So, what do we think about gemming in WotLK? Well, I’ll tell you what I think about gemming in WotLK: I’m gemming exactly the same way I did in TBC.
Once again, our most important stat seems to be spellpower. Regen is important, but, again, unless we do something really funny with our itemization, the spirit on our gear really does afford us ample regen for most fights. Yes, we sometimes have to practice mana management more than we had to in TBC, but between ret paladins, Mana Spring Totems, Innervate, and Runic Mana Potions, mana should not be posing any problems for your average druid.
So I have been gemming straight spellpower. What else is there to gem for? Spirit? Well, let’s talk about that.
Pre-WotLK, the benefit of spirit’s contribution to ToL aura could not be quantified without making a plethora of assumptions regarding your raid healer team composition, what spells they used, and at what frequencies they used them. Regardless, some saw this buff to the main tank to be more valuable than the personal output of the druid. These people justified (although not so much by using math) the stacking of spirit over spellpower. Fine. I’ll (begrudgingly) give them that.
But when we remove the effect of spirit on ToL Aura, we are just left with some regen and a small spellpower bonus. The contribution of our total spirit to spellpower while in ToL Form is, simply put, awesome. So spending item value on spirit is a great idea. However, unless you are suffering from a lack of regen, you really should gem (and enchant, for that matter) for raw spellpower over spirit for a maximum increase in output.
Makes sense, right?
But what about socket bonuses? Have you looked at your socket bonuses? I have yet to see a spellpower bonus on any of my gear, so I can’t tell you if those are worth getting (or if they even exist), but looking at the socket bonuses available on my current gear (haste or crit rating, a couple of mp5, a couple of spirit), I am not crying over not getting most of them.
I know what you’re thinking. “Most?” Yup. The WotLK version of the spellpower/reduced threat meta (Bracing Earthsiege Diamond) now requires two red gems and one blue gem to activate. That means you have one purple gem to stick somewhere in your gear, and you should try to get a socket bonus out of it since you have to use the gem anyway.
How about the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond? Well, for a class that doesn’t have regen problems to begin with, it would seem like regen overkill. I strongly discourage the use of this meta gem over the Bracing Earthsiege Diamond, but if you choose to use this meta do take note that the requirement to activate the bonus is one red gem and one yellow gem.