TBC Classic Phase 5 is currently on the public test realm (PTR) and will soon arrive. Sometime after the end of Arena Season 3 (May 3, 2022), probably by June given Wrath of the Lich King Classic has been announced for 2022 release. With Phase 5 comes a new in-game event, a new faction with daily quests and rewards, and both a new 5-man dungeon and 25-man raid. This TBC Classic Phase 5 guide will help you to prepare for the content now and better navigate it once it arrives.
Table of Contents
TBC Classic Phase 5 Guides
Prepare Now for New TBC Classic Phase 5 Gear
Before Phase 5 arrives you can get a head start on new gear that will become available through Badges of Justice, crafting, and PvP. The TBC Classic Phase 5 guides below will help you go through a list of new gear and what is required for each piece.
New Badge of Justice Rewards
A large number of new items will be available for Badges of Justice (BoJ) starting in TBC Classic Phase 5. Many offer faster catch-up gear for new players and alts. Some are good alternatives to Tier 6 raid loot you may have missed out on. All of them require more BoJ than ever, so you’re better off if you start farming Karazhan and Zul’Aman for what you need now.
New Crafted Gear
Ths Shattered Sun Offensive faction and Sunwell Plateau raid both bring a lot of new recipes to all crafting professions in TBC Classic Phase 5. Some of the crafted items are BoP, only being of use to the crafter. But new gloves and rings are available to everyone, many making BiS lists. You can collect and save most of the mats needed now while waiting for Phase 5 to get any Sunmotes or epic gems (there will be a price drop) you may need.
Upgraded PvP Spell Haste Necklaces
An upgraded version of the PvP spell haste necklaces for casters and healers will show up in TBC Classic Phase 5. They will offer a nice upgrade for many players until they can get their BiS necklace from Sunwell Plateau or jewelcrafting.
Cost: 15,300 Honor & 5 Eye of the Storm Marks of Honor
This is the caster DPS necklace, offering spell haste, spell damage, intellect, a lot of stamina, and a gem slot. With a Runed Crimson Spinel or new Reckless Pyrestone it beats out all Phase 4 and older necklaces for casters who value spell haste.
Cost: 15,300 Honor & 5 Eye of the Storm Marks of Honor
The healer version of the new spell haste necklaces. It offers spell haste, healing, intellect, and again a lot of stamina and a gem slot. Add a Teardrop Crimson Spinel and it’ll beat out all Phase 4 or older necklaces except for Brooch of Nature’s Mercy from ZA.
Earning Marks of Honor
There is no avoiding going into the Eye of the Storm if you want the PvP haste neck. The necks require 5 marks of honor each from Eye of the Storm. The good news is you won’t need to do more than 5 games, maybe less.
- Loss = 1 mark of honor
- Win = 3 marks of honor
- Win + Battleground Daily Quest = 6 marks of honor
Given that you only need a few marks of honor you can run the battleground you need most anytime. Doing so during a holiday weekend featuring Eye of the Storm (see my Classic Raid Calendar) will mean faster queues. But the only real shortcuts are to win (not completely under your control) or win while holding a matching battleground daily quest. But for many, you may find you get the 5 marks you need from 5 losses and just be done with it.
Any honor you earn while playing these matches can also go toward the 15,300 honor required. But don’t fixate on the honor if you don’t like playing in a battleground. There’s an easier way to earn what you need if you’re not in a rush.
Earning Honor Without Actual PvP
If you don’t enjoy PvP you can still earn decent honor each day with two daily quests. On many realms, you’ll find you can follow the crowd to complete both quests within a short amount of time, and without any combat.
Honor from Spirit Towers
The easiest way to pick up honor is doing the daily PvP quest from Terokkar Forest. If you can be online at the right time you can pick up a chunk of honor for little effort and probably little to no PvP action. This is easiest on PvE servers where you’re part of the dominant faction.
- Pick up the PvP daily quest from Terokkar Forest (Alliance | Horde).
- Note the time remaining on the Spirit Towers while in Terokkar Forest. You’ll need to be online for one of the resets that day. The towers reset every 6 hours and after a server restart.
- Shortly before the Spirit Towers reset gather around one of the towers. Preferably the one closest to the quest giver and with members of your own faction. Flag for PvP (/pvp) to get capture credit when the reset occurs.
- Once you’ve helped capture one tower you’re done, turn in the quest and pick up your 943 honor points.
If just doing Spirit Towers you’ll need to do the daily quest up to 16 times.
Honor from Hellfire Fortifications
This PvP daily quest requires either a more faction balanced server or an organized opposite faction flipping team. I’ll assume the latter, at which point the best time to complete this quest is immediately after a Spirit Tower reset.
You can get all the honor you need from the easier and more reliable Spirit Tower daily quest. But if you can pull this one off too then you can cut the wait time in half.
- Complete the Spirit Tower reset daily if you haven’t yet, then head straight to Hellfire Peninsula.
- Pick up the PvP daily quest from Hellfire Peninsula (Alliance | Horde). You could do this in advance and head straight to the fortifications.
- Make sure you’re still flagged for PvP.
- Head toward the fortifications and follow the crowd. Flippers usually operate in a set rotating pattern.
- Hover over the fortification, DO NOT LAND if it is still flagged for your faction. You want only the opposite faction flippers on the ground to reset the flag.
- Once the flag goes to neutral land and gets capture credit. Then follow the crowd to the next fortification. Repeat the process.
- If you miss one don’t panic, the flippers usually reset each flag a few times. Stay with the crowd, then head to the one you missed when most everyone else is done.
- Turn in the quest for another 943 honor points.
Doing both the Spirit Towers and Hellfire Fortification quests means you only need up to 8 days to get the honor needed for one necklace.
Shattered Sun Offensive
Most everything coming to TBC Classic Phase 5 is connected to the new faction: the Shattered Sun Offensive. The faction leads the new in-game event, which unlocks new daily quests, vendors, and other player resources on the new Isle of Quel’Danas.
Magisters’ Terrace is the new 5-man dungeon coming with TBC Classic Phase 5. It is located on the Isle of Quel’Danas, alongside much of Phase 5’s new content. You can reach the isle initially by flying from Ironforge and Silvermoon City. Later on, there will be a portal in the center of Shattrath.
Run the dungeon in normal mode for pre-raid level loot and spammable SSO reputation.
- ilvl 115 rare armor and weapons, equal to other normal dungeons, reputation rewards, and group quest rewards
- Enchant Cloak – Steelweave
- Phoenix Hatchling
- ~1640 SSO rep up to revered, then ~1230 SSO rep up to exalted
- ilvl 115 epics from most bosses, on par with early Karazhan loot
- ilvl 125 epics from Kael’Thas, on par with Karazhan and Gruul loot
- 4 Badge of Justice
- Orb of the Sin’dorei – Turns you into a blood elf for 5 minutes
- Swift White Hawkstrider
- ~2500 SSO rep
Remember, you can only run the heroic version of any dungeon once per day. But you can spam the normal version if you’re after fast rep grinding.
Sunwell Plateau is the new and final 25-man raid for TBC Classic. It was infamous for its gated system and difficult bosses. M’uru and Kil’jaden were especially difficult for original TBC raiders, requiring raids full of mostly leatherworkers to keep Drums of Battle up for the entire fight. There are no attunement requirements to enter this raid.
Sunwell Plateau Difficulty
Sunwell Plateau was designed to be the most difficult raid to date, surpassing the original Naxxramas. It was tuned for Tier 6 geared players. The first three bosses are more on par with harder Tier 6 content. With the final three bosses ramping up the difficulty. It took the top guilds of the day 5 days and countless attempts to finally down each of the final two bosses. Many guilds never made it past M’uru before nerfs were put in place.
Pre & Post-Nerf
Blizzard has announced there will be a pre-nerf and post-nerf version of Sunwell Plateau in TBC Classic. We’ll start Phase 5 with the pre-nerf version, which was also seen recently in the public test realm. Bosses have a lot more health and will function as they did during their original release in 2008.
Later on, a post-nerf version will be released which will lower boss health, among other possible changes. This should be similar to what we saw in SSC and TK during Phase 3 and will likely occur about halfway between Phase 5 release and WotLK pre-patch.
The boss buff Sunwell Radiance will be present in Sunwell Plateau at release and will remain in place through the eventual post-nerf version. Raiders will have to deal with it for the rest of TBC Classic.
- Increases boss’ chance to hit by 5%
- Decreases tank’s chance to dodge by 20%
Tanks running Sunwell Plateau on the PTR were taking 2-4x as much damage as they did in Black Temple. The original reasoning for the boss buff was to counteract the over-scaling of tank mitigation through gear. It was seen as a lesser evil than just making the bosses hit harder, which would cause more one-shots on tanks.
TBC Classic tanks may want to look into a new hyper-mitigation set of gear to help deal with this ever-present boss buff in Sunwell. Healers will be under more stress and the DPS needs to down the boss ASAP under these conditions.
Getting Into Sunwell Plateau
Once at the Isle of Quel’Danas getting to the raid is a quick ride on your ground mount. Head south along the road leading away from the harbor and after crossing a bridge you’ll run right into the summoning stone and entrance.
During the initial week or two of Phase 5, you’ll need to fly to the Isle of Quel’Danas from Ironforge or Silvermoon City. Everyone will have the new flight path automatically. The IF fight is much shorter than it looks, as you teleport from the city gates to just south of the isle.
After Sun’s Reach Sanctum has been taken a new daily quest will appear in Shattrath to create a portal to the Isle of Quel’Danas. Once completed you’ll be able to portal to the isle from the center of Shattrath.
Update: Blizzard has announced there will be no locked gates in Sunwell Plateau for TBC Classic. All 6 bosses will be available to players from the start.
In the original TBC, three gates were locked inside Sunwell Plateau, preventing players from engaging the final three bosses. Each gate was opened on a set timer and was not connected to the SSO event.
- Sunwell Plateau Release: March 25, 2008
- Kalecgos and Brutallus were killed that day
- Felmyst was killed 1 day later
- Gate 1 Opened: April 8, 2008 (14 days)
- Eredar Twins were killed 2 days later
- Gate 2 Opened: April 29, 2008 (35 days)
- M’uru was killed 5 days later
- Gate 3 Opened: May 20, 2008 (56 days)
- Kil’jadean was killed 5 days later
Gates In TBC Classic
To date, we haven’t had an official statement from Blizzard on how the Sunwell gates will work. On the Phase 5 PTR, all three gates were down from the start, allowing full access to the raid and all bosses. The AQ gates were kept in place for WoW Classic, though those gates were also part of a large event.
The Sunwell gates were originally in place partly to stall players until Wrath of the Lich King could be released (233 days after Sunwell Plateau was released, 177 days after the final gate opened). WotLK Classic will release in the same year as Phase 5, with anywhere from 4 to 7 months between. It would make sense for the gate timers to not exist this time around, or at least be at least faster in TBC Classic.
Hopefully, Blizzard will clarify the situation before Phase 5 is released.
Tier 6 Extended
There won’t be any new class armor sets in Sunwell Plateau. Instead the current Tier 6 sets are extended, with new individual BiS pieces taking over the head, shoulders, chest, hands, and leg slots.
Each Tier 6 set will have new wrist, waist, and feet pieces. They will count toward the same set bonus requirement but generally will have better stats than the non-set pieces you’re currently using in Tier 6 content.
Using New Tier 6 To Keep Your Set Bonus
For many classes which want their 4-piece set bonus, you will pick one current piece to keep and then add in the three new pieces. Your remaining, older Tier 6 pieces can then be replaced with individual BiS items.
Using my elemental shaman as an example:
- Keep Tier 6 shoulders (least stat increase from a non-set upgrade)
- Add Tier 6 wrist, waist, and feet for 2-piece and 4-piece bonuses
- Replace Tier 6 head, chest, and hands with individual pieces (never took Tier 6 legs)
This allows me to keep my powerful set bonuses while maximizing my stat gains from new Sunwell gear.
Of course, our ideal loot isn’t always what we can get, so the added Tier 6 pieces will also make it easier to keep your set bonus and use what other upgrades are made available to you.
Turning In New Tier 6 Tokens
Bosses will once again drop Tier 6 piece tokens usable by several classes in Sunwell Plateau. The new wrist, waist, and feet tokens can be traded in with Theremis. He is located on a boat next to the flight master on the Isle of Quel’Danas.
Exchanging Unwanted Epics for Other Epics
As a new and unique feature, you can exchange some epic items for a similar item with different stats using the vendor Yrma. She is located on the same boat as Theremis, again next to the flight master on the Isle of Quel’Danas.
The items exchanged are always the same slot and armor type. The stat changes typically make the new item better for a different specialization, such as exchanging a healer item for a caster DPS item. This helps if you keep getting the same gear drops and demand for the original item has dried up.
Guild Leaders’ Guide to TBC Classic Phase 5
Guild leaders will want to make some decisions in advance of TBC Classic Phase 5 on how your guild will distribute several unusual pieces of loot from Sunwell Plateau. There is no one preferred method, it will depend on how your guild has handled similar loot in the past and what your guild goals are. You will find your raiders will be happier with these details being worked out and announced ahead of Phase 5’s release.
Thori’dal, the Stars’ Fury
Thori’dal, the Stars’ Fury is a new legendary bow that drops from Kil’jaiden.
- By far the highest DPS range weapon in TBC Classic
- No ammo requirement and built-in haste bonus allows a hunter to swap out their ammo bag for a regular bag
- It is also considered BiS for combat rogues and DPS warriors due to its armor pen stats
A hunter will easily get more of a personal upgrade from the bow than a melee DPS. But it is still a DPS boost for the melee should they get it.
Player Over Class
IMO legendary items in most raiding guilds should be awarded based on the player, not necessarily the ideal class. They are huge and rare items that the entire guild worked toward getting. So it should be something the guild gives to an MVP who has gone above and beyond for the guild on a regular basis.
If you have a hunter that matches that description, fantastic. It should be obvious to your regular raiders why they are being selected for the honor.
If you have rogue or warrior who didn’t get warglaives who better merits the honor in your opinion, that’s fine too. But I would recommend explaining your reasoning to the guild when the announcement is made, especially for the hunters.
Sunmotes are a new crafting mat dropped from Sunwell Plateau trash and bosses. It is Phase 5’s version of Nether Vortex or Heart of Darkness.
Sunmotes are needed for new crafted epic rings (Sunmote x5) and crafted epic gloves (Sunmote x6). The crafted rings and gloves are BiS or near BiS for many specs. All of the crafted gloves and rings are BoE, so they can be made by crafters outside the guild.
A single Summote is also used to exchange some unwanted epics for other epics. You’ll want to keep a supply for this purpose if the same items keep dropping without continued demand for the original item.
Sunmotes will be tradable from the start, so a market will develop, and over time their cost will drop. But during the initial weeks of Phase 5, they will be in high demand.
If you found a successful distribution method for Nether Vortex and Heart of Darkness you should be able to apply that to Sunmotes as well. The pressure for more will be on for the first few weeks, but eventually, you’ll end up with more than you need.
I would not recommend forcing raiders to wait until the recipe they want drops and is learned by another guildmate. There are 11 BoP recipes that use Sunmotes, and your raid may never see each one. Outsiders with the recipe can easily do the crafting your raiders need (for a nice tip, of course).
A lot of new and desirable recipes drop from Sunwell Plateau trash. There are two types of recipes, so you should consider how you want to handle the distribution of each one.
BoP Recipes for BoE Gear
These recipes are BoP, so must be given to a crafter who is in the raid. Otherwise, they are just vendor trash. The item crafted by these recipes is BoE, so the crafter can make them for others.
- Blacksmithing – Hands (Plate)
- Leatherworking – Hands (Leather & Mail)
- Tailoring – Hands (Cloth)
- Jewelcrafting – Rings
- Hardened Khorium Smelting for Miners
These recipes benefit both the crafter and the guild. Guild members can get the item crafted for just the cost of mats. The crafter can potentially buy mats and sell the crafted item for personal profit. Though such sales aren’t usually going to bring in a lot of personal wealth, especially past the first week of Phase 5’s release.
BoE Recipes for BoP Gear
These recipes are BoE, so can be given to a crafter in the raid, stored in the guild bank, or sold at the auction house for guild funds. The item crafted by these recipes is BoP, so only the crafter can use it.
- Engineering – Goggles (11 different types)
- Blacksmithing – Chest (Plate)
- Leatherworking – Chest (Leather & Mail)
- Tailoring – Chest (Cloth)
- Jewelcrafting – Neck
Once the recipe is learned it only benefits the crafter. For many, they can make a new BiS or near BiS item. None of these recipes require a Sunmote, so in most cases, the crafter will be responsible for all their own mats.
With the BoP recipes, my top concern is keeping the recipe in the guild. So I usually prefer distribution rules which favor guild officers and/or higher ranking raid vets. Players who have been with the guild for a while and whom you would expect to stay until the end of TBC Classic. That said, losing a crafter with one or two BoP recipes isn’t devastating. More of an annoyance, as your members now to go outside the guild to find a crafter.
For the BoE recipes, you can approach them in a few different ways. The final product is only of benefit to the crafter. So it can be treated like other loot and run through your normal loot system. There is an argument to be said for the crafter having to spend their own time and gold on materials and the profession itself, so consider that when setting a cost to the loot.
If you find no one is willing to take a BoE recipe in exchange for “loot points” then you may want to reconsider your recipe loot rules. Ideally, you want as many of these recipes learned and crafted by as many raiders as possible. Raiders with enough gold will be able to bypass your system and buy the recipe at the auction house. Over time those prices will go down, allowing more raiders to do the same.