expertise gemming

Last night I was having a talk with another ret about when one should start replacing str/haste gems in red sockets with expertise/haste. He was saying that you need to wait until 2 of every secondary stat exceeds one strength. I respect him, but I can't seem to wrap my head around that.

I would think that one should start gemming expertise when only 2 stats are above strength because gear only has two stats on it at once, and you never reforge for your third-ranked stat.

Assuming haste>mastery>crit, gemming expertise over strength frees up expertise to be reforged into haste/mastery, and any reforges into expertise from mastery/crit can be put into haste/mastery. At no point do you gain crit from gemming expertise because you do not reforge for it.

The only exception I can think of is a piece with both expertise and crit on it. On the SoO loot table
Wall-Borer Bracers is the only item with those stats.

I understand that a change in stats brings a change in stat-weights, and could potentially cause a statx2 to drop below strength, but it's the part about the third-ranked stat the gets me.
If you're at the point in gear where you need to start reforging useful stats (haste/mastery) into expertise to meet the cap, then you need to start replacing haste/str with haste/exp.

The only exception I can think of is a piece with both expertise and crit on it. On the SoO loot table
Wall-Borer Bracers is the only item with those stats.

In a situation such as this you'd reforge in a way that allows you to gain the most haste. This takes in to consideration how much expertise you are losing, and if that needs to be accounted for with by adding/removing gems in your other gear.

But realistically, you would never even consider rolling on an item like that when there is far better options available.
I sim out 2 Crit > 1 Str in AoE fights (where Crit is worst) and 2 Mastery > 1 Str in single-target fights (where Mastery is slightly the worst) and all my new gear (OK, all four pieces...) are Expertise/Haste in the red slots. Even before then, I found it worthwhile since it meant I could stack more Haste overall, and nearly all of my stat gains were in Crit.

Once you start getting tier, you'll have a ton of these Expertise gems. About the only reason not to do it would be odd drop luck resulting in a ton of Expertise items.
The thing about gemming for expertise is that it changes your reforging. It's not just a trade of 80 str for 160 exp (which would be a net gain), it's 80 str for 160 exp and then reforging to trade 160 exp for 160 of something else. So what you actually end up doing is trading 80 str for 160 haste/crit/mastery/some combination thereof. This doesn't necessarily mean ALL secondary stats have to be better than strength, just the ones you'll actually be trading.

However, when you're already well over the expertise cap (as you are, and I also happen to be), adding even more expertise is decreasingly useful - your reforging has to be focused on dumping expertise, rather than maximizing stats you like. In the extremal case, you get more expertise than you are able to reforge out of, and wasted expertise is clearly worse than strength.

I'm not sure there's a nice rule of thumb here; you might have to just take it case-by-case.
Or just get the mace from General Naz and be human /flexin on expertise.
Basically OP, you are correct, for the reasons Ravicana said. You would only need 2 secondary stats to pass the 2>1 strength ratio to make gemming expertise worth it because through reforging you'll (usually) be gaining some combination of your 2 better secondaries. There are sometimes some edge cases due to the exact gearset and reforge options you have that could something wind up with you gaining some of the 3rd secondary, but in a general case you'll be trading the str for a combination of your top 2 secondaries.

Although from my understanding mastery and crit tend to be very close together for ret, with haste in the lead, so I imagine if you're at the point where 2 mastery are better than 1 str, then 2 crit would probably be as well, or at least very very close, to the point that you're really min/maxing well beyond the noticeable.

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