On using “On Use.”

I just found out that Talon King Ikiss from Sethekk Halls in BC did not enrage if you used an on-use trinket. I was told on my first run there that he did, and had subsequently spent an entire expansion of heroics AND leveled like 4 characters through outlands thinking I could not use trinkets on him without wiping the group. I’m pretty amazing.

Now, with that awkward vignette out of the way, you shoud click below this shiny line to read my ramblings about why On Use trinkets are underrated additions to your enhance arsenal. (Also, that sentance ending was LIKE assonance, but not. >:()

Trinkets tend to be seperated into two distinct groups- On Use and Equip. Anyone familiar with itemization at level 80 probably understands difference between the two: Both trinkets tend to provide a passive bonus (such as 84 critical strike rating), but On Use trinkets also provide a temporary bonus you click to activate, while Equip trinkets provide a temporary bonus that activates after filling some sort of condition: e.g, after getting a melee critical strike, you have a chance to gain 1000 Attack Power for 10 seconds. Equip trinkets tend to be viewed in a better light than On Use trinkets, mainly due to their lower Internal Cooldowns- the majority of Equip trinkets you’ll get have ICDs of 45 seconds with durations of 10 seconds, while On Use trinkets generally have cooldowns of around 2 minutes, slightly less powerful buffs (670 On Loatheb’s Shadow, iLevel 200, vs. iLevel 200 Mirror of Truth‘s 1000AP) but 20 second durations. The assumption becomes that on use

This means, assuming the above stats and RNG favoring you enough that the trinket procs as soon as the ICD expires, that on a 6:00 Patchwerkesque fight your Mirrot of Truth will have an uptime of around 70 seconds (10 Sec First Proc +45 Sec +10 Sec +45 Sec +10 Sec +45 Sec +10 Sec +45 +10 Sec +45+10+45+10 Sec). 70/360 Seconds is just below 1/5 of the fight. 1/5X1000AP means Mirror Of Truth is optimistically a static 200 ap bonus. However, Mirror of Truth only has a 10%chance to proc, and that chance to proc comes off crits, not just any hit, so first you have to crit, and then you have to factor in the 10%, so the uptime of MoT is probably more around 50-60 seconds. Pessimistically, assuming it has a 50 second uptime on a 6 minute fight, MoT comes out to 140ish Static AP.

Loatheb’s Shadow, on the other hand, looks like this: (20 second use + 120 second cooldown +20 second use +120 second cooldown +20second use  +60 second cooldown till end of fight.) Because you chose when to use it, and you used it as soon as it became available to use again, we know that the trinket has an uptime of 60 seconds. 60/360 is 1/6 of the fight as uptime. 1/6+670 is about 110 Static Attack Power. Your RNG would have to be pretty far off the mark for a fight to only have a 40 second uptime on mirror of truth-you’d have to go about 30-35 seconds after the ICD without proccing it every time- but that is about the amount of time you would need for the two trinkets to be equivalent. This would be why On Use trinkets tend to be seen so disfavorably.

However, I’d like to offer up some reasonings as to why every raiding DPS, melee or caster, (healers/tanks are a different story-more on that later) should HAVE at least one appropriate iLevel On Use item, even if it’s not a part of their regular gear set. Here is the main reason:

Every Boss Isn’t Patchwerk.

We tend to speak of DPS in terms of ideal situations-Patchwerk is the closest thing to these ideal situations, as all you do is sit there and hit him. However, here are some situations where I believe On Use trinkets might win out-and guess what? None of them are Patchwerk. 😛

A) Masochistic Bosses make On Use trinkets fun. You get to time your trinket to go off at the best possible moment to maximize your damage output in accordance with other things that buff you. On some fights, this may simply be a bloodlust. On others- Deconstructor Heart Phase or Hodir when Singedx30 is up while you have Storm Power AND a Haste Cloud are both situations where you want to be able to hit harder on command. If your MoT procs during transition into the heart phase, or your pyrite infuser infuses you with pyrite while the storm cloud is sitting tight in the ranged and your precious moonbeam of gloriously fast blows has a giant ICICLE OF DEATH rune sitting under it, it doesn’t matter that you’re hitting slightly harder than normal. If you could have timed your trinket, you could be hitting much harder than normal. 😛

B)Dying because you didn’t DPS hard enough sucks: Think Iron Council Hard Mode, where you have 90 seconds to do about 14million damage. 4/9 of that fight will be bloodlust, and during that bloodlust you’ll be popping everything- feral spirit, potion of speed, firing off some rapid prayers to your deity of choice, etc. It’d be so uncool to see your wolves fade into oblivion, your potion of speed sweated out of your pores, and your bloodlust fade…just as the 45icd on your Equip trinket comes up and you feel awash in the Belated Blood of the Old God while the rogue who popped his trinket mutilates his way up the damage meter.

C)Some bosses make you move. More at 11: Nearly every 80 raid fight in this game has something you have to avoid, run out of, run into, etc. It doesn’t matter if your trinket gives you 10,000 Attack Power- you still just wasted it running away from your raid because Grobbulus’ gave you his beauticians number his disease. It doesn’t matter that your trinket has a 15 second duration when it procs while you’re meleeing the first brain-room tentacle on yogg-it won’t be up for the brain phase that matters. Trinkets that proc prior to you needing to move are wasted dps.

That said, there are some fights where double equip trinkets are great. Kologarn, Patchwerk, General Vex, Sartharion, etc. all maximize time on target (for melee) and don’t buff your dps in any way.While an On Use trinket might be beneficial during a bloodlust, you might see better result using two very good Equip trinkets.

There’s more to this story for other classes: Warriors/Death Knights might want to use Mjolnir Runestone/Death’s Choice/Verdict nearly all the time despite their being On Use, because Strength and Armor Pen are so incredibly powerful for them. Healers don’t want their Egg of Mortal Essence to haste them up during XT Heart Phase, but Tears of the Vanquished’s 500 mana back proc is highly coveted. And tanks probably exclusively want On Use items, as procs aren’t reliant forms of damage mitigation.

In my opinion, for DPS, you want to have a set of one reliable On use trinkets, and two pretty good Equip trinkets- just ike 3.2.2 will make it so that we might want to switch out totems for different fights, we should ideally be switching out trinkets the same way. This becomes a bit of an issue in ToC, as the only on use trinket that is really ideal for us is Vengeance of the Forsaken/Victor’s Call, but there is no matching Equip Trinket that gives us 83 expertise. Since expertise above the cap is worth absolutely 0 dps, we either A)Don’t use this trinket, or B)Remove Expertise Gear/Gems/Enchants to match the expertise on the trinket. The second option isn’t great, however, because we then are stuck using the Expertise trinket for every fight-we can’t sub it out for anything else or we’d no longer be  expertise capped, and we can’t sub it in for a normal trinket while expertise capped because the 0 benefit it’s passive stat would give us outweighs any benefit of having an on use trinket.

TL:DR: On Use trinkets are situationally use them. Use them in those situations- don’t just right them off because they underperform on Patchwerk.


  1. Thanks for your perspective on this, Elam. I do have a question for you, if you could give your opinion. I just got Victor’s Call last night, basically because I was the only melee dps in the raid. I had previously been running with Mirror of Truth and Meteorite Whetstone. Like you, I’m not blown away by Victor’s Call, but it seems like a pretty clear upgrade over the Whetstone, for now. This essentially frees up 4 epic gem slots. The downside, obviously, is less flexibility in trinket swapping.

    I haven’t done any work with Enhsim on this yet, but despite its drawbacks it seems like VC should be used over the Whetstone exclusively until something better comes along. Do you concur?

    • Oh, definitely. As you said, Victor’s allows you to gem 160AP by freeing up for gem slots, and the use on Victor’s Call is just significantly better than Meteorite Whetstone. Use it and enjoy it!

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