Why Haste is our Worst Stat

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).

Further Reading

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

For now.


  1. Theorw says:

    I agree totally and i knew this before patch went live because i read here:)
    I had stacked a few gear pieces with mastery-crit and replaced as soon as it went live.Had to work with hit/exp though but i am fine now.Still i get 3rd 4th in 25mans but 1 thing i noticed is that 1st in damage was Hand of light, 2nd was CS and 3rd exorcism,TV 4th :S

  2. Pacifism says:

    Another thing to add to that is the 3s CS not being achievable without sacrificing more beneficial stats like strenght, which doesn’t allow for CS > filler > CS rotation.

    It is possible that by the end of the expansion, we’ll want to even out amongst mastery, crit and haste, when the 3s CS is more attainable than it is now.

  3. Hudewey says:

    Thanks for the quick analysis on our priorities from this patch. I’ve definitely seen a big difference in my DPS & just basic play (esp PVP). Blew up alot of Horde last night & was able to heal up quickly. Mages should know better than to get close to the “new” Ret Pallys in pvp :). At least I feel I can now compete in dungeons & hopefully raids soon. Now, should we reforge haste to mastery & max out mastery? Is there a mastery cap at all?

    Great site.

  4. McBlue says:

    I seem to be having a problem since as soon as 4.0.6 came out i reforged all my haste to mastery (pre 4.0.6 i had around 11.5% haste and 9% crit) and I tried on a dummy for about 5 min (no cds just selfbuff and Inquisition)and my dps was lower? so i just made it so i had 10% haste and my dps went up. Am i doing something wrong, im using the right spell priority and cap in both hit and expertise. Here is my armory page http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/eredar/mcblue/simple i mean with how i am i do 18k+ in bh but i wouldnt mind doing more lol

  5. Lykaon says:

    I totally approve of the changes, and was surprised to find that haste took such a hit. I reforged everything to the new priority order (mastery>crit>haste), and saw some amazing improvements in my DPS.

    I’m consistently #1 in DPS now in our 10-mans (though we’re not very far along). On Magmaw this week, I posted 20k+ DPS on the kill.


  6. Fubarus says:

    So Khor and anyone else, what rating or percentage on Mastery should we be shooting for? Is there a cap, or what number are we looking at?

    What about Crit? Is there a target percentage there to as well?

  7. Brock says:

    Love the new changes. Just like in WOTLK I rock the charts. I’m a beast once again!

  8. Varrex says:

    @ Mcblue,

    You should see some vast dps improvements the more mastery you stack around 14% and higher as its a flat increase to CS and TV damage… As mentioned before by Khor, haste is by far the worst stat atm I would suggest looking at replacements threw heroics and rep (hyjal betl) to replace the haste stacked gear…

    If you could pick up the right eye heroic it is a nice dps increase and extra hit is always nice cause you can always reforge what you dont need.. Crit is nice but it takes so much to get a decent increase i would suggest mastery vs crit unless the gear has mastery and crit… Also if you have the gold to pick up landslide is very nice if not get avalanche…

    Here is my link feel free to check it out ill have t legs in 2 days… http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/stormscale/varrex/simple

  9. Shogan says:

    Do not forget about the set pieces either.

    T11 2set Bonus – Increases the damage done by your Templar’s Verdict ability by 10%.
    T11 4set Bonus – Your Inquisition ability’s duration is calculated as if you had one additional Holy Power.

    That 4Set bonus is looking mighty tasty right about now. With a slower ramp up time to get a 3 stack HoPo, using 1 will net you a 20 sec Inquisition and using 2 will be a full 3HoPo TV hit. Overall this is going to be a HUGE amount of our DPS especially with these changes to Mastery.

  10. bano says:

    hey guys, about haste. i read it affected your seal of truth DOT damage. not sure if this is true or not, but i was under the impression to sort of balance your crit to haste ratings. I’d Think it would affect your Guardian too, no?

    with my haste within the % range of my crit (but stacking mastery and str) i’m usually finding myself in the top 3 of the damage meters.


  11. bano says:

    Would delete my previous comment if i could!

    just checked out a really good raiding ret pally in my guild (my competitor) and just saw his crit to haste ratio around 2:1. can safely say i have some reforging to do now. pretty excited to pick up some more dps!

  12. blowwings says:

    i am proud to say i am dps machine i am always number 1 or 2 in the dps charts and i love it i could pull from 19k to 26k dps and i ahve everything crit and mastery.. just make sure u have a good amount of crit because that help alot with the mastery.. i am number 2 ret pally in my server and not even the number 1 ret pally is pulling dps like i am..

    check out my gear here

  13. blowwings says:

    and one more thing Crushing Weight is a beast tinket to have because i u reforge everything to crit and mastery and the haste proc on the trinket which is very often imagine all the damage ur doing and how fast ur pulling it its amazing how much dps u will be doing but just becareful with this combination u have to know how to use hand of salvation because uw ill pull aggro when ur doing 29 k dps and ur temp verdict is hitting 72k like mine is been hitting lately.. i been reading threw every ret aplly siite and putting all the info together and i juts created a beast lol

  14. Bonesmashr says:

    yea but haste increases the amount of regular weapon swings. Your Regular weapon strikes are what procs divine purpose and art of war. Therefore the more fast weapon strikes, the more chances you have at getting these procs. So even tho it doesnt help your cooldown abilities, these faster weapon strikes allow several more divine purposes’ and art of wars. so overall you’re getting in several more big attacks

  15. Viciouspen says:

    I have one major problem with your thought process here.
    You’ve left one giant hole that you haven’t considered inreference to Divine Purpose and Procs in general (art of war).

    More haste will actually give you more chances to proc Divine purpose.
    Haste gives you added chances to proc Art of war.

    Divine purpose doesn’t…..disqualify haste the way you’re describing it, it actually can, in theory, factor it in.

    I see this reasoning all the time.
    On my Ret paladin, i kept getting haste stuff, so i thought, alright, let’s see what happens. I’ve been topping the DPS charts on heroics and raids over the ret paladins using this “traditional” build very consistently. Some of these guys have better gear than I do. My haste build is beating them in DPS. These aren’t randoms, these are people I get to run with time and time again, and time and time again, their build built off this mechanic falls below mine.

    I started trying haste as an experiment, and now, I’m thinking there are at least possibly things you haven’t taken into account at all.

  16. Viciouspen says:

    Let me add something else.

    i think part of the problem is that Haste in fact can’t really be “charted” the way you guys want an attribute to be, which is part of why it’s discounted. Ret paladins end up having now so much to do with random procs that its hard to chart.
    I’m not saying this traditional build is bad at all, just that I have a hard time trusting this kind of advice when there’s so many giant holes in the reasoning.

Speak Your Mind