Elemental / Resto Shaman Gearing: Heroics

30 01 2009

  Part 2 of a series; I’m grouping the two specs together for a few reasons. Primarily, this is because a number of items have cross-spec versatility for either variant. However, many Shamans (myself included) use their versatility to their advantage in Raids and might find themselves as a Healer on one run and a DPS on another (or maybe even during different parts of the same event). I spend most of my Monday-Friday week as an Elemental Shaman and spec resto for the weekend Raids, unless signups are Healer-heavy in which case I’ll go as Elemental DPS . The point being, your gear is versatile and useful for both specs. It’s like Pokemons – collect em all.

  Some of these are going to be revisited from the prior list (rep items), as I’m expanding this to include all levels of faction purchases – this list is intended to provide you with targets to assemble the best set that you can without setting foot in 10- or 25-man content. Designated as (E) or (R) for specific specs, and (E-R) or (R-E) for dual usage with favored as lead indicator. All instances referred to are Heroic variants.

  Badge loot also applies, since you’ll be acquiring them in the runs anyhow.

  Finally, there are a couple of qualifiers that I’d like to explain. First, I’ve largely omitted cloth and leather in favor of mail drops. You may elect to take a different route in this regard, but I’m of the opinion that if I wanted a squishier class for Ranged DPS or Healing, I’d roll a Priest. Secondly, I’ve completely omitted anything at all with Spirit on it. While some of these items may be acceptable stopgaps, Spirit is completely wasted itemization for a Shaman as you’re almost never out of the FSR and the baked-in regeneration ability tooltips are setup to function purely off base Intellect, not as a “regenerate 30% normal rate even while casting” sort of thing. If you want to stack Spirit at all, fine – but it’s not going to do you any good.

Head Pieces:

  • Brood Plague Helmet (E) – Ahn’Kahet – Meta Gem slot makes it best-in-slot.
  • Helm of the Lightning Halls(R) – Halls of Lightning – BOE, easily found on the AH. Best-in-slot due to the awesome amount of MP5 on the item and not likely to replace prior to Sapphiron or Kel’Thuzad. More or less only mail headpiece that is truly a Resto item.
  • Battle Mender’s Helm (E) – Argent Crusade (revered) – A workable stopgap until the Brood Plague Helmet drops.
  • Sharkjaw Cap (E) – The Oracles (revered) – Inferior to the Argent Helm
  • Nightshock Hood(E) – BOE Leatherworking – If you can’t get the drops, or the rep, there’s always this.

Necks:

  • Necklace of Taldaram(E) – Ahn’Kahet – A very good piece to have for raiding, due to the pronounced lack of gear with +hit on it. You sacrifice +crit to make it happen, but misses never crit anyways.
  • Amulet of the Spell Flinger(E) – Ahn’Kahet – Similar to Taldaram, but crit instead of hit.
  • Amulet of Dazzling Light(R) – The Nexus – One of the better Resto neck choices outside of Badge rewards, good for longevity but lacks haste or crit.

Shoulder:

  • Spaulders of the Violet Hold (E-R) – The Violet Hold – More of an Elemental item with the absence of MP5, but if you’re haste-deprived as a Healer they may prove useful.
  • Mantle of Discarded Ways(E) – Utgarde Pinnacle – Best in slot for DPS prior to 10+ content, high spell power and critical strike numbers.
  • Epaulets of Market Row(R) – BOE Culling of Stratholme – Still the winner for Resto, as you likely can’t  sacrifice the MP5 for other stats at this point, and there just isn’t anything else comparable.

Back:

  • Wispcloak(R) – BOE Tailoring – Reasonable materials, and even getting to be reasonable prices for the crafted product. Best in slot for a while in nearly every major attribute that Restos care about.
  • Deathchill Cloak(E) – BOE Tailoring – Again, reasonable mats make a good choice. No Attribute stats or MP5 hurts some, but mana regeneration isn’t much of an issue for most at this point and those are some really nice auxiliary numbers…
  • Ancient Dragon Spirit Cape(E-R) – The Oculus – Not a bad starter, and versatile because of the +haste.
  • Shroud of Dedicated Research(E-R) – Kirin Tor (honored) – A lighter on stats than the Oculus drop, and a lot heavier on ugly – but easily obtained.
  • Dark Soldier Cape(E) – Ebon Blade (honored) – Arguably a better Elemental choice than Deathchill for raiding due to decent stats and +hit. A very good, and very easy to obtain piece.

Chest:

  • Scaled Armor of Drakos(E) – The Oculus – A very good Elemental piece as your primary damage drivers are well represented here. Less spellpower than the crafted chest, but the critical strike rating should bridge that somewhat.
  • Moragg’s Chestguard (E-R) – The Violet Hold – Slightly inferior overall to the crafted one as well, but 2 sockets worth of customization allows for a slightly different configuration.
  • Dalronn’s Jerkin(R) – Utgarde Keep – A very good Resto piece due to the high MP5 and also one socket to customize, though that’s likely a 9 spellpower / 3 MP5 gem anyhow.
  • Cuttlefish Tooth Ringmail(R) – The Kala’uk (revered) – Inferior to Dalronn’s jerkin, but easy to obtain while you wait for your drop.
  • Revenant’s Breastplate(E-R) – BOE Leatherworking – A serviceable piece for either spec. The base stats are good; the auxiliary stats are really good – and it’s not very expensive to pay for the materials. Dependant on your lean, this may be the best choice for either spec.

Wrist:

  • Limb Regeneration Bracers(R-E) – Drak’Tharon Keep – Serviceable for either spec, and likely not replaced anytime soon. While +crit is more desirable than +haste for Elemental, the overall stats on these are very good.
  • Bands of Channeled Energy(R) – The Nexus – Nearly your only option with MP5 on them, but lacking auxiliary stats otherwise. Still, good to have for endurance fights where MP5 counts.
  • Azure Cloth Bindings(E-R) – The Violet Hold (cloth) – You may well have to fight anyone else with a mana bar (except Hunters, but then it’s clearly Hunter Loot) to get these, but they are very good for stats and itemization. You lose a bit over 400 armor to drop down from the Drak’tharon bracers to these, but they’re definitely a higher DPS item.

Hands:

  • Fiery Obelisk Handguards(E-R) - Ahn’kahet – Definitely more of an Elemental piece, and a very good one at that, though they could be used for a Resto spec too if MP5 is good from other slots.
  • Lightning-Charged Gloves(R) – Halls of Stone – Very good for mana return, these are a good choice to help keep your mana pool strong.
  • Cracked Epoch Grasps (E-R) – Culling of Stratholme – Again, a heavy Elemental lean though there is a socket for mild customization. Baby brother of Fiery Obelisk Handguards.
  • Grips of Fierce Pronouncements(R) – Wyrmrest Accord (exalted) – Best in slot pre-raid. Again, they lack auxiliary stats other than MP5, but the stats that are present are very well represented.

Waist:

  • Sash of the Servant(E) - Azjol-Nerub (cloth) – The cloth factor may be a turnoff, and Mages / Warlocks are going to want it for sure if they’re present (and maybe Boomkins, Paladins or Priests), but it’s the best choice for an Elemental Shaman in terms of itemization.
  • Mail Girdle of the Audient Earth(R) – Halls of Lightning – Best in slot for a Healer before raids, its only deficiency is a lack of haste or crit.
  • Girdle of the Ethereal(E-R) – The Violet Hold – About equal for either spec, downgraded a bit for Restos due to the lack of MP5 and availability of better items for their spec. Not a bad filler until you get something epic to replace it with.
  • Belt of Dark Mending(R-E) – Ebon Blade (exalted, cloth) – Just about the exact thing as the Sash of the Servant, but haste instead of critical strike. Not as good as the the other epic belts, but possibly more available (depending on your luck with drops and rolls).
  • Nightshock Girdle (E) – BOE Leatherworking – Filler until you can get something better, really.

Legs:

  • Patroller’s War-Kilt(E) – Halls of Lightning – The lesser version of the Legguards of Nature’s Power. Great Elemental stat allocation and a socket to customize with.
  • Legguards of Nature’s Power(E) – Culling of Stratholme – Far and away best in slot for Elemental Shamans, pre-raid. Heavy hitting, great stat allocation and ugly as sin.
  • Frozen Forest Kilt (R) – The Nexus – A wonderful Restoration piece, and with 2 sockets of customization to boot. Can be pressed into double duty if need be, though it is certainly not ideal for Elemental.
  • Scavenged Feathery Leggings(E) – The Frenzyheart (revered) – Easily last on the list, with haste and spellpower as the only auxiliary attributes.
  • Kilt of Dark Mercy(R) - Ebon Blade (exalted) – Best in slot before Tier equipment for healing legs. The mana return on these is absolutely amazing, and the other statistics are great as well.

Feet:

  • Sabatons of the Ages (E-R) – Halls of Stone – Just a lesser version of the crafted ones, really.
  • Scaled Icewalkers(R) – BOE Leatherworking – One of the only decent options with MP5 on it.
  • Revenant’s Treads (E-R) – BOE Leatherworking – Probably the best selection in a slim slot at this point. If nothing else, the stats allocated are in a high quantity, if not quite optimal and will help to augment what is provided by the rest of your gear.

Rings:

  • Ring of the Traitor King(E) – Azjol-Nerub – Easy to obtain, and a real masher.
  • The Prospector’s Prize(E) – Halls of Stone – The lack of spellpower hurts, but the rest of the stats (notably, +hit) are very good to add into the mix for a raiding Shaman.
  • Band of Guile(E, R) – Culling of Stratholme – This should be a target for any caster Shaman due to its versatility and plentiful stats. Edges out Annhylde’s Ring by a nose.
  • Band of Enchanted Growth(R) – The Oculus – One of the only rings in this iLevel that has MP5 on it, should be a target for Healers to acquire even if it only gets used in an endurance set.
  • Globule Signet (E) – The Violet Hold – Nearly identical to the Ring of the Traitor King, and another very good pick for Elemental Shamans
  • Solitaire of Reflecting Beams (R-E) – The Violet Hold – A lesser version of the epic rings found in heroics, it helps a Healer a bit more than a DPS caster but still a good addition.
  • Annhylde’s Ring(E-R) – Utgarde Keep – Near-twin to the Band of Guile, just barely in secondary position. Should also be a prime target for casters.
  • Ring of the Frenzied Wolvar (R-E) – Utgarde Pinnacle – not much different than the Solitaire of Reflecting Beams, but with a heavier Stamina allocation and less Intellect.
  • Signet of Hopeful Light (R-E) – Argent Crusade (exalted) – Comparable in itemization to the heroic epics, but less of a lean into haste and more into Intellect.

Trinkets:

  • Winged Talisman(R) – Halls of Lightning – Pure MP5 with on-use spellpower, slightly superior to Cannoneer’s Morale
  • Forge Ember(E) – Halls of Stone - A baby brother version of the Sundial of the Exiled. Though the proc effect is short lived, it packs a significant wallop.
  • Spark of Life (R-E) – Halls of Stone – Haste is nice, if not optimal; a proc that restores ~525 mana over 15 seconds (on a one minute cooldown) is divine.
  • Pendulum of Telluric Currents (E) – The Oculus – Less desirable than other options, but DPS is DPS.
  • Mark of the War Prisoner (E) – The Violet Hold – I think that this is the most essential trinket on the list for Elemental Shamans who intend to raid. +Hit is difficult to come by before (and even during) 10+ content, and the impact of this trinket cannot be understated. If that wasn’t enough, it has a nice on-use boost too.
  • Frenzyheart Insignia of Fury(E) – Frenzyheart (exalted) – Lots of haste, proc only happens on kills (and rather negligible), making it pretty “meh” for the required reputation.
  • Oracle Talisman of Abultion (E) – The Oracles (exalted) – Fairly useful due to the high +crit, but likely more valuable soloing than in groups as it requires the caster landing the killing blow to proc.

Weapons:

  • Gavel of the Fleshcrafter(R) – Culling of Stratholme – A nicely balance Restoration piece that could easily last you into 10 man content.
  • War Mace of Unrequited Love(R) – The Nexus – Probably the best weapon available to Resto specs at this point. Lower spellpower than the crafted mace, but far better itemization.
  • Flameheart Spell Scalpel(E) – Kirin Tor (revered) – Ideal stat itemization for a damage caster, you’ll be able to live with the lower spellpower number until you find a suitable replacement.
  • Gavel of the Brewing Storm(E-R) – Wyrmrest Accord (revered) –  Suitable for either spec, though outclassed by other options for both. Still, it’s not a bad choice, and the diverse itemization can be appealing to a Healer despite the absence of MP5.
  • Titansteel Guardian (E-R) – BOE Blacksmithing – Personally, I hate this thing. It’s just a stat stick full of spellpower, which to me is like a tank with great Stamina and no avoidance. Some +crit, no Intellect, haste or MP5 and far too much Stamina. I suppose that you could do worse, if all of the rest of your gear is rounding out your auxiliary attributes well already, but there are so many better options. More viable for Elemental PvP than it is for Raiding.

Shield:

  • Facade Shield of Glyphs(R) – Azjol-Nerub – There isn’t much to pick from for this slot, and I don’t favor offhand frill items simply because it gives up too much survivability. Still, this shield is a decent Resto piece for now (though you’ll soon be replacing it).
  • Zom’s Crackling Bulwark (R) – BOE World Drop – It’s better than the Facade Shield, but likely not worth the cash, since 2 days worth of heroics will net a better shield by far.
  • Tor’s Crest(E) – Utgarde Pinnacle (regular) – Because there just isn’t anything else, really.

Badge Loot / Vendor:

  • Beadwork Belt of Shamanic Vision(R-E) – 40 Emblems of Heroism – A valuable and versatile belt that works well for both specs, though you may be lucky enough to get the belt off Heigan in Naxx-10 by the time you have enough for this. Lower priority item, also due in part to some other available options that are pretty solid.
  • Chestguard of the Lost Protector(E-R) – 80 Emblems of Heroism – Even though this is obtainable from the Four Horsemen event in Naxxramas, this is a very good piece to target. The only negative is that you have to select a spec, but it’s still very worth it.
  • Gloves of the Lost Protector(E-R) – 60 Emblems of Heroism – The token for these comes from Sartharion in Obsidian Sanctum, and odds are that you’ll get that token before you have surplus Emblems. While very useful, take it as a later item if you are unable to first obtain the token.
  • Lattice Choker of Light (R-E) – 25 Emblems of Heroism – Ridiculously good for cross-spec viability. Given the price and the other items that are available at this time, it represents a major upgrade and should be one of your first pickups.
  • Protective Barricade of the Light (R-E) – 35 Emblems of Heroism – Again, a major upgrade over anything else available. Unless you fall into the shield off Maexxna before you get the Emblems for this, this should also be one of your earlier purchases as it represents a lot of bang for the buck.
  • Sundial of the Exiled (E) – 40 Emblems of Heroism – If you have room to spare in your trinket slots without hamstringing your +hit, this is one of the best DPS trinkets around. Just make sure that the Emblems invested here can’t provide a greater return somewhere else first.
  • The Egg of Mortal Essence(R) – 40 Emblems of Heroism – An absolutely excellent Healer trinket. Though it doesn’t represent any MP5 (a common trinket target for Resto), it has a very sizable amount of spellpower and the haste effect proc is very powerful for delivering heavy healing. I’ve read before that this proc has no internal cooldown as well, though the resources available to me on this computer don’t allow me to research that further for confirmation.
  • Totem of Forest Growth(R) - 15 Emblems of Heroism – Resto builds should definitely pick this up. You’ll use the Venture Bay Totem more, but this one should be your choice for endurance fights where you have to make every last bit of mana count.
  • Totem of the Elemental Plane(E) – 15 Emblems of Heroism – Marginal use. It has a proc effect for haste, though you’ll likely be better served by something that amplifies damage on your casts, like the Totem of the Void from The Mechanar.
  • Totem of the Bay (R) – 30 Venture Coins – Obtain this one as soon as you can if you plan on healing, as it will be your Totem of choice most of the time. The bonus to Chain Heal is very noticeable.
  • Venture co. Lightning Rod (E) – 30 Venture Coins – If you don’t have a +damage Totem that affects Lightning spells, this is probably a better option than the Emblem Totem. It only impacts one spell (and a spell that only gets used every 8 seconds), but the boost is amplified greatly by a number of talents and thus represents a sizable number – besides greatly upping your burst damage.

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One response

1 02 2009
phaulen

Great stuff, thank you very much.

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