Some of the theorycraft I've been hearing say that the Pantaloons of Arcane Annihilation are better than the Spellstrike Pants. Of course, with a replacement of the pants, I'd swap out the Spellstrike Hood with the Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Cowl.

But it's hard to justify the change after running the numbers. The change from Spellstrike to Pantaloons+Vengeful results in a gain of 296 armor, 41 stamina, 38 intellect, 33 resilience, and 45 haste. These gains come at the cost of 14 crit, 50 hit, and 15 damage. Since I am currently 2 points over the hit cap, I'll need to find 48 hit rating points through socketing. I definitely need to resocket my Pauldrons which will find me 4 hit, leaving me 44 short.

The logical thing to do is resocket my Spellfire Set and go for the socket bonuses. Right now they are all filled with Runed Living Rubies for +54 damage. Resocketing them will give me 39 hit and 30 stamina, at the cost of the 54 damage.

Throwing those numbers into the change, switching from spellstrike gives me an additional 296 armor, 71 stamina, 38 intellect, 33 resilience, and 45 haste at the cost of 14 crit, 7 hit and 69 damage.

So the question is, does 38 int, and 45 haste make up for the loss of 14 crit and 69 damage?

A loss of 14 crit means I lose 0.64% chance to crit. A gain of 38 intellect means I gain 0.475% chance to crit, so I really only lose 0.16% chance to crit - not a huge deal. 45 haste means I cast my spells 2.85% faster. Assuming I put out 900 DPS (just guessing, haven't run any numbers), 45 haste is equal to 25.65 more damage. However, with a crit rate of 33% and crits hitting for 4,000, a loss of 0.16% crit equates to really only 2 damage lost (though I'm pretty sure I'm not doing the math right).

However, the intangibles here are I gain 710 life which is a big boost for me, I gain 570 mana which is another fireball, however, with the mana gem buff and potions, I should not run out of mana during any encounter. The 296 armor is negligible and the 33 resilience is worthless in PvE.

I figure if I'm going to go for haste rating though, I'd need to get the Runed Spell-cuffs to replace my Veteran's Silk Cuffs which would net me 1 armor, 25 haste and 5 damage at the cost of 5 stamina, 14 crit, 8 hit and 13 resilience. With the 7 hit I lost switching away from Spellstrike, that would leave me 15 under the hit cap which would be remedied by losing the 20 damage enchant on my gloves in favor of the 15 spell hit enchant.

So, when all is said and done, I gain 297 armor, 66 stamina, 38 intellect, 20 resilience, and 70 haste at the cost of 28 crit and 84 damage.

I lose about 90 damage, but cast 4.5% faster. I gain 660 stamina and 570 mana. But now that I think about it, the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond also puts out 3% increased critical strike damage. Assuming crits 1/3rd of the time at 4,000 damage, that's a boost of 40 damage. 70 haste is 4.44% faster casting and assuming 900 DPS, that's another 40 damage. In the end I lose 0.8% crit strike chance which is a lot, but not sure of the damage cost there. GRRR. Stupid haste rating going and screwing everything up.

I just can't figure out if the losses outweigh the gains or vice versa. Oh well. /sigh

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