Situation: We just downed Valethria Dreamwalker on 25 man ICC HM and Frostbinder's Shredded Cape drops. Here are the major important stats for this cloak.
Intellect: + 78
A Yellow Gem Slot (With +5 SP bonus)
Critical Strike Rating Improved by 68
Haste Rating Improved by 60
Spellpower Increased by 100
A few weeks ago in 25 man Ruby Sanctum regular, I got the Cloak of Burning Dusk. Here are the important stats for this cloak:
A Red Gem Slot (With +5 SP bonus)
Critical Strike Rating Improved by 56
Haste Rating Improved by 64
Spellpower Increased by 104
Here are my current stats:
Critical Strike Rating: 968
Haste Rating: 1035
Question 1: My guild runs a loot council where you can specify if you want a drop for your main spec and it is a major upgrade (Main), whether it is a side grade but you are still interested (Pass), or whether it is an offspec item (Off). You can also say nothing and just pass on this item. What would be the correct action in this case for my moonkin spec (My offspec is tank so he would never use it)?
Question 2: Knowing the new info about Cataclysm, it is unlikely that we will actually complete hardmode Ruby Sanctum. Does this change your answer?
Pencils Down. You get to grade your own paper so you will make a 100% anyway, but lets go through what my decision was in the moment.
Question 1: I said nothing although I would have accepted Pass as an answer. Saying nothing is the ideal answer though. Looking at my stats, I am hit capped, soft haste capped above 408, lunar crit capped at 968 plus the 264 idol. Although the 277 cloak is a higher iLevel, trading it out would mean an increase in my critical strike rating, which is not really needed, and a decrease in my haste, which is really not needed. In addition, the 271 cloak from Ruby Sanctum is better itemized with the red gem slot because regardless of the cape, since it is only +5 spellpower.
Question 2: I would argue that this cape is still better even if we never do hardmode Ruby Sanctum. I mean, the hardmode version of this cape is best in slot for pretty much any caster, but I'm thinking in my circumstance that the regular version is better than the ICC HM cape. This means that this cape is likely the one I use until I replace it at level 83.
Going back to several blog post I have made in the past, I have talked about gemming within the caps. When you are upgrading your gear, it is important to look at your caps as well. When you are above the Lunar Crit Cap, haste becomes slightly more important than critical strike rating. This is the reason for gemming with spellpower plus haste gems versus spellpower plus critical strike gems when you are above the Lunar Crit Cap. If I was not above the Lunar Crit Cap, my decision would be to go with the 277 iLevel cloak to get more critical strike rating. However, since I am, I know it is more of a sidegrade and is arguably a downgrade.
Looking at the gear list I get from Gray Matter, whose blog is listed on the side, she mentioned the HM Dreamwalker cape is higher than the 271 RS cape. However, that is for a specific situation. In my situation, where I value haste over critical strike rating, I chose the 271 cape. This is why gear list are guides. You still need to know your caps and what you are going towards when choosing your best gear.