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Starym

Classic Spotlight: Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros

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Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros is possibly the most famous item in all of WoW. One of only two legendary items introduced with the base game, its power may not have lived up to its legend, but the effort you had to put in to get it most certainly did. Today we'll be taking a look at the weapon and how good it was in patch 1.12, how to get it, and we'll throw in an extra story related to it from Vanilla.

Check out our other Classic spotlights, covering Anathema/Benediction, Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker and Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian.


inv_hammer_unique_sulfuras.8aa36184db81e Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros

The weapon is usable by Druids, Paladins, Shamans and Warriors, and while it's probably the best weapon for Enhancement Shamans and Retribution Paladins, those specs weren't really popular or very viable back in the day, so Warriors were the primary wielders. Before going into the arduous journey you needed to go on to acquire this, we need to mention Sulfuras definitely was one of the most powerful weapons throughout all of Vanilla, but there have been many discussions about whether it was ever really the very best for any class. 

Focusing on 1.12, the Classic patch, however, its only real competition (for Warriors, anyway) will be the ubiquitous Arcanite Reaper Arcanite Reaper for PvP and Bonereaver's Edge Bonereaver's Edge for PvE. Due to various factors, including mace spec being pretty bad, the general consensus seems to be that Sulfuras might barely beat out AR for PvP purposes, while Bonereaver claims the top PvE weapon crown. Again, these are all very close and Sulfuras was considered a top weapon all throughout Vanilla, with Ashkandi, Greatsword of the Brotherhood Ashkandi, Greatsword of the Brotherhood, Dark Edge of Insanity Dark Edge of Insanity and Might of Menethil Might of Menethil eventually surpassing it, but not by much.

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How to Get the Weapon

Regardless of how good Sulfuras actually was, if you ever saw anyone wielding it throughout all of Vanilla, you know that was either one very dedicated person, or someone that the entire guild helped get the weapon. Sulfuras doesn't actually drop directly off Ragnaros - instead,  Eye of Sulfuras Eye of Sulfuras drops from him and you then need to go through a very long crafting process so you can use the Eye to convert your crafted Sulfuron Hammer Sulfuron Hammer into it's final form: Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros.

The crafting process for the Sulfuron Hammer is the grindiest part of this process, as it requires a large amount of difficult to obtain mats, but the Eye itself also has a low (2%-ish) drop chance off Ragnaros, so both parts will require a whole lot of time. This creates a bit of a conundrum, as the logical thing to do is wait until/if you manage to get the Eye for yourself and then start the grind for the crafted hammer. However, unless you get really lucky and get the Eye to drop very early in your Molten Core clears, this is a little impractical as it will take you a long time to gather up all the mats needed, and if you really have your heart set on Sulfuras, you might want to start before you get the Eye. This, of course, is further complicated by some of the mats being drops off bosses in Molten Core, meaning they're either guild property or you'll have to roll for them in pugs. The easy answer here, obviously, is having a good guild that will either decide who's getting the hammer ahead of time, or will bank all the mats and have them ready for whoever gets the Eye when it drops. This also isn't as easy as it sounds, as the big pain-in-the-*filtered* mat required here involves a whole lot of alchemist 2-day cooldown transmutes, which again requires a whole lot of planning.

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Now, of course, you could just be insanely rich and straight up buy the Sulfuron Hammer Sulfuron Hammer from someone, as it's BoE, but in the far more likely case you go for the crafting, here's what you'll actually need for the weapon:

  • 1 Sulfuron Ingot Sulfuron Ingot - (dropped by Golemagg in MC) to trade to Lokhtos Darkbargainer in the Grim Guzzler in the Blackrock Depths, who will then give you the plans for the weapon
  • 8 Sulfuron Ingot Sulfuron Ingot
  • 50 Arcanite Bar Arcanite Bar - the most  difficult part of the whole thing, aside from the Eye and potentially the Ingots (if you're soloing). You'll not only need 50 Thorium Bar Thorium Bars and 50 Arcane Crystal Arcane Crystals (which drop from Rich Thorium Veins at a 2-3% rate) but also 50 transmutes from alchemists, which are on a 2 day cooldown
  • 10 Blood of the Mountain Blood of the Mountain - drops from Dark Iron Veins or from Molten Giants/Destroyers in MC
  • 20 Dark Iron Bar Dark Iron Bar aka 160 Dark Iron Ore Dark Iron Ore - requiring a blacksmith who can smelt the ore, which is a separate quest to unlock, and the ore can only be smelted at the Black Forge in BRD, near the entrance to MC
  • 10 Lava Core Lava Core - drop from most mobs in MC
  • 10 Fiery Core Fiery Core - drop from most mobs in MC
  • 25 Essence of Fire Essence of Fire - an easy one, drops from various Elementals or can be transmuted, but usually isn't that expensive on the AH

Now all that's left to craft Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros is:

And there you have it. Obviously Sulfuras is very much a guild-wide effort and the most common path to getting it is to have the guild gather up all the mats collectively, to then give to whoever earns the Eye - either through DKP or whichever method the guild uses. However, since pugs will be much more of a thing in Classic than they were in Vanilla, it's not completely insane to think someone will want to do this solo/without guild support, but for that you'd either have to have a whole lot of gold (not to mention luck to even get the Eye in a pug) and perhaps do some planning ahead of time, especially with the transmutes.

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A "Fun" Sulfuras Story

In closing, here's my personal Vanilla Sulfuras story, which resulted in the only time I've been kicked out of a guild. Among the many World Firsts we would eventually get and the many amazing moments and memories from my time in Vanilla, this particular one is still probably the most vivid thing I remember from back then.

Nihilum wasn't a big guild yet, it was still pre-Blackwing Lair times and we were farming Molten Core. For some reason we had a massive number of Warriors in the guild, including Kungen, the GM, with around 8 being in pretty much every MC raid. As you'd imagine, every one of them wanted that shiny fiery hammer for themselves as you couldn't really have 8 tanks in the raid, so most of us were DPS/offtanks. The guild ran on a standard DKP system and most players had a solid amount of gear from the raid already, so every DPS Warrior was gathering their points for that Eye drop. I was the first in line for the Eye so it was a simple matter of saving up my DKP and having the Eye actually drop.

Enter the Belt of Might Belt of Might.

This actually may have been pre-1.12, as I'm pretty sure it didn't have the +5 defence at the time, but I might be wrong. I was wearing a blue belt, I think it had a +1% to block and I was pretty happy with it for those seldom-needed off-tank purposes. I also didn't have any other Might items, as most of those were still reserved for the real tanks. Shockingly, no one wanted the Belt of Might when it dropped (off a trash mob as I recall) as all the tanks had it already and, obviously, all the DPS/off-tank Warriors would rather spend their DKP on DPS items. Also keep in mind this was a BoE item. And so the then raid leader and officer, Fisker, decided someone had to take it, we weren't going to disenchant or sell it, but we also weren't going to give it our for free - and I was the lucky recipient of this minus x DKP prize.

As you might imagine, this didn't sit well with me as I was aiming for Sulfuras, and it sounded pretty unfair that I had to be punished for having the most DKP of the Warriors present there, making me lose my spot in line for the hammer. And so I said no, thanks. Apparently this wasn't an option as I was then told I had to take it. And then I said no again, which prompted a huge discussion/fight, which ended up in Fisker kicking me from the guild for refusing to take this belt.

This part I very vividly remember - there I was, standing in Molten Core, in a raid group and without a guild, not knowing what was going on or what the hell just happened. I was pretty shocked at the time, but I was also insanely angry, so the shock had to take a back seat. As I was kicked I wasn't privvy to the guild chat happening at the time so it was pretty stressful - do I leave the group and just go on my way forever? In the end, it was another officer, Rogue and all around good guy Jihan that managed to calm things down and so I was invited back and we continued discussing the issue.

That was the only 5 minutes I was ever outside of Nihilum since I joined it, and to be completely honest with you, I can't even remember what happened with that god damned belt. I think I ended up taking it either for free or for a highly discounted price, but it's the drama that stuck with me and not the actual DKP or belt. And in closing, as you might expect, I didn't ever get the Sulfuras or the Eye, as it simply didn't drop while I was ahead on points. I did, however, grind a whole lot of Rich Thorium Veins in preparation for both it and Thunderfury, for which I actually had the left binding - and also never got.

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Images: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5.

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"Thunderfury is obviously Hunter Loot, dont exclude me from getting it" - Random dummy hunter in a Classic Raiding guild.

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I’m going to disagree with the assertion that Sulfuras is the most famous item in WoW.

Far more people farmed Warglaives after the fact than Sulfuras.  

Personally speaking the greatest quest/legendary in the game is Dragonwrath; Tarecgosa’s Rest.  That thing was just beastly through two tiers of raiding, PVP game ender for casters.  Plus, it turns you into a f’ing dragon.

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5 minutes ago, Misuteri said:

I’m going to disagree with the assertion that Sulfuras is the most famous item in WoW.

Far more people farmed Warglaives after the fact than Sulfuras.  

Personally speaking the greatest quest/legendary in the game is Dragonwrath; Tarecgosa’s Rest.  That thing was just beastly through two tiers of raiding, PVP game ender for casters.  Plus, it turns you into a f’ing dragon.

I mean it's arguable that Thunderfury is more famous, but that's mostly due to the inane chat spam, but I would definitely disagree on Warglaives etc. I'm not just talking about which items people want for trasmog etc, but what is generally well known in the community, which I'd say disqualified Dragonwrath immediately.

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1 hour ago, Misuteri said:

I’m going to disagree with the assertion that Sulfuras is the most famous item in WoW.

Far more people farmed Warglaives after the fact than Sulfuras.  

Personally speaking the greatest quest/legendary in the game is Dragonwrath; Tarecgosa’s Rest.  That thing was just beastly through two tiers of raiding, PVP game ender for casters.  Plus, it turns you into a f’ing dragon.

Black Scarab is the ultimate legendary for me.  Both factions had to put effort in. World Event, raiding, world bosses, it was amazing. Horde was feeding cheap quest items on the shared goblin AH to help Alliance progress. Guild working together to down the dragons.

Our server agreed to bang the gong on a certain date, but Horde decide to do it one week before.  All Alliance was 1 step away from the mount, we needed the reset to get ready. So still a little salty about not getting that mount. I spend enough DKP on the head, almost didn't had enough to bid on our first shard for another legendary (second on my awesome list) Staff of Atiesh.

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8 hours ago, Misuteri said:

I’m going to disagree with the assertion that Sulfuras is the most famous item in WoW.

Far more people farmed Warglaives after the fact than Sulfuras.  

Personally speaking the greatest quest/legendary in the game is Dragonwrath; Tarecgosa’s Rest.  That thing was just beastly through two tiers of raiding, PVP game ender for casters.  Plus, it turns you into a f’ing dragon.

That thing was godly in time walking before they detected fun too!

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