Northrend Reputation Guide for Death Knights

World of Warcraft's newest continent, Northrend, has opened up a lot of equipment choices to the player at large. But what equipment is right for you? Byron Mudry discusses Northrend reputation rewards and what to be on the lookout for as a Death Knight. Find out which factions are worth the grind, and which factions to never mind.

Just like the fashion runways in Paris and Milan, in the World of Warcraft it's all about what you wear.  That may sound strange, but think about it for a bit.  Are WoW players any different than fashion divas, constantly searching for that perfect piece to complete an outfit?  See what I mean?  While players of all levels constantly vie for better gear the real gear quest starts at level 80, and forces players to obsess over incrementally better items for longer than it took them to level.

An easy way for many classes to start gearing up in Wrath of the Lich King at level 80 is through the various reputation rewards.  Most classes have access to some very good items from the various factions in the game that have reputation.  The most important ones for many players are the ones that provide enchants for both the head and shoulder items. Which faction this is for your head enchant varies on your spec, while the shoulder enchants for everyone comes from the Sons of Hodir.

To help in your effort to earn faction and to keep players from going insane at the tedium of daily quests, many of the key factions in Wrath of the Lich King can be championed at level 80. Championing is the ability to wear a tabard for the specific faction that you would like reputation with and then completing level 80 instances.  While wearing that factions tabard you will gain reputation with them for all your kills in a level 80 or heroic instance.  This makes gaining reputation with these factions relatively easy.

Key Death Knight faction items

As with almost all other classes the first faction reward you should work towards is the head and shoulder enchant.  The ones that you need are determined by your talent build. 

A key enchant is the head slot enchant for any class, and the Death Knight is no exception.  The head enchants are received in the form of Arcanums purchased from the faction quartermasters once you have reached revered status with them.

If you are a tank then you should be working on the Argent Crusade for the Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector.  This faction can be gained through quests in the zone of Icecrown and championing for them. By completing the quest chains at their home base called the Argent Vanguard you can generally get enough reputation for the Arcanum.  If you are a DPS build then your priority is the  Knights of the Ebon Blade faction and getting the Arcanum of Torment.  This faction is once again found in Icecrown, but to the far north at the Shadow Vault.  As with the Argent Vanguard, you can gain reputation through quests or championing.  By the time you have completed the quests in the zone for this faction you should have enough reputation to by the Arcanum. 

No matter your build, for shoulder enchants you need to visit the Sons of Hodir found in the Storm Peaks.  You need to complete a long chain of quests in the zone before you can even communicate with them, but once you do it opens up several daily quests that you can do to earn reputation.  You can also collect and turn in ice shards and relics of Hodir for additional reputation.  You can get the lesser shoulder enchants at honoured reputation and the greater version at exalted.

DPS Items

The first and most important faction for a plate DPS character to gain reputation with is the Knights of the Ebon Blade in Dragonblight.  Not only do they provide one of the best boot slot items in the game for a plate wearing DPS player they also provide the critical head enchant and a very nice two-handed sword.  Since you will already be earning reputation there to get the head enchant, it is a great faction to continue on with to exalted to gain access to the boots.  The great two-handed sword you can earn will serve you well until you get either a crafted Titan Steel Destroyer or a two-handed weapon from a raid.  Over all this is the faction you need to earn.

There are a few items scattered here and there with the other factions, however nothing compares to the wealth of loot available through the Ebon Blade.  The list of reputation items that is best suited to a DPS Death Knight is as follows:

DPS Noteworthy Items
Item (Slot) Faction Reputation Level Notes
Arcanum of Torment (Head Enchant) Knights of the Ebon Blade Revered The Head enchant for Melee DPS, this is a must get item.
Runeblade of Demonstrable Power (Weapon) Knights of the Ebon Blade Revered A great hold over weapon while you are saving for a Titansteel Destroyer
Death-Inured Sabatons (Boots) Knights of the Ebon Blade Exalted One of the best boots in the game, well worth the effort.
Cloak of Holy Extermination (Back) Argent Crusade Honored
Fang-Deflecting Faceguard (Head) Argent Crusade Revered Too much effort for a sub par item, get a crafted Spiked Titansteel Helm instead
Spaulders of the Giant Lords (Shoulder) The Sons of Hodir Revered A great shoulder slot item until you get your Tier 7 ones.
Lesser / Greater Inscription of the Axe (Shoulder Enchant) The Sons of Hodir Honored / Exalted At least get the lesser enchant otherwise you will not have anything on your shoulders, grind reputation for the greater one whenever you can.
Legplates of Bloody Reprisal (Legs) Wyrmrest Accord Exalted Too much effort for the item

Tanking Items

Tanking items are a little more finicky to get through reputation than DPS items are.  Where there are several good DPS items that can be earned that are very good, the tanking ones are generally only so-so.  At least they are easy to collect, for the most part being earned at the honoured or revered level.  The one item that is earned at exalted can generally be skipped as it is the only item from the Kirin Tor for tanks and is not worth the long grind for reputation with them.

As a tank the first faction to get reputation with is the Argent Crusade for the head enchant, when you get to honoured though, you also gain access to a great set of tanking legs.  Getting to honoured is very simple and most players will get there while simply following the quest chains given to you by their members.

After the Argent Crusade priority should be given to the Wyrmrest Accord to get the Breastplate of the Solemn Council at revered.  If you leveled in Dragonblight at all you probably already have enough reputation with the Accord to buy the cloak from them at honoured.

Tanking Noteworthy Items
Item (Slot) Faction Reputation Level Notes
Toxin-Tempered Sabatons (Boots) Knights of the Ebon Blade Honored These tanking boots are really meant for warriors or paladins due to having block value on them, however, since you will get to honored by simply doing the quests in the zone they can be ok to grab until you get better.
Special Issue Legplates (Legs) Argent Crusade Honored Decent tanking pants that are very easy to get.
Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector (Head Enchant) Argent Crusade Revered The tanking head enchant, this is a must get item.
Lesser / Greater Arcanum of the Pinnacle The Sons of Hodir Honored / Exalted These are the shoulder enchants for tanks, and you should at least get the lesser one.
Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions (Back) Wyrmrest Accord Honored A decent cloak that is very easy to get.
Breastplate of the Solemn Council (Chest) Wyrmrest Accord Revered A good tanking chest piece that is very easy to get.
Sabatons of Draconic Vigor (Boots) Wyrmrest Accord Revered Good boots for cheap and since you will be getting revered anyway they will serve you until you get the Titansteel ones.
Fireproven Gauntlets Kirin Tor Exalted These gloves are fairly good, however seeing that there is nothing else worth getting from the Kirin Tor along the way to exalted you will likely have better by the time you get around to their reputation.


As you can see, reputation is a great way to start to equip your character at level 80.  Many of the factions you can earn reputation with as you level your way form 70 to 80.  Many you can champion with once you are level 80.  You can also choose to complete daily quests as well with all the factions to earn both reputation and gold.  No matter how you choose to grind for reputation you can do various different things to keep yourself entertained as you do it.

My personal favourite way to gain reputation with the factions is through championing.  Most servers have constant level 80 and heroic groups forming in the looking for group (LFG) system, and this provides a great way to get out there, meet some other players and get reputation.  Since you can do any instance you like, it keeps the reputation grind fresh and different all the time.

While faction based reputation items will not provide a full set of equipment, it will give a solid start to most players.  Combine this with a few crafted items, instance and heroic item drops, and you are on your way to being raid ready.  But that's a whole other article.

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