The Ironsong Tribe

Full Version: Spotlight: Gems and Enchants
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ALWAYS gem and enchant your gear, as soon as you can! Here's why:

* Gems and enchants greatly increase the DPS you can get out of a piece of gear. This increase is often greater than an entire tier of gear: a gemmed and enchanted piece of Tier 9 is better than an ungemmed, unenchanted piece of Tier 9.25. Gem and enchant!

* Gems and enchants let you balance your gear. You can make up for underrepresented stats on your character using gems.

* Gemming and enchanting your gear shows that you are putting your best game forward. By doing the best you can to prepare you are showing respect to your teammates.

The best rogue gems

The best rogue metagem is the [item]Relentless Earthsiege Diamond[/item]

When gemming your gear your priorities should be to:

(1) Activate your metagem

You'll need one yellow, one red, and one blue. The reds and yellows will come naturally, but the blue should be activated with a single [item]Nightmare Tear[/item] in your entire gearset. Stick the nightmare tear in a blue socket (pick the item with a blue socket and the best socket bonus). For all other blue sockets, ignore the socket bonus and just insert red gems.

(2) Reach the expertise cap

* Mutilate rogues: 214 Expertise rating (26 Expertise)
* Combat rogues with 2/2 Weapon Expertise: 132 Expertise rating (16 Expertise)

You can reach the expertise cap with pure Expertise gems ([item]Precise Cardinal Ruby[/item]) or with hybrids ([item]Accurate Ametrine[/item]).

Why reach the expertise cap? Because being capped for expertise means you can no longer be dodged. A blow does no good if it's dodged. One of the cheapest and easiest ways to increase your DPS is to reach the expertise cap.

(3) Reach the poison hit cap

* 315 Hit rating

I generally hover around 400 hit rating. Hit rating over 315 helps your white attacks, but is not worth a special effort to stack. I would not exceed 500 hit rating. ICC gear tends to be low in hit, so as you upgrade in ICC you may need to start using +hit gems to stay over 315.

You can reach the hit cap with [item]Rigid King's Amber[/item] or the hybrid [item]Accurate Ametrine[/item], [item]Pristine Ametrine[/item], [item]Glinting Ametrine[/item].

Why reach the poison hit cap? Because an enormous amount of a rogue's damage comes from poisons, especially for a mutilate rogue, and poisons do no good if they miss. As with expertise, one of the cheapest and easiest ways to increase your DPS is to reach the poison hit cap.

(4) Socket for DPS

Once you've activated your metagem and reached the Expertise and Hit caps, socket for DPS. For mutilate rogues, this means Attack Power and Haste (the other rogue stats -- agility, crit etc. are still very good. Armor Penetration is the weakest). For Combat rogues, all rogue stats are good: Agility, AP, haste, armor penetration.

Red sockets: Bright (AP) or Delicate (Agility)
Yellow sockets: Quick (Haste), Stark (AP and Haste), Deft (Agi and Haste), Deadly (Agi and Crit), or Wicked (AP and Crit).

Jewelcrafters should use the Dragon's Eye based gems, which are superior to regular epic gems.

Replacing gems

Gems are a great way to balance your gear so you can reach your hit and expertise caps. When you get an upgrade, be prepared to regem your other gear so that you sit at the appropriate cap. Lose 60 expertise rating by replacing a piece of expertise-heavy gear? Get back to your expertise cap by replacing three +20 Agility gems with three +20 Expertise gems. Overshoot your Expertise by 22 Expertise rating? Swap a +20 Expertise for a +20 Agility. And so forth. It is not unusual to have to replace three or four gems with each upgrade to rebalance your character.

That's expensive!

Yes, it is. But look to guild jewelcrafters and alchemists to help you. Alchemists can transmute a blue-quality gem into a epic-quality gem once a day. Supply them with the mats, and they can transmute epic-quality gems for you. Our friendly jewelcrafters have collected almost all the cuts in the game (check the Wrath Tradeskill List) and can cut the gems for you.


Almost every piece of gear can be enchanted! Enchant every piece of gear you possibly can. The head and shoulder enchants are reputation rewards from the Knights of the Ebon Blade and the Sons of Hodir, respectively. You can get reputation with them through quests and dailies.

Here is Shadowpanther's list of all PvE rogue enchants, and here is a summary of the best ones:

Weapon: Enchant Weapon - Berserking. This is by far the best enchant. Put it on any weapon you expect to keep for a while. It's expensive, though, so if you're upgrading fast you may want to put on a less expensive enchant: Enchant Weapon - Black Magic is a good secondary enchant, followed by Enchant Weapon - Mongoose.

Head: Arcanum of Torment. This is the revered rep reward from the Knights of the Ebon Blade. Work your way to revered for this one. If you don't have the rep yet, you can use Glyph of Ferocity (Revered Cenarion Expedition reward) while you wait. Note that the Arcanum is bind-on-account now, so if you have an alt that has the rep, send it over.

Shoulder: Inscriptionists should use Master's Inscription of the Axe. Everyone else use Greater Inscription of the Axe which is the Sons of Hodir exalted reward. If you aren't exalted yet, you can use the Honored reward while you work your way up (Lesser Inscription of the Axe). The inscription is bind-on-account, so if you have an alt with the rep, send it over.

Chest: Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats is the best. It's very expensive, however, so if you are going to replace the chest soon you can use Super Stats which is almost as good and much less expensive.

Waist: All belts should have an [item]Eternal Belt Buckle[/item], which gives you a free socket.

Legs: Leatherworkers should use Nerubian Leg Reinforcements, everyone else use Icescale Leg Armor.

Feet: Engineers use Nitro Boosts, everyone else use Icewalker.

Wrists: Leatherworkers use Fur Lining - Attack Power, everyone else use Enchant Bracers - Greater Assault. In addition to the enchant, Blacksmiths should add a socket to their bracers for a free gem.

Hands: Engineers should use Hyperspeed Accelerators, everyone else use Enchant Gloves - Crusher. In addition to the enchant, Blacksmiths should add a socket to their gloves for a free gem.

Ring (enchanters only): Assault

Back: Tailors use Swordguard Embroidery, Engineers use Flexweave Underlay, Everyone else use either Greater Speed or Major Agility.

Ranged Weapon: Heartseeker Scope or Sun Scope.
Here are a couple of useful sites to help:

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Shantow is one of your Guild Jewelcrafters/Inscriptionists. Please contact him if you are in need of gems or glyphs. Also, as he tried to keep a supply of epic quality gems on hand at all times, but sometimes runs low, feel free to send him any rare or epic gems you've collected. Also, if you have a TRANSMUTE specced alchemist that you are not currently using a cooldown on please let him know, so that he can put you to work transmuting more epic gems. He currently has three alts who all have 450 Alchemy, two of which are TRANSMUTE specced to try and keep up with the demand for Guild gems. Any help is appreciated.
Isn't there a haste cap too?
There is a haste cap for casters, but no meaningful haste cap for melee -- it's so high that it's unreachable for the forseeable future.

To be more specific, the haste cap is theoretically around 7000% haste. Right now the top haste that a rogue can possibly reach (with all procs going off) is probably around 540%. So, we're nowhere close.



I tend to toss a nightmare tear in the head slot next to the meta gem. It fulfills the meta (1 of each) automatically and I never have to worry about accidentally smacking my meta out of usefulness with one gear upgrade. I can also switch hats at will - which I tend to do to try and maximize set bonuses vs. flat upgrades.

Another thing to remember regarding hit caps: If you are *over* hit cap, you are wasting stat points. Many hunters, for example, are running with lower 'gear point' neckpieces and trinkets due to 245 (and higher) hunter gear often being + hit heavy. I am running a 232 neckpiece instead of my 245, and many hunters are running a 200 (!) trinket over 245 due to the extra hit being not needed.

If you can add one hit gem and therefore replace an entire +hit item (trinket, for example), you gain whatever DPS/stats you replaced it with. (Just make sure the replacement is > the +20 agility gem spot as well!)
Thank you for your input, Phoronid! That's a good idea about putting the Nightmare Tear in a head piece so the meta requirements are taken care of, and so switching between heads is easy.

Mirounga Wrote:Another thing to remember regarding hit caps: If you are *over* hit cap, you are wasting stat points.
Just a quick clarification -- rogues have three hit caps, though I only highlighted one of them in my original post. The three rogue hit caps are as follows (I am assuming 5/5 Precision):

* Yellow, or special, damage hit cap: 99. This refers to your special attacks (Mutilate, Sinister Strike, etc.). Being over 99 means that your special attacks do not miss. Every rogue should be over this cap.

* Poison hit cap: 315. This refers to your poison damage. Rogues should strive to be over this one, as a large amount of our damage comes from poisons. If the raid has Improved Faerie Fire or Misery, this drops to 237. It is worth gemming to get over 315 hit.

* White damage hit cap: 722. This refers to the damage from a rogue's auto-attacks. In TBC, reaching the white damage hit cap was very important, because white damage accounted for more than half a rogue's damage. In Wrath, rogues no longer strive to reach the white damage hit cap because (1) white damage is now a much smaller percentage of our overall damage output, and (2) reaching 722 hit is impossible with the currently available gear. Striving to get close to 722 is therefore not worth it. However, it does not hurt a rogue to have somewhat more than 315 hit, because hit over 315 helps white damage blows land on the target.

A gearing note: Pre-ICC rogue gear tended to have a lot of +hit. Without ever gemming for +hit, Zlinka hovered around 400-500 hit from gear alone. However, it seems that ICC rogue gear has less +hit, so rogues will start losing their +hit as they upgrade. This will become a problem if their +hit drops below 315 -- at that point, it is worth gemming for +hit to stay at or somewhat above 315.


Three hit caps? Ow!

Oh, and thank you for the education!
I am now rogue learned. Above hit "caps" are still good for rogues.

Easier for Hunters: 263. (And never 262, since the pet rounds down to the nearest %)

- Phoro.

p.s. Okay, adding an edit: Sometimes 262, if you take into consideration that the pet lost 1%. *sigh*

Yeah, as you might suspect, I am currently at 262 hit.. but in the gear switchings I gained a major 4 pc set proc and a massive amount of extra stats. This one point of annoyance will be fixed once I get my next Ashen Verdict ring.. or the 245 set shoulders.