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Heroic Elite is a version of an item dropped from an "Elite mode" (informally called "Hard mode") of a raid encounter. The only such encounter is Protectors of the Endless in the Terrace of Endless Spring. The Heroic Elite tag on items, alongside the "Elite" tag, were formalized in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Before that, items awarded from completing Elite mode encounters were unique to that mode and were not dropped at all if the encounter was completed normally.