Lightsworn: Legion’s Ret Paladin Ashbringer Artifact questline
How do you do, fellow Retribution Paladins? Nah, just kidding. I normally write the Holy Paladin column here, but I’m filling in for now to tell you how you’ll get your hands on your Legion Artifact weapon, the legendary Ashbringer.
Disclaimer: Retribution is my offspec, and while I’m comfortable enough with it to do dailies or Brawler’s Guild, I haven’t really been keeping up-to-date with changes to the spec. I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have, but I can’t guarantee I’ll know which talent will be the best DPS option or anything like that.
Warning! There will be significant lore spoilers after the break!
Retribution in Legion
As is customary with Legion’s artifact questlines, we’ll first need to kill some demons on the Broken Shore, then do a bit more of the same while assisting the newly-introduced Demon Hunters. These fights aren’t too difficult, so they’re good opportunities to try out our new talents and spells. Be mindful you don’t go overboard on AOE attacks and bite off more than you can chew! It might be tempting to wade into a huge pack of demons and cut loose, but it’s also an easy way to get yourself killed.
Fundamentally, our rotation is mostly the same, with a few differences: Judgment no longer generates Holy Power (but it’s still important to use, as it increases the damage of our Holy Power spenders), Blade of Justice takes the place of Exorcism, and we now have a bunch of talents that transform our Holy Power generators into different attacks.
For the purposes of the Ashbringer questline, we’ll generally be fighting alone against single enemies in short combats, so I avoided AOE, damage-over-time, and ally-based talents. I went with:
- Final Verdict
- The Fires of Justice
- Fist of Justice
- Virtue’s Blade
- Justicar’s Vengeance
- Divine Steed
- Divine Purpose
These aren’t necessarily the best talents for raiding or dungeons, but for solo questing I found them suitable. You can certainly do the Ashbringer quests with different talents if you prefer, though!
The Max with a Mission
After we’ve finished slaughtering demons, we head to Dalaran and watch Khadgar and the Council of Six relocate the city to the Broken Isles. At this point we can finally get started on our heroic quest to retrieve the Ashbringer by…walking around Dalaran killing time until Maxwell Tyrosus chases us down. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take long.
He asks us to find two other paladins in Dalaran named Orik Trueheart and Travard, then meet him at Krasus’ Landing, where we’ll be able to choose which Artifact we want to pursue. (Spoiler: it’s the third one.)
Tyrosus is eager to recover the Ashbringer, but he doesn’t know where to start. He has an idea on who to ask for advice, though — Uther. So off we go to the Western Plaguelands, where we’re to meet up with Tyrosus at Uther’s Tomb. Conveniently, we can simply use Dalaran’s centrally-located portals to warp to Dalaran Crater. Be sure to Divine Shield on the way down! Uther’s Tomb is just a short flight away.
Ghosts of the Past
When we reach the tomb, we run into some familiar faces — High Priest Thel’danis, the night elf priest caretaker of the tomb, and Mehlar Dawnblade, a Blood Knight and former student of Uther’s. Back in Burning Crusade, Mehlar used to give Horde players a quest to defile Uther’s Tomb, as he deeply hated and blamed Uther for failing to “properly” train Arthas Menethil — who would later go on to destroy Quel’Thalas and become the Lich King.
During Mehlar’s quest, Uther’s spirit would appear to players, saddened that his former student’s heart had turned so dark, but also hopeful that one day Mehlar might once again embrace the Light and turn away from hatred and revenge. Seeing Mehlar here in Legion helping protect Uther’s Tomb from the risen spirits, it appears that day has come. A nice throwback to some old but relevant lore.
Tyrosus points out that we wouldn’t be very good paladins if we didn’t lend Thel’danis and Mehlar a hand, so it falls on us to do a little ghostbusting while he prepares the ceremony to contact Uther’s spirit. The ghosts aren’t very dangerous on their own, but they do wander around a bit, and can respawn quickly if there are other paladins in the area also working on these quests, so just be careful you don’t get ambushed from behind.
Once we’ve dispatched the ghosts and purified the nearby graveyards, we’re ready for our chat with the Holy Ghost (of Uther).
Uther tells us that the Ashbringer is calling out from an island that lies close to the “tomb of the evil one” (presumably the Tomb of Sargeras), and not only that, the sword is not alone — Tirion is still alive! But his light is fading.
Bolstered by the news, Tyrosus immediately flies off to Light’s Hope Chapel to prepare an assault to rescue Tirion and recover the Ashbringer. We join him there, he gives a little speech, then it’s back to the Broken Shore.
As we touch down alongside Tyrosus and a legion of Argent Crusaders, the first thing we have to do is take on a small army of demons standing in our way. I have to admit, fighting alongside your fellow paladins on a demon-infested, shattered island in the middle the sea, with Tirion’s life and the Ashbringer at stake…it really felt suitably exciting and dramatic.
The battle itself is pretty fun. Some of the Argent Crusader NPCs are healers, so you can run wild on the demons (within reason, of course), and be reasonably confident they’ll keep you healed up. The first wave of Felstalkers and Wrathguards will swarm you, making it a good time for Shield of Vengeance or Eye for an Eye, if you talented into it.
After you clear out the first wave, a pair of Infernals will plummet down, leaving you and Tyrosus unscathed, but obliterating your Argent buddies. Well, it was nice while it lasted. You can let Tyrosus take on one of the Infernals by himself, and depending on your gear, you may want to let him do this — taking on both Infernals at once can be quite dangerous, especially when they start channeling Blazing Hellfire.
Tyrosus sends you off to find Jailer Zerus, the demon holding Tirion prisoner. On the way, fire will rain from the sky (it’s nothing to worry about, though), and we’ll kill a few Dark Inquisitors, who aren’t dangerous, but do drop a few helpless captives to their deaths in lava, just to be jerks.
When we find Zerus, he has Tirion trapped in a weird green crystal prison. Again, Tirion??
Zerus is a pushover as long as you properly counter his attacks. He can be stunned, his Drain Life can be interrupted, and when he throws a cage near you, run or Divine Steed away from it before it sucks you in and stuns you.
After Zerus is destroyed, Tyrosus remains with Tirion to try and free him, leaving you to continue on after the Ashbringer. You’ll encounter a few more Felstalkers, then a duo of a Wrathguard Cleaver and Eredar Deathspeaker. The Deathspeaker is a caster, so it’s useful to rush in and interrupt/kill her first, rather than let her stand back and throw Chaos Bolts at you.
When they fall, another familiar face shows up — Balnazzar, the demon who spent years manipulating and corrupting the Scarlet Crusade. It feels rather appropriate that he reappear here, given his long history with Paladins.
As we climb over a pile of rubble, there it is — the Ashbringer. Sitting alone, crackling with the Light. Totally not a suspicious setup at all! Well, we don’t have Detect Traps, so let’s just mosey on over and pick it up, and — whoops!
Surprise, surprise, Balnazzar is up to his old tricks, and wants to take over our body. Rude. Fortunately, we’ve got a trump card up our sleeve: the Ashbringer. In a scene reminiscent of when Tirion broke free from the Lich King back in Icecrown Citadel, we’re able to use the power of the Ashbringer to throw off Balnazzar’s control. Now it’s time to teach him a lesson.
Balnazzar has a few different tricks, but we’re well-equipped to deal with them. Move out of the poison gas he drops (it slows you, so Blessing of Freedom is useful here), and interrupt his Mind Blast whenever possible. He’ll teleport away a few times, so just keep chasing him down. Halfway through the fight Balnazzar will summon some Shadow Imps, but a single Divine Storm will mostly clear them out. He can also be stunned with Fist of Justice and our shiny new Ashbringer ability, Wake of Ashes. Before too long he’ll turn tail and flee, swearing revenge as he goes, as demons tend to do.
With that, there’s only one thing left to do, and that’s see to Tirion. He’s in bad shape, and with his last breaths, he passes the Ashbringer — both sword and title — on to you, before joining the Light. Pretty big shoes to fill. Hopefully we’re up to the task.
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