Every tier they come, with stats, procs and maybe a little something extra, and every tier we fuss over them like Item 13 and Item 14 are the most important parts of our gearsets. In a world that has been somewhat simplified, with easier comparisons and flexible stats, trinkets still retain some degree of mysteriousness. (Slightly less when GC goes so far as to provide explicit proc details and numbers–darn your transparency!) For healers especially, who struggle to balance throughput and regen with on-use and random procs, trinkets can be just a slight bit frustrating to sort through.
Unless you happen to know a Resto Shaman who likes making trinket comparisons …
Oh hey look, a trinket comparison! (The source data, and calculations, can be found here). “U” is used to indicate where trinkets have been upgraded with Valor.
BIG IMPORTANT NOTE: Average values for random-proc trinkets are calculated using a proc buffer of +5% to activation time to account for the associated proc chance (since none of them are 100%). This should give a more accurate representation of average contribution on random-proc trinkets. Example: Relic of Chi Ji proc timing excerpted below (actual parse). The ICD is 45sec, but in the segment below, the average activation time is 46.5 sec. So calculations which use 45sec will be over-representing the value of the proc. This buffer is not used for on-use trinket calcs–I assume you can click your buttons appropriately and promptly (or that you macro it into a commonly-used ability).
Now, let’s talk about the comparison. First of all, it seems to cover a lot of trinkets, but that’s actually a result of the newly-implemented option of using Valor points to upgrade gear. (I only captured 2/2 upgrades; the list would have been a mile longer if I had included all the 1/2 upgrades as well!) Healer’s choices are pretty limited this tier—divided between Spirit trinkets with Int procs and Int trinkets with Spirit procs (with one exception—Blossom of Pure Snow). Admittedly, more so than my fellow healers, I’ve been sticking to Spirit as much as possible, but with gear levels and stats on the rise, it’s possible that we’ll see a greater preference for Intellect to become more commonplace as we finish out the tier.
That leads into the color-coding that you see in the last three columns (which display the average Intellect and Mana gains associated with each trinkets). The color-coding indicates where the trinket’s values lie in an ordered list. With red representing the bottom of the spectrum, yellow in the middle, and dark green representing the top. What this color-coding should allow you to do is look at each trinket from both a throughput and a regen perspective. The two columns devoted to Mp5 show the base Mp5 on the trinket and then the Mp5 gain when you factor in dropping Mana Tide every 3 minutes. Obviously, this makes the third column is the “best case” scenario for the trinket; in actuality, your Mp5 will likely be somewhere in between the two values (since fight length and MT timing are highly variable). But hopefully, the color coding helps to quickly establish just what would be an upgrade and what wouldn’t based on regen versus throughput.
But what should you take into account when choosing a trinket? Aside from the straight stat gain, there are a couple other points to consider.
Constant stats versus On-Proc
Although common wisdom holds that constant stat bonuses are better than random ones (ie: “What if my trinket procs and I can’t use it?!”), the reality, in fact could be very much the opposite. With burst damage being the design of choice this tier, and shaman’s throughput being so heavily tied to cooldowns, on-use or random procs that align with your big throughput CDs are that much more powerful and could easily eclipse a constant stat gain of lesser proportions. Unfortunately, with the lack on-use Intellect trinkets, intentionally super-charging your Ascendance or Healing Tide won’t be commonplace just yet.
Mana Tide gains
In MoP, it seems that Blizzard has clamped down even more on the Spirit procs that are factored into Mana Tide’s spirit distribution. Random procs, like those from Relic of Chi Ji, are not distributed via Mana Tide making the only way to empower yourself and your team with greater gains from Mana Tide is to utilize static +Spirit trinkets. While I’ve never been an advocate of Resto Shaman being a mana battery, it’s worth noting that your static Spirit trinkets (like Spirit food and flasks) do translate to more mana for both you and your healing team. (Note: I’ve yet to personally verify if Spirits of the Sun distributes via MT, since I only picked up the trinket last night, but I’d highly doubt it).
Lastly, with the recent addition of valor point item upgrades, I know a question on every healer’s mind is going to be—should I use my precious valor points upgrading my trinkets?
The answer: yes, but only:
- After you upgrade your sha-touched weapon (Kri’tak, Imperial Scepter of the Swarm, for example, gains 541 spellpower with a 2/2 upgrade), and
- Only certain trinkets.
From the table above, we can see that not all trinkets are a valuable investment of points. For example, while the upgraded Relic of Chi-Ji provides regen on par with HM-level trinkets, something like the Jade Courtesan Figurine, falls a little flat. And interestingly enough, an upgrade to NM Qin-xi’s Polarizing Seal, however, would yield a constant Int gain that’s actually greater than that offered by HM Spirits of the Sun (unupgraded).
But how do trinkets fare against other potential valor point upgradable gear? Let’s look NM Qin-xi’s Polarizing Seal as an example. When you upgrade to 2/2, ilvl 489 to ilvl 497, you gain:
|Qin-Xi’s (NM – U)||1163||656||3487/20sec||1476|
|GAINS:||84 Spirit||47 Mp5||–||106 Int|
Now compare this against the upgrade you’d get from applying those same valor points to a 2/2 upgrade on chest from HM Garalon, the Vestments of Steaming Ichor, (because remember, chest pieces have one of the highest stat allocations, versus something like gloves or a ring):
|HM Chest (0/2)||840||474||1220||840|
|HM Chest (2/2)||904||510||1312||904|
|GAINS:||64 Spirit||36 Mp5||92 Int||64 Crit|
The gain becomes [20 Spirit + 14 Int] for the trinket versus [64 Crit] for the chest. Since Spirit and Int are both primary stats for healers, they’re going to be slightly more valuable than the higher amount of Crit rating. Thus making the trinket upgrade a “better” stat gain. However, it’s worth noting that even if you chose to upgrade the chest (OMG YOU NOOB!), the stat loss isn’t significant enough to worry about. And, you also need to consider that by the time we have a new tier upon us, we’ll likely have had sufficient time to upgrade a good number of your pieces, including any trinkets you might have skipped (maybe 5 months until the next raid, give or take = 20 weeks = 20,000 possible Valor points = 13 full 2/2 upgrades).
So, ultimately, while I’d caution everyone to spend their valor points wisely, don’t go kicking yourself if you upgrade something you’re going to replace (eg: I upgraded the Darkmoon trinket in anticipation of not getting Spirits of the Sun for months, and what do I get from my token on the first kill? Yeah, the trinket). And remember that you can’t pool your Valor endlessly (the cap is 3,000), so it’s worth your while to spend it on the items you do have instead of letting it rot on something that you might never get.