Tuesday, September 4, 2007
So, this week's edition will be on the supplemental stuff you need to eke the most out of your gear, namely Enchants and Gems.
Let's start taking a look at enchants first, by category.
Head - Yes, I'm starting with the head enchants that are available. Yes, I know they're not strictly "enchants" in the sense that an enchanter does them. Sue me. :P Anyway, to my mind, there is nothing that comes even close to the Glyph of Power from the Shat'ar vendor. You'll need revered to get it, but that shouldn't be too much. If you're looking for something a bit more hybridy and you like to mix it up with some feral action sometimes, the Glyph of the Outcast from Lower City isn't bad, but hey, this is a boomkin blog!
Legs - Again, not strictly an enchant, but Mystic Spellthread and Runic Spellthread are the obvious choices for a balance druid. I personally waited until I had some purple legs to splurge on the Runic Spellthread, but that's just me. The mats aren't bad at all for either one, except for the nether - that'll probably cost you 100-150g from the crafter, if you're not a tailor yourself.
Chest - Chest enchants suck. Face it. What sucks even more is the +150 mana to chest that was in Beta never made it through to BC. So what are your choices? I'd go with either the +100 mana or the +6 to all stats. I personally choose the latter, as 6 int gives 90 mana anyway, in addition to all the other int bonuses balance druids get, and the +6 to other stats is nice to have.
Gloves - Now we get into some interesting choices. There are three main contenders here: Blasting (+10 Spell Crit), Major Spellpower (+20 Spell Damage), and Spell Strike (+15 Spell Hit). If you're going to PvE, I think that blasting is something of a waste - what balance gear there is provides plenty of spell crit and very little spell hit. If you're low on spell hit, take Spell Strike. If you're doing okay with your spell hit (say, at least 50-60 points plus your Balance of
Power talent), major spellpower might be a better long-term DPS investment. If you've got a bunch of spell hit (100 or more, plus the talent), then spellpower is definately going to be the way to go.
Boots - There's not a lot of caster options for boot enchants. Vitality (+4 health & mana/5 sec) can give you a bit of a boost with mana/5, but I personally just go with Fortitude (+12 Sta). Remember that as you progress, survivability becomes a lot more imporant. It seems that ~8000hp absolute minimum is the magic number, at least through the beginning 25 man raids. To be safe, I'd aim a bit higher. And believe me, nothing beats being able to laugh at Aran as he fires his arcane missiles at you, and even if you don't resist at all, living and healing yourself. :)
Cloak - There are two readily available enchants that will probably catch your eye: Spell Penetration and Major Resistance. Spell Penetration looks great at first...until you do the math. If you are doing PvE, spell penetration is all but useless. Really. There are only a very few mobs that have resistance that can be reduced by spell penetration - a couple in MC, and the Arcane Watchmen in Karazhan. Those are the only ones I've seen pointed out specifically. And it helps with no bosses, which is huge. So it looks like you're stuck with Major Resistance, which is nice, but somewhat expensive. But wait! Come next patch, Subtlety will be commonly available, which I think is an incredible option for us.
Shoulder - Your shoulder enchants should be pretty obvious, depending on whether you're Scryer or Aldor. Inscription of Discipline and the Greater version of it are from the Aldor, Inscription of the Orb and the Greater version from the Scryer. I personally like the Aldor ones a bit more for PvE, but that's just my preference to spell damage rather than crit.
Bracers - There are 3 enchants that I find particularly appropriate for balance druids: Spellpower, Major Intellect, and Restore Mana Prime. I leand toward Spellpower if you've got a set of bracers that are going to last you a while, but Major intellect has the advantage of being really cheap, so if you're stuck with something you think won't last you too long, go for that. Restore Mana Prime gives 6mana/5, which is a decent amount and could help if you're having trouble with mana conservation.
Rings - If you're lucky enough to be an enchanter, you can get ring enchants from various factions. From the Keepers of Time, you can get a Spellpower enchant to add +12 spell damage to your rings. Best of all, you only need Honored with the keepers of time (I don't think you can manage to get Kara attuned without at LEAST getting honored, if not revered). And the mats are fairly cheap - two large prismatics, two greater planars.
Weapon - And finally, the big one. I see three main choices at this point: Major Spellpower, Major Intellect, and Spellsurge. The first two are a tossup - if you find yourself running out of mana a lot, intellect isn't a bad way to go, and 30 intellect also means extra spell damage, crit, and mana regen. If you're doing fine in the mana department, then go with Spellpower. Spellsurge is an interesting enchant - it seems that with just you alone, it means on average about 8-10 mana/5 to your group. The interesting thing is that it stacks if multiple people in your group have it. I've seen an analysis of a healer, a shadow priest, and 3 other casters all in a group, all with Spellsurge. The mana regen was disgusting. Also, I've seen people advocate trying Sunfire, since if you're doing a Starfire spell rotation the arcane damage applies. I personally don't like this - I don't feel the extra 10 spell damage on moonfire and starfire makes up for losing 40 damage on insect swarm, wrath, and most importantly, losing 40 healing as well.
Anyhow, I'm going to sum it up there for now, next post will be coming today or tomorrow with gems!