5.1 Warlock Gems

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Much to my surprise and a departing from the old mind thought, gemming for Intellect in every possible situation is NOT optimal in terms of DPS gain. Upon thorough inspection and math, it is optimal to gem into your secondary stats and hit your socket bonuses because of the change in gems. Gems used to be 40/40 or 50/50 with a primary stat and secondary, but now they are 80/160 which means that Intellect would need to be twice as good per value than your secondary stat to be considered. Consider the following under the premise of an average ilvl of 495:


Stat Weights:

Int = 4.23

Mastery = 2.36

Hit = 1.87

Haste = 2.41

Crit = 1.54

For a Red Socket, you might instantly think that throwing a 160 Intellect gem in is your best option. I show here why it is not...

160 Intellect = 160 x 4.23 = 677 DPS

80 Intellect/160 Mastery = 80 x 4.23 + 160 x 2.36 = 338 + 377 = 715 DPS

80 Intellect/160 Haste = 80 x 4.23 + 160 x 2.41 = 338 + 386 = 724 DPS

80 Intellect/160 Hit = 80 x 4.23 + 160 x 1.87 = 338 + 299 = 637 DPS

Therefore, if you are not at hit cap, gemming 80Int/160 Hit is only an 87 DPS loss from optimal, and you can see that hybrid gems are better than pures, no matter which one you gem for.

For a Yellow Socket, we explore the option of Intellect vs Mastery here...

80 Intellect/160 Haste = 724 DPS

80 Intellect/160 Mastery = 715 DPS

320 Mastery = 755 DPS

320 Haste = 771 DPS

Therefore, for a Yellow Socket, it is more beneficial to gem straight mastery or haste over any intellect hybrid gem, but only ever so slightly. Here, take whatever gem is cheapest.

For a Blue Socket, we explore the option of Intellect vs Hit...

160 Hit/160 Mastery = 677 DPS

80 Intellect/160 Hit = 637 DPS

320 Hit = 598 DPS


Without going into all of the detail above, I'll simply do the math and list findings here. If you need assistance with your calculations, post below and I'll help you through them.

Red Socket

160 Int = 640 DPS

80 Int/160 Mastery = 568 DPS

80 Int/160 Hit = 730 DPS

Summary: Gem 80 Int/160 Hit but do not go over Hit cap. If at Hit cap, gem pure Int.

Yellow Socket

320 Mastery = 496 DPS

80 Int/160 Mastery = 568 DPS

160 Mastery/160 Hit = 677 DPS

Summary: Gem 160 Mastery/160 Hit (Sensei)

Blue Socket

320 Hit = 819 DPS

80 Int/160 Hit = 730 DPS

Summary: Gem 320 Hit and then 80 Int/160 Hit but do not go over hit cap


Red Socket

160 Int = 640 DPS

80 Int/160 Mastery = 620 DPS

80 Int/160 Hit = 714 DPS

Summary: Gem 80 Int/160 Hit but do not go over Hit cap. Once you Hit cap, pick between pure Int and Int/Mastery (difference is negligible)

Yellow Socket

320 Mastery = 602 DPS

80 Int/160 Mastery = 620 DPS

160 Mastery/160 Hit = 694 DPS

Summary: Gem Mastery/Hit (Sensei)

Blue Socket

320 Hit = 787 DPS

80 Int/160 Hit = 714 DPS

Summary: Gem 320 Hit until hit cap then gem Int/Hit but make sure you don't go over Hit cap. Use gems for hit and save reforging for better values.


JC's get their choice of 2 super gems. The viable choices are:

320 Int

480 Mastery

480 Hit

Looking at stat weights, this is how good the JC gems are for each spec:

Affliction Red Socket

320 Int = 1354 DPS

Demonology Red Socket

320 Int = 1280 DPS

Destruction Red Socket

320 Int = 1290 DPS

Because the Intellect gem is the biggest gain, you want to replace two red sockets with your 320 Int gems. This also allows us to calculate the value of Jewelcrafting as a profession for each spec.

Affliction = 1354x2 - 724x2 = (1354-724)x2 = 630x2 = 1260 DPS

Demonology = 1280x2 - 730x2 = (1280-730)x2 = 550x2 = 1100 DPS

Destruction = 1290x2 - 714x2 = (1290-714)x2 = 576x2 = 1152 DPS

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Thanks so much for this guide, I was having a hard time deciding on straight Mastery versus another gem for a Yellow Socket last night. What Meta Gem should I be using?

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Red/yellow 160 expertise + 160 mastery = 841,6 should be best for red in affli, or am I missing something?

Edited by Rangelkent

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Red/yellow 160 expertise + 160 mastery = 841,6 should be best for red, or am I missing something?

I said in my original post that I wasn't exploring Mastery/Hit because as you acquire gear, Hit rating becomes quite easy to obtain and cap on. There is Crit on so much gear that you'll never run out of places to reforge Crit into Hit. Use your gem options to increase spell power, intellect, and mastery unless you're looking at a Blue Socket and need Hit rating in which case you'd slap a 320 Hit gem in there.

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Wow that is pretty insane. Have you done a live test of it. Just seems to simple lol. At least doing this will always get the socket bonuses.

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I'm doing what I suggest in my guide and pushed 62k on Feng and 68k on Gara'jal. Of course, Blizzard's stupid bug where you can't interact with your feasts caused me to exit game and forget to restart my logs. Pretty much using the one blue socket I have for a 320 hit gem. I'm starting to get gear loaded with hit so we'll see how that adjusts as things go on. I'm up to a 475 ilvl due to getting extremely lucky on Sha of Anger and nabbing my tier gloves. DPS scales SO well with gear as Affliction...just keep getting more powerful.

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Well then I'll move some gems around haha. This is an interesting find! Curious how it will be near the end of the expansion, and if it will go back to straight int.

Also where are you finding stat weights, and how often do they change?

Edited by vaeevictiss

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i still dont really understand how Hit is even weighed as it is a stat in a realm of its own. You are either capped, or you arent. At 14.99% you do not have the DPS potential as you would at 15%.

Seems to me it should be an all or nothing scenario and viewed as such. There needs to be a way to sim and mr robot where you could check a box if you are either capped or you're not....for that matter, it should just be run automatically as being hit capped...because IMO, you should not even step foot in a raid if you are not hit capped.

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Hit is given a value because that's how much each point of hit is worth in terms of DPS until you hit cap. Seeing it have a high weight proves that.

Affliction is currently the ONLY class that has a hit value less than a secondary stat. The theorycrafters showed one of two things:

1) Hit capped Warlock - performed well consistently. Average parse for a pre-raid set up was around 70k with a min at 66k and max at 74k.

2) Mastery/Haste reforge (ignore hit cap) - performed REALLY well sometimes, REALLY poorly sometimes. Average parse here was just over 70k but dipped all the way down to 51k and up to 89k while the lower end was slightly more frequent. Basically if you weren't hit capped, you HOPED you hit. And when you hit, you hit big.

The reason Affliction was allowed to not hit cap is because once a DoT is applied, it can't fall off due to always hits once applied. This means that once you get a channel of Drain Soul or Malefic Grasp up, you couldn't miss anything during that period of time. This is what allowed for high, bursty RNG parses. It's now heavily frowned upon and hitting your hit cap is a priority over anything else.

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i just ran a sim on my character, and the results are something to possibly consider for people just gearing up for raiding with poop gear like me.

and this is what i got

Posted Image

so it seems for me haste may be a better choice?

this makes gem choices for me as follows...

160 Intellect = 160 x 3.39 = 542 DPS

80 Intellect/160 Mastery = 80 x 3.39 + 160 x 1.28 = 271.2 + 204.8 = 476 DPS

80 Intellect/160 Haste = 80 x 3.39 + 160 x 1.48 = 271.2 + = 508 DPS

80 Intellect/160 Hit = 80 x 3.39 + 160 x 1.07 = 271.2 + 171.2 = 442.4 DPS

it would appear, in my case, straight int would be better.

Edited by vaeevictiss

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I know the scale factors will be different at lower item levels but how are your scale factors so low? I'll run mine later on tonight and see if we can come up with a better conclusion.

I know at my 474 ilvl stats are starting to really boost me. I was ahead of most other Warlocks in the world in the opening phase of Elegon (first 15%) but I haven't ranked on other fights due to poor composition (no 5% spell haste :( ) and that contributes a lot.

As for haste thresholds, there is one at 8% haste and one at 30% haste, so there are no meaningful Haste thresholds meaning additional haste will not boost your DoTs to do more ticks thus not increasing their power at all. Mastery increases the damage of all 3 of your DoTs meaning each point of Mastery is significant. I'll do more work with what I can when I get home tonight with my own toon's armory. You can look me up and run a test on mine if you want until I get home from work in 2.5 hours.

Zagam - Horde - Mal'Ganis-US

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well im not too familiar with simcraft, i only used it a few times. So i may not have all the settings right.

may need you to walk me through it so they match haha, or take screenshots of all your screens.

how can i show u the results? maybe you will notice what im doing wrong.

I also wanted to add that I think the sim you posted was with t14h gear

Edited by vaeevictiss

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Yes, the sim data I posted was at an average ilvl of 504. I'm currently running sims (like literally, in the background) at my 475 ilvl as I feel that will be a closer representation of what people should be reforging to. I got a result this morning after running a 50k iteration on my character that showed haste being much more powerful than Mastery, contrary to a lot of things.

After researching Warlocks, I found the following:

Two Warlocks were used for DREAM Paragon's world first Heroic: Will of the Emperor fight. Neither were hit capped. Not even close. One was at 9% and the other at 11%.

Most of the top WoL parses for Affliction Warlocks show very high DPS with varying had 3% haste and 60% mastery while others were mostly concentrated around 10% haste and 50% mastery give or take. It's a slower day at work today so I'm going to be running simulations on all three specs at varying item levels so we can have a better look at our stats at obtainable ilvls.

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well the hit thing you mentioned really throws a wrench in the gears well as the mastery haste thing. Im really curious how the math isnt correct. It seems very chaotic when you have such a wide range between stats, especially hit, and they are hitting similarly huge numbers. There has to be something else at play because it simply doesnt add up.

Im concerned primarily with affliction right now and i know you seem to be too, so maybe just work on that instead of all three specs. I think ill play around with it today also if its slow here. I pretty much put my neck on the line on the mmo champ forums being adamant towards hit capping and mastery>haste...and getting ripped on for it...and now it turns out i could have been wrong about it all lol.

Edited by vaeevictiss

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Well, I can't run perfect simulations at the moment. I also don't have my haste threshold chart handy. There is one posted to EJ by someone who put one together there but I can't access it. I need to know what haste threshold to set.

Anyways, I ran 3 simulations on my character with my gear at an average ilvl of 475.60:

1) Hit capped, Mastery > Haste > Crit, enchant = Power Torrent

76767 DPS

Mastery Weight = 1.77, Haste Weight = 1.20, Crit Weight = 1.17

2) Not Hit capped, Mastery > Haste > Crit, enchant = Power Torrent

77624 DPS

Mastery Weight = 1.71, Haste Weight = 1.17, Crit Weight = 1.17

3) Hit capped, Mastery > Haste > Crit, enchant = Windsong

76326 DPS

Mastery Weight = 1.71, Haste Weight = 1.18, Crit Weight = 1.19

Looking at the BiS profile and reforges, not hit capping brings your DPS down. So it looks like at some point between my item level of 476 and the 503 BiS ilvl, hit capping takes a priority. Not hit capping right now, over 10000 iterations, results in a 850 DPS gain. To be honest, I feel this to be negligible as a miss at the wrong time (Haunt, one of your DoTs with SB:SS during execute) would cause a DPS loss. I don't like the volatile feel of not hit capping here, but play the way you want. I'd rather play knowing I'll hit every single time and do 800 less DPS, but that's just me. Also, Power Torrent appears to be better than Windsong until you get Jade Serpent enchant but most of the super high end raiders are using Windsong, so there may be something going on unknown to me. I know at one point that enchant was broken for DoT classes, but perhaps it is fixed now.

When looking at the T14 normal (ilvl 496) simulations, Affliction uses a hit cap and prioritizes Mastery > Haste > Crit.

I BELIEVE that the reason Ask Mr Robot and WoW Reforge put no value into Hit when it comes to maxing your character is that because if you were to push stats into Haste and Mastery and get lucky enough to never miss, of course your DPS will be higher for that parse. Over the long run, however, you will also have parses where you miss more than you estimate bringing your overall hit percentage to be what is shown in your character tab. These automatic reforging programs are designed to find the max DPS, but they are not finding it for overall parses. They are finding the statistical outsider and setting their weights based on that. This is not the best way to set your Warlock up for longterm, sustainable, consistent success. I will stand behind my research and work and back up this itemization priority:

1) Intellect

2) Spell Power

3) Hit (until 15.00%/5100 rating)

4) Mastery

5) Haste

6) Crit

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its almost too close to even matter. And yea i looked at one of paragons locks and he had less than 9% hit. he even reforged out of hit.

Almost worth waiting until the end of the tier when everyone is heavily geared to see how the numbers actually play out.

Im also curious if Windsong has been fixed yet. All i found is and that was one the new blue posts

Apparently it has been fixed according to people doing ingame tests! http://www.mmo-champ...hlight=windsong

EDIT: It is indeed fixed, In less than a minute i had the crit one proc, then a haste one, then a small gap then the haste and mastery ones proc at the same time!

Edited by vaeevictiss

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WOOT! Good find. I'll get rid of Power Torrent...unless PT is still better than a fully functional Windsong. Do we have data on uptime, proc chance, ICD, etc?

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well i was just messing with it on a dummy for a few minutes. uptime doesnt seem very high.

Also, its kind of a chaotic and unpredictable enchant, you can get any of the 3, or a combination of any 2 or even all 3. I wish they made it to use your highest stat. Regardless, once i got the rep with Shado-pan and learn that enchant ill never use windsong. But for now its a plus.

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I'm just wondering what the internal cooldown on it is. There's already data on Power Torrent, so I know those values. Maybe I'll just sim the two enchants against each other for different classes.

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Something odd i found, is that even with GoSac enabled, it is still showing felhunter dps on the sim.

Other than that i ran a few sims myself and at low item levels, stat weights are eerily close, but the higher and higher you get they change drastically. I can almost foresee a nerf in the future as it is going to get to a point where aff locks are just doing insanely more damage than every other dps class. Something about this mastery thing combined with the int is doing very big things.

Its also pretty insane that even in pre raid gear im at just under 60% mastery, im really curious how high it will be in a couple tiers. Especially if the weights are truly getting further and further apart, haste will be virtually useless at some point.

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Just ran simc on my lock (471 ilvl).

10000 iterations.

I also let it parse for hit rating variables and it came up with this:

Stat weights are as follows:

Int 3.62

Haste: 1.88

Mastery 1.55

Hit 1.37

Crit: 1.08

How can I make it so that I am hit capped for the simulation?

I have NO idea where the setting is for that, so would like to see it run with me hit capped to get a comparison of the spread vs non hit-capped....

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That's odd to see stat weights like that. I ran 10 simulations today with varying races, enchants, and other things...and I never saw haste that high. There's a misunderstanding about haste. It does NOT provide additional ticks for Drain Soul or Malefic Grasp, so once it helps you boost through DoT tick thresholds, you've reached all it can do.

As for simcraft modeling, your Felhunter should show up as having one hit. For some reason, they pop Grim of Sacrifice right as the fight starts so he gets one melee in and then he is sacrificed. I believe they say because the heal can proc Spellweave or any other proc spells, but honestly...why not just have it ready 5-10 mins before battle?

To set up stats in your simcraft, go to wowreforge and model your hit to be higher than any other stat. Wowreforge will model your reforging and then you can modify the simcraft to operate with your personalized reforging.

If you guys have other questions, let me know.

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Just to note though, that I ran simulationcraft just by importing my character from the armory, choosing 10000 iterations.

I selected to analyze spellpower int, hit, crit, haste and mastery.

Then I plotted for the same.

For reforge plots, I selected hit, haste and mastery

HOW exactly do you 'modify the simcraft to operate with your personal reforging' ?

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