If like me, you are in a small guild focussed on 10-man content, or a guild not yet in Ulduar, you may be interested to know that there are a number of BOE epics out there, which should offer you upgrades. Many of these drop from Ulduar or 25man content, or, in the case of braces, can be purchases with Emblems of valor. A couple of them are created by Leatherworkers from new recipes added in Patch 3.1, which also drop in Ulduar. These recipes are also BOE, so may very occasionally be seen on the ah. The items will appear on your server’s auction house, and will not be cheap. You will need to make money to buy them, but that is not so hard to do when you can net several hundred gold a day just doing the Argent Tournament dailies.
Note: It maybe sometime before you see some of these on an ah near you. Only a small number of guilds on your server may currently be regularly downing the harder Ulduar bosses, and then any BOE drops are also likely to be upgrades for someone in the raid. However, some items are a bit more common, and keep watching the others may start to appear and prices may start to fall as they become more common.
I have also included leather pieces in this list. However, remember that these are not optimized for hunters, will not have intellect on, and that mana will become an issue if you stack too many leather pieces. A couple of them do have gem slots though, and it might be worth considering whether they would be a significant upgrade if you added Intellect gems to the gem slots. Choose leather upgrades with care, sometimes they may prove a lasting upgrade for you, but often it might be better saving your money and waiting for the right mail piece.
As I am writing this for people like me, who may be stuck at the end of T7 10-man content, I am going to add in a common piece of gear in each slot just for easy comparison (in most cases this will be Tin’s own gear – OK so I admit this is mostly for my own quick comparison 😉 ).
Nymph Heart Charm – Freya’s Gift – Ulduar (H)
Compare: Pendant of the Outcast Hero
Spaulders of Egotism (L) – Instructor Razuvious – Naxx (H)
Compare: Heroes’ Crypstalker Spaulders
Shawl of the Shattered Giant (Cloth) – Cache of the Living Stone – Ulduar (N)
Compare: Cloak of Mastery
Torn Web Wrapping – Maexxna Naxx (H)
Nimble Climbers Belt (L) – Auriaya Ulduar (N)
Compare: Veresa’s Silver Chain Belt
Armguard of the Tower Archer – BOE – bought with 60 Emblems of Valor – these sell for around 1,500G on my server.
Bracers of the Smoldering Inferno – Razorscale – Ulduar (N)
Slime Steam Bands – Globbulus – Naxx (H)
Wristwraps of the Cutthroat (L) – BOE – bought with 60 Emblems of Valor – buy the Armguards of the Tower Archer instead if you can.
Compare: Bands of Anxiety. (I purchased the Armguards of the Tower Archer as I had three pairs of bracers, none of which were much good.)
Gloves of Fast Reactions (L) – Sapphiron Naxx (H)
Rust-Link Spiked Gauntlets (ilevel 200) – I have added these to the list as there are no mail BOE gloves >ilevel 200 that I can find, and these babies are a little bit better than the T7 gloves imo. Tin wears these currently.
Darkcore Leggings – General Vezax Ulduar (H)
Proto-Hide Leggings (L) – Razorscale Ulduar (H) – note again no Int and has Expertise which is no use to a hunter. However, does have a gem slot and bags of agility.
Compare: Heroes’ Cryptstalker Legguards
Compare: Dragon Slayer’s Sabatons (my blue boots, better imo than anything epic I can get through pve or 10 mans).
Surge Needle Ring – The Eye of Eternity (N)
The 5 Ring – Tiny Titanium Lockbox – Daily Fishing Quest – no AP, Agi or Int but bags of Hit if you are not hit capped.
Band of the Kirin Tor – ilevel 200 – but worth including in a gear ‘rich list’
No BOE Weapons above item level 200 available 😦
Finally, a short side note (rant) on buying gold: If you could find every item on this list the would set you back 1000’s of gold. Make the gold yourself. Do not buy gold. I have nothing but contempt for people who buy gold. I don’t care what justifications you make for doing so, or whether it is ‘cheating’ or ‘not cheating’ the game. What I do care about, is that much of the bought gold in the system comes from hacked accounts. If you buy gold, you are buying gold stolen from other players. You are contributing to the misery of other players and are the reason the whole parasitic industry, of spam gold adverts and computer viruses looking for ways to steal your account, exists. Just think how devastated you would be if your account was hacked and you logged on to find your characters naked, all your epic armor and unique pieces vendored, your bank empty, and your hard earned gold stolen. Here endeth the rant.