The quick and dirty guide to gearing up a Hunter

So you're a hunter that has hit 80 and you're looking to gear up as fast as possible without setting foot in side of a raid. What do you do? Simple. Run the ICC 5 mans on normal and heroic modes until you're decked out in the finest iLvl 232 gear you'll find -- outside of the raid environment or an emblem for gear transaction.

Even the normal modes of the ICC 5 man dungeons drop iLvl 219 gear which is the equivalent of what you get from Heroic Trial of the Champion or the 10 man Ulduar raid.

With the ICC 5 man dungeons, Blizzard have made it easier than ever for freshly minted level 80 characters to catch up to their higher gear counterparts.

Pick up all the gear from this guide and you'll be more then Epic in a couple of days.

Please note: If it's your first run through the ICC dungeons, make sure you pick up the quests inside as you move through to ensure you are attuned to enter the next dungeon. For example, you are required to complete the 'Echoes of Tortured Souls' quest in the Forge of Souls before you are able to enter the Pit of Saron.

Now lets look at some decent gear options for Hunters that drop in both normal and heroic modes of the ICC 5 man dungeons.

Forge of Souls

Normal

[Accursed Crawling Cape] - drops from the Devourer of Souls. Nice cape with agility, attack power, hit and armor penetration. In my experience the drop rate on this one is low, and when it does drop there's bound to be a lot of competition on it. While personally I believe that Hunters, Rogues and Druids should be the only ones to stake serious claims on it, when it has dropped I've seen Paladins, Death Knights and Warriors all need on it. If you are lucky enough to score the Accursed Crawling Cape it should be good enough to see you through until you save enough Frost Emblems for [Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape].
[Heartshiver] - drops from the Devourer of Souls. If you aren't already packing Marrowstrike from Heroic Trial of the Champion, and you are going the dual wield route, Heartshiver is an ok option. If there is a Rogue in your group and they need it though, let them have it. They can probably put it to better use than you, so there's no need to be a dick about it.
[Tower of the Mouldering Corpse] - drops from the Devourer of Souls. Rather than dual wielding two Heartshivers you are better off picking up this staff. By doing so, in total you'll end up with +14 more agility, +12 critcal strike, +76 hit rating, +30 attack power. Is Tower of Mouldering Corpse better than Marrowstrike? Well it's probably a line ball decision and depends on your other gear and whether the +76 hit is useful in getting you to the hit cap. Marrowstrike has a yellow gem slot, so you be the judge. Bottomline, whatever melee option you go with, it's only going to be a stop gap until you can get into Heroic Hall of Reflection... and you'll see why....

Heroic
[Nighttime] - drops from Bronjahm. If you are dual wielding melee weapons, Nighttime is a fairly good option. There's some armor penetration on there so not bad for marksmanship hunters. There are other classes in the game that can probably put Nighttime to better use than hunters so use your discretion when rolling for this. Personally, I'd only grab it if no one else in the group needed it. If, for example, and enchancement Shaman wanted it, let them have it.
[Eyes of Bewilderment] - drops from Bronjahm. Nice helm for hunters. Two gem slots, a meta gem and yellow gem. Definitely a good option until you can deck yourself out in the tier 9 set.
[Essence of Suffering] - drops from the Devourer of Souls. A nice upgrade in the wrist slot, particularly if Crusader's Dragonscale Bracers are too hard for you to come by.
[Blood Weeper] - drops from the Devourer of Souls. Another dagger. Decent stats for hunters but more suited to a Rogue. Never need this over a Rogue unless you want people to call you names. If you pick this up because no one else wants it, then it's an ok option to pair with Nighttime for example. Still, in my opinion dual wielding from a statistical point of view is not all that viable for Hunters. Best to stick with a stat stick like Marrowstrike or the superior Orca-Hunter’s Harpoon from Heroic Hall of Reflection.
[Needle-Encrusted Scorpion] - drops from the Devourer of Souls. Arguably the most sought after Trinket in the ICC dungeons, expect to face some stiff competition for the Scorpian if it drops. Chances are good that everyman and his dog will roll on this if it drops. Outside of raids, the Scorpion is the ducks nuts for marksmanship Hunters, but it'll most likely be a step up for any hunter, rogue, feral kitty druid and some warriors. On my hunter I'd say I ran Heroic Forge of Souls 9-10 times before I saw it drop, was out-rolled by a Death Knight. A couple of runs later it drops again and I was out-rolled by a Retribution Paladin. Two missed chances and I was a little bitter and twisted. Fortunately it dropped again in a run not long after. On the other hand, gearing up a Rogue it dropped on my first run, and no one else in the group wanted it. That's random for you.

Pit of Saron

Normal
[Ring of Carnelian and Bone] - dropped by Forgemaster Garfrost. A nice ring if don't already have something better.
[Scabrous Zombie Leather Belt] - dropped by Ick. The title of this belt is a mouthful but it will be a decent upgrade for most Hunters until they are able to get into Heroic Pit of Saron. No gem slot so whack a belt buckle on this.
[Rimebane Rifle] - dropped by Scourgelord Tyrannus. An adequate ranged weapon, that, if you equip it, will probably only stick with you for a day or two until you've had a couple of Heroic Pit of Saron runs under your belt.
[Gondria’s Spectral Bracer] - dropped by Scourgelord Tyrannus. Another placeholder in the wrist position. Will get replaced once you've done a couple of heroic ICC 5 man runs.
[Horns of the Spurned Val’kyr] - dropped by Scourgelord Tyrannus. Nice head piece. Couple of gem slots. Handy till you score something better.

Heroic
[Barbed Ymirheim Choker] - dropped by Forgemaster Garfrost. Some people will tell you that this is for 'physical dps' classes. While the Broach of Wailing Night is a slightly better option for Hunters in terms of DPS output (2-3 DPS difference), the Broach also costs 19 emblems, where as the Choker can be picked up for nothing. Personally, I'd grab the Choker and save the emblems for the Tier 9 set.
[Spurned Val'kyr Shoulderguards] - dropped by Forgemaster Garfrost. No gem slots and no hit rating (you may have noticed an absence of hit on a lot of the ICC 5 man gear?), but there is some nice armor penetration which will make marksmanship hunters smile.
[Felglacier Bolter] dropped by Ick. Here we have the ducks nuts when it comes to ranged weapons from the ICC 5 man collection. Puts out 40 more DPS than the Rimebane Rifle from the Normal mode dungeon, also carries some hit rating, which you'll be grateful for if a majority of your gear comes from the ICC 5 mans. This is currently highest ilvl ranged weapon available through 5 man content, and the Hunter weapon of choice until you are able to get into some higher level raids. Chances are this will be the ranged weapon you'll take into your first ICC raid.
[Belt of Rotted Fingernails] - dropped by Scourgelord Tyrannus. This belt will be an upgrade from Scabrous Zombie Leather Belt. It's not going to be a 'major' upgrade, so if it doesn't drop for you, don't lose too much sleep over it.
[Band of Stained Souls] - dropped by Scourgelord Tyrannus. Pair this ring with the Dexterous Brightstone Ring (purchased with Emblems) and you have a nice little combination.

The Halls of Reflection

Normal

[Muddied Boots of Brill] - dropped by Falric. Filling the boot slot has long been one of my problem areas. These boots will tide you over nicely until luck goes your way and you grab the upgrade from the Heroic version of this dungeon.
[Frostsworn Bone Leggings] - dropped by Marwyn. Again, nice place holder leggings if you don't already have better. If you grab these, you should look to upgrade as soon as practical.
[Crypt Fiend Slayer] - dropped by the Lich King. One of the only bows I've seen in heroic dungeons. It's a shame that you'll replace this within about two Heroic Pit of Saron runs. As a night elf hunter, bows make sense. I miss bows.

[Spiked Toestompers] - dropped by Falric. Outside of raids, these are the boots to aim for. They actually come out slightly ahead of the crafted Boots of Living Scale, even when Boots of Living Scale have two +20 agility gems applied.
[Orca-Hunter's Harpoon] - dropped by Marwyn. In my opinion this is the melee weapon that Hunters should be aiming for (outside of raids) particularly if you need a little help to get to the hit cap. Forget about dual wielding and pick this up. If you're a marksmanship Hunter, and you are already hit capped you may (emphasis on may) want to consider keeping Marrowstrike instead the armor penetration may work out better for you. You'd need to do your own tests to see how it works for you. For me however, Orca-Hunter's Harpoon keeps me at the hit cap, so if I swapped it out for Marrowstrike I'd be losing 65 DPS.
[Frostsworn Bone Chestpiece] - dropped by Marwyn. With a yellow gem slot, this chest piece is going to be an upgrade for anyone still rocking an iLvl200-219 piece.
[Hoarfrost Gauntlets] dropped by the Lich King. No gem slots but some hit on these gloves make them a natural

The wrap up

So where does that all leave the newly 80 Hunter? Well with a bit of time, and a lot of patience, you can fully deck yourself out in gear in almost every slot (besides the second trinket) that will surpass anything you can find in the previous Heroic dungeons and much of the 'starter' level 80 raid content. Here's a summary of what you could aim for in each slot.

Helm: [Eyes of Bewilderment] iLvl232
Neck: [Barbed Ymirheim Choker] iLvl232
Shoulders: [Spurned Val'kyr Shoulderguards] iLvl232
Chest: [Frostsworn Bone Chestpiece] iLvl232
Belt: [Belt of Rotted Fingernails] iLvl232
Pants: [Frostsworn Bone Leggings] iLvl219
Boots: [Spiked Toestompers] iLvl232
Bracers: [Essence of Suffering] iLvl232
Gloves: [Hoarfrost Gauntlets] iLvl232
Ring 1: [Band of Stained Souls] iLvl232
Ring 2: [Ring of Carnelian and Bone] iLvl219
Trinket: [Needle-Encrusted Scorpion] iLvl232
Trinket: No other Hunter trinket available in ICC 5 mans.
Cloak: [Accursed Crawling Cape] iLvl219
Main Hand: [Orca-Hunter's Harpoon] iLvl232
Ranged: [Felglacier Bolter] iLvl232

I'm not sure what "gear score" all that would get you, but the average iLvl across all the slots would be close to 232, which is a nice starting point for moving into some of the higher level content ToC 10mans and beyond.

7 comments

  1. Thanks for this. I just dinged yesterday and was looking for something like this. Looks like I’m going to be queuing for ICC stuff asap.

  2. Amazing writeup–if only there was something like this for every class…I got almost all this gear within 1 week of hitting 80 because I was able to focus using this page. BTW, your gearscore with all of this is about 4800.

  3. You’re missing one major thing – While people do all these random dungeons to get the gear they earn emblems of triumph and for every newly dinged level 80 your primary focus should be on getting a 4 piece tier 9 – Even if the set bonus for your class isn’t especially good it is still some nice 232 level items that can be upgraded to 245 or even 258 if you do Trial of the Crusader.
    Seeing that for hunters the 2 piece tier 9 setbonus is insanely good you should have major focus on getting this – So head, chest, gloves and legs should be tier 9 with the 245 offset shoulders or if you have some money to spend – head, shoulder, legs and gloves in tier 9 and then get the 245 chest and bracers crafted from at leatherworker.
    And if money is no option for you then the best option would be shoulders, chest, gloves and head in tier 9, the 245 LW bracers and the 264 feet and legs along with the BOE Rowan’s rifle – Then you would be rocking some very nice numbers.

    Cloak wise you should consider doing some PVP and buying one of the 264 PVP cloaks – Despite the resilience on them, they are a much bigger upgrade than the 219 cloak.

    As for trinkets you are missing one VERY important trinket and a trinket that is much higher dps gain for a newly 80 than needle – Banner of Victory from Trial of the Champion normal – That trinket is VERY good and should be high on your priority list – As an alternative you can buy Mirror of Truth for 40 emblems.

    Same for one of the rings – Go for the 245 ring you can buy from emblems and if you’re having a hard time getting the 232 ring to drop – Consider buying the Titanium ring from jewelcrafting – It has a socket on it and some very nice stats.

    Mainhand, ranged and belt are correct though – Even though for the belt slot you can get crafted the 226 belt from LW which with Eternal Belt Buckle would have 3 awesome sockets so might be better than the 232 drop.

    So good to see that you make a list to help people, but I’m afraid it’s quite far from what a newly dinged hunter should go for and with the new LFG tool you can get at least two pieces of tier 9 in a single day an in the meanwhile you might be lucky and get some of the other drops you need and earn some money.

  4. I hear what you’re saying but there is nothing quick and dirty about grinding 200 or so emblems of triumph.

    Grinding the 50,000 honor needed for the 264 PvP cloak could be a time consuming and frustrating task for a fresh 80 who may or may not have much in the way of other PvP.

    Paying people, or collecting the mats, for the 245 bracers etc can also be time and expense a lot of people aren’t prepared for.

    At this stage of the expansion – and with the ICC raid buff at 30% – people keen to gear up should be aiming to get into ICC10 and 25 raids as quickly as possible. For someone that can only play a couple of hours a day, the quickest way to get yourself in appropriate level gear is to to run the ICC 5 mans. It’s probably why the iLvl of the ICC 5 man gear is the equivalent of the ToC 10man raid gear, to help people gear up quick to get into the next logical raid – ICC.

    But yes, if you want to take the extra time and spend the extra gold, the options you’ve suggested will most likely put out better numbers. But ultimately, a majority of that stuff will get replaced on your first or second run through ICC10 – and as you accumulate emblems of frost.

  5. Allmost all of the items on your list are from heroic ICC dungeons, and since you can’t get into Halls of Reflection until you have really good gear that means you have two dungeons to chase most of your upgrades in – Seeing that you can only do a certain heroic dungeon ones a day and that the drop rate of the items are far from guranteed to drop even if you do it ten times – That means your current list will take at least several weeks to just get a good part of the items.

    When levelling, once you hit 68 and you can go to northrend and queue for WOTLK dungeons you will get 2 emblems of triumph each day so by the time you hit 80 you will probably have somewhere around 10 to 25 emblems depending on how fast you level.

    The prices of tier 9 armor is much lower than tier 10 – For a 4 set tier 9 armor set you only need 2x 30 and 2x 50 emblems – Thats a total of 160 emblems for a tier 9 set with a VERY VERY good set bonus that will outperform the gear on your list by quite a margin.
    Emblems of triumph dosn’t really take long to earn so getting 160+ emblems actually goes quite fast and a lot faster than getting all the drops on your list – a LOT faster.
    In my battlegroup the queue time for a dps class when frshly dinged 80 is around 5-12 minutes and you get 5 emblems of triumph pr. run(7 if you get Oculus) – That means doing just 6 randoms which will take a few hours will give you enough to buy shoulders or gloves in 232 Tier 9. When you then consider that yuo will maybe have 15 emblems when you hit 80 you only have to do three more randoms to get your first piece, while with your method you might do those two dungeons and not get a single item from the list for days at a time – Not to mention that the tier 9 is still far superior to the armor piece on the list.

    In total you will need 160 emblems for a full tier 9 set, 45 emblems for either shoulders or head offset and another 35 emblems for the nice 245 ring plus 40 emblems for Mirror of Truth(ALthough it would be much better to farm ToC5 to get Banner of victory). So thats a total of 240 emblems if you farm for Banner of Victory and you will have a set that is far superior – And don’t forget that while you do these randoms you get almost 30G for the first one of the day plus another 15G for each random after that so you earn money in the proces PLUS you will most likely get into the ICC dungeons several times while doing this and maybe get a few of the drops from the list like Felglacier bolter, Barbed etc.
    So i gurantee you that doing it this way will be much faster than going for your list and it will give you a gear setup that is quite a lot better – The two set tier 9 bonus for hunters is insanely good.

    When i hit 80 with my hunter it took me 15 days before i got the Felglacier bolter to drop, 7 days for barbed ymirheim choker and i think it was around 4 or 5 days for the belt of rotted fingernails – Thats in no way fast and that is only for a few slots – Then calculate in the chance to get the 12-3 other drops you need and you’re looking at a long time to get the list(Which is still not as good as tier 9).

    Im well aware that some of the other options i listed cost money – Thats exactly why isaid that if you had the opportunity to spend some money you could get even better gear in some of the slots and you could get it instantly – The 245 pieces you can get crafted from LW are actually fairly cheap today depending on the economy on your server – On my server the bracers can be crafted for around 6-800 gold and the chest for around 15-1900 gold – Thats a lot of money if you don’t have any and in that case focus on tier 9 but when i levelled my first character to 80 i had around 10K when i dinged and that wasn’t really hard – You also have to remember that when somebody htis 80 with there hunter they might have 5 other alts and mains and be sitting on tons of cash – It’s not an option for all but for some players it might be a non-issue to buy gear for some of the slots.

    Grinding 50K honor is definately not something for everybody – If you really hate PVP then it will take you ages, but if you love PVP or just do PVP regularly for some fun – The new random queue for dungeons which give you extra honor makes girinding 50K honor something which can be done in a single day if you focus on it – And again getting the 264 cloak isn’t a requirement but its an option to be aware of and an option that might be faster than being lucky to have the other cloak drop for you.

    Some of the items on your list are spot on – Felgalcier bolter, Barbed Ymirheim Choker, Orca Hunter’s Harpoon, Belt of rotted fingernails are all very good items that you should try to get whether or not you get tier 9 – And if you don’t have money to buy gear for some slots then Essence of suffering, Spiked Toestompers and Band of stained souls are also items you should try to get.
    But there is no argument against getting tier 9 will be faster and a much much better option.

    My best advice would be to start the day with queuing up for Forge of souls first and then Pit of saron and when done with those places you start queuing for randoms – The reason to do it this way is that if you queue up for randoms first then you might be unlucky and get into one of the ICC dungeons and then you can’t queue up for that dungeon again since it will be locked – By doing it my way you get to do the two ICC dungeons(You wont have access to HoR untill you got just about every piece on the list) at least once and if your a bit lucky you might get into them again when queuing for randoms(The random tool ignores the locks on dungeons you have done so if your lucky you might get into Pit of Saron 3 times in a row or more).

    Sorry for the wall of text :)

  6. I’ve said that the two piece tier 9 set bonus is very good – Just to understand how good it is – If you are able to do ToC25 and upgrade two pieces of tier 9 to the 245 version the set bonus will be so good that untill you get at least full tier 10 with two pieces in the 264 version you it will probably be a dps loss to break the set bonus.

  7. My post may not have been clear but I’m in no way trying to put together a best in slot list. It’s more or less a guide for people who may be on limited game time to try and catch up.

    On my server at least there’s nothing quick about the emblem grind. Unless you can find a tank to queue with you can expect to wait 15-20mins to get in to a random heroic. If you can only afford to play for a couple of hours a day, you’d be lucky to run three random dungeons in two hours. In that case if you’ve just dinged, queuing for the normal versions of Forge of Souls – and following the quest chain through Pit of Saron and Hall of Reflection – is a good place to start. On my server the queues for the normal versions of these dungeons is faster than queuing for heroics. You can also farm these instances as many times as you like per day, all the while having the chance at upgrades and the bosses also drop emblems of triumph. A few runs through the normal versions will have you decked out in fairly decent iLvl219 gear and ready to hit the heroic versions.

    At the end of the day though, it comes down to whatever works for you, and what you have time for. Grinding emblems and honor is not for everyone. Personally I can’t be bothered spending too much time grinding and spending gold on gear that I know I’ll ultimately be replacing as soon as I start setting foot into ICC10/25.

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