The Demon of 9.1: Domination Sockets

Last updated: 14 July, however there is some uncertainty over Frost set bonus after today’s hotfix. We’ll have more information very soon. 

Domination Sockets are a new raid focused gearing system being introduced in 9.1. There are three different colors of gems, each of which have three different types (offensive, defensive and healing / utility) and each of those types have five ranks. You get a special set bonus in raid and the Maw for wearing all three types of one of the gem colors. It’s a lot to process, but in practice it won’t be too complicated. You’ll wear your best set of three gems, and then your best two individual gems of the other two colors. You’ll spend Stygian Embers from the raid to upgrade your individual gems and you’ll do so in order of their individual strength. All guides will be updated to help you through it but the priority on raid release will just be to grab the Domination Socket pieces themselves. Each gem is unique, and you can only socket one of each.

Domination Slots

Domination slots are on specific pieces of gear that drop in the raid. They differ slightly by armor type. They drop in every raid difficulty, and the socket set bonuses appear to be equally as powerful whether on an LFR piece or a Mythic item.

Cloth: Helm, Shoulders, Chest, Bracers, Belt
Leather: Helm, Shoulders, Chest, Gloves, Boots
Mail: Helm, Shoulders, Chest, Belt, Boots
Plate: Helm, Shoulders, Chest, Bracers, Gloves

Blood Gems

Shard of Jas (Defensive): Increased healing received by 1-1.5%. Maximum health increased by ~400. The increased healing received is reasonably useless on a healer, but the maximum health increase is ok.
Shard of Bek (Offensive): Damage increased by 2-3% when you have 50% or more health than your target.
Shard of Rev (Healing / Misc):  Your leech is increased by 35-52.
Bloodlink (Set bonus): Drains health from your enemies and redistributes it to you and your allies. The set bonus is limited to one target, and will change to the target you last attacked. It can crit too.

The Blood gems are incredibly average, and even the Leech gem has tough competition for one of your off-slots. The set bonus is really quite strong from the perspective of adding damage, but does little for healing. It’s also worse than the Frost set if they ever fix it.

Frost Gems

*Shard of Cor assumes 30% uptime, will vary heavily per fight.

Shard of Kyr (Defensive): Gain 880-1320 absorb every 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
Shard of Cor (Offensive): Your damage is increased by 3-4.5% for 20 seconds after attacking an enemy you haven’t damaged.
Shard of Tel (Healing / Misc): Your critical hits cause a nearby ally to absorb the next 228-342 damage to them. This has a one second cooldown, but does proc off (most) HoT ticks.
Winds of Winter (Set Bonus): Every time you crit, 6% of that amount is stored in a buff. Every 20 seconds, unleash the winds stored in the buff dealing frost damage equal to the accumulation and shielding you for 100% of the amount. This was not working in the first edition of the article, and is barely better off now even a week or two into the patch. Notably does not include crit absorbs which makes it unusable for Disc Priest.

The frost set has moved from completely broken, to barely more functional. It’s good on paper, but in-game it has so many bugs that it is not competitive in it’s current state. If it’s fixed before the patch goes live then it’s likely to be the best damage-focused set bonus.

The current bugs include (last tested 9th July):

  • Totem damage and healing aren’t included. Totems include Ashen Hallow, Efflorescence and half of the Shaman class.
  • Melee abilities aren’t included. This includes Crusader Strike, Tiger Palm, Hammer of Wrath and more.
  • Regular melee attacks aren’t included.
  • Crit absorbs aren’t included making it useless for Spirit Shell Disc Priests.

Unholy Gems

Shard of Zed (Defensive): Your helpful spells and abilities have a chance to grant your target an Unholy aura, draining 221-332 health from enemies every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. This is working on live servers, but is attributed to whoever gets the buff as opposed to whoever is wearing the shard.
Shard of Dyz (Offensive): Damaging a target increases your damage done to that target by 0.33-0.5% for 4 seconds, stacking up to 3 times.
Shard of Oth (Misc): Your speed is increased by 26. Zoom zoom.
Chaos Bane (Set bonus): Your abilities have a chance to increase your intellect by 10, stacking up to 15 times. When you reach 15 stacks, deal ~1600 damage split between nearby enemies and gain 300 intellect for 15 seconds. This is equal to about a ~6.5% DPS & healing increase at rank 1, and a ridiculous amount at rank 5.

While the unholy gems are individually poor in their current state, the set bonus is extremely good and is dominant from a healing perspective (while adding only a little damage).

Upgrading Gems

You can upgrade gems at Bonesmith Heirmir in Korthia after completing the 4th chapter of the new campaign. You will want to prioritize upgrading the gems that make up your set bonus first. The set bonus itself upgrades by 50% per rank which is incredibly significant. The strength of the bonus is based on your lowest gem in the set so you will want to level them evenly.

Quickfire Questions

  • Can I wear any combination of the five Domination socket pieces? Not quite. To unlock the Unholy Set bonus you must include the Domination Helm. For the Blood bonus you’ll need the Chest, and for the Frost bonus you’ll need the shoulders.
  • Can I remove socketed Domination shards? Yes, but it’ll cost you ~2.5k Stygia to buy the item to extract them. It’s reusable so it’s only a one time cost.
  • I skipped most of the above and am not sure what to wear? 
    • Healing Focus: 3x Unholy Gems + Shard of Kyr & Shard of Tel or Shard of Rev
    • DPS Focus: 3x Blood or Frost Gems + two more gems of your choice. The Frost set will be competitive and probably better if they ever fix it.
    • You are likely to lean toward the Healing set since the Blood set trades a lot of healing for only a little damage.
  • What do these mean as a Mythic+ player? While the set bonuses aren’t active in Mythic+, the individual gems are strong enough that you’ll still want to obtain them for high end play.
  • Can Domination socket items drop with leech or a socket? I’m not sure yet, and there isn’t an easy way to find out on the PTR.
  • Can you trade Domination items between characters? They should behave the same as regular loot and be tradeable to anyone else in the raid if it isn’t your highest ilvl piece. Socketing the item will bind it to you.
  • How do you upgrade the shards? You can upgrade them with Stygian Ember which drop off all bosses, and are rewards from a specific weekly quest. The cost of upgrading a shard increases based on it’s rank.
  • I don’t raid at all, is there any way for me to get Domination gear? The Deaths Advance quartermaster sells one slot per armor type in exchange for Stygia. You won’t be able to get any of the set bonuses, but you’ll still be able to socket your best individual gem.
  • Will we have to recraft legendaries that are in the same slots as Domination items? Yes, unfortunately.
  • Can I wear multiple sets at once via different armor types? No, there is a restriction of 5 total Domination Gems equipped at once.

All numbers calculated at 1500 base DPS, 10500 base HPS, 10% versatility and 20% crit. Your own numbers will vary slightly, but not enough to change your decision making.

3 responses to “The Demon of 9.1: Domination Sockets”

  1. Adam says:

    “All numbers calculated at 1500 base DPS, 10500 base HPS,” no healer except for Paladin is going to be able to reliably achieve 1500 dps in a boss fight. I don’t think the data you’ve provided is accurate or meaningful for any other healers other than Hpal.

    • Voulk says:

      Disc Priest and Mistweaver will also comfortably hit those numbers. Remember that you are getting an influx of gear which will push all of your numbers up. However, I will also add some extra information for lower DPS specs.

      • Tuverculo says:

        In any case, this numbers should be taken as reference to compare results. Then, it’s up to you to choose the set that best fits to your playstyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *