(Edit: 12/14/10, math is hard!)
One of my very first posts here at Kurn’s Corner was about jewelcrafting. It’s woefully outdated, obviously, but demystifying the jewelcrafting profession has always been something I like to do.
I was on the beta the other day, before it shut down, and I had copied over a fresh character copy in 359 epic level gear. As I was trying to gem her up, I realized two things:
a) … what the hell do I stack?
b) Oh my God, the Insightful meta cut doesn’t have a level 85 version!!
I’ll worry about how to gem as a holy paladin later on, but let’s talk a bit about the meta gems.
My Insightful Earthstorm/Earthsiege Diamond cut has been my go-to cut for Madrana since Burning Crusade. That’s, you know, four years. And now there is no Insightful Shadowspirit Diamond cut. This freaks me out.
Here’s a list of all the meta gems at 85.
Right off the bat, we can eliminate a lot of them. Austere (tank), Chaotic (caster), Destructive (PVP), Enigmatic (PVP), Eternal (tank), Forlorn (PVP), Impassive (PVP) and Powerful (PVP) are not on-par with the remaining options for a PVE-based holy paladin.
So here are the gems that I think could be useful to a holy paladin.
Bracing Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 intellect and 2% reduced threat. Typically, one would scoff at this, but were you aware that holy paladins no longer have an innate 50% less threat on their heals? Yeah, that changed at 4.0. So we’re causing a lot more threat than we did. Of course, in a raid situation, this should never be an issue, so this isn’t amazing, but if you’re honestly pugging all of the time and don’t have a solid tank with you, you may want to investigate this as a possibility.
Ember Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 intellect and 2% maximum mana. This is the big brother of the current Ember cut and it definitely looks beefy! In lieu of Insightful (proccing mana returns), Ember certainly looks like a useful meta gem. Remember that Replenishment is still based off of maximum mana, as is Divine Plea, so this is not a bad balanced meta, since it affects our regen and also increases our output (54 int is equal to 54 spellpower).
Fleet Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 mastery rating and minor run speed. The instant I moved to my RL friend’s guild, I was instructed to enchant Tuskarr’s Vitality for the speed boost. I have been a convert ever since. I am going to be asking every member of my guild to have some kind of run speed bonus, whether in their spec or their meta or their boots. Normally, the run speed metas are very PVP-related, but Fleet gives us mastery rating. While we’ll have mastery rating gems (Fractured. They’re yellow.) and mastery rating enchants, meaning mastery rating won’t only be available via reforging the way it is right now, this is still a potentially useful meta gem. Not only do you get the run speed and the mastery rating, but it frees up your boots for a potentially better enchant. More on this in a bit.
Revitalizing Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 spirit and 3% critical healing effect. Another balanced meta for us, since the spirit is pure regen and the 3% increased effect on crits is pure throughput. Given the new world of “no one is ever fully topped off” style healing in Cataclysm, this will almost certainly not translate into more overhealing. Further, for a holy paladin, our mastery rating will benefit from the larger crit heals, creating a larger Illuminated Healing shield.
So which one to pick?
Bracing and Revitalizing can both be activated with a single green gem, as they require 1 blue and 1 yellow. The Zen Dream Emerald, which is +20 mastery and +20 spirit, would probably be the best cut for a holy paladin out of the various green gems available. This would leave the rest of our sockets open to stacking intellect or whatever it is we will try to be stacking. Ember and Fleet require two yellow gems, which needs to be done in two separate slots. Granted, we’d probably use an orange gem to get 20 intellect and 20 of another stat. My favourite orange gem is the Reckless Ember Topaz for the haste, but we could also use Artful Ember Topaz or Potent Ember Topaz as an orange gem of choice.
So with the Ember or Fleet choice, we have to use two gem sockets for our meta versus the one with Bracing or Revitalizing.
Ember/Fleet = 2 orange = 40 intellect + 40 haste rating/40 mastery rating/40 crit rating
Bracing/Revitalizing = 1 green = 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating + 1 socket to do with as we please (probably 40 intellect from a Brilliant Inferno Ruby) = 40 intellect + 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating
Kind of on par with Ember and Fleet, no?
But then we look at Ember’s effect – 54 intellect + 2% maximum mana.
So Ember really looks like this: 2 orange + 54 intellect + 2% max mana = 94 intellect + 40 haste rating/40 mastery rating/40 crit rating + 2% max mana
Fleet’s stats need to be combined with whatever boot enchant you’d like that doesn’t increase run speed. So: 2 orange + 54 mastery rating + 50 mastery rating/50 haste = 40 intellect + 40 haste rating/40 mastery rating/40 crit rating + 50 mastery rating/50 haste
So Fleet is pretty much out of the running, if you’ll excuse the pun. ;) It does offer the most versatility, though. If you want 90 mastery or 90 haste, it would be easy to acquire those with a Fleet.
Bracing’s equation, with stats, looks like this: 1 green +54 intellect = 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating + 1 socket to do with as we please (probably 40 intellect from a Brilliant Inferno Ruby) + 54 intellect = 94 intellect + 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating
And Revitalizing looks like this: 1 green + 54 spirit + 3% increased critical heal effect = 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating + 1 socket to do with as we please (probably 40 intellect from a Brilliant Inferno Ruby) + 54 spirit + 3% increased critical heal effect = 40 intellect + 20 mastery rating + 74 spirit + 3% increased critical heal effect
It looks to me that Bracing and Ember are both sitting pretty in terms of intellect, with Revitalizing being more of an option if you need the extra regen. However, it should be noted that you aren’t getting intellect from Ember’s effect of +2% mana. You’re just gaining mana. So your mana pool grows (which is great) but you don’t gain spellpower or spell crit from its effect. So its effect isn’t really equal to the extra mana 20 intellect gives you.
Since I plan to heal primarily with tanks that I know and trust, I’m throwing Bracing out the window. Fleet has been eliminated. That leaves me with Ember and Revitalizing as choices.
As of right now, and bear in mind that this is before Cataclysm has even launched, I’m thinking of going with Revitalizing to try out the 3% increased critical heal effect and the fact that it’s easily activated with a single green gem. I’ll be sure to write another post if I decide to go with Ember or another choice!