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Arcane Brilliance: Mage gear-up ultraguide, pre-raid edition

Liuyang's Lovely Longstaff
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we have a singular focus: shiny, shiny loot. And the warlocks we will kill with it.

I took some understandable flak last week when my "what to do at level 90" column contained a dearth of specifics. Well, fear not! This week's installment is all specifics, all the time. In fact, this column and the one to follow are going to be filled with so much specific, easily quantifiable information that your brains, trained by months of political campaign speeches to accept vague platitudes as factual policy, may not be able to process it.

My aim over the next two weeks is to provide you with a compendium of all the currently available mage gear from the heroic threshold of item-level 435 on up to best in slot. No matter where your mage is along the gear-grubbing spectrum, you should be able to look at these lists, identify an upgrade, and know where said upgrade is obtained.

I will be organizing this by gear slot. If you need a trinket, head on down to the trinket section. If you need an off-hand frill to go with your sweet new wand, head down to the off-hand section. And if you are a warlock, die in a fire.

We will begin with heroic-worthy green-quality quest rewards that are worth seeking out during the leveling process. Well move through everything obtainable outside of raids, and then next week we'll hit the raid finder, and then head all the way up to best-in-slot.

Head

This slot establishes the gearing path going forward. Worthy quest rewards can be found in the Dread Wastes, Tailoring provides the very nice Contender's set, which can also double as a starter PVP set, and then you'll want to start hitting scenarios and heroic 5-mans, saving up Justice and Valor Points to purchase even more upgrades.

437 Dreadspinner Cowl - Reunited (Dread Wastes)
437 Motherseed Hood - Reunited (Dread Wastes)
437 Sunset Silk Cowl - Kor'thik Aggression (Dread Wastes)
442 Hood of Alchemical Vapors - (World drop BOE)
442 Swampwalker Cowl - The Sha of Hatred (Townlong Steppes)
450 Contender's Silk Cowl - (Tailoring 590)
463 Barovian Ritual Hood - Jandice Barov in Scholomance
463 Breezeswept Hood - Wing Leader Ner'onok in Siege of Niuzao Temple
463 Brewmoon Cowl - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Firewool Cowl - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Whitemane's Embroidered Chapeau - High Inquisitor Whitemane in Scarlet Monastery

Neck

437 Amberglow Choker - Better With Age (Dread Wastes)
437 Council Choker - The Klaxxi Council (Dread Wastes)
437 Gurthan Locket - The Klaxxi Council (Dread Wastes)
440 Hardened Resin Pendant - Take Down the Wing Leader (Siege of Niuzao Temple)
440 Mantid Eye Amulet - Take Down the Wing Leader (Siege of Niuzao Temple)
442 Shiny Hozen Rock Holder - (World drop BOE)
450 Necklace of Jade Pearls - 1250 Justice Points from Jaluu the Generous (Golden Lotus)
450 Skymage Circle - (Jewelcrafting 575)
463 Anarchist's Pendant - Instructor Chillheart in Scholomance
463 Brewmoon Necklace - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Fireheart Collar - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Mindbreaker Pendant - Sha of Doubt in Temple of the Jade Serpent
463 Pendant of Precise Timing - Saboteur Kip'tilak in Gate of the Setting Sun
463 Temperature-Sensing Necklace - Flameweaver Koegler in Scarlet Halls

Shoulders

The best quest rewards are actually pretty impressive for this slot. Again, you're looking to complete the quest chains in the Dread Wastes. That place is a treasure trove of pre-raid awesomesauce.

450 Contender's Silk Amice - (Tailoring 575)
450 Dreadspinner Amice The Mariner's Revenge - (Dread Wastes)
450 Motherseed Mantle The Mariner's Revenge - (Dread Wastes)
463 Brewmoon Shoulderpads - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Firewool Shoulderpads - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Forgotten Bloodmage Mantle - Thalnos the Soulrender in Scarlet Monastery
463 Shoulders of Engulfing Winds - Raigonn in Gate of the Setting Sun
463 Whisperwind Spaulders - Wing Leader Ner'onok in Siege of Niuzao Temple

Back

437 Vu's Drape - Bound With Shade (Dread Wastes)
440 Drape of the Burning Signal - That's a Big Bug! (Gate of the Setting Sun)
450 Cloak of Ancient Curses - 1250 Justice Points from Sage Whiteheart (August Celestials)
450 Cloak of Cleansing Flame - Gekkan in Mogu'shan Palace (normal)
463 Brewmoon Cloak - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Fireheart Cloak - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Cape of Entanglement - Liu Flameheart in Temple of the Jade Serpent
463 Cloak of Cleansing Flame - Gekkan in Mogu'shan Palace (heroic)
463 Scorched Earth Cloak - Brother Korloff in Scarlet Monastery

Chest

437 Dreadspinner Robe - Fresh Pots (Dread Wastes)
437 Motherseed Robe - Fresh Pots (Dread Wastes)
437 Sunset Silk Robe - Falling to Pieces (Dread Wastes)
440 Darkmaster's Spare Robe - An End to the Suffering (Scholomance)
440 Empowered Necropile Robe - An End to the Suffering (Scholomance)
450 Contender's Silk Raiment - (Tailoring 590)
450 Robe of Eternal Dynasty - 2250 Justice Points from Rushi the Fox (Shadow-Pan)
450 Robe of Quiet Meditation - 2250 Justice Points from Rushi the Fox (Shadow-Pan)
463 Brewmoon Robe - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Firewool Robe - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Burning Robes of the Golden Lotus - Battle Axe of the Thunder King (Vale of Eternal Blossoms)
463 Robes of Fevered Dreams - Taran Zhu in Shado-Pan Monastery
463 Robes of Koegler - Flameweaver Koegler in Scarlet Halls

Wrists

437 Dreadspinner Cuffs - The Dissector Wakens (Dread Wastes)
437 Dreadspinner Wristwraps - Extracting Answers (Dread Wastes)
437 Motherseed Wristwraps - Extracting Answers (Dread Wastes)
450 Contender's Silk Cuffs - (Tailoring 555)
450 Tranquility Bindings - 1250 Justice Points from Jaluu the Generous (Golden Lotus)
463 Bracers of Displaced Air - Ook-Ook in Stormstout Brewery
463 Brewmoon Wristwraps - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Firewool Wristwraps - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Deadwalker Bracers - Rattlegore in Scholomance

Hands

This is as good a place as any to point out that you need not be a tailor or a jewelcrafter to equip any of these profession craftables. They are fully BOE, meaning you can either gather the mats yourself and then find a willing crafter to create them for you, or just keep an eye on the auction house and purchase them.

435 Gloves of Enraged Slaughter - Sha of Violence in Shado-Pan Monastery (normal)
437 Dreadspinner Handguards - Nope (Dread Wastes)
437 Dreadspinner Handwraps - Rending Daggers (Dread Wastes)
437 Motherseed Handwraps - Rending Daggers (Dread Wastes)
440 Gloves of Fiery Purification - Unto Dust Thou Shalt Return (Scarlet Monastery)
450 Conflagrating Gloves - Kuai the Brute in Mogu'shan Palace (normal)
450 Contender's Silk Handwraps - (Tailoring 565)
450 Krompf's Fine-Tuning Gloves - 1750 Justice Points from Ambersmith Zikk (The Klaxxi)
463 Brewmoon Handwraps - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Firewool Handwraps - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Bomber's Precision Gloves - Striker Ga'dok in Gate of the Setting Sun
463 Conflagrating Gloves - Kuai the Brute in Mogu'shan Palace (heroic)
463 Gloves of Enraged Slaughter - Sha of Violence in Shado-Pan Monastery (heroic)

Waist

This is another slot you can fill with a ilvl 450 item just from questing through Dread Wastes. You may be sensing a pattern here.

440 Scholarly Cord - Just for Safekeeping, Of Course (Scarlet Halls)
450 Contender's Silk Belt - (Tailoring 565)
450 Dreadspinner Cord - Overthrone (Dread Wastes)
450 Repression Belt - (World drop BOE)
463 Brewmoon Cord - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Firewool Cord - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Girdle of Endemic Anger - Lorewalker Stonestep in Temple of the Jade Serpent
463 Incineration Belt - Darkmaster Gandling in Scholomance

Legs

A note: The random scenario rewards from the Cache of Treasures are pretty rare drops. You may run quite a few scenarios before you see one of them, and it may very well not be the one you want. As a source of gear, scenarios can provide you with an occasional slot filler, but the chances are so hit and miss that your main benefit from running them will be quick, easy Valor Points.

437 Dreadspinner Trousers - Walking Dog (Dread Wastes)
437 Motherseed Leggings - Walking Dog (Dread Wastes)
450 Contender's Silk Pants - (Tailoring 565)
450 Leggings of Unfinished Conquest - 2250 Justice Points from Sage Whiteheart (August Celestials)
463 Brewmoon Leggings - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Firewool Leggings - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Leggings of Unleashed Anguish - Lilian Voss in Scholomance
463 Leggings of the Frenzy - Commander Ri'mok in Gate of the Setting Sun

Feet

437 Dreadspinner Shoes - Amber Arms (Dread Wastes)
450 Contender's Silk Footwraps - (Tailoring 565)
450 Dreadspinner Treads - Fires and Fears of Old (Dread Wastes)
450 Soulbinder Treads - Xin the Weaponmaster in Mogu'shan Palace (normal)
463 Brewmoon Sandals - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Firewool Sandals - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Scarlet Sandals - Armsmaster Harlan in Scarlet Halls
463 Soulbinder Treads - Xin the Weaponmaster in Mogu'shan Palace (heroic)

Ring

437 Krik'thik Band - The Poisoned Mind (Dread Wastes)
437 Loop of the Poisoned Mind - The Poisoned Mind (Dread Wastes)
437 Ring of Unspeakable Nightmares - A Cry From Darkness (Dread Wastes)
440 Burning Mark of the Golden Lotus - The Secrets of Guo-Lai (Vale of Eternal Blossoms)
442 Band of Terror - Terror of the Dread Wastes (Townlong Steppes)
442 Gao-Ran Ring - Terror of the Dread Wastes (Townlong Steppes)
450 Anaxo's Multi-Layered Seal - (World drop BOE)
450 Etched Golden Loop - 1250 Justice Points from Rushi the Fox (Shadow-Pan)
450 Lionsfall Ring - (Jewelcrafting 575)
463 Brewmoon Signet - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Fireheart Ring - Cache of Treasures from random scenarios
463 Alemental Seal - Yan-Zhu the Uncasked in Stormstout Brewery
463 Eye of the Tornado - Master Snowdrift in Shado-Pan Monastery
463 Ring of Malice - Taran Zhu in Shado-Pan Monastery
463 Signet of the Hidden Door - Thalnos the Soulrender in Scarlet Monastery
463 Triune Signet - High Inquisitor Whitemane in Scarlet Monastery

Trinket

I'm restricting this category to pure DPS trinkets, which rules out some highly useful items like the CC trinket from the Golden Lotus. There just aren't a whole lot of good pre-raid trinkets out there.

437 Badge of Kypari Zar - The Root of the Problem (Dread Wastes)
437 Charm of Ten Songs - Sacred Recipe (Dread Wastes)
463 Flashfrozen Resin Globule - Vizier Jin'bak in Siege of Niuzao Temple
463 Vision of the Predator - Striker Ga'dok in Gate of the Setting Sun

Main-hand weapon

437 Boggeo's Thorns - The Horror Comes A-Rising (Dread Wastes)
450 Firescribe Dagger - Xin the Weaponmaster in Mogu'shan Palace (normal)
463 Amber Saber of Klaxxi'vess - requires Exalted with The Klaxxi, purchased from Ambersmith Zikk (The Klaxxi)
463 Firescribe Dagger - Xin the Weaponmaster in Mogu'shan Palace (heroic)
463 Melted Hypnotic Blade - Flameweaver Koegler in Scarlet Halls
463 Necromantic Wand - Rattlegore in Scholomance

Off-hand frill

437 Chronicle of a Hundred Wars - The Scent of Blood (Dread Wastes)
463 Bottle of Potent Potables - Hoptallus in Stormstout Brewery
463 Umbrella of Chi-Ji - (Archeology artifact, account-bound)

Staff

Probably the easiest and best early pre-raid weapon you can pick up is the staff from The Arena of Annihilation scenario. As soon as it is possible for you to do so, open the scenario finder and select The Arena as the scenario you'd like to queue for. Seconds later, you'll be in there. There'll be a questgiver available as soon as you enter. Pick up the quest, Then fight a sereies of 3-man bosses, have a great time, and at the end, you'll have a very nice staff to carry with you into heroics and beyond. A whole bunch of you got angry that I didn't mention this last week. All is forgiven?

442 Staff of Broken Hopes - (World drop BOE)
450 Liuyang's Lovely Longstaff - The Arena of Annihilation (Kun-Lai Summit)
463 Amber Scythe of Klaxxi'vess - requires Exalted with The Klaxxi, purchased from Ambersmith Zikk (The Klaxxi)
463 Greatstaff of Righteousness - High Inquisitor Whitemane in Scarlet Monastery
463 Staff of Trembling Will - Sha of Doubt in Temple of the Jade Serpent
463 Wort Stirring Rod - Yan-Zhu the Uncasked in Stormstout Brewery

This should help in your endeavor to hit raiding levels of gear. Next week, we'll talk about what you'll be looking for once you get there. From the raid-finder to best-in-slot, we'll be covering it all. So what did I miss? If there's an item you think should be on this list, let me know in the comments, and I'll try to get it wedged in there somewhere.


Every week, Arcane Brilliance teleports you inside the wonderful world of mages and then hurls a Fireball in your face. We have you covered for Mists of Pandaria info, including our recent mage talent spec guide, and our guide to glyphs. And be sure to check out our list of reasons to still love our mages after all these years.

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Mists of Pandaria

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