As a quick note, I'm going to revisit our bear gearing guide over the next few weeks in order to add PVP gear and to split normal/heroic versions as per the request of our commenters; I agree that the present version probably isn't as convenient as intended. I'll drop another note in the column once I've finished with that.
There's lots of new gear for restoration druids to look for in patch 4.2, so -- as with the bears -- it's high time to update our gear lists. Once again, I've split the guide, and the ring, weapon, offhand, relic, and trinket column will run next week, as they require more discussion.
As this guide addresses gear that's been added to the game from the Zandalari heroic level through Firelands, it's probably most helpful to people who are already sitting on a few epics (or at least heroic blues). If you're a fresh level 85 restoration druid or still leveling, you'll probably find our previous series on gearing a resto druid more immediately helpful, but please keep in mind that stat priorities have shifted more toward mastery these days:
- Helm, neck, shoulders, and cloak
- Chest, bracers, gloves, belt, legs, boots, and rings
- Trinkets, weapons, offhands, and relics
As with our guide on gearing a bear druid in patch 4.2, the rough ilevel guide is as follows:
- ilevel 333 Pre-heroic blues and honored reputation blues
- ilevel 346 Heroic blues and revered reputation blues
- ilevel 353 Epics from the Zandalari 5-man heroics
- ilevel 359 Normal tier 11 raid epics and exalted reputation epics
- ilevel 365 Molten Front epic rewards
- ilevel 372 Heroic tier 11 raid epics
- ilevel 378 Normal tier 12 raid epics
- ilevel 391 Heroic tier 12 raid epics
Resto druids generally prioritize intellect, haste (until the 2,005 breakpoint), mastery, crit, and spirit, in that order. However, each stat's desirability is subject to interpretation, e.g., if you're having mana problems, look for more spirit. Use your best judgment. If you're raiding Firelands, you've almost certainly passed the all-important 2,005 haste breakpoint unless you're raiding buck naked, and I have prioritized mastery on this list accordingly.
If you have a piece sitting around that's not listed here, just check the ilevel and compare it against the list to see where it'll fall.
The two- and four-piece set bonuses for tier 12 are both very good, so you will want to look for those where possible.
Enchant Arcanum of Hyjal (requires revered with the Guardians of Hyjal)
- Obsidian Arborweave Helm (heroic) Tier 12 heroic helm
- Cowl of the Clicking Menace (heroic) Heroic Beth'tilac
- Obsidian Arborweave Helm Tier 12 normal helm, token dropped by Ragnaros
- Cowl of the Clicking Menace Beth'tilac
- Helm of the Blind Seer (heroic) Heroic Atramedes
- Stormrider's Helm (heroic) Tier 11 heroic helm
- Helm of the Blind Seer Atramedes
- Stormrider's Helm Tier 11 normal helm
- Amani Headdress Daakara in Zul'Aman
The neck slot's priority is going to be a bit individual for each player. If you're not having mana issues, the Staghelm drop is the best; if you are having mana issues, you'll want one of the two spirit pieces. Aside from that, the Staghelm drop is likely to be wanted by most casters in the raid, so your odds of getting it are in some doubt anyway.
Your best bet outside of raids is the new neck available from questing through the Molten Front. Unfortunately, there aren't any caster necklaces available from the troll heroics.
- Firemind Pendant (heroic) Upgrade from the Firemind Pendant with a Crystallized Firestone
- Heartstone of Rhyolith (heroic) Heroic Rhyolith (who else?)
- Flowform Choker (heroic) Heroic Majordomo Staghelm. If you're not having mana issues, this is better than the Heartstone due to the red socket.
- Firemind Pendant 1,250 valor points
- Heartstone of Rhyolith Rhyolith
- Flowform Choker Majordomo Staghelm. As above, if you're not having mana issues, this is better than the Heartstone.
- Valiona's Medallion (heroic) Heroic Valiona and Theralion
- Wyrmbreaker's Amulet (heroic) Heroic Halfus Wyrmbreaker
- Nightweaver's Amulet Sold by Zen'Vorka after completion of Through the Gates of Hell
- Valiona's Medallion Valiona and Theralion
- Dorian's Lost Necklace World drop in higher-level Cataclysm zones and dungeons
- Wyrmbreaker's Amulet Halfus Wyrmbreaker
This slot will be a gamble. Shannox drops intellect shoulders with random stats that might wind up being better than the tier shoulders. If you nab a pair with mastery, substitute them for the tier shoulders and use the helm, chest, gloves, and legs for the four-piece bonus.
Enchant Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone (requires exalted with Therazane)
- Obsidian Arborweave Mantle (heroic) Tier 12 heroic shoulders
- Flickering Shoulderpads (heroic) Heroic Shannox
- Obsidian Arborweave Mantle Tier 12 normal shoulders, token dropped by Staghelm
- Flickering Shoulderpads Shannox
- Stormrider's Mantle (heroic) Tier 11 heroic shoulders
- Passive Resistor Spaulders (heroic) Heroic Iron Council
- Stormrider's Mantle Tier 11 normal shoulders
- Passive Resistor Spaulders Iron Council
- Hide of Chromaggus Zone drop in Blackwing Descent
- Feathers of Akil'zon Akil'zon in Zul'Aman
Curiously, there are no cloaks with spirit available from the Firelands, so the Alysrazor drop is likely to be a very competitive piece. Why am I weaseling over this? It will be a competitive piece. People will eat each other over it. Your next best bet is the reputation cloak from the Avengers of Hyjal. If you're not raiding, a Molten Front quest reward is pretty good, although (yet again!) there's no spirit on it.
If you have the Sinestra cloak, just keep that if your raid's casters are killing each other over the Alysrazor drop; they're pretty close.
Enchant Enchant Cloak -- Greater Intellect
- Wings of Flame (heroic) Heroic Alysrazor
- Shroud of Endless Grief Sinestra
- Flowing Flamewrath Cape Available at friendly with the Avengers of Hyjal
- Wings of Flame Alysrazor
- Drape of the Twins (heroic) Heroic Theralion and Valiona
- Shadow of Dread (heroic) Heroic Nefarian
- Mantle of Desire Quest reward from Elemental Bonds: The Vow
- Drape of the Twins Theralion and Valiona
- Shadow of Dread Nefarian
- Heavenly Breeze 1,250 justice points
- Haunt of Flies 1,250 justice points
- Ritssyn's Ruminous Drape World drop from Cataclysm zones and dungeons
- Spiritcaller Cloak Zone drop in Zul'Gurub
All of your options outside of raids (with the exception of the tier 12 chest, which you can purchase with valor points) lack spirit. Ouch.
Enchant Enchant Chest -- Peerless Stats
- Obsidian Arborweave Robes (heroic) Tier 12 heroic chest
- Incendic Chestguard (heroic) Heroic Rhyolith
- Obsidian Arborweave Robes Tier 12 normal chest; 2,200 valor points
- Incendic Chestguard Rhyolith
- Scorched Wormling Vest (heroic) Heroic Magmaw
- Stormrider's Robes (heroic) Tier 11 heroic chest, token dropped by Halfus
- Scorched Wormling Vest Magmaw
- Stormrider's Robes Tier 11 normal chest; 2,200 justice points
- Chestguard of Nature's Fury Leatherworking BOE
- Vestments of the Soulflayer Jin'do in Zul'Gurub
Zul'Aman has added another option for non-raiders. If you're in Firelands, whether the Glowing Wing or Smolderskull wrists are better for you will depend on how much use you're getting from haste and crit respectively.
Enchant Enchant Bracer -- Mighty Intellect
- Glowing Wing Bracers (heroic) Heroic Baelroc
- Smolderskull Bindings (heroic) Upgrade from Smolderskull Bindings with a Crystallized Firestone
- Glowing Wing Bracers Baelroc
- Smolderskull Bindings 1,250 valor points
- Manacles of the Sleeping Beast (heroic) Heroic Chimaeron
- Manacles of the Sleeping Beast Chimaeron
- Armbands of the Bear Spirit Nalorakk in Zul'Aman
The new leatherworking piece Heavenly Gloves of the Moon is very good, albeit monstrously expensive to have made. However, the tier gloves have both mastery and crit (albeit no spirit), and can be purchased with valor points.
Enchant Enchant Gloves -- Greater Mastery
- Obsidian Arborweave Handwraps (heroic) Tier 12 heroic gloves
- Cindersilk Gloves (heroic) Heroic Beth'tilac
- Obsidian Arborweave Handwraps Tier 12 gloves; 1,650 valor points (or dropped by Occu'thar in Baradin Hold)
- Heavenly Gloves of the Moon Leatherworking BOE
- Cindersilk Gloves Beth'tilac
- Hydrolance Gloves (heroic) Heroic Chimaeron
- Stormrider's Handwraps (heroic) Tier 11 heroic gloves
- Hydrolance Gloves Chimaeron
- Stormrider's Handwraps 1,650 justice points (or dropped by Argaloth in Baradin Hold)
- T'wansi's Handwraps Quest reward from The Hex Lord's Fetish in Zul'Aman
There doesn't seem to be an intellect leather belt available from the Firelands, which is weird. I've listed the Conclave drop here as a result. The belt slot for resto is the equivalent of the bracer slot for feral, where there just aren't a ton of great options.
Enchant Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
- Firescar Sash Available at honored with the Avengers of Hyjal
- Gale Rouser Belt Conclave of the Wind. As with its other "random stat" brothers floating around tiers 11 and 12, this may or may not be a superior option to the Nefarian drop.
- Belt of the Nightmare (heroic) Heroic Nefarian
- Fireplume Girdle From Damek Bloombeard after completion of Additional Armaments
- Lightning Lash Leatherworking BOE
- Belt of the Nightmare Nefarian
- Belt of the Untamed/Withered Dream Belt Available at exalted with the Wildhammer Clan (Alliance) or Dragonmaw Clan (Horde) respectively
This slot's pretty straightforward. The tier leggings are a really nice piece.
Enchant Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
- Obsidian Arborweave Legwraps (heroic) Tier 12 heroic leggings, token dropped by Shannox
- Firecat Leggings (heroic) Heroic Majordomo Staghelm
- Obsidian Arborweave Legwraps Tier 12 leggings; 2,200 valor points (or dropped by Occu'thar in Baradin Hold)
- Firecat Leggings Majordomo Staghelm
- Leggings of Consuming Flames (heroic) Heroic Maloriak
- Stormrider's Legwraps (heroic) Tier 11 heroic leggings
- Leggings of Consuming Flames Maloriak
- Stormrider's Legwraps Tier 11 leggings; 2,200 justice points (or dropped by Argaloth in Baradin Hold)
- Leggings of the Pride High Priestess Kilnara in Zul'Gurub
The new leatherworking BOE piece is really nice and very close to the Alysrazor drop, although it's at the cost of the mastery on the latter. However, if you have access to the Sinestra drop, they're still extremely good.
Enchant Depending on your needs as a player, you may want Enchant Boots -- Lavawalker, Enchant Boots -- Mastery, or Enchant Boots -- Haste
- Phoenix-Down Treads (heroic) Heroic Alysrazor
- Nightmare Rider's Boots Sinestra
- Phoenix-Down Treads Alysrazor
- Ethereal Footfalls Leatherworking BOE
- Treads of Hideous Transformation (heroic) Heroic Twilight Ascendant Council
- Treads of Hideous Transformation Twilight Ascendant Council
- Fading Violet Sandals 1,650 justice points
- Two-Toed Boots Dropped by the second chest on a Zul'Aman timed run
Shifting Perspectives helps you gear your bear druid, breaks down the facts about haste for trees, and then digs into the restoration mastery. You might also enjoy our look at the disappearance of the bear.