A few months back, I did a rogue column on how rogues can enhance their gear with enchantments, gems, armor kits and the like. Well, it's time for paladins to get a similar guide -- in three different forms! Yes, since paladins have three main specs for three different roles, they need some wildly different enchantments. Today, we'll look at above-the-belt enhancements for a regular ol' endgame healing paladin, soon to be followed by prot and ret recommendations. (Shockadins, just grab the caster junk like usual.)
Glyph of Renewal: This item, available for 90g once you get revered with Honor Hold or Thrallmar, gives you a one-time boost to your head item's healing and mp/5. Revered with HH/Thrall isn't too hard, and you need all the mp/5 you can get, so pick this up if you're planning on any serious healing. 10/10 PVE, 7/10 PVP.
Glyph of the Gladiator: On the other hand, if you're the arena type and find yourself a bit lacking in the two key PVP stats, you might want to pick up this stam/resil item from revered with Shattered Sun Offensive. It's pretty useless for PVE, though, so save it for your _____ Gladiator's set piece. 3/10 PVE, 9/10 PVP.
Inscription of the Oracle: Unfortunately for you indecisive types, you need to pick Aldor or Scryer to get these shoulder enhancements. Luckily for you indecisive types, both enchants have the same stats, just in different proportions. Lazy Scryers can pick up this enchant on the cheap at the Scryer bank for 2 Arcane Runes. It doesn't give you any healing stats, but since pally mana regen is entirely dependent on mp/5, it's worth it for the long fights. 7/10 PVE, 5/10 PVP.
Inscription of the Orb: We're actually yoinking this one from the casters. Scryers are big fans of crit rating, and as most healing pallies get mana returned for crit heals and tend to heal single targets, crit rating is important for us. Just make sure you're not neglecting other stats ... 7/10 PVE, 7/10 PVP.
Greater Inscription of the Oracle: When you move up to exalted with either side, however, it's time to ditch the crit in favor of this inscription if you're a PVEer. Crits are too unreliable to be used as a true mana regen method in long boss fights. The healing is a nice addition to the mp/5 on this item. 10/10 PVE, 9/10 PVP.
Greater Inscription of the Orb : But if you're still stuck on crit, you can upgrade your old Orb to this one, which adds dam/heal to spell crit. This is particularly good for healadins who like to throw out some damage in their spare time. 8/10 PVE, 9/10 PVP.
Inscription of Faith: The Aldor favor raw healing over crit or mana regen, and it shows in their item selection. Toss another 29 healing onto the pile for the price of 2 Fel Armaments. 8/10 PVE, 7/10 PVP.
Greater Inscription of Faith: Very similar to the Greater Inscription of the Oracle, but you lose 2mp/5 and gain 11 healing. It's tough to decide which is superior, so make your choice based on the other item rewards for the factions and not these inscriptions. 9/10 PVE, 9/10 PVP.
Greater Inscription of Discipline: Like the orb, except it trades in crit for damage and thus sucks a bit more for pallies. 5/10 PVE, 7/10 PVP.
Subtlety: Of all the (relatively bad) healer choices for cloak enchants, this is probably the best. Most paladins don't have too much of a threat problem, considering, y'know, that our healing spells give off half the threat of others, but it can't hurt to have a little bit more. 5/10 PVE, 0/10 PVP.
Major Resistance: This is literally your only choice as a PVPer, unless you really like dodge rating or have a burning desire for more armor. It can help against caster teams (or caster mobs) without much penetration, but prepare to shell out a boatload of cash for the primals. 4/10 PVE, 7/10 PVP.
Magister's Armor Kit: For those of us who are cheap, the Magister's Armor Kit is a good placeholder to give a bit of extra mana regen when you're looking to upgrade to a better piece of armor. It can't compare to the real enchantments for these four slots, though. 4/10 PVE, 4/10 PVP.
Major Resilience: 15 resilience isn't that much, but it's pretty cheap, and the other PVP options (health? stats? mana?) don't work very well for healadins. 2/10 PVE, 8/10 PVP.
Exceptional Health: Mana is better for PVE. Resilience is better for PVP. And Large Brilliant Shards are expensive. Sure, health is always nice, but unless someone's handing these out for free, pass on it. 3/10 PVE, 5/10 PVP.
Restore Mana Prime: If you're about to argue with me that 100 mana should be here instead, I will note that there are very few dungeons, arenas, battlegrounds, or raid encounters that last less than two minutes. This is cheap and indispensable for PVE and (slightly less so) for PVP. 10/10 PVE, 8/10 PVP.
Major Intellect: There are a lot of good choices for bracer enchants. Of the top four, this is probably the least useful. Int is nice, and this is inexpensive, but when you have mp/5 and healing itself as options, there's no point in going for this one. 6/10 PVE, 6/10 PVP.
Fortitude: Stam, stam, stam -- how PVPers love you. But stam is relatively cheap in TBC, and it's a lot harder to get some good healing and mp/5 options. Even PVPers might want to consider the other enchants, particularly considering the cost of the mats here. 4/10 PVE, 7/10 PVP.
Restore Mana Prime: 6mp/5 yet again. This is slightly more valuable in PVE, where paladins need to stack mp/5 for long fights where the tank's taking severe damage. It's really a tossup between this and healing, though, so consider what you need the most. 9/10 PVE, 8/10 PVP.
Superior Healing: 30 heal is a lot to put on an item with as small a stat budget as bracers. This is one of the best bang for your bucks in the game, particularly if you're an herbalist and are swimming in Primal Lifes. 9/10 PVE, 9/10 PVP.
Stay tuned for the next installment, where we'll take care of hand, leg, foot, weapon and shield enchants, and also do a quick overview of healing gems. Disagree with the ratings? Explain why in the comments!