The Metric System (Gemming and You)

24 06 2009

Or “How I learned to stop stacking Agility because I went Resto”

Note: If you don’t feel like reading some rubbish, scroll to the bottom.

So, you started to get your epics, but even though you have so much purple, you still don’t feel like a pretty princess. Well, there is lots of gear out there that sports these nifty things called “Sockets” that allow you to get a nice stat boost, along with a bonus, and the ability to equip a Meta gem. Oooh, let’s go in-depth.

So, you just downed Thaddius and you got your Tier pants. Congratulations, but if you want the most out of them, you are gonna need some gems. If you aren’t a fidgeter, you have managed to click the proper pants, Valorous Earthshatter Legguards, which contain a Red socket and a Blue socket. Let me preface this extremely late by saying that Blue gems are not your friend, but they will be on your gear and you will have to manage. If you are a JC, you got lucky (at least until 3.2, then you will have to tweak).

For any and all Red sockets, you are gonna find that a Runed Scarlet Ruby is going to give you the most throughput. If you want a larger mana pool for Replenishment or for better Mana Tide usage, go with a nice Luminous Monarch Topaz (9sp, 8int). If you want a quicker heal, then go with a Reckless Monarch Topaz (9sp, 8haste). Never socket a Purple gem into a Red slot, as you get more throughput with Red and Orange gems.

Save the Purple for your Blue socket in the form of  a Glowing Twilight Opal (9sp, 12stam). Stamina is good for survivability. A dead healer can’t heal, but generally your stamina will come from gear, so only gem for it if you are having problems staying alive. Once again, if you want a larger mana pool, go with a Green Timeless Forest Emerald (8int, 12stam) same argument for survivability. Blue is an extremely lackluster socket for Shaman healers, so use any sort of +12stam gem to get around it. Since mana regen should really come from your gear/mana spring/water shield, don’t gem for it. And since MP5 is getting a buff in 3.2, please don’t gem for it. But, there is another choice.

If you chose Jewelcrafting as one of your professions, you got a nice little Super Gem sitting around for you to cut. It does suck that they aren’t going to be Prismatic (matches any socket and acts like the color to meet Meta requirements), but for now, you are in lucky. If you have a Blue socket, you have options. Once again, Runed Dragon’s Eye is going to give you nice throughput. Want a larger mana pool? Brilliant Dragon’s Eye. Realistically, for a Resto Shaman, these are the only Dragon’s Eye cuts for you. You can only have 3 of any type on your gear, so plan accordingly.

Holy Carp! You downed Malygos25 and got yourself a fancy Tunic of the Artifact Guardian. Huzzah for you! But, there isn’t a Red or Blue socket in it. Hmm… What do you do with Yellow sockets? Brilliant Autumn’s Glow. Intellect is awesome because it provides more mana, more SP through Nature’s Blessing, more Crit for more Proccing of Ancestral Awakening, Ancestral Healing, and Improved Water Shield. But you should never gem crit, as Int will passively give it to you, not as much, but it also benefits you more than pure crit.

As a Shaman, you will find yourself sponging up a lot of gear. Being the only Shaman in a Naxx25 (happened for me the first week of being 80) is/was awesome. So much Mail gear in Naxx. So, you are being the awesome healer that you are, you just decided to Roflpwn Gothik the Harvester and the Helm of Unleashed Energy drops. It has a Blue socket, we know what to do there, but what is that first gem? A meta gem… interesting. If you were gonna grab that Ember Skyflare Diamond, I am going to punch you in the knee. 2% intellect is only gonna give you around 20-30int and that 25sp is nice, but there is a better way. Pick up an Insightful Earthsiege Diamond. 21int beats out your Ember Skyflare Diamond and chance on spellcast to restore mana. Every time it procs, you get 600mana. It procs nicely and it procs often. It procs from setting your Earthliving Weapon, is procs from heals, it procs from the random Magma Totem you place down to pwn some Zombie Chow. It is the definitive Restoration Shaman meta gem and if someone else tells you otherwise, tell them the Big Bird said otherwise. They will laugh, but know you made someone’s day brighter.

TL; DR –

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