Items and Equipment, Obsolete, PvP
Luarana of Feathermoon writes:
I am a full Restoration Druid and I very rarely PvP. While watching your blog over the past few months I have realized how wrong I was about Resto Druids and PvP, and I would love to get started in an Arena team! I am using your blog for the main re-building of my character for days I’m not in Karazhan; All the tips & tricks, Talents, etc. One thing I’m not sure what to do, is about my gear. I think it would be fantastic if you could some how post about what type of gear for a resto druid in arena. I am pretty sure I don’t want to stick with all my healing gear, for example, but I don’t want to lose all the healing bonuses, and such.
For a great list of starter Arena gear by slot, Mookysolo’s Arena Guide just can’t be beat. I wouldn’t presume to think I know more than he does, but I will share what I have learned are some good general guidelines to follow for PvP gear!
Cloth is for Tissues
Which is what you’ll need if you continue wearing cloth armor in PvP. If you’ve been healing primarily in PvE, you probably have a fair number of cloth pieces. You’ll want to replace these pieces with something made of leather as soon as possible. As a Restoration Druid, you’ll often find yourself retreating to the mitigation of Bear Form when attacked by melee (Rogues, Warriors, Feral Druids, Retribution Paladins, or Enhancement Shamans), so every bit of armor counts!
Before I was able to replace my cloth gear with leather healing items, I even wore two pieces of Heavy Clefthoof. While these items have no +Healing, Intellect, or MP5 on them, they do have incredibly high armor values and just beg to be slotted with +12 STA Solid Stars of Elune. Don’t feel bad about investing in these items as they’ll serve you well should you ever decide to give Feral a try (Heavy Clefthoof is generally regarded as a great starting set for Bear tanks just hitting 70). Leatherworkers also use these recipes to raise their skill so they shouldn’t be too expensive.
Don’t discount the value of Battlegrounds. They’re a great source of PvP-oriented items and offer items for slots that Arenas do not. Your first acquisition should be the Medallion of the Alliance, popularly known as the “PvP-trinket.”
The Medallion will cost you 16983 Honor Points. There is a less expensive version called the Insignia of the Alliance, but it’s on a longer cooldown (5 minutes versus 2) and doesn’t have the 20 Resilience that the Medallion has. In my opinion, you’re better off saving toward the Medallion than spending 3300 Honor on an item you’ll eventually replace.
After you’ve purchased the PvP trinket, the best piece to acquire from Battlegrounds are the Veteran’s Kodohide Boots:
I recommend getting the boots first because leather +Healing boots are hard to find, and feet are one of slots with the highest armor yield (your other options include bracers and belt, both of which typically have lower armor values). Getting these boots will also justify paying someone to enchant them with Boar’s Speed, an enchant that grants +9 Stamina and an 8% run speed increase.
After the Boots, what you pick up is really up to you. Be sure to replace any of your cloth pieces first, though. The bracers are a good choice since it can be difficult to find healing bracers that aren’t cloth.
Because the seasonal Arena gear is built on Tier 4 and Tier 5 points, you will likely find pieces that are upgrades for both PvE and PvP, especially if you don’t rely heavily upon Spirit (a statistic that is thankfully absent from our Arena sets) and if your guild isn’t much further than Karazhan in terms of progression. I recommend picking up the pieces that are PvE upgrades first, followed by those that would be the largest upgrades over what you currently wear for PvP.
For many classes, the Arena gloves provide must-have bonuses, but the Druid bonus is a measly 0.1 seconds off the cast time of Cyclone, so don’t feel like you need to pick those up first. On the other hand, our 4-piece set bonus (15% speed increase in Cat, Bear, and Travel forms) is so good, I’m surprised it isn’t a class feature of level 20 Warlocks. Get four pieces of the current seasonal set as quickly as you can for a huge boost to your survability, both through mitigation and avoidance.
You’re No Melee
So don’t act like one! A Restoration Druid benefits less from a weapon upgrade than does a melee class like Rogue or Warrior. In the beginning, you’ll want to focus on raising your defenses. Arena weapons — while often superior to those available in PvE — will avail you little in your quest to stay alive long enough to do your job. At the same time, they’re the most expensive items available. Pick up a PvP weapon only after you’re comfortable with where you are Armor wise.
Resilience, Stamina, and Armor or “Dying Less Quickly”
In general, any item you see with Resilience on it is likely to be considered “PvP-oriented” item. You’ll want to get your Resilience up as quickly as you can as it’s one of the stats that can limit your Arena progression. Obviously, the Battlegrounds and Arena gear will be your best source of items with Resilience on them, but there are a few exceptions:
Resolute Cape: with 349 Armor, 30 Stamina, and 21 Resilience, this cape is an amazing addition to any Druid’s PvP set. When shifted into Bear Form, this item will give you 1745 Armor (1920 Armor if you have 3 points in the Thick Hide Feral talent). This is a crafted item requiring a Nether, 10 pieces of Primal Mooncloth, and 12 Primal Earth. The downside to this item is that it can be very hard to find a tailor with the recipe (an epic world drop) so expect to spend some time searching.
Binds when equipped
Equip: Improves your resilience rating by 21.
Seal of the Exorcist: This ring is purchased with 50 Spirit Shards (obtained from all bosses in Auchidoun instances while your faction holds the Terrokar PvP objective). While it isn’t pure +Healing, the other stats make this ring a nice PvP item when just starting out.
Seal of the Exorcist
Binds when picked up
Requires Level 67
Equip: Improves spell hit rating by 12.
Equip: Improves your resilience rating by 11.
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 28.
A’dal’s Recovery Necklace: This item is a quest reward for killing Harbinger Skyriss in Tempest Keep’s Arcatraz. It’s obvious lack of Stamina makes it inferior to the Heroic Badge necklace that’s available, but if you’re doing the quest, you may as well hold onto it until you find something better.
A’dal’s Recovery Necklace
Binds when picked up
Equip: Improves your resilience rating by 24.
Equip: Increases healing done by up to 51 and damage done by up to 17 for all magical spells and effects.
Exorcist’s Wyrmhide Helm: Another Auchidoun PvP reward, this item also isn’t a pure +Healing. Nonetheless, at only 21 Spirit Shards, this is a great starting helm.
Roar Softly and Carry a Big Stick
Since shifting to Bear Form is one of our most frequently used means of defense, you should invest in a high armor weapon that you can automatically swap in when you shift. An easily acquired option is the Braxxis’ Staff of Slumber:
Assuming 3/3 Thick Hide, equipping this staff in Bear Form will yield a staggering 3025 Armor! You should be able to pick this item up from the Auction House for approximately 50 gold; definitely a worthwhile investment! To set the staff to autoequip on shift, use a macro something like the following:
/cast [nomodifier:nostance] Dire Bear Form
/equip [nomodifier,stance:1] Braxxis’ Staff of Slumber
The above macro will switch you to Bearform when pressed the first time then equip your staff on the second click, but only once you’ve shifted. It’s important that you shift before swapping weapons because changing weapons activates the Global Cooldown and can prevent you from shifting altogether. Hold down CTRL and hit this button to shift out of Bear Form; requiring a modifier prevents you from accidentally deshifting. (I didn’t include a weapon swap when deshifting because you may need to instantly access abilities and may not be able to wait for the Global Cooldown.)
Gear can be a tremendous barrier of entry to Arenas. When you first start out, sacrifice healing-oriented stats for defensability. As you unlock better gear through Arenas and Battlegrounds, your PvP healing stats will begin to more closely resemble those of your PvE gear. But you’ll need to survive long enough to get to that point.
I hope this guide is helpful to those considering or just starting out in Arena PvP. Thank you, Luarana, for the question!