Okay, gear lists are always useful, and as more and more people are starting to hit the 78-80 range, it’s time to think about what you’re going to wear to your first Naxxramas raid. Remember, no-one likes being underdressed!
The following are some suggestions for each item slot; I’ll suggest the best items from various sources, so no matter your playstyle you can take a shot at gearing up. Note that this covers gear that does not involve raiding, arenas or battlegrounds.
As a general rule, I list the best item or items under “best option”, the next-best under “alternatives”, and then the other options below those. I haven’t even looked at lower-armor alternatives; if a decent piece of ‘lesser’ armor pops up, you might want to think long and hard about whether it’s worth wearing. (Even though I disdain the trend towards ‘clothadins’, even I’m wearing epic leather pants at the moment while I wait for a plate drop of comparable quality.)
This is, of course, a work in progress; I’ll update it if new gear appears or the theorycrafting thinktanks come up with new recommendations for gearing strategies. Or, of course, if I make a mistake. (Heaven forfend.)
I’ve tried to make this a comprehensive list, but I may well have missed something in all my staring at Wowhead and LootRank and MaxDPS. Feel free to ping me in the comments if so. (Note that I’ve generally restricted gear to the best few items in each slot; this is a gearing-up post, not a list of all available holy paladin gear.)
A Note On Badges
The level 70 Badges of Justice have been replaced by two types of Level 80 tokens. Emblems of Heroism drop in Heroic 5-mans, and 10-man raids, and can be used to buy iLvl 200 epics (the equivalent of 10-man Naxxramas drops). Emblems of Valor drop in 25-man raids, and can be used to buy iLvl 213 items. In this guide I’ve only referenced items purchasable with Emblems of Heroism, as Emblems of Valor aren’t accessible outside of 25-man raids.
A Note On Regen
This list is aimed at holy-spec paladins; therefore, Crit is valued highly because it’s our primary regen stat (along with Intellect, now). If you’re a protection or retribution paladin building an offspec set, you’ll want to avoid the crit-heavy items because they do nothing to help your mana, and look for mp5 (and, more importantly, Intellect) as a regen stat.
Edit: A Note On Spirit, and Balancing Stats
Yes, I know there are a number of pieces in here with +Spirit on them – usually necks, rings and cloaks. Yes, I know paladins get nothing out of Spirit. In general, those items with +spirit that are listed here are flat-out better than other alternatives, even if you completely ignore the +Spirit (which pallies generally should). That said, stat selection is a personal thing, and if you calculate that other items are more of a benefit for you because you’re stacking a certain stat, or it suits your playstyle, more power to you. (Just be aware that if that certain stat is Spirit, the other holy pallies will laugh you out of the clubhouse.)
Edit 2: Updates
There are a few item changes in Patch 3.0.8 that will affect some of these items (specifically, a helm, a weapon and a trinket). Check out this post for more details.
- Best option: Helm of Purified Thoughts from Exalted reputation with Argent Crusade, or Helmet of the Constructor: drops from the second boss (Skarvald) in Heroic Utgarde Keep. (The epic is marginally better, but both are absolutely excellent helms.)
- Alternatives: Faceguard of the Hammer Clan from the third boss (Jedoga Shadowseeker) in Heroic Ahn’Kahet, or Brilliant Titansteel Helm: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths. (The stats on the epic are phenomenal, but the utter lack of +Int really lets it down. The blue is okay, but mp5 is unexciting at best.)
- Crown of Forgotten Kings from the last boss (Ymiron) in Normal or Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle, or Platehelm of Irate Revenge from the quest to kill Ymiron are both okay in the meantime.
- Titanium Spellshock Necklace: BoE craftable by Jewelcrafters, or Lattice Choker of Light: 25 Emblems of Heroism. (The Titanium Spellshock Necklace is by far the best choice for neckpieces; however, this may be expensive given the mats it requires, so the badge neck is a great second choice.)
- Alternatives: Amulet of the Spell-Flinger from Amanitar in Heroic Ahn’Kahet, Amulet of Dazzling Light from Anomalus in Heroic Nexus, or Dragon Prow Amulet, a BoE drop in Heroic Utgarde Keep. (There are plenty of other comparable neckpieces, as you can see via this WoWhead filter; however, most of them waste item budget on irrelevant stats like +spi, heavy +stam, +hit, etc.)
- Best option: Ferocious Pauldrons of the Rhino from the second boss (Gortok Palehoof) in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle.
- Alternatives: Pauldrons of Destiny from the last boss (Mal’ganis) in Heroic CoT:Stratholme, or Discarded Silver Hand Spaulders from the same boss in Normal mode.
- Failing any of the above, which are either hard to get (the Ferocious Pauldrons) or inferior (the mp5-laden CoT drops), Pauldrons of Morbidus are a really good slot-filler, with a good balance of stats. They’re from The Flesh Giant Champion, the conclusion of a quest chain in Icecrown. WoWhead is not entirely helpful on that quest chain, so your best bet is just to go to Darkrider Arly and do all the quests she and her paladin companion offer; the chain will lead you to this quest.
- Best option: Wispcloak: BoE craftable by tailors. This is leagues ahead of the next alternative, and if you only have one epic crafted this should be it.
- Alternatives: Deathchill Cloak: BoE craftable by tailors, Reanimator’s Cloak: BoE zone drop from Heroic Drak’Tharon Keep, Shroud of Moorabi from the second boss (Moorabi) in Heroic Gundrak, Shroud of Resurrection from the second boss (Gortok) in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle, Ancient Dragon Spirit Cape from the last boss (Ley-Guardian Eregos) in Heroic Oculus, or Shroud of Dedicated Research from Honored with Kirin Tor. (The epic is significantly better than the blues, but any of them are fine if you can’t afford a Wispcloak. If you have the choice between them, pick one that bolsters stats where you’re weaker.)
Note for the really keen: you can buy the 10-man Tier 7 chest with 80 Emblems of Heroism. However, that’s still raid gear, and you’ll need something to wear while you’re racking up those 80 badges, so I’m not counting it in the list for now.
- Best option: Patina-Coated Breastplate, BoE zone drop from Halls of Stone or Eregos’ Ornamented Chestguard from the last boss (Ley-Guardian Eregos) in The Oculus. (Although it’s a lower iLevel item, the Chestguard is a stronger item than the BoE Breastplate. However, the BoE is still pretty good, and unless you get lucky on an Oculus run I’d recommend just picking up the BoE on the AH and spending your playtime working towards an item without a BoE alternative.)
- Alternatives: Brilliant Saronite Breastplate: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths, or Besieging Breastplate from the Aces High! quest in Coldarra. (Honestly, the only reason to take either of these is if Patina-Coated Breastplates cost more than you can afford on your realm. They’re both fairly uninspiring; the BoP is probably a better choice than the BoE, despite its reliance on mp5.)
- Best option: Bone-Framed Bracers: BoE from Naxxramas, or Bands of Fading Light: BoE from Utgarde Pinnacle. (The epic is, of course, better than the blue – however, it may be hard to acquire for a few months, as most guilds who see them drop will generally keep them for their own healadins.)
- Alternatives: Catalytic Bands from the third boss (Mage-Lord Urom) in Heroic Oculus, or Bracers of Accorded Courtesy from Revered with the Wyrmrest Accord.
Like the chest, you can buy the 10-man Tier 7 gloves with 60 Emblems of Heroism.
- Best option: Grips of Sculptured Icicles: a zone-wide drop in Heroic Nexus.
- Alternatives: Web Winder Gloves: BoE, or Righteous Gauntlets: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths, or Sparkly Shiny Gloves from Revered with Frenzyheart, or Brilliant Saronite Gauntlets: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths. (There are a lot of very similar options for gloves; these have the best combination of stats, in my opinion, but any of the alternatives are okay. The Righteous Gauntlets are, relatively, the weakest option due to the total lack of +Int.)
- Best option: Magroth’s Meditative Cincture: costs 40 Emblems of Heroism.
- Alternatives: Girdle of Ice from the first boss (Ormorok) in Heroic Nexus, or Girdle of the Warrior Magi from Revered with Kirin Tor. (Dealer’s choice here; I prefer the rep belt, because it’s got a better socket bonus, but if you’re socketing for pure spellpower the items are all but identical anyway.)
- Ionar’s Girdle from the third boss (Ionar) in Halls of Lightning, or Girdle of Eternal Memory from an Argent Crusade quest chain in Icecrown, are both acceptable stopgaps until you get a better belt.
- Best option: Leggings of Protective Auras from the final boss (Ley-Guardian Eregos) in Heroic Oculus.
- Alternatives: Legs of Physical Regeneration from the first boss (Trollgore) in Heroic Drak’Tharon Keep, or Shardling Legguards from the second boss (Krystallus) in Heroic Halls of Stone. (The Shardling Legguards are the better choice, with a socket to beef up their stats and haste rather than mp5, but both are okay.)
- As slot-fillers, there are two excellent rep items: Standard Issue Legguards from Honored with Argent Crusade, or Discarded Titanium Legplates from Revered with the Puppy-men – er, I mean Frenzyheart. Finally, if you’re really stuck with terrible legs in the meantime, there’s a green quest reward you might like: Bjornrittar’s Chilled Legguards, from a Storm Peaks quest.
- Best option: Poignant Sabatons: BoE drop from Noth the Plaguebringer in 25-man Naxxramas, or Sabatons of Erekem from Erekem in Heroic Violet Hold. (The epic boots are incredibly awesome, but they’re probably also going to cost an arm and a leg on most realms, at least for a few months. The blue boots are an excellent replacement; although they have mp5, there’s so much of it it’s hard to hate them for it.)
- Alternatives: Mojo Frenzy Greaves from the second boss (Moorabi) in Heroic Gundrak, or Brilliant Titansteel Treads: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths. (The epic boots have great stats, but are again let down by the total lack of +int on them; the blue boots are very solid all-rounders and are a fine replacement for either of the recommended boots in ‘Best Options’ above.)
- Other decent choices include Harpooner’s Striders from the third boss (Skadi) in Utgarde Pinnacle, Skywall Striders from the third boss (Ionar) in Heroic Halls of Lightning); in the meantime, Slippers of the Mojo Dojo are a good starting point.
Lots of choices here, because you need two rings and they’re all Unique-Equipped.
- Best choices: Titanium Spellshock Ring: BoE craftable by Jewelcrafters and Signet of Hopeful Light from Exalted with Argent Crusade. (The Spellshock ring is probably the best healadin ring outside of 25-mans, and the Signet is very nearly as good.
- Alternatives: Band of Guile from the last boss (Mal’ganis) in Heroic CoT:Stratholme, Signet of the Kirin Tor: purchasable for 8500g from the Jewelcrafting vendor in Dalaran (6800g at Exalted Kirin Tor), Annhylde’s Ring from the final boss (Ingvar the Plunderer) in Heroic Utgarde Keep, and Ring of Temerity from a quest in the Oculus. (Annhylde’s Ring is a little weaker than the other epic rings, but it and the blue are much more accessible.)
- There are a lot of other good choices if the above aren’t available: Band of Enchanted Growth from Urom in Heroic Oculus, Ring of the Traitor King from Anub’arak in Heroic Azjol-Nerub, Globule Signet from Ichoron in Heroic Violet Hold, Solitaire of Reflecting Beams from Moragg in Heroic Violet Hold, and Ring of the Frenzied Wolvar from Gortok in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. Best options for questable rings are Newt-Eye Ring from an Icecrown group quest and Kurzel’s Angst from a quest in Drak’Tharon Keep, although both of these are weaker than the heroic drops.
Trinkets are very situational items; rather than relying on ‘best’ and ‘alternatives’, here are some of the choices. I’ll theorycraft out the numbers at some point in the future:
- Je’Tze’s Bell, BoP world drop (mostly off elite mobs). Apparently should be fixed soon to be BoE, but I haven’t seen a confirmed source on that. An excellent trinket if you’re lucky enough to get one. The proc works out as approximately 25 mp5.
- Darkmoon Card: Illusion, from the Darkmoon Prisms deck. Although the mana regen is on a 5 minute CD, it’s a welcome addition now potions are limited to one per fight. Across a 5 minute cooldown, it’s an equivalent of 20 mp5 (although it’s relatively more valuable in short fights).
- Darkmoon Card: Greatness, from the Darkmoon Nobles deck. There’s a +Int version of this card (and a +Spi version as well) although Wowhead only shows the +Agi and +Str versions so far. With Divine Intellect, a +Int version would deliver 103 Int, with 345 Int on a proc (which is a 35% proc chance, probably with a 45 second internal cooldown). That’s a pretty huge boost, and if you synchronise the proc with Divine Plea, that’s a phenomenal amount of mana return. I’d go out on a limb and say this has the potential to be the single best trinket for pally mana (and the extra spell crit from the +Int is a nice bonus, too).
- The Egg of Mortal Essence, purchasable with 40 Emblems of Heroism. A good, solid, easily-accessible trinket which will last you a good long time. A pure throughput trinket, with little support for mana issues.
- Forge Ember from Sjonnir in Heroic Halls of Stone. An excellent trinket, doing dual-duty for throughput and regen thanks to the crit and the proc effect.
- Spark of Life from Sjonnir in Heroic Halls of Stone. Less impressive than Sjonnir’s other trinket drop, this is still decent, particularly if you’re low on +haste.
- Figurine – Sapphire Owl, BoP crafted by Jewelcrafters. While weak on the throughput side, this has the potential – especially socketed with Int gems – to be an excellent regen trinket. Notably, it provides a hit of mana independent of potions, dark runes, Divine Plea or similar regen cooldowns.
- Mercurial Alchemist Stone, BoP crafted by Alchemists. A solid trinket, particularly with Wrath’s new limitations on potion use. This makes every potion that much more valuable, and has some nice equip bonuses to boot.
Tears of Bitter Anguish, a BoE drop from Nascent Valkyr in the Storm Peaks. A good throughput trinket, especially useful for fights with high mobility needs, although you probably only want to equip something like this in place of a +spellpower trinket once the rest of your gear passes muster.– this is being changed to work on melee crits only in 3.0.8.
- Soul Preserver, from Mal’ganis in CoT:Stratholme. The equip bonus is nice, but the proc is underwhelming; it’s only a 2% proc chance, which comes into its own with multi-target healers. For paladins, it’s probably not the best choice for the slot unless you’re really lacking in trinkets.
- Tome of Arcane Phenomena, from Eregos in The Oculus. Another starter trinket, better than the stacks of green quest reward trinkets you’re probably drowning in, but to be replaced as soon as possible.
- Cannoneer’s Fuselighter from an early Icecrown quest. It’s got a good combination of stats, just not enough of them, but it’s the best of the pre-iLevel 200 trinkets.
- Best option: War Mace of Unrequited Love: drops from the last boss (Keristrasza) in Heroic Nexus, or Titansteel Guardian: BoE craftable by blacksmiths. (Tough choice here; overall I’d pick the War Mace for a better balance of regen vs spellpower, but either one would be fine.)
- Alternatives: Gavel of the Brewing Storm from Revered reputation with the Wyrmrest Accord, or Gavel of the Fleshcrafter: drops from the second boss (Salramm) in Heroic CoT:Stratholme.
- There are other options, of course: the Beguiling Scepter from the last boss (Mal’ganis) in CoT:Stratholme, Jeweled Coronation Sword from the last boss (Ymiron) in Utgarde Pinnacle, or Totemic Purification Rod from Revered with the Kalu’ak; these are all good if you’re still waiting on Wyrmrest rep and can’t get the drops you want.
- In the Meantime: Saronite Spellblade, BoE craftable by Blacksmiths – a great starter weapon while you wait to get one of the better options listed above.
- Best option: Protective Barricade of the Light: 35 Emblems of Heroism
- Alternatives: Facade Shield of Glyphs: drops from the first boss (Krik’thir the Gatewatcher) in Heroic Azjol-Nerub, or Tor’s Crest: drops from the last boss (King Ymiron) in non-Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. (Personally, I’d take the Crest as I’m finding I strongly prefer crit over mp5 in WotLK.)
- Tharon’ja’s Aegis from the last boss (The Prophet Tharon’ja) in Drak’tharon Keep is a reasonable stopgap, although inferior to all of the above.
- In the Meantime: Saronite Protector: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths – a great starter shield which served me until level 80.
Libram choice is very dependent on your healing style; your typical rotation and spell choices are going to dictate what you find more useful, generally.
If you use Holy Light heavily:
- Best choice: Libram of Renewal, for 15 Emblems of Heroism.
If you rely on Flash of Light:
- Best choice: Hateful Gladiator’s Libram of Justice
- Alternative: Savage Gladiator’s Libram of Justice
Unfortunately both of these require PvPing, costing both Honor points and Arena points, but there are no other Flash of Light-centric Librams in WotLK.