How to gear up in WoW: Shadowlands

"Now we can finally play the game."

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Ding. Level 60—you made it. But what’s next? It’s time to gear up in World of Warcraft.

Blizzard has gone back to basics in Shadowlands, removing random bonuses like Titanforging and Warforging and replacing them with straightforward item drops. But while the system is more streamlined than the previous expansion, gearing up for end-game content is no walk in the park. 

Here’s how to efficiently gear up in Shadowlands and get ready for raiding (or arena).

Crafting (item level 151 to 168)

Blacksmithing for plate-wearers, Leatherworking for mail and leather-wearers, and Tailoring for cloth-wearers offer a wide range of item level 165 gear. For instance, there are cuffs, footwraps, cords, handwraps, cloaks, cowls, tunics, trousers, and mantles up for grabs for Tailors. The stats might not be ideal for your class, but the items are perfect for getting started.

To acquire the items, you can either level up the professions, collect materials and craft them yourself, or buy them from the auction house. At this stage of the expansion, all of the base crafted items are fairly inexpensive, especially on highly populated realms.

Normal, Heroic, and Mythic dungeon runs (item level 158 to 184)

If you haven’t reached item level 157 by this point, you can run Normal dungeons to catch up. In addition to getting a few extra pieces of gear, this will help you nail down the mechanics and get ready for Heroic and Mythic.

Heroic dungeons offer item level 171 gear, while standard Mythic dungeons drop item level 184 items. Both Heroic and Mythic dungeons are fairly easy to complete, despite the item level requirement. You should aim to step into Mythics as soon as possible. A day or two of Heroic dungeon grinding will likely be all you need.

Your first legendary (item level 190 to 235)

Your Covenant questline will lead you straight to Torghast, Tower of the Damned. In this endless dungeon, you’ll earn a new currency called Soul Ash. You can only earn a certain about of Soul Ash a week, but once you collect 1,250, you’ll be able to create your first Legendary. 

There are four ranks of Legendaries, determined by base items created by the Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, and Jewelcrafting professions. The lowest rank offers an item level 190 Legendary, while the highest gives you an item level 235 Legendary. 

You should ideally aim to craft an item level 235 Legendary. But if you lack the resources, there’s nothing wrong with item level 190. You can always gradually upgrade your Legendary week by week until you have enough Soul Ash to create your best-in-slot.

Here’s everything you need to know about crafting Legendary items in Shadowlands.

Mythic+ (item level 187 to 210)

Running Mythic+ dungeons is one of the best ways to gear up in Shadowlands. The lowest keystone (+2) dungeons offer item level 187 gear, while the highest (+15) award item level 210.

It will ultimately take you a considerable amount of time to acquire the gear and knowledge required to run +15 and higher dungeons, but that’s the nature of the game. You should aim to take Mythic+ step by step, slowly improving your gear while you develop a greater understanding of your class. Knowing how to play your class is essential. But you also need to learn the ins and outs of each of the game’s eight dungeons to shine in Mythic+.

Valor points (item level 184 to 220)

Introduced in Patch 9.0.5, Valor points help players catch up with gear. You can earn Valor from completing Callings from your Covenant or running Mythic+ dungeons. 

A Rare Calling will award 35 Valor and an Epic Calling will give you 50 Valor. You can also earn 135 Valor by completing any Mythic+ dungeon, no matter the keystone level, though. This means you can grind lower dungeons to max out your Valor. The cap starts at 5,000 points but increases by 750 each week. 

At Oribos in Covenant Halls, you can hand in Valor to upgrade your Mythic+ gear from item level 184 all the way to item level 220. The first five ranks (up to item level 197) have no requirements, but you’ll need certain achievements to progress further. 

RankItem level

For item level 200 gear, complete all Shadowlands dungeons at Mythic level five or higher. For item level 207 gear, complete Mythic dungeons at level 10 or higher. And for item level 213 and higher, complete Mythic dungeons at level 15 or higher. 

  • 250 Valor: Shield, offhand, ring, cloak, bracer, neck
  • 400 Valor: Trinket, belt, shoulders, gloves, boots
  • 475 Valor: Helm, legs, chest
  • 500 Valor: One-handed agility/strength weapon
  • 750 Valor: One-handed intellect Weapon
  • 1,000 Valor: Two-handed weapon

Castle Nathria (item level 187 to 233)

The first raid of the expansion has four difficulties. There’s LFR, Normal, Heroic, and Mythic. Running Mythic Castle Nathria will almost certainly require a guild, but you should be able to run LFR, Normal, and even Heroic with a pick-up group.

DifficultyFirst eight bosses item levelLast two bosses item level

The Great Vault (item level 200 to 226)

After each weekly reset—on Tuesday for North America and Wednesday for Europe—the Great Vault, which is found in Oribos, will offer a choice of items based on objectives you completed over the course of the previous week. The more raid bosses defeated, Mythic dungeons completed, and honor earned, the better your rewards will be. 

The item level of these rewards is based on the difficulty of the content you completed. If you ran all 10 bosses in Castle Nathria on Mythic, for example, you’ll have three random items from the raid to choose from. 

If you have the time, patience, and skill, you should aim to complete 10 bosses in Castle Nathria, 10 Mythic keystone dungeons, and earn 6,250 honor from rated battlegrounds or arena. At the end of the week, this will give you the widest choice of items. 

Defeat three raid bossesComplete one Mythic+ dungeonEarn 1,250 Honor Points from Rated PvP
Defeat six raid bossesComplete four Mythic+ dungeonEarn 2,500 Honor Points from Rated PvP
Defeat nine raid bossesComplete 10 Mythic+ dungeonEarn 6,250 Honor Points from Rated PvP