Meta-Gems – Some Confirmation

Ever since they changed the requirements of Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond a couple beta builds ago, there’s been a lot of debate among the various dps specs/classes as to whether it’s worth bothering to use. In particular, I saw that Hamlet and Binkenstein (moonkin and elemental shaman geniuses, respectively) recently declared the meta – red gem sacrifices and all – to be worth using for their own classes.

To clear up the matter for Death Knights:

  • Unholy will never use it, unless your gear set up somehow has less than ~5 gem sockets total, assuming a random distribution of colors/bonuses. Even in an unrealistic set-up with nothing but a dozen blue sockets, unless at least half of those blue sockets give a strength bonus, you still wouldn’t bother with CSD! Questing or raiding gear, Chaotic is out.
  • Frost DW and Frost 2H won’t use it, unless their gear has less than ~9 gem sockets total, assuming a random distribution of colors/bonuses. Basically, you’ll use it when you first hit 85, but ditch it once the majority of your gear is from heroics (or better).

That’s all.

All three specs will likely end up using Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond; yeah, the 1% spell reflect is worthless, but you don’t have to sacrifice any strength via orange/purple gems to activate it, which is the real charm of the meta. The only real alternatives are Enigmatic Shadowspirit Diamond and Impassive Shadowspirit Diamond; if you happen to be socketing at least one orange and one purple anyways, you may as well proceed to use either of those two; or if any raid fights happen to utilize snares/fears, then of course the respective gem would pull ahead and be worth the sacrifice.

One may wonder why I don’t point out Fleet Shadowspirit Diamond as a possibility for Frost DW; although it depends on the specific socket bonuses available to your individual set of gear, generally speaking it’s a smaller sacrifice to pick up run speed from your boot enchant then it is from the meta, even considering the passive bonus a mastery meta has over a crit meta.

Anyways, just one of several little matters to clear up before 85!

32 Responses to Meta-Gems – Some Confirmation

  1. Kerberus says:

    Is there any reason to not just use Chaotic Skyflare Diamond then? Lose 30 critical strike rating but still keep the 3% critical damage?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for clearing that up.. just wanted to point out a typo ;P
    or if any raid fights happen to utilize snares/fares, You just misplaced your e there.

  3. Lciee says:

    I would assume then that unlike L80, in Cata both UH and Frost will just be gemming pure str in all slots rather than going for socket bonuses? And then just refoging to hit exp/hit caps?

    • Griefpb says:

      Yes, str is the best stat, I did some calculations using consider’s DW Frost’s stat weights, basically applies for all specs though, give or take.

      Assuming a piece with 2 gem slots, using 2x 40 str red gems would give you a 192 dps increase, going with a mastery/str gem would be 129.6 dps.
      In order to split the difference, the socket bonus would have to be at least 26 str and that would be just to break even.

      With that said, the requirements on the chaotic meta seem insanely expensive. Of course, if boomkins and shamans are seeing a benefit, more power to them but our secondary stats aren’t even close to catching up to the primary.

      • Griefpb says:

        Forgot the +20str/+20mast orange gem, using this would be a lot more viable and close to an increase.

        Using the DPS stat weights for DW Frost again, in a piece with 2 gem slots you would get a 160.8 dps gain, only needing a 13 str socket bonus to break even.

      • Consider says:

        And, in most cases, the socket bonuses aren’t that big for one gem. There are a couple notable exceptions; helmets, for example, almost always have a huge (30 of a stat) bonus).

      • Griefpb says:

        IDK Consider, at least for DW Frost and the stat weights you listed earlier we might be at least matching yellow socket bonuses with +20str/+20mastery and the socket bonus of our T10 helm, looking pretty legit. All of the other pieces don’t have a stength yellow socket bonus though, seems strange to me.

        I just went through a search of all cata items that were ilvl ≥359 and couldn’t find any gear with a decent yellow socket bonus.

        Sorry for all the posts btw, I’m done.

      • Griefpb says:

        Damn, you got the post and search off way before me, should have known better lol!

        The socket itemization seems off when comparing to Wrath and BC, a lot of haste and critical strike bonuses for plate gear? Usually they have gone with primary stat with that.

        Like this one? Seriously?

        Alright, now I’m done.

  4. Griefpb says:

    The link for Fleet isn’t working, it seems you accidently left 2 http:// in the address.

  5. Shrak says:

    Just to clear something up, currently on the beta, Chaotic Skyflare Diamond has the same requirements as the chaotic shadowspirit diamond (I don’t have access to the beta) ? If that’s the case, what meta gem should we use to level from 80 to 85 ?

    • Consider says:


      For leveling purposes, just stick with your CSD. It’s not until 84/85 where strength gets this huge lead on every other stat, making it such a large sacrifice to gem anything else.

  6. Lciee says:

    Speaking of which but I can’t wait to read your recommendations regarding leveling specs etc. I know you stated earlier the best method would probably be 2h frost but other information from various sources all points to leveling as blood. It’s getting so close now I’m starting to get excited haha.

    • Consider says:

      Most people are vastly overestimating/overstating the damage increase of mobs. Yes, they do a lot more. No, it doesn’t cause you to have downtime.

      If you’re in all greens, then perhaps Blood is the best way to go. But if you’re modestly geared in ICC gear – not BiS, just a decent mix of 264/277 – I can all but guarantee Blood is not the best.

      • Waylandyr says:

        I really don’t understand everyone’s exclamations about the incoming damage increase, I never once had a problem unless I was stupid and pulled 4-5 mobs. I DO recommend picking up Lichborne so you shouldn’t ever have any real downtime though, makes things much faster.

      • Consider says:

        Eh. It doesn’t hurt, but hardly necessary. Another point in Frost’s favor, anyways!

  7. Grave says:

    Consider, I would like some help confirming a bug on live and want to know if it translates over to beta realms. Merciless combat seems to be behaving like glacier rot instead, boosting damage if the target is diseased rather than if the target is under 35% health.

    Surely a bug that could be throwing off frost dps by a huge margin.

    • Consider says:

      I can confirm that there’s a shadow ~12% frost dmg against targets with FF bug, yes.

      I’m not sure if it’s coming from MC, although I suppose that would fit. I’ll see if I can pester someone to test it.

      • Grave says:

        The far left dummy had no diseases, the middle had frost fever, and the far right had both diseases.

        Shows the bug on live clear as day, and apparently stacks for both diseases.

      • ODK says:

        yea that looks interesting, what skill did you use to hit all 3 after diseasing the 2 dummies? howling blast?

  8. Kankersore says:

    Any thought into using Thundering Skyflare Diamond?

    Easy requirements and 480 haste proc.

    • Consider says:

      Not worth it, although if there was a level 85 version it might be a possibility. 480 haste for 6 seconds with what is apparently a minute ICD = 48 haste = subpar to 52 passive crit when you consider the steeper requirements to activate.

  9. Grave says:

    Yes it was HB.

  10. ODK says:

    you mention that the 1% spell reflect is worthless, but is it really? does it actually do what it says? reflect 1% of spells your hit by? cause if so, theres actually quite a bit of random spell flinging that goes on – i would think it would be amazing to reflect a 25k bolt bein shot at ya….

    but i also dont know how the spell reflect works, never used a class or item that had anything to do with it…

    cept the new DK spell, which ive found to be near completely useless….definately need to be taught its benefits cause i havent found a single one yet, but i believe its because i was tryin to return damage spells, i guess i need to get ahold of buff spells or such?

    • Baphomette says:

      I’ve been using Destructive all through Wrath as my meta in PVP. It reflects 1% of single-target spells, yes. It does not work on bolt volleys or any other AoE. You simply won’t be targeted with enough reflectable spells in PVE for it to add anything significant–even in 2v2s, where you are constantly being hit, it’s possible to go entire matches without that 1%.

      • Sag says:

        How does it work with DoTs or channeled spells. I assume they bypass it. And only DD spells can possibly get reflected.

      • Baphomette says:

        It reflects DoTs and channels on application, not per tick. If a lock casts Corruption on you, there is a 99% chance that you will get the debuff and all subsequent damage, and a 1% chance that they will.

        Channels do reflect but seem to just self-cancel (you won’t see someone Mind Flaying themself).

  11. Thargos says:

    Hi folks,

    I’m not quite sure if my math is wrong at any point, but I don’t see myself using any of the Crit Metas instead of the Fleet Shadowspirit Diamond as Frost DW. When calculating the values of the different Metas and the corresponding setup, I assume the following:

    -We’re wearing the T11 helmet with its 30 Str bonus, so we put a Str/Mastery gem in here and therefore got 1 of the 2 required yellow gems for the Fleet Meta
    -The only 2 viable boot enchants are Mastery (50 Mastery) and Lavawalker (35 Mastery + Runspeed). Of course one could mention the Precision enchant (50 Hit), but I’d say we get our desired Hit rating from reforging all that crappy haste from our T11 set.

    So, setup one (Crit Meta):
    Meta = 54 Crit = 54*0,64 = 34,56
    40 Str gem (not taking any bonus) = 40*2,4 = 96
    Lavawalker = 35 Mastery = 35*0,84 = 29,4

    Setup two (Fleet Meta):
    Meta = 54 Mastery = 54 * 0,84 = 45,36
    Str/Mastery Gem = 20*2,4+20*0,84 = 64,8
    Mastery on boots = 50*0,84 = 42
    Total (without bonus): 152,16

    So the bonus has to be worth more than 7,8 DPS to make the Fleet Setup preferable. Divided by the stat weights, this means one of the following:

    16,25 -> 17 Haste
    12,1875 -> 13 Crit
    9,28… -> 10 Mastery
    3,25 -> 4 Str

    Especially when looking at the required 4 Strength, there are definitely items with a higher bonus (Bracers of the Mat’redor, Dargonax Signet with 10 Str each, both seem to be part of the BIS set of the known items). Depending on the slot of the non set item, you might also wear the Battleplate of Ancient Kings with its 20 Haste bonus.

    Is there any flaw in the calculations or assumptions in my thread?

  12. Ðemøsthenes says:

    “More blue gems than red gems? Ya…no. Change it back.”

    The current design has been reconsidered, so we’re planning to revert gems that now require more blue than red gems back to their original requirements. Such a change can’t be accomplished via a hotfix though, so we’ll have to wait to revert these in a future patch.-Blue Post (Daxxarri)

    O please God let this be true!!!

    • Dascylus says:

      Oh, it’s true.. so that means we’ll now be using the Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond as our meta for any dps spec.

  13. Luescion says:

    “The current design has been reconsidered, so we’re planning to revert gems that now require more blue than red gems back to their original requirements. Such a change can’t be accomplished via a hotfix though, so we’ll have to wait to revert these in a future patch.”


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