Gear Check provides casuals with an insight on gear choices, enchantments, and gems for all occasions, as well as basics on how the system works, what your gearscore means, and why you got kicked because you had a iLevel 200 in a ToC raid.
Good God, So Many Gems!
Gems can be overwhelming if you simply look for a Jewelcrafting link. Like many other things, you need to know your needs and how to reach them. As a fresh 80 being met with new gear with sockets, gems are a necessity that will visibly improve your DPS, tanking or healing. Each class has certain needs, but not necessarily every need should be gemmed. Before this article will make much sense to you, I advise you first do a bit of research on your class’ needs: great places for that can be found on the Links sidebar.
The first thing you need to know is this: Meta gems are VERY important. If you have a helm with a meta socket, you will have a meta gem. Each meta gem has certain requirements that need to be met. They can include things such as more red gems than blue gems, certain amounts of specific colored gems, and one of each color. These requirements MUST be met in order to “activate” the meta gem, gaining the stat bonuses it grants. As such, one of your primary goals through gemming is to activate the meta gem.
Beyond this, there are magical things called “socket bonuses” for matching colored gems with sockets of the same color. These are often very small bonuses, and on a normal basis, should be ignored.
One brief note: When choosing your gems in your research, choose one of each color – Blue, Red, and Yellow. If a blue gem is not ideal for your class, then choose a green or purple gem that is better suited – but ensure that one of your gems fits a blue socket.
The Jigsaw Puzzle
This way of looking at gems is of my own invention, and it is one I am fairly proud of. Basically, you have a designated number of gem sockets (don’t forget to add an Eternal Belt Buckle to your belt!). You need to assign a gem to every socket, and you need to meet your Meta gem requirements. First, lay out the gems that will complete your meta gem. In the examples to follow, I will be using a Blood Death Knight as a model. The Death Knight has 10 gem slots spread out through his gear (not including the Meta gem slot)
Now you have met your meta gem requirements. Sometimes it will take 3 gems. Mr. Guinea Pig DK now has 8 slots left available, so we fill these 8 slots (not socketing yet) with the best gem for his class: Strength.
So we now have our ten gems. Now here is where the puzzle comes into play: We have our pieces (the gems) and we have the completed image (the gear with sockets). The only thing left to do is put the gems in the right places. We start by placing the two purple gems (to satisfy the meta) in the gear. We do this by searching for a blue socket. By socketing these two in blue sockets, we gain socket bonuses. However, we are not sacrificing the benefit of a pure Strength gem because we require these gems to satisfy the meta. With those two socketed, we now fill out the rest of the gear with the red strength gems.
That is the basic method: Find out what gems you need to satisfy your meta gem, and socket those according to color. Sometimes it will be more complicated than the above example: if you are under the hit cap, you need to gem for Hit Rating in order to reach it. For more information on the hit cap, read my post on Stats and Ratings.
Thank you for reading this edition of Gear Check!