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I am thinking of replacing focus with imbuing on my mystic. Is it worth doing if you don't have a crafter to make gear? How useful is imbuing on storebought or looted items? I've heard it's a great path to getting some of the best items.
I suspect that it's pretty easy to ask in Gen Chat to get someone to make you a few items. Also, most times it's fairly easy to buy a +60 hammer, so really you can make most anything with smithing exceptional with only a little bit of smithing. Other skills not so much, but again, buying a handful of exceptional rings/bracelets is likely pretty easy.
You also lose the free resists from GM arms lore when imbuing store bought armour instead of crafted armour.
I'd keep focus on your caster instead of using imbuing, as focus helps with mana regen.
Build a basic crafter. If you only want to imbue armour at first, you will only need tailoring, arms lore (which gains with tailoring) and imbuing there to craft basic leather armour. If you also want weapons, then train blacksmith later.