Note:This article is now out-of-date. It does not take into account new items from 3.1 or the 3.1 changes to mana regen or Restoration druid abilities. (edited 3/8/09)
I see the question of what items are actually best-in-slot for one class or another come up time and again on forums and blogs alike. These lists can come in pretty handy. Of course, at the current difficulty of content, you don’t really need your best-in-slot, but without something to strive for, where would we be?
I have worked to keep this list mostly leather, but where there’s a cloth contender I’ve tried to mention it as well. My criteria of judgment are purely the relative stats of the item. The item level serves me as a guide, but is never a consideration in its own right.
Valorous Dreamwalker Headpiece, from Kel’Thuzad 25
This helm, featuring both Spirit and Mp5, is most certainly the best piece in our tier set–it’s a shame, though, that there are other good headpieces as well.
Hood of Rationality, from Malygos 25
If your loot rules allow you to pick up some cloth, here’s a piece to consider.
Headpiece of Reconciliation, from Sartharion 25, 2 Drakes
This should be our best-in-slot, but right now it isn’t. It’s a level 226 item, but the stats don’t match expectations. It could be corrected in the future, but I’m not holding my breath.
Necklace of the Glittering Chamber, from Malygos 10
Spaulders of Catatonia, from Malygos 25
These shoulders have the best stats, but be careful. If Nourish is in your rotation at all, you will want to keep your 4 pc bonus. If not, have at it with the non-set pieces.
Valorous Dreamwalker Spaulders, from Loatheb 25
This item is well-balanced and very useful for filling out the set bonus. However, it’s clearly inferior to the Spaulders of Catatonia.
Cape of the Unworthy Wizard, from Kel’Thuzad 25
There’s no argument here. This cloak is far out ahead of its competitors, a must-have if you can get it.
Valorous Dreamwalker Robe, from 4 Horsemen 25
I’m a big advocate of wearing leather while I can, and this item is quite good. I also like my set bonuses, even though I don’t get much out of the boost to Nourish.
Blanketing Robes of Snow, from Malygos 25
If your guild gets enough of these to outfit the priests, by all means, add this to your set.
Unsullied Cuffs, from Sartharion 2D
These may be cloth, but they are my runaway favorite, much better than our leather options.
Bands of the Great Tree, From Emblems of Valor
These bracers are probably the best in leather, but they are not significantly different from the more easily accessible Swarm Bindings, from Anub’Rekan 25. I wouldn’t spend the emblems for them myself.
Valorous Dreamwalker Handguards, Sartharion 25
There’s no contest here. This is a nice, balanced item that will help you get your bonuses.
Unravelling Strands of Sanity, from Malygos 25
I was very lucky to pick up this little beauty on our second Malygos kill. There’s no doubt about it–this belt is by far the best.
Valorous Dreamwalker Leggings, from Thaddius 25
Once again, the tier piece isn’t strictly ideal in terms of stats, but that has more to do with it being introductory gear than with it being the “wrong” piece to wear. I use these quite happily.
Leggings of Mortal Arrogance from Kel’Thuzad 25.
I like the stat allocation pretty well on these leggings. They’re better for priests than druids, though, and you should by all means let your clothies–maybe even dps–have them first.
Get these boots with your Emblems of Valor and never worry about it again. They are the runaway winner in this category.
Lost Jewel, Naxx 25 shared loot
The Spirit makes this item a good bet. I’m personally going for Spirit on both rings, but your budget may vary.
Band of Channeled Magic, Emblems of Valor
This item gets points for spirit and accessibility. A must-have.
Arguably, the real best in slot is the Loop of the Kirin Tor, but I’m never going to have 8,000g for a marginal upgrade.
Je’Tze’s Bell, BoE world drop
I love everything about this item except its price. I saw one last night on Ner’zhul that had bid up to 5,000. I don’t have that much total gold across all my toons. Here’s hoping I get lucky with a trash drop.
Forethought Talisman, Naxx 25 shared loot.
This one packs a huge spellpower punch, and the proc, while lackluster, will give me an extra 3,000 or so effective heals per fight.
As for other trinkets–the Spirit-World Glass is something I really want to pick up for myself just in case changes are made to mana regen. I like the idea of the Illustration of the Dragon Soul and the Majestic Dragon Figurine, though there’s probably a bit of a learning curve to keeping the effect up as much as possible.
Torch of Holy Fire, Kel’Thuzad 25
This one is a no-brainer, but good luck getting it. This is a very hot ticket item in almost every guild.
Matriarch’s Spawn, Maexxna.
Idol of Lush Moss, Emblems of Valor
There’s no real choice here. Lifebloom may be nerfed, but we still need it.
Make sure that you get your 2 pc T7.5 set bonus. You will continue to depend on your Lifebloom, particularly if you ever heal tanks. 4 pc T7 gives enough of a bonus to Nourish to make it your most efficient heal on a target who already has all your other hots, i.e., a tank. However, the 4 pc isn’t strictly necessary. You have plenty of mana regen for this level, and a less efficient Nourish won’t hurt at all. Efficiency will only be in play in a harder dungeon (Ulduar) or if the mana regen formula should be changed. If it’s only a factor in Ulduar, you probably won’t hang onto 4pc T7 for long anyway–you’ll be replacing it with T8.
Final Note: Introductory Gear
Remember, no matter how good your T7 gear is, we’re still in the first tier of Wrath content. If you look over the Resto druid items, there are many items with “wasted” stats like crit and haste. Don’t pull your leaves out over it. At this point, there are no real best in slots. Je’Tze’s Bell comes the closest, but even that may be replaced in Ulduar. I’m hoping that when we do start getting some T8 upgrades, the stats actually come closer to ideal.