Leveling Gear: Druid Casters

This is not intended as a best-in-slot list, but merely a general listing of possible sources of caster gear for druids. I have included quest, dungeon (normal and heroic) and crafted pieces. Due to the buff provided by wearing leather, I have considered no other armor type. In order to get the most bang for your buck, try to prioritize the following stats:

6 thoughts on “Leveling Gear: Druid Casters

  1. This is a great list. I'm going to have to bookmark it.

    I do think that spirit is going to be very important for healers during the first part of the expansion. Our mana regen has been nerfed to the ground in recent patches and I'm already feeling the burn (admittedly only really badly on the LK fight which is about as opposite of the Cataclysm raiding model as I can think)

    • It's hard to tell at the moment, and I've yet to see a solid answer from any healing class on the importance of spirit who's been beta testing. Fortunately, spirit seems to follow intellect around like a duckling, so I'm thinking spirit will maintain it's low priority (i.e. don't gem or enchant it).

  2. I've been healing heroics at the minimum gear score allowed (nothing in my bags is boosting my average item level). I have been focusing on maximum intellect and crit, and I haven't had much trouble. My mana regen was fine at 1600 mp5 (which is low). At 15+ crit %, you'll be fine on a druid. Haste is nerfed hard, I wouldn't advise stacking haste – it lets you spend mana faster, which was fine in the infinite mana days of wrath. Crit improves healing per mana, so I think it's better.

    • I really should really re-do these with the 4.0.6 changes going live. My current stat priority is Intellect>Spellpower>Spirit>Haste to obtainable breakpoint>Mastery>Crit. Haste, which can increase the number of ticks per cast on our HoTs is infinitely better than critical strike, which only increases the healing of spells that actually crit by 1.5 times. Critical strike is always the weakest secondary stat for balance druids, so focusing on crit instead of mastery or haste and not reforging it to achieve a greater balance and parity among better stats is not advised.

  3. True, but if you don't have enough haste to get one more tick, then the haste is having no effect. For example, if something ticks every two seconds, then you need a ridiculous amount of haste to make it tick one more time over the whole duration of the HoT. On the other hand, when you do wild growth or tranquility, it will crit like crazy (6 things ticking minimum = at least one crit per second, and often massive bursts of crit). Sometimes my screen goes crazy with the crit numbers popping out at me. Haste just makes you able to use more mana to do more healing, which isn't what you want. If you are any good at playing a resto druid, you're healing almost entirely using direct heals, the tick rate is not very significant anyway. Making heals hit harder is more important than being able to spend more mana per second to heal. But we're all entitled to our own opinion :)

    • The goal is to hit a haste breakpoint for your HoT and then begin stacking something else; however, this priority changes as you have additional stats become available (such as going from pre-heroic gear to heroic gear to raid gear–at each point you must evaluate your breakpoint potential before considering other options). I am not proposing haste over all other stats all the time, but it's definitely more valuable at breakpoints than either critical strike or mastery, and once you reach those breakpoints, mastery is more valuable than critical strike. Saying that haste has no benefit whatsoever if you're not hitting a breakpoint is also false — the benefit there depends entirely on your role.

      Critical strike is "fun" in that you get to see big numbers more often; however, to say its more valuable because you're in a stat poor situation that doesn't allow you to reach the next haste breakpoint (so you're just wasting stats dumping them in haste) or better than the alternative, mastery, which depends on your dungeoning role (heroics, which only give you five characters vs. 10 or 25 to heal) is just plain silly. Making zero effort to acquire critical strike rating (and reforging what I can away) I'm still sitting at 16%. Except for Rejuvenation, haste benefits throughput more than critical strike, and you can go look at the mad math here.

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