For Retribution Paladins in Patch 4.0.6, Haste is now our lowest ranked stat. This is a tricky and complicated topic to cover, so I will try to simplify it as much as possible, because it’s not easy to see past the apparent benefit of haste to get to the truth of why Mastery and Critical Strike are ahead in stat priority.
Here is the argument I hear most: If Templar’s Verdict is our top priority attack, especially with the Mastery damage, why not stack Haste to get Crusader Strike down as much as possible to the 3 second ideal cooldown. This would at least prioritize Haste above Crusader Strike.
That’s a solid argument, because it sounds sexy and the logic is definitely there. However, when you dig deeper, you have to analyze things a bit further. Stats aren’t as simple as they were in Wrath, and haste mechanics are not nearly as beneficial as they would appear to be on the surface.
Analyzing Benefits of Mastery, Crit, and Haste
Mastery is our first priority of the three secondary stats after hit and expertise caps. Obviously, you want hit and expertise caps first. Once you get those covered, you now have the three other stats to worry about.
Mastery provides 2.1% additional Holy Damage on Crusader Strike, Templar’s Verdict, and Divine Storm per point of Mastery. This will equate to some heavy damage, especially from Templar’s Verdict. Simply put, the more Mastery, the more additional damage you will push out. Because of this direct damage increase, this sits just ahead of critical strike.
Critical Strike is an easy stat to work with because it is a stat that affects every single attack we have (more or less). Every attack we put forth can crit, so it’s a mandatory stat that falls in right behind Mastery…at least as of Patch 4.0.6.
Haste affects certain parts of our DPS, namely weapon speed and increasing the number of attacks we can make (by lowering cooldowns on attacks, i.e. Crusader Strike). This is certainly a great benefit, but because of some of the mechanics of our talents and attacks, haste isn’t a factor at all.
For example, Divine Purpose has the ability generate three Holy Power with one attack. Once Divine Purpose procs, the Templar’s Verdict can be used immediately. Mastery will have a damage contribution, and Critical Strike will also have a chance to deal more damage as well. Haste plays no part at all in this mechanic. Divine Purpose prioritizes Mastery and Crit.
Another example lies on Exorcism and Art of War. Exorcism is only used when Art of War procs, making it instant. While Mastery plays no part here, Critical Strike does. Crit can make Exorcism hit much harder. Again, Haste is left on the shelf.
For these reasons, and several more that are fairly in depth, Haste has a pretty low rating compared to Mastery and Crit, simply because it is finding less use than the other stats. We will be reforging away from Haste wherever possible, and concerns will lie in bringing up Mastery and Crit (mostly Mastery at this point).
Believe me, it’s a tough thing to try and simplify this out. There’s just a ton going on with our damage that makes looking past the visible haste benefits to see its shortcomings a bit difficult.
If you would like to see more information on Haste and its mechanics related to Mastery and Crit, I strongly urge you check out Elitist jerks and the Retribution Concordance. It’s a ton of information to dig through, and honestly, if you aren’t a number cruncher, you may find everything a bit overwhelming.
But the conclusions are the same: Mastery > Crit > Haste