by: Jaime Skelton
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/18/2012
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If you're looking to get every last edge on your World of Warcraft character, make sure to invest in shoulder enchants. This guide will help you find exactly what you need.
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WoW Shoulder Enchants: What are they, and why use them?
WoW Shoulder Enchants, also known as inscriptions, are augments to a piece of shoulder armor. They are items that, when used on a piece of shoulder armor, will add a small but significant bonus. They work similar to armor kits from leatherworkers or enchants from enchanters.
Most raiders are expected to have fully gemmed and enchanted gear before they begin any raid. This means that every piece of gear that can be enchanted in some way should be, and this includes shoulders. Shoulders cannot be enchanted by any profession with the exception of self-only inscription enchants, so it is important to know what shoulder enchants you will need for your class and spec, and how to get them.
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Northrend Shoulder Enchants
In Wrath of the Lich King, all players seeking PvE enchants will need to become Honored and eventually Exalted with the Sons of Hodir in Storm Peaks. The only exception to this is scribes (see below).
At Honored, players gain access to the following shoulder enchants (called Inscriptions):
Lesser Inscription of the Axe: +30 Attack Power and +10 Critical Strike Rating
Lesser Inscription of the Crag: +18 Spell Power and +4 Mana Per 5 Sec (MP5)
Lesser Inscription of the Pinnacle: +15 Dodge Rating and +10 Defense Rating
Lesser Inscription of the Storm: +18 Spell Power and +10 Critical Strike Rating
Once Exalted, players then get access to more powerful versions of these shoulder enchants as follows:
Greater Inscription of the Axe: +40 Attack Power and +15 Critical Strike Rating
Greater Inscription of the Crag: +24 Spell Power and +6 MP5
Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle: +20 Dodge Rating and +15 Defense Rating
Greater Inscription of the Storm: +24 Spell Power +15 Critical Strike Rating
Exalted level enchants are Bind on Account, meaning that they can be purchased and transferred to other characters on the same server, including cross-faction. This means that players will not have to build up their reputation with Sons of Hodir twice on the same server. Keep in mind, however, that these Inscriptions all require level 80 to use.
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Inscription-Only Shoulder Enchants
Players who take up Inscription as a profession get access to a different set of shoulder enchants. These enchants are more powerful than the Sons of Hodir Inscriptions.
Players must gain 400 skill in Inscription before learning these enchants, and once these enchants are used, the shoulders become soulbound. The enchants require 1 Snowfall Ink.
The four inscriptions are:
Master's Inscription of the Axe: +120 Attack Power and +15 Critical Strike Rating
Master's Inscription of the Crag: +70 Spell Power and +6 MP5
Master's Inscription of the Pinnacle: +60 Dodge Rating and +15 Defense Rating
Master's Inscription of the Storm: +70 Spell Power and +15 Critical Strike Rating
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Wintergrasp PvP Shoulder Enchants
Players who enjoy PvP may want to invest in shoulder enchants that offer resilience rating, the main PvP defensive stat.
There are two such shoulder enchants in the game. Both are available only from the faction-specific Wintergrasp vendors, who are located inside the keep for the owning faction and at the base camp for the opposing faction. Both cost 30 Stone Keeper's Shards.
The two enchants are Inscription of Dominance (+23 Spell Power and +15 Resilience Rating), and Inscription of Triumph (+40 Attack Power and +15 Resilience Rating).
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Outland Shoulder Enchants
Players between level 70 and 79 may prefer to use Outland shoulder enchants until the higher tier of enchants are available to them. There are three factions that offer inscriptions: Aldor, Scryers, and The Violet Eye (Karazhan). Since players can only have access to either Aldor or Scryer faction Inscriptions at one time, this limits them to only one set of Outland level shoulder enchants. Aldor and Scryer enchants are available at Honored, and then again at Exalted.
The Aldor Honored shoulder enchants are:
Inscription of Discipline: +15 Spell Power
Inscription of Faith: +15 Spell Power
Inscription of Vengeance: +26 Attack Power
Inscription of Warding: +13 Dodge Rating
The Aldor Exalted shoulder enchants are:
Greater Inscription of Discipline: +18 Spell Power and +10 Critical Strike Rating
Greater Inscription of Faith: +18 Spell Power and 4 MP5
Greater Inscription of Vengeance: +30 Attack Power and +10 Critical Strike Rating
Greater Inscription of Warding: +15 Dodge Rating and +10 Defense Rating
The Scryer Honored shoulder enchants are:
Inscription of the Blade: +13 Critical Strike Rating
Inscription of the Knight: +13 Defense Rating
Inscription of the Oracle: +5 MP5
Inscription of the Orb: +13 Spell Critical Strike Rating
The Scryer Exalted shoulder enchants are:
Greater Inscription of the Blade: +20 Attack Power and +15 Critical Strike Rating
Greater Inscription of the Knight: +15 Defense Rating and +10 Dodge Rating
Greater Inscription of the Oracle: +22 Spell Power and +6 MP5
Greater Inscription of the Orb: +12 Spell Power and +15 Critical Strike Rating
In addition, the Violet Eye offers a single Inscription at Honored. Called Inscription of Endurance, the enchant offers +7 to all resistances.