Trinket Comparison for Unholy in 4.3

There always seems to be some sort of confusion among raiders on how to choose a trinket based on the choices available. Trinkets are often itemized with a huge chunk of a particular stat that’s provided in the form of a proc that doesn’t have 100% up-time. They can also give some kind of bonus damaging attack that’s often hard to compare to regular stats. How can these items be compared? Well, although it requires a little bit more math than your regular armor or weapon slots, it is still straightforward and can easily be done in an excel spreadsheet.

The first thing to do when one wants to rank items for his/her particular spec, is to understand how are the different stats comparing to each other. For Death Knights, SimulationCraft is, in my opinion, a decent tool for that. After importing my own character into this simulator, it is possible to obtain the average DPS expected on a Patchwerk-type fight, and most importantly, the stat weights. For my character, with the gear I had at the time of writing this post (Mix of Heroic Firelands gear and some ilvl 397 items), the results are as follow:

These stat weights are slightly different than the ones reported by Heartless in the Elitist Jerks Unholy thread (especially the hit rating which is rated lower in my simulation), but the order of the stats is the same. With these weights in mind, it is relatively easy to rank the trinkets by using a spreadsheet.

So, How are these values obtained?

– I am assuming a patchwerk-type fight, where the up-time on the boss is 100%

– For trinkets such as License to Slay or Eye of Unmaking, that gradually give stats on melee hit, I am assuming 100% up-time on the proc, which is only slightly over estimating the item, since one has to wait a small amount of time for the stacks to get to the maximum value.

– For trinkets such as Vessel of Acceleration, that gradually give crit rating on a melee critical strike, it’s a little bit more complicated, since the stacks have a chance to fall off. Checking at my own personal logs in a raid setting in the past 2 weeks on fights like Baleroc, Majordomo Staghelm or Ultraxion (all as unholy of course), the up-time varies between 70% and 90% with current gear. This is a lot higher than it used to be when we needed to reforge all crit to mastery/haste before 4.3. I chose to give a 80% up-time on the 5 stacks in my calculations, which I believe is fairly representative of what’s occurring on average.

– For trinkets that give X stats for Y seconds with a Z seconds internal cooldown (ICD), the formula used to figure out the average stat gain for the proc is: X*Y/Z. Trinkets such as Heart of Rage, Crushing Weight and Creche of the Final Dragon having a 100 seconds ICD while trinkets such as Dyer’s Caber, Varo’then’s Brooch or Rosary of Light having a 50 seconds ICD. I am assuming that the proc comes right after the ICD is up, which is over estimating a little bit the actual value of the trinket since it doean’t always happen. From what I can tell from personal experience on live realms at the moment, trinkets with a 50 seconds ICD have a lower proc rate (between 10-15%) as well, which is going to affect their actual value a little bit more.

– Bone Link Fetish is the most difficult to estimate. I haven’t been able to personally test it yet, but from various sources, the damaging proc scales from 67.5% of the attack power. The additional damage done is physical (mitigated by boss armor). It can also critically hit depending on your critical strike chance. It also seems to have a 25 seconds internal cooldown. So, considering it would proc every 25 seconds, and using my own raid buffed stats, I calculated that the proc would give a 815, 920 and 1038 DPS gain (LFR, normal and heroic) on a single target fight.

– For apparatus of Khaz’goroth, there is a high ramp up time as unholy to get to the full 5 stacks. I estimated the trinket to be usable after about 1 minute the first time in a fight and right when it’s off cooldown the second time. As such, I averaged the use effect to have a 2 minutes 30 seconds cooldown, which is about right if you’re using the trinket twice in a fight, but it slightly under evaluates the item if you can manage to use it 3 or 4 times in a fight.

The results obtained are:

The Best in slot trinkets for Unholy will then be Eye of Unmaking Hc and Creche of the Final Dragon Hc for single target fights. As soon as adds come into play in a fight, Bone Link Fetish is to be used instead if Creche of the Final Dragon Hc. Getting into the Dragon Soul raid, it seems that Vessel of Acceleration Hc is making a come back with the up-time getting significantly improved now that we are actually not reforging out of our critical strike rating on gear. Rosary of Light from the 5-man instance Hour of Twilight is looking to be very good as well, and just a little better than License to Slay and Rotting Skull.

Don’t forget that this list is made for a patchwerk-type fight. Meaning that as soon as you need to get out of range from the boss to counter a specific fight mechanic, trinket stacks risk falling off. It’s also possible that you are forced to move right after a proc giving you a massive amount of stat occurs. Always keep that in mind and swap trinkets accordingly depending on the fight you are working on if you think the “best” ones you currently have can give you diminished results because of some boss gimmick.


8 responses to “Trinket Comparison for Unholy in 4.3

    • License to Slay not reforged is better than reforged only if you can use all the hit from it to get to 8%. If you can get the hit rating from the other pieces of gear (which is usually the case), then you will reforge it.

  1. Hit rating has a weight of 2.70 before the cap. After hitting 8% hit rating, its weight will fall to 0 instantly. I’m not valuing hit that “highly” at all. It’s just that until reaching the cap, it’s the stat (besides str) that will give you the most DPS point for point.

  2. If a player has Garthulak but no 4 pc bonus, should they use Varo’then’s brooch over Rosary of Light?

    I made a post on mmo-champion about whether I should stack crit or mastery with Garthulak but no 4 pc and I only got one response saying I should go crit but I wasn’t sure how reliable it could be. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Since the damage of the proc is still going to be affected by your mastery I would still put mastery over crit even if you dont have your 4pc.

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