I recently received a couple of trinket questions via my Formspring account. You can send me a question via formspring.me/honorshammer. Answers go to my Twitter account, @honorshammer, and on formspring.me/honorshammer. Sometimes the questions will inspire a Blog post, like today.
The question was : Is corroded skeleton key a good trinket or is it just stamina?
The Corroded Skeleton Key has been a controversial trinket since its introduction with the Emblems of Frost Vendor.
First of all, the question presupposes that a 'good trinket' is not 'just stamina'. I would argue there are 3 types of Trinkets for Tanks: Threat Trinkets, Avoidance Trinkets and Effective Health Trinkets. Under the umbrella of Effective Health Trinkets, are Armor Trinkets and Stamina Trinkets.
I think what has happened is back when ICC first came out, some high profile tanks suggested the Key was a bad choice for spending emblems compared to the other options, and people just took that to mean the Key was bad in general. And if the Key was bad in general and it's the greatest Stamina trinket known to Dwarvenkind, then all stamina trinkets must be bad.
So let's separate out the issues.
Is the Corroded Skeleton key a good trinket?
The Corroded Skeleton Key is a good trinket, and it has a place in your gearsets depending on the dynamics of the Boss and the other options available to you.
How do you know when to use it?
A good tank is not afraid to tailor his gear set to the encounter. So it requires the tank to analyze the encounter and choose his gear appropriately. In my bags I have the Corroded Skeleton Key, the Glyph of Indomitability, the Purified Blood Talisman, the Furance Stone, the Bubbling Brightbrew Charm, Darkmoon Card : Greatness, Lavanthor's Talisman, and the Monarch Crab.
All other trinkets in the game simply do not exist. They aren't in my bags so I can't choose to equip them. For most fights, I'm going to have the Key and the Glyph of Indomitability. It's a solid amount of Stamina and Armor with two very nice 'On Use' effects. The Glyph 'On Use' increases my avoidance, and the Key 'On Use" gives more 6k more Effective Health.
But when we start on Sindragosa's trash, the Glyph goes back into the bags and the Bubbling Brightbrew Charm comes out. Sindragosa is all magic damage all the time. All that yummy Armor on the Glyph will do exactly bubkis on Sindragosa. I want stamina, stamina, and some more stamina. Back when we were doing Hodir Hard Mode, I'd have Darkmoon Card: Greatness to help with the Threat generation. When we go to pull Anub'arak in ToGC, I've got Darkmoon Card : Greatness and the Glphy of Indomitability to give me some additional Block Value and further reduce the hits from the Adds via the armor on the Glyph.
Should I buy the Key first with Emblems like you suggested when ICC first came out?
It depends. I'm not immune from cognitive dissonance. Our group had had lousy luck with Trinket drops, so I wanted the Key something awful. I convinced myself it was the best thing going. It was the right choice for me, but it might not be for you. Examine your gear and determine where you'll get the most bang for your Emblem buck. Will it be from the Trinket or from the Back, Belt, or non Tier Chest? Just don’t buy the Libram. It’s still bad.
The next question was about the Black Heart.
Question: If I already have Glyph of Indomitability, is it worth trying to farm the Black Heart? Is the armor beneficial?
I'll answer the second question first. The armor proc is beneficial. Now is it worth trying to farm the Black Heart once you have the Glyph of Indomitability? I know people are going to get tired of this answer but 'it depends.'
The factors you have to look at are a) what are your other trinkets, and b) how long will you use the Black Heart.
Trinkets are a difficult spot for most starter tanks to fill. You have to look at your second trinket and determine if the Black Heart would be an upgrade. In many cases it will be. Then you have to evaluate, based on if you are raiding and what you are raiding, what Trinkets you could get from drops. If you are in a guild killing Putricide10, you could see an Unidentifiable Organ , and you'd also be getting Frost Emblems fast enough that you'll eventually be able to buy a Corroded Skeleton Key. If you are raiding ToC, you've got a shot at Etrigg's Oath.
Then it will simply be a matter of deciding if it's worth it based on your playtime and other stuff you'd like to do in game.