Why do you need to worry about this? Long story short, haste reduces your global cooldown, allowing you to apply more HoTs to more players more quickly -- and that's something you need to keep in mind if you're planning on raiding (particularly 25-man content). If you're not planning on raiding at all, don't drive yourself crazy trying to reach a cap that can be difficult even for raiding druids to reach, and just use your best judgment. If you need more mana regeneration, prioritize spirit over crit and haste. If you have four-piece tier 9, crit is really nice for you. And if you want to make things really simple for yourself -- look for any piece with spellpower, haste and spirit. You can't go wrong with these three stats.
As with our post on how to gear a new bear at 80
, a few notes before we start:
Concerning tier bonuses
- I'm assuming you don't have access to ICC-10 or -25, at least not on a regular basis. If you're playing on a realm where bored players are pugging heroic Icecrown content, feel free to disregard all of the following list. Otherwise, my assumption is that you're gearing a new restoration druid in order to raid (or at least make the content you're doing easier). In many places, I have listed gear you can get from the first four bosses in Icecrown Citadel, because I got some feedback after the bear post from people saying that this content is frequently pugged as well. If you're going further than that, Restokin had some excellent posts on balance and restoration gear available from the Crimson Halls and the Plagueworks.
- I'm assuming you probably have access to Onyxia, Vault of Archavon and (maybe) some ToC. Most servers have PUGs running this content fairly regularly (if not, feel free to start one). I've listed the ilevel 245, tier 9 pieces available if you get your hands on a Trophy of the Crusade. With many players upgrading to tier 10 right now, there aren't as many players rolling on these.
- I'm not assuming you're an arena star. PvP gear tends to be much less useful for trees than ferals, but you'll find a few pieces here that you don't need an arena rating to get. I've also listed a few Wrathful pieces that you might get off Toravon.
- You will find some caster DPS pieces here. I went back and forth for a long time over including more DPS-oriented pieces (namely, cloth and leather with hit) and finally decided to include a few of the better ones, mostly because a lot of them have gobs of haste. If there's a piece without hit more easily available elsewhere, I generally left it off. DPS pieces also tend to lack spirit or MP5, and you need to be careful with this. If you pack your resto set full of pieces without these stats, your regen will suffer badly, so be careful.
- This is not a comprehensive list. I've eliminated most of the pieces we've previously covered in our January 2009 guide to starting restoration gear. If you're still leveling your druid, or you're hitting 80 completely destitute, I would recommend reading that first.
- I am a huge cheapskate. It's a little easier and cheaper to gear a resto druid than a feral (there's much less gear competition if you stick to leather), but you can still go hog-wild on BoE and Frost gear if you've a mind to do so. I've tried to point out when an expensive piece might be worth it, and when it might not be.
- For anyone without a very good Emblem of Frost income who wants to prioritize the order in which they get their pieces, I would spend badges first on the Vestments of Spruce and Fir (close to best in slot even for people raiding heroic ICC), and then -- if you're purchasing Primordial Saronite with Frost emblems -- get the Blessed Cenarion Boots made. After that, it's really up to you. Neither the tier 10 helm or shoulders is particularly compelling as a stand-alone piece, but I'm reluctant to advise people to run out and buy the legs and gloves, which have a chance to drop off Toravon.
If you have four-piece tier 9, then crit is a pretty good stat for you. You will still need to worry about haste, but the abundance of crit on everything will do a lot more for you than it will do for druids in other gear.
Both the two-piece and four-piece tier 10 bonuses are extremely good for restoration, although they are more oriented toward a raid healer than a tank healer. If you're going to go for the tier bonuses, buy the helm, shoulders, gloves and legs. The chest piece should be the Vestments of Spruce and Fir.
As with our bear post, if you have any combination of the following pieces, you should consider yourself well-geared.
Since the change to Gift of the Earthmother in patch 3.3
, a number of helms have become less attractive, and this is a weird slot as a result. If you're not at the soft haste cap, then the tier 8 helm is actually better than the ilevel 232, tier 9 helm.Enchant Arcanum of Blissful Mending
from Wyrmrest Accord revered is the classic choice, but if you have four-piece tier 9 or do a lot of tank healing, go with Arcanum of Burning Mysteries
from Kirin Tor revered.Meta Gem
If you're having mana issues, use the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond
. If you're not having mana issues, Ember Skyflare Diamond
. You will probably want to read Tree Bark Jacket's blog post on how this works vis-a-vis what your trinkets are
I'm really trying my best to stay away from PvP pieces where I can, but there's no way around it; unless you get lucky with a Marrowgar-25 drop, the top three slots outside of raiding are all Wrathful or Titan-Forged pieces.Shoulders
As with the helm, this is a really weird slot; the balance tier 10 shoulders are actually better than their restoration counterparts. If you'd like to stick to a restoration-oriented piece, my advice would be to pick up tier 9.Enchant Greater Inscription of the Crag
from Sons of Hodir exalted. If you have four-piece tier 9, you'll want to use Greater Inscription of the Storm
. Scribes will be using Master's Inscription of the Crag
or Master's Inscription of the Storm
- Stiffened Corpse Shoulderpads These are a BoE zone drop from ICC-25, but, as with all BoE pieces from ICC, they're pretty expensive. I would just save toward the tier 10 shoulders, or -- if you can get your hands on a Trophy of the Crusade -- buy the ilevel 245 shoulders. If you're wondering why a non-haste piece is so high on this list, it's easy; the meaty spellpower allocation in addition to the two sockets vaults it to the top.
- Malfurion's Spaulders of Triumph (Alliance)/Runetotem's Spaulders of Triumph (Horde) The ilevel 245, tier 9 shoulders, available for 45 Emblems of Triumph and 1 Trophy of the Crusade.
- Pauldrons of Revered Mortality (Alliance)/Mantle of Revered Mortality (Horde) The ilevel 245, non-set cloth shoulders.
- Lasherweave Mantle Available for 60 Emblems of Frost. These are not well-itemized in comparison to tier 9, which is why the 251 tier 10 barely clocks in above the 232 tier 9.
- Malfurion's Spaulders of Conquest (Alliance)/Runetotem's Spaulders of Conquest (Horde) The ilevel 232, tier 9 shoulders, available for 30 Emblems of Triumph.
- Shoulders of the Fateful Accord (Alliance)/Epaulets of the Fateful Accord (Horde) The non-set, ilevel 245 leather shoulders.
- Titan-Forged Spaulders of Salvation Available for 40 Wintergrasp Marks of Honor.
- Very Fashionable Shoulders Dropped by Bronjahm in heroic Forge of Souls.
- Grim Lasher Shoulderguards Dropped by the Captain's Chest in normal Halls of Reflection.
- Frayed Abomination Stitching Shoulders Dropped by Marwyn in normal Halls of Reflection.