Monday, October 10, 2011

Daggers: Main Hand Edition

This article comprises Part 2 of our Daggers analysis, where we focus on casters who will be looking to transmogrify their Main Hand. Since we've already covered the basics in Part 1, we're going to get right to the charts and our Editors' Picks here in Part 2.

Differentiation Analysis: Daggers Eligible for Main Hand
We have adjusted our rankings in the chart to the left (click for larger image) based on transmogrifying weapons onto a single Main Hand Dagger.

If you've reviewed our chart for dual wield items, you'll notice a few weapons here have been downranked. The item we called out in Part 1 of our Daggers review, the Dagger of the Rising Moon, if you recall, was ranked as "exclusive", whereas here it has been downranked.

If you're new to Disenchanting Azeroth and our methodologies here, we encourage you to take a read through Part 1 of our Daggers analysis for a more in-depth introduction to the visuals you will encounter below.

The primary reason for this is the fact that any One Hand or Main Hand Dagger can be transmogrified onto a Main Hand Dagger, making transmogrification onto Main Hand items much easier to accomplish. Rising Moon shares its model with two Main Hand Daggers, therefore enabling three different ways to acquire the model for a Main Hand transmogrification, so we've downranked it for casters.

As you can see, only one Dagger model (top row) is ineligible for Main Hand transmogrification, and that's Rolfsen's Ripper. This particular Off Hand-only model is currently the only model on live servers that carries this constraint. There looks to be another on the way from the new 5-man dungeons being introduced in 4.3, but we'll get to that in a moment below.

While we were assembling these charts, not only were the three Deathwing raid models revealed, but we happened upon three more Daggers in the PTR files from the upcoming 5-man dungeons. We've just learned WoWhead has the current tooltips on these so we'll be able to provide some links on them below. As we mentioned, one of them looks to be another Off Hand-only model, one that once on live servers would be only the second Dagger in-game with such a transmogrification constraint. Unfortunately, it's pretty unique too which is a bit of a bummer. Rolfsen's wasn't such a big loss because from a visual positioning standpoint, it's similar to a number of other Daggers.

Dagger models being introduced in 4.3
We've added these new models from the Deathwing raid and 5-man dungeons as part of this article as well so players can get an idea where they fall. We'll remove the Off Hand permanently as part of this article if we get confirmation that it does, in fact, hit live servers as an Off Hand-only item.

Top left: Unknown, Deathwing
Middle Left: OH Mandible of the Old Ones
Bottom Left: 1H Fanged Tentacle
Top Right: Unknown, Deathwing
Middle Right: 1H Jagged Edge of Time
Bottom Right: Unknown, Deathwing

You'll note below in our Visual Positioning matrix (click for larger image) that each one of these Daggers, with the exception of the Jagged Edge (45, 38), are positioned extremely well in terms of their ability to maintain their identity among other Daggers in-game.

Visual Positioning Analysis: Daggers Eligible for Main Hand

Visual Positioning Analysis: "Exclusive" Models

And as we do in each of our reviews, let's cross reference the "exclusive" models from our Differentiation chart with their locations on our Visual Positioning matrix (click for larger image).

As we said in Part 1, there's pretty good diversity in the Daggers category, and there are just a few clusters of parity identified here.

If you're planning to transmogrify a Main Hand Dagger, we hope you'll find value in the charts we've assembled here. If you're looking for some kickstarter ideas, we've included our Editors' Picks below.

Feel free to pull from the Daggers we identified in Part 1 of our Daggers analysis as well, because many of them would have been suitable recommendations for us to make here in Part 2, such as the Warp Splinter's Thorn.

For the purposes of differentiating both sets of EPs, we're introducing 10 new picks below. A few of them are technically eligible for dual wielding, and we would have no issue taking those particular Daggers and leveraging them for dual wielding. Again, there is pretty solid diversity in the Daggers landscape, so there is quite a bit of unique content to pull from.

Bows are on deck, and if you're curious what the outcome of our "which bow is more extroverted" poll, we had 200 voters post the following results:

107 votes for:  A) Golden Bow of Quel'Thalas
93 votes for:  B) Deathwing Raid Bow (PTR files)

Stay tuned for our Bows Visual Positioning matrix to see if we agree with you!


The following items are in no particular order:

1. Talon of the Tempest, a potential drop from Doomwalker, a rare spawn raid boss in Shadowmoon Valley. Apologies in advance for the poor image, this is one of the more challenging weapons for which to capture an accurate image. This weapon and its sister model, the Starlight Dagger, are actually dazzling in-game.

2. Chilled Heart of the Glacier, a potential drop from The Captain's Chest in the Halls of Reflection. This Dagger is worth revisiting because there's nothing else quite like it in-game, and it is a hallmark caster model since it is Main Hand only.

3. Rib Spreader, a potential drop from Rotface in Icecrown Citadel. We like this model and a few more below for casters, in particular, because as fantastic as their look may have been for you as you progressed through Icecrown Citadel, there was never any reason for you to equip them because the models all had melee stats. Now is your chance to snag some of these items with gusto during a retro raid, because not only will they be fresh for you, but they rank quite well as part of our visual positioning.

4. The Maelstrom's Fury, a potential drop from High Warlord Naj'entus in Black Temple. A nice feature of this particular blade is the glowing yellow orb hovering tethered to the crescent cutout in the form. Just make sure you bring a buddy when you visit Naj'entus to deal with those spines.  Naj'entus is an interesting NPC if you do a bit of reading up on him over at WoWWiki. When we came across this blade and did a bit of reading up on this Naga Anomaly, he gave us pause to tweet out to our followers that if Naga, indeed, are potentially playable characters at some point in the future, they may not be the Naga as we've come to know them in-game. They may simply be some stage of Naga Anomaly that we haven't seen yet. An intriguing tangent... sorry to digress.

5. Heaven's Fall, Kryss of a Thousand Lies (H), a potential drop from The Lich King on Heroic Mode in Icecrown Citadel. Like the Rib Spreader, we like this item as a bit of a trophy for casters. Down the Lich King in heroic mode and then transmogrify your caster blade into this baddie to show it off to your melee buddies that never acquired it in Wrath. Envy aside, it stands fluid enough in its details to shift it away from the parity of its peers, and is a rare item in itself so it should maintain its identity going forward.

6. Crux of the Apocalypse, a potential drop from Kil'jaeden in The Sunwell. A weapon with a lot of intriguing potential for matching it to the rest of your gear, this Dagger has a few cousins with a similar aesthetic but they are single blades, whereas this gives you a pair of symmetrical blades. As we mentioned in our dual wield article, check out the Visual Roleplay Gear List for some suggestions to marry with this elegant item. It also has a nice little bursting particle effect from its core.

7. Runed Dagger of Solace, a potential drop from Thorngrin the Tender in The Botanica. Another Main Hand model that has historically been held out of melee's reach, we like the idea of continuing that trend by recommending it here. It's not a dual wield option for melee, so it's likely to be overlooked.

8. Alysra's Razor (H), a potential drop from Alysrazor in the Firelands on Heroic Mode. Shadow Priests, get your form on and celebrate your purple side with the heroic version of this blade from the Firelands. It's otherwise been reserved for melee, so now's your chance!

9. Boundless Agony, a potential drop from Azgalor in Hyjal Summit, Caverns of Time. Another previously reserved for melee, Warlocks we believe this one's got your name on it. If it drops and melee gives you flack about rolling on it, feel free to send them our way.

10. Claw of Chromaggus, a potential drop from Chromaggus in Blackwing Lair. With so many claw/tooth items available, it's interesting that one of the more extroverted among them is Main Hand only. Celebrate this, casters, by heading back to BWL and pressing your luck with Chromaggus. It may not be a look you maintain over time, but it definitely has value in the short-term because of its unique look.

And if you must:  Malchazeen, a potential drop from Prince Malchezaar in Karazhan.  If you're a player that prefers something unique but would like to use something a bit more subtle than what we've recommended, then consider Malchazeen. It's caught in the midst of a cluster of weapons in our visual positioning, but that said Malchazeen has a very stable aesthetic that does well to differentiate itself from other Daggers with similar form language.

For a Map Key to identify the Daggers reviewed here, and links to the actual items on WoWhead, hop over to our Part 1 article and scroll down to the bottom. Everything you'll need can be found there!


  1. Love your guides to weapons and will continue to visit them especially next one of the bows which i am a big fan since my main is a hunter.

    Just to let you know Alyssras Razor item has a bad link to another weapon. Like this you can correct it easy