Cataclysm enchants for bear druids

In this post I want to go over all the new enchants in Cataclysm that are appropriate for tanking druids. The enchants are listed in order of best to worst, as I see them, and include some discussion of why each enchant is useful and when it could be used best. I’m making this judgement based on the priorities in my previous post about druid tank gear as well as a need to balance heath and avoidance. Feel free to disagree with the priorities, but I hope that the list of enchants is useful!

I will follow-up this post with another that covers enchants for kitties.

Enchants

Head

Arcanum of the Earthen Ring: +90 Stamina and +35 dodge rating, requires revered reputation with the Earthen Ring faction.
Clearly this is vastly superior to other options and will be the enchant of choice. As a reputation reward it will be a fixed price, possibly something similar to the 150 gold that Wrath head enchants cost.

Heavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina. Materials are 4 Heavy Savage Leather.
This is a decent enchant, and is roughly equivalent to the Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector enchant from Wrath. The trade-off is 7 stamina for 20 dodge rating, but the odds are good that the armor kit will be cheaper than the old enchant, even at the discounted cost of 120 gold for exalted reputation. Given that the earthen ring enchant is so much better the only reason to use this one is because you don’t have enough reputation for the better enchant.

Shoulder

Inscription only enhancements:
Inscription of the Earth Prince +195 stamina and +25 dodge.
Swiftsteel Inscription +130 agility and +25 mastery
Both these enchants are excellent for druid tanks, especially since they are so cheap to make, requiring only 4 Blackfallow Ink. My preference would be for the stamina enchant, but the agility enchant is also very attractive for the avoidance, crit and mastery. I believe that either enchant is fine, and better than the other options if you are a scribe.

Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz: +75 Stamina and +25 dodge rating. Requires exalted reputation with the Therazane faction.
For non-scribes this is clearly the best tanking enchant and it looks like everyone will be doing the daily quests for Therazane reputation, just like we did for Sons of Hodir.

Lesser Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz: +45 Stamina and +20 dodge rating. Requires honored reputation with the Therazane faction.
A nice filler while grinding reputation to exalted for the better enchant. A little better than the default option of the armor kit.

Heavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina. Materials are 4 Heavy Savage Leather.
A good upgrade from Greater Inscription of the Gladiator while working on reputation for the better enchants. There’s also a nice ring from the Therazane, so working on that reputation will be a priority.

Legs

Charscale Leg Armor: +145 stamina and +55 agility. Materials are 1 Pristine Hide and 20 Volatile Fire.
Hands-down the best tanking enchant, but likely to be very expensive. Get this for your epic gear, but not anything that you expect to replace soon.

Twilight Leg Armor: +85 stamina and +45 agility. Materials are 6 Savage Leather and 4 Volatile Water.
A good, cheaper, alternative to the Charscale leg armor. It’s so much better than the armor kits that this should be considered the minimum leg enchant for tanking.

Heavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina. Materials are 4 Heavy Savage Leather.
A default option for enchanting your leggings, but it is so much worse than the other options that it should only be used for leveling. Any tank using this at level cap is missing out on over 400 health, 90 attack power, some crit and dodge – that’s quite a significant impact for a single enchant.

Feet

There are a lot of valid enchants for boots, and any of them should be fine. I prefer enchants with a movement speed buff, but the other statistics really depend on the rest of your itemization. Not many enchants offer mastery rating but there are two options for that when enchanting your boots. When making the choice of mastery, agility or stamina for your boot enchant it will pay to consider whether you can reforge for the mastery rating in order to gain other statistics on an enchant that are not available from reforging.

Assassin’s Step: +25 agility, movement speed. Materials are 5 Hypnotic Dust, 7 Greater Celestial Essence, 2 Heavenly Shard, 1 Maelstrom Crystal
Another really good enchant, but also expensive. Either this or Lavawalker are the best enchants for your boots.

Enchant Boots – Lavawalker: +35 mastery rating, movement speed. Materials are 10 Greater Celestial Essence, 2 Heavenly Shard, 1 Maelstrom Crystal
This is a great enchant, but will be very expensive early in the expansion. Maelstrom crystals will require epic gear to be disenchanted and in short supply for a little while.

The next four enchants are all about equal in value. They are all perfectly acceptable enchants for 5 player instances and early raiding and the choice of enchant will vary based on the statistics on the rest of your gear.

Enchant Boots – Major Agility: +35 agility. Materials are 4 Hypnotic Dust, 2 Greater Celestial Essence.
If you are after more avoidance this is a good enchant to use. There are very few enchants that provide agility so this is going to be a popular choice, especially since reforging into agility is not a possibility.

Mastery: +50 mastery rating. Materials are 10 Hypnotic Dust, 3 Greater Celestial Essence.
A relatively cheap enchant that loses the slight advantage from faster movement but adds quite a lot of mastery rating. While this looks like a good choice, it is possible to reforge for mastery rating – making the option of getting agility or stamina from an enchant slightly more attractive.

Earthen Vitality: +30 stamina, movement speed. Materials are 2 Hypnotic Dust.
A dirt-cheap enchant, but with less item budget than most of the other enchants in this slot. This will be good to use while leveling and getting ready for raids and heroics but should probably be replaced once good boots are obtained.

Heavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina. Materials are 4 Heavy Savage Leather.
The ever-present armor kit can go on your boots too! It’s not a bad choice for this slot if you don’t care about movement speed or are early in your gearing-up process.

Wrists

Leatherworking only enhancements:
Draconic Embossment – Stamina +195 stamina
Draconic Embossment – Agility +130 agility
Both these enchants are best in slot. Either of them is completely valid as a tanking enchant depending on whether you need more avoidance and threat or more health.

Blacksmithing only enhancement: Socket bracers. I added this for completeness but it can be used as well as an enchant.

The following two enchants are the top level enchants in the slot. However they are both expensive and don’t give bonuses to optimal attributes for a feral tank. Whilst more critical strike rating is good, I’m not sure whether it will be more valuable than the cheaper options. We’ll probably have to wait for more detailed theory crafting once the expansion arrives. In the meantime my plan is to skip these:

The following three enchants are cheaper, but provide bonuses that are directly related to tanking. Any of these are good options and the best one will depend on your current gear.

Enchant Bracers – Major Stamina the old Wrath enchant is still an option in this slot, particularly if you are in desperate need of some more health. 

Chest

Its a really nice change to see some dedicated tanking enchants in this expansion.

Enchant Chest – Greater Stamina: +75 stamina. Materials are 10 Hypnotic Dust, 4 Heavenly Shard, 2 Maelstrom Crystal.
Clearly the best tanking enchant for a chest-piece. I expect it will be pretty pricey, but well worth it on gear that will not be replaced for some time.

Enchant Chest – Stamina: +55 stamina. Materials are 5 Hypnotic Dust, 1 Lesser Celestial Essence.
A very good alternative to  the Greater Stamina enchant with reasonable materials. This will probably be the most common tanking enchant. Peerless stats will be much more expensive with a loss of 35 stamina compared to gaining 20 agility and 20 strength.

Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats: +20 all stats. Materials are 3 Heavenly Shard, 3 Maelstrom Crystal.
An expensive enchant that will be best in slot for dps classes. Those who want more threat may take it over Enchant Chest – Stamina since the two enchants are roughly equivalent.

Heavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina. Materials are 4 Heavy Savage Leather.
A backup option as a leveling enchant. Unless Enchant Chest – Stamina is hard to obtain there is no good reason to be using the armor kit.

Enchant Chest – Mighty Stats: +15 all stats. Materials are 2 Lesser Celestial Essence.
A good, cheap replacement for the current top level enchant, Powerful Stats. Useful for leveling.

Back

There are limited options for tanking cloak enchants. Out of the four options there is only one that is clearly a tanking enchant, and the others are more applicable to dps.

Enchant Cloak – Protection: +250 armor. Materials are 8 Hypnotic Dust, 3 Greater Celestial Essence.
This is the tanking enchant I would choose. It is very interesting that it is only a small armor upgrade over the Wrath expansion cloak enchant (Enchant Cloak – Mighty Armor grants 225 armor).

Tailoring only enhancementSwordguard Embroidery +1000 attack power for 15 seconds
While this is a purely dps enhancement and druids are unlikely to have tailoring it could still be useful for threat.

Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike: +65 critical strike rating. Materials are 5 Maelstrom Crystal.
This is going to be a very expensive enchant since the materials are 5 Maelstrom Crystals. Critical strike rating is plentiful on leather gear, so I don’t think it is worth sacrificing armor for this stat.

Enchant Cloak – Critical Strike: +50 critical strike rating. Materials are 8 Hypnotic Dust, 2 Greater Celestial Essence.
This is a cheaper version of the enchant above, and is not particularly desirable for the same reason.

Enchant Cloak – Major Agility is an older enchant that grants 22 agility. This is still a good option if you have some scrolls left over.

Hands

Engineering only enhancement:
Quickflip Deflection Plates +1500 armor for 12 seconds, glove enchant
This averages out to +300 armor, which makes it the best glove enchant for tanks.

Blacksmithing only enhancement: Socket gloves. I added this for completeness but it can be used as well as an enchant.

Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery: +65 mastery rating. Materials are 10 Hypnotic Dust, 5 Greater Celestial Essence, 2 Maelstrom Crystal.
An expensive enchant that is well worth the cost. Extra damage absorbed will make a big difference in the long run.

Enchant Gloves – Greater Expertise: +50 expertise rating. Materials are 5 Hypnotic Dust, 2 Greater Celestial Essence.
A good way to make inroads on the expertise cap. 780 expertise to cap is a lot, and this could make a significant difference.

Enchant Gloves – Mastery: +50 mastery rating. Materials are 1 Hypnotic Dust and 1 Lesser Celestial Essence.
This is a very cheap enchant with highly valuable stats. It is probably the enchant of choice for leveling unless you have sacrificed stamina on trinkets for something else. Then the armor kit will be more attractive.

Heavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina

Waist

Engineering only enhancements:
Grounded Plasma Shield 16-20k damage absorption shield, belt enchant
This is a very interesting enchant. It has a 5 minute cool-down but could really help with incoming damage spikes. Ryketh made some interesting observations in the wowhead comments for this item too, here’s the spells they uncovered; Plasma misfire and Painful shock. The last one taunts four enemies to attack you when it happens, which people using this enchant need to be aware of.

There are two more engineering enchants that I have listed here, but they don’t appear to be as useful for tanking as the plasma shield.

Don’t forget to socket your belt as well!

Fingers (enchanters only)

There are two great ring enchants for enchanters to use. Both of these are awesome for druid tanking – use whichever you feel like!

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5 Responses to Cataclysm enchants for bear druids

  1. Goodmongo says:

    Hi, first time on the site. You’ve done a real nice job and I plan to return often. I found your link from over at The FLuid Druid site.

    One question. Why do you need or want movement speed as part of your feet enchants? Does this offer some type of avoidance in 5 man heroics or raids? Just curious.

  2. Antony says:

    Hi Goodmongo, glad you like the site.
    I like movement speed enchants because they give you a little more time to react to changes in raids. When a new wave of adds comes or fire appears underneath you a movement buff can make a difference. It really helps in fights like the Lich King, when you are targeted by Defile and have to get away from the middle of the room and the rest of the raid. A couple of extra yards of movement can prevent a wipe in this situation.
    The statistics sacrificed for the movement buff (10 Agility for example) are pretty small, so I believe the trade-off is worth it.

  3. schwag says:

    dont forget the LW hand enchant that give +240 armor just thought you might put that in cya 😛

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