8 total slots allows for some flexibility with gems. With a 2-slot talisman or weapon, it is possible to activate two 5-gem skills, such as Speed Sharpening, Capture Guru, or Speed Setup.
Alternatively, fill up all the armour slots with Upstream Jewels for Current Res (Hi), or with Vitality Jewels for Health +50, albeit generally a waste of slots as you can eat Meat+Meat or Meat+Grain to get this.
Lagiacrus+ can serve as a useful base to create Armor sets with emphasis on the Awaken skill. The Vambraces and Greaves together provide +9 to FreeElement, along with 2 slots, which if filled with Release Jewels give +11 to FreeElement. The +15 required to activate Awaken could be achieved with a 3-slot armour piece, weapon, or talisman and a catalyst jewel.
With all the slots, you can charm it for attack and with a 3-slot-weapon, you can get AuL.
The Overforged LR version of Lagiacrus armor is generally better. Most Awaken weapons are out classed by non-awakened weapons, so Razor Sharp is better than Awaken. The LR version also has more slots and they are arranged in pairs, which makes for better use of two-slot decorations, like Assault jewels, etc.
With Uragaan's hammer or SnS it is a very powerful combo. Gemming in Attack Up S/M/L is an effective choice.