Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog
A resto shaman perspective on raiding


November 25, 2014

Resto Cheat Sheet: WoD Leveling and Pre-Raid (T17) Gearing

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Written by: Vixsin
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The start of an expansion is always a fun time, full of new things to see, new things to do, and new things to learn. And, if you’re anything like me, my head’s been spinning since Warlords of Draenor launch, filled with a metric crapton of questions that have been accumulating since mid-beta testing. Things like … what do I need to worry about while leveling? When will I replace my gear? What quests do I need to do to unlock gear? How do I get ready to queue for heroics? And once I’m in heroics, how do I make sure that my gear is good enough for raids when they open up at the start of December?

To help you get a handle on all of these questions and more, I’ve put together a series of “cheat sheets” (mostly comprised of the random notes I took over the past several weeks), which will hopefully help you get a firmer grasp on the things you can be doing to prep for raiding.

So, first things first …


All About: Leveling Gear

Although I was one of the many who rushed through the leveling experience so that they could dive into max-level content, there are a host of things to do on your way to level 100. Aside from enjoying amazing cutscenes (and there are more than a few), interesting storylines, and a number of variations on the typical kill/collect quests, there are a few things to keep in mind as you make your way through the various zones which will help you once you finally reach end game:

  1. Even in fully upgraded mythic warforged gear, I started replacing items at around level 96 (in Spires of Arak). Don’t be like the person I bumped in to in a normal mode dungeon who wanted his MoP epics to last forever–if you get better stats on a green item, it’s time to relegate your former item to the transmog bin.
  2. The upgraded Mists legendary cloak is ilvl616, so it will last the entire way through leveling (the proc does work while leveling but is not active at 100)
  3. Quests in Nagrand also have some good items (hope for an epic upgrade!):
  4. Rares and treasure chests are also a good source of filler items (which can also be upgraded to epic):
  5. As you work your way to 100, and after the first refreshing DING!, keep your eyes open for items from normal mode dungeons (Skyreach opens at level 98). Trinkets are pretty hard to come by, so I’d suggest focusing on those in particular. Here’s a list of what is available:
  6. Lastly, although they’re indirectly related to gear (we’ll get to that in a moment), you do want to make sure you collect as many Garrison followers in each of the zones as possible. You will need them later on, so check out Wowhead’s Follower Guide to identify those that you might have missed.

All About: Level 100 Raid-Ready Gearing

So you’ve dinged 100–congrats!–and now it’s time to set about filling out your gear to get you prepped for raiding. The great news is that there are a ton of options for getting gear. The bad news is … there are a ton of options for getting gear, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. So let’s run through your options:

  1. Apexis crystals
    1. These drop from level 100 mobs and can be found in garrison caches and rewards.
    2. You trade them in for gear in Ashran
    3. You want to leave Apexis purchases until last, because if you purchase an Apexis item and then get an upgrade for that slot, your Apexis purchase was wasted
  2. Crafted gear
    1. You can only have 3 total crafted items, not including cloaks
    2. Each crafted item starts at ilvl640, except for the weapons (through blacksmithing) which start at ilvl630
    3. Each crafted item can be upgraded 3 times. Upgrades require profession-crafted reagents plus Savage Blood (similar application as Spirits of Harmony although they are tradable/sellable)
    4. Randomly-rolled secondary stats on crafted gear can be rerolled via a profession item like a Leather Refurbishing Kit
    5. Stat budget-wise, priority would be: weapon > trinket > chest/legs/helm > shoulders/boots/belt/gloves > bracers/cloak > neck/rings
    6. The sources for all item slots are:
      • Helm – Leatherworker
      • Necklace – Jewelcrafter
      • Shoulders – Leatherworker
      • Chest – Leatherworker
      • Cloak – Tailor
      • Wrist – Leatherworker
      • Gloves – Leatherworker
      • Belt – Leatherworker
      • Leggings – Leatherworker
      • Boots – Leatherworker
      • Rings – Jewelcrafter
      • Weapons – Blacksmith
      • Trinkets – Inscriptionist
  1. Challenge mode dailies
    1. Simply completing a CM (you don’t even need a Bronze, Silver, or Gold mdeal) will reward cache that contains an ilvl640 (LFR) piece of gear
    2. This is not a chance, it is a guaranteed item (with random roll secondaries)
  2. Heroic dungeons
    1. You will need to complete Silver Proving Grounds to enter
    2. All heroic dungeon loot is base ilvl630 with every item having a chance to roll:
      • Higher ilvl (Warforged) at ilvl636
      • A prismatic socket
      • Tertiary stats
    3. Most loot (excluding trinkets, weapons, and offhands) are shared between several bosses in different heroic dungeons. In addition, a boss that drops, say, a chestpiece, will drop multiple different kinds of that particular chestpiece with differing secondary stats.
    4. Generally, you want to focus on getting as many Mastery items as you can, with Mastery/Spirit or Crit/Spirit in those 4 slots (neck, cloak, rings, trinkets) which can have spirit items.
  1. BoE World drops (ilvl665)
    1. Dunestalker’s Mantle – great stats
    2. Cloudcaller’s Linked Belt – more great stats
    3. Plume Adorned Headdress (Not needed, get MC reward)
  2. Honor gear (ilvl620)
    1. Good filler for those pieces that refuse to drop or particularly low quest greens

In addition to the above options, there are also some good ilvl options that can be gained through non-traditional means:

  1. Molten Core 10th Anniversary LFR will reward all players who kill Ragnaros with a ilvl 640 helm. (It’s worth noting that the trash in LFR MC is no joke, and you’ll get to enjoy a ton of fun with resurrecting corehounds, debuffs, and the like. So a guild group is definitely helpful ^_^)
  2. Proving Grounds Bronze rewards a 610 ilvl weapon (quest starts in your Garrison)
    1. For Shaman, you can choose either a Cudgel of Trials or a Staff of Trials
    2. This will not be better than an heirloom (which is ilvl620), however you coud luck out with an epic upgrade that would bring the item on par with the heirloom
  3. The legendary questline rewards a Solium Band of Mending as a baseline (which is then upgraded through a series of quests). The particulars:
    1. It atarts in your garrison at level 98 (Call of the Archmage)
    2. Pick up a quest from Khadgar at his tower in Talador to kill the final boss in Skyreach and loot a ring from him
    3. Return to the tower, turn in the ring, which Khadgar will upgrade to ilvl640 after a little RP
    4. Gather 4986 Apexis crystals and three cores from Heroic DM bosses:
    5. Collect Corrupted Blood from Teron’gor (Auchindon Heroic)
    6. More RP at Khadgar’s Tower and in Nagrand
    7. Perform role-specific task with the Spirit of Kairozdormu in Nagrand
    8. Return to Khadgar’s Tower, more RP, followed by your new ring: Timeless Solium Band of Lifegiving
  1. The Brawler’s Guild has a Pit Pit Fighter’s Punching Ring for sale for 20,000 gold.
    1. Requires Brawler’s Guild Rank 2 to purchase
  2. The BMAH is a random option but always good to check out if you have spare change to spend. (It’s located at the Ring of Blood, in northwest Nagrand)
  3. Level 100 Garrison missions (more about these below)

Lastly, it bears mentioning that:

  1. No useful pieces of gear are locked behind faction rep
  2. There are not (as of yet) any justice or valor point systems implemented to enable you to gear solely through chain-running heroic dungeons
  3. You can craft items outside of your primary professions by placing that profession’s buildings on one of your small plots. You will have constrained access to crafted items, but you will be able to craft them nonetheless.

All About: Apexis Crystals

I mentioned above that one of your gearing options in the pre-raid range of items is through Apexis Crystal, which are obtained through a variety of sources in level 100 zones and are included as a reward for a variety of quests and even one garrison mission. Since Warlords of Draenor does not use a Justice/Valor point system, Apexis Crystals are the means by which you can offset your bad LFD luck with so purchasable items. So here’s what you need to know:

  1. Apexis Crystal are currency for:
    • Starter gear
    • Legendary quest
    • Mounts, pets, and toys
    • Seal of Tempered Fate (bonus roll)
  2. They are gained from:
    1. Killing Rare and Level 100+ mobs
    2. Level 100 Daily garrison quests (PVE or PVP)
      • Obtained from a side table in your Garrison’s Great Hall
      • The locations of the quests will change daily
      • Two quests will be offered each day
        1. Quests for 800 Apexis crystals are soloable
        2. Quests for 1000 Apexis crystals will require some help
    3. Medium and large building work orders (random quantities)
    4. Weekly garrison invasions
      • The more invaders you kill, buildings you save, followers you rescue = higher score
      • You can bring up to two friends to your Garrison to participate in the invasion
      • Higher the score, greater the reward
        1. Bronze – Apexis shards
        2. Silver – Apexis shards
        3. Gold – Apexis shards + Epic box (chance for a random item epic piece of loot)
    5. Follower mission: Liberation of Shattrath – awards 1000 Apexis crystals
  3. The purchase price of the items increases as the ilvl of the piece increases:
    1. Tier 1 – Crystal (blue, ilvl 630) is Apexis crystals only
    2. Tier 2 – Exceptional (epic, ilvl645) is previous item + crystals
    3. Tier 3 – Flawless (epic, ilvl655) is previous item + crystals
    4. Item totals:
      • 26,500 for bracers/cloaks
      • 31,500 for belts/hands
      • 36,500 for legs/helms
  4. About the mail pieces:
    1. Versatility is included on: legs, belt, gloves, bracers
    2. No versatility on: helm (the helm, in fact, has really good stats. But since you can get a ilvl640 healm from the MC LFR event, I wouldn’t recommend pouring crystals into the slot)

All About: Seals of Tempered Fate

Bonus rolls are back in Warlords, in the form of a new currency for Tier 17–Seal of Tempered Fate. As in MoP, you can obtain up to 3 seals a week (excluding any seals awarded through your garrison missions). You can have up to a total of 10 seals on your character at any given time.  Here are the critical details:

  1. Seals are obtainable multiple ways each week:
    1. War Mill Level 3 (large garrison building) will grant 1 per week
      1. Plan for War Mill level 3 requires achievement for 20 followers at level 100
      2. The seal awarded by your War Mill will count towards the 3/week limit.
    2. Fate-Twister Seress (A) / Tiklal (H) in Ashran , offers 4 repeatable quests each using a different currency (costs increase when you repeat a quest with the same currency type):
      1. Apexis Crystals: 1000/2000/4000
      2. Garrison Resources: 300/600/1200
      3. Gold: 500/1000/2000
      4. Honor: 500/1000/2000
  2. The rare garrison follower missions for Drov the Ruiner or Rukhmar can reward a Seal (neither will count towards the 3/week limit)

All About: Level 100 Garrison Follower Rewards

Now, the last thing you need to know about pre-raid gearing is that you can, through your garrison’s follower missions, obtain loot for your character and for alts. So, once you get your followers to level 100, you’ll unlock a whole new series of missions with more lucrative rewards which can reward the following:

  1. Gear for follows (including epics)
  2. Reinforced Armor Enhancements – upgrades follower gear by a certain number of ilvls
    1. Braced Armor Enhancement
    2. Fortified Armor Enhancement
    3. Heavily Reinforced Armor Enhancement
  3. Armor Sets – full follower set of armor
  4. Elemental Runes – part of the legendary questline
  5. Abrogator Stones – part of the legendary questline
  6. Honor/Conquest points
  7. Relic of Rukhmar – increases rep with Arakoa Outcasts
  8. And finally, gear for your character!
    1. Follower missions can reward Timeless Isle style tokens (which convert into an item for your loot specialization) or can reward actual items themselves
    2. It appears that the weekly follower raid quest (available once a follower hits ilvl645) rewards a BOE item that can be traded or sold.
    3. Once you get followers to ilvl 615, 630, and 645, missions will appear in your garrison which can reward Weapons/Armor/Trinkets:

So, staying on top of your follower missions will enable you to keep them at or above your own gear level of progression (and presumably, this will be the case for the entire expansion).


  1. Thanuul

    Hi there! Lovely guide =)

    So, I’ve just started leveling my Resto Shaman, but it’s kind of a last-minute endeavor to get raid-ready so I’m in a bit of a hurry. Once I hit max level (if all goes as planned), I should have 2-3 days before raids open, and probably more if we decide to start raiding that weekend. I was planning on spamming heroics and working on the ring quest – but is there anything else I should try to achieve in a relatively squashed timeframe? Not sure how time-intensive everything is.

  2. Minor corrections: all heirloom weapons are ilvl 620 at level 100, not just mythic. Also, the proving grounds weapon, if it rolls epic, is 640. I lucked out on my Enhancement Shaman for that. It was amazing.

    Awesome guide! Thanks!
    Talarian´s last post ..[WoW] Server Traffic: Queues, Phasing, and Some Numbers

    • Oh, good call–I had no idea that all the heirlooms scaled to that level. Corrected in the post. And wow on the upgraded weapon; that’s some damn good RNG! ^_^

  3. Bindura

    I am interested in your take on stat weights as you seem to favour Mastery then Crit, as you look for these items for your spirit gear.
    I know you have seen Stoove’s post in regards to rotational HPS and stat weights Mastery>Haste>Crit=Multi>Versatility. I find this conclusion weird as he showed in term of raw HPS that Multi>Crit by approx. 15% and he wouldn’t reduce haste because of HPM which is the only reason to increase crit’s value against Multi.

    If I recall correctly Dayani and Hamlet stat weight recommendations were: Mastery>Crit>Multi>Versatility>Haste; where haste is worst for all non-druid healers because of HPM.

    Then there is AMR’s stat weights Mastery>Haste>Crit>Multi>Vers which seem like a confused version of Stoove’s/Icy Veins.

    Finally how do you weight speed as a stat?

    • I actually think that all the sources you listed above are arriving at reasonably the same conclusion, just taking different paths to get there. To explain …

      Stoove’s analysis (which is what informs IV’s Resto Guide, on which we collaborate), excludes the mana impacts of both Crit (positive) and Haste (negative). AMR is close enough to consider it as the same result. Dayani/Hamlet’s analysis attempts to include the mana impacts of haste, thus the increase in the weight of Crit and the decrease in the weight of haste. Ultimately, I think all analyses are valid because there is no one healing model that will fit every encounter. In some fights, mana might not be a constraint; Brackenspore, for example. In other encounters, mana will be at a premium, so a high preference for haste will be a disadvantage.

      In the end, because it is the beginning of the expac and mana seems (in Heroic Dungeons and CMs) to be very tight, I’d default to a conservative approach: Mastery > Crit > Multistrike > Vers > Haste. But this would be with the understanding that your biggest “tuning fork” would be haste. Meaning, if you find yourself ending encounters with a surplus of mana, the best way to put it to use would be to pick up more haste.

      • Shastokovich

        It seems to me that replacing spirit with mastery would be a more effective way of using surplus mana than replacing crit/multistrike with haste. This is because a rather large amount of spirit is needed to take advantage of haste. When the combined spirit + haste points are compared to other secondary stats haste does not look so good.

    • Tango6

      Can you link where these stat weights are for the three you are referring too.

  4. Qoxxy

    I missed your blogs Vixsin : spirit > Mastery > Multi > haste > crit > versality. ^^

    Or just check my awesome dwarf shaman

    Since RNG doesn’t want me to give Multi strike or haste :<

    • Qoxxy

      Wow.. My entire post went haywire.. What I wanted to add was:”What do you think of our tier set bonusses for Blackfoundry?” For restoration then atleast.

  5. Sivl

    I’ve seen a number of spirit trinkets with the “Equip: Your attacks have a chance to grant…” on them, including the Darkmoon vision one. I’ve tested the one I have (from a mission) and it indeed does *not* proc from heals, meaning I’d have to use ele blast or flame shock. What do you think about these?

    • If you mean the Winged Hourglass, the trinket does indeed proc based on hots and heals–an easy test standing in my garrison and casting rejuv repeatedly confirms this to be the case.

  6. Makpowr

    Hi vixsin,

    Nice post, I wanted to ask you if you where doing Challenge modes as resto, yesterday the Daily was LBRS and the second boss was destroying my tank so hard that I couldn´t take my eye off him or he died leaving me almost with no time to heal the group.
    What talents would you recomend for CM.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Yes, I’ve been running the daily CM on my Shaman as Resto (and on my Resto Druid and my Disc Priest). UBRS is, by far, the hardest one of the batch. Each of the bosses can be particularly punishing.

      In terms of a build, I generally stick with the Resto build you can see on armory ( For the first week or so I ran with UF instead of PE, but later switched to PE for the damage mitigation. On the second boss in particular, burning the adds quickly is critical, as are two other things: being liberal with your and the tank’s CDs, and him avoiding any extra damage (from fire or poison puddles). On average, I’m around 40% mana by the time the adds die. From there, the fight is considerably easier, and you’ll only need to worry about the tank’s damage and the debuff (which can be dispelled if you run with a druid).

  7. Gigawatt

    hello all, I have been playing my ele shaman for many years now and I am looking to switch to resto. I leveled to 100 as a dps and I am wondering if the gear I have will be good enough to switch to healing for normal dungeons? Currently ilvl617



    • You should be fine, provided that you have picked up some spirit pieces for your neck, cloak, rings and trinkets. (I leveled as Ele, but I did have some healing trinkets from Siege that I swapped in when I got started in dungeons. Even in a pinch, Int trinkets will suffice).

  8. milo

    “Follower locations” addon is awesome for those looking to collect followers as they travel or round out a follower skill set. It identifies which quest chains (with way points) to get in each zone, and highlights if you are on a quest required for a specific follower. It is still having more data added, but in its current form still great.

    Unlocking the quest line (and building your level 2) salvage yard as you go through spires is also incredible helpful in my experience- as you need salvaging pays off (open 100 crates) to obtain the level 3 plans at 100. Starting early gears your followers – and if rng is kind enables you to have 615+ gear (and even some seals) to be on hand at 100.

  9. kahro

    Have you seen the reddit AMA with the Shaman question? Any thoughts or opinions?

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