Having the right enchantments on your gear can make the difference between a successful boss kill and a ignoble wipe. In Cataclysm, shoulder enchants are sold by the quartermaster of the Therazane faction. Just like the Sons Of Hodir in Wrath, you’ll need to grind reputation with this faction before you can purchase a shoulder enchant. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to be a scribe, you get to bypass the grind and use your Inscription to make super-powered versions of the standard shoulder enchants.
Scribes have it easy – Inscription shoulder enchantments for level 85
If Inscription is one of your chosen professions, you’ll have access to a handful of special shoulder enchantments. They can only be used on your own gear, so you won’t be able to sell them to other players or send them to an alt, but they’re the best shoulder enhancements in the game. For the low, low price of a mere 4 Blackfallow Inks, you can choose from the following four uber-enchants:
Felfire Inscription (130 Intellect and 25 Haste) – Priests, Moonkin Druids, Warlocks, Elemental and Restoration Shaman
Inscription of the Earth Prince (195 Stamina and 25 Dodge Rating) – Warrior tanks, Death Knight tanks, Paladin tanks, Druid tanks
Lionsmane Inscription (130 Strength and 25 Critical Strike Rating) – DPS Warriors, Retribution Paladins, Unholy or Frost Death Knights
Swiftsteel Inscription (130 Agility and 25 Mastery Rating) – Rogues, Hunters, Enhancement Shaman
Standard shoulder enhancements for level 85
If you’re not a Scribe, then it’s grindin’ time. The Therazane faction (with whom you’re about to become all too familiar) can be found in Deepholm. Grab the introductory quest (’Warchief’s Command: Deepholm!’ from Warchief’s Command Board in Orgrimmar or ‘Hero’s Call: Deepholm!’ from the Hero’s Call Board in Stormwind) and play through the opening questline. You’ll be transported to Deepholm automatically at the end of the quest. There’s a free portal from Deepholm to Orgrimmar or Stormwind, and once you’ve completed the initial quests you’ll find that the equivalent portal to Deepholm from your faction’s capital city is now enabled.
The questchain in Deepholm is easy to follow – grab every quest you can see once you arrive, and you’ll soon unlock the daily quests you’ll need for the Therazane reputation grind. You’ll be able to purchase poor-quality shoulder enchants once you reach Honored, but for the best enchants you’ll need to grind all the way to Exalted. Ten Ton Hammer has a good guide to the Therazane grind.
Healers and zappy spellcasters (Priests, Moonkin Druids, Warlocks, Shaman) will want Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone, which gives +50 Intellect and +25 Haste.
Take Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone if you’re Strength-based DPS class (Death Knights and Warriors), netting you 50 Strength and 25 Critical Strike Rating.
Agility-based DPS classes such as Hunters, Rogues, Enhancement Shaman and Feral Druids, will want to take Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal, giving 50 Agility and 25 Mastery.
For tanks – whether Death Knight, Warrior, Bear Druid or Paladin – Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz is the obvious choice with 50 Stamina and 25 Dodge Rating.
How important are shoulder enchants?
If you’re a hardcore raider, there’s no question about it – you need the best gear enhancements you get, shoulders included. As a more casual player, though, how essential are shoulder enchants? Well, they’re certainly not crucial. You’ll get some funny looks (and possibly a few rude comments) if you turn up to a raid without any shoulder enchants at all, but the same would be true if any other bits of your gear were not correctly enchanted. There’s no real excuse not to get your Therazane reputation up to at least Honored – that’ll allow you to buy the inferior version of your chosen enchant. Overall, having the correct shoulder enchantment will give you a crucial edge, but it’s usually not as essential as, say, the correct head enchant, or the correct meta gem on your headgear.
Should I take Inscription to get access to the best shoulder enchants?
No! While Special Smug Scribe Super Shoulders are a nice perk of the Inscription profession, it’s not worth taking the profession just for the enchantments. Other professions usually offer an equivalent bonus – enchanters can enchant their own rings. for example, and jewelcrafters can make gems with exceptional stats which only they can use. Take inscription if you’re intending to make money from it, or if your guild needs a Scribe, or if you just like the profession – but don’t take it just to get access to the Inscription-only shoulder enchants. Leveling Inscription will take a long time and quite a lot of gold. Of course, the idea of yet another long reputation grind may fill you with sufficient horror that you decide to take Inscription just to avoid the pain – that’s up to you!Read more →