How to prepare for WoW: Battle for Azeroth endgame content

Image via WowHead

Image via WowHead

So, you’ve reached the new level cap and cured Kul Tiras or Zandalar of most of their ills. Your faction has heralded you as a hero, and you probably feel ready to take on the world. But if you’re sitting in greens and blues from quests and normal mode dungeons, know this: G’huun the Blood God is laughing at you. He’s been telling all of his eldritch pals how he’s going to eat you for breakfast. Luckily, you have this guide on your side.

Here’s how to get prepared for Battle for Azeroth’s endgame content and show G’huun the folly of his mirth.

When is the raid available?

If you want to start running the Uldir raid the second it becomes available, you’ll want to be kitted out by Tuesday, September 4. That’s when the Normal and Heroic versions open up. One week later, on September 11, Mythic opens up and the first wing becomes available in Looking for Raid (LFR).

If you’re new to raiding, the difficulty progression goes, from easiest to hardest: LFR, Normal, Heroic, then Mythic.

If you’re a casual player who just wants to see the story, you can just wait for each of the wings to open up in LFR. That difficulty mode usually doesn’t require the best gear or even the best tactics, though the rewards are also not as powerful. But if you’re looking to raid Normal or higher, going in blind with whatever you happened to be wearing when you hit 120 isn’t going to cut it.

What do we need? 

Most raiding guilds I’ve interacted with are recommending that members looking to run Normal Uldir should aim for an average item level (ilvl) around 340. This exceeds what you’re going to get from World Quests, Island Expeditions, and Normal or Heroic 5-man dungeons. So while those sources can be good for getting gear that will bridge the gap between a fresh 120 and running, say, Mythic dungeons, it won’t get you where you need to be for Uldir, necessarily.

The main ways to get ilvl 340+ gear before you head into Uldir are faction reputation and Mythic/Mythic+ 5-man dungeons. World Bosses and Warfronts also provide 340+ gear, but are not releasing until the 4th—the same day Uldir opens. So if you want to be prepared ahead of time, you’ll have to rely on the first two methods.

Champions of Azeroth reputation 

Getting to Exalted with the Champions of Azeroth faction is the simplest and easiest (if a bit time-consuming) way to get some 340+ gear. Doing so will allow you to buy an ilvl 355 Azerite armor piece and also grant an additional 45 ilvls to your Heart of Azeroth (15 each at Friendly, Honored, and Revered). The main way to rep up with the faction is to do Champions of Azeroth world quests, which unlock after you’ve completed your faction’s main storyline on Kul Tiras or Zandalar. These award 75 rep each. Additionally, once you hit Friendly, you can pick up a Champions of Azeroth Contract from the Auction House (or make one yourself if you’re a scribe), which grants you 10 Champions of Azeroth rep for any Battle for Azeroth world quest, regardless of what faction it’s for.

If you’re racing the clock, keep in mind that the Darkmoon Faire begins on September 2, and riding the carousel or putting on a Darkmoon Top Hat before you go run dailies can give you a +10% bonus to reputation gains (though the two do not stack).

Other Factions: The other four factions available to you (Storm’s Wake, 7th Legion, Proudmoore Admiralty, and Order of Embers for Alliance, or Honorbound, Talanji’s Expedition, The Voldunai, and Zandalari Empire for Horde) also sell a single ilvl 350 piece each when you reach Exalted.

Mythic Dungeons

Running baseline Mythic 5-mans awards ilvl 340 gear, scaling all the way up to ilvl 370 at Mythic 10+. Yes, that means it’s possible to gear up to the same ilvl as a Heroic Uldir raider just by doing 5-man dungeons this expansion. While it is possible to run these over and over to get more high ilvl gear from end-of-dungeon drops, the only way to continue earning high ilvl Azerite armor is from the weekly chests, which are now located in your faction’s capital near the board where you decide which zone in Kul Tiras or Zandalar to pursue next—Harbormaster’s Office for the Alliance and Great Seal for the Horde.

The ilvl of the gear you’ll get from weekly chests is based on the highest level Mythic keystone you completed in the last week. If you completed a Mythic 2 or 3 dungeon, your chest can contain gear up to ilvl 355 and a chance at an Azerite armor piece of ilvl 340 (upgradable to 345 by leveling up your Heart of Azeroth and unlocking the center ring). This scales up to ilvl 380, with a chance at ilvl 385 Azerite armor, if you completed a Mythic 10+ dungeon.

Azerite armor of ilvl 340+ is especially nifty, because it contains an extra ring of traits designed to give you a bonus based on your role (damage, healer, or tank), many of which can be quite useful in high-end content.

If you’re new to Mythic+ and the concept of keystones, this guide from Wowhead explains how to get them and what they do (though as of this writing, it has not been updated for Battle for Azeroth).

Playing catch-up 

If you’re reading this after September 4 or just don’t care about hitting Uldir on day one, you have a couple other options for gearing up.

World Bosses: After September 4, raid-caliber bosses will start to spawn in the overworld for us to take on. If things work like they did in Legion, a different world boss will be active every week, and defeating them can reward loot up to ilvl 355.

Arathi Highlands Warfront: If your faction has control of the Arathi Highlands Warfront (also unlocking September 4) which alternates between Alliance and Horde, you get a chance to earn some really good gear. Completing the 20-man Battle for Stromgarde scenario gives you an ilvl 370 drop. Killing the other faction’s Azerite war machine world boss can earn you another ilvl 370 drop. The world quest to kill 20 of the opposing faction’s NPCs grants an ilvl 340 drop. Finally, you can also rack up some 340s as random drops from rare spawns of the opposite faction, though each individual rare can only drop one such item per week.

LFR Uldir: Once the LFR version of Uldir opens up, it will also drop ilvl 340 gear, and will be clearable with a much lower gear barrier. Just be aware that when you’re ready to make the jump from LFR to Normal mode, you will probably need to learn some additional mechanics on trash packs and bosses, since LFR usually has its player skill requirements tuned down as well.

That should be enough to get you going. Thanks to Wowhead and their Battle for Azeroth gearing guide, which was very helpful in researching this article and can provide a bit more detail on some of the things we covered here. You may also want to check out their guide on Azerite traits to learn which ones work best for your spec in endgame, and their guide on World Bosses to find out which ones will drop which pieces.