apply a gem socket to gloves, in addition to the regular enchant. Fit a gem according to the loose guidelines that I've given throughout this article.

Waist - Savage Saronite Waistguard. Once again, another item from the Savage Saronite set. Other options:
Belt of the Titans is the one I'm drooling over. It's a crafted belt and the recipe drops in Ulduar. Mats are currently very expensive but if you can afford it, by all means go for it!
A better option than the belt I'm wearing currently is the Girdle of Valorous Defeat (Alliance) which can be also obtained from the Argent Tournament for only 10 Champion's Seals. The Horde version is called Clinch of Savage Fury.
Waist Enchant - No waist enchants per se but we can of course apply an Eternal Belt Buckle which will take any color gem. The gem is up to you but as long as you have filled the requirements for your helm Meta gem, you should fit something with Str such as Bold Scarlet Ruby. Str + Hit or Str + Expertise gems are also good. I wouldn't go overboard with Expertise though.

Legs - Wrynn's Legplates of Carnage. These pants are an excellent piece that are awarded after the epic Wrathgate quest chain in Dragonblight. If you haven't done this chain, shame on you! If you have, chances are that you won't need to replace these pants, they are that good.
Savage Saronite Legplates are another solid choice, cheaply crafted. If you already have the first option, my advice is to stick with it.
Leg Enchant
For Leatherworkers: Nerubian Leg Reinforcements adds 75 AP + 22 crit rating. The only advantage here is the cost, which is a lot cheaper than for non-leatherworkers.
For Non-Leatherworkers: More expensive version Icescale Leg Armor adds 75 AP + 22 crit rating. Less expensive version Nerubian Leg Armor adds 55 AP + 15 crit rating.

Feet - Death-Inured Sabatons. As a Death Knight, you should strive to reach Exalted with the Knights of the Ebon Blade. Then you will have access to these excellent boots. They also have 2 sockets, yay!
A better but much more expensive options are Battlelord's Plate Boots from an Ulduar Blacksmithing recipe.
Iron-Spring Jumpers is another excellent option that can be found for a reasonable price (around 1000 gold) on the AH.
Spiked Titansteel Treads are a decent crafted option but I would still go for the Ebon Blade boots.
Berserker's Sabatons good and cheap intermediary choice for level 78. BoE and found in the Auction House.
Savage Saronite Walkers crafted for cheap, another intermediary option good from level 78 but not as good as the previous boots.
Feet Enchant
For Engineers: Nitro Boosts is a very nice crit enchant that should take precedence over regular enchants if you are an Engineer.
For Non-Engineers: There are 3 options here really.
Greater Assault is the most expensive option and gives 32 AP.
Icewalker is a very interesting enchant and fairly cheap to boot. It gives 12 hit and crit rating so if you are lacking in those areas, get it.
Assault is the standard cheap enchant which gives 24 AP. Get it on intermediary boots or if you don't have a lot of cash.

Ring 1 - Mildly Tarnished Ring. Once again, I'm ashamed to admit that I'm still wearing a green ring obtained from a quest. Doncha worry cause it will soon be replaced with one of the following:
Surge Needle Ring is a very nice DPS BoE ring that can be found on the AH but it can be very expensive. Expect to pay upwards of 2000 gold for it, perhaps even 4000, although prices are constantly dropping.
Ring of Scarlet Shadows is my first choice for when I get back into the game. It's a cheap crafted ring with some nice stats and a socket.
Titanium Impact Band is another solid crafted choice but expensive. It can run you a few hundred gold easily.
Finally, Stained-Glass Shard Ring can be picked up cheaply in the AH and is a good replacement for any green ring you might have.
Now, if you've really got the dough and if your Death Knight is your main and if you love him to death, you might consider buying a Ring of the Kirin Tor which can be upgraded to an Inscribed Ring of the Kirin Tor which can be upgraded to an Etched Ring of the Kirin Tor.
Ring Enchant - You can only get a ring enchant if you are an Enchanter and the only option is Assault which gives a nice 40 AP.

Ring 2 - Signet of Bridenbrad. This is a "free" ring that you can obtain via a quest chain in Icecrown. Not too shabby but should be replaced with something better from the suggestions given above.
Ring Enchant - See above.

Trinket 1 - Automated Weapon Coater. It's hard to get a good trinket if you don't raid but some decent ones drop in quests. This one gives me some good crit rating and increases AP when used. Not too bad. Other options are:
Oracle Talisman of Ablution gives very nice crit but unfortunately I'm too lazy to grind Exalted with the Oracles. On second thoughts, I just might.
Darkmoon Card: Death is a trinket that I'm shooting for on both my Death Knight and my Hunter. It costs a pretty penny but it's much better than what I have. Oodles of crit.
Darkmoon Card: Greatness is vewy vewy nice but also vewy vewy expensive so I'll pass on it but if you can afford it, get it by all means!
Crusader's Locket is obtained as a reward from a quest in Icecrown. Although green, it offers a sizeable amount of AP and if you don't have something better, you should definitely keep it in mind.

Trinket 2 - Medallion of Heroism. If you've completed The Battle for the Undercity chain then you have this trinket already. If you haven't, something must be wrong with you. The trinket itself has pretty low stats so it should be replaced with some of the above if you have the option. I like it for the extra heal that can come in handy occasionally.

So these are my gear choices and recommendations for better pieces, together with enchants and gems. Once again, please remember that these are some of the more affordable and easier to get items for a solo player who won't generally step inside raids or PvP. Although a lot of solo players like to engage in PvP and as a result have access to some nice gear that can be used successfully in PvE, I haven't listed those because I have zero experience with that sort of gear. If I have missed any interesting/cheap/easy to get item, please link it in the comments.

See also:
Solo Blood Death Knight Spec
Solo Blood Death Knight Rotation
Solo Blood Death Knight Glyphs


Celebrandil said...

I noticed you recommend the Darkmoon Card: Death for hunters. I'd definitely go with Darkmoon Card: Greatness (90 agility) instead! It's still best in slot (or at least it was until Trial of the Crusader, not sure if there's something better now) and it procs VERY often.
Furthermore, prices are dropping daily, I got mine for 4.2k gold and you can even save some money if you are patient and buy the cards separately. Darkmoon Card: Death is probably around 2k gold, but then again, it only takes you a few days to make at least 1k gold if you really go for it.

On the other hand, Darkmoon Card: Death is probably better for a solo player because you constantly have the increased crit rate, meaning higher burst damage. Darkmoon Card: Greatness increases your overall DPS but this is much more valuable in raids where fights are often longer than 5 minutes.

Darth Solo said...

Well, of course Greatness is better than Death but the price is also a lot more. What bugs me is that I made a lot of Nobles cards with my Scribe but I sold them individually. Maybe I should've kept them, although they sold for very nice amounts.

Shawn said...

Excellent advice on the gems and enchants, I'll be blowing some cash on those as soon as I get the chance.

Anonymous said...

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Trigger said...

I'm curious did you check out and check out the ranked items (after removing all the raiding/instances). Most of the items you mention are on the list (and some at the top) but it looks like you missed quite a few top items a player can get crafted/through rep.

Darth Solo said...

@Trigger I'm sure I missed a few. This list is based on my own preferences and it's not at all complete but merely a suggestion for gear in case you find yourself solo-ing with a Death Knight at 80. Since a solo player like me doesn't even step in a regular instance, I don't typically require the most uber gear in the game.

Having said all that, I just checked out MaxDPS and it looks awesome. I didn't know about it. Now I'm wondering why I didn't get the idea to make a site like that!