Every Monday and Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.
While we hunters are normally a well-grounded class that doesn't hold with them demon summoners and the other freaks who mess with the arcane energies of the universe, we've been known to make an occasional exception. We'll take warlock cookies, and we'll accept the dangers of enchanting when it makes our gear even more badass.
Walking around without enchants on your gear is like being naked, only without the sense of freedom. While it's certainly true that the difference of any given enchant is a relatively minor thing compared to our overall DPS, the difference of all of our enchants is a major improvement to our DPS.
Join me after the cut for a slot-by-slot breakdown of which Cataclysm enchants to use for your hunter and where to get them.
I am not going to list out all the profession-specific enhancement options. If you have a profession that has a special enhancement for any given slot that gives you a desirable stat, you should use it. These profession-specific enhancements are designed to be better than the standard options available to everyone. This list focuses on the general Cataclysm enchants available only.
Our head enchant comes from the Arcanum of the Ramkahen, which we can get once we have revered rep with the Ramkahen. The Ramkahen is the Uldum reputation, and questing through Uldum will get you most of the way there. After questing, they have a delightful, pygmy-smashing daily, and of course they have a tabard. You can get the tabard once you're friendly from Blacksmith Abasi in the city of Ramkahen, who also sells the arcanum.
Our shoulder enchant comes from the Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal, which we can get once we have exalted rep with Therazane. This is the Deepholm reputation, and you have to do a ton of Deepholm quests just to unlock the reputation. Once you've unlocked it you can quest it up to honored, and then gain access to a bunch of daily quests. They also have a tabard available once you're friendly with Therazane, which you can get over on Therazane's Throne from D'lom the Collector, who also sells the inscription.
There is a lesser version of the shoulder enchant available once you're honored, which can tide you over until you burn through several days worth of dailies and tabard dungeon running.
Our Cataclysm back enchant of choice is Greater Critical Strike, which comes from any enchanter. It's worth noting, however that the old Wrath Major Agility enchant is actually better than any Cataclysm enchant we have, and is certainly less costly.
As always, there isn't a great or exciting option for the chest enchant in Cataclysm, just the boring and expensive Peerless Stats.
More crit! Greater Critical Strike fills our bracer slot. Note that while there is a hit rating enchant available to us, we'd much rather reforge a lesser stat on our gear into hit rating than trade crit rating for it, making the hit enchant very undesirable.
With no awesome crit (or agility) option available to us, we're going for Greater Mastery for our hands option. However, the old Wrath Major Agility to gloves enchant is actually better than any of our Cataclysm options -- and cheaper!
While enchanters have nothing to offer us for our waist slots, those handy blacksmiths are still coming through for us. Ebonsteel Belt Buckle gives us an extra gem slot to hold any kind of gem we want (which means we're putting a 40 agility gem into it).
Once again the lazy enchanters aren't helping us out, but leatherworkers can provide the Dragonscale Leg Armor. The leg armor might be expensive, but it's also one of the biggest DPS enchants we have.
For this slot, we have two options, and deciding which is better is the subject of a lot of heated debate filled with absolutes -- but really, it comes down to your playstyle to determine which is best for you. We can use either the Assassin's Step or Major Agility.
Assassin's Step offers us less agility in exchange for a small movement speed increase -- and this benefit isn't just for PvP. The logic is that faster movement lets you get out of void zones faster and get to where you're going sooner so you can start DPSing sooner. Some top guilds require everyone to have a movement enchant.
On the other hand, some of the very best hunters in the world will tell you that the movement boost is worthless, that you can still DPS all-out while moving if you know what you're doing and that this enchant does nothing at all for you. Ultimately I think it comes down to your ability to get out of void zones and to DPS on the move. If you don't always notice the void zone the instant it appears, the movement boost will help you. If you aren't good at maintaining your entire rotation on the move, this enchant could help you.
If, however, you're a master of movement and have high situational awareness, you probably should go for the extra agility from the Major Agility enchant.
Ah, yes, our ranged weapon, our pride and joy. Here we have our lovely scopes, and Cataclysm brought us a beauty, too: the Gnomish X-Ray Scope. Finally, we too have something with a cool proc effect! Use it with joy, hunters.
Two-handed melee weapons are far better for us at the moment than using two one-handed weapons, and it's been this way for us on live for quite a long time now. Happily, this also gives us access to the staggeringly awesome Mighty Agility enchant -- 130 agility makes this the biggest DPS enchant available to us, so don't skimp out on it.
Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter in Cataclysm. From leveling your hunter to optimizing for heroics to gearing up with pre-heroic loot and pre-raid loot, we've got you covered.