Hey gang, I hate running LFR and wanted to make a guide on how I gear up without ever stepping into LFR. Note this only works because we are at the end of the Xpac. I will be referencing JustinAngel’s guide on gearing up a few times and will include the link at the bottom.
Getting ilvl 500: First thing after hitting 90 go to timeless isles and loot all the chests around the island for 496 timeless armor tokens. See JustinAngel’s guide for chest locations (there are a lot so I recommend getting the tomtom and paste addon and adding the scripts). Don’t forget to use the Burden of Eternity on a ring for the free ilvl 535 piece. Next on the list in the Timeless Isle is to kill the Celestials. Before leaving the isle make sure to spend all your extra coins on mogu runes of fate from Mistweaver Ai. Next grab the Heroic Deeds and complete your first Heroic Scenario. This quest rewards a chest that has a high chance of dropping ilvl 516 gear. If you are not ilvl 500 yet continue running Heroic Scenarios you have 1000 valor and upgrade a few pieces of gear. I know most people will say it is a waste to throw away valor like this and it is, but this guide is how to avoid LFR not how to optimally gear.
Prepping for your first raid: Time to gem/enchant all your newly obtained gear. If you are poor like myself settle by getting the cheaper versions of gems/enchants. Just make sure you have everything gemmed/enchanted and reforged correctly it makes a huge difference and isn’t that much gold. Next head over to Isle of Thunder and kill a rare, here is map of all rare spawns.
Keep killing rares (shouldn’t take long 1-3) until the Key to Palace of Lei Shen drops. Now you can get into the Troves of the Thunder King and grab a bunch of Elder Charms of Good Fortune. I can normally get 20 before time runs out. Don’t go in unprepared thought! Watch this video for an optimal route to take. Lastly make sure you have the oQueue addon and an account with openraid.us to make finding raids easier.
Let’s start raiding: Using oQueue, openraid, and chat try to find any raid that will let you in. I have found it is really easy to get into MSV through ToES with ilvl 500. Most ToT groups want ilvl 510 so it might be a week before you get there. Once you are in ToT normal the gear drops are 522 or 528 for Thunderforged. A couple of weeks of running these raids and you can easily get to ilvl 520 because of all the bonus rolls you will have. At ilvl 520 I like to start looking for flex 1 and 2 groups, they will be sparse, but hopefully you made some friends in your normal raids and they will bring you along.
Link to JustinAngel’s guide
EDIT: There are a lot of comments saying it is faster to do LFR and why do I have the LFR sucks mentality. First off LFR is quicker to gear up hands down, no arguments. I personally think there are always 5 or so people in a LFR that have no clue what they are doing and it pisses me off, this could be a problem with me, but I lose enjoyment of the game when I see people that do not want to try and progress themselves as a player. I find when I do normal raids, even outdated content; every play wants to learn and tries their best to follow mechanics. I really enjoy being part of a group where everyone is working together to down the boss and everyone is doing their job. I hope that clears things up for everyone on why I made this guide.