I want you to try a little something for me.
Take a look at your hat. The thing on your head, whatever it is. Engineering goggles, part of your T5 set, perhaps the Brutal Gladiator helm.
Take a good long look at it.
See that meta-gem socket? Have a peek at that.
What’s in it? What is socketed there?
If you answered anything besides “Chaotic Skyfire Diamond” go stand over there.
Ok, now, IF you are standing in the corner, here is a 24 pound frozen catfish. Take this fish, and HIT YOURSELF AS HARD AS YOU CAN IN THE FACE.
Now, go sell that fish, and go buy the meta-gem you’re supposed to be using.
There really is no reason you should not be using this meta gem, no matter what you’re doing in WoW. Whether your in high end raiding, end bracket PvP, or just starting out Karazhan, this thing should be slotted. No exceptions. Nope, not even then. Or then.
I surely don’t need to spell this out. This is the best meta gem in existence for mages. That is, until they come up with something that, on successful Ice Lance, “turns your opponent into a blithering idiot that takes 6000% damage from all abilities”.
The +12 spell critical strike rating isn’t, really, what’s important here. It’s nice, but largely forgettable. What we’re really interested in is the 3% Increased Critical Damage.
Pay attention to that. A 3% increase, not to bonus critical damage, but the entire critical strike. Meaning that the gem is affected, and amplified, by talents.
I can haz math?
Let’s assume a spell that hits for 1000. Let’s say it’s an arcane spell; I’ll call it “Frank”.
So Frank hits for 1000 damage, and crits for 1500 damage. This gem would therefore increase the critical strike damage to 1545 damage.
1500*1.03 = 1545
Throw in Spell Power which increases the critical strike damage bonus by 50%. Frank now crits for 1750 damage.
Now let’s add in the CSD. It increases critical strike damage by 3%, therefore:
1750*1.03 = 1802.5
See, what actually happens is a wee bit more complicated, because that’s just how Blizzard rolls.
Go back to the previous number, 1545 damage. The CSD’s multiplier is applied before any critical strike damage bonuses are applied. Split the 1545 critical strike into it’s… hmm, I’ll call them components.
Look at the spell this way: 1000 damage + 545 critical damage. The 1.5 modifier from Spell Power is applied to the CSD modified 545 damage, thus:
545*1.5 = 817.5
Therefore Frank would actually critically strike for 1817.5 damage.
So let’s take this over to the frost tree, utilizing Ice Shards. I’ll call this spell “Fred”.
Fred is exactly like Frank, except it’s a frost spell rather than arcane. Fred hits for 1000 damage, and crits for 2000 damage thanks to the sheer awesome that is Ice Shards. Split the spell into it’s components, and apply CSD’s effect…
1000 regular damage, 500 damage regular critical strike.
500*1.03 = 545
545*2.00 = 1090
Therefore, Fred will critically strike for 2090 damage.
Awesome? Why yes, yes it is.
I can haz PvP?
So why is it so good for PvP, some of you may ask. After all, you may say things like “Pfah, this here is PvP, you don’t crit often enough for this to be worth it, what with resilience and all.”
Ahh, but you see, that’s exactly the point. Part of resilience’s effect is to reduce the damage taken by critical strikes. And what does the CSD do? Why, the exact opposite.
Effectively, CSD negates resilience. Yeak, I know, I know, “wait… what?” was my initial reaction, too.
Resilience used to work exactly like CSD works (as, hopefully, explained above). Now, however, resilience merely applies simplistically to the final spell.
Take frostbolt… I mean, Fred, and whatever Fred is being fired at has enough resilience to reduce the damage taken from critical strikes by 15%.
Fred (without CSD) critically strikes for 2000 damage. Only 85% of the critical strike would actually count, thus…
2000*0.85 = 1700
Socket up the CSD…
2090*0.85 = 1776.5
76.5/2000 = 0.03825
The CSD has effectively negated 3.825% of your opponent’s critical strike damage mitigation.
It takes 19.7 points of resilience at level 70 to get a 1% reduction in critical strike damage.
19.7*3.825 = 75.35
Thus, by equipping the CSD, you are effectively negating 75.35 points of resilience on your opponent, as far as critical strike damage is concerned.
And that is, by no means, a small number.
Not convinced yet?
Darth Vader approves of the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond.