Just search haste or mastery onto any Druid forum and you’ll find pages of threads about whether we should be putting more or less of each stat onto our gear. I’m no exception; I’ve thought long and hard over whether I should stop at the first haste cap of 3043 which gives an extra tick on rejuvenation and tranquility or aim for more. So far to date I’ve always stuck with 3043 and gemmed and reforged the rest into mastery which has pretty much been the more popular choice but now with the start of a new patch with all new gear, I’m back to thinking about it. This is probably a pretty rambly post but since I’ve been thinking about haste and mastery all afternoon I thought I’d share my thoughts on the off-chance it makes sense.
While there are a number of haste points that affect Druid’s ticking hots, the most common to reach have been 3043 or 6652. But now in 5.4 a much higher breakpoint of 13163 is starting to be considered. The table below shows how each spell is affected by haste.
Photo borrowed from AskMrRobot.com
Most of my gear from ToT had me sitting over the haste cap of 3043 but not really close enough to get to 6652 though gemming alone so I would have had to reforge a ton of mastery off my gear to get there so while I’d often consider it, I’d shy away and stick with my 3043 rating.
However, with the new tier 16 armor that came in 5.4, there’s been a bit of buzz around the place that there is room to change to a haste build and aim for 13162 haste which gives additional ticks on tranquility and rejuvenation and still maintain a fairly reasonable amount of mastery. My druid has been incredibly lucky this week and so far is sitting on 3 pieces of tier 16, which have a fairly significant amount of static mastery on them also with quite a few gem sockets per piece and I can already see that there is probably room for me to go up to that haste point and not lose too much mastery, especially compared to what I had on my gear in tier 15.
I did some poking around through World of Logs for druids that are sitting on a similar ilvl to me and yet who are killing healing in 10man SoO. I did look fairly specifically at the logs from the fight that we’re currently on in SoO, which is Thok the bloody unforgiving bastard Bloodthirsty. Apparently a lot of these druids are questing because when I looked at them on the armory, many had unhelpfully logged out in balance spec/gear, but of the ones who didn’t a few generalisations jumped out at me.
- Most had less spirit than I do,
- Most had less mastery, which the exception of 1
- All have higher haste with a few sitting at the 13k mark.
This is the stats I was sitting on when I started to compare:
Low haste and fairly high mastery was what I had reforged/gemmed my gear to. I just realised that after looking at all these figures and druids, that there seems to be a distinct ilvl split. Most of the mastery heavy builds were found on ilvl 545 and below and some seriously heavy haste builds, the ones hitting just over 13k were on 550 and above so it definitely seems that the new tier 16 gear will lend itself to allowing a much hastier build.
Then I realised that I was looking mostly at 10man fights but my team is starting 25man raiding on Wednesday; I had better look at stats from those raiding 25man. I found that there is a much heavier bias towards haste in 25m than in 10m. So that was pretty interesting, I’m guessing that haste performs better in 25m. So keeping that in mind, I decided the only way to see if a hastier build would actually pull better figures was to actually try it; so I cut 15 pure haste, 4 int/haste and 1 spirit/haste gems and put them into my gear. Then I started to remove the mastery and reforge it to haste. I have to admit it almost felt like I was stripping my druid’s armor off, she’s had that protective layer of mastery stacked on her gear for so long.
The final stats I ended up with look like this:
I’m a bit unhappy with the slightly lower spell power and intellect but I’m only just sitting on the haste cap so there isn’t really any room on my gear to gem a bit more pure intellect atm so I guess now all I can do is run with it for a few weeks and see how it feels and compares to the rest of the healers. If I’m really uncompetitive then I’ll consider trying an intellect/mastery build again but after seeing so many comparable ilvl druids in similar raid compositions running the hastier builds I’m hoping they know what they are doing.
And if you’re sitting there thinking I think too much about haste and mastery, you could be right. Any thoughts on my ramblings always welcome, sometimes I feel like I know what I’m on about and other times I’m sure I’m not making a scrap of sense.