WAWK: Monk Artifact Edition

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The second of WoW’s classes to be added, Monks have been part of the game for nearly four years as of this writing, and I believe it’s safe to say that they’ve been one of the more volatile classes when it comes to gameplay ever since. In Mists itself, Windwalkers could never focus on a mastery to stick around with up until Warlords where all three specs received fairly large overhauls in their gameplay. Now in Legion, all three specialisations have completely changed their style of playing once more. Let’s face it, if you choose to play a Monk you’ve got to get used to change. That may be why their player numbers are on the lower side of things…

Regardless, their weapons are equally unimaginative between themselves – with little lore outside of Pandaria it’s hard to think of impressive artifacts that they can wield. What they can wield, is staff crafted from the first of Pandaria’s forests; using the same staff that their most famous and last emperor, Shaohao, used during his series of trials; and wearing the fist weapons literally imbued with the essence of the Windlord, Al’Akir, Blizzard have made a good effort to design weapons for monks that we can feel are awesome. They’re no Felo’melorn, Ashbringer nor Doomhammer, but Fu Zan, Sheilun and the Fists of the Heavens are mighty weapons to take up against the Legion.

Introductory Quests

Straight after settling Dalaran in its new location above the Broken Isles, Initiate Da-Nel runs up to you claiming that Grand Master Hight has requested all senior monks to return to the Peak of Serenity as soon as possible, so it’s high time that we use our personal teleport to get to there!

Master Hight explains that the Broken Shore was a massive blow to the Horde and the Alliance, but before he can finish a young monk comes rushing in, warning of a Legion invasion at the Peak! The monk then gets picked up by an infernal and pummeled against the opposite door, before you dispatch of the infernal.

Heading out of the doors, you find that the Legion are swarming everywhere at the Peak, so you’ll have to fight your way through to the Cave of the Crane. When you reach the cave, Number Nine Jia thanks you for helping save the ancient scrolls, and tells you that Chen Stormstout was teaching a class of youngsters when the attack began, so we have to go round and help him. She will turn you into a zen sphere to take you close to Chen, but not close enough that you’ll have to fight through some demons to get to him.

When you get to him, Lasy Keletress will taunt you, saying that you can’t hide and that the monastery will burn. When you save him, he will assist you in fighting demons on the way back to the monastery, where you will meet back up with Master Hight. The Grand Master will tell Chen to take the cubs to a safe location far away from the Peak, while you and Hight will seal the portal.

Running down the steps, you face against the Portal Master, Jorvinax, before destroying the master fel stone in front of the Legion portal. When you try to destroy it however, hordes of demons come through the portal, so you do a small jump and spinning kick to take out the stone and black out… Before arriving at your class hall, the Temple of the Five Dawns on Shen-zin Su, the Wandering Isle.

Fearsome Jang greets you at the base of the Temple, and tells you the bad news that Grand Master Hight now rests with the ancestors, and that the new leader for the monk order should be you. After a short ceremony, you are able to choose which artifact to pursue.

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Brewmaster – Fu Zan, the Wanderer’s Champion

As one of the oldest weapons on Azeroth, Fu Zan dates back to when the titans first molded Azeroth. Long ago, Keeper Freya set out to populate the world with life, and she place one of the first seeds in Pandaria. From the seeds grew Fu Zan, the first of all of Pandaria’s forests, and the ancestor to all of the region’s forests. Before continuing on her journey, Freya fashioned a walking stick for her travels before passing it onto the Jade Serpent, Yu’lon, who later gifted it to a hozen known as the Monkey King.

The Monkey King hung his most prized possessions from the staff, and it is said that the bearer of the staff cannot be harmed by any weapon, so we must begin our search for this weapon with the Monkey King himself. He was last spotted at Tian Monastery in the northern part of Jade Forest. When you arrive at the Ring of Balance, the Monkey King is already there, overseeing a bunch of hozen being trained in the ways of the monk. He then gives you three rhyming riddles for you to solve, in the riddle of purity, of the barrel and of the land.

Fortunately, Blizzard’s quest tracker will lead you directly to where you need to go and what you need to gather. Gone are the days of working things out for yourself… Then giving up and searching for the answer on Thottbot, Allakhazam or (currently) Wowhead. All three of the answers are in the Valley of the Four Winds, so you’ll have to take a flight over to the Pools of Purity as your closest stop, taking care of Desecrator Ma’veth who is currently corrupting a Pandaren Water Spirit. Take the Pure Water Core from the Spirit, and the Monkey King will appear in front of you to tell you to carry on finding the other riddles.

The next stop for both the riddle of the barrel and of the land is at the Imperial Granary, where the Legion are, predictably, setting fire to everything. Grab sacks of grain dotted around the place, and in the top floor of the building is a demon holding onto a barrel of brew. Kill him and take it for yourself. When you hand in the riddles, the Monkey King makes you go flying again – this time to the Temple of the Jade Serpent in the Jade Forest. I get that you want us to see Pandaria again Blizzard, but couldn’t you have kept everything in the Jade Forest? It doesn’t give a great sense of urgency too, as when you’re flying over the continent you don’t actually see any signs of Legion invasion – only at the points where the Monkey King tells you to go.

The Monkey King tells you his final task is to help him with brewing in order for him to tell you where his weapon lies. It’s one of those simple “I tell you a clue what item to press, and keep doing it until the bar fills up” kind of deals, and after you finish with all the ingredients the Monkey King tells you that the staff was only a gift from Yu’lon while he completed his task. After the task was finished, he had to return it to her (seems like a good closing clause for us to relinquish the weapon at the end of Legion too, huh?).

We accompany the head hozen to the temple to request the staff from the Jade Serpent, and we find that the temple is suddenly overrun by the Legion, despite it being peaceful and tranquil just moments before. You’ll have to fight your way round and save who you can starting from the Scrollkeeper’s Sanctum. You fight your way through to Belphiar, an observer, who is currently feasting on the minds of a couple pandaren, though when you defeat him you find that Lorewalker Stonestep did not make it, unfortunately – you may remember the Lorewalker from the 5man instance.

The Monkey King tells you that Yu’lon is in trouble, and that you have to come and help immediately to fight off the demons while the Jade Serpent recuperates. When she eventually revives herself, she goes on into the temple itself to fight off a monstrous felbat while you fight its rider, Lord Korithis. When you succeed, she will grant you Fu Zan and offers to take you back to your order hall.

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Mistweaver – Sheilun, Staff of Mists

Mistweavers get to wield the staff of the last and legendary emperor of the Pandaren, Shaohao. The last time the Legion launched a full-scale invasion of Azeroth, the emperor received a prophecy that the Legion would leave the world shattered, so to save his people he embarked on a series of trials. When he finished, he became part of the land, and vanished into the mists that enshrouded the continent, now separate from the rest of Kalimdor. The staff he took on his journey, Sheilun, clattered to the ground, where it lay until monks of Tian Monastey found and took it to the Terrace of Endless Spring for safekeeping.

The current major Legion invasion has broken into Pandaria and Shado-Pan defenders have rushed to secure the area. They haven’t reported back, so it’s up to us to save their hides! Considering this is the healing line, I’d guess some are alive, but we have to help keep them that way…

Tak-Tak will take us back to Pandaria, to the Terrace of Endless Spring, where you will find our good old Shado-Pan friend Taran Zhu waiting for you.

And he’s gotten himself injured again.

When you heal him up, he will tell you to free the other Shado-Pan while he takes on Hellwarden Xaphan. Taking down the jailer will allow you to carry on up the terrace, where you get to choose which of the Shado-Pan members you wish to focus on keeping alive while they go be a terrible tunnel-focusing DPS. The choice is between Fei Li, the firemage; Taoshi, the rogue; or Hawkmaster Nurong, the hunter. Whichever you choose will affect how the fight progresses, but it’s largely down to your own playstyle as a mistweaver to go for mana regen, mobility or attack speed.

Or you can go for all three bonuses if you feel up to the challenge and overgear the scenario. Speak with Taran Zhu, and your crew can start attacking Aspersius. When you defeat the fel-blighted water elemental, Sheilun, the Staff of the Mists, is yours to take! Short and sweet for the mistweavers, not an awful lot going on here!

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Windwalker – Fists of the Heavens

Moving away from the Pandaren culture (seeing as there’s more than just Pandaren Monks in this game), the Windwalker artifacts look at one of our side-character races, the tol’vir. Tol’vir smith Irmaat crafted a magnificent pair of handblades thousands of eyars ago, however he was unsatisfied with his work, so he set out to try and capture the essence of the Windlord, Al’akir. The elemental lord of air was not amused by the tol’vir, and to spite him he poured significant amounts of raw elemental fury into the blades, and when Irmaat unleashed their might, a giant vortex sprung up, taking out the city and scattering the weapons to the winds.

Little more is known of them, so it’s up to us to see if the legends are true as these weapons would be beneficial against the Legion invasion. Iron-Body Ponshu tells you that Li Li Stormstout is one of the most traveled people on the Wandering Isle, so it is best to start with her to find the whereabouts of this weapon. She tells you that she met with a tol’vir in Booty Bay, and tells you the legend of the handblades concerning Irmaat and Al’Akir.

She tells you to take her kite and meet her in Ramkahen, and once you land she tells you that while you’ve been taking the scenic route, she’s been in discussion with King Phaoris, ruler of Ramkahen, and found out that he can help as long as we take care of a problem for him: an elemental called Nader attacking his people.

You quickly take care of Nader, where he mentions a lord Typhinius, and grab the essence of the whirlwind for the first clue and return it to Phaoris. He tells you that using the stone will take you to Skywall itself, and says that the Fists of the Heavens should be in the elemental plane of air. When you arrive, Li Li immediately gets herself into trouble with Typhinius, and its up to you to save her. You then make your way through Skywall (ahem, Vortex Pinnacle) to destroy 3 stormtouched orbs to bypass the raging winds.

Getting to the end of the platform will cause Typhinius to appear again, and send four of his minions against you, alongside a couple extra enemies per wave, with an air elemental dragon (the Cataclysm winds dragons, not the new storm dragons from Legion content) who you defeat and then jump onto the back of. Zaurac, the dragon, will take you to Typhinius himself, who you also end up defeating. When you win, the Fists of the Heavens are yours to keep!

WAWK: Mage Artifact Edition

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Unsatisfied with dominating the damage charts in previous expansions – sometimes even to the point where stacking them late into the tier could be used to skip mechanics entirely and speedkill bosses, mages get an assortment of artifacts this expansion that belong to very well known mages in lore. Arcane get access to Aluneth, the staff of Aegwynn, the only female Guardian of Tirisfal and mother of Medivh; fire wields Felo’melorn, the spellblade belonging to the Sunstrider family through the War of the Ancients, the Troll Wars and the fight against the death knight Arthas; and frost mages will be able to use Ebonchill, the staff of the first Guardian of Tirisfal, Alodi.

Introductory Quests

Meryl Felstorm calls upon you to meet with him in Dalaran, at the Violet Gate, to warn you of an escaped dreadlord on your hands (cue Jaina memes). Kathra’natir, who he banished and trapped within his own body in the comics, has broken free. The dreadlord seeks a relic called the Forge of the Guardian – an item used to infuse the Council of Tirisfal’s power into the Guardian. You join Felstorm to confront the dreadlord in Violet Hold, where the Forge was hidden.

When you head inside, you fight with Kathra’natir (don’t forget to spellsteal his leech ability) shortly before Felstorm freezes him into a block of ice. He claims that the dreadlord is too strong, so you’ll have to use the Forge of the Guardian, being siphoned by rifts for its magic to be infused with the power of the Guardian Alodi temporarily to defeat him.

After defeating him, Alodi forms as a spirit and tells Felstorm that the Legion will continue to seek the Forge of the Guardian once Kathra’natir returns to strength again. You have to transport it to an even safer location than the Violet Hold – to your class hall, the Hall of the Guardian. Felstorm says he will reform the Tirisgarde, and elite order of mages, with you as its champion.

The Tirisgarde themselves weren’t as powerful as the Guardian themselves, though they were able to use powerful artifacts and work together in order to overcome obstacles, and it is now that you’re prompted to pursue which artifact to go for first: Aluneth, Felo’melorn or Ebonchill.

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Arcane – Aluneth, Greatstaff of the Magna

Aluneth was most notably wielded for a time by Aegwynn, the only female Guardian of Tirisfal, although stories indicate that it is far older than she. She is said to have found the staff roughly a century after she took up the mantle of Guardian, and to have wielded Aluneth in many battles against the Burning Legion. Several years before relinquishing her title, she retired the staff, but none know where she might have stored it.

Felstorm starts the search with the blue dragonflight, as the Kirin Tor entrusted the staff with them, fearing its unbridled power. Fortunately, the Kirin Tor have a blue dragon on their Council, so you’re told to meet with him at the Violet Citadel, along with taking some scrolls that Aegwynn used to bind the elemental Aluneth into the staff.

When you meet up with the blue dragon, he tells you that the staff was kept within the Nexus Vault and warns you that after the blue dragonflight was dissolved, the Nexus was all but abandoned – there’s no knowing what may be waiting for us down there. He instructs you to go to the Azure Dragonshrine to find out what’s happening within Coldarra since the end of the Nexus War.

When you get there, you find the area filled with void beings so you have to find clues as to what happened here. Ethereal portals, void-tainted blades on the corpses of focus wizards and void siphons placed where void energy was released when Malygos forced Azeroth’s ley lines into the Twisting Nether are all clues as to what’s happened at the shrine, before finding an ethereal communication device at the south-eastern corner of the shrine. It appears that to find out more we’re going to have to turn the device on!

Turning it on causes Nexus-Prince Bilaal to appear and tell you that you’re too late, that the powers within the Nexus Vault already widen the breach into the Twisting Nether, and that the Ethereum (remember these guys from TBC?) will be able to use this power to become void creatures themselves. Kalec tells you to scout out a few key locations in Coldarra and report back to him what you find.

The Ethereum have altered the Surge Needles and are tapping into the void energy caused by a rift that’s created underneath them, shielding the Nexus foundations, and inspecting the nexus building itself tells Kalec that the energy from Aluneth appears to be breaking free from the weakened vault. He formulates a plan to use the altered Surge Needles against the Ethereum. To begin with, you need to empower yourself with the unstable arcane energy around the foundation of the Nexus by either defeating the arcane aberrants around the area or siphoning the breaches of arcane energy.

Once you infuse yourself with enough energy, you turn into a disco ball of light, Kalec tells you to unleash that energy on the focused void underneath all three of the Surge Needles. When you do, Azuregos of all blue dragons senses your presence within Coldarra, and Kalec asks that you put an end to the ethereals within the vault and claim Aluneth for yourself, to free Azuregos from their grip.

When you enter, Azuregos tells you that the Ethereum have stolen anything of worth, and tells you to take the fight to them instead of taking the treasures straight from him. Nothing is ever simple these days, is it? Defeating the scions of fire, ice and magic releases Azuregos from the trap and will aid you in getting to the vault. Making your way through the Nexus, it becomes apparent that Aluneth is no longer fully contained and there are series of traps around the halls that would be harmful toward you if you happened to step in them. Blinking over arcane flood and avoiding the explosions will make light work of the instability as you fight your way through the Nexus.

When you reach the Librarium, Azuregos claims that Malygos broke the entrance to the vault when he breached the Twisting Nether during the Nexus Wars. Before you can continue to find another way into the vault, an echo of Aluneth appears and tries to kill you. After dealing with that, you continue through the Nexus to find another way into the vault – through the rift.

Since you last came here, it seems that the Ethereum have done some internal decorating by removing the bridge to the rift, so you ride atop Azuregos to make your way over to Nexus-Prince Bilaal, who has turned himself into a void revenant – similar to Xhul’horac in Hellfire Citadel’s void version. Once you defeat him, Azuregos can open a portal to the Nexus Vault and explains to you that you can only leave the vault with the weapon, you must first gain control over it.

Using the three scrolls Felstorm gave you at the start of your journey, you must place them in positions around the vault in order to calm the volatile arcane projections spinning around the room. The staff proceeds to insult you as you calm the energies around him, and claims you’re not as powerful as Aegwynn… Well no shit! She’s a Guardian! Still, you claim the staff as your own, and I’m sure it’ll carry on giving you sass throughout the expansion.

When you return to the Nexus, Azuregos congratulates you on acquiring the staff, thanks you for freeing him, and tells you that he will secure the Nexus to ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands again. When you are done, he provides you with a portal back to Dalaran to notify Kalec of what’s happened, before you return to a now-rebuilt Hall of the Guardian, to begin your journey against the Legion in the Broken Isles.

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Fire – Felo’melorn

One of the more famous weapons on the list for mages, its history of wielders are still just as important as its frost and arcane counterparts. The Sunstrider dynasty have used this weapon against the Burning Legion back in the War of the Ancients, as well as against their adversaries in the Troll Wars before Kael’thas Sunstrider reforged it to be used against the Lich King and Frostmourne. Unfortunately the blood elf lost in the conflict, and was forced to leave the weapon behind in his retreat of the frigid wastes of Northrend.

Felstorm tells you that Archmage Modera has recently uncovered some information on the whereabouts of this artifact, where she tells you to meet with her at Dalaran Crater as her lead on the artifact is unable to enter the city of Dalaran. When you meet with her at the crater, Aethas Sunreaver, the betrayer of Dalaran at the Divine Bell incident during Mists of Pandaria, arrives to aid you and tells you of Lyandra Sunstrider’s quest to find Felo’melorn after Kael’thas’s betrayal. He tells you that after years of no contact, he decided to search for the blade when the Legion came knocking on our doorstep. He saw a vision of Lyandra with the weapon in hand, standing in front of Icecrown Citadel.

Sunreaver creates a portal for you to take you to Icecrown, to take the blade from Lyandra and warns you that she won’t relinquish it easily… And that the Lich King may bring some minions to prevent your access of the Citadel. As soon as you portal in, the Lich King senses you in his halls and sets you trials that you’ll have to pass in order to take the blade for your own. He threatens that if you fall, you will become a mindless minion of the Scourge… Seems Bolvar’s influence is working on the new Lich King!

Going through the first hallway you’re met with blocks of ice that break open when you walk near them, unleashing a geist on you, alongside some patrols to keep you occupied. The harder part of the trial is the miniboss at the end of the hallway constantly blowing winds down the hall in central or outer edge passages, constantly pushing you back while you fight your way through. Defeat the conjurer, and you’re met with a permafrost wall to destroy with your AoE abilities.

When you break through, Lyandra Sunstrider, now more clearly an agent of undeath, taunts you and tells you that if you try to take the blade, she will strike you down. You’re also met with a room that has falling chunks of ice that you have to navigate through, while AoEing packs of mobs and keeping away from those same ice blocks as before.

Eventually you will make your way to the Crimson Hall where you will find Lyandra waiting for you. She will send packs of burning undead at you before fleeing back further into the hall. You will fight against her for a small while before a fiery version of Marrowgar, named Gorewing, becomes reanimated. Aethas picks that moment to rejoin your effort in fighting against Lyandra and holds her at bay while you deal with Gorewing.

Once you’ve dealt with the flaming Marrowgar, Lyandra becomes targetable again and you can finish her off. When you do, the Lich King will congratulate you on your new weapon and tells you to leave, claiming that the living have no place within his citadel of ice. Claim your new weapon, and return to Dalaran with your floating orbs of fire in tow over your head… Now you can really RP like a Blood Mage! When you return, Aethas is under trial for his return to Dalaran, and after some discussion among the Council, is free to go – let’s hope he doesn’t have any ulterior motives to betray the Kirin Tor once more. You’re then prompted to return to the newly refurbished Hall of the Guardian to begin your journey into the Broken Isles.

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Frost – Ebonchill

Frost Mages get to use the staff of the first Guardian of Tirisfal, Alodi. You meet him during the introductory quests and appears in the manga as well as the Warcraft movie. When he stepped down from Guardian, he kept the staff until his dying day, and passed it onto his favourite apprentice and so on up until archmage Arrexis wielded it during the First War.

Being frost mages, apparently all we want to do is to study, so we must look through the stacks of books in the Hall of the Guardian for clues as to what happened to the fate of Arrexis. We learn of a Phantasm Zone, a prison dimension within a dimension that would fly through the Twisting Nether forever, with its occupant able to see out, but never escape – this occupant being Millhouse Manastorm’s father, Magnus Manastorm. A missive dating back to when the first mages were being taught magic by the high elves lies in one corner, though more interesting and related to Arrexis in another book we find out about an eredar lord named Balaadur, who convinces or forces archmages to enter tears in reality where he can finish them off and use their weapons as his own trophies.

A hint of Medivh’s corruption to Sargeras is in an old journal underneath a bookcase, where Arrexis speaks with the last Guardian about experiments made to bring up wards brought about droves of mana leeches, as well as mentioning the weakness of reality within Karazhan to Medivh. In a brief moment, Medivh had a strange smile when staring at the wards and telling Arrexis to continue with his ritual on the demonic realms.

Finally, we learn from an old scrap of paper that apparently his ritual was successful, but he and all his apprentices died. From what we learn, many of the Council also died, and they wanted no repeat of it, so scrubbed all records of Arrexis and his ritual – despite considering it an accident and failed experiment, with the death of other members in the Tirisgarde foul play was suspected. Someone named Daio was also sent packing for his part in the debacle, and mentions Balaadur as a key player within this experiment.

Telling Felstorm of what you’ve learned, linking Balaadur with Arrexis, and the new owner of Ebonchill, Felstorm suggests recreating the ritual to attract the eredar lord’s attention and attempt to ambush us. So we now have to head out to Karazhan to find and retrieve information, to the Blasted Lands to seek out Daio the Decrepit, and to go to the Bank of Dalaran to gain access to Alodi’s Mana Gems as we have no access to apprentices to fund extra mana for the ritual.

Heading to Alodi’s vault to begin with and you’ll find that guardian orbs are floating around exploding, so quickly dispatching them allows you to freely walk around the room for a few brief moments before they turn themselves back on. You can then take the portal in central Dalaran to Karazhan to begin the next two stages of finding out what the ritual was that Arrexis attempted. When you arrive at the camp, you find the place is overrun by arcane hunters and mana scavengers – clearly the ritual site is still infused with energy after all these years!

Grabbing a functional ward, you then can find the ritual notes a little further up the camp, which will then trigger Merina’s spirit who tells you to find the focus crystal near her corpse at the back of the camp. With focus crystal in your possession, we can go and seek out Daio the Decrepit, at the small part of the Taunted Scar in Blasted Lands that’s still desolate of life. He explains that the ritual caused Arrexis to be dragged screaming into the Nether and his entire cadre of mages to be slaughtered. It caused Daio to give up the arcane in pursuit of the fel to understand what happened and how to bring justice to Balaadur.

Daio is not particularly trusting of your ability to take on Balaadur and his minions, so summons demons of his own before joining your cause. When you’re successful, he gives you a demonic stone from Baladuur’s realm to attune the ritual to demonic energies. Returning to the Hall of the Guardian, you’re told to go somewhere highly visible to draw the attention of the eredar lord, so Faronaar, a Legion-entrenched area in Azsuna is suggested as the ritual site.

Once you land, you’re told to set up wards at key locations and then to go to the Altar of End Times to activate the ritual focus. Once you do, several waves of demons will attempt to stop you until you reach near-completion of powering the focus. When that happens, Balaadur will come for you and drag you into his realm, where you will fight one against one until either of you triumph. When you take him down, take Ebonchill as your own and head back through the portal to Faronaar, before taking another portal back to the Hall of the Guardian to find it all repaired, and for you to begin your journey into the Broken Isles.

WAWK: Hunter Artifact Edition

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With the recent release of gnome hunters, part 4 of our WAWK series focuses on a class that is newly available to every single race. Similar to being able to pick up a stick and yell at things as a warrior, it seems that there are no longer any racial restrictions to picking up a bow and shooting it at someone. They represent a deep connection between man and beast, and are master trackers and survivors of the wilderness, however few can contest that the elves and tauren are the masters of hunting in the Warcraft universe.

Such is represented among the artifacts that they are able to take up against the Burning Legion this expansion. Markmanship hunters prefer to attack from afar, and the legendary bow Thas’dora, Legacy of the Windrunners comes from a long line of very famous elves. Survival hunters, now melee in Legion, are able to use the Ancient-touched Talonclaw, Spear of the Wild Gods that the Highmountain tauren used for generations, most notable by Huln Highmountain during the War of the Ancients. Beast Masters are able to use magical engineering might of the titan-keeper Mimiron in their artifact weapon Titanstrike… Because when Blizzard have run out of ideas for artifacts, they slap on something titan or vrykul related. However the dwarves are chasing after this one, and dwarven riflemen are most certainly a stereotype within the Warcraft universe.

Introductory Quests

Snowfeather, the white eagle comes to you with an urgent message (Game of Thrones reference?) addressed to you, telling you to go to Emmarel Shadewarden in Dalaran to help in the fight against the Legion. Taking about 3 steps toward the guns and bows shop in Dalaran makes you wonder why the white eagle was needed in the first place, but Shadewarden tells you to go meet with three individuals around the city to help decide on what artifact to pursue in the fight against the Legion.

Grif Wildheart, the beast master, is predictably in the Magical Menagerie looking at all the pets in the stables. He tells you he’s unsure of this Unseen Path faction that Shadewarden is part of, but tells you he’s been working with Brann Bronzebeard to the point where they’re finding the tomb of a vrykul warlord that stole a rifle called Titanstrike. In the Arsenal Absolute, Apata Highmountain claims she is an ally of this Unseen Path and tells you that Talonclaw was lost to a fierce nightsaber called Dakarr. Finally, hanging around the outside of the Silver Covenant’s section of Dalaran Courier Larkspur tells you that Vereesa Windrunner has a lead on the whereabouts of her sister, Alleria. Finding her and her bow would provide a great boon against the might of the Legion.

Returning to Shadewarden she asks you which weapon to seek first, finishing the short and sweet introduction to hunters’ class artifacts.

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Beast Mastery – Titanstrike

Starting with the relatively unknown, Titanstrike is a weapon designed by Keeper Mimiron for his friend, Keeper Thorim to use. How a Gnome expects to hold a weapon to be used by titanic watchers is beyond me, but Warcraft physics are a thing. Using Thunderspark, a relic inside the weapon, it harnesses the raw essence of storms and focuses it into concentrated blasts of energy.

As we found out from Wildheart earlier, the weapon was found by a vrykul warlord named Volund and he used it to conquer his rivals within the Broken Isles until he took Titanstrike to his grave. Shadewarden tells you to meet with the dwarf at Krasus’ Landing, and he tells you that he’s struck a deal with a vrykul guide named Prustaga to aid us in opening the tomb. He tells you to hop onto his gryphon and fly to Shield’s Rest Island off the coast of Stormheim.

After the short trip, you meet up with Prustaga who tolerates your presence, and as you near the tomb the ghost of the warlord warns you to leave, calling you a thief and coveter. Entering the tomb you find a set of obstacles filled with storm and wind to set you back, but killing the Windshapers will cause the winds to stop and your allies to catch up with you.

Once you reach the T junction of the tomb, Prustaga breaks open the wards on the tomb of Volund (the other paths being associated with other artifact quests), and after a few waves of enemies you can enter the tomb. You see titan relics littering the tomb, and up ahead Wildheart spots a mechagnome that he fixes up until it turns itself on. It also switches on a few other robots in the room, and as you quickly dispatch of them, the mechagnome turns on the console to bring an image of Mimiron into the room.

Prustaga makes the keeper show us where Titanstrike is being hidden, and he unlocks a chest to bring us the weapon. Mission accomplished! However, the warlord is unhappy about you stealing his prized possession, and attempts to kill you while warning you to not wield the storms of Titanstrike. After a quick and easy fight, Prustaga plays her hand and stuns everyone in the room, stealing the artifact for herself and teleporting away, claiming that she will become the new god-queen thanks to us.

Mimiron switches on a teleportation pad that will take you to Ulduar, so you can work together to try and retrieve Titanstrike from Prustaga. When you meet up with Mimiron in the Spark of Imagination, he tells you that he will be able to locate the artifact by downloading the data from the tomb into his core processing systems, but says that a few failsafe mechanisms may overload as a result that we’ll have to deal with… Whatever that may mean.

Nevertheless, when we help him it becomes apparent what this means. The fusion core overheats, so you have to jump over rings of fire and deactivate the control panels near them, before the Storm Leviathan unit starts malfunctioning and shoots balls of energy all over the floor. Dodging the void zones and activating the stabilization matrix will allow you to keep the Leviathan in check, and Mimiron tells you some good news and some bad news. The good news being that the download is nearly done, but the bad news is that there may be total system failure. Pushing the big red button labeled “DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON” – the very same one that started Firefighter in the Mimiron encounter in Lich King, conveniently doesn’t kill you and allows you to finish the download.

You find out that Prustaga is at Thorim’s throne in the Temple of Storms, on her way to reverse engineer the Thunderspark powering Titanstrike and infuse the storm’s energies into herself. Using Mimiron’s Head, the Aerial Command Unit, we can quickly get to the Temple of Storms and meet with Thorim. When we do, and after a short introduction to his worg, Hati, the vrykul Prustaga has allied herself with start the assault on the temple, before she gets to the throne herself.

Prustaga successfully reverses the effects of Titanstrike and absorbs the power of the Thunderspark into herself, throwing out crashes and thunders of lightning out until the energies overwhelm her and she explodes into a blinding light. Fortunately for us, but not for the worg, Hati absorbs all of the explosive energies into himself. With Hati on the brink of death, Mimiron claims that the power of Thunderstrike may soon be lost forever, but seeing your kinship with the spirits of wild creatures he says that if you bind your spirit with that of Hati’s, you may be able to both save the worg and restore the gun.

When you tame him, Titanstrike becomes available to pick up, and once you do Thorim claims that Hati’s noble spirit is now bound to the weapon and that he will be a loyal companion to you in the dark times ahead against the Legion. Wildheart summons his gryphon to take you back to Dalaran and tells you to return to Shadewarden to find out more about the Unseen Path and to unlock your class order hall at Trueshot Lodge in the peaks of Highmountain.

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Marksmanship – Thas’dorah, Legacy of the Windrunners

The Windrunner family has a long history both in the lore as well as within the games themselves. Alleria Windrunner made her debut in Warcraft II as a special Elven Ranger unit, and the youngest sister Vereesa made a quiet entrance in the novel Day of the Dragon. Sylvanas was the last of the three sisters to be introduced in Warcraft III, though she made appearances in the Tides of Darkness novel. Lirath was their youngest brother, but he was killed by a group of raiding orcs during the Second War.

Thas’dorah is a family heirloom, carved from a bough of the mother tree of Eversong Woods, Thas’alah, and was passed down to the eldest of each generation. She and her bow were last seen when Draenor was destroyed (in our timeline) and Outland was created. However when we invaded Outland ourselves, we found most of the Sons of Lothar apart from Turalyon and Alleria, and it’s only now in Legion where clues to the Windrunner sister’s current whereabouts is.

Shadewarden tells you to meet up with Courier Larkspur at Krasus’ Landing, and he tells you that a demon prisoner has given us a solid lead on where Alleria is. You’re instructed to join Vereesa and the Farstriders on the Broken Shore and after a short flight you meet up with both the ranger-general and the Farstrider Ranger Orestes. The interrogated demon claims that Alleria may be kept on Niskara, so it’s up to us to retrieve the valuable ally as a small strike force. After all, can we really trust demons?

Orestes believes it’s a trap, and insists on going through the portal with Vereesa. She declines, but he ignores orders at the last second and runs through the portal to Niskara once it opens. When you enter the other side, Orestes is nowhere to be seen, so you go with Vereesa to explore the demon world and look for both Alleria and now Orestes.

After a few packs of demons, you find Orestes up ahead surrounded by felhounds and the Hound Mistress Torvis. Kill her and Orestes tells you on his dying breaths that he searched everywhere but the cathedral, so our next stage will take us to there. A few waves of demons and fel raining down from the sky sits between you and the cathedral, and before you can enter the demonic structure itself, Herald Xarbizuld stands in your way.

Once you defeat him, High Inquisitor Qormaladon taunts you that he sees all – every truth and every lie. So we have to kill him and his eyes to make Niskara blind to what’s happening. Be careful to let the frosty eyes get in melee range with you, as they’ll stun you for a few seconds that can lead to a bad time. Once you defeat him, you continue your search for Alleria before you come across her bow sitting on a plinth inside the demonic structure.

With no Alleria there, Vereesa concludes that she escaped and attempted to use Vereesa as measure to try and lure Alleria back to Niskara. Vereesa gifts the bow to you for use against the Legion on the Broken Isles, and Gorelix arrives on Niskara (you may remember him from the Blood Death Knight scenario) to retake the cathedral for the Legion. It’s high time you escaped now that the mission is accomplished.

Returning to Dalaran, you are able to reconvene with Shadewarden, who then sends you to Trueshot Lodge in Highmountain to discover more about the Unseen Path and to set up your order hall.

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Survival – Talonclaw, Spear of the Wild

To fill out the trio of ranged weapons with a crossbow artifact weapon for hunters must have been too difficult for Blizzard, so they opted to change the entire spec to return to its vanilla roots and become focused on being a melee class! Jokes aside, hunters now have the capabilities of being a melee class and the tauren are here to help us get our artifact for it.

The Highmountain tauren crafted this spear more than 10,000 years ago, and ever since then wielders of Talonclaw have fought alongside the Wild Gods of Azeroth to combat against threats to the wildlife and the world. These Wild Gods, the Ancients, have over time bestowed blessings upon the weapon, imbuing it with a portion of their power. Unfortunately, the weapon was lost many years ago to the magically corrupted monstrosity called Dakarr, so we have to travel to Stormheim and reclaim it for the fight against the Legion once more.

When you meet with Apata Highmountain at Krasus’ Landing to set off for the spear, she says that you must first speak with Ohn’ara, the eagle spirit, to receive her blessing and listen to any knowledge with that she may impart. You’ll be taken to Spiritwatch Point in Highmountain while Apata tells you a bit of history of Talonclaw’s wielders, explaining that Dorro Highmountain was the last to wield the eagle spear before his end came to Dakarr, the nightsaber that was corrupted by a vrykul mystic. She says that once every so often a brave hunter seeks Talonclaw, communes with the Eagle Spirit, receives her blessing and then begin their hunt. None ever returned.

When you reach Spiritwatch Point, you find that it’s under attack by weird growths and the flora around it, so you’re forced to land nearby on the cliffs in Highmountain. When you reach Spiritwatch Point, you Degar Bloodtotem has ensnared Ohn’ahra and is claiming Talonclaw for his own clan. Kill him, and Ohn’ahra flies out of the cave. Meet with her, and she gives you her blessing, allowing you to depart for Stormheim as an avatar of the Eagle Spirit.

When you land, you meet with Wuho Highmountain and devise a plan to find the artifact. The kvaldir nearby speak of a giant cat that made its lair in the swamps, and they created a wall of magical wards to keep it at bay. Apata and Wuho set off to examine the wards while we investigate the harbor. Making your way through the swamp, you find a kvaldir Mist Warder go to activate a wardstone, so you’re prompted to trap him and steal it for yourself, and to do so three more times around the harbor.

Afterwards, you go find the tauren in the swamp, to find Wuho getting very impatient while Apata tries to calm him down. You tell them to use the wards you found and to harpoon your way across the fog wall. When you reach the other side, it feels too quiet… But Apata is sure you’re being watched. Before long, you find Dakarr is in the mists, and sends illusions after you that disperse themselves into the mists. Keep flare up and AoE them down, before continuing into the mists themselves to meet with the beast.

Going into the mist, you can place a large trap to ensnare the nightsaber, and once you do a short fight breaks out. Once the beast realises its losing however, it pounces on and kills Wuho, while wounding you to 75% of your health before running into the mists once more. Another mist trap laid, and Dakarr strikes again! This time when he loses, he finishes off Apata and runs into his cave lair, wounding you to 50% of your health. You run into the cave to find the nightsaber and Talonclaw behind him! When you finally kill him in his lair, the wound wears off and Talonclaw is yours for the taking.

When you take it, Dorro’s spirit claims that now the monster is dead and the spear reclaimed, he can finally move on, before creating a portal to Dalaran for you and telling you to return to Shadewarden to find out more about the Unseen Path and to create your class order hall.