Please welcome our guest Brunpal who slays internet dragons with me every week with the ProCo team!
There are two types of characters; (1) ones that have two stats that are best, and (2) characters that have multiple achievable stat thresholds. Reforging helps both in different ways.
If you fall into group A, you will want to Reforge very aggressively, ie everything. The first step is figuring out your character’s two best secondary stats when naked. The majority of the time there is no benefit to reforging gear that has both of these stats on it. Any piece of gear that has both of those stats is likely best in slot for it’s item level (barring weirdness like trinket procs etc). This is true regardless if at some threshold another stat becomes better point for point. Reforging will take care of that later as I will explain below.
Now that you have those two stats clear in your mind, the rule of thumb is to reforge every piece of gear so it gains one of your two best stats. If the stat has a cap/threshold (such as Hit) then it won’t be possible to reforge all of the time, but it will be possible most of the time. For me that’s hit/haste gear so I’ll be using that as my example.
I want to bring attention to a couple of things in my own gear so here is my warlock again:
[singlepic id=253 w=600 h=460 float=center]
Mastery is my worst stat so I reforge it away to it’s absolute current minimum of 633. (I’m sure you already do the same with your worst stat.) I need hit and reforged some pieces to gain hit rating. But see the Stump of Time hit trinket? That loses hit to gain haste. That allows me to move stats on other slots into hit on gear that otherwise could not be reforged as it already has haste naturally. In fact if you look at the haste column you’ll see every single item now has haste on it after reforging.
I know that for warlocks at higher gear levels, crit will eventually be better point for point than haste. So later gear that is best in slot for me will still be hit and haste. It may not be obvious but it will always be the same 2 stats that’s best for a naked character. In the same way that I’ve gone over the hit cap and reforged down, I’ll just go over haste cap and reforge the spare haste into crit.
That leads into the second type of characters: ones that have more than 2 “best” stats due to caps and thresholds…
Reforging Characters with multiple caps on stats.
The more types of stat caps a character has the easier it is to gear them. Which is a complete reversal compared to pre-Cataclysm. It’s easier because reforging covers the spreads. The more relevant stat caps you have to work around the more wiggle room you have to work with, again all due to reforging. Tanks are the extreme case. They can hit a bunch of threasholds with just starter gear. They have expertise caps, hit caps, and require some level of balance in other stats. Now with that in mind which of the following is the best tanking shield:
The correct answer is………………………… Trick question!
They are exactly the same. Both shields have the same armor and same stat budget therefore there is no difference between them. The only thing that’s different is one is BoE and the other BoP. The stat budget is what is important, not the particulars of the stats. Back in WotLK their specific stats would have mattered but they are the same in Cataclysm because of reforging. But take this next shield…
Is not the same, it’s the sucker’s shield. Blockade’s Lost Shield only has 248 secondary stats compared to the other shield’s 254. It’s missing 6 points of stat rating. (I guess Blockade lost them too.) Which isn’t a big deal, but that shield is always significantly more expensive than the other BoE, the Elementium Earthguard.
“But Brun! One of those shields has more <insert stat here> which is better for me because…”
It doesn’t matter if one of those stats is a better stat for you because you wouldn’t just be using a shield. You are using a shield plus 16 other slots of items all with various stats. If that tank was high in one stat and low in another they can just reforge their gear until they get their desired ratios. It ends up being easier with multiple caps and thresholds because there are more valid optimal options on reforging. And this doesn’t just apply to tanks. Same thing applies to any other class with multiple thresholds.
This concept doesn’t only apply to reforging either. It applies to gems and enchants too but only because of reforging. If for example a tank is trying to decide between a mastery or dodge gem in a yellow socket, it really doesn’t matter at all. 20 or 40 stats is a drop in the bucket when you can easily move around 1000 stat points across the entirety of your gear. Just like you are reforging the character not the gear, you are also gemming the character not the gear.
Don’t stress over enchants either. 50 dodge to bracer or 50 expertise or 50 hit all end up being equal in the end. Just get the cheaper one. Reforging tops out at around 15g per item so it’s always going to be cheaper than gems and the majority of the relevant enchants. And unlike enchanters Arcane Reforgers are just sitting there waiting for you.
So in summary:
Reforging is cheap.
Reforging is optimal.
Reforging is convenient.
Reforging has zero stat costs.
Reforging makes decisions easy.
Reforging is something you should be doing all the time.