Holy Priest Gems and Sockets
There's a really awesome website that I use whenever I'm deciding on gems called WoW Gem Finder. I was looking back through my Holy Priest Healing Guide, and realized that I never mentioned enchants or gems.  Enchants for another day, but I'll hit up gems now. I highly recommend checking out elitistjerks for gem suggestions if you are interested in the theorycrafting behind choices, though they have not updated with the new epic gems on the linked post - it's likely you will need to read through the thread.

However, I'm anal retentive, and cannot bear to lose a socket bonus, which EJ often ignores. Therefore, I always use a matching color for the socket. I find it handy to know what stats are related to which colors, so here you go.

Yellow Sockets: Intellect, Critical Strike Rating, Hit Rating, Resilience, Haste, Defense Rating
Red Sockets: Strength, Attack Power, Agility, Parry, Armor Penetration, Expertise, Spell Power, Dodge Rating
Blue Sockets: Stamina, Mp5, Spirit, Spell Penetration

You can see, just by looking at the color -> stat conversions that Red Sockets are for spellpower, Blue Sockets are for regen via spirit/mp5, and Yellow is for all the fun stuff. I've italicized the stats that are generally useless for priest gemming in PvE raid healing. You could argue that stamina is a good choice, but unlike the days of Primal Mooncloth sets, we don't really need to gem for stamina anymore, as we get plenty naturally from our gear.

For blue sockets, I always choose Spirit over Mp5 due to Spiritual Guidance. Maybe mp5 is actually better, and if I wanted to, I could do some maths, but like, math is hard, so... no. Spirit it is (see, this is why I recommended elitistjerks!). I never use a solid blue gem for my blue sockets - if I need more mana, it's better to use Intellect, at least for raiders. For mages and warlocks who are determined to take advantage of socket bonuses as well, spirit may be a better choice for you too, due to talents boosting spellpower through spirit.

For Red, of course I always choose spell power, since there aren't any other good choices.

Where you really start to see differences among priest choices and gear levels comes in the yellow socket. When you are first starting out, always pick Intellect for more mana and mana regen. Once you have a solid mana pool and no longer need to panic about your mana sustainability (which, for the record, is a lot easier in 25 man raids due to more buffs), you can start picking up crit and/or haste. I try to balance between the two stats, but plenty of people have a preference for one over the other.

Now that I have so much intellect, mana is rarely an issue for me, nor is crit. I prefer to gem for Intellect over crit, since you do get some crit boost from intellect. However, I do not necessarily recommend this if you really do need a lot more crit.

I've listed my top choices for each color socket. The first gem is the epic, the second is the rare gem equivalent. If you are not yet ready to blow large amounts of gold on the epic gems (new to raiding, doing heroics, 5 mans, etc), pick up the lesser gem with similar stats.


I usually pick my gems based around current prices as well. Runed Cardinal Ruby is always ridiculously expensive, so I look for different combinations that will add up to the same amount.

For example: Let us suppose that I have Savior's Slippers, with one red socket and one blue socket. Instead of choosing Runed Cardinal Ruby + Sparkling Majestic Zircon, I may find that it is cheaper to socket 2x Purified Dreadstone, which would actually give me +1 spellpower over a Runed Cardinal Ruby which is usually very expensive.

In reality, it is unlikely I would use any gem that has spirit on it in anything other than a blue socket, but you get the point. Creative combinations and careful shopping can save you lots of gold on gems, and potentially net you better rewards. For Blue Sockets, I always use a combination gem. For Yellow sockets, I always use a solid yellow gem. For red sockets, it depends on the current price of Runed Cardinal Rubies.

In short? Don't gem for spirit or mp5. If you need to use a blue gem (socket bonus, meta bonus, etc), use a purple or green gem that includes spirit. If you need mana regen as a raider, gem for Intellect (this is slightly less true for those who focus on 5 mans - the more people in your group, the higher the chance you will receive more benefits from intellect regen opportunities). Once you have enough mana, pick up crit or haste. Always gem for spellpower. Combine multi-colored gems to save some gold.

Meta Gems

For your Meta Socket, the following are the only real options for a Holy PvE Priest:
  • Beaming Earthsiege Diamond - Easy socket requirement to achieve. If you are in need of a lot of extra crit, this is a pretty good choice.
  • Bracing Earthsiege Diamond - Threat should NOT be an issue for you. If it is, there are more important problems to address. The only time that threat may potentially be a significant problem is in 5 mans with a fresh tank who is learning the ropes. Therefore, this is ONLY a decent choice if you are with a group just starting 5 man heroics, etc.
  • Insightful Earthsiege Diamond - My favorite meta. The mana restoration proc happens quite a bit for Holy Priests, as we are often using lots of instant heals mixed in with quickie flash heals.
  • Ember Skyflare Diamond - Always a solid choice. Insightful meta is better until you build up solid mana reserves, at which point this becomes a great meta, particularly since it scales so well with gear.
  • Revitalizing Skyflare Diamond - Don't be bad. Blizzard put this here just to trick you. Just say no to "increased crit heal effect" which half of the time translates into "increased overheal amount and therefore a complete waste NYAH NYAH". You canNOT rely on crits when a heal is needed, and "increased critical healing effect" is very different than increased spellpower, which is RELIABLE. Also, I recommend Spirit or Intellect over mp5.

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5 Responses
  1. Niall Says:

    Found through Google. Incredibly accurate and useful!

  2. @Pelnar

    Thank you!!!! Super glad it was helpful XD

  3. Unknown Says:

    So Jess, are you going to change this now?

    Red = Runed Cardinal Ruby
    Blue = Runed Cardinal Ruby
    Yellow = Runed Cardinal Ruby


  4. Anonymous Says:

    I must say that I see players advocating ignoring the socket bonuses and simply gem for one stat all the time, namely agility for feral druids and hunters, stamina for feral druid tanks, spell power for casters. I feel this is giving in to a min/maxing culture which, in all honesty, is probably a needed requirement if you plan on being the first guild to kill the Lich King on 25-man Heroic or something, but for the general populous who will probably never see the Pegasus mount drop I feel it is more beneficial to have a more well rounded character (especially if you concentrate on 10-man content since you won't have all the nice bonuses flying around and very specific roles...you need to be more of a jack of all trades character). Plus it saves some of us crying everytime we look at a piece of kit and see the spell power or crit bonus greyed out hehe.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Honestly......this is a very basic guide, but for max efficiency for throughput with a holy priests output, true gemming in end game t10, even t9 should be gemming straight haste......reasoning is because holy priests have an extremely high GCD ( 1,265, maybe last two numbers are inverted but thats close enough ) and u cant get that unless u gem at least 1k haste and get the GCD via Shammy haste buff. None the less, casting more spells in between the CD of PoM and CoH is better. Raid buffed u get spellpower from shammy, both resto and ele, and a demo lock ( not to mention the Sp flask as well ) so u can have enough spellpower from buffs, but u will only ever get the same amount of haste through raid buffs, which makes it a priority to get for it as a holy priest. Up until u get about 900+ haste from your gear, it's better to gem for straight spellpower by then because ur healing more via Coh and ur renews which have a very good scaling with spellpower. Blizz invented colored sockets to fool everyone, its best to ignore them for your best and most needed stats.....A quick reaction time and high haste leads to a very powerful holy priest.

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