Item level squish: a starting point
First, let’s review the baseline item levels that we will start with when leveling in Shadowlands. The pre-patch level squish will reduce our level 120 characters to level 50. Our gear levels will be squished as well (as shown in the table).
Here’s how the item squish values work:
- All 310 – 370 gear will squish to 60 (no scaling in between, it will all be iLevel 60)
- 375 – 425: for every 5 BfA item levels, you gain +2 levels in Shadowlands. For example, a 375 item becomes 62, 380 becomes 64, 385 becomes 66, and so on.
- 430 and up: for every 5 BfA item levels, you gain +5 item level in Shadowlands. So 430 becomes 85, 435 becomes 90, 440 becomes 95, etc.
|BfA item level||Pre-patch squish|
|310 – 370||60|
|375 – 425||62 – 82|
When we’ll start replacing our BfA gear
How far will our BfA gear carry us into the Shadowlands leveling process? It depends on how high your gear was in BfA. You could start replacing it as soon as level 51 (for LFR level gear) or as late as level 57 or 58 (for Mythic raid gear).
Here’s when you’ll start replacing gear:
- LFR items will be replaced around level 51
- Normal raid items at level 53
- Heroic raid items at level 55
- Mythic raid items at level 58
- Mythic +15 raid items at level 55-56
Quest rewards scale with your player level in Shadowlands (like they did in BfA). When you pick up a quest, the level of the rewarded item will be appropriate for the level you currently are. Once you complete the quest and get the item, the level is fixed.
|Player level||Quest reward level|
How much will gear affect leveling?
I did a bunch of leveling in the beta. You will definitely feel overpowered for the first few levels in Shadowlands if you are starting in Normal raid gear or higher (BfA 445, 100 post squish). Then the mobs will gradually seem to get harder and you’ll probably start scrutinizing quest rewards in an effort to gain some of that power back.
You really just need one set of gear per spec that you plan to use while leveling up. For example, I am keeping a Balance and Resto set for my druid. Having alternate items, even alternate trinkets, won’t add much to your leveling speed.
For everything else, you can get rid of it now and free up that precious bag space. How else will you carry around all of those random quest items for turnin?
The best way to get rid of old gear: manual vs addon
If you like to get hands-on, manually going through your bags and bank to get rid of your gear might be best for you. However, if you want to save time and the hassle of locating your old items, our Worst in Bags feature make this process really simple. Some people also like using a combination of the two methods.
Manually finding gear to clean out your bags
If you plan to do this, try making use of the built in equipment manager on the in-game Character panel. Once something is added to an equipment set, the item tooltip will be updated to indicate it is included in that set. So when you go to a vendor and mouse over the items, you’ll have an easier time remembering if you wanted to sell keep an item.
How to use the equipment manager:
- In game, equip the gear you want to keep for your current spec
- Open the equipment manager tab and add your items to the current (or a new) set
- Repeat for all specs that you want to keep a set of gear for
- Now all items that are being used will have a tooltip indicator and you can safely vendor anything that isn’t included in an equipment manager set.
- Don’t forget to go through your bank as well as your bags
An even easier way to get rid of items: Worst in Bags
Now is actually the perfect time to use the Worst in Bags feature. In fact, based on the increased usage of this feature, it looks like a lot of you are already ahead of the game and emptying your bags.
Find & review items to discard
Use the in-game addon to sell items
There are a lot of reasons to love this Worst in Bags right now. But the biggest one has to do with locating all of your items.
First, it finds items hidden all over your bank. You know… the items you stashed there haphazardly to make room in your bags before a raid or just for world questing… Second, once you identify the items to vendor, Mr. Robot physically locates all of the items, grabs them from your bags (via the addon), and gives you an easy interface to use at the vendor. This means you don’t even have to locate the items in your own bags – just click on that item in the addon’s vendor-junk list.
The other time-saver is that Worst in Bags saves any item used for your main and offspecs. It also saves any item for any setup you use on the website (like separate AoE and Single Target gear sets). This way, any items you need for a specific set will never go in the junk list.
You can also check out the Worst in Bags guide for more detailed steps.
This is part of our premium service, which is only $2 a month (or $12 if you pay annually). Everyone also gets a 1-week free trial (no credit card required) to check out the features. If your trial expired and you’ve recently come back, use the contact form and reach out. I am happy to reset trials for anyone interested in checking out this feature.
Ask Mr. Robot, pre-patch, and Shadowlands
We’ve got your gear optimization covered.
- Get our take on the best covenants for each class and spec
- Check out the Shadowlands beta simulator. All classes and specs are functional, including tanks an healers (although rotations are general placeholders as we test things out to find optimal rotations. This video shows you how to edit a rotation on our wiki).
- Find out how the Great Vault gear rewards work