Am I Ready for Heroics?

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.


4 thoughts on “Am I Ready for Heroics?

  1. This might not apply to all classes, but I'd recommend at least 2000 mana regen in combat (2500 ideally) for healers. IMO DPS need at 6k DPS (which means 7-8k on a dummy) and tanks need 130k buffed (I don't really know what that means unbuffed, but 90k sounds low to me). Of course, heroics are doable with less stats and very good players… but I spent a lot of time wiping last night on the first boss in Stonecore simply because the DPS had 7, 6 and 5k respectively, and they weren't very good at moving out of the death.

    (And thanks for recommending normal dungeons, JP and rep. I'm already tired of people whining about how "hard" it is to start heroics and how only heroics have "good" gear.)

    • I kitted a druid in 333 gear, and he was sitting at 110k health; however, plate classes were between 90 and 95. 100k would probably be a better marker, but 130k is definitely high (unbuffed) for people who are relying on normal dungeon drops, and high-end quest gear. Our tanks began raiding with about 135-140, and I've already seen my first 190k tank o.O

      This definitely isn't meant as an "ideal" markers by any means — honestly, the iLvL does work if you stat properly. However, I provided other indicators for people to make sure they DID stat properly.

    • I have to agree, that DPS should be at 6K DPS before heroics, there are a lot of dps races in heroics.

      Also tanks, 130K hp is high, between 115-120K is easily attainable by running normals, I did so on my DK before I started tanking heroics. Most plate tanks can hit that 120K before heroics, not sure about druids. But my guild's druid tank was able to hit 125K hp by the time he was geared enough for heroics.

      Also remember tanking now is not all about your hp, avoidance is a BIG part of it, if you see someone with a huge hp pool, but they have no avoidance they are worthless.

      • I went back and checked Rawr again today, and it looks like they're not done compiling the classes, so the gear is available, but the stats are unreliable for most classes (which I based my health pools on for the tank classes since mine are still at 80). I'll update to 115k since that seems reasonable to me; however, avoidance stats are particular by class and outside the scope of this article.

        Until WotLK buff, avoidance has ALWAYS been an important part of mastering a tank class, and I would encourage anyone who think stam > all for tanks to research their class. I didn't particularly address that, so thanks for bringing it up 🙂

        I'm gonna keep standing by my rather lowball 5 thousand for DPS for now. I don't remember being above this when I started heroics, and a player lacking a bit on the DPS side but with strong survival instincts will be a greater boon to the party than a powerhouse in the DPS department who dies every fight. If someone is bothering to check for reference outside of their in-game iLevel, I just automatically increase their class ability up 10 points ^^

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