Farming the Battered Hilt

Recently, I got the insane notion to farm the [Battered Hilt]. If you’re new to the game, this item was added as part of the last large content patch for Wrath of the Lich King, along with the Icecrown Citadel raid and 3 Icecrown-themed dungeons. It is an epic-quality quest-starter item that eventually yields a sweeping tale and a two-handed sword.

Functionally, the weapon is obsolete. Aesthetically, however — with Patch 4.3 for Cataclysm adding ‘Transmogrification’ (or the “Appearance” gear players have been begging for) — the sword’s value skyrockets, as it possesses a unique model.

Here are some facts:

  • The Battered Hilt only drops in Heroic Dungeons.
  • It drops from trash mobs. Reports of drops from Bosses is anecdotal, however…
  • You do not want to kill Bosses as that will prevent you from easily resetting the instance you choose to farm.
  • Pit of Saron is the top pick for farming trash. You have access to a majority of the instance and its trash enemies without killing any bosses.

Why a Retribution Paladin is great for farming this item:

  • Mostly every mob in Pit of Saron is Undead. We have bonuses against Undead. Exorcism is an automatic critical strike against Undead, and if you have it glyphed to add damage-over-time, each “DoT” tick will be a critical as well. Holy Wrath will also stun any stunnable Undead.
  • We have adequate self-healing in the form of Word of Glory, Seal of Insight, and the talent ‘Crusade.’ Yes, these mobs still activate Crusade and it can make a post-battle heal-up fast (if not effortless).
  • Humanoid enemies can be Repentanced to take them out of a fight, allowing you more control over multi-enemy pulls.
  • Tricks like Lay on Hands, Divine Shield and Divine Protection can minimize or eliminate the threat of incoming damage. Avenging Wrath and Zealotry can make killing quick.

Some important notes:

  • Skeletal Slaves (6 to 7 of these accompany some enemies in Pit of Saron) are non-elite and, although they die quickly, they cannot drop the Battered Hilt.
  • Greens are plentiful. Gray (vendor) items are, too. Bring lots of bag space.
  • You can and will see Books of Glyph Mastery drop. These still sell well on the Auction House.
  • The trash enemies can also drop other epics. These tend to be Bind on Pickup and were supplemental items for the dungeon’s loot table. For the most part, you can simply vendor these.
  • You will pull roughly 100 gold out of each run. That includes selling the green or gray items you come across.

If Pit of Saron is driving you insane (pun intended), you can try a side trip into Forge of Souls. The mobs there are a mix of Undead and Humanoids. There are a few larger pulls, so I recommend using Repentance more regularly. Trash enemies are not plentiful overall, and you will reach the first boss (impassible without killing) before you know it.

Also, if it occurs to you to actually complete any of these dungeons, start to finish, solo, know this: On Normal difficulty, soloing these 3 dungeons is entirely possible — though you may need to go to a Protection spec and gear set for the gauntlet in Pit of Saron. On Heroic, however, I could not solo the gauntlet in Pit of Saron, but I had no trouble clearing Forge of Souls — I did not try Halls of Reflection.

Good luck!

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