The pre Kara gear guide I wrote 8 months ago was one of the most viewed posts I have written. Now that the expansion is hear I have received a couple of requests to do the same for Naxx. Since my original guide was so well received I am happy to help.
I want to warn you that writting this guide is a little tougher then the last one. When I wrote the Kara guide BC had been out for over a year and I had a lot of experiance with the expansion. I new which instances were easy and which faction reps were difficult to level. That is not the case with this guide. At the time that this guide was written I had only just dinged level 80. I have not run many WotLK heroics and haven't worked on the rep for any of the factions. Therefore I want you to understand a couple of things about the list before you jump to far in to it.
1. This list is not meant to be all inclusive. I have picked 3 or 4 options that I consider to be the best based on a variety of criteria. I will exclude some items because I have included an item that is obtained in a very similar way already. If you would like a complete list of all the items available I suggest you go to WowHead.com and do a search. That how I built this list.
2. I have selected these times based on three criteria: DPS, Obtainability, and Cost. I want this list to be accessable to all users. While DPS is the primary characteristic I rate the items on, do down rank a lot of them based upon where the drop from and how much they cost to craft. On top of that I admit that I have biases that influansted the list. I will try and expose those biases below.
3. I have excluded PvP gear almost entirely from this list. This is done for a couple of reasons. First, PvP gear is not itemized well for PvE content for the most part. Second, I personally hate BG grinding to obtain the items, and that is the way most people obain PvP gear. None of this is to say that PvP gear might not be better then the gear you currently have equipped, If you have PvP gear that out gears your current level of PvE content then feel free to use it.
4. In terms of pure DPS the stat equation is Hit > Spell Power > Haste > Crit, but I am currently a little biased against haste. That is because I am a little worried about mana currently. Until I am completely certain that I won't have mana issues I am going to give up a little bit if DPS for little more mana security. Therefore I tend to favor items with Crit over items with Haste if they are in relatively similar quantities.
5. I am also a little biased in favor of Hit Rating. The soft hit cap is 262.3 in WotLK, and looking at my own gear from BC I realize I am well short of that, so I expect most of you are also.
6. In building the list I haven't focused on the base stats much. Stam, Int and Spirit are important but not as important as the primary DPS stats. For the most part they are unavoidable and will come naturally. The one possible exception to this is Spirit. I have generally avoided it in an indirect manner. Items without Spirit tend to have higher DPS stats and are picked more often.
All that said, feel free to offer other suggestions in the comments. I do not have a monopoly on insightfulness and my have missed something. Now, on with the guide.
One Handed Weapons:
Note: I want to note it for the record that main hand / off hand combinations are almost always better then a two handed weapon assuming that all of the items are fairly similar in item level.
1. [Flameheart Spell Scalpel] - Rep Reward - Kirin Tor Revered - This one was easy. This is by far one of the best balanced items I've seen in the expansion, and is relatively easy to get since it is a rep reward. It has a ton of Spell Power with a good amount of Hit and Crit, plus a few base stats. You better have a pretty good reason if you walk into Naxx without this weapon.
2. [Titansteel Guardian] - BoE crafted - With 490 Spell Power it is obvious that this is a very nice weapon, and it is obtainable by anyone with gold. However, it has two issues that make me a little reluctant to run out and get it. First is the cost. Expect to pay a high price for this item. It requites 18 Eternals and 2 Frozen Orbs to craft along with several bars of Saronite and Titanium. The second issue I have with it is that it has no Intelligence on it. I know I say a lot about not worrying about base stats, but your usually deciding between an item with 20 Int or 30 int. Not 4o Int or none. It's just a little jaring.
3. [Beguiling Scepter] - Normal Mal'Ganis - CoT: Stratholme - Nothing really special here but this is a very nice weapon that shouldn't be to difficult to obtain.
Caster Off Hand
1. [Ward of the Violet Citadel] - 25 Badges of Heroism - I really hate that I am listing this time first, but I do so because of a simple truth. There are not many good Caster off hands available from instances and if your going to run heroics to get one you might as well go for this one since it is only 25 badges. It is head and shoulders above anything you can get out side a raid.
2. [Telestra's Journal] - Heroic Grand Magus Telestra - The Nexus - The 39 Hit Rating is what makes this off hand attractive, since we will need 262 Hit rating just to reach the soft cap. This is not a bad option to go for while you accumulate badges.
3. [Tome of Salramm] - Normal Salramm - CoT: Stratholme - Again, this is nothing special but it is a nice well rounded item with a good balance of stats.
Two Handed Weapons:
Note: I've said it once above and I will now say it again. I don't recommend using a two handed weapon. A Main Hand / Off Hand combo is almost always better. The reason is that Staves tend to be very heavy on base stats like Stam, Int and Spirit, and you can usually get more DPS stats with Main Hands and Off Hands. However, if you insist on using a staff here are a few options.
1. [Savage Gladiator's Focus Staff] - PvP Reward - Weapons are the one area where PvP items tend to be ok for PvP. They still waste itemization points on Resilience and extra Stam but they also tend to have good stats like Hit Rating. If your going to use a staff then this is a good one. To be completely honest I'm not sure how you can obtain this item. I think you may be able to purchase it with [Stone Keeper's Shards], but I'm not sure. If anyone knows let me know.
2. [Staff of Sinister Claws] - Heroic Herold Volazj - Old Kingdom - This is probably the best PvE staff pre-raid, but I have heard that Heroic Old Kingdom is really hard.
That is it for now. I will publish the next installment as soon as I can but it may take a little while with the holidays coming up.