Just finished writing the below, and man, I haven't gotten going on PUP gear like this for a while. Kinda fun, and really helps me think through my own gear :)
Your SP/Shijin sets are actually very similar to my own. A few observations by slot:
Head: You really, really don't want to give up Ocelomeh Headpiece (or +1) on Shijin Spiral. DEX+12 (or 13) and Triple Attack +3% from the set bonus with Toci's crushes Cirque+2's H2H skill+5 and DA+3%, even if it moves you up one H2H damage tier. Go get Ocelomeh Headpiece if you don't have it, it's that good even without the set bonus, but for someone with Toci's it's even stronger. The one thing that surprised me a little from playing with Kinematics's math is that even on SP with no DEX modifier, Ocelomeh is a top option just because the large amount of DEX has a big impact on crits (and obviously the set Triple Attack is nice). It just doesn't win by as wide a margin as it does on Shijin.
Earring 1: Keep Brutal Earring for either WS. Averaged over time, it's the best earring you could use for any PUP H2H WS. True that it's arguably less consistent in damage than the other options due to DA not procing at all on some WS, but over the course of many WS it's #1 by a pretty wide margin. This is pretty much standard thinking for all DD jobs now, with the notable exception of Asuran Fists (simply because it can't double/triple attack due to already having the maximum 8 attacks per round).
Earring 2: For the second earring to pair with Brutal - Moonshade (Attack/TP Bonus, then Acc/TP Bonus) is going to be the best possible choice, and a lot of people might have it especially if you play other DD jobs. However, for H2H users Moonshade is even better as a TP earring with Regain and either Attack or Accuracy. So if you're like me and picked Moonshade primarily based on overall PUP MNK utility or you got a mage earring (or you didn't finish WotG), you might not have this option.
If Moonshade is out of the picture, you're looking at a group of earrings which are all close enough to more or less be sidegrades, in Ghillie/+1, Aesir, and stat+3 earrings (for Shijin, DEX+3 from something like Jupiter's or Pixie Earring). If Bruiser's brings you to a new H2H tier, it's also in that group (but in order to do that, you have to sacrifice from better options in the neck or head slots). And it's still bringing up the rear of that close grouping.
Waist: This is the one slot where I see a cheap/easy significant improvement for your Shijin set. Artful Belt is cheap and excellent, the +1 is considerably more expensive but a modest improvement. Though worth noting that Prosilio is probably the best belt for all PUP WS (and especially VS/SP), despite the DA-5% it makes up for it by being loaded with STR/Attack.
Shijin Spiral doesn't replicate fTP across hits of the multi-hit WS like some of the merit WS do (Blade: Shun, Ruinator, etc). Therefore, while they're still pretty good, elemental belts/gorgets aren't as huge as they are on some of the other merit WS.
Neck: Consistent with the above on belts, gorgets are solid but not as big for Shijin as they are for some of the other merit WS. However, better options are more limited in this slot for PUP than they are for waist, and are kinda pricey - most notably Tjukurrpa Medal for SP and Moepapa Medal for SS. Gorget is still respectable here though, and one comparison worth noting that is that in an ideal build it should beat Rancor Collar for both SP (because Rancorous Mantle is the best back for SP - the crit rate on collar/mantle doesn't stack, and if you're choosing one of them the Mantle is better due to its very nice Atk+17), and SS (because SS doesn't crit).
Back:You don't need to upgrade Pantin Cape for Shijin, it's actually really good due to the DEX+5 along with a healthy amount of attack. As far as I know, best possible piece in the slot for Shijin. I do think Rancorous Mantle (with max Tonberry hate) is the best option for SP though.
So to recap and combine all of the above, if you were really dead set on trying to get to the next H2H tier for WS, best slots to use for skill+ gear are neck (Faith) and your non-Brutal earring. Don't sacrifice a better head piece, especially not Ocelomeh on Shijin. I played around a lot with both SP/SS on the spreadsheets though, and I never saw the Faith/Bruiser combo beat the other good choices. Could get pretty close to some alternatives, but nothing better than a near sidegrade/slightly behind other choices.
Edited, Jun 7th 2012 10:44pm by Anza
Anza: Titan 2004-2011 / Capuchin: Phoenix 2011-???