Need to quickly gear up a new 120 in WoW? Here’s how to do it.
When you finally hit level 120, looking at the long list of all the things you could do next can be kind of overwhelming. First order of business is to get gear so you don’t get walloped by the next pack of mobs you see. There are several avenues for gearing up, and the fastest can depend on time, currency, and a whole bunch of RNG.
The key to gearing up is increasing your overall item level to hit the next threshold on scaled gear. The first hurdle is getting to 320 ilvl. If you only leveled through questing, you’re probably going to be in the 280 range. The fastest way to get through this is with crafted gear. However, the 340 crafted pieces can still be quite pricey unless you have alts with the professions. The next fastest is through dungeons, though that will vary based on your role and queue times.
Once you’re there, it’s just a process of filling in your lowest ilvl pieces and taking advantage of special events where higher ilvl gear is available.
Out in the world
World quests will reward gear that is based on your overall ilvl, and it scales as you go higher. This is the most consistent way of gearing up, since you can see what’s available on the map and you generally don’t have to wait for a group, but it’s also very slow if you only rely on it. It’s a good way to fill in missing slots if needed or grab items for off-specs.
Invasions and emissaries also offer a gear cache for completing the requisite world quests. These scale higher than the gear from world quests and are worth completing when they’re up. World bosses are available once per week and have static gear at 355 ilvl. This is great if you’re under 355, but not so great when you pass it.
Making and buying gear
Bind-on-equip gear is the fastest way of increasing your ilvl, but also the most expensive. For crafted gear, there are two versions crafters can make: 310 and 340 ilvl gear. If you’re fresh from hitting 120 and have the gold or materials to spare, the 310 gear can get you started. Otherwise, the 340 gear is good for overall value — it will last you longer — but can be expensive. If you have a lot of gold to spare and really want to gear out your brand new alt, you can buy one of the many raid BOEs on the Auction House.
Warfronts are very good for gear, since the main quests reward such a high ilvl piece. The catch is that it’s only a single piece per rotation, and the rotation makes them available every couple of weeks. You can get a super high ilvl gear piece from the quest, a middling piece of gear for completing the Warfront, and a chance at a third high piece when the Warfront world bosses are roaming the world zones.
- Queue at 320 ilvl
- Quest reward: 370 ilvl
- Awards 340 ilvl piece of gear at Warfront completion
- World boss has 370 ilvl loot (Doom’s Howl, The Lion’s Roar)
- Queue at 335 ilvl
- Quest reward: 400 ilvl
- Awards 355 ilvl piece of gear at Warfront completion
- World boss has 385 ilvl loot (Ivus the Decayed, Ivus the Forest Lord)
Dungeons and raids
Dungeons are the next quickest way of acquiring gear after crafted pieces, though you’re at the mercy of RNG and queue times. Tanks and healers will have a much faster queue time than DPS, making their experience more efficient. It all comes down to if personal loot RNG works in your favor. The plus is that you can farm Normal and Heroic to your heart’s content. Regular Mythics are limited to one shot at loot per week, but they are also very efficient for time and ilvl. Doing a Mythic +0 “world tour” — completing every dungeon on Mythic — is popular for this reason.
- Normal: 340 ilvl
- Heroic: 355 ilvl
- Mythic: 370 ilvl
Everyone knows the drill with Looking for Raid. The main hurdle is getting to the point where you can queue, and after that it’s just RNG for loot, and more RNG if you have bonus rolls.
- Queue at 320 ilvl
- Drops 340 ilvl gear
Battle of Dazar’alor
- Queue at 350 ilvl
- Drops 370 ilvl gear
If Timewalking is up, it is the most reliable and efficient in terms of ability to farm higher ilvl gear. You’re still at the mercy of RNG, however, and Timewalking dungeons can take longer, depending on how well your group remembers mechanics. Loot from Timewalking dungeons is 365 ilvl. If you get Azerite slot pieces (head, shoulders, chest), they’re straight stats and missing any Azerite Traits, but it’s still a way to boost ilvl to get into higher thresholds.
You can also buy 350 ilvl themed pieces of gear from the Timewalking vendors with Timewarped Badges. In addition, you can get a Normal mode raid piece of gear from the cache for completing the weekly quest of five Timewalking dungeons. Currently this is 385 ilvl from Battle of Dazar’alor, and will be updated whenever a new raid comes out. Timewalking is available every 3-4 weeks.
Hopefully this guide helps out any players returning to WoW or anyone leveling alts. This is mostly aimed at getting geared quickly to get into LFR. After that, it’s just a short step into higher raid modes and Mythic+ keys.
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