Patch 4.3 means exciting times with the onset of LFR and Dragon Soul. The general formula I have for my alts once they hit 85 now is as follows:
The gear gaps and jumps will roughtly look something like this for a fresh 85:
316: You might be 316 if you rushed through or power levelled through Cata zones.
329: The magic number to start doing heroics for 346 items! Spend/save your JP for T12, which is 378!
333: Regular 85 dungeons and heroics.
346: Regular heroics and should have enough JP to buy some 378 tier gear.
353: Hour of Twilight heroics, these dungeons are relatively easy for their gear level and drop 378 items.
365: Hour of Twighlight heroics, they are faster and easier than reg dungeons because most people are “geared” going in. Random Firelands pugs, which also drops 378.
372: This is the magic number, now you can start doing LFR for 384 tier/items from the first 6 bosses and also 390 items on the last two.
378: Go try out Dragon Soul for kicks for 397! You should also start using your VP for rings/capes/belts if you are getting lucky with token drops in LFR.
This is how my alts tend to get treated upon hitting 85, note I have 6 toons at 85 so running heroics isn’t my cup of tea:
1. I will use any extra JP to get them bracers, and whatever JP they have for their main spec tier 12 gear.
2. Check the AH for cheap 378 items.
3. I will throw my toon into our weekly random Firelands run once they are close to mid 360 ilvl.
3. If my toons are really close to the magical 372, say sitting at 369 PVE gear, I will consider buying them the 377 pvp gear to boost them into LFR. Though this method isn’t recommended if you are going to do a full set of 377 pvp gear, people will get mad at you.
4. Once you’re 372 the world is yours.
Truny the Gearful