Got enough mana? Stop picking up spirit. Conviction up 100%? Your crit is probably fine. You can't reach the GCD haste cap at the moment (3489 or 27%), so don't stack beyond what you're comfortable with. Mastery is still kind of a big question mark, and most of us reforge it to something else.
Generally the saving grace of Tier gear, and the reason we all want those tokens, is the set bonuses. Sometimes they're amazing, other times they're lackluster. Either way, they are what we have to work with, so we better get used to them.
I disagree with Chase
This won't be the first time I've completely disagreed with WoW Insider's Paladin blogger (Holy anyway), and I'm sure it won't be the last. Here's my executive summary of why he doesn't like T11.
- No Haste - none of the pieces have any haste at all, putting you 700 haste behind the non set pieces. Haste is great for throughput, and for extra HR ticks.
- 5% crit to Holy Light - Since it's only about 10% of his total healing (20% for me on Nef, but that's a specific fight), adding 5% crit to that spell isn't a huge bump. I think it's the same bonus for every class though.
- 1620 Spirit whenever Holy Radience is up - this comes out to about 2000 mana returned, or about 20% of the spell cost.
Now these points are solid, don't get me wrong. I just disagree (and I'll take the math with me) that the pieces, haste, and set bonuses are really that bad.
Haste and Holy Radience - how much do you need?
Right now, any time we cast Holy Radience (as Holy) we're automatically getting 12 ticks instead of 10 - assuming we're fully raid buffed, spec'd properly, have Judgements up, etc. Adding 773 Haste will gain us one additional tick. The next break point is 1859, then 2954. That's a lot of haste.
Now I hate trying to do the Haste math, but the short version is 100% haste will cut your cast time in 1/2. So if you had a 3 sec cast, you'd be at 1.5 sec if you had 100% haste. So 6% haste will give you .15 sec off your 2.5 sec cast, 14% will give you .35, and you'd need 20% haste (2562) haste to cut .5 sec off your 2.5 sec cast.
So while haste is great, you have to be careful. I lose about 393 haste (counting socket bonuses) when I switch from my non-set gear to my 4/5 T11 (I have the Chim shoulders). I also pick up 70 int (sockets), and 5 spirit. Now, that 393 haste rating comes out to about 3% haste, or a whopping .075 sec off my Holy Light/Divine Light casts. This would have 'saved' me about 8.85 sec of casting on my last Nef fight (DL+HL casts), and for argument's sake I'll assume it pushed me over the threashold for the next HR tick.
Since I had 10 HR casts in that fight, that would have been about an extra 1500 healing done (assuming every tick was a crit and in very close range), which is 15,000 healing over the course of the fight to one person - about what I get from a Holy Light crit. With the spirit buff, I would have regained about 20k mana, or about 20% of my total bar - about what we get from Divine Plea.
At the end of the day I don't disagree that our tier pieces aren't perfectly itemized, but I do disagree that the T11 is really that horrible. Unless you're really rocking the haste for that next tick of HR, or your raid is wiping because you're a tenth of a second off on a heal, I wouldn't spend a lot of time stressing over which gear setup is better. Personally as long as my main heals are sub 2 second casts, I feel like I'm doing alright. I'll take any free mana I can get, especially if it means I don't have to hit Divine Plea. I would even go so far as to say it's worth taking a tier token from someone else if you can get that 4th piece (if you're using HR regularly).