Originally Posted by

**Sadinar**
I think it depends on your crit chance. Logic as follows:

It depends on how many embers you waste while doing so. For example, lets say you're at 3.9 embers, you cast an incinerate and it has 0.5s travel time, and you cast a 2.5s chaos bolt in that time. You fill up your ember with 2s left in the cast, and in that time you get an immolate tick. You potentially waste embers for 15% more damage on your CB. You only want to fill up if the 15% buff to CB damage is worth losing out on a partial CB later on.

So incinerate generates 0.1*(1+crit chance)*1.15 embers. Incinerate always generates 0.1 embers, with a crit chance percentage of doubling that, and a 15% chance of doubling that. However, since you're at 3.9, you will use 0.1 of those embers.

Immolate ticks generate 0.1(crit chance) embers because it only generates embers on a crit.

So the way to think about it is if the 15% bonus chaos bolt damage is worth losing out on the embers, which is a partial chaos bolt later in the fight.

For it to be worth it, 15% chaos bolt damage > 0.115(1+crit)[incinerate embers]+(0.1)(crit chance)[immolate embers]

0.15 Chaos Bolt > 0.115(1+crit)[Incinerate ember generation]+0.1(crit)[Immolate ember generation]-0.1[the ember that would be used to cap to 4.0, triggering the 4pc]

0.15 Chaos Bolt > 0.015+0.215(crit)

0.135 Chaos Bolt > 0.215(crit)

That means your crit chance needs to be at least 62.5% for it to be, on average, better to generate embers and cast CB early than to let your 4pc fill up.

Couple issues with my math: I don't know how 15% ember generation bonus on incinerate interacts with crit, I assumed it produces 4 embers optimally, but it could produce 3 which would be [0.1(1+crit chance)+0.1(.15)] instead. That changes it to 67.5% crit, which isn't much of a big deal honestly. I assumed the ICD of the 4pc would be up, which it actually may not in which case you don't want to save. I also assume the future chaos bolt will not be under a trinket, which is not neccesarily true; a trinket could proc as you fill it up again resulting in much higher damage.

That said, I don't think its a good idea. Intuitively, if you generate more than 0.15 embers you are wasting damage capping chaos bolts. The reality of the situation is that the damage increase from doing so is small. You have to keep track to make sure that you immediately cast a chaos bolt at 3.9 embers, and the damage gain just isn't worth it. You will at most gain 0.15 unbuffed chaos bolt damage if you do so(which for my ~550 lock is around 600k), so 90k bonus but if you mess up you potentially lose a lot more damage. It also could potentially mean a lot more damage if a trinket is going to proc soon, as you could, in the worst cast scenario, waste 0.3 embers(immo crit, incin crits and bonus gain) of a buffed chaos bolt later on which could be upwards of 300k damage. The tradeoff between best case and worst case doesn't seem to justify the micromanagement of embers on such a minute level when error could screw you far more.