Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Guide to Upgrading Your Baleful Gear

I would have honestly thought that a post like this would not need to be written but after talking to a few people in guild it seems I was mistaken.  It seems that people that read the fan sites know all about the new Baleful gear (650) and its big brother the Empowered Baleful gear (695) but those that do not keep on top of the news are a little confused about it.

This guide will not be giving specific advice on a per class basis.  It will be giving a round about idea to help people out while trying to make decisions on which piece to empower up to a 695 item level first and give some basics on how the baleful gear works.  For raiders this guide will be mostly useless, just upgrade that one or two pieces you might need and be done with it.  For everyone else, I hope I can give you some advice to help you get the most out of your baleful gear.

The Basics:

Killing mobs in Tanaan can get you baleful gear tokens as drops.  Killing rares has an increased chance of dropping baleful gear tokens.  All tokens that drop from mobs are soulbound and can not be traded to your alts.

Any baleful gear tokens you get from shipyard missions can be traded to any of your characters as those gear pieces are bind on account and not soulbound.  You might also notice that baleful gear tokens that you get from shipyard missions are for a specific type of armor as in cloth, leather, mail or plate whereas the soulbound drops are just baleful with no designation of armor type.

If you get it as a drop, you can use it, it is always meant specifically for you.  If you get it from a shipyard mission you can send it to any of your characters but only one that uses the armor type specified on it can use it.

The Empowered Apexis Fragment is the item used to upgrade any baleful item from 650 (or 675) to 695.  This item is bind on account meaning that you can grind out the apexis crystals on a character it is easier to do so with and then buy it and send it to the character that needs it.

You can also buy baleful gear tokens, the soulbound versions, for 5000 apexis crystals each and the weapon token for 10000 crystals.  The empowering item costs you 20000 crystals.

Unlike with the token pieces on the timeless island where you needed to use the upgrade on a piece before you knew what the stats were, one of the beautiful things that this system has that improved on the old one is that you can use the upgrade item on a piece that you already know the stats of. 

It is worth noting that there are rumors you can get the empowered apexis fragment as a drop from rare mobs when you kill them but I have killed literally hundreds of rare mobs in the past two weeks over all my characters and I have never seen one drop, so if they do in fact drop from them, do not count on getting them as they seem to be an extremely rare drop.

Choosing Items to Upgrade:

If you are a raider this process should be a lot easier.  Depending on the level of raiding you do and the luck you had with gear you will only have a few slots, at most, that could use a baleful upgrade.  This guide holds true for both someone with no raid gear or mostly raid gear and just needs a few slots.

There are two things you are looking for when choosing which items to upgrade.  The first are the stats on the item.  Clicking on a baleful gear token gives you an item with random stats.  You want to find stats that are most useful for you if you are going to spend 20K apeixs crystals to upgrade it.  So make sure the piece has the right stats for you before upgrading it.

What stats you get will be entirely luck based sadly and you could always buy new gear tokens for 5000 each to try and roll one that has the best stats for you, but the stats do matter.  Click on every single soulbound baleful item you get and save the ones that have the best stats for you for upgrade later even if they are not useful right now.  Know that they will be 695 at some point.  Hold on to those ones with the perfect stats until you can upgrade them.

If you do not know what the best stats for you are I suggest visiting icy veins and checking out your specs stat priority.  The top two secondary stats will be the two you are looking for on your gear.  Remember, bonus armor and spirit will never roll on a body piece, only neck, back, rings and trinkets.

The second thing you need to look for when choosing which item to upgrade is the weight of the item.  A 695 chest has a lot more stats on it than a 695 neck would.  A 695 weapon, even not perfectly itemized, will do more for you as a damage dealer than a 695 ring would.

So look for the "big" pieces to upgrade first.  This means Weapon, Chest, Legs, Shoulders, Head and Hands.  Those are the big ones, the first three there being the most important.

Spending your Apexis Wisely:

How you spend your apexis wisely will depend on you as a player. 

If you are the type that can spend a lot of time grinding apexis crystals at the rate of tens of thousands per day you will handle it differently than the daily player that might get 30K-40K a week or the occasional player that would be lucky to get 20K a week.

I would suggest, strongly suggest even, that you do not waste your apexis crystals on buying the base baleful pieces unless you are the type that is grinding a bunch each day.  You would be better off buying a 20K upgrade and upgrading a poor piece (meaning not the best stats) than spending the 20K trying to get good stats and leaving it up to the random number generator gods to give you one with good stats.  So do not do this unless you are a heavy grinder or you are the amazingly lucky type, which if that is the case I hate you.

You should upgrade the biggest pieces, as I laid out, with the perfect stats first.  Even more so if you are only a part time player without a lot of time to grind for crystals.  If that is the case you will never be flooded with crystals so having the best pieces would mean more to you because you most likely will never be flush with crystals and able to waste them.

If you are a weekly player that could upgrade one or two pieces a week I suggest upgrading the biggest single piece with as close to the best stats you have.  So if you save up enough for 2 upgrades, use one on something that is not perfect but good right now and save the extra for if a perfect piece comes along.

And the big point of advice I could give is this.  Do not get distracted with the 150K mount.  Even if you want it, do not think you will save up for that first. 

Upgrading your gear will make it easier to kill things which in turn makes it easier to collect apexis.  You could probably collect the 150K apexis crystals in the same amount of time if you spent some on a weapon, chest and legs along the way as you would if you just went straight for it.  Do not discount the ability to kill things faster when it comes to apexis collection.  We will be playing around in Tanaan for a year most likely, upgrade your gear first, get the mount later.

Hope this helped some people.  Sadly there are a few people that made some mistakes in guild that caused me to write this.  The person that spent 40K upgrading two pieces that had crap stats on it for them because item level wise they were big upgrades, which is the wrong way to do it.  Then there was the person that vendored off the cloth baleful gear he got from a mission because it was useless on the druid that got it with as he did not realize it was BoA unlike the ones you get from drops.  All honest mistakes and all mistakes I hope that this post will help others from making.

Happy hunting.


  1. I have obtained 1 empowered apexis fragment as a drop off a rare during my daily run of TI2. I usually farm approximately 10K crystals a day (This includes daily quest rewards). I only kill a few rares a day in my normal routine. I would estimate that I have killed approximately 140-150 rares in the 2 weeks since TI2 dropped based upon my daily pattern. So I have gotten 1/150 perhaps. I have turned so many baleful items into dust because of much less than ideal stats. I have gotten 1 item with ideal stats and I don' t need it....Oh well.

    For those who are running the island with 650 gear. I would suggest that even less than ideal stats would still be a better choice if your baleful item becomes a 675 when you "open" it. Use it until either LFR drops something for you or you get your ideal stats and can upgrade with crystals.

    1. I did not count my rares but I have killed near all of them on multiple days on my hunter. There are like 50 of them I think, so my hunter alone I have had to kill 300 or more since release. If I add all my other alts I'd say I am easily over 500 rares and I have received none. :(

      Yes, opening a 675 even with poor stats is better than a 650 with good ones, but I still suggest not to upgrade it unless it is the one with good stats.

  2. I didn't get any empowered apexis fragments in the first week of the patch. I obtained seven this week all from rares including two just this morning. I was assuming that they buffed the drop rate significantly, but it looks like I might have just gotten lucky.

    1. Hope you do not get offended by what I am about to day, but I hate you. lol

      I've killed so many and received none. As a matter of fact no one in my guild has. There is one person in my guild that has killed nearly every single rare on T2 (because he digs that stuff) since release and he has received none either. You are really super lucky.

  3. I'm curious to hear how you feel this affects the alt-friendliness of WoD, now.

    Leading up to 6.2, I had two hunters that were raiding, one of which could get a couple upgrades from empowered baleful items. But I had two other hunters that were sitting at 100, but hadn't really been touched (on one I'd done the legendary quests up to the point of needing abrogator stones, and then just slowing gathering them with garrison missions, and the other was in mostly quest gear). On both of those characters, I was able to get them to about 660 ilvl (with decent stats, decent guns, but terrible trinkets) in just a couple days. It actually made tanaan much more fun than doing it on my main(s), cause even if it's "charity gear", it still feels good to get so many huge upgrades. And of course, since they're hunters, even the one without any heroic dungeon gear was able to tear through tanaan with ease.

    I haven't actually leveled any character other than my hunters to 100 yet. I've got a resto/moonkin druid who's slowly working her way up to 100, and already has a pretty decent collection of boa baleful items. I imagine tanaan will not be as easy with her.

    Anyhow, my point was, it feels like this is a much better catch-up system than Timeless Isle. That you actually have to bring your alt over there and do something feels better to me: a little less charity feelling (even if it ultimately is the same as TI's charity gear, it feels better).

    With the 2 hunters getting geared up so fast (I imagine I'll have them both around 685-695 this week), I feel like I should do something with them. At least one is already started with the legendary, so possibly could start raiding.

    Also, I hate the shipyard. That's not relevant. But I want to add it to every wow-related thing I say until everyone in the entire world knows how much I hate it.

    1. I plan on making that alt post but I can give the basic idea of it here. I dislike it greatly thus far. Not the system itself which I think is a vast improvement over T1, but the content for alts. I think it is extremely alt unfriendly.

      Put it this way, you could hit T1 with a fresh 90 in something like 420 gear and do just fine and have things to do, stuff to kill, and even be able to complete the quests. On T2, try doing that with a fresh 580. Not happening. Very very very alt unfriendly.

      But I will go into that is more detail in a real post.

      Sad that your two hunters will have a higher item level than my main. I hate my luck with gear drops. But even the 670 tier set is better than the two 700 off pieces I have and 2 695 pieces I can make would be.

      You are not alone in your shipyard hate. Come to think of it I have yet to meet anyone that actually liked it. Many like the "idea" of it, none like the implementation of it.

      Also, hunters have the easy life with content like this, so do not confuse your ease even with a lower geared hunter alt to think T2 is alt friendly. All the support classes do not have the awesome benefits being a hunter we take for granted.

    2. Yeah, too bad (re: low geared non-hunters in tanaan). I saw someone say (maybe it was you on this blog?) that classes other than hunters and locks can't survive with 9 fel sludge stacks, because of the increased damage taken. Though I imagine that might have something to do with the skill and effort of the player (as most things do) to some extent, that still sounds kind of miserable. Without 8 or 9 stacks it'd just get boring, as the mobs would just take so long to kill on quest geared alts.

      And now that I think about it, the lowest geared alt I took in there, while he was below 600 ilvl, he still had a 685 engineering weapon, which as MM made up for a lot of low gear (I had totally missed the changes to upgrading crafted gear up to 685. When I was making a 705 weapon for my main ally hunter, i saw how little mats it takes now for the upgrade tokens up to 685, so I instantly made a bunch for all my hunters on that realm.

      It's also probably skewing my view of Tanaan that 3 of the 4 hunters I've been doing all my questing as MM, which really rewards you for smart CC and positioning to take down mobs 1 or 2 at a time. For those specs that only really excel at AoE, I can imagine being very frustrated (unless that AoE-excelling spec is BM, in which case you have your own tank, then hopefully barrage pulls as many mobs as possible).

      Even KJ's throne area, which admittedly took forever at low gear, I still had fun up there as a hunter. It helps, of course, that I can hit the reset button (FD) whenever I feel the need, and start over with better positioning, fresh CDs, etc. But I had fun trying to figure out how to make it work with low gear.

      Though I figure that's kind of just how the game works. If you want to be an awesome, killing machine who needs only her trusty pet and her wits to get by, play a hunter. If you want to play a support class, find a hunter who's willing to group up with you. :-P

      Oh, and yeah, the ilvl thing is going to be incredibly misleading. As the trinkets available are just stats, and will provide waaaaaay less dps than a much lower level trinket from a real raid. For example, one of my hunters got the 705 ilvl trinket from the world boss. It has 176 agility and some of all three tertiary stats. That's less than half as much agility as my main's 685 humming black iron trigger, and it has no other dps benefits. So while that ilvl might be inflated enough to get into groups with bad raid leaders, i'll still won't be capable of doing as much damage as even someone geared in only normal brf gear. no set bonuses, no real trinkets, no legendary ring proc.

    3. I just looked it up, for funsies. The baleful trinket I have on one of my lower hunters, which is still 650 (haven't upgraded it yet). It has 191 Agility and 191 multistrike. That's a 650 ilvl trinket which is significantly better for damage dealing than a 705 ilvl trinket, so basically ilvl means nothing when recruiting pugs in 6.2.

      (Also, I remembered wrong, the 705 trinket gives 187 agi. still crap, but might as well clarify).

    4. I've been running as BM on T2 so I can click objectives and gather herbs while fluffy does what fluffy does best and kills things for me.

      The throne, and setting the signal, was an adventure to solo as my prot paladin, I actually just ran from one to the next. I tired to kill a mob and it was going so slow. I am guessing I might have killed it around april of 2016 if I kept going, so I just said screw it and started to run. Clicked all 5 and then jumped off the side and got teleported down. On my healer it was kind of hard, but still doable when well planned, but I would not suggest doing it on a healer. On my rogue, well, he is a rogue so it was no problem when nothing can see you.

      The physical DPS trinket is garbage, it should not even be on the loot list. It has the stats that even a heroic dungeon trinket is better. I wonder what blizzard was thinking with that. The caster one seems cool for a non raiding character with all the stats on it. Wonder why the physical one is not the same.

    5. Hey Del, I have an interesting question for you, math wise.

      I have 4 pieces of 670 tier which is keeping my item level down but still working nice, I do well over 40K no problem, but when should I switch to ditching it? At what item level. Assuming I do not get the 4 piece T18 any time soon as my luck would usually have it. Do you think it will be worth keeping well into HFC heroic even or using off pieces will be better at heroic item level.

      Sorry to ask so much, just figured you were better at numbers than I.

    6. I have the same feeling about mob hp as well, they just have too much of it, my BRF hc geared main still takes up to 10 seconds to kill them, while on T1 I would blast through them.

      Regarding your gear question, I would just sim it when you get to it, just log out in the 2 different gear sets and import it into simcraft, its quite easy to do.

    7. I was looking to cheat and see if someone knew the answer already. ;)

      I think for MM, which is what I am planning on using the 2 and 2 would be near equal DPS, at least last I checked it was. I guess it is all just planning ahead because I would need to actually get the gear for it to matter and I never got even one single piece of heroic tier gear last tier despite many kills of tier bosses and many coins rolled.

  4. I used to horde up those timeless items but I think that these Baleful things will take up the room instead (though why I keep them is beyond me since I have no alts to speak of). 20k crystals for upgrading doesn't seem like much, and I think it's a pretty good way to gear up, especially at the beginning of the tier when people want to try to break into the new raid and hadn't raided the old.

    1. I loved the timeless tokens, they made me so much gold. I had a hunter alt that was an enchanter on another server with no gold to speak of. I sent all mail ones to him and disenchanted them and sold the sha crystals. Got him over 70K. Did the same with a priest I had all alone on another server, he ended up with 60K from having less than 3K. So the timeless tokens being BoA was a great way to send money between servers and I used it to its full advantage.

      I agree, 20K is not a lot at all. If you do all the dailies you can get that in 2 days. The only problem is that doing all the dailies is a time consuming task even for a main. For an alt it can take all day. I think blizzard forgot that the vast majority of their player base is casual in terms of time played and does not have time for that type of game play. But over all I don't think 20K is bad at all. Even more so after seeing how horribly they over priced the apexis gear originally.

    2. You know, I just realised I wrote horde up instead of hoard up...

    3. I knew what you meant. I've made the same mistake before too.

  5. I just want to say something about the suggested item slots to upgrade to 695: head/chest/legs have the same stat budget, then comes shoulders/hands/belt/boots, finally wrists/neck/cloak/rings.

    Also the baleful trinket seems ok, it has the same stat budget as lfr trinkets, I would put it behind head/chest/legs in priority.

    1. The trinkets are not overwhelming, but they are a hell of a lot better, at least for the physical classes, than the one off the world boss. What the hell were then thinking when they made that piece of crap.

      Weapon, no matter what, will remain the #1 thing to upgrade in my opinion.

  6. Great guide, I came here to avoid doing some calculations, however ended up doing them. One scenario that a lot of people might run into is the fact that they get automatic upgrade to 675 on some of their pieces. This comes in to play given that you actually get better base stat improvements from upgrading a ring from 650 to 695 than upgrading a chest/leg/weapon from 675 to 695.

    Ex. Chest 675 --> 695 upgrade (Intel 254 --> 306 = 52, stam 381 --> 459 = 78). Ring 650 --> 695 upgrade (intel 113 --> 172 = 59, stam 170 --> 258 = 88).

    Just food for thought. I thought for sure it would still be able to upgrade the big armor items from 675 to 695 first, but this is not so. thanks,

  7. I am unable to find out whether purple baleful stuff with bad stats is worth upgrading more than a blue baleful item with perfect stats.

  8. On my priest I have the four set bonus lfr 685 ilvl items. I was wondering if i should upgrade to beleful for the ilvl increase but i would loose the set bonus.

    1. The set bonuses are nice, but I am not sure if they would be better than higher item level gear with good stats for you.

      I would guess, not 100% here, that the higher item level gear would outpace the +100 stats the LFR tier gives you. But that is just a guess.

  9. question, I got a 685 baleful trinket off a rare mob. Will this only upgrade to 695 or is there a new higher item level it will push too ? figure i asked before spending 20k apexis crystals.

  10. what about the 0/2 upgrades it has... where do we get those?

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