Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Arcane Brilliance: Enchanting your mage

Christian Belt

Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that firmly believes the frozen throne simply isn't frozen enough. Frankly, we don't think the Lich King was trying hard enough. And so we applaud the efforts of the enterprising young mage pictured above. Way to show Arthas how it's done! Also, we will miss you.

So 3.3 has been live for several weeks now, and a great many of us have farmed up more Emblems of Frost and Triumph than we know what to do with. We, as a nation of mages, have bought ourselves a whole set of really nice new gear, possibly far nicer than anything we've ever had before. And what do we like to do when we get something really nice? Why, make it even nicer, right?

We get the nice video game system, we want a nice controller, and a selection of top-shelf titles to play on it. We get the HDTV, we want the shiny Blu-Ray player so we can watch Firefly in glorious high definition. We get the new car, we want to get a nice alarm system for it so that nobody can steal it. Unless you're that dork from my high school who bought the high-tech alarm system for his mom's 1976 Volkswagen Rabbit. Oh how we mocked him. Maybe someday you can get a good car to go with that sweet alarm system, we'd say, and laugh as he would hang his head in shame. Somewhere, he probably has all of our names on a list of people to kill, which he stares at while he puts on lipstick, Steve Buscemi-style.

But for most of us, this shiny new gear stirs within us the primal urge to trick it out even more. Which of course means that business is booming for Enchanters and Jewelcrafters. We discussed gemming last week, and this week, we're moving on to the fine art of enchanting your mage's already quite magical wardrobe.

We'll cover each enchantable slot in turn and list the best available enchant options for those slots. We'll also cover a few more cost-effective alternatives for those slots that you haven't upgraded yet, and might replace before long. Maybe you have a Volkswagen Rabbit and would rather wait to install a top-end alarm system in something with a bit more...flair. Or maybe you're just cheap.

  • Head
Your only real options here come from the various Northrend faction quartermasters, which of course means you'll need to actually raise your reputation with those factions in order to purchase them. For mages, that faction is the Kirin Tor, and that enchant is the Arcanum of Burning Mysteries. It costs 150g, and you'll need to be at revered to buy it. There are several pieces of good news there, though:
  1. You're a mage, which means you already start out at friendly with the Kirin Tor.
  2. If you've been farming emblems in random heroics, and you've worn your Tabard of the Kirin Tor for even a small portion of those farming sessions, you're probably at or beyond revered already.
  3. If not, start doing that. It doesn't take long. Really, this is probably the first Wrath faction you should start grinding rep with as a mage.
  4. 150g is not a lot of money.
As of the last patch, these faction-specific enchants are all Bind-on-Account now, so if you have another character that's at revered or better with the Kirin Tor, you can always buy this with that character and send it to your mage. But really, you're a freaking mage. You should get in good with the mage faction.

1976 Volkswagen Rabbit option:

I still say 150g and revered with the Kirin Tor is cheap, but if you want a budget alternative, you can always go for the PvP head enchant, available in Wintergrasp for 40 Stone Keeper's Shards. You lose 1 spellpower and 20 crit rating and gain resilience.
  • Shoulders
Greater Inscription of the Storm

This is purchasable at exalted with the Sons of Hodir for 100g. Now, this faction isn't quite the grind it once was. The initial questline to open up the vendor and dailies hands out significantly more rep than it used to, and the repeatable turn-in quest has also had its rep reward boosted.

1976 Volkswagen Rabbit option:

Again, there's the PvP option in Wintergrasp, or the lesser version of the Sons of Hodir enchant, available for 75g at honored.
  • Back
Are you a tailor? If so, so have access to the single greatest cloak enchant for mages in the game: Lightweave Embroidery. It procs all the time, and when it does, it provides you with a nice chunk of spellpower. Not a tailor? Your best-in-slot option then becomes the Greater Speed enchant.

1976 Volkswagen Rabbit option:

Cutting your extra haste from 23 to 15 saves you a lot of pricey mats. Enchant Cloak: Speed is really about it for cheap back options.
  • Chest
Powerful Stats is the very pricey way to go here. It gives you intellect and spirit, which is better than any of the other options for this slot. Honestly, who came up with the chest enchants in this game? As I do when determining the origins behind everything I don't like, I'm guessing warlock.

1976 Volkswagen Rabbit option:

Super Stats is fine, and far cheaper. Honestly, unless your chest armor is the absolute best-in-slot and money is simply not an issue for you, the extra benefit of a couple points of spirit and intellect simply aren't going to be worth the massive hike in mat value.
  • Wrist
Ah, finally a pure spellpower enchant. Superior Spellpower is the no-brainer here.
1976 Volkswagen Rabbit option:

The mats are cheaper for Greater Spellpower, and though you lose 7 spellpower, it's a perfectly servicable enchant for the budget-conscious.
  • Hands
Enchant Gloves - Exceptional Spellpower provides you with 28 spellpower. Best of all? The mats are actually quite inexpensive.

1976 Volkswagen Rabbit option:

Depending upon the value of Burning Crusade chanting mats in your server's economy, this may not even be cheaper, but you can always downgrade a bit to Major Spellpower and its solid offering of 20 spellpower.
  • Legs
You have a couple of choices here. Sapphire Spellthread gives you 50 spellpower and 30 stamina, while Brilliant Spellthread trades the stamina for 20 spirit. I'd take the spirit for pure DPS reasons, though 20 spirit isn't going to offer you anything significant enough to really worry about. If you'd rather have the extra stam, go for it.

It's worth noting that if you happen to be a tailor, you can enchant your own pants with equally excellent stats for virtually nothing.

1976 Volkswagen Rabbit option:

Become a tailor. Or buy the less expensive but still passable Azure or Shining spellthread instead.
  • Feet
This is an interesting slot. There's only one really decent pure DPS option: Icewalker. It gives you crit and hit. But before you run out and snag that enchant, you should also consider the fact that feet enchants are a very inexpensive way to increase your run speed. This is a life-saver in PvP, but can also actually increase your DPS by a significant amount in fights that require you to stay mobile. Any time you can save in getting from point A to point B is extra time you can spend casting.

For this reason, Tuskarr's Vitality is worth looking at. In movement-heavy environments, this is your best-in-slot enchant. In static situations, Icewalker is the only game in town. It might actually pay, if this is an option for you, to have an alternate pair of boots with Taskarr's on them for movement-based encounters. If you don't need the hit rating, then just go with the run speed enchant.

1976 Volkswagen Rabbit option:

It's still Icewalker, really. It's already cheap.
  • 1H Weapon
Enchant Weapon - Black Magic

This is, bar none, your best 1H caster weapon enchant. It trumps the 63 spellpower one, and costs about the same in mats. The proc happens quite frequently (Elitist Jerks puts the rate at about 35%), lasts 10 seconds, and has a 35 second internal cooldown.

1976 Volkswagen Rabbit option:

Exceptional Spellpower gives 50 spellpower, and is much cheaper in terms of mats.
  • 2H Weapon
Honestly, Black Magic is still competitive here, but Enchant Staff - Greater Spellpower with its constant, static 81 spellpower, is probably the best in slot option for your magical staff of awesomeness. Holy crap is it expensive though.

1976 Volkswagen Rabbit option:

Enchant Staff - Spellpower (69 spellpower) is perfectly fine when money is an issue, or if you think you'll be replacing your staff soon.

And with that, your shiny new gear is even shinier. And let's be honest: who doesn't want enchanted pants? If you have your hand raised, you are a liar. Everyone wants enchanted pants.

Every week Arcane Brilliance teleports you inside the wonderful world of mages and then hurls a Fireball in your face. Check out our recent mage primer for patch 3.3, or our lengthy series of mage leveling guides. Until next week, keep the Mage-train a-rollin'.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr