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.