Last week we covered many different questions in our semi-regular restoration Q&A. For those of you who emailed me, I will be responding soon, have no fear; my dwarf-like stature means I tend to get buried under the mail and have to dig my way out! That's only mostly a joke -- you can ask Matthew McCurley and Fox Van Allen about it.
This week, I thought we could talk about getting ready for raids: gearing up, getting your stats set, and preparing to enter into the endgame. With the recent buffs, incoming abilities and further tweaks in patch 4.1, heroics are becoming less of a concern for the amazing healing corps that are restoration shaman. Those people just starting heroics, though, don't despair -- if you have any questions about any of the encounters, email me and we'll make sure that you are taken care of.
Before we get started, I thought I would take the opportunity to define what this column is and is not today. This is not a best in slot pre-raid gear list. The developers at Blizzard have given us many choices in the gear we can gather, as well as the ability to alter them with reforging. This post shows some of the options available to you as you are preparing to set foot in raids. The numbers represented are guidelines, and while in some cases they may represent what are considered minimum values, it's up to you to decide what you need to fill in.
There is actually a surprising amount of gear to choose from that will help get you raid-ready -- everything from heroic boss drops, quest items, reputation rewards, justice point purchases or gear crafted through various trade skills. This is a large departure from how gear was in Wrath of the Lich King. If you wanted to start raiding back then, you needed a certain progression of content for specific drops, as there were only a certain number of drops that you could use.
So let's take a look at some of the items you can pick up to get raid-ready. For the purposes of this list of gear, we're going to stick to ilevel 346 gear or higher. We'll also be saving the valor point purchases for a separate post.
- Cowl of the Unseen World heroic The Stonecore
- Helm of the Inward Eye 2,200 justice points
- Energized Bio-Optic Killshades crafted, engineering
- Burden of Lost Humanity heroic Shadowfang Keep
- Fallen Snow Shoulderguards heroic The Vortex Pinnacle
- Seafoam Mantle 1,650 justice points
- Ionic Gloves heroic Lost City of the Tol'vir
- Old Friend's Gloves heroic The Deadmines
- Gleaning Gloves 1,650 justice points
- Breastplate of the Stilled Heart heroic Shadowfang Keep
- Chromis Chestpiece heroic Throne of the Tides
- Vest of the Waking Dream 2,200 justice points
- Twilight Scale Chestguard crafted, leatherworking
- Azureborne Cloak heroic Grim Batol
- Periwinkle Cloak heroic Throne of the Tides
- Solar Wind Cloak heroic Halls of Origination
- Springvale's Cloak heroic Shadowfang Keep
- Cloak of Ancient Wisdom The Earthen Ring, revered
- Belt of Petrified Tears heroic Halls of Origination
- Sash of Prophecy Ramkahen, revered
- Belt of the Still Stream 1,650 justice points
- Stormleather Sash crafted, leatherworking
- Wilderness Legguards Guardians of Hyjal, revered
- Heat Wave Leggings heroic Blackrock Caverns
- Chaotic Wrappings heroic Halls of Origination
- Leggings of Soothing Silence 2,200 justice points
- Phase-Twister Leggings bind on equip world drop
- Kilt of Trollish Dreams bind on equip world drop
- Torturer's Mercy heroic Blackrock Caverns
- Scepter of Power heroic Halls of Origination
- Biting Wind heroic The Vortex Pinnacle
- Shimmering Morningstar Tol Barad, revered + 85 commendations
- Elementium Hammer crafted, blacksmithing
- Zora's Ward heroic Lost City of Tol'vir
- Crepuscular Shield heroic Blackrock Caverns
- Shield of the Mists 950 justice points
- Elementium Stormshield crafted, blacksmith
- Band of Life heroic Halls of Origination
- Kibble heroic Blackrock Caverns
- Ring of Frozen Rain heroic The Vortex Pinnacle
- Rose Quartz Band heroic The Stonecore
- Spirit Creeper Ring heroic Lost City of the Tol'vir
- Veneficial Band heroic Lost City of the Tol'vir
- Diamant's Ring of Temperance Therazane, revered
- Ring of the Warring Elements crafted, jewelcrafting
- Ring of the Boy Emperor crafted, archaeology
- Tauntka's Necklace heroic Lost City of the Tol'vir
- Quicksilver Amulet heroic Blackrock Caverns
- Pipefish Cord heroic Throne of the Tides
- Pendant of the Keep heroic Shadowfang Keep
- Amulet of Tender Breath heroic The Vortex Pinnacle
- Eye of Many Deaths crafted, jewelcrafting
- Celadon Pendant 1,250 justice points
- Lightning Flash Pendant / Yellow Smoke Pendant Wildhammer Clan/Dragonmaw Clan, exalted
- Witching Hourglass heroic Blackrock Caverns
- Tear of Blood heroic The Stonecore
- Sea Star heroic Throne of the Tides
- Blood of Isiset heroic Halls of Origination
- Figurine Dream Owl quest, crafted, jewelcrafting
- Figurine Jeweled Serpent quest, crafted, jewelcrafting
- Vibrant Alchemist Stone crafted, alchemy
- Tyrande's Favorite Doll crafted, archaeology
- Mandala of Stirring Patterns Tol Barad, exalted + 125 commendations
- Darkmoon Card: Tsunami crafted, inscription
- Book of Dark Prophecies heroic The Stonecore
- Book of the Well Sung Song heroic The Deadmines
- Captured Lightning heroic The Vortex Pinnacle
- Tattooed Eyeball crafted, inscription
Whew! As you can see, there are quite a bit of options for just about every single slot. While every slot doesn't have to be ilevel 346 or higher to get into a raid, I would suggest striving for it as a goal, if for no other reason that you'll be better off to start.
The big thing, though, is that we have a lot more choices than we have had in any other expansion, and in almost any situation you find yourself in, there is an opportunity for an upgrade. I particularly like the fact that there are a plethora of crafted items that are raid-level gear for the current tier of content. If I missed anything on the list, feel free to let me know and I'll add it in!
You have the threads -- now, to customize!
More important than the individual gear are the stats themselves. With reforging and just about any gear that's even remotely close to your primary stats, you can move some secondary stats around to help tide you over. The ability to take that extra crit and move it into spirit helps you out in the long run. That said, there is a certain priority in stats that you should look for; even then, there are a few numbers you should strive for.
First, let's look at priority. For starting raids and for normal-mode raiding, your priority should look something like this:
Intellect > Spirit > Haste > Mastery/Crit
Int is your most important stat, because not only does it govern your mana pools, it gives you spellpower and gives you more out of Replenishment with higher totals. To a lesser degree, it even gives you crit and mana regeneration. Spirit gives us our mana regeneration in and out of combat and allows us to take advantage of Meditation.
Before you step into a raid, you should be looking for a few minimums.
- Spirit of 2,100 or more will allow you to keep up your mana regeneration through most normal-mode raid encounters. More is good, but not at the expense of other stats. With heroic dungeon gear, reforging, enchants, and gems, this number is pretty easy to hit.
- Haste to at least 916 allows for all of your heals over time to gain an extra tick. This includes Riptide, Healing Rain, and Earthliving. Think of this as the first haste threshold. While haste will continue to help as you gain more of it, the next threshold is a bit further away, so just worry about that first tier. After that, mastery and crit will be on par for you (but at the bottom of the stat totem pole, at least for now).
We'll talk more in depth about stats, gemming, and enchanting for raiding next week.
Totem Talk: Restoration will show you the basics of endgame resto shaman play as well as how to find the expansion's best reputation gear for resto shaman and tips for easier leveling. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!