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Totem Talk: Restoration's new patch 4.2 pre-raid gear

Joe Perez

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and co-host of the Raid Warning podcast), shows you how.

Over the last few weeks we have covered raiding in the tier 11 normal modes. It spanned not one, not two, nor three or four weeks, but a whopping five! This was delayed mostly due to all the various changes and questions we had over the course of the last patch.

This week I thought we would get a bit of a head start and start talking about patch 4.2 and the Firelands. More specifically, I thought we could start talking about the gear and items we can expect to see with the new content.

Before we get started, this is not intended to be a best-in-slot list, as that is something we'll get into later. Instead we're just going to look at the options that will be available through reputation and crafting.

I made it myself!

Crafting has always been a large part of gearing up for raiding and helping to bridge the gap for certain gear slots. Lets face it, Elementium Stormshield has lasted us quite a long time at this point. Well, in patch 4.2 we get a little love as well on the crafted items front in the form of new leather working patterns.

Footwraps of Quenched Fire hit all our stats, and come in at ilvl 378. They're pretty nice for a crafted set of boots and the fact that they are haste boots is very nice as well. The Gloves of Unforgiving Flame are a handy set of haste mail handwear for us. Both pieces offer good stats and both have red gem sockets. Both items do require Living Embers in order to be crafted, but I think they're well worth the cost in materials.

Shiny trinkets, you like? 50msk!

Trinkets have always been one of the item slots that have been hit or miss for restoration shaman. Core of Ripeness was an insanely overpowered trinket when we first started spending our valor points in Cataclysm; the Mandala of Stirring Patterns is still pretty solid. Other than those two, there haven't really been any superstar trinkets. There are, however, some very solid trinkets waiting for us in the Firelands:
Fiery Quintessence gives a healthy amount of spirit, and its on-use will grant you 1,149 Intellect for 25 seconds. While this might be less than some other trinkets, the cooldown is currently only set to 1 minute, 30 seconds. That's a fairly consistent amount of mana, spellpower and additional regen every minute-and-a-half. The Mark of the Firelord gives you a healthy amount of crit and int, and the Jaws of Defeat will lower the mana cost of your healing spells by a very nice amount every 2 minutes. The one that I'm most excited about is the Eye of Awareness. This is basically an updated version of Althor's Abacus and is just chock-full of amazing potential. The idea that all of our heals can trigger it means it has the potential for some very solid healing. I can just see how this will work with our Healing Rain. Needless to say, I think our trinket options are pretty nice this tier.

Valorous gear, if you get my point

The gear we buy with the valor points that we earn through our weekly dungeon crawls or through raiding makes up the bulk of our gear acquisition opportunities. Tier 12 content is no different, though this time around there are quite a number of item slots that are covered that have been traditionally difficult for us to upgrade.
Bracers have traditionally been difficult to upgrade with any sort of speed. I personally didn't upgrade from 346 level bracers until Chimaeron was gracious enough to drop the bracers on heroic mode. The ring and neck are solid pieces as well, and the relic is a solid upgrade. The best part about these items as well is the fact that each one has a heroic version that you can upgrade it to! This means less time waiting to fill in item gaps.

Now, not to be left out, 3 out of 5 of your tier pieces can also be purchased with valor points:
Getting the tier 12 2 piece bonus is going to be a pretty big priority for most healers, and is something I highly suggest striving for yourself. With points alone, it will take over six weeks of capping valor points to purchase the three VP items, so hopefully you'll get lucky in Baradin Hold with Occu'thar.

It's all about the street cred!

With the new raid zone also comes new dailies and a new faction from which to gain rep with. The dailies themselves will unlock a plethora of goodies for you, and the reputation rewards give you some nice choice as well. The Avengers of Hyjal fight on the front-lines of the battle in the Firelands, and are waiting to reward you for your war efforts!
Like the valor point gear, it appears that these can also be upgraded to heroic versions of themselves. The new daily quests for patch 4.2 reward players with Marks of the World Tree upon completion. This is similar to the Argent Tournament's Champion's Seals, and the the faction tokens from Tol'Barad.
These rewards are all ilvl 365, so it's not quite at normal raiding quality for tier 12, which is ilvl 378. Still, they are still quite good and can help make the transition from normal mode tier 11 content to tier 12 content a little easier. There's quite a bit there, and that's very nice to see. Keep in mind that this does not include the boss drops for the Firelands raid zone, and even then it still leaves you with quite a few options. Best part is, for most of it, you never have to step foot into a raid to get them. I'm quite a fan of that, and the various methods to get the items. It gives us options, and I'm always a fan of players having options. I also like that many of them can be upgraded to heroic level gear, which means fewer wasted points, further helping keeping you in line with the current level of content. So what do you think of the new rep rewards and purchasable items? Are you excited for the new content coming in patch 4.2?

Totem Talk: Restoration will show you the basics of endgame resto shaman play as well as how to find the expansion's best reputation gear for resto shaman and tips for easier leveling. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!

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