This picture's already a bit dated -- my main's been 90 for about a week now -- but you'll probably find yourself in Mogu'shan Palace for several runs trying to get some useful gear to drop. As an aside, the rush of leveling monks continues apace, and more and more of them will start appearing in your level 85+ groups. Get gear now, people!
As NocturNamos pointed out in last week's article on how to gear a guardian druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics, the ilevel requirement for heroics (or more accurately, queuing for heroics through the dungeon finder) has been lowered to ilevel 435. As such, I've included some ilevel 437 quest rewards in this guide that I didn't think were usable last week.
Again, most of this guide's advice can be condensed to the following points:
- Quest through the Townlong Steppes and the Dread Wastes.
- Be prepared to spend some justice points.
- Farm normal Mogu'shan Palace.
- If you have a good option available from professions (whether primary or secondary), don't ignore it.
Not having spirit on a few pieces of gear isn't going to kill you, but consistently ignoring it will be problematic for your longevity.
As with the guardian list, this is an easier slot if you're an engineer. To the best of my knowledge, there's no BOE option here for resto, or even a vendor option until you're revered with the Shado-Pan and able to dump some valor points.
- Engineers: Camouflage Retinal Armor
- Quests: As with guardians, the best you'll get is from The Sha of Hatred in the Townlong Steppes: Mistlurker Helm. Two additional options just clear the ilevel requirement: Sapfly Helml from Reunited in the Dread Wastes, and Sunset Hide Helm from Kor'thik Aggression, also in the Dread Wastes. The latter is obviously a better choice for healers than the Sapfly.
I bought the JP neck for my druid's guardian spec, but got lucky with the Xin drop from Mogu'shan Palace.
- Jewelcrafting: Tiger Opal Pendant
- Quests: You'll have to be exalted with the Golden Lotus to get access to this, but Mending Necklace of the Golden Lotus will be available from The Final Power in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
- Dungeons Mindcapture Pendant from Xin the Weaponmaster in Mogu'shan Palace.
- Various Dorian's Necklace of Burgeoning Dreams may pop up on the AH, but it will be hideously expensive if it does. The Shiny Hozen Rock Holder is another BOE you may find, and is likely to be more affordable.
- Vendor The Pendant of Endless Inquisition is a good option if you can't get the Mindcapture.
This is a very difficult slot for resto, to the point where you might want to grab the season 12 honor shoulders if you're nowhere near the Dread Wastes quest. It's probably just easier to ignore the shoulder slot entirely and use whatever you've got before heroics. Once in, pick up the Incarnadine Scarlet Spaulders in the revamped Scarlet Monastery.
- Quests Sapfly Spaulders from The Mariner's Revenge in the Dread Wastes.
- PvP Dreadful Gladiator's Kodohide Spaulders
The cloak slot is way easier. If you don't want to dump any justice points here, your best bet is the Mogu'shan Palace drop, although caster DPS are going to be just as interested in it.
- Quests Shadebound Cape from Bound With Shade in the Dread Wastes.
- Dungeons Cloak of Cleansing Flame off Gekkan in Mogu'shan Palace.
- Vendor Pressed Flower Cloak
- Various Dirl's Drafty Drape, a BOE, or Drape of Flowing Gauze, another BOE. You might also get lucky with Cloak of Tranquil Clouds off rare spawns in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
The easiest option is just to shell out some justice points for the Vestment.
- Leatherworking Wildblood Vest
- Quest Mistlurker Robes from The Point of No Return in the Townlong Steppes. There's also the Sunset Hide Robes from Falling to Pieces in the Dread Wastes.
- Vendor Vestment of the Ascendant Tribe
- Various Chestguard of the Solicitious Pandaren, a BOE. You may also find the Jiao-Skin Tunic off rare spawn mobs in the Dread Wastes.
Another tough slot largely saved by the JP option.
- Quests Sapfly Bindings from The Dissector Wakens in the Dread Wastes or Sapfly Wristwraps from Extracting Answers, also in the Dread Wastes.
- Vendor Sudden Insight Bracers
- Various Bracers of Rolling Fields, a BOE.
The leatherworking options intrigue me, but I'm not sure how expensive they are at this point in time.
- Leatherworking Wildblood Gloves
- Quests Sapfly Gloves from Nope in the Dread Wastes or Sapfly Handwraps from Rending Daggers, also in the Dread Wastes.
- Vendor Wandering Friar's Gloves
Resto's best option here is from normal Mogu'shan and, luckily for us, it's a piece that seems to drop with some regularity.
- Dungeons Hurricane Belt from the Trial of the King in normal Mogu'shan Palace.
- Quests Sapfly Belt from Overthrone in the Dread Wastes
You're likely to see a lot of Shado-Pan Monastery between level 87 and 90, and the Darkbinder piece is your best bet unless you want to spend some JP.
- Dungeons Darkbinder Leggings from Taran Zhu in normal Shado-Pan Monastery.
- Quests Sapfly Legguards from Walking Dog in the Dread Wastes.
- Various Spriggin's Sproggin' Leggin', a BOE from (who else?) the rare spawn Spriggin in the Krasarang Wilds.
- Vendor Brambleguard Leggings
There's one option I forgot to list for the guardians that I was reminded of just yesterday -- the Sha of Anger drops a quest item, the Claw of Anger, that can be turned in for a pair of epic boots. The Sha is an old-school 40-man world raid boss, and he's really not that gear-dependent. If you can squeeze yourself into a raid, you'll have a very nice pair of boots.
- Sha of Anger Crushing Treads of Anger
- Quests Sapfly Footguards from Fires and Fears of Old in the Dread Wastes or Sapfly Shoes from Amber Arms, also in the Dread Wastes.
Brewfest is on, and if you can make it to level 89 before it's over and spend some time farming Coren, the ilevel 470 trinkets will make a huge difference to your overall ilevel.
- Coren Direbrew The Thousand-Year Pickled Egg is the only explicitly healing-oriented Brewfest Trinket.
- Darkmoon Decks The Relic of Chi Ji from the Darkmoon Crane Deck is really nice.
- Engineering The Ghost Iron Dragonling can be socketed with whatever you need. Please note that it is BOE, unlike many profession items.
- Alchemy Zen Alchemist Stone
- Archaeology Quilen Statuette, a mogu artifact.
- Vendor Mogu Rune of Paralysis
- Quests Relic of Kypari Zar from The Root of the Problem in the Dread Wastes.
- Various You may find the Core of Decency floating around the AH. While not 435+, it's pretty close
As usual, a one-handed weapon and an off-hand are the best bets for raw output: a staff is more useful if you're after more secondary stats.
- Dungeons Firescribe Dagger off Xin the Weaponmaster in Mogu'shan Palace.
- Inscription Inscribed Crane Staff
- Quest Jol'Grum's Frozen Mace or Liuyang's Lovely Longstaff from The Arena of Annihilation in Kun-Lai Summit. (Think Ring of Blood.) Another option (though not as good) is the Oracle's Blade from The Horror Comes A-Rising in the Dread Wastes.
- Vendor Amber Spine of Klaxxi'vess or the Amber Scythe of Klaxxi'vess. Both require exalted with the Klaxxi.
- Various Solianti's Insect Smasher, a BOE.
A few decent options here. With a significantly higher drop rate on blue items from pandaren and mogu archaeology, you may want to get digging early in Pandaria.
- Archaeology Umbrella of Chi-Ji
- Inscription Inscribed Red Fan. Please note this is BOE, unlike the Inscribed Crane Staff.
- Quests Wakener's Light or Chronicle of a Hundred Wars from The Scent of Blood in the Dread Wastes.
- Various Scroll of Whispered Secrets, a BOE, or Record of Mysterious Deeds, also a BOE.
Shifting Perspectives: Bear and Resto Edition takes a peek at healer balance in Dragon Soul, discovers why bears and PvP gear are a pretty good mix, lends advice on gearing up to hit the Raid Finder, and helps you level a druid in the Cataclysm era.