I noticed an odd trend while going through MogIt and AtlasLoot for Felguard weapons. Classic (despite having a lot of bland leveling weapons) and Wrath of the Lich King had way too many cool choices and had to be pruned down pretty heavily in order to keep the posts to a reasonable size. Burning Crusade had a lot of interesting and exotic looks, but a lot of them didn't agree with me or weren't suitable to be carried around by a massive demon. For Cataclysm however, I really had to scrape and grind together to barely fill out the list. I can wax philosophical about the shrinking loot tables from the 10/25 merger, compare the amount of bosses in Firelands and Dragon Soul versus Icecrown and Ulduar or a number of other things, but at the end of the day those things would not cover up the "problem" (quotes because it's only really a problem in the context of putting together something like this post and realistically has little to do with the quality of the expansion). There just weren't that many gearing options to choose from in Cataclysm.
We all remember the problems with filling the range slot in T11 (a BoE trash drop from a raid with no trash, Warriors had to make do with a leveling green or spend a small fortune on a BoE) or how hard it was to get a decent set of bracers. Plate DPS will remember how their Tier shoulders were literally the ONLY way to upgrade that item slot in Firelands. There is no such thing as a 410 item level cloak in Dragon Soul, leading tanks to still hit up Heroic Rhyolith for their best-in-slot, despite being an agility item. I'm not usually one to sit back and pick on Blizzard and point out all the things they did wrong, but I think we can all agree that they really dropped the ball on itemization this time around. As for how it affects this topic at hand: where there is a lack of items, there is a lack of weapon models. Still, I managed to pick out a few winners.
While I will probably do a final post on this once Mists of Pandaria goes live and we have access to the new weapon models, this will conclude the series for now. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later. I'm so sick of Dragon Soul.
A Reminder: Some of these weapons are still going to be upgrades for your group members if not their best-in-slot. Don't be a jerk about it. Their upgrade is more important than your cosmetic toy.
To catch up with all the demonic-weaponry-goodness, check the links below:
Part 1: The Basics
Part 2: Classic WoW
Part 3: Burning Crusade
Part 4: Wrath
Let's get started (or finished, I suppose), shall we?
Shalug'doom, the Axe of Unmaking - Honestly, this one actually grew on me after a while. I didn't really think much of it initially because, despite being an axe, there isn't much in the way of cutting edges on it. Instead, it looks like it would be better suited for mining Pyrium. However, the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. It still doesn't look like an "axe" to me, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.
Zin'rokh, Destroyer of Worlds - Originally a drop from Hakkar in the 20M raid version of Zul'Gurub, this one managed to survive the Cataclysm as an Archaeology reward. The good news is that it's bound to your account and can be used as a transmog item on all your characters (and fills in nicely as a pre-raid item for your fresh 85's) The bad news is that . . . it's an Archaeology reward. I liked Archaeology at the start of Cataclysm, but I think I'll have to go postal if I see another Cinnabar Bijou. Like most other Vanilla weapons, it just hasn't aged well and better graphical settings only serve to point out the blurry and pixelated textures. It's still pretty awesome, though.
Elementium Poleaxe - Every good harbinger of death needs a scythe, right? Contact your friendly local blacksmith to have one of these made. Prices for things like Truegold and Hardened Elementium are only going to rise as we move into Pandaria and, being a purchased recipe rather than a trained one, finding a blacksmith that has it will only become harder. If you want this one or its Molten Front twin, you may want to get it now while things are cheap.
Reforged Trollbane - Like Zin'rokh, I'm listing this one as a Cataclysm weapon since the original was removed. Undoubtedly one of my favorite axe models in the game, it kind of annoys me that the only character I have that's managed to get one is my Hunter. Bear runs are still pretty common and a lot of people forget to check the NPC chests after killing each of the first three bosses, so hang out after everyone drops group to increase your chances.
Experimental Specimen Slicer - I've never hidden my discontent with Dragon Soul, but this particular weapon is reason enough to keep going back. If your guild has been clearing DS for a while and giving these to alts and off specs or disenchanting them, speak up next time one drops. There is no Raid Finder version so you'll need to do it the old fashioned way.
Gurth'alak, Voice of the Deeps - Due to the powerful proc, just about every Death Knight, Warrior and Paladin these days has at least one version of this weapon. I tend to shy away from those "everyone and their brother has one" items, but looking at it objectively, I have to admit that this is a pretty cool sword. You might get lucky on a greed roll in the Raid Finder, but I'd say you're far more likely to get your hands on the normal version in a 10M pug.
Zoid's Firelit Greatsword - A shared item in Firelands, this sword can (supposedly) drop off of every boss. While I personally prefer the red normal-mode version, the heroic equivalent (shown) is a nice Warlock purple so you can grab whichever one suits your fancy. People still run Firelands regularly on both of my servers for Legendary weapons, transmog gear and mounts, so it shouldn't be too hard to find a group either in trade chat or on Openraid. I would only advise sticking to 25M runs. From my experience as a 10M raider throughout Cataclysm, the shared boss tables may as well not even exist for 10M raids. I can honestly say that I have never seen a single item drop from the shared loot table in either DS or Firelands.
Axe of the Tauren Chieftains - While Shalug'doom had to grow on me, this one did the opposite and fell out of favor after a while. It's not a bad weapon, but lacks too much in color to be really special. Kill the Echo of Bane in End Time to grab one of your own.
Skullstealer Greataxe - This particular axe doesn't have the girth and presence of something like De-Raged Waraxe or Betrayer of Humanity and actually tends to look a bit wimpy in my opinion, but it's all about preference so I'm sure someone out there loves it. Drops off of Shannox in the Firelands.
"Standard Cataclysm Sword" - This model was so heavily recycled in Cataclysm that I can't actually pick a single version to refer to. It's available as a quest reward, a crafted item, dungeon drops, etc. The good part of that is that it's pretty accessible so, if you're just looking for something easy to replace the standard Arcanite Reaper and Hellreaver your demon normally carries, it's a good place to start. Just pick your favorite color of ornamentation and go for it. I personally grabbed mine from the Crucible of Carnage quests, just for crits and giggles.
That about does it for this series. Again, the ones I picked are entirely based on preference and there are tons of items that I've left off of these lists for whatever reason. Feel free to do your own research and pick out the one that really works for you.