Last week, we consolidated the expansion's changes for restoration shaman in a Cataclysm 101 post -- just the basics there, nothing too fancy quite yet. This week, I fully intended to begin writing restoration guides for the various 5-man dungeons and heroics, but instead, I'd like to take some time and talk about gearing up before you even set foot in dungeons at level 85.
Over the last week, I've received a massive influx of email asking about what gear is available through questing and through the various factions. While it is very true that you can receive quite a bit of gear from questing, the reputation rewards are quite stellar. You will gain a sizeable chunk of reputation simply from leveling to 85, so let's see what gear you can pick up along the way. For today, we'll keep Mail Specialization in mind and stick with the mail gear, rings and trinkets available from the various factions.
Our friendly contacts among the Tol'Vir, the Ramkahen, are very large cat centaurs who live in the sands of Uldum. They have a variety of items to offer you on your way to healing supremacy. Be sure to pick up their tabard while you are there visiting Blacksmith Abasi, as it will give you rep in every level 85 dungeon while you have it on.
- At honored, you can pick up Ammunae's Blessing. This is a solid restoration ring that you can wear as early as level 83. It offers a very good stat allocation and even includes a healthy dose of our new best friend, spirit.
- At revered, you have the chance to purchase Sash of Prophecy. This mail belt is a solid restoration piece that you have to be level 85 to wear. It offers our usual restoration stats of choice, a healthy dose of spirit, and a yellow socket. It also gives us a big dose of haste, which we are woefully in need of at maximum level.
Guardians of Hyjal
Provisioner Whitecloud has quite a bit of restoration-specific gear for the budding shaman. Located at the base of the world tree in Mount Hyjal, this is one of the first factions you get a chance to really gain any real reputation with. Their tabard fits in quite nicely with the earthy browns and greens of the shaman ways.
- At honored, Cloak of the Dryads becomes available to us. This is a very solid healing cloak and one that you should pick up at the first opportunity. It gives us a good deal of mastery with all of our other must-have restoration stats.
- Revered status unlocks Wilderness Legguards for purchase. This set of mail legs gives us an additional 172 haste rating and a red and yellow socket. These are very solid legs and will see use for quite some time after purchase.
- Also at revered, be sure to pick up Arcanum of Hyjal. Our new healing head enchant of choice should be applied to every helm you get that is a blue or better. It's relatively cheap, costing only 150g before faction discounts -- and with gold so easy to come by through questing, there is no excuse not to pick it up every time.
Deep in the bowels of, well, Deepholm, lies the kingdom of The Stonemother. She's big, she's mean, and she's slow to trust anyone from the prime material planes of Azeroth. After helping out her followers and earning a small amount of her trust, you can earn the right to purchase our brand new shoulder enchants among other gear.
- Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone becomes available at honored. Our new shoulder enchant gives us intellect and crit rating to add to our gear.
- Revered unlocks Diamant's Ring of Temperance. While it lacks spirit, it offers a healthy dose of both crit rating and haste, both of which remain very desirable stats for resto shaman. It does require level 85 before you can put the ring on, however.
- At exalted reputation, you can purchase Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone. Adding 50 intellect and 25 haste, it is a healthy replacement for the shoulder enchants in Wrath.
Wildhammer Clan/Dragonmaw Clan
The clans of the Twighlight Highlands offer a few rewards for shaman in need.
- At honored, you get a change to purchase Helm of the Skyborne / Helm of the Brown Lands. The helms offer solid restoration stats and give you access to a meta socket and a red socket. Both come with a healthy dose of spirit and offer a decent amount of crit rating.
- At exalted, you can look forward to picking up Yellow Smoke Pendant / Lightning Flash Pendant. While the pendants lack spirit, they do give a solid amount of key restoration stats and offer a boost to both crit and mastery ratings.
The Earthen Ring
To quote WoWhead here, "This gathering of the most powerful shaman of Azeroth seeks to maintain the balance between the world's elemental forces. Their main focus during the Cataclysm has been to repair and stabilize the damage caused by Deathwing's arrival." It goes without saying that this group of shaman has at least a few things to offer other shaman questing to save the world. It is also one of the first factions you have a chance to earn reputation with in Cataclysm.
- At level 83 and honored reputation, players can purchase Pendant of Elemental Balance. The neck comes with spirit, signifying it as a restoration piece as well as boosting your mastery rating. This is a solid neck choice to pick up in your travels.
- At revered, players can acquire Cloak of Ancient Wisdom. The cloak does not offer any spirit but does offer a boost to haste and crit. Players must be level 85 to equip this item.
- Exalted unlocks the Earthmender's Boots. These quite simply are the best preraid mail boots a restoration shaman can pick up. Clocking in at an ilvl 359, they come loaded with int and spirit as well as a yellow socket to add a gem to. In addition, they also give 149 crit rating, which is quite handy. Slap some haste on there and you are ready to heal just about anything.
Baradin's Wardens / Hellscream's Reach
Tol Barad is a new world PvP zone, much like Wintergrasp was for Wrath. After winning a match, players gain access to the zone for both questing and a Vault of Archavon-like raid zone. There are some reputation rewards that players may find useful.
- Shimmering Morningstar is available when a player reaches revered. It offers good restoration stats to tide you over while you get ready to dive into dungeons, plus a healthy dose of spellpower.
- At exalted, you can purchase the Mandala of Stirring Patterns. This trinket gives a whopping 321 spirit and has a chance to grant an additional 1926 mastery rating whenever you heal a target. The spirit alone makes this a very attractive trinket for healing shaman.
- If you have a hankering for mastery, you can pick up Baradin Grunt's Talisman / Baradin Footman's Tags at honored. Not only does it grant you 252 mastery rating, it also can be used to summon a minion to fight alongside you. Sounds hokey, but I have fond memories of a raid full of people using Barov Peasant Caller to summon a large string of minions in the middle of raid, and this could prove just as fun.
Next week, we'll start looking at healing 5-mans in normal and heroic modes, as well as looking at the various drops available for restoration shaman.
Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk. Whether it's Sarah Nichol's elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of restoration or Josh Meyers' enhancement edition, WoW Insider's shaman experts have you covered.