Though I’ve recently made tons of gold selling gems to the auction house, I didn’t set out with Jana to sell into that market. The result is that Jana has bought designs that seemed right to her at the time. Even when I was starting to sell gems, the gem designs I bought were more based upon a look at what gem prices were on the auction house or what a random person in my guild might have wanted at the time rather than a more systematic method.
I suspect epic gems will be available in the next patch. Epic gem designs will have a significant cost. Picking the right gem designs could mean thousands or even tens of thousands of gold. There are certain gem designs that I know I will get because Saxsy and Jana will use them. Beyond that, though, I wanted to have some logical basis for choosing one gem design over another.
I don’t cut PvP gems; I don’t understand the cycles of that market and every time I have tried to sell a PvP gem I have been disappointed and came away with the impression that I wasted a cut. Thus, my focus is on PvE. What gem designs should I get?
Now, people have all sorts of ideas about what gems are best. But I figured a person who doesn’t know what gem to use would do the same thing I would do about a theorycrafting question: go to Elitist Jerks and look at the initial post for a given class and spec. Elitist Jerks generally has some very good summaries of each of the classes and I would go there to learn about classes I don’t play all that much (i.e., anything other than a fire mage). Perhaps there are other sources of information out there, but as far as one place with information on the gemming needs of every class and spec in the game, I don’t know of any better place.
Here was my methodology. For each spec, I would figure out what the best gems were to match red, yellow, blue and meta sockets. For each of those recommended gems, I would award one point. If there were a choice between two different gems for the same socket, I would give each a half a point. If there were three choices, each one would get a third of a point. Thus, each spec would get a total of four points to assign to various gems.
The initial posts at Elitist Jerks are of varying quality. For six specs, there were no clear gemming strategies: Blood Death Knight, Frost Mage, Resto Shaman, and each of the warrior specs. I searched through the thread to get my best guess at what would be the right gems, figuring that’s what someone else would do. Usually there were stat priorities and I was able to extrapolate from that. Sometimes I looked at the gemming strategies of the initial poster from their armory link.
My goal then was to sum up all of the points awarded to get a total for each gem. Gems with higher scores would be the ones in the most demand. Gems without any points at all would not be worth getting. In theory an individual gem could get a total of 31 points, if every single class and spec used it for one socket. That, of course, didn’t happen, but it serves as a good baseline for how popular a gem might be.
Here are the results.
- Brilliant (+intellect) - 14 points
- Delicate (+agility) - 9 points
- Bold (+strength) - 5 points
Red gems are the best selling gems in the game. It was common to read in Elitist Jerks’ gemming recommendations that a class or spec should ignore most set bonuses and gem their respective red gems regardless of socket color. I suspect they will be the most profitable gems on the market.
Brilliant is the most recommended cut of all gems. Delicate is the second most recommended. There’s no question that these gems will sell well.
- Reckless (+intellect/haste) - 8.33 points
- Deft (+agility/haste) - 3.5 points
- Artful (+intellect/mastery) - 3.33 points
- Inscribed (+strength/critical strike) - 3 points
- Deadly (+agility/critical strike) - 2.5 points
- Potent (+intellect/critical strike) - 2.33 points
- Adept (+agility/mastery) - 2 points
Fierce (+strength/haste) - 2 points
Fine (+parry/mastery) - 2 points
Orange gems are popular choices, and there are quite a few to choose from here. Reckless is the third most popular cut overall. Apart from that cut there are eight other cuts which theoretically should sell pretty well. Personally, I will learn the potent cut before the others because I will use it, and I may choose one other.
- Fractured (+mastery) - 2 points
Yep, that’s it. There’s only one yellow gem worth cutting and that one only gets used by 2 of the 31 different specs. I’ll have more to say about this later.
- Puissant (+stamina/mastery) - 2.5 points
- Regal (+stamina/dodge) - 1.5 points
Like the yellow gems, there’s not a whole lot here. Unfortunately, when you prospect ore for gems, you’re just as likely to get yellow and green gems as you are red and orange. This would be okay if there were something you could do with the yellow and green gems other than cut them, but there really isn’t. Amberjewels can now be used to create PvP necklaces and rings; those probably aren’t profitable to DE because of the numerous volatiles required, but at least you can try to sell them. There’s nothing for dream emeralds. I’ve been on the verge of vendoring them from time to time. I hope there’s something you can do with epic green gems, because these do not sell.
- Solid (+stamina) - 2 points
- Rigid (+hit) - 0.5 points
Sparkling (+spirit) - 0.5 points
Blue gems would seemingly be as much of a problem as green and yellow gems, but my experience here is that people are not quite following Elitist Jerks’ advice, as both Solid and Rigid gems sell reasonably well. Sparkling gems have not sold well in my experience.
- Glinting (+agility/hit) - 7.5 points
Purified (+intellect/spirit) - 7.5 points
- Veiled (+intellect/hit) - 6 points
- Etched (+strength/hit) - 5 points
- Defender’s (+parry/stam) - 1 point
Purple gems sell pretty well, and there’s a good range of choices here. My experience is that they sell better than all but the red gems. I will certainly get the veiled epic cut when it comes out, and I will probably get a couple more.
- Burning (+intellect/critical damage) - 9 points
- Agile (+agility/critical damage) - 8 points
- Reverberating (+strength/critical damage) - 5 points
- Ember (+intellect/mana) - 3.5 points
- Austere (+stamina/armor value) - 2 points
Eternal (+stamina/block value) - 2 points
- Revitalizing (+spirit/critical healing) - 1.5 points
I include this only for reference. I’ve never really liked the meta gem market; the gems themselves are very slow to sell, and the whole market can be turned upside down by one jewelcrafter deciding to lowball everything. I took thirty of each uncommon gem to turn them into meta gems for sale after the 4.2 patch. I’m convinced that I made a mistake with that; I still have most of those raw meta gems, while I’m out of all of the others.
If epic gems are introduced in the same way as they were in Wrath, the designs will be purchasable with jewelcrafting tokens. I think that there will be enough time between now and then for me to earn enough jewelcrafting tokens to purchase all of the above designs, but I could be wrong about that. (Blizzard may make it ten tokens per design, for instance, which I think would be excessive.) It’s interesting to think of it as a matter where choices matter, where I have to choose between one gem design and another.
One obvious part of any reasonable strategy is to have at least one design for each color of the gem. It’s possible to sell raw gems, but in my mind there’s no fun in that. I also think most people are used to buying cut gems, so the raw gem market isn’t as profitable. I could be wrong about that.
Beyond that, there’s a bit of strategy as to which gems to choose to focus on. Brilliant cuts may be the most popular, but they will likely not be the most profitable because everyone will know that cut. In Wrath I found a very profitable niche with one gem because I was the only one who had it for sale. I suspect that might happen here, but I’m not counting on it.
My plan is to use this list and focus on the highest scoring gems.