Jewelcrafting is a new profession added in The Burning Crusade, and its main purpose, outside of some jewelry like rings, necklace, and trinket, is to craft gems that can be used in dedicated sockets on multiple parts of your gear to optimize your stats.
This guide will help you to make the best choice with comparison of gems for PVE and PVP as well as some good practises to save you some headache as gemming is a whole game inside the game.

General knowledge

You can use a gem of any color in any socket, but matching socket color allows you to gain a socket bonus for extra stats. On top of that you have a meta gem on your Helm.

 

Socket bonus, is it worth it?

In PVE it is pretty simple, you are looking at the AEP sum of gems + socket bonus if it is higher or equal when putting the appropriate colors than if you put only the highest AEP gem type. Then go for it, if not go for your maximum AEP gem.

In PVP there is no simple answer because at the end of the day, your gear is a balance between offensive and defensive stats, some players will opt to gem full agility or attack power while others will get the socket bonus to have the biggest overall value.
It is up to your playstyle preferences.

 

Meta gems

Meta gems are gems that you can put only in a specific socket on your helmet
Here are the two best meta gem for both PVP & PVE

Meta Phase Source Effect Requirement PVE AEP PVP AEP
Swift skyfire Diamond 1-2 JC (Consortium Honored)  24 AP / 8% run speed at least
2 yellow &
1 red gem
24 24
Relentless Earthstorm Diamond 3,4 & (5) JC (Consortium Exalted)  12 agility / +3% critical damage at least
2 yellow, 2 red & 2 blue gems
117 (120) 85

As you can see, Relentless Earthstorm Diamond is the best choice by far and is already out from the start (which makes helm with meta gem slot even more valuable than anticipated !) and Swift Skyfire Diamond should not be used as it is way too expensive for something you should replace (but you can still use the lesser one from spirit shard as a placeholder).

Let’s illustrate this with phase 3 gear and Relentless Earthstorm Diamond (Requires at least 2 Yellow, 2 blue, and 2 Red gems). (Requires at least 2 Yellow, 2 blue, and 2 Red gems).

– Red and yellow gems requirement is not an issue since we, rogues, care mostly about damage, this requirement is pretty easy as you will use mostly red (Agility & Attack power), yellow (Hit & Crit rating), and orange (a mix of red and yellow stats).
– For the blue requirement, you will end up using two Shifting Nightseye or  Shifting shadowsong Amethyst (5 agility / 7 stamina).

On your PVE gear, you can put one on your Slayer’s Chestguard alongside yellow/orange gem to get a nice 8 attack power bonus, the other one can be used on your Belt of One-Hundred Deaths (3 agility bonus) or Slayer’s Shoulderpads (6 attack power bonus) but the worst choice might be on Slayer’s Legguards (4 attack power bonus) even if it has only one blue socket!

Gemming for PVE

As we said, gemming is all about fine-tuning and getting the most value out of your gems and socket bonus. First, let’s see which are the most valuable gems!

 

Best gems for each phase

The purpose here is to give you the best gem for each color and you already know by now that this will be mainly gems with hit rating and agility and we will not include gems that are not as good a blue quality one that can be made by jewel crafter.

The AEP values shown below are calculated with phase 1 stats weight, the ones for phase 2 are a tiny bit higher but don’t change which gems are the best.

Combat sword Strength Agility Critical Hit Exp Haste
T4 weight of stats 1,1 2,26 1,83 2,54 2,77 2,2

– Phase 1 & 2

Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Rigid Dawnstone JC (world drop) 8 hit rating 20,3
Smooth Ornate Dawstone PVP Vendor 10 Crit rating 14,6
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Glinting Fire Opal Black Morass Heroic 4 hit rating / 5 agility 21,5
Pristine Fire Opal Shettek Halls Heroic 10 AP / 4 hit rating 20,2
Glinting Noble Topaz JC (world drop) 4 hit rating / 4 agility 19,2
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Bold Ornate Ruby PVP Vendor 20 AP 20
Delicate Living Ruby JC (world drop) 8 agility 18,1
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Shifting Tanzanite Steamvault Heroic 5 agility / 6 stamina 11,3
Brutal Tanzanite Botanica Heroic 10 AP / 6 stamina 10
Shifting Nightseye JC (world drop) 4 agility / 6 stamina 9
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Jagged Chrysoprase Blood Furnace Heroic 5 Crit / 6 stamina 9,2
Sundered Chrysoprase Steamvault Heroic 5 Crit / 2 mp5 9,2

The AEP values shown below are calculated with phase 3 stats weight, there is only a difference later is in Sunwell when 10 agility red gem become better than the 24 AP red BOP gem from Jewelcrafter.
Also Shifting Tanzanite from Steamvault heroic is as good as his Hyjal counterpart with just 1 stamina less

Combat sword Strength Agility Critical Hit Exp Haste
T6 weight of stats 1,1 2,36 1,99 2,69 2,92 2,3

– Phase 3, 4 & 5

Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Rigid Lionseye JC (Hyjal Rep) 10 hit rating 25,9
Stone of Blades JC BOP (Keeper of time) 12 crit rating 23,2
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Glinting Pyrestone JC (Hyjal Rep) 5 hit rating / 5 agility 24,6
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Crimson Sun JC BOP (Consortium) 24 AP 24
Delicate Crimson Spinel JC (Hyjal Rep) 10 agility 23,2
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Shifting Shadowsong Amethyst JC (Hyjal Rep) 5 agility / 7 stamina 11,6

As you can see from the AEP values, the first thing you will want to do is reaching your hit cap since gems with hit rating always have the most value for a specific color, and then come agility (and some critical strike and attack power gems early on).

Choosing your hit cap

You might think “how can I even choose my hit cap? there is only one value that is true right?”
Yes, it is true, when you hit a mob of a certain level … but you will fight against boss but also trash that has lower level thus having a lower hit cap.

And there is also a few other factors that might change your hit cap :


1) Do you have a Draenei in your group?
If you are Horde, the answer is simple. If you are alliance you can have either a warrior, a paladin, or a hunter on your group that will give you his racial Aura (note that the shaman bring spell hit and no physical hit) which give you: 15.8 hit rating

2) Do you have a Boomkin in your raid?
A boomkin will put a debuff; Faerie fire which increases the hit chance against the target by 3%, which equates to 47.4 hit rating

3) Do you care more about boss damage or overall damage?
This is an interesting one, if you care only about boss damage, you should go for the 363 hit cap, but if you care more about overall damage, you will not lose too much lowering your hit since the last points close to hitting cap are not that much value, but you will then have less or no hit that is useless against lower-level target and more agility so more overall damage!


To use some of Simonize’s numbers for T4, his advice would be to gem for 72 hit cap, which will lose you about 3 DPS or -0.2% damage against level 73 but by doing so you will gain 35.5 DPS or +2% damage against level target 72!

To translate this into hit rating :
The aim is 269 hit rating with your gear and gems

– When facing level 70 mobs you will be below the 300 hit cap (since your boomkin might not put faerie fire on mobs that will be AOE down quickly).
– When facing level 71-72 mob you will be exactly at 316 hit rating (cap for level 72)
– When facing bosses you can use Spicy Hot Talbuk (20 hit rating food) to get to 336 hit rating instead of Warp Burger (20 agility food) which will give you about 3 DPS more.

Note that if you are lucky enough to have a Draenei in your group on a regular basis you should aim for -16 less hit rating!

PVE Consumables Listing

Hit & Expertise guide

How to gem your gear

Now that you know what are the best gems and that you have decided which hit cap you aim to get, it’s time to socket the gems on your gear!
Here a simple method that you can do in a gear planner.

1) Gem your two violet/green gem in blue (else red) socket that will give you access to the best socket bonus if you have Relentless Earthstorm Diamond (if not skip this)
2) Gem full Yellow hit on the rest of the socket (you should be above the hit cap)
3) Then socket orange gem first on red socket then on yellow to lower your hit rating until hit cap (and try to get first the best socket bonus by doing so, especially in gear where you put your violet gem).
4) if you are still above the hit cap you can now replace some orange gem in the red sockets with red gems.

Most of the time, you will use orange agi/hit, red agility, and violet agi/stamina except early on where there is a lot of choices thanks to epic quality gems that drop in heroics as well as PVP gem (we advise you to keep those gems for your end phases gear).

If you manage correctly to get the best out of your socket bonuses, you have now the best you can do for your current setup!

Few more advice to avoid swapping gem on a piece as your setup evolve :

– plan your end phase build, that way you won’t replace gem to adjust your hit cap or get your meta gem activated later
– you can also plan your build for the next phase, same idea here, not regemming a piece that is still bis.
– for the piece that you also use in PvE, try to gem the less possible hit rating on it since it has a lot less value and just put it elsewhere if possible! 

Gemming for PVP

Best gems for each phase

The purpose here is to give you the best gem for each color and we will not include gems that are not as good a blue quality one that can be made by a jewel crafter.

The AEP values shown on both tabs below are calculated with the same stats weight that we use for PVP, the second tabs include gems that become available with phase 3.

Shadowstep Strength Agility Critical Hit Haste
PVP 1,1 1,9 1,22 1,18 1,28

– Phase 1 & 2

Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Bold Ornate Ruby PVP Vendor 20 AP 20
Bright living Ruby JC (world drop) 16 AP 16
Delicate Living Ruby JC (world drop) 8 agility 15,2
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Inscribed Ornate Topaz PVP Vendor 10 AP / 5 Crit rating 16,1
Pristine Fire Opal Shettek Halls Heroic 10 AP / 4 hit rating 14,7
Glinting Fire Opal Black Morass Heroic 4 hit rating / 5 agility 14,2
Deadly Fire Opal Arcatraz Heroic 8 AP / 5 Crit rating 14,1
Wicked Noble Topaz JC (world drop) 8 AP / 4  Crit rating 12,9
Glinting Noble Topaz JC (world drop) 4 hit rating / 4 agility 12,3
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Gleaming Ornate Dawnstone PVP Vendor 10 Crit rating 12,2
Rigid Dawnstone JC (world drop) 8 hit rating 9,4
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Brutal Tanzanite Botanica Heroic 10 AP / 6 stamina 10
Shifting Tanzanite Steamvault Heroic 5 agility / 6 stamina 9,5
Balanced Nightseye JC (world drop) 8 AP / 6 Stamina 8
Shifting Nightseye JC (world drop) 4 agility / 6 stamina 7,6

– Phase 3, 4 & 5

Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Crimson Sun JC BOP (Consortium) 24 AP 24
Bright Crimson Spinel JC (Hyjal Rep) 20 AP 20
Delicate Crimson Spinel JC (Hyjal Rep) 10 agility 19
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Wicked Pyrestone JC (Hyjal Rep) 10 AP / 5 Crit rating 16,1
Glinting Pyrestone JC (Hyjal Rep) 5 hit rating / 5 agility 15,4
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Rigid Lionseye JC (Hyjal Rep) 10 hit rating 11,8
Stone of Blade JC BOP (Keeper of time) 12 crit rating 14.6
Gems Source Effect AEP Value
Balanced Shadowsong Amethyst JC (Hyjal Rep) 10 AP / 7 Stamina 10
Shifting Shadowsong Amethyst JC (Hyjal Rep) 5 agility / 7 stamina 9,5

As you can see, yellow gems are not very valuable as pure hit and crit gem doesn’t bring a lot, and you will focus mainly on either agility or attack power alongside some orange gems for your hit cap and purple to activate your meta if needed.

Agility or  Attack power?

There is a debate since original TBC about the stat that you should focus between Agi & AP, and at the end, it comes down to personal preference, but I will try to give the advantage and disadvantage of both so you can make your own decision

Agility: it will give you attack power, crit rating, as well as some armor and dodge, this is more an all-around stat, and the defensive part of it is not to underestimate (i mean dodging a KS from another rogue always feels great !). The drawback on the offensive part is the crit component which loses value as time goes by and people are stacking more and more resilience.

Attack power: only pure offensive stat but as opposite to agility (and the crit component) it does not loose value as people are getting more resilience, and as you can see from AEP value, AP gem are slighty above Agility gem.

How to gem your gear

When it comes down to how you should gem your rogue for PVP, there is no perfect answer. It is more a balance between offensive and defensive stats. Some rogue will rock with a lot of PVE gear alongside with full AP gem, and some with way more defensive build, it is up to you, your composition, and your own personal gameplay.

That being that going for socket bonus will give you the maximum value overall within that balance between offense and defense. But then again, there is no perfect answer and it is up to you.

Here are some general rules that will help to get the best out of your socket :

1) Gem your two violet gem in the blue (else red) sockets that will give you access to the best socket bonus if you have Relentless Earthstorm Diamond (if not skip this)

2) If you are not above hit cap which is 79 hit rating (111 hit rating if there is a lot of resto druid with Insect Swarm), use orange agility/hit gems or yellow hit gems in the yellow socket (and focus on Agility/Attack power socket bonus)

3) Now if you do not care about defensive sockets bonus fill the rest with red Agility or Attack Power, if you do, you can use orange AP/crit on your yellow socket and even additional purple gems on the blue socket.

If you manage correctly to get the best out of your socket bonuses and you have now the best you can do for your current setup!

And the few advice I gave in the PVE section to avoid re-gemming your gear all the time stand here as well, try to plan out your end phase build and put gem that fit well for both PVE in PVP in raiding gear that you will also use in the arena.

Read more about the rogue stats & optimizations