Previously I have written a rough guide about how healing priests can gear themselves in preparation for healing heroics. This has actually turned out to be one of my most popular posts.
My elemental shaman is fast approaching 80 and so I thought I might knock up a similar list for him. Gearing an elemental shaman for heroics is at once both harder and easier than a healing priest. Easier in that in heroic instances there is usually only one healer but three DPS. So if your DPS is a little weak you are more likely to succeed as a group than if your healer is under geared. However gearing an elemental shaman is harder because the itemisation is far worse than for healing priests. The healers have far more options on where to get their gear from than mail caster DPS do.
The list below has a fair number of items made by tailors or purchased from the auction house (AH). This is because the options from quests and reputation gear are far fewer than for healing priests. I am also slightly biased towards tailored items because my main is a tailor. Most players, even if they don’t have a tailor themselves, should be able to locate one to make them gear, usually within their own guild. The Frostweave required for the tailored pieces can easily be accumulated while leveling. The Infinite Dust can also be accumulated while leveling by disenchanting stuff. If you’re not a disenchanter yourself you can probably work out an arrangement with your friendly guild enchanter.
Before we get to the list here are the target stats we are aiming for (unbuffed):
Spellpower: 1500, IFSR MP5: 180, Int: 800, Hit rating: 79, Spell crit: 15%, Haste: 10%
To complete the item list below you will need some reputation. I’d suggest leveling by completing the questing achievements (or close to it) for both start areas, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills and Zul’Drak. Once you finish Zul’Drak or hit level 80 you will need to do the first part of Ice Crown, starting at Argent Vanguard. Complete the nearby quests until you complete The Air Stands Still for the shoes.
Reputation required is:
- Honoured with Knights of the Ebon Blade, you will achieve this by questing within Zul’Drak and Ice Crown
- Honoured with Wyrmrest Accord, and
- Revered with the Kalu’ak. The last two you will achieve by completing most of the quests in Dragonblight.
Ok now the gear. Items below are based on this LootRank.
Edit: I’ve updated the LootRank based on Binkenstein’s work.
- Head – Hat of Wintry Doom (AH or tailor – 1 Ebonweave, 6 Imbuned Frostweave, 5 Icesilk, 1 Thread) – insert a Chaotic Skyflare Diamond and a Veiled Monarch Topaz. Best in slot before heroics except perhaps the Battle Mender’s Helm at Revered Argent Crusade.
- Neck – The Choker of Betrayal is from the end of a fun chain in Zul’Drak. To start the chain kill some stuff around Ebon Watch in Zul’Drak. An item called an Unliving Choker will drop and allow you to start the chain.
- Shoulder – Dark Runic Mantle can be bought of the AH for about 60-120g at time of writing.
- Back – I ummed and ahhed about the Dark Soldier Cape. You get it at Honoured with the Knights of the Ebon Blade. To get it you will have to complete the quest line which results in the establishment of the Shadow Vault in Ice Crown. If this sounds like too much work you can get away with a lesser cloak.
Edit: An even better option is the Deathchill Cloak. It is best-in-slot until the end heroics raids and can be bought or made for about 600gp.
- Chest – Black Duskweave Robe – Purchase off the AH or tailored and requires 5 Imbuned Frostweave, 2 Icesilk and 2 Thread. I’ve seen these sold as low as 25 gold (which is a huge loss for the tailor, but nevermind).
Edit: In hindsight a better long term option is to go straight for an Ebonweave Robe. This is best-in-slot for a long, long time, infact up until Four Horsemen in Naxx 10. This will cost you about 1100gp to make or buy.
- Wrist – Bands of the Sky Ring from th AH or if you can’t find them Storming Vortex Bracers
- Hands – Awakened Handguards are purchased off the auction house. These cost me about 25 gold.
Edit: As for the chest slot the Ebonweave Gloves can be bought for about 600gp and are best in slot until the end of Naxx 25.
- Waist – Sash of the Wizened Wyrm require Honoured with Wyrmrest Accord. If you quested in Dragonblight you should be at this rep level already.
- Legs – Black Duskweave Leggings can be bought from the AH or tailored (requires 5 Imbuned Frostweave, 2 Icesilk, 2 Thread same as chest). You get a bonus 18 spell power by wearing both legs and chest pieces of this set. As for the chest these sometimes get sold for very low prices on the AH.
- Feet – Leiah’s Footpads gained from The Air Stands Still quest in Ice Crown. These are very nice boots and i suggest you up a Veiled Monarch Topaz in the gem slot.
- Fingers 1 – Ring of Temerity can be obtained by completing The Struggle Persists from Raelorasz at the Transitus Shield. You will complete this by running The Oculus instance.
- Fingers 2 – No idea. Perhaps the Lion’s Head Ring from the For Posterity quest in Gundrak. It has spirit on it but is still decent. There aren’t a lot of good options for the second finger slot.
- Trinket 1 – Cannoneer’s Fuselighter from a quest ‘The Last Line Of Defense’ in Ice Crown. You will do this on the way to getting your boots anyway.
- Trinket 2 – Futuresight Rune – Once you hit 80 go back to Chromie at the top of Wyrmrest Temple and you will get to do the second part of this silly quest. Very easy to complete.
- Main hand – Totemic Purification Rod can be purchased at Revered with the Kalu’ak. You will be revered already if you quested in Dragonblight. An easy item to aquire and you should get it at 78 if you can.
- Off hand – Zom’s Crackling Bulwark is excellent if your rich or can get one at a good price off the AH. Otherwise, if you can find one try a Saronite Protector. If desperate get a Frostbridge Orb. They are usually sold for about 30 gold on my server.
- Totem – Ah the totem slot. The ugly duckling of your gear list. None of the totems you can get until Naxx 25 are very useful, which is annoying. Probably the best at this stage in your gearing is the Venture Co. Lightning Rod (which has nothing to do with lightning BTW). You get this from some easy PvP quests in the Grizzy Hills. The quests are easy to complete, buying the item is harder. Your faction has to control the lighthouse for the quartermaster for your faction to spawn. On my server Venture Bay is always alliance controlled. I had to wait until 80 and basically take the place by myself to get this. Considering how small a DPS increase it is you could probably get away with any totem ok. Totem of the Tundra is easy to get.
In heroics the bosses are level 82 so you only need 79 hit rating to be guarenteed to hit them. However, if your planning on raiding at all I would suggest you focus on gemming and enchanting for hit rating until you reach at least 295 (368 hit rating is the real cap but 295 assumes you have a shadow priest using Misery). For slots without hit rating options spell power is your friend. Ideally you’d put Arcanum of Burning Mysteries on your hat, but as it requires Revered Kirin Tor, and you might not be ready for that yet. I’ll post seperately about gems and enchants later.
Don’t forget to wear a tabard for reputation gains while in heroic instances. Kirin Tor might be worth starting with for the head enchant mentioned above.
Drop your totems a lot. It only takes a few seconds and in most circumstances you’re better off DPSing a few seconds less and buffing your party with totems than not using them. Remove them with Totemic Call to reduce the impost on your mana bar.
Be careful with Thunderstorm. Anyone who melees, tanks especially, get annoyed if you keep blasting the mobs away from them. Learn to use it when and where it won’t cause trouble or use the Glyph of Thunderstorm.
Edit: Too Many Alts has an excellent post on elemental shaman and gearing also.