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November 2, 2012

Gearing Guide for Tier 14: Newly 90’s, Heroics, and Raids

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Written by: Vixsin
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LoadScreenMoguShanVaults
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s we get into the second and third instances of a somewhat protracted Tier 14, I thought it was finally time to not only get an update on a blog that’s been mostly silent since MoP launch (has it been that long already? Time flies!) but also to talk about something that every raider has a deep and wonderful relationship with—loot! (Okay, maybe sometimes it’s more love-hate, or not-really-on-speaking-terms, or even hate-hate relationship …) But, no matter the details of your affair, it remains a core component of PVE progression and thus something that we all have to manage at some point or another.

So, in order to make sense of the process, I’ve collected all my notes from my own research and gearing process and put them down in one place, in the hopes that Restos out there might find them useful. As such, the discussion in this guide is broken up into sections based on your place in the gearing path, from before you hit 90 into the final fights of the tier. This breaks down into 4 main sections:

 

  • Level 90 and Pre-Heroic Gearing
  • Heroic Dungeons and Getting Raid-Ready (including Justice and Honor Gear)
  • Tier 14 (Split into Mogu’shan and Heart/Terrace)
  • Gearing Supplementals and Alternative Sources (including Rep items, Valor, Conquest, Craftables, and BoE’s)

It’s important to remember that the gear listed in the last section—those pieces obtained through Faction Rep, Valor and Justice Points, Honor and Conquest points, and other means–are pieces that you will be picking up concurrently with your other pursuits. So, you’ll want to keep those items in mind as you move through your own gearing process, distinguishing between those that are easily obtainable (eg: justice/honor gear) and those that will take a while to earn (eg: valor/conquest items).

 

Level 90 and Pre-Heroic Gearing

As I made my way to 90, along with the mass of people who celebrated Mists’ launch by becoming hermits for the week, I was delighted to find that the process of gearing your level 90 character is actually started during your leveling adventures. Instead of dumping all of the pre-dungeon gear in the last zone, you’ll find good options throughout the various zones in MoP (with, naturally, the majority of them being in Dread Wastes). And while your quest gear will, unfortunately, deprive you of much of the Spirit that you’ll be craving once you start healing heroics, there’s no better option out there for diligent adventurers.

The following list is comprised of the items that I picked up along the way, AND wore into my first forays into heroics. (So they have been tried, tested and approved as being up to snuff for newly 90 Resto Shaman):

If you find yourself with time to kill in between quests, or you’re just looking for a change of scenery, you can also (obviously) find a handful of pieces in normal mode dungeons, both from quests and bosses. The one thing I’ll mention here is that, in a number of cases, the gear from NM dungeons is not going to last all that long. Firstly, because with the exception of Mogu’shan, the pieces will be lower ilvl than the quest rewards in Dread Wastes. Secondly, because a large majority of the NM items lack Spirit, they’ll be prime targets for replacing later on when you’re dying for more regen. That being said, if you do find yourself in a new Pandaria dungeon, keep your eyes peeled for the following high ilvl pieces:

Additionally, the pieces in the above lists can also be supplemented by completing the dungeon quests available in each of the normal modes. While these NM quest items won’t be as good as the questing items (with the exception of the Arena of Annihilation mace), they can certainly fill in the gaps:

 

Heroic Dungeons and Getting Raid-Ready

Once you’re 90 and have a good collection of the items from the section above, you’re more than ready to get yourself into heroic dungeons and on the way to being raid-ready. Because of the quality of gear that can be found in Heroic dungeons, those pieces will be the best way to get yourself ready for LFR and normal-mode raids.

Justice Points

But first, remember that there are pieces that are accessible and easily-obtainable outside of dungeons, from Justice Points and Honor. Note that the large majority of these items are not comparable to Heroic gear, but can serve as a way to up your ilvl or stand in for a piece that refuses to drop. (For example, I wore the Runoff Wristguards until I was able to buy Conquest bracers as an upgrade). Since it was patched in the first weeks of Mists, the reputation requirement that was in place for Justice point gear was removed, enabling you easier access to several ilvl458 pieces immediately after that long-awaited <DING!>:

 

Honor Points

It’s also worth mentioning that you can find some very good upgrades from honor gear, which are actually viable given that a number of them offer comparable stats and sockets. For honor purchases, I’d actually recommend using only the spirit pieces, because those items without spirit are really going to limit your contributions in a raiding environment.

 

Heroic Dungeon Quests

In addition to those pieces of loot found completely outside heroic dungeons, you can also pick up a few quick and easy pieces through the Heroic Dungeon Quests. Bear in mind, they are a few ilvls below the pieces that drop in those same dungeons (which doesn’t really make sense to me), but they’re good stand-ins as you wait for 463 pieces to drop:

 

Heroic Dungeon Items

And finally, there is a treasure-trove of viable gear to be found in heroic dungeons. I’m not going to go through the trouble of listing all of it here, but I did want to highlight a couple “key” pieces that you will likely want to prioritize during your heroic dungeon adventures:

 

 

Tier 14

When you finally make your way into raiding, in LFR, normal and heroic modes, a number of gearing options will open up. Because of the way that content is staged, Mogu’shan Vaults will likely be the starting point of your conversion of blues to full epics. And the pieces that you obtain in there will become vendor trash or DE fodder once you make your way into Heart of Fear and Terrace of the Endless Spring. So, I’ve divided your gearing options at this point into two categories: Mogu’shan Vaults and Heart of Fear /Terrace of Endless Spring. I’ve listed only the heroic versions below, but with the exception of Jade Courtesan Figurine and Burnmender Boots, all of the items have normal mode and LFR equivalents.

Mogu’shan Vaults

 

HoF/ToES

Now, bear in mind that these are NOT (NOT-NOT-NOT) Best-in-Slot lists, which I historically have hated and will continue to hate for the foreseeable future. What these lists are intended to highlight is the gearing transitions you can expect to have from Mogu’shan to Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring. So, you might notice, for example, that your belt from Heroic MV will only be replaced by a drop from Heroic Lei Shei (in Terrace), and will only constitute a slight upgrade at best. Or that there’s no offhand upgrade available in either of the second zones, making drops off of Heroic Feng (Fan of Fiery Winds) and Heroic Gara’jal (Eye of the Ancient Spirit), the de facto “best” options for the entire tier. Or that the easiest and first hard mode of the entire tier drops a Heroic helm that’s only outpaced by a drop from HM Sha of Fear (excluding the set bonus, of course).

This information should, in turn, inform when and where you use your Elder Charms, Valor Points, and Conquest Points, because picking up those pieces will enable you to cross one item off your loot list for the majority, if not the remainder, of the tier.

 

Gearing Supplements and Alternative Sources

In addition to the direct gearing process through leveling, dungeon grinds, and honor grinds, there are also a handful of other sources of gear in Tier 14, namely: faction reps (which enable the purchase of Valor gear), craftable items, and Conquest point items. How I’d suggest handling these supplemental sources is to identify those pieces that are important to you, and aim just for those items, instead trying to fit in everything at once. Because Shado-Pan isn’t unlocked until you reach Revered with Golden Lotus, and because neither of August Celestial Valor items have Spirit, I focused exclusively on Klaxxi and Golden Lotus dailies in order to max my Valor Points and collect Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.

Faction Gear

August Celestials

  • Locations: Townlong Steppes, Krasarang Wilds, Kun-Lai Summit
  • Rep gained from: Daily quests only, unlocked at level 90
  • Pre-requisite: Revered with Golden Lotus

The Klaxxi

  • Location: Dread Wastes
  • Rep gained from: Daily quests unlocked at 89 (can be done as part of leveling)
  • Pre-requisite: Dread Wastes quests to unlock the Paragons (you basically need to finish the zone to access the full complement of daily quests)

Golden Lotus

  • Location: Vale of Eternal Blossoms
  • Rep gained from: Daily quests, unlocked at level 90, and main lore questline (with stages unlocked at Honored, Revered and Exalted)
  • Pre-requisite: Completing A Celestial Experience to unlock the Vale

Shado-Pan

  • Location: Townlong Steppes (though you did get rep for them if you did the Shado-Pan Monastery questline)
  • Rep gained from: Townlong quests (which should get you to just shy of Honored), Daily quests unlocked at level 90 in Townlong Steppes (Shado-Pan Garrison)
  • Pre-requisite: Revered with Golden Lotus

 

Craftables/ BoE’s

 

High-Cost Craftables

 

Conquest Gear/Other

 

 

A Final Note About Upgrading Gear

The last thing I want to mention in this post is that, when you’re trying to decide what the best piece is for you, you want to look at two things:

  1. Primary stat gains (Intellect, Spirit, Spellpower)
  2. Other easily-acquirable pieces

The first point is fairly self-explanatory, but can sometimes sneak up on you when you least expect it. Take my recent trade-out of Viscous Ring for Leven’s Circle of Hope. Interestingly enough, the stats on Leven meant that I actually lost out on 31 Spirit when making the upgrade. But the gain of 137 Intellect more than made up for it (thankfully, or else I would have felt really shafted!) So, it’s good to make sure that the piece you’re picking up actually is an upgrade, especially when you’re looking at items with sockets and socket bonuses.

Secondly, make sure you consider what else you can purchase with that currency or with an alternate currency. For example, consider that 3 weeks’ of valor (max of 3000 points) could buy you Links of the Lucid + Leven’s Circle of Hope OR it could buy you Swarmkeeper’s Leggings (with some points left over). And while you might think 2 pieces > 1 piece, that might not necessarily be the case. The table below sums up the stat gain for the 2-piece upgrade, moving from Viscous Ring + Mindcapture Pendant (both ilvl463 heroic dungeon drops) to Leven’s Circle of Hope + Links of the Lucid (both ilvl489 Valor point purchases):

 

463 Ring 463 Neck 489 Neck 489 Ring Gain
  Int 501 501 638 638 274
  Spirit 354 363 394 323 0
  Secondary 301 285 444 485 343
  Total Primary Gain 274

But when you do the calculation on the legs (using Bradbury’s Entropic Legguards as a base), you’ll notice:

463 Legs 489 Legs Gain
  Int 819 1066 247
  Spirit 932 1044 112
  Secondary 472 724 252
  Total Primary Gain 359

Thus, if you do choose the legs, you wind up with a total primary stat difference of 85, and a secondary stat difference of (91), an almost 1:1 ratio. Meaning that the legs would be a greater upgrade, because as a rule of thumb and especially at the start of an expac, trading primary stats for secondary stats is not a good idea. (In this example it would also behoove you to remember that you can get both a 489 ring and a neck from Exalted reputation quests as well, with no Valor point investment required).

Now, that same comparison might not hold true based on the items you’re upgrading from or the items you’re upgrading to –maybe you’ve been unlucky with heroic cloak or shoulder drops and only have ilvl450 gear in those slots–but what’s important here is that you take a quick moment to actually do the math to check. Immediate gratification is not a good reason for going with a lesser upgrade. And of course, doing this sort of rough calculation is not going to keep RNG from giving you a duplicate item for a slot you just filled, but at least it will assure you that you get the most out of the points and currencies that you do have.

So, with that, happy hunting everyone and may your Elder Charms shower you with epics!






9 Comments


  1. Thank, you, thank you, thank you!
    Matty´s last post ..Drabble: Cruel


  2. Midew

    Good to see a new post and great list. With all the options there are in MoP, having it all laid out like this is invaluable.

    One piece not on the list that I feel deserves mention is the Helm of Elemental Binding (http://www.wowhead.com/item=87451). This is a BOE that can be picked up in the AH. With the meta option, it is far better than quest rewards and is a solid choice if Wise Mari is stingy about dropping his helm as he was for me. I ended up using this until the Crown dropped from the dogs.


  3. shammypie

    very nice. Although one thing i would like to see some side by side comparisons of some of the MSC gear with HOF/TOES. specifically the belt offered from Feng vs the one in TOES since you have an extra gem slot, better socket bonus, and better itemization of secondary stats.

    But then most HC raiders already have their list of BIS items that may or may not agree with others (DMF card FTW)


  4. she did say this wasn’t supposed to be a BiS list
    ” Now, bear in mind that these are NOT (NOT-NOT-NOT) Best-in-Slot lists,”

    i’d like to chuck another option in for heads , I was very very very unlucky with running heroics for that cursed Waterburst Helm , i think it took me something like 35 runs :-(

    what I did find is the Scarshell Helmfrom the scenario bags , drop very frequently and if your lucky can grab you some very nice stats from the throne of four winds style random stats, sadly no meta socket but their ilvl is 463 and the socket price is factored in to the extra stats.

    Quick Examples
    of the Undertow +899 Intellect, +599 Haste, +599 Spirit, +1349 Stamina
    of the Wavecrest +599 Mastery, +899 Intellect, +599 Spirit, +1349 Stamina


  5. Vistol

    Something that might be worth while for people who plan on leveling a resto shaman alt or several healer/spirit =hit alts is to make the 476 BoA spirit staff via inscription. While you do forgo the DMF cards you could sell/use, with only three currently active bosses dropping 476 or better one hand spirit items that staff could get a lot of use.

    The cost in mats is relatively low in terms of gold out of pocket, just a time sink, and if you can make use of it on more than one toon it’s proably a great investment.


  6. Feyama

    “[…]because neither of August Celestial Valor items have Spirit”

    well, they have the boots with spirit, right? I mean you get the Sha boots anyway but they have no spirit and a lower itemlevel.


  7. Aegle

    How about a post on trinkets now that there is a new one and we can upgrade them with VP? :)


  8. HDPriest

    I’m just now getting to work on my Shaman since I’ve had limited playtime and my Priest main was eating all my sessions getting reps and gear, so thank you SO much for putting this together. One thing I did want to point out though, is the ilvl 476 craftables are on par with Mogu’Shan Vaults LFR, not normal-mode drops. Normal MSV drops are ilvl 489. There are way too many ilvls this tier to keep straight all the time, so def not a criticism, just something I noticed.

    I’m a long-time reader, but I rarely post so I wanted to say that I love the blog, Vixsin, and always recommend it to any RShammy friends!



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