In Timewalking events, players get to experience old dungeons and raids in their normal difficulty, earning loot and timewalking badges, which can be traded for mounts, toys, transmogs and reputation tokens.
Not only that, every Timewalking boss has the chance to drop the rare Infinite Timereaver mount. And some specific timewalking dungeons and raids also have the – extremely low – chance to drop mounts such as Blue Proto-Drake, Drake of the North Wind or Flametalon of Alysrazor.
There is also one achievement available for those players who defeat Illidan in Black Temple Timewalking Raid after getting both Warglaives of Azzinoth legendaries: I'll Hold These For You Until You Get Out. Completing this achievement rewards Demon Hunters with the appearances of the Warglaives of Azzinoth for transmog.
Finally, doing Timewalking is simply fun and players can participate even at lower levels.
But if you really want to have the upper hand and top dps and healing charts during these events, you might want to optimize your gear for them.
For players who are interested in that, this is my in-depth guide to optimizing your timewalking gear.
Item level Cap
The simplest tip of all: use gear equal or above the item level cap of the timewalking event. Each one of the five events has its own ilvl cap.
- The Burning Crusade (TBC) – ilvl 35
- Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) – ilvl #
- Cataclysm (Cata) – ilvl #
- Mists of Pandaria (MoP) – ilvl #
- Warlords of Draenor (WoD) – ilvl 45
(I´ll update these during next Timewalking events)
That said, after Shadowlands pre-patch level squish, all Timewalking events are now at similar ilvls, far more than in previous expansions. Even if that specific item you like using has slightly lower ilvl than the event ilvl cap, it is probably still viable to use it.
For example, Ashen Band rings and Shadowmourne – both from Wrath of the Lich King – should still be useful in Cataclysm Timewalking. But i wouldn't try using them in Mists of Pandaria and far less in Warlords of Draenor Timewalking.
Gems and Socketed Gear
Gems are the cornerstone of Timewalking BiS gear.
After reaching ilvl cap, using gems (and also enchantments) is one of the very few ways to stack more stats. And the best items for Timewalking are generally those that have the highest number of sockets to embed those gems.
In this regard, you will mostly find those items in Mists of Pandaria raids, especially Throne of Thunder (ToT) and Siege of Orgrimmar (SoO) raids. This is what you will be looking for:
- Helm: +2 sockets (ToT / SoO)
- Shoulders: +2 sockets (ToT / SoO) (Tusks of Mannoroth is a Strength shoulder item with 3 sockets. It has a chance bellow 1% to drop for Warriors, Paladins and Death Knights in heroic and mythic Garrosh from Siege of Orgrimmar raid).
- Cloak: +1 socket (ToT / SoO) (It is highly recommendable to use a Legendary Cloak from Mists of Pandaria or – if you don't have it – Battle for Azeroth Ashjra'kamas, Shroud of Resolve. Besides that, Dreadfire Drape for Agility users is the only cloak with 2 sockets).
- Chest: +3 sockets (ToT / SoO)
- Wrist: +1 socket (ToT) or +2 sockets (mostly from Cataclysm crafting professions)
P.S.: Siege of Orgrimmar wrist items don't have sockets. And Throne of Thunder wrists are also unique because their secondary stats are randomly generated when looted
- Hand: +2 sockets (ToT / SoO)
- Waist: +2 sockets (ToT / SoO) or +3 sockets after upgraded with Living Steel Belt Buckle
- Legs: +3 sockets (ToT / SoO)
- Feet: +2 sockets (ToT / SoO)
For the Best Gems, Cataclysm gems with +4 primary stats – Strength, Agility and Intellect – are easy to obtain and scale best; and, if it suits your spec, there are also plenty gems with +2 primary stat & +2 secondary stat or with only secondary stats – Critical Strike, Haste, Mastery and Versatility.
Some time after Shadowlands pre-patch, several TBC Heroic Dungeon gems were severely nerfed, like Mysterious Tanzanite and Glinting Tanzanite, making them as ordinary as most other gems. Only two types weren't affect by the nerf and can still be considered BiS. Anyway, keep an eye on these gems:
- WotLK all stats gems: +1, +2 & +4 (only one of each can be embed on your gear)
- Cata & MoP Meta gems: Str, Agi, Int & several others (only one can be embed on Cata and MoP headgear)
- MoP Legendary Meta gems: Physical DPS, Caster DPS, Heal & Tank (only one can be embed on MoP headgear)
- MoP Sha-touched gems: Str, Agi & Int (can only be embed on Sha-touched weapons)
- BfA Leviathan gems: Str, Agi & Int (only one can be embed on post-Legion gear)
Be aware that Legendary meta gems and Sha-touched gems are only available for those who did Mists of Pandaria Legendary questline!
For those select few, another item of singular interest is Eye of the Black Prince, which adds a second socket to Sha-touched weapons or weapons from Throne of Thunder raid (it doesn't work on shields and off-hands).
Also, after Warlords of Draenor, every item has a random chance to drop with a socket, which is always a very nice bonus for optimizing your Timewalking gear.
And finally, Gouged Eye of N'zoth adds a socket to any items from Battle for Azeroth dungeons and Ny'alotha, the Waking City raid, with the exception of socketed items, azerite gear and the legendary cloak.
P.S.: Jewelhammer's Focus allows a player with Jewelcrafting to extract an embedded gem from socketed items, recuperating the gem without destroying it. It won't work after character level 50, but it definitely works inside Timewalking instances.
Enchantments and enhancements
The second cornerstone of Timewalking optimization, an enchantment is often stronger than a gem. And, due to scaling, old enchantments are even more powerful than their Shadowlands counterparts.
Every gear slot can be enchanted, except for your helm, waist and trinkets – waist items don't have enchants, but can be enhanced to receive an extra socket. These are the ones you should look for:
- Neck: Crit/Haste proc, Mastery, Direct Damage, Heal proc & Armor proc (the Heart of Azeroth artifact can't be enchanted).
- Shoulders: Str, Agi, Int (Characters with MoP Inscription can use exclusive ones: Str, Agi, Int)
- Cloak: Primary stat
- Chest: All stats
- Wrist: Str, Agi, Int
- Hands: Str, Haste, Mastery, Agi & Int
- Waist: +1 Socket
- Legs: Str, Agi, Int 1 or 2
- Feet: Increased Speed + Mastery, Increased Speed + Agi 1 or 2, Str, Agi 1 or 2, Crit, Haste & Versatility
- Rings: Crit, Haste, Mastery & Versatility
- Shield or Off-hand: Int, Direct Damage while blocking, Mastery & Stamina
- Melee Weapons: WoD Weapon Enchants, Dancing Steel & Landslide
- Caster Weapons: WoD Weapon Enchants, Jade Spirit & Power Torrent
- Ranged Weapons: Flintlocke's Woodchucker
Older legendaries either had their bonus effects nerfed to uselessness or disabled altogether. Some of them are still Best in Slot due to the number of sockets, like Shadowmourne and Dragonwrath. Here is the list of old legendaries weapons available:
- Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros – ilvl 29 two-hand Str mace
- Thunderfury, Blesse Blade of the Windseeker – ilvl 29 one-hand Agi sword
- The Twin Blades of Azzinoth – ilvl 33 one-hand Agi swords
- Thori'dal, the Stars' Fury – ilvl 34 Agi bow
- Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings – ilvl 35 one-hand Int healing mace
- Shadowmourne – ilvl 35 two-hand Str Axe
- Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest – ilvl 37 two-hand Int staff
- Fangs of the Father – ilvl 38 one-hand Agi daggers
Legendary Cloaks and Ring
MoP Legendary Cloaks are BiS for everyone who got them from the legendary questline. They are definitely more powerful in Timewalking than any other kind of gear.
If you don't have them, BfA's Ashjra'kamas, Shroud of Resolve is your second option, although not a close one.
"Legiondaries" and Legion tier sets
Legion Legendary items and Legion tier set bonuses were disabled after the start of Shadowlands.
Some of them, like the rings, can still be used solely for their stats and socket.
And three crafted legendaries from Legion have 3 sockets on them: Celumbra, Vigilance Perch and The Sentinel's Eternal Refuge. They are definitely viable, but these legendaries can't be enhanced by old non-Shadowlands enchantments due to their higher ilvl and cost a lot in the Auction House, making them a difficult trade off in comparison to raid items from Mists of Pandaria.
They also work in Timewalking and should definitely be a part of your gear. And, due to Timewalking ilvl scaling, it really won't matter whichever Rank you use.
Weapons & Shields
The strongest items for Timewalking are those with the highest number of sockets. And the same rule holds true for weapons as well – with few exceptions for weapons with procs.
For those who played during Mists of Pandaria, Siege of Orgrimmar heirlooms contain some of the very few one-hand and ranged weapons with 2 sockets in-game, such as Hellscream's Cleaver and Hellscream's Warbow; and the legendary Eye of the Black Prince allows to add a second socket to Sha-touched weapons or weapons from Throne of Thunder raid (it does not work with shields and off-hands).
For players who have neither, here is a list of notable weapons:
- Str/Agi: Blackout Truncheon, Hand of the Deceiver & Empyrean Demolisher
- Str: Shadowmourne, Glorenzelg, Sulfuras, the Extinguished Hand, Destiny, Souldrinker, Gurthalak, Geti'ikku & Dream's End
- Agi: Oathbinder & others, Blade of the Unrequited, Fangs of the Father & Diver's Folly
- Int: Dragonwrath, Nibelung & others
- Heal: Val'anyr & Maw of the Dragonlord
- Ranged: Barrel-Blade Longrifle, Twin-Pipe Buster Cannon & Shiver Venom Crossbow
- Funniest Weapon: Kiril, Fury of the Beasts – This two-hand agility polearm not only has a proc effect that gives a nice agility buff, it also more than doubles the size of the character. It won't stack with other similar increase size effects, with the exception of Bom'bay's Grow Spell. A must-have for those interested in pummeling bosses in Giant Bear Form.
- Shields: The Boreal Guard, Shard of Torment, Blackhorn's Mighty Bulwark & ToT/SoS shields.
Neck – Heart of Azeroth and Prizerock Neckband
This 3 socket neck item is the reward for completing the Highmountain archaeology quest chain beginning with the quest A New Lead, available for only two weeks every six months.
Azerite gear is considered the worst itemization system ever implemented in World of Warcraft – according to multiple sources and this video from Hirumadex. Nonetheless, they still work in Timewalking events and, depending on which class or spec you use, they can potentially be better than socketed gear. But this really depends on how well those azerite traits scale for Timewalking, so there is no definitive answer as to whether you should use Azerite gear or not.
If you left some favorite Azerite pieces in the bank, give them a second try in Timewalking events. And see bellow my personal picks for Shaman specs.
P.S.: Shadowlands enchantments such as Eternal Stats can be used on Azerite chest pieces.
The BiS rings are Spellbound Runic Bands from WoD Legendary Ring Questline and Ashen Bands – Tank, Str, Agi, Int, Heal – from WotLK The Ashen Verdict reputation. But, since the first ones are no longer obtainable and the second group only goes up to ilvl 35, there are some other interesting options from Legion and BfA:
- Jeweled Signet of Melandrus: while equiped, increases autoattack damage by 10%.
- Gnawed Thumb Ring: on use, increases healing and magic damage by 5% for 12 seconds with a 3 minute cooldown.
- Ring of Collapsing Futures: on use, deals direct damage with a 15 second cooldown. Also leaves the debuff Temptation for 30 seconds; activating again before the debuff expires may increase cooldown to 5 minutes.
- Mechagon Rings Set: These rings are no longer broken overtuned as they were in BfA, but are still powerful – and my favorites. Bit Band rings will give a Haste buff, deal melee AoE damage, absorb magic damage or heal up to 5 allies while equipped together with Logic Loop rings – pick Logic Loop of Recursion for every role or Logic Loop of Synergy for healing.
These are the BiS trinkets i found in other guides and forums – and those highlighted are particularly strong and/or the most indicated.
- Stat Sticks: Ghost Iron Dragonling, Chipped Soul Prism & Unstable Arcanocrystal.
- Tank: Evergaze Arcane Eidolon, Blast Furnace Door, Anzu's Cursed Plume & Tyrant's Decree.
- Str/Agi DPS: Tiny Abomination in a Jar, Deathbringer's Will, Convergence of Fates & Umbral Moonglaives.
- Strength-only DPS: Bone-Link Fetish, Eye of Unmaking, Discordant Chorus & Claw of the Crystalline Scorpid.
- Agility-only DPS: Wrath of Unchaining, Bad Juju, & Mirror of Blademaster.
- Caster DPS: Theralion's Mirror, Cunning of the Cruel, Will of Unbinding, Unblinking Gaze of Sethe & Prophecy of Fear.
- Heal: Solace of the Fallen, Althor's Abacus, Windward Heart, Darmac's Unstable Talisman, Blackiron Micro Crucible, Darkmoon Deck: Promises, Dreadstone of Endless Shadow, Sea Star of Depthmother, Highfather's Machination & Darkmoon Deck: Tides.
Special thanks to server58, DireJew and osburnn for their amazing guides, Gõd and Swervenprot for their advices, Lorlorelor for the Discord group Raiding Rebellion – where we do Timewalking raids during Sunday afternoons – and my wife for her patience while i was spending time making this guide.
Guide updated for Shadowlands patch 9.0.5. Posted April 7, 2021.
These are my shaman's azerite items. Instead of stacking the best single-target traits as most BfA guides would advise, i also chose items for AoE, Cleave and the trait Ancient Ankh Talisman to halve Reincarnation cooldown – except for Enhancement spec, which is focused on single-target.
- Sethraliss' Fanged Helm: Igneous Potential, Swirling Sands & Overwhelming Power
- Gaping Maw Shoulderguard: Igneous Potential/Ancestral Resonance, Lava Shock & Blood Siphon
- Deathslaver's Hauberk: Tectonic Thunder, Natural Harmony, Gutripper & Ancient Ankh Talisman
- Soulscarred Headgear: Turn of the Tide, Blightborne Infusion & Bracing Chill
- Crashguard Spaulders: Spouting Spirits, Ancestral Resonance, Woundbinder & Ancient Ankh Talisman
- Corrupted Hexxer's Vestments: Igneous Potential, Overflowing Shores & Concentrated Mending
- Shadowlands Guide to Optimizing Timewalking Gear. Recent changes, nerfs and how they affect BiS gear.
- Idea how to balance rare and legendary items
- Jewels – D2’s most interesting socketed items and why D4 needs them
More about World of Warcraft (WoW)Post: "Shadowlands Guide to Timewalking BiS Gear" specifically for the game World of Warcraft (WoW). Other useful information about this game:
- Hycran’s Azeroth-BNB: A Guide to Accommodations in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms
- [3.3.5a] WoWPortal Funserver – Necro Cards System
- Vengeance in Scythe – A Demon Hunter Chain Quest (Fan Art Project)
- How the Night Elf Story could’ve progressed after the Burning of Teldrassil
- Sylvanas, Anduin, Nathanos, and Varian “We can’t even choose who we-“
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