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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:25 am 
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Ever since Icecrown Citadel was released, it's been incredibly easy (though a bit of a grind) for anyone to get some decent gear at this stage of the game. Even if you're not interested in raiding, you should know that you have pretty easy access to this equipment without having to set foot in more than regular or heroic five man instances.

This guide is my personal shopping list for gear I would be aiming to get if I was a new 80 hunter. This is NOT going to be a best in slot list. I'm going to ignore a lot of the frost badge gear because that is a much longer grind, which isn't the point of this guide.

The downside to getting any of this gear is that it requires running heroics, and lots of them. For a few slots, you'll need to get pieces to tide you over until you can get into the Icecrown Citadel five man instances (there's a list of these drops further down the page). If you can stomach the grind or if you're looking for some gear to spend emblems of triumph on in the long term, read on.

Ye Olde Shopping List:

That's the TLDR version. See the next post for the full details, including baby step upgrades for particular slots.

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Last edited by Kalliope on Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:01 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:25 am 
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The Breakdown:
  • Helm: Windrunner's Headpiece of Conquest (A/H) - Available for 50 emblems of triumph. You'll be getting this and three other pieces of the Windrunner set first with your triumph emblems from heroics. If you don't care about having the four piece set bonus, you can go with the non-set triumph badge Helm of the Brooding Dragon (A)/Coif of the Brooding Dragon (H). Note that this helm costs 75 badges instead of 50, since it's a higher item level. For either helm, use a Relentless Earthstorm Diamond for your meta gem (this is the best possible option for hunters, period) and a red agility gem for the yellow socket, ignoring the bonus. If you REALLY want the bonus, use an agility-crit orange gem. The helm enchant (Arcanum of Torment) is available from the Knights of the Ebon Blade quartermaster in the Shadow Vault of Icecrown. Please note that you HAVE to do that quest chain in order to access the quartermaster, regardless of your reputation with them. Prepartions for War (A/H) is your entry into the zone.
  • Neck: Even though I mention Wodin's Lucky Necklace, it's still bound to be very pricey, so if you don't have the budget, don't bother with it. Your first upgrade is likely to be the Ancient Pendant of Arathor, which drops from either of the second bosses in Heroic Trial of the Champion. I wouldn't bother with Broach of the Wailing Night (19 emblems of conquest), because by the time you'll have the triumph emblems to spare on it*, you'll probably have gotten access to Barbed Ymirheim Choker, which drops off the first boss in Heroic Pit of Saron. If your drop luck is bad, you can always pick up the broach later.
  • Shoulders: Epaulets of the Devourer (A)/Coif of the Brooding Dragon (H) - Available for 75 emblems of triumph. The Windrunner shoulders are the weakest piece in the set, so I would opt for these as your non-set piece. Get these after you pick up your Windrunner set, since 75 badges is a lot for a single piece and you'll be wanting to raise your average item level faster than this piece would allow. As with the helm, gem agility or agility-crit. The shoulder enchant (one of the inscriptions of the axe) is available from the Sons of Hodir. The chain to unlock this faction is quite long and starts with They Took Our Men!.
  • Cloak: Ice Striker's Cloak is an easy leatherworking craftable, so it shouldn't break your bank and most importantly, doesn't take away from your triumph badges. Accursed Crawling Cape drops off the last boss in regular Forge of Souls, which means that once you meet the gear requirements to get in, you can farm for it (if you feel so inclined). If you have terribly bad drop luck or the badges to spare after getting your main pieces, you can fall back on Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak (25 emblems of valor). However, if you're going to get ONE piece with emblems of frost, I would recommend the Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape, which is actually the best cloak available at the moment. It costs 50 emblems of frost, so it would take a while to farm through just the daily heroic, but it's somewhat reasonable. If you decide to go with the onslaught cape, put a pure agility gem in its socket. The enchant should be agility or, if you're an engineer, the flexweave underlay, which provides extra agility in addition to a parachute cloak.
  • Chest: If you're doing the four piece bonus thing, Windrunner's Tunic of Conquest (A/H) is the way to go. It's available for 50 emblems of triumph. You can either roll with double agility gems or one agility and one agility-crit. If you're doing the non-set helm, then you should balance it with the crafted Crusader's Dragonscale Breastplate (A/H). Chances are, if you're getting the bracers made (see below), your leatherworker will also have this pattern. If you're getting this chestpiece, gem it completely for agility. Your enchant for either chest should be either super stats or powerful stats.
  • Bracers: My ideal pick here would be Crusader's Dragonscale Bracers (A/H). The catch is that you'll need a leatherworker who has that pattern drop from Trial of the Crusader (the 10/25 man raid; it doesn't drop in the 5 man). On the plus side, they shouldn't be too hard to find. Don't sweat the materials; crusader orbs now only cost 15 emblems of triumph apiece. If instance farming seems like a better use of your time, Wristguards of Ceaseless Regret drop from Argent Confessor Paletress in regular Trial of the Champion. While the regular status makes them farmable, Paletress is not a guaranteed boss spawn, so you might be waiting a long time for these. Gondria's Spectral Bracer from regular Pit of Saron will tide you over for a while after that (and has the added bonus of being named after a spirit beast). Essence of Suffering drops from the last boss in Heroic Forge of Souls, so I'd say this is your second best option to the dragonscale bracers. Enchant whichever bracers you get with attack power, and fill the socket of the dragonscale bracers with agility.
  • Gloves: Windrunner's Handguards of Conquest (A/H) - Available for 30 emblems of triumph. These are the cheapest tier piece available, so you may want to start with them. Gem for agility or agility-crit and enchant agility. You CAN get crusher (attack power) if your spec calls for it, but the agility enchant is a lot cheaper.
  • Belt: The Belt of Dragons is very well itemized, so if you're up for farming the badges for crusader orbs, I'd say it's overall the best investment out of the easily available belts. As for instance drops, the Belt of Merciless Cruelty drops from the last boss of regular Trial of the Champion, making it viably farmable. Scabrous Zombie Leather Belt (which is, in fact, mail, not leather) drops from the second boss of regular Pit of Saron. The Belt of Rotted Fingernails drops from the last boss of Heroic Pit of Saron and is really the only competition for the belt of dragons. Get an eternal belt buckle, then gem any and all sockets for agility.
  • Legs: Windrunner's Legguards of Conquest (A/H) - Available for 50 emblems of triumph. Go with either icescale or nerubian leg armor for the enchant (even if you're survival, IMO, but that's personal preference). Gem the red socket for agility and the blue with a nightmare tear to activate your meta gem. You can fill any available blue socket with the nightmare tear, but this is generally the most convenient with this gear distribution. If you can't afford a nightmare tear, get an agility-stamina gem.

(continued)

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Last edited by Kalliope on Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:26 am 
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  • Boots: Like the belt of dragons, the Boots of Living Scale are still a very solid craftable, provided that you're okay with farming the badges for crusader orbs. Muddied Boots of Brill drop off the first boss in regular Halls of Reflection, but it might be a while until you get in there, so farming for Scale Boots of the Outlander off the first boss in regular Trial of the Champion might be a good idea. Spiked Toestompers drop off the first boss in Heroic Halls of Reflection and are well-itemized, the best option other than the boots of living scale. Enchant with agility for extra damage or tuskarr's vitality if you'd like a passive speed boost (does not stack with aspect of the cheetah) for running around. Gem any sockets with agility.
  • Rings: The first ring is a no brainer; the Dexterous Brightstone Ring costs a mere 35 triumph badges. Great value! The Band of Stained Souls drops from the last boss of Heroic Pit of Saron and is your best choice for your other slot. But since you need to get into heroic Pit in the first place, I'd pick up the Ring of Carnelian and Bone off the first boss in regular Pit to tide you over. There's a good supply of item level 200 rings available, so getting something to get you in the door to the regular ICC instances, especially with all the heroics you'll be running, will be pretty easy.
  • Trinkets: There are a few options available, but my top two would be Darkmoon Card: Greatness (yes, it is STILL that good) and the Needle-Encrusted Scorpion from the last boss of Heroic Forge of Souls. The greatness deck can still be pricey, so the triumph badge trinket, the Mark of Supremacy will suffice for the other slot well enough. You will probably need the hit, since the easily obtained off-pieces don't have hit on them. The biggest downside is that it's an on use trinket. I'm not a huge fan of them myself, so I'll mention the Mirror of Truth (40 emblems of heroism) and Coren's Chromium Coaster (Brewfest boss) as other possible options, if you really don't want to bother remembering to activate the trinket or macro it to your most commonly used shot. The drop rate on Banner of Victory is pretty crappy despite it being a regular ToC drop, due to Paletress not always spawning. Add in the competition from pretty much all other melee classes and you'll see why it's not terribly high on my priority list for a casual hunter.
  • Stat Stick: If you have incredible drop luck with Battered Hilts or plenty of gold sitting around, Quel'Delar, Ferocity of the Scorned is the best stat stick available to non-raiding hunters; the itemization is perfect for hunters. If not, the Orca-Hunter's Harpoon from the second boss of Heroic Halls of Reflection is pretty much the intended stat stick for hunters. There's a number of scattered one-handers with agility around, but you'll be competing with rogues and enhancement shamans for them and they should get first crack at them. These are their primary weapons, after all. Don't bother taking the pieces with expertise; it does nothing for you. You'll still need something to use before you can get into Heroic HoR, of course, if you're going for the harpoon. Farming for Marrowstrike isn't worth your time, since it's a heroic drop from Paletress, and we've already gone into what a pain she can be about spawning sometimes. Thankfully, Blizzard gave us an equivalent staff on the last boss of regular Forge of Souls: Tower of the Mouldering Corpse. If there's a gem socket in your stat stick of choice, go for agility. As for an enchant, go with massacre or greater savagery (both are attack power enchants). If you happen to put together a pair of one handers without screwing over the aforementioned classes, enchant for agility or accuracy (hit/crit).
  • Ranged Weapon: Regardless of your hunter's race, there is only one true option available: Felglacier Bolter off the second boss of Heroic Pit of Saron. It is the only 232 item level ranged weapon available outside of raids, which means it's the only non-raiding ranged weapon that benefits from the passive damage bonus Blizzard gave us back in mid-Ulduar when hunters were scaling poorly. It's worth farming for it for that alone, so if you only have the motivation to farm for one drop, this is the one to go for. The other ranged weapon drops of note are the Crypt Fiend Slayer (last boss of regular Halls of Reflection), Rimebane Rifle (last boss of regular Pit of Saron), and True-Aim Long Rifle (last boss of Heroic Trial of the Champion). Regardless of which ranged weapon you're using, you'll want to use the Heartseeker Scope.

*Emblems of triumph are the main currency for gear in this current post-patch 3.3 world. Emblems of conquest, valor, and heroism no longer drop anywhere and can only be obtained by downgrading your triumph emblems.

This could all change in the big patch that's coming somewhere down the line, but it should hold true for the next few months, at the very least. I hope it helps! Happy hunting!

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:48 am 
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Wow, what an excellent list! Thank you. :)

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:41 pm 
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My pleasure! :D I figure that the casual hunter isn't going to know where all of these things drop, so I might as well help out (especially since I tend to look this stuff up every time someone levels another hunter alt to 80 anyway!). ^_^

It's also good to realize that pretty much ANY character can get geared up in this way right now. The pattern is basically:
  • Farm heroics and level 80 regular instances until you have a few pieces of tier 9. (Did you know that doing the regular dungeon daily at Northrend levels nets you an extra two triumph badges a day? My paladin had almost enough badges for two pieces of t9 by the time she hit 80!)
  • Farm regular ToC 5 and the three ICC 5s for the drops there. Some of the regular ICC 5 gear doesn't have equivalent upgrades in the heroics (so, for example, if you need a shield, the best available non-raiding shields are in here). You also get triumph badges from the regular ICC 5s, so once you have the gear level to get in, it is VERY practical to run them.
  • Farm heroic ToC 5 and the three ICC 5s.

That's basically enough to get anyone enough gear to be able to enter the first wing of ICC 10. You'd be a bit on the undergeared side and you still won't have the raiding experience that you missed out on, but it can work. Given, that's not the goal of the casual player, per se, but it's incredibly nice to know that your gear is actually THAT good. Even if you don't raid, you'll have ToC 10 level gear, with a few ToC 25 level pieces. That makes soloing or getting through heroics a LOT easier, since you're overgearing them - except the ICC 5s, but that gear level truly makes doing them easier as well, since it can help compensate for other players who really don't know what they're doing at all. >_<

Blizz has given us a treasure trove of accessible options here, so why not take advantage of them? :D

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:39 am 
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Hey, I'm a newbie hunter as far as being 80 goes. This weekend I just finished getting through every 80 dungeon 5mans (except the icecrown ones) at least once. Due to connection issues it seems I can only run dungeons on the weekend, BUT badge accrual still seems pretty good (I got nearly 60 just this weekend alone!)

ANYWAY my question is this: while farming badges, is there any specific instance to focus on for gear to tide one over? Do any of the non-ICC dungeons drop good/decent hunter loot that I should specifically focus on? I doubt I'll ever set foot in ICC (I'm too bloody lazy to unlock everything, lol), at least for a long while. But I enjoy running the other dungeons and figure I might as well do the thing properly :P

Thanks for this fantastic list, by the way! :D

EDIT: (several hours later) If you happen to be running dungeons as BM (and I don't intend to raid, so no need for MM or SV), should you gem more for attack power instead of agility?

~VelkynKarma

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:44 am 
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Violet Hold is a quick place, easily killable mobs and quick bosses.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:04 pm 
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I'd still go for agility overall, just on principle, since you get crit as well as ap from it. Plus, with Cataclysm in the near(ish) future, we're going to see a bunch of stat changes, so I think agility is the safest bet overall.

Well, ToC 5 is the highest available gear outside of the ICC instances, so I'd focus on that one above all others. The regular version of ToC drops epic item level 200 gear, which is the same as the last bosses of the rest of the heroics. Plus it's itemized better! :D

It looks like EJ has trashed their pre-Naxx gear thread, so I can't refer you to it. -_- I'll go track down the hunter gear in the regular heroics and compile a new secondary list.

Unlocking the ICC instances is really easy, though! All you have to do is run them in order, and you can do that on normal mode, so it's even easier. The questline within each instance follows the progression of the instance, so you don't even have to run out of your way for it. :)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:04 pm 
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So while you're running heroics and before you get the above-mentioned drops/upgrades, here's the gear you should be looking out for:

The Get Out of Those Questing Blues List:

I've listed specific boss names where appropriate, since the instances in question don't always spawn said boss or the instance can be done in multiple ways, making numbering the boss more difficult, if not downright impossible.

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Last edited by Kalliope on Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:31 pm 
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Again, many, many thanks. Gleefully enough, it seems I was on the right track, as I already have two of the above mentioned pieces from my runs :)

Hopefully I'll see some of this other stuff while grinding badges. Almost EVERYTHING that dropped in my first round of dungeon runs was plate O_o;

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:05 pm 
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That's the other really good part of running the ICC instances on either difficulty, actually: the odds of getting something you need are much higher overall, just because the drops are consolidated into three instances, rather than across all available heroics. The gear that's in them is higher level (219 normal, 232 heroic), so there needed to be solid upgrades for EVERYONE. This meant overall better itemization and loot tables, so the odds increase. :)

Glad you've had some drop luck already!

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:08 pm 
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Thanks for putting the work into this, Kalliope! As an admittedly casual hunter that's a bit out of the loop this will help me out. :)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Hrm...you mentioned that you need to be fairly well geared for the ICC ones...how geared is that exactly? Maybe I'll give it a shot eventually, but I certainly want to make sure I'm prepared XD

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:34 pm 
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Think of it this way, Velkyn: The gear that drops off of the ICC 5-mans is equivalent to what drops in Ulduar. TOC (heroic) is equivalent to Naxx/Ulduar 10-man. TOC regular gear is equivalent to other heroics. So if you're just starting the heroics, I'd say to queue for TOC regular and heroic. Once you have some emblem gear and are almost out of the quest rewards, you can start the ICC 5-mans on regular, and I'd say you have to be all in ilevel 200+ to go to the ICC heroics. More or less. It also depends on the group, of course.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:27 pm 
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VelkynKarma wrote:
Hrm...you mentioned that you need to be fairly well geared for the ICC ones...how geared is that exactly? Maybe I'll give it a shot eventually, but I certainly want to make sure I'm prepared XD

~VelkynKarma


Sarayana's got a good breakdown already of where the requirements are. :D As discussed in another thread, I think you may need to have very few ilevel 200 pieces left, so you may need multiple pieces of tier 9 first, at the very least.

I just want to add that the LFG tool will not let you queue in if your gear level isn't high enough. You *CAN* walk to the instance and run it with people you know, though. :) The requirements on getting into the regular versions of the instances are MUCH lower, so you can deck yourself out in 219 level loot there, which will prepare you for the heroics quite nicely. Basically, the hard part is getting into the regular ICC 5. Once you're in there, it's even easier to obtain the gear necessary for the heroic versions. Plus you'll know the instances really well by then. :) I loved farming those three on regular for a while; just kept requeuing for Forge of Souls and ran through them all. Still got the triumph badges, so even if my loot didn't drop, I was still benefitting. :)

Quick breakdown on item levels:

200: heroics/Naxx 10/regular ToC 5
213: Naxx 25
219: Ulduar 10/heroic ToC 5/regular ICC 5s
226: Ulduar 25
232: ToC 10/heroic ICC 5s
245: ToC 25
251: ICC 10
264: ICC 25

That doesn't count hard mode loot and such, but it's the general breakdown of the most common loot levels.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:01 pm 
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Aaah, righto. Thank you both for being patient with my probably newbish questions XD This whole thing is sorta new to me. I'll work on farming badges and tier 9 for now, along with extra dungeon-stuff that Kalli listed outside of ICC ^^

Also,

Kalliope wrote:
I just want to add that the LFG tool will not let you queue in if your gear level isn't high enough. You *CAN* walk to the instance and run it with people you know, though. :)


Aha! That explains the lock then. I figured it was just because I hadn't started the questline yet. Well, that makes things easier at any rate :) As I do not know anybody Alli-side on this particular server (most of my toons are Horde-side there), there is no danger of me wandering into an instance severely undergeared, haha.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:33 am 
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VelkynKarma wrote:
Aaah, righto. Thank you both for being patient with my probably newbish questions XD This whole thing is sorta new to me. I'll work on farming badges and tier 9 for now, along with extra dungeon-stuff that Kalli listed outside of ICC ^^


On the contrary! You're asking all the questions that this guide SHOULD answer and is intended to do. :) Except I take quite a lot of this knowledge for granted and leave stuff out. >_> So you're helping to refine things simply by asking. ^_^

And yep, the gear reqs are very handy for keeping people out of instances they're not ready for!

The first time I got randomed into Halls of Reflection (regular) on my paladin tank, I was petrified! I thought I'd only gotten in because I had been carried through the heroic versions already and wasn't prepared. The group begged me to stay, since their first tank had left them, so I did. It turned out fine! :) The gear restrictions have gone up since then (I still had some blues at the time), but I did start to trust the system more....at least in terms of evaluating gear. There's not much that can be done about players who don't really know the instances and can't follow directions, however...>_>

Anyway, the only locks on the ICC instances are on Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection. You have to do Forge of Souls to unlock Pit and Pit to unlock Halls. You can do it on either difficulty to unlock them all; there's no heroic/normal restriction on the attunement. If you can get into one Pit of Saron, you can get into the other Pit of Saron.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:38 am 
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Nice list, Kalliope!

For the helm and shoulder enchants, you may want to remind people that these items are Bind-on-Account, so if their hunter is an alt, they may not need to unlock the quartermasters directly on the hunter. (A lot of people missed the announcements that these had become BoA, so it is probably worth mentioning).

For the triumph gear, while you're probably right that the shoulders are the weakest piece (I haven't checked the exact numbers), you can save yourself 20 Triumph badges by picking up the T9 shoulders instead of the helm (only 30 badges instead of 50) instead and then taking the Helm of the Brooding Dragon as your 75 badge non-set piece. Of course, the upgrades you choose to spend badges on will also depend on what other gear you have. In my case, I had the engineering goggles (which are very nicely itemised) but relatively poor shoulders, so picking up the shoulders and gloves for a quick 60 badge route to the T9 2-piece bonus, then later replacing the goggles with the non-set helm was a fairly obvious call.

I know you were avoiding devoting too much time to Frost gear, but the Frost belt is also very, very nice (although I agree with the cloak recommendation as a hunter's first Frost badge purchase). Pugging the raid weekly when it is a Naxx boss or Flame Leviathan generally isn't too difficult and nets you an easy extra 5 frost badges for the week.

Regarding trinkets, Darkmoon Card: Greatness is generally a few thousand gold on the AH, as it is still best in slot (or nearly so) for Feral Tanks and very good for hunters. There are 4 variants of this trinket with different passive stat bonuses (Strength, Agility, Spirit, Intellect) so make sure to get the Agility one. Poking around on Wowhead (their "stat weighting" filter is excellent), I also noticed the Battlemaster's AP and crit trinkets are available for 30k honour. Anyone with a significant honour pool after the BG badge conversion may want to think about those (after checking the effect in the spreadsheet, I'll probably pick one up myself). Engineers can also get quite a bit of mileage out of the Gnomish Lightning Generator when starting on heroics, and jewelcrafters can also do well with their Emerald Boar.

And finally, one nice thing about the Stained Glass-Shard Ring: it is BoE, so you can pick it up from the AH fairly cheaply.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback, Nim!

You make some valid points on gear and how individual players could make different choices based on their existing gear, but the point of this guide was to put together the most optimal list of gear I could with the least amount of work for casual hunters. This is not the least expensive list, nor is it the most optimized, since I am choosing to ignore most of the frost badge gear. If you're out there farming extra frost badges, more power to you! But that already makes you a little less casual than the level of player this guide is aimed at.

This guide is essentially a quick and dirty version of what to aim for if you're not really planning on getting beyond the ToC 10 range of gear. There are a lot of hunters out there who don't really have an interest in pursuing more than the next elusive spirit beast, so they don't really care what they're wearing in terms of equipment, but they'd prefer to not get talked down to in random heroics by people with superior gear and snotty attitudes. The list I've come up with says "hey, I really know what I'm doing" to critics like that and it's sure to shut a lot of them up.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:22 pm 
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After much thought (and a few months messing with non-hunter alts), I've updated to include the 245 triumph badge helms. After all, they're slightly higher stats-wise and not everyone cares about the four piece bonus from the tier 9 set, although I still think it's really fun and still recommend it to hunters who aren't planning on getting tier 10 (frost badge) set pieces.

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