Welcome to Scattered Shots, the weekly Hunter column where we could really use a plane to head back to Shattrath and pick up more ammo since we haven't bummed a teleport to Dalaran yet.
So. You've breezed past the early 70s. You've checked out the reputation gear for Hunters, and now you're ready to grind. So you've picked up your tabard, and you realize that you still have a question left to answer: Which dungeon should I run? What dungeon has the gear I need to get suited up and ready to run Heroics?
Scattered Shots is here to help. We're going to look at some of the best pre-Heroic drops for Hunters in Wrath, and hopefully give you some idea of what way to go when you look for your next dungeon, or at least what drops to cross your fingers for.
This guide will focus mostly on normal dungeon drops, although where a quest reward, reputation reward, or relatively easy to craft crafted item is a good option for the slot, we'll highlight it as well. By the end of this guide, the Hunter that didn't quite finish their Karazhan runs during Burning Crusade should hopefully have an idea of where to get a good outlay of gear to prepare them for heroics, and eventually for Naxxramas itself.
Good luck on the drops, and good luck winning the rolls over those enhancement shamans!
For this slot, you may just want to stick to the Zombie Sweeper Shotgun. Yes, technically this isn't a dungeon drop, but I'm recommending it anyway. There's just no pre-Heroic drop that really compares. It's not too horribly fast, it has a good bit of hit rating, and the highest non-heroic non-engineered DPS you'll see on a projectile weapon in Wrath. If you're too impatient to wait for revered with the Argent Crusade though, try going after the Projectile Activator off of Loken in the Halls of Lighting, or the Trophy Gatherer off of Urtok Palehoof in Utgarde Pinnacle. Both are pretty solid weapons that should serve you well until you hit revered with the Crusade.
For two-handed melee, you'll probably want to stick with the Runeblade of Demonstrable Power from revered Ebon Blade faction. While it does have haste rating, the combination of attack power and agility still make it a very viable and desirable weapon for any Hunter. If you're in need of more hit rating, though, the Whale-Stick Harpoon from revered Kaluak reputation is also an option. It has less attack power and agility than the Runeblade, but not by much.
If you can't be bothered to grind reputation, the Wyrmclaw Battleaxe from the Cache of Eregos in the Occulus should hold you over until you get something better or finally get around to getting revered with the Ebon Blade.
The Linked Armor of the Sphere is your best bet for getting a good dungeon dropped mail chestpiece. Agility, Intellect, Stamina, Attack Power, and Hit Rating mean it's pretty much perfect for a Hunter. You'll find this one out of the Tribunal Chest in the Halls of Stone.
If you can't get that chestpiece to drop, or if you need more hit rating, you may want to see if a Condor-Bone Chestpiece is for sale on the auction house. It's a BoE world drop that, while void of agility or intellect, has critical strike rating and attack power in abundance, along with nearly twice the hit rating of the Linked Armor of the Sphere.
The Headguard of Westrift, which drops from the Cache of Eregos at the end of the Occulus, is sort of a sidegrade to the Toothslice Helm from the Oracles. By dropping the critical strike rating and much of the intellect and stamina, but adding lots of extra agility, it probably edges out the Toothslice Helm, especially for survival hunters or any hunter without Careful Aim. But what pushes it into upgrade territory is the red gem socket, perfect for adding some extra hit rating, attack power, or raw agility, depending on your needs.
Your best bet for a good set of boots before a Heroic instance may actually be to head into the Halls of Stone or Lightning and wait for the Boots of the Terrestrial Guardian to drop off trash. They're bind on equip too, so you may find them on the Auction House. If you're a Leatherworker, or can track one down, you can also gather 1 Eternal Air and 60 Borean Leather (or 10 Heavy Borean Leather) and get Swiftarrow Boots made, which are a pretty solid sidegrade to the Boots of the Terrestrial Guardian. They have less agility, but more intellect and some critical strike rating.
For your hands, you'll definitely want to get into an Utgarde Pinnacle group and face down Svala Sorrowgrave. Her Tear-Linked Gauntlets provide tons of agility and intellect, a good bit of attack power, and hit rating. These may even beat out a lot of Heroic options as far as drops go.
If Svala's being stingy with her drops, you can also head to The Culling of Stratholme and complete A Royal Escort, which will reward with Grips of Chronological Events. With a whole lot less agility and no hit rating, these gauntlets aren't quite as good as the tear-linked, but will serve you well until you can get the them.
Facing down Loken in the Halls of Lightning may get you some Leather-Braced Chain Leggings. With a red socket and a good layout of agility, intellect, attack power, and critical strike rating, these leggings will serve you well headed into heroics.
The shoulder slot is another area where you may want to stick with reputation gear. The Spaulders of the Black Arrow at Ebon Blade revered provide a solid outlay of agility, intellect, stamina, critical strike rating, and attack power that easily matches any normal dungeon drop, and you'll want to be grinding with the Ebon Blade for the Arcanum of Torment anyway.
If you haven't quite had the time to grind revered with the Ebon Blade, or if you need more hit rating, Complete the Halls of Stone quest in (where else?) the Halls of Stone and grab the Spaulders of Lost Secrets. Consider them sort of a slightly lesser powered version of the Spaulders of the Black Arrow with lower stats and hit rating instead of critical strike rating. The Spaulders of Skillful Maneuvers from Mage-Lord Urom in the Oculus are also a valid possibility to keep you covered until you hit revered with the Ebon Blade, although I shy from them since they have haste instead of the more useful critical strike or hit rating.