Well, we (“we” being myself, Lissanna, and Arielle) just finished recording our second installment of the Team Waffle Podcast Friday night.  Whee. ^_^  I think it went well, and certainly better than the 1st.  We got over 5,000 hits on our first episode, which literally just blows my mind.  Thank you so much for the support!  Now that vacations and holidays are over, we’ll be able to record with a more regular schedule.

And, now that vacations and holidays are over, I can stop procrastinating hardcore about writing up a blog post.  Believe me, I feel bad that it’s taken me this long to do it.

Now, I know the Patch Notes for 4.0.6 came out recently, and I’m sure you’re all jonesing for a post about those.  This is not that post.  We did address most of it in our Podcast, so I’m just gonna dangle that in front of you for a little while longer.  Yes, I am mean.  No, it doesn’t bother me. ;)

Down to the real nitty gritty, here.  Gearing.  Gear progression.  What stats do you need for this, what stats do you need for that, are you ready for this or that… There is a lot of that going around, and hopefully I can clear those questions up for a lot of people.

Ding, 85!  Well… Now What?

Chances are you are not ready to start into heroics upon level capping.  To be able to queue for them, you need to have an average iLvl of 329.  To check what your iLvl is, open up your character sheet, tab out the stats addition and look under the “General” area.  That’s where you’ll find it.

It is quite possible to cheese the queue system.  Blizzard has the dungeon finder scan not only what you’re wearing, but what’s in your bags and your bank as well.  You can also use PvP gear to cheese it.

Unless you’re running into heroics with an all-guild group and your healer is very good, DO NOT DO THIS.  Cheating the system will only make your life hell.  You will be taking a ridiculous amount of damage and get destroyed faster than a bucket of icecream in a room full of hormonally imbalanced women.  Yeah.  It’s that bad and scary.

So where does that leave you?

(Aside from rocking back and forth in the fetal position in the corner of a dark room from the above scenario…)

Well, if you were proactive while leveling up, got the right rep, got tabards, did daily random dungeons and their quests, did the good quest chains in Uldum/TH… you’re probably in a very good spot and only need a bit more oomph to push you over into heroic land.

For the rest of you, there’s quite a few options.  First things first, you want to upgrade whatever you can immediately upgrade.  Even if it’s not ideal stats (crit/mastery), an upgrade is an upgrade.

  • Look at the rep vendors.  Most of your rep should be at honored, and there should be a few things you can pick up from them.  Guardians of Hyjal, for example, has a really amazing chest that you can get at level 83 and honored.
  • After rep, look through the AH.  If you can afford to, there’s a decent amount of BoE blues that can be used.  Just avoid the PvP gear.  I know it looks tasty, but again, it’s only going to cause you trouble.  Not only can Resilience not be reforged, it’s also causing you to lose valuable stats.
  • Another valuable source of gear is the gear from Justice Points.  If you have them at your disposal early, use them.  Personally, I bought the Legs and Belt immediately after dinging 85, then while not optimal, the Helm and Shoulders after.
  • Lastly, run normal dungeons.  Do the quests for Lost City, Vortex Pinnacle and Grim Batol.  I don’t know off the top of my head, but at least one of those has a good bear reward.

Your goal for the transition from regulars to heroics is to get most of your slots to 333 item slots.  A few 325′s-ish here and there, some 346′s from crafting and Justice points.. and you’ll be golden.  You can get in with less, so long as you have a good healer and make use of CC.  Now, when you get to that point… Gem, enchant, and reforge your gear. Cheap gems, cheap enchants, reforging into Dodge via haste, crit, hit and exp.  Doing so will go a long way and help you immensely.

But what kind of stats do I need for Heroics?  For Raiding?

This is not something I want to answer, as it will probably be regurgitated back in absolutes some way or another.  However… I will.  With this disclaimer(though I fully know that no matter what I say, it’s going to backfire anyway):

The following stats are not absolutes.  They are incredibly rough estimates.  If you are in the appropriate level of gear, what you have is enough.

For Heroics -

Dodge: Above 25%
Crit: Around 25%
Health: Around 120k
Armor: Around 28k
Mastery: Around 15
Hit: Doesn’t Matter
Exp: Doesn’t Matter
AP: Doesn’t Matter

For Raiding -

Dodge: Around or Above 30% (going to regret that one)
Crit: Around 28-30%
Health: Around 130k
Armor: Around 30k
Mastery: Around 18
Hit: Doesn’t Matter
Exp: Doesn’t Matter
AP: Doesn’t Matter

Heroics are so last week.  I want to know about raiding!

For the best pre-raid gear, visit my tanking guide on the forums here, or visit Arielle’s post here.  The transition from heroics into raiding is more or less getting all the gear you can out of heroics, rep, and craftables.  A few pieces can obviously lag behind since RNG sucks, but the goal is to get mostly 346′s.  However, you also have a second goal, and that is to hunt down and keep trying for the most optimal pieces that have mastery on them.  Because dodge is better than Mastery at this time, you will absolutely want as much mastery from gear as possible.  All the time.

Yes, this means your Hit and Expertise will suffer.  No, it doesn’t matter because Vengeance is silly.  Yes, even with Skull Bash able to miss.

That’s pretty much it as far as gear progression goes.  It’s just one step of the ladder to the next.

The important part to remember is to use Crowd Control while you’re still gearing through heroics.  That will greatly reduce the intake of damage you’re experiencing, and… you’re a druid.  You have Roots and Hibernate available to you, though they are 30 seconds instead of 1 minute.

Good luck!

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