Haste or Mastery, a Druid’s eternal dilemma

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.

Haste Breakpoints

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.

  1. Most had less spirit than I do,
  2. Most had less mastery, which the exception of 1
  3. 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:

Zeirah’s breakdown

druid haste Zeirah

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:

druid haste zeirah after

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.


4 thoughts on “Haste or Mastery, a Druid’s eternal dilemma

  1. I know almost nothing about resto gearing. The same sort of thing has happened in past expansions though where one stat switches to becoming THE stat just because the gear gets to a certain level. The classic problem was Armor Pen during wrath. It wasn’t a very good stat until very late in the expansion you could get enough of it that it became the only stat you wanted and you ignored every stat to get it. Or the opposite and one stat becomes nearly useless because you have too much of it. I remember becoming crit capped and trying to avoid crit as much as possible because it would no longer benefit me.

    • oh cool, so its probably pretty common then – the changing of stats vs ilvl; this is the first time i’ve come across it though. Tonight worked out really well, my healing looked really good and I didnt oom, in fact I think I can probably drop a bit more spirit and put it into int. It’s strange though looking at loot tables and realising stuff I thought would be my BIS aren’t, I’ll have to sit down and work out what I want to be rolling on.

  2. hey,
    so I know I stumbled across this thread many months later, however in case anyone else is reading this as late as I am, all of the advice I have gotten for lower ilvls is to stick with haste at the 3k softcap and everything else into mastery. once you have enough for the 13k haste point do that…don’t go in between those two breakpoints. these weights are for obviously lower ilvls, 540 and below, because once your at 540+ ilvl obtaining the 13k breakpoint should be no problem. The advice I have gotten was from all ma buddies running heroics and one currently in normals.
    I personally am at 530 ilvl (Hidruid-Bleeding Hollow) and redid my build to accommodate the haste softcap, and my healz went up with stacking everything else into mastery. Prior to this i was building everything and my mother into haste…hope it helps

    • Hi 🙂
      The 13163 is definately the better build if you have the gear/ilvl to accomodate it so you don’t lose too much mastery. I found too about the 530/535 is about when I could definately go up to the higher haste.

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