I’ve touched on gems briefly in my Priest gear list. What I failed to address at the time was what meta gems to use when you had an item that could use it.
What are Meta Gems?
Meta gems are like your standard blue, red, or yellow gems but with one very significant exception: They are fairly rare to obtain. These gems are special because they bestow a special effect or passive ability to the head piece that it is socketed in.
Mouse over that link for a moment and you’ll see a helm that has a meta socket and a blue socket which activates the healing bonus. Most head pieces don’t have meta gems. But for healing helms with a meta gem, there’s a few options.
What gems should I use?
- Abilities: 15% chance on spellcast – next spell 50% casting time
- Requires more Blue gems than Yellow gems
- Abilities: +12 Intellect, Chance to restore mana on spellcast
- Requires at least 2 Red gems, 2 Blue gems, 2 Yellow gems
- Abilities: +26 Healing Spells, 2% Reduced Threat
- Requires more red then blue gems
I can tell you right off the bat that I would knock off Bracing Earthstorm Diamond from the list of considerations. The abilities are attractive.
But the requirements are too difficult to meet as Priests. The requirements are a little more reasonable now. The 26 healing is nice. I’d consider using it if you’re having some issues with lack of healing. I’ve never really had much of a problem. You’re going to be socketing Nightseyes more than anything else anyway.
You’re better off weighing the other two choices.
In a nutshell, it’s either going to be faster spellcasting or mana regen over time. In a raid setting, Priests will be spending mana like crazy. It would help to have other ways of replenishing your mana, so that’s the argument for the Insightful Earthstorm. I don’t know how often I’ve preached mana regen. If you close your eyes and click a post of mine at random, you’ll probably find some mention of it. The requirements aren’t insanely hard or ridiculous to meet either. 2 reds, blues, and yellows are easy to slot up with. The trick is to find the right combination of gear which will have the necessary slots available.
But don’t discount faster casting entirely. Sometimes, having a fast heal can pay off. My Shaman has this meta gem equipped. I’ve gotten many timely procs of the ability when I thought my party would wipe. The requirements for this to activate are even easier. You just need 1 blue gem and no yellows and you are set. There’s going to be encounters where tanks are taking huge hits and you need that spell haste. Those heals have got to land or else your healing assignment is dead because you can’t keep up with it.
If you’re still unsure of which meta gem to choose, I would suggest picking up the spell cast gem first. Odds are, you may not have enough gear with the necessary sockets for effects to activate. Go with that for now then as your gear progresses, make the shift towards the Insightful Earthstorm Diamond (mana regen). You can’t heal without mana. Always remember that.
Sadly I’m still using the Headdress of the High Potentate which doesn’t even have any slots. I’m waiting for Vashj to surrender a token so I can finally replace it.