So you've hit that end goal of reaching level 80 and now you need to figure out what to do next right? We have already covered the basics of spells and totems, talents and glyphs, discussed specs and even talked about your journey to level 80. So now that you're at the level cap it is time to get geared up. Whether you stack resilience for PvP or get a set together to raid, you are going to need some gear to do it.
Before we start it should be noted this is not a best in slot list. There are many of those floating around everywhere and that will largely be influenced by your play style. We will talk about choosing a play style and specializing next week. Instead this is a rough idea of where to start gathering gear pre-raid to help you on your next steps.
We talked a little bit about stat priority in my first post but didn't really go into why. To recap I placed the priority as follows, spell power, haste/crit then MP/5. The reasoning behind this is that it makes choosing upgrades very easy for a beginning player, and it allows for simple diversity in healing early on. Your stat priority will change if you choose to raid and depending on what role you pick, but that is a topic we will dive further into next week.
Shaman are the only caster class that uses mail as their highest available armor class. Lucky for us mail caster itemization in the game seems to favor the restoration talent tree, unlike our elemental brethren, and allows us many choices in upgrades along the way. So in a sea of choices where do you begin?
I won't spend too much time going over armor choices, but the best place to start is getting your tier 9 set pieces. While there are many pieces of gear you can have crafted or that can be obtained through heroics, the simple fact remains the ease with which you can receive the tier 9 restoration set is hard to match and it offers with it a great stat allocation as well as some very good 2 piece and 4 piece set bonuses. So that takes care of 5 slots worth of gear, now how about the rest?
With all the heroics you've been running by now, you should have a steady flow of emblems to spend. We will keep this in mind as we look at the gear available to you.
Weapons and shields
In the end game you are likely to be using a dagger or mace and shield. While you can certainly pick up a staff if you desperately need a level 80 weapon, most of them will be contain spirit or hit and will be ill suited for restoration long term.
- Titansteel Guardian (200) - While this item doesn't tote MP/5 it does have a pretty good selection of other stats we look for, particularly spell power and crit. This is a crafted item and with the current economy is very cheap on most servers to have made or to pick up at the auction house.
- War Mace of Unrequited Love (200) - Dropped by Keristrasza in heroic Nexus, this is clearly a resto weapon. If you obtain this weapon it will last you a decent amount of time.
- Mariel's Sorrow (219) - Obtained from Eadric's Cache in heroic Trial of the Champion, this is another solid restoration main hand. It hits key restoration stats and if you can get your hands on it will see you well into any beginning raid content.
- Bone Golem Scapula (219) - Awarded through the Captain's Chest after completing the Halls of Reflection, this mace is another good candidate for beginning restoration shaman. The best part about this is it drops from the normal mode, so you can easily farm the dungeon for the drop.
- Spectral Kris (219) - Normally I would tell you to avoid using a DPS caster weapon, but if you are in need of a level 80 weapon, this is a decent choice. Lacking MP/5 it does have crit and haste. You can obtain this off the Black Knight in heroic Trial of the Champion
- Chilled Heart of the Glacier (219) - Another mainly DPS weapon due to the item having hit, in a pinch you can pick this up from normal Halls of Reflection if you desperately need a main hand.
- Surgeon's Needle (232) - Dropped from Forgemaster Garfrost in heroic Pit of Saron, this is a nice resto main hand that has comparable stats to many of the maces you can obtain.
- Unspeakable Secret (219) - If you still are hurting for a weapon you can always grab this staff from Forgemaster Garfrost in normal mode Pit of Saron. While I do not advocate the use of staves in endgame, it can help tide you over until you can get suitable upgrades.
Restoration has more choices than our DPS counterparts here but the best ones will come out of a raid environment.
- Protector of Frigid Souls (219) - Drops from Scourgelord Tyrannus in normal mode Pit of Saron. It has all the key restoration stats and is a solid off hand.
- Protective Barrier of the Light (200) - Purchasable with badges of heroism, you are better off farming for the above shield.
- Zom's Crackling Bulwark (200) - This is a world drop BoE epic. If you're hard pressed for an off hand you can normally pick one up off of the auction house for relatively cheap. It should tide you over until you can get a suitable upgrade.
- Shriveled Heart (232) - It may not be a shield, but this item does have some key resto stats. This can be obtained from the Captain's Cache in heroic Halls of Reflection.
- Girdle of the Dauntless Conquerer (219) - from the Black Knight in heroic Trial of the Champion.
- Blue Belt of Chaos (226) - This crafted item is a pretty good piece to pick up. It hits key restoration stats and in most markets is still reasonably prices on the auction house. If you can find a leather worker to make the item for you, it is even cheaper to obtain.
- Windchill Binding (226) - This belt can be picked up for 28 emblems of conquest and while it lacks sockets, the stats will tide you over until you can get a more ideal piece.
- Waistband of Despair (264) - If you have the emblems of frost to burn, this is pretty good belt to pick up
- Limb Regeneration Bracers (200) - Drops from heroic Drak'tharon Keep
- Pigmented Clan Bindings (213) - 60 emblems of valor will net you these.
- Black Chitin Bracers (245) - This is another crafted item that is easy enough to pick up now.
- Deathchill Cloak (200) - Crafted by tailors, this is a cheap and easy piece to have made or pick up from the auction house. This can be very useful for a budding restoration shaman.
- Cloak of Kea Feathers (213) - 25 emblems of valor this cloak gives you haste and MP/5
- Cloak of the Fallen Cardinal (219) - From normal mode Pit of Saron, you can easily farm for this drop
- Drape of the Violet Tower (264) - If you have the frost badges to burn, you can buy this for 60 emblems of frost.
- Totem of Surging Sea (264) - For 30 frost emblems, if you can spare them this is well worth picking up. You will be using Riptide a lot so you will almost always benefit from the full effect of this totem. You wont be replacing it anytime soon.
- Totem of Calming Tides (245) - Purchasable for 25 emblems of triumph, if you do not want to spend the frost badges this is your next best bet.
There are not a terribly large amount of pre-raid trinkets suitable for restoration shaman, but here are some to keep an eye out for.
- Tear of the Vanquished (200) - While not ideal it does help with mana regeneration and gives you a decent dose of int. This drops from normal mode Trial of the Champion.
- Forge Ember (200) - Drops from heroic Halls of stone.
- Nevermelting Ice Crystal (232) - Even though it is mainly a DPS trinket, this can still be useful for a restoration shaman
- Ephemeral Snowflake (232) - Drops from heroic Halls of Reflection, this is a very good trinket if you can get your hands on it. Normally I would say to avoid on use trinkets but the passive bonus combined with the amount of haste make it very attractive to a restoration shaman
- Talisman of Resurgence (245) - This can be purchased with emblems of triumph and while it is not the best trinket, it can hold the slot until another makes itself available.
- Purified Lunar Dust (264) - If you feel like burning badges of frost this is a handy trinket to pick up for 60 emblems of frost.
There are various rings available through various non raid means. Whether it is from badge vendors or heroics there are too many to list. Try and avoid one with hit and spirit. Here is a short list of the ones available to you pre-raid.
While the same holds true for necklaces, there are a few to keep your eyes peeled for.
- Symbol of Redemption (219) - A spoil of war from the Black Knight in heroic Trial of the Champion, this is a very solid neck piece for any restoration minded shaman.
- Frozen Tear of Elune (226) - A badge item available for 19 emblems of conquest, this neck has the key restoration stats and will keep you
- Arcane Loops of Anger (232) - From heroic Forge of Souls, this neck piece is a good pickup with a good amount of haste and crit.
- Love's Prisoner (232) - Also from heroic Forge of Souls, this little beauty gives you both MP/5 and haste. Well worth a pickup if you see it drop.
Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk, whether reading Mike Sacco's Elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of Restoration or Rich Maloy's Enhancement edition, we have you covered.