Gems a Shadow should level

Hey all,

I'm new to the game, love it btw, and I see people talking about leveling this gem and not leveling that gem. The only definitive answer I've heard so far is not to level curses. Is there a relatively standard guide for a shadow on which gems should/shouldn't be leveled?

Also I just started seeing you could improve the quality of gems. Should I save these gem quality improvement items till later or use them now, and how much affect do they actually have on the gems?

The build I'm progressing with is a Shadow dagger crit ninja in case that matters.

Thanks in advance for your replies
Why would you not level curses? Level everything as far as your base attribute points will allow. The only exception I can think of is Clarity, whose mana cost increases with level.
Just check on the wiki at wich level the mana cost increases beyond what the skill+support gems cost you can handle. As for curses, if you can take the mana cost increase level them, simple as that.

Also dont waste GCPs raising quality of non qual gems, use them to raise a gem that droped with high quality even higher. On later difficulties you will get quality gem drops, use GCPs if you get a 14%+ for example to get it to 20, anything lower and you would just end up spending way too many gcps.
Last edited by Garr71 on Feb 16, 2013 3:09:13 PM
Garr nailed it

Leveling curses is dependant on your mana pool entirely.

While curses are awesome, they scale VERY SLOWLY but at a pretty big mana cost increase. (Meaning they are generally most mana efficient at level 1)

Ie warlords mark

Lvl 1: 3% life/1% mana leech @ 30 mana 9.0s duration
4% effect for 30 mana, which is approximately 18% efficiency (1% per 6 mana, with 2 mana remainder)

Lvl 5: 4% life/1% mana leech @ 42 mana, 9.4s duration
5% effect for 42 mana, which is approximately 14% efficiency (1% per 8 mana, with 2 mana remainder)

Lvl 10: 5% life/2% mana leech @ 56 mana, 9.9s duration
7% effect for 56 mana, which is approximately 15% efficiency (1% per 8 mana, 0 remainder)

So just plucking out 3 examples, you can see that level 1 is the most efficient per mana, the duration increase is so minimal it's almost not worth adding into the equation.

(Level 1 vs lvl 10, lvl 1 is 9.0s for 30 mana or 10 is 9.9 for 56...well thats nearly DOUBLE THE MANA, where you could have 2x lvl 1s for 18s duration..again proving level 1 more superior even more!)

TL:DR, Leveling curses gives you the benefit of higher upfront stats/effect, but is FAR LESS mana efficient than a level 1 curse.
And to answer the original question

Gems you WANT to level:
Active attack skills (these always increase mana efficiency)
Support skills (these do not increase in mana cost, so they only get more efficient)
Damage increase aura skills (Generally worth the mana cost for the damage they offer)
Reserved mana aura skills (They don't increase in cost per level)

Things people avoid leveling due to mana constraints
Clarity (mana regen aura) it increases drastically per level in cost (20 mana per level!)
--Although the way clarity works, is basically by taking away mana and offering the same amount of mana back in regenerating mana...but for your whole party not just you.

Curses - as explained above

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