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WoW Wednesday: How To Quickly Gear Your Alts

With new Allied Races on the horizon for Battle for Azeroth, there are certainly more than enough excuses to work on alternate characters or alts. Some players like a break in their current gameplay style, others may want to see how another class fits their raid composition. Perhaps you would like to see how a newer melee class holds up with your Arena team? The main hurdle for every player in World of Warcraft’s end-game, no matter the class, is of course gear. End game performance isn’t entirely about skill (or how hard your Paladin friend can hit the buttons with their face) but instead how your stats are affected by your equipable gear. This week we will be diving into some of the fastest methods to gear your alts and get them ready for raiding.

With a freshly level-capped 120 character, your gear may be relatively hit-or-miss in terms of its quality. Most players who quest through Kul Tiras and Zandalar will be outfitted in questing greens and blues, barely breaching item-level 300. The first step for freshly dinged players is to begin hitting Normal and Heroic level dungeons and scoring some loot off of the bosses contained within. Most players may find themselves easily falling into Normals, as Heroic not only has a higher item-level requirement for entry but a much higher difficulty with the launch of Season 2 in Battle for Azeroth. This is perhaps the best method to begin arming your hero of Azeroth, but one can quickly accelerate their growth with the newest gameplay introduced into WoW.

At item-level 320, your character will unlock access to Warfronts. Locked to a rotating cycle for each faction, Warfronts feature dynamic battlefields besieged by both the Horde and the Alliance in a struggle for dominance. Each Warfront cycles through different phases, working through four separate steps that are vital to leveling your character.

The first, the Contribution Phase, is locked to your specific region (ie. only US players contribute to the US Horde War Effort in Darkshore). Each day three daily quests will be open that will require profession turn-ins which reward a large amount of Azerite. These quests are vital for leveling up your Heart of Azeroth, which will, in turn, unlock more traits in your Azerite Gear. This means that as your Heart’s item level increases, so will your gear as you unlock their central Azerite Traits. This contribution phase lasts for anywhere from three to five days.

After the Contribution Phase is the Assault Phase. This is the most vital part of gearing up your character, as every successful Warfront will reward higher item-level gear, as well as a Heroic-Raid Tier quality item once per Warfront Cycle. For the Battle for Stromgarde, players with item-level 320 gear can enter the warfront and receive 350 gear for winning. At ilvl 335, players can enter the Battle for Darkshore and receive item-level 375 gear. Both warfronts are repeatable and share separate cycles, meaning that shortly after completing Stromgarde several times, you’ll quickly be ready to step into Darkshore.

It’s also heavily recommended you start hitting Heroic Level Island Expeditions. Each week your Artifact Knowledge for the Heart of Azeroth grows, reducing how much Azerite you need to level it up. Heroic Expeditions not only give a sizable chunk of Azerite and contribute to the weekly quest for 2500 Azerite but also have a higher chance to drop Azerite-rewarding Quest Items.

With a large collection of Darkshore gear in your pockets and your Heart well on its way to healing Azeroth, you’ll finally be ready to step into higher-level content in the end-game. There are two feasible options for quickly amassing gear on top of regularly raiding; Mythic+ Dungeons and Rated PvP.

Mythic+ Dungeons are the most active end-game content in Battle For Azeroth. Due to their importance, they’re almost mandatory to complete at least one every week in order to maximize your gearing curve. Using a Mythic Keystone, players can enter increasingly difficult Battle for Azeroth dungeons in a time-attack mode. Completing dungeons with progressively higher keystones will result in greater rewards not only at the dungeon’s end but also in your Challenger’s Cache at the end of the week.

The biggest reward from the cache is Titan Residuum, a new currency introduced in Season 2. This Residuum can be turned into Ethereal vendors in Dazar’alor and Boralus for high-level gear, including specific ilvl 415 pieces to kit out your character. While you can also scrap Azerite Gear to earn Titan Residuum, it’s simply far more efficient to hit increasingly higher level Mythic+ dungeons. We detailed the progressive rewards and more about Mythic+ dungeons several weeks back.

Conversely, Rated Player vs. Player content also offers higher item level gear that, for some players, can quickly result in incredibly powerful rewards. While players can earn lower item level gear after winning Random Battlegrounds or Arena Skirmishes, Rated content offers higher-tier rewards more regularly. Winning in Arenas or Rated Battlegrounds can reward you with item level 380 gear in Season 2 well below titled ratings. Increasing your rating to 1400 can allow you to earn ilvl 390 gear after each match.

Winning organized PvP of any kind, whether it be Skirmishes, Random Battlegrounds or Rated Content will reward you with Conquest. Each week players can farm for a set piece of gear by gaining Conquest, scaling in power for each time you fill your Conquest bar. While this loot is preset, you know what you’re getting each week and can target specific pieces for a slow but gradual gain. Players who haven’t completed any of their Conquest Bar over the Season can fill it up multiple times each week, using it as a catch-up tool to gear their characters. After filling their Conquest Bar (or earning 500 Conquest) players will also unlock a weekly chest at your War Headquarters. You can check out our guide on Rated PvP to get an idea of how item levels scaled in Season One and how they work in Season Two.

Last, but certainly not least, there is, of course, the Raiding Scene. With the release of the Battle for Dazar’alor, both Heroic and Mythic Uldir are now far easier to do with a pick-up group due to overgearing. Heroic Uldir still rewards item-level 370 gear and can be used as a stepping stone if you find your luck lacking between Mythic+ and Rated PvP. Of course, once you’ve hit the big-time, you can also step into the siege on Zandalar’s shores and pillage its bosses for item level 400 gear in Heroic BFDA.

But these are just our suggestions. How do you gear up your alts, or even your first main character, in Battle for Azeroth? Let us know down below!

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About Phil DeMerchant

A proud member of the Horde trapped in a puny Alliance body, Phil's been playing World of Warcraft for longer than his on-again off-again romance with Dark Souls. When he's not fighting through the land of Azeroth, he's crafting his next investigative YouTube video on the Games Industry, putting his years of experience to use discussing ethics in media.