If you’re asking this question it’s because you don’t trust that nifty little average iLvL in your character pane, and I can’t say that I blame you!
However, I got tired of gearing different combinations of classes and specs in Rawr to find out exactly what each class needed, so the following is a rough approximation for those who aren’t sure if they’re close enough or not.
Check Your Gear
Assuming that you have managed to understand the basic stat priorities for your class then the easiest thing you can do is hover over each little piece in your inventory pane and check its iLvL. You should have no more than three pieces that are less than 333. Why three? Ok, so maybe it is a bit random, but I’m assuming that you will have problems getting either rings or trinkets, and this gives you some wiggle room.
If you have more than three pieces under iLvL 333, do you have any pieces greater than 333? As long as your under 333 pieces aren’t lower than 316, you should be ok if you have some stronger 346 pieces to balance them out.
And before you ask — yes, you can kit entirely in 333 level gear without stepping foot into a heroic or buying anything with Justice Points. It’s called Quests, Regular Dungeons, and Reputation. The fastest way to upgrade gear if you’re sitting at 85 and waiting to do heroics is to run normal dungeons. You get Justice Points, and Reputation which have some of the better (346 level) gear available before heroics/raids.
Is your gear gemmed with at least +30 gems? If not, do this.
Do you have at least half of your gear enchanted? If not, do this. If you can’t stand (or afford) to enchant your entire kit which you are hoping to replace in the next couple of days, make sure that you enchant your weapon, offhand, and pick up the reputation enchants (head/shoulder). Those should give you the best stat bonuses regardless of class/role.
Check Your Stats
Health is honestly the best eyeball indicator on whether or not you are ready to step into a Heroic — if you don’t have enough, you’re either fibbing about your gear level or wearing the wrong type for your class. Healers and DPS should have about 80,000 health when they begin heroics, and tanks should be sporting at least 115,000. Mana users should be running between 55,000 and 60,000 mana.
I will warn those reading this, even this early in the cycle, you may get flak for sporting these numbers; however, they should be solid in terms of ability to complete the dungeon IF you are properly following the mechanics of the fight, and your group is utilizing CC and abilities for things like damage reduction, etc. If you have a group that is “too good” for basic good play, then you might find yourself unable to keep up.
Yes, Yes, but What’s the DPS Requirement?
Finally, as much as I hate throwing out a minimum DPS number, since fight mechanics and actually doing something other than DPS may negatively impact numbers, in general, a minimum of 5,000 DPS should be sustainable. If you’re playing with a dummy, and the best you can eek out is 5,000, then it likely means you need more practice and/or gear before entering a heroic dungeon since almost every encounter, from trash to boss, requires players to be involved in non-DPS maneuvers (running out of the fire) or assisting (CC, emergency healing, etc.)
In the end, whether or not you are ready for heroics depends almost entirely on you. Do you have the best gear you can lay your grubby little hands on? Have you taken the best care that you can with your gear, and made it sparkle with gems and enchants? If the dungeon finder tool is queuing you for heroics and you haven’t horribly messed up your stat allocation, then you can do it! But, it can definitely be painful!
Good luck with your heroic journeys, and if you take my sage advice (haha!) and find that I’m in error, come back and let me know so I can correct things for the next band of hardy adventurers.