Making heirloom purchases count in WoW

In World of Warcraft, it’s economical to know which heirloom items can be stretched over multiple characters. Spreading heirlooms around allows one to potentially save hundreds of Champion’s Seals, Stone Keeper Shards, and Badges of Heroism. It also helps to know which enchants will make these hand-me-down heirlooms the best that they can be, resulting in more powerful lower level characters without the need to buy a complete heirloom set for each one. This will become even more important when World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is released, as the re-designed zones will provide a new incentive to play through the game with a fresh character.

Spell Power Keeps Cloth Economical for all Spell Casters

The cloth heirloom armors are simply the most economical heirloom buy around. They cover the three cloth-only classes (priest, mage, and warlock), spell casting druids and shaman, and even holy paladins because all of these classes are dependent on spell power. The cloth pieces boast similar statistics to the leather and mail pieces, which are more or less exclusive to druids and shaman. Once a leather or mail piece is used for one of these classes, it may never be used again. Also, the experience point bonus from the shoulders can be enjoyed by all classes since all classes can equip cloth armor. The added armor is largely unnecessary because a caster’s style of gameplay emphasizes playing keep away and blasting the monster to bits before it reaches you, which makes caster armor unnecessary for leveling.

As heirloom weapons go, one can’t get much better than a Dignified Headmaster’s Charge or Grand Staff or Jordan. There are no heirloom off-hand items or shields, so though the Devout Aurastone Hammer or Blessed Hammer of Grace are not bad buys, fewer caster classes can make use one-handed maces. The only class that is forced to use one of the hammers is a holy paladin.

Finally, because spell power is such a great stat for spell casters, it’s hard to beat a pair of Discerning Eyes of the Beast as far as trinkets go.

Best Buys for Non-Spell Casters

Heirloom armor for non spell-casters won’t cover as many classes in one item, but bargains still exist. It’s recommended you skip the mail pieces entirely and instead purchase the Leather pieces because they suit rogues, hunters, feral druids, and enhancement shaman. The loss of armor will only be a concern for an enhancement shaman, and the loss in intellect for shaman and hunters can be made up with non-heirloom gear. The plate pieces are the way to go for Warriors, Paladins, and Death Knights because these three classes rely on strength for attack power and also need the extra armor.

Heirloom weapons for the non-spell casters don’t stretch as far as their spell power laden counterparts but can still be economical. A pair of enchanted Balanced Heartseekers can pull triple-duty for a rogue, hunter, and post level 40 enhancement shaman. A Bloodied Arcanite Reaper is a solid weapon for a death knight, warrior, or paladin and also suits an enhancement shaman before dual-wielding becomes available at 40.

The only melee class that gets the shaft is the Feral Druid, as the Repurposed Lava Dredger is only useful to him and a pre-40 Enhancement Shaman. It’s a decent weapon for Warriors, Paladins, and Death Knights, but it’s not nearly as ideal as the two-handed strength based offerings.

Choose a ranged weapon and trade it between your physical characters as needed. There’s not a huge stat difference between the Upgraded Dwarven Hand Cannon and the Charmed Ancient Bone Bow, so purchase the weapon you prefer and freely trade it between your warrior, hunter, and rogue.

Not unlike the spell casters, two of one trinket is ideal. For physical damage dealers, two Swift Hands of Justice are handy for speedy advancement and quick health recovery while leveling.

Choosing the Correct Enchantment

Weapons should be enchanted with the best possible enchant that doesn’t have a level requirement, as heirloom items will not accept enchants with a level requirement. Because these enchants are from the original World of Warcraft, they may be difficult to find or expensive, but if one intends to pass their heirlooms to multiple characters the added boost to your leveling characters is well-suited.

Generally the best enchant will be [Enchant Weapon – Crusader] for a two handed heirloom wielded by Warriors, Paladins, or Death Knights because the strength this enchant’s proc provides is ideal for these classes. [Enchant Weapon – Agility] is ideal for one-handed heirlooms wielded by enhancement shaman, rogues, and hunters because all three classes receive attack power and crit from agility. [Enchant 2HWeapon – Agility] is ideal for two-handed weapons wielded by enhancement shaman and feral druids for the same reasons that agility is ideal for rogues and hunters, and [Enchant Weapon – Spellpower] is excellent for caster classes.

Regarding armor, there are no easy to obtain shoulder heirloom enchants. The chest pieces can generally be enchanted with [Enchant Chest – Greater Stats].

Preparing for Cataclysm

If you’re rolling in seals, badges or shards, then one may prefer to simply buy the highest armor class heirlooms for each character. However, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is just around the corner, and if you’re strapped for time or currency a lone heirloom item can go a long way if planned correctly.

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