If you're like me, when 3.3 hit, you upgraded Rawr and started looking for ways to maximize your raid utility and at the same time, look for new and exciting gear upgrades. But now you can assign item costs to gear and easily see how to best use your shiny new Emblems of Frost you've been running all those PUGs for.
For this quick guide, I'll assume you know how to use Rawr and you already have it set up with your character imported, all gear setup, and all relevant buffs properly set. So the first thing you need to do is head over to Wowhead, search for Emblem of Frost, apply a filter, and then add a weight scale for your mage - see here. This shows you all the items you can buy with Emblems of Frost that are best suited for your mage. For some reason, this list doesn't currently have the Tier 10 items in there, so we will need to add those as well to our item costs - gloves & shoulders - 60 emblems; hood, robe & leggings - 95 emblems.
So now there's two ways to use the new item cost editor.
1) Put in all Emblem of Frost items with an "item cost" of 1.
2) Put in all Emblem of Frost items with an "item cost" of the number of emblems it takes.
The advantage of putting all item costs in at 1 is that you can see the single best upgrade with Emblems of Frost - regardless of cost. However, if you put in the item cost as the number of emblems each item costs, you can then optimize later for exactly how many emblems you actually have. I prefer the item cost of 1, so that's what I'll show in this guide.
So to edit the item costs, pull up the list of the gear slot you want to look at - in this example, shoulders. Go down to the item that you want to edit - for example, Bloodmage Shoulderpads. Right click on the item and select "Edit..."
On the bottom of the screen that pops up, right in the middle, you'll see "Cost" - put a 1 in here. (click the following picture to enlarge)
Now just rinse and repeat this for all the items you want to evaluate. So now that you've got all these item costs in, what can you do with them?
The easiest thing to do is just see which one item gives you the most bang for your buck (or badge). Go to Tools > Optimize and you'll see an option over on the left called "Additional Requirements." Click "Add" and select "Cost <= 1.00".
Now run the optimizer as usual and wait for the output. It should look something like this (click to make larger):
What the optimizer has done for me is, with just one item from Emblems of Frost, my best upgrade is the Meteor Chaser's Raiment. It shows my pants in this option because I need to change one +hit gem out for +haste for my otpimal gear setup.
So what happens if we have enough Emblems of Frost for two items? Basically, it's still telling me to take the Meteor Chaser's Raiment and now the Circle of Ossus. Now why is this? Wouldn't it be better to have two pieces of Tier 10? The short answer: No. Because we have to break 4 piece Tier 9, it doesn't make sense to get just two pieces of Tier 10. Not until we take up the "Item Cost" on the optimization to 4 does it return Tier 10 items (click to see larger):
This leaves us with a quandary. We know that four pieces of Tier 10 is absolutely amazing these days. So what do we do? The Meteor Chaser's Robe is absolutely amazing, but is it a big enough upgrade over Merlin's Robe? Similarly, right now the Belt of Omission/Circle of Ossus is the best in slot (depending on hit/haste options). So do I aim for that along with the Robe?
Short-term, the answer is yes. Those two upgrades will cost 155 Emblems of Frost. To get four pieces of Tier 10, you will need 345 emblems. With the length of time between unlock periods on Icecrown Citadel and gaining 14 emblems a week with the weekly raid/daily heroic quests, 345 really isn't unobtainable. So that's the way I'm going - saving for Tier 10.
One thing you must always remember - Rawr is strange when it comes to optimizations at time. Just always run it a few times - and if you have the time, run it with the max thoroughness. I've run it a few times, gotten different results a couple of times, but now with max thoroughness, it settles on four pieces of tier 10, so that's the way I'm going. So it shall be.