re: Should Holy Paladins use the Ember Skyflare Diamond?


I ran across an interesting post on Zabery about meta gem choices for healadins at our current gear level.  I’m sure there are other people out there who are considering switching their Insightful Earthsiege Diamond for a Ember Skyflare Diamond.   Let’s discuss this issue and Zabery’s post!

– Short answer: No, you shouldn’t. –

In the beginning of the post, Zabery works out how much INT you would need to have for the 2% bonus from the ESD to be greater than the 21 INT you get from the IED.  He does a good job of that, but then you’re left having to wonder how to compare the rest.  I’m going to break it down for you here, using myself as an example.  To start with, I have 2012 unbuffed INT, but for the sake of argument, we’re going to assume that I’m running with full raid buffs.  So I’m working with a 2125 INT score on this.  Let’s work with what I net on each of these first.

ESD – 25 SP and 42.5 INT
IED – 21 INT and 70 MP5 (derived from a 5% proc rate with 15 second internal cooldown returning 600 mana [Zabery listed the proc incorrectly])

This is where the comparison stopped in the blog post, simply stating at the end that “If the mana proc is worthless then all the benefits from ESD’s scaling int, no matter how small, are better than nothing.”  However, he never points out the obvious fact that we don’t stack Intellect for the throughput.  We stack it for the mana regen!  Also, this answer assumes that we are comparing the two in a vacuum.  Healadins gem for mana regen for the simple fact that we get more “bang for our buck” that way, allowing us to gear towards throughput in other areas.  70MP5 is a -huge- chunk of regen, more than I get from my ilevel 277 ring and my ilevel 264 cloak -combined.-

Let’s move away from the blog post in question now.  We’ll finish our incomplete comparison and flesh out what that difference in INT will net me.

ESD – 33.5 SP (8.5 SP from INT), .255% crit (from INT), 32.725 MP5 (from INT), 42.5 INT
IED – 4.2 SP (from INT), .126% crit (from INT), 86.17 MP5 (16.17 MP5 from INT), 21 INT

Switching to the Ember Skyflare Diamond would net me 29.3 SP, .129% crit (6.05139 rating) and 21.5 INT.  In exchange I would lose 53.445 MP5.  That’s a massive net loss for me!  How much do I lose?  I lose 53.86 adjusted ilevel budget points.  And that’s assuming you have as much Intellect as I do!  People with less than me lose even -more- in switching.

One of the points against the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond that people like to make is that the mana return on the proc is unpredictable.  However, your chance to get average or even -above- average returns from it goes up the more you cast.  Therefore, you get more out of it on the harder fights and less out of it on the easy fights.  Which fights are we gearing for again?

– What about for everyone else? –

Frankly, I’m surprised any healer ever considers using anything but the IED.  To quote myself over at Jessabelle’s post about gemming: “Using your weights, the IED = 95.9329 HEP and the ESD = 82.35438 HEP.”  That’s what I got for her Disc gear and using her numbers.  But really, that can apply to pretty much everyone.  What you gain from the IED is just so much more than what you get from the ESD until you have more INT than can be achieved from WotLK gear.

But as always, there’s the “feeling” issue to work with.  If you don’t need mana regen, you shouldn’t take the mana regen meta, right?  That’s what our “gut” tells us, right?  -Wrong!-  Use the mana regen meta and gear towards more throughput!  You have to take into account your gear as a whole.  Using the superior mana regen meta means I can have two full pieces of gear that are pure throughput.  The beauty of items like meta gems and trinkets is that they are often flexible in their item budgets, allowing us to get the most out of every single bit.  The IED meta gem gives us more budget to play around with, thus someone with an eye towards maximizing their healing can really milk the difference that it makes.



  1. Now I’m totally coming over to your blog to start a debate with you. You started it! mwahaha.

    Let’s say I just switched from Holy Spec to Disc Spec as a Priest. I have so much mana regen it’s stupid. As I’m going through the process of replacing my mana regen gear with haste/crit gear, why not use an increased throughput meta gem over an increased mana regen meta gem until i replace enough of my spirit gear? I mean, when I first swapped specs, I ended boss fights with 90% of my mana left. What a waste! Even after replacing all my Int gems and most of my spirit enchants.

    After all, it’s a lot easier, cheaper, and faster to replace one meta gem than it is to replace half of your gear. Of course you want to replace your gear anyway, but that does take time. Is the increased throughput meta really such a bad choice for a temporary fix?

    • I did start it, amg! 😀

      First and foremost: Easier, cheaper and faster does -not- mean better. If a person is more worried about the first three than about being the best healer they can be, then it doesn’t matter what I say. They’re going to do what comes easiest anyway. I’m more concerned about being the best healer you can be.

      If after replacing all your gems and enchants with throughput ones you’re still having way too much mana, there’s probably more issues going on than your choice of meta. Most likely you’re not casting enough or you’re running with too many healers. There’s no way 70MP5 should sit you at 90% mana. (How -did- you do that, BTW? My priest has really mediocre gear [and terrible gems, amg!], but I was running OOM on the Blood-Queen like mad.)

      Also, I write towards maximizing play for raiders, not beginners, really. You can get away with healing in just about -anything- for the easy raids and 5-mans. Heck, I’ve healed the front half of ICC-10 in my druid’s boomkin gear with no issues. (Doesn’t mean I didn’t facepalm at forgetting to put my healing gear back on! XD)

  2. IED is still superior to ESD even for discipline which on certain fights can be very mana light. While it won’t particularly get a chance to shine on fights where it’s really all single target healing for disc, there is always a fight where there is constant raid damage.

    You could make the argument for using ESD for discipline for single target fights and then switching to holy and thus a different set of gear (with IED) for fights like BQL, Twin Valks, etc, but out of sheer convenience it’s just easier to use IED for both sets of gear (possibly using the same helm for both gear sets). Not to mention the 25 spellpower is near negligible while the IED proc is powerful – if you are not having mana problems as disc, simply spam PW: S a little harder. Sure it may seem like a waste but you never know when someone might screw up or random stuff might happen where your bubbles can save the day!)

  3. Great post. I particularly like the recommendations to arena/PvP and Kara (smart!). I’d never have thought of those as beneficial to current endgame PvE movement situations but now you say it, makes sense.

  4. […] Metagems – Let’s be frank 02/26/2010 I’ve written about this before, specifically for healadins, but I’ve been seeing terrible advice floating through the “blogsphere” for other […]

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