My question specifically has to do with a neck slot item: [Titanium Earthguard Chain]. At first glance, it appears to be a tank item (note the 34 defense rating). However, I've been investigating, and compared with all the other endgame gear, this item may be (at least from my opinion) the best item that a raiding DPS Retadin can get.
My reasoning for this is that socketed with a +16 Strength gem, this neck gives a total of 65 base strength for a Paladin. Once you add the bonuses from Divine Strength (+15% Str) and Blessing of Kings (+10%) that translates to 83 Strength or 166 Attack Power.
Compared to the other alternatives ([Gem of Imprisoned Vassals], [Fool's Trial], [Collar of Dissolution], [Favor of the Dragon Queen] , etc.) for the neck slot, the Titanium Earthguard gives a Paladin 54-56 more Attack Power, albeit at the expense of some serious Crit % and in some cases Armor Penetration and Haste.
Since you seem to be one of the more knowledgeable and vocal Pally Bloggers out there, I was wondering if I could get your perspective on this issue. SO I guess in a broader sense my question is a question of ret theorycraft - which is better Crit % or AP and to what extent?
P.S. While writing this post, I found a tanking necklace with even more strength: [Nexus War Champion Beads]. 100 total Strength after socketed and Divine Strength and Blessing of Kings.
Strength is the best stat for Retribution. However, it is not the only valuable stat. The other stats such as crit, hit, agility do increase your damage, just not as much as Strength.
To see this, let's actually put dollar values on each stat. (This is just an estimate.)
1 AP = $1.00
1 Strength = $2.50
1 Crit Rating = $2.00
1 Armor Pen = $1.50
1 Agility = $1.50
Now, you can clearly see that Strength is still the most valuable stat. Let's compare [Favor of the Dragon Queen] to [Nexus War Champion Beads] for Retribution.
[Favor of the Dragon Queen]:
42 Agi = $63
63 Sta = $0
110 AP = $110
31 ArPen =$46.50
41 Crit = $82
Blue Socket = 8 Str = $20
Total = $321.50
[Nexus War Champion Beads]:
94 Sta = $0
63 Str = $157.50
28 Def = $0
34 Parry = $0
28 Block = $0
Red Socket = 16 Str = $40
Total = $197.50
The Favor of the Dragon Queen is massively better than the Nexus War Champion Beads. If you look at the values, you see that all those extra stats contribute to the total, while the Beads only have Strength. It has a lot of strength, but not enough to outweigh the other stats.
If something is "not the best", it doesn't mean that it is automatically worthless. It still has worth. You should never take statements like "Strength > All" to an extreme.
Now, how do you come up with the values for each stat? I just estimated values above. You can also do a lot of math and theorycraft values, or you can look up values on sites such as Elitist Jerks. But in general, an item that has several stats that increase your damage is usually better than an item which only has a lot of one stat.