How to reach ilvl 710 to get your #FriendshipMoose
You’ve probably heard about #FriendshipMoose (see FriendshipMoose.com, AKA the best domain name ever, for full details). If you haven’t, it’s a group gathering players from across World of Warcraft to gear up for and run Heroic Archimonde in order to get their own Grove Warden mount. However, to tackle Archimonde — runs which, for most factions and regions, will be kicking off at the start of the year — players are asked to gear up to an ilvl of 710. If you’re a casual player who’s looked into your gearing options, you may have begun to despair as most of the gear at that level requires raid participation above the easily accessible LFR (for reference, Normal HFC drops ilvl 695 to 705 gear).
However, there’s a way to reach this level without jumping into a raiding guild — though it will still take time and dedication to reach that gear level. Of course you can work with friends or #FriendshipMoose on Twitter to find groups gearing up together in Mythic dungeons (which drop gear ranging from ilvl 685 to ilvl 725), you can get a lot done on your own, too… and even get over ilvl 710 without stepping foot in a single Mythic dungeon or raids beyond LFR.
So let’s walk through gearing up for Heroic Archimonde for those players who aren’t serious raiders.
Gear upgrades and you
Before we dive in it’s important to know the basics of gear upgrades, as they’re what will help you hit that magical number of 710. There are two types of upgrades you’ll run into, though they aren’t available on all pieces of gear.
- Warforged, which randomly adds 6 ilvls to a piece of dropped, non-tier gear. Though this is completely random chance, it’s worth running things again in hopes of getting something Warforged to boost your ilvl as you go — even the small bonus Warforged items give you can be worth it. (And since you’ll be doing runs earn Valor anyway, why not hope for Warforged gear, too?)
- Valor upgrades, which let you do two 5 ilvl upgrades some items for 250 Valor each. You can upgrade items from Hellfire Citadel, Supreme Lord Kazzak, and Mythic dungeons, as well as crafted and baleful (Tanaan Jungle) gear. For more on getting and spending Valor, this guide from Wowhead lays everything out.
Now let’s take a look at your gear options.
The (almost) non-raider’s guide to reaching ilvl 710
First off, let it be said that while this is can be accomplished by players who aren’t in dedicated raiding groups, it’s not something that can be done without time and effort. No matter your situation, you’ll have to put some work in to get to the gear level to get your own moose mount. While I’ll outline a gearing path to get you to 710 without the challenge of running Mythics or high-end raids, it’s one that will take time — and a ton of both Apexis Crystals and Valor. However, it’s only one way to reach that ilvl, and anything you can do to supplement it will help you get there in a less costly (and, likely, quicker) fashion.
We’ll start here, though, and then go into how you might find gear elsewhere to help you along the way.
The Legendary Ring
I have to admit, I gave up on this quest some while back out of sheer boredom — but when working your way up to ilvl 710, it’s one of the best options for anyone who doesn’t want to go beyond LFR-level raiding. The ilvl of the ring, once you’ve completed the legendary quest chain, is 735, which gives you a good start towards your goal.
Wherever you are in the quest chain, this guide on Wowhead will walk you through the rest. If you have not yet started the quest, expect to spend some time on it — though you’ll enjoy a lot of story for Warlords of Draenor as you get through it. You’ll have to run some Heroic dungeons, collect quite a few Apexis Crystals, and run LFR Highmaul, Blackrock Foundry, and Hellfire Citadel for various drops. This is not an overnight endeavor — Chapter 1 may be done in an afternoon, Chapter 2 will take about 5 weeks, Chapter 3 will take about 12 weeks, and Chapter 4’s time commitment varies as it relies on the random drop rate of Tomes of Chaos (but, again, expect a number of weeks).
Though it’s time-consuming to get max level crafted gear, gear upgraded to stage 6 — done by crafting the item itself and then crafting upgrade items to improve its ilvl — is ilvl 715, slightly above our 710 goal. You can equip up to three pieces of Warlords of Draenor crafted gear and even if you don’t have the crafting professions yourself, you can buy the gear on the auction house (though expect to spend plenty of gold to do so).
Crafted gear can also be Valor upgraded, so for a total of 500 Valor each (or 1500 for all three pieces) you’ll have ilvl 725 gear.
Baleful gear from Tanaan Jungle
Baleful gear in Tanaan jungle can come from random drops or be bought for 5000 Apexis Crystals each (for armor) or 10,000 Apexis Crystals each (for weapons, with no shields or off-hands available). Baleful gear starts at ilvl 650 but its maximum level is random, ranging from 650 to 695. Regardless of what level your gear starts at, though, you can upgrade it to ilvl 695 by purchasing an Empowered Apexis Fragment for 20,000 Apexis Crystals — a price that will make you glad for those Apexis bonus events. Once you’ve taken this 695 gear and Valor upgraded it (again, for a total of 500 Valor per piece), you’ll have ilvl 705 gear, which is very close to your goal — in this case, close enough.
You’re likely to find quite a lot of Baleful gear as you work your way through Tanaan, but you’ll want to save up Apexis Crystals to buy or upgrade any gear you don’t get to drop (or drop at the right ilvl).
With your legendary ring, three pieces of fully upgraded crafted gear, and the rest of your gear slots filled with fully upgraded Baleful gear, you’ll reach ilvl 711. Congratulations — you’ve done it!
Other gearing options
Okay, so you’re not thrilled by the idea of collecting Apexis Crystals (or working on the legendary ring quest) forever. I completely understand. There are a number of other gearing options that you can use to get your ilvl up.
Getting close but not quite there
Your best “close but not quite” option is Hellfire Citadel LFR gear, which can drop at up to ilvl 685 — and be Warforged up to ilvl 691 and then be Valor upgraded up to ilvl 701. If you’re working on getting your legendary ring, you’ll run into some of this gear anyway (and you’ll probably be running Hellfire often enough to get at least some Warforged pieces). While I don’t recommend immediately Valor upgrading it, if you’ve gotten to the end of your gearing options and don’t have any better pieces, a Valor upgraded HFC LFR piece may be close enough to get you to your target ilvl.
On top of running LFR, you can get LFR gear corresponding to your current level of raid activity — so LFR HFC if you’ve been doing LFR HFC — from both follower missions and shipyard missions in your garrison. It’s worth doing this for an extra chance at Warforged gear, and it won’t cost you anything but Garrison resources and oil — neither of which you’ll use in your hunt for other gear.
For those of you who prefer PVP, season 2 gear can now be bought with honor and is ilvl 700 in PVE. Because all you need to get it is grind out honor, it’s easily accessible even to non-PVPers — and it’s a quick way to boost any low-ilvl items you have equipped. Though it can’t be Warforged or Valor upgraded, it again gets you close to your ilvl target.
Gear options over 710
Still, to get over ilvl 710 you’ll need gear that’s over ilvl 710, especially if you’re relying on slightly underlevel Baleful or HFC LFR gear to fill slots. Here’s where you can find it, listed in order of least effort to most effort — though your opinion on the effort level may vary.
- Buy BOE Hellfire Citadel gear on the auction house. Normal HFC drops slightly under-level ilvl 695 belts, Heroic HFC drops ilvl 710 belts, and Mythic HFC drops ilvl 725 belts. Expect these to be pricey investments, but they can fill a single armor slot with a very solid piece of gear which you can then Valor upgrade for an additional 10 ilvls.
- Get Normal HFC gear by completing Timewalking bonus event quests. Whenever there’s a Timewalking event going on, you can run 5 Timewalking dungeons to receive an Iron Fleet Treasure Chest containing Normal HFC gear ranging from ilvl 690 to 705, which can be both Warforged and Valor upgraded. Though Timewalking doesn’t happen every week, it’s worth taking advantage of Timewalking quests — for Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm — when they pop up.
- Join groups for Supreme Lord Kazzak, who drops ilvl 705 cloaks, necks, trinkets, and wrists, which can be both Warforged up to ilvl 711 and Valor upgraded up to ilvl 721 . When Kazzak is up, you can find groups for him in the Custom Group Finder (not LFR) and kills are often quick.
- Run Mythic dungeons. While Mythic 5-player dungeons are tough content that you must find a dedicated group to run — they cannot be organized through the LFG tool — they’re certainly easier to organize than larger raids and they offer you the opportunity to get drops from ilvl 685 to 725 (though this is, again, random). The gear can be both Warforged up to ilvl 731 and Valor upgraded up to ilvl 741.
- Get Heroic HFC gear by running Mythics. If you’re already running Mythics, this is an easy addition for extra gear — during Draenor dungeon events, the quest Emissary of War is available, asking you to complete four Mythic dungeons. The reward is a piece of Heroic HFC gear which will range from ilvl 705 to 720 and can be both Warforged up to ilvl 726 and Valor upgraded up to ilvl 736.
Whatever combination of methods you use to reach that magical ilvl of 710, it’s possible even if you’re not in a hardcore raiding or PVPing guild. #FriendshipMoose is within your reach, so go get it!
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