My baby hunter recently ding’d 77 so it’s now time for me start thinking about life at level 80. When Darkbrew hit 80 it was the start of a long journey running heroics and working on Northrend reputations.
Having leveled a hunter to 80 once you would think this might be a rinse and repeat, but patch 3.2 changes everything.
Level 80 Day One
One of the first things I’m going to do is head over to the Argent Tournament and start running Trial of the Champion normal mode. I’m surprised they didn’t just have us equip our lances and drop a pinata down from the ceiling for us to whack.
In normal mode there are four nice pieces of gear that drop, and there’s no lockout for normal which means you can run this over and over again until you get everything you need.
- Scale Boots of the Outlander
- Banner of Victory
- Belt of Merciless Cruelty
- Wristguards of Ceaseless Regret
I will also start running this in heroic mode. Heroic drops ilevel 219 gear which is equivalent to Ulduar (10). In fact I think there might be an upgrade or two for Darkbrew in here (sad I know). There are six pieces of hunter gear in heroic. Remember that heroic does a have a lockout so you can only do this once a day.
- Chestguard of the Ravenous Fiend
- Gloves of the Dark Exile
- Ancient Pendant of Arathor
- True-aim Long Rifle
- Pauldrons of Concealed Loathing
In addition to Trial of the Champion I’ll also run some other heroics for gear and badges. Utgarde Keep is still good for the Plunderer’s Helmet and Drake Mounted Crossbow (you can’t expect the True-aim Long Rifle to drop right away).
Nexus is also another good one for the Sphere of Red Dragon’s Blood. There are other three other items that drop in here too, not to mention it’s a 5-badge run.
Now that people are starting to out gear the earlier raid content I’ll probably try and find an Obsidian Sanctum (25) run. The Hyaline Helm of the Sniper and Fury of the Five Flights (lol, good luck getting that one) are nice drops.
Now if you’re flush with gold you can hit the Auction House and pick-up some very nice items. Some of these won’t come cheap, and you’ll find it’s a mix of entry level to “best in slot”.
- Titanium Impact Band
- Band of the Kirin Tor
- Inscribed Band of the Kirin Tor
- Etched Band of the Kirin Tor
- Signet of Edward the Odd
Before you start spending all that gold keep in mind that you’ll be earning conquest badges and there’s a lot of nice gear that you’ll be able to get quite easily. For example, The Broach of the Wailing Night only costs 19 badges.
Then and Now
So how does hitting level 80 today compare to hitting level 80 back in December? It’s quite nice actually. I went ahead and plugged some information into Zeherah’s Hunter DPS Analyzer (you can here an interview with her here) and compared Ranchero (pre-raid) with Darkbrew (pre-raid and current). Here are the bottom line dps results.
As you can see gearing up just from Trial of the Champion and a few affordable AH pieces puts you ahead of where you could have been before 3.2.
For details on how I spec’d and geared each one you can click on the links below. Darkbrew pre-raid matches the gear I had when I first stepped into Naxxramas. Darkbrew current is my current gear, and Ranchero is geared in items that I thought I could reasonably get in a short amount of time.
It’s a 3.2 world and we’re living in it!