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Prot Pally Gems and Stats: How can I optimize?

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Hello Icy-Veins Paladin Forum! I've been a longtime reader of both guides and forums here on the site, generally defaulting to what is suggested when it comes to stat priorities and gems for whichever class I'm currently playing.


For starters, here is my toon's armory: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/wyrmrest-accord/Forgefighter/advanced


As a beginning side note, I've been trying to start out with copying the gear that Theck and Fouton use in their prot sets, though drops and bonus rolls haven't seen fit to give me certain pieces of gear (notably, bracers and two normal rings). To end this section I will also mention for consideration the DPS legendary cloak that I carry around which has been enchanted with Stamina, as a potential replacement for the Tank Cloak.


I'm sitting at 572 as far as gear goes, and I know I perform well as a protection pally (though I find it annoying, I am often told to take more damage by my healers in fights). However, I have a personal drive to be the absolute best at what I'm doing, which is half the reason I've posted here. Looking at my armory, are there any suggestions that could be made when concerning gems, enchants and reforging? 


The other half of why I've posted is that, in trying to find out for myself what the best gems/reforges should be, I've fizzled myself out in complete confusion because somewhere along the line, I stop understanding the math (or something along those lines, I'm not 100% sure).


So in general, for the protection paladin, what are some of the guidelines for gemming and reforging, primarily in these two regards: Firstly, how much should I look for socket bonuses? And if I should only go for certain ones, which ones?

Secondly, when considering the soon-to-be obsolete hit and expertise caps, I know a chunk of gear has hit and expertise on it when looking at Fouton and Theck's prot gear but when it comes to making it up, where should I look to: Gems or Reforging?


There are a lot of questions here, and I tend to ramble, so I apologize if this post is any kind of confusion. However, I also want to begin thanking anyone who takes a look at this topic and/or responds now, so...thank you!

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I tend to pick up my lacking expertise/hit with gems if the sockets are available. At the ilvl I'm at, it looks like im going full haste, but it's simply because I cannot lower my expertise/hit. If I had less, I'd first go to gemming hit/haste or exp/haste to pick up socket bonuses while keeping everything capped, and see how reforging goes around it. Sometimes that method will try to give you like 100 expertise over a cap or something, in which case it might be better to skip a socket bonus.


As for which socket bonuses you should go for: Haste/Exp/Hit/Mastery are all very good bonuses to pick up, Stamina is a good one after that, but things like dodge/parry/strength/crit have no substantial value. I believe http://www.askmrrobot.com/wow/gear/usa/wyrmrest_accord/forgefighter shows a good way to reforge/gem yourself at the moment. A side note about using AMR is that I often like to set Stamina around 0.7, since it unreasonably favors getting stam sockets at the cost of valuable stats. I don't think I've ever edged out a margin due to stamina, so sometimes it bothers me that it cares so much about it.

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Based on what I've read and my opinion on the stats gearing through multiple tiers of ilvl in 5.4 is not to go out of your way to get stam bonuses, now if there's a combo of haste/exp/hit gems you can use to get the sta and you need them for cap why not. When I add up the amount of health gained from hypothetically getting all stam bonuses it just seems like it wouldn't make any difference in a death scenario, I haven't had a death where there was only a small amount of overkill that would've been offset by bonuses.


Right now I'm mostly gemming straight haste to get closer to 50% haste except for my ring gems which are haste/exp to get exp bonus and this happens to work well with my caps. Other than those 2 gems I get the hit/exp cap from reforging my gear using the addon ReforgeLite to save me a headache, I somewhat use askmrrobot but don't follow it exactly because I share a lot of non-tier gear between prot and ret and my particular reforges currently makes both of them hit the caps nicely.


You've already pointed out the gear you're looking to replace so there's no need to point it out, as long as you got haste/mastery/hit/exp gear you'll have plenty of desirable stats. I've exclusively used the legendary DPS cloak but I don't do progression raiding only PuGs. The opinion I've heard and that makes sense to me is Tank cloak for progression fights and DPS cloak for farm. I think the logic is that on progression fights having an extra life gives your raid a better chance to continue the fight without wiping, therefore allowing everyone to learn more. On farm the raid should be competent with the fights so the chance of a suprise death is much lower and you would benefit more from the haste and mastery given by the DPS cloak for general survivability.

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