Guide to Heirloom Purchases

30 Jul

Today we’re going to look at which heirlooms you should purchase for your leveling alts. A couple of weeks ago I covered Enchanting Your Heirlooms, so I’ll refer you back to that post if you have already purchased heirlooms and would like to look into the various ways that you can enhance their performance via enchants and item enhancements.

Equipment Lists
I’m going to make a list of heirlooms for each class individually, and I will mention certain items that would work better for certain specs as well. I will tell you right now though, that while I have leveled most classes to a significant leveling milestone, I have not played every class and every spec. So if you see me suggest an item for your class because I know you’re looking for Spell Power, but you feel it would be better for you to go with another because it has Spirit as well as Spell Power, then go with your gut as you may very well know that particular class better than I do.

What I am going to have is a list of weapons, chests, and shoulders for you to use in each of your different specs, and a (hopefully) short explanation of why. In some cases there may be multiple suggestions made for a particular slot, particularly when it comes to weapons. The reason for this will generally be because there are multiple builds that people use for that class, or because certain equipment options aren’t available until a higher level. A good example of this is the Enhancement Shaman who benefits more from a large two-hand weapon until level 40 when they can dual wield one-handers, or the Warrior who may dual wield one-handers until level 60 and then dual wield two-handers from there on.

Under each class header you’ll find the list of gear that I suggest and prefer. There will also be a Substitutions list which are items that I consider to be reasonable replacements for the items I suggest in case you already have some of those and would rather not purchase others, or in case you have more of one currency than another and can’t afford all of the recommended pieces.

If you would like to jump down to a specific class, you can click on one of the following links: Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior

Heirlooms for Heir’veryone
There are a few heirlooms that I’m going to list here instead of repeating them over and over on every single class: trinkets and rings. There is only one ring, and it’s not easy to get, so it’s obviously that ring or none as far as heirlooms go. Similarly, there are only three types of trinkets, one of which is strictly used for PvP due to limited usefulness in PvE, and the other two are pretty straight forward.

Dread Pirate Ring: Stam, Hit, Crit, +5% Exp

At this point in time there is only one heirloom ring, and this is it. Lucky for us every class can benefit from the bonuses it gives. Some classes benefit more than others, of course, but everyone can make use of at least something that it has to offer. The more attributes your class uses, the better off you’ll be of course, so Tanks and DPS will get more benefit than some Healers since the Hit is wasted on them, but otherwise it’s still a great addition for any of your alts.

Discerning Eye of the Beast: SP, 2% mana restore
Swift Hand of Justice: Haste, 2% health restore
Inherited Insignia of [Faction]: Resil, PvP Trinket

While there are three heirloom trinkets, only two of them would I really suggest you purchase if your goal is leveling. The Inherited Insignia is a decent purchase if you plan on doing a fair amount of PvP while you level, and it does have at least some use in PvE, but generally speaking it’s at the bottom of your priority list as even in PvP you’re better off spending the honor for a 2 minute cooldown trinket instead of this 5 minute one.

If your class uses Spell Power and/or Mana, then it’s a good idea to pick up at least one Discerning Eye, but if you never use mana or are playing a class that doesn’t have mana in the first place, then you’ll want to use dual Swift Hand trinkets instead. For some caster classes, such as Warlocks, it’s not a bad idea to run with dual Swift Hands on them as well since they have other means of restoring their mana and can get a lot of benefit from the SH’s Haste value and healing.

Classes that break the general rule of Swift Hand for melee and Discerning Eye for casters will have have that noted in their individual class sections.

Both the Swift Hand and Discerning Eye restoration abilities stack both with each other and with multiple copies of themselves. So if you wear one of each and kill a target that gives honor or experience, then you restore 2% of both health and experience. If you wear two of the same one then when you kill a target that gives honor or experience, then you will restore 4% of your health or mana, respectively.

Death Knight
Chest: Polished Breastplate of Valor
Shoulder: Polished Spaulders of Valor
2H Weapon: Bloodied Arcanite Reaper
1H Weapons: Venerable Mass of McGowan x2

I have personally rocked this combination with my Death Knight and found it to be an excellent setup. I didn’t have access to the dual Venerable Mass setup, but I really wish I would have. I did level up as a tank rather than DPS (for the most part), and I did a lot of switching back and forth between two-hand and dual wield while I did it. In the end I preferred dual wielding for trash tanking and two-hand for boss tanking, so if you’re planning on being a tank then you may want to look into purchasing all three.

Note: DK Runeforge enchants cannot be used on heirloom weapons at all.

Since Death Knights have no access to mana, don’t bother using a Discerning Eye for one of your trinkets. In fact, you may consider ignoring the heirloom trinkets all together and just sticking with the ones that the DK starts with and any upgrades you find while you level.

For substitutions I’m going to throw in the PvP Shoulders instead since they’re a bit “easier” to get because of their cost, and I have a couple of swords thrown in if you’re not a fan of the maces. The Repurposed Lava Dredger is your optional two-hand replacement if you’re looking to level up as DPS.

Substitutions: Strengthened Stockade Pauldrons, Venerable Dal’Rend’s Sacred Charge, Battleworn Thrash Blade, Repurposed Lava Dredger

Chest: Preened Ironfeather Breastplate
Shoulder: Preened Ironfeather Shoulders
Weapon: Dignified Headmaster’s Charge

I didn’t have the leather caster heirlooms yet when I leveled my druid, so she was leveled with cloth heirlooms instead. But, the stats on them are exactly the same except for the Armor value which is only different because of the types of armor. I also did not, and still do not, have a Headmaster’s Charge so I used the PvP staff instead. The stats on the two are very similar, but the DHC is more balanced for PvE leveling.

Balance Druids are very well known for having big mana problems during the leveling process, so I suggest you go with dual Discerning Eyes and skip the Swift Hands if you plan to stay Balance. I also strongly suggest that if you’re going to level Balance, that you go with the +22 Intellect enchant on your staff rather than the +30 Spell Power, because you will have mana issues while you’re leveling.

For substitutions I list the cloth caster pieces, the leather PvP caster shoulders, as well as the other staff. Any combination of these will work, the ones listed above just happen to be more optimized for leveling than the substitutes.

Substitutions: Tattered Dreadmist Robe, Lasting Feralheart Spaulders, Grand Staff of Jordan

Chest: Stained Shadowcraft Tunic
Shoulder: Stained Shadowcraft Spaulders
Weapon: Repurposed Lava Dredger

Feral gear is all about Agility, Attack Power, and Armor Penetration and this is the set you’re going to get that from. Your armor choices are really limited since there’s only one leather-wearing class after level 40, so these are basically what you’re left with.

For Feral you’re definitely going to want dual Swift Hands if you have them rather than bothering with any Discerning Eyes, the haste and health restoration will be far more beneficial to you.

The subs include the other leather heirlooms so that you’re getting leather armor values at the very least, and various one-hand weapons that can serve you well too. Using a one-hand over two- does give you the option of using off hand items. While there are not heirloom off hands right now, there are several that you can find, purchase, or have crafted during the leveling process. If you do use a one-hand weapon, you should probably seek some of these out, preferably ones with either bonus stats or ones that have abilities that can proc during combat.

Substitutions: Preened Ironfeather Breastplate, Lasting Feralheart Spaulders , Preened Ironfeather Shoulders, Venerable Mass of McGowan, Balanced Heartseeker, Sharpened Scarlet Kris

Chest: Preened Ironfeather Breastplate
Shoulder: Preened Ironfeather Shoulders
Weapon: Dignified Headmaster’s Charge

The Restoration set is exactly like the Balance, as are the substitutions.

As far as trinkets go, you’ll probably never really need the healing from the Swift Hand, but the Haste stat that it provides is excellent and works very well with your HoT’s. Resto is well known for not having mana problems very often, but Spell Power is your primary stat. Because of all of this, I suggest that Resto Druids either run with one of each of the restorative heirloom trinkets, or double up on the Discerning Eyes.

Substitutions: Tattered Dreadmist Robe, Lasting Feralheart Spaulders, Grand Staff of Jordan

Chest: Champion’s Deathdealer Breastplate
Shoulder: Champion Herod’s Shoulder
Ranged: Charmed Ancient Bone Bow
Weapon: Balanced Heartseeker x2

This is your optimal setup for the hunter. If you decide to roll a Hunter prior to Cataclysm, then you’ll also want to run with two Discerning Eyes rather than Swift Hands, because a Hunter typically takes very little damage while using a great deal of mana. It’s not hard at all for them to get that mana back once certain spells become available, but it’s better to have reduced downtime in my opinion. The haste from Swift Hands does have it’s benefit as well, the heal just happens to be wasted in most cases. After Cataclysm, you’re no longer going to use mana in the first place, so the Swift Hands would be the clear choice.

If you’re deciding to go Marksman in your build, then you may also consider using a Dignified Headmaster’s Charge with the +22 Intellect enchant on it as the Int is converted to Attack Power for you. It won’t be too long after level 20 though that the dual Heartseeker’s with +15 Agi becomes a more powerful setup.

Subs include the leather-only versions of your armor or the PvP version of the leather/mail shoulders, the PvP ranged weapon, and the second best melee weapon for hunters in general.

Substitutions: Stained Shadowcraft Tunic, Prized Beastmaster’s Mantle, Stained Shadowcraft Spaulders, Upgraded Dwarven Hand Cannon, Venerable Dal’Rend’s Sacred Charge

Chest: Tattered Dreadmist Robe
Shoulder: Tattered Dreadmist Mantle
Weapon: Dignified Headmaster’s Charge

There’s not a whole lot of wiggle room for cloth casters right now.

As far as trinkets go, use whichever setup works for your playstyle. I’m an AoE grinding fool while I level so I’d run with dual Swift Hands for the Haste. Discerning Eyes would provide a great benefit both in spell power and mana restoration, but I’m not bothered nearly so much by downtime taken for drinking as most other people are. Not when I’m on a mage that can conjure his own water at will, anyway.

Substitutions include basically the only two other choices you have available to you. None of the other weapon types we have access to are for casters, so what you see is what you get.

Substitutions: Exquisite Sunderseer Mantle, Grand Staff of Jordan

Chest: Mystical Vest of Elements
Shoulder: Mystical Pauldrons of Elements
Weapon: Devout Aurastone Hammer

I’m going to suggest a Leather/Mail chest and shoulder pieces, even though I don’t like doing that. The reason for that is that the plate heirloom pieces really don’t give you the stats you’re looking for. The PvP Plate shoulders aren’t too bad, but they don’t offer any Intellect where the mail ones do. Paladin’s don’t get the chance to wield a staff, so you’ll have to accept the maces as your caster weapons of choice. The list of decent caster shields while leveling kind of sucks, and sadly they haven’t given us access to an heirloom shield yet.

While I have leveled a paladin, I have not leveled one as a healer, so I would suggest doubling up on Discerning Eyes for your leveling purposes. One of each trinket would probably be a decent idea as well, though I’d probably stay away from dual Swift Hands.

Substitutes include the leather caster pieces as well as the plate pieces in case you just want to stick to your primary armor type. The PvP caster mace is also acceptable as a substitute since it’s the only other weapon you’d really benefit from.

Substitutions: Preened Ironfeather Breastplate, Polished Breastplate of Valor, Pristine Lightforge Spaulders, The Blessed Hammer of Grace

Chest: Polished Breastplate of Valor
Shoulder: Strengthened Stockade Pauldrons
Weapon: Venerable Mass of McGowan

As Crit is not a huge stat for a Prot Pally, I’m going to suggest you go with the PvP shoulders instead, which trade Crit for Resilience. Resilience is a PvP stat, but it does have some impact on damage taken in PvE as well, so I consider them to be a bit better overall. Weapon choices are very open here. I’m going to suggest the Venerable Mass based purely on the stats that it gives. Stamina and Agility are both useful for a tank, even though the Crit is kind of wasted.

Trinkets can go both ways. I would probably take one of each for a Prot build, though possibly dual Discerning Eyes below level 40 and then maybe switching to dual Swift Hands afterward. Playing it safe, I’d say one of each.

Subs include other pieces of plate that are also decent choices for a Prot Pally as well as the Thrash Blade in case you’re really into AoE grinding like I am. The Thrash Blade’s extra attack procs will trigger your Judgement abilities which make it a great choice for grinding. The proc rate isn’t super high, but it does become more common as you get higher in level. I also list other weapons that I would consider decent for Prot.

Substitutions: Pristine Lightforge Spaulders, Polished Spaulders of Valor, Battleworn Thrash Blade, Venerable Dal’Rend’s Sacred Charge, The Blessed Hammer of Grace

Chest: Polished Breastplate of Valor
Shoulder: Polished Spaulders of Valor
Weapon: Bloodied Arcanite Reaper

Ret is all about laying the smack down, so we’re going for melee stats with this setup, and here you have the best of those options. I’ve done some Ret leveling with this setup myself, but I’m waiting to level a Pally until Cat, so I didn’t take him very far into his 20’s. However, I have played high level Ret, so I’m familiar with the style and the desired stats.

For trinkets I would probably go for one of each, though in some cases I could see the benefit of doubling up with either one. Personally, I’d got for one of each.

Subs include the PvP shoulders and a couple of alternative weapons. For melee classes that use two-handed weapons that rely on straight damage dealt, the Arcanite Reaper is the best BoA weapon for you, where classes that rely on melee to deliver bleed or disease type damage need Armor Penetration to increase that secondary damage. The Truesilver Champion is acceptable, but of all the BoA weapons it’s the one I care about the least and have no intention of purchasing.

Substitutions: Strengthened Stockade Pauldrons, Repurposed Lava Dredger, Reforged Truesilver Champion

Chest: Tattered Dreadmist Robe
Shoulder: Tattered Dreadmist Mantle
Weapon: Dignified Headmaster’s Charge

Default cloth caster setup once again. Being a big fan of leveling clothies, I’m really flipping tired of seeing that purple robe.

If you have access to the Inscription profession, or don’t mind making a few purchases from the Auction House, you may want to consider switching the staff out for one of the maces. You can find a list of all of the Inscription-made off hand items in this list.

For trinkets I would run dual Discerning Eyes on a Priest. But, I’ll tell you right now that my priest leveling experience only goes up to level 40.

Subs include a couple of extra one-hand weapons since priests can use maces. Both of these provide decent caster bonuses and also include MP5 in case you’re looking for some extra. If off-hand items were a bit more common, and had a bit better stats, I’d probably be more excited about using the maces over a staff, but since that’s not the case I’ll take a staff first.

Substitutions: Exquisite Sunderseer Mantle, Grand Staff of Jordan, Devout Aurastone Hammer, The Blessed Hammer of Grace

Chest: Stained Shadowcraft Tunic
Shoulder: Stained Shadowcraft Spaulders
MH Weapon: Venerable Mass of McGowan
MH Dagger: Balanced Heartseeker
Off Hand: Sharpened Scarlet Kris
Ranged: Charmed Ancient Bone Bow

If you’re not going to use a build that focuses on using a dagger in your main hand, then you want the Venerable Mass in your main hand for max damage. If you do want to use abilities like Backstab and Ambush often, then you’ll want to roll with the Balanced Heartseeker instead with it’s high damage and stats. Regardless of which style of main hand you go for, you’ll get the most damage overall from having the Sharpened Scarlet Kris as your off hand weapon. As far as armor goes, you don’t have a whole lot of choice and these are your best options either way. As a Rogue you’ll rarely use your ranged weapon, but the stats on the bow outweigh the stats on the gun.

Note: As temporary “enchants” a Rogue can use their poisons on BoA weapons in addition to having them permanently enchanted with actual enchants.

Since you don’t have any use for mana or spell power as a Rogue, your trinkets are clearly dual Swift Hands.

Substitutes are other weapons that have some amount of value to them. If you see a weapon listed here that’s also listed in the main suggestions up above, it’s because I’m listing it as an alternative to a different slot, such as off hand vs. main hand, and so on. Weapons suggested for that reason will have the slot I suggest them for in parenthesis.

Substitutions: (MH) Venerable Dal’Rend’s Sacred Charge, (MH) Battleworn Thrash Blade, (D) Sharpened Scarlet Kris, (OH) Balanced Heartseeker, (OH) Battleworn Thrash Blade, Upgraded Dwarven Hand Cannon

Chest: Mystical Vest of Elements
Shoulder: Mystical Pauldrons of Elements
Weapon: Dignified Headmaster’s Charge

With the poor choice of off hand items while leveling, I consider this to be your optimal Elemental setup. If you can find good caster shields or off hand items, then it may be worth your time to switch to one of the maces I have listed as a substitute, but for the most part you’ll get better stats overall from the DHC.

Note: A Shaman’s temporary weapon enchants (default Flametongue for Elemental) do stack with permanent enchants, and can be used on BoA weapons.

If you have access to the Inscription profession, or don’t mind making a few purchases from the Auction House, you may want to consider switching the staff out for one of the maces. You can find a list of all of the Inscription-made off hand items in this list.

Trinket recommendations are going to be dual Discerning Eyes first, followed by one of each. I haven’t leveled very far yet as Elemental, but I’m going to say that I don’t think you’re going to be so addicted to Haste that you would need to have dual Swift Hands, but that could be my lack of high level Ele’xperience talking there.

Subs include leather armor pieces, and cloth pieces as well though I don’t have them listed. If you do manage to get your hands on some solid off hand items or shields for Elemental, then switching to one of the maces might be an option for you, but you’ll probably have higher stats overall going with a staff.

Substitutions: Preened Ironfeather Breastplate, Tattered Dreadmist Robe, Aged Pauldrons of the Five Thunders, Grand Staff of Jordan, Devout Aurastone Hammer, The Blessed Hammer of Grace

Chest: Champion’s Deathdealer Breastplate
Shoulder: Champion Herod’s Shoulder
Two-Hand: Bloodied Arcanite Reaper
Dual Wield: Venerable Mass of McGowan

Enhancement is all about melee, and yet…not, at the same time. You end up being an odd hybrid that in some ways is similar to a Death Knight. About half of your damage in later levels is going to be melee and the other half spell casting, so you want to keep a nice balance in your stats. Starting out you want to use a big, slow two-handed weapon so the Arcanite Reaper is your weapon of choice prior to dual wielding. Once you can dual wield it’s Venerable Masses all the way.

Note: A Shaman’s temporary weapon enchants (default Windfury for Enhancement) do stack with actual weapon enchants, so you can use both at the same time.

Trinket selection for Enhancement can vary a lot in different level ranges. You probably won’t have too much problem with mana until you get to your 30’s or 40’s, but you’re not too big on haste until high levels either. Personally, I’d probably go with one of each during the whole leveling process, but it’s hard to say really. I know I’ve had times that dual Discerning Eyes would have been amazing, while at others if I’d had just a little bit of healing I could have done some crazy pulls. Overall, I’m going to suggest one of each.

The Subs list is large for the shaman. For the most part, I’m looking at leather melee gear and a few other weapon options. Before you can dual wield staves are actually very strong melee weapons. They have slow speeds and high attack powers which make them very effective in the hands of a Shaman. I also noted the Scarlet Kris because some people prefer to use a fast off hand with Flametongue on it instead of dual Windfury enchants. I’m a Windfury man, myself, so I’ll roll with the dual Venerable Mass, dual Windfury setup.

Substitutions: Stained Shadowcraft Tunic, Stained Shadowcraft Spaulders, Prized Beastmaster’s Mantle, Exceptional Stormshroud Shoulders, Repurposed Lava Dredger, Dignified Headmaster’s Charge, Sharpened Scarlet Kris

Chest: Mystical Vest of Elements
Shoulder: Mystical Pauldrons of Elements
Weapon: Dignified Headmaster’s Charge

Restoration, for the most part, is going to look for the same stats and Elemental, so we’re going with basically the same setup here. As with so many of the other classes, I’m recommending you use a staff instead of a mace because of the poor selection of shields and off hand items.

Note: A Shaman’s temporary weapon enchants (default Earthliving for Restoration) do stack with permanent enchants, and can be used on BoA weapons.

If you have access to the Inscription profession, or don’t mind making a few purchases from the Auction House, you may want to consider switching the staff out for one of the maces. You can find a list of all of the Inscription-made off hand items in this list.

While I have never leveled Restoration, I have played as high level Resto and would suggest that for leveling you stick with dual Discerning Eyes. By the time that Haste is necessary for you you’ll most likely already be looking at permanent replacements for your heirlooms anyway.

Subs include leather armor pieces, and cloth pieces as well though I don’t have them listed.

Substitutions: Preened Ironfeather Breastplate, Aged Pauldrons of the Five Thunders,
Grand Staff of Jordan, Devout Aurastone Hammer, The Blessed Hammer of Grace

Chest: Tattered Dreadmist Robe
Shoulder: Tattered Dreadmist Mantle
Weapon: Dignified Headmaster’s Charge

Again, we have the generic cloth caster setup. Really nothing new here at all.

Note: A Warlock’s temporary weapon enchants (spellstones and such) do stack with permanent enchants, and can be used on BoA weapons.

Trinkets can go however you want them to for a Warlock. Affliction would probably benefit the most from dual Swift Hands because haste and health regen are very important to them, Demo is kind of half and half, so I’d probably go one of each for that build, and Destro is all about burning things down before it matters so I’d run with dual Discerning Eyes as Destro. Regardless of your build, Warlocks benefit well from either of them, so go with whichever setup you feel benefits you the most for your style of play.

Subs include the PvP armor and weapon options.

Substitutions: Exquisite Sunderseer Mantle, Grand Staff of Jordan

Chest: Polished Breastplate of Valor
Shoulder: Polished Spaulders of Valor
2H Weapon: Bloodied Arcanite Reaper
DW Weapons: Venerable Mass of McGowan
Ranged: Charmed Ancient Bone Bow

Basic Plate wearing melee DPS setup here. If you’re going to stick to two-handed DPS then the Reaper is the weapon for you. Arms may get more benefit from the Lava Drudger’s Armor Penetration, which is why it’s listed as a Sub. If you’re going to be Protection or going to dual wield, then you’ll want to use the Venerable Mass for the best overall damage. If you are Fury then you’ll want to dual wield Venerable Mass while leveling, and then switch to dual wielding Arcanite Reapers once you have Titan’s Grip and can use dual two-handed weapons. The ranged weapon is not crucial for Warriors, but the bow gives better overall stats than the gun.

As another non-mana using class, it’s dual Swift Hands or nothing.

Subs are mostly leather and mail armor pieces that would be suitable for non-Protection warriors. Prot Warriors will want to stay in the best armor they can find, and so should not use Leather beyond their mid 20’s if possible.

Substitutions: Stained Shadowcraft Tunic, Champion’s Deathdealer Breastplate, Strengthened Stockade Pauldrons, Prized Beastmaster’s Mantle, Stained Shadowcraft Spaulders, Venerable Dal’Rend’s Sacred Charge, Repurposed Lava Dredger, Reforged Truesilver Champion, Upgraded Dwarven Hand Cannon


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19 responses to “Guide to Heirloom Purchases

  1. Ceraphus (aka Avatar)

    July 30, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    Thanks for posting this, definitely gives me a nice shopping list for my alts. Especially for my shaman, mage, and future druid :)

    • Psynister

      July 30, 2010 at 1:45 PM

      It was fun taking another look at the heirlooms from the perspective of every class. It really put into perspective which ones are sort of the top dogs of heirlooms (venerable mass) and which ones probably shouldn’t have been made in the first place (truesilver champ).

      • Cynwise

        August 1, 2010 at 11:25 AM

        When it comes down to it, I keep running with the RTC over the BAM not because of the yummy Strength – though I do love it – but instead because I like the model better. A clean 2-handed sword fits better with my idea of my characters as paragons of virtue than a deaths-head axe.

        Perhaps I need to roll Forsaken?

        • Psynister

          August 2, 2010 at 8:23 AM

          I kind of like the look of it too, but I’m a stats guy. It can look like crap all it wants so long as it has good stats. It’s that inner desire to min/max and twink the lowbs more than anything else, I think.

  2. Steve - Kestrel's Aerie

    July 30, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    Excellent, excellent article! For my part, though, I have to take issue a bit with the suggestion of any item with resilience for someone leveling up via PvE (like me, for instance).

    For my rogue, I think the Balanced Heartseeker is considerably more effective than your suggestion of the Sharpened Scarlet Kris for an OH. Agility +22 is going to help me; Resilience +anything isn’t. True, I lose a bit of speed in the OH, from 1.7 to 1.5; on the other hand, even solo, I’m already somewhat “OP.” And, if I were to be in a same-level 5-man group, I still think I’d benefit more from the Agility over the Resilience. (Yeah, I know: I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to Resilience: For me, it’s a long way to spell “PvP only.”) :D

    • Psynister

      July 30, 2010 at 8:37 PM

      Resilience isn’t going to help you a lot in PvE, I’ll give you that.

      I made the judgement on which weapon to use for the rogues based on what I found at The page is broken down by weapon type, so the main hands are at the top by level bracket (it’s broken down for twink brackets, but it’s based on overall damage at each level).

      Off hand weapons are at the bottom of that list, but you’ll see that after level 19 the Kris is a better weapon and the higher you level the further and further it pulls ahead of the Heartseeker.

      The speed is a big contributer to it as the higher you get the more impact your poisons have, and the faster you’re applying that poison the better off you are.

      The Heartseeker is an excellent weapon, I’m not slighting it in the least, but from a pure dps standpoint you’ll see higher damage from the Kris, especially the higher you get in level.

    • Cynwise

      August 1, 2010 at 11:45 AM

      Leveling a rogue with heirlooms is really complicated. The online community has very little consensus over the best weapons, perhaps because there are no clear standouts. If the Heartseeker were faster, or the Kris had AP…

      Well, we’d have a case like the 2H weapons, to be honest.

      I ended up going Sword spec on my Combat Rogue, with the VDC HM and Thrash Blade OH. In stealth I use the Heartseeker/Kris combo. Initially I was going to run dual Masses and go mace spec, but I ended up scrapping that.

      I do both PvP and PvE, though, so my perpective on Resilience is somewhat skewed.

      • Psynister

        August 2, 2010 at 8:34 AM

        I’ve been running just Venerable Mass and Heartseeker on my rogue, switching hands as necessary. I don’t have the shards just yet to buy the Kris, so I’m using what I’ve got. I started out using a Thrasher and Venerable Mass and then threw in the dagger because I do like to use Ambush when I can.

        In practice, I’m not sure about how strong the Heartseeker actually is. It might just be that I’m using a Combat spec instead of Assass/Sub, but even at 29 Backstab and Ambush are both a waste of energy compared to their damage done.

  3. Rhii

    August 1, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    Excellent article!

    I chose the caster mace for my leveling priest, because the 80 who’s sending her the heirlooms in the first place is a scribe and can always make excellent offhands for any level. So it’s important to consider what your main can provide as well when you’re choosing heirlooms. :)

    • Cynwise

      August 1, 2010 at 6:06 PM

      I hadn’t considered using Inscription offhands during the leveling process. That’s a really good idea, thanks!

      • Psynister

        August 2, 2010 at 9:19 AM

        Until I went to double check because of Rhii’s comment here, I had thought the total SP on the staves was higher than the maces, which is why I dismissed Inscription off hands, knowing their bonus SP is low.

        Finding that they’re the same though does increase their potential quite a bit. The highest bonus you’ll get prior to Outlands is +12 SP, which you can get at level 40. Outlands bumps you up to +25 SP at level 60, and then you can go up to +41 at level 70 and cap out at +74 at level 77.

        So prior to Outlands it’s not a huge benefit, but any and all +SP is welcome. The Fire Eater’s Guide at level 40 and the Twilight Tome at level 70 both stand out to me as being especially helpful for leveling. And of course the two ilvl 200 items at level 77.

    • Psynister

      August 2, 2010 at 9:11 AM

      The Spell Power attribute of the staves and maces is equal at every level, the difference comes in other stats such as Stamina and Intellect where the staves get further and further ahead at ever level. A staff will have roughly twice the +Intellect as a mace and between three and four times as much +Stamina.

      Mana and Health generally aren’t a big of an issue for someone wearing heirloom gear in the first place, but that’s the primary difference.

      Inscription does have some good options for off hand items, and I do make frequent use of them myself. The spell power bonus on them doesn’t thrill me that much (but it’s still SP you’re getting beyond what a staff could give), but a lot of them do have extra stats that help close the gaps between the two weapon types, and some of the Use abilities are really fun.

      A Priest in particular can make good use out of the Manual of Clouds (level 50) which can give you +50 Spirit for one minute every five minutes, and it’s nice to get some extra damage from others such as Fire Eater’s Guide (level 40, ~300 damage frontal cone) and Stormbound Tome (level 50, 12-800 Nature single target).

      There are also some that don’t give SP, but do have useful abilities such as health or mana restoration, +Hit, +Crit, +Haste, or abilities such as the Tome of Kings which has an on use Blessing of Kings effect that lasts for 1 minute.

    • Psynister

      August 2, 2010 at 9:27 AM

      Thanks for bringing those Inscription off-hands back to mind, Rhii. I updated the post to include links to them in case people want to take a look. I’m not sure why I thought the maces offered lower spell power than the staves, but that’s the only reason I didn’t have them listed before.

      They almost deserve a post of their own… /write

  4. Achloryn

    August 20, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    I know this is an older post, but I just wanted to throw my 2c on something. If you’re levelling a druid as feral, there’s really very few options for decent offhands. You’d most likely be better off sticking with the Repurposed Lava Dredger.

    Here’s a link to show what I mean, 20 OH items pre-level 60 that have stats melee will find useful. Some of them are horde only, and some of them are more towards casters.

    • Psynister

      August 20, 2010 at 1:33 PM

      Agreed, that’s why I have the Lava Dredger listed as top for Feral. The other options really don’t stack up for the Feral spec.

      If I did go with an off-hand as a Feral spec I would use an offhand more along the lines of Totem of Infliction (50 Armor, 1% chance to deal 75-125 Shadow damage to attackers when hit), or perhaps one of the Inscription off hands like the Fire Eater that has a dps ability on use.

  5. jamman

    March 24, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    Hi – thanks for the guides for shadow priests – I’m level 7, and having fun standing at the back rather than hitting things (been plate only so far)

    One thing I was going to ask – have you looked at the Cata heirlooms? I was planning on dual speccind shadow/disc so was wondering what your thoughts were on getting the healer gear and using the spirit for hit, rather than the dps gear.


    • Psynister

      March 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

      The Cataclysm Heirlooms are all pretty straight forward, especially for cloth wearers. There’s only one cloth helm, so it’s the obvious fix there. For cloaks you only have three options, Intellect, Agility, and Strength – so for casters you want Intellect of course.

      As far as enchanting them goes, helm enchants aren’t worth much at all until you at least get to Wrath content. I could research it if you need me to to find the best ones for leveling.

      Cloak enchants kind of suck for the BoA items. Your best bet in almost all cases is Stealth which is +8 Agility and +8 Dodge, even for casters. The only other options worth considering are +70 Armor, -2% Threat, and +5 All Resistances.

  6. Giovanni

    December 12, 2011 at 5:48 AM

    Would you say that the enhancement spec. is the best one for leveling shamans? And would you stick with those heirloom choices for enh shamans?

    • Psynister

      December 12, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      In this day and age there’s no Shaman spec that I wouldn’t suggest for leveling. As far as “best”, that really depends on what kind of leveling you enjoy the most. If you like to stick to dungeons then Resto is great for leveling because of the fast queues and how easy it is to heal as Resto. Rest is also great for questing and I’ve had no problems questing as Resto up to my mid-40’s.

      Enhancement is great in PvE and PvP though you may get a bit frustrated in dungeons if you don’t like being low on the damage meters. It takes a long time before you get a halfway decent AoE option compared to all of the other classes (except Priest) so they’ll frequently do higher DPS than you. If you don’t care what the DPS meters say, you’ll do just fine in LFG. It’s not that you deal less damage, just that AoE will inflate everyone else’s numbers beyond what you can put out as single target.

      Elemental is just an all around good spec for any activity. The AoE knockback makes it especially fun in some battleground, while a somewhat decent amount of AoE from the low-30’s on helps you keep up a bit better in LFG. Crits on demand are nice too, though I forget off hand what level you learn Lava Burst at.

      So in terms of shaman, you can’t really go wrong with any spec for leveling. Would I say that Enhancement is the best? Mmmmm, probably when weighing all things I’d say so. Faster dungeon queues as Resto is something to seriously consider though if you like to level quickly and you enjoy/don’t mind healing.


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