Instance Tanking Gear Guide levels 70-75

My little Cowtank Onyxhorn dinged 68 two nights ago, so my goal of hitting 70 by December 1st (which is my birthday and the day that I will acquire WotLK) would appear to be right on track. However, I’lll BARELY be 70 and WON’T have the benefit that many long-time lvl 70 tanks will have had of having run all the Tempest Keep, Steam Vaults, Shadow Labs, and Shattered Halls ad nauseum (not to mention Heroics and Raids) and thus won’t be geared in stuff that will be vastly superior to everything he finds up through lvl 77 or so. So, with that in mind, I started taking a peek at what will be available in the earlier 5-man dungeons of Northrend for those of us Tanky-Come-Latelys who are leaping off the top of the zeppelin tower and catching onto the mooring line with one hand, barely making the requisite level in the nick of time as the first transports disembark for the frozen north…

This listing is MOST helpful to Prot Warriors (Fury & Arms might find some of the pieces useful), Feral Druids, and Death Knights. Some Tankadins will just want to gear up in Warrior plate anyway, but for those who prefer some INT and Spellpower mixed in, you’ll be pleased to know that while I haven’t listed them here, there are a plethora of VERY nice Plate Caster drops along the way. They may be more intended for Healadin use, but they’re still very very good and from what I understand of Paladins, mixing in some Int and Spellpower goes a long way for you guys. I’m also leaving off quest rewards because they may not be the same depending on what Faction you prefer to play as, and honestly, you should be able to tell if a quest reward is meant for a tank or not. So, with that said… Mark your maps and get to lookin!

(Note: This is all based on information available from and Some could be incomplete. There could easily be drops that are not yet listed on either site, but it’s a good starting point nonetheless.)

Utgarde Keep

Prince Keleseth – no good tank drops.

SkarvaldSkarvald’s Dragonskin Habergeon will be an early favorite of newly-arrived Feral Druids.

Ingvar the Plunderer – While Death Knight tanks would doubtlessly prefer something with more Parry on it, it’s hard to be picky early on, and the Hit and Strength (which I believe Equals Parry w/ the right talents for DK’s?) bonuses of Ingvar’s Monolithic Cleaver will probably put it high on their Northrend wishlists… not to mention the name.

The Nexus

Grand Magus Telestra – No good tank drops. BOOOO!
Anomalus – Also no good tank drops. DOUBLE BOO!!

Ormorok the Tree-ShaperChiseled Stalagmite Pauldrons! Wave your Mantle of the Warchiefs good-bye (if you’re Horde anyway.. if you’re Alliance, well, I don’t know what you wear… aside from silky-soft skin and a great deal of shame.)

Keristrasza – No love.


Krik’thir the Gatewatcher – Nothing to see here. Move along.

Hadronox – Arachnophobes turn away from the screen… unless you’re a Feral Druid. In which case, kill the spider and loot yourself some Treads of Aspiring Heights.

Anub’arak – One of the most interesting (and downright badass!) characters in WCIII: The Frozen Throne doesn’t disappoint tanks of any flavor with the Signet of Arachnathid Command. It’d be even cooler if it gave you the Crypt Lord Swarm ability, but I guess we’ll all have to settle for just a very nice tanking ring for the early to mid WotLK content.

Lastly (for THIS particular review) we come to Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom

Prince Taldaram – Nada
Elder Nadox – Zilch!
Jedoga Shadowseeker – Oh, Tanky-tanky! Look at Battlechest of the Twilight Cult! For a Shaman, she carries some darn fine plate! And her ring is a good DPS/Soloing piece to boot! Much love from the Twlight’s Hammer straight to us.

That should carry you through about level 75 or so. Now, I didn’t include the PLETHORA of plate gear w/ Int and mp5 that drops (a piece or TWO from each instance!) in these locations. Tankadins will have to decide if it’s better for them or for a Healadin/Shockadin/Whateveradin. Next time we’ll take a look at what’s available in Drak’Tharon Keep, The Violet Hold, and Gundrak. Personally , I can’t wait for Drak’Tharon Keep or Gundrak. ST/ZF on Ice FTW!


  1. MMO Champion has most of the dungeons with loot and boss strategies. Most of the information comes from beta, but they are keeping it up to date if anything has changed or is changed. So if you are looking for more information, definitely check them out and the dungeon section in the left bar under WotLK.

  2. You’ll be pleased that with the quests for the Nexus you’ll get great pauldrons and gloves, both very solid tanking pieces that rank on a Zul’Aman gear level.

    Also, for some quick gear upgrades, consult your trusted blacksmith, for with the new plans comes a whole bunch of decent tanking plate.

  3. Yep! The Saronite blacksmithed pieces are really nice. My GL is a blacksmith and I’ve already got a Saronite Defender and a Saronite Bulwark waiting for me to hit 73 and 77, as well as the Saronite leggings (can’t remember the exact name) which are very nice! I’ve got the 75-79 instance gear guide to put up and then I’m looking at putting together an article on crafted pieces.

  4. Not just the saronite pieces, the titansteel pieces as well. Although titansteel barsincredibly expensive right now (300-400g or even more for a single bar), not to mention the frozen orbs (1x to 2x per item, also 300-400g) per item, AND considering the saronite bars that go into the construction of the various titansteel pieces (worth less than the big brothers, but still considerable), you’re into one big expense, likely anywhere between 1k and 2k gold per piece, maybe more depending on what you build, and depending on how greedy your realm’s miners are!

    I personally can’t wait to do heroics, but, then again, we can’t find *any* healers on our realm, which sucks. Right now we sort of built a sort of farm group, everyone is 80, except for the healer who is 78. We’re planning on pushing him up his way to heroic status. Actually, as soon as he’s 80 he’ll be going heroics with us; he took too much loot away from the warlock and the mage for anything else to happen :>

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Saronite pieces are very useful. However with the new changes to tanking for Protadins you realize that there are no ‘spelldmg’ pieces that have tanking stats too. Gearing up in spellpower pieces would result in a very squishy Protadin indeed ;)