The third significant step for all hunters in Mists of Pandaria is gearing up to become raid ready. (For those interested, the first step is race (and possibly faction) changing to dwarf, and the second is leveling up to 90). With that in mind here is a list of some of the top hunter gear to go after.
We're specifically only looking here at non-raid PvE gear that does not come from a raid or require raid mats. However, in Mists you are able to get valor points outside of raids, including by doing daily quests and some of the reputation gear requires valor points to purchase in addition to faction rep. Thus I am going to include some valor gear in this list. Odds are you won't have enough valor points pre-raiding to get all of these pieces. My recommendation is to run your heroics to get the best non-epic gear possible and then spend valor points to fill in the worst gear slots.
I'm also not including any gear that requires you to have a certain profession -- thus no engineering goggles even though they may be superior for engineers.
All of the gear here is listed in order from best to worst. I'm using non-raid gear stat weights, more or less averaged across the specs (most stat weights aren't all that different from spec to spec) and taking reforging opportunities into account.
Keep in mind that, as always, stat weights vary not only from spec to spec, but also change with every piece of your gear. In addition to listing the items, I'm also going to discuss when there's actually a significant difference between them -- often we'll have two piece of gear that are nearly identical.
- Hawkmaster's Headguard - purchased for 2,250 valor points when revered with Shado-Pan faction.
- Swarmcall Helm - drops in heroic Gate of the Setting Sun
- Crest of the Clan Lords - drops in heroic Mogu'shan Palace
- Choker of the Klaxxi'va - purchased for 1,250 valor points with honored Klaxxi faction
- Delicate Necklace of the Golden Lotus - quest reward from The Final Power
- Scorched Scarlet Key - drops in heroic Scarlet Halls
- Don Guerrero's Glorious Choker - BoE world drop
- Engraved Amber Pendant - drops in heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple
That said, the valor point Choker of the Klaxxi'va is significantly better still.
- Windwalker Spaulders - purchased for 1,750 valor points when revered with Golden Lotus faction.
- Shadowspine Shoulderguards - drops in heroic Shado-Pan Monastery
- Harlan's Shoulders - drops in heroic Scarlet Halls
- Blackguard Cape - purchased for 1,250 valor points when honored with Shado-Pan faction
- Dory's Pageantry - BoE world drop
- Aerial Bombardment Cloak - drops in heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple
- Wind-Soaked Drape - drops in heroic Temple of the Jade Serpent
- Breastplate of the Golden Pagoda - purchased for 2,250 valor points when revered with Golden Lotus faction
- Chestguard of Earthen Harmony - crafted by leatherworkers
- Azure Serpent Chestguard - drops in heroic Shado-Pan Monastery
- Galedodger Chestguard - drops in heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple
- Deadeye Chain of the Golden Lotus - quest reward from Battle Axe of the Thunder King
- Tiger-Striped Wristguards - purchased for 1,250 valor points when honored with August Celestials faction
- Bladed Smoke Bracers - drops in heroic Shado-Pan Monastery
- Groundshaker Bracers - drops in heroic Mogu'shan Palace
- Sentinel Commander's Gauntlets - purchased for 1,750 valor points when revered with August Celestials
- Gloves of Earthen Harmony - crafted by leatherworkers
- Archer's Precision Grips - drops in heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple
- Hopecrusher Gauntlets - drops in heroic Temple of the Jade Serpent
- Klaxxi Lash of the Winnower - purchased for 1,750 valor points when revered with Klaxxi faction
- Impaler's Girdle - drops in heroic Gate of the Setting Sun
- Bindburner Belt - drops in heroic Scarlet Halls
- Locust Swarm Legguards - purchased for 2,250 valor points when revered with Klaxxi faction
- Hopping Mad Leggings - drops in heroic Stormstout Brewery
- Legguards of the Crimson Magus - drops in heroic Scarlet Monastery
- Steps of the War Serpent - purchased for 1,750 valor points when revered with August Celestials faction
- Treads of Fixation - drops in heroic Gate of the Setting Sun
- Bone Golem Boots - drops in heroic Scholomance
- Anji's Keepsake - purchased for 1,250 valor points when honored with Golden Lotus faction
- Perculia's Peculiar Signet - BoE world drop
- Seal of Ghoulish Glee - drops from Headless Horseman during the Hallow's End holiday
- Signet of Dancing Jade - drops in heroic Temple of the Jade Serpent
- Seal of Hateful Meditation - drops in heroic Shado-Pan Monastery
- Pulled Grenade Pin - drops in heroic Gate of the Setting Sun
The three blue ring options are all fairly close, though the Pulled Grenade Pin is less desirable with no hit or expertise.
- Klatith, Fangs of the Swarm - drops in heroic Gate of the Setting Sun
- Tempestous Longbow - drops in heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple
- Yan-Zhu's Pressure Valve - drops in heroic Stormstout Brewery
- Firebelcher Hand Cannon - drops in heroic Temple of the Jade Serpent
- Houndmaster's Compound Crossbow - drops in heroic Scarlet Halls
- Amber Sprayer of Klaxxi'vess - purchased for 113 gold when exalted with Klaxxi faction
- Fishsticker Crossbow - BoE world drop
The Tempestuous Longbow curiously wins the race for second place. It is the same ilvl, but for some reason it appears to have slightly better itemization than the others. This seems like it's either a datamining error or a bug -- I have a hunch that when we finally see the item in game it will have the same itemization as the others.
That said, any of these ranged weapons will do just fine for you, except that the Fishsticker Crossbow world drop is significantly worse than the others.
- Relic of Xuen - comes from the Darkmoon Tiger Deck
- Hawkmaster's Talon - purchased for 1,750 valor points when revered with Shado-Pan faction
- Searing Words - drops in heroic Scholomance
- Flashing Steel Talisman - drops in heroic Scarlet Monastery
- Windswept Pages - drops in heroic Temple of the Jade Serpent
- Coren's Chilled Chromium Coaster - drops from Coren Direbrew during the Brewfest holiday
- Gerp's Perfect Arrow - BoE world drop
But, that sucker is probably going to cost you a fortune. Next on our list is the valor point trinket, but only slightly behind it is Searing Words due to the surprisingly good uptime of the proc. Of the blue trinkets Searing Words is definitely the one to chase.
The next two, Flashing Steel Talisman and Windswept Pages are both pretty neck and neck in terms of DPS contribution. The final couple, the Brewfest trinket and Gerp's Perfect Arrow are substantially behind the curve.
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