9 of the rarest items in World of Warcraft history

Azeroth is a realm full of obscure rarities and curiosities, and I'm not just talking about the mounts that drop from a raid boss or that one Darkmoon trinket, either. In World of Warcraft, there's rare and then there's rare. I love standing in Ironforge, mouth agape, as some OG veteran struts in with a mount, a transmogged weapon, or a vanity pet that took him 10,000 hours to farm. Maybe I should regard them with pity—I wouldn't wish 10,000 hours of farming on my worst enemy—but for a brief moment, I'm consumed with envy.

So, in tribute to all those obsessive types out there, here are just a few of the rarest items in World of Warcraft. Some of these are still obtainable, some of them have been removed from the game, and some take some creative engineering—some numbers fudging—to unlock. One thing is guaranteed, though: each of the items below will make you look extremely cool to a very, very specific portion of the population.

Brawler's Harness 

This is a cruel joke, really. The Brawler's Harness is a skimpy, leather-strapped shirt that level one trolls, undead, and orcs found in their bag upon creating their character back in the early days of Warcraft. It was as close to a null-value item you could get, considering it was literally gifted upon spawning—no leveling, no grinding, and no money required. However, after the Cataclysm expansion, the Brawler's Harness was retired. It's no longer given out to newbies or otherwise obtainable, making the model exceedingly rare.

Today, the shirt routinely earns over 100,000 gold on the auction house because of how well it evokes a beefy barbarian look in certain transmogs. It's the equivalent of sitting on a horde of alpha Magic: The Gathering boosters from the '90s—you never know what might fetch value in the afterlife. 

Chromatic Sword

This is another random, low-level item that saw its value spike after the Cataclysm revamp. The biggest difference being that the Chromatic Sword was uncommon enough in its heyday for it to make a little more sense. It's a one-hander that dropped from a rare-spawn monster—back when that meant something—in Stranglethorn Vale, and notable for the rainbow sheen that sparkles off the blade. But, like the Brawler's Harness, Chromatic Sword was lost to time after Deathwing's insurrection. Blizzard never reintegrated the model into Azeroth, making the weapon a holy grail for transmog fetishizers.

According to TradeSkillMaster, the Sword's market value sits around 500,000 gold, which is a very spicy meatball indeed.

Xorothian Firestick 

Back in the day, World of Warcraft had all these strange, D&D-esque class-flavor wrinkles. For instance, Warlocks once needed to complete a long quest chain to unlock their epic mount, and to do that, they needed to go into Dire Maul with a party and kill an optional boss only they could summon. That wasn't a huge deal, because that boss had its own loot table which included this cool Imperial China-inspired firearm that hunters could pick up off the corpse. 

Here's the thing, though: that quest is now gone from the game, and the only people who can still summon the boss are those who completed it back when it was available. Obviously, as the years pile on, there are fewer and fewer Warlocks around Azeroth who have that kind of pedigree. (If you do find someone willing to make that run with you, please reward them handsomely. They are officially your sugar daddy—or momma.)

Fluorescent Green Mechanostrider  

According to community lore, the Fluorescent Green Mechanostrider was given to an EU player named Neshe by a GM back in Vanilla, after he accidentally deleted his mount from his backpack. The only problem was that this particular Mechanostrider wasn't actually available to players. The GM made a mistake, and bestowed a one-of-a-kind item to a random Azerothian. The mount wasn't particularly distinct—just a palette swap from the other options—and perhaps that's why Blizzard authorities made the charitable decision to leave the mount on Neshe's account, which quickly made him something of a folk hero in-game.

Much later, during the Warlords of Draenor cycle, Neshe was caught selling his Warcraft account online at an exorbitant price to try and cash in one the one-of-a-kind asset he'd been sitting on for years. Blizzard caught him, banned him, and deleted the mount from his inventory, which has permanently ensured that the Fluorescent Green Mechanostrider will be one of the rarest items in videogame history. At least until another GM goofs up again, I guess. 

Big Love Rocket 

Blizzard has always been a big fan of baking holiday-specific events into Azeroth, and today the most notorious example might be the Valentine's Day-adjacent "Love is in the Air" soiree that rains lust and jealousy over the capital cities. Mount collectors obsess over this event because it's your only chance to unearth a one-of-a-kind mount called the Big Love Rocket—seriously, that's the name. The only issue is that the mount can only be looted exactly once per day, and only during the two weeks that Love is in the Air lasts.

Oh, also, the drop rate is about one in 3,333. Happy hunting! Don't go insane! 

Black Qiraji Battle Tank 

This might be my favorite item on this list because it represents Blizzard's Warcraft game design and social engineering at its boldest. Way back in the mists of time, long before there was a giant sword sticking out of Silithus, Blizzard released a raid called Ahn'Qiraj. It represented the next tier of dungeoneering after Blackwing Lair, and it required one player on the realm to complete this ridiculous, globe-trotting quest chain (complete with its own custom boss encounters) to craft a mallet that would formally open its doors. Your reward for completing the gauntlet and propelling your comrades into the next phase of raid content? An obsidian bug mount exclusive to your character only.

It's been more than a decade since Ahn'Qiraj, and Blizzard still hasn't added another way to earn the Black Qiraji Battle Tank. I hope they never do. 

Heavenly Onyx Cloud Serpent 

Another supremely rare mount, but also one that is totally achievable in-game, right now. All you have to do is fly out to Pandaria and dispatch the Sha of Anger. Once every eight billion times or whatever, it might drop this awesome, translucent sky-wyrm that will immediately bind to your account.

The Heavenly Onyx Cloud Serpent has become something like the ultimate white whale for hardcore mount people. The drop rate is just so apocalyptically low that you can read about people farming it on, like, 25 different characters every week for a bite at the apple. It will take you months. It might take you years. But also, damn, that sure is a cool mount, right?

Miner's Hat of the Deep 

Contrary to popular belief, this helmet is still obtainable in-game. It just also happens to be an unreasonably rare drop from random trash mobs inside the OG leveling dungeon, Uldaman. The Wowhead comments are hilarious, chock full of delirious war stories about endless farm runs that continually turn up empty. So why the fuss? Well, Miner's Hat of the Deep equips a candle on your character's forehead, making it one of the most idiosyncratic models in Warcraft. It's also Bind on Equip, which means it routinely fetches over five million gold on the auction house. After about 500 consecutive Uldaman clears, I'm sure you'll find your own. Good luck! 

Pendulum of Doom 

And we're not done with Uldaman yet! Because somehow that dungeon has another rare drop that's caught the eye of enterprising transmog lifers. I give you Pendulum of Doom, a lowly two-handed axe with a scarlet engrave on the blade. I'll let the top comment on Wowhead, from a user named Nirv, take it from here.

"Finally this item dropped for me off of a Shrike Bat on my 7,331st Uldaman run. That's right: it took over seven thousand three hundred runs to see this item drop for the first time. I have screenshots and video and will be linking them here shortly."

You know what the definition of insanity is? Doing something 7,330 times and expecting a different result. 7,331 times, on the other hand, is totally fine and reasonable. Nirv has the video to prove it.

Luke Winkie
Contributing Writer

Luke Winkie is a freelance journalist and contributor to many publications, including PC Gamer, The New York Times, Gawker, Slate, and Mel Magazine. In between bouts of writing about Hearthstone, World of Warcraft and Twitch culture here on PC Gamer, Luke also publishes the newsletter On Posting. As a self-described "chronic poster," Luke has "spent hours deep-scrolling through surreptitious Likes tabs to uncover the root of intra-publication beef and broken down quote-tweet animosity like it’s Super Bowl tape." When he graduated from journalism school, he had no idea how bad it was going to get.