There's a consensus growing from the test server peeps that it's cheaper and probably better to do bulk relic combining now before the patch. With the upcoming patch the tier9 relics will be refactored into sexy new level 6's, but the number of tiers to level up a relic will grow from 6 to 10. What's not been stated but found from tests is that the post-patch crits are far less. So the relic grind is more or less the same, but you will be ahead if you combine now because of the increased chance of critting. So FYI.