Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I love being right

Back when the changes were announced for our mastery in 4.2, I stood up against the tide and stated that the changes were good.  Maybe even amazing.  Do absoloutely nothing, and you automatically get a 10%, stacking, FIFTEEN SECOND LASTING, shield for almost every heal you throw out.  The fact that folks didn't jump up and cheer for this still boggles my mind.

Now, some of the top guilds are even bringing a mastery stacking Paladin to the raid, for the sole purpose of dropping gigantic shields on the tanks.  Stacking full mastery, with reforging and gems, is delivering a mastery rating that gives you a shield that is 35% of your total heal.  This is even higher than I anticipated, and the possibilities just boggle the mind.

Not everyone can be special

Now, this type of healer is a very specialized role.  Heals will be slower, mana return will be lower, and your ability to crank out AoE healing will be greatly reduced.  What you will be however is a shield generating machine.  You'll probably be leaning on Holy Light a bit more, with Divine Light tossed in for those big moments, but look at the shields you'll get.

A 20k Holy Light crit will net you a 7k shield, and I think we can all agree that prevented healing is better than reactive healing (which is why we all love our Disc preist buddies).  Even if you just roll Holy Lights without regard for incoming damage, your shields will continue to stack up for those moments when you really need them.

Unfortunately, you need to really be a part of a balanced heal team where everyone knows their role for this to work.  This setup, while powerful, will probably have reduced results in our 10m where I'm paired with a priest and we try to two heal everything.  I need to have faster heals, and as much mana and mana return as I can get.  I can't afford to simply heal the MT, though I do spend more of my time doing that than healing the raid. 

It's all about balance

And I'm not talking about the feathered bigfoot known as the critchicken.  What I'm talking about is finding the balance in your stats, and the balance with your healing team.  If you can afford to stack Mastery, then I say go for it.  Personally, I'm still putting Spirit at the top - enough Haste to give me the 1.99 second HL/DL casts, and enough crit to keep Conviction up over 90% of the time.  Everything else I'll put into Mastery if I can


  1. We don't have much choice with a lot of gear. Shared items tend to have Mastery as a secondary stat thses days, and a lot of our Holy Paladin gear comes with it too.

    I think a lot of us just go by what other people tell us, whether it's Elitist Jerks, Paladin blogs, or reforging spreadsheets/websites. I'm no theory crafter, I wouldn't know where to begin.
    The general word has been that Mastery is our worst stat, and has been for a long time. Now all of a sudden some people are saying it's one of our best stats. In all honesty I really don't know what to think. Some of those people are also saying Spirit is now our worst stat. It's very confusing.

    I switched to using 4 piece T11 recently, in conjuction with the big boost we got to Word of Glory. I feel the set really compliments that style of healing. I'm not sure how long I will be using the T11 4 piece now we are in Firelands, but I don't feel the loss of Haste at all.

    What we are seeing in Firelands though is a final burn phase with most bosses - kill him before he kills you. In such cases,how much of a disadvantage is having more Mastery than Haste in such phases?
    How are you personally coping with 2-healing those burn phases?

  2. One of the big challenges with burn phases is avoiding the kick in to just spam cast everything you've got, or to start whipping out FoLs like they're going out of style. Now granted we're only 4/7 normal, but even in 4.1 where we were 7/13 heroic we only used 3 healers on H-Chim and Nef regular.

    To me spirit is never going to be a bad stat, unless they change the regen mechanics again. Remember, our secondary stats are just that, secondary. Even looking at INT is just silly, because it's a primary stat.

    If you're ending the fight with "too much mana", then you can start changing up your spell selection, or your raid comp. Maybe you don't need that extra healer, and can bring a DPS instead. It's all about choice.

    Spirit will let you cast more DLs over a longer period of time.

    Haste will help with raid healing (extra tick on HR), and getting quick heals out without letting the tank fall too low thanks to 100% HL transfer.

    Mastery will make the healing 'smoother' with less tank spikes, unless you're healing the raid since our mastery won't transfer on BoL.

    Crit gives the occasionall bigger heal, which will allow you to choose a HL instead of a DL in some cases.

    In the end it all comes down to personal preference and knowing how your class works. If I saw a pally stacking one stat over the other, my only question would be "why did you choose this style". There's no wrong answer, as long as you're gearing and reforging to match what you're doing.

  3. All the gear optimizers and spreadsheets are built around base assumptions. Paladins were pretty easy to model prior to 4.2 because most agreed a pure haste or spirit / haste build was the best method. With the changes to crit and mastery making them more valued as secondary stats the default optimization calculators are only valuable if you choose the same style.

    Of course some tools, like Mr Robot, allow for custom stat weights and caps but at the end of the day all of them are better suited to tanking and dps trees. Only in those areas are there hard values for combat table coverage, hit cap, and optimized dps rotations.

    I find the whole discussion fascinating as a paladin, because it seemed to me the other healers have been having similar discussions/debates for much longer. The other classes can have entirely different talent selection and stat priorities to optimize for tank or raid healing. I've even heard some of them have placed a high value on Mastery since the start of tier 11!!! Madness!!! ;)

    I like my toolbox and don't mind having relatively poor AoE and raid healing potential, but I also like having valid options besides what comes out of the cookie cutter factory.

  4. Well, I joined the club and went for mastery. With just my spare JP and some reforging my normal mode gear I came up 23% bubbles with only a .1 second longer HL/DL. Not bad at all.

    Though I haven't figured out the best use for Beacon. Before I was using it on my tank for a bit more healing + generating HP with DL. But now I'm getting away with more HL. Do you beacon your tank or toss it on another tank and just forget about it?

  5. I usually put BoL on the OT, and heal the MT - but it all depends. On like Aleysrazor I put it on the tank on my side, so I can heal my 1/2 of the room. It's entirely fight specific, but generally - heal one guy, BoL on the other. Of course if it's only one tank, or the OT is on say, add control - you have to do it differently. Also room size (i.e. Nef) comes into play.

  6. Thanks, Adgamorix. It's what I ended up doing, too, just beaconing the OT and forgetting it (for Shannox). [url=http://bubblespec.blogspot.com/2011/07/et-tu-enlynn-mastery-build.html]I linked you[/url] and talked about my experience last night.

    Thank you for blogging about this. It made all the difference for getting that boss down.

  7. Awesome Enlynn. Aren't new boss kills great?

  8. I'm taking a look at this too. Running the numbers, I'm pretty sure I can drop from my current ~1700 Haste down to ~900 without much impact to the rhythm of my casts. The actual difference on a base 2.5 second cast is pretty small.

    Doing some reforging and changing out a couple heroic non-tier 372 for heroic t11 pieces should put me around 25% for Mastery. Giving this a shot tonight on Shannox.


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