What gear level is needed for raiding ICC?
Its a question that has been raised on chat, in our guild catch-ups, and all over the various community forums. And while I’ve seen a lot of wrong or misguided answers, there is really no short perfect answer either.
So instead here are my thoughts as guidelines for how to measure yourself against ICC’s requirements.
Firstly Gearscore is mostly ok, but flawed. It should be used as a guide only.
Short version: A good guideline for ICC is to aim for ilevel 232 in every gear location possible. This should be ok for entry into ICC. The reason for that is that ilevel 232 is what drops in the new 5 man ICC heroics and also in ToC, which are the places to gear up for ICC.
The other easy answer is to get the best gear you can from Triumph and Frost badges, and everything else on your character of the same level. Simple really, however…
Where you have a lower item you should know that it is valued higher due to a synergy in your spec , set bonus, or class, or you have another item of higher level in another slot. Your gear is not a true measure of how good the combination of items actually is. Like most things a gearscore is just an arbitrary number.
eg 1. The DK T9 4 set bonus is great, the 2 set from T10 is borderline. So I’ll not replace an item of x4 t9 until the t10 x2.
eg 2. The 232 items when used in combination with a set bonus is sometimes better than x4 higher level items. Meaning that a gearscore can be lower, but the gear is sometimes better. Math could be a 50+ (4×232 vs 4×245).
Also note that an item gets its gearscore from the combination of powers and stats it gives you, and that to be affective those powers and affects must be in affect on your character.
eg 3. A character with a high gearscore, but way too much Hit Rating is not actually using all the potential of the gear. Their applied gearscore to the scenarios is lower. I’ve seen a dps Death Knight with 17% melee hit, and everything over 8% is a total waste. That means a huge amount of the character’s gearscore does not actually count.
Lastly please also have appropriate level enchants and gems in your gear. It is counter productive to have blue level gems in ilevel 232, 245+ gear. Blue gems are ok for average gear, but are not acceptable in progression raids. Likewise having Stam enchants on non-tank gear, or not having the best enchants you can for your class/spec combo.