"Don't panic!" -- the spirit edition
So first of all, there is plenty of spirit gear available for priests in patch 4.2.
- Valor badge vendors sell a 378 wand, necklace, ring, and bracers with spirit. Of these items, the wand can be upgraded to 391 heroic gear with Crystallized Firestone.
- The Avengers of Hyjal offer two pieces of spirit reputation gear, a cloak and a ring. There is also a spirit trinket.
- There are three spirit weapons that drop inside Firelands: a mace, off-hand, and staff.
- Tailors can craft two 378 spirit items, a pair of boots and a pair of gloves.
- On top of everything, there is still spirit on all five of your tier pieces. Three of those pieces can be purchased with just valor points.
That means for 378 gear, the only item slot you can't fill with a spirit item is your belt. Things will be a little bit more interesting for players doing heroics, since not all the valor and rep gear can be upgraded to 391, but keep in mind that you'll probably only be wearing a handful of 391 pieces when you kill Ragnaros on heroic if you maintan steady progression through Firelands hard modes. You'll likely be farming content before you can worry about wearing full 391, and if you're not, the content will have been severely nerfed by the time you're decked out in a bunch of non-spirit gear.
I'd like to remind you that it's not like your existing raid gear is insufficient for the new content; you don't have to strip down naked before you walk into a new raid. You will have a lot of spirit from your current gear, only losing it over time as you swap out upgrades. Plus, weren't we just talking about how mana became quite manageable in the last tier once we were moderately geared? Blizzard limiting the amount of spirit on heroic gear is probably to keep us in the "mana as a commodity" mindset.
Now that I've said all that, yes, we are in a terrible situation based on the way Blizzard has decided to itemize gear this tier. Even though we can and will manage for all the reasons I've stated, we have a lot of hardship ahead of us. It will take us longer to gear up when we can only acquire our most optimal gear through valor points; this could even cause some trouble for guilds when deciding how to distribute loot to the benefit of the whole raid. Later, when we are finally in our best-in-slot gear, we will have less spirit than other healers, which could negatively impact us in early progression next tier. I am not entirely sure where the developers are going with this itemization, but keep the faith, my priesties. I'm expecting some sort of development on this soon.
As a reminder, should you find yourself strained for mana, remember that you can still reforge, gem, and enchant your gear for more mana return. Drop a haste socket bonus for two spirit gems, or reforge the haste off that non-spirit item. It is actually completely acceptable to sacrifice throughput stats for mana regen, particularly since you're doing zero throughput when you're OOM. Crazy, I know.Raid gear in patch 4.2
With that out of the way, let's look at the raid gear priests have available to them this patch.Helmilvl 378ilvl 391Neckilvl 378ilvl 391Shouldersilvl 378ilvl 391Backilvl 378ilvl 391Chestilvl 378ilvl 391Wristsilvl 378ilvl 391Handsilvl 378ilvl 391Waistilvl 378ilvl 391Legsilvl 378ilvl 391Fingersilvl 378ilvl 391Trinketilvl 378ilvl 391Feetilvl 378ilvl 391Main handilvl 378ilvl 391Off handilvl 378ilvl 391Staffilvl 378ilvl 391Wand
I've prepared a loot list on the next page for fresh level 85 priests looking to get raid-ready for the Firelands.