Battleground Gear in 3.3.3

I’ll be honest. Patch 3.3.3 is leaving me a little dizzy in the battlegrounds. The Battleground Finder is everything I hoped for and more. Getting rid of Marks of Honor has opened up the lower gear tiers to players of all levels without having to grind specific battlegrounds.

The biggest change is how much honor you get for PvP now. My GM put it really well: Honor is flowing like water in the battlegrounds. The honor boost to Honorable Kills has yielded a terrific boost to getting honor in every battleground. Blizzard stated that they wanted gearing up for PvP to be as easy as gearing up for PvE, and I think they’ve done that. You can outfit yourself in a full kit of T9 with a few days of random heroics, and now you can outfit yourself in a full kit of Furious Gladiator’s gear with a few days of random battlegrounds. This is a good thing.


I don’t see any new gear since 3.3.2; there’s no new Arena season with this patch, so Wrathful is still the top tier of gear. The vendors are different: Alliance is the badass-looking Knight-Lieutenant T’Maire Sydes, and I assume the Horde got a new vendor, too. But the gear is all the same.

The PvP gear levels at level 80, and how you purchase them, are:

  • Wrathful Gladiator (ilvl 264-270): Arena Points + Arena Ranking
  • Relentless Gladiator (ilvl 251): Arena Points + Honor Points
  • Furious Gladiator (ilvl 232): Honor Points
  • Titan-Forged (ilvl 200-251): Wintergrasp Marks
  • PvP Enchants: Stone Keeper’s Shards or Honor Points

Offset Gladiator pieces are purchasable at a currency level or two higher than listed. Given how much honor is flowing right now, it’s worth changing the format and talking about the best PvP pieces you can get in each slot with only honor or Wintergrasp Marks.

  • Head: Furious (ilvl 232) – 54500 honor
  • Neck: Wrathful (ilvl 264) – 52200 honor
  • Shoulder: Titan-Forged (ilvl 251) – 40 Wintergrasp Marks
  • Back: Wrathful (ilvl 264) – 52200 honor
  • Chest: Furious (ilvl 232) – 54500 honor
  • Wrist: Wrathful (ilvl 264) – 43400 honor
  • Hands: Furious (ilvl 232) – 43300 honor
  • Waist: Relentless (ilvl 245) – 34100 honor
  • Legs: Furious (ilvl 232) – 34700 honor
  • Feet: Relentless (ilvl 245) – 34100 honor
  • 1st Ring: Wrathful (ilvl 264) – 52200 honor
  • 2nd Ring: Relentless (ilvl 245) – 26100 honor
  • Trinket: Medallion of the Alliance/Horde (ilvl 264) – 68200 honor
  • Trinket: Battlemaster (ilvl 245) – 34100 honor
  • Main-hand: None
  • Off-hand: None
  • Ranged: None

This entire kit will cost 583,600 honor and 40 Wintergrasp Marks. You’ll have to bring your own weapons. It’s a pity I haven’t been keeping track of the prices from patch to patch, because I suspect that the addition of Wrathful gear to the honor pool has made this the most expensive battleground kit ever.

However, with the recent buff to the amount of honor you get, it might also be the easiest kit to complete. So take it for what it’s worth.


Mount collectors seem to be unanimously in favor of the change from Marks to honor for purchasing PvP mounts. And I can see why. The convenience of not having to run specific battlegrounds outweighs the honor math, and to be honest, all math before 3.3.3 likely needs to be thrown out, anyways.

PvP mounts now cost 50k honor. Based on a day or so of running battlegrounds with the new levels of honor, that’s about 2-3 hours of random battlegrounds. Before this patch, 50k honor was a significantly greater investment. With moderate PvP, I used to hit the honor cap about once a week or so, and now I expect to hit it every 2-3 days. So comparing prices before (60 Marks * 248 honor = 14880 honor) and after (50k honor) is faulty. Fortunately, there is a common currency.

Time, not Marks or Honor, is the real currency you are using to buy PvP mounts. Getting 60 Marks took a minimum of 21 and a maximum of 60 battles. At 15 minutes each, that’s a range of 5.25 hours to 15 hours. Let’s take a median of 8.812 hours for each PvP mount.

Now, mounts will probably cost about 2-3 hours each. Seems like a good deal to me.

Mount collectors have every reason to celebrate this patch.


Things get a little trickier discussing honor when we move away from the endgame, mostly because each bracket offers substantially different levels of honor rewards. Where the gear scales with bracket, this works out fine. If you get 200 honor per match, buying a sword for 600 honor is a fine value and you should definitely consider it.

Rewards from Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and Alterac Valley all fit this criteria. You can get them from the following vendors:

Don’t dismiss these rewards as PvP-only. They’re not. They’re solid leveling and dungeon gear, and at many points they are the best in slot items you can get. Be willing to spend honor as you level to keep your gear current.

Rewards that are useful beyond a bracket, though, are probably more inaccessible now than they were before. If you get 200 honor per match, a 50k Mount is now 62.5 hours of PvP time instead of 8.812 hours.

But to be honest, I don’t know how much honor folks should expect to get while leveling through battlegrounds. The changes at level 80 have me so disoriented — I seriously got 5k honor from Warsong Gulch, which blows my mind — that I can’t even guess how hard it would be to get 50k honor at level 60, let alone 40. I’m not worried about the scaled rewards, but the mounts and battlefield standards? Yikes.

This patch will take some time to really fully understand.



Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

43 responses to “Battleground Gear in 3.3.3

  1. Nochecazador

    The Black War Saber will be mine this weekend! Great post as always.

  2. I am confused by your math, largely because I assume there’s more than just numbers in there. Who put letters in math? THIS IS NOT MY MATH I GREW UP WITH!

    And oh. New shinies to get tonight! Yay!

    (Seriously. Great post as always, Cyn.)

    • I have a liberal arts degree, so my math is easy math. I never show spreadsheets or graphs, just enough work to let folks follow along with their own calculators.

      Ooo! Shinies!

  3. This is very good to know. I never did finish grinding out marks for a mount and I am pretty sure that even after turning all my old marks in, I’ll still be needing tons more honor.

    And then my guild will watch in amusement as I suddenly start to spend tons of time in any battleground just because I am such a slave to achievement points.

    • Nothing wrong with getting some PvP achievements! They come fast and furious when you first start out. Mine have slowed to a trickle, sadly. 😦

  4. For the first time in a very long time (since vanilla perhaps?) I found myself considering buying the officer’s tabard and the battle standard. I have to tip my hat to Blizz, this patch has been fabulous.

    I had my hours of honor grind all worked out until you reminded me that both the wrathful and the relentless rings are for sale. Tack on another 2 hours, heh.

    See you in the field.

    • “Tack on another 2 hours, heh.”

      This is why I’m honestly at a loss about what to write about next for honor grinds. The question of *which* one to grind is irrelevant; just queue up for a random and go!

      It’s a topsy turvy patch. And I think I love it.

  5. skinnemuva

    I logged on last night with my 29 mage (he just reached 29) and was excited to turn in WSG marks so I could purchase the very nice boots and belt from AB. It turned out I didn’t even need to turn anything in as they were priced so cheap (200 honor each I think). That is a very generous price and I was shocked! I love how they got rid of the marks requirement; maybe the best change in a long time (altoholic). Hopefully they drop the Battleground finder to lower brackets soon.

    • That is great news! I visited the WSG vendor to get a list of items for a guildmate, and was also impressed by the low prices. Most everything seemed reasonable and level-appropriate, which is good.

      It used to be the PvP mounts were “welfare epic mounts” (a term I cordially dislike, by the way) because they were relatively cheap compared to the other epic mounts. Now they’re much harder for lower levels to get, while vastly easier for level 80s. It’s an interesting switch.

  6. all this talk about the new honor system is really starting to make the PvP bug itch worse. I’ve been without a WoW capable computer for almost two months. I’m nearly salivating at the thought of honor grinding (never thought I’d say that…)

  7. Oooh, this random battleground shit is the Best Thing Ever (and you know what a casual lol PvPer I am, Cyn).

    80 paladin: Queue up for random of the day, get WSG. In and out in < 15 min (3-0 victory, thank you Bloodlust Alliance for not sucking that night). 5.5k starting honor boosted to about 10k (we didn't focus on killing people, just getting a priest guildie her Ironman achievement).

    Queue again. WSG again. In and out in about 15 min again. another 5k honor boost (more pvp in the middle that time).

    So… half-hour investment for 10k honor? Yes, please.

    …And my priest got her first PvP mount. /glee

    • I have guildmates who love collecting mounts but hate PvP that are willingly throwing themselves into combat now.

      It’s a good thing. Warms my cold mercenary heart to see it.

  8. Paul

    The low level PvP rewards are an absolute steal now. I just fitted out my level 49 warrior with seven PvP items. They cost a total of less than 3000 honor, which was obtained from two Wintergrasp commendations (which are BoA). Anyone with a level 80 character can fit out their low level alts with PvP gear almost trivially, even if said alts never enter a single battleground.

    • I know! At 300 a piece they’re a steal! I went and got two sets of the AB boots for my 48 Druid last night.

      I haven’t needed to use any WG commendations yet, but that’s a great suggestion. This stuff is good gear and shouldn’t be missed.

    *evil laughter*

  10. Concerning leveling and honor. Don’t forget that if you have an 80 and access to the Wintergrasp vendor, you can trade Stonekeeper’s Shards or Wintergrasp Marks of Honor for a BoA Wintergrasp Commendation.

    Right now the lvl 38 and below pvp items run you about 300 honor each, so send a couple down and you don’t even have to pvp to get the gear.

    • I agree. This is great gear for anyone leveling – has all the right stats for survival, and is really great to get.

      This is a great change. It encourages people to at least *try* low level pvp by giving them an incentive. The marks took too long for all but the dedicated before.

  11. Paul beat me to it, but it’s well worth it, especially for non-heirloom slots.

  12. I’m gearing my new 80 tank atm or I’d be on top of the numbers but I agree with you they’re mindboggling so far, the few I *have* collected. Did an Alterac Blitz — not my first win of the day, mind you — and got something on the order of 750 hpm return. Like, SERIOUSLY, blizzard? Wow.

    • You’re also launching a guild, so I totally understand about not having time to run numbers.

      I wonder how this era of plenty will affect the questions we ask. One of the reasons your HPM calcs were so important before was because of how scarce honor was; even small differences had statistical weight and real-world consequences. Now it becomes one of randomness versus selectivity: are there any bgs so good, or so bad, that doing or avoiding them outweighs the random smoothing effect and bonus.

      I also think this marks a decline of the relative importance of Wintergrasp; a necessary but sad transition.

  13. Zatosh

    Thanks soo much for this post with the list of items and their cost. I’ve been trying to figure out what piece(s) I could still get on my DK, and this helps a lot.

    • What’s funny is that I’ve referred back to this post on my own several times while trying to figure out if I had enough honor to run to Stormwind! I hate being off by only a thousand or so after having trekked across Azeroth to pick up some new shiny gear.

      Glad it helped you too!

  14. The blitz ruined an already boring BG (AV).

    • I think my next post needs to use the Blitz. Too many people are crying for it without any clue how to execute it correctly.

      (Pro Tip: Tanks, your job is to keep the adds off the healers. If you can’t AoE tank, don’t even think about volunteering.)

      • The blitz took the fun out of AV. There’s no more pvp involved, unless you try to stop it, and with the gear these days, you pretty much have to sacrifice all and go full D… which is never gonna happen in a PuG.

  15. rarman

    I calculated a full set at 583,600 honour, just in case you want to check

    • I dropped it into a spreadsheet to double check and you’re right. Looks like I missed the gloves when I did it by calculator. *thumps calculator soundly*

      Thanks for checking! I’ll update the total so that it’s right.

  16. Going over the gear you listed, I have to add that, as a human, I’ll gladly skip over the medallion and stick to my trusty Nevermelting Ice Crystal… +920 crit rating FTW! 😛

    As for weapon, I like the Engraved Gargoyle Femur. That alone gets you over 4% hit, and has a decent amount of +stam and +haste.

    • Actually, unless someone can give me more clarifications on this, with the Gargoyle Femur, you will be Spell Hit capped, as it hovers around 4%…

      I see 6% everywhere, but testing by arena junkies has apparently revealed that no additional hit can overcome the 2% granted by racials (damn those blood elves!!!)

      Frankly, I believe AJ, since I’m close to 7% spell hit, and see “Miss” pop on my screen QUITE OFTEN.

  17. neutrallo

    I have one toon that has PvPd extensively (a Battlemaster) and one that has only seen BGs in order to get the Long Strange Trip achievement.

    Based on the new honor jumps and the fact that AV is effectively a joke now, I decided to try to take the BG rookie toon into AV and rack up some achievements this AV weekend.

    The result: 11 wins and 35 losses (ouch) but it still amounted to just over 140k honor for a 2-day grind. Along the way, I focused on achievements and got six of them and I’m only 8 graveyard caps from another.

    Now is a GREAT time to do random AV achievements other than the “All-Star” one and the best tine ever to do the “Blitz” (it was the last one that my Battlemaster got for AV).

    • Lucky you…

      I got called a noob, retard, twerp, idiot, and told that just like 90% of the alliance I had no idea how to play AV.

      And why? I capped SFGY, defeated Galv, took the Ice Blood tower and its graveyard.

      Apparently if you refuse to zerg/blitz, you’re doing it wrong.

      • neutrallo

        I only had one person question me the whole time. As a response I said something along the lines of “Come on now, this BG is pretty much a joke these days, so I’m just banging out some achievements while it doesn’t matter.”

        I didn’t really get any grief afterwards. It probably helps that we were winning at the time.

        The funny thing to me is that Zerg method only worked for the Horde (the side I was running with) about one in 15 tries. They tried EVERY time, and only 3 zergs actually worked… but somehow, they are still convinced it works like a charm.

        The Alliance on the other hand Zerged, but also took the time to hit every tower, graveyard, and usually Galv on the way down… they defended towers decently and left graveyards mostly to chance (so it was a semi-Zerg really).

        They won over 75% of the time, yet the Horde still believed that the total Zerg ignoring everything but the General was the way to go. it was stunning really.

  18. Josh

    I’ve been using this post to quickly get my ele shammy up to a decent level of resilience gear. Great write up! Within a week I got most of what I need to complete the pieces that you mention and I should be done this weekend. At that point I’ll be joining a friends arena teams to start upgrading to even better arena gear. 😀

    One tweak that I made was buying from the WG vendor the pants that looked comparable to the i232 Furious pants. That saved me 34,700 honor that I can invest in later for the four-piece bonus. Since we are still collecting WG MoH and in my battlegroup we often win WG I’ve got a large stack built up. The WG pants were easily affordable.

    • Here’s the error you might have possibly made:

      There are 5 pieces of furious gear.

      If you buy the WG shoulders and pants, you get:
      – Better shoulders than your Furious ones
      – Pants with similar stats.

      Here’s the issue: you only have 3 pieces of furious gear, therefore missing #4 that gives you your 2nd set bonus. Didn’t check the elem shammy one, as I play resto/enh, but for a warlock, it’s 0.2 secs off fear, and +88 SP… that’s big!

      • Damn, the last paragraph didn’t register.

        It’s a waste of marks to buy the 2 WG pieces, when you could have bought a trinket, or even commendations to get enough honor for your 4 pieces of furious gear.

    • Holy christ I’m terrible at expressing myself today.

      Just… just forget it entirely, because I lost where I was going with this…

  19. Conrose

    So I have a question for you concerning PvP Gear for Cataclysm. Because they plan to increase the focus on Battlegrounds, and because Battleground PvP is cut into many more roles than simply “Tank, Healer, DPS”, do you suppose or hopeful that they’ll create gear and set bonuses to fill in the variety of niches that the various classes and indeed, specs can fulfill during Battlegrounds? For example, various instant casting CC’s with short CD’s receiving further reduced cooldowns from set bonuses in addition to higher stamina and resilience for players filling in a role of disruption/Snare/CC Support more so than a role of killing targets, but not quite as much as gear aimed for getting the flag out of there, or holding a node long enough to receive aid from other regions?

  20. Jen

    Late to the party, but thanks! I’ve only started PvPing (on my 6th level 80…) and I’m as clueless as I was when I saw my first raid, 3 years ago… I didn’t even know you could buy anything above ilvl 232 with honor! And seeing as my PvE gear is crap too, some of those PvP 264 pieces will be very useful!

  21. Pingback: Battleground PvP Gear in 4.0.1 « Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

  22. Pingback: The Carrot and the Stick: Rated Battlegrounds and the Conquest Point Cap of 4.2 | Cynwise's Battlefield Manual