Monday, August 30, 2010

Moonkin Gemming - Within the Caps

I got a question from a friend of mine last night who is looking to gem his moonkin.  Thinking back on it, this is one of the few topics that I have never discussed on this blog.  How to gem as a moonkin.

Starting off, there are only a few gems you should be gemming with anyway.  As a general rule, you should be using epic gems except for your meta.  They help your gear the most and shows that you care about your gemming.  Plus, at this point, epic gems are not that expensive.  Here are the gems you should be using (if you are not a jewelcrafter):

Chaotic Skyfire Diamond - Meta Gem for your headpiece
Runed Cardinal Ruby - Goes in all red slots 99.99% of the time.
Purified Dreadstone -  Need two of these for your meta gem.
Veiled Ametrine - If your need hit.
Reckless Ametrine - If you need haste.
Potent Ametrine - If you need critical strike rating.

There are blue quality gem equivalents, but they are not really worth getting.  So now that you have your gem list, what to do with them.  Remember my saying about the 3 caps.  Your first priority is hit cap.  Now you probably notice that I did not include a straight hit gem.  The reason why is most of the time, you will get more benefit from using two of the Veiled Ametrines than you will get for using a Rune Cardinal Ruby and a pure hit gem.  The Runed Cardinal Ruby is + 23 spellpower.  The pure hit gem is + 20 hit rating.  The Veiled Ametrine is + 12 spellpower and + 10 hit.  Just looking at the pure numbers, you will get 1 additional spellpower using two Veiled Ametrines over straight spellpower and straight hit.

This is true for the Reckless Ametrine as well.  If you are not at the soft haste cap, it will be better to use two Reckless Ametrine to get to cap versus straight spellpower and haste.  And they can go in red or yellow sockets to meet your gear bonuses.

However, this rule does not hold true for Potent Ametrine.  Since the Lunar Crit Cap is at a high critical strike rating, you will get more bang for your buck just putting Potent Ametrine in yellow sockets to hit your socket bonuses versus changing out a red to get one additional spellpower.  In time, you will be able to hit the Lunar Crit Cap without gems.  At this point, you just go back to Reckless in yellow sockets only.

Speaking of gear bonuses, there are a few rules about what to go for in terms of socket bonuses.  In general, moonkins look for these stats in this order.

Hit > Spellpower > Haste > Critical Strike Rating

This is the reason why the first rule of socket bonuses is only gem socket bonuses if they are spellpower.  If they are hit or haste or critical strike rating, don't gem to get those bonuses.  Second, even in spellpower bonuses, there is a limit.  Elitist Jerks says gem for anything above + 5 spellpower.  I tend to disagree with this.  I say gem for anything about + 7 spellpower because the loss of using a yellow gem versus a red gem is not as great if the spellpower bonus is above + 7.  In addition, always remember you have to have two blue gems socketed at any time.  Ideally, you would want to find blue gem slots to put these in, but if you don't have two, you can either use the eternal socket on your belt (since it does not affect the belt's socket bonus) or just substitute a red gem for it.

The final thing about gemming is don't be quick to regem all your yellow sockets.  Once you are above the haste cap, you may be tempted to change everything over to the Potent Ametrine.  First, look at how much haste you are taking out.  If it puts you below the haste cap, don't take it out.  If you are above the Lunar Crit Cap, you may be tempted to go straight haste with the Reckless Ametrine in your yellow sockets.  Use the equation I mentioned before and find out what your cap is, then you can replace what will keep you above the cap.  Also, think about your meta, especially when you get new gear to replace gear that has a blue gem in it to make sure you do not lost the meta gem socket bonus. 

So hopefully, this little guide will help you when gemming your gear for moonkin.  It is not difficult, but it does take a careful eye when gemming.

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