Gems for your Rogue
September 3, 2009 13 Comments
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…
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:
Red – Bright (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.
Yellow – Deadly (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.
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)
- 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.