Hunter item upgrade priority in patch 5.4.8

Patch 5.4.8 drops today, much sooner than I expected it to be. It introduces 2 more upgrades to patch 5.4 PvE gear, for a total of 16 ilvls in upgrades. People began their mad rush to cap their valor points for the new item upgrades, but it turns out they only had a week to do so! Sneaky Blizzard. Those of you who were already sitting on 3k valor will be able to fully upgrade 8 of your items this week (assuming they all had 2 upgrades already).

If you’re in that situation then you’re going to have everything upgraded fairly quickly. If you’re not sitting on a large pool of banked valor, you may be wondering what you should upgrade first. I played around a little bit with Zeherah’s DPS Analyzer (which she just updated for 5.4.8 support) to see which gear would give the most bang for your valor point.

I knew weapons would be the largest upgrade, but I was surprised the legendary cloak was less of an overall upgrade than several pieces at normal and heroic.  Sometimes we let raw item level blind us, I guess. 🙂 For a raider in mostly normal mode gear, the 2 extra weapon upgrades represent about a 2% overall DPS increase. Trinkets are next on the list with about a 1.2-1.5% increase depending on the trinket and spec. Warforged gear in the Chest/Legs/Helm slots tends to come out ahead of the Legendary cloak.

If you’re in mostly Raid Finder or Flexible gear…
  1. Weapon
  2. Assurance of Consequence
  3. Haromm’s Talisman or Ticking Ebon Detonator
  4. Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen
  5. Chest / Legs / Helm
  6. Boots / Shoulders / Gloves
  7. Rings / Neck / Bracer / Belt / Cloak / Other trinkets
If you’re in mostly Normal gear
  1. Weapon
  2. Assurance of Consequence
  3. Haromm’s Talisman or Ticking Ebon Detonator
  4. Warforged Chest / Helm / Legs
  5. Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen
  6. Chest / Legs / Helm
  7. Boots / Shoulders / Gloves (Warforged first)
  8. Rings / Neck / Bracer / Belt / Cloak / Other trinkets (Warforged first)
If you’re in mostly Heroic gear
  1. Weapon
  2. Assurance of Consequence
  3. Haromm’s Talisman or Ticking Ebon Detonator
  4. Chest / Helm / Legs (Warforged first)
  5. Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen
  6. Boots / Shoulders / Gloves (Warforged first)
  7. Rings / Neck / Bracer / Belt / Cloak / Other trinkets (Warforged first)

The reason why some armor is a better upgrade than the cloak is because of the raw agility those particular 3 slots can give you, and agility is still king for hunters. If the cloak’s proc scaled higher, that would probably be a different story.

You can plug in your own gear into and experiment yourself. If you’re in a mix of gear from different difficulties your priority may change slightly, but ultimately the difference isn’t significant past the weapon and trinkets.

TL;DR version
  1. Weapon
  2. Trinkets
  3. Whatever armor piece gives the most agility per upgrade

Also, don’t forget you can now turn 3k Timeless Coins into 100 valor. As someone sitting on well over 100k coins, this is pretty awesome news.

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6 thoughts on “Hunter item upgrade priority in patch 5.4.8”

  1. finally have something to do with the 300k + timeless coins i have! yes,thats 300,000+ timeless coins. i spend way too much time helping friends on the island 🙂

  2. Even if the Cloak isn’t the best stats upgrade, it has one quality that makes it the most efficient upgrade: it won’t be replaced. Upgrading my bow is obviously the best choice, but a Heroic Warforged version could still drop this week. I’d be happy about that, but I’m still out the Valor.

    The Cloak is high on my upgrade list for that reason. I’ll do Weapon, Trinkets, then Cloak. I’ve got 3000 Valor banked anyway, so I can do chest/helm/legs too anyway. 🙂

  3. Great guide. That’s so incredibly useful. Thanks for putting in the work on this. I’m curious what you think about WF vs non-WF. Will you bother quad upgrading your non-WF pieces? I’ve got 3k valor to spend, but I’m still hoping a WF heroic weapon will drop soon, and a warforged heroic AoC. I was planning on just quad upgrading the heroic WF pieces I had, and then only upgrading other pieces on weeks when I have nothing to spend valor on (which is generally almost every week anyway).

    1. Well, upgrading non-WF chest/legs/helm is still a nice boost because of all that agility. Other non-WF armor pieces I would be less rushed to upgrade. I think we’ve all been in the situation where you blow valor upgrading an item, only have a better item drop the next day. There’s always a risk of that, but at least upgrades are relatively cheap now. When VP upgrades were 750 each, I would be a little more hesitant. But week one I’m just gonna spend it all to watch those numbers rise.

      1. Luckily I already have WF legs and the tier pieces don’t come in WF, so they were a pretty easy decision to make. I upgraded my AoC and Haromm’s even though only Haromm’s was WF. I’m actually surprised AoC made a significant difference, but I guess that proc is still pretty incredible, and being able to easily line it up with stampede is great. I also went ahead and did my non-wf heroic Galakras bow. I figure since I wasted the valor on it, now I’ll surely get the WF version this week. 😛

        1. Slightly the same approach, as we are reseting id every week I’ll only upgrade pieces that I’m sure will not change quickly ( BIS WF and SET). since we were killing these bosses for weeks it shall not be an issue for the raid but will give me one more chance to drop weapon and assurance of consequence on WF.(yeah both in the same week I’ve faith)
          However, when will hit our progression boss this week, I’ll upgrade weapon and AoC what ever they are to be as much competive as possible

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