Tank like a girl
Feb 06 2009

Just say no to Parry Gems

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I am a dedicated fan of jewelcrafting. I wouldn’t want to do the profession, but gem sockets make me happy. Gear with sockets makes me squee. Blacksmith sockets for bracers and gloves are scrumptious. Eternal Belt Buckles are a must.

Back in TBC, gem sockets were boring. Socket bonuses sucked for the most part, so you gemmed stamina gems into every socket you had, at least at my level of raiding.

Nowadays, in WotLK, I usually gem for the socket bonus. There are lovely gems out there, for all three socket colors. You definitely want to use red and blue gems for the meta gem of your hat. Surely you will want to wear one with a meta slot. A while back Durnic posted a great article on tank gems. I totally stand behind it, that’s the gems I am going for, it’s very solid stuff. Haha, solid, gems, get it? ;)

As I ramble on, I come to my point. What is up with parry gems and why does anyone use them? I have no explanation for it. A gem I keep seeing on tank gear is Glimmering Monarch Topaz. Parry and Defense. Let me tell you the reasons I don’t understand such a gem choice.

  • The number one reason is that parry is the weakest of all avoidance stats to gem for. 49.1 parry rating provide 1% parry at level 80. This gem provides you with 8 parry rating. You would need 5 more of those gems for 1% parry. A drop in the bucket, water on a hot stone, it will not make a difference.
  • If you think this is a good gem for the defense, it provides exactly the same defense rating that you would get if you used an Enduring Forest Emerald instead. You get the same defense benefit, but your effective health goes up as well.<
  • But Kadomi, I want to gem for avoidance, you might say. Then do so. Thick Autumn’s Glow gives you 16 defense rating, almost 4 points of defense skill. Defense rating is by far a superior avoidance stat to parry. 4.9 rating grants 1 defense skill, and 25 defense skill give you 1% dodge/parry/block/miss. I don’t do math (much) but Veneretio excels at it, so if you want avoidance, check out how good defense is.
  • Of course the other reason for using this gem might be that you need a red gem, for the socket bonus or for a meta gem. If that’s the case, the parry/def gem is still a poor choice, as Guardian’s Twilight Opal is a much better choice for red sockets. It provides delicious threat and stamina. For those of you who want to see numbers, 32.8 rating grants 1% less dodge/parry for mobs whacking on you. You want to hit the dodge cap at least, as tank (213 expertise rating).
  • The last possible argumentation could be that you are gemming because parry offers avoidance plus threat. You don’t get hit and the remaining time on your current swing is reduced by 40% of your weapon speed. Sure, parry has a threat component, but please re-read the part about expertise. Both hit rating and expertise are stronger threat stats than parry by far. This means parry is the weakest avoidance stat to gear for, and also the weakest threat stat.

I think that’s some very good reasons to not use a parry gem. Like ever. You might wonder why Blizzard actually has them in the game, but parry is a lot stronger for other classes. I think. I still don’t understand Death Knight tanking at all, that’s something I’ll have to try sometime, but I think they’re parry-based. Educate me, death knights of the world.

12 Responses to “Just say no to Parry Gems”

  1. Stop says:

    From my minimal understanding, we suffer from the same sort of problems with gemming for parry. Actually end up getting more avoidance from dodge or defense.

    A lot of the parry we DO have comes from strength, though, via the passive talent Forceful Deflection.

    Stop´s last blog post..Holding the Line: DK Tanking for Newbs


    admin Reply:

    Thanks, Stop, I was hoping you’d stop by and educate me. :)


  2. Stop says:

    “We” being “Death Knights,” that is. (Forgot to mention that.)

    Stop´s last blog post..Holding the Line: DK Tanking for Newbs


  3. Tarsus says:

    I’ll say this for Glimmering Monarch Topaz – they’re cheap. Though perhaps that is because they’re pretty much the worst tanking gem you can select.

    Well, I suppose the straight parry gem would technically be worse. But straight red gems are seem like they are always the most expensive.


    admin Reply:

    The Enduring Forest Emerald is pretty cheap on my server. Not as cheap as the Monarch Topaz, but yeah.

    No matter what class I am playing, the prices for Scarlet Rubies are exorbitant, and I never get any via mining.


  4. Faust says:

    The one argument for Parry gems:

    Being stacked so high on dodge that the DR nerfbat makes parry a better avoidance stat until the number gets in line with your Dodge.

    The itemization isn’t really there to get you into that hole yet, but it’s a potential future solution to a potential future problem.

    Pretty bad argument at the end of the day really.


    tPaste Reply:

    Agree with Faust. Made the exact point I was going to.

    IMO parry gems seems like an exceptionally silly choice now, but in future tiers I could see a scenario where DR makes it much more attractive…otoh at that point in gear progression the following argument could be made: “if diminishing returns is affecting your gear choices enough that parry is more avoidance than dodge, perhaps you should gem for Stam which doesn’t diminish ever”…until Blizzard does something more to parry sexy to warrior/pally tanks it will always be the “Red Headed Step-child” of gem cuts to those in the know.

    Ultimately only time will tell.


  5. Darvenof says:

    So I’m one of the culprits — I have a purple parry/stam gem. My logic was this:

    1) Red slot with +6 Dodge socket bonus
    2) I wanted to take some stam but still get the socket bonus (ergo purple gem)
    3) I still wanted some avoidance from this socket
    4) My dodge is far ahead (> 4%) of my parry

    So I took purple Defender’s Twilight (+8 parry/+12 stam) instead of the Regal Twilight (+8 dodge /+12 stam). As I recall, the Defender’s was about 1/2 the price of the Regal as well.

    Having said that….after looking at the curves on tankspot (http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f63/40003-diminishing-returns-avoidance.html) there’s no point in ever taking parry over dodge.

    Likely I’ll replace this gem soon…but maybe with expertise to help get to the cap there. Likely that will be much more helpful than the additional dodge given where I’m at on the curve.

    Thanks for the post.


    admin Reply:

    Thank you for the link to Satrina’s math, appreciated, and a very good read.


  6. Einstijn says:

    I completely agree with the thing about gems.
    I use a different kind of meta gem though for some occasions. For when I tank things that kinda hit hard (malygos breath) I use a helm with a 32stam/2% armor. And as a green these days I gemed for Hit/stamina is the trinket from thaddius + enchants and some gear have given me in one of the sets 567 defense… which is kinda overkill so I’d rather get my hitrating to 200+ for threat.

    And expertise is just <3


  7. Bigo says:

    Yet again, Kadomi, you educate me!
    Never really took parry with my tank, but only through ready your blog and linked articles did I find out that prismatic sockets took all colours of gems! D’oh. Guess I’ll get rid of those crappy +4 to stats and +6 to resistances I have……

    Bigo – Wildhammer(europe)


  8. mavfin says:

    I filled a red today with a Resolute Monarch Topaz: Expertise and Def.


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