Quick Retribution Paladin Mastery Info

I thought I would take a quick moment to address some Mastery questions I see repeatedly popping up here and on other forums.  What is the exact value of Mastery and is there a cap we need to pay attention to?

First, let me start off by saying that since Patch 4.0.6 is relatively new, there are still many details to be hammered out.  Theorycrafting is abundant, and elite players are rampantly compiling numbers, logs, and stats to see what the best set-up for Retribution Paladins is.  Mastery is only one of the things we are trying to figure out!

What is Mastery’s value compared to Crit and Haste?

Simply put, the current stat value for Mastery is:

  • Str > Hit > Exp > Mastery > Crit > Haste

Mastery and crit are actually closer in value than crit is versus haste.  At this point in time, current gear shouldn’t devalue Mastery at high stat levels, and place crit higher in terms of importance.  But, as we progress through Cataclysm, it is possible we will see Crit overtake Mastery.

What is the Mastery Cap?

There isn’t a Mastery cap at the moment, at least not one I am aware of.  If there is a Mastery cap discovered in the future, it is likely to be a soft cap, where Mastery can only be stacked to a certain point, where Crit will overtake it in priority.  Further Mastery past a soft cap would still be beneficial, just not as beneficial as Crit.  But don’t worry about that right now, no Mastery cap…yet.


  1. Thylight says:

    My mastery is about 16.00, i’m just wondering is it alot or no?

  2. Khor says:

    That’s double the default amount of Mastery for a base Ret Paladin at 85, so I’d say you are doing pretty well 🙂

  3. Judicius says:

    I’m sitting over 16.5 right now using Mr Robot to optimize.

    as you can see my haste and crit are pretty low.

  4. Etix says:

    Hi Khor,

    I have a little question.
    After patch i refoerged all items to mastery (after hit and expertise capped).

    now i have 20.10 mastery points, and 4,45% of crit
    I noted that my Exorcism hit just 18~20k… but my CS and TV are much better.

    Should i reforged something to get more crit % ???


  5. Lexra says:

    Post up an armory link.
    It’ll help determine which gear level you are at.

    Currently im in a mix of heroic 5-mans with a few epic pieces.
    There is still alot of theorycrafting going on in regards to flat dmg from HoL vs gaining a little more crit.
    Im still in the process of working it out when raiding.

    Im at only 14 mastery atm and seem to be holding my own.


  6. shandri says:

    Etix my mastery and crit stats are very similar to yours and im toppin dps meters in 5man hc’s and easily holdin my own in raids puttin out 17-20k dps witout the use of pots or flasks.

    Khor a question about cd’s. Im currently usin wings after iv got 5 stacks of censure up and inquistion runnin. I then use Zealotry and Guardian 2gether as i find teh strength boosts 2 b very nice wen jus rippin of TV’s. Have u tried this out? Is it better to use sperate? Your thoughts pls m8:D

  7. Douglaar says:

    I think the only thing to bear in mind with mastery is that the tooltip states 1 point in mastery adds 2% damage.

    How I’m reading this, is 12.01 mastery gives the same dmg boost as 12.99 mastery. Does anyone know if this is a correct assumption, or not?

  8. Hudewey says:

    Hi Khor

    Is now a good time to try the BW trinket with mastery? I’ve got the darkmoon card for strength. Great site, thanks.

  9. Khor says:

    @ Shandri – From what I have read at EJ, it seems it is best to use GoAK around 10 seconds before you pop AW and Zealotry together, to get the maximum benefit from GoAK.

    @ Douglaar – You are correct, 12.01 Mastery is the same as 12.99 Mastery. Both equal 12 Mastery in-game.

    @ Hudeway – The BW trinkets is a good one if you have few options at the trinket slot. Most of the other 359 level trinkets involving strenght, hit, and expertise are going to be better. There are even a few 5-man heroic ilvl 346 trinkets that beat this in DPS. DMC:G on raw stats alone beats this by aroun 100 DPS or so.

  10. Mourdechai says:


    Wait, you use wings and zealotry together now? wat?

  11. Naididae says:

    “@ Douglaar – You are correct, 12.01 Mastery is the same as 12.99 Mastery. Both equal 12 Mastery in-game.”

    Wrong, every point of mastery RATING will give a bonus damage, just might not reflect on the tooltip.
    But, if you see, you can have 16.54 mastery, which IS better than 16.10 mastery, for example.
    Just take it like this: 16.10 * 2.1 = the % bonus you’ll get

    It has already been tested and stated over EJ.

  12. Khor says:

    @ Nai – Okay, I am looking this up as I post. That’s a huge difference if so.

  13. Khor says:

    The mechanics for Mastery are 2.1% per point of Mastery. From what I gather, 12.01 or 12.99 Mastery still yields 12 Mastery, thus 12 * 2.1. If you have a source for the 12.01 * 2.1 < 12.99 * 2.1, please post it. I'm missing a major calculation if that is true.

    If I am understanding you right, are you saying that 1 point of Mastery = 2.1% extra holy damage, thus 1.5 points of Mastery = 3.15% extra damage? Because my understanding was that both equal 2.1% damage.

  14. Khor says:

    And another update, I found the mention of it in the original post by Exemplar…now I need to find the discussion: “All Ratings function at a level finer than represented by the paper doll. For example, 170 Mastery would display as 0 Mastery on the paper doll, however you do gain the benefits – it would provide ~0.95% (* 2.1% Holy Damage). This applies equally to Hit, Crit, Expertise, Haste, and Mastery.”


  15. Khor says:

    Okay, I have been scouring the entire Ret Concordance thread at EJ, and can’t find specific info other than the tidbit from the original post.

    What Nai is saying makes perfect sense, and I must have really misinterpretted the rounding for the tooltip compared to actual damage from the PTR.

    I will do some testing tonight when I get home from work to confirm this (which won’t be hard), and I will report back here with the results. I will make the necessary changes to the stats page if needed.

    Thanks Nai!

  16. Naididae says:

    You just gotta get, for example 12.99 mastery and then 13.00 mastery.
    Do around 500 cs (lol, enjoy). You’ll see that the difference will be non-existent.
    If your first assumption was correct, you’d see a 1% difference.

    This is hard to test seeing that the numbers are very close either way, but doable.

    Also, to add, it’s just like Expertise works too.

  17. Naididae says:

    Lowering your crit to as close to 0 as possible should help to.
    So get like a wooden club or something, unequip everything except some mastery pieces.

  18. Naididae says:

    Oh and despite not being a true test, you can check exemplar’s spreadsheet and redcapes and change your mastery values to see that your expected dps should increase, even though you are not getting enough to change the tooltip itself. That’s just to see that they tested and made it like I’m saying here.

  19. Rolanor says:

    What Nai is saying is true, mastery is calculated finer than the game displays. My paladin is getting around 22-23k dps standstill , more sometimes, in all 359 but 2 pieces. I have 660 haste, 979 crit and 1863 mastery (18.39) with 7.97hit and 25 exp (which is also calculated finer than shown, so more to the 26 than 25 range.)

    What I am currently interested in is the dps difference in say Ashkandi/Zinrokh and Akirus Wyrmbreaker weapons. While the Akirus gives mastery, the other two have 3.8 speed resulting in higher damage relating to weapon damage attacks: CS, TV, Melee, Seals of Command, Seal of Truth, and Censure.) I ask this because I have Akirus, but we have Nefarian down and hopefully the sword will start dropping regularly.

    Another thing is the difference about Aplha Bracers and Electron Inductor Coils. I’m wondering, as I’ve tested this but noticed no real difference. As always, great job with everything Khor! 😀

  20. Douglaar says:

    Interested to hear the discussion on the mastery point I touched on, I was unsure, and as you guys have mentioned, the tooltip suggests one thing whereas the common sense or stat + more stat still equals benefit seems more sensible.

    Since it’s not a ‘cap’ I’d imagine that +stat above a ‘limit’ 12.50 for example, would yield 0.49 * 2.1 over someone with mastery of 12.01.

    The reason I posted was that due to reforging and my gear I think I was sitting at +12.01 mastery and I wondered whether at that point whether it would be better to say, reforge excess hit to crit, or haste to crit, instead of mastery…or not.

  21. Rolanor says:

    Generally what I’m doing is reforging off overcap expertise and reforging off haste to get hit capped, and from there maximizing as much mastery as possible while trying to limit as much crit reduction as possible (this is not to be mistaken with me not reforging crit to mastery, as I do that, just dropping lesser stats like haste to get the most mastery).

    In the case of the tooltip reading something different, the tooltip is WRONG. All values function finer than the tooltip shows, you can calculate this by taking your mastery points x 2.1% and you get your number. If you watch your tooltip, it will sometimes jump from “x %” to “x+1 %” while your mastery is still between points. This is because the .1% increase makes the mastery gain not go in 2% increments, and you can see percent gains before you actually hit a solid number for mastery points.

  22. Rolanor says:

    Judicius, I tried using Mr. Robot and it is alllllll wrong. It prioritizes crit over mastery, and it uses str/hit gems, which EJ clearly stated is a dps loss unless the socket is 20+ str.

    It’s a useful tool and all, but I’ll stick to my way of reforging for now.

  23. Aemon says:


    12.01 mastery will give you 25% increased holy dmg and 12.99 mastery will give you 27% increased holy dmg. It’s a simple formula, mastery rating multiplied by 2.1. So 12.01 x 2.1 = 25.221 and 12.99 x 2.1 = 27.279. Blizzard always rounds down so 25% and 27% respectively.

  24. Rolanor says:

    Again, Aemon that is wrong. Blizzard does not round whatsoever. 12.01×2.1 = 25.221 NOT 25.

    ” * All Ratings function at a level finer than represented by the paper doll. For example, 170 Mastery would display as 0 Mastery on the paper doll, however you do gain the benefits – it would provide ~0.95% (* 2.1% Holy Damage). This applies equally to Hit, Crit, Expertise, Haste, and Mastery.”
    -Quoted directly from Exemplar, the writer of the Retribution Concordance over on Elitistjerks.

  25. Zariche says:

    I was tinkering around yesterday, went all for Mastery (ofcourse after getting Hit and Expertise Cap), did only 8.4k dps though. Another Paladin told me to redo it all into Crit/Haste, so i did, and went 11k dps.

    I don’t understand how can that minor change affect the dps that great.

  26. Brock says:

    Zariche: whats your sample size for each set of stats?

  27. incrusiable says:

    i know you say this khore but before i read your post i was reforged for haste fully and was pulling close to 21k on heroics bosses…….. i reforge everything to mastery and after that my dps went down quite a bit…….. i still think its necisary to have at least a decent ammount of haste to get your spells going out faster…… just my personal opinion could be diferent but reforging completely mastery gave me a loss going half and half brought me back up to 21k+ so ….. yah

  28. Rolanor says:

    inscrusiable, did you happen to have different group buffs like a druid/paladin for kings, or a surv hunter frost dk for haste buff? Also, were the bosses you did it on have similar mechanics and time on boss, as well as fight length for varying amounts of Cooldowns?

    I ask because I did a personal self-test on target dummy and heroic bosses and increased haste and crit resulted in around a 2k dps loss.

  29. incrusiable says:

    yah its the same group were a couple of friends that do our daily every day together. also i got dm on monday last week switched reforge on tues and got dm on thursday again

  30. Aemon says:

    Rolanor, fine.. they round down on the paper doll. My point was 12.01 mastery and 12.99 mastery do not give the same amount of bonus dmg. You do not need to get all the way to 13 mastery from 12.01 to see a difference.

  31. Pissette says:

    Since I’m sitting at 2075 mastery rating, and that my crit is at 756 and my haste at 354, I’m starting to think that at this high a value of mastery, crit may have a higher stat weighting. I’ve read 2500 mastery/1500 crit but results posted by other with 2x the crit rating I have make me think that stacking more would increase my dps by a lot. Anyone has a way to model my stat weighting online, other than redscape’s spreadsheet? Feel free to comment on my spec/gear/my toon in general

  32. Wirdir says:

    HI, I have som questions about whats stats i should focus on as a retri pala in pvp. I have asked many diffrent players and they all say diffrent things. So i ask you guys what u think. How much hit and exp shall i have? Shall i focus on mastery or crit?
    Sorry if my spelling is bad, hope you anderstand anyways.
    // W

  33. tm says:

    I think PvP still requires 5% hit. Expertise is not necessary.


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