Enhancements for most item slots are provided by crafters of a particular profession – but for Cataclysm, head enchants are actually purchased from vendors. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in order to get access to a specific helm enchant (or ‘arcanum’, as they’re called) you’re going to have to grind one of the Cataclysm factions all the way to Revered.
Only when you reach Revered status with your chosen faction will the quartermaster allow you to buy that faction’s head enchant. Unlike shoulder enchants (which are all available from the Therazane faction), each of the Cata factions provides a different head enchant – which you go for will depend on your class and role. Thankfully, all the head enchants are Bind-to-Account, so once you’ve made the grind on one character, you can purchase the arcanum for that faction for all your alts (without needing to attain Revered reputation on the alt).
Arcanum Head Enchants by faction
For casters, the Guardians of Hyjal provide the Arcanum of Hyjal, giving 60 Intellect and 35 Critical Strike Rating. Don’t confuse the Guardians of Hyjal (the original Cataclysm Hyjal faction) with the Avengers of Hyjal (the new Firelands faction for the Patch 4.2 daily quest hub).
Strength-based DPS classes need to head over to the Twilight Highlands, to buyArcanum of the Dragonmaw (for Horde characters) or Arcanum of the Wildhammer (for Alliance). They’re identical, each giving 60 Strength and 35 Mastery Rating.
Tanks need to butter up The Earthen Ring – who, irritatingly, are spread among Vashj’ir, Deepholm and the Twilight Highlands. Vashj’ir has the most densely-populated quest hubs for the Earthen Ring, so start there. Revered reputation will net youArcanum of the Earthen Ring, which gives a nice 90 Stamina and 35 Dodge Rating.
Finally, for Agility-based characters, it’s a trip to Uldum to talk to the cat people of Ramkahen, If you’re nice to them, eventually they’ll let you buy an Arcanum of Ramkahen, which will give you an additional 60 Agility and 35 Haste Rating. Acquiring reputation with Ramkahen is a bit of pain. There are only two relevant daily quests, and one of them only becomes available to you after you’ve worked your way through most of the Uldum questline. Equally annoying, the Harrison Jones quests (surely the best part of Uldum) don’t award any Ramkahen reputation. You’ll probably want to equip a tabard to help this one along.
PvP Head Enchants
A separate set of head enchantments are available for PvP characters. Rather than grinding reputation for a specific faction, you’ll pay for these with Honor Points (or Tol Barad Commendations). Each of these enchants can be purchased for 1000 Honor Points from PvP vendors across Azeroth, or for 40 Tol Barad Commendations from your Tol Barad quartermaster (Pogg for the Horde, and Quartermaster Brazie for Alliance).
The Arcanum of Vicious Strength provides 60 Strength and 35 Resilience.
The Arcanum of Vicious Intellect provides 60 Intellect and 35 Resilience.
The Arcanum of Vicious Agility provides – yes, you guessed it – 60 Agility and 35 Resilience.
Sadly, the PvP enchants are not Bind-to-Account, so each of your alts will have to pay for their own.Read more →