What to do with those Emblems of Frost?

By this time a lot of us are starting to build up a good pile of Emblems of Frost.  If you have been diligent enough to run a daily random heroic every day since the patch, that’s 32 Emblems.  If you have done all three weekly raid quests, that’s another 15.  The quests for Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, and Halls of Reflection awarded 2 Emblems each the first time you ran them, so there is another 6.  You could have 53 without running Icecrown Citadel at all.  If you have raided ICC all three weeks its been around, and killed all four bosses each time (2 emblems per boss), that’s another 24.  If you have done it on both 10-man and 25-man each week, that’s another 24.  It is possible to have 101 Emblems of Frost by now.

Most of us don’t have that many.  I have 42 at the moment.  Frost Emblems don’t accumulate as fast as Triumph emblems, so we have to be a little choosy about how we spend them.  For me, for example, I expect to do the random heroic about 4-5 times per week, do the weekly raid quest every week, and hopefully clear ICC 10-man every week.  That would give me 21-23 emblems per week.

What should we be looking to purchase?  Well, there are three groups of Emblem of Frost items available.  There is the Tier 10 armor, the there is non-tier armor, and then the trinkets and other miscellaneous items.


First – there are a couple of nice miscellaneous items available.  There’s a trinket and a thrown item.  The trinket, Herkumi War Token, is very nice, and only 60 emblems.  Haste is all the rage these days for fast DP stacking.  That will be the first item purchased for a lot of rogues, especially those who aren’t using their trinket slots for armor penetration procs with Grim Toll and Mjolnir Runestone.   I plan on buying this first, as my spreadsheet tells me this is more than a 240 dps increase over my Pyrite Infuser.

Also available is a thrown weapon – Shrapnel Star – for only 30 emblems.  This may be best-in-slot right now, but its only a small upgrade over the Crimson Star that most of us bought with our Emblems of Triumph.  If you have the Crimson Star, you’re in good shape and you might wait to upgrade this slot.


The Tier 10 gear system is different this time than in previous tier armor incarnations.  In ICC, all of the T10 pieces (Shadowblade’s Battlegear) are purchasable with Emblems of Frost.  They are iLvL 251.  The next tier (iLvL 264, called Sanctified Shadowblade’s Battlegear) are purchasable using the T10 piece + a Mark of Sanctification that drops from Deathbringer Saurfang in 25-man ICC.  The highest tier (iLvL 277 or Heroic Sanctified Shadowblade’s Battlegear) are purchased using the T10.5 pieces + a heroic Mark of Sanctification that will drop from heroic 25-man ICC.


Summary: If you are running 25-man ICC and want the higher tier pieces, you will need to buy the T10 pieces and use them to upgrade to the higher tiers.  The higher tiers are iLvL 264 (and eventually 277 when heroic ICC is opened up).  Therefore, if you are in a guild that is running 25-man ICC, its probably in your interests to invest your Emblems of Frost in the T10 pieces now for later upgrades.

For those of us who are not running 25-man ICC, we can buy the T10 pieces now knowing that we won’t be upgrading them, or we can buy the non-set pieces (iLvL 264).

Tier 10 – Shadowblade’s Battlegear, iLvL 251 items for head, shoulder, hand, leg, and chest slots. =Shadowblade Helmet (95 emblems), Shadowblade Gauntlets (60 emblems), Shadowblade Legplates (95 emblems), Shadowblade Pauldrons (60 emblems), and Shadowblade Breastplate (95 emblems). The 2-piece bonus is Your Tricks of the Trade ability now grants you 15 energy instead of costing energy. The 4-piece bonus is Gives your melee finishing moves a 13% chance to add 3 combo points to your target.  Those are fairly useful set bonuses.  The 2-piece is only useful if you regularly use TotT.  Instead of using it whenever its up, with this bonus it becomes sort of a cooldown to use when you need more burst.  The 4-piece is really nice for sustained single-target dps.

The non-tier gear doesn’t have as many items, but they are higher iLvL (264).  There are items for hand, back, and waist slots.  They are the Cat Burglar’s Grips (hand, 60 emblems), Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape (back, 50 emblems), and Vengeful Noose (waist, 60 emblems).

You can see that there is not a lot of overlap in those two gear groups.  The only overlap is at the hand slot, where you can choose either the T10 hands or the Cat Burglar’s Grips (The Cat Burglar’s Grips are better).  The only slots that you cannot upgrade with Emblems of Frost are neck, wrist, feet, ring, and weapons.

So where to begin?  That depends on your current gear.  You’ll obviously do best upgrading your weakest gear slots first.  However, here are a couple of pieces of advice:

  • If you are raiding ICC 10, you can probably pass on the Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape for now.  There is a back slot item (Shawl of Nerubian Silk) that drops from 10-man Lord Marrowgar.  The Marrowgar drop is not quite as good, but it doesn’t cost you any emblems.
  • Lady Deathwhisper 10-man drops a chest item that is better than the T10 chest (Chestguard of the Frigid Noose) so this is another place where you might hold out for the drop rather than spend emblems.
  • Lady Deathwhisper also drops a nice waist slot item – Soulthief’s Braided Belt – that is comparable to the Vengeful Noose.  Are you patient enough to wait for the drop and spend your emblems elsewhere?

For me, I am definitely buying Herkumi’s War Token first.  After that I may buy the Cat Burglar’s Grips since they are really great, or  I’ll save up for the T10 legs, since there are not any good drops in ICC 10 that are comparable and my leg item is my currently my weakest gear slot.  There is no rush to decide.  For most of us, it will be several weeks in between each Emblem of Frost purchase, so you’ll get other drops between them and your purchase priorities will change.


17 Responses to “What to do with those Emblems of Frost?”

  1. 1 Ksubi
    December 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Um…the tier 10 2 piece set bonus is more than sort of useful, it’s the best rogue pve dps 2 piece bonus we’ve ever had. It turns ToTT from something we pop just at he beginning of a fight or a tank transition (or for more advanced players, trading it with another rogue), into something that when worked into our dps rotation adds a substantial amount of DPS.

    Do your research.

  2. 2 Ayumitanaka
    December 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Great info, this will really come in handy as my frost emblems add up!

  3. December 25, 2009 at 1:49 am

    So how good is this incredible 2-piece T10 bonus?

    If used every time it is up, TotT will provide 15 energy every 30 seconds. As an assassination rogue, my main attack is Mutilate, which costs 60 energy. So TotT used regularly gets me one extra Mutilate every 2 minutes. If I am combat, I am using SS which costs 45 energy. So I’m getting one extra SS every 1.5 minutes.

    Using my own numbers, if my extra Mutilate hits for 6k, then that’s an extra 6k damage per 2 minutes, which translates to 50 dps (not factoring in crit rates for simplicity).

    That is a little better than the 2-piece T9 bonus, which was the +40 energy proc off of Rupture ticks. Assuming 100% Rupture uptime, and it ticks every 2 seconds, that is 60 ticks in 2 minutes. Since the proc has a 2% chance, it is unlikely to proc more than once or twice in the two minute period, unless you are lucky. So the T10 is certainly better than the T9, especially if you have gone to a ruptureless cycle which makes this bonus useless.

    But look at T8. The 2-piece bonus for T8 was for you to gain 1 energy for each Deadly Poison tick. Deadly Poison ticks every 3 seconds. In two minutes it would tick 40 times, so 40 energy gained. That’s less than the energy gained from T10, but not *that* much less. Also very useful.

    The T7 2-piece bonus increased Rupture damage by 10%. Based on my numbers from a fight where I used Rupture a lot, that’s about a 30 dps increase for me.

    So, yes the T10 2-piece bonus is the best 2-piece bonus we’ve had. But at a 50 dps increase, its not *so* good as to warrant an insulting tone over it, Ksubi.

    And is it useful enough to make you want to spend all those emblems on it before the Herkumi War Token or Cat Burglar Grips? Because the point of this post was purchasing priority, not to say which gear is good or bad. I’m going to get a 240 dps increase (according to the spreadsheet) from the trinket. The 2-piece bonus can’t compare, and so T10 gear falls behind on my priority list.

  4. 4 Toxicwaste
    December 27, 2009 at 4:46 am

    The Shadow Seekers Tunic (chest) for 95 embs looks totally awesome too, better then T10.5


  5. 5 Valker
    December 28, 2009 at 7:23 am

    I can agree that T10 2 items bonus is great. And i think i’ll have only 2 parts of that set. I mean head and chest cause i’m combat rogue and i need a lot of APR. On our last raid that item for improve drop but i didn’t get it cause of lack DKP.
    BTW Your blog is great and i love to read it;)

  6. 6 Vulpina
    December 28, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Thank you so much for posting this, I’m sitting on about 70 emblems right now because I didn’t know what to purchase first!! I think I’m definately going to go for the trinket too, since I’m still using Bandit’s Insignia from Naxx25 (I have the worst luck for trinkets). Luckily the chest did drop for me from Lady in ICC10!

    Do you have any advice regarding gemming? I’m reading that AP/haste is best now, but I’m not sure how much of each and if I should even do this because I’m not ridiculiously geared where I think crit cap is a worry (but I’m not sure). Seems to be so few solid resources out there, I always find myself turning to your blog!


    Vulpina – US – Moon Guard

  7. 7 JU
    December 30, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    First off, the 2 piece set bonus provides 30 energy every 30 seconds not 15. How do I figure that? Because if you’re not using tricks every 30 seconds, you’re a bad rogue, and since you do use it every 30 seconds anyways, it’s not costing the 15 energy that it does without the set bonus.

    If you don’t know what to get, get the trinket.

  8. 9 Praskoviya
    December 31, 2009 at 7:54 am

    You seem to have forgotten that badges of Frost also Provide a CHEST as well…
    Shadow Seekers Tunic (95 Emblems of Frost) http://www.wowhead.com/?item=50972

    and the 2pc Bonus is really REALLY good. its really a +60 energy per minute swing, if you think about it… instead of costing you 30, it GIVES you 30… which can be HUGE! interesting? I’d sure say so!

  9. 10 Fps
    December 31, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Dude, you are just 100% completely wrong. The set bonus provides about a +300 dps increase.
    Spreadsheet it.

    You are 1; Not losing the 15 energy TotT costs, and 2; Gaining 15 energy, for a net gain of +30 Energy, every 30s, and 60 every 1m. = Extra mutilate per minute, not to mention extra combo points from that mutilate, and potentially an extra envenom due to having those increased combo points… A far far cry from the mere ~50 dps increase your numbers give you.

    The trinket is pretty horrible for combat. It’s good for mutilate.
    Deathbringer’s will+whispering fanged skull for combat.

  10. December 31, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Current combat rogues best trinkets are:
    1) Deathbringer’s Will
    2) Herkuml War Token

    Whispering Fanged Skull is better for mutilate rogues.

  11. December 31, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve gone with the trinket first, and my next pieces will likely be the tier head then shoulders (based on my current gear, I can pick up the head without breaking my T9 4-piece).

    However, I think it’s worth adding that the legs and gloves are likely to drop from the new VoA boss, so they would probably be my last pieces to save up Frost Emblems for.

  12. January 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I stand corrected. Thanks for those who pointed out that the T10 2-piece bonus is more than a 15 energy swing. It is more like a 30 energy swing, if you were using TotT every 30 sec anyway. That makes the dps increase more significant.

    I didn’t write this post as an evaluation of the T10 set bonus, and I hastily threw that analysis together in response to a comment. In my rush, I didn’t completely think it through.

  13. January 10, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I picked up the Ikfirus’s Sack of Wonder (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=50001) so will be heading straight for the T10 helmet with my emblems.

    The Herkumi War Token (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=50355) was the first piece I spent EoFs on since it gave the largest DPS increase.

    I assume the legs and gloves may drop from the new VOA boss in a few weeks so will likely leave these for a while.

    I agree… The new thrown weapon from EoFs is best in slot and yes, I will probably leave this until last being only a minor upgrade to my DPS overall.

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