Well, the good news is you don't need amazing gear to start KZ. In fact, healing KZ can be easier than healing many heroics, in my experience, if only because you have another healer or two there to help you out. Of course, the better your gear is, the better your performance will be, but there are many easy-to-reach pieces of gear that will perform fine, and several that will perform amazingly, for Karazhan. Join me as I step through some recommended options.
Note that priest gearing received a fairly major change in the recent 2.4 patch, for two reasons:
- Intellect now makes our spirit work better.
- Meditation now makes 30% of our spirit work while inside the five-second rule, instead of 15%.
The second of these two changes is by far the bigger; the net effect of both of them is to make spirit even more valuable than it was, and to make int. worth a bit as well.
That said, your primary stats to focus on will be, by far, +healing and spirit, followed by int and mp5, and stamina is also nice to have as well. Spell crit is really not an important priest healing stat - don't shun it, but it will rarely be a reason to choose one piece over another.
If you are a tailor, and you haven't specialized yet, and you intend to be a healing priest in the long term, go for Mooncloth tailoring. I can't stress this enough. And if you are a Mooncloth tailor and you've hit 70, your number one priority should be making the Primal Mooncloth set. It is an amazing bind-on-pickup, Mooncloth-tailor only set of entry-level epics, more than worth the mats you put into it. The only piece that can be beat with Karazhan loot is the shoulders, and even then the set bonus will have you hanging onto PMC for a while yet.
The set consists of the following three pieces:
These items are tailor-made (so to speak) for priests. Covered in +heal and spirit, and did you see that set bonus? Even more Meditation! Make it, wear it, love it. The total mats are:
Obviously you can get your PMC a bit cheaper by using your own cooldowns (which will get you two pieces for the price of one), but if you're impatient and have the gold you can always just buy more off the AH.
Primal Mooncloth does have one major weakness: no stamina. To make up for this, carry some high-stam items around and swap them in as needed for particular fights (like Aran).
There's one more epic tailored set that's worth mentioning. Whitemend is composed of two pieces, and is bind-on-equip, which means you don't have to be a tailor to wear it.
It's also a lot easier to get made for you now that Primal Nethers are not BoP - you don't have to find a tailor who both knows the pattern and has a Nether they're willing to use. The total mats for Whitemend are:
- 20 Primal Mooncloth
- 10 Primal Might
- 2 Primal Nether
Due to the 2.4 changes, this set is not nearly as good as it once was. In fact, overall it's about on par with the relevant Hallowed pieces (see next section) - but that's not counting the set bonus, which is decent if not imba. If you don't already have good items for those slots, and you've got the cash, Whitemend is a good way to fill them, but it's not nearly as high-priority as PMC.
Dungeon Set 3: Hallowed
Just like back in original WoW, every class has a set of blues obtainable through regular 5-man dungeons that's oriented towards them in particular. For us, it's the Hallowed Raiment. These are actually pretty good pieces overall, although if you've followed my advice and grabbed the PMC set you won't have room for enough to get the four-piece bonus. Doesn't matter much; the four-piece is just OK, and the two-piece is utter garbage.
I'll discuss the individual pieces more when I go through the slot-by-slot breakdown, but here's all the items and where they come from:
- Hallowed Crown - Harbinger Skyriss, Arcatraz
- Hallowed Garments - Murmer, Shadow Labyrinth
- Hallowed Handwraps - Kargath Bladefist, Shattered Halls
- Hallowed Pauldrons - Vorpil, Shadow Labyrinth
- Hallowed Trousers - Talon King Ikiss, Sethekk Halls
Now that we've gotten a few sets out of the way, let's get to the heart of this post: for each slot, what are some relatively easy-to-obtain items that will serve you well in Karazhan? I'll list items for each slot in order of preference (unless otherwise noted). This part will cover the first half of the slots, and the rest will be found in part two.
You'll see that I've listed an enchantment for all relevant slots. Enchant your gear. If you don't, you're really not getting the most out of it. Some of the more expensive enchants can wait until you get a great item, but for things like the Major Spirit to chest enchant, there's no excuse not to put it on anything half-decent that you have. Gems will be discussed in part two.
I'm not mentioning most of the high-cost Badge of Justice gear, since I figure if you're running that many heroics you probably have decent gear already, but there is some really good stuff sold by Hauthaa, the new Badge vendor. I'm currently saving up for the Adorned Supernal Legwraps myself.
- If you happen to be an engineer, the Powerheal 4000 Lens (BoP engineering) is pretty great, but most priests just don't seem to be engineers.
- Hallowed Crown is a nice, solid item, if you can get it to drop from Skyriss in the Arcatraz (one of my least favorite instances). Either this or Whitemend is your best bet if you're not an engineer.
- Whitemend Hood is better than Hallowed Crown if, and only if, you have the Whitemend Pants as well for the set bonus, and you may find it easier to get.
There's really only one game in town when it comes to an enchantment to put on your headpiece as a priest, and it's the Glyph of Renewal from Honor Hold/Thrallmar revered. It costs 90g; suck it up and slap it on the first decent headpiece you get.
- If you're exalted with Aldor/Scryer, go for the Shattered Sun Pendant of Restoration. Getting exalted with the Shattered Sun Offensive, if you're not already, is pretty darn easy (and profitable, too), and this is a great necklace if you're getting one of the proc benefits.
- If you PvP much, the Vindicator's Pendant of Salvation is nice.
- If you don't PvP and you're not exalted with Aldor/Scryer (and you don't want to put in the effort to get there), aim for one of these drops:
- Your best bet here really is Primal Mooncloth Shoulders.
- If you're not doing that, though, the Hallowed Pauldrons (Vorpil, Shadow Labyrinth) are probably the next best.
Not much choice here; go for the healing inscription from your Aldor/Scryer quartermaster, the major one if you have the rep for it.
These two are neck-and-neck in my opinion; get whichever comes easiest. I'm currently rocking the Manaweave Cloak since the Avian Cloak just kept refusing to drop for me.
- Avian Cloak of Feathers (Talon King Ikiss, Sethekk Halls)
- Manaweave Cloak (BoE tailoring: 10 Spellcloth, 12 Primal Mana, 1 Primal Nether)
Subtlety. Pulling aggro is bad; pulling aggro in raids is very bad. It's kind of expensive, but either of the two cloaks above will last you a while.
- Again, the Primal Mooncloth Robe is better than anything you can find in Karazhan, let alone before it.
- But if you're not doing PMC, go for the Hallowed Garments (Murmur, Shadow Labyrinth).
- Anchorite's Robes, from Aldor honored rep, are also decent.
- Wristguards of Tranquil Thought (35 BoJ). These things are amazing. If you have the badges, you can get yourself a piece that won't be replaced before T5.
- Bands of the Benevolent (Talon King Ikiss, Heroic Sethekk Halls)
- Vindicator's Mooncloth Cuffs (12k honor, 20 WSG marks)
- Light Scribe Bands (Nazan, Heroic Hellfire Ramparts)
- Bracers of Divine Infusion (Vexallus, Magister's Terrace)
Superior Healing. This one is a little bit expensive, so if you're feeling strapped for cash you might wait until you get Bands of the Benevolent or Wristguards of Tranquil Thought, or Bands of Indwelling from KZ.