Item Level (ilvl) isn’t everything the game, but many groups are looking for a minimum item level and it can be very helpful to have a target in mind before going on your first raid, if nothing else then the additional stamina will allow you to survive raid mechanics more easily and live through some otherwise fatal mistakes.
I would recommend trying to get around 920 before going to Antorus if this is your first raid, you can do it at significantly lower item levels, but it does not take long to gear up before raiding and it can make the whole experience less stressful for your first attempt.
This guide is specifically for the end of the Legion expansion if your reading this in the future (Hi!) the theory might be useful but the specific places will not be. A lot of this will depend on specifically where you are starting, I find it best to think of it as a bracket model of what works for various ilvls.
There is some overlap here, and remember everything can warforge or titanforge so it is good to do content that drops lower ilvl’s if you have free time.
700 – 860: The Broken Isles
The priority here is to unlock all of the Argus campaign as quickly as possible.
At this point in the expansion should be pretty easy to rocket up to between 840 and 860 via the world quests and quest rewards. Queue for the highest level dungeon you can, and do those as often as possible for some gear upgrades and do the quest chains in front of you.
You can also find Nethershards on the Broken Shore to get some Dauntless Gear tokens.
This is an area I personally find pretty fun, and I might write a whole post on it in the future.
880: Unsullied Tokens
The best place to gear up is on Argus at this point in the expansion, doing content on Argus has a good chance to drop unsullied Tokens for you or your alts, Open all the Chests you can find, and kill all the Elites for a chance at these tokens, Legendaries and Veiled Argonite.
It is very helpful if you have other characters that these are bound on account (BoA) so you can feed a specific character for raiding if you get lucky on your drops.
880 – 890: World Quests for Relics
Relics can be one of the most difficult items to get, Argus made this a lot easier as there is very often world quests that drop 880 or 890 relics. The specific traits are unlikely to be ideal for your specialization but they are a good place to get started.
900: Broken Shore World Boss
When the Nether Disruptor is constructed a World Boss on the Broken Shore becomes active and can drop decent gear for the gear up curve. Also, if it is up over the weekly reset you can get two chance at loot.
910: Veiled Argonite
You should hold on to your Veiled Argonite until you are approaching the cap (2,000), and use it to fill in the slots your missing from other gear, as close to the raid as possible to avoid the situation where you replace a veiled argonite piece with an upgrade or sidegrade right away.
Doing Legion Invasions is a good thing as well as it drops a lot of veiled Argonite per completed.
930: Argus World Boss
The Argus World Boss is unlocked once you complete the Greater Invasion questline from Illidan, and can drop Normal Quality raid gear, this is a boss you should consider using one of your Seals of Broken Fate on as the gear is often pretty good.
The timewalking weekly quest offers a Seal of Broken Fate, as well as a Cache of Antoran Treasures from the Normal Raid. This can be a very quick way to get a piece of raid gear if it is up when you are getting a character ready
945: Emissary of War
The weekly quest for Mythic+ offers Heroic Antoran gear, this is the best way to get gear outside of the Heroic Raid itself.
There is very often a group in the Premade Group Finder that do 4x Mythic Maw of Souls which is enough for the quest and with a good group can take less then 45 minutes, but you can also do this with the other M+ dungeons you are going to do this week.
890 – 960: Mythic+
You should always do at least a +2 Mythic Keystone each week to get the weekly challenges cache as this has a higher than normal chance to Titanforge, and gives 120 Waking Essences.
If you feel more comfortable doing higher level M+ will be more rewarding, new affixes which change the dungeon get added at +4 and +7 and there is a pretty steep difficulty curve after +10.
First, you should ensure you’re doing your class hall order campaign to unlock the ability to wear two legendaries, this will be a huge item level upgrade when you get them.
There are a few sources for legendaries:
Crafted Legendary: Each armor class has a crafted legendary you can acquire, which is alright a good power boost for leveling and if you have lots of gold it can be an option for some players, I would not recommend it in general as you will quickly outgrow it.
The Argus Ring Quest: The last act of the Argus Campaign is to gain a quest to defeat Argus, this can be completed in LFR, and if you have not gotten lucky enough to get two other legendaries this is the one time I recommend doing LFR Seat of the Pantheon specifically for the ring.
Waking Essences: Introduced in 7.3.5 as a way to speed up the acquisition of legendaries, they can be very helpful to new players and alts, there are several sources in addition to the raid itself:
- Weekly M+ Cache: always gives 120 regardless of keystone level on reset day
- Daily Heroic: A Daily Heroic provides 30 Waking Essences per day
- Daily Emissary Cache: These drop between 24 and 60 each
Doing just general PvE content your likely going to do anyway, this should work out to about a legendary every two weeks.
RNG: The main source of legendaries is randomly from the content you are doing anyway, more current content has a higher chance to drop legendaries, while we do not know the exact amounts, it seems that Argus has the highest chance to drop them with Invasions, World Chests, Elite Mobs and the World Boss all offering high chances.
Blizzard has done some magic on the backend to make it very likely you will get 2 very quickly if you are doing the above content, with the first 4 coming fairly fast but a noticeable drop off between legendary 4-5.