Insider Trader: Enchanting the Cataclysm

Michael Gray
M. Gray|07.27.10

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Insider Trader: Enchanting the Cataclysm
Cataclysm is probably still a little bit away. Blizzard has not announced the final launch date, though, so there's really not any way to guess. Still, we're seeing more and more information slough out of the beta like so much tantalizing ice cream falling from the soft serve dispenser. The flavor of the week for professions, of course, is enchanting.

Enchanting is probably the most fundamental template for improving a character beyond levels and gear. Even though jewelcrafters have been around for two expansions, people still talk about enchanted gear as being the baseline for character improvement. It makes sense, then, that the foundation is a flagship for gear enhancement in Cataclysm.

However, with a few small exceptions, the rules about which stats get enchantments are changing. As you'll see as we go through the new enchants one by one, many of the new enchanting standards will be based on procs. We can guess this change is in the interest of making the stat bonuses more interesting and "deep," so it's going to be interesting to see which enchants different classes prefer.

As warning, though, it's beta. It's almost certain some of these stats are placeholders or subject to change.

Boots and bracers

The boot enchant Assassin's Step wins for the coolest name in WoW enchants. It just sounds awesome. And it's pretty good for rogues and druids, since it applies 25 agility and a movement speed increase. Its speed and stat cousin is Lavawalker, which grants a movement speed increase and 35 mastery. If you're not interested in movement speed, you can just apply Mastery to your boots, which will boost that trait by 50. Major Agility serves the same purpose -- just 35 agility without the movement speed. Precision is the expected hit rating enchantment to use until you're at your class's hit cap. Boots can also use Haste, if you're trying to get that capped.

The bracer enchants are a little less flavorful. You have two basic options, Greater Critical Strike or Greater Speed. The speed enchant is a haste enchant, of course. Bracers can also take the enchant Greater Expertise. If you need a little spirit, then bracers might be a good option with Exceptional Spirit. Precision is also an option for bracers, which coupled with its boot version, will help propel you to your hit cap. Tanks will look to Dodge to boost their defense. If you're tank isn't dodge-inclined, there's still Major Stamina.

Chest, cloaks, gloves

The chest enchant actually now includes an option for Greater Stamina. While stamina is an option many tanks felt was missing from their chests in Wrath, I suspect it's now included in the chest lineup due to the greater stamina on all gear in Cataclysm. Survivability is supposed to be an issue in Cataclysm, but I just don't see a world where DPSers are going to pass up options to increase their DPS. That comes with Peerless Stats, which will increase all stats by 20. Chest will be a good place for spellcasters also with Exceptional Spirit.

Cloaks get Greater Critical Strike, which increases critical strike rating by 65. (There's a weaker version available for fewer materials, simply called Critical Strike.) Spellcasters might want Greater Intellect on their cloaks instead, boosting intellect by 50. Some tanks might be interested in having Protection on their cloaks.

Gloves are going to be some happy critters in Cataclysm. You can pick up Greater Mastery to boost mastery by 65. Alternatively, you have the option of rocking Mighty Strength for 50 strength. (The lesser version of Mighty Strength is Exceptional Strength, for a mere 35 points instead.) Haste is also available.

Yes, Virginia, you can get Superior Intellect on your shield. Also, Blocking is still a common use of shields. Protection is available if you just want raw armor.

Shields and weapons

Weapon enchants get interesting with their proc-based effects. If you're a melee class who is concerned with attack power, then Landslide will probably be an amazing enchant. It has a chance from melee attacks to provide attack power for 10 seconds. Power Torrent works similarly, but provides spellpower after casting spells or striking in melee. Lastly, Windwalk provide dodge for tanks occasionally after striking in melee. Heartsong will sometimes boost spirit after casting spells or striking in melee, while Hurricane will increase haste under the same conditions. Elemental Slayer is an interesting enchant for farming elementals in Cataclysm, although I think it will likely end up a leveling enchant. However, Avalanche is available as a direct damage proc against all targets, so that might prove more useful. Mending will be nice for people who want a little self-heal to minimize their downtime.

Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling subculture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking and the methods behind the madness.
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