I realize that my Hand Me Downs: A Poor Man’s Heirlooms post was a huge wall of text, so I’ve decided to do a breakdown of it so that it’s more useful to those who want try it out.
To do this, I’m going to do a breakdown of each class and show you which Hand Me Downs (HMD’s) I suggest using for the given class and spec. Most of this information is copied and pasted from the original post, but I’ve put in specifics related to the Warrior class and specs and hopefully given a bit more detail and direction for why I chose what I did.
The basic idea of what I call “hand-me-downs” (or HMD’s) is that you’re taking items that can be passed from one toon to the next (so Common, White-quality items) and enhancing them them to make them better. Enhancements that we’re going to talk about here come mostly from the Enchanting profession, though a few may also be found in Blacksmithing (counterweights, sheild spikes, etc), Leatherworking (armor kits), and Engineering (scopes).
The whole point here is to get low level gear that you can pass around to any alts that you ever roll to make them more powerful starting out. As Cynwise and I have proved through experiment in both PvE and PvP at low levels, it isn’t heirlooms that make your character so overpowered, it’s actually the enchants.
So if you’re trying to decide on which class to role, or what to go take one for a test drive for 10 levels or so before deciding whether or not to keep them, this is a great way to get a feel for how the class is going to play for you without putting in investment that’s going to be wasted. Since these items can be passed around due to their lack of binding, it’s not a big deal to roll a character, gain a few levels, scrap them and reroll another, and so on until you find a nice fit.
We’re going to start off with weapons because they have more potential than armor for making your low level toons extra powerful. When you’re choosing a hand-me-down weapon, you need to consider which type you’re really looking for. For Melee weapons you’re interested in three things: damage, usefulness, and coolness.
WARNING! - Using Poisons will bind non-bound gear to you. Meaning, if you use any of your poisons on your HMD’s, they become bound to the character and can no longer be traded to your other toons. The only weapons that will not become soulbound when using Poisons on them are the actual BoA heirlooms.
Fine Scimitar: [Lvl: -] 3-7 Damage (2.5 DPS), 1.90 Speed
Arcane Forged Axe: [Lvl: -] 2-5 Damage (1.7 DPS), 2.00 Speed
Studded Blackjack: [Lvl: 5] 5-11 Damage (4.4 DPS), 1.80 Speed
Copper Dagger: [Lvl: 6] 5-10 Damage (5.0 DPS), 1.50 Speed
Cutlass: [Lvl: 10] 10-20 Damage (7.0 DPS), 2.20 Speed
Left-Handed Brass Knuckles: [Lvl: 10] 6-13 Damage (7.0 DPS), 1.40 Speed
Right-Handed Brass Knuckles: [Lvl: 10] 6-13 Damage (7.0 DPS), 1.40 Speed
Jambiya: [Lvl: 11] 7-14 Damage (7.4 DPS), 1.40 Speed
Hatchet: [Lvl: 11] 12-25 Damage (7.4 DPS), 2.50 Speed
Scimitar: [Lvl: 14] 14-27 Damage (8.7 DPS), 2.30 Speed
Cleaver: [Lvl: 15] 14-27 Damage (9.2 DPS), 2.20 Speed
Double Axe: [Lvl: 19] 19-37 Damage (11.2 DPS), 2.50 Speed
Kris: [Lvl: 19] 12-24 Damage (11.2 DPS), 1.60 Speed
Left-Handed Claw: [Lvl: 20] 12-23 Damage (11.7 DPS), 1.50 Speed
Right-Handed Claw: [Lvl: 20] 12-23 Damage (11.7 DPS), 1.50 Speed
I have a lot of weapons listed here, stretching up all the way to level 20. The reason for that is because a Rogue lives and dies by the power of their weapons. How frequently you upgrade your weapons is up to you. Personally, I have Rogue HMD’s for level 1, 3 and 10-11. Why do I bother with the level 1′s when I’m just going to replace them at level 3? Because I enchanted the 1′s before I thought about the 3′s, so since I have them anyway I might as well use them.
The only other thing you really need to take into consideration for a Rogue HMD is that you have abilities that deal more damage if you’re using a Dagger instead of another weapon. The first example of that you’ll see (I think) is Ambush. If you want to get the most damage out of Ambush, then you want to use Daggers. But remember that Ambush is a stealthed-only attack so once you’ve opened with Ambush you get more damage from non-daggers, so weigh your options.
Enchant Weapon – Agility: +15 Agility
Enchant Weapon – Fiery Weapon: Proc: +40 Fire damage (x2 crit)
Enchant Weapon – Lifestealing: Proc: Steals 30 health from the target (x2 crit)
Enchant Weapon – Crusader: Proc: +100 Strength for 15 sec., heals you for 75-125 (x2 crit)
My personal preference for Rogue HMD’s is Fiery because using Sinister Strike allows you to “cheat” the Procs Per Minute rule and get more Fiery procs than you otherwise should be able to, and Fiery already has a very high proc rate. For the sake of being able to reuse them though, Agility is generally a better option so it gets listed first even if it’s not my personal choice in all cases.
I have Crusader listed last because even though it gives 100 AP when it procs, I don’t like it quite so much for Rogues. The benefit of having +15 Agility on your Rogue HMD’s is that you can also pass them to a level 20+ Hunter once they can dual wield where Fiery Weapon gives almost no benefit at all to a Hunter.
Note: Concerning Crusader, Fiery Weapon, and Lifestealing – these enchants all work off of a proc rate which ties directly to the weapon’s speed. The slower your weapon, the more often it will proc on a per-swing basis. The faster the weapon, the fewer times per-swing it will proc. The proc rate is based on a Procs Per Minute (PPM), so you won’t get any more procs each minute from a slow weapon than you would from a fast weapon, but the chance of a proc on each swing is higher if it’s slow.
It’s kind of confusing, so let me simplify it by saying this: Given the level range at which HMD’s are viable, the strength of classes, and the fragility of mobs, you’re better off using slow weapons rather than fast weapons when using proc-based enchants.
Armor isn’t nearly as important as your weapons because in the levels that you’ll use HMD’s you should not have very many issues with survivability, making the armor stat much less impressive than it really is. The main benefit that you’ll get from your HMD’s then is actually the enchants that you place on them. The best-in-slot items for both chest and leg slots (that can be used at level 1) are interestingly cloth items; Haliscan Jacket and Haliscan Pantaloons.
And since the whole point of HMD’s is to enchant them in order to make them more powerful than regular gear, we’re not going to bother making HMD’s that cannot benefit from enchants, or which benefit only a very small amount. So we’re not going to look at Belts, jewelry or trinkets.
Leather Armor Set
Chest: Haliscan Jacket: 90 Armor (Cloth), Sun Cured Vest: 33 Armor
Legs: Haliscan Pantaloons: 77 Armor, Black Tuxedo Pants: 54 Armor, Sun Cured Pants: 29 Armor
Waist: Squeeler’s Belt: 22 Armor, Sun Cured Belt: 18 Armor
Bracer: Sun Cured Bracers: 14 Armor
Gloves: Sun Cured Gloves: 20 Armor
Feet: Sun Cured Boots: 23 Armor
Back: Linen Cloak: 12 Armor
Above is the vendor bought Leather set from the Blood Elf starting area. For level 1 characters these do end up being the strongest items available to you, so I haven’t bothered listing items for other levels as armor upgrades really aren’t important for your first 20 levels unless you’re a tank.
The Haliscan Jacket and Pantaloons and the Tuxedo Pants easily beat out the best leather options at level 1, so they’re listed here as well even though they’re cloth. They also happen to have higher item levels than all of the other options, giving you the ability to put more worthwhile enchants on them as well.
Enchant Chest – Exceptional Stats: +6 All Stats [ilvl 35+]
Enchant Chest – Greater Stats: +4 All Stats
Enchant Chest – Exceptional Health: +150 Health [ilvl 35+]
Enchant Chest – Stats: +3 All Stats
Enchant Chest – Major Health: +100 Health
The +6 Stats is excellent for Rogues because it grants 18 Attack Power (6 Agi = 12 AP, 6 Str = 6 AP). While Rogues are known for being squishy, they are also known for being able to survive when they otherwise should not be able to. And with Recuperate now allowing you to use your combo points to heal yourself, survivability isn’t as hard as it used to be.
Old gripe is old – I don’t know why in the world they gave us +9 to both Strength and Stamina, but not Agility. We don’t even have a +7, +5, or even +3 Agility; they just left us with the dinky +1. However, we do still get 1:1 AP from Strength, so the +9 Str enchant is your best bet here. If you’re feeling especially fragile then go ahead and reach for the +9 Stam instead, but you shouldn’t have many survivability problems in this level range.
Gloves provide us one of the best enchants of all of our HMD’s with Superior Agility (+15 Agi). The +15 Agi enchant isn’t exactly easy to find though, because it’s not exactly easy to farm either. If you can’t find it, then look for the +7 Agi instead, or +7 Str if you can’t find either of the Agility enchants. Having that +15 Agi enchant is like giving us a third weapon though, it’s actually pretty sick as far as HMD enchants are concerned.
Haste isn’t quite as cool starting out as it will be later on, but Rogues are all about stabbing people as many times as they can in as short a time frame as possible. Once you start using your Poisons and spending your talent points, you might want to consider using the +10 Haste enchant.
I’m going to go ahead and list these here just for the sake of completion. I don’t use HMD pants because of the fact that these are the only enchants you can put on them. A little extra armor never hurt anybody, but it never really helps for your low level toons either. Not when we’re talking about 8-16 points of it, at least. If you want to use them, then here they are.
While my personal choice for HMD boots is almost always Minor Speed, the +7 Agility is the best one for actually improving your performance. You can also get a lot of use out of the +5 Hit, especially since Rogues can dual wield from level 1. In fact, I would almost consider putting it above the agility enchant because it’s just that good.
As far as performance goes, the +3 Agility gives you the biggest bang for your golden buck. The Stealth enchant is a great option if you’re considering doing a lot of PvP (and you should, you overpowered backstabber, you), but it’s not that great against mobs.
The Stealth enchant has stepped up in 4.0.3a as the top enchant for Agility-based HMD’s. Rather than making it harder to be noticed while it stealth, it now gives you +8 Agility and +8 Dodge making it far superior to every other cloak enchant available on your HMD’s. The mats for it are also fairly inexpensive given how powerful this enchant it. The +70 Armor enchant can balance out some of your squishiness if you feel you need it as well.
Rogues have a lot of burst damage in low levels compared to many of the other classes, so if you’re doing dungeon runs you may give some serious consideration to the Subtlety enchant to reduce your threat. It’s not great, but every little bit helps.