Wednesday, September 5, 2007

On Shinies!

All right, continuing our quest for better gear, let's look at gems.

Now, most people usually start thinking of gems by color first. I want to avoid that. Our first and primary concern should be what stats they give us. Only then should we look at the color of the slots we have available and the socket bonus. If the socket bonus is something we don't particularly care for, it's probably better to ignore it if the requirements would make us sacrifice other stats.

So, first, I'm going to look at meta gems. Then we'll tackle each of our desired characteristics: spell hit, spell damage, int, and spell crit. Obviously, there will be some overlap. Also, I'm pretty much going to ignore green gems - these will all be blue quality or higher. I'm also ignoring the purple gems from Black Temple because, well, if you're in BT you don't need my advice!

Meta Gems:

One of the things we face is that there is no Balance gear with a meta gem slot until Tier 4. So drool over these a bit, but don't plan a build around them. :) There are a few choices here, so let's start with the easily craftable ones:

Insightful Earthstorm Diamond - +12 Intellect, chance on spellcast to restore mana
This is one of my favorites. Specifically, the "chance" is a 2% chance to restore 300 mana. Now obviously, this is going to proc a lot more if you're casting spells more frequently. Math wise, it breaks down as follows:

1 cast every 5 seconds: 6 mana/5
1 cast every 3 seconds: 10 mana/5
1 cast every 2 seconds: 15 mana/5
1 cast every 1.5 seconds: 20 mana/5

Now obviously, you're going to get a lot more mana back with faster spells like wrath, etc. But if you figure that even with your standard starfire/insect swarm cycle you'd be getting somewhere between 10 and 15 mana/5, that's some great aid in mana regen.

Destructive Skyfire Diamond - +14 Spell Crit, 1% Spell Reflect
This isn't bad, but spell crit is the least PvE desirable, overall, of our four key stats. The spell reflect might be occasionally useful, but I doubt it would ever be more than a lucky break.

Mystical Skyfire Diamond - 5% chance on cast that next spell will be cast in half time.
This is a decent gem. Overall, it translates into about a 2.5% dps increase. The only catch is that you have to make sure you don't try to cast Wrath instead of Starfire, or the global cooldown will end up eating any benefit you might've gained. Overall, I'd say this is a better gem for mages, but it's OK for us.

Here are some meta gems that aren't crafted:

Swift Starfire Diamond - +12 Spell Damage and minor run speed increase.
This one comes from your faction base in Terrokar, in exchange for spirit shards from Auchindoun. It's okay - really more of a PvP gem, but it's easy to acquire and is certainly better than nothing in the meta slot.

Imbued Unstable Diamond - +14 Spell Damage and 5% stun resist.
Again, not a bad gem, but a bit more of a PvP oriented one. Plus, this one is apparently a real pain to get - you need a group to complete a large portion of the Assault on Bash'ir quest in Blade's Edge. This from all reports requires pretty much a raid group of people, and good coordination. Nasty.

Anyway, those are the meta gems. Now let's look at the others by category:

Spell Hit:

This is one of our tougher stats to acquire. Gems can make a valuable addition to boost it without compromising on other gear.

Great Dawnstone - +8 Spell Hit
This is your meat & potatoes craftable "give me spell hit!" gem. It's nice, but most of the time you'll get better benefits from multiple multicolor gems.

Veiled Noble Topaz - +4 Spell Hit, +5 Spell Damage
I like this gem. It's craftable and thus readily available, it has both spell hit and spell damage. It is your friend. :)

Shining Fire Opal - +5 Spell Hit, +6 Spell Damage
This drops from bosses in heroic Mechanar. I love this gem. The only thing that makes me cry is that it is unique-equipped. *sigh*

Lambent Chrysoprase - +5 Spell Hit, +2 mana/5
A decent mix here, adds a bit of casting endurance to your spell hit. This drops in heroic Underbog.

Vivid Chrysoprase - +5 Spell Hit, +6 Stamina
Another pretty nice gem, especially because it can be used to add more casting power to blue sockets, which generally are harder to find PvE offensive casting stats for (except arguably mana/5). Stamina, as always, helps with survivability.

Spell Damage:

Veiled Noble Topaz - +4 Spell Hit, +5 Spell Damage
Shining Fire Opal - +5 Spell Hit, +6 Spell Damage
Both these were mentioned above, and are great choices.

Runed Living Ruby - +9 Spell Damage
Your standard pure Spell Damage cut. Not bad.

Runed Ornate Ruby - +12 Spell Damage
This costs about 7000 honor, so you could get this in a good AV weekend if you dedicate the weekend to it. Nice solid boost in one slot, great gem. Too bad it's unique-equipped.

Glowing Nightseye - +5 Spell Damage, +6 Stamina
This is a decent bread-and-butter gem for blue slots. Survivability and damage, lots of fun.

Fluorescent Tanzanite - +6 Spell Damage, +4 Spirit
Spirit doesn't give us as much of a useful mana regen boost as intellect, normally. This isn't bad, but I wouldn't make it my first choice.

Glowing Tanzanite & Infused Amethyst - +6 Spell Damage, +6 Stamina
Both of these are useful as well, giving you a good amount of spell damage in addition to the survivability of the stamina. The Tanzanite is a quest reward for killing Nightbane in Karazhan, the Amethyst is from heroic Black Morass.

Infused Fire Opal - +6 Spell Damage, +4 Intellect
Another beautiful gem. This one comes from heroic Steamvaults.

Mysterious Fire Opal - +6 Spell Damage, +5 Spell penetration
As I discussed before, spell penetration is all but useless in PvE. This would be very nice for PvP. You can get this in heroic Botanica.

Potent Fire Opal - +6 Spell Damage, +4 Spell Crit
Pretty decent gem. Drops in heroic Auchenai Crypts.

Potent Ornate Topaz - +5 Spell Crit, +6 Spell Damage
Another honor-bought gem, this one costs 8,500 honor.

Phew! Okay, ran out of time today, Int & Spell crit gems coming tomorrow!


Sonvar said...

Maybe not the best place to try to contact you but I realized that you are the GL for AC. Anyways, my point is that you certainly have knowledgable people in your guild and I was wondering if it would be ok to contact you regarding running guild. I'm not the GL myself but I am one of the higher ranked officers. If this is ok with you please let me know of a private way I can send you my e-mail address or some form of contacting you.

Mera said...

If you read this Fio... why did you let 2 hunters tank the shaman instead of yourself or another similair furry friend? Immunity to poly from being in form is fine, and you appear to have enough healers. This also means the Hunters dont have to worry about pets being squished :O