Shadowlands Pre-Patch Gear Optimization

Important Note:

If you get an error on your first visit to AMR after the pre-patch, don’t worry about it. If you reload your character from our in-game addon, the error will go away.

This goes for any character in your recent character list – you’ll need to get a fresh addon export string to reload it.

We hope to re-enable the armory/ loading soon, but need to test it first. We highly encourage you to always use the in-game addon when you can though, it gets more information about your character and is more reliable.

Pre-Patch Optimizer

When the Shadowlands pre-patch is released, we will have an updated version of the gear optimizer designed for this transitional period. It will have:

  • Stat preference-based rankings for raiding and mythic+ for each spec
  • Rough trinket rankings for all BfA trinkets and items
  • General essence and azerite trait advice

Of note is that we will no longer do a full optimization of essences and azerite traits. (Corruption effects will be disabled in-game, so those won’t matter anymore.) Instead there will be some general advice that shows up right on the user interface for level 50 (or lower) characters who have the Heart of Azeroth equipped.

How “optimal” will this be?

Pre-patches are always an awkward time for the game. You have half of the old game mechanics (essences and azerite but no corruption), and half of the new game mechanics (level/item squish, new class design, but no covenants, soulbinds, conduits, or new legendaries). On top of that, you will no longer be max level.

The game is just not designed to be “balanced” in this setting. Furthermore, Blizzard always uses the pre-patch as extra time to fine-tune things before the official launch of Shadowlands. (And then they usually use the weeks leading up to the first raid to do another major tuning pass. And then they use the first few weeks of raiding to do another major tuning pass before Mythic opens.)

Therefore, our pre-patch gearing strategies should be treated as a general guideline, not a ‘perfect’ optimization.

Use these optimizations as a convenient starting point to play around with things in the pre-patch. Focus more on experimenting with all the new stuff than becoming exactly “optimal” for the few weeks of the pre-patch.

Upgrade Finder

The Upgrade Finder will be disabled during the pre-patch. It is designed to do searches on max-level content, so it won’t be re-enabled until close to the Shadowlands release. The Shadowlands beta is not in a state yet where we could give meaningful gear rankings to all the new stuff – Blizzard is still implementing and balancing the new gear.

Best in Slot

Best in Slot will be disabled during the pre-patch – it is only designed for use with max-level characters, and nobody will be max level anymore! The Shadowlands beta is also not in a state yet where we could even give a meaningful optimization, as Blizzard is still implementing and balancing things.

Tank Toughness Threshold

For the pre-patch, the tank toughness threshold should work well enough, but it won’t be quite as fine-grained as with our normal strategies. You’ll probably get best use out of it by going all the way tough or all the way damage. With the release of Shadowlands, we’ll recalibrate the toughness threshold for max-level content (and also add a similar slider for healers!)

BfA Things No Longer Supported

Some BfA-specific things are no longer supported as of the pre-patch:

  • punchcards
  • logic loop+bit band combos

Essences and Azerite in Shadowlands

You will still be able to use essences and azerite when doing Battle for Azeroth content in Shadowlands, as part of the leveling experience. As long as you are level 50 or lower and have the Heart of Azeroth equipped, we will still show essence and azerite advice even after Shadowlands goes live.

Shadowlands Gear Ranking

The pre-patch strategies will not have ranking data for Shadowlands gear, legendaries, soulbind abilities, or conduits. All of that will be added when Shadowlands officially launches, and significantly refined leading up to the start of the first raid.

That said, you will be able to simulate all of the new Shadowlands mechanics throughout the pre-patch (and can already do so for many specs on our beta website).

Any chance worst in bags will be updated? My bank is not loving this corruption business. :panda_face:

Worst in Bags will be fully functional with the pre-patch update. It will no longer consider corruption effects, so it should help you prune those out.

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If you wanted, you could copy your character to the PTR, and use the beta version of our addon to give me an export of your character (

With that I could test out Worst in Bags on your inventory with the pre-patch optimizer we’re working on, see how it does.

I think you can safely delete those punchcards, too!

Sorry, but I’ve never really dabbled in PTR land. It’s not really my style. I wouldn’t even know how to get started.

Hey, now, I’m still curious to see how Trajectory Analysis fairs in SL with the stat squish and removal of corruptions!

True. I wouldn’t put it past Blizzard letting Cyclotronic Blast 1 shot raid bosses either.

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On the plus side the system is taking my addon results from prepatch ptr.
On the minus, it seems that some of the artifact weapons from legion are still treated in the evaluation as if their legacy effects are still active (Titanstrike in particular).


Must be something else - we definitely have no remaining code that would even be able to estimate legacy effects on artifact weapons.

Just wondering: have Azerite Traits been updated so that the 'bot won’t recommend traits that are now broken, such as Monk’s ‘Straight, No Chaser’, or updated, such as Heart of Darkness?

When you are able to log in again and load your character, you’ll see that we have a different format for azerite and essence recommendations. If any of those recommendations look off, be sure to let us know and we can update them.

Important note for people:

Make sure to go to your bank and open it again – Blizzard has changed the item format a bit, so you need to force our addon to re-scan your bank to get updated versions of all your gear.

Ok, yeah, I see what ya’ll did there :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s cool. Though I’m getting a ton of LUA errors when I try to import my worst in bag list. You want/need me to post said errors somewhere?

I’ll take a look – I was able to reproduce the error. Shouldn’t be too hard to fix.

I just updated with version 91 of the addon. You can get that directly from, or on the Twitch app (though it can sometimes take a little while for new versions to show up there after I post them).

We just posted another quick fix for some users getting an error when optimizing that said “the index was outside the bounds of the array.” If you refresh the web page and optimize again, it should work.

I still get items recommended based on the corruption effect (and the corruption effect is reported as still active on the page’s optimized gear section).

The corruption effects will still appear on the items, but we do not give them any value.

the optimizer wants me to remove my +7 crit deadly lavas and downgrade them to +6 deadly amberblaze
and for some reason it believes one of my best trinkets is the velens future sight legendary from legion. i def understand it isnt working as intended in prepatch so just submitting this as bug info to try and figure out why its doing it.