Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Twig heals: Get started raiding resto

I have a dream that my resto children will one day live in a realm where they will not be judged by the color of their gear but by the skill of their character.

I have a dream today.

Make no mistake, gear does not make the druid. There are some benchmarks you'll want to reach before stepping out of heroics and into 10 & 25 man raids, but in the end, it's your skill and your talents that will make or break you as a raiding tree.

Most new level 80s who want to raid come to me with the same question. "What gear should I be wearing?" My first response is always "What ever gets the job done." And it's true. Enchanted, buffed, and talented, a druid wearing mostly blues, with 14-15k spell power, can handle healing through naxx 10 pretty well (despite what some raid snobs will try to tell you). Without the gear enhancements and just the build, heroic dungeons will be challenging, but certainly do able in your quest blues. It's all about what tools you have and how you use them.

If you're looking for a pre-Naxx loot list, check out HoTsTree list here. If you're looking for a bare bones make the most out of what you've got type guide... keep reading.

First things first... here are some benchmarks to keep in mind.

Heroics - 1.2-1.4k bonus healing, 11-12k mana, 175 mana regen (while casting)
Naxx 10 - 1.4-1.6k bonus healing, 13-14k mana, 215 mana regen (while casting)
Naxx 25 - +1.6k bonus healing, +15k mana, +255 mana regen (while casting)

Those numbers are not set in stone, however. The more experience you have healing, and the more familiar you are with healbot, grid, or other healing addon, the more you'll able to get by with lesser stats. Don't be like everyone else and get caught up in the numbers. Jump into a group and see if you can get the job done. If you can, great. Enjoy your new loots. If you cant, don't worry. You're just going to need to upgrade a bit.

For those of you who need a little help with your gear, let's see if we can cut some corners to get you where you need to be. Here's where you start...

Step 1: Grind some daily quests.

You can easily make 100g in a little over an hour once you get comfortable running your Sons of Hodir and Argent Tournament quests. Your Hodir rep will eventually lead to better shoulder enchants and the gold will help pay for some expensive item enhancements, so get to grinding.

Step 2: Join a wintergrasp offensive every so often.

The stone keeper's shards that you get from the WG dailies will get you some head and shoulder enchants right off the bat (while you work on your Hodir and Wyrmrest Accord rep). The WG marks will also give you access to some nice PvP rings to run with (until you can get better PvE rings to drop).

Step 3: Make a shopping list.

Every druid gears up differently. If you PvP a lot coming up to 80, then Gladiator gear will fill some of your slots. If you level up through normal instance runs, then you'll already have some sexy loots here and there. Identify your weakest gear pieces, and then use what resources you have to replace them first.

Step 4: Spend, spend, spend.

Gold is easy to come by now that you're max level. Don't be shy about blowing your bank roll at the AH... several times. Trust me, those blues you're wearing won't look so bad with some enchants on them.

That's really all there is to it.

Now let's get into some specifics.

The item enhancements:

Head - Arcanum of Dominance (+29 sp / cost 40 stone keeper's shards)
or Arcanum of Blissful Mending (+30 sp & +8 mp5 / Wyrmrest Accord)
Shoulder - Inscription of Dominance (+23 sp / cost 30 stone keeper's)
or Greater Inscription of the Crag (+24 sp & +6 mp5 / Sons of Hodir)
Back - Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed (+ 23 Haste / cost $$)
Chest - Enchant Chest - Mana Prime (+6 mp5 / cost $$)
Wrist - Fur Lining - Spell power (+67 sp / cost 1 arctic fur - only for leather workers)
Hands - Enchant Gloves - Major spellpower (+20 sp / cost $$)
Belt - Eternal belt buckle + *Gem of your choice* (add sp, int, or mp5 here depending on your need)
Legs - Sanctified Spellthread (+50 spell power +20 spirit / cost $$)
Feet - Enchant Boots - Greater Spirit (+18 spirit / cost $$)

Aside from the wrist emboss, all of these enhancements are available to anyone who has the currency. If you pick them all up, you will increase your bonus healing by 194, add some nice mp5, and put a little more depth in your mana pool. Not too shabby right? That's basically the difference between running heroics and running 10 man Naxx.

Don't forget the consumables either.

Flask of pure mojo = +38 mp5 for 1 hour (lasts through death)
Flask of the Frostwyrm = +125 spell power for 1 hour (lasts through death)
Flask of Distilled Wisdom = +65 intellect for 1 hour (lasts through death)

And we're not done... spending that is.

You'll notice near the top of every pre-Naxx gear list are craftable epics. That's no accident. If you saved your gold (or know some leather workers, blacksmiths, and tailors) you can pick up these sexies the day you turn 80.

Back - Wispcloak
Chest - Moonshroud Robe
Legs - Earthgiving Legguards
Feet - Earthgiving Boots
Weapon - Titansteel Guardian

And if you're really rich (or have a main with 60 Emblems of Valor) you can pick up a pair of bracers from the vendor in Dalaran that just happen to be BoE.

Wrist - Bands of the Great Tree

The bottom line here is this... Blizzard has set it up so you can jump into raiding immediately. Don't get bogged down with numbers and gear colors. Use these little shortcuts to supplement what you started out with, and then once you're healing comfortably at the higher levels, upgrades will come quickly and easily.

Good luck. And have fun out there.


  1. Enchanted, buffed, and talented, a druid wearing mostly blues with 14-15k spell power can handle healing through naxx 10 pretty well (despite what some raid snobs will try to tell you).
    I would like to have such blues :) Probably missing a comma.