Compared to some others, I'm still very much a newbie when it comes to Wizard101. I first signed up to play right after the New Year in 2013. Like most new players, I didn't have the slightest clue as to what I was doing. Many of my early decisions were made by uneducated guesses rather than strategic plans. Luckily, after learning the ropes and finding some helpful sources and mentors along the way, I can say I've grown a lot since my first day of class. I want others to grow too. In an effort to do that, I’m going to be sharing my gear journey through Wizard101. By no means am I saying that every piece of gear I used was the best and you should too - I’m just sharing my experiences so you can compare and make your own decisions.
*Please keep in mind that Azteca was the highest world when I signed up.*
Newbie Beginnings: Level 1 - Level 59
I know what you're thinking … you grouped that large of a level gap together? Yes, yes I did. The main reason being that my gear changed extremely often during this level period. All of my gear early in the game came as drops, and only drops. I didn't shop for gear in the bazaar or farm for specific items at all. After each battle, I would simply look in my backpack to see if there was anything I deemed better than the current gear I had on. If I didn't find something I liked, I immediately trashed it. As a result of not doing any gear research, my solo playing experience was probably more challenging than most others. Had I shopped at the bazaar every ten levels or so, my gear stats would have been tremendously more impressive. That being said, I was still successfully able to solo almost everything in this first portion of the game, even despite my anything but stellar fashion choices.
A Huge Upgrade: Level 60 - Level 75
After struggling more than I would have preferred in Celestia, I finally came to my senses and decided that I needed a gear upgrade. I started asking friends and community members primarily on the fansite, Wizard101 Central, for item and gear recommendations. The general consensus was that hands down Waterworks gear was the way to go. I looked further into what they said and I was not disappointed. Waterworks gear offered great universal options, my favorite being universal resistance. With some help from the Mercenaries for Hire, I began to farm for my full set of Waterworks gear. I would say it took three or four runs in total for me to obtain everything (the hat from Luska Charmbeak and the robe and boots from Sylster Glowstorm). Once I completed my Waterworks mission, I started to research other pieces of gear such as athames, rings, amulets, and wands. I soon found myself farming the Tower of Helephant for the Lexicon Blade from Ervin the Barbarian and the Aureate Band from Lyon Lorestriker. Just like in the case of my Waterworks gear, I was drawn to the Lexicon Blade and the Aureate Band because of their universal and versatile stats. To complete my transition from total newbie to informed student, I bought a Sidhe Staff from the crown shop. With huge power pip and accuracy boosts, the Sidhe Staff gave me a welcoming edge when I returned to questing.
Those Critical Hits: Level 76 - Level 86
It was near the middle of Avalon where I found myself having trouble with many straightforward bosses. I was getting pounded repeatedly with massive critical attacks which I never seemed to block. Although I liked my universal Waterworks gear, I knew it was time to shift my attention to critical block. I visited the Avalon boot recipe vendor, Shane MacGobhann, in The Wild to craft the Footwraps of Legacy. The reagent gathering was well worth it in the end. By just switching out my Waterworks boots for the new Avalon crafted block boots, critical attacks were no longer an obstacle in my soloing endeavors. When I reached level 86, I upgraded my Avalon block boots to the Azteca block boots by purchasing the recipe from Popol Vuh Whitepaper in Alto Alto.
My First End Game: Level 87 - Level 99
The end of Khrysalis marked my first end game, meaning that I had finished the current storyline up to the highest point. Completing the storyline opened up some valuable farming time which I took advantage of. I began my new gear hunt in Aquila looking for the Alpha and Omega Ring from Gladiator Dimachaerus and the Blade of the Felled Titan from Cronus. The ring dropped fairly quickly, but Cronus’s athame remained elusive for the longest time. After I snagged both the Aquila ring and athame, I moved onward towards a new amulet and deck. Khrysalis bosses in the Hive dropped unique decks which gave an extra pip. Of course I had my sights on that! Unfortunately, there were no easy bosses to farm when it came to the myth pip deck. I ended up farming the Black Hole a few days a week until one finally dropped into my backpack. Now instead of starting with two power pips, I could start with two power pips and one regular pip (this would make a big difference later when I trained my Darkmoor spell). The final item that was in my line of sight was Morganthe’s amulet. What I really liked about Morganthe’s amulet was the two item mythblade cards it came with. I’m all for buffs, so the more the merrier! I farmed Morganthe for a few weeks to no avail … or so I thought. I went into my bank one day and ended up finding the amulet that I was after. I’m not sure how long it was there or how many wasted farming days I spent! Silly me.
Darkmoor Struggles and Polaris Decisions: Level 100 - Level 110
Before Darkmoor was released, I was still wearing my level 60 Waterworks gear (minus the Azteca block boots). In my opinion there were no other pieces of gear that gave me the universal stats I was looking for. That all changed with Darkmoor. When pictures of the dropped Darkmoor gear started surfacing, I recognized immediately that the set was essentially a Waterworks upgrade. The only thing in my way of course, was that not so walk in the park dungeon called the Graveyard. At the time, a second chance chest didn’t exist, so I spent many hours and days wrestling with the evil likes of Shane Von Shane and Shadow Malistaire. Eventually I came out victorious and obtained Shadow Malistaire’s top tier hat, robe, boots, and wand, along with Yevgeny NightCreeper's athame. I used Shadow Malistaire's wand only until the Terror’s Hoard Pack came out. Looking for some more damage, I spent a decent amount of crowns chasing the spirit damage wand, Eye of the Soothsayer. After gathering more elemental wands than I could count, the pack ultimately felt generous and dropped what I was seeking. Despite what I hoped, the new icy world of Polaris didn’t offer many gear farming incentives having already finished my Darkmoor set. The one piece of gear I truly was attracted to was The Rat’s pip deck which also supplies a critical and critical block boost. The Rat’s wand gives some nice damage, and his amulet is tempting too, but I actually find myself still using the Eye of the Soothsayer wand and the Morganthe amulet more often.
I change my gear depending on the role I'll be playing (support, healing, etc..), but this is my current standard gear setup.
* Hat: Kan Davasi Victor's Hood (Shadow Malistaire, The Graveyard)
* Robe: Kan Davasi Victor's Gear (Shadow Malistaire, The Graveyard)
* Boots: Kan Davasi Victor's Greaves (Shadow Malistaire, The Graveyard)
* Wand: Eye of the Soothsayer (Terror's Hoard Pack)
* Athame: Dirk of Dimwood Vale (Yevgeny NightCreeper, The Graveyard)
* Amulet: Relic of the Shadow Palace (Morganthe, Shadow Palace)
* Ring: Alpha and Omega Ring (Gladiator Dimachaerus, Mount Olympus)
* Deck: Rasputin's Hypnotic Hand (The Rat, Horizon Hold)
In general, there are no "best" gear sets. Depending on what you're looking for, gear preferences will differ person to person. Storm wizards usually desire items with a heavy emphasis on damage. Life wizards often gravitate towards gear that supplies a bigger outgoing heal boost. I like a little bit of everything, so I'm happy with the balance that my gear offers me. Decide how you want to play the game and then research the gear that will help you accomplish that.