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PvP gearing in detail, and what next?

I wrote recently about how to get started with PvP gearing, focusing on the most efficient ways to gain honor points for your initial PvP gearing, when to replace PvE gear and so on. I was pleased to get many messages saying that it was helpful, and a fair few more asking what they should do next. People wondered what gear they should buy first for Conquest, how they should find arena teams and RBG teams and so on. So I thought I'd help you out with some of that information too.

Updated for Season 15

Gear Purchase Order

This was the topic of much discussion, as all I did was give a few suggestions for priority pieces, rather than a hard-and-fast gearing order. A big part of the reason I did that was that it's very personal, it's up to you, and some people will prefer one approach over another. There are various things to consider, so let me spell them out:
  • There are bonuses to be had from various items:
    • Bonus to a key ability on gloves
    • +2600 +5280 PvP Resilience from having 2 PvP trinkets
    • 2-set bonus: spec specific bonus and +500 PvP Power
    • 4-set bonus: spec specific bonus and +1000 PvP Power
  • There is a points earned requirement of 7250 on any weapon except Honor point off-hands.
  • Weapons cost 3500, so starting from 0 you have 3750 to spend before you start saving for weapons.
  • Unless you are a human, you really need a trinket that removes movement-impairing effects, or "freedom trinket" on your character.


So, bearing all this in mind, what do you do? I'm going to run through my usual gearing process. It should be borne in mind that this is my general approach. I'm not saying it's the approach you categorically should use, nor that it's the one I use without exception every time. There's plenty of room for variation, indeed Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka prefers a different approach to mine.

It's also worth remembering that you will do better to upgrade lower level pieces than higher level ones, the worst-to-best gear order I spelled out last time in mind.

That being said, here's my general approach. This guide order assumes all your gear before step 1 is equal, none is PvP gear, and that you're not able to get into RBG groups because you're undergeared. Nor are you at a high enough rating to increase your conquest cap. You're therefore capping from arena or normal BGs only, at 1800 conquest. Weapons are your major landmark, as you will find them your biggest damage or healing upgrade. I almost always have weapons in mind when gearing.

The below orders also apply for Honor points, only there's not the weekly restriction -- you can buy it all on the same day if you have the patience. For the fastest ways to get Honor, check out the previous article. This is split into Human and non-Human because of the Human racial and how it replaces a freedom trinket.

Human character:
  1. Buy gloves in week one for the upgrade to a key ability (1750 points spent, season total earned 1800)
  2. Buy shoulders in week two for the 2-set bonus (3500 spent, total earned 3600, 100 banked)
  3. Buy a 1250 piece in week three (4750 spent, total earned 5400, 350 banked)
  4. Save all your points in week four (4750 spent, total earned 7200, 2450 banked)
  5. Buy weapons in week five (8250 spent, total earned 9000, 750 banked)
  6. Buy a 2200 set piece in week six (10450 spent, total earned 10800, 350 banked)
  7. Buy a 1750 trinket in week seven (12200 spent, total earned 12600, 400 banked)
  8. Buy another 2200 set piece in week eight for the 4-set bonus (14400 spent, total earned 14400, 0 banked)
  9. Buy another 1750 trinket in week nine (16150 spent, total earned 16200, 50 banked)
  10. Prioritize key stat upgrades from the remaining gear from this point onwards -- you've got all your bonuses now.
Non-human character:
  1. Buy a freedom trinket in week one (1750 points spent, season total earned 1800)
  2. Buy gloves in week two for the upgrade to a key ability (3500 spent, total earned 3600, 100 banked)
  3. Buy a 1250 piece in week three (4750 spent, total earned 5400, 350 banked)
  4. Save all your points in week four (4750 spent, total earned 7200, 2450 banked)
  5. Buy weapons in week five (8250 spent, total earned 9000, 750 banked)
  6. Buy shoulders in week six for the 2-set bonus (10000 spent, total earned 10800, 800 banked)
  7. Buy a 2200 set piece in week seven (12200 spent, total earned 12600, 400 banked)
  8. Buy another 2200 set piece in week eight for the 4-set bonus (14400 spent, total earned 14400, 0 banked)
  9. Buy another 1750 trinket in week nine (16150 spent, total earned 16200, 50 banked)
  10. Prioritize key stat upgrades from the remaining gear from this point onwards -- you've got all your bonuses now.
Why do I prioritize the glove bonus, the 2-set and the 4-set over the trinket bonus? Because 5280 PvP Resilience is only around 3.1% additional resilience on top of the 77% you have as baseline. While it all helps, to me the bonuses to class-specific abilities and PvP Power are more important. Your opinion may differ, and if so, you can buy both trinkets then a 1250 piece in weeks one to three, then get the gloves and shoulders later.

I've got all this gear, what now? How do I find people for Arena and RBGs?

So you're getting pretty well-geared now. You've picked up all the key pieces, and you're working on the rest. What do you do with it? Well, you're gearing for PvP, so you might as well do some.

But what? That depends on your experience and expertise. If you're new to PvP on your class, especially if you're a DPS, then I would definitely recommend random battlegrounds. The more geared you get, especially if you're getting into Conquest gear, the more you'll hit people like a freight train. It's fun, you can't deny it.

I've written various basic PvP guides in the past, but a good beginner move is to go through your spellbook and pull out any spell that has a combat application that you don't already use. Any heal, anything that makes you invulnerable or shields you, anything that makes you faster or makes your enemy slower, anything that gets you away from melee enemies, anything that interrupts or silences caster enemies, pop it on your bars. It may well have a PvP application.

If you're feeling comfortable in your PvP, then you should definitely look to step into the arena. Your first port of call for team-mates should, of course, be your friends. PvP, like most things, is more fun with friends. But if you don't know anyone you can drag into the arena with you, then you'll need to PuG.

Finding groups

If you find yourself on a PvP server where PvP actually happens, you'll likely be able to find a group in trade chat. If you are not on such a server, then you will need to look elsewhere, and in my opinion the best option for this is oQueue. I've written about it in the past, and the PvE guides will apply to PvP too.

While resil used to be the measure on which gear was judged, it's now often ilvl, and people at the moment seem to be looking for ilvls around 510, if they specify at all. There is an underlying expectation that this ilvl will come entirely from PvP gear, and some higher-end groups will require higher item levels.

If you aren't at that gear level yet, start your own LFM, and specify the gear level you have. You may well find someone similarly geared who also wants to do arenas, or you may not. If you're not meeting with success in these endeavors, well, get back into the BGs and grind out that conquest! Keep leaning on your friends, and check oQueue for what's called YOLO RBGs; they're usually low-requirement or no-requirement RBGs that also don't use voice chat. They may not be the most consistently successful groups, but they are a great way to get started. If you're looking for something more consistent, then get listed for RBG groups with voice chat.

Basically, persevere. If you don't have friends who PvP, it's harder to get geared, but not impossible. Be polite, know what you're doing, be honest about your gear because people will inspect you. You may well make some friends, and you'll definitely have some fun.
Do you want to capture flags, invade cities, attack towers, and dominate the enemy for your faction? Do you dream of riding your War Bear with pride? We'll steer you to victory with secrets of Battlegrounds and Arena, prepping you with proven addons and keybindings that win! Send questions or comments to olivia@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

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