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.
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.