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Gladius Grind

The Gladius Grind

The "Gladius Grind" is a leveling strategy designed for Human and Undead Rogues on new servers who want to quickly level up and switch from a dagger to a sword as soon as they possibly can (other races see further below). Since Human and Undead characters have starting zones located close to the swords trainer, Rogues who chose those races can have a sword in hand around level 6 within 45-60 minutes. This allows them to breeze through the level 6-10 portions of their starter zone and sets them up for their next sword upgrade.

So how does it work? As soon as you begin in your starter zone, immediately start grinding level 1 wolves (and bats for Undead) until you reach level 2. Then, continue killing all level 1 and 2 wolves/bats (either pure grinding or while questing). As your bags start to fill up, equip any pieces of cloth or leather armor that drop to free up more spaces in your bag. Once your bag gets close to full, make your way over to the nearest vendor. Sell everything in your inventory, including all the gear you've equipped except for your dagger. Save all silver/copper and don't spend any of it.

Run back and keep killing level 2 wolves/bats. Dynamic respawn rates within those starter areas should ensure that you have a steady supply of mobs to kill and loot. You're going to start getting less experience for each kill, but that will be offset by the faster speed in which you can kill them. Humans will need to stick to level 2 wolves all the way to level 6, whereas Undead can switch to higher level spiders after level 3.

As soon as you reach 15 silver 36 copper (15s36c), leave your starter area and go straight to Goldshire (Humans) or Brill (Undead) to buy a Gladius and set your hearthstone. From there, continue on to Stormwind City (Humans) or Undercity (Undead), train swords, hearth back and hit the ground running. Use the Gladius for the next few levels, then once you reach level 10, train Dual Wield, switch the Gladius to your offhand and upgrade to a Cutlass or equivalent for your main hand. Alternatively, Humans might consider killing the rare Fedfennel in northeastern Elwynn Forest for a chance at a Pale Skinner rather than buying a Cutlass.

But what if you aren't playing a Human or Undead Rogue? Is it worth it to follow the same Gladius Grind strategy? Only if your plans already involve heading to the sword trainer around level 6. Otherwise, you'd probably be better off just grinding up to 4 silver and buying a Stiletto instead. It's the next best alternative, and will last until you can get around to sword or mace training.

Hammertime

Speaking of mace training, there are some really good low level hammers that other races can incorporate into their leveling strategies as an alternative to the Gladius Grind. For Dwarves and Gnomes who are speed leveling, I recommend that you use Stiletto until level 8, then train Evasion and go complete The Lost Pilot and A Pilot's Revenge in northeastern Dun Morogh for Compact Hammer, die/rez all the way back to Ironforge, train maces, then keep on adventuring.

For Orcs and Trolls, there are two excellent hammers you can target as you're leveling, Skorn's Hammer and Hammer of Orgrimmar. Much like with the Gladius, you can actually get Skorn's Hammer as early as level 6. Grind boars and scorpions until you have 10 silver, then run southwest across The Barrens to Mulgore, picking up flight paths along the way. When you get to Bloodhoof Village, ask Skorn Whitecloud to tell you a story, which should spawn the rare Ghost Wolf who roams the plains just outside Thunder Bluff to the north. Team up with another player, kill/loot Ghost Wolf for the Demon Scarred Cloak, turn it in to Skorn for Skorn's Hammer, then train maces in Thunder Bluff. That mace is nearly as good as a Feral Blade and you can get it two levels earlier.