Energized Bio-Optic Killshades (Engineers Only) – Likely the best in slot pre-raid option for Engineers, with a lot of Intellect, a Meta slot and two Cogwheel slots, which look like super-powered, Engineer only gems. You can put your Spirit in there.
Helm of the Inward Eye - Available from the Justice point vendor in Orgrimmar for 2,200 JP. A nice Spirit piece with some solid Crit rating, both of which should be very helpful when first gearing up. Seems to be a pretty clear choice for where to spend some of your initial Justice Points for non-Engineers, because the alternative at this iLevel has no spirit.
Heroic Cowl of the Unseen World – Drops from High Priestess Azil in heroic Stonecore. No Spirit, but a nice chunk of Mastery and Haste.
Sinman’s Helm of Succor – This is a BoE blue, and I don’t see a drop location at this point, so it may very well be a world drop. A little more haste and Intellect than the Heroic Cowl of the Unseen World, but the lack of a Meta gem means this is probably just a starter helm until you can upgrade.
Helm of the Brown Lands – A decent option, since it comes with a Meta socket and only requires revered reputation with Dragonmaw Clan. However, I’d spring for the JP helm before raiding.
Normal Cowl of the Unseen World – A very good leveling option from normal Stonecore, but you’ll probably want to replace this with one of the pieces above before you hit a raid.
- Neck -
Yellow Smoke Pendant – No Spirit or Haste on this one, but it is a nice epic level neck that you can obtain by becoming exalted with the Dragonmaw Clan. Anyone know approximately how much work/time that will take?
Many Different Blue Amulets – There are 10 iLevel 346 amulets available, all with slightly different stat allocations. Some have Haste, some have Spirit, some have sockets, and so on. Most of them drop in heroic dungeons, although there are two justice point options and one BoE made by Jewelcrafters. Grabbing one of these should be your goal until you can obtain the Yellow Smoke Pendant.
Pendant of Elemental Balance – Is a good option before you can hit heroics or otherwise obtain one of the amulets above. It requires honored reputation with the Earthen Ring.
Tauntka’s Necklace – Drops in the Lost City of Tol’vir and is a decent starter options you can obtain while leveling.
Giltstone Necklace – This is your backup option if you are really unlucky with drops or too poor to buy a better amulet, and can be quested in the Twilight Highlands.
- Shoulders -
Heroic Burden of Lost Humanity – Drops from Lord Walden in the new Heroic Shadowfang Keep. A solid pre-raid option for both Resto and Ele shamans who need hit from Spirit.
Seafoam Mantle – Very similar to the previous shoulders, but available for 1,650 JP from Gunra in Orgrimmar.
Heroic Fallen Snow Shoulderguards – You can obtain these by eviscerating Grand Vizier Ertan in Heroic Vortex Pinnacle. No spirit, but has everything else you’re looking for.
Tooranu’s Spaulders – A very solid set of blue shoulders that everyone can obtain by completing the quest “Kill the Courier” in Grim Batol. Hopefully this is an improvement on the vanilla quest model where you stood around waiting for the courier to move so you could escort him, slowly, half a zone away, while the other faction ganked you.
- Back -
Heroic Dungeon Cloaks – As with amulets, you share cloaks with many other classes, so there are lots of them at iLevel 346 to be found in Cataclysm heroics. As a Resto Shaman, I would aim for the Azureborne Cloak (Grim Batol), Solar Wind Cloak (Halls of Origination), or Springvale’s Cloak (SFK).
Cloak of Ancient Wisdom – A nice option of you have bad luck with drops or prefer Haste/Crit over spirit; can be obtained from the Earthen Ring at Revered.
Azureborne Cloak or Solar Wind Cloak – Available from normal mode Grim Batol and Halls of Origination. Note that Springvale’s Cloak will not have a normal version, because normal SFK is tuned for players around level 20.
Cloak of the Dryads – Solid stats for either spec, and available from the Guardians of Hyjal at honored reputation, so this should be a fairly easy option to pick up pre-raid.
Thousand Bandage Drape – This is a strange one. Slightly worse than the Cloak of the Dryads, it is also available from Guardians of Hyjal at honored, except it is BoE. This may be a mistake on Wowhead. If not, I don’t see a reason to purchase this over Cloak of the Dryads, unless you can sell it to other players who don’t have the required reputation yet, but that may not be possible if the reputation is required to equip the cloak. You’ll want to grind Hyjal rep for your shoulder enchant anyway, so I guess you can see how this works out.
- Chest -
Twilight Scale Chestguard – Your only epic chest option pre-raid, this is made by Leatherworkers and is BoE. Expect this to be insanely expensive on the AH for quite a while, but if you have a friendly Leatherworker and can dig up the mats, this should be a good option. No Spirit though.
Vest of the Walking Dream – Available for 2,200 Justice Points, and very solid.
Heroic Chromis Chestpiece – Tons of spirit to help you not go OOM in your first raid. Drops from Commander Ulthok in Heroic Throne of the Tides, which I’m sure we’ll all be calling HTT pretty soon.
Heroic Brestplate of the Stilled Heart – Another heroic-only drop from Shadowfang Keep.
Mindsliced Chestguard – You have no real excuse to go into a raid with anything worse than this, because it can be obtained by completing the quest Traitor’s Bait, starting in Orgrimmar.
- Wrist -
Heroic Shackles of the Betrayed – Intellect, Spirit, Haste, and you can get all this while checking out the new Heroic Deadmines and killing Vanessa VanCleef.
Heroic Manacles of Pain – Your Intellect, Spirit, Crit option that drops from Rom’ogg Bonecrusher in Blackrock Caverns.
Bracers of the Lost City – A small step down from the previous two, but available to everyone who completes the Targets of Opportunity quest in Lost City of the Tol’vir.
- Hands -
Heroic Old Friend’s Gloves – From Helix Gearbreaker in Heroic Deadmines.
Heroic Ionic Gloves – Basically equivalent to the previous gloves; drops from General Husam in Lost City of the Tol’vir.
Gleaning Gloves – Your Justice Point option, for 1,650 points.
Ionic Gloves – A good option until you can grab the heroic version.
Gauntlets of the Dragonwrath – The baseline option for pre-raiding gloves, rewarded from the Fury Unbound quest in Twilight Highlands.
- Waist -
Stormleather Sash – Another BoE Leatherworking epic, again without Spirit. Sure to be expensive, and perhaps not the best choice for Resto when mana re-gen is so important, but the stats here may be hard to pass up if you can afford it.
Sash of Prophecy – Get your Ramkahen rep to revered to pick up this nice belt with Spirit and Haste.
Belt of the Still Stream – Depending on how Mastery works out, a nicely itemized Resto option for 1,650 Justice Points.
Heroic Belt of Petrified Tears – Has everything you need and drops from Temple Guardian Anhuur in the Halls of Origination. The normal mode version is nice as well.
Girdle of the Ancient One – Another solid blue level quest reward, this time from Harrison Jones and the Temple of Uldum. This may be some kind of pop-culture reference, but I’m not sure since it was so subtly done.
- Legs -
Kilt of Trollish Dreams – A pretty amazing BoE epic world drop that will be great for resto or elemental shamans. Prices on your server may vary. I saw one on the AH for around 30k gold, and one being offered in trade for 5k. Somewhere in the middle is probably more likely, and you’ll just have to decide if it’s worth the gold to you or you’d rather wait for a raid drop.
Wilderness Legguards – Great stats, sockets, and nice socket bonus to boot. Available from Provisioner Whitecloud once you hit revered with Guardians of Hyjal.
Leggings of Soothing Silence – Another good Resto option, which can be yours for one low payment of 2,200 Justice Points.
Heroic Heat Wave Leggings and Heroic Chaotic Wrappings – These are your heroic dungeon options, from Blackrock Caverns and Halls of Origination, respectively. Either looks like a fine choice. The normal version of Chaotic Wrappings is decent as well.
Windbound Leggings – These look to be another BoE blue level item, so check the AH or hope to get a lucky drop for some starter level Resto legs.
Leggings of Shredded Protection and Dame’s Scaled Greaves – Are both quest rewards from the Twilight Highlands, and passable options until you can upgrade to something that is not bright green.
- Feet -
Earthmender’s Boots – Yay, some epic and perfectly itemized boots from a reputation grind! These boots make a strong case for getting your Earth Ring rep exalted first.
Heroic Dark Iron Chain Boots – Everything is going to look kind of weak compared to the Earthmender’s Boots, but this drop (or the normal version) from heroic Grim Batol are a decent substitute until you can finish up your rep grind.
Fireball Treads – Are a great option to wear before you reach exalted with Earthen Ring, and can be found by completing the Gnomebliteration quest in Uldum.
- Rings -
Ring of the Boy Emperor (Archaeology)- This epic ring can be found using the new Archaeology secondary profession. From what I am seeing, it will take a bit of work to be able to find this ring, and then some RNG luck to actually grab it. But, if you do come across this ring, it should make a great pre-raid option.
A Ton of Heroic Level Rings – As you might have guessed, there are a ton of Resto and Elemental rings to be found in Cataclysm heroics, such as Veneficial Band and Band of Life Energy. There are also other options if you are having trouble with drops, which we’ll look at next.
Ring of the Great Whale and Abandoned Dark Iron Ring- These rings are the same iLevel as the heroic drops (346), but they are BoE, so you should be able to find them on the AH.
Ring of the Warring Elements – This one is BoE and made by Jewelcrafters, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find or have made early in the expansion.
Diamant’s Ring of Temperance and Band of Lamentation- Still more iLevel 346 options, these come at revered with Therazane and Dragonmaw Clan.
Lots of iLevel 333 Rings – These come from all over the place, including reputation grinds, BoE drops, and even a quest.
- Trinkets -
Darkmoon Card: Tsunami – With a nice chunk of Intellect and a on-equip method of mana regen, this is going to be a very popular healing trinket.
Tyrande’s Favorite Doll (Archaeology)- This is another fun, Archaeology only item. As with the ring, it might be tough to find, but if you can get your hands on it this might turn out to be a very solid raiding trinket.
Heroic Tear of Blood – Drops from High Priestess Azil in the Stonecore (also drops a normal mode version that you will likely want to pick up when leveling). The intellect is nice, and more Spirit is good. However, our crit ratings are going to be much lower at the start of Cataclysm, so keep that in mind before drooling.
Heroic Witching Hourglass – While a random Haste proc seems a bit more useful to Elemental shamans to me, this trinket that should still be a good Resto option. Drops from Ascendant Lord Osidius in Heroic Blackrock Caverns. Also comes in a normal version.
Figurine – Dream Owl (Jewelcrafting Only) – A solid amount of Intellect and an on-use Spirit cooldown (make sure to macro it with your Mana Tide for best effect).
Figurine – Jeweled Serpent (Jewelcrafting Only) – Another JC only option, this provides some decent burst healing potential.
Lifebound Alchemist Stone (Alchemy Only)- If you are leveling Alchemy up, you are going to make one of these for the 5 skill points anyway. It’s definitely a decent option for the stamina when you are starting out in heroic dungeons. The mastery is situational, but probably more useful in a 5 man than a raid until we get more experience. The potion proc can be very helpful. Since mana potions are expensive right now, when you use one it’s nice to get a bit more bang for your buck.
Mandala of Stirring Paterns – Dalaja pointed out this trinket, which you can get at Exalted with Hellscream’s Reach. For me, the itemization is not really perfect for PvE healing. The spirit is nice, but the lack of intellect is noticeable. In addition, a random mastery proc is going to be hard to use to full effect. Our mastery is best when the raid is low, and sometimes we can predict that and get some good benefit. But with a random proc, that’s going to be tricky to optimize. I think this will be much better for PvP, where there should almost always be people at low health.
Talisman of Sinister Order – Is a quest reward from Firing Squad in Uldum. This would be a great trinket to pop after the raid takes massive AoE damage, since that’s when our mastery is most effective.
- Weapons -
Heroic Torturer’s Mercy – Drops from Rom’ogg Bonecrusher in Blackrock Caverns. One of the two good Resto Shaman weapons to drop from heroic dungeons.
Heroic Scepter of Power – This is your other heroic drop option, from Setesh in the Halls of Origination; comes in normal mode as well.
Shimmering Morningstar – Can be purchased upon reaching revered with Hellscream’s Reach. A very good option if you can gain the reputation before you see one of the two drops above.
Elementium Hammer – The new Titansteel Guardian, this BoE is crafted by Blacksmiths. Expect ridiculous prices for a little while, but after things settle down this is a great pre-raid healing weapon.
Heroic Biting Wind – No Spirit here, so it may be slightly preferable for Elemental or other casters that can use daggers. Still, if you don’t have a better option, this is more than decent for Resto. The normal mode version is not really appropriate for raiding.
Gurgthock’s Garish Gorebat – Since I never want to type that again, the GGG is a reward from a 5 player quest in Twilight Highlands called the Crucible of Courage. Looks to be the new “Ring of Blood” type quest, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find 4 other folks looking to knock this one out. Because of that, let’s consider this a baseline for pre-raiding and not worry about lower level weapons.
– Off Hand -
Elementium Stormshield – Great itemization in a pre-raid epic, and available to all as a BoE made by Blacksmiths. The materials do not seem to be as extensive as some of the other crafted items we’ve looked at, so you may want to seriously consider having this one made. Of course, as soon as you do, Kingdom’s Heart will drop for you in the first raid tier.
Heartbound Tome – I have a very strong aversion to using a non-shield in my off hand. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually done it. However, if you happen to come across this BoE epic off hand (looks to be a random world or instance drop), the stats may tempt you to drop your shield and become squishier. Personally I would sell it for exorbitant sums on the AH and by the BoE shield. I like knowing that I can heal-tank a loose add for a few seconds in an emergency, and having a shield equipped is a big part of that.
Shield of the Mists – Available for a mere 950 Justice Points from Gunra in Orgrimmar. With some solid stats, that’s a tempting offer if you want to save some gold on the Stormshield.
Heroic Crepuscular Shield – Drops from Ascendant Lord Osidius and is another good option for Resto and Elemental Shamans.
Heroic Zora’s Ward – Does not have any Spirit, but still a decent option from Siamat in Lost City of the Tol’vir. Also comes in regular flavor.
Zulian Swirling Shield – This one is a BoE option, but unless you find it yourself, it might be wiser to save your funds for an Elementium Stormshield if you plan on doing serious raiding.
- Relic -
Tattooed Eyeball – Aside from sounding like a really bad idea, this “thing” can be created by Scribes, and appears to be BoE. If that’s true, the mats do not look to be extremely difficult to round up, so this should be a very popluar pre-raid option for healers and caster DPS that don’t use wands.
Heroic Book of Dark Prophecies – A nice option if the Tattooed Eyeball is too expensive, too gross, or you just prefer some Spirit. It drops from High Priestess Azil in The Stonecore. The normal version is probably slightly preferable to the final item on this list.
Heroic Book of the Well Sung Song – This is your other option from heroic dungeons, specifically Vanessa VanCleef in the Deadmines.
Spearwarden’s Unluck Charm – A green item, unfortunately, this is a reward from the Precious Goods quest in Twilight Highlands. The BoE Goblin’s Surgeon’s Kit might be your other entry-level relic option, but either one makes me want to pony up for the Tattooed Eyeball.
- Summary -
All in all, lots of fun new gear to look at and hunt after as we prepare to raid again. In terms of reputation grinding, my first priority is likely going to be Earthen Ring for the epic boots, then Dragonmaw Clan for the neck, since there are lots of good alternative neck options. I’ll be taking the max 4,000 Justice Points into Cataclysm, and right now I think I’ll be picking up at least the helm, and probably filling in another slot or two depending on my luck with drops and how many Justice Points I can gain from dungeons while leveling.
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