I’m at a crossroads in my Emblem purchases. Making things worse, the different resources I used are giving me conflicting guidance. I decided to write out my thought process went, in part to help me organize the information and in part because others might like to see what I do when its time to upgrade my gear. Caution: this rambles on for quite a bit.
My first Emblem purchase was the Herkumi War Token trinket. That was a no-brainer.
Instead of getting the cloak, I used my 2nd and 3rd Emblem purchases to go straight for my 2-piece T10 bonus. I bought the Shadowblade Gauntlets and Shadowblade Breastplate because they were the best upgrades based on the gear I had in those slots at the time.
Now I’ve accumulated 125 Frost Emblems and I’m looking for my next purchases. Here’s how I evaluated my options.
My first resource was to WoWHead’s gear ranking service to see what’s out there. I used the stat weights given by Elitist Jerks and got these results. Comparing those results to my current gear, the best options would be either Bladeborn Leggings, the Shadowblade Legplates (if I’m moving toward the T10 4-piece bonus) or Footpads of Impending Death. The Bladeborn Leggings and Footpads are both crafted, but I’d use my Frost Emblems to buy Primordial Saronites so I include them as Emblem purchases. Another good option is the Shadow Seekers Tunic, but that would break my T10 set bonus so its out for the time being.
Since I am not running ICC 25 or heroic ICC 10 right now, any of these options would be the top available piece I could expect to get in their respective slots.
Armed with that information, I pulled out Aldriana’s Mutilate spreadsheet. With my current gear and spec input, I replaced my items one at a time with the various options to see the effect on my optimal dps figures. Using that tool, the result was very clear… the Bladeborn Leggings were far and away the biggest theoretical impact on my dps. Nothing else was even close.
In fact, according to the spreadsheet the Bladeborn Leggings by themselves are a bigger upgrade than getting both the Shadowblade Legplates and the Shadowblade Helmet to get my 4-piece T10 bonus.
That surprised me a little. While the Bladeborn Leggings are certainly nice, they have armor penetration which is not an optimal stat for mutilate rogues. That doubt has made me a bit hesitant… 8 Primordial Saronite is a big expense and I don’t want to blow that much gold and emblems without being certain. I know that rogues live and die by the spreadsheet predictions, but should I blindly follow what seems to be against common sense?
Looking for more input for my decision, I went to Mavanas Rogue DPS Simulation Spreadsheet. This isn’t as user-friendly as Aldriana’s, and the interface is not as intuitive. After the setup process, I let it run some DPS simulations in my current gear. Then I switched individual gear items to see the difference. This spreadsheet doesn’t calculate based on a formula, but rather does many, many iterations of simulated attack sequences to find the expected damage output. That spreadsheet gave different results that Aldriana’s – saying that the Bladeborn Leggings are still a very good upgrade, but not as good as replacing both Shadowblade head + legs together. However, I don’t have enough Emblems to buy both pieces of Shadowblade at this time, so that’s not a real option.
Here are the different combinations I tried in both spreadsheets:
- upgrade to Bladeborn Leggings (cost: 115 Emblems + 4800 gold for the other 3 Saronites)
- upgrade to Footpads of Impending Death (cost: 115 Emblems for Saronites)
- upgrade to both Shadow Seeker’s Tunic AND Shadowblade Pauldrons (to keep my T10 2-pc bonus) (cost: 155 Emblems, which I will have in about 2 weeks)
- upgrade to both Shadowblade Legplates AND Shadowblade Helmet, thus getting my 4-pc T10 bonus (cost: 190 Emblems, which I will have in about 5 weeks)
The last option is the best according to Mavanas, and second best according to Aldriana. However, I don’t feel like waiting 5 weeks to get my next upgrade. So I’m focusing on the other choices.
Looks like the Bladeborn Leggings will win out here, BUT there is one more thing to consider! Am I likely to get any drops that are comparable to the Emblem purchases?
My guild right now can clear the first six bosses in ICC 10 in one raid night. The only drop in there that needs to be considered are the Plague-Soaked Leather Leggings from Festergut. Not surprisingly, these are not as big an upgrade as the Bladeborn Leggings. However, they also don’t cost me anything except patience as I wait for the drop.
After including that in my decision, the choice became clear. I should buy the Footpads of Impending Death now and wait for the Plague-Soaked Leather Leggings to drop from Festergut. If I go a few weeks without the drop, then I’ll re-evaluate.