Gems for your Rogue

Getting gems into your gear might seem like a daunting task.  There are nearly one hundred regular gem types and and a handful of Meta gems too.  However, there’s only a few types that you really need to know well to get your gear gemmed up and good to go.

Today I’ll discuss when you should care about matching socket colors and the common gems a Rogue would use.  Hopefully with all the new gear you’ve been getting recently, these gems will supplement your enchants, and you’ll be blissfully topping your group’s DPS charts.  Just try not to wipe your group in the process.

Sockets and Bonuses

Should I use the same color gems as the sockets on my gear?

Well, yes, and no (more of the latter, usually).  I’ve run into many people in my days playing WoW that thought the color of the gem had to match the socket to fit, and that getting the bonus was more important than making sure the actual gems benefited their character.  In case you’re one of those people, and I’ve not bumped into you yet, you can put any non Meta gem in any regular gem slot!

Since we’re not restricted to using matching gems with each slot, the gemming process becomes a lot simpler.  You either shoot for the socket bonus, using a good gem to fit the color, or you ignore it and use the best gem you have access to in that slot.  Here’s some examples…

Chestpiece; 1 Red socket, 1 Blue socket, + 9 Stamina bonus

If you were to socket for the bonus, you could use:

Red – 32 AP gem; Blue – and a 16 AP / 12 Stamina

This would net you:

48 AP and 21 Stamina

If however, you just put in two 32 AP gems, you’d get 64 AP which is the bigger DPS upgrade.  If you’re trying to maximize damage, skipping this bonus would be your best bet.

Let’s say in an alternate scenario, you have something that looks like:

Belt; Blue Socket, + 16 AP bonus

If you went for the socket bonus using a 16 AP / 12 Stamina gem, you’d end up with 32 AP, 12 Stamina.  If you gemmed a red 32 AP gem, you’d only get the 32 AP, and miss the Stamina.  In  this case, gemming for the bonus would work in your favor.

If you’re replacing all of your rare quality gems with epic quality ones, then you’d get 4 more attack power by sticking a 40 AP vs. the 20 AP / 15 Stamina gem.  Is 4 extra AP more DPS?  Yes.  Is 4 less AP going to be a huge impact on your DPS?  No.  If people won’t take you to groups over 4 AP, that’s not the group you want to be in anyway.  Besides, you’re going to need at least 1 blue gem for your…

Meta Gem

Helms sometimes have a special socket for a Meta Gem.  If you have two helms of the same ilevel, and one has a Meta socket, that’s the helm you should be using.  Metas will always have requirements for them to activate, Including this one:

Relentless Earthsiege Diamond

This is the Meta gem you should be using for PvE.    It gives you 21 Agility, and 3% increased damage on ALL of your crits.  The requirements are simple.  To activate this gem, you must have at least one red gem, one yellow gem and one blue gem.  Note that hybrid gems count as both colors, so a purple gem will fulfil one the red gem required in addition to fulfilling the need for a blue.

Gemming for a Socket

If you’ve decided to get the bonus, here’s (according to the data on EJ and Shadowpanther) the best gems for boosting your DPS and meeting the socket color:

RedBright (AP), or Delicate (Agility).  The AP gem outperforms the Agility gem by a marginal amount.  I say grab the one is cheapest to buy on your server.

Blue –   If you’ve got the capital, a Nightmare Tear (+10 to all stats) is your best bet, but it’s definitely the expensive option here.  Balanced (AP / Stamina) or Shifting (Agility / Stamina) are good cheap alternatives.

YellowDeadly (Agility/Crit), Pristine (AP/Hit), Glinting (Agility / Hit) and Wicked (AP / Crit).  Stick with Deadly or Wicked unless you need extra hit.

I only listed the gem type, as the base name is the same regardless of the quality of the gem.  Also, Meta gem slots only can contain meta gems, and a prismatic slot, like the one created with an eternal belt buckle, can have any color gem.

If you were to armory me, you’d notice a lot of Deadly (Agility/Crit) gems in my gear.  I had a ton of Monarch Topaz that I could transmute into the Epic gems, and my brother had the pattern.  This allowed my to get some of my socket bonuses, which made up most of the difference.  When all is said and done, I lose out on a marginal amount of AP (10 or less) by not gemming straight Bright gems, but I saved a bunch of money.  What you should do is entirely up to you, but I thought that I’d point out that you might be able to get very good results (for less gold) without going for the absolute maximum.

Stat Deficiencies

There’s a couple of stats that you need to make sure that your poisons don’t miss, and your attacks aren’t dodged.  Those are Hit (315), and Expertise (26).  If you’re already decently geared, you’ve probably got most of this built into your gear.  If you’re short though, here’s some gems you can use to bring those stats up to where they should be:

Accurate (Hit / Expertise), Rigid (Yellow; Hit), Precise (Red; Expertise)

Conclusions

  • Socket Bonuses aren’t always worth it
  • Make sure you’re activating your Meta
  • If you’re maximizing your stats, expect to use a lot of +40 AP gems and some serious gold
  • Likewise, you don’t have to spend all your gold to get good quality gems

Again, with Gems, keep it simple.  Beyond fixing any stat deficiencies, you really only have about 10 gems to pick from.  Eventually, you’ll narrow that list down to your 3 favorites, and it should be fairly easy.  Come Cataclysm, it’ll be even easier.

– Sam

13 Responses to Gems for your Rogue

  1. Chronic says:

    Better choice for your one blue gem: Nightmare tear.

    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=49110

    It’s the prismatic 10 stats gem they added at the same time as the other epic gems, and it will fulfill all your meta requirements in one fell swoop! Then you can stack bright gems in the rest of your slots.

    Anyone who cares probably already knows, but it’s possibly also worth mentioning that at higher gear levels gemming ArP starts to become competitive.

  2. samueltempus says:

    Cron,

    Good to hear from you. I got my first PvP title this week. Just Challenger, but hey, we all gotta start somewhere. Thanks for your insight into that subject. It really helped.

    Nightmare Tear is a great gem, but it’s actually not quite as good for DPS as a Wicked Ametrine. The Tear will net you 10 Stam, 20 AP, and .12 Crit %, but the wicked gem will get you 20 AP and just shy of .22% crit %. The stam is nice, but even with Kings, the DPS benefits won’t overtake the Wicked gem (unless I’m missing something obvious, which I’ve been known to do).

    Armor Pen is attractive at high gear levels, and I’m getting close to a place where I can use it myself, but you’re right, Rogues with good enough gear to consider that probably are aware of it already.

    – Sam

  3. Chronic says:

    You’re right that Nightmare Tear is weaker than a Wicked Ametrine, but you wouldn’t really be comparing it to a yellow gem, you’d be comparing it to a blue gem, which is most likely Balanced Dreadstone. Basically you lose 5 stamina but you get the extra crit from the agility portion, and it’s even better if you have kings.

    As you suggest above, if you’ve got a yellow slot with a reasonable socket bonus, Wicked Ametrine would be a good choice. If the socket bonus is lackluster; Bright or Delicate.

    Congratulations on your title! Thanks in part to the 3.2 shaman changes we were able to get Gladiator in both 2s and 3s, which I’m pretty proud of. So far this season is looking pretty good for rogues, with a variety of playable compositions.

  4. samueltempus says:

    (told you I was missing something)

    – Sam

  5. Cavaleiro says:

    Just a note, the Relentless Earthsiege needs one of each colour, not two red 🙂

  6. samueltempus says:

    Geez. I’m really off my game today. Fix inc, and thanks.

    – Sam

  7. Mog says:

    Get your armor pen fun while you can, it’s being removed in catacylsm. And who knows when that will com out. If you do gem for it, expect a nice expensive regemming in cata.

  8. Banibaq says:

    Hey Sam,

    don’t mean to burst your bubble (again), but in your yellow gem section you have pristine and wicked yielding the same stats (AP/Hit). According to reading further down your post, i think wicked is the one that is wrong.

    Bani

  9. samueltempus says:

    This is what I get for posting during Yogg attempts…..

    – Sam

  10. Chillyhollow says:

    Thanks. I’ve been collecting gemming information for the Solo MMO Player blog as that seems to be a confusing topic and this is quite detailed.

    I’ve updated my posting with a link to you for all those rogues hiding out there.

    http://solommo.blogspot.com/2009/09/when-where-what-to-gem.html

  11. Hinenuitepo says:

    Decent (corrected) post with good information for most rogues that are unsure of how to gem – which is what this post is for.

    Min-maxers will still spend the gold to get that extra 10AP or so, as every little bit counts where you’re trying to get that early TOGC kill! The average Wow player really has not need to spend 500g regemming when 50g will suffice for their needs. Shoot, I got 5 pieces of gear out of 10- and 25- TOC this week and it cost me over 1000g to gem/enchant it, and I get to use rune of fallen crusader instead of berzerker 🙂

    Clearly the blog focuses on pve, so the info here is good for that. Pvp, of course, is a little more complicated in that getting some extra stam and resil is useful in addition to dps stats, so folks may find it useful to chase those socket bonuses a little more depending on what role they’re filling pvp. My rogue runs with a resto druid, so I’m less concerned with burst and more concerned with surviving it, so those stam bonuses are nice.

  12. slink says:

    Also worth pointing out that ArP gets a nerf in the next patch (3.2.2) making it highly likely that most people will revert back to agi gems from that point.

  13. Lacoka says:

    I was reading on the EJ forums yesterday and it looked like it was said that after tier 7 gear that agi would be the way to gem. I have all ap gems and didn’t really want to spend the gold to regem just for testing. Not sure if I was misunderstanding him. It was the basic questionare you’re supposed to read before posting on the rogue forums there (i’d link it if i wasn’t at work). So i guess i’m asking is if ap is still the way to go in higher lvl gear? Thanks

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