A few weeks back (because he’s on top of things like that), a guildie of mine compiled a list of mage gear, following in the footsteps of other folks on the Mana Obscura mage forums who were getting ready for Cataclysm. I read it, said “Hey, that’s great!” and filed it away for future reference. I didn’t think I’d be needing it immediately. I was wrong.
I’ve found myself referring to his list often over the past few days, but I’ve also started squirreling away information of my own, and so this edited list was born. My favourite style of pre-raid gear list was defined by the excellent Gearing Your Feral Druid at 80 guides by Allison Robert. I am following in her footsteps by categorizing the drops because sometimes you can’t depend on drops, and it’s nice to see at a glance what you can use in a pinch. I’m not really doing the level of analysis that Allison did with those guides, though, because what’s BiS for one spec may not be quite so for another. Naturally, you’re going to want to prioritize hit until you’re capped or near it, and then chase specific stats as your spec and playstyle demand.
A huge thanks to Fsob for his original work and permission to use his list as a starting point. If you just want to know about all the very best gear, here’s where you can find that list.
Please note that this list covers Reputation items, BoE profession items, items that can be bought with Justice Points, and 5 man heroic drops. It does not cover BoE raid drops, PvP items of any kind, holiday items, items bought with Valor Points, Archaeology items, or profession specific items, enchants, or gems.
All Reputation items are from Alliance reputations. Horde have the exact same items, just with different names/reps.
I changed the formatting a little; assume that all instances refer to heroic drops UNLESS otherwise noted. For all of the items, you can assume that the normal drop of the same item is a solid choice while leveling, or will at least stand you in good stead until you can replace it.
Do you have your head in the sand about your gear? Refuse to admit it's time for a wardrobe update? We can help!
I intend to use this list to focus my efforts and identify weak spots in my gear that can be improved. I’ve tried to make it as relevant and thorough as possible, adding parts in where I thought they were missing, but I make no claim of 100% accuracy. Feel free to mention any additions you feel I’ve overlooked, I don’t want to have misinformation! Each slot is divided into four categories: Purchased/crafted items (including Justice Points), drops, quests, and faction rewards. What is best for you will depend on your spec.
Please note that all instances referenced below refer to heroic versions.
Cowl of Pleasant Gloom – 2,200 Justice Points
Crown of Enfeebled Bodies – Grim Batol (Erudax)
Blinders of the Follower – Shadowfang Keep (Lord Walden)
Helm of the Typhonic Beast – Halls of Origination (Setesh)
Kata-Mary Crown is a decent option as a quest reward from the quest Gnomebliteration in Uldum. Plus, you can hum the Katamari song when you wear it…
This helm is available at Honored with the Earthen Ring. Save yourself some justice points and pick up Helm of Temperance as a good starter helm. It’s almost identical to the normal version of Crown of Enfeebled Bodies, and it has a meta and one socket as well.
Enchant with Arcanum of Hyjal (Guardians of Hyjal, Revered).
Eye of Many Deaths – BoE, crafted by Jewelcrafters with a skill of 525
String of Beaded Bubbles – 1,250 Justice Points
Charm of the Muse – BoE zone drop in Heroic Halls of Origination
Pendant of the Keep – Shadowfang Keep (Baron Silverlaine)
Pipefish Cord – Throne of the Tides (Neptulon’s Cache)
Tauntka’s Necklace – Lost City of the Tol’vir (High Prophet Barim)
Eye of Despair – Reward from the quest Eye Spy in Twilight Highlands
Lightning Flash Pendant – Requires Wildhammer Clan – Exalted
Meadow Mantle – 1,650 Justice Points
Mantle of Master Cho – Lost City of Tol’vir (Siamat)
Mantle of the Eastern Lords – Shadowfang Keep (Lord Godfrey)
Clan Heart Shoulders- Reward from quest The Loyalty of Clan Mullan in Twilight Highlands.
Blight-Lifter’s Mantle – Reward from The Source of Their Power (dungeon quest) in Lost City of Tol’Vir (normal).
There is no good reputation option, unfortunately.
Enchant with Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone. (Therazane, Exalted).
There are not any viable options that don’t require Valor Points.
Periwinkle Cloak – Throne of the Tides (Lady Naz’jar)
Shadow of Perfect Bliss – The Vortex Pinnacle (Asaad)
Stone-Binder’s Cloak – quest reward from The World Pillar Fragment in Deepholm.
Cloak of Ancient Wisdom – Requires The Earthen Ring, Revered
Cloak of the Dryads – You can also pick up this cloak from the Guardians of Hyjal at Honored. It’s not the greatest (spirit, ick) but you can reforge a bit of that until you’re able to replace it with something better.
Enchant with Greater Critical Strike or Greater Intellect.
Robes of Embalmed Darkness – 2,200 Justice Points
Corsair’s Overshirt – The Deadmines (“Captain” Cookie)
Inquisition Robes – Blackrock Caverns (Rom’ogg Bonecrusher)
Robes of Arugal – Shadowfang Keep (Baron Ashbury)
Robes of Rampant Growth – Halls of Origination (Ammunae)
Overly Intelligent Robes – Reward from the quest Skullcrusher the Mountain in Twilight Highlands.
Robes of Orsis – Requires Ramkahen – Revered
Enchant with Peerless Stats.
There seems to always be a dearth of available bracers. If you can’t snag any of the other options, these two tailored resilience pieces are almost identical except for one stat: Emberfire Bracers has haste while Fireweave Bracers have mastery.
Armbands of Exiled Architects – The Deadmines (Vanessa VanCleef)
Sand Silk Wristband – Lost City of the Tol’vir (Augh)
True Archaeologist’s Bracers – Reward from quest Doing It The Hard Way (dungeon quest), Halls of Origination
Enchant with Precision, Greater Critical Strike, or Greater Speed.
Gloves of the Painless Midnight – 1,650 Justice Points
Mnemiopsis Gloves – Throne of the Tides (Neptulon’s Cache)
Corruption Resistant Gloves – Reward from quest Magmalord Falthazar, Twilight Highlands.
Flamebloom Gloves – Requires The Earthen Ring, Exalted
Gloves of Atherial Rumours – Wildhammer Clan, Honored
Enchant with Haste or Greater Mastery.
Dreamless Belt – BoE Crafted by Tailors with a skill of 525 (but these are going to be pretty dear until enough time has passed for people to level tailoring and acquire cloth).
Incense Infused Cumberbund – 1,650 Justice Points
Triple-Loop Belt – BoE zone drop, Halls of Origination
Beauty’s Silken Ribbon – Blackrock Caverns (Beauty)
Stratosphere Belt – The Vortex Pinnacle (Grand Vizier Ertan)
Girdle of Nobility – BoE zone drop in Dead Mines (Heroic)
Pillarbind Waistguard from quest in Deepholm The Middle Fragment.
Cord of Raven Queen – Again, another spirit option that isn’t ideal but if you happen to have a ton of Guardians of Hyjal rep, it’s better than nothing (Exalted, Guardians of Hyjal).
Add an extra socket with an Ebonsteel Belt Buckle.
Breeches of Mended Nightmares – BoE Crafted by Tailors with a skill of 525
Flame-Ascended Pantaloons – BoE Crafted by Tailors with a skill of 525
Pensive Legwraps – 2,200 Justice Points.
Legwraps of Astral Rain – Isiset in Heroic Halls of Origination.
Narkall’s Leggings from quest reward Narkall, The Drake-Tamer in Twilight Highlands
No viable option unfortunately.
Enchant with Powerful Enchanted Spellthread or Enchanted Spellthread.
The crafted options here are not as good as quested, and the BoE drops will be very rare initially.
Slippers of the Twilight Prophet – The Stonecore (High Priestess Azil)
Corpse Rompers – BoE zone drop in The Deadmines (heroic)
Magma-Proof Sandals – quest reward from A Fiery Reunion, Twilight Highlands
Desert Walker Sandals – Requires Ramkahen – Exalted
Enchant with Lavawalker, Mastery, Haste, or Precision.
Abandoned Dark Iron Ring – BoE zone drop from Grim Batol
Ring of Warring Elements – BoE crafted by Jewelcrafters with a skill of 525.
Anthia’s Ring – Throne of the Tides (Mindbender Ghur’sha)
Band of Rays – Halls of Origination (Rajh)
Lavishly Jeweled Ring – The Deadmines (Admiral Ripsnarl)
Rose Quartz Band – The Stonecore (Slabhide)
Spirit Creeper Ring – Lost City of Tol’vir (General Husam)
Red Dragonheart Ring – Quest reward from Battle of Life and Death, Twilight Highlands
Band of Singing Grass – Requires Wildhammer Clan – Revered
Diamant’s Ring of Temperance – Requires Therazane – Revered
I was fortunate enough to have a jewelcrafting trinket for this slot. Trinkets are notoriously difficult to obtain but look to the quested options if you are unlucky with drops. The three listed here are all fairly decent.
Darkmoon Card: Volcano – BoE, obtained by turning in a Volcanic Deck or by purchasing from someone else who did.
Anhuur’s Hymnal – Halls of Origination (Temple Guardian Anhuur)
Gale of Shadows – Grim Batol (Erudax)
Sorrowsong – Lost City of Tol’vir (Siamat)
Tendrils of Burrowing Dark – The Stonecore (Ozruk)
Witching Hourglass – Blackrock Caverns (Ascendant Lord Obsidius)
World-Queller Focus – Quest reward from Once More Into The Fire, Twilight Highlands
Talisman of Sinister Order – Quest reward from Firing Squad, Uldum
Stonemother’s Kiss – Quest reward from Audience with the Stonemother, Deepholm
Stump of Time – Requires Baradin’s Wardens – Exalted
Wand of Dark Worship – BoE zone drop from The Stonecore
Cyu’s Ornate Wand – BoE world drop
Cookie’s Stirring Rod – The Deadmines (“Captain” Cookie)
Corla’s Baton – Blackrock Caverns (Corla, Herald of Twilight)
Beach-Sweeper Wand from quest Landgrab in Twilight Highlands
Nothing. Squat (diddly).
Staff of Solemn Secrecy – BoE world drop
Cerith Spire Staff – Throne of the Tides (Commander Ulthok)
Emberstone Staff – The Deadmines (Foe Reaper 5000)
Staff of Siphoned Essences – Grim Batol (Erudax)
Very Manly Staff - Quest reward from the Crucible of Carnage quest chains, Twilight Highlands
Insidious Staff – Requires Baradin’s Wardens – Revered
Enchant with Power Torrent or Hurricane.
Beak of Julak-Doom – BoE drop from a world boss Julak-Doom
Elementium Spellblade – BoE crafted by Blacksmiths with a skill of 520
Fire-Etched Dagger – the lesser BoE crafted option from Blacksmiths with a skill of 425
Biting Wind – The Vortex Pinnacle (Grand Vizier Ertan)
Blade of the Burning Sun – Halls of Origination (Rajh)
Modgud’s Blade – Grim Batol (General Umbriss)
Salhet’s Ornate Dagger, quest reward from Salhet the Tactician in Uldum
They’ve got nothing.
Enchant with Power Torrent or Hurricane.
Dungeoneering Guide – BoE crafted by Scribes with a skill level of 510
Hermit’s Lamp – a steal at 950 Justice Points, if you have a decent main-hand
Beauty’s Favorite Bone – Blackrock Caverns (Beauty)
Skyflight Beacon – Quest reward from Doing It Like A Dunwald, Twilight Highlands
Enchant with Superior Intellect.
Quest through Twilight Highlands if at all possible, because some of the best quested gear is from there. Then you can isolate your weakest points and upgrade those, or see what drops. If you’ve already acquired a normal dungeon drop in one slot, maybe you’ll spend Justice Points or count on crafted gear to fill another.
Again, huge thanks to Fsob for putting in much of the grunt work to compile this list, and for generously allowing me to add to and edit what was already done. It would’ve taken three times as long otherwise. As it is, I’m going to use it to help me with my own gear, and I hope my contribution is some small help to any other mages (or cloth DPS folks).
There are some other great guides out there; Poneria at Fel Concentration has done one for warlocks. Let me know if there are others I’ve missed and I’ll be happy to add them!